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How To Choose The Perfect Adventure Motorcycle For You

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Choose The Perfect Adventure Motorcycle For You

Ready to embark on an epic adventure on two wheels? Choosing the perfect adventure motorcycle is crucial to make sure you have a blast on your trip! But with so many motorcycles on the market, how do you choose the one that’s just right for you? Fear not, my fellow adventurer, with some fun research and self-reflection, you’ll find the perfect adventure bike for you, that will make your journey unforgettable! 

Notice that the expression was the perfect adv bike for you? Well… That’s because there is no perfect adventure motorcycle. In fact, there is no perfect motorcycle in any category. No unicorn, as many of the riders so often refer to a motorcycle when searching for the two-wheel steed that has all of their desired features. What you can find, provided you are prepared to answer some questions, is a bike that suits your needs.

There are tons of factors to consider when choosing your adventure motorcycle – how much off-roading do you want to do? How much luggage will you need to carry? Are you going solo or with a partner? And let’s not forget about your personal style, budget, and experience level. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Choosing the right adventure motorcycle can be a fun and exciting process. You’ll get to explore all the different types of bikes, from adventure touring bikes to middleweight adventure motorcycles, to dual-sport bikes. And with a little bit of research and some self-reflection, you’ll find the one that’s perfect for your adventure.

So let’s get started! Don’t settle for a mediocre adventure. Take the time to choose the adventure motorcycle that will make your trip epic, memorable, and full of excitement. The open road awaits, my friend!

riding-in-morocco
Ready to go anywhere!

The 4 Most Important Questions To Choose The Perfect Adventure Motorcycle For You

How Much Off-Road Will You Be Doing?

Ah, the age-old question for adventure riders: how much dirt do you want to kick up on your ride? If you’re planning on sticking to the pavement, then an adventure touring bike may be right up your alley. These bikes are built for long-distance travel, with comfortable seats and plenty of storage space for all your gear. They’re perfect for taking on the open road and soaking in the scenic views.

But, if you’re the type of adventurer who wants to take on the off-road trails and rugged terrain, then you’ll want to consider a dual-sport or adventure bike with some serious off-road capabilities. These bikes are designed to handle whatever you throw their way – from mud and rocks to sand and gravel. With knobby tires, high ground clearance, and a lightweight frame, these bikes can handle the toughest of conditions.

If you’re unsure of how much off-road riding you’ll be doing, consider a bike that can handle both types of terrain. An adventure bike with good suspension and tires can handle some rough terrain, while still performing well on the pavement. That way, you’ll have the flexibility to go wherever the road (or lack thereof) takes you.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preference and the type of adventure you want to have. So, ask yourself – how much dirt do you want to kick up on your adventure? The answer will help guide you toward the adventure motorcycle that’s perfect for you!

Will You be riding solo or with a passenger?

Are you a lone wolf or do you prefer to have a riding buddy with you on your adventure? If you’re bringing a passenger along, then you’ll want to think about a few extra things when choosing your adventure motorcycle. All this because in my experience, the set of features that make a perfect adventure motorcycle, is not the same when considering solo versus with a pillion long-distance adventure riding.

First off, you’ll need a bike with a bigger engine and more space to carry all the added weight from your passenger and their gear. And let’s not forget about comfort! You’ll want to make sure the bike has a roomy and comfortable passenger seat because no one wants to deal with an achy backside on a long ride. Especially if you are married or in a relationship with that someone. Ah… compromises…

But that’s not all – you’ll also need to consider how your passenger’s weight will affect the bike’s handling and performance. You don’t want to be caught off guard by a wobbly or unstable ride when you’ve got a partner on board. So, be sure to take the bike for a test ride with your passenger before you commit to it.

Of course, if you’re a solo rider, then you can focus on finding a bike that suits your personal style and preferences. But if you’re bringing a passenger along for the ride, make sure you choose a bike that can handle the extra weight and keep both of you comfortable for those epic, unforgettable adventures!

