What bike would you suggest for me

So I have been riding street for five years now and have around 30k miles under my belt. I have ridden 600c crotch rockets mainly, but for the last year I have been riding a 98 Sportster 1200c with some power mod s. I have limited dirt experience in tight trails  riding 125ccs in eastern Massachusetts on hard packed viny dirt where the mountain bikers go. 


What I am looking for: Something not exceeding 3500, that would be good for the type of riding we have in eastern MA. There are some sand pits and trails. One that is easily accesible to me is very narrow and riddle with vines, its a popular spot for mountain bikers, there are some big drops and they have built a number of those narrow ramps they hit. I'm looking for a bike that could handle the local terrain, be jumped to some degree (maybe 10 or so feet of air) and wont be unmanageable on the roads. I dont have a truck so I would have to ride to the trails. I'd also like to be able to go to some of the local dirt tracks in NH and Maine, my sister lives up in Maine so I have put some thought into leaving it up there some times so that I can spend my weekends riding up there. I would transport it to Maine rather than ride it. I wouldnt mind a dirt bike registered with a street title, I could always get a pair of road oriented tires for commuting. I would ideally like to sell my harley because I have decided that it doesnt suit my riding style. So I would also use the bike for my 10 minute city commute which includes a mile or two of highway miles. Ideally the bike would be able to handle steady RPMs for occasional 30-40 mile highway rides. I am 5'10, 140 Lbs, and 23 years old, I dont really mind a rough ride, I just want something that will be oriented toward dirt but capable of road riding. It is pretty hard/ expensive to title a DB for street use in MA so I would probably want to buy a used one that was titled in NH to avoid the added cost.


I am definitely selling the Harley, so I will need to commute on the bike but I seriously dont mind the ride being rough because my commute is so short. I am selling the Harley because I was recently cut off at 45 MPH in the middle of a corner at night, and had to swerve right into a big pile of sand, causing the rear wheel to lose grip, resulting in a low side crash. I broke my wrist in two places, but the bike is fine other than a small dent/rash in the rear fender, rear break lever snapped of, drag bars may have a small bend and there is road rash on the brake fluid res. I was planning on selling the bike at the end of the summer for a sport bike anyways and since I'm going to be off the road for a month I just want to make the repairs and sell it. Now I am thinking I should get a dirtbike instead and the sport bike in spring. Thoughts?

The first thing that comes to mind is a Suzuki DRZ400. I'm not sure how they do on the interstate but I'm sure they would be okay for 30 miles. They are a little on the heavy side though if the trails are tight.

Yeah , the DRZ is heavy compared to the performance based 4 stroke trail / enduro bikes .

The DRZ is reliable and good for trail work at a moderate pace .

The drz is super reliable and has a big following. Can be had for your price range for sure. Change the gearing and it'll do the high way.

Won't last on the highway.

What if I wanted to spend more and go for a bike a larger engine, like a KTM EXC-450R? Would that be lighter and better on the tails?

I dual sported for quite a while on a drz400s.  My suggestion for you would be to find something other then the drz400s.  Even though the DRZ400s was one of my favorite bikes and was one of the most reliable toughest bikes I have ever owned it doesn't sound right for you.


I hit 93mph (GPS) on my drz400s so it has plenty of speed to cruise 65mph on the highway and not feel like the bike is too high in the RPMs.  It also has a really smooth powerband so it is fun to ride off road as well.


The main downfall is the weight of the bike.  It is a fat pig on the trails.  I have 40lbs on you and I am 3 inches taller and I still thought the bike felt VERY heavy. 


As far as dual sporting in general the most important thing I found was tire selection.  The best tires on the trails get eaten up so quick on the highway it isn't even funny.  The best tires on the road are like ice on the dirt.  So tire selection is crucial.


I don't really have a suggestion on what other bike to try.  I have sold my drz and personally after much research I am going to go with a KTM 350 EXC-f.  I think it is a fairly new model so I doubt you will find any used ones in your price range.

I found a 2006 KTM exc=450 for a really good price...what do you think about that? Also would it be able to hit jumps? I I decided that I would like to spend a bit morethan orginally intended, probablly around 5k. What do you think of a WR450 or this: http://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/mcy/4598075697.html

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