Best Lightweight Dual Sport Motorcycles

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Key Takeaways

  • The best lightweight dual sport motorcycle is the Honda CRF300L.
  • You can expect dual sport bikes to last for 50,000 to 75,000 miles.
  • We prefer dual sport motorcycles over dirt bikes because they last longer and provide better road performance.

If you are in search of the perfect lightweight dual-sport motorcycle that combines agility and adrenaline-pumping performance, you've come to the right place.

The best lightweight dual sport motorcycles weigh between 280-350 pounds on average with excellent handling. They should also be street-legal bikes. Our top picks include these options:

  1. Honda CRF300L
  2. Suzuki DR-Z400S
  3. Yamaha WR250R
  4. KTM 500 EXC
  5. Suzuki DR650S

The technological advancements in these bikes have made them more accessible, even for beginners. So, whether you're an experienced rider or just starting, there's likely the perfect lightweight dual sport motorcycle. Keep reading to find out more.

In this article...


6 Best Lightweight Dual Sport Motorcycles

If you’re looking for a lightweight dual-sport motorcycle, you have plenty of options. Dual sport bikes are perfect for those who want to ride both on- and off-road, and they come in various sizes and styles.

Whether you're a seasoned off-road enthusiast or a novice seeking adrenaline-fueled adventures, we've narrowed down the top contenders that offer a perfect balance of nimbleness, versatility, and raw power.

So, let me share the top picks I found during my search. Join us as we explore these two-wheeled marvels and help you find the ultimate ride for your thrilling escapades.

1. Honda CRF300L

Honda CRF300L
Honda CRF300L

The Honda CRF300L is one of the best lightweight dual sport bikes. It weighs 306–311 pounds depending on the year, model type, and added accessories.

This beginner-friendly motorcycle is perfect for lightweight adventures and offers a reliable performance across various terrains. A 286cc engine provides more power and versatility compared to the previous CRF250L.

While the Honda CRF300L is a fantastic dual-sport bike, it isn't perfect. One of my main gripes with the bike is the limited range for tall riders. If you're taller than 6 feet, you might feel a bit cramped while riding it. Additionally, the stock seat on this motorcycle can be uncomfortable during long rides.

Specifications & Performance

As an avid motorcycle enthusiast, I've always admired the Honda CRF300L for its impressive specs. This lightweight dual-sport motorbike boasts a 286cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine and a six-speed transmission.

I personally enjoy the impressive fuel efficiency that this bike offers. Some of the key specs include:

  • Engine: 286cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Fuel Efficiency: 74 MPG

What Sets This Motorcycle Apart

For me, the Honda CRF300L stands out among other dual-sport motorcycles due to its lightweight chassis and slimmer bodywork. This means it's perfect for off-road adventures as well as cruising on city streets.

Its improved performance and handling make it a great choice for both beginners and experienced riders like me. The handlebar sweep improves comfort and maneuverability too.


  • Lightweight and agile
  • Excellent fuel efficiency
  • Suitable for beginners and experienced riders
  • Only 306-311 pounds of curb weight


  • Limited range for tall riders
  • Uncomfortable stock seat for long rides

2. Suzuki DR-Z400S

Suzuki DR-Z400S
Suzuki DR-Z400S

The Suzuki DR-Z400S is one of the best lightweight dual sport motorcycles currently on the market. This bike is designed to provide riders with the perfect combination of power and agility for both on-road and off-road riding.

The DR-Z400S has a 398cc engine that delivers smooth and reliable power. The bike also features an adjustable suspension and a lightweight aluminum frame, making it capable of navigating tight trails and more technical terrain.

Specifications & Performance

This motorcycle is equipped with a 398cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine and a carbureted, 5-speed gearbox. The bike features a 49mm fork with 11.3 inches of travel and 11.6 inches of travel in the rear end.

  • Engine: 398cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, single cylinder, DOHC
  • Transmission: 5-speed constant mesh
  • Fuel Efficiency: 51.8 MPG

What Sets This Motorcycle Apart

As I explore the Suzuki DR-Z400S, I notice that it has been around since 2000, and it's still going strong in the dual sport segment. This bike is a blend of off-road capabilities and on-road comfort.

