Looking for a Dual sport to add to the stable. Help needed


New member
Well, my Gasser is getting lonely in the garage and needs a stable mate. I have been wanting a DS for a while and thought I would ask around to some of you for some info.

I live 5 min. from Mt. Hood Nat'l Forest and am looking for a bike that I can zip up the country roads and explore old logging roads, 2-track and some old trails. I do not want a road/street oreinted bike and am not interested in an adventure bike. I want something that can handle some short road stints (60 mph max), but is more oreinted to the type or riding listed above.

I am considering KTM 450/520 (used), a new 2009 Beta (RFS engine), maybe a DRZ400 with mods, possibly a Husky TE, or ....?

Any advice?
i have owned a early drz400y/k (the early one with kicker/dirt suspension - 1999 or 2000?) and a 04 te450... the drz was very capable but heavy, the suspension on that year was amazing for a big heavy bike - i rode it many times at hatfield mccoy trails... the 04 te450 was a bad year.. a friend i ride with has a 2010 te310 that he runs 90% dirt. he does quite well with it...it was terrible until he got it reprogrammed with ibeat.. then it was very very capable offroad. sorry i'm not a lot of help.. i know that for ds it's all about the tires. the closest thing to full on knobby makes a huge difference. them 50/50 tires suck in anything that's not dry.
I have a04 ktm 450 exc as my DS bike.. mainly cause I could not find a GG 450 at the time.. once I found it they pop-ed up all over the place. Its a good bike.. a bit big for the tight stuff but it will go anywhere I ask it to.. the road.... it sucks.. I sold my 03 KTM 625 sxc for this one.. had the big LC4 as my rehab bike and I think I was faster in the woods on that bike than the 450.. I just liked it better,, had a better feel. and it could handle the roads better.. in fact.. I could take a passenger down to the diner for a bite 20 miles away on the tight twisty mountain roads and it was fun.. I dont like riding the 450 more than the 8-10 miles to the trail head..
I do have some sumo wheels for it I'll be trying out soon.. maybe with those I may like it better..
good luck.. the 525/530 has better legs on road,, just a fyi..
my d/s bike is a 07 525 exc,that i've got set up for mainly baja trips ie: big tank,big springs,all the guards,ht oil cooler,steering dampner etc, i use it for dualsporting around here in the summer when it's to hot to ride my gasser. it's a great bomb proof bike,lots of low end grunt, and it tops out at about 160 km with stock gearing! for a full on dirtbike (albeit a 4 stroke that's street legal), I really can't think of a better choice.
I've owned a KLX300r that was a great enduro bike that I also truned into a street legal bike. The new 250's that are set up from the factory as a d/s are popping up every where I go. And they look great to!
Awesome input. Thank you.

I have been thinking that I dont really want a 450 with street gear because I do plan on hitting the pavement from time to time and I have to ride 10 miles of country hwy to get to the trails near my house.

I think that a 525 KTM or Beta would work pretty good, or a husky 610.

I also think that a good old Japanese DS might be a good fit as well. The reliability of a DRZ or KLX are rock solid. I know they lack performance, but I have the Gasser for that!

I can get a screaming deal on a '09 Beta 525 with the KTM RFS motor. Tempting, but I dont know where Beta is headed in the market.
Another vote for 525EXC. I had an 04 I bought new and just sold last year. Did everything with that bike: Enduro, supermoto races, roadracing, trail riding, dual sport. It spent the last 3years in dual sport mode and was perfect for riding forest service roads with an occasionl jaunt off on some single or two track that we have here.

If I was going to buy another dual sport, I would buy a LC4 version, just because the amount of offroad stuff available to the public around here is getiing slimmer and slimmer.
Not sure what your price range is, but the new bergs make wicked dualsports. I have my 390 plated and it's a great do-it-all bike. If I still had a Gasser in the stable, I'd go for a Husaberg FE570 for a dualsport.
I've got an older 08 TE510 I use for D/S'n around. It's OK and handle both dirt and payment quite well.
But if I was to do over I would not hesitate on the new Husky TE630.
I really like it.
It might be a little big if you're in the dirt all day but man it sure would handle the longer trips nicely.
Either the 525/530 or the husky 610/630.. The husky isnt quite as big as the LC4 but it does have longer legs.. The 450 is just a bit small,, The beta is a great choice if you can find one and the husy 550 or 650 is a great DS bike.. My buddy picked up a DS husaberg 550 for $3K in mint condition.. That thing rips down the slab and the trail.. but it can get away from you in the dirt.. it is a powerhouse..
Why are KLR450s never mentioned as a good dualsport bike? A friend has one and he loves that bike. I've ridden it and it is a much more capable bike than my DRZ was.
klr 450's are not street legal in a lot of places and a 5 speed close ratio tranny sucks as a dualsport machine! they are in my mind, a bike that completely missed the mark/target that they were shooting for.
my dualsport bike will crawl through the toughest snarliest baja single track in first gear, and then hit the highway late in the day and boogie into town for dinner and a beer at 130 km if i want to get there in a hurry. actually, it will hang at 150 kmh if you want to. that wide range of abilities is what a dualsport bike is to me in my world! when your knocking off all of this in one day,that some times is 350/375 km's per day, these things do add up.
The KTM640 looks very nice.

I found a nice XR650R that is street legal with Baja Designs kit, large tank, etc., etc. I am going to go take a look at it. I think it might fit the bill nicely.
Husky TE-610/630

I had a 2001 LC4-E and found it to be just about perfect for dirts roads and pretty manageable on all but the gnarliest single track. For my ds mount I wanted something I could actually go somewhere on and not get vibrated to death - a little more street oriented with a cush drive. I ended up selling that LC4 to upgrade to something newer and got TE610. I had a deposit on the KTM 690E and changed my mind. I could not be more happy. Not near as vibraty as the LC4, about as much power, and much better off-road. It's probably the most dirt-worthy of all the ds bikes out there IMO and pretty reliable.
If you go LC4 go 2003 and newer,, better crank bearings, less vibes, and better "high flow" head more HP.. The 610 is still nice.. wouldnt mind swinging a leg over a 610 or 630 to see if they would fill my current need..
The Husky is counterbalanced pretty well and the vibes are controlled. Not sure about the 630, but a new seat is a must do mod on the 610. I suspect that issue remains on the 630. I can go about 100 miles on the 610 before monkey butt sets in with my Renazco, and that's a long day on the backroads. I was getting 55 mpg before I bypassed the O2 sensor, which is pretty darn good. Much better off-road then the LC4 or the 690.
Get an Aprilia SXV550 (for road use). Shortly after, you won't be able to afford to have any bikes.

Get a 2006 or 2007 that hasn't had the engine sorted out properly and it will blow up pretty quick and you'll go broke trying to get it rebuilt.

Get a good 06/07 or 2008 onward and you'll go broke paying legal fees from the trouble that it will get you into.


I have a KTM 450, but if I were in your shoes, I'd go for the smokin' deal on the Beta! They have some nice bikes and I'm confident they are moving forward.