2022 DUAL SPORT BUYER’S GUIDE

Today’s dual-sport bikes allow you to broaden your motorcycle horizons more than ever. In this world of shrinking off-road opportunities, a street-legal dirt bike  allows you to explore hidden pockets and secret riding areas. They are quiet and clean, and performance is better than ever. Honda, Beta, Suzuki, Kawasaki, SWM, KTM, Husqvarna, Christini and SSR all have bikes that meet the legal requirements for road-going ventures, but still have capabilities that only pure blooded dirt bikes once had. This is the current collection of dual-sport bikes available in America, complete with prices and details. Prices do not include destination, tax or set-up.

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HUSQVARNA 701 ENDURO: $12,099
The Husqvarna 701 Enduro runs right in between a naked ADV machine and an overcharged dual-sport. It features a 74-horsepower engine that uses advanced electronics, a 50mm Keihin fuel injection,Ride-by-Wire throttle, and a six-speed gearbox (fit with Easy Shift for seamless shifting without using the clutch). It’s wrapped around a trellis frame and a rear subframe that houses a 13-liter (3.4- gallons) plastic fuel tank. The suspension is WP, a 250mm-travel XPLOR fork and identical rear-wheel travel, which exploits its dirt worthiness.

KTM 690 ENDURO R: $11,999
The 690 Enduro R’s LC4 single-cylinder engine features reduced vibration (two balancer shafts), Ride-by-Wire to allow changeable ride modes and traction control. The electronic systems feature switchable modes—Off-Road, Street and Motorcycle TractionControl (MTC), while the ABS system offers an optionalOff-Road mode. A trellis frame is fit with machined triple clamps and WP XPLOR suspension with new settings for better off-road absorption.

KAWASAKI KLR650: $6699 (BASE)
The new version of the KLR650 is here, and it isn’t just a reboot with more emission stuff. The
KLR has a long list of new features in addition to electronic fuel injection. It has new bodywork, newcams, a different exhaust, changes to the clutch, generator and battery. It has an LED headlight,changes to the frame geometry, suspension and brakes. It’s not a hard-core dual-sporter, but the price is right at $6699 for base models.

SUZUKI DR650S: $6849
Suzuki’s DR650S is a basic dual-sport machine with its air-cooled, carbureted powerplant. The 644cc5-speeder has long travel (10.2 inches) in the suspension, a 21-inch front and 17-inch rear wheel that are fit with dual-sport rubber. It holds 3.4 gallons of fuel and has good range for those long rides with generous sections of tarmac.

HONDA XR650L (2021 MODEL): $6999
The good news is that the price is right and unchanged for 2022. TheXR650L has not changed and is an air-cooled, 5-speeder that uses aCV carburetor. It’s a bit girthy at 346pounds, yet comes equipped with good suspension (Showa 43mm,11.6-inch-travel fork and Pro Link rear
at 11.0 inches) and above-average off-road traits.

 

BETA 500RR-S: $11,299
This year several engine and performance updates, along with suspension settings, highlight the Beta 500RR-S (in fact, all the RR-S line). It now uses a diaphragm clutch for a lighter pull and better feel, Nissan brakes, MaxxisDOT-legal tires, CNC-machined tripleclamps and a push-button removable saddle. The 6-speeder is fuel-injected,has electric start, enhanced cooling abilities, plus twin injectors, and new mapping for better fuel economy and increased power. It comes fit with aTrail Tech Voyager GPS, folding mirrors and handguards.

HUSQVARNA FE501S: $11,899
The big boy in the Husqvarna dual-sport camp is the FE501s. It’s gifted with a 6-speed gearbox, EFI and superb off-road power that meets the tight EPA regulations. There have been ongoing updates at the chassis with new suspension settings at the XPLOR fork and XACT rear shock that runs through the linkage. It has new brakes and a hydraulic clutch viaBraktec components.

KTM 500 EXC-F: $11,799
KTM’s 500EXC-F remains nearly identical to the ’21 model and is still at the top of the game with a chromoly frame, PDS rear suspension (no link-age), and new stiffer setting to both the XPLOR fork and XPLOR rear shock. The 510cc is a 6-speed, and with an EFI-equipped powerplant makes usable power, is light-revving and near-ly vibration-free. Brakes are Brembo as is the hydraulic clutch, the tires are Continental TKC 80s, which are good for the road warrior, not so grand for the hard-core dirt dude.

SWM RS500: $7995
SWM’s dual-sport line is priced smartly, especially considering what you’re getting. The engine is a double overhead cam, liquid-cooled, EFI-equipped and a six-speed. The suspension is KYB front and rear, with strong Brembo brakes, and the tires are DOT Michelins. They come fit with a radiator fan. The 500 features a dual exhaust, and the package is said to weigh in at 256 pounds sans fuel.

CHRISTINI AWD 450DS: $12,995/EXPLORER: $13,595
Christini’s all-wheel-drive system uses telescoping drive shafts to power the front wheel at a reduced speed so that it only engages when there is wheelspin in the rear. The 450 has an Asian-made engine, makes 42-horsepower, it’s fuel-injected, has a WP fork, and Fast Ace shock, a skid plate and handguards. The Explorer version has some additional add-ons, which include an extended rear rack tank and a cooling fan.

HONDA CRF450RL: $9,999
The Honda 450RL features a twin-spar aluminum frame, full Showa suspension, electric start and fuel injec-tion. To meet the EPA regs, Honda fit it with a catalytic muffler and technology that keep it quiet and legal. It has a 2-gallon fuel tank and has a fuel-mileage meter that shows current fuel mileage and consumption. It has black D.I.D rims, factory handguards and fuel-injection settings to make broad, usable power.