One thing that sets this dual sport motorcycle apart from its competition is its proven reliability and all-day comfort. Its power, agility, and lightweight construction make it an ideal choice for rookie and experienced riders.

This is a competent and reliable dual sport motorcycle that offers a great balance of off-road performance and on-road comfort.


  • Proven reliability over time
  • All-day comfort for riders
  • Decent off-road suspension performance
  • Usable power and a quiet engine
  • Water-cooled engine ensures low operating temperatures


  • Carbureted engine instead of fuel-injected
  • Some may find it slightly dated in terms of design

3. Yamaha WR250R

Yamaha WR250R
Yamaha WR250R

The Yamaha WR250R is a street-legal dirt bike and dual sport motorcycle. It’s a bike that offers a perfect balance of performance and versatility, making it a great choice for both off-road and street riding.

It weighs just 295 pounds, making it one of the lightest dual sport motorcycles available. This allows the bike to be extremely nimble and agile in the dirt and on the street. It’s also very easy to maneuver around tight corners and twisty trails.

Specifications & Performance

I immediately noticed its lightweight and versatile design. It has a 249cc 4-stroke engine, making it perfect for both off-road adventures and street riding.

Personally, I'm a fan of the 6-speed manual clutch transmission, which offers more control on different terrains. Here are some key specifications:

  • Engine: 249cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Fuel Efficiency: 58.9 MPG

What Sets This Motorcycle Apart

What makes the WR250R stand out for me is the combination of its off-road capabilities and street-legal status. It’s an adventure bike designed to handle various terrains and easily navigate rougher surfaces.

I also appreciate the fully adjustable suspension in the front and rear, providing a smooth, comfortable ride regardless of the road conditions. This street bike also comes equipped with a wide range of features, including an adjustable suspension system and digital fuel injection.


  • Lightweight and versatile design
  • Street-legal
  • Fully adjustable suspension for rider comfort
  • 6-speed transmission for better control on different terrains


  • Not currently in production because Yamaha discontinued newer models

4. KTM 500 EXC


When it comes to lightweight dual sport motorcycles, the KTM 500 EXC is one of the best. This powerful bike will surely provide you with an exhilarating ride and plenty of thrills.

It has excellent suspension and a strong engine that can tackle any terrain. The bike is also lightweight, making it ideal for those who want to travel light but still have plenty of power.

Specifications & Performance

When I first looked at the KTM 500 EXC, I found out its engine is quite powerful and efficient. This motorcycle boasts a class-leading power delivery available throughout the entire rev range.

  • Engine: 510.4cc Single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4 Valve/SOHC
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Fuel Efficiency: 49.9 MPG

What Sets This Motorcycle Apart

The KTM 500 EXC stands out to me for several reasons. It's designed to be a capable dual sport, single-track weapon, and tire-shredding supermoto. It's also quite comfortable for daily commuting if needed.

The power, lightweight design, and versatility make it one of the best dual-sport motorcycles available. The bike is highly maneuverable, and its suspension system is designed to provide a smooth ride.

Overall, I find it to be a formidable and versatile dual-sport motorcycle. It's powerful engine and lightweight design make it suitable for various purposes, while its few drawbacks can be worked around with some adjustments.


  • Powerful and efficient engine throughout the entire rev range
  • Lightweight design for easy maneuverability
  • Versatile - can be used for various purposes, from off-roading to daily commuting
  • Affordable pricing


  • It can be too tall for some riders
  • Knobby tires reduce fuel economy

5. Suzuki DR650S

Suzuki DR650S
Suzuki DR650S

The Suzuki DR650S is one of the most popular lightweight dual sport motorcycles on the market today. This versatile bike offers a great combination of power and agility, making it perfect for all riders.

Whether you’re looking for an off-road adventure or just a leisurely ride around town, the DR650 has you covered. It has excellent cornering ability, allowing you to take tight turns without sacrificing speed.

