Greater rake makes it a better cruiser on highways. The bars are for a more relaxed seating position, very welcome, but I don't think they were intended to make you stand up. Pirelli Scorpions are street tires, if the X would have been intended to be more dirt-worthy Honda would have put on MT90s.Yes all you say is correct, but with the greater rake,bars which allow you to stand on the pegs,and with the Pirelli scorpions a dirt road is well in its capabilities. Certainly not a dual sport, but rather a light duty crosstourer.
I recently rode150 miles off road over a combination of typical gravel, smooth dirt and loose baby head sized gravel. The bike with stock suspension and stock tires at 41 psi did great. Just do it. Don't say it's not a dual sport if you have never tried it.I'd say that it's not even a dual sport, it just has half an inch more fork travel, same rear suspension as the CBR500R sport bike. Still it's my favorite of the three 500s.