Older vs. Newer
Older 250cc dual sports weigh in the 268 to 275 lbs. range and were air & oil cooled. There are some differences between then and now.
On newer bikes, add a radiator, water jacket and water. The alternators are putting out more power, the subframes are stronger, and FI has been added, which requires a stronger battery, a computer, and ancillary bits.
The frames are actually a bit stronger, but they are not ultralight like the enduro racing bikes which cost between $9k and $10k. Ditto with the wheels. And over time, EPA has required higher environmental standards, which translates into a heavier (at this price point) exhaust.
It all adds up to an additional 25 lbs. or so.
The newer bikes also are a little taller, with better suspensions and they handle better than the older models. So, it is a trade off. Weight for performance, in the $4.5-$6k range.
If Americans were willing to spend the same amount of money on a Dual Sport as they do on a top-shelf enduro racer, and tolerate the increased maintenance that the higher performance/weight ratio requires, we could trim that 25 lbs. back out with higher quality and higher strength/weight components. That is not the reality, however.
The flip side of the coin: Take a top-shelf enduro racer at about 255 lbs. wet, and add a real subframe, a 350 watt alternator, bigger battery, rack mounting points and a more comfortable saddle. You'll end up adding 15-25 lbs. to that bike.
All of these threads wrestle with the compromises made in motorcycle design. The more I learn about the engineering, the associated trade-offs, and the economics, the more I comprehend the compromises. Work with it a while. Then you'll also understand more about the thriving aftermarket for DS and Enduro components.
1990 Honda NT-650 Hawk-GT
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
Gryphon12 screwed with this post 09-08-2012 at 11:09 PM