To D/S or not to D/S in Florida?

Discussion in 'The Sandbox - AKA Flatistan' started by Elle2Konsai, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. Elle2Konsai

    Elle2Konsai Adventurer

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    Howdy...

    Ladyrider soon to be moving to florida for work so it will be new to me though I've seen bits and pieces of the state.

    I've had a variety of bikes from sportbikes to standards to supermotos....no cruisers though (no offense, I just can't get into them). Presently sans 2 wheels but most recently parted ways with a dual sport honda last year.

    Just wondering if there's really any sense in getting a D/S bike down there? My impression from visiting is that the roads are flat, straight, and long...not a terrible thing by any stretch but twisties and offroad clay appeared rare. The riders I've seen during my brief visits in the past were almost all on harleys/cruisers and from my grandparents generation...

    What do the local inmates say? If you came from out of state, say the Southwest with its glorious and generous offroad trails and backroads, and had to start from scratch with a new ride would you entertain buying a D/S bike in Florida or just go for a streetbike?

    FYI...i'd be located in Tampa Bay.
    #1
  2. Vico1

    Vico1 The Maestro

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    Welcome to flatistan. Sand off road and straight tarmac. Tampa is middle of sandpit but there is Dual sport riding around

    Check out the Polar Bear thread and others down that way for rides.

    Or come north where there is less sand and a hill or two. Real riding is north GA and NC but it's a trip.

    Good luck
    #2
  3. wndsrfr48

    wndsrfr48 Been here awhile

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    If you like sand, ankle deep sugar grains, you'll love La Florida
    #3
  4. waybill

    waybill wayward

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    There is plenty of good off road riding on the peninsula, Here's a map with the best spots that aren't too far from where you'll be. Yes the jeep trails are two track and have sand but there are many clay roads and some limestone ones (hardpack) in those forests. The best time to ride in Fla is Oct. to April, and if you're going to ride the jeep trails you'll want a real dirtbike (i.e. lightweight) with a tag.

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=13OyK_oT8d73LYqix0Le3xpSjxvc&usp=sharing
    #4
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  5. 51%

    51% ReadyToRide

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    I wouldn't even own a bike in FL unless it was a DS. Roads here are so boring that off-road is the only part that's interesting.
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  6. JCool

    JCool Long timer

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    There are a lot of good twisty country roads north of Tampa in the Brookesville , Spring Lake area. About an hour north.
    #6
  7. motodutch

    motodutch Adventurer

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    I feel your pain. I moved here from Colo. with A brief stop in northern Mich. I'm not much of a sand rider so I pick my roads carefully. That being said there are some decent riding in the area both on and off pavement. My solution was to buy one of each. Enjoy the riding for what it is. Like Vico 1 said north Georgia is not far away. Check out the Coonbottom rally in Apalachicola.
    #7
  8. Buzztail

    Buzztail Nomad

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    Tons of good stuff up in the panhandle to ride. Sounds like a smaller DS that’s easy to haul, but big enough to get out and find some local afternoon stuff to do :dunno
    #8
  9. Elle2Konsai

    Elle2Konsai Adventurer

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    Thanks for all the suggestions, map links, and comments.

    Seems like not only is it worth getting a D/S here but some of you might say it is all that is worth having. I'll peruse those threads as well as find myself to those roads that were hinted at north of my soon to be home. I have been in GA and NC and those have great riding/driving roads undoubtedly though the distance is obviously a practical consideration.

    P.S...flat-is-tan? hahaha that's great and reminds me of how I was here with a friend who spoke of this big hill where anywhere else it would have been seen as maybe a speed bump :)
    #9
  10. Flacrusher

