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elkroeger

cheap little dual sports?

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elkroeger

I'm thinking about switching to a GS one of these days. But I've basically never ridden a dirt bike, so I'm also thinking I'd get a smaller starter bike first, to take to the trails and build my skills. Would you guys have suggestions for low budget used models that I won't be afraid to crash, drop or break? Maybe something around 250cc? Needs to be street legal.

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Bud
:lurk:

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roadscholar

In order of less intimidating (lower height and less capable suspension) to more off road capable.

 

Yamaha XT250, Honda CRF250L (heavy), Kawasaki KLX250 (2009> are better) , Suzuki DR350 (older but the last 2 years '98 and '99 have DRZ400 suspension), DRZ400 (5 speed but going up one tooth on the counter sprocket makes it pretty nice on the hwy), KTM 350exc (serious off road bike and not very much fun on road). There are others but these are the first that come to mind.

 

Edit, forgot WR250 Yamaha, slots in just before or after DRZ400 depending on your tastes, yes it's that good..

Edited by roadscholar

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profbodryak

Why not try and find a used G310GS?

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TEWKS

I posted a KLX 250 from CL in your area but the ad was deleted by author before finishing the post. :dopeslap: You should be able to find a decent one in the 3K range. I like the WR 250 too but, they will usually cost you a little more.

 

 

Pat

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eddd

 

I've owned and ridden eight of the smaller dual sports as well as a KLR650 and a DR650.

 

My current dual sport, a 2013 Yamaha XT250 is a great little bike. It is lightweight, has a low seat height, and is fuel injected...uncommon with most small dual sports. 2013 was the first year the XT250 came with fuel injection. For what you are after almost any of the models should serve you well, but if you ride at widely varying altitudes fuel injection is a great feature.

 

I suggest that you might also consider a bigger bike since you are wanting to work your way up to a GS. My choice here would be the Suzuki DR650. The bike is air-cooled, basic, tough, super reliable, with a great engine. It will withstand drops and can easily be lowered to give you an extra margin of comfort that you'll be able to get a foot down when on uneven terrain. With a wet weight of 350 lbs, a DR650 will be about 60 lbs heavier than a typical 250, but 350 is still an easily manageable weight. The bike is also a blast to ride...lots of torque from that big thumper engine.

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roadscholar

I'm with Edd on the DR650, great all around bike, after spending some time on one you may not even want a GS anymore except for long distance. Weighs less than a 310GS too. For more dirt tho smaller is better.

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powwow

I had a DR650 for a number of years and can confirm other posters opinions that it is a great, trouble free bike. It's one of those bikes that I regret selling after getting it all set up for adventure touring.

 

I'm currently making plans to ride the Continental Divide route next summer, so I'm going through the process of deciding what my ride will be. While I loved my DR650, I'm leaning towards the Yamaha WR250R as my next adventure bike. I like the fact that I lose about 60 lbs in the process and with a 6 speed transmission, power is not a problem (I'm 5'8", 155 lbs so I'm not so sure I need the power of the 650). I read reports that praise the WR250R for adventure riding, especially when the going gets more technical and while I have a fair amount of dirt experience, I by no means consider myself an expert at off trail riding.

 

Good luck with your decision!

 

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chrisolson

I'll put a vote in for the older DR350. I have one and its pretty much perfect for me. Cheap, light, and with enough power through a 6 speed trans to cruise 65 mph yet with a 1 gear low enough for most trails.

For more off road I'd want to gear it down just a bit but that's also a cheap fix.

 

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elkroeger

Awesome, thanks guys! Looks like I've got some homework to do. But y'all have eliminated most of the work for me. :-)

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eddd
I'll put a vote in for the older DR350. I have one and its pretty much perfect for me. Cheap, light, and with enough power through a 6 speed trans to cruise 65 mph yet with a 1 gear low enough for most trails.

For more off road I'd want to gear it down just a bit but that's also a cheap fix.

