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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 22 Dec 2007
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Yamaha xt 350

I have a yamaha xt 350. not sure of the year, its been in storage now for a few years since it was last going. What are the thoughts on completely rebuilding this bike and using this as an "around africa bike".
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  #2  
Old 22 Dec 2007
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Mine personally?

Firstly..... To the fountain of Knowledge of all things RTW! the HUBB.

My thoughts personally....... what is the general condition? Does it have any significant nasty bits?
Do you mean will it make it?...well, Lois Pryce went all over the place ( South America, across the USA etc) on a XT225 and others have done RTW on Much smaller machines.
It all depends on what YOU are comfortable with. How much prep YOU want to put into it, and how dedicated YOU are......... after all..its YOUR journey!

Have fun!

Martyn
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  #3  
Old 22 Dec 2007
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The bike is easy to handle. I would imagine the large 1200 bmw's would be huge in sandy conditions and so on. A bike completely rebuilt, are these known for higher mileages before any type of failures? I am not a fast driver...it would only concern me if I was in places in Europe where you need highway speeds. I would imagine 50mph would be enough in most of Africa at top speeds, I wouldnt carry a lot of weight, a few spare parts ie, Tires, chains, cables and odds and ends, tent, sleeping bag, clothes, boots. I dont know if I will be even going just yet. it wouldnt be for another year or so if I did. But I hear of slower driving and so on, why would you need such a large bike unless your carrying huge loads. What about the air/oil cooling. would this bike run too hot?
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  #4  
Old 22 Dec 2007
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My other thoughts of course was to buy a brand new '08 KLR 650. I hear they work really well, simplier then the BMW's, cheaper.
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  #5  
Old 22 Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripper View Post
I have a yamaha xt 350. not sure of the year, its been in storage now for a few years since it was last going. What are the thoughts on completely rebuilding this bike and using this as an "around africa bike".
If you are a good mechanic and you like that bike , I would say ,yes it would be a good idea to rebuild the bike and use it for an Africa trip .350 should be plenty big enough .
But if you have to ask ,then I would assume that you don't have a good mechanical knowledge .So my advice would be to buy a new or nearly new bike such as the KLR that you mentioned and take that instead .
Good luck either way .
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  #6  
Old 22 Dec 2007
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xt 350 the way to go...

....awesome bikes...we rode two used 350's for 44,000 kms. from Canada to Chile with only one major problem that was pretty easliy fixed. mind you, SA is not Africa but i've also ridden xlr250s thru southern africa with no probs. lighter the better, you can't imagine how many times we had to lift them onto boats, up stairs, into hotels, etc.
plus, you drop it, you CAN pick it up.

good luck...go XT!
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  #7  
Old 22 Dec 2007
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that IS a good point Todd n Christina......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd & Christina View Post
. lighter the better,
you drop it, you CAN pick it up..go XT!
After watching those two "Celebrities" poncing about Africa on fully loaded Beemer 1200's and needing a team of THREE to pick a bike up, I would say you have the most valid argument ever for a light bike.

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  #8  
Old 22 Dec 2007
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Bike

Yeah, I have a bit of mechanical knowledge. Rebuilding the bike would make me even more familar. I didnt talk to a yamaha dealer to see what it would cost to get it rebuilt... I would probably nearly have a knew bike once I finished. I do like the KLR, as I hear they work well. Air cooling and highway speeds are my only thought. I rode around on that xt so much around here, short distances...but as hard as any pictures I have seen on these travelogues so far, except for really deep water. and I never had much trouble with it at all. If I baby the bike all the way along, day in day out, the only thing I think would bother it would be the heat. Im sure I put enough miles on it here to go around the african continent with little to no maintenance. And yes, people swear by those beemers....but my god....massively huge! and what I have seen them consider as offroad I thought was "on road" lol.
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Old 23 Dec 2007
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i met someone that used a xt350 as a daily-driver en drove more than 100.000 Km with cruising speeds of 120 km/h. the 350 is like all xt's tuned to last and not to race...

