Wild Dog Adventure Riding

General => General Bike Related Banter => Topic started by: TechnomadicJim on October 01, 2013, 12:47:33 pm

Title: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 01, 2013, 12:47:33 pm
Wanted to start a discussion here on the pro's and con's of having a big bike like a 600+CC GS/Transalp etc.. with metal panniers etc... vs a smaller Honda XR250 Tornado or CTX 200. I imagine you guys are all riding the bigger bikes but I'm considering my trip (here's the planning thread : http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134555.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134555.0)) on a smaller bike. Specifically the CTX 200. I've spied one in the local Cape Town Honda dealership and to me it seems like the perfect bike for the trip :

(http://i.imgur.com/2cja7H6l.jpg) (http://imgur.com/2cja7H6)

Pro's :
Comes with all the racks / bars / bash plates I would need.
Warranty included.
Easy to work on pretty much anywhere.
Kick & button start.
Rugged bike. Likely to be very reliable.
Relatively cheap for a new bike.
Replacement tyres easy to get. No need to carry them.

Con's :
Only 200cc. I plan to travel light and slow so not an issue for me really.
10 Litre tank. I plan to have an extra 5L can with me.
No security. I still need a way to have a lockable compartment on the bike for laptop / camera when camping.

Personally I travel slow and im in no real hurry. I don't like 1000k+ days of driving so speed is not an issue.  In my opinion travelling slower allows you to take in more and appreciate the ride rather than getting from A to B quickly.

I think a new CTX 200 would be preferable to say a second hand XR250 tornado as I would have to spend money and time kitting out the tornado with racks etc.. Also a new bike comes without too much worry of where it's been or any issues plus the security of buying from a dealer vs untrusted private person.

Very much interested on your opinions on this topic and any planning info you guys might like to contribute to my other thread (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134555.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134555.0))
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: Trailrider on October 01, 2013, 12:55:46 pm
The CTX will be just fine. It's got a carrying capability of around 180kg to 200kg if I remember correctly. Reliable and robust as they come. I did around 30 000km worth of trips on one. You can have a look here: http://trailriderreports.blogspot.com/2006/10/bike.html (http://trailriderreports.blogspot.com/2006/10/bike.html)

Fuel range of around 180km was my only gripe. Oh, and the small reserve. Once you hit reserve it's almost too late already. Only around 8 - 15km in it.

Also have a look at this: http://trailriderreports.blogspot.com/2008/05/ctx-transcontinental-trip.html (http://trailriderreports.blogspot.com/2008/05/ctx-transcontinental-trip.html)
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 01, 2013, 01:09:57 pm
Ahh yes I have read both of those RR's. Reading them and seeing the photos has almost sold the idea to me. I guess I'm just trying to justify it to myself that I'm making the right decision. :)

The CTX will be just fine. It's got a carrying capability of around 180kg to 200kg if I remember correctly. Reliable and robust as they come. I did around 30 000km worth of trips on one. You can have a look here: http://trailriderreports.blogspot.com/2006/10/bike.html (http://trailriderreports.blogspot.com/2006/10/bike.html)

Fuel range of around 180km was my only gripe. Oh, and the small reserve. Once you hit reserve it's almost too late already. Only around 8 - 15km in it.

Also have a look at this: http://trailriderreports.blogspot.com/2008/05/ctx-transcontinental-trip.html (http://trailriderreports.blogspot.com/2008/05/ctx-transcontinental-trip.html)
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: Malibu on October 01, 2013, 01:13:31 pm
ALWAYS look at at least 3 bikes (Brands), and then decide... best advise I can give...
Now go to Yamaha, and someone else...
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: Gérrard on October 01, 2013, 01:14:25 pm
Hi Jim,

Just read your Plan a Ride. For what you want to do the CTX will be just fine. Going nowhere slowly is the way to do it.

Enjoy the planning and the trip

Gerard.

Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 01, 2013, 01:20:49 pm
ALWAYS look at at least 3 bikes (Brands), and then decide... best advise I can give...
Now go to Yamaha, and someone else...

Thanks for the advice. I have been to look at the Yamaha's + KTM's  and wasn't that taken by them. I'm very much a Honda guy. I have a CB600F (see my avatar) and have always been impressed with the quality of the Honda's.

Hi Jim,

Just read your Plan a Ride. For what you want to do the CTX will be just fine. Going nowhere slowly is the way to do it.

Enjoy the planning and the trip

Gerard.

