1. Rods1969

    Rods1969 Limited User

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    Hi All,

    Before I put my question(s) out there let me give you the run down on myself.

    I'm 46yrs. old, live in Brampton, have been street riding motorcycles off and on for over 20 years and now I'm thinking about getting back into some form of motorcycling. Because of the obvious risks with street riding I'm now looking at trail riding (I know trail riding also comes with it own risks, but at least the trees don't move).

    I'm really looking to find out who's out there around my age that's trail riding, lives in my general area, what you are riding, what you think I should be riding as a first time trail rider and finally, do I really need a DS or can get away with a green plate trail bike, for?

    So, give it to me straight and tell me what I need to know in order to decide if trail riding is for me.

    Thanks and I hope to see you out on the trail
  2. Chef

    Chef ODSC Executive

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    52 years old. Live in Orangeville. Started back on dirt bikes in 08. I have a trail bike and blue plated d/s bike.I think something small with a blue plate. It just keeps options open for blue plated rides etc. in Brampton you are going to have to trailer your green plated bike. You can always use a small dual sport for commuting or even to get to rides. The difference in insurance will probably be 3 or 4 hundred dollars a year. The blue plate keeps options open. Who knows, you might not really like trail riding. You might like d/s better. There is no perfect bike that does everything.
  3. Ken Hynes

    Ken Hynes Limited User

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    47 years old, back into riding a couple years ago after a 20+ year hiatus. I have a green plated trail bike and ride the Ganny and SCF. As Chef said above, you miss out on some rides being limited with a green plate. Thinking about a DS bike as I am missing out on excellent rides with a good bunch of folks. Try a ride with Trail Tours in the spring, that will give you a rounded view of trail riding in the Ganny. Also, look through the threads on here and read up on some of the DS rides.
  4. brucedwilson

    brucedwilson ODSC Executive

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    Rods1969;

    I run a dual-sport skills course in Orangeville just for folks like you. It's a one day, closed course, one-on-one. It will get you comfortable on the bike, on the terrain, and introduce you to some of the local riding sites.

    I'm an ODSC Corporate sponsor and have been a member for ... I think, 13 years.

    I've been riding for 30 plus years...I'm not a racer, just someone who enjoys taking a bike nearly everywhere.

    Here's a link to the website: www.momentummotorcycling.ca

    Hope I can help you get into this kind of riding. Whatever you choose, you'll find the ODSC crowd to be very helpful and there are always rides going on that will support your introduction to dual-sporting.

    Bruce
  5. gorick

    gorick Ride Organizer

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    Hey Rods
    Since you are used to street bikes you might find a KLR 650 might be a bike you could start on. There are lots for sale at reasonable prices and they will do many of the rides posted here. You will have a blue plate and it will allow you to see if you want to do more trail riding or keep enjoying some of the street that you are used to. They really are a good compromise as long as you put good knobby tires on for those times you travel off-road.
    Once you start trail riding it won't take too long for you to decide which way suits you the best, be it more single track or back roads riding. From there you can then decide on the actual type of bike you will need.
    There is no comparison between a full out dirt bike or a dual sport bike or a street bike. You yourself will decide which one works for you after a few rides.
    Personal feelings are what matters the most and they are the ones that will cause you the most confusion when it comes time to buy the "right bike". I really do think that with your past experience a blue plated bike is the way to start.
    Give some serious thought to Bruce's offer. His years of experience and riding knowledge may turn out to be exactly what you need to get started in the dirt.
    Either way you will find most of the answers to your questions on this forum, or it might just cause more confusion due to everyone's different opinions.
    Welcome to the dirty side.
    Rick
  6. Woodzi

    Woodzi Corporate Sponsor

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    That has not been my experience. Those trees are sneaky and like to get in the way when you are making time down the trail. But you are correct that in most cases, if you have an incident on the trail you can get up and ride away, while on the street the outcome can be a lot worse.

    I am 49 with green plates. Have had blue plated bikes, but green is working fine for what I do. Lots of green plate riding available in Simcoe county or the Ganny within easy trailering distance from Brampton.

    The advantage of green plates is that the bikes are generally lighter and easier to handle off-road than a genuine dual sport. They are also less expensive to run. Insurance is 1/3 the price, no annual license fee and the bike itself will probably be less to purchase.

    The advantage of blue is that there are more opportunities available, particularly the organized rides.
  7. Randy_K

    Randy_K Limited User

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    Rods1969

    Sorry, no right answer, no wrong answer. Like Rick said , you need to find your own answer. I have had around 35 bikes to date and am 53. Like a lot of guys I quit riding for about 20 years but have been back riding for 10 years or so. My wife also rides. I have been from motocross to ATV to motocross to street to motocross to street to Dual sport to blue plated dirt bike to Dual sport bike to the present.

    Now that I have it all figured out :roll: I have dual sport, trials , motocross and street/adventure bikes. Or perhaps I find there is still no right answer.....

