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Old 11-20-2010, 03:05 PM   #1
JimRTW OP
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TTR250 suitability - maximum load?

Hi all, new here (although have been viewing ride reports and dreaming for a couple of years!)

Does anyone know the max load capacity of a ttr250 - Im not so worried about the subframe as we will weld up a cycleracks/peli-pannier setup and strengthen the frame.

What does worry me is losing alot of mpg/safety/performance. Really we need to be getting 65-70mpg+ on highways (UK/imperial). And would like to be able to sit at 60/65mph without killing the bike.

I weigh 85kg/190lbs kitted up and all my gear/tent/extra fuel etc weighs about 65kg/140lbs = 150kg/330lbs (That inclues the panniers, spares, tools, water, rack, rider etc.

Will a ttr250 cope with 330lbs total load + fuel?

I've seen tw200s/serows/sherpas all kitted out with what appears to be a similar amount of gear - but it's difficult to get hold of any of those in the UK. TTRs are relatively common.

My real needs are reasonable reliability over 20k miles, 70 or so mpg (impreial/UK), 65mpg (tops) and the ability to haul 330lbs load.

Being 20 years old the low insurance/price of the ttr250 is also a big plus! - Just cant insure a tenere/f650 etc.

Thanks v much for your time.
TTR Jim
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:20 PM   #2
BikePilot
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The TTR will struggle to maintain 65mph into a headwind or up much of a hill with you and all your gear on it. Not a bad bike, just not real powerful. On the flat and without a headwind you should be able to cruise along at 65, but only just, without straining too much. You won't have much passing power left at that speed. Perhaps have a look at the WR250R - it offers quite a lot more performance for the same cc which may be benifical from an insurance perspective for you. Also, with fuel injection it may prove even more economical, though I think most any small bore will generally manage 60mpg in your gallons. For that matter, my 1250 bandit would typically yield that.

140lbs is an enormous amount of gear to carry with you. I've traveled for a month at a time on a 1250cc bike and had perhaps half that much weight at most. I think you may want to consider traveling much lighter, especially on a smaller bike. Just physically strapping that much to the little bike is going to be a challenge. It will be key to keep it as slim and aerodynamic as possible as the wind is what really gets these small bikes at speed on the freeway.

If you are particularly handy with a welder perhaps buy a busted up old 250 and figure a way to slip a 650cc lump in there - perhaps even the 650 twin from the new kawasakis (I'm guessing insurance goes by the cc the bike originally had).

I have an older DR250SE which is nearly the same as the TTR in spec, design and power. I get anywhere from 50-75mpg (us gallons) on the bike. I prefer not to cruise more than 60mph for extended periods as nothing about the bike is really suited to it (power or ergonomics).
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:54 PM   #3
JimRTW OP
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Hi, thanks for the advice - much appreicated.

Realistically Im not looking to go fast, I just want the ability to go 60/65 incase I need to. 90% of the time its going to be backroads/tracks/b-roads so not much highway use anyway.

To run you through the weight:

140lbs=

10lbs = 2x peli cases
25lbs = cycleracks rack/pannier mount
3lbs = tent
20lbs = backpack/clothes/basic gear/maps/ground mat etc
10lbs = security chain
10lbs = 4L spare water
15lbs =tools
15lbs = spares/tubes
20lbs = larger tank/spare fuel.

+ 190lbs = me+helmet/boots etc

(Will be travelling for approx 6-8 months and camping/couchsurfing so can't skimp on camping gear etc)

It may work out lighter than that, but thats a figure based on weighing up what I have sitting here/weights off the net.

wr250r is an option, along with a few other 250s but I'm very much working on a budget here and they are a good 1000GBP more than a similar spec/mileage ttr.

I'm not really concerned about performance/comfort - more just cost, I can afford to go a bit slower/have a day off from riding - but can't really afford to lose too much mpg/reliability to the weight as budget is already fairly stretched!

Thanks again
Jim
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:21 PM   #4
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According to the manual for the blue TTR250 the maximum load is 90Kg for 'rider, cargo and accessories'. No doubt this is on the conservative side but I've no idea what the margin is.

Edited to add - 90Kg = 198Lbs = You plus security chain
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:44 PM   #5
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Fair enough re the weight. Still seems like a lot of stuff to me, but you'll be gone a while.

I think you'll be able to hit 65mph with all that on the TTR, but only if its not a big hill and you haven't got a major headwind.