How Long Will You Ride Each Day While On Tour?

How long are you planning on staying in the saddle? This is an important question to ask when selecting an adventure motorcycle. If you’re planning on taking on some long riding days and covering a lot of ground, you’ll want a bike that can keep up with your pace.

Look for motorcycles with larger fuel tanks or better fuel efficiency to avoid constant fuel stops, which can eat into your adventure time. Further down the article, we will explain why fuel range is important when choosing the perfect adventure motorcycle for you.

You also want a comfortable and ergonomic ride, as you’ll be spending hours in the saddle. This means considering factors like seat height, handlebar position, and footpeg placement to ensure the bike fits your body and riding style.

Don’t underestimate the importance of comfort – like the compromises that need to be done when riding with a pillion, your comfort as a rider relates to many factors that are different in each motorcycle. So, take the time to sit on different models and see how they feel, paying attention to factors like seat padding, suspension, and wind protection.

Your adventure motorcycle choice should align with your riding goals and style. If it’s not aligned, then it will not be the perfect adventure motorcycle. If you’re planning on taking on some epic long rides, make sure you have a bike that can keep up with you while keeping you comfortable along the way.

Will You Be Using The Adv Bike For Anything Else Than Adventure Riding?

Will you? Be using your adventure bike for anything besides adventure riding? It’s an important question to consider because if you plan on using your bike for commuting or weekend rides, you might want to opt for a more versatile and practical option.

In an ideal world, you would have a garage filled with different bike models that you could ride in any given situation or adventure ride. The reality, at least for the great majority of riders, is that can only afford one motorcycle. If you fall into the latter, you need to adapt to the bike you choose, instead of having several motorcycles to adapt to you.

Adventure bikes are designed for off-road and long-distance travel, which means they’re often larger and more powerful than other types of motorcycles. While this is great for adventure riding, it may not be the most practical choice for everyday use.

If you plan to use your bike for commuting or weekend rides, consider a motorcycle that’s more lightweight and easier to handle in city traffic. Look for features like the possibility of adding luggage racks for your work bag or groceries, and comfortable seating for daily rides.

On the other hand, if you plan to use your bike solely for adventure travel, you may want to choose a motorcycle with more off-road capabilities and long-distance comfort. Look for features like crash protection, skid plates, and large fuel tanks for longer adventures.

To prevent later regrets, it’s important to choose an adventure motorcycle that aligns with your specific needs and intended usage. If you plan on using your bike for a mix of adventure riding and everyday use, consider a more versatile option. But if your adventures will take you off the beaten path for extended periods, opt for a bike that’s designed specifically for adventure travel.

What’s next?

Now that you have the answers to the above questions, you have a clearer idea of what factors can influence your decision and where to begin when selecting the ideal adventure motorcycle that suits your needs. The honest answers to these four simple questions can provide direction by highlighting crucial aspects that you need to consider before jumping into the next steps.

Still, there are many other factors that need to be thought about, so let’s have them:

Thinking-about budget-in-adventure-trravel-morocco
thinking about what’s next, over some mint tea…
where is that perfect bike?…

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Perfect Adventure Motorcycle For You

Comfort and Ergonomics

There is no way around it. Comfort and ergonomics are important factors to consider when looking for an adventure motorcycle. After all, you will be riding the bike. Here are some key aspects to look for:

  • SEAT HEIGHT: Adventure motorcycles often have taller seat heights than other types of bikes, which can be an advantage for off-road riding. However, you should choose a seat height that allows you to comfortably touch the ground with both feet when stopped.
  • HANDLEBAR POSITION: The handlebars should be positioned in a way that allows you to maintain a comfortable, upright riding position. You should also be able to reach the controls easily without having to stretch or contort your body.
  • FOOTPEG PLACEMENT AND WIDTH: The footpegs should be wide enough and positioned in a way that allows you to maintain a comfortable, natural riding position. They should also be adjustable so that you can fine-tune their position to your liking.
  • WIND PROTECTION: Adventure motorcycles often come with windshields or fairings that provide some level of wind protection. This can be important for long stretches of highway riding, as wind buffeting can cause fatigue and discomfort.

