I read in one of my recent issues of Sport Rider or MotorCyclist that because of the current tough economic times, the best selling motorcycle segment currently is the dual-sports.....mainly because they're cheaper and more versatile.
I've also read that the Japanese bike makers are changing strategies to deal with the drop in sales due to the recession. Suzuki has pretty much decided to not spend any real money on new R&D, and just focus on selling current, slightly refined models.....prolly having the least to spend doesn't help lol.
Honda's trying the budget line/single platform/multiple model method with their new 500 twin and CRF250L/CBR250R. Kawi seems to be focusing more on their streetbike line-up for the new R&D......Yamaha seems to be the only guys trying to make an actual performance 250 dual-sport for the american market..bravo to them
Overall tho it seems the Japanese have decided to turtle up, not take any real risks with the American dual-sport market, and leave it to KTM and the other high-performance makers to offer a diverse, well stacked line-up of dualsports, albiet at a premium price
Oh well....I'll just pick up a nice used KTM or the like at a good price and have fun......if the Japanese don't want to seriously play in the American dual-sport market, there's others that will
But.........if you want a damn fine street bike in any category, that hands out a serious performance ass-whippin' against its competition, is super reliable and well priced, you still can't beat the Japanese big 4
....................just don't mention the words " performance dualsport" to them