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  1. trevd

    trevd Limited User

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    Hi,

    I'm just getting back into off-road riding after 20 years away where I focused on street riding. Now, after spending last year as a motocrossing rookies, my buddy and I are going to move to trail riding. Motocross just made us feel too old, with all the young punks passing us all the time!

    So, once we sell our MX bikes, we have to buy bikes more suited to the trails. We're in Ottawa, and plan to do some riding around Calabogie, and maybe Larose forest, or wherever else we find.

    I keep debating whether we should get off-road only bikes, or get dual sports. We don't want to spend a lot of money, and we already have streetbikes so we have that covered already. I can see us towing the bikes to Calabogie or wherever, and then riding from there. In our price range (about $3000), it seems that there are more off-road only bikes available, and fewer dual sports.

    Especially to those of you that ride around the Ottawa area - is there a big benefit to having a dual purpose bike, or would an off-road bike be just as good? Is there a lot of road riding necessary in order to get from trail to trail?

    Thanks,

    Trevor
  2. Neil Edmunds

    Neil Edmunds ODSC Executive

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    If you want maximum fun for minimum dollars go with offroad only (green plate + offroad insurance). Trailer the bikes and plan to ride for the day. All you need is a big enough area to get the necessary distance to make a day of it. You will have the best bikes (enduro type) for the job and not have to spend hours trying to figure out how much dual ability you need to have in a dualsport. A dualsport does let you do lots of exploring though. Only you can decide which type of riding is more important.
  3. Woodzi

    Woodzi Corporate Sponsor

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    Why not put a green plate on your motocross bike and give it a try? Just make sure your bike isn't too loud.
  4. Randy_K

    Randy_K Limited User

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    My thought too. Another option is a Blue Plated bike such as a Husky Or KTM that can do a smaller amount of road work. The Calabogie area has tons of DS trails. Some of it is connected together buy small road sections. What ever you ride its one of the best areas to ride.
  5. Randy_K

    Randy_K Limited User

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  6. trevd

    trevd Limited User

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    I wouldn't want to do that. They're both 250 2 strokes, quite loud, super stiff suspension, and not enough low-down power for tight trail riding me thinks. The power on my yz is like a light switch... Very on/off. Maybe if I had a 4 stroke with more traceable power I would want to try it on the trails.
  7. Chef

    Chef ODSC Executive

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    The Ontario champ rode a yz250 this year. Why not try it? You could add a flywheel weight and soften up the suspension and make it perfect for you. I guess it depends if you want a new bike or are happy with the old one and know it well. my buddy has a blue plated yz250 ... Works well.
  8. Neil Edmunds

    Neil Edmunds ODSC Executive

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    Exciting riding provides really good stories at the end of the day.
  9. ScottyR

    ScottyR Limited User

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    If you have an 06 or newer YZ250 2 stroke, you already have the groundwork for a super off road bike.

    Soften the suspension up for woods (Enduro Engineering Suspension or LGS would be my top 2 choices)
    Add a GYTR flywheel weight
    EE handguards
    EE skid plate

    Do that stuff and you have a killer off road bike.
  10. trevd

    trevd Limited User

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    Thanks for the advice, but I'm not really interested in spending hundreds of dollars to turn a MX bike into a trail bike. I'm sure it can be done, but even if someone was to do it, they'd still have a bike with a close ratio transmission. I'm not into racing, and don't really want a high strung racer. I'm just looking for a good way to get down some trails.

