Dual sport suggestions

Tex68w

Beach Bum
The Beta's are super cool and I like the BYB options....but unless you live somewhere where there is big dealer support, I'd err on the side of KTM/Husq. I know several guys that ride both the 4 and 2 stroke Betas here locally, we have a really big support network relative to a lot of places and it's still not nearly as easy as getting parts as it is for the other bikes. I'd go through the (slight) hassle here cause I really like the bikes, but someplace else, where it's even more difficult....I don't think I'd be up for it.

It is the one down side to the brand here in the states at the moment but I do believe that will improve in time. Slavens is starting to stock parts and hopefully RMATV will follow suit soon.
 

nickw

Adventurer
KTM 350 XC-F and put a tail and headlight kit on it if you want to go the plated dirt bike route.

Cycle Trader
Not sure where OP is, but that's not legal in a few states, including here in Oregon. Its gotta be street legal from the factory.

I also think the spring forks and non link rear sus are big positives unless riding high speed desert stuff.
 

phsycle

Adventurer
Not sure where OP is, but that's not legal in a few states, including here in Oregon. Its gotta be street legal from the factory.

I also think the spring forks and non link rear sus are big positives unless riding high speed desert stuff.
In Utah, but planning to travel to surrounding states, so I'd like to keep it factory-street-legal only. I've added the KTM 250 to the list. I am ok with smaller bikes. I'd probably be fine with a 125.
 

nickw

Adventurer
In Utah, but planning to travel to surrounding states, so I'd like to keep it factory-street-legal only. I've added the KTM 250 to the list. I am ok with smaller bikes. I'd probably be fine with a 125.
If really only matters where the bike is registered, if your state allows bikes to be converted, you can do that and ride it anywhere. Regardless, getting one already set up is easier and I think the dual sport bikes are a bit better for what you are looking to do.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Yea here in Texas you can plate two-strokes with ease, just depends on your AO. In regards to PDS vs linkage I have to disagree with Nick, I only find PDS to have an advantage in small bump compliance and in ground clearance. That would factor in if you ride hard enduro and slow technical trails but even then I have never found the linkage to be a clearance issue and if so there are plenty of ABS skid plates that offer coverage for it. Most of us grew up on linkage bikes and are used to its characteristics and they dominate in MX, bigger hits/jumps and at higher speeds. I have also noticed that PDS is always more finicky when it comes to setting it up and is usually almost a certainty that you will have to mess with it in the aftermarket to get it where it needs to be. That said, I have owned a handful of PDS bikes and I will be picking another up this weekend so they have their place.
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
I have a DS'd XR400R that I ride around on. I live in CO. I will agree that a ~300lb bike (Ready to ride) is a bit heavy for singletrack here, or in many other places in the SW.
I stick to FS roads for the most part, though I do occasionally push the limits, like riding the warm-up loop of Slickrock trail in Moab, or a few tight singletrack trails near my home. I'm 6' tall, and in decent shape, but wrestling a tall-ish 300lb bike on tight technical trails is getting more difficult as I close in on 50.

I have long been lusting after a newer "do it all" bike to replace my XR. I really want a 4 stroke with a magic button. If I rode just a little more tight trails than I do, I'd be looking for a Beta/Husqvarna/KTM 2 stroke.

My current replacement choice would be a Beta 390RR-S. The transmission ratios in the top gears are just a bit too close for my taste, but that's about my only complaint, and the only one I've seen anyone else make. Tough to beat a Beta for smooth power delivery. Suspension just about perfect. DS'd right out the gate. Best I can figure, the R2R weight is about 260lbs,which is about 40lbs lighter than my XR400. (Beta site now says 240lb dry weight is actually wet weight w/o fuel...) A new Beta also costs about 4x what my XR is worth, and my XR just keeps thumping along...

You might also check into AJP bikes. Like Beta, dealers are spread pretty thin, but they are out there, and the bikes are really well built, and come with some great features at a very respectable price. Unfortunately the only one that's DS'd is the big one... Probably too much for most trails.

