Recommend a good street legal DS for commuting

Hey guys,

I'm new here and I'm new to riding as well. I'm 19, living in British Columbia, going to university, and with insane insurance/gas prices I've started looking for alternative methods of transportation.

I've been researching a little bit and it seems as though a dual sport bike is what I would be looking for (mostly because I will be riding throughout the winter too given that there's no snow/ice on the roads). What I really want is a Ninja 250R but that's just not going to cut it for the winter. Anyways, I'm guessing my ratio would be somewhere around 80% road to 20% dirt. I'm 6 feet tall and weigh in around 150lbs. Like I said, this will be my first bike and I'm new to riding.

Given my circumstances, what bike would you recommend to me? Or would you recommend a DS at all? I've been looking at the DR-Z400S mostly but I feel like this might be a little too powerful? Maybe I should just get an old 93-94 XR250L but I don't want to spend all my money on repairs...

Bleh, I can't decide... help!

Yamaha wr250r

Kawasaki makes a KLX250S. It is a bit more modern than a XR250L. Used ones are around.

For 80% street I would buy a street bike. For the 20% dirt buy a two stroke 125. A street bike needs a big motor with tall gearing. If you insist on a Dual Sport buy a Honda 650L, or Kawasaki KLX 650.

Hmm, I thought the WR250R was supposed to be more for dirt. I would definitely consider it if my ratio was the other way around but I'm planning to be mostly on the road and I'm going to be on the highway as well.

MMotohead I'm going to look further into the XR650L... looks like a nice bike but I'm worried it might be too big.

Thanks for all the replies!

If you really want a Ninja 250R, why not get that? What is it about it that isn't going to "cut it" for the winter as compared to a DS bike? If you're really not going to ride much/at all in the dirt, I'd really just recommend getting a decent street bike. I myself would love to have a DS, but that's because i'd mainly want to use it to explore places that my dirt-only bike can't legally go. If you're going to be riding this thing in the winter in Canada, get something with as much weather protection as you can find (i.e. a good windshield and protective fairing). Heated handgrips wouldn't be a bad idea, either. Hmmm...maybe a used BMW F650 could be good ticket. It's really a street bike, but no doubt it could run down dirt roads/logging roads.

If I got a Ninja and rode it through the winter I feel like the weather would completely destroy it no matter how much I trick it out with weather protection... On the other hand, DS are made for rougher terrain (and therefore harsher weather conditions?) and I think something like the XR650L would be much more reliable throughout the winter than a Ninja.

I'm not talking from experience here, just common sense/gut feelings. Maybe this is all BS and the Ninja is just as hardy as a DS in the winter and if that's the case please let me know ASAP because I'll pick up a Ninja in a heartbeat! :thumbsup:

Oh and I have a place on Vancouver Island, and there are some pretty sick logging roads to ride on around there. I was thinking with the DS that would just open some more options when I'm not taking classes. :thumbsup:

Well, from what I can gather there are probably few bikes tougher or more mechanically reliable than an XR650L or a DR650. I'd probably just get whichever one has the most electrical output so that you can wire it up to run heated handgrips and heated riding gear. An F650 would still be at least worth a look, as they're very reliable as well and come equipped with a windscreen and such.

Hmm, I thought the WR250R was supposed to be more for dirt. I would definitely consider it if my ratio was the other way around but I'm planning to be mostly on the road and I'm going to be on the highway as well.

MMotohead I'm going to look further into the XR650L... looks like a nice bike but I'm worried it might be too big.

Thanks for all the replies!

You may be confusing it with the WR250F, which is the pure dirt oriented bike.

The WR250R is sold as a true dual sport with either DOT knobs or in a supermoto format with slick tires'

It has a pretty cool fuel injected engine and a unique frame layout compared to the dirt bikes ----

looks like a good commuter, but i probably wouldn't use any dual sport for really long mileage

I use my dad's CRF230L for riding to school, and love it, it'll do short highway bursts, but i don't take it on long drawn out rides on highway roads. We have a place just 25 minutes south Of Trail, BC and we use it on the logging roads there, really easy riding bike, reliable, and very manageable power. Also successfully used it in 4-6 inches of sand, as well as fair sized whoops in the local ORV park just down the road from our house. If you do want to do more highway riding, and i think the logging road we both ride are similar in nature, i'd even recommend a DRZ 400. Full size bike with more power than the 250's, very usable for more highway riding, but not so heavy it's a pain to handle on the trials.

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