Another entry level ADV bike is hitting the market, the Suzuki DL250 better known as the V-Strom 250.
The first thing I noticed was the very cool round front headlight, kind of Dakar or Rally inspired feel to it, in my opinion it really makes the bike. This ADV bike will get awesome gas milage, 300 miles to a tank of gas, have ABS and a low seat height of 31″
This bike is following the light weight Adventure bike trend in the industry.
See Kawasaki Versys X-300, BMW G310 GS, and the Honda CRF250.
It is not yet available here in the states, but we are hopeful on this side of the pond.
Adventure or dual sport motorcycles can be great bikes for beginner riders. They can allow a new rider to experience riding in an open field, or trail, as well a get a feel for the bike on asphalt too. If a new rider falls over during the learning phase this is not such a big deal on a dual sport bike. Many of these bikes have protection on them and can withstand a drop which can be common when someone is riding for the first time. I recommend getting a reliable quality used bike, many people buy a new motorcycle to learn to ride and then want to move up to a bigger faster bike, or they realize that motorcycle riding is not their cup of tea and end up selling the bike in great shape with very low milage. So quality adventure or dual sport bikes can usually be found pretty easily on craigslist, cycletrader, etc.
The smaller cc bikes, like the 200, 20 or 300’s are great bikes for learning as they are light and nimble. The big Japanese motorcycle manufacturers all have these entry level bikes.
Honda has the CRF250 i standard version and Rally Version. Standard is top pic and the cool rally version is to the right.
Kawasaki has the Versys 300 now, which is more of adventure bike than a dual -sport, but they had the KLX 250 for a while, which was a great light dual sport bike, but they discontinued that bike. they can still be found around and are good bang for the buck.
Suzuki’s 200 is the DR200, a great reliable starter bike at a price point that is affordable.
Yamaha has the WR250 which is pretty much a dirt bike, and probably the most advanced one, which may make not as much of a learner bike as the others.
Now two of my favorite beginner bikes are the fat tired Yamaha TW200 and the Suzuki VanVan200, these are great for the sugar sand here in New Jersey, but they are fun and easy to ride anywhere and on many types of surfaces. They also have a low seat height and the power is not abrupt and easy to learn how to release the clutch in smooth manner, which can sometimes be a challenge for people who never used a clutch before. These two 200 cc fat tired bikes are a blast to ride and have ton of character too.
So, in short, look for a bike that has low seat height, can be dropped, can ride on mixed surfaces, and doesn’t hurt your wallet to bad if you do break a part on it or scratch it up.
It is always good to take a class, the state motor vehicle center usually run motorcycle classes here is the US, as well there are a number of business that train riders of all different skill levels.
Honda CRF 250 Rally
Kawasaki Versys X 300
Kawasaki KLX 250
Kawasaki’s Versys adventure motorcycle line is one of the most underrated ADV lines. This Versys line simply doesn’t get enough credit nor attention for some reason, they are all around great adventure bikes that are offered at a very practcal price point. Now with the new addition of the X-300, it shows Kawasaki is serious about their adventure lineup keeping their Adventure line up in tune with the ADV market trends.
All new 2017 Versys X 300 ABS
The new X300 comes in Kawasaki lime green and gray or metallic gray and flat black.
Starting at $5699 for ABS model is is great deal, so keep an eye out for these cool 300cc adventure bike on your local dealer’s showroom floor.
This could be the best entry level adventure bike for 2017!
Here is link to Kawasaki Versys X-300 page.
Versys X 300 ABS in cool graphite gray
A big “Thank you” to Honda for taking a renewed interest in the Adventure motorcycle market. This was a concept vehicle at the Osaka Motorcycle Show 8 months ago that we are so glad they produced. This is another example of a great dual sport adventure bike that is obviously based on the 250L, which has some upgrades this year as well, but the Rally version has cool black wheels, a longer suspension, larger front disc brake and ABS. Also the 2017 Honda CRF Rally will have some protective plastics, larger fuel tank, windscreen, and will be available this March 2017 in Red, Black or White. Pricing starts a $5899 for Rally.
Now we just need a adventure dual sport 450 and 700 from Honda! ; )
Here is the standard CRL250L, which is $800 less than the Rally version.
Here is link to Honda’s CRL250 Page.