 

The DR350 is a good option, but since it has been out of production for 18 years they are pretty hard to find. People also tend to just hang on to them since they aren't going to get much if they were to sell them. I snatched up the bike Chris has when it became available near my house when Whip was looking for a small dual sport. I rode it a bit before delivering it to Whip who eventually sold it to Mr. Olson. I can attest that it is a great package. Many people consider it a mistake that Suzuki ceased production of such a well thought out bike.

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lawnchairboy

2 votes for the DR650. It is a great bike. UN2012%20144-L.jpgUN2012%20128-L.jpgUN2012%20083-L.jpg

Edited by lawnchairboy

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chrisolson

Hey Eddd , here's a fixer-upper near you ...

 

LINKY

 

 

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eddd
Hey Eddd , here's a fixer-upper near you ...

 

LINKY

 

 

Kick start only is an issue with many potential buyers on top of the obvious potential for a money trap. For $1300 more this would be my choice:

 

00z0z_eKR5ZstLtGX_600x450.jpg

 

 

LINK

 

While $2100 may seem steep, I bet you could ride it for three years, sell it, and not lose a penny.

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roadscholar

^^^ Looks like a bargain, probably wouldn't last 24 hours around here.

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chrisolson

A touring dr ??? LINKY

 

00u0u_exG9pzjoQ25_1200x900.jpg

 

$1900 in Phx . LINKY

 

00O0O_dgYavGQ6m4c_1200x900.jpg

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Indy Dave

I note the DR350 in Greeley bike has 10,000 miles. How durable are those smaller motors?

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chrisolson

The DR350 motor has a reputation of being very robust and reliable. I know mine runs great, pulls strong no smoke ... I have no idea of how it was treated in its early life ... shows 19K on the odo .

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Selden

Partly, it depends how long your legs are. I'm on the short side, and the Yamaha XT225 is one of the few DS bikes that I can ride comfortably, because the seat height is relatively low at ~31.5".

 

XT225 owners generally think it's a better bike than its replacement, the XT250, which is heavier and has a 5-speed transmission rather than 6. The XT225 has been out of production for about a decade, but used ones can be found. Power? After I dropped mine in the middle of nowhere a year ago, Randy rode it out at midnight, and commented that he was surprised at how much power it has. I'm running a +1 tooth front sprocket, which leaves the XT225 geared plenty low for slow stuff, but makes cruising at 65 mph comfortable. Given a long enough straight, I've had it up to an indicated 80 mph.

 

If you're taller than me, than there are lots of other choices.

 

 

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TEWKS

You may or may not of seen this but Bill led a few of us through some of Colorado's finest. A mix of skill levels were involved. All had a great time! :thumbsup:

 

 

 

Pat

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roadscholar

Video isn't available Pat but it was a good mix of dual sports (and a fun day). Two DR350's, WR250, WR450, DR650, and DRZ250.

 

IMG_3061-XL.jpg

 

Herding cats? :)

 

IMG_3059-XL.jpg

 

 

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chrisolson

That definitely was fun ... should do it again sometime (#9 bike)

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OoPEZoO

Man, I miss Colorado....

 

I'm still hunting a reasonably priced WR450 with a license plate on it.....and the time to use it

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JohnnyJ

Not cheap, but a good option.

 

https://powersports.honda.com/2019/crf450l.aspx. "289 pounds (Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride.)"

 

A recent talk with a local Yamaha salesman said that this bike from Honda should inspire Yamaha to release a street version of the wr450f.

 

 

Johnny J

Edited by JohnnyJ

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powwow

Dang...sure wish you hadn't posted that...I was all set to go with a WR250R. :-) This gives me substantially more power at the same weight.

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elkroeger

I had no idea this would turn into such a conversation!

 

Partly, it depends how long your legs are. I'm on the short side, and the Yamaha XT225 is one of the few DS bikes that I can ride comfortably, because the seat height is relatively low at ~31.5"....

 

I'm 6', but I also want my wife to be able to ride the thing. She's 5'2", currently riding a lowered 650CS. I half expect it'll just become hers when I decide to move up.

 

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OoPEZoO
I had no idea this would turn into such a conversation!

 

Partly, it depends how long your legs are. I'm on the short side, and the Yamaha XT225 is one of the few DS bikes that I can ride comfortably, because the seat height is relatively low at ~31.5"....

