Originally Posted by RamonAllones
-I will not go offroad but plan to travel on poor dirt roads.
-It needs to be reliable and easy to fix (I am a poor mechanic).
-able to carry me and all my junk 250Lbs + 75 Lbs equipment
-Hopefully a large gas tank for 450+ miles w/out refueling.
Can it be done? Thanks for the help!!
No, it can't really be done, at least not exactly as you have described.
No bike you'll find you will go that far on one tank. And in Mexico you just don't need it Amigo. Pemex are everywhere. A range of 150 to 200 miles is all you really need.
A poor dirt road is still Off Road. You have to ride a different style on dirt. Not a big deal, any street bike will handle this fine, just watch out for pot holes, Topes and deep sand. And learn to brake properly on dirt or you'll crash.
(well, you'll crash anyway most likely....wear protective gear)
Of course, we all want super reliable bikes. You get what you pay for. 30 year
old bikes, even Japanese bikes, may not be all that reliable. Its a crap shoot.
But thats all part of the adventure. Don't worry about breaking down. You speak Spanish. People will help you everywhere you go.
You are not a mechanic? Better start learning Ramon. It is just not that hard.
Try to learn the bike you buy. Read everything you can and go try to do stuff. Get help from friends or shops. Most stuff you can do yourself. Not a big deal.
250 lbs.? You're a big boy eh? No problem.
Have you ever ridden a bike before?
Here are a few possibilities to look for in your price range:
If you look hard for an older one you MAY find one in your range.
To get this bike I would seriously consider spending a bit beyond $1500 if a good KLR comes along. This is a relatively "modern" bike, bulletproof, long range, good for "big" guys and able to carry you anywhere. Its a poor man's
F650 GS BMW. It would be my number one pick for you. Buy 1995 or newer.
Nighthawk 650/700* or 750.
Even an older Nighthawk will work for you. Look for the 700 or 750 first.
The 700 (1985 to 1988) had shaft drive and hydraulically adjusting valves. Air cooled, reliable) I owned one. The 750's started in '89 or so. Also good.
Chain drive. More common, easier to find used. Solid.
Honda CX-500 or CX-650. Any model (Silverwing ect). Cheap and strong. Newer the better, low mileage a plus. Can be outfitted to work great. One of the most reliable motorcycles ever produced, by anyone.
Old bikes like the above CX can have problems. Many times they've been sitting around for years, unused. Not good. Things like Stators tend to fail on these older bikes. But some good ones are out there, on the road. Find them.
No matter what, buy a brand new, high quality, sealed battery for what ever
bike you buy. Go through the bike carefully and clean it completely. This will help turn up problems. Loose wires, missing bolts, ect. Pull off the seat and
check all the wiring. Just make sure wiring is clean and still connected tight. Any rust must be removed from connectors. Make sure battery connectors are solid and not frayed or coming apart.
Chain: Another "must be new" item for Mexico. Get a DID X ring chain amigo.
Trust me on this, OK? And of course, new sprockets MUST be added as well.
For your trip you'll want BRAND NEW TIRES AND TUBES. No compromises here.
Some tires are available in Mexico but maybe not in the sizes you need.
One of the most common causes of problems on old bikes is crap and dirt in
the fuel tank. Especially if the bike has been sitting. Take the tank OFF and
clean it out. Make sure its clean inside.
Carb(s). Pull float bowl. see how it looks. If really bad you may want to rebuild the carbs (or have it done) before you go. Just because it runs OK now, doesn't mean it will continue to run after 1000 miles.
Brakes. Make sure they are good, or as good as they can be.
Lights. Check them all. Japanese electrics are generally amazingly good.
Bring a spare headlight and tail light bulb with you.
How do they look?
Think about a spare clutch cable if yours is old, heat cracked or rusted out.
Are the fork seals leaking oil? Is the rear shock(s) OK?
Anyway, you get the idea.