Weight, more than any other factor, influences how well a dual sport adventure motorcycle handles off-pavement riding. The heavier the bike, the more difficult it is to ride in the dirt – that’s why motorcycle manufacturers do everything they can to make their race bikes as light as legally allowed. The impact that weight has on a bike’s dirt handling abilities can’t be over-emphasized.
For many years motorcycle manufacturers would not report the real weight of their bikes, gassed up and in a ready to ride state. Instead they published a “dry weight” that more often than not had no basis in reality. For example, Kawasaki’s published specifications for the early model KLR650 (1987-2007) listed its dry weight at 337 lbs. This was the only weight published by Kawasaki for the KLR. The problem was the KLR actually weighed 417 lbs in a ready to ride state with the gas tank full – a full 80 lbs heavier. I have no idea how Kawasaki calculated the dry weight but, considering the massive difference between dry weight and the real weight of the KLR, it could easily be claimed that the dry weight was in no way an honest representation of the real weight of the KLR. I’m not picking on Kawasaki since many, if not most, manufacturers did the same thing. Suzuki originally claimed a dry weight of 324 lbs for the DR650 but now says the DR650 actually weighs 366 lbs, a 42 lb difference.
Not surprisingly, the fictitious “dry weight” has resulted in a generation of misinformed riders and some heated discussions about how much various models really weigh. In response to the “dry weight” nonsense, motorcycle magazines began weighing their test bikes and reporting the “wet weight”, which is the real weight of the motorcycle, full of fluids and in a ready to ride state. Today, motorcycle manufacturers seem to have gotten the message and many are now reporting the “curb weight” – which is presumably the weight of the motorcycle gassed up and ready to go.
How much do the most popular dual sport adventure motorcycles actually weigh? From data published by Motorcycle Consumer News, motorcycle magazines, and internet websites, I have been able to compile the true weight of a number of bikes. Note that this is the weight of the stock motorcycle; adding items such as handguards, skid plate, larger gas tank, aftermarket seat, or luggage racks would all increase the total weight. Still, knowing the stock weight gives you a basis for comparison.
- G650 Xchallenge – 344 lbs
- F650GS Dakar / G650 Sertao – 435.5 lbs
- 2009 F800GS – 455 lbs
- 2011 F800GS – 489 lbs
- 2013 F800GS Adventure – 532 lbs
- 2008 R1200GS – 536 lbs
- 2013 R1200GS – 543.5 lbs
- 2014 R1200GS Adventure – 594 lbs
- XR650L (all years) – 349 lbs
- TE610 – 317 lbs
- TR650 – 404 lbs
- 1987-2007 KLR650 – 417 lbs
- 2008 KLR650 – 428 lbs
- 2014 KLR650 – 432 lbs
- 2012 350 EXC-F – 262.5 lbs
- 2015 500 EXC – 264 lbs
- 2010 690 Enduro R – 336.5
- 2004 950 Adventure – 498 lbs
- 2008 990 Adventure – 520 lbs
- 2012 990 Adventure R – 502 lbs
- 2014 1190 Adventure – 521 lbs
- 2014 1190 Adventure R – 530.5 lbs
- DR-Z400S (all years) – 320 lbs
- DR650 (all years) – 368 lbs
- 2011 Tiger 800XC – 503 lbs
- 2012 Tiger 1200 Explorer – 589 lbs
- 2009 WR250R – 301.5 lbs
- 2012 Super Tenere – 587 lbs
- 2014 Super Tenere ES – 604 lbs