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One Dual Sport vs. Dedicated Dirt & Dual Sport?

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I'm thinking of selling my existing dual sport and my dedicated dirt bike and going back to one bike for both purposes. If I did, the new bike would be one of the 2010 dirt oriented dual sports of today like a 6-speed KTM EXC 450, Beta 450 RS, Husky TE450, etc.

I would like to get some (pros/cons) feedback here to be sure before making and or regretting such a decision. I enjoy aggressvie single track dirt riding once a month, and 3 days a month on 50/50 dual sport rides. Enjoy riding dirt more than street, whenever I get a chance.

Other than a DS weighing a bit more or the obvious combo-use tire limitations and making sure I have good "middle ground" gearing for both conditions, what other cons about going back to one bike might I be missing?

Thanks in advance for your input.

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Remember that the "DIRT" in dirt oriented is the key word. I have a 08 450excr with 160hrs on it of which only 15 are on the road. All the street stuff is on a shelf in the garage collecting dust. Now I rie mostly tight single track and if I knew then what I know now I would have opted for the 300excr-w but hind sight is 20-20 and I love my 450 regardless. And if push comes to shove I can throw on the lights and go to the store for a gallon of milk.

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It comes down to how much street use the bike will see. Do you ever plan on using it during the week for a commute to work or for cruising around in the evening? Or are you only going to use it on the weekend for real dual sporting? If you're only going to use it for real dual sporting on the weekends, I'd say go for it. Then again, I dual sport a close ratio 250 2-stroke with the same gearing I use for enduros and harescrambles, so I'm not exactly normal.

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I like having a separate dual sport and dirt bike. If I kill one I always have another.

I have ridden a few of the newer dual sport bikes and still can't imagine them being as good at tight single track than my 200exc so that is the main reason I still have two bikes. You can compromise and go with one bike but why?

Not sure I believe the less maintenance thing either. You will be doing the same amount of hours whether you are on 1 bike or 2.

I'm still waiting for the perfect bike to come out before I can get rid of the ones I have now.

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I got the te450 husky to be that "perfect bike" the only place it lets me down is the mx track but i'm happy with it in the trails / road... if it was good on the mx track as well i'm sure everyone would have one

I hear gas gas has street legal 2 strokes that look interesting with trick suspension, kinda wish i had a chance to test one out

EDIT : forgot to mention I ride a yz85, crf250r, and Te450

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The feedback is helping. Thank You.

MORE DETAILS:

I ride a 2009 Suzuki DRZ400S for dual sporting, 2008 Yamaha WR250F for dedicated dirt / single track use.

The DRZ is great for surface street and dual sport runs with less technical trails. I have not put aggressive nobbys on it yet but have done a few nice mods to it. To dirt it out too, I'd have to take the next steps. I use the WR250F for the single track use, and its not street plated and won't be in CA.

The reasons (rationale) to this point, well thought out or not are:

1 - one bike with 6 speed & lower 1st gear combo; to get me to the dirt.

2 - not having to haul my WR "dirt bike" everywhere to ride it in the dirt.

3 - gaining back a little space in the garage would be nice, but not required.

4 - getting extra use to one bike vs. two on the dirt/dual sport runs.

5 - venture into more "combo country street/dirt runs" with local DS groups.

And, other reasons would be obvious such as a little more space in the garage and less bling sittin' around if I can do most of everything on one bike instead. I ride DS maybe 2-3 times a month and dirt once a month now.

I will keep both if it just makes reasonable sense to do so.

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te450 still has short gears for highway doesnt it?

I would look at the husaberg's too, I've heard that they don't have the dreaded vin numbers that black flag for tags

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Its all dependent on your needs; for me it could be made to work if I have separate wheel sets, but I really don't need to ride on streets. I also started riding mx tracks recently, so I like a specific offroad machine.

If your riding options are limited and you need a plate, and if you mostly ride woods/trails (no mx) a dual sport would be perfect. If you can easily get to trails or a riding area and don't need the plate then don't even bother.

A friend of mine has a 09 530EXC and mostly rides offroad. The bike is insanely powerful (though not snappy power delivery like a MX bike) but a bit heavy however it works great and provides a lot of fun. He regularly goes on real dualsport rides, 50 miles of pavement to some hardcore singletrack, then back home.

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One good dirt bike(whatever top of the line bike you trully want)for the single track, and one cheap old street bike striped down and using some dual sport tires and learn to ride the heck outa it on the dirt and fire roads.

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...A friend of mine has a 09 530EXC and mostly rides offroad. The bike is insanely powerful (though not snappy power delivery like a MX bike) but a bit heavy however it works great and provides a lot of fun. He regularly goes on real dualsport rides, 50 miles of pavement to some hardcore singletrack, then back home.

Yeah, that's me - exactly, just like your friend with the 530. I don't ride track stuff any more but do like hard woods stuff once a month or so and the occassional meetup or dual sport ride. My background is mostly dirt though.

Before I bought this combo I have now, on the same day I was 99.9% sure I was bringing home a new 2009 Husky TE-450, test rode it and decided against it on the spot due to the gear spacing and some other things about the bike that just did not work for me. Since then I've been looking heavily at both the 2009 KTM 450 EXC and the Beta 450RS thinking I might be able to get back to one bike.

