UK idiot riding a CRF250L about.

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Ross_, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. Ross_

    Ross_ Optimistic idiot

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    Hi all,
    I’m a long time stalker around this section, but first post so go easy! Hoping to use this thread to keep things in one place and get all the advice I can!

    I’m from the UK and will be heading over to enjoy your amazing roads and scenery in November 19. I’ll be over on a working holiday visa so will hopefully have the time that it deserves to enjoy as much of it as possible.

    I’ve spent a lot of time on here looking at your routes and advice so firstly would like to say thanks. The pics section has been my porn and motivation leading up to this trip!

    I’ve got a few questions but it’s probably better to outline my plan first for context.

    The Plan: buy a drz400 or similar, strap my stuff to it and ride out and camp/hostel for as long as possible until my bank account or weather forces me to find some work/shelter.

    A few questions:
    I’ve been on the lookout for a drz, looking at trademe, dealers websites and kiwi biker, there doesn’t seem to be lots of used ones for sale, is there anywhere else I should be looking?

    Does the market for bikes follow the seasons? As I know it’s coming to the end of your winter, should I expect more used ones to start popping up for sale or should I look at getting in touch with a dealer and going down the route of buying new? (My wallet is already scared)

    Which island is likely to have more for sale? Is the market/pricing much different?

    When looking into insurance, is there any tips or things to watch out for? Will only having a UK bike license be an issue for insurers?

    Can I just use a hostel or similar as an address? or if I got from a dealer can it be registered at a dealers address?

    Lastly, It would be awesome to meet up and ride with as many of you as possible whilst I’m over that way, and of course to give a thanks to all your advice in the payment of beer/coffee.

    Well that was quite an essay, sorry about that. And thanks in advance to any advice, I appreciate it all! And I’m super excited to get over there and ride!

    Cheers,
    Ross
    #1
  2. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Broke Engine Supporter

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    Hi Ross, I'll try an answer some of your questions but others will no doubt chime in to help...or contradict :D

    A few questions:
    1. I’ve been on the lookout for a drz, looking at trademe, dealers websites and kiwi biker, there doesn’t seem to be lots of used ones for sale, is there anywhere else I should be looking? Trade me is your best option although you could try posting an ad on Adventure Riding NZ You might want to think about a DR650 as they are better for touring about and there are generally loads of them on TM which have been set up for adventure riding.
    2. Does the market for bikes follow the seasons? As I know it’s coming to the end of your winter, should I expect more used ones to start popping up for sale or should I look at getting in touch with a dealer and going down the route of buying new? (My wallet is already scared) Yes it can be a bit seasonal. You might find a few more options appearing towards summer
    3. Which island is likely to have more for sale? Is the market/pricing much different? It's hit and miss. NI has more people so should have the most bikes for sale but the DRZ market would be pretty small....its always better to find a bike in the island you're on though....flying between islands to pick up bikes can be expensive.
    4. When looking into insurance, is there any tips or things to watch out for? Will only having a UK bike license be an issue for insurers? Not to sure on this one....Insurance here is pretty straightforward. The address thing might be an issue but I can't see why you couldn't give them a UK address.
    5. Can I just use a hostel or similar as an address? or if I got from a dealer can it be registered at a dealers address? Don't know that anyone is too interested in the details as long as it's a verifiable NZ address. I imagine there are rules about it. A quick search of the NZTA web site should answer any questions
    6. Lastly, It would be awesome to meet up and ride with as many of you as possible whilst I’m over that way, and of course to give a thanks to all your advice in the payment of beer/coffee. Always great to meet visiting adventure riders...if you keep this thread as a journal of your trip then any local inmates can meet up along the way.
    #2
  3. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    I would agree with most of that. Road legal ones dont come up often on Trademe. I bought my drz400s sight unseen in the south island a while ago and havent seen any S models since. Cant buy S model new anymore. I reckon you would lose 2 to 3k possibly more if you buy new and sell when you leave. Upside is you probably wont have a problem selling it. Yellow ones are noisy AF. If buying new you might want to consider a Himalayan??. You could probs sell a dr650 for not a lot less than you paid for it.

    Back to 400s...They're lighter than the 650 but by the time you have loaded up with gear the difference reduces. Plus as NF says you will find a well sorted 650 for much less than the cost of a new 400.

    For rego you need an nz address so theres somewhere to send your speeding tickets:). Insurance is a phone call, cheap and usually comes with 24/7 roadside assistance which can be very useful in an emergency.

    Would be great to meet up. If you're arriving in Auckland I can help get you set up. Garage space for sorting bike etc.

