Im a ds newbie, need help!

So I am looking at getting a dual sport bike. I am a moderately experienced rider, mostly trails and stuff, no hardcore technical stuff or mx at all. I need help with a bike selection. First I am 5'7" and weigh 160lbs. Probably will be doing a really close 50/50 maybe 40/60 road and trail, and with the road only a small percent of that would be highway. Wouldnt be doing any "serious" stuff. My budget is a hinderence, probably 2500$ max. I have read quite a bit of stuff already, I am pretty sure the 650's are just going to be too big a bike for me. I have heard good stuff about the super sherpa and the klr250. Also in the mix is the Honda 230l, Klx250s, the wr250 and 450?(too big?), the drz's, and even the tw200. For some reason I really am drawn towards the tw200, not sure why, maybe its all those years spent on a yamaha bw hunting. Anyways I know its a really broad question and their are going to be multiple opinions but thats what I am looking for. Thanks

If you're able look for an XR650l(then buy a lowering link).you will have a great machine with a more dirt/offroad oriented suppension. If you can't then go for a DRZ400. They are awesome bikes and have many option's and parts for them. Just my 2 cents.

The good thing about Dualsports is they don't loose to much value. I'd say, find one you like in good condition and buy it. After riding for a while you'll know more what you want. I'll of them are fun. 250 or smaller might be a good start.

DRZ400's and 650(Hondas) are TALL bikes. 

 Stay away.

 You are on track. 

TTR250 is a pretty capable bike at slower speeds with a shorter seat.  WR really nice, but pretty tall too. 

You mention a small percentage of hwy riding. For any hwy riding at all, a big cc bike is the only answer, and the smallest of those is the dr650 Suzuki, it has a 2 position rear suspension.

I'm just a tad taller and I ride a DRZ400S. It's lowered and the rest of the suspension has been adjusted accordingly. I would like to try a lower seat to make it a better fit but I don't find myself having issues with the height.

As you're requesting input I'd say best bet is to pick something in your price range that has good resale value. If you find your first choice isn't right for you for whatever reason, sell it and try another.

I'm very happy with my DRZ. Plenty of mod/upgrade options (I'm a tinkerer) and it fits my type of riding. I do both on- and off-road stuff. Plus there is a great support network here on TT.

The Yamaha TW200 is a fun trail bike for play but it's not a dual sport bike.  The gearing is super low so it won't go down the road well.  The tires aren't a good choice for pavement either. 


The Yamaha XT250 is a great small dual sport bike, I had the previous model, the XT225, for many years and the updated 250 is a fun and capable replacement.  It'll cruise at 55 mph, but it's small and light, so it sucks at 65 mph on the highway if you have a long way to go.  Guys load that little bike up with full gear and tour the world, go to to see the best posts, dedicated to the 225 and 250.  It's got a really low seat height so you can touch the ground better than just about anything else out there.  The Honda CRF230L also had a low seat but Honda quickly discontinued the bike because of it's dated design.  (dated can mean "very dependable" also)  The 230L's replacement, the new Honda CRF250L, is pretty tall, like most "off road capable" bikes are.  Because it's a brand new bike it'll be out of your price range, but it's worth looking at.  The more bikes you look at the better chance you have of making a smart buying decision.


I sold my Yamaha XT225 and bought a Suzuki DR-Z400S, a great dual sport bike for just about anything you could ever want to do.  ThumperTalk has the best support site for that bike:, everything you could ever want to know!  It's basically unchanged except Bold New Graphics since it's first year in 2000, so there are lots of them around for sale.  The biggest problem for you, and me (28" inseam), is that it's a tall bike.  I fit the little Yamaha a lot better and felt more confident on it off road in sand, roots and tight trees, and rough uneven ground: The stuff that makes you want to put a foot down.  The DRZ, at 400 cc's is much better on the road, and when you get to be a better rider it's also better off road when more power and higher speeds are called for.  On singletrack in the tight woods of the National Forests in Idaho the little bike will be easier to ride.  I've mountain biked the trails between Ketchum and Stanley and the XT225 or 250 would be perfect there: Lighter weight, shorter wheelbase, lower to the ground.  The bigger bike is better in the desert southwest, where the horsepower and longer travel suspension help cover those long open spaces of endless sand.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now