What’s the smallest bike that you’ve taken on a fairly long road trip? How far did you go?
Or, to ask the question another way, am I nuts to even consider taking a roughly 600 mi round trip on a 250?
I was toying with the idea of riding my bike from KC to STL, staying a few days, then heading back. I would definitely avoid the interstate wherever possible - it would mostly be back roads, state highways, etc. But I’m not sure if it is even feasible. Am I going to do serious damage to my bike trying something like this?
One Memorial Day weekend I hopped on my '94 Yamaha Seca II, which is 600 cc, and went for a ride. I turned right at PCH in Santa Monica. By the end of the day I’d gone to Novato and then backtracked to San Rafael (north of San Francisco). I’ve also ridden that bike from L.A. to Las Vegas, Lake Havasu and San Diego. The R1 is more powerful and faster, but not as comfortable as the XJ 600.
You can make your trip on a 250. As long as the bike is in good condition, it will make the trip. But a 250 is probably not going to like long stretches at high speed. Keep the speed down to a comfortable range and the bike should be fine. I always carry a quart of oil with me, and you might want to bring along some chain lube. 600 miles is a long way to go on a bike not designed for it. Be prepared for a long, slow trip. It will be all about the journey and not about the destination.
Johnny L.A. is right about using a 250, rather small but doable.
I used to ride a Yamaha Vision. 550cc with full fairing. Riding from SF Bay Area to the LA basin (400+) was a piece of cake. I usually would only stop once for gas and back on the road. Very comfortable bike.
I know someone who did a 250 mile round trip, on a Honda 90, in the middle of winter, British winters are ot the nice snowy cold things, they are grim, horrible damp and miserable affairs - he chose to do it to get his mileage allowance instead of claiming for a train ticket.
This woman rode a Vespa from San Francisco to New York. I haven’t read the whole chronicle so I don’t know how long it took. It had to have been an ordeal, the sort of thing a writer would do to have something to write about. http://vespa-vagabond.blogspot.com/
I’ve twice been from Norfolk, UK up to the very north of Scotland, and once did the 400 miles home from Edinburgh in a day, on a 250. With a full load of camping gear. The bike stood up to it OK, although the 400-mile trip (about eight hours fairly solid going) was hard work. But the Scottish hills were difficult to get up on that bike - it wouldn’t pull more than 40mph in any gear on some stretches. I’ve done it on a 1000cc bike; that was easier going.
I’ve done plenty of 100 mile trips on a Yamaha 100cc (RXS) with wife on pillion, small backpack on her back and another strapped to the tank AND a full rear mounted pannier box. It was fine when the bike was moving, slowing down/stopping was wobbly. I enjoyed every minute of it, I learned lots before moving on to bigger machines.