Are Dual Sports The New Standards?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Kiba, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. Kiba

    Kiba Dances With Huskies

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    Looking at a couple of motorcycle mags it occurred to me that, for all intents and purposes, our type of bikes (DS and/or ADV bikes) have become what standards were in the past- do it all bikes that were capable of everything, not perfect at anything, easily modifiable to other styles of bike, and when compared to other types of bike, relatively cheap to buy and insure.

    Think about it. There aren't many standard style bikes made by the major players anymore- not counting the under-250cc bikes in international (particularly SE Asian) markets, I can count the number of truly standard motorcycles you can buy new here in the US on one hand.

    They say the trend in motorcycling, especially in rich nations where bikes are considered toys by the general population, is towards specialization. Hence the modern sportbike, dirtbike, touring bike, ADV bike, cruiser, etc. But I think that underestimates the capability of alot of bikes out there, particularly our dual sport machines.

    I've seen my lowly old XT used as a commuter, taken on worldwide trips, and converted to supermoto, flattracker, cafe racer, g/s type adv bike, and even a vintage standard look. It isn't perfect at any of these things but when the builds/trips are finished, it does get the job done.

    And there are many better candidates still produced today in every combination of performance, engine size, bike size, street ability vs off-road ability, etc- more than the obvious DR, KLR, XL/XR, XT, CRF.

    Even with the coming of FI and other performance/emissions tech, some of the basic design characteristics of a DS bike make them much easier to fix/modify than a comparable sportbike, touring bike or sport-tourer- if only due to less/more easily removable bodywork, more durable parts, the tendency to value reliability in the DS market, etc.

    So- what do you think? Am I talking crazy or do I just have too much time on my hands? :lol3
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  2. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

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    You are more or less right. Perhaps overthinking the whole thing. But if we are here to discuss motorcycles then lets do it.

    For years I had nothing but a DR650. It was my "do everything" bike. I was never super impressed with it as a highway touring bike (especially since I had a few oil head boxers in the past), but it could do it.
    In the future Id perhaps like a WeeStrom. It seems like a great standard type bike. Do everything paved and still be able to explore a few rough dirt roads.
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  3. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

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    ADV bikes are the SUVs of the bike world. Selling like mad and few will be used off road.

    Having said that, I like ADV bikes because of the versatility, luggage capacity, handling, and seating position. I haven't bought a bike in 6 years and I've got a bad itch to do so...but I don't want a sport bike, I'm too old and stiff and I don't need to go 125mph. I don't want a cruiser, I have a HD when my wife wants to ride or if I want to go cross country. I don't want a dirt bike, cause I have little opportunity to ride in the dirt where I live. No matter how I cut it, I'm pretty much down to the Tiger (800 or TEX), S10, Stelvio, or KTM. Those are ADV bikes, not because I started by looking at ADV bikes but because I eliminated everything else.

    Then again, I am easily distracted by sport tourers and other shiny things.
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  4. devo2002

    devo2002 -Devo

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    Sorry to be picky, but let's not forget that most ADV bikes can actually go off road if the rider decided to, but no way 95% of SUVs could actually be taken anywhere my Hyundai Accent couldn't go.

    to the OP ,I think you are more or less accurate, but I think Honda is redefining what a standard is with their 500c line. For me standard meant essentially a nighthawk in the past.
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  5. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

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    Reminds me of a ride six or seven years ago. I was with a bunch of guys doing the old Pony Express trail between Salt Lake City UT and where it petered out in Nevada. I was on my Uly, the rest of the guys had GS, KTM, VStrom, and a couple of other actual DS bikes. We stopped for lunch half way, all covered with dust and feeling like mighty warriors. Down the road trailing a cloud of dust comes some old woman in a Honda minivan. That took the air out our Touratech air bladders, you betha.
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  6. feathered

    feathered Been here awhile

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    You could argue something like a Versys, a Strom, a Tiger IS a standard. At least, it seems closer to a standard than to a dirt bike. What, it's got a longer travel suspension? Maybe a 19 inch front? Are dual sports the new standards... or are standards styled and marketed differently now?

    Another way to look at it is there is way more variety in motorcycles now and something like 'standard' doesn't really cut it as a category description any more, so now we have cafe racers and super sports and dual sports and adventure-tourers and sport-tourers and motards and hypermotards and and and. Even 'dual sport' can be misleading if you're encompassing everything from a wr250 to a GSA. In almost any category, you can probably find a bike that fits your personal idea of 'standard'.
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  7. Kiba

    Kiba Dances With Huskies

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    I meant dual sport bikes generally, not ADV bikes.

    I would definitely agree that ADV bikes are sort of the SUV/Jeep of the motorcycle world, but XR, DR, XT, and so on are not really ADV bikes compared to G/Ss and the like. At least not stock- but that's the point: I can convert, say, a DR650 into a nice adventure bike fairly easily. I can't turn a modern G/S into a simple commuter.

