Motorcycle Recomendations

Jimss

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 6, 2015
Messages
1,807
Boy there are a lot of posts on this. I didn't read through them. What's super important to me for a scouting and hunting bike is being quiet and dependable. I had a big wheel for years and it was horrible...beat me to death with the wide tires. It was quiet though.

I then upgraded to a Honda XR250. It has plenty of power to cover lots of country, pretty quiet, extremely dependable. I just wish it had a switch start rather than having to kick start! It does take a while to start up on cold days or if it hasn't been ridden for months. I'm not even sure if they make XR's any more but if you can find a low hours one it would be a great bike to have!
 

DAOutfitters208

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Messages
439
Location
Coeur d' Alene, ID
Brother.... coming from a place of love and experience... please.... if not for yourself then for the people that depend on you... wear a freakin' Helmet Dude.

Your cranium can't even handle a Fall that's juuust right (wrong) at speeds you're capable of propelling yourself under your own power. All it takes is for the happen-stance of a rock or branch or root to just-so-happen to stick-up where your head comes down at, and you're EFF'd.

I'd have been dead at 17yo if it were not for Helmets man.
You’re right. Made me reflect on my choices in the past. I feel like I am extremely cautious when riding the bike during hunting season, but even a BW 200 can get you in trouble. It has and I’m probably lucky. I tricked myself into feeling safe.

So when hunting and riding a motorcycle, wear a helmet you all!

It’s also a great idea to tuck your pants into your boots or wear gaiters to mitigate snagging your pant legs on a foot peg.
 
Last edited:

TheGDog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Messages
2,488
Location
OC, CA
You’re right. Made me reflect on my choices in the past. I feel like I am extremely cautious when riding the bike during hunting season, but even a BW 200 can get you in trouble. It has and I’m probably lucky. I tricked myself into feeling safe.

So when hunting and riding a motorcycle, wear a helmet you all!

It’s also a great idea to tuck your pants into your boots or wear gaiters to mitigate snagging your pant legs on a foot peg.
RE: pant leg getting caught - Guess I lucked out, I've never had a pant leg get caught. I imagine just a loop of Duct Tape or heck, even just Blue Painters Tape would work for that. Like the 3" wide blue painters tape would likely work, and reusable to get you back out.

One thing of note? Shoe/Boot Laces! Have had shoe laces get caught while riding my DualSport in a street setting. After that I always got in the habit of tucking them, once tied, in-between the tongue and the outside edge of the shoe material, just to make sure they were held out of the way.
 

TheGDog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Messages
2,488
Location
OC, CA
Boy there are a lot of posts on this. I didn't read through them. What's super important to me for a scouting and hunting bike is being quiet and dependable. I had a big wheel for years and it was horrible...beat me to death with the wide tires. It was quiet though.

I then upgraded to a Honda XR250. It has plenty of power to cover lots of country, pretty quiet, extremely dependable. I just wish it had a switch start rather than having to kick start! It does take a while to start up on cold days or if it hasn't been ridden for months. I'm not even sure if they make XR's any more but if you can find a low hours one it would be a great bike to have!
Nowdays they've re-branded the XR's over to "CRF". So the CRF250F would be the modern equivalent.
 

TheGDog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Messages
2,488
Location
OC, CA
We had the little 70's and a 90 when I was a kid. I'd pick a TW over those things for sure. A 70 might be cool though for a really small package to haul around for a quick run here or there. Back in the 70's a friend went everywhere on an old Tote Goat. He slid it under fences and went a lot of places on that thing.

We also had a Honda TL125, even as a little kid I could ride that thing about anywhere. If one found a used one somewhere that might make a great trail bike.

And another thought. As a late teenager I owned a Bultaco Alpina 250. Slow but that thing also went anywhere I wanted. Any of those old trials bikes could make a great trail bike.
Somewhere around... mid-to-late 80's Honda released in this country the (TLR) Reflex. A 200cc Trials-inspired street-legal trailbike. I betcha one of those would be the hot ticket for a bike you could likely ride right up to the animal on. If you had the skill-set. Wouldn't be good for strapping things onto though.
 

TheGDog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Messages
2,488
Location
OC, CA
the 88-90 xr200 are great,
You can beat the ever loving snot out of an XR200. The only thing they don't like are popping lots of long multi-gear-change wheelies. The wheelies eventually jacked-up my 2nd gear. But it really took a long while of abusing it before that happened. I was constantly launching myself skyward on that thing and bottoming it out.
 

Jimss

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 6, 2015
Messages
1,807
Another quiet option some hunters use are the electric bikes (e-bikes). Something like a mtn bike with a tiny motor on it. No noise but I've heard they can be a challenge on steeper, rougher terrain.
 

