Minimalist Touring Thread (250cc and under)

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

  1. notarex

    notarex Can U taste the waste?

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    Cooking over and/or next to a fire is way more rewarding and yummy than getting the same old crap from a diner. Most of my cooking is done in tin foil, but the stove is good for boiling water for coffee, noodles, rice etc. especially in the morning when the fire is out.
    #81
  2. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    right here on my thermarest
    I like to use a Coleman dual fuel stove, since the fuel in the stove and MSR bottle double as spare fuel for the bike.

    Everything tastes so good when prepared outdoors, when you're actually hungry, and especially when I have a campfire going to cook over.
    #82
  3. Moat

    Moat Been here awhile

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    My mini-ADVtour rig -



    In 30+ yrs. of riding, I've toured on a number of bigger bikes - IMO, there are many advantages to touring on a small displacement motorcycle (simplicity, weight, cost, efficiency, etc...)... one of the more important ones being their conservative power more-or-less "limits" the rider to sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the surroundings. For me, it's all about getting lost on backroads... the less-traveled/more remote, the better.

    Set up camp, unload the bike, and spend a few days exploring the local trails/roads in the area. Dirt cheap adventuring - can't beat it!!

    Although the general ergonomics of a small-ish DS can be pretty close to ideal in terms of long-range comfort, the seats themselves often leave something to be desired (narrow, stiff, poorly shaped, etc...). After playing around with a half-dozen or so types of foam for my KLR's seat (including Seargent's Super-Cell Atomic foam), I settled on multiple layers of 6 lb. Lowe's 1/2" carpet padding (small bluish-greenish-yellow urethane foam chunks, glued together). Feels very firm at first (just like a Corbin), but magically conforms to my boney arse within a few minutes... and is all-day comfy. Superior comfort to the others I tried, and widely available/cheap.

    FWIW, I spend the majority of the time on the KLR250 @ 50-55 mph (a comfortable engine speed for extended periods w/16t c-shaft sprocket) - and the little burro's counterbalanced engine is remarkably smooth... vibration is not an issue, whatsoever. 70+ mpg, fully loaded.

    I've only had the chance to do a handful of 3-4 day weekends (500-700 mi. per) so far - but if I had the $$ and time, I wouldn't hesitate to hop on it tomorrow and cross the country. (Arrgh... If only!!)
    #83
  4. steve gs

    steve gs Been here awhile

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    On my 97 DR200SE the OEM final is 15:45. You can check but if I remember right there are no other options available from Suzuki. However, Sprocket Specialities will make you wheel sprockets but not sure if they offer a counter sprocket, you would probably want a 16 if it will clear and they offer one.

    The 200 engine will pull like a mule with the OEM final but will come up short in the top end dept(darn 5spd). A decent compromise is to try a 15:42 final (reduce wheel sprocket size for more top end and links would need to removed from OEM chain length). You still have good low end performance plus another 6mph at the top. I'm tempted to try a 15:40 but it may to tall at the bottom. :deal



    I've stated this before so others must be tired of hearing this but I set my bikes up at a "cruise" rpm (you private pilots and marine operators know what I mean) where the engine runs easy and on the 200 that works out to be 4500-4800 rpm. With a large load, headwinds, or grades you may have to increase that a bit.


    With the OEM final that is about 37 mph and with the 15:42 about 42-45mph (4500-4800). I travel at this "cruise" but there are times I have to pick it up to manage traffic and once clear resume my cruise.

    I run a stock engine system with the extended pilot screw offered by Jesse. I want to keep the bike as quiet as possible and like the current mileage and range. If I have to have more I'll ride my 350 or 650. I like the 200 for what it is.

    So far I have not found anything in the fork spring area. Progressive has bike listed but nothing offered. Check with Jesse on this; I haven't and then tell us!:ear A rear shock is available from Works and you can specify to them rider/gear weight for a spring (will cost about some 320 clams). Currently I'm using the OEM item with the preload adjusted to max (OEM position is usually midpoint) and had ridden 2up with my daughter (160 + 90lbs with riding gear) in the past with no problems.

    I have the Suzuki manual for the 200 not sure about the Clymer.


    :ricky
    #84
  5. steve gs

    steve gs Been here awhile

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    Ditto here, even the 30+ years part.:freaky


    You know we need a late summer or early fall rally somewhere in the middle of the country, anyone have any ideas.

