Our Picks for the Best Dual-Sport Street Legal Dirt Bikes
There’s no question about it: dirt biking is a lot of fun. Do you know what’s not fun? Loading up your dirt bike onto the trailer, hauling it across town in your truck, and then doing it all again just to get home. For the lucky ones with riding trails in their backyard, congratulations. But if you have to go on a trek just to go riding, or if all of the best trails are far away from you, maybe you should consider what more and more people are doing: buy a street legal dirt bike.
With a street legal dirt bike, you can do anything a road motorcycle can do and more. No more bothering with the trailer, just ride your bike straight to your favorite trail and start flinging some mud. But of course, not all dirt bikes are made equal, so here’s the list of our favorite street legal bikes.
What Makes a Dirt Bike Street Legal?
There are a number of factors that make a dirt bike legal for riding on the street. While there are federally mandated laws, make sure you check your own state laws, too, as they can vary.
As far as essentials go, these are some of the things that are required to make your dirt bike legal for use on road:
- DOT approved headlights with high and low beam functions
- An indicator for the driver to know whether or not the high beam light is on.
- DOT approved tail lights and brake lights
- DOT approved turning signals (not required by every state)
- Rearview mirror
- DOT-approved tires
- DOT approved fuel tank
- License plate
Our Favorite Street Legal Dirt Bikes
1. Yamaha WR250R
Starting at: $6,699
Kicking off our list is the Yamaha WR250R. It’s got a 250cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke engine, and while it is ready for the road straight from the factory, this bike was made for the dirt. It’s got a fully adjustable suspension system to handle any terrain, and it’s equipped with everything you need to face any terrain.
Factory-installed lights and mirrors make it completely street-legal, and it has an ergonomic design that makes you feel like this bike was designed for your body. If you want to be able to drive out, hit the trails, and get home without getting off your seat, this is a great pick.
2. Kawasaki KLR 650
Starting at: $6,699
The Kawasaki KLR 650 was designed for riders who are in for the long haul and want to do it in comfort. It’s got a powerful 651cc 4-stroke engine and a massive 6-gallon fuel tank, a large windscreen, and a rear cargo rack for anything you need to bring with you.
While it is fully equipped for the dirt, it has the sleek look of a street bike, with a stylish round body, and it comes in really nice color schemes. If you want to feel a little fancy on the road or the trails, the KLR 650 is a good option.
3. Suzuki DR650S
Starting at: $6,699
If you ask Suzuki what they think about their new 2020 DR650S, they’d tell you that it’s “…quite possibly the best all-around, dual-purpose motorcycle available today”. They’re not just blowing smoke up your tailpipe, either. It has a 644 cc, oil and air-cooled engine mounted on a steel frame with telescopic front and rear suspension that can handle any terrain.
The suspension system provides high ground clearance to tackle anything you might encounter on the dirt or street. It features a stainless steel tailpipe resistant to corrosion. Most importantly, it is designed specifically with strong low- and mid-range power in mind.
4. Honda XR650L
Starting at: $6,999
The XR650L has a long tradition of being one of the best bikes for the dirt or the pavement. It has an air-cooled engine and the gear-driven counterbalancer reduces vibration allowing you to ride farther and longer. It’s fully equipped to ride the streets right from the manufacturer with turn signal, license plate lights, and everything else you need to hit the highway.
For instance, with a 21” front wheel and 18” rear wheel, the XR650L gives you higher ground clearance without the great handling you associate with Honda. For instance, they drill the front and rear disc brakes for lightweight and superior stopping power in wet weather.
5. Honda CRF250L
Starting at: $5,199
The Honda CRF250L is continually one of the best selling and best reviewed street-legal dirtbikes in its class. The CRF250L has a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected single-cylinder engine with an electric start, and it comes ready for the pavement and the dirt.
The CRF250L comes in a few different models. If you want the most barebones dirtbike that also happens to be street-legal, the CRF250L will be perfect for you. Perhaps you want something with a little more luxury, on the other hand. So check out the CRF250L Rally ABS with anti-lock brakes, a bigger windscreen, and lots of other awesome safety features.
6. Suzuki DRZ400S
Starting at: $6,749
The doctor is in! The elegant Suzuki DRZ400S has a 398cc liquid-cooled engine, an electric start, and an easy-to-read display. It only comes in a single color scheme, white with blue and black trimming. However, it was designed especially to make the bike noticeable on the highway, the parking lot, or on the trails.
In other words, the lightweight design makes for easy handling, and the body has quick and easy fasteners to make access to the air filter a breeze. If you want a bike that’s easy to ride and even easier to take care of, the DRZ400S is the bike for you.
7. Yamaha XT250
Starting at: $5,199
The Yamaha XT250 is an easy ride and an incredibly efficient machine. It has a 249cc air-cooled SOHC 4-stroke single-engine and gets a staggering 78 miles per gallon. This street legal dirt bike has a huge front light for illuminating the road. Additionally, it prominently displays turning signals for maximum visibility. In addition, the XT250 also has an electric start. It also has a fully digital display on the handlebars all powered by a dependable and low-maintenance battery.
While it might seem like a smaller bike, don’t worry. Above all, it has frame-mounted footpegs for passengers to safely ride along with you whether you’re on the pavement or the berm.
Be Safe and Have Fun!
To sum it up, we bet you’re pretty excited with the idea of all these amazing dual-sport machines. Meanwhile, check with local dealers and distributors to see what prices look like in your area, but remember to check your local laws!
In short, every state is able to enforce its own rules over the federal street-legal laws. So, get ahold of your specialty plates, safety gear, and whatever else you need to ride safely. It’s time to have some fun! Check out the top 50 Dirt Bike Tracks by State to find a great spot near you.