duel sport bikes


I am looking at these critters and wondering all kinds of things. I've never owned a bike like this so I'd like some opinions. I've always owned HDs.
One piston or two pistons is something I've never considered as the HDs were twins and all my 4 wheelers were single, so in a sport bike what do you folks like.

Brand? egads this could be a bag of worms, but I've looked a wee bit at BMW, Yamaha, Honda and nothing else.

Just want help and opinions.


Expedition Leader
"Duel sports" sort of implies a conflict will be happening. Fencing would be a duel sport. Jousting might be another? Doing either on bikes would be hazardous ;) j/k ... Dual sport implies harmony in two modes :)

What do you plan to do? Where will you do it? What are your needs?

There are a whole range of different answers. No one is the best for everyone.


There are a whole range of different answers. No one is the best for everyone.
Hell, there is rarely a bike that is an answer for any one person, and vice versa. Seems like dual sport guys are constantly looking for an elusive answer, or making concessions to fit the bike they have. That said, there are a ton of cool bikes around and most of them are fun!


Expedition Leader
You are SOoo right. One seems to lead to another and before you know it the garage is too small. He has HD experience, so I hope he has the street cruiser bike covered? Maybe even the touring cycle bike? Next comes a trail bike, longer range traveling offroad bike, dirt bike and the list goes on and on...
Physical condition , desire and space will be part of the equation. I guess you need to decide where you will start.


Well since you're a HD guy, might as well jump in with both feet and get a V-Twin DS. :roost:



Been looking at the BMW G 650. One piston and light. I've got friends with the old school Paris-Dakar BMW with carburetor. Now that would appeal to me but no one wants to sell and if they do they want lots of $$$$ for them. BTW the HD is gone, sold it on the Big Island.


Expedition Poseur
Been looking at the BMW G 650. One piston and light. I've got friends with the old school Paris-Dakar BMW with carburetor. Now that would appeal to me but no one wants to sell and if they do they want lots of $$$$ for them. BTW the HD is gone, sold it on the Big Island.
Compared to the HD, the BMW G650 may be light - but compared to most dual sport motorcycles, it is anything but. You'll be around 500 once you get a weeks worth of gear on it. They're smooth (for a thumper), comfortable, efficient & reliable - but they're heavy SOBs when you have to pick them up more than a couple times in a day.


I'd suggest you look for a Transalp, Honda 650 V tiwn. I have an 89 with 10400 on the clock and in great shape. You can cruise at 70+ all day on the higway and charge up any hill that a 650 XR will take you, it was built for Darkar and won, so its a proven bike.

The Honda has more torque as a V twin than any pop corn poper including the GS Beemers, but they are nice. Pretty much the ultimate dual sport if you condier weight to power, torque and comfort. If you can find one you'll be ahead.

You can build up a trail bike to a dual sport, but the frame and suspension won't be up to highway speeds, if you need both highway and offroad, the old Transalps will serve you well!!!!


If you've never ridden a dirt bike I suggest getting a cheap lightweight one. Trailer it out to the woods and thrash it until you've learned how to ride dirt, and learned whether you like it. Honda XR250, Yamaha TTR250, or Suzuki DRZ250 are the most obvious candidates and clean ones can be had for under $2000.

Dual sports weigh 50 lb more and have a bunch of lights that will just get broken off.

The problem with getting a 650 or even a 400 right off the bat, is it is very intimidating to learn dirt riding on them. Expensive to crash, hard to pick up, and much harder to handle.


The problem learning to ridfe on dirt, gravel, mud, flat wet rock faces and even snow is not so much the size of the bike but maturity. If you're the dare devil type and want to go blasting up a step grade for a twenty foot jump after riding for a week, I'd say get a small little popcorn popper. If you have different terrains with varying degrees of dificulty, start out slow on any bike you can handle on the road and feel comfortable with and practice slowly to build proficiency. Gotta respect the bike and the terrain. My first dirt bike was a Honda 650XR and I never had to pick it up. Never had to pick up the Transalp either, but then I don't go flying through the air, that's what the ultralight aircraft is for....LOL :)

Deleted member 48574

So, here's a list of caveats before I chime in:

1) I've never owned a bike, but would like to get one to accompany my Jeep and wife on longer trips (wife actually wants the bike too...that's why I put a ring on it, as Beyonce would say ;) )
2) I know very little about HOW to ride, etc. Don't even have my license.

So, with those two things in mind, I'll relay what I've read in my search for a good bike. I'm blessed with the kind of addiction to the Internet combined with fast reading skills that allow me to surf, surf, and surf some more and as such, I've done a lot of reading of various reviews for different dual sport bikes.

If you've owned HDs before, then you know how to ride and you must at least to some level enjoy cruising the highways and byways, and with that assumption in mind, I've read very good things about the Road Manners of the latest Triumph Tiger XC.

It can keep up with the BMWs in the dirt, but handles very nicely on the road, with a bias towards the Road. Again, not my words, but the words of quite a few different reviews. Biggest downside noted in general is the way the panniers attach isn't ideal, but apparently that's engineered for aerodynamic purposes. I only bring it up as it would allow you to do your classic Harley terrain -- cruising highways -- in alleged comfort, but if you hear the call of the wild and hit a dirt road, it's more then capable there too.

I didn't see anyone chime in with that suggestion and I didn't see it on your list of bikes you were looking at, so I thought I would mention it. If someone with more experience (read: ANY experience!) wants to chime in to tell me I'm full of it, no offence taken :D



Being that it will be you first bike , you need to choose wisely. I started on DR650E and I loved it, but had to sell it. Now I just picked up a 1999 KLR650. The DR was a little more forgiving with it being a little lighter, but roadability was less than desireable. I find the KLR better on road and still quite capable off. In my opinion get something that is comfortable for your size and weight, and start out slow, Dont plan a 1000 mile trip rite out of the gate. get used to the bike. and have fun doing it. Take it on a local trail or something a couple times. M2C.:bike_rider: