Minimalist Touring Thread (250cc and under)

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by SIKLR250, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. Fulano

    Fulano Scooter Trash

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    +++++++1


  2. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I never said its bad to ride a nice big bike, and I have had them, I have a problem with people thinking they NEED a big bike to do anything on.
    Over and over I hear people say an 883 is too small to take on the hiway, or you need 80+ hp just to be safe riding, or a bike is a joke because it only has 40 hp and so on.

    I am not very interested in reading about someone riding cross country on the latest BMW or big Harley, gold wing, etc, it happens every day. But when someone gets an old/small bike for $50.00 and does it, its interesting to me.

    Take one of the big bikes in the dirt, and its interesting, slab on a little bike and its interesting, get a very old bike and do anything with it and its interesting.

    Tour on your gold wing, it might be nice, but its not really interesting unless its in the dirt.
    I DO find it interesting when someone takes any big heavy bike in the rough dirt, the story often includes nice X rays of broken bones and details about spot operation, helicopters, etc.

    Lets face it, you get almost no respect if you ride a small bike in the US.
    So I tend to buck the trend and give little respect to people who ride big bikes on the street.
    If all it takes is a bunch of money, I tend to not respect the thing, whatever it is.
    Not that I dislike it, or think its wrong, I just do not respect it.

    If someone goes out and BUYS a fast car, thats fine, if someone BUILDS a fast car, that gets my respect.
    I know I am odd, and not like the others....
  3. Nanabijou

    Nanabijou Been here awhile

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    Well said NJ-Brett. Well said. Your first line appears to echo my experience completely. Granted - I have no issue with people riding any bike they wish. I love all bikes - big and small. Ride what you got. But I continue to read and hear so much bias against small displacement bikes - that it's both startling and disheartening at the same time. So many misconceptions. I posted to one forum recently that featured a review of the Ninja 300 that once again suggested small bikes are "dangerous" out on the highway because riders can't "accelerate hard at highway speeds to get out of danger". This comment is strange coming from any rider - but hearing it from motorcycle journalists is even more puzzling. And that nobody bothered to question it - unbelievable. Perhaps I'm an outlier, but I've never had to accelerate hard at highways speeds to get out of danger...ever...in any vehicle I ever owned over 30 years. In fact, none of those vehicles could ever accomplish such acceleration anyway at highway speeds even if their life depended on it. I commented that if that is ever a requirement, then the rider has already made several gross tactical riding errors up to that point and would benefit by seriously re-thinking their approach to safe riding. Do larger displacement bikes lead to lazier planning - where the solution to a potentially dangerous situation is to simply "power" out of it? Perhaps small bikes force the rider to ride smarter. What seems strange too, is that if these small displacment bikes were so dangerous - I suspect that insurance rates for them would be out of reach. Alternatively, it might be more reasonable to suggest that large displacement and extremely overweight cruisers would likely be more dangerous in virtually any riding environment - perhaps particularly in the city - due to their relatively poor braking, weight, and compromised handling characteristics. Yet - I keep reading about how dangerous small displacment bikes can be, and not once have I ever read any mention about the relative dangers of riding a large, heavyweight bike in city traffic. Ever. Hmm...I wonder why?

    I'm interested in riding smaller bikes and reading about other small displacement bike adventures - because I am enchanted with the notion of doing more with less. And for the most part - traveling long distances, and camping - all on a small bike aren't typically as easy to do compared to the same trek on a larger purpose-built touring cycle. This for me - makes the former more special. And yes - people who do this ARE heros to me. Because I know it isn't easy. It takes a lot of physical and mental fortitude. It takes lots of guts, determination, perseverance - fighting wind - the elements - on a bike that wasn't made for this - and didn't require you to re-mortgage your home before you saddled-up for the first time. Not everyone has what it takes or would even care to try it. This again - makes it special. Often in life it is the hardest challenges - you and your bike pushing each other to the limit, aiming for that seemingly unreachable goal - that makes the journey so worth while. Many riders have said to me that they would never even attempt to ride a small displacement bike cross-country. Some say it can't be done. Others have gotten angry and outright indignant at the very notion of doing so on something that doesn't coddle you and look "the part". Then some concede that their spirit of adventure could never surpass the pain, musicle stiffness, agony, and torment that would be an inevitable part of that experience. Once again - riding a small displacement bike in this way IS special. And for all the above reasons and many more - makes it uniquely interesting for those who have subscribed to this thread.

    Mike
  4. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    My eye is once again on this one:


    [​IMG]
  5. dfye55

    dfye55 Been here awhile

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    That's a beauty. My red '09 provided lots of fun this year, mostly day tours less than 200 miles and one overnight campout. I've logged a lot of gravel miles, some snow/ice, and even a little bit of dirt riding. Learned to let it warm up before I leave or it will die at stops till it warms up. Other than that, it's performed flawlessly. An inmate sold me the service manual for $20, he bought and studied it considering buying one. The very large section on diagnosing problems with fuel injection system scared him off. But I'm still happier with fuel injection than another carb.
  6. Sierra Thumper

    Sierra Thumper Been here awhile

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    Beautiful pictures :thumb
    You make some very valid points......I've been riding 37 years, started out on small dirt AND street bikes, because I had to buy my own and that was all I could afford. Through the years I've ridden pretty much everything, and still enjoy riding all sizes of bikes.....like you mentioned, they all have their purpose :wink:

    In the U.S. though, it does seem that bigger than the other guys HAS to make you the better man somehow......the main reason small cc bikes sell so poorly here, the worst in the world in fact. I like the rush of big acceleration, which takes big size and power, but I also enjoy getting out into nature on a small, light bike that can take me to the places I want to go without killing me......so I'm in the process of finding another small, light bike to get me back out there :thumb

    I plan on following this thread to get any and all info I can.....and it looks like there's plenty to get :D
  7. OBIWAN

    OBIWAN Been here awhile

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    As far as how much of a bike a person needs for touring I would say about 110 cc should do it. Just ask nathanthepostman http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=460631 .

