Minimalist Touring Thread (250cc and under)

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

  1. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    Cool! Looks like it's related to the Honda Nighthawk/Rebel motor. I used to have a CM185 Twinstar that must have been pretty similar.
    #61
  2. Sycamore

    Sycamore d00b

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    #62
  3. steve gs

    steve gs Been here awhile

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    Always had a soft spot for the RD125 and almost went after an ebay listed one 11/04. Decided to pass because of parts availability and fuel changes. With the current fuel game I prefer the 4 strokes for touring. Back in early 70's when I bought my first bike I remember seeing a Yammie TA125 and of course the RD125 reminded me of that TA.



    I don't know about the rest of you MTers out there but many of the current Japanese entry level DS bikes are looking "cheaper" to me in fit, finish, and component details these days (better engineering?). I do realize the market impact that the Chinese and other low cost (slave labor?) manufacturing nations are having around the world and expect they will eventually take over this segment. Even my 2000 KE100 was built/assembled in the Philippines. :deal


    Nearly 400lbs for a 250 is not the way for me though this may work for others. I prefer the 250-300lb window as my max unloaded, just the right amount for me and I really like the DR200SE's fuel capacity and range despite it's shortcomings.



    BTW, what kind of range do you Super Sherpa riders get. Are there larger tanks available?

    :ricky
    #63
  4. SIKLR250

    SIKLR250 NYC

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    I haven't looked at any new, smaller dual sports lately (not in the market) but I checked out the Suzuki DR650 at a show last year and found it to be really cheesy. The fit and finish were substandard in my eyes and the oil cooler was very exposed - an accident waiting to happen. Not impressed.

    My ideal bike weight limit is also 300lb (KLR250 is ~260lb). I have friends who worry about riding lighter bikes on windy days (especially with cross winds), but it seems to me that having a lighter (more maneuverable?) bike is an asset in most situations. What do you guys think?

    Other bike requirements for me are: screw/locknut valve adjusters and a kickstarter. I've never used an electric starter (I kick start my CB400T) as it just seems wrong - like a car with an automatic transmission or a boat with a motor. But that's just minimalist me...
    #64
  5. CaveDave

    CaveDave Underground

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    Finally, a thread I can sink my teeth into!!! I ride a KLR 250 and think nothing of loading up and heading out for a weekend of riding and caving, with all camping and caving gear loaded onto my workhorse, and my destination 300 miles away.
    I've got an '04 KLR 250, with the front sprocket geared one tooth higher, and the carb jetted one jet size higher than stock. I cut the rack off a '75 Yamaha RD 350, and with some mods, it ended up replacing the stock toolbag as a great luggage rack. The saddlebags from Kawasaki for the KLR650 fit my bike perfectly, now that they have the rack to strap to. I use a Cabela's dry bag, which is around 12"x12"x27" and is top loading. I already own a bunch of micro-light camping gear, including an iso-butane stove small enough that it fits, with fuel, into my tin camping cup. My only real problem with long distance was the front fender tended to wobble at speeds over 50, so I made an aluminum fender stabilizer and that solved that problem.
    It's fun as hell to be able to ride several hundred miles through the twisty West Virginia back roads, then unload enough camping gear to live well for a week, and still have all my caving gear, plus a motorcycle to go exploring the trails with!!
    Here is a picture with my buddys 650 on a trip last summer. I'll have to take some pics of the rack and fender stabilizer if anyone is interested.