In addition to these factors, you should also consider the overall comfort level of the motorcycle, including the seat padding, suspension, and vibration levels. A comfortable bike will allow you to ride longer distances without feeling fatigued or sore.

Engine Size and Power

  • SINGLE-CYLINDER vs. MULTI-CYLINDER
  • HORSEPOWER and TORQUE
  • FUEL EFFICIENCY

Engine size and power are important considerations when choosing an adventure motorcycle. The engine’s size and power can impact the bike’s performance, fuel efficiency, and overall riding experience.

Adventure motorcycles come with a range of engine sizes, from small displacement single-cylinder engines to larger multi-cylinder engines. Single-cylinder engines are typically smaller and lighter, making them a good option for off-road riding, while multi-cylinder engines can offer more power and smoother operation, making them ideal for long-distance highway travel.

Horsepower and torque are also important factors to consider when looking at an adventure motorcycle’s engine. Horsepower refers to the engine’s overall power output, while torque measures the amount of twisting force the engine can generate. Generally, higher horsepower and torque ratings will provide better acceleration and higher top speeds.

Fuel efficiency is also an important consideration, as adventure riding can involve long distances between fuel stops. Smaller displacement engines and single-cylinder engines often offer better fuel efficiency, but this can vary depending on the bike’s overall design and intended use. It’s important to consider the bike’s fuel tank size and estimated range when planning longer trips.

Suspension and Brakes

Suspension and brakes are critical components of any adventure motorcycle, especially if you plan to do a lot of off-road riding. Here are some factors to consider:

SUSPENSION:

  • SUSPENSION TRAVEL: Adventure motorcycles typically have longer suspension travel than street bikes, to handle the bumps and uneven terrain encountered off-road. Look for a bike with at least 7-8 inches of suspension travel, with adjustable preload, compression, and rebound damping.
  • ADJUSTABLE SUSPENSION: Having an adjustable suspension opens up the bike’s capabilities of dealing with different terrains or load configurations. Some suspensions can be adjusted manually on the pre-load, dampening, and rebound. Some adventure bikes come with electronically adjustable suspension, allowing you to adjust the damping settings on the fly depending on the terrain you’re riding on.
  • REAR SHOCK LINKAGE: Some adventure bikes have a linkage that connects the rear shock to the swingarm, improving rear suspension performance over rough terrain.
  • FORK DESIGN: Upside-down forks (USD) are generally considered to be stiffer and more responsive than conventional forks, which can be an advantage in off-road riding.

BRAKES:

  • ABS: Anti-lock brakes (ABS) can be a valuable safety feature, especially in wet or slippery conditions. In fact, ABS is mandatory in some countries. However, for off-roading this is a not wanted feature. Look for a bike with ABS, and ideally with switchable ABS that allows you to turn it off when riding off-road.
  • Dual front disc brakes: Many large displacement adventure bikes come with dual front disc brakes, which provide better stopping power and heat dissipation than a single front disc brake.
  • Radial brake calipers: Radial brake calipers are stiffer and more precise than conventional calipers, which can improve braking performance.
  • Off-road specific brake systems: Some adventure bikes come with off-road specific brake systems, such as the KTM’s advanced off-road ABS system or BMW’s Enduro Pro ABS.

Remember that while good suspension and brakes are important, they can also add weight and complexity to a motorcycle. You should strike a balance between the features you need for your riding style and the weight and handling characteristics that suit you best.

Why Should I Consider the Fuel Range?

The fuel tank size of an adventure motorcycle is an important consideration, as it can greatly affect your ability to travel long distances without needing to stop for fuel. When it comes to adventure riding, the availability of fuel can be limited, especially when you’re traveling off-road or in remote areas. A larger fuel tank can allow you to travel farther without needing to refuel, giving you more time to explore and less time spent searching for gas stations.

