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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking at a dual-sport last year b/c I didn't think there was anywhere around my house to ride off-road. I go to VT a few times a year and wanted a bike that I could ride on the dirt-roads legally and then use on any trails I find. The only options I see are the huge dual-sport models, which I'm not really interested in. Conversions for smaller bikes seem to be a PIA.

Yesterday, on a ride, we were buzzing down a road I've never been on. All of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye, a dirt bike flew by me about 8 feet in the air lol. We stopped and looked, and realized they were riding on an awesome track just 40 minutes from my house. I talked to one of the guys riding, and it turns out there are more options than I realized near me.

I am a novice-intermediate off-road rider and am thinking about picking up a dirt bike to have some fun on. No racing. Looking for recommendations on bikes for model, go with new/used, etc...... I was thinking Honda 250 :idunno:
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
CRF250 or CRF450-of course I'm biased...
Seriously though, don't know your height/weight, but you really can't go wrong with the 450. Brutally fast, yet easy to ride, and if it is intimidating, the thing has enough torque to ride it a gear high to soften it out. In addition, it will jump virtually anything with a minimal run. You also don't have to rev the %$%^$#& out of it to make power like the CRF250 (read:longevity). You could pick up a used one from 02-04 fairly reasonably, used 04's go for around 4500-5000 in WA, 02 and 03 would obviously be cheaper. I would seriously consider new if you have the funds, however, as they are somewhat dependant on frequent oil changes, and routine valve adjustment. This would be in addition to air filter maintainance. I have had the 03 and currently have the 04, my dad had the first year in 2002. I was a die hard two stroke guy, but rode my dad's 02 with my 02 CR250, and was 6 seconds A LAP faster on the 450. It should be noted that this was a baked hardpack track with nothing slower than 3rd gear, but this was still significant. I was floored, and promptly sold my 250 and got the 03 450 shortly afterward.
Best of luck, and happy roosting! :thumb:
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cant agree more on the CRF standpoint, I have been riding dirt for years and have a ball. One thing I will say though, if you are inexperienced, the 450 can and will hurt you quickly. The 250 still has more than enough ass to throw you over anything with enough twist of the wrist. I own an 05 CRF 250 with minimal mods like FMF factory 4, Twin air and rejetted and it blazes. In my hands on my home track, I can stay with the intermediate guys on 450's of all makes. It's all up to your comfort level but the 250 has enough ass to power wheelie with my 180 lbs geared up in 3rd on hard pack and it will pull all the way to the limiter.

Either way you go you can't go wrong though.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Although I love power, I think the 250 will be big enough. Even a broken finger or wrist would put me out of my job for a while, so my riding will be somewhat conservative. The responsible thing would be to not buy one at all. Then again, while I have to grow old, I don't have to grow up :D
Maybe I could get my Q50 back. It's only been 20yrs since I last saw it :D

How often do the valves have to be adjusted? One concern I have is the cost of maintaining the bike. Oil, air filter, chain, etc... I can do myself. The valves I'm not sure I'd mess with.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks.

As far as a dual-sport conversion goes, has anyone done it? I guess some may consider it squidly to take a kick-ass dirt bike and make it street legal (just the minimum to get it licensed.) I don't necessarily want to ride it on the street, just be able to get to a few trails by taking back roads AND take it to the MX track a few times a year.

I saw a quick release kit online last night. Might hold some promise. I need to find out what Delaware's requirements are. Hopefully they're not too strict about the conversion.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Talked to the Honda and Yamaha reps today at the motorcycle show in DC. Basically they both said that converting the bikes generally isn't possible anymore due to new regulations regarding titling and registration.

I found it funny, but both the Honda and Yamaha guys looked around to see who was listening before whispering to me to go check out the Suzuki DR-Z 400S. Does anyone have any experience with this bike? The Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki guys at the show claim that the bike will not get destroyed if used for MX and will actually be fun to ride. (Keep in mind, I will not be taking HUGE jumps on it.)

I loved the Honda CRF250X, but it's almost useless to me if I can't get it tagged. I'll be checking with the DMV this week to see what it takes, and if I can get it done in here in DE.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I saw that too. It's a consideration for my wife, who won't do any MX. She'll be doing strictly dirt-roads and some logging trails. I don't think I'd want to take that out to a track though.

What I want is a high-end MX bike that I can get tagged. I guess the manufacturers just feel the market for people like me isn't strong enough. If I lived in or near a state where there were lots of trails that you could legally ride, I'd just go with a pure-dirt bike.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm so disappointed they don't make the cr500 anymore. I mean, we all own real mens motorcycles (most of us), I figured we could get a real dirtbike but not anymore :( I have a 92 cr250 and will probably get a 4 stroke when this one dies (and I get rich) since most of my riding is trails/woods riding.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
DUX said:
Talked to the Honda and Yamaha reps today at the motorcycle show in DC. Basically they both said that converting the bikes generally isn't possible anymore due to new regulations regarding titling and registration.

I found it funny, but both the Honda and Yamaha guys looked around to see who was listening before whispering to me to go check out the Suzuki DR-Z 400S. Does anyone have any experience with this bike? The Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki guys at the show claim that the bike will not get destroyed if used for MX and will actually be fun to ride. (Keep in mind, I will not be taking HUGE jumps on it.)

I loved the Honda CRF250X, but it's almost useless to me if I can't get it tagged. I'll be checking with the DMV this week to see what it takes, and if I can get it done in here in DE.
Check out this months Dirt Bike magazine. There's an article for conveting an X to be street legal.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
kf4mtw said:
http://www.4strokes.com is a good one. I bought a 2005 XR650L and love it, lowered the rear shock and front suspension, tightened the dampening and rebound some and it handle's great on and off road.

I know it's a good off-road bike, but would you really consider taking the 650 to an MX track?
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have a DRZ400 and it's a great trail bike. On the MX track it's a bit tiring because it's so heavy (compared to the petite little 2-strokes) and you'll need to respring it for big jumps. But it's made for the trails and it does a good job at it. I've never riden the S model but it's probably a good compromise. If you're going to do street riding w/ it, you probably won't be happy w/ anything less than a 350/400cc.
 
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