    Interesting. What I meant was more what you said in the first paragraph- maybe the evolutionary lineage of the "standard" has continued in D/S bikes more than in, say, sportbikes or cruisers or hardcore dirtbikes in some ways. Not necessarily appearance- to most people I think modern cruisers probably look more like standards than other modern bikes- but in function, utility, design, etc.
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  8. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

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    How is a GS cheaper than a R? And why do you compare it to everything else (sport, touring, sport touring) but not to "standard" motorcycles?
    The only advantage is the capability to ride dirt.

    Turn? A stock GS already is.
    If one said a Blade or Duke is hard to turn into a commuter, ok, I can see why, but a GS?
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  9. Anonawesome

    Anonawesome Scenic Rider

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    Okay, first off, I haven't even finished reading the first sentence but I feel the need to stop here and personally thank you for not saying "for all intensive purposes". I will now continue reading...
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  10. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

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    Consider most ADV bikes to be a standard bike with long travel suspension. I call my strom an any-road bike.
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  11. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

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    Seems to me more like naked standards are on the rise - plenty of new examples all across the displacement range, and upright faired sport standards like the ninja 250/300/650/1000 have been selling all along.
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  12. Chillis

    Chillis Long timer

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    LOL. Not a grammar Nazi here but this is great!
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  13. LowInSlo

    LowInSlo Been here awhile

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    Interesting, as yes, that's how I ended up with my 1200GS. Fit me pretty well, let me use it for commuting, work, and travel. A 'do it all' bike that was much more comfortable (to me) than a cruiser. After almost 6 years with it, I sold it and got a 650GS, better fit for me, still more than enough juice to get me in trouble.

    I'm also pleased to see new bikes coming out that aren't as targeted, but are more 'standard' than one dimensional.
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  14. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Been here awhile

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    I agree with f0rk, that naked bikes are closer to the new standard.
    I love dual sport bikes, but their higher seat height can turn off potential buyers.
    #14
  15. Falconfixer

    Falconfixer It is what it is....

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    Love this post. HATE when people say that.....
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  16. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

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    Irregardless, I could care less.
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  17. Kiba

    Kiba Dances With Huskies

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    What I mean is, that there are common things a commuter needs to do in order to be practical to most people- these can range from adding panniers and racks to riding two up to wearing longer-range/economy tires easily, and to some extent being maintainable by its owner should the owner choose to do so. Without those capabilities, a bike will turn into a toy for the majority of people who aren't willing to build their entire lives around riding a motorcycle. But with those capabilities, a bike can easily be tailored to fit someone's life and be used as a proper all-around vehicle and not just a toy. In the old days standards were the best for this- now we really don't have them (or rather, not many of them).

    I'm alleging DS bikes are the type of bike that now fills that "do it all" void left by the specialization of sportbikes, sport and lux tourers, dirtbikes, and cruisers. The fact that they can do dirt better than almost any car is just a bonus that's also (sometimes) practical :D.

    The GS fits that role too.

    :lol3

    That is my pet peeve on CL ads. Well, that and "good conditions". And maybe "For sell".
    #17
  18. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

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    I can see how sport bikes, dirt bikes and some of the sportier nakeds don't fit that role (though for my commuting a sport bike with a top case instead of the pillion seat would be enough). But any kind of tourer, luxury or sport, cruiser and most nakeds have these named capabilities.
    I don't think there's an advantage to the ADV style bikes.
    #18
  19. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Well,...

    When you consider the OP is about dual sports...

    It really could have been quite literally "for all intensive purposes"... :lol3


    I do think I get what you're saying. Kind of like definaitely (or however "definitely" is butchered). Just have to get over myself though and move on... :1drink



    Oh, and by the way, I do agree that dual sports and lower cost adventure bikes are the new standard. Standard seating, capable of carrying a bunch of crap, can be fitted with windshields, and so on. Much like the Honda 350 and 750 among others. The key is partly the seating. They have a more open seating much like the 70s standards. The new naked bikes have peg positioning more like a sportbike than a standard. Sport tourers much the same.

    Honda is somewhat redefining it by making a basic bike in differing forms of "dress", with the standard having more open riding than rear set peg set up.
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  20. Süsser Tod

    Süsser Tod Long timer

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    LOL Que?

    Lower cost ADV bikes?

    That statement would describe either KTM 1190 or R1200GS/GSA, Multistrada, Grisso, etc. to a tee.

    Dual sports and ADV tourers are the Cute UTEs of the motorcycle world, on every iteration they get more road friendly and less dirt oriented.

    Some manufacturers just can't give a damn about the 1% that will take their ADV tourers off road (Kawasaki, Ducati, Moto Guzzi... the later two are not cheap by any means) and just went and designed road bikes.

    What is the difference between a dual sport and an ADV bike? It's a made up term, they are all in fact dual sports... Which have been softening. The first R80GS were "dual sports", why are they now "ADV tourers"? Because they are softer.

    The most extreme of them remain the old ones that haven't been redesigned lately. Even the new KTM 690R Enduro pales compared to a 640 Adventure, but it is leaps and bounds better on the road.
    #20