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I've been riding a scooter for 3 years and am buying my first motorcycle soon, and I can't decide between a sportbike and dual sport. I'm looking at something along the lines of a Ninja 250 or KLX 250S.

I really, really like the idea of being able to take it on a trail or dirt road but I would much prefer a sportbike for the road.

Any pros/cons you guys can point out to help me? Any input on riding a dual sport on the road?
 

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A lot of it is going to be based on personal preference. The riding positions are different for one thing.

The street motorcycle is not going to do well off road. I wouldn't recommend attempting to ride through the woods on it.

The dual sport is likely going to be geared a lot lower, so if interstates are going to be part of your route, it's not the best choice for that.
 

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In general a dual sport is a dirt bike that has all the lights and such to be street legal. There are a few street bikes that have things like long travel suspensions and decent ground clearance being sold as dual sports these days too.
The only time I would ride a traditional dual sport on the street is to get to my favorite dirt riding location.
 

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You have to really figure out how likely you are to ride it off road. If it's going to be almost never or you just hope to, it probably won't make as much sense to get a dual sport. Sportbikes feel wonderful at highway speeds and handle great at those speeds, dual sports not so much, although they are awesome when the terrain is anything other than pristine.
 
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