When choosing the size of your fuel tank, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, the distance you plan to travel will play a significant role in determining the size of the tank you need. If you plan to cover long distances without stopping for fuel, a larger tank will be necessary. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the availability of fuel along your route. If you’ll be traveling through remote areas with few gas stations, a larger tank can provide added peace of mind.

Weight is another factor to consider when choosing the size of your fuel tank. A larger tank will add weight to your bike, which can affect its handling and performance, especially when riding off-road. You’ll need to strike a balance between the amount of fuel you need and the weight of the bike.

The perfect adventure motorcycle sure doesn’t seem so perfect after the third or fourth pick-up. Of course, another way around the problem is considering carrying a fuel blatter or a rotopax, and only filling it up when absolutely required.

Straight to the point, and wrapping up fuel considerations. The fuel tank size is an important consideration for adventure riding, as it can greatly affect your ability to travel long distances without needing to stop for fuel. When choosing the size of your fuel tank, consider the distance you plan to travel, the availability of fuel, and the weight of your bike. By taking these factors into account, you can choose a motorcycle with a fuel tank size that is best suited for your adventure riding needs.

how-to-choose-the-perfect-adventure-motorcycle-for-you
in remote areas finding gas can be a challenge

Why Should I Consider Weight and Weight Distribution?

The weight of a motorcycle is a crucial factor to consider when riding. However, it can be deceiving as riders may not always be fully aware of the weight. Simply put, the weight alone is not the only determining factor for the motorcycle’s performance. Weight distribution and center of gravity play a significant role in how the motorcycle handles. Some heavier motorcycles may actually be more pleasant to ride, particularly on pavement and at higher speeds, because they feel more planted.

However, when it comes to off-road riding, the weight of the bike can make a significant difference. In real-world adventure riding conditions, heavier bikes can be more challenging to maneuver, and picking them up can be particularly difficult, especially when you add the weight of fuel, accessories, and luggage (with some notable exceptions that we’ll leave for another article). And believe me, you will be picking her up, along with the fuel, accessories, and luggage weights combined. Or you can simply remove all the luggage every time you need to pick her up, in exchange for your precious riding time.

This is why it’s crucial to consider weight distribution and center of gravity when selecting a motorcycle. It’s important to note that the perfect adventure motorcycle on paper may not necessarily be the ideal bike in real-life riding conditions. In some cases, a heavier bike may not be the best choice. Therefore, it’s crucial to evaluate your needs and riding conditions before selecting the perfect adventure motorcycle for you.

Budget – How Much Money Do I Need?

Determining your budget for an adventure motorcycle is an important consideration before making a purchase. Adventure motorcycles can range in price from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars/euros, depending on the brand, model, and features.

It’s important to identify how much you can comfortably spend on a motorcycle and to consider what features and capabilities are most important to you within that budget. For example, if you prioritize off-road riding, you may be willing to spend more on a bike with advanced suspension and tires. If you plan on covering long distances, you may prioritize a larger fuel tank and comfortable seating.

It’s also worth considering that the cost of ownership goes beyond just the purchase price. You’ll need to factor in ongoing expenses like insurance, maintenance, and repairs. And also align the budget with the amount you predict that you will be spending on your adventure rides.

Once you have a clear understanding of your budget and priorities, you can begin researching models within your price range that meet your needs. Remember to also factor in additional expenses like riding gear, accessories, and any upgrade or customization you may want to make to the bike.

Research Reliability and Maintenance

  • READ REVIEWS and RESEARCH the RELIABILITY of different models
  • Consider the COST and FREQUENCY of MAINTENANCE and REPAIRS

Researching the reliability and maintenance requirements of different adventure motorcycles is an important factor to consider when choosing the best one for your needs. There aren’t any “reliability issue free” models or brands but looking for reviews and feedback from other riders who have owned the models you are considering could get you an idea of common issues or problems. You can also look up the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules and the cost of common maintenance items, such as oil changes or brake pads, to get an idea of the ongoing costs of ownership. It’s important to consider these factors, as they can impact the overall cost and enjoyment of owning and riding an adventure motorcycle.

