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Old 11-19-2011, 02:43 PM   #1
ktm950se OP
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Help me pick a thumper for my Russian ride!

Greetings,
Having recently seen the Russian off-road people 2011: Dirt Again report (HERE), and the video of the trip,

Offroadpeople 2011: Ural from grom1300 on Vimeo.



I decided to join the group for their trip in May 2012.
The issue now is, which bike to bring? What do you think? I could bring my KTM 950 Super Enduro, but riding the single track, muddy terrain would be difficult due to its weight and seat height. The Yamaha WR250 looks promising, but as I'll ship the bike from the US to Finland and then slab it to Moscow and then to the actual start of the trip, the motor might be strained. Another option, as suggested in the thread by Pate, was the KTM 690R, but recent threads here indicate there are FI/Fuel Pump issues. Certainly not something I want to deal with 1000km east of Moscow. The KTM 530/500 EXC series bikes would do well in the rough terrain, but would their minimal subframes, and lack of aftermarket pannier rack systems, handle the load I'd need to take? Also, do they have enough oil capacity to handle the trip without concern over daily oil changes, weekly valve adjustments and new pistons/rings every 100 hours?
Are the concerns with each of these machine's warranted? Is any one of them the bike you'd take for this trip, and if not, what bike would you take?

Thanks for your thoughts!

ktm950se

ktm950se screwed with this post 11-19-2011 at 02:57 PM
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:17 PM   #2
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A guy rode an R1 around the world as an adventure bike, because "it was the bike I had". The SE is a hell of a machine. Try it.

I saw an ADV990, an Africa Twin, a V-Strom and an HP2 in the vid. Your SE should be fine.

I also saw a bunch of air cooled singles in there. They looked like DR650s or maybe older XT600s. I would think a modern type KTM LC4 (Enduro, Adv, SXC) would be great. That would address your issues and a decent used one could be had fairly easily.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:49 PM   #3
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maybe a drz400? you'd better like water and mud by the looks of that video!
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:16 PM   #4
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Fantastic Video! What a great group of guys!
I don't envy the guys on the GS's and other heavy bikes ... clearly the WRONG choice, and IMHO that would include the KTM 950SE. But if you have money to burn and can waste a bike ... and yourself ... go for it.

The 690 is junk. I wouldn't touch it. I'd rather have a Chinese 200 than a 690 ... better chance of making it to the end.

I was very impressed by the guy riding the helmet Camera bike. I think it was a Suzuki DR200?? Not sure. I noticed he didn't fall much (3 times) and made it through some of the worst mud with little drama. Also, I didn't notice he was being left behind ... in fact he passed lots of other riders on bigger (faster bikes). HP won't help you in that muck .... light weight will save you along with good riding technique.

For that sort of riding I'd be doing a year of AMA east coast enduros before going. Good warm up for what you've got coming. Looks like even a 400cc bike might be too heavy. Simple, air cooled bikes are pretty much indestructible and should recover from severe under water voyages a bit better than something more complex.

The WR250R is a great choice IMO ... you'll have to travel a bit lighter than the others but you probably won't be getting submerged as much or falling off ... depending on your skills. Mud is tough.

A small bike is the only way I'd do that "adventure". Buying the bike in Finland would mean a $10K USD bike would be $40K USD there. (VAT and such) You could ship your bike for about $2500 ... then truck it (with riding buddies) to Russia to save wear and tear.

If I were paying I'd buy a used DR200 in Germany and ride there ... or put the bike on a train. This looks like a ride Colebatch should be leading ...
Good luck! Hope you get a dry Summer!
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:26 PM   #5
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Russia?

Take only the best!!!





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Old 11-19-2011, 11:35 PM   #6
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anyone else read the title of the thread too quickly and think he was looking to buy his new wife a bike?
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:36 AM   #7
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Dr350 or drz400 or dr650.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:51 AM   #8
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Being ex-SU myself I won't tell you all I think about bike choice :) but - why don't you ask Grom himself?
SE tank too small anyway.

