While I agree that the 500EXC is "ready to race", (enduro's) it is 50 state legal. I change the 1.5 liters (same as a WR250r/x of oil about every 800 miles or 30 hours because I use it primarily off road where it gets revved out more. A rekluse auto-clutch would add .5 liter of capacity (just a bonus in my opinion)
It has very nice WP suspension stock. It is sprung for a "fit" person of around 160-170lbs. The valving has been good enough so far, but on my short list. Fully adjustable front and rear with both high and low speed compression adjustability on the rear.
As it was geared from the factory, 15/45, it would easily push 120mph (i have been over 100 with 14/48 personally, not pinned) in sixth gear. Best dual sport combo seems to be 14/48.
There are several seat companies with quality products. I chose Seat Concepts for price, and turn around time. Come to find out they have great customer service too.
There are several companies to choose a rear rack from. I chose to use soft Wolfman bags for my day trips but would also use them for multi-day rides I hope to have this summer.
After market tanks are already out with 3.5 to 5 gallon choices making fuel range a non-issue.
Many companies for headlights... advmonster, baja designs, or just upgraded bulb.
Yes, I paid over $10k out the door, but there are used ones available for around $8k with low miles.
WR250R new at $7k with 20 something hp and 300 lbs.
CRF250L much cheaper but as I understand it much lesser suspension and ~320lbs... I could be off, not trying to be insulting.
I looked at both of these bikes.
500EXC new $10k with 52hp at about 9800 rpm at 260lbs.
I don't spend much time at the rev limiter. The motor is incredibly smooth and linear. It can handle short shifts and lugging down.
Will it get out from under you off road if you're not careful? YES so would a 450 and probably a 350
Dual sporting or open road... NO especially if you have ridden a modern street bike with 100+hp recently. There are throttle cams that will tone down the initial part of the throttle response from G2.
Would I tour Colorado with this bike... already have. Eight hours a day for a week. They were just day trips, but I never changed the oil or had to adjust the valves.. speaking of valves... haven't moved in 78 hours and 2000 miles (like I said, I ride it mostly off road). Mainly because I live in Dallas, TX not CO and people will run your ass over on a little dirt bike here.
Anyway, my long winded .02 cents. It's as good as they say. So buy a bike available now and ride it or wait for what you REALLY want. I am looking forward to the new Honda CB500 myself and the new Duke 390. Not sure I will buy one. Got a bug in my head for a Daytona 675R...