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Old 12-26-2012, 08:43 AM   #16
Reposado1800
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A girl I know rode a bicycle around the world on a group ride. She asked what motorcycle to get. For her lack of mechanical knowledge, the XT250 is perfect. A literal anvil. I have a WR250X and it is just a level higher in complication. But! It will run heated gear and that alone is more than worth the added complexity for most.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:18 AM   #17
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I know my wr250r wouldn't be very good for a RTW trip for a few reasons.

In it's stock form it's fuel capacity will be a serious hinderence... the stock tank will last you maybe 100 miles, can you guarantee a gas station every 100 miles?

What about the long highway portions? Getting battered by the wind and such... no wind screen and a light bike that wouldn't be fun...

Just my 2 cents I'd probably go for a 650...
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:12 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Gryphon12 View Post
As another start, try this thread below, and then search using the string above on the the KLX and the Chinese 250s to fill in the holes. This should save you a lot of reinventing the wheel on this question.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=605104
hey thanks for that! I'm actually on that thread (starting around page 4) ... and followed Big Al through his whole ride. I sold them some parts for their DR650's. Big AL is like 6'7" tall ... so it wasn't long before he wisely ruled out the 250's he was considering. The KLR was in the mix to for him ... but he ended up with the DR650 and if not for his three major crashes ... it would have been a relatively trouble free ride on the DR.

But those guys didn't do the kind of exploring I'd like to do on my next trip.
But they had a GREAT time nonetheless!

Cheers!
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Valimagdon View Post
I see what you did there. You're looking for permission/a blessing to ride Chinese. I don't think you're going to find it here.
You can take your chances with a Chinese bike, maybe find one that won't destroy itself on you. Try to go RTW with it, have electrics fail (or not), engine blow up (or not), or any of a myriad of poor-quality parts issues. You can do all that, and it still won't repair the Chinese bike reputation.
Personally, (and I speak from a position of former owner of Chinese and from working on them @ a couple motorcycle shops) I would never trust a Chinese bike to take me cross-country, much less RTW. Throw the rigors of DS riding in, and it's a definite no-go for me.

And no, obviously not all Chinese machines are absolute crap. There's always someone with a story about their/a buddy's Chinese knock-off bike with 100,000 miles and no issues. But a RTW adventure is not where I want to find out if my bike is a diamond in the rough, or tends to follow the norm.

Now, someone's going to say "hey the motor for your Sertao was built in China". I also have it from personal experience wrenching and working at those motorcycle shops that "Chinese-built" is not the same as "made-in-China-with-Foreign-overseers-running-the-plant". "Chinese-built" tends to mean built with stolen plans, crap steel/aluminum, cheap electrics and plastics, and with out-of-spec machines. "made-in-China-with-Foreign-overseers-running-the-plant" tends to mean a solid product, as in the case of everything made in China that doesn't suck (motorcycles, electronics, etc.)

Ride what you wish. One of the nice things about life is we get to learn from our experiences and mistakes. But my advice is to suck it up, shell out the $$ for a name-brand bike, and ride w/o worry.
Thanks for your comments! Good to hear of your hands on experience with the Chinese products. I've never owned or worked on one. I've ridden in Mexico and Central America many times, traveled S. America in the 70's.

My hope was rather than riding down, I'd fly into Colombia ... (or somewhere?)... buy a cheap Chinese machine and go. I wouldn't take it RTW, but rather use it for that continent and then sell it off after. But does not sound promising. I left unreliable bikes behind with my last BMW.

The Chinese situation is a complex political conundrum ... and you've described it well. Big difference to BMW producing in China, injecting hundreds of millions into new factories, with expert engineers to guide it all. Compared to the hundreds of "get rich quick" outfits popping up everywhere, producing crap bikes for consumption at the 7/11 and local gas stations. I get it.

But I also remember early days of Japanese bikes. Honda specifically; I was just a kid ... but remember well the constant bashing and racially motivated slurs flung by the "Old Guys" regarding "Made In Japan".

I grew up in West L.A., about a mile from Honda's original USA headquarters. But the Honda 50 I bought in around 1962 was not my first bike. I had a Triumph Tiger Cub before and ... and my daily rider was a nice Vespa 150. I was 13, rode without a license for over 2 years. After those two bikes as introduction ... the Honda 50 was a revelation. And the rest is history. The "Old Guys" choked on their hatred and went back to trying to keep their old, leaky HD's and Indians running.

I'd love to hear from someone who's actually looked closely at the Chinese imports in S. America and has a clue about motorcycles. I'm thinking in near future one or two of the dozens of brands may step up and start making quality machines. Dreaming? Maybe ... but this world is moving pretty fast.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shep546 View Post
I know my wr250r wouldn't be very good for a RTW trip for a few reasons.

