I'm new to the forum but I'm looking for a bike but can't decide which to suit, I'll be mostly doing off road but I'll need to travel roughly 10-20 miles to these locations and wondering which bike/cc/2 or 4 stroke would suit this kind of riding? I've had bike but a long time since owned one now so looking to get back into it
I had the same questions you have back in 2012 when I bought another dirt bike after a long time delay before I started riding off-road again.
I have a few city streets to travel before I get to the Borderline dirt roads I have to travel on to get to the good single track trails I ride on in the High desert along the US/Mexico border in South East Arizona.
I first bought a BMW G450X 4-stroke for the trails here and really upgraded to set up the suspension for my weight at 245lbs. and did plenty of other mods. It's a bike that has some very innovative design features and was only produced for 2 years. I like it because its different Typically German by every sense of the word. Its the bike in my profile Avatar at the upper left of this post.
This bike is now somewhat of a test bed and just sits most of the time today as I run the G450riders.org forum as the Global Moderator, on this group of forums.
I then went off the deep end and purchased a new 2015 FE 501 Husqvarna and spent a bunch on it as well to do several upgrades. It will go anywhere I want it to. I'm 62 and have about 50 years of riding experience. It may be about 30lbs. heavier than a 300 2-stroke but what it may not go up I can always ride it back down to try again.
I had always ridden 2-strokes in the past but the current 250-300cc 2-strokes are very powerful machines that as a tight woods weapon they are unbeatable. They can also be a bit fatiguing and unruly to ride at my age too though as the power delivery is a bit more high strung. To me there is a big difference between a KTM/Husky 250 and a 300 2-stroke if you are an experienced rider. I've ridden both and the 300 makes gobs of torque compared to the 250 and the 300 can be lugged down all day but twist the throttle and things begin to happen very quickly to the point of getting a bit scary at times, vibration alone can sort of make riding it a blur but its the speeds at which it comes on that does that even when things are done to the bike to lessen the vibration. Its still a blur if you can ride it to its capacity, unbelievable performance compared to bikes of yesteryear and I used to ride nothing but big bore 2-stroke Maico's.
That being said.
I went for the 4-strokes which I can sit down and sort of cruise along when I wish and have plenty of horsepower on tap at any time I want and easily twist the throttle to power wheelie in the first 4 gears.
If you are bombing down the dirt roads to get to where you want to ride, a bike that's street legal with lights is a good idea. I don't need turn signals or a horn for that matter where I am here but a brake light is required.
Maintenance on a high capacity, race bred 4-stroke of todays standards can be a bit more then on todays race bred 2-stroke bikes as well and oil change service intervals are something that needs to be considered.
I like the horsepower myself. My FE 501 will pull your arms out of their sockets I can assure you and can be quite a handful when pressed to its limits. It depends on how much you want to press it. The modern day bikes of today would make a believer out of any old school rider trust me.
Since you are on the Husky Talk forum I am figuring you have considered the serious Husky bike or KTM and the other European bikes as what you are looking for.
Personally, I would love to have a 300 2 stroke today too, but I probably wouldn't ever ride it.
My getting older has led me to getting a side by side. A Can-Am Maverick X3XRS Turbo to be exact that's been modified, tuned and remapped to make over 200 HP with tons of other suspension mods on it as well. Its a beast, and fun as hell to drive. and takes a beating like you wouldn't believe the last 3000 miles.
I just did a cross country 90 mile ride on Saturday with 3 bike riders and 2 other X3s like mine, but they were 4 seaters, mine seats 2 and for every ranchers gate (10-12 each) that we had to go through on this ride we had to sit and wait for the 3 - 450cc bike riders to catch up so we could close the gates behind them. We passed them every time further up the trail without even breathing hard, before reaching the next gate. I have ridden this same route many times before on my dirt bikes and the bikes can probably average about 25-30 miles per hour all day on this mountain ride. All 3 of us in the X3 Turbo's carry much more speed about 35- to 45mph all day in any terrain on the same ride.
So there's my personal take on it, its entirely up to you on what you decide.