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New bike of choice for season 6

Project Alaska

2 December 2021

Another new bike?! When I started my ride around the world, I didn't think I would buy motorcycle number 5 within three years. I have to admit, motorcycles are my biggest passion so getting to know different motorcycles isn't quite a punishment. But still, if it wasn't for the worldwide pandemic, that made me change plans and improvise all the time, I would probably still be riding on motorcycle number 2. 


My choice for my latest motorcycle is largely determined by my experiences with different bikes in the previous years and better knowing what I want. And what I want is simple. A low budget, lightweight, small capacity motorcycle, that is easy to handle on rough terrain on my own, that requires minimal maintenance and that is crazy reliable. These requirements pretty much immediately rule out the two bikes that I currently have in The Netherlands: Royal Enfield Himalayan "Dhanno" and Honda CB500x "Ronin". 


In case you missed it, Dhanno, who got stranded with me in Peru, has returned to The Netherlands. It took a painful 8 months to evacuate the bike out of Peru, after I had to flee the country due to Covid-19. She finally returned back alone by cargo ship. When I unpacked her at the port in Rotterdam, it soon became clear that this bike wasn't going anywhere anymore. Eight months in a humid parking garage in Lima, Peru, with filthy petrol in the tank, and some not-so-good crating/transport, pretty much killed this motorcycle. 


And how about Ronin, the Honda CB500x, my other motorcycle in The Netherlands? After my adventures in Europe, I was planning to take Ronin back to South America. I even did an entire Rally Raid suspension upgrade on the bike, to make it more offroad suitable. Ronin was basically just waiting for me to go on a new adventure.


And yet, I am not taking Ronin with me on my next adventure. My recent experience with my Honda CRF250L Savannah in Southern Africa made something crystal clear to me. I don't necessarily need a powerful bike, I need a light bike. 

Once I returned back from Africa to The Netherlands and got out on Ronin again, all I could think was: “What a heavy, awkward beast.” Great for riding tarmac or light gravel roads around Europe, but not so great for hectic off-roading. 

So what then? Fixing up Dhanno? Although the Himalayan only has 24.5 horsepower, it weighs almost 200 kilograms. It is incredibly heavy for a small capacity bike. And well, after experiencing the light and nimble CRF250L, there was simply no way I was going to lug around such a heavy bike ever again. 

Other options

When I was in South Africa, I had the pleasure to borrow some KTMs from fellow riders. I rode a KTM EXC 450, a KTM EXC 500 and a KTM 790 adventure. I have to admit, I love the sight of these KTMs. Truth to be told, they are some very pretty motorcycles. But....the height is an issue for me as a vertically challenged rider. I suppose you can do things (to the bike that is) to fix that issue, but the 790 adventure I found still too heavy in weight to my liking. 

The EXC 450 and 500 are just feather light. They weigh less than 120 kilograms! Perfect. However, there are two big 'howevers',  the service intervals are killing for these rally oriented bikes and the reliability is also still an issue for KTM. Over the years, I've just heard too many riders struggling with electrical problems and since I am no mechanic and like to ride in very remote areas alone, these bikes are not the most suitable ones for me. Two of my main requirement boxes, minimal maintenance and reliability, are not ticked by these KTM’s. 

Final choice

My experiences with the very reliable Ronin and Savannah, made me look at a Honda once again. And within the small capacity, light, single cylinder, budget, off-road motorcycles, there is only one option available: the new CRF300 Rally. You could consider it a new and improved version of Savannah. It has all the things I loved about the CRF250L, but has a bigger fuel tank (very important!), some wind protection and a little more horsepower (4 HP more). 

I said I was looking for a budget bike, and since the CRF300 is definitely Honda’s budget adventure bike, you can tell there was some compromising on the quality of the suspension for example. It basically comes with a cheap shock. I might upgrade the suspension in the future, especially if I want to compete in another rally, but for now, I will leave the bike with the OEM suspension. A combination of limited time to do upgrades and the money involved in it, made me decide to leave her as she is. 

I made a few other small upgrades on the motorcycle which I will show and explain in the next video on YouTube, so if you are interested in seeing that, stay tuned on the channel. For now, it's time to get ready, get geared up and start clocking kilometers with my new best friend!


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So looking forward to your continuing adventures on 'Alaska': to Alaska!
You continue to be a ray of sunshine in what can sometimes seem these days to be a drab old world.
Please don't stop riding!
Stay safe, and be happy.

Martin Dellagiacoma  | 

Hi Noraly Great choice on getting the Honda, I must admit I thought you would go for a KTM. So pleased your going back to do the Alaska tour, I keep going back to the original tour, there is just something about it, can't really explain, whether it's been the scenery, history, and video quality. Did you get heated grips fitted? Stay safe.

Les moore  | 

cette moto est parfaite pour votre utilisation et très solide comme Honda sais faire.
je voulais savoir si vous redémmaré votre aventure depuis le Pérou là ou s'est stoppé la saison 5.
hâte de vous retrouvé la-bas je suis bientôt à cours d'épisode a visionner...j'espère que les frontières ne vont pas se refermées...

jeanmag  | 

Dear Noraly, this is a great choice, your new companion! Honda's motorcycles usually do what is expected of them, just work. After your experiences with Honda, Ronin and Savannah, the choice was actually no surprise, I immediately guessed the Honda.
I'm looking forward to the new / old season, especially to hear you speak Spanish again. You saved my day yesterday with the first episode.
Kind regards, Christian

Cristian  | 

Great choice of steeds! So looking forward to the continuation of your "American" adventure! Prayers and fingers crossed, for you and all of us, that omicron doesn't scuttle your plans...


I totally agree with your choice, you do the miles you know what’s needed the Honda ticks 99% of the boxes great choice, can’t wait for the adventures to start good luck!

Recklesseric59  | 

Basanti, Dhanno, (Lima),Ronin, Savannah, Alaska.....
One Woman One World
Good Morning Internet
Let's Go

Onmoll channel  | 

That smile ... super excited for new season.

Shaun Glass  | 

Well, although the Himalayan is a rock solidly built battle beast, I guess the burdens of off- roading as much as you have done with her would have shown by now. ...and, as you would have ridden many, many miles of highway at the top end of her rpm-range by now, wear on bearings in the engine. But that's guessing. 🤷
Is Alaska's rear frame designed the same way as Savannah's? As you will encounter many more corrugated roads, it may be a good idea to take precautions to prevent it from cracking as well. The last stage of the Kalahari Rally wasn't the cause for the metal fatigue after all, or even the rally, but 20000 kilometres of vibration accumulated. Maybe keep it as an option for a big maintenance stop to add a reinforcement into the horizontal tubes of the rear frame. A tightly fitting aluminium tube of some 30 to 40cm length glued in with epoxy resin, equal lengths extending around the point where the lower strut is attached, probably would be the strongest fix for the trouble.
..or maybe some DIY support for the luggage onto the rear seat foot pegs to share the load onto more components of the structure... Just thinking aloud here. Like, brainstorming.
Brain-Farting? 🤔😟😇
Anyhoo: Lovely bike, and you probably mainly feel the extra torque the extra 8mm of stroke provide you with.
More anyhoo: I am happy to have your videos back, I was developing a nervous eye-twitch due to withdrawal. 🤗

Zweispurmopped  | 

It looks like the perfect bike for you. A bit more power than Savannah and a bigger tank. Looking forward to the coming videos on Youtube . Good luck Noraly.

Dave Marriott  | 
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