Budget dual sport/trail bike thread

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8/5/2022 7:04 AM

The other thread had some nice info, but it got me thinking about a cheaper option to be able to rip a few miles of pavement to the trails and be at home on double and single track. Assuming you're in a state that you can plate just about anything, what is the go to here? Maybe something like an older KTM 450f with a few trail mods? WR450/250? Putting together s hopping list and would really like to be able to buy used and under 5k for something decent.

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8/5/2022 7:17 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/5/2022 7:18 AM

Really depends on what state you live in. Some states are lenient, others like red Georgia, won't tag/title anything that didn't come with a NHSTA decal from the factory (they have a database to check at the tag office).

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Ride like a girl!!!
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2017 KTM 250 SX build thread
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Current project: 2007 Kawasaki KX250-R7 retro build
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8/5/2022 7:28 AM

queen of spodes wrote:

Really depends on what state you live in. Some states are lenient, others like red Georgia, won't tag/title anything that ...more

That's why I put the line in about being able to plate anything. With the needed mods(lights etc.) I can put a plate on just about anything I want.

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8/5/2022 7:30 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/5/2022 7:31 AM

I just bought an 06 ktm 525 for less than 4k. It gets the job done to cruise the fire roads and some single track while plated. Mostly using it on our camping trips into the mountains.

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8/5/2022 7:42 AM

RonSkj wrote:

I just bought an 06 ktm 525 for less than 4k. It gets the job done to cruise the fire roads and some single track while ...more

The wife wanted me to go with her on weekend trips to the mountains to do some riding, I don't do horses much, but I found a solution.

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8/5/2022 7:59 AM

Have a feeling WA is tight on plated bikes. An older EXC or Beta RR-S.

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8/5/2022 8:07 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/5/2022 8:10 AM

JazzyJJ wrote:

The other thread had some nice info, but it got me thinking about a cheaper option to be able to rip a few miles of pavement ...more

The 2016 era KTM 350EXC might work for you. Probably get one for around $5k. I’ve got a friend who uses one as his offroad bike/daily driver.

Honestly though, anything will probably work. Just pick a good trail bike and take it easy while on the asphalt. Will they still plate basically anything in WA? I haven’t kept up on the rules.

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8/5/2022 8:36 AM

On the east coast I see a ton of EXC-Fs and have plenty of friends and acquaintances who bought them for dual sports/trail bikes. My buddies out west say the WR450s and CRF450X are popular choices. Like Broseph said, if you go easy on the pavement any reliable bike would be a good choice.

For those in states not so friendly to plating dirt bikes, South Dakota allows plates/registration to non-SD residents and is very friendly for plating your dirt scooters. That is all perfectly legal by SD law. Does registering/plating your bike in SD violate your states ordinances? I don't know, don't care, nor wish to debate about it, just posting potentially useful info. I hear Montana may be similar, I know some who have used Vermont, but I only have experience with SD.

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8/5/2022 9:02 AM

Like others have said- many bikes would fit this bill. It might be more about what parts places are close to you and/or what gently used bikes you come across. I would think a CRF450R would be a good choice what with lighting already there.

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Brennan- "Didn't you read the rules?"

8/5/2022 9:05 AM

RonSkj wrote:

The wife wanted me to go with her on weekend trips to the mountains to do some riding, I don't do horses much, but I found a ...more

Now that’s the way to do it . 👍

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8/5/2022 9:08 AM

I had a WR 250 and I'm pretty sure I've never been on a slower motorcycle and I spent some time on a 1980 KX 125, so that's saying something.

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8/5/2022 9:16 AM

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8/5/2022 9:23 AM

KLX 300 ?

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8/5/2022 10:10 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/5/2022 11:38 AM

Not suggesting one necessarily given your situation but man I had such a blast on my DRZ400s. Was a great california plated bike option for me. I picked it up cheap, threw a little money at it to clean it up and rode the wheels off it. Opened up the stock exhaust internally so that she still was palatable, FCR carb, airbox mod, and turned the clickers in all the way. It was so incredibly soft wit the stock springs but it was kinda fun to ride around that in a way. Had to ride the wheels off it because it was well.. a almost stock drz400. It was a tractor and totally slow but for someone at my average offroad B level, it was a hoot. Honestly for as heavy as the thing was it was pretty nimble, had great ergo's and cornered awesome! Classic suzuki things. Sold it only because I got a deal on a project XR650r and sometimes I totally regret selling it. I had so much fun on that bike riding from my house to poach some local trails with a group of friends. Made a lot of memories on that bike the last few years.
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8/5/2022 11:34 AM

My son Joe has a KLX300SM, he rides that like an idiot. Holding up pretty well.

