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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering getting a little used dual sport bike to get into dirt riding. Something in the lines of Suziki DR200 or YamahaXT255, or even one of those 125cc-s.

I'd probably prefere a dual over a true dirt bike as I don't have a truck to drive the bike around.

Any suggestions? What to look for?
I'm 5'6", 130lb.

I'm absolutely new to dirt riding, so any relevant notes are welcome.
 

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I recently rode around Northern Philippines on a Honda XLR200 4-stroke.

The electric start was a bonus but in really tough going the trials universal tyres and shagged suspension made for tough going. The motor was a gem though and pulled like a train until altitude sickness got to it.

I think the XT225 ( Serow ) will be a bit to soft for serious dirt riding. Years ago I hammered a Suzuki DR250 in the bush and with a few mod's it was damn near bullet proof. Seat height isn't a problem on most dual-sports as the suspension sags a lot when you sit on the bike, and motocross boots give you strong ankle support so you can hold it up on tippy toes. Stick with the four strokes so you can apply what you learn to the ZR-7.

I ran a KTM 125 2-stroke after the DR and I think a dual-sport 125 will be a pain. The KTM had awesome suspension which allowed you to hit everything flat out, otherwise you couldn't keep up with the 250cc+ bikes. A dual sport 125 wouldn't allow you to do that would it ?

Whatever you go for junk the dual purpose tyres and fit knobbies. What you lose on the bitumen you more than get back with them in the dirt.

:)
 

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I don't think a 125 is out of the realm at all. At 5' 6" and 130 lbs, you're not going to overload it. In fact one of you're problems is going to be finding a bike that's not too tall.....the DR200 and the XT225 aren't bad choices and the XR200 would also be a good fit, but it's not street legal. Unfortunately there aren't as many street legal dirt bikes to choose from, but a lighting kit is an easy fix, sometimes a little pricey, but still an easy fix. I, personally, would stay way from the 2 stokes for a couple of reasons,

1) higher maintenance

2) the environmental laws are getting lot tougher and it won't be long until they are pretty much a thing of the past. The State of Ca. has already restricted the time of year a person can ride 2 strokes on public lands. The water-sport manufactures are also introducing more 4 stroke personal water-craft for the same reasons (environmental).

There are many fine motorcycles out on the market and, not unlike the sport bikes, they are usually seperated by slight differences in comparison. So my advice is to read up on the cc class of bike you're looking for and then let your heart be your guide. If you're condsidering a used bike, make sure to have it checked out by a competent, independant mechanic. Look for low compression, blown fork seals, blown shocks, bent rims (even slightly), cracked welds, new welds, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys for your comments.

The two stroke are not street legal here in California, so they're out.

I didn't know that you can fit a light kit on a dirt bike Not sure if it makes it street legal, though. You never know what laws they can invent here in CA. I'll check it out.
 

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The thing that will get you legal is running it off a battery and not off the magneto. You also have to get the brake light to work from both brakes, the headlight has to be a Hi/Lo and you gotta have a horn (yeah, we're talkin' hooter).
 

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Freeway Legal

TDV,

Bikes need to be 175CC or more to go on the freeway in California. I put about 20K miles on a '79 Honda XL185S back in high school. More than 1/2 of the miles were on the freeway screamimg the engine at 55~65 MPH :mecry:

I sold it after a few years and "moved up" to a Kawasaki KZ250LTD cruiser. Now THAT was a fun motorcycle!

Philip
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hmm.. That's strange. I thought you can buy Kawasaki Eliminator 125 here in CA. It'd do up to 70 just fine as I heard. Well, may be not.

Thanks for the info anyway, Phil.
Although it'd probably be hard to do dirt riding on a cruiser =)
 
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