Small displacement adventure bike

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by skyzo, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. skyzo

    skyzo n00b

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    Thanks all for the awesome replies. I have been reading lots of stuff on these bikes for the last few days.
    I think I will have to wait until the time gets closer to choose a bike, as I will have to see how much I can take off work. I might only be able to take 3 weeks, and in that case I would use the XT225/250 (been reading lots of those, seems like a very very good choice).
    The minimalist in me really wants to do the trip on the CT90 though, but I would need a little more time off in order to do that, as my route is about 5000 miles, and that would be about 240 miles a day on the CT if I only had 3 weeks, and that would be a little hectic and rushes. Whereas if I could get about 5 weeks off, it would be a much more relaxed 150 miles a day.

    I won't know for a few months if I can get the time off, but I love planning almost as much as I love touring, so I dont mind :D
    #41
  2. Bajatacoma

    Bajatacoma Why me?

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    Are you planning to stay mostly on the road? Any of the small 250cc street bikes would be more comfortable than a dual sport; they're also geared better for street use (not that you can't easily change gears on most small bikes). Suzuki makes the TU250 which is fuel injected and is getting really good reviews here and other forums as well as the older carb'd GZ250. While they're capable of running highways speeds, their light weight and lack of throttle response at high speeds makes them a bit scary in my opinion. I tended to stick to secondary roads when I had smaller bikes; they were much happier at the slower speeds (lower RPMs) and so was I.

    Another choice since you're talking about scooters might be the Yamaha Zuma 125cc, they seem to be pretty popular with the folks who own them too. Vespa makes some nice rides too.
    #42
  3. dfye55

    dfye55 Been here awhile

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    Enjoyed the posts and comments, very interested to hear what developed!??

    My experience is similar, I bicycle tour with camping gear and have been on several motorcycle adventures. The motorcycle tool kit, spare tubes, safety wear and such add weight.

    I have tried the Honda Shadow ACE 750, looks cool, loved the torque and slow engine speed rumble, but just too big and 55mpg is not great mileage.

    I jumped to a Kawasaki BN125 Eliminator, with the goal of 100mpg motorcycle touring. I enjoyed several overnight camp trips, but realistically was more like 75mpg and was very uncomfortable on state highways because it just could not handle 55mph unless wind was calm and no uphills.

    I understand the enjoyment of touring at slow speeds, but the reality of traffic led me to selling my little 125. Maybe I'm just unable to slow down, but with deadlines, trip goals and traffic have told me I want something bigger. But I still want to get fantastic mpg.

    Then a friend got me interested in the MCCCT, 700 miles of off road trails in Michigan. So, I was looking for a minimalist, dual sport, adventure bike that could easily maintain state highway speed, top of 60mph would be fine. So after a lot of research, I decided on the KLR 250, found a '05 for $2500 in like new condition. Added a rack, and I've put 4000 miles on it in the first 7 months. That's more miles than I've put on my last 3 motorcycles, a good indication of how much I like this bike. I plan to work on leaning out the carb to improve gas mileage. During break-in under 4000rpm I achieved two tanks at 90mpg, but I find it pretty hard to find roads that safely fit those speeds.

    My longest trip so far was 1300 miles in 4 days from Columbus, IN to the Swinging Bridges ride in MO. One lesson there, my 250 can handle interstate speeds safely. It runs at 8000 rpm at 70mph; just right because I still had power to overcome headwinds or hills. That's not where I want to ride, but the only close Mississippi river crossings were interstate highways. Enjoyed 500 miles of back gravel roads with historic bridges. Learned to fix motorcycle flats on this trip! Another lesson, at highway speeds, I hit reserve at 100miles, reserve is over 2 gallons, so the mpg is terrible when going that fast. More typical mpg is 65 for back roads/city/state highways all at speed limits.

    I'm planning a week of TN TAT and a week of MCCCT this year, then maybe find time for longer touring, continental divide or east coast or TAT to west coast.

    There's room in my stable for a smaller adventure bike, so I'm interested in what you selected and how it's worked for you. But, I'm keeping my KLR 250, I find it ideal for most of my trip plans.

    Don
    #43
  4. OBIWAN

    OBIWAN Been here awhile

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    It’s been a while since skyzo started this but I don’t see where he’s gotten anything yet. I agree with Speedo66 about you have to get it in your mind that you’re not on a bicycle and when in traffic you need to go with the flow. I really like the size of the 200-250 size bikes. Don’t have one yet but working on it. What I like about the TW200 & XT250 (or 225) is, besides being over all reliable, the valves have screw adjusters. Non of that pulling the cams and putting in a different size shim that you wont have. You can adjust them on the road if you need to. I wonder what skyzo did if anything.
    #44
  5. Birdmove

    Birdmove Long timer

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    Add the KLR250 to the list of having screw type valve adjusters. The newer KLX250 cannot make that claim as it has shims. Had a 2001 KLR250 and had lots of good times on that bike. Also had an XT225 and liked it a lot too. I am going to get another dual sport soon, and the TW200 is high on my list.
    #45
  6. frog13

    frog13 Long timer

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    You can order tires for the TW as any other bike........extra gas cans,koplin etc.,fixes that issue.No bike is going to be perfect.....customizing it to your needs is the fun part.:D
    #46
  7. Birdmove