ORJoe

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2021
Messages
13
Location
Southern Oregon
I’m going to be elk hunting this fall in Idaho, plan on bringing the dirt bikes due to the many trails I see and the websites for Idaho that promote dirt bike riding so we can scout the week prior to opening day and for hunting the first week of Archery season. When you hunt with a bike, how much gear do you wear? I’m a long time experienced rider (been riding for 4 decades plus including MX and enduro racing) while my sons are all very good riders…so I’m used to wearing boots, pants, chest protector, helmet of course, gloves, elbow and knee protectors - but seems like that would be too much for elk hunting…plus where the heck would I put all that gear where I park the bike before hiking in further? What is your approach to the riding gear, and do you lock up your bike when you get to where you want to hunt?
If you have a whole week ahead of time, wear all the gear when scouting/riding, and try to figure out which trails you can get away with less on.
I would not want to ride an Idaho trail for the first time with hiking boots and a bow hanging off my backpack.

If my bike didn't have a keyed ignition, I'd probably use a lock and cable. The odds of someone even seeing your bike let alone stealing it are incredibly low, but the stakes of needing to walk out some long distance instead of riding are high.
 

Tbonespop

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
121
Nowdays they've re-branded the XR's over to "CRF". So the CRF250F would be the modern equivalent.
That's not correct. The XR was a trail bike, the CR was the motocross race bike. CRF is the new motocross race bike nomenclature. The new upgraded trail (kind of a cross over) is the CRF-250X or CRF-450X. It has a different transmission gear ratio built for trail riding and 18" rear tire (more rubber for a softer more comfortable ride and less pinch flats) among some other features making it an ideal trail bike. The MX bikes like the YZ(F), CRF, KXF, RMZ, SXF, FC models from various manufacturers are race bikes and will have a tendency to get hot if you lug them around trails. They are built to go fast and jump things.

I would stick with the YZ250FX (or WR250F), CRF250X, or one of the Husky or KTM trail 4 strokes. Throw in a Rekluse auto clutch and its a nice bike for the backwoods hunting.
 

Mtnboy

1
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
1,296
Location
ID
Not sure if this has been mentioned but I would consider getting a few riding lessons from a good instructor.

Just like anything, there are "fundamentals" to riding a motorcycle, it can really help to be taught those by someone who knows what they are talking about. Even just a day or 2 could go a long way to making it more fun and SAFE for you. I raced at the highest levels all over the West Coast and I had a "Coach" from the time I was on 80s all the way until I quit racing in my mid 20s, it was a huge help but not something most folks think of when it comes to riding a dirt bike.

If you want some recommendations send me a PM, I may have a suggestion or 2 depending on what part of the state you are in.
 

The Ri Guy

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Nov 6, 2017
Messages
430
Location
WA
I'm a relatively inexperienced rider that inherited a Kawasaki Super Sherpa, 01' I think... I ride it off and on around our property, but have little trail riding and no hill climbing experience.

Been thinking about using it for deer hunting next year, can anyone knowledgeable tell me if this particular bike would be acceptable for the task?
 

TheGDog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Messages
2,488
Location
OC, CA
That's not correct. The XR was a trail bike, the CR was the motocross race bike. CRF is the new motocross race bike nomenclature. The new upgraded trail (kind of a cross over) is the CRF-250X or CRF-450X. It has a different transmission gear ratio built for trail riding and 18" rear tire (more rubber for a softer more comfortable ride and less pinch flats) among some other features making it an ideal trail bike. The MX bikes like the YZ(F), CRF, KXF, RMZ, SXF, FC models from various manufacturers are race bikes and will have a tendency to get hot if you lug them around trails. They are built to go fast and jump things.

I would stick with the YZ250FX (or WR250F), CRF250X, or one of the Husky or KTM trail 4 strokes. Throw in a Rekluse auto clutch and its a nice bike for the backwoods hunting.
Sigh.... don't take my word for it.. goto their site. You're not noting the fact that the old XR's... when changed over to CRF designation ALSO happen to have the ending suffix char of "F" to them.... rather than "R".
 

TheGDog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Messages
2,488
Location
OC, CA
I'm a relatively inexperienced rider that inherited a Kawasaki Super Sherpa, 01' I think... I ride it off and on around our property, but have little trail riding and no hill climbing experience.

Been thinking about using it for deer hunting next year, can anyone knowledgeable tell me if this particular bike would be acceptable for the task?
Meh.. it should. For hunting I'd do the mousse bibs instead of actual inner tubes in the tires.

Also... I'd just say if you have the model where the fender is down low right next to the tire... that you perhaps think about removing that and replacing it with a fender where the fender mounts up under the triple-clamps for the forks. (Looks like they have also released this model that way as well, and you can always get an aftermarket front fender as long as you find one where the mounting holes match up with what's machined into the bottom of the triple-clamps)

Because if you ever happen to ride thru thick nasty mud... those low-ridng fenders are NOT a good idea for letting the glommed-on mud to pass thru and fling back off. If mud like that is not an issue, then just take her out for a test ride off-season in those areas, and assess for yourself if her specs are enough to let you tackle the trails you find.