Thanks Gerard. I appreciate you taking the time to have a read through. Fortunately I have time on my hands and no real deadline to my trip so I can afford to be quite relaxed with my riding.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: Trailrider on October 01, 2013, 01:22:59 pm
No real deadline. What a dream trip. 8)
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: Dusty Rusty on October 01, 2013, 01:27:35 pm
I will rather stick with the CTX than the Tornado.

Let me check I might have a CTX maneul on my pc I can sendspace to you? 

Enjoy the excitement of planning the trip.  Nothing beats it
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: Lem on October 01, 2013, 01:31:44 pm
I agree with the idea of a small bike versus a 650 and bigger. You have lots of time, the 250 size should be fast enough, strong enough and economical enough to do the journey.

There is a superb, low mileage XR250 Tornado for sale right here on the forum, from Veldbrand. In places you will have to do some open road cruising, and here the XR250's higher speed will come in handy.

The CTX Bushlander is a tough machine, and it will be easy to pack with all that luggage racks.

I don't think you can go wrong with any one of the two.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 01, 2013, 01:37:37 pm
No real deadline. What a dream trip. 8)

:) The only downside is that I have to do a little work (3-4 hours a week) while I travel but means I can keep earning while I travel.

I will rather stick with the CTX than the Tornado.

Let me check I might have a CTX maneul on my pc I can sendspace to you? 

Enjoy the excitement of planning the trip.  Nothing beats it

Thanks! Good to hear. Yeah If you have one handy that would be great. I can store it on my Kindle rather than lugging it around with me.

I agree with the idea of a small bike versus a 650 and bigger. You have lots of time, the 250 size should be fast enough, strong enough and economical enough to do the journey.

There is a superb, low mileage XR250 Tornado for sale right here on the forum, from Veldbrand. In places you will have to do some open road cruising, and here the XR250's higher speed will come in handy.

The CTX Bushlander is a tough machine, and it will be easy to pack with all that luggage racks.

I don't think you can go wrong with any one of the two.

Excellent. Pleased to hear. I've contacted Veldbrand already but he's just sold it unfortunately. The CTX 200 is not much more and comes with all the racking I need which is very much a bonus. Its pretty much ready to go as its sold.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: Dusty Rusty on October 01, 2013, 01:42:14 pm
pm email adres please
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: M3X3Z3 on October 01, 2013, 01:46:45 pm
250 Tornado has a 250~270km fuel range with a decent reserve. Should have quite a bit more puff than the 200 for carrying weight.
I would check out the strength of the sub frames on both and any other bike before deciding.
Also consider service intervals and parts availability up noord.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: LoopSoosStroop on October 01, 2013, 01:51:40 pm
What you want is a Yamaha TTR 250:

1. Electric and kick start.
2. Six speed gearbox.
3. 22-28 km/l fuel consumption.
4. Accerbis 22l XR400/600 tank fits with minor mods.
5. 120 kg dry weight.
6. Proper seat.
7. Air cooled simplicity.
8. Fantastic suspension, adjustable front and rear for rebound and compression, rear for preload.
9. Global parts back up.

Ultimate Africa trip bike....for the same cost as a Tornado.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: Trailrider on October 01, 2013, 01:56:46 pm
Have to agree the TTR would be a very good option also.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 01, 2013, 02:02:49 pm
pm email adres please

PM'ed.

250 Tornado has a 250~270km fuel range with a decent reserve. Should have quite a bit more puff than the 200 for carrying weight.
I would check out the strength of the sub frames on both and any other bike before deciding.
Also consider service intervals and parts availability up noord.

Yes. Its also much easier to find 2nd hand. My problem is that as far as I understand I would have to find racks / bars / bahs plates etc... The CTX comes with all these as standard. Good point regarding the frame strength. The CTX being an agricultural vehicle is meant to carry load and can take 6kg's on the front and 20 kg's on the back. My luggage weighs less and 20 kg's in total so more than enough. Not sure on what the Tornado's load capacity is. Parts availability is certainly a concern. I'm hoping by buying new and buying such a simple bike it shouldn't be an issue. I will take a spare clutch cable with me just in case.

What you want is a Yamaha TTR 250:

1. Electric and kick start.
2. Six speed gearbox.
3. 22-28 km/l fuel consumption.
4. Accerbis 22l XR400/600 tank fits with minor mods.
5. 120 kg dry weight.
6. Proper seat.
7. Air cooled simplicity.
8. Fantastic suspension, adjustable front and rear for rebound and compression, rear for preload.
9. Global parts back up.

Ultimate Africa trip bike....for the same cost as a Tornado.

