Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?

Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.


LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11 Aug 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: york
Posts: 8
Which commuter/multiuse bike to get?

I want a new/used commuter and require advice,
30 miles minimum a day, on A Roads/Dual carriageway plus the odd trip anywhere ukwide in all weathers, all year round.

But I'm stuck with what to get, I need 60MPH without stressing it,
and gr8/good MPG,
minimum 55 MPG really, 55 is enough to offset the fuel saving from my T5 Car
and pay for itself within it's life.

I was thinking DR125/350/650 or XTZ125, XR125 ,
XL125 plus other XL, Suzuki EN 125, SLR 650, MZ Baghira, Serrow225
around £1000 to invest (800-1300 region)

I like the look of this though- Suzuki classifieds in Paignton : SUZUKI TU, 2000 (W), 249cc, 448 miles. ...
but realise it will rust and age with my allweather riding,
are ther any other 200cc-400cc with good MPG?

safety is important, and the roads I ride in yorkshire are dangerous if you can't hold 60MPH,
I just keep thinking a 125 will be underpowered for the job, and a 650+ will be Inefficient,
It is going to be a 3rd bike, (poss 2nd as my Kat400 may have to go)

any ideas apreciated, I really just wanted to give something back to the Hubb, as I have only voyeured so far and love the site :}

RF900 Kat400

and for all you americans out there....

bababooey babbabooey bababooey!
Reply With Quote
Old 11 Aug 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: york
Posts: 8
Forgot to say,
I always ride armoured up, so will I look like a huge prat on a 125?
and for all you americans out there....

bababooey babbabooey bababooey!
Reply With Quote
Old 11 Aug 2008
Contributing Vendor
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Posts: 973
Avoid 125s IMO.

Think more 400s. Any 400 should be able to hit 55 mpg, and some exceed it. My XR400R can acheive 75mpg as I recently found out crossing Germany.

Honda CB1 (NC27) or VFR400 (NC24) should both manage 55 consistently and give you more power to ride with. If you are on A roads and DCs you will no doubt want a bit more power to get you out of trouble at one time or another. 125s will not give you that added security. 125s will, however, well exceed 55mpg.

Travelling country wide on a 125 will also be really hard work: more than it needs to be.

My 2p
Adventure: it's an experience, not a style!
(so ride what you like, but ride it somewhere new!)
Reply With Quote
Old 11 Aug 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: West Yorkshire UK
Posts: 1,226
I think you are spot on with your idea's. Having done similar use on an 18HP Bullet in West Yorks, you are right about really needing a true 60 mph bike to go with the traffic flow out of town. I don't think the 125's are going to do this. HP wise I'd say you need something in the 23-30 range which will push you over 250cc. My current "hack" is a 23 HP 300cc MZ but that's just silly

I wouldn't discount bikes on capacity though. I had a BMW F650 (48HP) that regularly turned in 70+ mpg, an XT600E that was similar and my dad had a Kawasaki ER-5 (30HP 500) that would do over 100 to the gallon. A 500 or 650 kept to the speed limit can give the performance you want and may be easier to get hold of than 400's. The downside is a little extra on the insurance, although I bet 400cc trail bikes are harder to cover than a commuter like the ER.

Good Luck,

Reply With Quote
Old 11 Aug 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: England
Posts: 203
Blue Balloon

I have ridden my Honda 125 from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego and back to New York, 45000 Ks without mechanical problems other than replacing chain and sprockets. Up on the Altiplano, the Blue Ridge Parkway, crossing Patagonia I wear so many layers that I am mistaken for a BLUE BALLOON and a necessary part of my anatomy shrinks with cold and gets lost amongst the layers. 30 miles a day? I did managed 500 miles one day riding East to West in Brazil. 250 miles was a normal traveling day. I'm 75. You'll find 30 a doddle. Gas? 100 mpg. Go for it....

BLOG at home
Reply With Quote
Old 11 Aug 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: york
Posts: 8
Cudos to you

I feel honoured to have such great responses from a multi-facetted set of... dare I say it..... friends.
I have travelled and have all but hung up my boots, but seeing the vigor from you all, gets me hungry for more.
I am only 30+ yrs, and sometimes feel I am slowing and have lost 'the edge'.
Possibly it's just maturity letting me slow down and take in whats around me!

