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pplassm 03-08-2006 07:01 AM

Re: Supermoto/Motocross Convertible
I have a lot of experience with putting dirt bikes on the street. I ride NETRA events and many require street registration.

The bike you choose really depends on the type of off-road riding you are going to do. Smaller, lighter bikes perform better in the Eastern woods, while the more open riding in the West favors larger, more powerful bikes.

The big reason for using a KTM or other European bike, is that their MSO/CO's are usually not "branded" with a "Not for highway use" statement, as most Japanese off-road bikes are. This makes is easier to get a streetable title in many states.

If you can find a used Japanese off-road bike with a title, it is worth a littel extra to get that piece of paper.

A second reason for going with KTM is, if you wish to get 17" street wheels, they are available directly from the manufacturer. I have seen several KTM supermoto/SX/EXC/MXCs on the road, and they are very capable bikes.

Since you hint that you will have a separate set of wheels, tire compromise will not be a problem.

I currently have a KTM620RXC with 17" wheels that I ride strictly on the road. The few times I have ridden it off road have convinced me that it is too large for the stuff I ride. It can be done, but it is not pleasant.

I also have a 300EXC with a license plate that I ride in enduros and "Turkey Runs". It is great in the woods, but needs a sixth (and seventh) gear for road work.

I recently bought a KLX300 with a street title that I am going to use for local hops. I am hoping that the six speed transmission will allow me to gear it tall enough for road work, while leaving it usful in the woods.

Transmission spacing _is_ an issue with dirt bikes. Most are closely spaced for racing, and do not provide the spread for true dual-purpose work. Look for a widely spaced six speed, like Husqvarnas and KTM EXCs have to provide tall highway gearing, while retaining a true low gear for trail work. Careful, KTM MXCs have a six speed tranny, but it is more closely spaced than the EXC transmission. If you're going 2 stroke, Look for the KTM XC-Ws, not the plain XC.

FWIW, "Dirt Bike" magazine tested the DRZ400 with an additional set of 17" wheels, and pronounced it the "Ultimate Dual Sport". Of course, the s006 Huskys hadn't been released yet.

Have fun, no matter what you get!

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