Interesting. Thanks for the suggestion. I looked at the AG200 in the Yamaha dealership. I will do some more research on the TTR 250 and see if they have one I can look at in Cape Town. I like the tank mod possibility as the 10L range on the CTX is an issue.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 01, 2013, 02:21:54 pm
Let me check I might have a CTX maneul on my pc I can sendspace to you? 

Got it! Thanks!
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: Ratt on October 01, 2013, 02:48:08 pm
I don't know, my first thoughts were XT660R or DR650 for such a trip. Either way, sounds like fun, wish I could get a job like that  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: LeonDude on October 01, 2013, 03:05:48 pm
What is the price difference between a CTX and a Tornado, before you do any mods?
I like the Tornado to ride, but on the trip you mentioned I think I might rather take the CTX.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: Pavlovski on October 01, 2013, 04:39:51 pm
600-650cc will be better in my oppinion.
I am a guy who appreciates the extra power...hence 600cc + the engine won't work as hard as a sub 500cc to deliver the same power and speed (hope it makes sense)
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 01, 2013, 05:41:06 pm
I don't know, my first thoughts were XT660R or DR650 for such a trip. Either way, sounds like fun, wish I could get a job like that  :thumleft:

The power of the Internet and location independence :) I'm quite fond of travelling really light and I've been inspired by some of the travel adventures I've read that have been done on bikes like the C90. A 200cc seems like a good compromise :)

What is the price difference between a CTX and a Tornado, before you do any mods?
I like the Tornado to ride, but on the trip you mentioned I think I might rather take the CTX.

The CTX retails at 35k new with 2 year unlimited mileage warranty and 1 year free breakdown assistance.
The XR250 Tornado can be had for about 25k second hand.

By the time I've found a Tornado second hand then had some racks custom made for the back (im not even sure you can get them made easily for the front like on the CTX) and added a bash plate and engine protectors the price is edging closer to 35k.

I'm going to be selling the bike when I'm done (up to 9 months later) and It will still be under warranty which might be appealing to a buyer. I will have probably done 10,000 to 30,000 km's by then I imagine.

600-650cc will be better in my oppinion.
I am a guy who appreciates the extra power...hence 600cc + the engine won't work as hard as a sub 500cc to deliver the same power and speed (hope it makes sense)

Sure makes sense. I have my Honda Hornet (CB600FA7) back in the UK. I do appreciate the power in that bike and wouldn't want anything less for UK road driving and EU touring. I hope/imagine being off road and taking my time more for this adventure so the lower power will be fine for me to poodle about on :)
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: LeonDude on October 01, 2013, 06:01:50 pm
Hang on to that thought about the less power.

Ok, you liked the nice power the bigger engine gave you in the UK. Flattish tar roads, if I may guess from what I've seen.
Now you are coming to africa. I'll admit that I haven't had a look at your planning thread yet, but think about a few things here.

Although heavier, a 650 will get you up steepish inclines much easier than a 200. An easy fifteen minute climb on a 650 could easily turn into a big slog with a 200.
Ditto sand. I have taken a couple of small bikes, including a Tornado 250 and a Honda CRF230 into thick sand (Rhino park quarry) and not one of them handled it as well as my KLR did.
Have a serious look at the terrain you will be covering. Use garmap with the elevation plot set to on. Use google earth, and read ride reports, and get as much info on the route as you can.
A bigger bike is definitely an advantage in some places.
Oh, and the 23 Liter fuel tank of the KLR is a big bonus.  :thumleft: And you don't have to mod the seat, it's got a good seat.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 01, 2013, 06:10:36 pm
Just added a poll to the thread for the fun of it.   ;D
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 01, 2013, 06:47:41 pm
Hang on to that thought about the less power.

Ok, you liked the nice power the bigger engine gave you in the UK. Flattish tar roads, if I may guess from what I've seen.
Now you are coming to africa. I'll admit that I haven't had a look at your planning thread yet, but think about a few things here.

Although heavier, a 650 will get you up steepish inclines much easier than a 200. An easy fifteen minute climb on a 650 could easily turn into a big slog with a 200.
Ditto sand. I have taken a couple of small bikes, including a Tornado 250 and a Honda CRF230 into thick sand (Rhino park quarry) and not one of them handled it as well as my KLR did.
Have a serious look at the terrain you will be covering. Use garmap with the elevation plot set to on. Use google earth, and read ride reports, and get as much info on the route as you can.
A bigger bike is definitely an advantage in some places.
Oh, and the 23 Liter fuel tank of the KLR is a big bonus.  :thumleft: And you don't have to mod the seat, it's got a good seat.

