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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 18 Jul 2007
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Red face yamaha or honda?

hi, this is my first post.

first I'll introduce my self:

Im a 27 years old Physical therapist, who a violent insident in my life change my way of see the life. Im chilean, and I speak spanish, but I tried to write and speak english (sorry about my writing mistakes). Im a mountainbiker but recently I get a motorcycle.

on march of the next year i plan to travel solo from santiago de chile to L.A. california. my route wasn't finished yet, but my idea is make it straight and fast (I only have 2 months to do it). I'll come back to chile on airplane.

this is my first travel, i am a beginer-medium level rider, and my two optios are:

1989 yamaha xt600z ténéré with 96.000 kms on it

the other is a honda NX 250 1992, with only 9.500 original kms

the countries I'll across will be chile, peru, ecuador, colombia, panama, central america countries, mexico and south of USA.

this will be a totally solo travel, with just a couple of kilos of luggage, im a 70 kilos person.

thanks for your help!
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  #2  
Old 18 Jul 2007
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The NX250 Baby Dominator.

My wife and I are heading across Africa next month on Honda XR250's. The only two problems I had with my bike was a wrecked clutch basket which was installed incorrectly and a seized engine because I didn't check the oil. If it wasn't for those human errors I am confident I would have never had problems with the bike. The more I ride this bike the more I am being convinced that this is the perfect bike for our purposes...ask me again in 6 months time

Also, isn't south America "Honda Country" with loads of spares etc.

Yamaha: You can argue that age is irrelevant as all that is important is if the engnie was well looked after over the years...and if you cans still get spares if something goes wrong.
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  #3  
Old 18 Jul 2007
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thanks Bossies...

can you tell me if the 250cc engine can support a constant speed of 100 km/h for 450-500 daily kms???

I forgot mention the prices:

baby dominator: $2000 USD aprox.

ténéré: $3500 USD aprox.
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  #4  
Old 18 Jul 2007
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Thumbs up Go the small bike

Hi zaplaje,
I'm a fan of small bikes (my wife and I plan a 3 year overland trip on 185cc Suzukis), so I guess that helps me to say use the Honda, but there are some good reasons too. As you have been riding for a short time, the lower weight will be much more forgiving of any lower skill levels in any difficult situation. Imagine coming around a sharp corner and the is a pickup most of the way in your lane. You will be able to swerve just a little quicker and that may be enough for you to avoid the other vehicle.
The Honda 250 has been a motor that started life as the XL250/XL350 in about 1972. Even that far back it was an extremely reliable engine and people did long distance overland rides on them. There have been many re-designs of that engine since then, but it is still an engine that Honda rely on to make an impression with new riders who they hope will stay with the Honda brand. 250cc is plenty to do the ride you have planned. Sure, there will be times when you might be able to use more power, but not that often. Read about Lois who went much further than you have planned here Lois on the Loose
She was on a smaller bike than you have planned. And these guys did about the same trip on Honda 50s repowered with 90cc motors http://www.honda50.cc/
At the end of a long day the real difference between the XT and the NX over the same distance might be another 15-20 minutes riding.
But the real differences, that would sway my choice?
The Honda has 1/10 the kilometres of the Yamaha, it's newer, most countries have a better Honda dealer network, it's cheaper and it will use less fuel.
And this advice is from someone who thinks the XT600 Yamaha is one of the best bikes ever made for overland work.

But, even if you have to do it on a scooter, get out there and ride the ride. Your life will never be the same.

Kind regards

Nigel in NZ
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Old 19 Jul 2007
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thanks a lot Niguel, your answer really helps me.

so far i'll go for the honda. my only doubt is about the fuel tank capacity, just 9 liters... 20 kms per liter... that is like 180 kms autonomy... and I don't find here in chile or in the US (I can import from there) some bigger fuel tank to put in the 250 dominator.

every day it pass, more exiting am I with this plan

thanks a lot
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  #6  
Old 19 Jul 2007
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The NX 250 is a good little bike but that is a long distance to cover with only 250cc. (larger fuel tanks from Clarke and IMS available in USA)

Since you are probably got going to be doing much off road exploring
I would go for a bigger, faster, more comfortable bike. Any old standard inline four or twin would be fine for this trip. Do a 3 day test ride before you go to test out bike for problems.

