Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Still need help on bike decision

Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

I still need some direction :confused:  on bike buying. i have been researching for nearly 2 weeks and need to come to a solution.

 

I am 35 yrs old, never road motorcycle before. I weigh 166 lbs and about 5'-11". Houston texas.

 

Here is where I am stuck at:

 

1.I can't decide between dual-sport (street legal) or just regular dirt bike. Does dual sport weigh more and good for dirt and grass road? It would be nice to run local errands on the bike on weekends.

 

2. What is good bike for beginner? New or used? I was thinking 150cc, but dual bikes are not made for 250cc. Is a 250cc good for beginner.

 

3. Can I attach a trail on a 2002 Honda Accord (4 cylinder) to haul the bike to local trail for riding?

 

4. Do you recommend bike riding lessons regardless if purchase dual-sport or regular bike? Should I buy bike before the lessons.

 

Thanks. I think once I clear up the questions above, I can begin the process of buying a bike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have trouble relating because I've been riding a long time, but I'll try to help.

1)Sounds like DS would work for you, the extra weigh is always a negative, but less a negative on easier terrain. Street riding is a +, you can ride every day. Just keep away from heavy traffic for a while. I've been thru Houston and rush hour can suck.

2)I'd look at 250 and up in a 4-stroke. DRZ400 maybe. Easy to ride and room to grow.

3)I don't know, but I'm guessing you could pull a 300# trailer + a 300# dirt bike.

4)If you have a buddy who rides (non spouse) I'd start there for dirt. For street I'd recommend the MSF course. My wife took it and thought it was much better than me yelling at her.

Mike

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

250cc 4stroke dual-sports are good to learn how to ride pavement and dirt. Klx250, Crf250L (not X or R) and of course wr250R (not F), they are a bit heavy for real dirt when you know how to ride and underpowered at highway but are enough to pass most obstacles. You will probably want something else after a year or 2 of riding though

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

250cc 4stroke dual-sports are good to learn how to ride pavement and dirt. Klx250, Crf250L (not X or R) and of course wr250R (not F), they are a bit heavy for real dirt when you know how to ride and underpowered at highway but are enough to pass most obstacles. You will probably want something else after a year or 2 of riding though

 

Thanks for replying.

 

So a regular dirt bike is not good for learning street?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for replying.

 

So a regular dirt bike is not good for learning street?

Would be fine, but can be easy to difficult to almost impossible to make street legal depending on state. In Arizona it's very easy, don't know about Texas. Contact your local DMV.

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would be fine, but can be easy to difficult to almost impossible to make street legal depending on state. In Arizona it's very easy, don't know about Texas. Contact your local DMV.

Mike

I am just confused to rather getting a dual sport bike or just regular.

 

Do I need a license to ride dual?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have trouble relating because I've been riding a long time, but I'll try to help.

1)Sounds like DS would work for you, the extra weigh is always a negative, but less a negative on easier terrain. Street riding is a +, you can ride every day. Just keep away from heavy traffic for a while. I've been thru Houston and rush hour can suck.

2)I'd look at 250 and up in a 4-stroke. DRZ400 maybe. Easy to ride and room to grow.

3)I don't know, but I'm guessing you could pull a 300# trailer + a 300# dirt bike.

4)If you have a buddy who rides (non spouse) I'd start there for dirt. For street I'd recommend the MSF course. My wife took it and thought it was much better than me yelling at her.

Mike

Thank you Mike,

 

Your comments helps.

 

What do you mean by " the extra weigh is always a negative, but less a negative on easier terrain"

 

Ok, taking a MSF course is something I will do.

 

Do you think I should take the course first before buying a bike?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

250cc 4stroke dual-sports are good to learn how to ride pavement and dirt. Klx250, Crf250L (not X or R) and of course wr250R (not F), they are a bit heavy for real dirt when you know how to ride and underpowered at highway but are enough to pass most obstacles. You will probably want something else after a year or 2 of riding though

 

Is 250cc 4stroke dual-sports good for the dirt?

 

I am think I am leaning towards dual sport. Then when I ride in the dirt, I can later decide if I want just a regular dirt bike for the dirt.

 

THanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am just confused to rather getting a dual sport bike or just regular.

 

Do I need a license to ride dual?

 

I'm not sure I understand your question so I'll try to cover everything close.

 

The rider has to be legal, you have to have a motorcycle license, or endorsement in most states to ride on the street.

 

The bike has to be legal, a dual sport is legal from the factory. A dirt bike has to be modified to be legal to ride on the street in most states.

 

The 250 dual sport you are thinking of sounds about right.

 

Taking the MSF course first is ideal, and they supply bikes to ride and learn on. Or at least they used to.

 

I can't explain the weight thing, you'll understand once you start riding. As long as you don't start out with a 800# Harley, you'll do OK for now.