Thanks Leon. Its great to get some advice on the contrary to my current thinking. I don't have much off road experience. I've heard before that powering through the sand helps a lot. I'm hoping that the CTX being an agricultural vehicle should be able to handle the climbs with my (less than max) load. I really haven't planned much in the way of a route yet so can't be sure. I've heard that there is tarmac all the way up to Kenya so my idea is that I can dip my toe into off-roading as little or much as I can handle along the way. The 23L tank would be nice. I guess I would have to compensate for the small tank by getting a 5L canister to extend my range.

I tend to travel in a very loose way. Nothing is fixed and I like to leave planning to the last minute to keep myself as free as possible. You never know who or what you will see on your way that might change your plans. Well thats my theory / way of doing things up to now. I tend to jump in the deep end and see what happens. A prime example is when i travelled to south america last year without learning a word of Spanish. I had a great time e hablo un poco espaniol ahora :)
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: african dust on October 01, 2013, 07:04:44 pm
I own a ctx and although have not done any long trips I enjoy it tremendously and would buy it again in a heartbeat ! I have done some rough terrain and the gear ratio allows for serious hill climbing, but obviously one needs to be happy at seeing the world at a slow pace... which it seems you are.
although the tank is small it runs for a long time if ridden at a slow pace. a few liters in a fuel cell makes for a big increase in range without adding much bulk.
first choice would be ctx and second ttr.
think trailrider vote for the bike says a lot.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: blauth on October 01, 2013, 08:38:13 pm
I think you'll experience some frustration on the longer roads on the little bike but I also think you'll have time to smell the roses and will have a different, possibly better experience as a result of it.

I think the little bike will be more of an 'adventure'.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: LeonDude on October 01, 2013, 08:40:13 pm
I would suggest you try to stay off the main routes, especially if you are going on a small bike. As you might have learned from your other experiences, in the more rural countries it's the bigger vehicles that rule the roads. They simply push you off the road if they want to come past, and if that means pushing you off a cliff, well in Africa that is your problem.
Staying off the main roads, and trying to keep to dirt roads, will lessen this problem, although it might add time to your journey.
If you are going to stay on highways, do not go for anything smaller than a 650, you need something that can easily outrun a big truck doing 120KM/h+.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: subie on October 01, 2013, 08:56:22 pm
600cc is not a big bike . Rather a middleweight for me.
Go with whatever your heart decides. 200cc or 600cc will get you there and back.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: Xpat on October 01, 2013, 10:01:41 pm

Staying off the main roads, and trying to keep to dirt roads, will lessen this problem, although it might add time to your journey.
If you are going to stay on highways, do not go for anything smaller than a 650, you need something that can easily outrun a big truck doing 120KM/h+.


I have come down here from Europe overland on GSA1150, I have done trip from Europe to India and back on Africa Twin and done smaller trips like Vietnam on the Minsk 150cc, and trips in Southern Africa on Husky 630 and Tenere.

Based on my experiences I would take for trip you are planning something in 650 category - DR650 or XRL650 (if you such a Honda fan) - the only problem to resolve being probably bigger tanks and enforced subframe (I'm sure guys in CT will be able to sort you out) or XT660 (injected and therefore less consumption and it has I believe already stronger subframe than the aluminium on the prior two bikes).

Being from Europe and doing the travels you did in Asia, you have to take into account one key difference - African countries are huge in comparison, and much less populated. What this means is that you may need to cover long distances of mostly going straight and sometimes not that much interesting stuff in-between interesting places to break the boredom into number of days - so you rather do it in one go - think something like USA once you get out of populated areas. Even if you take dirt roads, which SA has fantastic network of, this still applies quite often - the distances between points of interest are huge and the riding can be boring. I have ridden throughout Africa on loads of small tracks, but the main roads, which you seem to be determined to stick to are all tar (quite badly potholed very often) and straight and boring - if you want interesting stuff you need to venture into small tracks.

Another point is road safety - as pointed out by LD - the speed limit on all roads in SA and surrounds is 120kmh - way over what is allowed in Europe (except highways). And the traffic generally moves at that speed and the bigger vehicles obviously rule. On the bike you have only active safety - in this case to be able to bugger off from the cars in the traffic, rather than having them sitting on your ass and overtaking you - the more you can avoid it, the more safe you are. So I would definitely give myself that little more flexibility that more power (which on the bikes I have mentioned is still very modest) will provide compare to the little ones.

And if you hit sand while exploring those interesting tracks, more power is again beneficial as pointed out by other guys.


Title: Re: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: Pumbaa on October 01, 2013, 11:00:40 pm
I think it is simple really, if you have lots of time and don't need to do high mileage days, then small bike. If you have some long days planned, then a big bike.

