Riding off into the wilderness and tackling difficult trails is a great way to bond. Whether it be friends or family members, the obstacles you face together off-road can help grow strong relationships that will last a lifetime. If you have the chance to ride with someone who is more experienced than you, it can be a great chance to learn as well.

  • Jon Jones

    Yep. Dual-sport bikes will make you fall in love with motorcycling all over again. My first good one was a ’91 Suzuki DR650 purchased new. I found so many awesome nooks and crannies that I would never have discovered on a streetbike. And they’re a blast on beat-up, bumpy, serpentine pavement.

    • TC

      Sorry Jon, your (and my) DR650 is not a dual sport. Mr. Adams says dual sports go “all the way up to a KTM 500”. A 650 is way too manly for reason 6, the trip to Brokeback Mountain for some ‘bonding’.

      • Ryan

        Haha! Dang it! You’re killing me. My bad guys.

  • Jason M.

    The more I ride the more I realize that while my sportbikes are a riot, there are so many times I see a beaten path that I can’t explore. I’ll just have to add a third bike to the stable!

  • Old MOron

    Hey Ryan, is this you and Brent working on a Versys 300?
    It looks familiar. This is a pic from the recent lightweight ADV shootout, right?

    http://motorcycle.com.vsassets.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/26278-316×421.jpeg

    That shootout took place about a month ago, so this “400-mile dual-sport ride near the Sierra Nevada earlier this week” must be something entirely different. Cool, does that mean that a new dual-sport review is forthcoming? Cool!

    Regarding this story, you sure are making me wish I lived near a dual-sport area. I need to do some research.

    Wait! That’s actually a perfect assignment for you MOrons. Your function is to promote motorcycles, right? How about a feature covering dual-sport areas near major cities? People would be more inclined to buy dual-sport bikes if they knew of near-by areas to ride off road.

    • Ryan

      Hey Old MOron, You are correct, the picture you included was from the Lightweight ADV shootout. The first slide was a picture of the CRF250L Rally during an off-road trip I took over a weekend. All of the rest of the pictures were taken from a 400-mile dual-sport ride of mine Dec 16-19. That too was a personal trip.

      I completely agree with you and I like where this is headed. I’ll need to have a conversation with Dirty Sean about it.

  • SRMark

    Dropped my dual sport (drz400), suffered several blood clots and had sudden cardiac arrest. Good folks at riding area performed cpr and got me a life flight to a trauma center. On one of the few times I rode with a group my life was saved. I don’t ride dual sport anymore. I still prefer to ride alone. If you dual sport, ride with friends. And learn cpr. The life you save may be mine. Thanks to those who saved me and a very merry Christmas to all.

    • Y.A.

      Wow! Glad you survived! So the bike fell on you?

  • JWaller

    One thing I didn’t understand whenever I got my first bike was the seeming disinterest in dual sport motorcycling from most motorcyclists and the manufacturers at the time. The idea of dual sports always seemed to make so much sense to me. I wanted a KLR250 or KLR650 as a first bike back in 1999 but everyone pressured me so much that instead I went with an EX-500 as a first bike. Then I got a Triumph Sprint ST a couple years later. I added my first KLR650 about three years after that. I found that I was right in the first place. Dual Sport motorcycles are definitely a compromise in either situation, on or off road, but at least they have the capability to go on either. I’ve always tried to steer newer riders to dual sports for a few reasons. The dirt is a better, more forgiving place to learn how to ride than the street is. A banged up dual sport looks better than a banged up street bike whenever you have that inevitable first accident while you’re still learning. Once you’re confident and competent enough for street riding, your bike is street legal and worthy. Finally, riding on the dirt is just way more fun than riding on the street. I find the challenge of dirt riding engaging enough at relatively low speeds that my attention never wanders and the ride is always fun and rewarding. Not necessarily the case when street riding. I can find my mind starting to wander and my speeds a bit elevated on the street. Sometimes the speed has to be elevated to unsafe (or at least unwise) speeds before the ride is engaging enough to keep my mind from wandering. Not the best scenario for longevity. If I could only have one bike, it would definitely HAVE to be a dual sport bike.

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      • Jon Jones

        “Dual-sport” isn’t what you think it is, doll.

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      • Jon Jones

        How about a three-way with your twin sister, Nicole?

    • Ellie Green

      Probably depends on where you live? If you’re rich enough to live out in a rural township and think of MCs as purely recreational vehicles I’m sure it makes scads of sense. If, like most americans, you live in an actual city, spending 3 hours on a highway shaking your hands numb and getting passed by 30-year-old camries to get to a legal trail is probably not your idea of a good time.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Just got my new KTM 500 EXC a few weeks ago. Have been enjoying exploring the local area that I was unable to do on the KTM 1190 R. 240 lbs vs 478 lbs dry weight (exactly double).

