What Dual sport should I get?

Hi, just registered today to thumpertalk and I am looking to get a dual sport in South Florida Ft. Lauderdale area. This would be my first motorcycle. I am 5'11" and about 220 on a good day. I think I would ride mostly on the street but I want to ride dirt too. I looked at the Drz400s but craigslist does not have any in my budget of $3000.  What dual sport would be right for me?  Thanks

Take a motorcycle training course offered by your DMV if possible.

50% of all first time riders that start on the street get into accidents or crash.

 

DRZ would be perfect.

 

Anything below that price range is going to be a turd or kickstart or too old.

I live in Minnesota, so I can't sell you my DRZ.  I've thought about selling it for just under 2 grand.  It has twenty thousand miles.  It has been treated very roughly and looks it.  Yet I've taken good care of it.  I would not hesitate to ride it anywhere in the Country.  Many Dualsports are built to last a long time compared to race bikes.  For what you describe I'd think you would like the DRZ.  One will show up for the price you are looking for.  Also think about Older Honda's and Suzuki DR350.  I had a Yamaha XT350 I was quit fond of until someone stoled it.  Light Dualsports are nice but easy to steal.

Another DRZ vote

You're going to find a lot of happy DRZ400S owners, all of us eager to recommend the bike.  There aren't any significant changes to the bike since it's introduction in 2000 so you can chose the best one for the price and not worry too much about what year it was made.  You might have to expand your search area and drive a little farther to pick one up, it's a popular bike and used ones tend to sell pretty quickly. 

 

Other very popular dual sport bikes are the Suzuki DR650, Honda XR650L, and many BMWs.  None are as good off road as the DRZ400 but they have a large loyal following.  If you're going to ride on the street, but not on the highway, then a 250 cc dual sport will work but you're a big guy for that small of a motor.

Thanks I really think that something in between 250cc and 650cc is right for me.  I just went and looked at an excellent condition 2006 black and green klr with 5k miles for 3k.  I liked it alot but i think it would be pretty heavy for any offroad stuff.  So can anyone give me a list of all the dual sports that are between 250cc and 650cc?

Take a motorcycle training course offered by your DMV if possible.

50% of all first time riders that start on the street get into accidents or crash.

 

DRZ would be perfect.

 

Anything below that price range is going to be a turd or kickstart or too old.

 

I am taking the class here within the next month. I am actually pretty excited to learn the basics.

The only light weight (250 lb) street legal dirt bikes are based on a race bike to start with.  So KTM, Husqvarna, GasGas make a light bike but you're talking high maintenance and expensive.  Oil changes every weekend for some guys, and much more frequent engine rebuilds because of that race motor tuning.

 

Factory dual sport bikes that are designed to go the distance and be relatively low maintenance are heavy.  All of them, regardless of engine size.  The new Honda CRF250L weighs 320 pounds.  The Kawasaki KLX250S is 290+.  Yamaha XT250 is 290.  The Suzuki DRZ400S, at 320 lbs, is very close in weight but has twice the horsepower.  Then you get into the Honda XR650L, Suzuki DR650, and Kawasaki KLR650 that sit around 360 to 425 and have less power than the DRZ400.  And BMW makes very nice bikes too but they are expensive and heavy and generally not as capable in the dirt as the DRZ400.  But I've seen guys on BMWs and KLRs in places that I would never think to take a tank like that and they were having a lot of fun.  (White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park, Moab, Utah:  rough, uncivilized, 50 miles from nowhere and they were all smiles.  Just going a little slower is all)

 

I've owned several of the bikes I just mentioned, and have riding buddies that own the rest of them, so I've ridden them too.  Look around at everything you can find, ride whatever you can, and good luck.  A dual sport bike is seeking a compromise between vastly different environments.  Good road bike manners (and especially tires) stink in the dirt.  Great dirt bikes (and especially tires) suck on pavement.   

Edited by motoinmoab

I picked up my xr650r plated for $3200. And it has some extra goodies, acerbis hand guards, full skid plates, and radiator guards

Love it! It's a blast to ride fast and you can really ride it lazy and put it around. Not as comfy as the 650L which would be a nice second choice if you do not want a kickstart

Just bought a 2003 XR650R that is street legal for $3000. For a guy your size, you should be able to handle this bike fine. I'm 6' 3" 200. I looked at the DRZ400 before buying the Honda. Good bike, lots of them out there in your price range. I'm just not a big Suzuki fan and I prefer the big bore bikes. I like the power and reliability of the XR650R. I also had a 1995 XR650L that I rode the crap out of for 6 years. Very reliable but heavy. Good luck!

650's are heavy as hell. Go to a dealership and lean one over, then imagine doing that on the side of a hill. Drz400s is a perferct all around bike. Dirt/highway worthy. Right sprocket for the right occasion and you will enjoy it.

650's are heavy as hell. Go to a dealership and lean one over, then imagine doing that on the side of a hill. Drz400s is a perferct all around bike. Dirt/highway worthy. Right sprocket for the right occasion and you will enjoy it.

There is a difference between standing a bike on its side not move compared moving, while moving the weight seem a whole bunch lighter, just standing & tilting the bike to feel the weight, you can't compare.

There is a difference between standing a bike on its side not move compared moving, while moving the weight seem a whole bunch lighter, just standing & tilting the bike to feel the weight, you can't compare.

I have done both. My dr650se rides super heavy off road. And yes feels even heavier picking up or 'tilting'.

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