Lighter dual sport 2nd bike recommendations

holligl

Find the road less traveled...
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Nov 13, 2015
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Looking for recommendations for a low cost used "beater" bike. I do want to keep it street legal as it could be left in AZ as permanent transportation at our 2nd home. More interested in "reliably go anywhere" than going fast. Lots of more technical trails I would love to explore in AZ, but I'm learning my limits on the ST, especially riding solo. Lighter is better, probably 250-450cc range. No long trips or significant street miles (would likely get a hitch carrier too). Something from the last decade and
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ballisticexchris

Chris Moritz
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Nov 15, 2012
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Lot's of choices. Depends on what you are looking for suspension wise. In AZ you can plate anything so a Yamaha YZ250 is cheap, reliable, light, and handles great.
 

moto.monk

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Aug 19, 2019
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los angeles
Love az but is st is not the best choice so I will recommend the crf 250r as it's the only light weight bike I know. Cheap at $2500 cheaper still if can find one that's needs work to make it work think 600 to 1k bucks. Although 2 stroke who cares if your using it as a 2nd bike. If you know the hours on the engine and the owner can provide proof. Other then that a klx250 is great for short riders. Also a tw200 can be another choice it can offer many draw backs.
 

Sierra1

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. . . . In AZ you can plate anything . . . .
He's not joking. I once saw what appeared to be a late '70s Honda ATC. . . . on the road. . . . with a license plate. o_O

. . . . Also a tw200 can be another choice it can offer many draw backs.
My wife has a TW 200. She wanted something small, and easy to ride. It's an easy as hell to ride mountain goat. It'll do 70mph, but not made for it. It gets at least 60mpg. Comes with a 180/80-14 rear tire, and a 130/80-18 front. They're super common/popular with the RV crowd. It only weighs 278lbs, and has a 31" listed seat height. . . . feels much lower. It would be my choice for what you've described.

Edit: We picked this one up for $1,400. A brand new one is $4,600. They haven't changed a thing since '01, so buying new doesn't buy you "more" bike.

Trev & Ava.jpg
 
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Sierra1

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The son in the picture has the FJR. When he rides the TW, he just giggles, and says it feels like a bicycle. The tires are huge for the bike, and allow it to go anywhere.
 

holligl

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He's not joking. I once saw what appeared to be a late '70s Honda ATC. . . . on the road. . . . with a license plate. o_O



My wife has a TW 200. She wanted something small, and easy to ride. It's an easy as hell to ride mountain goat. It'll do 70mph, but not made for it. It gets at least 60mpg. Comes with a 180/80-14 rear tire, and a 130/80-18 front. They're super common/popular with the RV crowd. It only weighs 278lbs, and has a 31" listed seat height. . . . feels much lower. It would be my choice for what you've described.

Edit: We picked this one up for $1,400. A brand new one is $4,600. They haven't changed a thing since '01, so buying new doesn't buy you "more" bike.

View attachment 69737
They are at the low end of my list. A 1998 with less than 3kmi just went up locally (drum brakes and original tires). I did ride one for the basic rider course when I got my Illinois license. My concern would be suspension limitations, maybe the big tires compensate?

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Sierra1

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I wouldn't even consider anything older than '01. Before then they were kick start, and had drum brakes. They are basic as a brick, but their price reflects that. I don't know about the tires helping the suspension out, but, they give great grip. It's all going to depend where you're going to ride it. You might very well need a more modern ride.
 

ballisticexchris

Chris Moritz
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Holligl, What kind of off road experience do you have? And what kind of riding do you plan on doing? Just about any old XR Honda or even the TW200 will be fine for super slow trail plunking. Better suspension is needed as the speeds increase, slamming whoops, sand washes, rocks, fast desert, etc.

I highly recommend a 250 two stroke. Honda and Yamaha both have older ones that need nothing more than some flywheel weight and a 18 inch rear tire laced up on the back to make them hard core trail worthy. They are both bikes you can grow on as your skills increase. Being that they are carbed you can tune the jetting to your skill level.
 

holligl

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IL
Holligl, What kind of off road experience do you have? And what kind of riding do you plan on doing? Just about any old XR Honda or even the TW200 will be fine for super slow trail plunking.
Grew up on dirt bikes on the farm, a few permanent scars from lessons learned. A couple years on Arizona mountain/desert trails now with the ST. The ST is really capable and fun, but a lot of work when it gets rougher. Loose rocky climbs are where I struggle.


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Chaz

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Dec 30, 2018
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198
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L’Islet, Quebec, Canada
I would say DRZ 400. They are everywhere ...some beaten up and some in great shape!
loads of after markets parts for it from seat , suspension, racks to tanks. They are not the most powerful but you can easily change what you want on it to make it yours! Pretty reliable too. Honda Xr are getting expensive around here. Drz’s too.
I am looking for myself too! Miss a Dr-350 well kitted last spring for 1400$.
 
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