 

I'm 6', but I also want my wife to be able to ride the thing. She's 5'2", currently riding a lowered 650CS. I half expect it'll just become hers when I decide to move up.

 

If thats the case, then I would definitely lean towards the 200-250cc bikes. Anything larger tends to get really tall, really quick. Nothing worse than trying to upright a relatively heavy bike on the side of a hill where footing might be sketchy. I'm "blessed" with being build like a long legged gorilla, and there have been more than a few times when I had to help upright a buddies bike and move it up the trail so they can get back on due to rocks/ruts. My cousin can ride circles around me off road (20+ years of riding hare scrambles), but he's 5'6" and maybe 130lbs in full gear. He likes it when I come along so I can do the heavy lifting for him.

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Whip

The best first time dirt bike for us that don't wanna fall over is the Yamaha TW 200.

 

Not even close

 

 

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elkroeger

So what's the big difference between the skinny and fat tire dirt bikes, like that TW200? What's all that extra balloon do for you?

 

Seems like it would be specialized for soft ground. There must be a down side to them?

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eddd

 

While they have higher rolling resistance and wouldn't be the choice for higher speed riding, there are really no down sides to the TW's tires when mounted on the TW.

 

Don't dismiss the capability of the little TW.

 

medium800.jpg

 

medium800.jpg

 

medium800.jpg

 

medium800.jpg

Edited by eddd

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OoPEZoO

Yup....those little TW's are great. I think the extra tire just adds to the forgiveness of the bike.......little extra cushion, traction, and stability. I learned how to ride motorcycle on 2 fat tire bikes.

 

A Honda Trail 70 my Dad bought for my sister and I

img_FCo9WIDZulSkxOx_r.jpg

 

And a Honda Fat Cat......this was my Dad's mid 80's toy while the rest of the extended family was still ripping around on 3 or 4 wheelers. We eventually converted them all to 2-wheeled riders

Honda-TR200-Fat-Cat-Front-Right.jpg

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lawnchairboy

[Nothing worse than trying to upright a relatively heavy bike at 12000 feet where footing might be sketchy

 

 

fixed it for you.

 

I thought I was going to have a heart attack picking up the DR 650 at the top of a big hill in Colorado a few years ago. At least WHIP was at the top on his back taking a nap.

 

 

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JohnnyJ

I'm following this thread because I've been trying to decide on a MC that is easy to load onto my trucks hitch carrier, and still be big enough to be freeway legal. This, of course, eliminates the Honda Grom and its competitors. I recently had the TW 200 positioned side by side next to an XT 250. Oddly I could barely determine a height difference, and the weights are almost the same. I think the XT wheels would be better for freeway use. My friend swears by the TW because he can retrieve large game animals from remote locations.

 

This little guy would be perfect for me, but they don't make it yet:

https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/honda-bulldog-concept

 

 

Johnny J

 

 

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chrisolson
At least WHIP was at the top on his back taking a nap.

 

You mean like this ... ???

DPP_785.JPG

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Whip

Yup

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Bill_Walker
I'm 6', but I also want my wife to be able to ride the thing. She's 5'2", currently riding a lowered 650CS. I half expect it'll just become hers when I decide to move up.

 

Yeah, that'll be a problem. I'm 5'11", 32+" inseam, and I can barely get a leg over my KLX250S from the ground. I usually use the left peg with the bike on the sidestand, the way a horseback rider uses a stirrup to mount, especially since I usually have a tailpack on the bike. Once I'm on and the suspension has compressed (more under my 185 lbs. than what your wife likely weighs), I can put toes down on both sides, or easily put a flat foot down on one side. I don't know whether suspension lowering is available, but of course, it will compromise off-road ability. The stock suspension seems pretty good to me, at least on the road. I've hardly ridden the thing off road, other than the dirt road on my commute to my volunteer job. It's a lot of fun, though, especially in tight twisties. Kinda like riding a bicycle with an engine. And it can keep up with freeway traffic, although it can't accelerate away from it. Passing on two-lane roads is similarly horsepower-challenged.

 

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