Want to ride off-road? A street legal dirt bike is the best way to do it. As a bonus, they tend to rock city traffic too. Here’s a guide to the best Dual Sport motorcycles.
The CRF250L is the cheapest bike on this list, and just an absolute steal. It’s completely capable both cruising on the freeway and playing on the trails. At 74 mpg, it’s also quite economical as well. It’s the perfect bike way to get started in this category.
The KLX is very similar to the CRF250L, just slightly taller and slightly more competent off-road due to its slightly longer front suspension and better brake feel. Unfortunately, the Kawi hasn’t received an update in far too long; leaving it the only 250cc dual sport that’s carbureted. The KLX250S is a very basic machine, offering unadulterated off-road ability.
The DR650 reminds of a bike made for 3rd world markets instead of a larger displacement dual sport. Compared to its more capable DR-Z400S stablemate, it’s two inches shorter, both in height and length, and has a drum brake in the rear. It’s isn’t as prone to speed wobbles on the highway, but is inferior to its “little” brother in pretty much every other capacity.
The KLR650 is one of the most popular dual sport bikes in the world. It’s found strength in its simplicity and has people continuing to purchase it, a bike that has been unchanged in a decade, because of the robust availability of parts world-wide. Our entire planet is filled with parts and people with the knowledge to use them that, when paired with the KLR’s 6.1 gallon fuel tank, make the KLR a great option for even your longest trek. Thanks to its big fairing, the KLR sorta straddles the ADV and Dual Sport classes. It’s heavier than a proper dirt bike, but also more capable of putting in road miles.
The Suzuki is good at pretty much everything it does, whether your riding is 100 percent off-road or 100 percent city riding. The small tank can be limiting, especially since fuel consumption increases dramatically at freeway speeds and Suzuki continues to offer it with only a reserve switch; no fuel gauge or light. The DR-Z400S is one of our favorite base platforms, but expect to do some modifying should you want to do any real trail riding.