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Winter on the way? Our top ten under £2000 trail/enduro bikes

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

So the biking season may well be nearing its end you may think! Well here at the biking season never ends! In fact, we do not believe in a biking season because we ride bikes all year round. So come hail, rain or sunshine, we will be riding!

Winter is a great time of the year for motorcycling in London, Kent, Essex and Sussex, in fact in the whole of the United Kingdom there is a little bit of heaven here on earth when it comes to motorcycling in the winter. We call it Enduro riding and Trail riding. We love getting out in those winter months and enjoying the countryside on our motorcycles. Enduro riding is completely different to trail riding, as Enduro riding is mainly held on private land where you can use a motorcycle that is not road registered, even a motocross bike. Some Enduro events require a road registered motorcycle as there are occasions where an event or practice day will cross a public road into an adjoining piece of land. Trail riding requires a motorcycle to be fully road legal, taxed, insured and MOT’ed. Trail riding is enjoyed in a responsible manner by motorcyclists across the UK. We actively encourage people to join their local Trail Riders Fellowship group (TRF) to enjoy trail riding responsibly. The guys and girls at the TRF do a fantastic job in fighting to keep our rights of way network open, as well as bridging the gap and educating people who don’t understand that motorcycles can use Byways too.

We have put together our best TOP 10 Under £2000 Enduro/Trail bikes for 2019. You really are onto a winner with some of these bikes. Remember that there are no Byways in Central London, so when it comes to buying a bike for some winter green laning or Enduro riding you don’t have to worry about it being ULEZ exempt!! These are our personal TOP 10 bikes, everyone will have a different top 10 so we would love to hear from you!!!

1. KTM EXC 200 – The EXC 200 was first launched in 1998 it’s basically the same bike as the EXC 125 with a larger piston and barrel. EXC 200 owners rave about them and people who have owned one in the past regret selling them. The early EGS model (EGS had autolube) ran from around 2000-2002 these were a great bike and meant you had a separate tank for the two stroke oil. If you can pick one of those up they were very sought after back in the day. The EXC can be bought for under £2000 and there are plenty to choose from. They make a great bike for weekend green laning and enduro riding. The seasoned expert enduro rider will tell you they are a great machine!


2. GasGas EC 200 – So nice they named it twice! The Gasser remains one of our favourites, so easy to work on and ride. They came with some seriously good suspension too. Marzocchi/Ohlins can be found on the early models. The EC 200 has fantastic handling and can be as competitive as you want in any enduro event. They really are a lot of bike for the money and can be bought very cheap compared to other similar machines. Buy one you won’t regret it!


3. KTM EXC 450 – Launched in 2003 this bike sold in huge numbers. Some find them a little too lively for basic trail riding but it’s more than happy to ride at lower speeds. 2010 saw KTM introduce the EXC 450R which was a great replacement for the EXC. Much smoother to ride and has an upgraded chassis. This model came in a 400 and 530cc. They proved very reliable and have a solid reputation.


4. Yamaha WR 250. 2001 onwards (steel framed model) one of the best 250 4strokes ever made in our opinion. Fantastic fast revving engine that makes more power than some 450 machines. It begs to be revved. Pre 2003 models were kickstart only, so try and buy a clean used example made after 2003 as those models had the electric start. 2007 saw the introduction of the ally frame. (If you’re lucky you might pick up an ally frame model for around the £2000 mark). You won’t go far wrong with a Yamaha WR 250.


5. Honda XR250R – The Honda XR250 makes for a good all-rounder. Not too heavy and the power is more than usable for the average trail rider. Excellent air cooled engine which will go on forever and a day. They seem to be unbreakable. We recommend buying a 1996 onwards model as those were the later versions and although kickstart only they have very good residuals and resale values. It’s a Honda what else can we say?!


6. Suzuki DRZ400e – Came to us in 2002 then discontinued in 2006 but made a special guest appearance again in 2009. The E model is the Enduro version with more power than a standard S model and flat slide carburettor. Very torquey engine. The first run of the DRZ400E had a very loud exhaust pipe and this led to many owners changing them. Great trail bike. A tad heavy for any serious enduro riding but it’s capable and we love em!


7. Yamaha TTR 250R – Our favourite is the later blue plastic tank models. This model has kick and electric start. They have a bit of a cult following these days and parts are still available. In fact Totallyttrs (google it) still sell many parts as do Yamaha. They have a forum where members often help each other out. We believe they make a great trail bike and are very reliable. Well-built and easy to mend. Even high mileage ones are still a great second-hand purchase.


8. Suzuki DR350s – Great trail bike with good suspension, petrol tank a little on the small side but they are pretty lightweight and solid machines. Some models can look tired quickly if not looked after. They can be bought for well under 2 grand so if you get a goodun you’ll be onto a winner. The DR350 without the S was the enduro version which had no electric start


9.Yamaha DT125 – Everyone remembers a Yamaha DT!! These make great little trail bikes and we love them for the nostalgia value! There are a lot of DT’s out there that have been thrashed so try and find a half decent one. If it’s a Minter it will cost you well over £2000


10. Kawasaki KMX 125 – At just 98kg they hardly weigh anything. A very capable little trail bike that will put a smile on your face. KIPS power valve engine which can be derestricted to make about 24bhp. Most have had a hard life by now and been thrashed. They were one of the most stolen bikes back in the day, but find a decent one and keep it. Values are steadily going up. Well-made Japanese 2 stroker.

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