Sent from my HTC J Z321e using Tapatalk 2
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: lecap on October 02, 2013, 10:23:46 am
Can be done on a 200.

I would seriously consider the Suzuki DR200SE which IMHO is by far the best (DS / Touring bike) of the agri 200's over the Bushlander and the TW.
Also consider the Djebel 250 (second hand) if you can get one.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 02, 2013, 10:41:29 am
I own a ctx and although have not done any long trips I enjoy it tremendously and would buy it again in a heartbeat ! I have done some rough terrain and the gear ratio allows for serious hill climbing, but obviously one needs to be happy at seeing the world at a slow pace... which it seems you are.
although the tank is small it runs for a long time if ridden at a slow pace. a few liters in a fuel cell makes for a big increase in range without adding much bulk.
first choice would be ctx and second ttr.
think trailrider vote for the bike says a lot.

Good to hear :) If I go for the CTX I will certainly be carrying extra fuel to extend the range.

I think you'll experience some frustration on the longer roads on the little bike but I also think you'll have time to smell the roses and will have a different, possibly better experience as a result of it.

I think the little bike will be more of an 'adventure'.

I hope so :) I'm sure you're right that I may get frustrated on some longer roads but part of me thinks that not having the possibility of the extra speed might be a blessing in disguise for my safety! heh.

I would suggest you try to stay off the main routes, especially if you are going on a small bike. As you might have learned from your other experiences, in the more rural countries it's the bigger vehicles that rule the roads. They simply push you off the road if they want to come past, and if that means pushing you off a cliff, well in Africa that is your problem.
Staying off the main roads, and trying to keep to dirt roads, will lessen this problem, although it might add time to your journey.
If you are going to stay on highways, do not go for anything smaller than a 650, you need something that can easily outrun a big truck doing 120KM/h+.

Sure. Good advice. I don't plan on using highways if I can help it. They are boring and probably a little dangerous for me on a 200. Even in Europe I avoid them when touring. There's more interesting stuff elsewhere.

600cc is not a big bike . Rather a middleweight for me.
Go with whatever your heart decides. 200cc or 600cc will get you there and back.

My heart says 200. Perhaps I will regret that decision in some scenarios but perhaps not in others. As this is my first longer non-euro trip I'm going to start off with something smaller (I think). Having not driven a large 600+cc ADV bike I won't (probably fortunately) have much of a comparison :)

I have come down here from Europe overland on GSA1150, I have done trip from Europe to India and back on Africa Twin and done smaller trips like Vietnam on the Minsk 150cc, and trips in Southern Africa on Husky 630 and Tenere.

Based on my experiences I would take for trip you are planning something in 650 category - DR650 or XRL650 (if you such a Honda fan) - the only problem to resolve being probably bigger tanks and enforced subframe (I'm sure guys in CT will be able to sort you out) or XT660 (injected and therefore less consumption and it has I believe already stronger subframe than the aluminium on the prior two bikes).

Being from Europe and doing the travels you did in Asia, you have to take into account one key difference - African countries are huge in comparison, and much less populated. What this means is that you may need to cover long distances of mostly going straight and sometimes not that much interesting stuff in-between interesting places to break the boredom into number of days - so you rather do it in one go - think something like USA once you get out of populated areas. Even if you take dirt roads, which SA has fantastic network of, this still applies quite often - the distances between points of interest are huge and the riding can be boring. I have ridden throughout Africa on loads of small tracks, but the main roads, which you seem to be determined to stick to are all tar (quite badly potholed very often) and straight and boring - if you want interesting stuff you need to venture into small tracks.

Another point is road safety - as pointed out by LD - the speed limit on all roads in SA and surrounds is 120kmh - way over what is allowed in Europe (except highways). And the traffic generally moves at that speed and the bigger vehicles obviously rule. On the bike you have only active safety - in this case to be able to bugger off from the cars in the traffic, rather than having them sitting on your ass and overtaking you - the more you can avoid it, the more safe you are. So I would definitely give myself that little more flexibility that more power (which on the bikes I have mentioned is still very modest) will provide compare to the little ones.

And if you hit sand while exploring those interesting tracks, more power is again beneficial as pointed out by other guys.

Sounds like some awesome trips! I drove Royal Enfield Bullet 350's in India, cheap 110cc Honda Wave's in south east asia and Tornado 250's in Peru. Only short trips nothing like your length trips but great riding all the same. Modding a bike is a bit of an issue for me. To be honest its extra hassle that im not very comfortable with sorting out. The bonus of the CTX is that its find for me in its stock state. All the racking I need plus bash plates, kick + electric start etc.. Only issue is the tank size but I will compensate with an extra 5 or 10 litre fuel can.

