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Find the per­fect match in dual-sport bikes

The Witness - Wheels - - BIKING - DRIES VAN DER WALT

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — In a pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cle we looked at the main cat­e­gories into which most road bikes fall, but the di­vi­sion goes fur­ther than the six cat­e­gories we men­tioned — each of those can be di­vided fur­ther.

In this ar­ti­cle we look at the dual-sport cat­e­gory and ex­am­ine its sub­di­vi­sions.

Dual-sport mo­tor­cy­cles are street-le­gal bikes that are de­signed for both on- and off-road use. These bikes are equipped with street-le­gal equip­ment such as lights, in­di­ca­tors, a speedome­ter, mir­rors and a num­ber­plate mount­ing so that they can be reg­is­tered and li­censed for road use.

In the early days of mo­tor­cy­cling, tar roads were few and far be­tween, so in essence all early bikes were du­alies. Since the 1940s tar has be­come more com­mon, and bikes grad­u­ally be­came heav­ier and faster to take ad­van­tage of the bet­ter road sur­faces.

To­day’s du­alies have come ful­lcir­cle by be­ing equally adept on high­ways and dirt roads.

Four main cat­e­gories

How­ever, the bike in­dus­try is ef­fec­tively a game of one-up­man­ship and in an at­tempt to of­fer some­thing dif­fer­ent from what the com­pe­ti­tion sells, man­u­fac­tur­ers have evolved du­alies into sev­eral sub-cat­e­gories.

Let’s look at the four main sub­cat­e­gories: 1. Dual-pur­pose bikes — off-road-ca­pa­ble bikes with some on-road prow­ess. 2. Ad­ven­ture bikes — long-dis­tance bikes that are an even mix of on- and off-road ca­pa­bil­ity. 3. Ad­ven­ture tour­ers — which em­pha­sise long-dis­tance com­fort. 4. Ad­ven­ture sport bikes — bikes that com­bine su­per­bike-es­que per­for­mance with high ground clear­ance and rugged looks.

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