Solo touring and off road (e.g. tet), small ADV bike suggestions

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Re: Solo touring and off road (e.g. tet), small ADV bike suggestions

Post by Paul_C » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:45 am

Half of my trip in 2017 was done with a friend on a X-COUNTRY. Well suited to the trails. Perhaps a bit heavy but he managed fine. It did have a few modifications though, larger tank, uprated suspension and rear subframe I think.
You can catch sight of it a few times here.
Just along for the ride.
R1200GSA. CCM450. Moto Guzzi LeMans II.

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Re: Solo touring and off road (e.g. tet), small ADV bike suggestions

Post by Crossrutted » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:44 pm

Thedktor wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:12 am

For me the only thing new available that is both light enough and has enough go is the Husky 701/KTM 690, otherwise I would go secondhand 400/450 to at least get something that is fun to ride :)
You should also consider the SWM RS 650 (Husky TE 630). As good as the KTM LC4's, if not better. Softer engine, better g'box ratios and adequate suspension.

(the usual suspects will soon pop up to tell you how badly the TE630 was built :roll: however the SWM build standard is equal to KTM - except the stickers!)

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Re: Solo touring and off road (e.g. tet), small ADV bike suggestions

Post by scoobydidler » Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:20 pm

rbailey wrote:
tempesc wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:09 pm
Looking at your list i’ve taken an XT660z solo through Africa and could pick it up.....just.

I’ve also done a bunch of trails on it and it’s pretty good. I like it as a travel bike.

That said, if I wanted a trail riding bike I could travel a bit with (rather than a travel bike i could trail ride a bit) i’d definitely go lighter.

On the ‘use your AT’ suggestion I’d be in the ‘not for trail riding’ unless you are riding legend camp. I rode a trial recently where a really good rider was riding one. Here are a couple of clips - the really good rider getting the AT up the hill, and my (average rider) mate getting a proper dirt bike up it. Just look at the front end of the AT - sooner him than me!!

I’d definitely try the CRF250 Rally first to see if it is sufficient for your needs.

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Great post, thanks tempesc,

a really interesting comparison seeing a CRF250 rally (which I have not ridden) doing the same hill as an AT (which I know well). Even taking the riders skill into account, it is interesting to see the relative ease of Sheparding the Rally up the hill, compared to the AT.

The two bikes you have listed (Rally, and Tenere) are toward the top of my mental (pre test ride) list. And I like your distinction between a travel bike for some trails, and a trail bike for some travel. The tenere does worry my a little off road, that being heavier I suspect I could end up in trouble more quickly on it, but for covering the miles, I suspect it would be great. The Rally the opposite... Would be happy off road, but do worry a little about covering miles on it... Although I know many do, they just take a more relaxed approach to covering the distance I guess.

When I started this thread, I was thinking of another bike to sit in the garage alongside my AT, but the more I think about it, whatever I pick now, will probably replace it.

I came from a Tenere which I really liked. Did loads of uk and some European long range trailriding. It worked great and caused me very few issues. Generally rode in a group so you'll always accept help to lift it up even if you could manage yourself.

I'm now on a 250 rally which i think is brilliant. From the very early days I'd come to the conclusion that there was very little difference between the two surprisingly.

Despite the 20hp deficit there isn't that much difference in cruising speed, especially when the Ten was geared down to make it more usable off road.

I don't find it makes any noticable difference to the rally whether its fully loaded or not, it does what it does at the speed it does it. I did a 3000m trip last summer on the french tet and the rally was every bit as good and every bit as bad as the Ten would've been if you see what i mean?
Something about the rally which wasn't true of the Ten. The longer I've owned it the more i like it and that's key for me.
The little rally is getting popular in our crew and i think the other lads understand why now Image

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dave h
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Re: Solo touring and off road (e.g. tet), small ADV bike suggestions

Post by dave h » Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:27 pm

i'm trying to build one ,[not sure how successfully it may be]
2005 rmz 250 suspension wheels etc ,
2004 kxf steel frame,
r3 321cc twin cylinder engine
bmw 650 rear tank
im just ruffing it together at the moment [work always gets in the way]
IMG_20190120_161412.jpg (149.08 KiB) Viewed 918 times

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Re: Solo touring and off road (e.g. tet), small ADV bike suggestions

Post by minkyhead » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:39 am

that is a awsome concept 37hp r3 engine in a ...robocop chassis ..ace ...should be in the mag along with all the other builds that are out there ..reading another test about the latest tiger gs850 or whatever with a increase in power of 8 percent is not going to compare imho
whats the wether forcast ..wheres me map

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Re: Solo touring and off road (e.g. tet), small ADV bike suggestions

Post by bikenav » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:52 am

Agree 100% with Minky's comment above would really like to see how this evolves more pics and show us how pans out pleeeese.

