The Honda XR series. Back in the 1980s these single-cylinder four-stroke bikes were the definitive “thumpers”, yet in recent years the range has been severely truncated. Only the XR650L dual-sport application remains today, but it is still a goodie. Powered by a 644cc air-cooled, dry-sump single cylinder engine producing 29kW, the XR650L offers instantaneous thrust in practically each of its five gears – thanks to a low weight of only 157kg. Crucially, the single-cylinder engine’s peak toque value of 50Nm coincides with a relatively low tachometer reading of only 5000rpm – ensuring strong mid-range acceleration, perfect for sand riding.Although its billing is dual-purpose (it has electric start), XR650L’s 330mm of ground clearance and 294mm ‘s worth of front travel (courtesy of a Showa 16-position adjustable damper) is perfect for rolling over broken terrain. Hardcore enduro riders will scoff at the L-affix to Honda’s legendary XR nameplate, but this XR650L, especially in 2011 model year guise, is a very neat large enduro bike compromise. Kalahari capable, yet not entirely utilitarian. Honda's XR650L costs R49 999.