Bought a KLX230 for Matt, not a bad bike to start out on. Does ok in the woods too.

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8/5/2022 12:01 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/5/2022 12:07 PM

I think the more shitbox the bike is - the more fun you have dual sporting.

Thats why you should try a DR650.

Just cruising down a dry river bed at 20 miles an hour is fun on a DR650. You would fall asleep doing the same thing on a big ol ktm / anything with good suspension.

Riding a dr feels like riding an xr100 as a teenager.

The bikes haven't changed in 20+ years - because they are a masterpiece already

-Add a seat concepts seat, giant loop soft bags, acerbis large fuel tank - and you can go camping with your buddies / have a few beers over a camp fire and ride for 2 days / 300 miles without refueling. Its awesome

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"yeah because you are not a fan, you're not a fan, you didn't grow up riding"

8/5/2022 4:32 PM

CRF300L. $5kish brand new.

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Indecision is a choice

8/5/2022 5:08 PM

Got a new 2021 CRF300L last year have about 2k on it so far it's been a lot of fun for my 65 year old arse running the trails and fire roads and a few miles of pavement getting there for roughly $6k Photo

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8/5/2022 5:10 PM

Older WR450's are pretty versatile if you can find a clean one that's grandfathered in. Mountains, Desert, Cruising with the mob... laughing
My sons 03' is still hanging tough.
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8/5/2022 6:52 PM

SSR 250

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8/5/2022 7:03 PM

sumdood wrote:

Older WR450's are pretty versatile if you can find a clean one that's grandfathered in. Mountains, Desert, Cruising with the ...more

Hey Sumdood, what level of maintenance have you done on that WR450? In other words, how reliable has it been?

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Come and take it

8/6/2022 1:51 AM

sumdood wrote:

Older WR450's are pretty versatile if you can find a clean one that's grandfathered in. Mountains, Desert, Cruising with the ...more

OleTex wrote:

Hey Sumdood, what level of maintenance have you done on that WR450? In other words, how reliable has it been?

I bought it used in 2016 so I don't know the full history, There's no odometer or hour meter but I change the oil every couple desert trips, I'm going to guess around every 8-10 hours ?. The last valve adjustment the guy I take it to said top end next time. Going by the odometers on the bikes it usually goes with we've put around 3,000-3,500 miles on it since we've owned it. It started getting hard to start about 2 years after we got it. Had the valves adjusted and it's started easy and ran good since. Sorry not a lot of help. The guy I got it from said he bought it from the Pro-Tec guys (Travis Baker) and it was one of their baja pre-runner bikes. I don't know if that's true but it was geared to the moon I got it. I don't know if it's had any motor work besides a full Pro-Tec exhaust, but the motor flat out rips. It'll easily hang with my 19' 500excf. It's a fun bike,

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8/6/2022 9:57 AM

I had a plated KDX200 for a hot minute. So much fun.
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8/6/2022 10:27 AM

selous scout wrote:

Got a new 2021 CRF300L last year have about 2k on it so far it's been a lot of fun for my 65 year old arse running the trails ...more

Love the 300... power isn't terrible... love the clutch and ergos.... my only big downside was the oingo-boingo suspension...

For you guys looking at the Honda 450.... love it other than the engine... comes with 38 ish hp... which sucks compared to what it should be.... but my biggest problem is how honda de tuned the engine... thing loves to die on the low end.... just doesn't run cleanly/properly down low... even with mods...

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8/6/2022 11:32 AM

sumdood wrote:

Older WR450's are pretty versatile if you can find a clean one that's grandfathered in. Mountains, Desert, Cruising with the ...more

OleTex wrote:

Hey Sumdood, what level of maintenance have you done on that WR450? In other words, how reliable has it been?

sumdood wrote:

I bought it used in 2016 so I don't know the full history, There's no odometer or hour meter but I change the oil every couple ...more

Thanks. Good to know.

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Come and take it