Enduro Motorcycles for the Beginning Motorcycle Rider

Deciding to ride enduro motorcycles as a beginner motorcycle rider is a great choice! Enduro motorcycles are also known as Dual Purpose or Dual Sport motorcycles, because they're street legal and off-road capable. Riding dual purpose motorcycles off road (on approved trails/fire roads) is a great way to hone your motorcycle skills.

First of all, perhaps most importantly for some, it is highly unlikely that you'll get blindsided by a cell-phone talking delivery truck or a minivan-driving soccer mom! Also, riding in rugged terrain is both mental and physical exercise.

Your motorcycle riding muscles - in your body and your head - will be tested and challenged unlike a street ride. Also, recovering from a spill off road is usually easier - anything is softer than concrete. This recovery also applies to your motorcycle. A spill on a street bike almost invariably required a trip to the mechanic or body shop. Not so with a dual purpose bike.

 Great Fun, Great Way to Learn

 Just imagine! You will have the luxury of jumping on your motorcycle and enjoying a brisk street ride to arrive at a favorite off road riding area. Mountain fire roads are usually good enduro off road destinations. As a beginning motorcycle rider, I've got three great enduro motorcycles to tempt you with:
  • Suzuki DR200
  • Yamaha XT225
  • Kawasaki KLR250
All of these cycles belong to dual purpose motorcycle lines that have been around for a long time, improving all the time. In fact, although I like the Yamaha XT 225 slightly more than the others, I can't completely recommend any one over the other two.

They're all within about $350 price difference, two of the three are air-cooled, and they all have the benefit of hydraulic disk braking systems. Which one is best for you will depend on your seating comfort, or merely your color preference! Kawasaki KLR250 - Excellent Choice among Enduro Motorcycles for new riders

Yamaha XT225 - My Pick among Beginning Enduro Motorcycles

All three of these models have front disk brakes. All are single cylinger ("thumper") engines.

The Kawasaki stands out for a few reasons: 1) It's the most expensive of the three, 2) it has the largest engine, and 3) it's the only one with liquid cooling. Yep, the KLR250 has a radiator.

Now, an enduro motorcycle with a radiator may be a drawback: if you suffer a good spill and the radiator gets damaged (coolant leaks out) you may very well be sunk. If you're far away on a mountain top fire road, this is no place to be.

Granted, it's not likely, and this sort of spill isn't a casual oopsie-daisy moment, but... it can and has happened. It can strand you, far from the reaches of a rescuing bus or taxi. However, for 99.9999999% of the rest of the time, a radiator on a motorcyle prolongs engine life and is actually a good selling point.

Are Enduro Motorcycles for You?

Suzuki DR 200 - Another Option among Enduro Motorcycles for new riders Enduro motorcycles are a bit different creatures from your regular street motorcycles. Enduros usually have more immediate torque (engine "wheelie power") than street cycles. I've thought that enduro engines are really 1.5 to twice the displacement their street counterparts are. A 200cc enduro will feel as powerful as a 350cc street bike.

No 250cc street bike will hold its own against a 250cc enduro at least, not down low in the powerband. Simply put, enduro motorcycles do pack a bit more whallop. Your throttle skills will really be sharpened on a dual purpose motorcycle. The riding position is also quite different on DP's than regular street motorcycles.

 On an enduro, you sit ON the bike, up high. It's a very alert, sporty position, you may prefer it. Riding a cruiser motorcycle, in comparison, puts you closer to the ground. Another benefit with enduro motorcycles regards their (or their owner's) hardiness.

If an enduro motorcycle falls over, it's not nearly as heart-stopping as, say, a fully-faired Ninja; if a Ninja falls over, something is gonna crack or break, and it won't be cheap. Some cruiser riders will pull over to the side of the road to clean off their exhaust pipes if they happen to roll through a mud puddle and get soiled.

Enduro motorcycle riders, on the other hand, see little mars as badges. They're not nearly as anal about the aesthetics of their motorcycles. Heck, they were made to get dirty and have fun with!