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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.

2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 Website Up

2014-Suzuki-V-Strom-1000

Rider Magazine
September 26, 2013

As of a few days ago Suzuki Japan finalized the specs for the all-new 2014 V-Strom 1000 on the special website for the bike at suzuki-vstrom.com/en/index.html. An extensive photo gallery, feature details, interviews and specifications can all be found on the expansive website, though keep in mind that... Read more »

2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC Review

Triumph-Tiger-Explorer-XC-featured

Greg Drevenstedt
August 28, 2013

When Triumph introduced its Tiger 800 and 800XC for 2011 and Tiger Explorer for 2012, the British manufacturer clearly wanted a slice of the rapidly growing adventure-touring market, with its sights set primarily on BMW’s popular GS line. The Tiger 800/XC compete head-to-head with the BMW F 650 GS... Read more »

2013 BMW R 1200 GS Road Test

2013 BMW R 1200 GS

Mark Tuttle
July 19, 2013

Given its status as adventure-touring’s most popular, versatile motorcycle and worldwide best-seller, we made sure to cover BMW’s new liquid-cooled R 1200 GS touring enduro pretty thoroughly following the introduction in South Africa (Rider, April 2013 and at ridermagazine.com). Now that we’ve... Read more »

BMW F 800 GS Adventure – First Look

F-800-GS-Adventure-2bike

Greg Drevenstedt
May 2, 2013

Adventure touring’s rapidly expanding universe can be traced back to a Big Bang moment: BMW’s introduction of the R80G/S in 1980. Gelände/Strasse—Off-road/Road in German, or GS for short—has become much more than just a model designation. Among the BMW faithful, it has become an expansive identity,... Read more »

Comparison Test: 2013 BMW C 650 GT vs. 2013 Honda NC700X

The C 650 GT is a sport tourer in scooter clothing; the NC700X is nimble, adequately quick and easy to ride.

Mark Tuttle
April 3, 2013

We aren’t normally a shiftless bunch except for an hour or two after lunch, but we recently spent the last two weeks swapping between two new “automatics”—BMW’s C 650 GT maxi-scooter, and Honda’s NC700X with dual-clutch transmission—in an effort to see which type of shiftless two-wheeler... Read more »

2014 KTM 1190 Adventure–First Ride

A smaller 19-inch front wheel and wider, lower-profile tires contribute to the Adventure’s nimble, confident handling.

Greg Drevenstedt
February 25, 2013

Roaring out of the fourth tight, uphill corner, one of hundreds in our aggressive ascent from sea level to the lava fields surrounding 12,198-foot Mount Teide, two things dawned on me. One is that Tenerife, the largest of the 13 Canary Islands situated off the northwestern coast of Africa, is a beautiful... Read more »

Rider Comparo: 2013 Honda CRF250L vs. 2013 Kawasaki KLX250S vs. 2013 Yamaha WR250R

Light, nimble and economical to operate, our 250 dual-sports all have plenty of fun on tap, whether your destination is work, school or the wide open spaces.

Arden Kysely
January 31, 2013

The last time Rider corralled a herd of 250 dual-sports (April 2008), we chose the thriftiest models available in the face of rising gas prices. This time we went for best-in-class, grabbing Yamaha’s WR250R, Honda’s new CRF250L and Kawasaki’s KLX250S—the only return contender. The KLX received... Read more »

2013 BMW R 1200 GS – First Ride

BMW R 1200 GS action featured2

Greg Drevenstedt
January 28, 2013

Redesigning a motorcycle that established and continues to define a robust market segment, one that has been a perennial bestseller, inspires fanatical devotion and is the culmination of a design philosophy that has endured for nearly a century, is a major undertaking. After setting new standards among... Read more »

2013 Honda CRF250L: Ridden & Rated

The tall and lean CRF250L has good low- and midrange torque and is equally at home off-road and on the pavement.

Donya Carlson
January 3, 2013

Conventional wisdom says you can’t please everyone, but that’s not stopping Honda from trying. Its new 2013 CRF250L dual-sport has a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine derived from the peppy CBR250R. The company’s goal is to spark the imagination of returning, new and current... Read more »

2013 BMW F 700 GS – First Ride

BMW-F700GS-featured

Greg Drevenstedt
November 26, 2012

When BMW decided to update the F 650 GS for 2013, it was clearly in a generous mood. The folks in Bavaria gave the street-biased enduro model more horsepower and torque, a shorter gear ratio for quicker acceleration, a second front disc brake, new switchgear and instrumentation, and updated styling.... 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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