    Birdmove Long timer

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    I'll agree. The HD200 is a fantastic scooter. We have one and also a Kymco People 150, which is another great scooter. Not as much power as the SYM though it gets better gas mileage.
    #47
  8. jspringator

    jspringator Been here awhile

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    I bought a Yamaha XT225 last year to use on RV trips. I recently added a Russell Day Long saddle, Turbo City windshield frame and MadStad windshield and adjustable bracket. Love the combo. The bike only has 600 miles on it. It has been smoothing out a little at the higher RPM's as it gets more miles on it.
    #48
  9. tdvt

    tdvt Been here awhile

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    My wife's older son rode his Vespa 200L from here in northern Vermont, down to the Bonnaroo music festival (south of Nashville) & back again a few summers ago. I don't think he documented it though I thought it WAS quite an undertaking. I seem to recall he lost the drive belt in NC, just starting his way back but otherwise no mechanical issues.

    Might not mean anything but the Vespa has pretty much sat in the back of our garage since that trip.
    #49
  10. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    I thought that Symba 100 mentioned earlier looked really neat, and I like the large, 17" wheels, but the specs are awful. 408 lbs dry and 4 liter fuel capacity, drums brakes front & rear. $3,200 doesn't sound cheap for that.

    I'd spend $500 more for a Honda PCX150; FI, front disc w/ combined braking, 286 lbs wet, 14" wheels, belt drive, 6 liters of fuel.
    #50
  11. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    408 Lbs is a misprint, should be 208 lbs.


    #51
  12. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    I definitely think it is important to consider traffic around you, both on highways and especially on freeways. The idea of a bike that will only do 75 comfortably kind of scares me, but I come from the sport-touring world.

    In reference to the original post, I would definitely say XT225. The OP could gear it down to literally encourage slower travel, while making it all the more capable off road. Seems he might be gone now, but hopefully he picks something around 200cc's for his safety.

    I am looking for a 250 to compliment my DR650. I have learned a lot reading all I can about the 250s, and I encourage anyone considering bumping DOWN there displacement to seriously consider: WR250R, DR350, XT225, KLX250S (or KLX351S bored), and even a TW200 if tire size and gas arent an issue. All are great bikes..
    #52
  13. shearboy2004

    shearboy2004 KIWIINUSA

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    DR200 engine in a much better bike .

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JuS0kYbzrInjdfe9Hog3mdlKhg9HpwBh0YQq1XX487s?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-6lsATgeUqsA/TjjHfpxbeiI/AAAAAAAAWZg/nuYlZYellgI/s800/DSC03591.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a>
    #53
  14. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    Looks interesting, but it's not obvious what it is?
    #54
  15. shearboy2004

    shearboy2004 KIWIINUSA

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    Sorry Mate it's a Beta Alp 4 stroke ! They make one with the DR350 engine in it but I guess we never got that one :cry

    Great little bike , it will run 50mph just fine with it's gearing as is but will also climb a brick wall, trials steering lock which is amazing , smooth reliable little beast that will just about do anything . Geared up I'm sure it would pull over 60mph just fine .It improved my Wife's riding by 100 percent because it is so easy to ride and has great manners .
    #55
  16. frog13

    frog13 Long timer

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    Tires are no problem with the TW200....don't even have to look hard to find'em!.Tw's are quite reliable also;go to the TW 200 forum,you'll see. Tank isn't much smaller than other bikes,excluding the dr200.Carry extra fuel,like most folks do....problem solved!.
    #56
  17. smilin jack

    smilin jack Grandpa Adventurer

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    Yep, have had several and they ride pretty nicely. The last one had a 1/2 gallon tank and could go all day. It was easy to throw in the van and take it to the hills for camping/hunting etc. The older ones had a 3 speed transmission the the newer ones had a 4 speed. They were street legal and cruised about 35 mph but could go faster.

    Dave
    #57
  18. pledians

    pledians Adventurer

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    I know its an old thread but i have a similar story. I have been riding bicycles for many many years before getting on my first motorbike. I have been touring on a Bajaj Pulsar 150 and a Honda CBR 125 with great success. During my last trip i went on an 500cc vintage bike, which was fun, but it was very heavy to handle and i really miss the lightness and smoothness of a small modern bike.

    I am considering getting a Honda XR125L or a CBF125 for long distance riding. Is there any ride reports/threads around here of people touring on any of those bikes?

    Sometimes i have considered getting myself a 50cc bike, to have time to enjoy more of the surroundings and not just flying my way through.
    #58
  19. frog13

    frog13 Long timer

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    Try looking at the "Minimalist touring thread"...there are other threads about smaller cc machines here also...just can't remember their thread names.
    #59
  20. HandKPhil

    HandKPhil Been here awhile

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    I would tend to agree with this. I've owned a Trail 90 and a CT110. Both were underpowered bikes with weak suspensions, weak lights, weak brakes, etc. The suspension will disappoint you in 50 miles, let alone 5000. Other options are the Honda CRF230L (I've also owned one of these), which is a simple, comfortable, fuel efficient small motorcycle. Not quite as comfortable as my DR350SE. I also own two KLR250s. This bike might be my second choice for a trip like the one you have planned, but the DR350 is more comfortable and has better power. Both the KLR250 and the DR350 get 60-70 mpg.

    I have no personal experience with a DR200, but from all accounts they are great little bikes.
    #60