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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Bradford County, PA.
Re: Dirt Bike / Dual Sport
The TW200 is a good little bike, but overpriced for what it is. It is one of the easier bikes to ride off-road due to the wide tires and low seat height. However; at your height and weight, you will likely find it cramped and underpowered. If you go get one it pays to get a post 2001 model with the disc front brake and upgraded electrical system.
The Yamaha XT225 and 250 are good bikes. The 225 is lighter than the 250, and generally considered the more woods friendly of the two. The 250's came in a carbureted model around 2008 (IIRC) and switched to FI a few years later.
At your size a WR250R may be a good fit. It has a decent suspension, a reasonable amount of power, fuel injection and it's street legal. There have been no changes to them since there release in 2008, so newer isn't necessary.
The CRF dual-sports came in two engine sizes. The CRF230L was a carbureted, air cooled engine, loosely based on the 230F. The CRF250L is the newer version with FI. It's is a heavy pig weighing 320 pounds wet. I don't even consider a bike that heavy to be a decent trail bike.
The Suzuki DR200 is an okay little bike. It's a bit outdated, underpowered and a little heavy. But, they can be had for pretty cheap and they're street legal. The DRZ400 is better suspended and more powerful, at the cost of more weight (especially up high). The nice thing is that they are pretty inexpensive second hand, for what they are.
The Kawasaki Super Sherpa is a good little air cooled dual-sport. It is lighter than the KLX250S, and more modern than the XT225. Their last model year in the US was 2009. The KLX250S is a good bike as well. The 2006-2007 model years are considered a little more woods worthy by most people az they were based on the off-road model. They were updated in 2009 and discontinued in the US in 2014. There are some people that think the revised model was better. The big advantage of the newer ones was the 351 big bore upgrade, which netted big gains in the low end torque the bike could produce.
For off-road performance in a street legal package it is hard to beat the KTM EXC models. They are meant to be ridden more aggressively though, and are more maintenance intensive than most of the other models above. They also carry the premium price of a performance bike.
The older Husquvarna TE models are great bikes as well, but suffer the same pitfalls as the KTM for the average trail rider.
A couple inexpensive dirt bike options that are stone cold reliable, simple to maintain and trail riding friendly, are the Honda CRF230F and Yamaha TTR-230. They can both be made street legal, but it can get a little expensive to do so.