    :ricky
    #85
  6. T125

    T125 Slightly Overdressed

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    Indianapolis IN
    Hey, Moat!

    That's a great looking set-up. What sort of luggage do you have?

    * MotoFizz seat bag? Which size?
    * What are your panniers/tankbag (they seem to match)?
    * Have you got racks under there too?
    * Your tank panniers seem to be the Tractor Supply type that a lot of folks are raving about here:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=196530

    Sorry for all the Qs, but I'm trying to outfit my Sherpa from scratch and still stuggling with hard bags vs. soft, racks vs. heat shield, etc.

    Do you worry about exceeding the GVWR?
    #86
  7. Moat

    Moat Been here awhile

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    Yeah... the older I get, the more it seems I'm coming around full-circle - back to the smaller bikes, like I started on.

    Pretty soon, I'll probably be over here touting the adventure-touring capabilities of a Ruttman minibike or Solex moped... :zilla
    #87
  8. Moat

    Moat Been here awhile

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    Hey T125 -

    Yup - MotoFizz large... great bag... it's nice having the room, but I'd probably go medium next time... it's fine on a bigger streetbike, but looks almost silly on the little KLR!

    The panniers/tankbag are just some old Eclipse stuff I bought waay back around '80 - gettin' a little tatty 'round the edges - but still gets the job done, so I continue to use 'em. Eclipse still sells a similar tankbag, but I wouldn't recommend it for a typical DS bike - it's too wide (hits handlebars @ full lock), and doesn't agree with the backslope of a typical DS tank. Something like a Wolfman Explorer would be better, I'd imagine.

    Racks - Tail rack is the factory Kawasaki accessory part (purchased from Dual-Star, IIRC). For the sides, I made my own standoff brackets from (1" x 3/16" x 4' - as far as I can remember) rolled steel stock (Tractor Supply) - bent, cut, hammered, drilled, painted, and covered w/a bicycle inner tube. The panniers don't attach to those - they just provide something to keep the loaded packs from bustin' up the sidecovers, or melting on the muffler. About $15 in materials and an afternoon's effort - work great, and look fine/minimal when the bags are off.

    Yup - Tractor Supply tank panniers! Too inexpensive to pass up!

    As far as GVWR... I don't really worry about it, as fully loaded (like in the pic) is probably only an additional 60-70 lbs. - less than a small passenger. Being I'm only about 150 lbs., I wouldn't think it's an issue.

    Here's a pic with a little "lighter" touring setup - Eclipse tailpack and MotoUSA EXL soft saddlebags (also too inexpensive to pass up!) -
    #88
  9. Moat

    Moat Been here awhile

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    Here's a few pics showing the factory Kaw rack and homemade side brackets. In the top view, notice the arch bent into the side brackets - important to stiffen up the otherwise somewhat flexible flat stock. No inward flex noticed, even heavily loaded...
    #89
  10. Moat

    Moat Been here awhile

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    And a side view -
    #90
  11. T125

    T125 Slightly Overdressed

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    Thanks a ton for the speedy reply, Moat! Love your "light" set-up too.

    WOW! That's a great job and a very clean install on your standoffs. I know zero about metal fabrication...did you need a mandrel to do the bending/curvature of the stock?

    All the specific product names are a big help too. I'm looking at the Wolfman Enduro; another guy who owns a KLR250 and a KLR650 said he loves the Explorer/Explorer Lite, but in his opinion they are too big for the 250. Hmmm...

    Good to know your load is only 60-70 pounds. It looks like more, but you just must pack "big" not "heavy." :lol3 I'm about 165-170 these days so I've got almost as much wiggle room as you do (assuming the Sherpa/KLR250 GVWRs are similar).

    Thanks again. I may plague you with a few PMs as I get closer to spending the tax refund!:D
    #91
  12. Moat

    Moat Been here awhile

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    Nah... this stuff is easy enough to make mild (but imprecise) bends by hand (say, over your knee) - and sharp bends using a bench vise/hammer. Although - to make the milder bends nice and even/progressive (to match the sidecover's curvature), I used a medium sized ball peen's flatter side to hammer on one side of the stock, against the vise's flat anvil surface. That lightly compresses the side you're hammering on, making it gently curl up and away from the anvil. Wear earplugs, tho!

    I used a few 1" strips of cardboard (cereal box, I think) as templates, to figure out the bend and drill points etc... just sorta bent around 'til it looked about right, marked with a pen, and cut/bent the steel to match. Pretty easy, really!

