2019 Dual Sport Shootout – Dirt Bike Magazine

2019 Dual Sport Shootout – Dirt Bike Magazine

Balance is for losers. Any bike that’s “well-rounded” or has “broad appeal” is purpose built to be bad at everything. That’s been the sad truth about dual-sport bikes since the invention of the license plate.
Thankfully, there are people in key places at major motorcycle factories who have come to understand that. The new crop of dual-sport bikes has been designed with dirt as the number one priority. That was never the case in the old days, when the best we could hope for was a 320-pounder with high fenders. Now, the goal is to make a dirt bike that’s legal on the road. Unfortunately, the Feds haven’t made that easy. The regs for DOT and EPA approval are vague and subject to different interpretations. As a result, each of the companies plays by a different set of rules–some very conservative, others right on the edge. We gathered the Honda CRF450L, the Husqvarna FE450, the Beta 430RR-S and the KTM 500EXC for a battle in the dirt. They don’t exactly match in displacement, but this isn’t about a racing class. These are what we consider the four best dual-sport bikes in the world from an off-road rider’s point of view. We will let other publications talk about how well rounded they are for commuters and road riders. For us, the street portion of the test has only two questions: 1. Is it legal on the road? 2. Is it practical on the road? For all bikes, the answers are yes and yes.With our dirt-heavy emphasis, we stripped the bikes of their original tires. The Honda’s IRCs are mostly aimed at street and the Continentals on the KTM and Husky were selected to help pass sound tests. Only the Michelin Enduros on the Beta are dirt oriented, but even they have reduced knob height as required in Europe. We put all the bikes on Mitas tires, which are the most aggressive DOT knobbies we could find. If you don’t know Mitas, you might remember the firm’s parent company: Trelleborg. Then we evaluated them mostly in the dirt. For us, pavement is simply a means to connect trails.

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  1. Andy's Auto Care Plus on June 26, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Great video

  2. Captain Licorice on June 26, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Husky and ktms are like Chevy and GMC trucks. Basically the same but just slightly different

  3. Realman ontheland on June 26, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    4 stroke dirt bikes with street legal light and licensed plate brackets. I really don’t think that you can Travel to Alaska to South America and back on those little gas tanks and limited accessories. I would stick with the KLR!

  4. ArthurAlcantara on June 26, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Sooo, the CRF450 is the strongest candidate to be turned into a supermoto then.

  5. Central California Sheepdog Productions on June 26, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Great shootout. I love the 450L but that BETA is beautiful!

  6. NeuKrofta on June 26, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    18 minutes of thinking "oh gawd, not a Honda fanboy video"
    I was pleasantly surprised

  7. Tony Montana on June 26, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Videos like this always tempt me to purchase a new bike.

  8. MrMetalFinn on June 26, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    These are nice dirt bikes with plates, dual sports? Not so much.

  9. MAKSTR on June 26, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    OK man chill. Honda it is.

  10. Recklessbliss Characternotcolor on June 26, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Too expensive.

  11. dsrtrcr77 on June 26, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    What’s the price on the husky? Is there a comparative KTM model?

  12. Gilles Genete on June 26, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    Talking about Dual Port, how would you compare KTM EXC250F, EXC500F, and 690Enduro R ?

  13. Larry Burke on June 26, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    Using your own logic, it would make more sense to go with a full on moto and get a light kit.
    You are testing DUAL SPORTS fr which is the best DIRT BIKE= Stupid.

  14. Justyrocks on June 26, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    where was yamaha

  15. Joe Whitfield on June 26, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Bikes no one can own😂

  16. James Robert on June 26, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    Hmm, no Suzuki…..? BS!

  17. TexasRider90 *Beefy* on June 26, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    Wr250r always

  18. Alexander Lowe on June 26, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    I’ve been ogling dual sports for about 6 years now. Love that beta.