IMO, you don't really need a dual sport bike, since your route will most likely go up the coast through Chile and Peru', then through the Andes into Ecuador on mostly paved roads. Same in Colombia. Central America, if you stay mostly on CA 1, is all paved. Same for Mexico and USA. So why a dual sport bike?

The XT is quite old. But if the motor was re-built and the bike checked over carefully it could be OK.

I would look for a younger bike for LESS money. Find a foriegn traveler on a KLR and buy that, but only pay $2000 or $2500 and take all the hippy stuff off.

The important thing since you are only taking two months, is to pick the spots carefully you wish to visit or explore.

Also, make sure the bike has NEW and very durable tires to begin, new quality chain and sprockets and a NEW battery. (Yuasa brand if possible). If you don't have these things you may have some long delays.

!Buen viaje!

Patrick
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  #7  
Old 19 Jul 2007
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thanks mollydog for your words

I don't have the money yet so I have some time to think



I visit ims, acerbis and clark webpages but doesn't appears fuel tanks for nx250
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Old 19 Jul 2007
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I believe the NX chassis is identical to the Honda XR250. So a XR250 tank should fit the NX also. They are very similar bikes.

Patrick
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  #9  
Old 19 Jul 2007
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I would not be too worried about running a 250 at high speeds.
I have a CB250RS (hot version of XL250S engine)
I thrashed the thing as commuter with a "digital" throttle (idle or full and did some quite extensive touring.
Bought it with 16000km.
At 48000 and after three years I hot - rodded the bike by implanting a XL500 - FT500 bastard. I sold the 250cc engine which had never missed a beat for good money.
As said the bike saw very little modulation of the throttle and on one occasion I did 650km flat out at +/- 140km/h except when I had to go for petrol.
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Old 19 Jul 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lecap View Post
I would not be too worried about running a 250 at high speeds.
I thrashed the thing as commuter with a "digital" throttle (idle or full and did some quite extensive touring.
Bought it with 16000km.
At 48000 and after three years I hot - rodded the bike by implanting a XL500 - FT500 bastard. I sold the 250cc engine which had never missed a beat for good money.
As said the bike saw very little modulation of the throttle and on one occasion I did 650km flat out at +/- 140km/h except when I had to go for petrol.
Hahaha! I can see the grin on your face now! Sounds like a mis-spent youth??
I had a Yamaha MJ2 that I treated like that.

Kind regards

Nigel in NZ
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  #11  
Old 23 Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
The NX 250 is a good little bike but that is a long distance to cover with only 250cc. (larger fuel tanks from Clarke and IMS available in USA)

Since you are probably got going to be doing much off road exploring
I would go for a bigger, faster, more comfortable bike. Any old standard inline four or twin would be fine for this trip. Do a 3 day test ride before you go to test out bike for problems.

IMO, you don't really need a dual sport bike, since your route will most likely go up the coast through Chile and Peru', then through the Andes into Ecuador on mostly paved roads. Same in Colombia. Central America, if you stay mostly on CA 1, is all paved. Same for Mexico and USA. So why a dual sport bike?

The XT is quite old. But if the motor was re-built and the bike checked over carefully it could be OK.

I would look for a younger bike for LESS money. Find a foriegn traveler on a KLR and buy that, but only pay $2000 or $2500 and take all the hippy stuff off.

The important thing since you are only taking two months, is to pick the spots carefully you wish to visit or explore.

Also, make sure the bike has NEW and very durable tires to begin, new quality chain and sprockets and a NEW battery. (Yuasa brand if possible). If you don't have these things you may have some long delays.

!Buen viaje!

Patrick


hi again...

the turns of life makes me to buy a KLR 250 1997...

I bought it because it was very cheap... 1200 USD aprox.. low milleage (25.000 milles) and good conditions... everything is original, painting and plastics too. the only problems are: the speedometer don't works, one turning light is broken, had a little bump in the lefs radiator and the tires are very used.

and now, I acept any suggestions, ideas, explanations, tipical problems... etc. remember: this is my first geared motorcycle

I hope that the KLR resist many days runing at 100 KM/H 300 miles per day...

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