Opinions on the best dual purpose bike

So, i was wondering if i could get your guys help on trying to find a dual purpose bike that would suit me. I'm really really new to anything with two wheels and a motor. I normally drive an old 82' Honda ATC but i drove my friends 250 street and trail (i dont know what make), and i fell in love.

And so now I'm looking to get my own. I want something bigger, maybe a 350 or a 400 but other than that i dont know what to look for. If I get a bike id drive it to school and back during the day, and lunch at school too. And maybe to my girlfriends (3-4 hours in all maybe). I'd also like to do a lot of off roading, not tight trails though just wide backroad trails. I try not to but i'm kinda rough on my machines, the trails are bumpy and i like to go as fast as i can. I'm a speed demon. So something fast yet fairly dependable is a must.

Like i said im completely new to this, so i was just hoping i could get input on what bike would suit me. I'd like to make an investment i'll enjoy. Thanks a ton.

There's kinda two worlds of dualsporting for what you're looking for.

There's the street-legal dirt bikes... Great on the trail, OK on the street. WRx50's, KTM RFS's (XC-W, EXC), Suzuki DR-Z's fall into this category. My KTM 525 does great on singletrack... just eats it up. It'll do 80m/h on the highway, but it's not comfortable for extended periods of time. I commute to/from work with this bike. If OHV trails and singletrack are what you want to do, I'd look for something like this.

Then there's the bigger bikes... handles street better, a little more options for luggage, smoother ride... at the expense of weight and dirt trail capability. KLR's are a good example, but V-stroms are another option here. These bikes, with the right tires, can do forest service roads without a problem; but I wouldn't recommend taking one on a motocross track or technical singletrack. Not saying it can't be done, know a guy who rode his KTM 950SE in a harescramble race out here.... but you'd want to be a pretty decent rider to handle that much bike in that kind of terrain.

I'm thinking a drz400 might be right for you. Stock its ok on the street, ok in the dirt, easily made better for either, and cheaper new or used than the more exotic stuff like Ktm or Husqvarna. If I were you I'd buy used have a load of fun and get a better feel for what you want in your next bike.

DRZ 400 or KTM 300EXC if you want to go the 2 stroke route. Have heard wonders about the KTM on the trail, can testify for KTM's handling. Probably not as reliable as the Suzuki though.

My best friend is a first time bike rider as well, and he spent almost 4 hours riding evrything our local shop had. He finally decided on the Suzuki DRZ 400. The bike was easy to ride, comfortable size and power and alot of fun.

Buy all riding gear before even shopping for the bike. You never need it all more than the first time you ride. All the gear, all the time.

Get a DRZ , everyone and their mother owns one. Not much power for you to hurt

yourself and trail worthy.

Another vote for the Suzuki DR-Z400S. It's a really good light duty road bike and a really good medium duty trail bike. It can easily be adapted to be better for one or the other uses, but as it is it's the best all around bike out there. It's inexpensive compared to the KTM, Husqvarna, and Aprillia dirt bikes that are street legal but at heart are state of the art dirt race bikes. They cost twice as much, require premium gas and frequent oil changes. The DRZ is rock solid, easy to maintain, and does everything well.

It's your inner speed demon that wants to go as fast as you can that complicates things. You're new to the sport and if you get on a race bike you could end up in the hospital sooo fast you wouldn't know what hit you. Or what you hit... You can easily modify a DRZ into a very capable dirt bike that can be competitive for trail racing with your buddies and it will still make a good road bike to get you to school and back.

As asb77 suggested, maybe buy a good used one to see how much you like scaring yourself in the woods. You might find FAST is all you ever want to do and then you can trade up when you're skilled enough to use all the technology that a race bike offers. Or you might find yourself enjoying the scenery now and then too, and being able to take a friend along with you on the back? Then the DR-Z400S is perfect.

Yamaha's WR's are nice bikes, might want to check out the WR250R, or maybe even the XT250

Thanks everyone for the input, it's helped a ton. I did a bit more research on the DRZ 400 and I'm convinced that, for now anyway, that's the bike for me. Thanks again guys you were a great help.

You will love it! just find one with low time on it.

Check out the DRZ forum for the needed guards etc as well as lots of cheap mods, They are a great bike fun and easy to ride.

So, i was wondering if i could get your guys help on trying to find a dual purpose bike that would suit me. I'm really really new to anything with two wheels and a motor. I normally drive an old 82' Honda ATC but i drove my friends 250 street and trail (i dont know what make), and i fell in love.

And so now I'm looking to get my own. I want something bigger, maybe a 350 or a 400 but other than that i dont know what to look for. If I get a bike id drive it to school and back during the day, and lunch at school too. And maybe to my girlfriends (3-4 hours in all maybe). I'd also like to do a lot of off roading, not tight trails though just wide backroad trails. I try not to but i'm kinda rough on my machines, the trails are bumpy and i like to go as fast as i can. I'm a speed demon. So something fast yet fairly dependable is a must.

Like i said im completely new to this, so i was just hoping i could get input on what bike would suit me. I'd like to make an investment i'll enjoy. Thanks a ton.

normally I would suggest a ATK 605, but since they no longer have parts or support, have you looked into the KLR 650 or DR 650. They are great for back road riding and more comfortable on the road. :smirk:

normally I would suggest a ATK 605, but since they no longer have parts or support, have you looked into the KLR 650 or DR 650. They are great for back road riding and more comfortable on the road. :smirk:

The only reason I think he wouldn't like the KLR or DR650 is because of this line: "and i like to go as fast as i can. I'm a speed demon." Both of those bikes are good for his street use, but they aren't going to satisfy his inner speed demon. Not that they can't be ridden fast by a skilled rider, but he's new to dirt bikes and I think they would be hard work when he is chasing his friends on their lighter dirt bikes. I don't think there's really any place where a DR650 is better than a DR-Z400S. And he didn't say adventure touring, where the KLR650 really shines.

In my quest for a DS bike I started with the DRZ400 but was never totally sold on the forks not being USD, the weight of the bike and the fact that it only has a 5 speed tranny.

I then set my goal on the WR250R which is probably the best small bore DS bike in the crowd of the 400cc and smaller DSers.

After much research, I found it just too expensive for what I wanted to do. I was quoted $6800 OTD. I'm sure the fuel injection would be nice until I found out that I need a programmer at ~$300 just to richen it up especially if I wanted an after market exhaust. Before my wish list was over with, I was getting close to $8000. That's KTM money!

I found a leftover 2009 Kawasaki KLX250s for $4832 OTD with one mile on it. Sure it has a carbatooter instead of FI, but a DJ jetting kit is less than $60.

I bought it and couldn't be happier! The weight is the same as the WR and I saved about $2000 after all the upgrades.

And the red ones are way cool! :smirk:

http://www.youtube.com/user/biffg#p/a/u/0/RiY7-2xhfyk

friday 0031024.jpg

One of his criteria was 350-400cc so the wr is too small and the 650's too big. Personally if I were going to buy a new japanese ds bike I'd buy an xr 650.

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