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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.
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  #1  
Old 11 Mar 2007
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xlr250 vs. xt600 - fuel economy

Hi, I'm new on the forum. I'm looking for a bike to do a little travelling in southern Europe, with some off-road ability (my next travels might me a little further afield.) Italy looks like a good place to pick up cheap used bikes, a lot seem to be imported here to the UK. There are cheap flights too. My budget is fairly small, I'd like to spend no more than £700 / 1000 Euros on a bike.. less if possible . I drove a knackered 80's Honda XL125 with bold tires around Costa Rica for a while, I loved it, perfect in the mountains, but slow on the main roads, where traffic overtakes you, and up hills and into the wind.

I like the look of the Honda XLR250 baja's. Is there any point getting a 250 over a bigger bike (ie yamaha tenere, honda dominator.. they seem to be go for very little on ebay.it) for the sake of saving fuel? Or do they use the same at 60mph+? The lower weight is nice when you're up to your knees in marsh. I'd probably want to use the odd motorway / 'peage' in france, can a 250 keep up 70mph? Will it be painfull? To quote a user on this forum:
-------------------
i got a 32000km used HeroHonda Karizma (i am in India)

at a cruising speed of 85-90kph : 2.6 liters@100kms
at a cruising speed of 95-100kph : 2.9 liters@100kms
--------------------
Can xlr250 do likewise? What would you be looking at for a tenere? Thanks for you help..
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  #2  
Old 11 Mar 2007
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I am not sure if you can get a bike that cheap, unless you are willing to purchase a Lifan/Hongdou 200cc enduro that they sell on Ebay for 600 pounds.

If it came down to it, I would pick the bike with the larger engine, but that is just me. I don't think that gas mileage is vastly different; you have to factor in the torque
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  #3  
Old 11 Mar 2007
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My rule of thumb (for what its worth) is that whatever bike you use should be able to keep up with the local traffic. A loaded up 250 is only going to be able to do that on the back roads in Europe. On the motorways and main roads you're going to be slower than the trucks. Hidden in rain spray and surrounded by trucks that can't see you without the power to escape is not a nice place to be.
The physical size difference between a XLR and a XT is not that great and by the time its loaded up the weight won't be that different. Unless you're on a really really tight budget the extra fuel won't be a signficant cost
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  #4  
Old 11 Mar 2007
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I don't think it's too little money. On ebay.it (Italy) older bikes, such as the tenere, honda dominator, XL600's with 50,000km's go from as low as 500 Euros. I suppose for a really serious trip out in the wild they would need to be stripped down and sorted out properly to ensure reliability. But around europe.. if it goes wrong, at worst you could just ditch it.
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  #5  
Old 12 Mar 2007
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i think if your going to be doing a fair bit of 70mph riding the transalp would be the better bike. more relaxed at those kinda speeds and still with some dirt ability.
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  #6  
Old 12 Mar 2007
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XLR250 is the bike for fuel economy

I had a 2002 XT600E and sold it immediately after a holiday trip,Belgium-Spain Portugal, 12.000kms, I was very disapointed with the fuel consumption, 6-7l / 100kms, at 100-120km/h, sorry but my diesel car was doing better or the same mileage and had 5 seats...
Sometimes I wonder where the advance in technology is: I had a Honda CB250RS in 1981, it had 27 hp and did 4l/100kms, the 2006 hondaCBX 250 has the same power and consumption, so the only advance I see is that it has a catalysator and electric start ;-)
I think a more or less good XLR 250 can maintain 70mph, I used to do 80-85 on my CB250RS...Never should ´ve sold it ;-)
So I´d go for a 250 instead of a 600 if fuel economy is important.
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  #7  
Old 13 Mar 2007
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I am not sure what you want...
you say you want a cheap to run bike, but also ride on the peage. the peage will cost you more than the fuel. If you get a slower bike it is best to stick to the 'D' ( departments roads) as they are usually a joy to ride. Often less miles than the peage too.
on the major RN and peages you will need to be able to sustain 120kph perhaps more. One of teh reasons for me buying the BMW was because of this.
I think to have to determine what you really want to do. Then decide on the tools to accomplish your aims.
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  #8  
Old 14 Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidZweig View Post
I don't think it's too little money. On ebay.it (Italy) older bikes, such as the tenere, honda dominator, XL600's with 50,000km's go from as low as 500 Euros.
If they go for this low in price, then I still say, go for the bigger engined bike.
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Old 22 Apr 2007
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Hi,

