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Old 08-04-2004, 07:12 AM   #1
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Enduro vs Motocross vs Trail Riding

OK, a really dumb question, that will no doubt show my ignorance of all things on the dirt.

WTF is the difference between bikes that are used for Enduro riding, Motocross, and just regular trail riding?

After coming back from Ouray, and after a few adventures using my R1150GS off road (it is such a heavy pig), I'm looking at at purchasing an off road bike. Lot's of excellent discussion in this Forum concerning which bike to get. But the terminology of these different types of riding is complicating my understanding of the types of bikes used for those applications.

Perhaps I should change my avatar for this question, then change it back, huh?
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Old 08-04-2004, 07:33 AM   #2
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Enduro bikes and motocross bikes are similar in that they are lightweight and share many components. The main differences between the two are transmission ratios, wide ratio for enduro, more flywheel weight for better low end torque on the enduro, lights on the enduro, and a bigger gas tank on the enduro, and stiffer suspension on the motocross. Motocross only has to be light and fast. Most all enduro bikes are great for trail riding when compared to a motocross model. Neither mx or enduro bikes are street legal.

Trail bikes are more low tech than mx or enduro bikes. The Yamaha TT-R and Honda XR models are a good example of this. I rode a Honda XR in enduros, but the real fast riders all had KTMs or highly modified motocross bikes. Trail bikes are not street legal either as purchased.

Dual sport bikes like Suzuki DR, DRZ and Kaw KLR650s are more for trail riding and exploring dirt roads. I have a DR650 that I use for this type of riding. The DR650 can also be used in most dual sport events. Its a more versatile bike as it is street legal so you can ride to your favorite trail and home again. No trailer required.

The dual sport bikes are also the least expensive of the group, but will require some modifications like skid plates and better tires for off-road use.

Hope this helps.
Terry
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Old 08-04-2004, 08:00 AM   #3
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Strange, the legalization part is a lot different in Portugal, for example, enduro bikes like the Hondas XR are road legal, and can absolutely be ridden in public roads, highways or cities, i think they have to be road legal over here in order to race in enduro races, since some are made in state properties and even use road connections between trails.
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Old 08-04-2004, 09:05 AM   #4
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keep in mind some of the new off road MC CRF250, YZF400 etc..( if you can get 'em street legal) are made to be light, the cases are very thin, thinner frames etc.. keep in mind the use you intend it for.


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Old 08-04-2004, 09:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not2fast
Enduro bikes and motocross bikes are similar in that they are lightweight and share many components. The main differences between the two are transmission ratios, wide ratio for enduro, more flywheel weight for better low end torque on the enduro, lights on the enduro, and a bigger gas tank on the enduro, and stiffer suspension on the motocross. Motocross only has to be light and fast. Most all enduro bikes are great for trail riding when compared to a motocross model. Neither mx or enduro bikes are street legal.

Hope this helps.
Terry
Why are these attributes needed for an Enduro and not Motocross? (told ya, I'm gonna really show my ignorance here).

Also, does "lightweight" mean less sturdy? Do pieces break more, or do they just use more high tech pieces to make them last?

There's pretty much no doubt that I'll get a dual sport. Not sure which one yet, but I'm asking the question 'cause I want to understand the nuances of some of the posts I've read.

Thanks for the continued replies!
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Old 08-04-2004, 09:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Rock
enduro bikes like the Hondas XR are road legal...
We have XR***R models that are not street legal (without special kits and an OK from the DMV) and there are also XR***L models road ready. right now we only have the XR650L as a new model but some countries like England have XR125L etc.


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Old 08-04-2004, 09:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by He-Lob
Why are these attributes needed for an Enduro and not Motocross? (told ya, I'm gonna really show my ignorance here)...

There's pretty much no doubt that I'll get a dual sport. Not sure which one yet, but I'm asking the question 'cause I want to understand the nuances of some of the posts I've read.

