Originally Posted by robertyknwt
My big question, though, is as a new-ish rider who's never ridden on dirt before (not even any teenage mini-bike adventures), how would the transition from "small-ish cruiser" to "1200 adventurer tourer" be likely to go? What sorts of things should I watch for? What are good ways to get some "beginner practice" on dirt/rocks/gravel? Stuff like that. I did some searching here, but didn't find any "n00b" threads (and if there are such out there, I'd love to be pointed in their direction).
Going from dirt to road is a pretty easy transition. The other way is more difficult and especially with a behemouth. A GS or Tenere are about the toughest there are to handle off pavement. I cringe for broken legs, ankles, collar bones.
If you are going to be a road rider that occasionally saunters down a dirt road you'll manage. If you want to become a proficient offroad rider then get a dualsport and go out and ride, ride, ride. Get some buddies and get some time in. Take a class with Rawhyde or Jimmy Lewis. And don't ride a pig offroad with hard panniers. It's a great way to run over your own leg.
Either are a good long distance tourer. Both are difficult on low speed handling - they're both heavy.