my 2 cent
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  #10  
Old 23 Dec 2007
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rebuilding bikes

The problem with rebuilding bikes is that sometimes, costwise ,it's not worth it .
[You don't say where you are from but in N America bikes are very cheap .]
Another factor is knowing what parts to replace and what to leave alone .
I'm sure that there will be an XT350 internet group somewhere that will give you all the advice you need .
I've rebuilt a few old bikes in my time and I've been guilty many times of looking at a part and saying to myself " mmmn that doesn't look too bad .think I'll bung it back in ".
Always err on the side of caution and don't skimp .
Make sure your engine is perfect , renew all bearings in the frame ,suspension and steering ,new shocks ,new wiring ,new charging system ., new ignition system .You are going to need all of this for a long ride many miles from home on an obsolete bike .
Find out what parts can be cross referenced from other vehicles and bikes .
You'll learn a lot and have a heck of a lot of fun .
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  #11  
Old 23 Dec 2007
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Smile i will second that

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
The problem with rebuilding bikes is that sometimes, costwise ,it's not worth it .

Your not kidding Dodger!


I ended up spending near 2500 euros (yes Two and a Half GRAND) on a 1989 XT600 2KF...... the price included Buying it, (900) Transfer fees ( 140 euros ) then Tyres, ULTRASEAL the New Heavy Duty Innertubes, tubes, all bearings, I mean EVERY bearing that isnt in the engine, chain, sprocket kit, rectifier, wiring, shocks, calipers, brakes, levers, handgrips, throttle cable, clutch cable, speedo cable, tacho cable, chain riveter tool, oils, filters, air filters, decompressor cable kit, new rear shock, new fork springs,secondhand LHS switchgear, rear brake master cylinder, Carburettors rebuilt with new Diaphragms, needle valves, new fuel tap on tank,every bush and bearing in the suspension linkages and new swingarm bearings too, the list went on and on......

I still have stuff to do........ re-spoke front wheel......

The point is.......... I could have bought a 2002 bike on ebay for the same money.

But I have learned shedloads and had fun doing it. I also know that if it falls apart the chances are I can put it together again, because I know how, I also know the bike inside out now though..... and have loads of confidence in her.

Martyn

Last edited by Martynbiker; 23 Dec 2007 at 18:54. Reason: spellin
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  #12  
Old 24 Dec 2007
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Wow, you really did replace just about everything. I have not looked at the condition of the bike, but we had it for years, rode on it..and didnt really do any maintenance on it other then change the oil. My brother bought it actually, but he died, and the bike has been parked and I was off working elsewhere. I was thinking for a long journey such as the ones mentioned in this site, that i would get everything new and replaced to ensure little mechanical failure while on the road. I often thought about replacing the motor even, but I see your point about buying new may be cheaper. But it sounds like now you know your bike in and out. I do remember noticing iron filings in the oil when i changed it...so I was thinking that something was failing at that time..however the bike just kept working like a clock until the season was over and I moved away.
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Old 24 Dec 2007
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could be a gear........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripper View Post
I do remember noticing iron filings in the oil when i changed it...so I was thinking that something was failing at that time..
the XT600 is prone to 1st and 5th Failing!
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  #14  
Old 24 Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripper View Post
I do remember noticing iron filings in the oil when i changed it...so I was thinking that something was failing at that time..however the bike just kept working like a clock until the season was over and I moved away.
Metal filings in the oil filter and a worn gearbox output shaft were the reasons I got rid of my XT350.If it had been a nicer example I would probably have kept it.
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  #15  
Old 24 Dec 2007
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what the eye dont see........

Quote:
Originally Posted by trophydave View Post
Metal filings in the oil filter and a worn gearbox output shaft were the reasons I got rid of my XT350.If it had been a nicer example I would probably have kept it.
well, if you didnt change the oil you wouldnt see the filings! so the answer is dont ever change the oil, what you cant see the mind wont worry about!

only joking...... why not just rebuild? it wouldnt cost THAT much....snigger......
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