The 500 is NOT a typical dual sport. As it has been said, it is a race bike with lights. At 180lbs without gear, for me, it is under sprung. I think it is sprung for 165lbs. I enjoy the occasional day at the motocross track though. Race Tech is about to get some of my $$. The seat was the first thing to go (seat concepts), HDB hand guards, bigger tank, and some wolfman bags and I spent a great week in Colorado.
It runs like a scalded dog. Wheelies in 1-4th gear with just throttle with 14/48 gearing. Stock 15/45 gearing is better for true dual sporting, but not anywhere close to low enough for true woods riding.
My best friend has an 06 450EXC, not even in the same ballpark. And it's jetted. Great bike, but needs revs to perform, similar to the WR (I have ridden a stock WR but not one that has been modded). It doesn't have near the low end torque of the FI 500. Which can be good or bad depending on your riding style. It doesn't take long to get into the power on the 500, cause its everywhere. I LOVE IT.
WR owners say it is more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow. I half way agree, I like riding my wife's CRF230 every now and then, but its no open class bike. Several WR's were sold for a bike with more power. I thought I made a mistake when I bought the 500 over the WR, but I am getting used to the power. And it can be ridden slow... but why? It is so easy to go fast on the 500. It makes up for my lack of skill...