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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 Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

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


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  #1  
Old 27 Sep 2017
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Yamaha XSR 700 Scrambler

… or should that be Desert Schled?

Anyway, trying an XSR7 for Morocco this autumn; a ’poor-man’s T7’ with a fruitier, 270-degree motor than the Rally Raid CB500X I used a couple of years back (and which remains one of the most viewed posts on my www, so people clearly like this concept).

Like any bike of this size/configuration, should be fine for getting there (unlike my recent WR250) and good enough for the pistes I ride (also unlike WR which ate them up and spat them out).

Once travel-ready, tanked up but unloaded the XSR has come in ~10% lighter than the CB-X (199kg vs 221kg) though I can’t say I really notice.
It did cost much less than half to set up though, even if the Honda is probably 15% more economical and my adaptions are fewer and cruder.

Nice low seat too, even with the +10mm Wilbers, but I expect that Motech ’Spoiler’ will get good and spoiled.

Main changes: 19-inch front wheel; RURTS; Wilbers shock; K60s.
Looking forward to the ride. See the website for more.
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Yamaha XSR 700 Scrambler-xsr7-8.jpg  


Last edited by Chris Scott; 27 Sep 2017 at 21:06.
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  #2  
Old 27 Sep 2017
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Any chance of a side on shot? It could be I might actually like the look of it which not something I often say about a bike designed after 1990.
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  #3  
Old 27 Sep 2017
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Know what you mean - a lot of modern-style bikes are hideous; I think it's those headlamps.

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Old 4 Nov 2017
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Now a bit dustier but doing good.
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Yamaha XSR 700 Scrambler-p1200509.jpg  

Yamaha XSR 700 Scrambler-p1200575.jpg  

Yamaha XSR 700 Scrambler-p1200583.jpg  

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  #5  
Old 4 Nov 2017
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Interesting.

The Honda weight mentioned in the original posting surprises me: seems like a lot for a 500cc bike.

As for the Yam XSR:
There is a "wispy" kind of light coloured "stripe" showing in the side-on pic of earlier posting, from the subframe to the pillion foot peg - is that some kind of stiffening of the rear subframe or something to stop soft luggage swinging against the rear wheel?
In any case, the subframe of the bike, as designed/manuf originally, seems to be on a longish lever arm - how is the subframe performing viz a viz carrying the weight of the luggage and bouncing around off-asphalt?

The radiator looks pretty vulnerable to stone damage - like lots of other bikes of course.

The under slung exhaust reminds me of the 650 Versys that I owned a few years ago - the Versys had quite high ground clearance but the exhaust always gave an appearance of being vulnerable, hanging out there between the wheels.
To what is the "aluminium-appearance" bash plate attached on the XSR? Perhaps the engine casing?

I guess the XSR is a bike for oneup riding: I can't imagine a pillion wanting to be on the short OEM seat for too long.
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Old 5 Nov 2017
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CB-X weight was tanked up with all the RR kit.
XSR the same, but I'm using lighter/minimal gear.
Dry showroom weights are about 10% less.

Quote:
something to stop soft luggage swinging against the rear wheel
Correct, but was a bit too high to be effective so added stick of bamboo, pillions to indicators.

Subframe is as solid as a CB-X or 660Z. I'm sure it could manage metal panniers etc, but my baggage is minimal anyway.

Yes, many rads appear vulnerable to stones or side falls, but not happened to me yet.

I like the under pipe idea:
Low CoG
Partly protects the engine
used XSR pipes go for 100 quid
Super slim profile at the back for baggage
nothing to burn the bags

I thought about adv-ing a Versys a couple of years back, but it was a heavy (212kg wet) road bike and the much more suitable CB-X came out.

Spoiler attaches to footrest or engine mounts and something at the front - forget what - engine mount? It's pretty flimsy but better than nothing.

Pillion don't know, loos tiny but better than a WR250R!
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Old 5 Nov 2017
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Thanks.

Bamboo is a very versatile material with great weight to stiffness properties - perhaps the nearest man-made equivalent is round section tube of aluminium or one of the plastics such as is used as pressure pipe for plumbing.
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Old 5 Nov 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Thanks.

Bamboo is a very versatile material with great weight to stiffness properties - perhaps the nearest man-made equivalent is round section tube of aluminium or one of the plastics such as is used as pressure pipe for plumbing.
You see it used all over China as scaffolding when building work is being done. I'd consider making the next set of pannier racks for my 125 out of it if I could work out how to reinforce high stress points.
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Old 23 Nov 2017
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A few more XSR pics here.