In it's stock form it's fuel capacity will be a serious hinderence... the stock tank will last you maybe 100 miles, can you guarantee a gas station every 100 miles?

What about the long highway portions? Getting battered by the wind and such... no wind screen and a light bike that wouldn't be fun...

Just my 2 cents I'd probably go for a 650...
Why are you still running a stock tank? It is probably pretty rusty by now. No corrosion protection at all in there. IMS 3.1 fits like stock and no rust.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:27 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reposado1800 View Post
Why are you still running a stock tank? It is probably pretty rusty by now. No corrosion protection at all in there. IMS 3.1 fits like stock and no rust.
I fill it up after every time I ride and never go on long trips so I have no need for a big tank myself.

I can assure you there is no rust inside of it.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:28 PM   #22
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The only reason I see not to get a WR is size or budgetI It is a tall bike and will set you back moneywise more than the others. Performance wise and aftermarket support is unmatched in the 250 class. I wouldn't touch a Chinese bike with a ten foot pole for extended travel. You could rack up 30,000 miles on the WR and it would be still worth at least a couple grand if not more and add to the value your farckles which you could sell seperatlely for more. You would be on your third Chinese bike and including all the repairs would probably have spent more bank even if you shipped to a country or two. Some of the WRs I see on the forums are up around 40,000 miles with nary a problem. The stator at 350 watts will allow you to carry less gear if you are headed into colder climates. If you can keep your load down to 50 or 60 lbs you probably wouldn't suffer much of a load subtraction to performance. It takes a small amount of tools to maintain properly which saves weight. People always site the performance of a 250 as a hinderance when considering long rides but as you probably know once off the interstate a smaller bike has many more pluses. People say it takes a high octane gas but if you go to the WR threads everybody that owns one says 87 is fine. If you are going to a place where the gas may be sketchy buy a couple of bottles of booster. The world is not as primitive as a lot of Americans think and it is relativly easy with a smigeon of anticipation to obtain what you need. Another thing I keep reading is outside the US a 17 inch tire is hard to find. Correct me if I am wrong but don't alot of the 125's and 250's use 17 inch rears and that is all you see in Latin America so whether you have a R or a X finding tires for a 250 would be a piece of cake. Excuse the long rant here but I have some down time this morning.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:36 PM   #23
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I was disappointed by my WR's mpg. With a corrected odometer I was only getting 47 mpg with virtually no load other than myself. Granted I had a full aftermarket exhaust and fuel programmer. My lightly modded DRZ400 got around 60 mpg and with the 4 gallon Clark tank it had an incredible range, was quieter, and had more torque. Lots of extended ride reports on the DRZ....

If it were me, a DR650 or KLR would be at the top of the list. Simple, good mpg, easily lowered if needed, and ample power for loaded cruising. Wringing out a 250 all day adds to the fatigue, and that is just on my typical 4-5 hour day trip. The 400 can be set up well too but isn't quite as versatile as the 650s.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:44 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Kawidad View Post
A good buddy of mine owns a small indy motorcycle repair shop. He is a top notch mechanic, but is very picky with the results, and as such, is very picky with what bikes he choses to repair or not. He will not do anything more than tire replacements on Chinese products because he tried to work on them, but found them all to be so poorly made he couldn't guarantee the results.

Granted, he didn't try every brand, but did enough of them and looked over enough (he carefully screens the bikes before he agrees to work on them because he's worried about his reputation) to know he won't really touch them.
EXACTLY! like I said above if you are not tall enough or have the bank for a WR you should settle on another Japenese 250. I just think the WR is the best IMHO. I am really liking the X with the 244 knobbies. Check out the WR forum X tire threads Sweet!
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:55 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Gundy View Post
I was disappointed by my WR's mpg. With a corrected odometer I was only getting 47 mpg with virtually no load other than myself. Granted I had a full aftermarket exhaust and fuel programmer. My lightly modded DRZ400 got around 60 mpg and with the 4 gallon Clark tank it had an incredible range, was quieter, and had more torque. Lots of extended ride reports on the DRZ....

If it were me, a DR650 or KLR would be at the top of the list. Simple, good mpg, easily lowered if needed, and ample power for loaded cruising. Wringing out a 250 all day adds to the fatigue, and that is just on my typical 4-5 hour day trip. The 400 can be set up well too but isn't quite as versatile as the 650s.
Dude when outside of the US and in the so called Thirdworld you are not going to be wringing the bike out all day. Speeds are going to be somewhat slower and it is just a lot safer to take it easy and enjoy the scenery.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:42 PM   #26
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Just a vote for the KLX

I bought a 2012 KLX250S on March 31, it now has 11xxx miles on it. It's been through mud, streams, rain, winter salt, and thrown down many times in the rocks. It's like a Timex, takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
There are good aftermarket parts available to protect the bike and for racks as well.
With some good prep on the bike, it would be stone cold reliable. Mine started this morning in 0F.
My only trouble has been clogged jets, so I added a filter between tank and carb. Been good ever since.
I'm riding studded tires for the winter. It's my daily commuter and trail bike.
It's always gotten me home or to the next town.
It definitely needs a bigger tank for adventure riding though and maybe a comfier seat.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:42 PM   #27
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If you are just riding around South America you could choose one of the small (possibly Chinese made) bikes that are popular there, parts will be available and people will know how to fix them.