Road safety is a very good point. You are totally right about being able to power away from trouble. This is something I hope to avoid by keeping off highway's and generally taking my time. Perhaps pulling over if need be to let whatever is up my ass pass. Sand is an issue that i imagine im going to come across at some point. I guess I will just have to take it as it comes and see how I deal with it. If it sucks I will adjust my journey to compensate for the sand. Same goes for highways etc.. I can always change my route to compensate.

Thanks for your insight. Its very much appreciated. Definetely food for thought :)

I think it is simple really, if you have lots of time and don't need to do high mileage days, then small bike. If you have some long days planned, then a big bike.

I do feel perhaps I need to bite the bullet and just throw down some money and but a bike soon. Unfortunately the CTX in Cape Town Honda was sold but the guy said he can have a new one sent from Joburg in a couple of days no problem.

Can be done on a 200.

I would seriously consider the Suzuki DR200SE which IMHO is by far the best (DS / Touring bike) of the agri 200's over the Bushlander and the TW.
Also consider the Djebel 250 (second hand) if you can get one.

Interesting, Thanks! Will have a gander at those too :)
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: mox on October 02, 2013, 11:27:58 am
If you are set on a 200 I would certainly choose the CTX or the DR. My personal choice would be a 650 for days I would want to cover more distance, but having said that if these guys can do it it on scooters, you'll be fine on the 200! Enjoy!

http://www.scooteraddicts.co.za/the-greater-trek (http://www.scooteraddicts.co.za/the-greater-trek)
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: goingnowherequickly on October 02, 2013, 11:38:43 pm
 You will have a Blast..!
Im jealous .. I think the ctx  would work fine, you will have to work a bit more tho..
as you are on a slow tour , shouldnt be a priority .. ( Lucky you ) ..  The Djebel & TW also appeal to me..
How many luggage Kgs would you like to carry..
How many km ( overall & +- daily do you hope to run ..?)
Looking forward to the ride report..  :biggrin:

 

Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: eberhard on October 03, 2013, 12:01:45 am
As said above, your route should determine the type of bike. Having driven also in Africa, I agree with the long, straight roads argument and that your main roads are tarred with slaughter holes (which are the same for big and small bikes). So, if you are taking the main road, take bigger bike. If you are taking the exciting roads and uncharted roads, take a small bike. Smaller bikes are easier to get across rivers on a canoe and to push or pick up, which again should not necessarily be required on the main roads. Stick to something that can easily be fixed and stay away from electronics. Stick to something that is standard and basic. Lots of small chinese  bikes lately in Africa, something to keep in mind should you be needing spare parts...
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: Skipskop on October 03, 2013, 06:03:14 am
Has anybody thought of the DR 650 ? Only weighs in at 20kg more than the CTX. A nice balance between simplicity ,a light weight bike ,reasonable power and not too expensive . That would be my choice ;-)

Edited: Ok ,scrap that idea because its not SMALL - ,if 200cc is your limit ,then the CTX is cool  :ricky:
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: Mr Zog on October 03, 2013, 08:45:45 am
I'd go with the smaller bike. Up in Africa the locals get around on small 125 or thereabouts Chinese scoots. No problem. And some of them overload those bikes to a ridiculous proportion!

The speed limits when you leave SA will mostly be around 80km/h, with lots of speed-bumps, potholes, and other reasons like animals, people, rocks, chickens, wildlife etc. to keep you slower. Not to mention the odd speed trap or road block.

As you mentioned, you want to take it slowly, experiencing your surrounds. A smaller bike is perfect for this. And if you do hit a bad patch of sand, you can even just walk alongside the bike to get it through if you have to. This is a lot more difficult on a bigger bike. But if you stick to the sandy roads your sand riding skill will improve very fast!  :ricky:

Take an extra fuel bladder/can, and keep it full. Fuel is unreliable in a lot of Africa, so be prepared. You may even have to sit for a week at a place waiting for fuel. That's Africa, its part of the adventure.

Go, have fun, and remember the ride report!!!
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 03, 2013, 11:43:08 am
If you are set on a 200 I would certainly choose the CTX or the DR. My personal choice would be a 650 for days I would want to cover more distance, but having said that if these guys can do it it on scooters, you'll be fine on the 200! Enjoy!

http://www.scooteraddicts.co.za/the-greater-trek (http://www.scooteraddicts.co.za/the-greater-trek)

Awesome. I love reading reports of big trips on smaller bikes. I met a guy who drove from Sydney to London on Honda C90. Great to hear you agree on the CTX.

