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5 of the best dual purpose green-laners

Published: 11 February 2009

Winter is the best time to get into green-laning. The main roads are icy and clogged preventing you from getting your two-wheeled fix, so why not take to the nation's network of green lanes for some muddy fun? Here's 5 dual purpose bikes that offer a low-cost introduction to the sport.

It's better to look for a dual purpose trail bike rather than a pure off-roader for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, A green-laner needs to be road legal as green roads are legal carriageways. It'll be much easier and cheaper to buy a bike designed to be used on-road rather than convert an off-roader.

Secondly, off-road bikes are high performance machines with peaky engines. For gentle green-laning you won't use most of a true off-roader's potential. Bottom-end grunt is much more useful than all-out power.

Light weight is one of the most important characteristics of a green-laner, so small capacity bikes make sense. Electric start is also a huge advantage, possibly even essential, as having to kick-start your bike bike over and over after offs and stops will get old fast!

Here's 5 budget dual purpose bikes that are perfect for getting to and from green lanes and enjoying yourself when you're there:


Suzuki DR-Z400

Suzuki DR-Z400 (2001-current)
The DR-Z400 is a reliable little single that's easy to work on and parts are cheap. It's too heavy for proper off-roading but perfectly fine for green-lane work. As a bonus, it also makes a pretty good town bike during the week and the single-cylinder 39bhp powerplant pulls well from low-down. Electric start.


Yamaha TT250R

Yamaha TT250R (2004-2005)
The TT250R is another tough little enduro bike with a plucky single cylinder engine. It's completely reliable, but it's a tall bike with a seat height of 895mm, so anyone under 6 foot may find it a handful on muddy green lanes. Electric start comes as standard, as do the handguards.


Kawasaki KMX125

Kawasaki KMX125 (1986-2002)
The KMX125 may be a 2-stroke, but KIPS induction valves help to spread the power more evenly. Derestricted it makes 23bhp, it only weights 110kg and it handles well off-road. Less reliable than some of the 4-strokes in this list, but it's cheap to fix and has the all-important electric start. Many were stolen and abused so can be hard to find nowadays.


AJS PR4 Enduro

AJS PR4 Enduro (2003-current)
The AJP PR4 has some nice touches, like a see-through tank so you can check how much fuel you have left when out in the wilderness. It has good fuel economy to match, plus electric start... but the engine isn't as sophisticated as the Japanese competition.  


Honda XR125L

Honda XR125L (2003-current)
The great-looking XR125L features electric-start and a grunty 4-stroke single. It's a little under-powered for the open road but great in town or on green-lanes. It's very narrow and light, the seat is reasonably comfortable and it has a decent tank range.


If you're thinking of buying one of the above models from MCN Bikes For Sale, get insurance quotes from a number of motorcycle insurance providers in one place with MCN Compare. 

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