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dual-sport newbie questions

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Hey guys I'm interested in dual-sporting, and I am looking for suggestions on the topic. I'll be getting a Baja Designs kit and I'm still trying to get a metal fuel tank. (1999 XR250) Here's some questions:

How do you guys lock your bikes up when parking them? My bike is a kick start,

so if left unlocked it would be easily stolen.

What are good DOT tires for street riding and the occasional off-road adventure? I'm not that aggressive of a rider. I usually just putt around and enjoy the woods.

Gearing. I love the torque of my bike, but I'd like to be able to cruise at comfortable rpm's going 65-70 mph. Also, I don't want to be struggling to make it up hills in the woods. What are the best sprocket sizes that would allow this?

Has anyone put reflective tape on their plastics? I'm considering it so that I would be more visible to traffic at night.

If anyone has any tips or tricks related to dual-sporting, I'd appreciate it.

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With a 6th gear, you enjoy some versatility, but I think gearing still puts you into compromise land. High-speed road gearing, and low-speed trail riding, conflict, even with 6 gears. I'd recommend you consider which is more frequent and/or critical, on- or off-road riding, and bias your gearing in that direction (e.g., up or down a tooth or so on the primary drive sprocket)..

As to tires, lots of DOT knobbies abound; the higher your off-road percentage, the knobbier you might go. For example, Kenda 270's have respectable knobs, yet--I find 'em mannerly on the street (conservatively ridden; don't know WHAT they'd be like, if you want to scrape the foot-pegs on the pavement). Knobbier DOT tires exist.

On a dual-sport, we're not likely to chase the sport bikes on the asphalt, nor pass an MX'er on the whoops at the track; however, we may survive both riding environments by compromises.

I'm sure you'll get some comments from TT forum members who know what they're talking about; I join you in looking forward to reading them!

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Have you got a street tag for the XR? If not, I wouldn't be in a big hurry to spend a lot of $$ to make it street legal. It very tough these days to get a street tag if your MSO say's "Offroad Use Only" regardless if you've added all the street legal stuff.

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I can't get a street tag until I've got all the DS goodies on it. I don't see why I couldn't get a tag if the only difference between it and a motorcycle is the original designated purpose.

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I can't get a street tag until I've got all the DS goodies on it. I don't see why I couldn't get a tag if the only difference between it and a motorcycle is the original designated purpose.

I agree with you... but before you spend the $$, I'd check with your tag office. I went through this in Fl. and ended up selling the bike and buying a KTM which I could tag (no Offroad use only statement in MSO).

My brother lives in SC and I was going to give him the bike so he could do it there and then I would transfer back to Fl. No go. He had the same problem there.

I'm not trying to take the wind out of your sails. I'd just advise you to make a few phone calls before you spend your money. Ask them what the process is to convert a dirt bike to street.

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Agreed- logic goes out the door at the DMV.

Also- You don't need a steel tank. That's an old myth (That only steel tanks are legal on the street) 2006 Husqvarna TE250/450/510's are 50 state DOT legal, and they come with [you guessed it] PLASTIC tanks.

Good luck at the DMV. ---BTW: Here in Washington the only way to do that (Plate a "for offroad use only" bike) is to have it plated out of state, and to bring it back. I have also sold a bike I was going to try and convert (XR250). I've had a total of 4 "pre converted" bikes, so I know it can be done here in WA.

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I'm not sure if this is accurate or not but the guy I bought my XR650R from said that Jap bikes did not come with a "off road use only" designation on the MSO until '03. Mine is an '00 & was orignally plated here in WA. I have not way to confirm this but thought it was interesting if anyone's looking to purchase a used bike to convert.

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Thanks for the replies guys. I'm gonna keep looking, but I can't find any sticker on the bike that says off-road use only.

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"Off Road Only" is on the MSO. If you don't have a title or MSO you're gonna find it really tough to plake anywhere.

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The XR250 I sold was a 1984, and it had "For offroad use only" on the title. I guess the thing to do is to check the title before you hand over the cash in any case... :thumbsup:

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05 WR 450 bought it brand new last month i added the mirror signals brake switch silencer

MSO said off road use only was going to do a reconstruct but did not have to

i had to get a vehicle safety inspection and form filled out by a law enforcement officer

took that and the form to dmv and got a plate the same day

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In SC it does not mater what you have on your bike to make it street legal. If it did not come off the show room floor street legal you won't get it street legal in this state with an off road only coded serial number. There were some people that did get them through but not after the DMV change there computer system over. And there are some that are still sneaking new off road only bike through but it's a crap shoot.

You don't need a metal tank are DOT tires are turn signals in this state of SC. Forget any tape it won't help.

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Ok so I called the DMV and got a no. Then I visited two DMV locations and got the thumbs down. :thumbsup: I guess my only hope is to buy and XR250L or get something like a DRZ 400, or one of the KTMs.

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That would be a smart thing to do, forget about the 250 Honda, you will hate it when you hit the pavement around Columbia, you will get ran over.

For DSing around Columbia the DRZ would be your best choice. For serous DSing (there is none around here) the KTM would be your best beat.

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Ok so I called the DMV and got a no. Then I visited two DMV locations and got the thumbs down. :thumbsup: I guess my only hope is to buy and XR250L or get something like a DRZ 400, or one of the KTMs.

Go to the DRZ forum and check things out. You can get a fully legal S model like mine (see my garage) and no worries. I was originally going to plate an XR 650R but too much $$.

Some minor mods and you have a 40 HP dirt bike you can ride on the road.

If you get the S, definately look into DOT knobbies. :ride:

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I remember a thread on the San Diego Dual Sport Website http://www.dualsport-sd.com/ about tires. Unfortunately the post was deleted when a server crashed, but it seems most guys favored Dunlop 606’s.

I can’t speak from personal experience because I’m a noob myself and all I’ve ever ridden on is factory tires, but I’m going try out the Dunlop 606’s when the ones I have wear out.

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