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Dual–Sport + Adventure Motorcycles

Dual–Sport + Adventure Motorcycles are street–legal motorcycles that are designed for use both on– and off–road (the “dual” in dual–sport or dual–purpose). Dual–sport motorcycle guides discuss the fact that these are typically single–cylinder motorbikes with engine displacements ranging from 250cc to 650cc. Adventure motorcycles, also known as adventurer tourers or travel enduros, have larger, multi–cylinder engines (650cc and up) and are often equipped for long–distance travel with windshields, comfortable seats, saddlebags or side cases. Due to the rigors of off–road use, dual–sport and adventure motorcycles often have durable bodywork and protective elements such as hand guards, engine guards and skid plates – something to look for when reading Dual–Sport + Adventure Motorcycle reviews. Their tires often have a large–block tread pattern that provide grip on pavement and in dirt or gravel; those ridden almost exclusively off–road usually run knobby tires like those found on dirt bikes.

Ducati Previews The Release Of Their 2013 Multistrada Models

2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring and the Multistrada 1200.

Press Release
September 18, 2012

Ducati has given a preview of its highly-anticipated 2013 range by revealing exciting new Multistrada models that introduce new features such as enhanced aesthetics, a second generation Testastretta 11° engine, the very latest ABS and, on the “S” versions, the innovative semi-active suspension system,... Read more »

Road Test: 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer

With a powerful engine, nimble handling, strong brakes and well-controlled suspension, the Triumph Tiger Explorer mixes sport with adventure.

Greg Drevenstedt
September 5, 2012

After my exhilarating but brief ride on the all-new Triumph Tiger Explorer at its press launch in Spain (Rider, May 2012, and on ridermagazine.com), I waited impatiently for the Explorer to arrive in the U.S., eager to spend quality time together and see if we had the chemistry for a longer-term relationship.... Read more »

Comparison: 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer vs. 2012 Yamaha Super Ténéré

The Super Ténéré has dirt-worthy spoked wheels but a vulnerable undercarriage and its ABS can’t be easily turned off.

Greg Drevenstedt
September 5, 2012

The open-class adventure touring segment has grown from a class of one—the BMW R 1200 GS/Adventure—to a class of five in recent years, with the introduction of the Ducati Multistrada 1200, Moto Guzzi Stelvio, Yamaha Super Ténéré and Triumph Tiger Explorer. We compared the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure... Read more »

Road Test: 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Holy handling, Batman! The masked Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX carves corners like a bike with a wheelbase much shorter than it’s 60.4 inches.

Mark Tuttle
September 4, 2012

If there are any stretches of paved road left in the U.S. with more than 200 miles between gas stations, I’d sure like to know about them. Highway 140 from Winnemucca, Nevada, to Lakeview, Oregon (part of the historic Winnemucca to the Sea Highway), used to be one, but now there’s gas after about... Read more »

Triumph Announces XC Version of Award Winning Tiger Explorer

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Press Release
September 4, 2012

Triumph Motorcycles increases its range in the Adventure Touring market with the launch of the new Tiger Explorer XC. With a nod to the styling cues of the award-winning Tiger 800 XC, the new Tiger Explorer XC gains a number of enhancements to further heighten its long haul adventure touring appeal. Key... Read more »

2013 BMW F 700 GS and BMW F 800 GS – First Look

2013 BMW F 700 GS and F 800 GS

Greg Drevenstedt
July 2, 2012

BMW’s F-series model family includes four motorcycles powered by the company’s 798cc parallel twin engine: F 800 R, F 800 ST, F 650 GS and F 800 GS. When BMW decided to update the two models in its popular GS enduro line, it also looked to clear up some confusion over model names. Despite being powered... Read more »

2012 BMW ­­G 650 GS Sertão vs. 2012 Kawasaki KLR650 Comparison

These rugged, capable dual-sports will take you and your gear anywhere on the map, gates or snow notwithstanding.