If Yamaha made a street legal WR450 dual sport that I could ride in CA without getting popped or title revoked (like some have been experiencing) I'd have two sets of wheels/tires and be set and done with it for the next 5 years solid. I really like the hanlding of my WR250F in the dirt and the DRZ400S on the street, but want something more dirt-oriented with my dual sport without having to upgrade everything - this is what's leading me to consider selling both.

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I don't know... it's a tough choice... kinda like marriage you know... it's all about compromise. I am thankful to have a VERY understanding wife... I have 3 bikes. They all have their place in the stable... and I have to say that if she were even more understanding I might try to sneak one or two more in to the mix but I think that might be pushin it.

I have an XR650R... great for a long ride... big tank on it, I can hit 140 clicks before I worry about a gas stop. It was my one and only bike for a while and it did it all. I rode it on nasty single track until I had a couple bucks hangin around and decided.... I need a billy goat for this stuff...then I got in the market for a little smoker for the tight stuff...Enter 200EXC into the garage, what an absolute pleasure to ride in the tight stuff... much better than trying wrestle a freaking BISON!!! Some time later I came across a CRF450R for a price that even a fool couldn't pass up... AWESOME bike... but only for it's purpose. WAYYYYY TOO STIFF and HIGH STRUNG for anything but the track. Sure I could wrestle my XR through nasty single track... but WHY??? I could take my STIFF sprung CRF on a trail ride.... but WHY??? I could spend a truck load of cash trying to make the crf a trail bike... or spend a load to try and make the XR a race bike.... hell... why not just embrace them for what they are???? and just ride them when the conditions call for them!!!!

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It never worked for me even just using my DS rig as an extra dirt bike. But your results may vary. I admit to being a rabid dirt junkie.

Try an MT43 rear. About 25 pounds on the street and about 10 in the dirt. They wear well and you can win off road event on them. That cannot be said about any other DOT rear that I know of.

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I had a related dilemma. There is one primary reason I stuck with separate off-road/race-intent and street-intent (sm for me) bikes: if you crash hard while racing or horsing around, or worse yet someone else uses you as their crash landing pad, you'd probably prefer that the pretzel you were riding wasn't also your means of getting to work on Monday.

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I did a demo today on a new Beta 450 & 525 with a 6-speed and all. Great bike, set up with dirt style D.O.T. approved nobbys. The whole time I was riding it I just wanted to take it off road. I took it on road for a bit and did not enjoy riding on the street with nobbys, at all. It was not nearly as fun as my DRZ400S with 50/50 tires on the street and maybe a tad more fun for sure than my WR250F on the dirt with nobbys.

It was a good demo, however it confirmed you either need two bikes or one bike with two sets of wheels/tires for different riding conditions to enjoy both hard dirt and street conditions.

Thanks for all the comments, its good to read how others have come to various conclusions. The comment I enjoyed the most was the one about getting a nice dirt bike and an older dual sport. That's probably what I should have done in the first place. Oh well, live and learn. :thumbsup:

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I built up an XR650R as a dual sport and am now selling it. I have a Ktm 250 2t as a dirt bike and have a Ducati monster for the street.

Like others have said, it depends if you plan to commute, ride on the highway, or a decent amount of asphalt use. If you look at a dual sport as being able to connect trails only you will have less issues.

The #1 problem is tires. Any decent knobby that you run on the street is going to get eaten up, and quick. I had Michelin T63's on my XR and while they were pretty decent at everything, they were still way behind an aggressive knobby in the loose stuff.

Other issues are parts and maintenance. Putting more miles and hours on a high hp 450 is going to be more costly. In addition, if you are waiting on parts for one bike or haven't had a chance to do the valves, tires, etc, you still have another bike to ride.

Finally, its nice to have multiple bikes so you have one as a loaner if you are that kind of guy. There are people that don't let anyone else ride their bikes, but it is nice to have one for a friend that rides coming in from out of town, etc, if that is a possibility for you.

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I did it, went back and did my research and demo rides all over again, and made the decision.

Sold the 2009 Suzuki DRZ400s & 2008 Yamaha WR250F this past weekend.

Bought a Beta 450RS. After demo riding a Husky 2009 TE450 last year and the Beta 450RS, the decison was finally evident for me and my type of riding and needs. Will buy an extra set of wheels/tires for full dirt and I'm done this go around. The demo was the deciding factor.

Final Decision: Beta 450RS !!!

Handles incredible, 6 speed, 40+lbs lighter than my DRZ, as easy or easier to maneuver than my WR250F on trails, seat height is much lower than Husky or KTM, and they are just a gas to ride. I did not want to stop riding the bike in the demo. Can't wait, my bike gets here in 10-14 days. Decided, done, research chapter closed after a 2nd go-around. Made the right decsion this time.

Thanks to all on this thread and TT for your help and input, it helped.

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I think the bikes you have listed are really enduro machines that happen to sneak in with a plate. They are teriific bikes in the dirt but do not really appreciate real bitumen work.

The best dual sports I can suggest and remeber its only my opinion is the Husky TE 610 or KTM 640/690. I suggest this as thay are capable for dirt work and road work about 50/50. They are not a high tech, high maintenace machines, and they are designed for sustained road word (read gearing etc.). The only draw back is that they are a little heavier than the enduro bikes.

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a little heavier and bigger is a big drawback, many of us only want a dirt bike with a plate, I wont ride highway with mine, I'll trailer close to where I need to be, highway just tears up the knobbies

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