Originally Posted by Snarky
There is a big difference between a Dual Sport and an Adventure bike, this is just my opinion and everyone here will have a different one.
The Dual Sport bike is something that is just powerful enough to drive on the road so you can get to an offroad area and thrash it. Examples are bikes like the XT225/250, WR250, DR-Z400 and many others. Generally speaking, they are not pleasant to ride for long periods of time on the highway at highway speeds. It can be done, and has been, but usually by some folks that are hardcore and borderline insane.
Conversely, Adventure bikes are big beefy, high horsepower monsters that are closer to sport-touring bikes than they are to dual sports. These bikes are at home on the highway, but also have the capability to drive down some rougher roads that you wouldn't take a sport-touring bike with a 17" front wheel down. Examples of these bikes are the BMW GS bikes, the Super Tenere, the Triumph Tiger XC, and more. That said, you can of course thrash these bikes offroad, and many people have done it, but usually again: the hardcore and borderline insane folks.
There are also bikes that are between these two classifications. The KLR is more on the dual-sporty side, the V-strom is more on the Adventure side, but they are pretty middle of the road. Neither one is light weight or particulary powerful, but they are a somewhat balanced approach.
1. On road. I spend probably 95% of my time on pavement. When I'm Adventuring it'll be for stretch of about 12 hours in the saddle at a time. The other 5% is shit roads that are technically roads, but you couldn't usually traverse with a normal sports bike.
2. The "feel" of the bike is what led me to buy it, it's an intangible thing created by the sum of it's parts. I would say it's a combination of comfort, displacement, and style.
3. I look for something that gets me excited when I look at it and more excited when I actually ride it.
4. I would say that for any motorcycle the primary feeling is "freedom". Usually there's no cellphone to bother you, you have an almost limitless power to weight ratio when compared to cars, and you can point it in a direction and just go and usually not worry about fuel capacity or cost. It's the feeling of liberation from society: Even in traffic you have the ability to dart about, pass most others easily, and plus you occasionally get the feeling of imminent death.