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2008 Dual-Sport Comparo

Friday, November 2, 2007
Sometimes a rider wants some dirt with their street  or vice versa. No bikes are better for the task than the three large thumpers in our 2008 Dual-Sport Comparo.
Sometimes a rider wants some dirt with their street, or vice versa. No bikes are better for the task than the three large thumpers in our 2008 Dual-Sport Comparo.
The Dilemma

Ever have one of those days when you just can't make up your mind? Pizza or burgers, beer or wine, blonde or brunette - you get the idea. If you are anything like me, than these are the kinds of problems that you deal with on a pretty regular basis.

Just the other day I woke up with that exact dilemma. It had been awhile since I'd taken a ride, so I was itching to get out on the road, or wait, dirt. yeah, that's it, I'd like to tear-up the dirt. But you know how much of a hassle it can be to ride off-road, especially when you are pavement locked in the confines of Orange County, California. Yes, there are OHV spots close, but that still means you need to load the pickup with bikes, gas, water, etc., drive through the seemingly infinite sea of fellow four-wheelers, then unload, ride and repeat the entire process once you've had your fill. But wait, there's hope - a cure if you will. As I just recently discovered you can have your dirt and asphalt too. How you ask? Dual-sport.

MotoUSA rounded up a trio of the latest dual-sport offerings from three manufacturers that have plenty of experience in this unique niche. The venerable Honda XR650L, the recently updated Kawasaki KLR650 and the all-new BMW G 650 Xcountry. We tested these big-bore Singles on a variety of different surfaces, both paved and unpaved; city streets, curvy mountain roads and endless five-lane freeways were all negotiated while open fire roads, hilly mountain access paths and dusty single track were all ridden in order to get a feel for which bike is best and where.


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Comments
Mark Kunz -KLR 650  August 14, 2009 04:32 PM
I own a 2003 KLR 650 (my 2nd, following ownership of a KLR 250) and find them almost indestructable! I've flown over the deserts of Nevada and Arizona on them (and dumped each of them in the dirt on several occasions) and am now constantly searching Kansas, my new home, for out-of-the-way trails. I love this bike! Thanks for the well-written comparison and honest review. I really appreciate your articles!

Mark