My friend in Russia rode with them on DR800.

DR650 will be just fine I guess.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktm950se View Post
Greetings,
Having recently seen the Russian off-road people 2011: Dirt Again report (HERE), and the video of the trip,
I decided to join the group for their trip in May 2012.
The issue now is, which bike to bring? What do you think? I could bring my KTM 950 Super Enduro, but riding the single track, muddy terrain would be difficult due to its weight and seat height. The Yamaha WR250 looks promising, but as I'll ship the bike from the US to Finland and then slab it to Moscow and then to the actual start of the trip, the motor might be strained. Another option, as suggested in the thread by Pate, was the KTM 690R, but recent threads here indicate there are FI/Fuel Pump issues. Certainly not something I want to deal with 1000km east of Moscow. The KTM 530/500 EXC series bikes would do well in the rough terrain, but would their minimal subframes, and lack of aftermarket pannier rack systems, handle the load I'd need to take? Also, do they have enough oil capacity to handle the trip without concern over daily oil changes, weekly valve adjustments and new pistons/rings every 100 hours?
Are the concerns with each of these machine's warranted? Is any one of them the bike you'd take for this trip, and if not, what bike would you take?

Thanks for your thoughts!

ktm950se
Rebuilt DR350 with an oil cooler, or a DR650, then a few friends with identical bikes (fewer tools to carry). Strip unnecessary crap, pack light, and distribute the load better than most of the people in the video did. Think tank panniers, tankbag, front fender pack, and stashing tools/parts in nooks like the skid, under the seat, etc. 'Seemed there was way too much stuff piled onto most of those bikes. Worst-case, with an inexpensive bike like a DR, you could even have someone back home send out a replacement bike if you really got in a bind.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:55 AM   #10
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Djeesh, doesnt the video clearly show you that its NOT about the bike that you bring?

sheer persistance is what you need, and that will take any ofrroad/allroad along.

Had no issues with my lc8 adventure last year (solo st. petersburg to ural, north track) But now i absolutely HATE any track with mud covered tree logs on it. they even make roads out of tree logs in the direction you go there... recon its less bumpy for the truck's then logs in the width of the road.. but its NOT that good for a m/c
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:16 AM   #11
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As it was already said, if I were you, I would buy a DR 350 or maybe a KLX 250, WR 250, and I think also a CRF 250/450x (depending on yous skills) that are pretty good bikes and are much lighter than all the +600cc bikes shown in the video..

Be sure to pack everything well, take the tools that you are really going to need, and have fun!

Practise a little of enduro, at least do some touring on the bike loaded to know better where you are getting to..

Greetings!
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:18 AM   #12
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Here's the list of bikes I'd suggest you consider for such adventure:
Honda XR250/400
Suzuki DR200/250/350/DRZ400S/E
Yamaha TTR250/Serow 225
Apart from being quite light and low tech(=reliable) they are pretty common in Russia, hence a better chance of finding spares and consumables.
As a possibility, you can get one of those pretty cheap in Russia (check moto.auto.ru).
But I wouldn't suggest this as you can get a bike with internal damage and discover it in the worst possible moment.
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:39 PM   #13
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I would recommend an advanced, expensive offroad bike so that when it is stolen or breaks down you wont be able to do anything but cry because you sure won't get any help without rolling out the cash and lots of it.
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:52 PM   #14
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DR650SE unless you have to have something with a little sex appeal in which case a Husky TE630.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukegnarley View Post
anyone else read the title of the thread too quickly and think he was looking to buy his new wife a bike?


Great advice everyone! I think the common theme is to bring a lightweight, dependable, and mechanically simple bike. Agreed. This would suggest ruling out a FI bike, but the WR250R has been immune to FI/Fuel Pump problems from '09 on. The DRs are showing strong support, but I don't have much experience with them. Time to do some investigating...

Please keep your suggestions coming!!!

ktm950se
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