Mid-Atlantic Dual-Sport riding opportunities

Discussion in 'Regional Forums' started by EarlElliott, Mar 29, 2021.

  1. EarlElliott

    EarlElliott "Experience is a hard teacher..." Supporter

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    Having once been—oh so long ago—an enduro rider as a kid, and of late feeling nostalgic for days gone by, I’m contemplating the purchase of a dual-sport bike upon which I hope to do some woods/dirt/trail/field riding and have some fun.

    My question is, are there others in the Frederick Maryland—or close proximity—area who engage in this kind of riding or have information about where such riding is permissible?

    If this topic has been previously discussed or, God forbid, beaten to death, I apologize. On the other hand, if it hasn’t, any intel would be most appreciated.

    Many thanks,
    JG
    #1
  2. Dirtmonkey8

    Dirtmonkey8 VA is for Riders

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    WATR- Washington Area Trail Riders club could be a good starting point for you. They seem to be pretty active in both securing trail riding areas and lobbying for the future of trail riding etc. Personally, I just ride back roads and explore rural areas looking for gravel roads. I spend a lot of time on US Forest Service Roads, when I have tome to reach them. There are also maps you can find which show unpaved roads.
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  3. dcprez

    dcprez Adventurer

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    I just joined the forum. Curious to see what responses you get. I've only explored some of Frederick watershed, St Johns ORV and some of Greenridge State Forest in the jeep. Looking forward to doing more of those on the Yamaha xt250 and whatever else I can find. So far I've just only taken it out to Peters Mill Run in Virginia and local gravel roads between Germantown MD, Leesburg VA and Harpers Ferry.
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  4. EarlElliott

    EarlElliott "Experience is a hard teacher..." Supporter

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    Okay, I'll check out WATR...I had not heard of them. Also, I didn't know there were maps available identifying dirt roads so I googled it, sure enough, there was gravelmap.com. So, I'll give that a good look over, too. All good information. Thank you.
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  5. EarlElliott

    EarlElliott "Experience is a hard teacher..." Supporter

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    Well, if I do get bike, perhaps you can show me some of the places you've ridden and maybe we can find a few new ones too. My first bike, way back when I was a an eight-year-old kid, was a Yamaha 60. I loved that bike!
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  6. dcprez

    dcprez Adventurer

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    Sounds good. Not enough off road around here for me to justify a pure dirt bike, but small dual sport has been perfect so far. Not crazy about riding the 250 on the faster stretches of 270, 70, etc for long stretches to get to some of these spots but wasn't interested in a bigger bike. Hitch mounting it has been working out well. Looking forward to exploring Green Ridge, Wolfs Den, Michaux next.
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  7. coptician

    coptician Adventurer

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    The Shenandoah 500 is a yearly rally (October) in Mt Solon, VA. I can't say enough good about the quality of the organization and the variety of riding the 300 mile event (several different skill level loops) presents. I haven't run it in a few years, and I don't know if the organization's name change (From 'Northern Virginia Trail Riders' to 'Washington Area Trail Riders') has any bearing on the current quality of the event...but for many years I kept a dual sport in the garage specifically for this yearly pilgrimage..it was that good.

    Also, Tasker's Gap has about 45 miles of pretty challenging steep, loose, rocky stuff...about 15 miles North of Luray, VA. There's a primitive campground with good, level campsites at the trailhead.
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  8. vaevictis

    vaevictis Adventurer

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    I'm also in the same boat, as I just bought a dual sport. I live in the N. VA area so I'm always up for meeting new rider buddies and exploring trails.
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  9. dcprez

    dcprez Adventurer

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    Little Fort campground? It was packed on Saturday. Sounded looked like half of them were long term campers. Maybe midweek is better? Looking forward to exploring more of those trails.
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  10. coptician

    coptician Adventurer

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    Yes, that's it. Been years since I was there, it was always almost deserted then.
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  11. dcprez

    dcprez Adventurer

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    Gotcha. A regular I was talking with in the campsite was a little bummed at the rvs staying for a couple of weeks and the semi permanent campers he said bug out before the weekend crowd comes in. Probably busier than normal since it was a nice day out and the trails were just opened back up for the year.
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  12. EarlElliott

    EarlElliott "Experience is a hard teacher..." Supporter

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    Perhaps I should start another thread to introduce this parallel topic: Of the new dual-sport bike riders, what bike are you each using/wanting/recommending? I'm considering the KTM690R because I understand it to be a solid bike with several safety features including but not limited to ABS. And, having ridden dirt (45 years ago), and some street (15 years ago), I'm thinking I can control the KTM690 in its Grandma mode just fine on the road and on the dirt, in full-on go get 'em mode, well, I'll just have to take it easy and learn bit-by-bit...fall-by-fall. I don't want to get a 250 dirt bike nor do I want an old technology xr650--not that there's anything wrong with that--either. So, what to do...? Please, let those recommendations rip!
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  13. Dirtmonkey8