    I have a GL1800 and it's a nice bike and GS1150 that is a nice bike too but I have more fun on my KLR650 and always had a grin on a little CB250 I use to have that I wish I still had. I am a fix'n to get a 200-250 size dual sport went I sell that GS. I would need the space and money from the GS.
  8. judjonzz

    judjonzz Beastly

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    Ah, so, you went to the bike show, I see. Once again the Mighty TU was the only bike I really wanted to sit on. I got there on Friday, and left my permanent imprint, so to speak.

    I follow this forum because I hope someday to get my Allstate/Puch 250 fettled to a degree of reliability where I can tour on it. Or a Sachs Madass. Or an MZ TS250. Or one of those sweet Suzukis.

    My buddy Jeff Ecker has done a lot of touring on a Puch split single: C. Springs to Paonia, Pueblo to Sturgis. His boy used to ride along on a CA160, another fine touring mount.
  9. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    We know you're an outlier Mike. If I recall correctly, you're downsizing from touring on a 250 to a 150?

    I think the Lost Rider was eloquently making point is, it's all good, as long as we respect that everyone has a different point of view, and they're just as entitled to theirs as we are to ours.
  10. ThomasVolomitz

    ThomasVolomitz New Old Stock

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    The silver TU250x looks great. Always wanted one but don't have the room. The only problem is I dwarf the bike. Plenty of power for me, love the design and FI though.
  11. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    You just need to turn the idle up a bit, and the throttle stop wears a little.

    The longest ride I did on my TU in a day was 350 miles or so, from South Jersey up to Northern Pennsylvania.
    I have done that same basic ride hundreds of times from the 70's, on all sorts of bikes, including big Harley's, old 750 Bonneville's, new Bonneville's, Sportster's old and new, old Daytona's, dual sport bikes, and the most fun and enjoyable ride has been on the little TU250.
    Some of the least fun bikes to do it on were the new Bonneville and the new 1200 sportster.
    For me, it seems having plenty of power sort of takes the edge off the fun, on the back roads or the interstate.
    Many bikes feel very slow at 70 mph, while my TU feels like its doing warp 6.
    Only time limits the distance of my trips, and there is nothing I would like more then riding far and long on the TU.

    For me, doing a long ride on a big boring bike is harder to do then on a smaller fun thrilling bike.
    Many times, I have come home after a 12 to 14 hour ride on the TU, and after being home for a half hour, I went out for a ride after feeding the cat. An all day ride was just not enough.
    On many big bikes, 3 hours was more then enough.
    And I never had more fun in the rain then zipping though traffic in heavy rain (and flooding) on the TU.

    And I stop someplace and get crap about my little bike from someone who is in a car, but has a big Harley at home.
    Well, who is having more fun?




  12. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    I took a look at the new GW250, and while impressed with the motor, I didn't like the ergonomics.
  13. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    More details please.


  14. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    The seat was sort of U-shaped fore-and-aft, so that I know it would be uncomfortable with my riding suit on. By comparison, the TU feels flat and roomy.

    The styling on the GW looks odd to me, and it is clear that a minor tip-over would easily break the front turn signal and bodywork.

    Furthermore, the TU looks far easier to tune up and much simpler to work on in general.

    I wish the TU had just a few more horsepower.
  15. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    A long flat seat helps various size riders find a good spot, but the trend is to lock you into one spot.
    Most of the modern motor designs need very little service, and many bikes never need a valve adjustment after break in, or so I hear. Some modern cars are the same way, shims that never need attention.

    I sat on a cbr250, it felt uncomfortable to me, but maybe because its so different from the TU.
  16. Nanabijou

    Nanabijou Been here awhile

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    Yeah - I intend to downsize. The CBR250R is just too easy to tour on. Too easy to ride. It is such a great bike on so many levels. Very smooth. Tons of torque. Good power. Handles great. Good fuel economy. But I find it lacks a bit of character for me. I'm beginning to think that I just prefer "peakier" powerbands to "flatter, torquier" ones. Most of my friends who've ridden the CBR250R think I'm crazy - it's their favourite by far out of the bikes I own. Yet, I prefer the characteristics of the powerbands on my WR250R and CBR150R more. They're just more exciting to ride for me.

    True - I think Lost Rider's point was well made. And I agree. But that doesn't change the perception/bias that I think still exists against small displacement bikes in North America.

    Mike
  17. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    The old ninja 250 has a power band like you like.
    Very peaky.
    Not my style, but that cbr seems like a great bike.
    There is a video somewhere of one on a track, and it looks like a hoot!
  18. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    The cbr felt like the gw250 to me...too cramped.
  19. Nanabijou

    Nanabijou Been here awhile

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    Yes - I've ridden a Ninja 250R. Liked it for the most part. Except for the carburators. And the relatively poor fuel economy compared to my other bikes.

    Mike
  20. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

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    The new, Ninja 300 is fuel injected. :deal

    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/QwbAmdXlLIc?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Spud :beer