dual sport bikes

Honda XR650L

There is a timeless perfection to the Honda 650L. Unchanged since the early ‘90s, the XR has come to define the 650 dual-sport bike with a torquey (but not especially fast) air-cooled motor. The suspension is still surprisingly good on the trail. The ergonomics feel dated, but the bike works well and has electric start. It reminds us of the Scott Summers years in off-road racing every time we see it. We still love it.


Once upon a time, KTM entered the Baja 1000 with a bike based on the 690 Enduro. It was too fast! Even the best riders in the world didn’t want to go 120 mph in the dirt. The 690 has found its own calling since then as a heavy dual-sport or lightweight adventure bike. At the EICMA show in Milan, KTM announced that the Enduro’s street-going brother, the Duke, has a more powerful motor, and speculation is that it will soon appear in the Enduro as well.

We mounted the Mosko Reckless 40L tail bag and Wolfman Enduro tank bag on our Yamaha XT250 for our ride across Death Valley on the way to Taste of Dakar. The Wolfman tank bag is perfectly sized for a DSLR camera and a few small items you need quick access to. The Reckless 40 mounted solidly on the back and offered ample room for all our gear, although its position was a little far forward on the seat. Adding a top rack to the bike should allow us to mount the Reckless 40 further back for a more spacious seating area.