You will have a Blast..!
Im jealous .. I think the ctx  would work fine, you will have to work a bit more tho..
as you are on a slow tour , shouldnt be a priority .. ( Lucky you ) ..  The Djebel & TW also appeal to me..
How many luggage Kgs would you like to carry..
How many km ( overall & +- daily do you hope to run ..?)
Looking forward to the ride report..  :biggrin:

Thanks :) I hope so. My luggage weighs about 20kgs in total including camping gear and helmet. The CTX should easily take this. I reckon I will possibly do 5 figure km's in total. Its very hard to predict at this stage but possibly 10,000 - 30,000 kms. I found in Europe my comfortable daily mileage was no more than 500km's avoiding highways but that was Europe and on my honda cb600 so I guess I will see when I hit the road if I take the CTX.

As said above, your route should determine the type of bike. Having driven also in Africa, I agree with the long, straight roads argument and that your main roads are tarred with slaughter holes (which are the same for big and small bikes). So, if you are taking the main road, take bigger bike. If you are taking the exciting roads and uncharted roads, take a small bike. Smaller bikes are easier to get across rivers on a canoe and to push or pick up, which again should not necessarily be required on the main roads. Stick to something that can easily be fixed and stay away from electronics. Stick to something that is standard and basic. Lots of small chinese  bikes lately in Africa, something to keep in mind should you be needing spare parts...

I hope to avoid highways If I can. They are great for getting from A to B but pretty boring for adventure riding. A definite plus of the CTX 200 is its ease of repair. Being such a simple bike I imagine it will be easy to repair and get spares for. I love the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) which is another positive factor of the CTX.

Has anybody thought of the DR 650 ? Only weighs in at 20kg more than the CTX. A nice balance between simplicity ,a light weight bike ,reasonable power and not too expensive . That would be my choice ;-)

Edited: Ok ,scrap that idea because its not SMALL - ,if 200cc is your limit ,then the CTX is cool  :ricky:

200 is not a limit as such I could get a second hand 650 but I would probably have to spend more kitting it out and I worry about breaking down and having difficulty getting spares and repairs out in the sticks. I'm speculating that I probably won't benefit too much with a faster / heavier bike especially when I get out of SA. I may even get myself into some trouble if I have all that extra power available. heh!

I'd go with the smaller bike. Up in Africa the locals get around on small 125 or thereabouts Chinese scoots. No problem. And some of them overload those bikes to a ridiculous proportion!

The speed limits when you leave SA will mostly be around 80km/h, with lots of speed-bumps, potholes, and other reasons like animals, people, rocks, chickens, wildlife etc. to keep you slower. Not to mention the odd speed trap or road block.

As you mentioned, you want to take it slowly, experiencing your surrounds. A smaller bike is perfect for this. And if you do hit a bad patch of sand, you can even just walk alongside the bike to get it through if you have to. This is a lot more difficult on a bigger bike. But if you stick to the sandy roads your sand riding skill will improve very fast!  :ricky:

Take an extra fuel bladder/can, and keep it full. Fuel is unreliable in a lot of Africa, so be prepared. You may even have to sit for a week at a place waiting for fuel. That's Africa, its part of the adventure.

Go, have fun, and remember the ride report!!!

Cool. Thats my thinking too. Also a smaller bike won't attract as much attention as a big expensive heavy bike. I do hope my riding will improve on this trip and thats a part of the adventure too. I will certainly carry an extra fuel can. I would like something flat if possible like the rotopax ones. If i could get a 10L one I can essentially double the range of the bike. I expect issues along the way... shit happens as they say :) I will do a ride report for sure. Its the least I can do with all you guys helping me out with advice etc...
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: mox on October 03, 2013, 11:57:47 am
Try get a fuel cell like this http://www.offroadcycles.co.za/p/179345/fuel-bladder-or-fuel-cell, (http://www.offroadcycles.co.za/p/179345/fuel-bladder-or-fuel-cell,) not sure who in CPT sells them, it will save loads of weight  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: LoopSoosStroop on October 05, 2013, 06:42:23 am
What you want is a Yamaha TTR 250:

1. Electric and kick start.
2. Six speed gearbox.
3. 22-28 km/l fuel consumption.
4. Accerbis 22l XR400/600 tank fits with minor mods.
5. 120 kg dry weight.
6. Proper seat.
7. Air cooled simplicity.
8. Fantastic suspension, adjustable front and rear for rebound and compression, rear for preload.
9. Global parts back up.

Ultimate Africa trip bike....for the same cost as a Tornado.