You might have a look at a DR350SE - its a very similar type of bike to the TTR - simple, air cooled four stroke and would give you just a bit of extra power should you need it. It also has an exceptionally sturdy steel frame that should be up to the task easily. A 98 or 99 model would be ideal. They are quite overbuilt/reliable, but are getting older so its critical to find one that's been somewhat cared for.

On any bike you get a stiffer rear spring would be well worth the money (they are about $110 USD). You might also consider a larger front brake rotor as any of the small bikes will struggle a bit to slow that much weight should you need to stop in a hurry from speed. They aren't bad, just a bit weak at speed.

I would also spend the money on sturdy tires. I suspect that the low load rating for the ttr is primarily down to its standard tires (just guessing though). Something like the 90/90/21 pirelli scorpion for the front would be a good choice (its oem on the ktm 990) as it will fit, is very good on the road and extremely durable/strong. I've got one on my little DR in fact. 6k+ miles on it and almost no wear so far. The rear from the 990 won't fit (too wide), but the ~120 or 130 width is still plenty durable and up to the task of toting that much weight.

Here's my DR250SE in its touring configuration (FYI the DR350 and 250 are the same except for bore/stroke)


If you get a chance, post up a picture of the type of TTR you are thinking of - we didn't have them here 30yrs ago, but we did have an XT250 which is probably similar.



Is insurance more an age or displacement thing? If its mostly age it would be worth considering an older, large displacement bike. A bone stock XR650L will do 60mpg (us) if you don't flogg it too hard and I suspect you'd get similar from an old XT500 or XL500-600 as well.
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BikePilot screwed with this post 11-20-2010 at 04:56 PM
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:51 PM   #6
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I have owned a couple of TTR's and they are a great woods bike but not really for what you are looking at with those speeds, weight and fuel economy.
In my opinion, you would be better off looking for a DRZ400 or even an XR400. Both of these should suit your needs.

Cheers
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:24 PM   #7
JimRTW OP
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Hi,

Insurance over here is both a displacement and age thing. The DRZ400/xr400 is an option, they just dont seem to get the mpg of the ttr (which over 20,000 miles = lots of money).

The speed comment was really more down to just wanting 60mpg as an option if it was needed to keep with the flow of traffic. Most of the riding will be 30mph I'd guess - forest roads/mountain passes/backroads etc.

But I get where you are coming from - maybe it's time to have a look at the 400/650 bikes. One thing that really appealed to me is the ease of fixing/maintaining the ttrs which you tent to lose a bit as the capacity increases.

Thanks
Jim
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:53 PM   #8
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Ease of servicing is pretty much the same for a general type of bike - an XR650L or DR650 will be no harder to service than a TTR or DR250 - all air cooled four strokes with screw-and-locknut valve adjustment. The DRZ400 offers a bit more performance, but is a lot more complex with liquid cooling and shim under bucket valves. It also has only a 5spd gearbox. I prefer the 350 for road use. The 400's extra chassis stiffness is nice if you really hammer it off road.

The WR250R is very complex, but needs very little work (valve adjustments are very infrequent).

I really think the DR350SE might be just right for you though. Have a look and see what you think. The 350 still has a 6spd gearbox and doesn't loose out too much to the 650s on the road. It also has a stronger stator than most and will run extra lights and heated gear within reason.

Also note that the 650's are pretty economical if left stock and not flogged too hard. At 65mph I think you'd use no more fuel on a bone stock XR650L than a TTR250 because you'd have to flog the 250 to maintain speed. The DR650SE is a bit more road focused and a very nice bike, but stock for stock will use a touch more fuel than the XR650L.

The old XT350 is a great machine for this sort of thing as well, but does have shim under bucket valves which are a lot more work to service. Thankfully it needs servicing very rarely, so if it was all set before you left, it'd likely be just fine after your 20k mile trip provided you don't spend the bulk of your trip on the rev limiter:) The DR350's chassis is a bit nicer though so given the choice I'd take the DR.

Anyway, don't stress over bike choice too much. For the slower speed stuff the small bore thumpers will be efficient, fun and capable. Just make sure the bike is in good nick before you start your trip.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:15 AM   #9
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The TTR250 is a great little bike if your looking for low tech, reliability and value for your dollar( or pound ) for trail work or off the beaten track adventure riding but it's not going to be good for long stints at 55mph. If your riding it on the throttle stop all the time it will use more fuel than a 650 aircooled thumper.