Really sucks that Oregon has gone to extremes to weed out DS'd dirt bikes. Who exactly do they think they're "saving"??

I suppose there were some KTM's that were factory plated. Gotta change the oil a bit more frequently, but that's the case with almost any newer bike.

I'll also add that there was a CRF230L sold for a few years. If you're not a heavy rider, they are pretty good bikes, plated from the factory. Six speed trans is pretty wide ratio, so you can gear them down and still have good road speed w/o buzzing it too hard. Air cooled, so no radiators to break.

Good luck!! If you get out on some test rides, let us know what you rode, and what you thought!!!
 
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1stDeuce

Explorer
FWIW, if you're in UT, it's pretty easy to get a dirtbike plated, or if you're buying used, to buy one that someone else plated. I would not discount that option unless you must plate it in OR or CA.

I've been looking for an old XR250 as a good DS bike. Weight is about 20lbs less than my XR400, R2R.

If smaller bikes are an option, see if you can find a used Beta 125RR-S... Seems to have really good reviews, even by full size riders. I think it would be a blast, but I think it was 2017/18/19 only. Not a big seller, and gone from the lineup in 2020.
 
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Tex68w

Beach Bum
I rode part of the Alpine Loop on a buddies 2019 Beta 390RR-S last summer and I was pleasantly surprised. It had very linear power and it was well balanced. Per usual the wring was crap and their plastics kind of suck and you've already mentioned the lack of a good dealer network but they are great bikes. They don't seem to hold their value as well on the second hand market so you might be able to find a better deal on a used one than you would with a comparable KTM or Husky.
 

MTVR

Well-known member
...XR250 as a good DS bike.
I'm not sure exactly which "XR250" you're referring to, but they typical XR250L dual-sport is powered by a wheezing asthmatic air-cooled engine that puts down all of about 15-horsepowed if you keep your chain all nice and lubed up, has crude "spring on a stick" suspension, and it weighs about 275 pounds. Why not just double your horsepower with one of the road-legal DRZ400 variants?
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
I'm not sure exactly which "XR250" you're referring to, but they typical XR250L dual-sport is powered by a wheezing asthmatic air-cooled engine that puts down all of about 15-horsepowed if you keep your chain all nice and lubed up, has crude "spring on a stick" suspension, and it weighs about 275 pounds. Why not just double your horsepower with one of the road-legal DRZ400 variants?
Just an option. Everything is a compromise... The big bikes you list do roads better, but a little XR250R (not L, but similar) works pretty well for tighter trails and riders under 160lbs or so... For some people, that works.
 

MTVR

Well-known member
Just an option. Everything is a compromise... The big bikes you list do roads better, but a little XR250R (not L, but similar) works pretty well for tighter trails and riders under 160lbs or so... For some people, that works.
The DRZ400S and DRZ400SM are not what I would call "big bikes"- they actually have lower seat heights than the XR250R. And they're street legal. And they're liquid cooled. And they have vastly superior suspension.

As was pointed out above, many states will not license an off-road vehicle for road use. Even if your state will allow it, have you EVER seen a title for an off-road XR250R?

You can't even file for a lost title, for something that was never titled in the first place. And if you can't title it, you can't register it for road use, even if your state allows registering off-road vehicles for road use.

The people that are registering off-road motorcycles for road use, are generally buying a brand-new off-road motorcycle, and tendering the accompanying MSO (Manufacturer's Statement of Origin) to the DMV to title them.
 

MTVR

Well-known member
The DRZ400SM also comes with a nice upside-down fork, an aluminum swingarm, a big brake, and 17" wheels.

Street tires work MUCH better off road, than off-road knobbies work on pavement.
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
No need to keep "street tires" on a SM version bike if that's what you find... My wife's SM style Honda CRF230M is a little billy goat on the tight trails, and is awesome on sandy trails too! It's also several inches lower than a normal dual sport or dirt bike, which is perfect for her.

IMG_20200626_164759.jpg

Hopefully pshycle checks back in if he does any test rides and gives us his thoughts.
 
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