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

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

Post by rbailey » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:03 pm

All, my first post on ABR, so please be gentle!

Currently have an Africa Twin, which I have done some simple off-roading on (local green lanes, Salisbury plain etc.), and also toured on it (usual trips across the channel and to the Swiss Alps). Overall, I have found the bike great, but… that has been in a group of people, where if there is an issue (bike drop for example) you have the help of others to get going again…. So, if in a group, I have been more than happy with it.

However… I am looking at some solo riding; local simple lanes, maybe Salisbury again, and over the Europe to do some stretches of the Trans European Trail (TET) or Pyrenees (1 week trips). With my “novice” skill set, I am not confident in doing that on the AT on my own. If it hits the deck, especially loaded, on a track in the middle of nowhere, I am in trouble. That got me thinking of smaller, light ADV bikes. I have some overall requirements…

1. Under £5K to buy (can be second hand, not too old though)
2. Has to be light so can pick up on own and manoeuvre it – no more than 185KG or so…
3. Spoked wheels and some off-road capability (think simpler trails around the Pyrenees, not Paris / Dakar!), but you never know if there is a technical stretch around the corner you need to get through!
4. Would aim to avoid in the main motorways, but must be capable of carrying me (and luggage) with some comfort at least 250 miles a day.
5. Must have a reasonable tank range (mod ok to achieve this), lets say 175 a tank
6. Reasonable service intervals (don’t want to mess with it, every 1,000 miles or less)

What have I seen so far, that look ok, but have compromises (I guess there is always a compromise!)
1. CRF250L / Rally – looks the bobbins off-road, but not heard good things on road (under powered etc.)? Anyone done longer trips on one? How did they find “covering miles”?
2. Kwaka Versys x 300 – looks like be better covering a few miles, but not sure how off-road capable it would be? Any off-road thoughts?
3. Royal Enfield Himalayan?
4. Yam Xt660 Tenere – not sure if too big for solo? OK for long road distances and off road?

Any comments about the above based on my needs appreciated. Also, any suggestions of other bikes that I should consider appreciated too. Maybe around 400cc, so has a little more guts than the CRF250’s, but not as heavy as Yam xt660.

Thanks in advance people!

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

Post by Brenhden » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:47 pm

I have a rally, I did a 2000 mile tour of the black forest last year with full camping gear including a 500 mile day. I got it specifically for the TET. I did a £130 ecu upgrade which added a bit of motorway power but it was fine before. Tank range is a bit less than you want...

There is no perfect touring/off road bike. You could look for a older KTM690 but I wanted something bombproof.
And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.

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

Post by P4ulie » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:52 pm

To be fair to the 250 CRF it's only called underpowered by the same people that class the AT as the same. I've ridden mine to Cornwall, Cumbria & Wales a few times from London & there's people travelling the world on them. It will comfortably chug along at 60mph with spare for overtakes, like the Himalayan you have to plan them mind.

The Tenere is probably the no mods required bike, but you're pushing that 185kg by quite a margin. It is also very tall & top heavy, I found it too much @ 5.8".

There are quite a lot more dirt focused, I'm sure the recommendations will fly in from those that are more knowledgeable. You can probably pick up a CCM GP450 for around 5 grand now, just as well I didn't buy mine as an investment :|
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Re: Solo touring and off road (e.g. tet), small ADV bike suggestions

Post by boboneleg » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:54 pm

I have taken my CRF 250 Rally to France, on the road it is fine as long as you avoid motorways (easy in France). I may take it too France again this year but I also have a Suzuki DR650SE, this is better on the roads but a bit heavier on the trails.

Finding a decent DR650SE could be a problem though.
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Re: Solo touring and off road (e.g. tet), small ADV bike suggestions

Post by Nico-D » Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:00 pm

Plenty of folks are very happy with their crf rallys it seems, check out Minkyheads posts on this forum as he's tons of experience with them.

Ive got a a DRZ 400 which I've done tet France and Pyrenees trips on solo with camping kit. They're not perfect, nothing is, but very capable on dirt and pickupable when it goes wrong. Plenty aftermarket bits available, tank and seat needed. Probably getting hard to find a decent secondhand one now.
Also dr650 as Bob said.

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

Post by Richard Simpson Mark II » Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:04 pm

You need manageable weight, adequate power, decent fuel economy, a strong subframe, a six-speed 'box, and a simple engine.

You need a Suzuki DR350S.

Sadly, they don't make them any more.

No one knows why.

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

Post by Jak* » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:02 pm

I would go for the Himalayan. More road oriented than the CRF but still trail capable, cheap to run 85mpg, good tank range 230 plus, easy to carry luggage on. Plenty of dealers in the UK and most will give you a test ride.
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Re: Solo touring and off road (e.g. tet), small ADV bike suggestions

Post by Lairyskippy » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:16 pm

I've had the Tenere and it was great, excellent on the road and in capable hands (not me) it will do everything most sane people would want. Loved it and would have another. I've currently got the Himalayan and it does everything the Tenere did but at a slower pace whilst giving much better fuel economy.

I'm guessing it doesn't help much but my advice would be to test all of them before you buy if you can.

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

Post by Tramp » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:23 pm

Might be crazy but just look on tet Facebook page and see what everyone is using :o .....basically every type of bike available....riding solo as a novice isn't recommended but then as babies we learnt to walk alone okay :roll:

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

Post by diggermanbob » Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:25 pm

You could try the KTM 400 exc Phil in France took his on the TET and we did 1950 k in 6days , and two of us were on Yamaha ttr250 , easy to pick up , electric and kick start , fit a long range tank and you can ride all day , might be slightly older bikes but you get the same smiles per mile ,

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