Test Ride Different Models

  • Visit dealerships and TEST-RIDE DIFFERENT ADVENTURE MOTORCYCLES
  • Pay attention to COMFORT, HANDLING, and PERFORMANCE

Research the models before you visit the dealership, research the different models you’re interested in. Read reviews and watch videos to get a sense of the pros and cons of each motorcycle.

Compare the specs of different adventure motorcycles, including engine size and power, suspension travel, and weight. This will help you determine which models are best suited for your needs and riding style.

While not a primary consideration, it’s always good to keep resale value in mind when making a purchase. Certain brands and models tend to hold their value better than others.

Consider the cost of parts and service when choosing your adventure motorcycle, and their availability in the areas where you want to travel.

Take your time. Don’t rush into a decision when choosing an adventure motorcycle. Take your time to research and test-ride different models. Remember, the right adventure motorcycle for you is the one that feels the most comfortable and fits your riding style and needs.

Should I buy new or used? What are the pros and cons of buying new versus used?

Buying a new adventure motorcycle has the advantage of being able to customize it to your exact needs and preferences, having the latest features and technology, and having peace of mind knowing the bike’s history. However, new motorcycles are typically more expensive than used ones and can depreciate quickly once driven off the dealer’s lot, especially if their off-road focused.

On the other hand, buying a used adventure motorcycle can be a more affordable option, allowing you to get more bike for your money. Used bikes may also come with valuable upgrades and accessories already installed, and there may be more variety available on the used market. However, used motorcycles can come with unknown mechanical issues, and there is no warranty or return policy, making it essential to have a thorough inspection done before purchase.

Ultimately, the decision between buying new or used comes down to personal preferences and budget. A new bike may be the right choice if you have the budget and want the latest features and technology. In contrast, a used bike may be the right choice if you want to save money and are comfortable with the potential risk of unknown mechanical issues.

What Is The Best Luggage System For Adventure Bikes?

When it comes to adventure riding, having the right luggage system is crucial to ensure you have everything you need while on the road. There are various luggage options available, including hard and soft luggage, tank bags, and tail bags.

Hard luggage systems are typically made of aluminum or plastic and offer great durability and security. They come in various sizes and shapes, including side cases and top cases, and can provide ample space for all your gear. However, they can be heavier than other options, which may impact the handling of the bike, and they may be more difficult to install and remove.

Soft luggage systems are typically made of high-quality fabrics and offer more flexibility and versatility than hard cases. They come in various forms, including panniers, saddlebags, and duffel bags, and can be easily removed for off-bike use. They are typically lighter than hard cases, which can make them a better choice for off-road riding, but they may not offer the same level of security as hard cases.

Not wanting to enter the evergreen discussion about what type of luggage is the best, I’ll simply say that what has worked out for us over the years has been the realization that opposites do attract: Hard off-road conditions demand soft luggage; as hard luggage is more in line with long-distance on-road focused “soft” rides.

The luggage system theme offers a wide range of practical options to enhance the load-carrying capacity of your adventure bike.

Tank bags are a popular choice for adventure riders who need quick access to their belongings while on the road. They can be easily attached to the fuel tank using magnets or straps and can provide ample space for essentials such as maps, snacks, and cameras.

Tail bags are another option for adventure riders who need extra storage space. They can be easily attached to the rear rack or seat of the bike and come in various sizes and shapes. They are typically lightweight and versatile, but they may not offer the same level of protection as hard or soft cases.

