The Small Adventure Motorcycle

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Uncle Larry, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. Uncle Larry

    Uncle Larry The most suave of stooges

    Sep 22, 2003
    Fort Lauderdale
    I'm reading the amazing story of nathanthepostman and his adventures on a wee Honda, the CT-90 I believe.

    Nate has some spectacular videos of him in the utter chaos of urban traffic in places like India and Nepal.

    Then he has some even more spectacular videos of him in the Himalayas chugging along on this diminutive machine.

    He's got some photos of him crating the bike for air shipment to other countries.

    When his bike breaks down or he needs to replace something, there is usually access to mechanics or spares in the most unlikely of places.

    But we ADVRiders are generally charging around the world on massive and complicated machines that couldn't cope with traffic in Delhi or the mud in Africa.

    Maybe there is a need for a adventure motorcycle on a much smaller scale? One that is far more appropriate for 3rd world conditions.

    Hell, I'd take the CT-90 and add fuel injection (for altitude issues) and a front disk brake (for obvious reasons).

    A small ADV bike makes so much more sense. Oh, and a 650 is NOT a small bike. I'm thinking 125cc, single cylinder kind of thing. And not necessarily a dirt bike.

    Just thinking out loud here.
  2. WestRider

    WestRider Been here awhile

    Jan 15, 2006
    Back in Idaho!!!
    My wife's TW-200 becomes more attractive the more I ride it. And...aside from the problems you noted, my CT-90 is a great little bike. I've seen a few 80's vintage CT-110's for sale lately and thought that might be a nice addition...just what I need...another bike!!

    That little KLR-250 is a good looking bike too. I saw one at the dealership this week when I was shopping for gear.

    My only concern is for the type of riding I do...combined with my industrial sizing, those small bikes aren't very safe on the open road. I'm nervous enough on the open roads on my XRL. My V-strom is great on the road and the dirt roads but is a bit iffy in the mud and rocks even with the TKC's. That's why I tend to keep multiple bikes around. One trip I'm riding in the desert on the XRL, the next I'm covering 500 miles per day on the Strom, and the next I'm putting around the logging roads up camping on the TW or CT...those types of riding aren't really appropriate on one type of bike.

    Just my .02:freaky but...all that said...a TW-350 with FI and disc brakes might just be an option...but I'd have to build it myself....:huh
  3. JTucker

    JTucker Long timer

    Sep 27, 2008
    West By God Virginia
    I have a TW myself, can't say I would like to take a really long trip on it but for getting out fairly close to the house it's a blast. A 350 in that bike would be awesome.
  4. Northwoods Yeti

    Northwoods Yeti Almost house broken

    May 3, 2006
    West Coast of WI
  5. Night_Wolf

    Night_Wolf Long timer

    Feb 17, 2006
    Lat: N 90°00'00" Long: N/A
    A 350cc TW would make it a bike I would have trouble resisting :tb I really like the idea of the 200 TW but I have stretches of highway with a limit of 65mph that I have to traverse to get to the "good stuff" and unfortunately the little TW would be taxed. Instead I'll be looking for a 250cc dual sport which will be easier to get where I want to go

  6. Stretch67

    Stretch67 Mad Scientist

    Mar 22, 2006
    Bent, But Not Broken
    I still have my CT-90. :D
  7. bretedge

    bretedge Do Epic Shit

    Jul 7, 2009
    Moab, Utah
    I had a TW200 for almost 2 years and it's a bombproof bike. I did Steelbender, Poison Spider, part of Fins & Things and several other trails around Moab on mine. You can swap out sprockets to get it up to about 55 MPH, too. It was a great bike to learn on and plenty capable on the trail. Sounds like it would be a perfect bike for such a mini-adventure motorcycle.

    Things I would change:

    - Give it a rear disc.
    - Better quality parts. I.E., brake and shift levers are not confidence inspiring.
    - The seat sucks ass.
    - The headlight sucks ass.
    - Maybe 5 - 10 more horsepower to give it some more grunt.

    Really cool that this dude has done so much on his little bike. I once read about a girl who has put 1,000's of miles on a tiny Vespa scooter road tripping all over the U.S. Not my cup of tea but God bless her for showing it's possible.
  8. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Nov 28, 2006
    By the Great Lakes
    In many other countries, those sub-250 motos may work fine. For riding around at home in the US, some states don't allow anything smaller than a 250-class moto on the highways.

    I don't see how going smaller than a 250 really accomplishes anything on a road-going moto. It's not like a 250 can't be almost as light as a 125, and it may be even more efficient with fuel at higher speeds. Problems that I see with the 250s in the US are that they don't offer many to begin with, most of them weigh as much as a 400 anway, the models that offer any performance don't offer any capacity, the models that offer capacity don't offer performance, and most DS bikes aren't appropriately geared with a wide-ratio tranny for dual duty.
  9. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz Long timer

    Apr 23, 2006

    :clap On the money!! :clap
    Couldn't agree more :D :D

    Here's more



    The little CTs are getting so popular here, 2.hand prices have jumped over 30% over the last 18 months.

