Dual sport motorcycles are the new wave of motorcycle riding. Maybe you're an experienced rider but seek more excitement off-road. Or maybe you're completely new to riding motorcycles. Either way, jump into the world of dual sports and let the excitement begin.
For new riders, the motorcycle world can be a little confusing. How would you possibly know which bike to buy? So many types and styles of bikes are on the market: Cruisers, sport, touring, sport touring, standard, dual sport, scooters, motocross, enduros, rallies, trail, trials, and track. Whew! Where do you start? Well, start with the purpose of your riding.
Any motorcycle can take you on the highways and byways of the world where tourists see everything that everyone else sees. Boring. Do you want to see the scenery or be part of the scenery? Would you rather ride through the heart of Moab's trail system or be limited to driving around its hidden beauty? Would you rather marvel at the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains from below or be standing at the top looking across the tops of the peaks?
Once you get a taste of these things, you'll find yourself dreaming of even more--sneaking away to the hidden hot springs to take a dip while you're out for an afternoon ride, camping for days with nothing more than what you can carry on your motorcycle, exploring the dirt roads you've ridden by so many times because your road bike couldn't take you there, imagining you're on a dirt road that no one's been on before. If you're up for new experiences and the best photo opportunities ever, take your dual sport out where the road bikes just can't go. When you need the challenge of some mountain trails, marshlands, or sand riding, your road bike just won't cut it. Go be part of the scenery.
If you have a true sense of outdoor adventure and travelling, focus on the dual sport motorcycle. The dual sport bike is a street legal dirt bike that is equipped with off-road suspension, off-road tires, crash bars, and other specialty items. When your adventurous spirit longs for longer voyages, you can create your own adventure bike by adding a larger fuel tank, luggage, and other distance-oriented components. Adventure bikes are dual sports that can take you to farther destinations for longer periods of time.
According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, "...roads cover 17,869 square miles of land, or just six-tenths of one percent of the total land area of the contiguous 48 states. Even if shoulders, driveways and parking lots were added, the total would still be less than one percent of the nation's land area." Ponder this for a moment. Even if you were to ride your bike on every square inch of paved road in the U.S., you would experience less than one percent of our beautiful nation. The rest of the roads are dirt. This statistic only applies to the U.S.; you can travel the world by motorcycle. Think what you are missing if you stick to the highways!
Cruisers and sport bikes certainly can't take you on those dirt roads that are calling your name. After all, you wouldn't want to scratch up the chrome on your cruiser or ruin the tires on your sport bike. Scooters and standard bikes won't get you too far on the dirt either; their stability and suspension just aren't built for off-road riding. But think about the bike that can take you on the highway legally and get you off-road when you get the itch. Your commute would be more fun, and your afternoon rides would be a lot more adventurous. You could even take off for a week, maybe months, at a time and experience the world by motorcycle.
Specialty companies have found their niche in providing exactly what you'll need to get your dual sport adventure bike on the road. After-market accessories are abundantly available for your bike. And when it's time to pack, determine if you'll want hard luggage or soft luggage. True off-road riding will probably require soft luggage. For the best soft motorcycle luggage across the world, look for Wolfman Luggage, a company that designs with the adventure motorcyclist in mind.
This type of motorcycle riding is safer than street riding. If you're spending more of your time off-road, you're avoiding traffic. Most motorcycle accidents occur in traffic. Here is a list of possible causes of motorcycle accidents, according to motorcycleaccident.org:
- Poor weather conditions;
- Not utilizing a turn signal;
- Lane splitting, i.e. when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes;
- Ignoring traffic conditions;
- Ignoring traffic signs;
- Disobeying speed limitations;
- Driving on the wrong side of the road;
- Not seeing a motorcyclist due to glare or other view obstructions;
- Inexperienced motorists;
- Driving while under the influence of drugs;
- Vehicle defects;
- Roadway defects;
- Intentional hostile actions.
Any accident can happen at any time. If you avoid the most common causes, your chances decrease dramatically. Most of the above causes are traffic related. There's not nearly as much traffic with which to contend when you're riding off-road.
The dual sport community of riders proudly share an attitude of safe riding. Rarely will you see a dual sport rider without full protective riding clothes, boots, helmet, and eye protection. When you're ready to jump into the adventure riding community, look for websites and forums that can help you with all your questions and teach you about things like "ATGATT" (All The Gear All The Time). Adventure Rider (ADVrider) is a great worldwide forum for adventure riders.
Your adventurous spirit of a dirt biker can now take you around the world. Imagine riding with giraffes looking down on you. Survive in Siberia on your journey around the world. Eat the local fare and not realize what it is because you don't even speak the language.
Ride your dreams.