Above all, it’s essential to consider factors such as capacity, durability, ease of use, and compatibility with your specific bike. Also, make sure to check the manufacturers’ guidelines on the carrying capacity of the bike’s frame and subframe to know exactly how much weight you can carry. You should also consider your riding style and the type of terrain you’ll be covering to ensure you choose a luggage system that can withstand the challenges of adventure riding. All the accessories that you add to the bike can play a big role in the balance of creating the perfect adventure motorcycle, as long as they suit your needs.

hard-luggage-we-use
hard panniers and top cases provided us with more security in city stops
enduristan-hurricane-soft-luggage-used-with-re-himalayan
soft enduristan blizzard is great for taking the himalayan off-road

What Adventure Motorcycle Options Do I Have Available?

As for the bikes normally adventure bike travel, the categories of motorcycles available on the market tend to overlap quite a bit. For the sake of keeping it simple and straightforward, we’ll take a practical approach focused on the weight.

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of adventure motorcycles available on the market.

Heavyweight Adventure Touring Motorcycles are designed for riders who plan to spend a lot of time on the road. They typically have comfortable seats, large fuel tanks, and built-in luggage systems, making them ideal for long-distance travel. These bikes are often larger and heavier than dual-sport bikes, but they make up for it in comfort and convenience.

2023-bmw-r-1250-gs-adventure-2023
2023-Africa-Twin

Heavyweight Adventure Touring Motorcycles

  • PROS
  • CONS
  • Comfortable: Designed for long-distance travel with features like comfortable seats and large fuel tanks.
  • High carrying capacity: Often come with built-in luggage or the ability to easily add luggage.
  • Efficient: Efficient engines make them good for long rides.
  • Heavy: Can be difficult to maneuver on tight trails.
  • Expensive: Generally more expensive than other adventure bikes.
  • Limited off-road capability: Often designed for on-road use, with less capable suspension and tires.

Middleweight Adventure Motorcycles offer a balance between the agility of a dual-sport bike and the comfort of a larger displacement adventure touring motorcycle. They are versatile, capable bikes that are great for riders who want to explore both on and off-road. They are typically less expensive than larger Adventure touring bikes but still offer many of the same features and capabilities.

Middleweight Adventure Touring Motorcycles

  • PROS
  • CONS
  • Versatile: Can handle both on-road and off-road riding.
  • Lighter than big Adv Bikes: Easier to maneuver on tight trails.
  • Affordable: Generally less expensive than other adventure bikes.
  • Less carrying capacity: Less size means less capacity to carry all of your luggage. Still they offer plenty
  • Less comfortable: Not as comfortable as heavier models that feel more planted on the road.
  • Less wind protection: It can increase discomfort on high-speed road sections.
2023-Yamaha- tenere700
2023-husqvarna-Norden-901-expedition

Lightweight Adventure Motorcycles focus on the less is more. Adapted to both on-road and off-road usage they do tend to be limited in the pavement. They often overlap with dual-sports motorcycles, but when set side by side, they tend to be more comfortable than dual-sports, often relying on multi-cylinder engines instead of single. With these lightweight bikes, a highway ride might not be as pleasant as with the heavier sisters but off-road it’s very much the opposite.

2023-bmw-310-gs
2023-ktm-390-adventure

Lightweight Adventure Touring Motorcycles

  • PROS
  • CONS
  • Agility: Due to their lower weight and compact size, these bikes are much more agile and maneuverable than their heavier counterparts. They can easily navigate through tight spaces and are excellent for off-road riding
  • Comfort: They are generally more comfortable than dual-sport motorcycles, particularly for longer rides. With their multi-cylinder engines, they provide a smoother ride and are less likely to cause rider fatigue
  • Fuel Efficiency: These bikes often have smaller engines, making them more fuel-efficient than larger adventure motorcycles. This can be a significant advantage on longer rides or when traveling to remote locations where fuel stations are scarce
  • Limited Power: They generally have smaller engines, which means they may lack the power and torque required for certain types of riding or for carrying heavy loads
  • Limited Highway Performance: While they can handle light off-road terrain with ease, lightweight adventure motorcycles may not be as comfortable or as stable at high speeds on highways or other paved roads
  • Limited Storage Capacity: Due to their smaller size, lightweight adventure motorcycles often have limited storage capacity, which can make it challenging to carry gear for longer trips or extended off-road adventures
  • Less off-road focused than dual-sports: To have that extra comfort, they do sacrifice some off-road capabilities

Dual-Sport Motorcycles are a great choice for riders who want the versatility of being able to ride both on-road and off-road. These bikes are typically lightweight and nimble, with features like knobby tires and long-travel suspension that make them capable of handling rough terrain. They are also often equipped with larger fuel tanks for longer rides.

