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Old 02-04-2007, 08:22 PM   #16
Solaros1
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One of Peter Egan's best ever stories was the tale of his camping trip to northern Wisconsin on a 50cc step through Honda - he was riding with a friend on a ten-speed bicycle and the speeds were pretty evenly matched. He said the friends powerbar consumption was greater than the gasoline the Honda used on the trip.

I met a guy on one of my trips to Europe who had toured most of the continent on a used $50 Mobylette 50cc moped - when it finally died somewhere in Spain after three months and several thousand miles he just leaned it against a wall and walked away from it. There's something to be said for that way of touring.
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Old 02-04-2007, 08:32 PM   #17
markjenn
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While the 250cc singles are a hoot, they're really not set up for touring very well, especially comfort and seating. I'd love to take a slower-speed backroads tour on something like a CB175 or perhaps an upright version of the small Ninja. Something reasonable comfortable, but nimble, preferably a small/smooth twin rather than a buzzy single.

These days, when I tour on my DL650, I constantly shake my head and wonder why I need more. But I haven't sold my FJR.

- Mark
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Old 02-04-2007, 09:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lagcam
... Hopefully bikes simmilar to those old street-legal dual purpose 70-250cc machines will make a comeback.
I wish we could get this in the US ... Yamaha ST225 Bronco....

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Old 02-05-2007, 12:44 AM   #19
endurotour
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its around other post's, but why not.. 05 ttr250, lots of nice stuff to help the fun level's on overland trips...
for TTR's see www.ttr.250com, there is a Yahoo group, Google TTR etc...
just about all the info is in there,
cheers al
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:56 AM   #20
steve gs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjenn
While the 250cc singles are a hoot, they're really not set up for touring very well, especially comfort and seating. I'd love to take a slower-speed backroads tour on something like a CB175 or perhaps an upright version of the small Ninja. Something reasonable comfortable, but nimble, preferably a small/smooth twin rather than a buzzy single.

These days, when I tour on my DL650, I constantly shake my head and wonder why I need more. But I haven't sold my FJR.

- Mark
Mark, I have kept my K bike too but it's days are numbered, see below. I do find my DR200SE comfortable for touring. Buzziness, occurs when an engine has to run a high revs. Properly setup as I have done with my 200 the engine just hums along at 4500-4800 with enough power to get the job done. It certainly does not cruise at 80 or even 60 but this type of touring does not race the clock. If the clock is your master you need a bigger bike.


Talking about setup; the trans is everything. The 200 comes up short because it is only a 5spd. I've learned to live with it's 5spd by changing the final. For a 250 Minimalist Touring (MT) rig you really need that 6th. Then, like pilots and marine guys (gals too) do, you find the rpm where the engine has it's sweet spot (with your touring load) and that's what you cruise at. The engine should run easy. Headwinds will require more rpm, you don't want to lug engine (rpm too low for conditions). If you want to adjust you can change your final drive ratio within common sense limits.


Also, if you are running at anything over 35mph check to see if your wheels are balanced, many from the factory are not.



I highly recommend the 250 Ninja for those that find it's 28 hp acceptable. Put on bar risers, change the final to a 15:41, and a reconfigured seat on that machine and it can do anything on surfaced roads.



Lagcam;

I'm in your Dad's situation; the new bikes are fantastic, so much better than in the past and are great for competition and woods blasting but the utility factor is well ... lacking. I'm interested in the (furure?)Aprilia Rally but know it won't work for me being too tall.

Smaller bikes are NOT about nostalgia for me, it's about real world practicality defined by me and not a marketing dept. Mine has been set by a 300lb bike weight limit, a tech level I can manage, and a seat height that is practical.


I'm sure you all have already been there but check out www.horizonsunlimited.com . While there check out Nigel Marx's (NZ) writings in the Suzuki section regarding the TS185 bike as a touring mount.

steve gs screwed with this post 02-05-2007 at 11:28 AM
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:33 AM   #21
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Someone made mention of cycling panniers on their minimalist touring bike . I suspect many of us here were at one time cyclists: I've got 8 in my garage... When my back deteriorated I switched to recumbents (great !) and when my knees turned to mush.......motorcycles. Now a victim of Multiple Bike Syndrome I'm working my way back down the displacement ladder...

back to cycling panniers....

