Jump Curbs. Ford Streams
These bikes are made for maximum maneuverability so you’ll find that the seat puts you upright at comfortable attention and the controls are all sitting where you intuit they’re going to be. This is a basic bike that comes fairly “naked” with an exposed engine and higher ground clearance (and therefore seat height), so you can jump logs or curbs and ford streams or ditches. The handlebars are straight ad wide providing stability while you’re out of your seat standing up on the pegs.
There are many varieties of dual-sport motorcycles, but all are made for both street and dirt riding. Some dual-sports have dirt bike roots and others, such as “scramblers,” are street bikes modified to ride or race on dirt.
Though seat heights can be high, the smaller dual-sports are great beginner bikes and really wonderful second bikes. Like standards, they don’t have a lot of expensive chrome and plastic that will be damaged when you drop them. Adventurous travelers will throw a couple of saddlebags on and take off to anywhere in the world.
Examples of dual-sport bikes you might consider:
This 5-speed, air-cooled 4-stroke weighs under 200 pounds wet. A 31.7 inch seat height and 11.6 ground clearance is reasonable for most situations.
KTM 125 EXC
The 36.4 inch seat height and 15.4 inch ground clearance may be too intimidating for all but the most ambitious budding off-road enthusiast. The liquid cooled, 6-speed, 2-stroke engine is a real screamer though, if you have the need for speed.
Download the free ebook: Motorcycling for Women: Beginner Bikes to learn more about great beginner bikes in cruiser, sport, dual-sport, scooter, and dirt-bike categories.
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