myth of the "do everything" light weight adventure bike for dirt and adv riding? i've spent quite a few years trying out different bikes as a "do-everything" bike: a bike you can dirt ride AND adventure ride which i believe means bike under 150kg or 330lb dry. obviously owning two or more bikes is the ideal option, but this discussion assumes: - you only have the budget for one bike - you only have the garage space for one bike - your missus will kill you if you have more than one bike. you inevitably face compromises, the trick is how much you want to compromise. for both dirt and adv riding, i'd recommend the following, starting with the lightest enduro bikes and moving through to the solid reliable heavy plodders. i'd budget up to $1000 for a cush hub rear wheel if you do adventure riding on a dirt bike and thus a fair amount of riding on sealed roads. there's ongoing debate about how much wear that road riding will do to a gearbox, but worth fitting to dirt bike for a much smoother ride alone. click here for a discussion on this isue. you should find panniers etc easily for bikes like the DRZ400 and DR650. other bikes you can jerry rig up something like a budget dry bags setup, or get the coyote giant loop bag or other soft luggage options. IF ONE BIKE HAS TO DO IT ALL HUSABERG FE570 2009-2012 (possibly the FE450 if no 570s available) 115kg, 50+hp at rear wheel. obviously i'll sound very biased here but if you think you'll enjoy dirt riding then these can match any 450 dirt bike in gnarly stuff, but have smooth power and heaps of grunt to cruise on the highway for hours if needed. incredible engine longevity, valves almost never move, guys get comparatively huge km before any work needed (see this thread). i think fluked the engine design in this regard, better than a klx450, crf450, ktms, rmz450 etc for maintenance and longevity. good sized oil capacity 1.3L so my dealer said 1000km oil changes with dirt riding, 1500 to 2000km easy adv rides. check the thread here for known issues. finished making them in 2012, no new ones left but you might just find a 450 or 390 out there. main issue is probably they are so light and designed for dirt that they are twitchy at speed. guys who desert race them put on steering dampers but they are expensive. aftermarket tanks cost a fortune, i just carry a jerry can for adv rides. at least they are very economical, you'll get 120 miles or 200km with easy adv riding on the 8.5L tank. get that dirt bike seat repadded! BETA RR480 / RS480 112kg, 50+hp at rear wheel. the beta thumpers have been around for five years now and are proving to be bulletproof engines with great longevity and quite a few guys have been using these for dual sport or adventure riding. the RS version in the USA is especially proving popular as it can be road registered in those states that don't like dirt bikes. KTM 500 113kg, 50+hp at rear wheel. this is what replaced the 2009-2012 70 degree engined husabergs model, it's basically just the ktm rebadged in berg plastics, smaller engine, only time will tell if it has the same reliability, longevity and low maintenance of the FE570, FE450 and FE390. YAMAHA WR450: 115kg, close to 50hp rear wheel. a high performance enduro bike that comes fairly close to low maintenance and longevity of the husabergs. quite a few guys adv ride these as a result (this thread). worth considering if there was a discount on a 2012 run out model. 5 speed box is limiting though. i did the rekluse auto clutch and high gearing on mine which worked well. i posted the mods i did on mine here. you might be able to get a 2012 runout model cheaply. there's a persistent rumour around about the WR gearbox not liking road use without a cush hub, hard to verify or not. but be good to play it safe and get one. i found it much much nicer on the bitumen once the cush hub was fitted. plenty of larger tanks around, but make sure they fit your year model. i found it quite easy to add an extra liter of oil capacity for longer trips, see this thread. JAPANESE 250 DUAL SPORTS BIKES: surprisingly quite a few guys are adventurizing 250s, power in the high 20s weight around 125kg. very popular in the usa for some reason, a lot of guys adv ride the TTR250 and similar jap bikes. they have six speed boxes so can be geared to cruise ok on the highway but still go dirt ok. personally i think the DRZ would have to be better, much more grunt, same weight and main drawback is one less gear. DRZ400 around 125kg, 34 hp rear wheel. a popular light adv bike, very cheap to buy new and heaps of aftermarket parts and nearly indestructable. see this drz adv thread. if you don't mind revving the 5 speed gearbox might be okay. personally i found it quite limiting to do dirt and adv. you could pick up a second rear wheel and have one geared higher for adv rides, work out the chain length carefully and you could just swap the wheels to suit and keep the same chain. other