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Times have changed...?

This is a discussion on Times have changed...? within the Dual Purpose forums, part of the Types of Bikes category; I got a dual-sport, for the same reason I thought everyone got them for.....dirt! I've been off the street for ...


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Old 03-13-2006   #1
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Default Times have changed...?

I got a dual-sport, for the same reason I thought everyone got them for.....dirt! I've been off the street for years...I think I traded-off my '78 XL350, in 1980. Back then, everyone I knew that had a dual-sport, raced MX and the dual-sport was used mostly for between-races, don't-have-to-load-it-up-and-haul-it-to-the-track playriding. We still rode 'em like our MX bikes, even though they were weak on power and handled like a dishrag. They saw street action, only long enough to get to a track, trail or stripmine and every ride home, included a good hour at the carwash.

I re-entered the dual-sport world in late April and have been riding frequently, on public National Forest trails. Oddly enough, I seem to be the only dual-sport out there! Oh sure, I see the occasional stripped-down or baja'd-out dually but not one, is still street-legal. I've covered hundreds of miles on these trails and I'm clearly the only one out there, with turn signals (I pull the mirrors, naturally). It seems odd.

I pretty much blew it off, at first...figuring they were out there but I apparently, though against all odds, had simply not crossed paths with them. Then I noticed that while I was riding, other riders were looking at me like I was an alien or something....a definite "what the #$%* is that" look. I've also noticed that I'm beginning to draw spectators, mostly riders that camped along the trails for the weekend. It's pretty weird.

I also recall a strange incident. When I applied for my riding permit, at the Ranger Station...they didn't know how to "classify" my bike! It was ironic, really. ATVs are required to have registration and insurance, to get a riding permit....bikes aren't. So here I am, with a licensed, registered, inspected and insured bike...it just totally screwed-up their day. It took a good hour of phone calls and radio conversations, before they got the OK to write-in "street-legal motorcycle". That leads me to believe that likely, I was the first to get a permit for a dual-sport.

Am I really the "odd man out" here?! I gotta' wonder....if your main intent isn't to ride in the dirt, other than gravel or dirt roads...why a dually? The newer dual-sports are much more dirt-capable but they seem less street friendly, than in the days of yore. As far as relatively smooth dirt or any gravel road...I'd rather be on a lower, heavier street cruiser. I see lots of dual-sports on the highway...some with saddlebags and as much as a half-fairing and I gotta' wonder "why"?! Seriously....I'm not tryin' to be a smarta** or anything, I'm just curious.
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Old 03-13-2006   #2
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Default Times have changed...?

I re-entered the dual-sport world in late April and have been riding frequently, on public National Forest trails. Oddly enough, I seem to be the only dual-sport out there! Oh sure, I see the occasional stripped-down or baja'd-out dually but not one, is still street-legal. I've covered hundreds of miles on these trails and I'm clearly the only one out there, with turn signals (I pull the mirrors, naturally). It seems odd.

I pretty much blew it off, at first...figuring they were out there but I apparently, though against all odds, had simply not crossed paths with them. Then I noticed that while I was riding, other riders were looking at me like I was an alien or something....a definite "what the #$%* is that" look. I've also noticed that I'm beginning to draw spectators, mostly riders that camped along the trails for the weekend. It's pretty weird.



That is weird. You'd think you'd see a good many on a dirt bike trail. Less hassle riding there than loading one up and driving to the trail to ride. I always dreaded that part of going riding. Loading bikes isn't the most fun thing.

ATVs are required to have registration and insurance, to get a riding permit....bikes aren't.

Same here for PA. I have my ATVs insured and registered (required if ridden off land owned or leased by you). Had I owned a dirt bike I wouldn't have to do either, except we don't have much for public state owned dirt bike trails ( much less than ATV trails) but a few pay-to-ride places. There is some for the Allegheny national forest and I believe they require a permit.

