I started riding in 1982, currently on bikes no. 11 & 12 (Honda 919 and Triumph Bonneville) but I have to admit that I'm starting to get bored with road riding. It's not that I don't enjoy it, it's just that I've lived in the Denver area most of my life and with all the riding I've been doing, I've literally ridden every paved road within a ~200 mile radius and I'm getting tired of riding the same ones. I'm 3 years away from retirement and hope to do a lot of long distance riding after that, probably on a sport touring bike or a big bagger (haven't decided yet which one.) Who knows, maybe even a Gold Wing? But in the meantime, I'm starting to get the itch to explore the many dirt roads that are relatively close and accessible to me. Funny thing: The first motorcycle I ever rode was a Kawasaki 175 dirt bike, but I haven't really ridden any dirt bikes since then (at least not on the dirt.) Wife and I were on a camping trip at Grand Mesa this past weekend and while we were there I saw a couple of guys on dirt bikes exploring the dirt roads and it looked like it would be fun. My biggest concern with dirt riding is that I have bad knees (my avatar explains why 4 surgeries so far and more are likely in my future ) and I'm a little worried about possibly falling and injuring myself while out alone. On paved roads I'm pretty confident but as I said, I've never really ridden much on dirt. I know there is a local guy here in Denver who teaches a "dirt riding class" and I will probably sign up for it. I'm also thinking that for safety reasons, it would be prudent to not ride alone (though I frequently ride alone on my road bikes.) And then of course there's the "which bike?" question. My inclination is to start off with something lighter, in the 200 - 350 class. I'm pretty sure an electric starter would be a requirement (again, knees.) Street legal would be preferred, although I do own a pickup truck (F-150) so something that could ride in a hitch-mounted carrier would probably work for me too. I see tons and tons of KLR 650s., DR650's, etc, but I'm just not sure I need something that big. I'm cognizant of the fact that anything I ride off road I need to be able to pick up off the ground so lighter feels like a better idea than heavier. I have zero interest in any kind of "adventure bike" that weighs 500#, so something like a GS would not be what I'm looking for. As far as where I'd want to ride, nothing extreme, "motocross style" or even single-track, just exploring the dirt roads on 2 wheels instead of 4. A plated bike would likely be my best bet just because many of the dirt roads are restricted to street-legal vehicles only. So where to get started? One thing that concerns me when I shop on CL is that I'm very leery of a bike that has been "messed with." When I see an ad for a bike with a laundry list of items that have been replaced or "upgraded", it makes me think that the bike has likely been thrashed to within an inch of its life. As a general rule (with ALL vehicles I buy) I have a strong preference for one that is as close to stock as possible. Also, being a cheap SOB, I'm trying to keep the price in the low(er) ranges. Would love to find something sub-$2000 but I don't think that's realistic. Under $3k seems like a reasonable goal. With Summer coming to a close soon, I'll likely start my shopping in fall when people put their bikes up for sale rather than into storage. I should point out that I'm fairly tall (6'1" with a 34" inseam) so from what I've seen I would "fit" on almost any dual-sport type bike pretty easily. Anyway, just looking for input on how to get started dirt riding.