    [​IMG]
    #65
  6. CaveDave

    CaveDave Underground

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    It sounds like the KLR 250 would be perfect for you. You'll have to find a shop that still has one, though, or buy a used one, because it's been replaced by the KLX 250. That's good for dirt riders, but as a minimalist dual sport tourer, that really bummed me out.
    #66
  7. SIKLR250

    SIKLR250 NYC

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    Pictures would be appreciated!
    #67
  8. SIKLR250

    SIKLR250 NYC

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    I have one in green and one in red (see my signature). :evil
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  9. CaveDave

    CaveDave Underground

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    Oh yeah, well lookee there!! :thumb
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  10. driller

    driller Twist and Go

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    OK. Don't beat me up too much on this, now.
    I have taken my KLR2fiddy on plenty of trips with 300+ mile days.
    I know I could ride the little'un most anywhere with the time, patience
    and planning and enjoy almost every mile.
    However.....
    Some of the places I want to go require crossing some territory I don't want to spend the time or effort on(think NorthEast corridor on the way South) even riding the bigger bikes. I have been thinking about doing more "Tote and Ride" trips. Put the bike on a hitch carrier on the back of my Jeep, arrive less frazzed, dump the camp gear and go out and enjoy the area on the bike.
    The light weight makes it easy to carry and you still have the freedom to ride and tour the more remote areas from your base camp.
    Maybe this comes from it being 8f outside right now and wishing I could easily throw the bike on the carrier and head South for a little riding enjoyment. Or maybe it comes from turning 60 and feeling old and lazy.
    The lightweight bikes we all enjoy are just right for that concept.
    I enjoy the 250 so much, if given orders to get rid of all but one bike, I honestly can say the little burro would get the pick.:norton
    #70
  11. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    Nothing wrong with trailering.... I've often done it to get to a good startiing point for a tour. But if you're just using the bike as a runabout at the end of the day with the bulk of the touring in the car, I think it lacks the essence of true motorcycle touring - it's car touring with a motorcycle for running around.

    The essence of touring for me is being self-sufficient and traveling signfiicant distances with just the bike and my gear. And the essence of this thread is how to do this in a minimilist sort of way. Adding a Jeep to the gear isn't very minimal.

    - Mark
    #71
  12. CaveDave

    CaveDave Underground

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    There's definitely nothing wrong with some portaging to get the 250 where it needs to be to start the trip. I've thrown mine in the back of the truck for trips to Maine so that I could enjoy the ride when I got there. Again, that's one of the things that makes these little guys so great, you can carry them where you need them, and go anywhere when you get there!!
    #72
  13. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    That's a great way to go. A couple of times a year, My brothers and I load up the Dr200's and the XT225 and drive north of Lake Superior where we set up a base camp for a few days. Then it's off fishing, riding, and exploring trails and forest service roads. We get back to camp before dark, then after dark, roast steaks over the fire and so on. For some reason our wives don't want to come along.
    #73
  14. steve gs

    steve gs Been here awhile

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    So true.

    Many of the trips I have taken in the past have included my van which I use as a base of operations. There are times when I do not have a large enough time window or seasonal weather conditions in my favor to get somewhere by bike. Having a seasonal field service job my only real travel window is 2-3 wks in September and the winter months and that is all subject to change without warning depending on work.

    I recently had a biz trip to NC and packed my DR200SE along to tour the outer banks for a couple of days once the biz was done. In the past I've hauled My Aprilia RS50 along to areas like Deals Gap, the Cherohala, Suches, Ga for the Grits, and SW Wisconsin for the Wildcat Mtn 100. All these have been great riding experiences that without the van (or other transport)would not have happened and that would have been a loss.

    Since I almost always camp, the van makes sense and I have pretty much gone to bikes that will fit in my van (selling off the rest) so that I will be able to haul them to where I want to ride; required in the winter. But there are times (the fall) I prefer travel by bike because it adds a dimension not equalled by cage travel.


    :ricky

    At Indian Boundary on the Cherohala.

    Attached Files:

    #74
  15. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    Hi I am with many of you. I have a 125 cc single and it's the best. Some people see it and don't pay a lot of attention and that is just fine with me.

    I use this 2004 Honda Bros for just about anything, even some 300 mille days. Specialy at the beginning, from running to store and renting movies to some sacary touring (try going 55 mph on I-5 in california, stupid I know).

    I have been told that you need some special tires for off road, or for the beach, but I have not paid attention, I still have the original Pirelies on it, some (I guess) 90/10 street/dirt tires that work so nice on the bike. I do some ocacional off road and more often I drive by the Pacific Ocean and it's good!!