  19. D.b. on June 26, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Wtf there is a KTM exc 450 and its literally the same as the Husqvarna, except that the KTM is cheaper

  20. Little Willie on June 26, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    Kinda sad you guys weren’t able to run the Yamaha and the Kawasaki dual sport bikes to compare also! But sweet video for sure

  21. DnQ 10 on June 26, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    Where is WR?

  22. TBull Cajunbreadmaker on June 26, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Boy some people’s definition of a dual sport bike has sure changed. I grew up riding and have ridden ever since my very first 90cc bike at 14 years old. What I was always taught was a dual sport bike was something that you could take off road just as easily as you could ride it on the highway. It served two purposes to get you anywhere you needed to go. Most dual sports are not geared more to offroad but there is suppose to be a balance that serves both equally both on the road and off. What you are calling a dual sport bike in this video is just basically dirt bikes with lights. A true dual sport bike was made to travel on. They are made to be as comfortable as possible and as capable as possible in both settings and they are designed to carry your gear that you need to travel long distances without going to a motel every night. Try again and show us something that you are trying to misrepresent and change the definition of dual-sport.

  23. Kermit on June 26, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    The arguments ppl make for their taste in bikes is a great indicator of what they’re thinking while riding.
    And what it’s like for others to ride with them.
    The only thing DRZ guys are thinking while riding is “cheap cheap cheap cheap cheap…cheap”
    It’s not the worst argument for bike choice but it is the ONLY thing you ever hear them argue for bike choice, and it’s not often you find one that realizes it. Even if their complaints are true that all these bikes break down 10x more then their 30 year old technology (which they don’t), the fact that some 90% of those old DRZ type riders end up in a CRFX or EXC while less then 1% ever go back seems to escape a large amount of them imo.

  24. Paul Bissonnette on June 26, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    i mean is it me or does this music suck or what ??? w$f 2 note wonder can’t we do better than this i mean really

  25. JCF69700 on June 26, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    And the HVA 701 ‘Enduro’ and KTM 690 ‘Enduro-R’? Too heavy and powerful for dual-purpose uses?

  26. ben cade on June 26, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Yamaha wr450?

  27. Robert Atwood on June 26, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    What about Suzuki

  28. michael close on June 26, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    not one of those bikes is a dual sport bike they are all competition enduro bikes. you say here at dirt bike mag we only care about dirt but not one of those bikes is capable of crossing a continent offroad. they are all weekend bikes weekday overhaul.

  29. J E on June 26, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Awsome review

  30. Anibal Cheble on June 26, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Which model of Mitas did you use? Is that the most aggressive DOT approved tire? Thanks!

  31. Kitsalp Srewolf on June 26, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Beta has a 480 RR (race ready) 4 stroke race bike. Apparently DBM doesn’t know what they’re saying.

  32. No F-Bdy Bs on June 26, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Where’s team Blue?!??

  33. BUILDSforDRIVING on June 26, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Lol the beta……why don’t they call it the limp wrist or prison bitch or cuckold

  34. SawmillDRZ 7 on June 26, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    I notice they didn’t put these bikes up against the mighty Suzuki DRZ400. Mind you, it wouldn’t be a fair test. Go DRZ!!!

  35. S H on June 26, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    "Balance is for losers. Any bike that’s “well-rounded” or has “broad appeal” is purpose built to be bad at everything. That’s been the sad truth about dual-sport bikes since the invention of the license plate. "

    Nice these are the words of the publisher. Balance is for losers. So let’s bring back the TWO STROKE with the best technology 2020 has to offer. Half the weight twice the power. I’m not talking about your uncle’s Bultaco 370. I’m talking about taking the best attributes of the 2 stroke and bringing it up to date with a wet sump vs a dry sump, direct injection ignition and no I’m not talking about what was tried in the 1990’s with Bimota!!! The best dual sport bike has yet to be built but buyers like me are out there!!! Paris Dakar will rumble!

  36. Anthony Fernandez on June 26, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Here R 4 beautiful bikes
    All Over priced for no reason at all.

