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Yamaha XT225 serow for UK to south Africa?

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I am looking to make a trip from London to South Africa and return.  I originally started looking at large bikes 1000cc plus, then 650, but quickly realised what I really need is something very light, good on fuel, dependable with mechanical simplicity. 

 

I really want to do some extreme off-road stuff which will  take me a few hundred miles from a road / civilisation into the desert.  I feel in extreme conditions a small bike would be a lot easier to handle and be easier to drag out of problems.  Plus I wanted something which is:

  1. Air cooled  engine
  2. Electric start with option to easily retro fitting a kickstart for backup
  3. Good offroad handling
  4. Good fuel economy  (with the extended tank these will do over 300 miles)

But how capable is something like the serow?  I have read of a few people taking these round the world and they coped very well (one for Canada to Patagonia another circumventing Africa by the main highway routes).  But what about in very extreme temperatures / harsh conditions?  How would they cope being run for 8 – 10 hours a day in the desert heat?  I am not worried about speed, just want something that is reliable considering the majority of use will be offroad away from the main routes.   I am really not a typical traveller and can’t stress how I want to avoid the typical tourist routes down the east and west coast.

 

Another option I am looking at is the Suzuki DR200SE, but can’t find much information out on it.  From what I read it has decent fuel econmy (105mpg) but does not handle as well as the serow offroad.  Is the engine as reliable as the serrow?  Do people regard any other  small bikes as serious contenders (maybe with better spare parts options on the road)? 

 

One thing I like about the serrow is it seems to have quite a good community following with many added extras that can be purchased.  One example is the extended range tank.  I did not find anything like this with the Suzuki.   

 

So in summary do people think I am mad to consider such a small bike?  With decent prep beforehand would you be happy to venture a few hundered miles from a road / village into the desert  on such a bike?  If not which other small bike is more suited given my requirements of my trip and points A-D?

 

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Buddy if I were you, id think comfort! That's one long trip. Whats the deal with the small bore bikes? Find you a nice xrl 650, and give your bones a break, hell even a klx-650 will do even better, those little foo-foo bikes are ment for the trails or around town. Get a mans bike! :thumbsup: let me tell you if you break down once out in the boonies, u better be a survivorlist!  good luck bro!

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thanks for your comments and to be fair that's exactly what I thought when I started looking for a bike, but I think you will be surprised what some of these small bikes are capable of.  Take the XT225 for instance, this girl practically went round the world on hers:

 

http://www.loisontheloose.com/about-me/

 

There are a few others using this for African trips.  To be fair I don't think the word comfort will come into this trip!  Realistically I think the maximum speeds I will be going are 30 - 50 mph.  The roads / tracks / wilderness just isn't kitted up for anymore.  If I was planning a trip in the USA or Europe I would get a big bike that will cruise at decent speeds all day long, but that is not the case in Africa.  I think a big bike would just be more tiring to haul over the rugged landscape.  After a while it gets tiring lifting a large bike every time you come off!

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Suzuki%20DRZ400S%20%202.jpgOne brave gal! hats off ! ok im sticking to my guns, the DR series is a good place to start, Dr-400, nice n light, the yamahauler serrow has steel wheels, the dr has alloy, less unsprung weight, the serrow has a muffler that's part of the frame, should you low side it, it could be a pain to replace, dr has a simple bolt on muffler, and you can extract more ponies from the dr. good luck. Hey tommy let me know how your voyage goes.

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I did not know about the muffler on the serrow.  Is it not possible to fit a custom bolt on?

 

As for the wheels, I would have thought steel would have the advantage as it is easier to weld and bash into shape.

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