    Dirtmonkey8 VA is for Riders

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    My recommendation for new dual sport riders is to first start on a used bike to make sure this is sport worth investment. For $3,000- $4,500, you can choose from several used models that will already have upgrades added such as skid plates, hand guards and maybe even pannier racks. DRZ400, DR650, KLR650, WR250R, etc. I also recommend starting on a japanese bike that is simpler and easier to own and maintain with better history of true solid performance. When the love of the sport goes full send, consider the exotics from Europe. This is just my opinion. I started on a DR650 and kept downsizing from there to handle technical terrain better and reduce my fatigue. I currently ride a WR250R, but do wish I had more power at times. I rode the WR250R on the full Mid Atlantic BDR with group of guys all on either R1200GS or Africa Twins. Some were envious of all the fun I was having. The size of the tool and the type of riding are best when paired appropriately. The 690 is an awesome beast and I think about them often, but it is a beast and also beastly expensive. Buy an old japanese bike that is difficult to break and that won't bother you or harm your "investment" when you drop it all over the place learning to tackle increasingly difficult terrain.
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  14. dcprez

    dcprez Adventurer

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    I'm still a newb - had a couple of cruisers but almost zero off road experience, except in the jeep and on a mountain bike. Happy that I went with a 2015 Yamaha xt250. I'd like to have a big pretty dual sport. But wanted something I could handle, cheap since I still don't know how much use I can get out of it living in the DMV (and I already have too many hobbies eating up my $$$), and something I can hitch rack onto the back of the jeep without too much worrying. Very happy so far. Rackless bags are coming soon so I can stash some lightweight camping gear I already have for some overnight weekend outings.
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  15. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Welcome to the world of Covid. Up until COVID hit, Taskers Gap was not normally crowded even on weekends though spring and fall were a little busier. Now weekends there and in the National Forest in general are crazy packed with folks. I highly recommend weekdays if at all possible for the foreseeable future.

    The issue with Taskers is it can be a tough place for newer riders to get their feet wet. It varies from somewhat rocky to VERY rocky. Some of the tighter tracks to the south has some nice flow in spots but you have to get past the rocky bits to get to them. I live about 30 minutes from there and go there a few times a year for the rock riding practice. The two main routes are doable on big bikes. The tighter trails are small bike territory unless the rider is either highly skilled or have a machoistic streak. I fall into the latter category and will take my 790 on a few of them if feeling exceptionally froggy but it's slow going. I have a couple of videos of some of the trails there.

    Just keep in mind that I'm old and slow.

    Taskers on the 790.



    Taskers on a 250
    #15
  16. OnOff

    OnOff Long timer

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    A bunch of Miscreants, but some of them ride :photog
    You have been warned.
    I belonged to this gang when I lived in MD and a finer group of guys you will find almost anywhere else. :jack:lol3
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  17. Vark

    Vark Long timer

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    I have an F700GS, love it but plan to add a smaller bike for BDR-focussed riding. A front-runner for me is the new Honda CRF300 Rally. It has enough grunt and wind protection for making connections to dirt via the interstate. I would not hesitate to take it on I-270/70 or I-66.
    #17
  18. Dudefromthemoon

    Dudefromthemoon n00b

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    That's exactly what I did. After growing up riding dirt bikes, purchased a WR250R last year from PA, had to jump through the MD State Inspection Hoops to get it plated, wasn't too bad. My kids ride dirt bikes so I figured I'd get a bike that does both and wanted to have fun on dirt trails. A buddy and I are planning on doing the CDR this summer, he's riding a Honda 650XR. My bike came fully kited out as the previous owner took it on BDRs. Where are you riding your WR250R?
    #18
  19. Dirtmonkey8

    Dirtmonkey8 VA is for Riders

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    I did the MABDR on the WR in 2018 and did the Idaho BDR in 2019. Didn't ride in 2020, but plan to do the Colorado BDR this fall.
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  20. EarlElliott

    EarlElliott "Experience is a hard teacher..." Supporter

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    Well, against some of your recommendations--no disrespect intended--I brought home the 690 last week. Why? Well, most of my riding--because of where I live and the fact that I don't want to trailer the bike--will be on the roads...paved, gravel, dirt, etc. And, to be honest, even if I did want to do single track, I don't really have the place to do that kind of riding anyway. So, I now have a "dual-sport" (or is it called an enduro or an adventure bike? Who cares. ) bike that does wonderfully on the road and pretty good off road, too. So, I'm exploring now, starting when I pull out of my garage in the Middletown Valley and riding to Gambril, South Mountain, Wolfsville and points beyond and I'm having a wonderful time. It takes me back to when I was a kid so long ago. I hope to meet up with some of you in the near future.
    #20