I cannot get a grey import again (I've learned my lesson),
and luckily enjoy riding anything, even a lawnmower is goood enough -
(or a superdream)
XTZ125 and DR125 are on a shortlist with DR350, DR250 (import in UK),
all XLand XT what about MZ Baghira?
that nice dude rattles Canada - US to - SA on one.

Thanx for the responses, I hope this helps not just me but other visitors looking for similar info,
and for all you americans out there....

bababooey babbabooey bababooey!
Reply With Quote
Old 25 Aug 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Burton On Trent, England
Posts: 45
I would say as others. Avoid the 125. FOr sure they are very economical My XT125R was acheiving 95Mpg. But would struggle at 65 and was not a pleasure to ride for long periods at that speed.

Most 600's should see 55to the gallon. That is the figure I consistently get from my 2004 Yamaha R6

A Suzuki Bandit I would have thought to be the ideal choice. Relaible, Good riding position. Reasonable performnce. Riding schools love them so they must be economical too. So ideally suited to commuting through city traffic or a weekend blast through the country.
Reply With Quote
Old 25 Aug 2008
Contributing Vendor
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Posts: 973
Different bikes but both up to the job: the Honda Dominator NX650 (single, chain) and the NTV 650 (V-twin Shaft).

Neither is drastically powerfully, but both are solid, dependable, economical and will sit at 70 happily. (The NTV perhaps more so)
Adventure: it's an experience, not a style!
(so ride what you like, but ride it somewhere new!)
Reply With Quote
Old 2 Sep 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: york
Posts: 8
Thumbs up Thanx all - I'm Commuting again...

It's here...I have it...

my new Commuter after deliberation

and yours and other advice...


2001 - Suzuki DR200 Djebel 9'850KM

(2 previous owners and imported new)

I had a shortlist must be-
not import - (krap)
not underpowered - (krapper)
full tax and test - (kack)

new battery (£23)
I taxed (£33) and tested it (MOT £26.50p)
failed MOT on - exhaust too loud-
a piece of tin with holes in over zorst later - and it passed MOT
yesterday I recieved a baffle insert (£12) and it's less sharp on the ear

Last owner had it for 3yrs and rode 1000km in total
(unless clocks were removed),

I saw the ad and felt sorry for it, I was after an XR250-350 or XT225-250
it had not been used in a full year but he said he started it with the kickstart every few weeks,
he was genuine and so was the bike, light surface rust from being under a cheap nylon cover, mostly white and silver coloured.

Now the nitty gritty, I wanted to get as much MPG as poss
and still have power to run the 60-70MPH Gauntlet known as the A19 and A64
I had read reviews and notes on the DR200 and it seemed a dice roll on getting one that either does max out at 60MPH or upto 75MPH......

I still need to borrow a GPS Satnav, but the clock shows a perfect 62.14MPH
(100KMH) in FOURTH before being at perfect peak torque for Fifth Gear,
Topping out at an indicated 130KMH (80MPH roughly)

I have overtaken traffic and it is not vibey even at full steam!
I am extatic to say the least,
the headlamp is huge and lights up like a Night Hunters Spot Light
the Djebel is the one with the larger tank and alloy armour,
I will upload some pics poss even video links,
it's aftermarket exhaust (rough and road) is noisy enough to have cars hear you coming which I class as a safety feature.

I only need a small tin of white Hammerite and it will be mint(ish),
I even got 2 almost unused helmets (3 yrs old but hardly used)
and 2 D-Locks, and the Nylon bike cover,
It will req a service I have cleaned and coated the foam air filter so will only req an oil and filter... sweet, I touched up all the black parts with my old Army exhaust paint (has added rust stopping compound) from my old days,

All together it cost me... well... cheap to say the least.
It seems happy with my riding style and I am getting used to not riding like it's a sports bike.

Thank you all for the help... the Gr8 old bike rider ;} and all the crew for throwing in more than their 2 pence worth.
If anyone is England bound, around the North Yorkshire area,
I will reserve a spot on my side garden for your tent (free water too) LOL...

and for all you americans out there....

bababooey babbabooey bababooey!

Last edited by killersuzuki; 3 Sep 2008 at 14:57.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WANTED DIESEL bike or/and side car bike in Asia or South Amerika ihaveadream TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 4 10 Sep 2008 20:30
Bike to Bike Radios - world frequencies and licencing issues? PaulB Communications 13 1 Feb 2008 23:57


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 21:26.