 

Good luck and welcome to the sport.

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for replying.

 

So a regular dirt bike is not good for learning street?

 

Is 250cc 4stroke dual-sports good for the dirt?

 

I am think I am leaning towards dual sport. Then when I ride in the dirt, I can later decide if I want just a regular dirt bike for the dirt.

 

THanks

 

You can learn how to ride a bike on the street on a dirtbike, but it doesn't really matter if it's a dirt bike or a dual-sport until you know how to ride, so in that case buying a dirt bike might be less reasonable than buying a dual-sport 250cc, because it has some restrictions of its own like, you know, they were built to race, so they have tight maintance schedules, you should change the oil every 500miles or less if you're racing (~1500-3000 miles on DS), you will have to rebuild the engine every 5,000-10,000 miles or so (usually around 30,000-40,000 on a dual-sports), and you will not be any faster on it than you would be on a dual-sport until you learn how to ride, really  :)

I've seen a lot of guys on WR450Fs, CRF450Xs and many different ktms who bought those as their first bikes and were passed by some old air-cooled 250cc dual-sports on the trails. So I would recomend you to look on dirt bikes when you know how to ride and you can ride faster than your dual-sport allows you to, until then it will be just a waste of money  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Is 250cc 4stroke dual-sports good for the dirt?

 

I am think I am leaning towards dual sport. Then when I ride in the dirt, I can later decide if I want just a regular dirt bike for the dirt.

 

THanks

 

 

BTW people used to Race offroad on dual-sports, the word dual-sport was first used in about 1986, to discribe the activity of people using the enduro bikes to ride roads and offroad and mostly do some adventure riding  :)

Edited by MCVL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 
 

 

BTW people used to Race offroad on dual-sports, the word dual-sport was first used in about 1986, to discribe the activity of people using the enduro bikes to ride roads and offroad and mostly do some adventure riding  :)

 

Thank you very much. I have decided to buy used dual sport around 250 to 400cc. 

 

Now my questions are:

 

1. How do I go about find a used bike?

 

2. Should I get motor cycle license first or start looking for bike now?

 

I decided to go to some local bike shops to just sit on the bike to see how it feels.

 

Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every used bike I have ever bought came off of craigslist.  The main problem is you could get burned pretty bad on a deal since you are new to bikes.  Do some research on buying used bikes and what to look for.

 

That being said I think the drz400s would be a good bike for you.  Your tall enough to ride it without having to lower the bike.  You don't weigh much and the drz is pretty heavy so that might be it's only downfall.  You may think it is heavy, but if you have never been on a bike before I guess you wouldn't have anything to compare it to.

 

Its 400cc and puts out 30+ hp stock so it isn't weak but it isn't going to be too much power to handle either.  The power comes on nice and smooth.  My bike wasn't stock.  I had full exhaust, larger carb, and quick turn throttle so mine had a lot more life then a stock one.  IF you could find one that is totally stock that would be best for a beginner. 

 

My friend had never been on a bike before so I taught him how to ride on my drz400s. 

 

One more thing about craigslist.  What is your budget?    That way you can get an idea of what you should be able to get for that much money so you don't make a bad buy on craigslist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can learn how to ride a bike on the street on a dirtbike, but it doesn't really matter if it's a dirt bike or a dual-sport until you know how to ride, so in that case buying a dirt bike might be less reasonable than buying a dual-sport 250cc, because it has some restrictions of its own like, you know, they were built to race, so they have tight maintance schedules, you should change the oil every 500miles or less if you're racing (~1500-3000 miles on DS), you will have to rebuild the engine every 5,000-10,000 miles or so (usually around 30,000-40,000 on a dual-sports), and you will not be any faster on it than you would be on a dual-sport until you learn how to ride, really  :)

I've seen a lot of guys on WR450Fs, CRF450Xs and many different ktms who bought those as their first bikes and were passed by some old air-cooled 250cc dual-sports on the trails. So I would recomend you to look on dirt bikes when you know how to ride and you can ride faster than your dual-sport allows you to, until then it will be just a waste of money  :D

Thank you so much for explaniation. 

 

Its making sense to me now. Just to make sure I understand: Buying a dual sport bike would benefit me better cause I get more riding experience with dirt and pavement?

 

Ok its making some sense now. So now I start the process of buying a used dual sport bike between 250cc and 350cc. Along with looking for bike lessons and get license.

 

Let me know if anything I am missing. Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every used bike I have ever bought came off of craigslist.  The main problem is you could get burned pretty bad on a deal since you are new to bikes.  Do some research on buying used bikes and what to look for.