option? like i've done with the berg, gear it high but put a rekluse auto clutch in ($450). the clutch will slip at slow speeds and high gearing works fine in gnarly stuff then. makes tackling any gnarly stuff so much easier too. HUSQVARNA TE610 136kg, not sure on hp but getting close to 50 at the rear wheel i think. very grunty engines, perfect if you short shift as they don't go any faster if you rev past 7000, just make more noise. i posted a review here. you won't get any new ones. it also went to a TE630 the final year or two. more power but heavier... guys converted the new dual pipes to single to get rid of the extra weight. very much an in-between bike between something like a DR650 and an FE570 in terms of weight, performance, maintenance. surprisingly they don't come with a cush drive hub. but they have nice beefy gearboxes and hardly anyone has blown their gearbox up. there is some kind of dampener in the clutch that seems to make them quite smooth on the road. Getting older now, and I guess availability of parts will eventually become an issue... apparently there's an EU regulation they have to have parts available for at least 10 years? KTM 690R: 139 to 145kg depending on the year model, around 70hp (!!!) an interesting bike, i hated it and sold it within three months and noted that quite a few riders feel the same way about them. yet a friend of mine got his at the same time and after spending a few thousand dollars extra on it says its his near perfect adventure bike. i listed these negative and positive aspects of the 690r here. it is a bike that seems to polarize attitudes. i didn't like the close ratio gearbox, false neutrals, turning circle of an oil tanker, snappy jerky response at low revs, harsh suspension, lots of electronic & electrical stuff to go potentially wrong, ergonomics and exhaust pipe for starters. it was a bloody expensive bike to start with and i wasn't impressed with the need to spend so much more money getting it right... at least with most of their models ktm responds to rider feedback and irons out issues each year. having said that, plenty of guys love their kitted out 690s to bits for adv riding so it's only my opinion... DR650 about 147 kg dry, 34 hp at rear wheel, closer to 40 derestricted. very capable offroad compared to the KLR, still good on the highway. heaps of aftermarket gear. at this weight, i'd suggest it's only a contender if you mainly do adventure riding, and occasionally some easy dirt riding. and you'd really want to get the suspension done properly for dirt riding. huge array of aftermarket parts, very bulletproof although a small percentage have third gear failures. i've posted a pile of pros, cons, mods and tips here. HONDA XL650 we don't get this in australia, boohoo. but a great alternative to the DR650, about 7kg lighter, less known issues, only slightly more expensive. KTM 640 quite similar to a DR650 with good suspension, the adventure/adventure-ized 640 SMC Fully farkled/semi rally-specced or left completely stock, is potentially the ultimate high speed dirt mile eater of the mid capacity bikes and with some talent still acceptably fun in the single track. Maybe swap to 19/17 wheels for more tyre choice depending on its duties. Cons - more care required in gnarly offroad riding, heavier than a 500. OTHER BIKES TO CONSIDER? i haven't owned these so cant really comment, but in addition to the old KTM LC4 640s there are the more recent 625 models, they sound similar in reliability, weight and performance to a TE610. others adventurize the old KTM 520EXC, 525EXC and 530EXC. i did have a 525EXC once that had 25000km up and still hadn't had any engine work done so it looks like they can last a while... they did form the basis for the FE570 engine which seems to go forever! honda also has the old XR650R and XR650L. the L model is going to be pretty similar to a DR650. the discontinued XR650R was a brilliant bike in its day, and could be worth looking at if you are on a budget, don't mind an older bike, and don't mind having the kick start the mother. good write up on the XR650R here. the XR650R would sell like hot cakes if they brought it back with an e-start and not priced much more than the DR650! TWO BIKE OPTION personally i've settled on this now myself, i found the compromise too much with one bike doing it all, although i felt the FE570 was the closest i got. i'm now getting a DR650 for the adventure riding. what i like about this setup is they still overlap. i know the FE570 copes well with adv riding (just back from a one week trip!) but i've dirt ridden the DR650 and its quite capable as long as the track doesn't get too gnarly, and you have the usual suspension mods. good luck with the hunt! OTHER USEFUL ADVRIDER LINKS ON THE TOPIC Whats a good lightweight ADV bike? Need some help finding the right mid-sized ADV bikes‎ Need a light go-fast adventure bike! KTM 690 R or TE 630 for "do everything" bike? .