There isn’t a true dual sport to be found anywhere in any motorcycle manufacturers lineup. The European options are too expensive, require expensive and frequent maintenance, and offer more performance than most people need. The Japanese options are either boring or too big and heavy, which is why one guy made his own bike. And it’s incredible.
We’ve talked a lot about possible Honda dirt things happening, and if anyone from Honda is reading I’d like to just say one thing: scrap all that and just give me this.
ADVRider user Michaelkozera’s desires were not unlike that of most of us. He wanted something that was capable, comfortable, and economical. The KTMs vibrated too much and were terrible for daily use, the Kawasaki KLR was too piggish, and the CRF250L was too slow.
Then he had an idea. Maybe the parallel twin motor from the Honda CB500 range would fit in his CRF250L frame. It would be something that could be a true 50/50 bike, equally as at home riding around town or pulling proper speeds on the freeway despite wind or hills, but that could also take him anywhere on God’s green Earth that his abilities could manage.
Using far more smarts than I’ll ever have, he actually managed to pull it off and did so in a package that’s downright sexy. Now complete, his “Dakar Style CRF500L Evo-1" makes 45 horsepower, 29.5 foot-pounds of torque, and weighs in at about 360 pounds – essentially doubling power for a mere extra 25 pounds over the stock CRF250L.
Unfortunately, this build wasn’t quite as simple as pulling the old motor out and dropping the new one in. The 500 motor fit despite being two inches wider and three inches longer from front to back, and a custom exhaust needed to be made to account for the extra cylinder.
You can see the full writeup on the build, including more pics and video here. Also, this thread covers his previous build where he put a 300cc motor in the frame, and it shares more on some of the lighting and aesthetic mods he made to the bike.
Honestly, it’s surprising that no one has come out with something from the factory that is similar to this (aesthetics aside). The KTM 690/Husky 701 is a great option, but is definitely skewed to being better off road. The Honda Africa Twin is likely the best I’ve ridden at truly being good at both, but it’s heavy by comparison. KTM is likely to tap into this area with whatever adventure machine they’ll put their new 800 cc parallel twin in, but that will likely be more than people need (or want to spend).
Can anyone see anything about this bike that keeps it from being the perfect 50/50 machine? Because I’m not seeing it and the want is strong with this one.
Takes notes Honda.