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Old 11-07-2007, 01:09 PM   #1
hambycm OP
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Decent 2-stroke dual sports?

Are there any 2 strokes, old or new, that make good dual sports? Can anyone provide a list of some that were street-legal from the factory? I know they are all older bikes, and thats fine. Also, can 2-strokes be good long distance bikes? I've heard they like to foul plugs and other bad things if they are not constantly revved up and down. I'd like something at least 250cc, and preferably bigger. Any input is greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:51 PM   #2
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Two strokes will always require more servicing and go through spark plugs quicker than 4 strokes simply because they work twice as hard.
fouled plugs tend to be from when the bike has idled, or run at low speed for too long. they are deisgned to live in the High RPM range.
like chain saws etc...


As far as a dual sport, non really spring to mind. All I can think of are bikes that would more likely fall into the trail category - such as the
CRM250 IMO one of the best trail bikes ever made and very reliable for a 2T -- top end lasts a respectivley long time before needing a rebuild.
but difficult to get hold of in the US and not much there in terms of carrying too much luggage (if that is your intention) and small fuel tank.

I would think your only option would be to do a hack -- choose a suitable frame and drop an engine in.
Or choose a bike and strenghten the sub frame and fit a bigger tank.

Some engines to consider with good life span would be.

NSR 250/400/500
RD350
RZ350/500

Also it would be worth to bear in mind fuel costs will be higher and you will be puchasing 2 stroke oil also.
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:50 PM   #3
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Back in the 70s I had a Yamaha DT 360. 71 model IIRC. Bought it from a guy I went to high school with after he had run the piss out of it for 2-3 years. New chain and sprockets and largest Yamaha overbore piston availabel fixed all that was wrong with it. I used it constantly when I was between cars and in college. 45-60 miles back and forth from home to school, to recreation spots on the nearby lake. Drowned it once crossing a beaver pond. Just pulled the compresion release and kicked the water through and out of the cylinder. Fired it up and went on my way. Occasionally geared it way tall and put street tires on it and treated it like a naked roadracer, but mostly kept DOT knobs mounted and did lots of dual sporting out in the kaolin mines of middle GA, running railroad tracks and right of ways. Even did some of this in the biggest snowstorm to hit GA in the mid seventies



Several of my friends were riding the 250cc version pretty much the same way all the time.

I can't remember this bike ever letting me down. Eventually, after enjoying it for a few years, I moved up to a H2 Kawi 750 which lasted me a couple more years until after I got out of college.

That 360 was a great dual sport bike in the same vein as my F 650 is today - actually more of an all purpose bike. Only the Yammy was more of a dirt bike.

I see them pop up in occasional fits and spurts on Ebay and other marketplaces.
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:27 PM   #4
Knute Dunrvnyet
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Yup, RT-3 ['73] or RT360 ['74] will do the job. I not only used my '73 for a '78-82 adv bike [I wuz riding from Boonville, NY thru the forestroads of the S TugHill (Osceola) xc to SUNY Oswego, etc, and rode to a WorldRound Trials in Watkins Glen, etc.]... I then built an enduro hack for it and raced some NETRA Sidehack Enduros. Got a 2nd once even.
Then my best buddy Breeon rode his green RT360 all over hell; used it for transportation all winter one year for college in Herkimer, NY; and - rode it out to Northampton, MA a few times to party w/ me when I wuz in grad skool. And Breeon is a big boy, 400#. Indestructable. [the bike, not Breeon. Tho he's doing pretty good for an old FF.]

The points ign is the achilles heel to me, needs TLC. An electronic upgrade would be nice.
I still bring it out sometimes to give the kids a few laps around the hayfield.

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Old 11-07-2007, 08:30 PM   #5
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I owned one of the original 1968 Yamaha DT-1 250cc two stroke, and later a 1971 model.I once broke the cable to the Yamalube oil injection system so I just used "premix" while I ordered the new cable.These were darn good bikes. A friend had one of the DT360s or a 400 (which the 360 became), and he rode it on a trip with me on my 1975 Honda XL350 and two other guys around the Olympic Peninsula in Wa State and half way down the Or coast and back.He smoked more than the rest of us and had to carry a qt of oil for the Yamalube tank, but he made it.

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Old 11-07-2007, 09:49 PM   #6
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DT230

CRM250

RMX250

KMX200

It would suck to be into bikes and live in the US.

This is my DT230 - 40hp,165kph top speed,electric start,traction control,fully adjustable suspension....the list goes on.Not embarrassed by any 4 stroke.

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Old 11-07-2007, 11:58 PM   #7
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Of course if you are looking for a 2 stroke dual sport bike in the good ol' US of A...get the latest version you can (which ended in 1981 for the most part). I suggest the 78-81 DT175 as the best all around bike (trails, mild street, town work). Great mileage, more than capable off road and darn near indestructible!