    Hopefully your Sherpa has available bolt holes/attach points to make something similar work, if you decide to give it a try. I may have lucked out, in that regard...

    Yeah - was a sorta cold week on that ride... lots of high volume/low mass stuff (warm sleeping bag/jacket/clothes) went along. More than I needed... but still had room to spare. No reason being cold, if you don't have to!

    Cheers :freaky
    #92
  13. LoveHateKLR

    LoveHateKLR Slow 'n Easy

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    Jul 5, 2006
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    One mistake I've made was selling a Honda Rebel to buy a KLR650. I just enjoyed the little Rebel more. It's perhaps the only motorized thing I have owned that exceeded my expectations. However I will admit that the idea of piloting a Rebel on the I-294 tollway around Chicago doesn't appeal to me at all.

    I split from south of Green Bay WI once and didn't stop until I was almost all the way to the Apostle islands. I camped overnight In Mellon WI and had a great time. It took a buggerload of bungee cords to get the job done but I wanted to ride. For 300 miles a day I rode to my heart's content. A great ride that cleansed the soul.

    I did run into a father and son riding boxers together and they got away from me quickly. I'm sure they thought I'd lost my mind.

    I think that it's more important to have a motorized cycle than a motor that happens to have a cycle.

    Thanks for this thread. I'm going to read, think and seriously reconsider the goals I have for my motorcycle ownership and riding.

    Mark
    #93
  14. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    The Nighthawk 250 hasn't come up yet in this thread. To me, this bike is the most tour-worthy of the small bikes.

    - Mark
    #94
  15. driller

    driller Twist and Go

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    Ok, Bob. Let me know when you are ready.....:deal
    Excellent rig.:thumb
    I still like that idea of a raid rally of MT riders.
    Maybe in the UP some time or down in the hills and hollers of WVA:clap
    Driller
    #95
  16. SIKLR250

    SIKLR250 NYC

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    Hey Mark,

    Tell us more about the merits of the Nighthawk!
    :ear
    #96
  17. ny-wolcott

    ny-wolcott Been here awhile

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    T125
    For your Super Sherpa, there's also a Happy Trails side rack arrangement that looks pretty good. There are some pictures in the photos section in an album labeled "front rack" in the 1999-2003_SuperSherpa@yahoogroups.com board.

    I'm considering it myself, but understand it's not cheap.

    Moat
    I like your metal work. Especially the bicycle tube covering - GREAT IDEA!

    I've just got a couple of low mileage Sherpas that I'm equipping as we speak. Can't wait until the weatehr breaks this spring and get out on them.
    #97
  18. mcmiketh'bike

    mcmiketh'bike n00b

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    Me too! You guys wouldn't believe what I paid for a 1970 Honda CL100 off E-bay. (I've paid less for some good used cars!) But it's been absolutely worth it! Everywhere I ride this thing. people stop me and either ask if it's for sale, or tell me a story about their early days 'on two wheels'. I probably had just as much fun in the late '60s on my Honda C100 Cub as I do today on my ZX10 or KLR. Really! Admit it guys.... you probably did too! Smaller bikes are just as much fun. Remember well a motojournalist taking a trip from NY to LA on a Honda 50 when they first appeared on our shores. I now fantasize of making that same trip on this 'CL' following wife in motorhome, on some back roads. Yeah, I'll take some good pics.

    By the way, I'd love one of those Jaehling 125 or 200 DualSports too, but last time I checked they weren't DOT compliant. Anybody know what's up with that?
    #98
  19. TheOtherBart

    TheOtherBart Long timer

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    Now I'm really itching to get my little 250 out of hibernation, and here we are with 8-10" of snow on the ground. I already have my kitchen pass to disappear for three or four days as soon as the weather allows. I've been spending my spare time the past few days building stoves. I made the canning wax version, but haven't tested it. I also made the Pepsi can stove, and wow! Boiled 1 cup of water in three minutes, and 1 ounce of alcohol burned for almost 10 minutes. Total cost for the Pepsi can stove: $3.50 for JB Weld that I still have most of, plus two Bud Lights. And let's be honest, I was going to drink them anyway.

    Thanks for the suggestions on those!
    #99
  20. blackbirdzach

    blackbirdzach Daily Adventurer

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    I can play now too! Just got an 05 TW200 this weekend. I took it in the dirt over the weekend and I'll be doing it again this weekend. :clap