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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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Old 15 Apr 2008
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Yamaha WR400

I'm planning a trip to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, Syria,..
In my garage I have a '98 Yamaha WR400...
Would it be a suitable bike ? Does anyone have experience with making long trips on a hard enduro ?
The thing which is woriing me is if the engine can cope with it (it's not really build for driving a whole day on tarmac...) and of course the rearframe wich I have to make stronger...

suggestions anyone ?
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Old 15 Apr 2008
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i had 3 guests from HU and two of them was traveling with the bikes less then 251cc engines. one of them (craig, from the UK) travelled with yamaha 135cc, mike (UK) and lotta (Finland) travelled with suzuki djabel dr250 with a little mods on them.

so any bike can do that trip if you give good maintaince to them.

have fun.
ozhan u.
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Old 16 Apr 2008
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Have a look at the original service intervals - often the problem with enduro (race) not trail bikes - KTM enduro's need the valves checking very regular - too much to use the bikes overland really and oil intervals are also short (they dont hold much oil to save weight.)

The yamaha though I think has a long service interval and as it's an old bike hopefully you know how often (if ever the valves need adjusting) I think the yams went through a period of valve problems associated with titanuim valves on the enduro bikes but i dont think your bike has these?

If it was me I would use it I think - but first check that the valve clearances are stable (i.e. haven't moved significantly in the last 5000miles for example) and also spend i full day riding it on the road - can you bear the seat? - it's worse on road as you dont move around.

Also I would gear it up quite a bit as you won't need the very low off road ratios as much and you don't want the engine sat at 7000rpm at motorway speeds. I would suggest maybe 2 teeth on the front sprocket or 5 off the back maybe from the enduro gearing. Also make sure you run the largest front sprocket you can as this will extend chain life and as you have no cush drive you will wear out chains and sprockets faster than a road bike - make sure you have a new or nearly new good chain - renthal or DID and steel rear sprocket. Finally I would carry 2 spare front sprockets and replace when they start to become noitcably worn (but without hooking) as a good chain will outlast 3 front sprockets on an enduro bike. get the chain rivited - not joined with a quick link as well.

For tyres TKC 80's are surprisingly good off road though not in mud and MT21's are good as well but will not last as long. (all dual purpose tyres)
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Old 16 Apr 2008
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Depending on how much dirt you actively seek out you could do that trip on road tyres on a sports bike. As previously mentioned the main things going against the WR are the state of tune, gearing and strength of the rear sub-frame. I took a big trail bike (750cc) through the same route and did spend a lot of time hammering it on tarmac, but then spent a good few hours in total trying to lift the beast of my leg..... swings and roundabouts. If I was going again I would try and take something a bit lighter, maybe a 650 single

Will you have a guide for Turkmenistan? If you will can I recommend someone (the best) - try and get Sasha (Alexander Alexandrovic) - he is MR desert and knows some great places in the dunes, plus he knows bikes. Doesn't speak english but who needs it?
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