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snacktical_tactical snacktical_tactical
1/12/2019 11:35 PM

My job has me moving to the bay area next month. I'm a small town kind of guy and traffic isn't really my thing. Looking at getting a dual sport to make the commute a little more enjoyable. I've been eyeing the ktm 250 exc-f to toy around on. Wanting to know what your guys' opinion is on dual sports and what size is the "best" for the road. I've never ridden anything street legal before so I'm a total squid in this aspect!

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seth505 seth505
1/13/2019 1:29 AM

I have that bike, it’s rad! I weigh 150 and only wouldn’t recommend it for someone who is pretty heavy.

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Crossup Crossup
1/13/2019 8:10 AM

I've had a couple of dual sports for light commutes when I lived in Washington state. Make sure it's at least a 350 or bigger because you're not going to be on the highway but you still need some top end. Check out the KTM 350 exc-f. It also depends on how much Road vs off road you want to do. I just bought a 19 KTM 250 xc-w TPI and converted it to street legal so I can ride two miles from my house to the forest.

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Mr. G Mr. G
1/13/2019 8:24 AM

Yes. Well used to. Recently sold it. Street legal uncorked XR650R. I can't say how it stacks up to other dual sports since it's the only one I've ridden.

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loftyair loftyair
1/13/2019 8:25 AM

Depends on your weight. Also how much dirt to pavement ratio. And how far the ride is.

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snacktical_tactical snacktical_tactical
1/13/2019 1:28 PM

I'm 6'3 200lbs. I've raced mx all my childhood from 60s on up. My last bike was a crf 450 but I've been bike free for a while because of kids and just life in general. Itd be a commuter 75% of the time with some trails once in a while. I've been looking with little luck on dual sport shootouts

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loftyair loftyair
1/13/2019 1:42 PM
snacktical_tactical wrote:

I'm 6'3 200lbs. I've raced ...more

OK. I'd go 600+ on the cc. Then the model would be a bit more street than dirt. More street, power/fun/safety, with just dirt capability, not all dirt but (barely) street-legal style. KLR650, something like that.

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snackfedbear snackfedbear
1/13/2019 1:48 PM

Get the husky 501 and put a loud exhaust on that sucker.

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1983YZ125 1983YZ125
1/13/2019 3:03 PM

KTM 690/Husky 701 for commuter duties.

Great maintenance schedule compared any other options that aren't gutless.

I believe KTM is bringing back the SMC for 2019 and Husky has the supermoto option as well.

Only downside is ~10-11k however very good resell value.

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Johnny Depp Johnny Depp
1/13/2019 3:25 PM

With your MX background you won't be happy with a big pig when you do hit the dirt. I assume commute means short distances? 200 lbs you will want a big bore open class bike. You didn't mention budget or whether you are after a street legal dirt bike. There are cheaper choices in the 250 Japanese range. You are here on Vital so I'll assume dirt worthy is what you want. There are lots of displacement choices, the smaller you go, the more you'll rev and use full throttle and the shorter the engine will last. There are 3 real dirt bike makers with lights, and the new Honda is not too far from it and has some merits for street use, but would not be cost effective to make into a dirt weapon. Beta, KTM and Husky are full competition machines with lights. The KTM and Husky require some modifications to emission stuff to make them right. There is some advantage to a smaller company like Beta when it comes to emissions, the bigger volume, the tighter the restrictions. The Beta 4t's are super reliable with dual oil chambers, and they make oil injected 2t's that are easy to plate in most states.

From a recent Dirt Bike test:
"Who makes the best Dual Sport line today? Beta. No asteriks, no subtext, and no double talk" https://www.betausa.com/sites/default/files/Dirt%20Bike%202019%20Beta%20430%20RR-S%20Review.pdf

"10. Despite not quite being a race bike, Associate Editor Jess McKinley knocked out race-quality times on it. Jess times all his riding and testing, so he has a vast performance database on a wide variety of trails in varying condition. In the dry summer conditions, aboard the 2019 Beta 350 RR-S, he put his fastest times ever on Los Padres National Forest’s epic Whatta Trail. Even he was surprised, especially with the less-than-ideal Michelin Enduro rubber."
https://ultimatemotorcycling.com/2018/11/24/2019-beta-350-rr-s-review-14-fast-facts/

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GCBC GCBC
1/13/2019 3:41 PM

1090R is a fun bike.