    So, my original question still stands - and I know that different people have different needs, but do the advantages of a dual sport outweigh the compromises that need to be made off-road. Keep in mind that I'm looking at $3000 bikes, so the Euro bikes are pretty well out for me. My main question is especially for the Calabogie area - If I was to get a strictly off-road bike, would I regret it when I can't get from trail to trail legally?
  11. Randy_K

    Randy_K Limited User

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    A brand new DR 650 can be had for $5000.00. I can't se one a few years old being out of your price range.
  12. Smitty

    Smitty Limited User

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    Yes.
  13. RobP

    RobP Limited User

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    My 2 cents.....go to the Bytown Motorcycle Association AGM on 10 Feb .....talk to some members there. http://www.bytown-motorcycle-assoc.ca/

    If you intend on doing pure trail tight technical riding, you'll want a light trail bike in the Calabogie area and should be fine with a green plate to get from trail to trail. I've never had a problem. If you intend on exploring a little further afield on some of the back country roads in this area you may want to get a light dual sport bike.
  14. Taylor

    Taylor Limited User

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    You can ride dirt only in Calabogie, but there would likely be times when you would want to hit a road (for gas or shortcut back to car). As a result, I suggest dual a sport. There are also a number of people who belong to the BMA that do and organize dual sport rides. Having a dual sport opens you up to more riding opportunities. You seem to be interested more in the dirt side of things, so find one that is more dirt centric (2008 or newer KTM450EXC?).
  15. madrob

    madrob Limited User

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    Most of the BMA members who ride Calabogie do it on a green plate and don't have any issues running down the occasional dirt road. Just make sure you have insurance as well. Same thing goes for the Limerick forest south of Kemptville. The only issue you will have with a green plate is if you want to do any of the OFTR trail ride events as many of them require a blue plate.

    The best trails in Calabogie would not be much fun on a big dualsport so I would stick with a trail bike.

    Rob

    P.S. the most popular machines for Calabogie are 250-450 4-strokes or 250-300 2-strokes. I personaly ride a blue plated KTM 250 2-stroke and think it's perfect for riding Calabogie.
  16. Randy_K

    Randy_K Limited User

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    The BMA is a good group of people. I agree the AGM would be a good place to start. If you are more to tight single track a blue plated ktm or husky is the ticket.
  17. Iceman

    Iceman Limited User

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    Actually the majority of the OFTR trail rides are green plate friendly. I ride a green plated bike and live in simcoe cty, an area full of trails, but road linkage is necessary and I haven't had any issues. Your best bet is to find an older ktm that's blue plated. I bought a 2002 exc200 2st blue plated for $2600 older but still a killer bike! I didn't want to pay the road insurance so I switched it to green plate $120/year. When I sold it I switched it back to blue. If you plan on lots of dual sport type rides you can't go wrong with a drz400s or klx250(last forever, less maint.). More trails, ktm or husky 2st blue plated. I do love the 4st as well, but for me the cost of maintenance/repairs is too much. Plus the 2st are lighter! And let's face it the smell of 2st in the morning is hard to beat!
    Jeremy
  18. Ken Hynes

    Ken Hynes Limited User

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    " let's face it the smell of 2st in the morning is hard to beat!"

    + 1, amen brother!

    Ken Hynes
  19. scotiadallas

    scotiadallas Limited User

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    BMA AGM is this weekend - Sunday around noon.

    Here's the link to the thread, come out and meet a great group of people - everyone is friendly and approachable.

    http://bytown-motorcycle-assoc.ca/phpBB ... f=1&t=1849

    I walked into the AGM five years ago and never looked back. The BMA group will get you sorted out with the right bike choice and the information you need to ride the Calabogie area.

    Patrick Beaulé will be there and is speaking about his Dakar experience.

    Plus, free lunch and cheap beer.

    D
  20. tricky55+

    tricky55+ ODSC-OFTR Member

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    My 2 cents worth, and Canadian pennies are about to be useless.
    One of the all time best bikes for your stated purpose is a '04-'07 KTM 400EXC with a blue plate. I know where a good, low hour 2006 example, with Rekluse auto clutch, is sitting, unused for almost three years. Has blue plate, very little time on new tires and brake pads, and some extras. Would cost a bit more than $3K, but makes a great woods bike, and acceptable on roads also with its wide ratio 6-speed tranny.
    If you might be interested, PM me, or phone 905-878-4439, and we can discuss further, and put you in touch with owner.
    Rick