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Re: Solo touring and off road (e.g. tet), small ADV bike suggestions

Post by rbailey » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:51 am

OK, so I tested the Himalayan on Saturday. Only a short 8-mile loop (was a new bike, not a demo), so limited time. This is what I learnt…

The good bits…

1. The engine has reasonable mid-range torque, and pulls ok, and in a usable way. On short trip, only got to 65, but not too vibey at that speed, so could cruise at that.
2. The suspension seems of a reasonable quality… Less travel that the more dirt-oriented bikes, but also a little firmer. Feel it would be a reasonable balance between on-road and off.
3. Loads of add-ons at dealer: thicker bash plates, luggage options, hand-guards etc.
4. Build quality seemed good, especially on a bike of that price point.
5. Can imagine saddle would be fine for longer rides.

Not so good bits

1. The bike seemed quite small in its overall dimensions. I am smack on 6 ft tall, and I could not really sit 100% comfortable (felt better as ride went on mind). Two issues… first, my backside kept hitting the lip of the passenger seat, so had to cramp forward a little to avoid that. Second, the recesses in the side of the tank where you expect your knees to fit are not quite long enough for my legs, so my knees were resting on the edge of the tank recesses, rather than in the recesses. If I were 5’ 10’’ or less, I think it may had fitted me better.
2. The front break…. Almost felt like there was not one fitted. The front break on my youngest daughters trike has more bite. The dealer did say it’s a common complaint, and they have better pads they put in for customers – not sure how much difference that would make.

Summary…. Great bike at that price and I think it would be a decent bike for someone who genuinely wants to travel. I guess it could work for me, if got different seat maybe and sorted break.

I have a test ride on the Honda CRF 250 Rally, which I have sat on before, and I know fits me well in terms of size. Biggest test will be how it handles on road and what it will cruise at.

I have started a new thread about the best mods / accessories for the CRF250 Rally for my type of riding at the following location. ... 23&t=48023 All suggestions welcome!


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Re: Solo touring and off road (e.g. tet), small ADV bike suggestions

Post by OB1 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:27 am

We got out for a good ride on our CRF250 Rallys this past weekend: odometer is now showing 201 miles which means we covered 130 miles pootling around Suffolk and Norfolk. We are staying on the tarmac for the time being until a more suitable sump guard arrives in a couple of weeks, so it was just a day of having fun and testing the bikes' on A and B roads.

As far as I can tell, they are great as long as you don't expect them to behave like a big bike: coming out of a village at 30 mph in 4th or 5th gear, you can't just open it up and expect power to push you forwards, instead it's down a gear or two and it'll accelerate quickly and crisply to the 50 or 60 speed limit.

Mike was complaining about the front tyre feeling a little vague and that it kept washing out in corners. We put this down to the fact that he'd been riding a Versys 1000 with a 17" front wheel and that he wasn't used to the 21" on the CRF. As it turned out, there was only 12 psi in the tyre... something that should have been sorted during the PDI.

Coming from an 800 Tiger, I do find the seat to be a little uncomfortable but the addition of a sheep skin should, hopefully, sort that out. The fact that you can move around so much on the seat does also help in the long run.

We've both had to fill up with fuel now and were staggered when we got change from a tenner for a completely full tank! I think that I'm looking at around 150 miles from full to empty at the moment. I have heard that this may improve as the engine loosens up.

I may head up to Lincoln next weekend depending on the weather forecast. That should add another 300 miles to the odo and it'll nearly be ready for its first service.
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Re: Solo touring and off road (e.g. tet), small ADV bike suggestions

Post by Sweeney Todd » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:43 pm

Firstly, what a great thread, good summary of some available kit, inevitable compromises and some innovative solutions regarding small bike travel/trailing (especially the van :D ).

I have to admit that after reading the thread I did have a feverish dream that involved me staring at my chosen 250cc steed through a heat haze on a lonely road whilst contemplating the many hundreds of miles home doing 55, 60 70.........7........5..........65, 60 , 55mph etc you know the score.

The above dream fuelled by memories of long distance, small bike travel on a variety of kit as small as 100cc and as humungous as 250cc in a time when you could meet equally daft youngsters on 250cc, 125cc or even 80cc bikes due to the then vagaries of European licensing laws.

Now don't get me wrong I'm still fascinated by small bike, long distance travel and hats off to those doing it. Given the time and opportunity I'm at the front of the queue for a long distance, lazy bimble by CRF Rally or Enfield H especially given the prize of half decent dirt capability when you get there. I see that.

However in my case i.e. more off road enthusiasm than skill and very low ambition I've decided that c35rwhp is my low horsepower threshold with decent comfort and a modicum of light trail potential. Accordingly, and after many test rides of the bikes name checked in this thread, Ive decided its a Versys 300 for me.
Last edited by Sweeney Todd on Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Solo touring and off road (e.g. tet), small ADV bike suggestions

Post by halfpint » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:50 pm

well this small bike touring seems to catching on .I had a ride out this morning small tracks, by way and some back road blasting to 70 mph . my 310 gs is great at this comfy and ok off road. after taking the bike down to morocco and back ,its still in one piece and nothing has fell off. so summer green lanes and small road travels to continue . north essex and suffolk a perfect place to test it out.

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