    I don't do 65 mph anymore, but once or twice I did and it's not something you want the bike to do everyday how ever 55-60 it's no problem. And I still get 70-72 mpg and that is something I really like it.

    Attached Files:

    #75
  16. driller

    driller Twist and Go

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    Sorry to have gotten off on a tangent.
    This is a thread about how to do motorcycle touring simply and
    in a minimalist way. Glad we have it.
    I'm always looking for ways to expand my adventure horizon and wanted to
    mention one way of doing that.:evil
    Had to laugh about Mountain Man's story of taking his bike up to Maine, cause I'm looking for a way to get down to his WVA hills and spend some time up in Dolly Sods territory.:freaky
    Just load it up and ride that thing!:ricky
    I will post a pic of some tank panniers I'm working on fitting to the 2fiddy
    when they are finished.
    #76
  17. Outwardbound

    Outwardbound Been here awhile

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    My wife's DR200SE arrives next Saturday. Since I have my KLR set up just like I want it, the DR becomes my winter project. First thing is off with the muff and carb and ship them to Keintech for mods. Next is gearing; but I have a question or two that maybe you can help me with....

    1. Which sprocket to change ? Is a larger counter-sprocket (the one on the engine side) available thru Suzuki, or do I have to order it online ? Is it the same part number as that for the DRZ400 ? (or a unique DR200SE-only part) Is there a favored website that sells these things (I presume so...)

    2. Once I chg the countersprocket, will I need to add links to the chain, or can the difference be adjusted out on the swingarm ?

    3. Are stronger springs available ? My KLR was heinously undersprung, seemingly designed for a 120# rider. I changed front and rear, now it's perfect! My guess is that even at high degrees of preload the sag will be excessive.

    4. Is there a Clymer manual available ? Even the Google search doesn't list one....

    Thanks for the help. MinTourers are beginning to get the respect they deserve !

    Coop
    #77
  18. driller

    driller Twist and Go

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    I got a kick out of the Pepsi can stove.:clap It looks like it might put out a bit more heat than the old Sterno stove I pack in my kit. Been thinking about one of those JetBoil rigs, but I don't know if that much $$ is worth it for what I would use it for. My cook kit is a 40 yr old "Official BSA Mess Kit"
    This has certainly been discussed on other threads, but how much "cooking" do most of you do when trekking about on your MT machine?
    In New England it is hard to get too far from a diner or some sort of place to get food ; even when you are in some of the more "remote" camping areas. Most of what I and some riding partners have done have been simple campfire meals like hot dogs or tinfoil dinners over the fire. Usually not anything requiring a lot of preparation. About all I use a stove for is to brew a cup of joe or tea to have with a breakfast bar in the morning or heat up a can of beans or noodles if the weather prevents a fire at night. Otherwise most of my serious eating is out on the road or when we come out of the woods near some civilization.
    Any Gourmet MT riders out there? Whatcha cooking on your travels?:D :dg
    #78
  19. otto

    otto UAW

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    Here's my hero, I met him on the way to Alaska last summer. He was from Australia, had the bike shipped to Argentina and was headed for Prudhoe Bay. I passed him about 3 times, I don't think the mighty 200cc Yamaha could do much over 45mph up hill:clap
    #79
  20. CaveDave

    CaveDave Underground

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    My camp cooking often consists of Mountain House dehydrated meals. They're so very portable, not too expensive, and all you've got to do is boil the H2O. At the end of a long day, they taste mighty damn good, too. I always have tea bags, and my riding partner has a kick-ass little portable coffee maker. I use an aluminum BSA-style mess kit, but have perfected cooking bacon, scrapple, sausage, etc. in it. Another lightweight hot meal is to get bags of red beans and rice from the "ethnic" section of the grocery store. Fry up some sausage and toss into one of these, and it's one burner gourmet time!!!
    #80