There’s a reason rider “boot camps” use small bikes for training: Easy to control, thanks to their light weight and modest output, they’re great at teaching essential skills at low speeds. For the DR200S, this nurturement extends to off-road skill building as well. New or tentative riders will appreciate the littlest DR’s claimed 278-pound curb weight, wide handlebar, and easygoing power delivery. While experts and hooligans will find gleeful satisfaction in nursing the DR200S up impossible hill climbs, perfecting 12-o’clock wheelies, stoppies, and other such high jinks.
Is there anything the little DR200S can’t do, then? Well, yes. Long stints on the interstate are an unreasonable expectation, though back road touring with panniers or a tail pack is entirely reasonable. And due to the air-cooled engine design, long, hot slogs through sand dunes might not be well advised either. Bottom line: When used within certain limits, the DR200S is good fun—and a great learning tool.
Likes: One of only a precious few lightweight dual-sports on the market.
Dislikes: Only modestly powerful and the 33.3-inch seat is tall for smaller riders.
Verdict: A great first-timer's bike for growing both dirt and street skills.