    Cheers and happy planning
    #3
  4. Ross_

    Ross_ Optimistic idiot

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    Thanks NF, I will try a post on the Facebook group, I’ve been keeping an eye on it for a bit now. And thanks for all the info! Still find the community on here amazing! I’ll either keep a log on this thread or maybe start a fresh RR for the whole trip, it’d be good to have it somewhere so I can read back and others can have a laugh reading all my mishaps!
    When I’m near your area pop up, I definitely owe you a beer/coffee!

    I think the only real reason I was after a drz400 was that I had one over here until a recent accident in which is was destroyed, along with my wrist which I’m hoping will be good again by the time I come out.
    It was a blast to ride on the trickier stuff and if you stick to smaller roads it’s good fun.

    A 650 crossed my mind a few times but was worried about the weight, I’ve never rode one so not sure how the extra weight will sit on the trickier bits. Although i’ve read it can get crazy windy so the extra weight my help, I used to get blown around a bit on the 400.

    After reading your advice I’m thinking buying new probably won’t be the way to go as I wouldn’t fancy loosing too much on it and I’m not scared of a few problems, taking bikes apart on the side of the road sounds like a good afternoon to me! It’s in the title ‘idiot’ haha

    Thanks again! Appreciate it!
    #4
  5. EVLED

    EVLED Bike riding nutter!

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    I think the 650 is the way to go unless you're getting really serious offroad - and then you need a buddy & tools...

    If you're in the Manawatu, there's a few of us on here that can show you serious or not so serious.
    #5
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  6. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    Another thing to consider is that DR650 motors are usually good for a few more miles than a DRZ400. On the flipside under 600cc gets cheaper rego. If you're looking for lightweight/offroad I'd also consider something like a KTM525, like a DRZ but better, there's actually a well set up one on TM at the moment not far from me. Might need some more padding on the seat but. Sometimes you just have to take what you can get. Another point is that while you may be good at fixing stuff, even basic parts for very common bikes are often not stocked in NZ, you don't want to be parked up for 5 weeks waiting on parts, so don't get too much of a shitter :D

    To meet up with locals also check out the Tent Space thread here on ADV, we're on there.

    Cheers
    Clint
    #6
  7. Ross_

    Ross_ Optimistic idiot

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    Thanks EVLED, appreciate any opinion and although I’m a bit of a young idiot I definitely am smart enough to take the advice of locals about your area! Thanks again mate!

    Cheers Clint, that was on my list of things to ask about spares for bikes, I guess being in the UK I’ve never realised how lucky we are to be able to get parts for nearly anything in 48hours or less! I appreciate the insight. I did have a few KTMs in mind, I dream of a 690 but slightly out of my budget I think and I’ve also heard about short service intervals on them, I’d be interested in your opinion on the general upkeep of a KTM vs something like DRZ or 650 which I see as (maybe naively) as a bit more bullet proof! I’m still young so haven’t had the experience of owning bikes for long periods of time.
    I’ll be having a nosey around the tent space too, thanks for that!
    Keep safe riding to all out there!
    #7
  8. Muzz67

    Muzz67 Unadventurous

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    Accom in Nelson if needed.....
    #8
  9. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    The KTM EXC bikes can vary by year a bit, but the 2007 & before RFS engined bikes can sometimes be found for reasonable money & road legal. More of a race machine than the DRZ but I've heard of many going past the 20K km mark with no major work, some DRZ's don't make it far past that. An excellent alternative to a DRZ400. The Yamaha WR series have also been available road legal here for ages so would be worth doing some research on if you've got your heart set on a more enduro capable machine.

    The KTM LC4 series are a good alternative to a DR650 - a bit taller & more vibey but better power & suspension. Reliability & maintenance requirements are much the same as a DR650. There are a few of the 640 Enduro models like mine around in NZ so keep an eye out. They need a cam bearing & water pump service at around 40K km so keep that in mind if looking at higher miles ones. Really good resources here on ADV in the thumpers section for the 640.

    Cheers
    Clint
    #9
  10. young1

    young1 Long timer

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    We are in New Plymouth, West Coast North Island, also on tent space list
    #10
  11. Crisis management

    Crisis management Latte riders FTW!

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    I will just chuck in a few comments....
    First, where are you going to, starting and ending where?
    I've had dr650, ktm lc4, ktm rfs and currently a 530 exc. Buy a dr 650 that is well set up and you will have a blast. You will get a good one for $4,000 and it will do all the adventure riding you need to. If you want trail riding then rent a bike for a day at Woodhill, Auckland and I will show you around.
    I'm Auckland based and can provide some assistance or advice...
    Cheers Iain
    #11
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  12. Ross_

    Ross_ Optimistic idiot

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    Sorry for taking so long getting back to this, things have been manic!

    Have been looking at bikes again recently though and have noticed 530 exc 2011 with 300 hours/16k km on TM, seems like an okay price at $6500, does that sound about right?
    Still debating this vs a dr650 or similar for a bit more comfort on longer runs/motorways?

