Something with low weight, good suspension, decent power and good reliability. I bought a 2005 DRZ400 and checked this box off in 2012. It’s everything I hoped it would be.
Here’s a pic of the DRZ as it looked right before I sold it after a bunch of modifications and a wee bit of bed liner.
After putting a bunch of miles on the Dizzer in 2012 and 2013, I sold it in the late fall of 2013. I then turned around and swapped my Monster 900 for a 2008 Yamaha WR250R. This one was the most technically advanced bikes I’d owned in a while. Great suspension, fuel injection, aluminum frame. Basically a very sweet bike and I really enjoyed riding it. Was definitely the best of the dual sports I’d owned at that point and wish I hadn’t sold it in August 2014.
After the WR, I also owned a DR650 Suzuki and a Honda XR650l. Just as I’d read, the Honda was the best big-bore offroad bike. The Suzuki DR650 was a good road bike and a decent off-roader. The KLR650 I had that started my dual sport craziness was the best on road—although honestly the DR650 was really close there. Of all of them, the DR650 is the one I liked best and I’ll probably buy another one some day.