Which Dual Sport bike to get?

Messages
786
Location
Alabama
Hey guys!
As per the title, I want a dual sport for nothing more than to ride through the pasture and some back dirt roads. No “sweet jumps”, no wheelies, no racing(all the fun I know). Just a bike that has a headlight that I can enjoy riding in the country where the trees don’t have cell phones distracting them. Just for good measure I will be taking an MSF course prior to my purchase as I have never ridden before.

I’m 5’8” 190lbs. Would a 250cc be plenty good? Again I’m not going to be ripping the throttle and doing crazy stuff. It’ll be my walk in the park so to speak.

Honda? Suzuki? Kawasaki? Yamaha? I have no clue who makes the preferred dually. For the type of riding I plan to do I’m sure they will all suffice. Also, I feel like buying used isn’t smart because of all the typical abuse these type of bikes see...
 

NavyVet88

Thread starter
Messages
786
Location
Alabama
This is the bike I’m thinking of going with.

 
Messages
1,066
Location
USA

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Messages
366
Location
WA
250cc? underpowered.
no matter where you go, there will be hills.
& dirt presents more rolling resistance than any pavement I ever biked on.
350-400cc if you expect to enjoy riding for more than 15 minutes. Think of it as a safety reserve if not for the 'wheelie power'.
 

NavyVet88

Thread starter
Messages
786
Location
Alabama
250cc? underpowered.
no matter where you go, there will be hills.
& dirt presents more rolling resistance than any pavement I ever biked on.
350-400cc if you expect to enjoy riding for more than 15 minutes. Think of it as a safety reserve if not for the 'wheelie power'.
10-4 I will look into something bigger.
 
Messages
178
Location
Tonville, Colorado
I totally agree with 02SE.
Pick up a used CRF or KLX and some gear. Both are excellent rides that are VERY reliable. They are also cheap and fun to maintain.

I've been riding my KLX for the past 8 years high up in the Rockies. So far, I've crossed over a dozen of Colorado's high mountain passes over the continental divide. Highest and toughest was Mosquito Pass at 13400 feet. It'll pull nice and slow like a tractor, has a great suspension, and also zips along when necessary.
I also like to putt around through mountain villages. It's nice and quiet so much that most people don't even notice me which I like.
 
Messages
392
Location
Hedgesville, WV
If you are going off road or any soft gravel get the lightest bike you can find. That new Kawi 300 looks nice but I would not want to mess it up. I bought a 2005 KLR 250 used and have hauled that bike all over the country on the back of my RV. It has been great for running around in the National parks, Moab and Salton lake. I weight 175 and have not had any problem with power. It is geared low enough in 1-3 to get through anything and 6th will get me up to 65 and hold it except on one long 9 percent grade and 5th still held on to 50 in the truck lane. Its really not a bike for the highway but just to get around a couple exits its fine. I am not a real spirited rider off road, it takes me to long to heal since I passed 60 but it could keep up with the quads every place I went.
 
Messages
1,077
Location
Pacific Northwest
I've been looking for the same thing. I'm mainly wanting a street legal dirt bike to haul around on the back of the 5th wheel to go explore forest service roads and such. In my state you need a plate to go on those "public roads", which requires a headlight, tail light, 4 turn signals, speedometer, horn, etc. As a youngster, my main riding experience as a kid was with 125cc and under bikes, which I feel would still take me everywhere I wanted to go as fast (or nearly) as I wanted to get there.
 
Messages
7,669
Location
The Midwest
DO NOT chose the Honda over the other Japanese makes because you think it's more reliable.
All Japanese brands are good.

I use to ride motorcycles. The Honda 250CC dual-sport bikes are nothing to write home about.
Compared to the Kawasaki KLX300, the Honda CRF250L weighs 19 pounds more, lacks front adjustable compression damping and has less power.

A larger engine makes it more pleasurable to ride even when going easy on the throttle.

I would get the Kawasaki.
 
Messages
7,669
Location
The Midwest
I've been looking for the same thing. I'm mainly wanting a street legal dirt bike to haul around on the back of the 5th wheel to go explore forest service roads and such. In my state you need a plate to go on those "public roads", which requires a headlight, tail light, 4 turn signals, speedometer, horn, etc. As a youngster, my main riding experience as a kid was with 125cc and under bikes, which I feel would still take me everywhere I wanted to go as fast (or nearly) as I wanted to get there.

in your case, this might be a good choice?
 
Used bikes are like any other used motor vehicle, you can tell at first glance if it's been well cared for. A conversation with the owner will tell you more. No idea if the pandemic has affected motorcycle prices and availability like other outdoor toys but it might make sense to buy new if you can find something. In normal times good low mileage/use bikes are out there.
 
Messages
1,371
Location
NY
I have a 250 dual sport and the 250 is plenty for me. I would much prefer a lighter bike than one with more power.
 
Messages
6,275
Location
Scruffy City
I'd probably look Kawasaki, Honda - Yamaha (tie), then Suzuki.

If you're open to Non Japan models and not super price sensitive don't leave out BMW, KTM, Husky et al. you also might look at some of the "light adventure" bikes depending on how rough the service roads and pasture are..




if you aren't headed out on the interstate for more than a few exits 250/300 is plenty for this kind of bike, they'll all do the speed limit, but you wouldn't necessarily want to do it for long due to comfort...
 
Messages
1,523
Location
Ca
I bought a new Yamaha XT 250 in 2018 for the low seat height and simplicity. At 8,100 miles and still enjoy it. Sit on and test ride as many bikes as you can. Keep in mind that at some point you will have to lift it to get going again. No big deal if you ride with others but can be a problem by yourself.

Since you are a new rider, my suggestion is buy a new Honda Trail 125. Once you have mastered it, you will have a much better idea of what you want in a larger bike. Keep the 125 though, it will be fun for many years.
 
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