    Thanks again for all your help everyone, really appreciate it
    #12
  13. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    I know nothing about ktms but the set up looks perfect for what you will be doing. The luggage means you dont have bring any and its not cheap so a significant part of the cost.
    Hopefully one of the orange brigade will chip in.

    Suggest you also join the AdventureRidingNZ Facebook group and enquire there. Theres a good chance someone will know the bike or maybe even the seller is there.

    Good luck
    #13
  14. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    Have a look at the lets talk thumpers thread on here. Some info on ktms there plus people you could pm for advice.
    #14
  15. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Broke Engine Supporter

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    If you are going down the 530 route then the 2011 is the best option. They have split gearbox/engine oil compartments so you need to keep an eye on the engine side of it as they doesn't hold a lot of oil. I fitted an oil cooler on mine which gave it more capacity for adv riding.

    Unless you are planning on doing a lot of technical riding I wouldn't go down that route, highway miles on 530 get a little tired after a few hours! Without a steering stabilizer the front end can get a little twitchy on long grave stretches. They are an enduro so there's also no cush hub on the rear wheel...not that that is a huge deal, just the drive train and countershaft can get a little worn on longer distance rides.

    For short day rides to 4wd or single tracks it's a great bike option for sure!
    IMG_3993.jpg
    #15
  16. Ross_

    Ross_ Optimistic idiot

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    Thanks again NF and oldbeer.
    I had a stern word with myself last night and I'm going to try and hunt down a dr650, after some more research on the 530 and similar enduros versus the DR, ive realised my personality not maintaining things properly is probably best suited to a more robust option. (although I know the two are related)
    It's not a personality trait I'm particularly proud of but it is reality! Haha.
    It was compounded with the warning that pinged up on my car this morning saying it was 8,000 miles overdue a service....
    I'm working on it, but for now, its reality.

    That was a bit of a rant. But thanks for the advice.
    Safe riding.
    #16
  17. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    Your thread title needs updating!! Let everyone know how you are getting on if you can.
    #17
  18. Ross_

    Ross_ Optimistic idiot

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    Hi everyone, Apologies for been so quiet on this, as the thread name change may suggest, I'm here in New Zealand and have a bike, against all your wise advice I've gone for a CRF250L, (UK idiot is in the title!) my reasoning for this was, it was a steal, and I'm impacient.
    Got it from Wellington, 900km on the clock and had already had its first service, the guys there helped me out with sorting insurance and all that and was in and out in a few hours!
    Had it a few days now and have been getting about the south of the North Island. Had some good fun going down to Corner Creek Campsite down Ocean Beach Rd.

    The past few days I've been headed up around the coast pretty slowly, had a look around Palliser Point and then up around White Rock Rd.

    Went out to Castlepoint beach and a little way down Mataikona Rd towards Pack Spur Rd, but I read Pack Spur Rd is private so didn't head up there too far.

    Headed up to Palmerston North today, had a little nosey down North Range Rd but as I was loaded up and alone, thought better of it and have added it to the list to tackle another day! After a a week of camping I was glad for a cheap motel to have a shower and a nice bed for the night.

    What's next? Not sure, I'll decide when I wake up, thinking of maybe heading to the South Island next week so might start heading back down towards Wellington, maybe along the other coast.
    Any suggestions as always are welcome! And if anyone's around and fancies a ride or beer/coffee give me a shout!

    I'll keep updating this as much as possible but without regular Internet access it might get a bit sporadic!

    Thanks for all your suggestions and info on everything so far and appreciate you all spending your time reading this!

    Also thanks oldbeer for all your help getting me this far! You're a true gent!

    Ride safe,
    #18
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  19. oldbeer

    oldbeer Grandadventurer

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    Mate, you're welcome. Glad to hear you are straight into it. Makes sense to head south from there, once you've ticked off all the local highlights. Make sure you leave some time for Northland though, its good too. Let me know when you get to Otago, I'll have lots of suggestions.

    I too baulked at North Range Road. I was on a fully loaded vstrom but not sure I would have been game to attempt it with full scuba gear, it looked a bit challenging.

    Heaps of great riding in that area, I'm no local but have a look at a loop from Pongaroa down Coast Road then right into Marainanga then right again back up Spur Road, fantastic bit of gravel with lots of elevation change. My favourite from my short time down there. I need to go back. Conoor, Towai were probably good but I couldnt see a thing cos of the fog when I rode it. Waihi Valley is a nice gravel road. Admirals Hill, many others. Hopefully some of the locals will chip in.
    Its difficult to fit them all in for sure.

    Lets see a piccy of your bike when you get some good interwebness??
    #19
  20. EVLED

    EVLED Bike riding nutter!

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    I'm in Palmy so happy to show you some roads around here if you're hanging around. I should have my little WR back together this weekend so a North Range Road excursion could easily be planned.
    #20