 

That being said I think the drz400s would be a good bike for you.  Your tall enough to ride it without having to lower the bike.  You don't weigh much and the drz is pretty heavy so that might be it's only downfall.  You may think it is heavy, but if you have never been on a bike before I guess you wouldn't have anything to compare it to.

 

Its 400cc and puts out 30+ hp stock so it isn't weak but it isn't going to be too much power to handle either.  The power comes on nice and smooth.  My bike wasn't stock.  I had full exhaust, larger carb, and quick turn throttle so mine had a lot more life then a stock one.  IF you could find one that is totally stock that would be best for a beginner. 

 

My friend had never been on a bike before so I taught him how to ride on my drz400s. 

 

One more thing about craigslist.  What is your budget?    That way you can get an idea of what you should be able to get for that much money so you don't make a bad buy on craigslist.

 

Thank you, My budget is max $2500.00

 

What is the lightest in weight dual bike out there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless you get a serious off road bike with a tag (like a KTM 350EXC-f or a Beta 450RS) then your going to be around 300lbs.  Those bikes weigh closer to 250 but are very expensive and high performance. 

 

The drz400s weighs a little over 300lbs but it is very light when you compare it to dedicated street bikes.  It is just heavy off road when compared to other dirt bikes.  That doesn't really become a problem unless you are on really tight trails or really tough terrain.

 

The KLX250s is another dual sport I have experience with.  It isn't a ton lighter (in actual weight) but it feels a lot lighter then the drz400s.  The seat is ALOT lower and the weight is carried differently. Feels way lighter on the trails.  The main downfall with this bike is the power is very weak.  It would be a great beginner bike and they can be found under your budget but they don't offer a lot of room to grow.  They also do not feel as well built as the drz400s.

 

$2500 is about on the bottom end on what I would spend for a dual sport.  If you go DRZ they haven't changed in a while so the year isn't as important as the condition and the mileage.  I would start looking around and see what is out there.  If you find something on craigslist post the link and get peoples opinion on the bike.

 

I will say $2500 will get you a newer lower mileage KLX250s but just understand it doesn't have a ton of headroom to make the bike more powerful for the street.  You can dump $600 in them and get a full exhaust and a jet kit and improve the throttle response by a significant amount but if you wanted to come close to the stock power of the DRZ you would be spending so much money on the KLX.

Edited by DirtSmoker250

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless you get a serious off road bike with a tag (like a KTM 350EXC-f or a Beta 450RS) then your going to be around 300lbs.  Those bikes weigh closer to 250 but are very expensive and high performance. 

 

The drz400s weighs a little over 300lbs but it is very light when you compare it to dedicated street bikes.  It is just heavy off road when compared to other dirt bikes.  That doesn't really become a problem unless you are on really tight trails or really tough terrain.

 

The KLX250s is another dual sport I have experience with.  It isn't a ton lighter (in actual weight) but it feels a lot lighter then the drz400s.  The seat is ALOT lower and the weight is carried differently. Feels way lighter on the trails.  The main downfall with this bike is the power is very weak.  It would be a great beginner bike and they can be found under your budget but they don't offer a lot of room to grow.  They also do not feel as well built as the drz400s.

 

$2500 is about on the bottom end on what I would spend for a dual sport.  If you go DRZ they haven't changed in a while so the year isn't as important as the condition and the mileage.  I would start looking around and see what is out there.  If you find something on craigslist post the link and get peoples opinion on the bike.

 

I will say $2500 will get you a newer lower mileage KLX250s but just understand it doesn't have a ton of headroom to make the bike more powerful for the street.  You can dump $600 in them and get a full exhaust and a jet kit and improve the throttle response by a significant amount but if you wanted to come close to the stock power of the DRZ you would be spending so much money on the KLX.

 

Thank you DirtSmoker250 

 

Your help is well appreciated. 

 

For my case I have to see whats available for me in Texas. I live In Houston Texas.

 

My plan is to:

 

1. Look for training nearby to get licensee

 

2. Start looking on craigslist for a good dual bike below 400cc in Texas and post here for some help on what to look for.

 

Are regular dirt bikes lighter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes they are but then you have to try and get them plated.  Some states are easier to do then others. 

 

If you know you are getting a bike soon I would go ahead and get my learners license.  It last 6 months and is an easy test.  Like  20 questions on basic motorscycle skills.  You can get a book at the DMV.  Then once you have your bike you can ride on street right away if you wanted.  TO get your full license you have to take a driving test but it is fairly simple.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would go for a drz400. Very forgiving and easy to ride but has plenty of power to ride at highway speeds. I use mine to run to town or ride to work now and then , I also spend quite a bit of time on 2rut trails on the local state land ( legal to drive on with road licensed vehicles only). Not to many places to ride dirt only bikes in my area , although I do own both. Taking a motorcycle safety type class should build confidence and teach you basic skills , laws ,ect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

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

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×