Go Anywhere, Do Anything Motorcycles

May 07, 2019
Dual-sport bikes are the most versatile motorcycles on the market, combining performance on the street with offroad prowess. As the name suggests, they’re the best bikes for those who like to adventure; who use their bikes for city and highway riding as much as they use them for tackling trails and off-the-grid adventures. Although not quite as capable off-road as some of the adventure cars and trucks we detailed in an earlier blog post, these motorcycles are more than enough for most tasks, and the perfect choice for the aspiring motorcycle adventurer. KAWASAKI KLR 650 While certainly not the most capable choice for off-roading, the Kawasaki KLR 650 is still a great introduction to the world of dual-sport motorcycles. Featuring a 651 cubic centimeter single-cylinder engine with enough oomph to take on any road with ease, this venerable Kawasaki has been a staple of the brand’s lineup for more than 30 years. You’ll get the best use out of the KLR on the street, where its suspension and ride comfort shine. HONDA AFRICA TWIN Compared to its lighter Kawasaki competitor, the Honda Africa Twin is a bonafide adventure bike, being just as capable on the road as it is off the road, without the compromises of the Kawasaki. The Africa Twin excels at nearly any task: trekking through mud, sand, dirt, and asphalt alike. It’s large and comfortable, and with enough power to make even long highway rides a breeze. YAMAHA WR250R Yamaha's WR250R is at the other end of the street-offroad spectrum, not as versatile as the Honda, but much more capable offroad than the Kawasaki, thanks in part to suspension tuning. It’s the best bike in the 250cc dual-sport class, and as an entry-level bike, its price will be much more attractive to both new and budget-conscious riders alike, coming in at just US$6,699 new from Yamaha. KTM 690 ENDURO R Stepping up from the Yamaha in both power and price but still keeping with the focus on offroading is KTM's 690 Enduro R. It’s a raw, powerful bike (one of the most powerful in its 600-700 cc class, in fact) with a power output of 74 horsepower and 54 pound-feet of torque. With a US$11,699 starting price, the KTM comes standard with ABS, a slipper clutch, and three-mode live-by-wire throttle valve adjustment. These features bolster the KTM’s street ability, although its lack of comfort over long rides may turn off some potential buyers. SUZUKI DR650S You’ve probably heard of the Suzuki DR-Z400, but its DR650S big brother is another excellent offering from the brand. Big cousin may be a more apt description however. While the DR-Z400 excels offroad and is more of a dirt bike for the road, adorned with street-legal components, the DR650S is a more well-rounded dual-sport. Its 644cc single-cylinder engine is spunkier, producing more power and making the 650 a better choice for those looking to travel on the street and on the highway, where its engine shines and plentiful torque easily keeps up with higher sustained speeds. These characteristics, combined with its comfortable riding experience and low starting price of just US$6,599 makes the DR650S a great choice in the dual-sport segment. DUCATI MULTISTRADA 1260 ENDURO While its name is a mouthful, the Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro (try saying that 10 times fast) is a great dual-sport choice from Italy. Lurking beneath its beautiful fairing is a 1,262 cc L-twin motor generating a monstrous 160 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque; the mighty Multistrada rivals even sport bikes in sheer power. Besides its power, the Multistrada is quite agile and perfectly capable of tackling almost any kind of offroading. One of its few hindrances though will be its eye-watering price of US$21,795, more than enough money to turn away many potential buyers away. BMW R 1200 GS The BMW R 1200 GS is the quintessential adventure motorcycle. It’s quick, it’s comfortable, it’s incredibly capable on the street and offroad, and in short, it does everything you want and would expect it to do. At its heart is a large 1,170 cc twin-cylinder boxer engine generating a healthy 125 horsepower and 92 pound-feet of torque. Its plentiful power output is legendary and is certainly the lone reason to sway some buyers, especially the first time the throttle is really applied. Combined with its road-going prowess is a sublime chassis and suspension setup which makes the big BMW not only comfortable to ride, but supremely capable offroad. Its only downside is its size and weight, which some may find compromises maneuverability on tight trails. LET’S GO! Now that you have the perfect dual-sport for your needs, it’s time to ride! Be safe, have fun, and enjoy your new adventures!
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