I've got a 2003 XT600E which is OK for fuel economy but not amazing. However, if your going to be on main roads a lot, riding a laden 250 might not be much fun. The XT has enough pull to make motorway riding not too much of a chore.
I'd also be surprised that running a dirt 250 laden up at high revs for long periods won't burn fuel too.

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #10  
Old 30 Apr 2007
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Cheap Reliable Transport Length Of Latin America

I'm a pensioner (74) so cost and weight matter more than they might for a younger rider. I couldn't lift a big bike. I ride a Honda 125 bought new last year in Mexico. I do around 160 Ks to 4 litres of gas. I had three flats in the rear tyre between Mexico and Tierra del Fuego (22,000 Ks). Highest I rode was 4,700 metres. No problems - though not quick. Could have done with more power riding through Patagonia against a headwind. And would love a more comfortable seat for the ride north this year to Duchess County, NY. Blog of the trip to Ushuaia at home
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  #11  
Old 30 Apr 2007
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XR250 fully laden with two full panneirs, tools and spares, topbox full plus tent on back seat on the motorway (M25, M3, M4): tried and tested maintains 105km/h (60mph) and on a downhill catching a truck slipstream 115km/h. Fast enough to keep up with the trucks. Cars just drive past you. The argument that a slow vehicle is no good on a motorway is irrelevant...they have two more lanes to pass you. The problem comes on the smaller non-motorway roads when they can't pass you easily and then out of frustration they take chances on blind corners etc.

oh yes...fully laden....just over 4lt/100km. With my 22lt acerbis I consistently changed to reserve at 485km
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Old 30 Apr 2007
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Originally Posted by Bossies View Post
Fast enough to keep up with the trucks. Cars just drive past you. The argument that a slow vehicle is no good on a motorway is irrelevant...they have two more lanes to pass you. The problem comes on the smaller non-motorway roads when they can't pass you easily and then out of frustration they take chances on blind corners etc.

oh yes...fully laden....just over 4lt/100km. With my 22lt acerbis I consistently changed to reserve at 485km
This is a goodpoint.. but you will find teh french d roads so empty it does not matter, I like to do a sunday afternoon run for an hour or two, often only interacting with less than a dozen other vehicles.
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Old 1 May 2007
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This is a goodpoint.. but you will find teh french d roads so empty it does not matter, I like to do a sunday afternoon run for an hour or two, often only interacting with less than a dozen other vehicles.
Very true and in France even if someone does come up behind you they wait patiently until it's safe to pass. My generalisation was based on UK A roads where, on a slow bike, you constantly have someone hugging your back wheel and revving putting you in a postion where you rather pull over and let them pass than keep youself exposed to their arrogance/ignorance...rather unpleasant
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Old 1 May 2007
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Originally Posted by Bossies View Post
The argument that a slow vehicle is no good on a motorway is irrelevant...they have two more lanes to pass you.
Personally I find riding a slow bike on the m-way a pain in the jacksie, but that could be cos I'm just bloody impatient and can't wait to get off 'em!

Something in me HATES being overtaken by trucks too!

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #15  
Old 2 May 2007
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Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
Personally I find riding a slow bike on the m-way a pain in the jacksie, but that could be cos I'm just bloody impatient and can't wait to get off 'em!

Something in me HATES being overtaken by trucks too!

Matt
Can't agree more and try and stay off the main drags as much as possible but best way to cover some miles if need be. It's hard work on the motorway with the light little bike getting thrown about by turbulance etc...highly unpleasant but an occasional necessary evil.

I have had to make a serious attitude adjustment since selling my XJ900 and now only have the XR250. No more instant power on the throttle... BUT it's fantastic in London traffic
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