    Welcome to the club. Check out the ride report section :eat

    Randy
  8. Neil Edmunds

    Neil Edmunds ODSC Executive

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    You either make a compromise or own two bikes.
    Compromise 1: something like a KTM 525 blue plated that you trailer to riding areas or rides
    Compromise 2: DRZ400S street model that you ride or trailer to riding areas or rides
    Two Bikes: DR650 or KLR650 or VStrom for dual sport riding AND a green plated two stroke you take to riding areas
    The larger the bike, the more difficulty you may have keeping up with guys on light bikes.

    Try Trail Tours, it's the best way to get introduced to trail riding.
  9. Rods1969

    Rods1969 Limited User

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    Thanks very much to all that have replied

    I do agree that trying the Trail Tours is the way for me to go in deciding if trail riding is for me.

    When all has been decided, is it safe to say there is no shortage of trail riding opportunities fairly close to where I live in Brampton? Can anybody give me a few specific trail riding locations that are close to me?

    Earlier today I had a chance to sit on brand new Honda CRF250L at Brampton Power Sports. Before I sat on this bike I thought it would be too tall for me to get my feet on the floor/ground, but it wasn't.
    Anybody have any thoughts on this bike ad a DS? BPS was asking $5,600 plus tax

    Thanks
  10. suprf1y

    suprf1y Limited User

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    Honda's representation in the 250 DS market was a disgrace a few years ago and this was their answer. A bike that's not even as good as a KLX250, which is pretty much a 30 year old design.
    If you really like it, buy one used. If you like that size and style of bike, buy a used KLX250. No need to buy new. They're all reliable.
  11. Randy_K

    Randy_K Limited User

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  12. Rods1969

    Rods1969 Limited User

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    Once again, thanks for the replies and helping me with some good and helpful info.

    I did come across a 02 Suzuki DR200 that needs a bit of work to be road/trail ready. Anybody think this would be a good budget trail starter bike for me? I'm pretty sure I'd still trailer this bike to trail locations and only need the street part for street part DS rides (does that make sense?). Also, the DR has a motorcycle designation on the ownership. The current owner uses it as a trailbike with no plate.
  13. CoyoteJeepGuy

    CoyoteJeepGuy ODSC Executive

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    Coming from someone who owns a DR200 I would suggest going up to a 250 the 200 is quite gutless on pavement. I use it to commute around the city. Other than that it is a big compromise in all situations.
    Just my two cents.
    Art
  14. PaulB

    PaulB Limited User

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    Forty-something ... been riding since the 80s, mostly dualsports - can't seem to give it up. As others have noted, there is probably no one right answer to your question (as the concept of dualsport is inherently fraught with paradox, contradiction and compromise).

    I personally enjoy having a blue-plated DS as it allows the freedom to ride to work on nice days, and use my imagination to connect blacktop to scrub land along the way. Not sure if there is a trail system in your area, but lack of proximate / convenient riding areas may quickly become a source of irritation (unless you live next door to the Ganaraska Forest).

    You should be able to pick up a reasonably decent Japanese 250 or 400 DS for around $3500 - try that for a season, and see if trail riding holds your interest. If it doesn't, sell the bike and move on - the market for used DS bikes is usually brisk in the spring, and you should be able to sell without much loss or difficulty. I've had Yamaha XTs, Honda XLs, Suzuki DRZs and Kawasaki KLXs - all good bikes that are durable, robust and demand only basic maintenance. My personal recommendation would be to avoid high performance Euro-brands until you've got some off-road experience and are willing to "commit" to being an offroad addict. If you decide that a more competitive style of riding is for you, Ontario Offroad offers great venues.

    I also recommend getting some decent gear (gloves, helmet, boots, knee guards and chest protector). The Royal Distributing "no tax" events, or deals from ODSC sponsors / members are great places to start.

    For sure give DS / trail riding a try - even if its just for a season. As others have mentioned, watch out for the trees, rocks and ruts - they really do jump out of nowhere - I've got the OHIP rap sheet to prove it.
  15. Chef

    Chef ODSC Executive

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    I don't think you are going to find any legal trail riding close to Brampton. I think you will need to look to simcoe county forests for that. Dufferin county forests are closed to motrcycles and atv's. There is good Dualsport just north of you and great gravel roads out towards Halton Hills.
  16. alon

    alon Limited User

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    Thumbs up for Bruce's course - he is right in saying that his approach is perfectly aimed at someone like you (and me - 45 years old). If anything, his one day course showed me how my 500 pound, 160hp KTM 1190 adventure just isn't what I want for offroad riding. I've kept that bike for big rides and picked up a KTM 530 exc for proper offroad / trail / dual sport riding. Bruce is a great teacher and highly accommodating in terms of timing, location, etc - for me, he ran the course fifteen minutes north of where you live and he knows the area like the back of his hand.

    You will not regret getting a dual sport bike and having fun out there - it seems that many guys our age are either getting into it or getting back into it nowadays.