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MelonFan123 MelonFan123
1/13/2019 4:08 PM

If you want just a cheap, easy commuter that you can take out on the dirt occasionally, look at a DRZ400. Those things are bulletproof, great reliability as a daily commuter. I would stay away from a high performance 450 dual sport (Husky/KTM) as those are more dirt bike than street commuters.

If you have a higher budget, look at the KTM 690 or Husky 701. Capable off roaders but much better for on street use than the smaller 450s

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yzken250x yzken250x
1/13/2019 5:37 PM

I commute from the valley to San Francisco everyday. I always want to get a bike to make this drive but I’ve seen too many bikes get hit on 580 so that changes my mind.

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Harv379 Harv379
1/13/2019 6:47 PM

KLR 650 rider here. I just recently sold my Drz400 as well which was a fun bike. Get something larger than a 250cc so you can hold 70-80mph on the interstates with out red lining and white knuckling it.

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barnett468 barnett468
1/13/2019 6:52 PM
snacktical_tactical wrote:

My job has me moving to ...more

Why don't you consider a used bike. They are a much better value and far less cash outlay. This way you can use it for a while until you have a better idea of what might be best for you, then sell it and buy something else.

Since it does actually rain here on occasion, you might consider getting something you can put a rack and a box on or some type of easily removable saddlebags.

Honda XR650L is a nice bike and has electric start. It weighs only 349 lbs full of gas. $2500.00 - $3500.00 What's not to like?

Below are a few ads.

https://inlandempire.craigslist.org/search/mca?query=xr650l

Photo

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gt80rider gt80rider
1/13/2019 6:52 PM

Be honest with yourself. If most of your riding is actually off road, absolutely get a lightweight bike (sub 400 lbs) like the ktm... But if you will be doing much highway, much larger displacement is in order....

www.bettercallsaul.com
Die Antwoord

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disbanded disbanded
1/13/2019 7:08 PM

Street legal quad

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George Costanza George Costanza
1/13/2019 7:13 PM
snacktical_tactical wrote:

I'm 6'3 200lbs. I've raced ...more

I would say it depends on your commute. Will you be driving roads 55mph+, or city streets/suburbs?

I would go KTM/Husky 450 if its mostly city/suburbs and then the occasional open road. If its mostly high speed on open roads then maybe something bigger/heavier.

But for riding on trails, i would still want to have the lightest bike possible. The KTM/Husky crossover bikes are pretty sweet IMO and would be a lot of fun zipping around town on some street tires.

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NeedMoto NeedMoto
1/13/2019 7:32 PM
snacktical_tactical wrote:

My job has me moving to ...more

All do respect, I wouldn't use the Bay Area traffic as a training ground to learn about commuting on a street bike.

I'm 59 years old, born and raised there. Traffic and accidents, is the worse I've ever seen it there over the last few years.

Also get use to the crowded city life for a bit, as your coming from a small town atmosphere.

Obviously you've been there visiting, living/working will take a bit more acclamation.

Long of the short, I would wait a bit before dual sporting it.

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wfo4ever wfo4ever
1/13/2019 7:50 PM

What I have learned over my 50 years of riding is a dual sport is not a good street bike and it is not a good dirt bike. I would not waste your money on buying a dual sport. Why do you think there are a lot of used ones for sale with low miles on them. Get the correct bike for what type of riding you are going to be doing. If you can afford it buy both a street bike and a dirt bike. Also there are a lot of crazy people texting, drinking, and not looking for motorcycles out there. Trust me riding street bikes is very dangerous these days and only getting worse. I have rode over 100,000 miles riding on the street and I gave it up recently because of too many close calls in the city and even out on back country roads. Stick to riding in the dirt, it is much safer and a lot more fun than playing dodge car.

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Rickyisms Rickyisms
1/13/2019 7:54 PM


For the guys that say you can't ride something like an XR650 in the trails check this guy's channel out. He races my harescramble series and rides a fast class on a 650.

Unleaded tastes a little tangy. Supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.

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dirtdog36 dirtdog36
1/13/2019 8:18 PM

Loved my KTM 500 exc. it was badass.

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