Thats's a great idea. Reletively cheap, smaller than the RTW crates you see on big touring bikes, yet adequate for light touring when the wx is reasonable. Where's my Nashbar catalog ???

Coop
Kymco 150 (wife's but she lets me ride it...sometimes...)
soon-to-be DR200
KLR 650
VX800
too damn many bicycles
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:17 AM   #22
TheOtherBart
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I'm a grad student with a family, so disposable income is nonexistent. I hadn't had a bike in years, and being back on campus really gave me the itch again. I just happened to stumble onto a good deal on an XR250L so I gritted my teeth, pulled out the credit card, and made the deal. I rode it like it was for a season, then turned into a low-budget motard with some Bandit wheels and rattlecan paint.

The project now is to turn it into a mule for some 3-5 day camping trips. I fabbed up a luggage rack from scrap aluminum:



I wanted some hard cases, but again on the cheap. I found a sweet military surplus waterproof aluminum case that should make a good trunk box. I want it to mount and dismount quickly, so the plan is to make an aluminum tray the same size as the bottom of the box, with walls an inch or two high around the edges. I have some toolbox type latches laying around, so I'm thinking I can put the bigger part on the box and the smaller part on the tray. The tray will bolt to the luggage rack, then the box can go off and on just by flipping a few latches. I don't know if that description makes any sense, but I'm open to other suggestions. I'm also planning on putting some strap loops on the outside of the box so I can lash additional stuff outside of it, although the box is big enough that if I fill it I'll probably end up riding a perpetual wheelie.

I find the gearing on my bike to be too high for the typical 60 MPH max state road driving I do (no way I'm taking this little lightweight out on the highway). It's a six speed tranny and doesn't have enough power to pull sixth gear. The countershaft sprocket that was on it when I bought it is the smallest available and I haven't been able to come up with the $50 for a bigger rear sprocket, so for now I'm living with it.

I haven't camped since I was little, so this summer will be a learning experience. I got a 2-man tent and a sleeping bag for Christmas, I figure that plus a good supply of water, jerky, and trail mix should be enough to get me started. I'd like a stove, but again the money thing is an issue.

Getting a KLR is pretty high on the priority list for when I graduate, but for now I'm more than happy tooling around on my little 250. I'm building up to longer distances, and it seems like as long as I stop every hour or so to relieve the butt I should be able to go all day.

That's enougb rambling for me. I'm looking forward to hear everyone else weigh in on this one.
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:27 AM   #23
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Over at www.xt225.com we're working on Clarke to make a larger tanl for the Serow. As it is, I love to ride the crap outta mine but fuel range prevents me from getting very far back into desert areas.

So far, Clarke has said they'll produce a tank this year, but it woulsn't hurt to bug 'em a bit more .

Chip
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Old 02-05-2007, 10:55 AM   #24
puddlejumper
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Hi, everybody.
This thread is great!
I've been toying with the idea of a small touring machine for some time now.
I didn't know there were any other crazy people out there like me.
I like the xt225 and the tw200. I did the MSF course on the tw200.
In the tight figure eights, that thing will almost hover.

TheOtherBart, here's and idea for you on a cheap camping stove.
You need the following:
1 empty cat food can.
some cardboard.
1 box of canning wax.

cut the cardboard into a long strip with the width equal to the height of the inside of the can.

role the cardboard up so it fits snugly into the can.

melt the wax and pour slowly onto the cardboard so it soaks in. Continue pouring till the wax is just below the top of the cardboard.

The paper acts as a candle wick.
they usually burn for around 6 to 8 hours, are waterproof and take up little space.

BeSafe.
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Old 02-05-2007, 11:19 AM   #25
markjenn
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Slightly on topic, here's a cool photo of Robert Pirsig and his son Chris on their early 70's tour from the midwest out to the far west. The bike is a 305cc Superhawk.... not 250cc or less but close enough. I think these two captured the essence of what we're talking about here:



This tour was the basis for his "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" book.