Greg Drevenstedt
June 4, 2012

What would you do with an extra $2,351? Even at today’s high prices, you could fill your gas tank hundreds of times. You could buy new gear from head to toe, a wish list of accessories, or you could fund an open-road odyssey for months. If you’re in the market for a new 650cc dual-sport single, would... Read more »

2012 BMW G 650 GS Sertão Road Test

The 2012 G 650 GS Sertão continues BMW’s lineage of adventure-oriented singles that goes back to the 1993 F 650 Funduro.

Greg Drevenstedt
April 3, 2012

Sertão is Portuguese for hinterlands or back country, particularly the arid badlands of northeastern Brazil, the sort of place the new offroad-ready G 650 GS Sertão is designed to explore. From 2000-2010, the rock-hopping variant of BMW’s F 650 GS was called the Dakar, after the legendary rally that... Read more »

2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer First Ride Review

2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer: Metzeler Tourance EXP street-biased dual-sport radials provide plenty of grip on the road and are adequate offroad.

Greg Drevenstedt
February 27, 2012

Leaned over mid-corner, the toe of my boot scraping the tarmac and adrenalin crackling through my veins, rolling on the throttle induces a deep, guttural bark from the stainless-steel exhaust pipe. The rear tire hits something slick, perhaps a thin line of diesel fuel slopped onto the roadway by that... Read more »

2012 Honda NC700X – First Look

2012 Honda NC700X: A new do-it-all middleweight.

Greg Drevenstedt
January 20, 2012

At the New York stop on the International Motorcycle Shows tour, American Honda is unveiling an all-new model, the 2012 Honda NC700X. First seen at the EICMA show in Italy last October, the NC700X features adventure-bike styling, a new engine, and nimble handling. In addition, the NC700X offers the option... Read more »

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Dual–Sport + Adventure Motorcycles, Who Uses Them?

Dual–Sport + Adventure Motorcycles are increasingly popular because of their versatility, as emphasized by road tests on these motorbikes. According to data from the Motorcycle Industry Council, they accounted for 6.3% of all motorcycle unit sales in 2012. They are street–legal and designed to be ridden both on– and off–road, allowing riders to use one motorcycle for almost all types of riding. Like Swiss Army knives and Jeeps, dual–sport and adventure motorcycles are tough and ready for anything. They typically have large–diameter front wheels (19– or 21–inch) that easily roll over obstacles, long–travel suspension that soaks up large bumps, and heavy–duty frames and components. Because of their large front wheels and long–travel suspension, they often have tall seat heights (32 inches and up) that can make them impractical for smaller or shorter riders. Reviews frequently discuss the features that Dual–sport and adventure riders are known for, such as adding “farkles,” accessories that combine “function” and “sparkle,” like auxiliary lights, bolt–on protective pieces and GPS navigation units, to their bikes.


Dual–Sport + Adventure Motorcycle Standouts

The Kawasaki KLR650, a 650cc single–cylinder dual–sport motorcycle that has been in production since 1987 with remarkably few changes, has been the top–selling dual–sport motorcycle for many years due to its performance in road tests, reliability and low sticker price. Other popular dual–sport motorcycles are the Honda XR650L and CRF250L, Kawasaki KLX250S, KTM 690 Enduro R, Suzuki DR650 and DR–Z400S, and Yamaha WR250R. BMW invented the adventure touring segment with its 1980 R80G/S, where G/S stands for Gelände/Strasse (German for off–road/road). Today its R 1200 GS carries on that tradition and is one of the most popular adventure touring motorcycles, along with other BMWs such as the F 800 GS and G 650 GS. Other popular adventure motorcycles discussed in guides include the Ducati Multistrada 1200, KTM 1190 Adventure, Suzuki V–Strom 650/1000, Triumph Tiger 800/XC and Tiger Explorer, and Yamaha Super Ténéré.

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