And also you'd likely want to swap out the tires for some offroad only, or at least 95/5 DualSport tires (Such as Dunlop 606's or the similar one from Kenda that's DOT legal, I think the Kenda TrackMaster it's called?) where the bias is more towards riding in the dirt. This will help you tons in softer stuff. Usually the tires they slap on DualSports that are less dirt aggressive and are more like 50/50 tread types where their goals is more comfortable street riding, at the expense of dirt performance.

DO NOTE though that your more aggressive DualSport tires will wear much faster on asphalt riding. The topmost surface of the knobbies will become worn-off in an odd diagonal slope to them from asphalt riding. Doesn't seem to affect dirt performance any perceptible amount, but it probably reduces some grab during heavy breaking since the forward-facing surface of the knobby will technically be less tall because of it.

Whenever you know you're going to ride more on the street with it, bump back up the tire pressures to a harder psi, that helps a bit with the wearing-off the knobbies diagonally problem on their top surface.
 
Last edited:

Tbonespop

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
121
Sigh.... don't take my word for it.. goto their site. You're not noting the fact that the old XR's... when changed over to CRF designation ALSO happen to have the ending suffix char of "F" to them.... rather than "R".
You are correct in that regard. I had forgotten about the F's. I ride MX (mainly) and some single track and all I see are the R's and X's. Completely forgot they made an F version.
 

TheGDog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Messages
2,488
Location
OC, CA
.
That's not correct. The XR was a trail bike, the CR was the motocross race bike. CRF is the new motocross race bike nomenclature. The new upgraded trail (kind of a cross over) is the CRF-250X or CRF-450X. It has a different transmission gear ratio built for trail riding and 18" rear tire (more rubber for a softer more comfortable ride and less pinch flats) among some other features making it an ideal trail bike. The MX bikes like the YZ(F), CRF, KXF, RMZ, SXF, FC models from various manufacturers are race bikes and will have a tendency to get hot if you lug them around trails. They are built to go fast and jump things.

I would stick with the YZ250FX (or WR250F), CRF250X, or one of the Husky or KTM trail 4 strokes. Throw in a Rekluse auto clutch and its a nice bike for the backwoods hunting.
If he does go with a more Enduro / Hare-scramble ready machine... he'd likely have to do things like shave the seat foam down, or possibly even need to consider a lowering link for the rear suspension link and possibly raising the fork tubes the max amount in the triple clamps to help lower seat height.

Thing is the heavier all the junk ya gotta lug around on your back or on the seat, the more and more you're gonna need to be able to easily reach the ground to dab with your feet in sketchy sections, typically at the expense of some suspension travel height, if need be.

I freaking love wickedly powerful, tall, long-legged Desert Bikes myself, I mean hell, I rode a KX500. and before that a Husky 250 XC that had like 13.5in out back and a 39in seat height! And me with a 30" inseam. But it'd be a hard sell to convince me to ride any bikes that tall into a hunt. Just because the effect of all that loading it down would have on making slow-going handling be much more exhausting to the user aboard such a tall bike.

Don't get me wrong, when un-burdened, tall bikes usually rock because the plush suspension. if adjusted right, more for offroad rather than MX/SX, lets you chug thru a lot of stuff amazingly well. But... that's when it's just your ody nd maybe a hydration pack at most. So you have high maneuver-ability and not a lot of pendulum effect with a low amount of pack weight and not much radius away from your back. But once the pack and weight starts getting heavier and further away from your back in term of radius it extends from the center of your bodyline? The more that weight will have a pendulum affect fighting against you that your torso strength will have to make-up for during the ride. Not the time you want to also be throwin into the mix the added challenge of only being able to put the just tiptoe of one foot down on the ground when you come to stop and you need to scootch your butt to once side of the seat to be able to do it. With all that weight on your back of a packout? Naw man, that would be brutal on you! Especially if the ride out happen to have a long downhill single-track with a lotta slow turns in it. That kinda stuff makes your forearms BURN from having to be braking the whole way down! And that gets amplified exponentially with more weight or riding two-up! Your forearms on a long meandering downhill will be begging for mercy! So you'll want that extra confidence with packout weight of being able to dab your feet decently while still remaining seated during this slow-going technical sections. Sometimes it's like a trailline cuts thru some rock/hardpack at some spot so there is super deep rut you temporarily have to pass thru where your pegs scrape the top of that rut... times like that it's very reassuring to be able to dab more easily with buncha weight on your back.