Specifications & Performance

I love this bike’s reliable 644cc, air-cooled, four-stroke engine and its strong steel, semi-double cradle frame. With a compression ratio of 9.5:1 and a 40mm Mikuni BST carburetor, it's evident that this bike is designed for both power and efficiency.

  • Engine: 644 cc, 4-stroke, single cylinder, SOHC, 4-valve
  • Transmission: 5-speed constant mesh
  • Fuel Efficiency: 43.5 MPG

What Sets This Motorcycle Apart

What really sets the Suzuki DR650S apart for me is its versatility as an all-around dual-purpose motorcycle. Whether I'm tackling rough off-road terrain or cruising on the pavement, this bike handles it all with ease.

The suspension has 10.2 inches of travel, and with a 21-inch front wheel and a 17-inch rear wheel fitted with dual-sport rubber, I'm ready for anything on this motorcycle.


  • Lightweight design perfect for versatility and maneuverability
  • Air-cooled engine for improved reliability and simplicity
  • Long suspension travel for better off-road capability
  • Retro look with the comfort and efficiency of modern technology


  • Limited aftermarket parts availability compared to other models

What’s The Lightest Dual Sport Motorcycle?

The lightest bike is the Yamaha XT250. The bike weighs around 290 pounds, but compared to some of the options in this guide, we don’t consider it one of the best.

While it may be a lighter bike, it doesn't provide the same dual sports handling and performance. Motorcycles that handle like a road bike are far superior.

For example, the Honda CRF300L is only slightly heavier and can provide much better speed, handling, and performance. It’s a clear winner when ranking the best lightweight dual sport motorcycles.

How Much Does A Dual-Sport Motorcycle Weigh?

The weight of a dual-sport motorcycle can vary depending on the make and model. In general, these bikes weigh between 250 to 350 pounds. Some of the lightest dirt bike models are even less.

For instance, the Yamaha XT250 weighs just around 290 pounds, which is considered pretty lightweight for a dual-sport motorcycle. It's equipped with a fuel-injected, air-cooled, engine, and has decent travel in the suspension, providing a comfortable ride on and off-road.

When comparing these dual-sport motorcycles, it's important to consider the weight, overall performance, and handling capabilities. With so many great lightweight options available, you can find the perfect dual-sport motorcycle that doesn't weigh too much.

Lightweight Dual Sport Motorcycles Vs. Dirt Bikes

Street-legal dirt bikes are typically the lightest dual sport bikes. It’s also possible to buy a lightweight dirt bike and modify it enough to classify it as a street-legal, dual-sport motorcycle. So let’s compare the two and see which is better.

Dirt bikes are designed specifically for off-road use and are typically used for motocross racing. They’re lightweight and nimble, making them great for maneuvering through tight and technical trails.

Dirt bikes have minimal body panels and no headlight, making them best suited for closed-course racing and riding in the daytime. Both dirt bikes and lightweight dual sport motorcycles offer great off-road performance.

Lightweight dual sport motorcycles are like dirt bikes with a few added features. They’re still lightweight and agile, but they have a few extra features that make them suitable for both on- and off-road riding.

Dual sport bikes are equipped with headlights and turn signals, making them legal for street use. They also have larger fuel tanks and more comfortable seating, making them better suited for long-distance rides.

How Long Do Dual Sport Motorcycles Last?

In my experience, the longevity of a dual sport motorcycle largely depends on the level of maintenance it receives and the way it's ridden. I've seen some dual sport motorcycles, like the Honda CRF250L, last 50,000-75,000 miles with proper care.

One thing I've learned is that regular maintenance is crucial for these bikes. Doing things like:

  • Changing the oil regularly
  • Keeping an eye on tire wear
  • Adjusting the valves as recommended

These tasks can make a huge difference in how long a dual-sport motorcycle lasts. As for the way I ride, I try not to push my bike to its limits all the time.

I've noticed that treating it gently in extreme conditions can really help to extend its life as well. It's important to strike a balance between enjoying the off-road capabilities and preserving the motorcycle's components.