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First dual sport: Is the Honda XR250L a good bike for me?

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Hi everyone,

I've had a motorcycle for about 3 years now (Ninja 250 and an FZ-07), but I want something I can take off road. I still own the FZ, which I use from commuting to some track days next summer. I'm looking for a cheap, reliable bike that's easy to work on (and have good parts availability in case anything happens).

I'd be using it for forest roads, single track trails, and just hooning around town. I live in western Washington, so there's tons of spots I want to go out and explore. I'm not a serious off roader, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want to push myself and the bike to get better. I'm fine with buying another bike eventually if I fall in love with dual sport riding.

So, I've looked at just about any Japanese dual sport in the 150cc-350cc range. I've narrowed it down to the Honda XR250L, DRZ-250, or a KLX250 (Probably not, since those are a lot more expensive).

I saw this add on craigslist: https://imgur.com/a/11LlJu8

I find the low miles to be a little concerning, but as long as it runs and sounds fine it should be fine no? Lastly, dual sports seem to be quite expensive here near Seattle, it seems like everything that isn't a piece of junk is listed for at least $1,500. Does the bike I posted sound like a fair deal?

Thanks for all your help and opinions! I'll be sure to post a lot more often once I buy my bike!

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Thats and XR250R is it not? Can't tell what year from the ad, but the XR Honda series definitely retain their value.  Given that you can plate a dirt bike in WA and you are looking to ride FSRs, and singletrack, you might just want to look at offroad/enduros models and then make whatever mods are necessary to plate it.  Any bike that is going to be decent on singletrack, by definition will be a compromise for riding on asphalt.  Plated dirt bikes are used for offroad riding and connecting from trail to trail.

Colorado has very similar requirements to convert offroad bikes to plated (other than that goofy rear fender crap you WA guys have to do.  You might post up in the regional forum for WA as I know there are plenty of WA guys with plated dirt bikes.



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That's a model sold in the USA from 1993-1996 (if I remember correctly) called the XR250L.

It was the street-legal, dual-purpose version of the off-road-only XR250R.

It does look a lot like the XR250R, doesn't it?

You can see the seam at the bottom of the steel fuel tank.

About the XR250L in the ad:

Sure, they run forever...so that's why it needed a top end job at 2,200 miles.


I'd be wondering what this bike went through, too.

If the bike was put back together correctly and really is in good shape as the photo suggests, it would be a good choice for dual-purpose riding with an emphasis on the off-road part.

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