HUSQVARNA FE350: $10,699
Of all the street-legal dirt bikes that we label “
hard-core” dual-sport bikes, the Husky 350 is among the most
capable in the dirt. It still meets all the federal and state
specifications to be legal, but the FE performs well enough
to ride any off-road race in the country without modification, aside from tires. Further modification is, in fact, quite
difficult by federal mandate.
SUZUKI DR-Z400S: $6699
The Suzuki DRZ400 is priced just a little higher than
its big brother, the DR650, because it’s a more modern
motorcycle and much more capable in the dirt. Still, the
DR-Z has gone nearly unchanged for 18 years and is
dated compared to the more expensive, hard-core dual-sport bikes from KTM, Husqvarna, Beta and now SWM.
HUSQVARNA FE450: $10,899
Those who complain about the similarities between
Husqvarnas and KTMs have nothing to say about this bike.
The Husky FE450 dual-sport is exclusive to Husqvarna;
there’s no corresponding KTM in the 2018 model line. Its performance is comparable to any full-time off-road 450’s, but
it’s fully compliant with DOT and EPA rules in all 50 states.
BETA 390RR & 350RR: $9799/$9699
Both of these bikes are built on the same basic platform.
For that matter, they’re essentially the same as the 500RR
and the 430RR, but the 350 has a bore and stroke of 88 x
57.4mm and the 390 measures out to 88 x 63.4mm. That
gives the 350 a much lighter feel. The 390’s added displacement means it doesn’t work as hard on roads and in
BETA 430RR: $9899
To create the 430RR, Beta started with the same chassis and motor platform used in the 500RR but decreased
the bore 5mm. That resulted in a very different personality. The 430 is still a very dirt-oriented motorcycle that just
squeaks by sound and emission regulations under rules
that are more relaxed for small manufacturers than for big
makers like KTM and Honda.
CHRISTINI AWD 450DS: $9195
Christini’s all-wheel-drive system uses telescoping drive
shafts to power the front wheel at a reduced speed so that
it only engages when there’s wheelspin in the rear. The 450
has an Asian-made engine and chassis that bear a striking
resemblance to the Honda CRF450X’s, but it has fuel injection, WP suspension and Christini’s U.S.-engineered AWD