    Flacrusher So Many Bikes... So Little time

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    Elle

    I'm in Palm Beach County so I'm even further from the offroad fun than you will be in Tampa. Here's my.02... choose your new bike or bikes carefully. Florida riding often requires us to travel further than what most riders would want to do on a true dirt bike. So, getting to the destination is a consideration in the bike purchase. Once you arrive at your destination, often you are presented with riding in some pretty relentless sand. The more road worthy or bigger bikes are tougher to ride in the sand. The more dirt oriented bikes are better in the sand but generally not as road capable (Nobody shoot me-I know my Husky or your KTM can do road work but it's not like riding a GSA) and may require trailering. No matter the choice, a plated bike is pretty much a must for Fla in my opinion. Last, going with a DS that is dirt focused, will most likely limit the amount of road riding you actually do. If you want to ride regardless of whether the riding is what we'll call fun, you might want to go more street biased. I think the road riding here sucks but I still took my GSA down I95 during rush hour today because I love to ride more than I care about the crappy roads and drivers.
    #10
  11. ex250mike

    ex250mike Been here awhile

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    Get a lightweight DS and a kayak. Play in the water during summer, and the sand during winter. A pure streetbike will get boring and you'll lose your license trying to have fun.
    #11
  12. robert110411

    robert110411 Long timer

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    I lived in the Tampa area in the 70's and 80's. I visit my grandparents there frequently. As recently as this past February. I was a little disappointed to see that many of my old riding areas were now parks or gated housing developments. Regardless, there are still some decent ride opportunities. Certainly more than I have here in P.A.

    someone else said it, but North of Tampa you actually can find some curvy roads. As a kid South Mobley was one of my favorites, but it's a lot shorter on a big bike than it was on a Honda 200. I won't lie. If I moved back, something my wife and I have talked about as we near retirement........I'd probably sell my street bikes except my Harley, and that would get some kind of dual compound rear tire to avoid having to replace them because of flat spots every 3000 miles.

    Heavy bikes can quickly take the fun out of deep sand and palmetto stumps. Light, dirt focused dual sports will naturally limit the distance you'll be wiling to ride to the place you want to ride. On the other hand there are plenty of unpaved roads and trails where a DR 650 would be right at home. It's all about what you like. You can have fun on anything if your honest with yourself about your intent. you can hustle a DR 650 through a field of Palmetto stumps.....but that doesn't mean it'll be fun. You can ride a WR 250 80 miles to the trail head.....but it will probably suck.

    Florida Trail Riders always seemed to have a pretty active Enduro/Hare Scrambles/Dual Sport ride schedule. Might be worth looking at before committing.
    #12
  13. JCool

    JCool Long timer

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    Tampa bay has one of the largest sportbike communities in the country , unfortunately , just like here on ADVRider , 3/4 of them can barely ride a bike or are just stunt monkeys. There are a lot of decent roads if you know where and what to do with them. Don't believe everything you hear from the unknowing. Any more I ride supermoto's and sportbikes , so I DO know what is around. I've ridden on and offroad all over Florida and sand sucks. If you go to Miami there is green clay and coral rock at least.
    #13
  14. Elle2Konsai

    Elle2Konsai Adventurer

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    That's pretty unfortunate and quite a change from parts of the west coast where you get a better squid to competent rider ratio. On the face of it with the sunny climate here you'd think that would make for 12 months of riding, albeit with some hot/humid/buggy periods, but still a far cry from the dark, cold winters of the north. I guess stupidity has no bounds and florida gets its share, maybe more?

    The sportbike market has changed so much since i've been in that game....whole segments seem to have disappeared or at least been greatly diminished (hello 600cc class!). I guess it reflects many things not the least of which is the economy and demographic changes.

    I'll check out what the stealerships here have to offer when i arrive and it gets closer to the end of the year when presumably some deals are to be had.

    Thanks for the comment and encouragement!
    #14
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  15. JCool

    JCool Long timer

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    I know you said Tampa bay earlier , what city ?
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  16. jgunsett

    jgunsett Goin' Coastal

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    Elle: I have a 2009 Kawasaki KLR650 in Fort Myers that I'm planning to sell this year. It's well farkeled and has less than 5000 miles on it. Let me know if you'd be interested. I'm in no hurry to sell, but I'll be in Fort Myers over the Thanksgiving holiday, and then for about a week over new year's eve. PM if interested.
    #16
  17. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard I have no soul

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    You shut yer mouth!! Ain't no nuthin nowhere here so everyone just git!! :nono
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  18. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    Nothing boring about street riding, if you like riding as much as possible.
    Consider this combo:

    [​IMG]
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  19. RSOJIM

    RSOJIM Adventurer

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    I have been riding D/S in Florida for many years now. I live in central Florida and there are many wildlife management areas I ride. Hunting season is in right now, so I don't bother the hunters.
    #19