Need some dirt bike advice. (Liberia)

Discussion in 'Africa & Mid East' started by as-of-now, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. as-of-now

    as-of-now n00b

    Sep 26, 2012
    [FONT=verdana,arial,helvetica]Hey everyone, this is something I posted on the barf forum, and it was suggested that I post it here too. I had no idea that I would be able to find a community around the area... :)

    here's a link to the barf post, for those that are interested...

    It's been a few months since I sold my KTM 690, and I already have the itch to get another two wheeled monster.

    However, I'm not in the SF bay area anymore so my priorities have changed. Maybe some people here could weigh in with their experiences.

    I work in Africa. I live mostly around Monrovia, and had the thought with a few friends to invest in some dirtbikes for pleasure/day trips. Although the option to fit racks and do overnighters would be nice, it's not at all a necessity almost every one of our trips will be day trips.

    We are considering everything from the usual Japanese MX bikes, to also KTM's or Husqvarna's.

    I don't have experience with 2 stroke engines, and want opinions on what type of bike would be suitable for the harsh tropical weather conditions around here. It gets extremely hot, but also extremely humid. Cars rust quickly, and even electrical boxes can go bad on near new excavators/ heavy machinery. The humidity is unforgiving.

    Because of this, I was assuming that fuel injected bikes are not the way to go. However, what modern day carbureted bikes are there? I don't know where to start. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Also, I've never gravitated towards the Japanese route, but am considering it because of the ease of maintenance. After changing the oil on the 690, I can't imagine the Japanese would have made it that complicated...

    Any specific years, or models that stand out? Are the the CR's, Yz's, RM's and KX's pretty much the same?

    How does maintenance/reliability vary on the 2 stroke vs 4 stroke dirtbikes?

    Also, are MX bikes more robust than the average enduro bike? We'll want something that's built to last, as far as they come...

    I know I'm probably opening up a big can of worms in this post, so sorry in advance for that. Thanks for helping a dirt bike noob explore his passion, and for helping to bring dirt biking to this part of the world!

    Oh, and lastly, we'll be buying the bikes in Europe and shipping them out of the port of Antwerp (Belgium). Does anyone have any resources to help find a bike in that area of the world?
  2. as-of-now

    as-of-now n00b

    Sep 26, 2012
    Okay, so I've narrowed it down to a 4 stroke for reliability. I've heard that depending on the weather conditions, re-jetting can be a necessity. Is this the case for a country like Liberia? What precautions do you other riders take in sub-Saharan Africa when prepping a bike for these weather conditions?

    Also, are there any riders in any neighboring countries to Liberia, i.e. Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Ghana, etc.? What bikes do you ride, and is there any factory support in the countries where you ride?

    We have a Yamaha dealership, but it only has two bikes (likely the two cheapest bikes yamaha has ever made... ;) ) and I wouldn't trust them for a service, but MAYBE, just maybe, they could help in sourcing a part, although it very well may be cheaper and faster for me to do this on my own.

    Let me know your thoughts...

    Oh, and no KLR650's. Great bikes for what they are, but for me, there's just no substitute for light weight. I want to keep my ride around 250lbs, or even closer to 200, if it's possible. For me, that spells FUN...I'm sure there are others here that will sympathize with me on that note...
  3. jestragon

    jestragon Been here awhile

    Jan 27, 2013
    Till recently W & Central Africa, now Holland
    If you're only planning on doing day-trips and want a light bike, why don't you look whether the Yamaha dealer carries the DT-125? They are pretty bomb-proof.
  4. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

    Nov 21, 2005
    "Swednavia" - f5ederation of scandwegia

    Yamaha WR 250 R
  5. Buddha135

    Buddha135 Adventurer

    Jan 16, 2009
    Nothern VA
    I lived there for a few years and rode. I brought my KLR and all the normal consumables with me. Bought oil locally and had no problems. If you are going to import a bike get a carb'd bike that does not need regular maint. I would stay away from KTM and Husqvarna. ( I own a husky. Great bike just not suited for such environments.) Shipping parts from the US takes 2-3 weeks and very costly.

    There is a small crowd of Expats and locals that ride. Mostly KLRs, BMWs 650 & 1200, and even a few cruisers and sport bikes. Not much good pavement. Lots of bad dual track though.

    The only types of bike that you will be able to find parts for locally are those sold locally. There are tons of the cheap Chinese and Indian bikes available, but those are very bare bones. There are some Hondas and yamahas available but nothing like what we find in the US. They seem to be built to late 80- early 90s specs.

    I didn't have any issues with my carb out there but I always filled up at larger fuel stations (eg. Total). If you go with a smaller bike, the small tank size will force you to fill up at the informal stations at the side of the road and you will likely face some issues due to bad fuel. Not a big deal. Just clean the carb every so often.

    Bring good rain gear if you plan on riding in the rainy season. It is crazy wet a good portion of the year. Knobby tires are your friend. It gets real sloppy.