|07-23-2009, 08:36 AM||#1|
The most suave of stooges
Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Fort Lauderdale
The Small Adventure Motorcycle
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.
|07-23-2009, 09:28 AM||#2|
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: 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 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....
2006 DL1000K6...The fast dark red one...
2005 XR650L...latest addition
2005 TW200...wife's bike
1977 CT90...an original adventure bike
|07-23-2009, 09:49 AM||#3|
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: 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.
03 Aprilia Caponord 06 Buell XB12X
05 XR650R 05 WR450F 87 T-dub
|07-23-2009, 08:44 PM||#5|
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Lat: N 90°00'00" Long: N/A
A 350cc TW would make it a bike I would have trouble resisting 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
L 51.01.900 / L W 114.05.900
"That road less traveled is a toll road, and sometimes the charge is more expensive than we ever expected. Most of the time, it's a one way road. Make the decision, hope for the best, and start traveling. Carry lots of coins." PecosBill
Pick good friends and you'll never be lacking Family Me
|07-23-2009, 09:02 PM||#7|
Do Epic Shit
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: 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.
|07-23-2009, 11:52 PM||#8|
Grumpy Young Man
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Spacecoaster FL
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.
|07-24-2009, 12:28 AM||#9|
Joined: Apr 2006
On the money!!
Couldn't agree 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...
|07-24-2009, 06:55 AM||#10|
Big red dog
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: 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!).
14 R1200GS Adventure
|07-24-2009, 02:58 PM||#14|
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: S.E. Pennsylvania (Reading)
I'll also give a nod to smaller bikes............
........no 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.
|07-24-2009, 08:15 PM||#15|
sittin and breathin
Joined: May 2007
Location: In Pisgah
I like DR350's (obviously! ), 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
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