Ok, I followed my own advice, went and bought a TTR. Fetching it next week from Durbs. Thinking of bringing it back via Lesotho, will report back here on impressions, power, cruising ability and fuel consumption.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 05, 2013, 10:24:07 am
Ok, I followed my own advice, went and bought a TTR. Fetching it next week from Durbs. Thinking of bringing it back via Lesotho, will report back here on impressions, power, cruising ability and fuel consumption.

Nice! I'm off to put a deposit down for a CTX now. Pretty much made my mind up as you can see from this and my other thread, heh :) Interested to hear how you find the TTR though. I love the idea of these agricultural bikes for adventure travel. They seem spot on for it.

Try get a fuel cell like this http://www.offroadcycles.co.za/p/179345/fuel-bladder-or-fuel-cell, (http://www.offroadcycles.co.za/p/179345/fuel-bladder-or-fuel-cell,) not sure who in CPT sells them, it will save loads of weight  :thumleft:

Interesting. Will have to keep my eye out for one when I'm getting the bike ready. I quite like the dimensions and size for the rotopax 10L. Will fit nicely on the back plate of the CTX.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: african dust on October 05, 2013, 12:04:24 pm
nteresting. Will have to keep my eye out for one when I'm getting the bike ready. I quite like the dimensions and size for the rotopax 10L. Will fit nicely on the back plate of the CTX.
[/quote]

do not forget about the poortech plan of using 2lt PET bottles ( ie plastic coke bottle), slipped into a neoprene sock and if you want to be fancy enclosed in a little metal cage. As stable as most of the fuel canisters and cheap as chips. 4lts of fuel is going to give you 100km on the ctx...  if you take 4 that is 200km...nothing wrong with that. just a thought.
I will be following this thread eagerly as my ctx has been begging me to go on a walk-about..
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: steveindar on October 06, 2013, 07:21:40 am
Give us a call if and when you get to Dar!
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: LouisL on October 06, 2013, 08:42:48 am
There was a Kawasaki KLR 250 with 4500km on for R14000 on OLX the other day. That would be my choice hands down.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 06, 2013, 11:04:48 am
do not forget about the poortech plan of using 2lt PET bottles ( ie plastic coke bottle), slipped into a neoprene sock and if you want to be fancy enclosed in a little metal cage. As stable as most of the fuel canisters and cheap as chips. 4lts of fuel is going to give you 100km on the ctx...  if you take 4 that is 200km...nothing wrong with that. just a thought.
I will be following this thread eagerly as my ctx has been begging me to go on a walk-about..

"poortech" heh. like it. Definitely an idea. Simple = Good.

Give us a call if and when you get to Dar!

Will do mate! Going to have to start a list of peeps I need to meet. Everyone's very friendly here :)

There was a Kawasaki KLR 250 with 4500km on for R14000 on OLX the other day. That would be my choice hands down.

Nice. I actually just bought the CTX 200 on Friday. It arrives in Cape Town next Friday. Exciting stuff! Can't wait to get it do a few mods and get going.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: LouisL on October 06, 2013, 04:51:46 pm
The CTX is surely a ttough & strong looking bike....that horrible thing on the front fender must however  go :peepwall:

Can't imagine if that possibly act as a crashbar/ bashplate but please please please there's no room for such a thing even in Africa.

Show us some pics! and may you have many happy miles :thumleft:
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 06, 2013, 05:30:10 pm
The CTX is surely a ttough & strong looking bike....that horrible thing on the front fender must however  go :peepwall:

Can't imagine if that possibly act as a crashbar/ bashplate but please please please there's no room for such a thing even in Africa.

Show us some pics! and may you have many happy miles :thumleft:

haha. Yeah I'm not a fan of the mud flap either. I'm going to try and keep it as stock as possible for when its sold but the mud flap will go and the back tyre will be changed for a dual purpose one. Will store them somewhere in cape town for when I'm done with the bike and its sold on. The crash bar's / bash plate will probably stay in the hope that they will be enough for what I want. The racking I'm real happy about as it pretty much how I want it. I particularly like the front rack for 6kgs worth of tent / mat / sleeping bag. Will distribute the weight a bit better. I'm travelling pretty light. Under 20 kgs total I reckon.

Will be posting pic's for sure :) I also have a GoPro Hero 2 and Canon SX200IS which are both capable of 720 HD video. I also have some pretty interesting camera mounts / mini-tripods. I'm going to be filming the trip as I go in the hope I can knock together a short video to show to family + friends + anyone's who's interested really.
Title: Re: Big vs Small Bike for 3-9 Months to Kenya and back
Post by: TechnomadicJim on October 27, 2013, 08:43:06 pm
Here's my ride report : http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=137240.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=137240.0)