I get it though, wanting to buy a bike that you'll be happy with year-round, not just hunting season. But if the suspension is any bit aggressive and stiff like for MX/SX type of setup, it's gonna sap you more quickly of your energy in those tight technical sections, as apposed to a more true trailbike oriented machine where the suspension is sprung more plush intentionally and they try to have lower seat height design, on purpose. Because it inspires confidence in newer or more aging riders. And you basically become that category when you strap on 100+ Lbs of packout on your back. With that load on, it's about just getting back out safely and not falling! It is about easiest to control and most forgiving ride setup for that application. Like right off the bat on a more race-ready type of machine you're likely gonna have to throw on a heavy flywheel to improve low-end tractabillity and smooth how how the powerband on the bike comes on, cause with a packout on you... whoo lawdy Netown's Laws Man! You are soo going to be feeling that hard acceleration amplified in it's affect on your muscles with all that extra weight and inertia your arms are gonna have to deal with when stopping or accelerating. It takes it toll, bigtime by the end of the ride. And like I've said before, on Dirtbikes? Fatigue = crashes.
 

Green1

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
11
Location
BC
I've heard good things about the super sherpa and TW200. Also thought about an old honda CT90 or CT110.
 

Supranatural

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
39
I'll write up a bit more later (I'm recovering from knee surgery this morning and I'm bed bound for now) but I'd highly recommend either a mild trail bike or enduro specific model. I was primarily an MX racer from the time I was 10, I stepped away from riding when most of my buddies "grew up" and I got into big game fly fishing...got back into it when my (then) 3 year old told me he wanted to ride. For two years I bought/used 7 MX bikes, modified them to better suit woods riding, my son's initially slow pace (no longer, he's now a demon on two or 4 wheels), mud, roots and my older sensibilities (too old to do 70ft triples anymore nor risk breaking bones...I hate surgery...). Anyway I found the MX bikes too high strung, too stiff, etc despite jetting, suspension work etc...I finally got a KTM 250 XCW.

Also I prefer 2 strokes for tough slow going...they can be lugged a lot more than a 4 stroke. It sucks when you flame out the bike on a gnarly trail...
 

TheGDog

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Messages
2,488
Location
OC, CA
I'll write up a bit more later (I'm recovering from knee surgery this morning and I'm bed bound for now) but I'd highly recommend either a mild trail bike or enduro specific model. I was primarily an MX racer from the time I was 10, I stepped away from riding when most of my buddies "grew up" and I got into big game fly fishing...got back into it when my (then) 3 year old told me he wanted to ride. For two years I bought/used 7 MX bikes, modified them to better suit woods riding, my son's initially slow pace (no longer, he's now a demon on two or 4 wheels), mud, roots and my older sensibilities (too old to do 70ft triples anymore nor risk breaking bones...I hate surgery...). Anyway I found the MX bikes too high strung, too stiff, etc despite jetting, suspension work etc...I finally got a KTM 250 XCW.

Also I prefer 2 strokes for tough slow going...they can be lugged a lot more than a 4 stroke. It sucks when you flame out the bike on a gnarly trail...
Nothing compares with the exhilaration+lip-biting-nervousness of that first time you're approaching the face of the take-off jump for your first double or triple!

I'll never forget I was riding around the track over by SaddleBack - Irvine Lake in OC on my "DRZAV8R".. pulled off to side to watch the Hotshoes busting the triple. You could choose from two lines, one had a massive gapped double where the inner surfaces of the mounds were painfully flat if a rider were to come up short and smack into em, I thought. On the other line it was a triple, and you could see a lotta dudes working their way up by doubling it then just riding over the single remaining.

Then EFF me if this little kid on an 80 doesn't come hauling major @$$ and busts that massive-gap double! Hurt my pride so I was like, ya gotta start working on this G. So I decided on the Table-top jump they had I'd try their first.

Ugh... if I'd have charged it just this little bit more I'd have cleared the flat on the tabletop cleanly, but as it was... ugh... I came down with the bikes trajectory falling fairly vertically from the apex of the trajectory, maybe 6-8ft up I'm guessing?... and the force of the landing caused me to nut-up on the tank pretty damn hard.

It felt just like the first time something like that happened to ya when you were a kid on your BMX bike, HaHA! Ya just kinda pulled over and waited for your nuts to fall back down and stop hurting! BUAHAHA!
 

sneaky

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
8,686
Location
ID
I've heard good things about the super sherpa and TW200. Also thought about an old honda CT90 or CT110.
I've got a Super Sherpa. It's an apocalypse bike.
Replaced the low front fender with a high mount dirt style fender, Kenda 760s. Took it to Nevada in 2020 on my deer hunt. Saved a ton of hiking and getting beat up in my truck. Low seat height and low first two gears means you can just plug along.
Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 
Top