  • Craig Hoffman

    The difficulty for many areas in the country is finding a place to ride. I intentionally chose to live out west, even to the point of passing up opportunities and hindering my career, to be able to ride off road, as it is the activity I most enjoy.

    The ironic thing is even though I hindered my career by passing up east coast based opportunities, I “accidentally” kicked ass with real estate. CA and now CO real estate have been very good to me, so it would seem I am very lucky, having my off roading cake and eating it too.

    CO has some interesting old artifacts in the mountains. Some would say i am an old artifact, but I am talking about the mining engine here 😛 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b36f1b0834297ea0b793a3550e9ae941664c1f6f1cc7ff00a070f19c10f74114.jpg

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Craig, I am a very timid and cautious rider compared to your exploits. Most of my experience has been on the street. Just now getting acquainted with dirt and enjoying it. As you observed, it is hard to get a speeding ticket on dirt. Also as you noted, it is hard to find riding areas close by. Hate to have to buy a pickup truck just to haul the 500 EXC everywhere. That’s why I bought the 1190 R but it is a handful off road. Experience and physical strength is the only solution.

      • Craig Hoffman

        No shame in hauling the 500 to your riding areas. The beauty of that bike is it is street legal and can go everywhere, including all the forest service roads. The 500 is the ultimate short distance ADV bike. Being able to ride into town to get lunch and gas is great too.

        For example, say you are riding Engineer Pass in Ouray and wanna get gas and eat, or you are at Taylor Park and feel like exploring the scenic dirt road that leads to Tin Cup, then you get a wild hair and decide to take on Quartz Creek, a hard core climb that goes through rocks and above the tree line. That 500 can do it all. Riding it on the freeway would be a waste.

        I have ridden a 500 EXC, it is an amazing motorcycle. So light, handles great, so much power. Have fun with it!

        • Craig Hoffman
        • Sayyed Bashir

          You are right about the 500. It really does go everywhere and is very lightweight, almost like a bicycle. I have yet to drop it even once, whereas the 1190 has eaten dust at least a dozen times. Even though the 500 is taller than the 1190, it goes down when I sit on it and I can touch the ground. I explored several dirt areas around here today. Some dirt roads were really steep and deeply rutted and I left them for another time but the other ones were fun. I had them install a Rekluse auto clutch on the bike and I am still getting used to it. It is great for going uphill as the bike doesn’t stall and has constant traction, but going downhill the bike will freewheel unless you keep rpms above idle to use engine braking, or just use the brakes. Also spent a day riding in a OHV area near here with some friends a few weeks ago.

          • Craig Hoffman

            Favorite stupid trick with the auto clutch – since you can’t stall the engine, play around in the dirt with locking up the rear wheel and “backing it in”. A little at a time and it will come naturally pretty soon.

            After you become a complete addict, you will find yourself hooking right turns at intersections with the rear end all hacked out. Then there are wheelies of course. On that bike, carry it about a foot off the ground and use the power to keep it aloft.

            As time goes by, you will be able to ride with it a little higher and rely less on power. It it feels dicey at all, just close the throttle – the engine braking will bring it back down. Do all this off road of course, but if you are like me, it crosses over. Gonna make a hooligan out of you yet. That is when the real trouble begins! 😛

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Thank you for the tricks. Will try them and let you know.

    • Jeff S. Wiebe

      I read elsewhere (https://disqus.com/home/discussion/motorcycleblog/2017_honda_crf250l_rally_review_8211_first_ride/#comment-3289544340) about your Husaberg and the ‘human kite’ dynamic at >60mph. Any thoughts on a (rally) fairing kit, something like this: https://www.rallymanagementservices.com/products/husqvarna-husaberg-fe-2014-rally-kit-dottori ?

  • Larry Kahn
    • Sayyed Bashir

      The only fly in the soup, three small letters: AMF. That was the worst time ever for Harley.

      • Jon Jones

        Dark Days, indeed.

      • TC

        Adios Mother Fokker

  • Mad4TheCrest

    Let me see; buy a bike I need a ladder (or convenient trash bin) to mount, be prepared to patch a (tubed) tire in the middle of nowhere sat in dirt (or mud); and risk knee, ankle, and wrist injuries from hitting unseen rocks, roots, and small (or large, some with big teeth) woodland creatures.

    Sounds like fun