The two biggest issues we have with many dual sports – regardless of engine displacement and size — is that the seat height seems geared toward those 6 feet and over, and they are expensive. Granted some of the newer dualies from KTM, BMW and Triumph offer seat height adjustments and options to counter that, but there’s still that price thing. And the fact is, most big dual sports rarely get off the pavement. Might be all that weight, or all of that ride by wire, electronics, etc. Maybe simpler — and shorter — is better.
Adventure Motorcycle recently published a guide of the best used 250 cc dual sport/adventure bikes that shows that such bikes don’t have to be built for LeBron or demand his salary as payment. While many of these bikes may have a hard time getting up to freeway speeds, their simplicity and Swiss-army-knife-like personalities will make up for it.
We’re particularly partial to the look and character of the Yamaha TW200 (pictured above). Maybe it’s that big tire brawniness. While its lower seat height also means more limited suspension, that’s nothing a good skid plate (standard equipment) and better forks wouldn’t fix.
A quick look on the Internet indicates you can pick up a lightly used one in the low $2000s. New ones start at around $4500. Not particularly cheap in terms of engine size per dollar ratio, but that’s about $10k less than the least expensive dual sport from any of the European makers. That would pay for a helluva lot of off-road adventures!