Dual-Sport Touring Accessories Review
(This article was published in the June 2012 issue of Rider magazine.)
As tough, capable, middleweight dual-sports, the Kawasaki KLR650 and BMW G 650 GS Sertão are solid platforms, ready to be accessorized for epic journeys of any scale. For our three-day ride, we wanted to add wind protection and luggage capacity.
For the KLR, we ordered a selection of Kawasaki factory accessories. We swapped the standard windscreen for one that is four inches taller, has a wider shape and is made from tough, 3mm coated polycarbonate ($74.95), which blocked more wind without helmet buffeting. For the cockpit, we strapped on a clever handlebar bag ($40.95) and an expandable tankbag with map pocket ($64.95), and for the back we added saddlebags ($179.95) and an expandable top case ($134.95), both made from semi-rigid, water-resistant rubberized vinyl. The well-made luggage swallowed everything one rider could think of to bring and took less than five minutes to put on and take off the bike. We wish the zippers were waterproof, and the saddlebags, which scratched the plastic side panels, had softer backing.
For the Sertão, Twisted Throttle (twistedthrottle.com) provided aftermarket accessories. We installed the versatile MRA VarioTouringScreen ($155), which has a larger windscreen with a 7-position adjustable spoiler. Since the fuel tank is under the seat, to securely mount a tankbag we bolted on the Bags-Connection Quick-Lock Evo Tankring Adapter Kit ($79.99), Tankring ($39.50) and 8.5-liter expandable Vina Quick-Lock Tankbag ($134.99), which has a main compartment plus removable cell phone compartment and belt pouch.
For our gear, we added Twisted Throttle’s 38-liter, rigid-core DrySpec D38 ($129.99) and 28-liter, dual-end-roll DrySpec D28 ($69.99; save $20 on the set) dry bags, which are made of 100-percent waterproof RF welded 18-ounce vinyl and coated Cordura. DrySpec bags are well-made and come with a wide array of straps to mount them to any bike and to each other. They take some effort to install and remove, but once mounted, they stay put.
Read our comparison of the Kawasaki KLR650 and BMW G 650 GS Sertão here: http://ridermagazine.wpengine.com/road-tests/2012-bmw-%C2%AD%C2%ADg-650-gs-sertao-vs-2012-kawasaki-klr650-comparison.htm