I've actually been having great fun riding my wife's 125 cc Chinese bike over Xmas but I wouldn't ride that RTW.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:49 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by O'B View Post
The only reason I see not to get a WR is size or budgetI It is a tall bike and will set you back moneywise more than the others. Performance wise and aftermarket support is unmatched in the 250 class. I wouldn't touch a Chinese bike with a ten foot pole for extended travel. You could rack up 30,000 miles on the WR and it would be still worth at least a couple grand if not more and add to the value your farckles which you could sell seperatlely for more. You would be on your third Chinese bike and including all the repairs would probably have spent more bank even if you shipped to a country or two. Some of the WRs I see on the forums are up around 40,000 miles with nary a problem. The stator at 350 watts will allow you to carry less gear if you are headed into colder climates. If you can keep your load down to 50 or 60 lbs you probably wouldn't suffer much of a load subtraction to performance. It takes a small amount of tools to maintain properly which saves weight. People always site the performance of a 250 as a hinderance when considering long rides but as you probably know once off the interstate a smaller bike has many more pluses. People say it takes a high octane gas but if you go to the WR threads everybody that owns one says 87 is fine. If you are going to a place where the gas may be sketchy buy a couple of bottles of booster. The world is not as primitive as a lot of Americans think and it is relativly easy with a smigeon of anticipation to obtain what you need. Another thing I keep reading is outside the US a 17 inch tire is hard to find. Correct me if I am wrong but don't alot of the 125's and 250's use 17 inch rears and that is all you see in Latin America so whether you have a R or a X finding tires for a 250 would be a piece of cake. Excuse the long rant here but I have some down time this morning.
Some good points in there!
Plus one on keeping the load light. This is a constant struggle and I'm forever editing my gear/tools/clothing doo dads. Given how small and narrow the WR and KLX are ... you don't have much choice.

I've heard of several hi mileage WR's but also heard of some engine problems when reading through the BIG WR250R thread. They are NOT perfect. The KLX? Have not heard of any serious probs but have not read as much. Also, I had a KLX to ride for a couple months. Felt gutless at first ... but so did my 125's in Thailand. After a week ... you adapt and all is OK!

True about fuel in S. America ... larger towns higher octane is sometimes available but $$$$ in certain countries. Good point on tires ... 17's are everywhere. I thought the WR used an 18" rear? 18" are tough to find according to recent travelers reports I've read.

For those worrying about lack of highway cruising speed or doing long distance, well once you ride one these little monsters for a while, you sort of get used to it.

I do have some experience on a variety of small bikes. I rode all over Northern Thailand and Cambodia on 125's on two 2 week trips. Also rode my XR250R and WR250F around Baja on 15 day rides. Went as far South as Mulege' on those rides. The WR was better off road ... the little XR with its wide ratio box, was quite good on highway. Mind you, we trucked these bikes down to Mexico ... then rode unescorted from there for two weeks. I also rode a step through Honda 50 across Guatemala and to El Salvador when I lived there in the 70's. You just have to watch your mirrors and STAY OUT OF THE WAY! Heavy rain was my biggest problem. Man, it hurts with open face helmet.

So I think I could adapt to the tiddlers. And on slick, muddy, rutted dirt roads in pouring rain ... I'll take the 250 over my DR650 every time!
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:11 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by michael1968 View Post
If you are just riding around South America you could choose one of the small (possibly Chinese made) bikes that are popular there, parts will be available and people will know how to fix them.

I've actually been having great fun riding my wife's 125 cc Chinese bike over Xmas but I wouldn't ride that RTW.
From what I have seen in Brazil and CR the Chinese bikes are not popular they are an affordable alternative (cheap). As soon as they are able to afford it believe me a rider would upgrade to a 250 honda in a minute.

O'B screwed with this post 12-26-2012 at 07:20 PM
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:20 PM   #30
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!7 or 18 inch for a 250 should be no problem in latin America. When I was in CR this Oct I noticed a very visiable number of super moto riders on tricked out 250's in San Jose. I also noticed a lot of them had mufflers like a Zard cross on said 250's. There must be a custom exhaust fabricator somewhere or some company makes them. I have only seen them on Triumph Scramblers before.
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