BETA 430RR: $11,199
All of the Beta dual-sport machines retain the DNA that makes them strong dual-sport machines. That comes in the Voyager GPS, a narrower frame, a techno-polymer subframe, new Sachs’ suspension fore and aft, and a larg-er 2.4-gallon fuel tank. The new engine is lighter, uses new injectors for a power increase and has a new diaphragm clutch material for smooth action and enhanced feel. The Nissin brakes are strong, the handling is nimble and the 430 offers smooth, albeit definite Open-class, power.

SUZUKI DR-Z400S: $6999
The Suzuki DR-Z400S sells for a bit more than the DR650S, because it’s graced with a few more techni-cal updates, and it makes for a decent dirt machine. It’s powered by a carbureted, water-cooled engine with a 5-speed gearbox. It’s quiet, makes usable power and has decent off-road suspension in the (11.3-inch travel) fork and an adjustable-link-equipped rear end.

BETA 390/350 RR-S: $11,099/$10,999
Both of these bikes are built on the same platform and are fit with all of the changes to the 2022 RR-S line—a thinner frame, less vibration, enhanced power, diaphragm clutch, fuel injection, focused Sachs sus-pension, a Trail Voyager GPS, a dual-map ignition, Maxxis Enduro tires, wider footpegs, folding mirrors, handguards, and enhanced cooling abilities.

HUSQVARNA FE350s: $11,499
Husqvarna’s FE350s is hugely popular, thanks to new valving to the WP XPLOR fork, and has the same focused changes to the rear XACT shock. The chassis mirrors the dirt-only FE350, uses a composite carbon fiber rear subframe, and improved power via advanced electronics in the fuel-injection system. Back in 2020 it received a new frame, lower radiators and new bodywork. This year it uses Braktec hydraulics at the clutch and brakes.

KTM 350EXC-F: $11,399
The 350EXC-F is KTM’s lightweight, smoothly powered, mid-bore dual-sport machine and is very popular. There are few changes this year, but in 2021 it was fit with a new lightweight frame and a new engine for quicker power that’s fuel-injected and fit with a 6-speed gearbox. The suspension is WP’s XPLOR up front, and the linkless PDS rear with both systems got stiffer settings. It uses Brembo brakes, Galfer Wave rotors, CNC-machined hubs, Giant rims and Continental TKC80 tires.

SWM RS300R: $7695
This machine—unchanged from 2021—was originally designed by Husqvarna prior to the KTM relationship. It’s fit with KYB suspension, Brembo brakes, a cooling fan on the radiator, a lithium battery, handguards and Michelin DOT tires. The electric-start machine is fuel-injected by a Mikuni throttle body and controlled by a GET ECU and is priced very competitively.

HONDA CRF300L RALLY: $5999/ABS Model $6249
Honda’s CRF 300L Rally gets a factory look of a true rally racer. The steel perimeter frame might not look that new, but everything has been revised. It’s more compact and less rigid. The lower triple clamp is aluminum rather than steel, and the swingarm has been completely redesigned for less rigidity. Between all that and the new bodywork, the overall weight is down.

HONDA CRF300L: $5249/ABS MODEL $5549
The Honda CRF300L replaces the hugely popular 250L, a machine that looked great but was lacking power. The stroke was increased by 8mm to arrive at 286cc. It got new camshafts, a new airbox and exhaust, and a tighter-ratio 6-speed gearbox. The clutch is new and has Slip Assist. The chassis has been updated, some weight has been carved, and it has updated suspension. The big news is more power, which equals more fun.

KAWASAKI KLX300: $5799/CAMO MODEL $5999
The KLX300 is a well-adorned, entry-level dual-sport machine. It has adjustable suspension (10.0-inch front travel/9.1-inch rear), a low seat height, and smooth, easy-to-manage power. The 292cc engine is liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, has a 6-speed gearbox and electric start. The camo version is $5999.

YAMAHA XT250: $5199
Yamaha’s 250cc dual-sport model, the XT250 is a price-conscious machine and uses a fuel-injected, air-cooled, 5-speed powerplant. It features electric start and has decent travel in the suspension—8.9 inches up front and 7.1 inches in the rear. It comes fit with dual disc brakes and gets 76 mpg.

KAWASAKI KLX230S: $4799/ABS MODEL $5099
The KLX230S features a 233cc, air-cooled engine that is fuel-injected and has a 6-speed transmission. It has a low seat height (32.7 inches) and suspension that is under 7 inches of travel.With a low seat height and a torquey motor, the KLX 230 is an around-the-town scooter with just a pinch of off road DNA.

SSR XF250: $3459
The SSR XF250 has an air-cooled motor, a low saddle height, is equipped with an 18-inch front wheel and 17-inch rear wheel, and a rear rack. It is carbureted, is a 5-speeder with a manual clutch and weighs in at 328 pounds. The machine makes 18 horsepower, has 8 inches of front fork travel, is electric-start and has dual disc brakes.

SUZUKI DR200S: $4649
Although unchanged since 2020, this machine is a good around-the-town machine that has a pinch of off-road heritage. It’s powered via an air-cooled, two-valve, carbureted motor with electric start. It features 8.1 inches of suspension travel, a 3.3-gallon fuel tank and gets a claimed 88 miles per gallon.

YAMAHA TW200: $4799
Yamaha’s TW200 is a returning classic and is powered by an air-cooled, 196cc, carbureted engine that features electric start, a 5-speed gearbox,manual clutch and is counterbalanced to keep vibration down. With a low seat height, decent suspension travel, wide balloon tires and a front disc brake mated to a rear drum unit, it’s a fun way to explore the city and the hills.

2022Buyer's guidedual-sport