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Old 23 Nov 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
You see it used all over China as scaffolding when building work is being done. I'd consider making the next set of pannier racks for my 125 out of it if I could work out how to reinforce high stress points.
Use steel - twisted wire or bent nails - rammed into the ends of the bamboo to act as the joints between the straight sections of bamboo; set it all up to match the layout of the bike including dealing with how the bamboo is attached to the bike (therein lies another ?). Then coat each of the joints with the fibreglass mix (using as much matrix glass as you deem appropriate with the resin).
Perhaps coat all of the bamboo with resin thereafter, depending on other characteristics; could even glass fibre wrap the bamboo sections also.

(I've just been using fibreglass for bodywork repairs on a 4 wheeler when this idea came to me. The resin was many years old and worked just fine with newly purchased hardener).
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Old 8 Dec 2017
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Do you ever wish you had some wind protection?
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Old 8 Dec 2017
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For the 3-day ride to Marrakech I used a small screen then took it off for the few weeks on the piste where we don't ride that fast for long.

Last edited by Chris Scott; 8 Dec 2017 at 22:46.
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Old 8 Dec 2017
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Nice job on the Yamaha! May I ask who did the conversion to a 19" front wheel/single disc? Love that idea ... and I imagine going to one disc saved quite a bit of weight? Love the under exhaust too.

Can't believe you run it in restricted mode ... 48 HP when you've got about 100 HP lurking in there unused. Travesty!

My main worry off road would be radiators ... maybe someone makes guards? But I guess in most falls your Bark Buster and maybe Frame bobbins would take the hit, not the rad?

Also quite surprised of the Porky-ness of the CB500X RR. I knew it was a heavy beast (you can see the bike's bad reaction on Jen's videos in rough going), did not realize it was 221 kg. That's a load!

Loved Maroc pics on your site. Fantastic! This is more the bike Yam should make ... but with the P twin, not the triple. But I guess with the T-7 on the way ... ain't gonna happen unless one were to get a kitted Scrambler like you did.

https://adventure-motorcycling.com/2...-morocco-pics/

In defense of the WR250R and other light weights ... I think suitability could depend where rider emphasis lies. One could load up the 250 on a Ferry to avoid long, fast runs on Peage to get to Santander or even further South ... then not so much high speed highway through France and Spain getting there.

Once in Morocco, on the dirt tracks riding conditions you show, indicate a 250 would not be a bad option if going at a moderate pace.

Would love to do your Morocco tour someday!
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Old 8 Dec 2017
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Quote:
Nice job on the Yamaha!
Thanks

Quote:
May I ask who did the conversion to a 19" front wheel/single disc?
Me and ebay ;-D

Quote:
Love that idea ... and I imagine going to one disc saved quite a bit of weight?
Amazingly not, iirc – XVS wheel was heavy. But maybe I should recalculate.

Quote:
Love the under exhaust too.
That is standard XSR with a do-nothing-much bit removed.

As I was just writing today - road or trail, never missed the full 70-odd hp.

I bought the bike all smashed up down the right hand side - but not a mark on the rad guards. I guess an unlucky fall could get them.

CB500X RR @ 221kg was mine with heavy bash and racks and stuff.
But even wet, my XSR (14L fuel) measured 14kg lighter than my CB-X (17L).
I do believe though that quality suspension (and maybe other factors like balance and weight dist.) can make a bike feel lighter than it is (on the move).

I wonder if, with the T7 or World Raid/whatever being so rallyish, they might see value in scrambling the basic XSR7.
Similar makeovers haven't done Ducati or BMW any harm.
Everyone digs a Scrambler - always have, always will!

At 1100-km, the trans-Spain schlep is still a long old schlep, especially when it's 3-4°C, like last weekend. I found the colder it got the faster I went to get it over with.
On a 250 there wouldn't be much choice.
But again, as I observed today, the WR was an ideal bike for exploring unknown routes for the book (as I did in March), but the XScrambleR was fine on my known tour routes last month, mostly. And it ate up the ride home without a murmur. The WR got vanned to and from Malaga.

A 50-hp travel bike @ 170kgs wet but not a big single would ideal. Suggestions on a postcard, svp.
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Old 31 Dec 2017
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[QUOTE

A 50-hp travel bike @ 170kgs wet but not a big single would ideal. Suggestions on a postcard, svp.[/QUOTE]

Chris, I've just built such a machine, it's on here on a different thread. It's a real shame that Timbuktu is out of bounds as I would be bang up for one of your trips with a comparison aspect, say half a dozen of the big manufacturers brands but with an added overlanding twist..!! (I'd blag the Honda stable mind) and keep it 50+ (Old dog new tricks style) riders..??

Mez
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