What if there was one motorcycle that did everything you wanted to do on two wheels? You could strafe sweeping corners, traverse scabby pavement without concern, fly down a gravel two-track, or creep up a rock garden to the top of the mountain. With this versatility, a world of adventure, limited only by your imagination, is instantly open to you. We’re talking dual sport here.
Depending on your zip code, adding dirt to your diet may expand your riding options substantially. Even here in Los Angeles, the opportunities for off-road fun are enticing. You can easily string together a fantastic multi-surface day ride that will make downtown gridlock a distant memory. It’s truly therapy.
The desire for one bike to do everything gives us motorcycles as varied as the terrain they’re intended to tackle. Take these three machines. Kawasaki’s KLR650 is the fundamental dual sport, if not by design then by duration—it’s been in production for a quarter of a century and continues to be a best seller thanks to its versatility and low price. KTM’s 690 Enduro R resides at the other end of the spectrum. Built to serve as a platform for KTM’s Dakar rally efforts, the Enduro is a high-strung performance piece with a high seat and a price tag to match. Then there’s the new Husqvarna Terra, the off-road version of Husky’s two new TR650s.
While the KLR and Enduro clearly bookend this club of multi-use singles, the Terra’s position on the grid has yet to be determined. Will it capture the KLR’s do-everything attitude in a modern package? Can it achieve even a fraction of the KTM’s proven off-road capabilities in an overall less-aggressive package? These questions, and others, are precisely why we brought these three machines together.