A Dual Sport Motorcycle Information and Community Site
DATA IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. Updated 9/24/19(2020 Africa Twin Data.) Sourced corrections welcome. This information is often weedy and deliberately hidden. Top speeds should be considered estimates and do not effect the other calculations. Top speeds are often sourced from youtube and could be effected by electronic limiters. Data is intended to be from newest year model. Weight is intended to be the full wet weight of the motorcycle. Horse Power is intended to be rear wheel horsepower though often the only data available is provided from the manufacturer. Reliability of the data is continually improved thanks to the ongoing scrutiny of the dual sport community. For additional information such as seat height, fuel size and ground clearance, check the MotoSpecs section. This Data is intended to be cross referenced and continually verified and intended to serve as only a starting point in your own research. Data is free use and the entire chart may be copied and pasted anywhere you like without needing to request permission. Thank you.
Blog #3 The CR500
One bike above all the rest jumps out of the full series Data chart: The CR 500. As seen below, the CR500 landed in the top 5 for combined power to weight ratio, and had the best torque to weight ratio of any bike in the series. This is particularly impressive when you realize the only other bikes (besides the similarly purpose built Husaberg,) anywhere near its power to weight ratios are 1000ccs+ and weigh over twice as much at 500lbs+ compared to the unbelievable 247 lbs of the CR500.
How can a bike this lightweight, this small of CC's and over 25 old years have an edge on modern super bikes?
The answer is simple: 2 stroke. 2 stroke motors require fewer moving parts in the engine and therefore the engine is lighter. 2 strokes also fire once every 2 revolutions of the piston instead of every 4 like most "4-stroke" engines. In theory this should result in twice the power for a same size engine. Though physics doesn't allow that perfect of a conversion, the point is there is a lot more power on tap in a 2 stroke than a 4. The CR500 was the king of 2 strokes, and was essentially emission regulated out of existence(until modern 2 strokes like the Te300i from Husqvarna which also punches way above it's cc's on the chart.)
As a lasting testament to the 1994 CR500, Here is one out-launching Johnny Walker's fully kitted 2018 ktm 450 Dakar race bike: (though eventually the 450's 6th gear gives it a higher 105mph top speed than the 5 speed CR500's 96mph.)
Comparison Group 2:
Mini Blog #2 Comparison Group 2
As I've gone over the impact of these categories in the previous article, I'll just dive into the interesting technical bits revealed about this chart.
First, lets talk about the Carducci 1200. This is a custom made motorcycle built around a Harley V-Twin with a price tag in the neighborhood of 100k. In spite of this, the bike did not do particularly well on the charts, showing some of the limitations of the big power plant it holds. And yet it still had the best torque to lb ratio of any of the group. The explanation for this outlier of torque is simple: a Harley twin fires both of its pistons at the same time, which of course provides more torque than firing in series or a single smaller piston. This unique engineering found a way to remind us even on a dual sport chart what it is that has kept the company alive.
Now for some nominations:
Best in Group Fast Trails Bike: Husaberg 650e
With a remarkable low weight of 271 lbs and class leading power the Husaberg shows why owners don't often let go of them. 20 lbs less than Honda's legendary xr650R, it manages to put out just as much power.
Best in Group ADV Bike : KTM 790 ADV R
135 top speeds assure you won't be searching for an extra gear on the highway, while its off road suspension is fit for all but the gnarliest of trails. KTM's newest offering is set to be a powerhouse in the ADV world.
Best in Group Hard Enduro bike: Husqvarna TE 300i
TE 300i is the answer to what happens if you build a modern 2 stroke engine and keep the advantages of low weight and extra power the engine provides. Better power ratios than most bikes twice its CC's and the being the lightest weight bike on the list make the TE 300i a cut above everything else in the gnarliest of terrain.
Next week comparison group 3 to be added to main series and includes: Betas, Vstrom 1k, a few more KTMS, t700, Super tenere, Multistrada and more... stay tuned!