  37. Spartan J on June 26, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Give me a break ,I’m out .The Honda is the most dependable, history repeats itself,but all are overpriced jut like most autos and they say there is low to no inflation oh that’s right they don’t include fuel or food in the C.P.I anymore I wonder why.

  38. psycho_012000 on June 26, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    OK so the Honda was the easiest to ride and more comfortable but scored the lowest u guys don’t make any sense at all then to add to it u throw a ktm 500 in the mix OK let’s just say I don’t trust it judgment on this on now at all

  39. ΘΟΔΩΡΗΣ ΓΙΑΝΝΟΠΟΥΛΟΣ on June 26, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    we need xr,xt,tt,dr..in 600-650…in europe….update the air cool good old and honest enduro bikes and sell them cheap…. then you will see how they will sell….

  40. BK on June 26, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    People keep asking about maintenance… who cares. Change your oil every 10 hrs.

  41. i dont know a good name on June 26, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    These are enduro bikes.

  42. Essential G on June 26, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    I live in the pine gardens of new Jersey. So I grabbed a Suzuki v storm for some overnight camping out in the pines. The deep sand was to much for the bike and my riding skill. Mich to heavy to pick up several times a ride. =) what dual sport can I buy that will handle the deep sand carry a heavy back pack, and not have a 72 inch seat height. I am a short dude.

  43. Grant Odermatt on June 26, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    This is a misleading video, most of these are hi revving high maintenance enduro bikes not dual sport.

  44. #RideLife on June 26, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    These aren’t even dual sport bikes in my opinion. They’re dirt bikes with lights on them. Try riding one of these across the country.. you’re not gonna have an ass left 😂

  45. Captain Licorice on June 26, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    Lol this is why I don’t sub to this shit magazine. You guys are so bias. You know KTM paid them
    Husky did not make the first "serious" dual sport. You guys are stupid

  46. Clint Hemken on June 26, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    I feel Honda should have come in at 8k with this bike and really made waves. At almost the same price I don’t see why you would get it over team orange.

  47. weldingblaster1 on June 26, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    I made the mistake of buying the 2019 KTM EXC 500 F. What a POS. I almost bought the Honda and now really regret not doing so. It wouldn’t have had major engine problems out of the gate.

  48. Logan Adams on June 26, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Husky and ktm are the same, reallly guys…

  49. Jool on June 26, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    PAY T M

  50. Yamaha Rider on June 26, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    I’ve ridden the KTM, Honda and Beta. Each one has one or two issues that turn me off.

    The Beta has a substandard suspension. They have been ignoring an issue with the coating on the forks. Some forks are ok. Some are not. The coating wears off and contaminates the oil. I was about to buy one before I discovered this. The forks are also dangerously soft with very little progression (bottoming resistance). Put a good suspension on the Beta, and it is at the top. You can accomplish this with the Ohlins suspension option but you shouldn’t have to. The RR suspension is stiffer but still subpar in comparison to the KTM and Honda. Fuel consumption is the worst of the bunch and it runs hot. However, the Beta has the smoothest engine and the most top end power.

    The KTM is one engine refinement away from being the top bike. It needs a heavier counterbalancer. The 500 KTM and Husky engine vibrations are an absolute deal killer for me. It’s really that bad, and few reviewers even mention it. Very fatiguing. My hands go numb in 5 minutes on the KTM. KTM fixed this issue on the two strokes, and now they can’t sell them any faster. Fix that issue, and the KTM or Husky 500 will be my next bike. Better fuel mileage and suspension than the Beta. Featherweight compared to the Honda. Top offroad performance and best fuel economy.

    The review on the Honda is spot on. Lower the weight and correct the low speed fueling issue and you have the winner. I expect that Honda will fix the latter but not the weight. They will still sell a lot of them because many dual sport guys don’t care about top notch offroad performance, therefore very few of them would even notice the weight. They care more about low maintenance, and Honda has the best reputation. The engine has some vibration that the Beta doesn’t. Suspension is the best of the bunch.

    The Husky 450 needs a few more HP and smoother engine (redesigned counterbalancer).