Today we're going to take a quick look at a very fundamental question, that is what are the differences between ADV and dual-sport bikes and hope to help you find what's right for you. There's a lot of confusion in the market about what is an ADV bike, it's a tricky question because fundamentally we believe that you think ADV or adventure on just about anything from a scooter to the giant 1,300 CC machines, we see now available from companies like KTM triumph and BMW. Generally speaking ADV bikes are more touring oriented with larger engines and longer range, while dual-sport tend to be lighter, smaller and easier to handle in more difficult off-road conditions. Both of them are street-legal, but finding the right one for you depends on the type of riding you plan to do.
If you're new to off-road riding, a dual-sport bike is a great place to start, maybe the
best place to start. Dualsports can take more of a beating, because they usually have fewer plastics and they use a different type of plastic often found on traditional dirt bikes. They're flexible and molded with color, so they resist scratching and look the same even when scratched, sometimes they look even cooler. As a result dropping a dualsport should result in fewer and less expensive repairs. Some dual sports have very high seat heights and long travel suspension, which is great for ground clearance, but maybe a stumbling point for shorter riders. Also most have single cylinder engines under 600 CCS which helps keep maintenance simple and weight down. Lighter weight should never be overlooked when riding off the road especially if you're just learning. Picking up a 600 pound bike may be ok once or twice in the sand, but can get exhausting very quickly in bad conditions. This problem is amplified more if you solo.
Dual-sport motorcycles are by no means perfect though all the manageability that you get off-road comes with compromises on the street. The smaller size of dual-sports means that you're going to have generally shorter range and unlimited luggage options. Many dual sports are really built for solo riding and can't comfortably take a passenger. Limited speed and lack of wind protection are also going to make long stretches of highway riding kind of a daunting task. Multi cylinder engines more common on the ADV bikes are way better suited for high speed travel. There are fewer new dual sport options on the market these days, but compared to ADV bikes, a new or used dual sport will be much cheaper to get your hands on.
When it comes to ADV bikes, there are some considerable differences that we should talk about. ADV bikes are bigger and heavier, many over 500 pounds that's about one to two hundred pounds heavier than most dual sports. Big bikes can take some skills to handle, and newbies may struggle with them off-road, they might be downright intimidating. Additionally ADV bikes are often over 1,000 cc and some boast horsepower numbers in the triple digits, it's no easy feat wrangling that much power around in low traction environments. It's definitely possible to roll through some bad roads on a large ADV bike and tough terrain, but you should know that's going to take practice and some working out. We definitely recommend if you're new to offered riding start with a lighter smaller bike.
On the road, however, ADV bikes really shine over dual-sports, all that power makes highway speeds a breeze, passing is easier, while the bigger body also expands your luggage options for longer trips. Most ADV bikes also have better wind protection, much better wind protection further reducing extended high speed riding fatigue. As far as seating goes, ADV motorcycles have comfort in spades, most have large sculpted seats and ample space for passengers or more gear. Adventure bikes are probably the most comfortable bikes out there with a very neutral riding position, your knees slightly bent, feet underneath you and your arms pretty much straight out, just around or below shoulder level. If you're planning on riding ten hour days and thousands of miles, an ADV bike is probably the best way to go. It's so good, actually that a lot of sport touring riders are now using the larger ADV bikes for their long-distance travel.
Newer ADV bikes also offer crazy advanced electronics, we're talking about traction control, ABS, customizable ABS and also various sets of customizable ride modes, all these are becoming more standard on ADV models, they're also more likely to have different option packages in wheel sizes available to better fit your writing needs, for example for this is 21 Vs 19-inch wheels, 21 inch wheels are larger and arguably much better for riding in more off-road conditions, however the turning sometimes feels a little bit slow. 19 inch wheels tend to be a very good balance between being able to handle some off-road or some uneven surfaces while still having a sporty feel on the pavement. All of these options and technology do come at a cost though, ADV bikes are going to be more expensive and more complex than their dual-sport counterparts. A new 1200 cc ADV bike, for example, will cost anywhere from the ballpark of about fifteen to twenty thousand dollars with some add-ons. While the steep price tag is daunting for some, it's worthwhile for those wining the latest and safety convenience comfort and speed.
Finally it's important to say that there is no one perfect bike, everything has pros and cons, so more riders now find both adventure and dual-sport bikes in their stables, the only thing better than one bike is two bikes. Between new and used options on the market, you're sure to find something that's right for you in the price range that you can afford.
This very general comparison between adventure or ADV and sport bikes, if there's something we forgot to mention, please leave a comment below, thanks.