Thanks for the continued replies!
Enduro races cover/can cover many miles of varying terain and day and night travel so lighting etc is needed. think of it like a Marothon.

Motocross/supercross are a short race 3,4,5 laps, indoor or during the day outside. because of the limited space the Track has a series of winding turns, jumps, ruts woop sections etc. fast accelleration is key. Gas has weight so ma small gas tank is in order. more weight=slower. Think of this race as a long Sprint.

Check out ESPN motorcross races. That is not what most adventure riders look for. (if it was u would be racing) enduro bikes are set up to perform and things on it have funtion, panniers have tools, extra gas etc.

Dual sport bikes give us/me the feeling of being able to go out and do it all, but in reality you would need to mod the bike with better shocks, etc to be near competitve with real enduro machines.

just my thoughts,

Joe
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Old 08-04-2004, 09:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by He-Lob
Why are these attributes needed for an Enduro and not Motocross? (told ya, I'm gonna really show my ignorance here).

Also, does "lightweight" mean less sturdy? Do pieces break more, or do they just use more high tech pieces to make them last?

There's pretty much no doubt that I'll get a dual sport. Not sure which one yet, but I'm asking the question 'cause I want to understand the nuances of some of the posts I've read.

Thanks for the continued replies!
Mx is done on nice groomed but very challenging tracks while enduro is over natural terrain is much slower there for needs wider ratio in there gears.

by sport bike standards these are flimsy but they are made for slow speeds rarely over 100.
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Old 08-04-2004, 10:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNFjoe
Enduro races cover/can cover many miles of varying terain and day and night travel so lighting etc is needed. think of it like a Marothon.

Motocross/supercross are a short race 3,4,5 laps, indoor or during the day outside. because of the limited space the Track has a series of winding turns, jumps, ruts woop sections etc. fast accelleration is key. Gas has weight so ma small gas tank is in order. more weight=slower. Think of this race as a long Sprint.

Check out ESPN motorcross races. That is not what most adventure riders look for. (if it was u would be racing) enduro bikes are set up to perform and things on it have funtion, panniers have tools, extra gas etc.

Dual sport bikes give us/me the feeling of being able to go out and do it all, but in reality you would need to mod the bike with better shocks, etc to be near competitve with real enduro machines.

just my thoughts,

Joe
Joe,

So in that case why wouldn't all the folks on this board who ride off road with trail bikes ride Enduros? The riding you describe for Enduros pretty much fits what the folks on this board want to do, huh? Is it 'cause Enduros aren't road legal?

Your "competitive" implies racing. Is that what you mean, or are you saying that a Dual sport is "good enough?"
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Old 08-04-2004, 10:08 AM   #10
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Enduro vs Motocross

In an enduro, you don't ususally know what is around the next corner. This means that an Enduro rider has to ride with something held in reserve for the unexpected. Enduros also tend to be run on single track trails, between trees, in and out of creeks, up big hills, and even a mudhole or 2. all of this puts a premium on being able to jude terrain, pick the bast line, and stay out of trouble. The start for enduros is less intimidating than the massed starts you find in Motocross. The riders leave the line in groups of 4 or 5 - not 30 or 40. At most enduros, if you enter with your buddies, you can start and ride together. Riding enduros is a great way to see new trails, advance your skills, and enjoy your dirt bike.
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Old 08-04-2004, 10:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by He-Lob
Joe,

So in that case why wouldn't all the folks on this board who ride off road with trail bikes ride Enduros? The riding you describe for Enduros pretty much fits what the folks on this board want to do, huh? Is it 'cause Enduros aren't road legal?

Your "competitive" implies racing. Is that what you mean, or are you saying that a Dual sport is "good enough?"
IMO an Enduro is a race, a competion, has a start and a finish, you want to make it through that event (you can rebuilt/fix it before the next one). Trail riding is more casual, you and a few friends/family, start when you want, stop when you want, you want your bike to last a long time beyond this ride so you are probablely not redlining it alot.