You're right though. I see quite a few dual sports on the road and very few of them look like they've been off road. If i had one I think it would see tons of off-road duty.
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Old 03-14-2006   #3
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Actually, the forest trails I was referring to are the Allegheny National Forest ATV/Bike Trails. :D I'm in Venango County, Oil City to be exact. I thought that even on leased land, you had to have the insurance and registration. It's all bs, really...I don't think it's fair at all and other than a revenue generator, I can't see a reason for it. If ATVs need it, why not dirt bikes...but being PeeYay, one of the most problem child states of the nation....I'm sure it's coming.
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Old 03-14-2006   #4
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In my area the number of trails is somewhat limited but I usually see a D/S or two riding them. Mostly quads though (legal in my area to ride them on the roads,*except highways and interstates.) As far as gravel and dirt roads go, you may think a heavy cruiser would be as good or better but in reality it isn't so. On a strait road they are fine,but if they get even a little loose on a gravel curve the greater weight(even though lower) and rider seating position makes it much harder to recover. As far as registration, in MN. it is easy. You just get an OHM sticker and put it in the top corner on your license plate, done.
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Old 03-15-2006   #5
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Deffinatly PA's off road laws are confusing at best. If I recall right from DCNR's web site it's you have to have them registered and insured when used on land you don't own or lease. You can get a limited registration to be used to ride on land you own or lease (insurance not required) but most folks don't bother getting it. My insurance for 2 ATVs is fairly cheap.

I agree, whats good for ATVs should be good for dirt bikes so they can use the ATV trails also (plus increased revenue for the state's off road budget which should help with tourism and or increase the trails). Then again ATVs pay the same registration and that money goes into the same kitty as the snowmobile's fund but ATVs can't ride on any snowmobile only trails.


So were you at Marionville bike trail in the ANF? I've always wanted to check out ANF with my 4 wheeler.
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Old 03-15-2006   #6
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Then again ATVs pay the same registration and that money goes into the same kitty as the snowmobile's fund but ATVs can't ride on any snowmobile only trails.

That's the part that irritates me the most...why they let snowmobiles on most backroads but not ATVs...they both appear to be paying the same. I don't own an ATV or snowmobile but still, it just isn't right.


So were you at Marionville bike trail in the ANF? I've always wanted to check out ANF with my 4 wheeler.

I've had my dually (XR650L) on the Bike Trail a couple times, just dyin' to hit it on my CR480. It's rough, in some spots...the worst section is the end closest to Marienville, on the South side of 66 where it goes off of Forest Road 226. Anyway, the first couple of miles are lame but the next 10 miles, is solid boulders...'til after you cross Forest Road 124. If you're goin' on a quad, I'd skip that first part...start from FR124. The part of the trail that loops around on the North side of 66, isn't so bad but it's still pretty rocky. It's cool, though. I mostly run the Pig's Ear loop...it's also one-way but alot faster and has tons more jumps. Timberline is pretty weak, mostly but there are some cool sections. The bad thing about Timberline, is that it's two-way and usually crowded with slow riders. The literature says a maximum speed of 25 mph on the trails but except for Timberline, most everyone is doin' a good bit more...especially on Pig's Ear. When you see Pig's Ear, it's obvious that they weren't really thinkin' 25 mph. :D
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Old 03-16-2006   #7
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I'd love to hit up ANF sometime with the Raptor. :D
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Old 03-17-2006   #8
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I'd love to hit up ANF sometime with the Raptor. :D

I posted some pics on myspace at myspace.com/sosnovy ...in the "Riding The Forest Trails" album. Nothing great, I was alone and just snapped a few pics, wherever I could stop & click one off. Unfortunately, I couldn't get any of the gnarliest parts....too hard to stop & restart in some of those places. There's 1 or 2 shots of the beginning of the boulder section.
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Old 03-17-2006   #9
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Whenever I get out that way I'll let you know. Might be awhile though.
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Old 03-18-2006   #10
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Whenever I get out that way I'll let you know. Might be awhile though.

Cool! :) Actually, I need a few days to heal...doctor says weeks but I'm sure he was referring to the time it'll take, before I can run at full speed again. :D Believe it or not, there really is a limit to how much air you can land from, on a pit-bike! :o From now on, nothin' but the big stuff...those li'l things are too dangerous!
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