    Big trips on small bikes are an absolute hoot.
    Back to the basics...
  10. raider

    raider Big red dog

    Jan 6, 2005
    Adelaide, South Australia
    The Honda XR250L (and its 1990s predecessor, the XL250 Degree, and its stablemate the SL230), Suzuki DR250 and Yamaha XT250 all offer "back to basics" ADV riding without any of the inherent reliability and comfort compromises in pushing 90 and 110cc bikes with big fat blokes on board (speaking for myself, of course - some of you may be fitter than me!).
  11. minkyhead

    minkyhead Been here awhile

    Jan 4, 2007
    uk gods county
    my m8 liam has just the thing ...
    ....:huh :lol3 :lol3 :lol3
    By minkyhead at 2009-07-11
  12. fish3006

    fish3006 Been here awhile

    Sep 4, 2007
    good thread. don't forget the super sherpa and suzuki's tu250x.
    there is always a way around the interstate ...
  13. Reposado1800

    Reposado1800 Juicy J fan!

    Dec 8, 2006
    5th and Main
    XT225. I can't resist pimping my pics. Forgive me.
  14. rivercreep

    rivercreep Banned

    Feb 27, 2007
    S.E. Pennsylvania (Reading) smaller than 250cc though!

    I've got an 08 XT250 that I've put a TTR250 exhaust on (made it fit!) rejeted it and drilled the air box, made a gearing change (criuses relaxed at 70 now untill you hit a hill and have to downshift to keep speeds up).........
    and if I had more cash, I'd throw some performance mods at it from the Raptor 250 Quad (same engine!) like the Cam, a 270CC bore kit and add the oil cooler.
    But, since I don't have the money and the bike suits me fine for hours od weekend drong to off highway places and exploring at a respectable pace, I'm not bothering.

    My hats off to the old DR350's as perfect bikes. All the DRz400S is, is an overly complicated (liquid cooled) heavy pig I.M.H.O.!
    Give an old DR350 F.I. (less moving parts than a carb = less complicated!), the DRz's suspension, and you've got the perfect bike.
  15. snare

    snare sittin and breathin

    May 20, 2007
    exactly where I choose
    I like DR350's (obviously! :D), but I feel there is a great selection of smaller bikes currently available new or used here in the US. Hopefully the companies will keep bringing more to our market. I think Suzi should bring back the DR250/350.

    DR250's, DR200's, Sherpa's, XT's, WR's, KLX's
  16. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

    Jul 26, 2001
    A 650 is not a small bike huh?

    I was checking out the MadAss 125, similar in size and displacement to a Postie. Only weighs 20 pounds less than my FE570.

    Postie? Weighs 40 pounds less.

    Has much less travel, clearance and has about 40+ less horsepower. The only thing it really has on my Husaberg is that it gets much better fuel efficiency, but even so I could probably go almost as far on a tank if I tried. Wanna play follow the leader? Try riding a Postie the places I ride my Husaberg. Not gonna happen, even with the low gearing and lighter weight. I used to ride a Postie (before they went to conventional forks), they are okay for putting around, but not much fun for getting anywhere or going long distances.

    So yeah, fine, if you want to prove you can do it on a minimal bike, I'll believe you, but I am not getting on a modern highway with one of those, and there are some places I want to go that you would have to go way out of your way to not spend at least a few miles on a busy fast moving highway.

    Will I ever get to India, Africa or even S. America on a bike? Probably not. By the time I have both the time and money, I doubt the flesh will be willing. Even if I do get there, I am probably not going anywhere near an urban center in India - if I can help it. That is probably the most dangerous place in the world to ride a bike, including Mt. Everest.
  17. Rman237

    Rman237 Ride Rural Texas

    Apr 30, 2007
    Fayette Co,Texas.
    How bout a TW600?:evil

  18. pwrtrippin

    pwrtrippin Been here awhile

    Jun 7, 2009
    Woodland Park,CO
    Anyone see the Pitster Pro Classic 125? Looks like a CT70 with the bigger engine, and street legal.
  19. Tman66

    Tman66 Shawn's bro

    Jun 6, 2007
    I pass cars on the interstate with my cr230l and it handles single track trails with ease. :lol3
  20. smilin jack

    smilin jack Grandpa Adventurer

    May 8, 2008
    Lebanon Oregon
    Hey, I saw a picture of a Honda 150cc that sells in Mexico. It looks like a normal dual sport bike with racks etc. They don't sell them around here.

    Since I couldn't get anything like the above bike, I just use my Honda CB250 with a rack and other farkles and it's covered 15K miles around Oregon so far. And, it get's over 70 mpg with a 4.2 gallon stock tank. That's about 230 miles before needing reserve position of the petcock.

    My DR only gets about 130 miles before reserve tank. It carries a 2 1/2 gallon fuel can on the rear to go any long distances.

    Yes, that's snow in the background, and spots of ice on the road. Great fun?


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