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Old 03-21-2014, 08:05 AM   #1
Kiba OP
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Are Dual Sports The New Standards?

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?
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:44 AM   #2
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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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Old 03-21-2014, 03:04 PM   #3
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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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Old 03-21-2014, 03:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiFastBadly View Post
ADV bikes are the SUVs of the bike world. Selling like mad and few will be used off road.
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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Old 03-21-2014, 03:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by devo2002 View Post
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.
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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Old 03-21-2014, 03:57 PM   #6
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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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Old 03-21-2014, 07:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiFastBadly View Post
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.
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.

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Originally Posted by feathered View Post
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'.
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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Old 03-21-2014, 08:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiba View Post
when compared to other types of bike, relatively cheap to buy and insure.
[...]
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.
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.

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I can't turn a modern G/S into a simple commuter.
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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Old 03-22-2014, 03:48 AM   #9
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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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Old 03-22-2014, 09:46 AM   #10
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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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Old 03-23-2014, 11:53 AM   #11
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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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Old 03-23-2014, 11:57 AM   #12
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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...
LOL. Not a grammar Nazi here but this is great!
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:24 PM   #13
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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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Old 03-23-2014, 07:33 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:50 PM   #15
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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...
Love this post. HATE when people say that.....
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