Joined: Sep 2009
Location: North of 56
Please start off by introducing yourself and the bike you ride, skill level or rider experience, how often you ride, what type of riding you do, and hobbies... etc.
Hi, and good luck on a successively project! I'm 46 and have been riding since 11 or 12 like most rural Canadian males. Riding style has changes with the years and the plates bolted to my spine, but I will firstly seek dirt roads, even when I own a purely street bike. Where you live and where you plan to ride dictates what bikes you want/need. The last five years I covered 130,000 km plus, but that was with year round riding in SE Asia, now I'm interested in the western chuck of Canada and Alaska. I'd have thought different 10 years ago, but I feel anything bigger than a 650 for riding between Europe to Japan is completely unnecessary, and even worse would take away from your enjoyment. (Yes, yes, anything with a motor and 2 wheels can be riding around the world)
Edit, I recently bought a 2012 DR650.
Do you ride your Dual Sport/Adventure motorcycle more On or Off the road?
The longer, the rougher the road, you just know the destination with be that much sweeter, or breathtaking, or unspoiled.
Aim for off road primarily, paved roads just connect the dots.
What features about the bike do you most admire or lead you to purchasing the motorcycle?
Reliability and track record, available parts and accessories, stock offroad capabilities. I try and leave emotion aside to a degree, this has lead me astray a couple of times - though I still had fab times with those bikes.
50 hp and 150 kg would be all I ever need in a dual sport, for anywhere in the world. Have owned a kitted 500 2 stroke MX bike, and honestly using more than 40-50 hp offroad is best left for playtime, or racing. Long paved stretches, it needs to be smooth BUT I will never be riding over 120 kph, or 75 mph. And unlike 20 years ago, speeding tickets are a big fail to me.
I did far more group riding, than ever before in these last 5 years, and many a time I would comfortably ride 50+ mph on dry, hard packed dirt roads with a 250 motard with street tires, yet the fully loaded big adventure bikes would be slower in all but the long straights. On all but the highways, all surfaces, passing big GS's, and such, was normal and common with 200 to 250 cc low powered bikes. Heck once every month or so, a big dual sport would just about end up in the weeds trying to pace riders on smaller bikes on twisty paved mountain roads. Sadly one 4 month old 1200 did ended up jammed under a guard rail well trying keep pace (the well kitted rider was ok, only bruised).
I don't mean to sound like I'm bashing big dual sports, I drool over them extensively. Read Colebatch's, and others, (AWESOME) ride reports to understand. Emotion and desirability play hugely of course into motorcycle purchases.
What do you generally look for in a motorcycle when it comes time to purchasing one?
One that best fits the riding I have in mind. I really don't want to compromise and buy something that will be great for one thing and lack in another type of riding that I've enjoyed all my life - this has kept me from considering the big dual sports. But note, if my riding style changes again, a big gravel goldwing would be a treat - this is easy to picture in my mind.
Tend to compare all dual sports to the models that have been successful and are still being sold in a similar model today; look at the XR650L and the DR650, seemingly unchanged since I started riding, yet even the top of the line choices really are so similar with improvements in a handful of areas.
You can modify a lot on a bike, but I'm am really found that I prefer a fuel injected thumper for several reasons.
What type of emotions or experiences are evoked when riding your Dual Sport/Adventure motorcycle?
To ask this indicates you need to try it yourself!!! SO many others have elaborated wonderfully on this, but for me it's the wonderful feeling of giving a sustained 100% focus that is neither tiresome demanding, that is like reaching and sustaining a state of nirvana effortlessly. Falling asleep with a clear, and content, mind after a full days riding is guaranteed. Traffic sucks that away, hence the desire to get off the beaten track.