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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.
Photo by James Duncan, Universe Camp, Uyuni Salt Flats

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by James Duncan,
"Universe Camp"
Uyuni Salt Flats



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  #1  
Old 5 Aug 2004
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Cologne, Germany
Posts: 3
Around the Mediterranean on a Suzuki GN 250?

Hi all,

my plan is a tour around the Mediterranean, starting in Germany and then through France, Spain, maybe Portugal, Morocco, on through North Africa (probably skipping Algeria), and back through the East. You know the drill.

Anyway, after I found this
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb...ML/000251.html
on this board, I lost some confidence in my otherwise very brave little GN 250. Is there anything wrong in doing it on a 250?
As I'm barely 5'4", I need a bike that can be easily handled even by short persons, and the Yamaha XJ600 I used to have just didn't work out for me.

Well then, if you have any tips on 250 usage, especially when it comes to riding in the desert (I do realize that the engine block might eat sand sooner than that of a long-"legged" Enduro), I'd be very grateful as I do intend to return home safely and with a mostly intact motorbike.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 9 Aug 2004
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: cairns,qld,australia
Posts: 9
Hi
The trick to touring on any 250 ( I have a KLR Kawasaki 250) is to be really careful about the weight you will be carrying.
Small saddlebags and a bag on your passenger seat should be all you need and maybe a small bag attached to the top of the petrol tank.
The bike has to be in well serviced condition and if you have owned it for a long time and never thrashed the engine all the better. If it is a reliable bike now then you should have as good a chance as a bigger bike.
I have found the trick is to travel slowly, stay off the autobahns and keep the revs down. On a 250 on the open road try cruising at 80klms, keep an eye on traffic behind and be prepared to move aside.
In the desert a road bike will always be more difficult to control but it is posible. If you have managed to keep everything light when you fall off you have to be able to pick the bike up. You may be surprised how many firm tracks there are. Dune riding would be tricky.
The GN 250 has been sold for years over here in Australia. As far as I know they are cheap, reliable and economical.
Try taking your bike to a dirt track and when it is not wet see how it handles. If it feels okay then give it a go. If it feels terrible then try to plan a route with as much sealed roads as possible.
Good luck and let us know what choices you make.
Maybe we could form a 250 tourers club
Rob
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  #3  
Old 9 Aug 2004
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Location: Cologne, Germany
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Most of the time, I'm no good at travelling light - but I'll do my best. Fortunately, I don't bring in too much weight myself: probably a 50-pound advantage compared to the average guy. That should help.

I haven't owned the bike for a long time really - should be a bit more than a year now. haven't had any trouble with the engine, though, and although the motorbike is 11 years old, it only has 15,000 kms run. I very much hope she'll survive these ~15,000 I plan to add to that. As I'm not much of a mechanic, I'll be sure to have her checked thoroughly before I leave.

Slow cruising was pretty much my plan, and 80 km/h sounds good - it's approximately the speed at which the bike starts to sound a little exhausted.

I just found somebody who offered to give me an introduction to off-road driving, and I'll take as much practice as I can get.

It's still a while to go, and up until now, it's all just wild plans and buying equipment, but as soon as I know more, I'll post it here.

A 250 tourers club sounds kinda nice. We should really keep that in mind... Oh, and thanks for your reply!
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  #4  
Old 11 Aug 2004
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Spain & UK
Posts: 37
Check this thread out, if you haven't already: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb...ML/000044.html
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