- Mark
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:11 PM   #26
All4Fun
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Love the idea for the inexpensive stove! Such ingenuity. Just bought a DR650 and wish I'd looked at the smaller dualsport bikes. I suspect, for an older (63) guy, they might be more fun and definitely easier to handle. And when you think about it, a garage can hold more than one bike .... thanks for the thread.
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:37 PM   #27
Bake
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I will be trying out the KLX250 this year for some reasonably close camping trips, 400 miles roundtrip weekenders. The addition of an Alaskan Sheepskin D/S seat cover has helped the comfort level of the seat quite well. I use a Wolfman Enduro tankbag and a set of Aerostitch tank panniers as saddlebags. With a smallish duffle strapped to the rear rack. I lowered the bike 2" and fitted Kenda 50/50 D/S tires instead of the Dunlop knobbies, which I felt handled poorly for street use. A WER steering damper calms the twitchy front end, and helps stabilize the bike in the wind. Having the overdrive 6th gear begs the point that this little trailbike can handle trips, as long as 60-65 mph is going to work for you. That's still midrange on the powercurve pace. Most 2 lane blacktop roads are best suited for those speeds, and the bike is very capable on dirt roads.
I think this bike will do fine for lightweight enduro touring. If a person is +6 ft and +250 lbs, maybe not, but I'm ok on it.
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:45 PM   #28
steve gs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outwardbound
I suspect many of us here were at one time cyclists

back to cycling panniers....

That's a great idea. Reletively cheap, smaller than the RTW crates you see on big touring bikes, yet adequate for light touring when the wx is reasonable. Where's my Nashbar catalog ???

Yep, me too, and still ride a mtn and road bike to stay fit. Lot of crossover between cycle touring and MT. Still have my Kirtland tourpack panniers (ST's, I think) from 30 years ago but do prefer metal or plastics for panniers on the motorcycles. Some like the fabrics; whatever works for you is great! Still cycle about 2000 miles/year but that's about it. To read about some real cycling hardcores check out randonneuring at www.randonneursontario.ca. Comparing these guys to the riders of the big cycling tours is like comparing Isle of Man to Moto GP riders.

Yep, my DR200SE is my powered mountain bike; small enough to be easily manageable but big enough to get the job done. It's great to not have to be the engine at times.

Regarding my previous post; the DR200SE has a 3.5 gal tank and if I run in "cruise" mode I will go just about 300 miles before hitting reserve. With a normal touring load (about 80lbs) it will get about 100mpg. I can even pick it up by myself if it falls over or I auger it into the mud.


I do want to add this warning about the 200. It is a great bike but has short legs. Even with my 15:42 final I don't like to ride it over 50 mph (but have at times). Like a cyclist you have to share the road (other motorists do appreciate the courtesy and even will give a wave of thanks not just the Adv Rider salute) while riding certain MT bikes on the highway, the DR200SE happens to be one of them when the posted speeds are 55+. I think some of these MT bike are better suited for the more experienced while out on the highway. Managing higher speed traffic can be a handful at times and we don't want to see anyone hurt or scared to death so they wouldn't want to ride again. Back to point; I have not seen a redline figure for this engine but based on my riding experience it will perform the best and give the best service life cruising somewhere around 4800-5200 depending on load and conditions. For comparison my DR350SE has a redline of 9000 rpm and loves 5000 rpm, and my F650GSD hums along at the 3800 rpm mark.


All you Suzuki riders should be aware of Jesse at www.kientech.com. He has goodies for the DR's. Check out the extended pilot screw. For those of you still running factory carb settings and experiencing weather related idle variations the extended pilot screw will allow adjustments. I do believe this screw is available from other sources for this common Mikuni carb.


steve gs screwed with this post 02-05-2007 at 01:02 PM
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Old 02-05-2007, 04:49 PM   #29
lagcam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve gs
I highly recommend the 250 Ninja for those that find it's 28 hp acceptable. Put on bar risers, change the final to a 15:41, and a reconfigured seat on that machine and it can do anything on surfaced roads.
I've been thinking about replacing my ancient GT500 smoker with one of these teeny ninjas. It has about the same power and a whole lot less weight! It also would be much less offensive to people...

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Old 02-05-2007, 05:49 PM   #30
notarex
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Originally Posted by TheOtherBart
I'd like a stove, but again the money thing is an issue.
Introducing the pepsi can stove...google it...it's really neat
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