Here's a pic of a little project I was working on, YZ forks,22ltr tank,pipe,luggage racks etc. The bike will carry luggage offroad quite well as the steel subframe is strong and the stock rear shock is pretty good.
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Old 11-21-2010, 02:44 AM   #10
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The TTR sounds like a good choice for you, go for it. I have a WR250R and for the type of trip you describe it would be perfect - the ONLY time I ever wish I had a bit more power is riding into strong headwinds and overtaking at 70mph+ but if 90% of your time is not going to be on main roads as you say then I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Where are you going?
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:13 AM   #11
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my backpack and i weigh in at 130kg ready to ride.. granted, its not the quickest thing up decent hills (usually back to 4th) and it doesnt have much in reserve for passing at anything over 90km.h but it will sit fine on 100km.h all day if required.. fuel range is a bit shit tho, i average 22km/L, down to 18km/L when sitting on the throttle stop (doing 125-130 constantly)
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:31 AM   #12
JimRTW OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richzrx12
The TTR sounds like a good choice for you, go for it. I have a WR250R and for the type of trip you describe it would be perfect - the ONLY time I ever wish I had a bit more power is riding into strong headwinds and overtaking at 70mph+ but if 90% of your time is not going to be on main roads as you say then I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Where are you going?
Plan is a bit "point and shoot" at the moment. But down through alps/dolomites - morocco - sicily - italy - switzerland - greece - balkans (albania/croatia/bosnia/romania) - ukraine - poland - germany - scandanavia - scotland - home -(Obviously not quite as directly as that ). (Only around 90 miles per day, and a good week or so stop at halfway to give the bike a complete rebuild at a mates house in croatia)

I'm not looking to go fast really - dirt roads across morocco are more my thing than fast tarmac - I just dont want to be holding up traffic on a-roads too much during the breif time I'll be using them.

Thanks for the advice about the other options - the dr350s are almost non-existent over here and when they do come upforsale they have 15k miles on the clock already. a sub 5k mileage 2004/5 ttr250 is much easier to find.

V8R - 130kg sounds acheivable - My weights do include a full petrol tank and 5L of water which I'm not going to need all the time in France - only places like morocco. I could get the weight down to 130kg I think

Cheers, Jim
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:36 AM   #13
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Jim .

I have a 06 TT250R, it will pull 70mph. on motorway in adventure trim, but as LC8TY said consumtion will suffer when chasing at full throttle.



Extract from owners manual (sorry AndyE) states :-
Loading - The total weight of the operator, passenger, and cargo must not exceed the maximum load limit of 180.0 kg (397 lb).

Jim, be aware that some Insurance companies in the UK do not insure the TT250R because early on it was a grey import, but in 04-05 was officialy imported.

Alec
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:02 AM   #14
JimRTW OP
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Went out and pretty comprehensively weighed my luggage/gear/myself today and got to about 115kg but ontop of that there would be 5kg of water, 5kg of extra fuel (on the long haul sections) and "x" kg of rack/welding to the rear end. But I would hope to be around the 130kg mark fully loaded up. So a total weight of 135kg/295lbs tops (I hope).

I did run a couple of quotes and had no probs with the later 2003+ model ttrs - as you say, think only the older models were imported unofficially.

Can't think Im going to need to go 70mph much (aiming to keep off the motorways and stick to backroads/tracks as much as possible). It's inevitable that I'll have to use some 60 limit roads and wouldnt want to be so slow that I'm getting constantly overtaken or killing the bike. But most of the trip would be more like 35-45mph Id guess.

Drz400 has too much to go wrong/too expensive, newer 650s (f650/tenere) are out of my price range, older 650s are expensive to insure. Other options I guess are the crf230l, dr350 (if I could find one) xt225, kawasaki sherpa - but all are much harder to find than the ttr250 and lack the kickstart.

Thanks
Jim

PS - Alec, what sort of weight is all the gear on the back of your bike in that pic (looks a similar quanitity to mine) and if you dont mind me asking, approx how much do you weigh - and what sort of mpg do you get riding ""sensibly" on UK roads?
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livotlout

Extract from owners manual (sorry AndyE) states :-
Loading - The total weight of the operator, passenger, and cargo must not exceed the maximum load limit of 180.0 kg (397 lb).


Alec
Interesting, I don't dispute what you're saying but I have a PDF version of the 2002 US owners manual which definitely gives the value I stated (I used to have a TTR250 Raid which didn't come with a manual).
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