Now all this fouled plug talk is just people who have rode ones that were not at the top of their game. I have had the same plug since the spring of this year (1978 DT175) and it is still running great! A nice tan color and very little smoke out of the exhaust while still running the autolube system. My mileage comes in at a rough 60 mpg (sometimes higher, sometimes lower, I do run it hard...) and it is just a fun bike. 216 lbs dry and holds 2 gallons of fuel and 1 quart of injection oil. Don't get the idea you would tour with the darn thing, it revs 6500 rpms at 60 mph (on a 8000 redline or as I have seen 72-75 mph top speed), but it sure is fun to ride around like a hooligan.

The DT250/400 of the same generation was another good mount. Heavier and lagging behing the 175 in terms of technology, but my wife loves her's (another 1978) and rides it fairly well. It has noticably more low end and top speed is right at 80 mph. Heavier but still light years ahead of a comparable XL of the same generation.

Suzuki TS185 was a good mount also. Compares well to the DT but I think the DT was just a slight bit better (well I do love my Yamaha's but I also have a Suzuki in the fold). They made TS's in numerous sizes but they were not as popular as the DT.

Kawasaki KE series were OK but ended in the mid 70's and never made it out of early 70's technology. Kaw went the 4 stroke route like Honda...sellouts!

My .02 for what it is worth. My 78 DT175 cost me $425 and needed a tube, seat cover and front fender. My B.I.L. bought a 1981 this summer for $525 (yes I always seem to go for $25...), needed to be jetted, tank cleaned and a seat cover, but overall, nicer than mine. Doesn't run as well but he is getting there. My wife's 78 DT250 cost $150 because it was a non runner (1800 miles). I knew it was an easy fix and it had good compression...yep, clean the carb, new points and condenser (78 was the last year of points, 250/400, 175 was converted in 77) and she started right up. Needed to be leaned out a bit for it ate plugs, but now it keeps the same one for a whole season of riding.

DT's were plentiful, cheap and easy to work on. Parts are still available and cheap due to it being a Yamaha. You won't get hurt financially purchasing one for they always sell on ebay/craigslist for the same price.

Good luck! If you are around Spokane, WA, look me up!

Kenny

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Old 11-08-2007, 11:03 AM   #8
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ditto

ditto the DT's, great trail bikes, light, handled well, easy to work on and dependable.
Sold my last one , a 175, 6 years ago...doh!
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:19 PM   #9
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Have look at The Kawasaki KDX 200. These bikes have a big following, good aftermarket support, weigh almost the same as a 125. Might have to dig a bit to find one with "plates", but they are around. Keep your eyes open for other "plated" 2 stroke dirt bikes. They are out there, but you have to look.
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAB
Have look at The Kawasaki KDX 200. These bikes have a big following, good aftermarket support, weigh almost the same as a 125. Might have to dig a bit to find one with "plates", but they are around. Keep your eyes open for other "plated" 2 stroke dirt bikes. They are out there, but you have to look.
Agreed. The KDX200 is a good choice. Very long lasting motor, smooth running and manageable. I have seen many dual sported kdx's around.

Also, the KTM EXC line are good choices. Like the KDX they come with a headlight and brake light. I have seen many dual sported. I used to have a 300exc and wow, what a bike.
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Old 11-08-2007, 09:20 PM   #11
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Honda MT250!

I took a 50 mile ride on my 250 Elsinore last weekend. It's.. quirky. Mine has seen anything but a gentile exisitence, being a abandonded bike rescue. The suspension is crap - is it supposed to have damping? The timing moves around easily, and the amount of power seems very sensitive to engine temperature. It takes two spark plugs, and I can now swap the wire without stopping. That said, it's really been suprisingly reliable. I never really pay attention to the oil injection, other than put oil in it. It's also the bike I don't hesitiate to let other people ride or learn to ride on - what more could happen to it? Slabbing is not it's strong suit, but ratty dirt roads and trails it handles pretty well. My $0.02, but I think there are 2-stroke options if your interested.
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Old 11-08-2007, 09:24 PM   #12
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As mentioned in my previous post - the KMX200 was the dualsport version of the KDX200.But as with all good bikes - not available in the US.....
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Old 11-08-2007, 09:54 PM   #13
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yamaha tdr250

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Old 11-09-2007, 05:59 AM   #14
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I got this thing in June, I've been working on it since then...as you can see it's missing a few important components... A lot of parts are still available from Suzuki. Since this pic I've gotten a few pieces, all the lights are back in place, and I redid the forks. It needs a bit of TLC, but I haven't got a ton of $ in it. It has a 5 speed tranny with a dual high low range. I can't wait to get it going just to try out low range. I have cleaned about 20 lbs of accumulated grim off it. It's actually in pretty decent shape for being my age. It's a '74 TC-185 Suzuki. I'm not sure about flying down the slab for hours on end, but it should be fun on back roads and commuting.
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Old 11-10-2007, 08:38 AM   #15
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Also, KTM’s 200EGS model was a competent; reliable machine.
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