Many dual sport adventures may never venture off a dirt road or gravel road you define the adventure part not the event.


the Dual sport MAYBE good enough to compete but not good enough to be competitive. you could do the course but not at the speed needed. the stock gear may not be durable enough to hand extreme riding (hey shit breaks all the time soo).

I have a DR650. it is a great bike. my skills lack. I rode a medium diffucult trail and fell three times. bent some stuff, put parts back on that broke, never left first gear and I know I was in over my head. Picking the 350-400 pound bike on a steep incline in the mud/wet rocks sucked with wet feet. If I was on a 125 or 200 the weight would have been more like 200-250 lbs to pick up.
I may still get a "trail bike for OFF-ROAD riding and use my Dual Sport for finding the trails to ride in the future.


Many of the folks here have smaller bikes for trails but tour/do light off-roading with bigger Dual Sports. They also have the skills to handle the big bikes in the rough.

Joe
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Old 08-04-2004, 10:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not2fast
The dual sport bikes are also the least expensive of the group


Sorry, you're right... in general terms, this is a true statement. My bad. I'll leave now.
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creeper screwed with this post 08-04-2004 at 11:00 AM Reason: 'Cause I thought about it a bit... OK
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Old 08-04-2004, 11:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by He-Lob
OK, a really dumb question, that will no doubt show my ignorance of all things on the dirt.

WTF is the difference between bikes that are used for Enduro riding, Motocross, and just regular trail riding?

After coming back from Ouray, and after a few adventures using my R1150GS off road (it is such a heavy pig), I'm looking at at purchasing ...
do you know if in Texas it is easy to convert a bike to Street legal status with a kit from Baja designs? a small light XR250R would compliment the big GS.
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Old 08-04-2004, 11:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNFjoe
do you know if in Texas it is easy to convert a bike to Street legal status with a kit from Baja designs? a small light XR250R would compliment the big GS.
Well, that's sorta what I'm looking at.

A prior thread discussed which off road bike to buy, but taking into account which bike(s) you already have. In my case, I already have an R1150GS. Therefore, there's probably no sense getting a 650 class dual sport. I can already do light off road (although picking up the GS after a spill is a pain in the ass).

A 400 class bike probably makes more sense for me. And, being used to some creature comforts, I'd want something with electric start, and something that I could add a larger tank to. But I don't know whether a 250 would be "good enough."

I suspect for about $3.5K I could get pretty much anything I'd want, used of course.

Still thinking about it. The wife wants to get a cruiser, which would complicate things a bit.

I appreciate all the comments and would welcome any others.
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Old 08-04-2004, 11:51 AM   #15
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Sounds like you need a DRZ 400, or a 625 SXC, or...... etc.

Being a big fan of KTMs, that is what I know. I find it kinda of interesting how they RFS bikes are named/classified. KTM makes 4/5/6 speed bikes, with different suspension valving, different size tanks, lights/no lights etc. Ranging from just over 200lbs to 290lbs. (Correct me if I am wrong, but...)

EXC = Enduro Cross Country, wide ration 6spd, e-start, firm Enduro valving, 11.8/10.2 suspension travel, 18inch rear, headlight, medium size tank 2.25 gal. (Two stroke in 5 speed no e-start) 7 different models

SX = MotoCross, 4spd, no e-start, softer valving, 11.8/13.2 suspension travel, 19inch rear, small tank 1.85 gal, no lights. 5 different models

MXC = Enduro Dessert Cross Country, Close Ratio 6spd, e-start, firm Enduro valving, 11.8/10.2 suspension travel, 18inch rear, no lights, Large tank 3.7 gal. 3 different models

And we have not even gotten into the LC4s, so called Adventure bikes, and SMC/SMR (Supermotard street and race) etc. etc. etc. 17 different racing four strokes, and the LC4.
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