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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,029

    Rafting shuttle vehicle (motorcycle) advice sought

    So... This is marginally bike related but not sure tech talk is the right place either. Picked up a raft for family trips for the summer and needing a shuttle vehicle. I'm looking for a motorcycle or electric dirt bike that can handle gravel and paved roads, get up to 50mpg and have a range of around 50mi.

    Would like this to be cheap ($1-2000). Also completely reliable. :-)

    I know nothing about motorcycles. My only turn off at this point is not wanting to do maintenance. Can anybody make any recommendations?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,391
    Quote Originally Posted by sethschmautz View Post
    So... This is marginally bike related but not sure tech talk is the right place either. Picked up a raft for family trips for the summer and needing a shuttle vehicle. I'm looking for a motorcycle or electric dirt bike that can handle gravel and paved roads, get up to 50mpg and have a range of around 50mi.

    Would like this to be cheap ($1-2000). Also completely reliable. :-)

    I know nothing about motorcycles. My only turn off at this point is not wanting to do maintenance. Can anybody make any recommendations?

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
    I have no real idea, but the Sur-Ron X looks damn sweet. Probably too pricey.

    A TW200 or whatever might be your best bet in your price range. I'd guess your price range might be a little low.

    E-Bike or something like the Sur-Ron would probably have the least maintenance / PITA especially for light duty and would be easier to load onto a car or truck bed. How fast you want to go might be important too. At 50mi you probably wanna be going > 40-50mph.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,432
    A few years ago I bought a Honda CRF230L to use for exploring forest roads and to self shuttle MTB rides. Decided on 4-stroke honda for bulletproof reliability and it has not disappointed. Last year I found a company making MTB racks and ordered one up. I've used it a few times now, it is great. Previously when self shuttling solo I'd have to stash the bike at start or end of the ride while I ran the shuttle. No need for that anymore.

    This isn't a light bike, 275lbs I think. But no problem to load it and carry it in the bed of the truck. The main thing you'll want is to get a bike that is street legal or can be made street legal. A lot of forest service and BLM roads only allow street legal vehicles. In a lot of states its pretty easy to plate any moto by adding headlight, turn signal, etc. In CA it's much more restricted. The 230L is street legal from the factory. It gets around 70mpg and usually gets around 130-140mi on a tank before I fill it.


    Other options out there for smaller bikes - Yamaha TW200 as mentioned, XT225/250, Suzuki DR200, KLX 200/250. Pretty much every manufacturer has something in the 200-250cc range. The newer version of what I have is CRF250L. Lots of other full size bikes new, or used. The used ones tend to hold value well especially if plated. I paid $2200 for mine, could easily sell it for that now. Look for a 4-stroke so you're not mixing oil and fuel.


    The Sur ron is interesting. I think they cost around $3500 and have a distributor up by LA. They weigh closer to 100 lbs. Not sure they can go 50mph or 50 miles range - maybe? Whether they are street legal would be the other big question.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    16,198
    I had an older Yamaha 175 enduro that I used for the same application. It was more than a little scary on gravel roads. Good rubber means a lot.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    703
    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    A few years ago I bought a Honda CRF230L to use for exploring forest roads and to self shuttle MTB rides. Decided on 4-stroke honda for bulletproof reliability and it has not disappointed. Last year I found a company making MTB racks and ordered one up. I've used it a few times now, it is great. Previously when self shuttling solo I'd have to stash the bike at start or end of the ride while I ran the shuttle. No need for that anymore.

    This isn't a light bike, 275lbs I think. But no problem to load it and carry it in the bed of the truck. The main thing you'll want is to get a bike that is street legal or can be made street legal. A lot of forest service and BLM roads only allow street legal vehicles. In a lot of states its pretty easy to plate any moto by adding headlight, turn signal, etc. In CA it's much more restricted. The 230L is street legal from the factory. It gets around 70mpg and usually gets around 130-140mi on a tank before I fill it.


    Other options out there for smaller bikes - Yamaha TW200 as mentioned, XT225/250, Suzuki DR200, KLX 200/250. Pretty much every manufacturer has something in the 200-250cc range. The newer version of what I have is CRF250L. Lots of other full size bikes new, or used. The used ones tend to hold value well especially if plated. I paid $2200 for mine, could easily sell it for that now. Look for a 4-stroke so you're not mixing oil and fuel.


    The Sur ron is interesting. I think they cost around $3500 and have a distributor up by LA. They weigh closer to 100 lbs. Not sure they can go 50mph or 50 miles range - maybe? Whether they are street legal would be the other big question.


    Do you have a link to that rack? Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    9,481
    I have a 93 TW200 that I paid $800 for about six years ago for this purpose.

    The suspension is blown, prior owner spray painted parts of it red and Im not sure when the last time its had any service work.

    I should address some things on it but I dont want to screw it up. It starts on the second kick after a slow kick to cycle every time. Even after being parked outside untarped over the winter. Seems like if I start tinkering with one thing, Ill have to tinker with a lot of other things.

    I wont take it on 65 mph highways. I have I. The past but they are too busy now for a top speed of 50. Gravel roads are fine. I have a tray on my raft trailer tongue for it and I can load it myself.

    A buddy of mine got an off-road electric scooter like a nicer Lime or Byrd scooter that he folds up in his truck. His fishing shuttle is probably a max of 10 miles though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,029
    Thanks all. Evdog - I've seen pictures of yours, so thanks for weighing in with those details. I'd also be interested in a link to the bike rack. A buddy of mine has a late 90s KDX 220 that he is going to let me borrow for the summer to see if it will fit the bill and he isn't asking for much for it if I decide to buy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,432
    This is the rack I bought. https://2x2cycles.com/product/the-mi...cycle-carrier/

    If the moto doesn't already have one you'll need a cargo rack to mount the bike carrier to. I got this one, you'll need to find one that fits the specific bike. https://www.pmracks.com/products.php?id=135

    One thing not mentioned on their site is there is a different piece you need to buy if you ride with flat pedals. Also a boost adaptor depending on bike.

    They have a vertical rack as well which I thought would be better but when I called and talked to 2x2 they recommended the horizontal rack for me. It's worth giving them a call when you order in case they have any input or other new stuff not on the website. They have various mounting hardware they can include or not depending on the cargo rack on the bike. Some require u-bolts, others can use straight bolts.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    566
    I use a 1996 Dr350SE that I picked up for about $1200. With covid pricing its probably an $1800 bike. Maintenance wise you change the oil, make sure your tires, chain tension are good and you ride it. Not much maintenance if your riding it 50 miles or less a week for a few months a year.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    san diego
    Posts
    2,432
    And don't let the gas go stale or you'll be cleaning the carb. But yeah, mtce has been minimal.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    An Anheuser-Busch Barley Field
    Posts
    5,059
    channel your BDE and get a Honda Grom.


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