Dual-Sports Motorcycles

  • PROS
  • CONS
  • Versatile: Can handle both on-road and off-road riding, while focusing primarily on the off-road
  • Lightweight: Even easier to maneuver on tight trails
  • Affordable: Generally less expensive than other adventure bikes, and at a fraction of the cost of big Adv bikes
  • Ample torque: They normally have single-cylinder engines, which provide ample power and torque for off-road riding
  • Limited carrying capacity: Often lacks built-in luggage
  • Less comfortable: Can be uncomfortable on long rides due to stiffer suspension, narrow seats, and single-cylinder vibrations
  • Limited engine power: May struggle on steep inclines or at high speeds
  • Much more difficult to ride with a passenger and luggage
ajp_pr7_650
Honda-crf-300l

Ultimately, the type of Adventure Motorcycle you choose will depend on your riding style, the type of terrain you plan to ride on, and your personal preferences. By considering these factors and doing your research, you can find the perfect adventure bike to take you on your next epic journey.

Best Adventure Motorcycles:

There are many great adventure motorcycles on the market, each with its own unique features and capabilities. The full list is big and dependent on each rider’s preferences, needs, and style. If we had to create a concise list of adventure motorcycles that stand out for their unique features and capabilities, and could be seen as perfect adventure motorcycles for many riders, it might look something like this:

Heavyweight Adventure Motorcycles:

  • BMW R 1250 GS Adventure
  • KTM 1290 Super Adventure R
  • Honda Africa Twin

Middleweight Adventure Motorcycles:

  • Yamaha Tenere 700
  • Triumph Tiger 900
  • BMW F 850 GS Adventure

Lightweight Adventure Motorcycles:

  • KTM 390 Adventure
  • BMW 310 GS
  • Royal Enfield Himalayan

Dual-Sport Adventure Motorcycles:

  • Honda CRF 300L or CRF 300Rally
  • Kawasaki KLR650
  • AJP PR7

Again, this list is not a ranking and only features a few examples of adventure motorcycles within each weight class. It’s just an example of bikes that are sure to be the perfect adventure motorcycles for many of our fellow riders out there. So please bear in mind that choosing the perfect adventure motorcycle for you is not the same as choosing the best adventure bike. To find the perfect adventure motorcycle, the one that will make you happy in the long term, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences. Factors like on-road versus off-road riding, passenger comfort, luggage capacity, and budget should all be taken into account when selecting a motorcycle.

Can I Really Travel On Any Motorcycle?

Technically, yes, you can travel on any motorcycle. Even ride a Honda Monkey around the world, just like Andre Sousa. But the suitability of the motorcycle for adventure travel will depend on a variety of factors. Adventure travel typically involves long distances, unpredictable terrain, and potentially harsh weather conditions, so a motorcycle that is comfortable, reliable, and equipped for such conditions will make the trip more enjoyable and safer.

This doesn’t mean that if you have a motorcycle that is not an adventure bike or is not one in your desired category, you can not do adventure motorcycle travel. I’m perfectly happy riding my Royal Enfield Bullet pretty much everywhere and through most terrains. Of course, it’s challenging, but overcoming challenges is also part of the fun of adventure riding. The perfect adventure motorcycle is first and foremost, the one you already have.

Taking-the-royal-enfield-bullet-adventure-riding
she really enhances the view
Bullet-Alqueva-dam
set up for adventure

However, while any motorcycle can be ridden on a trip, adventure motorcycles are specifically designed for this purpose, with features like long-travel suspension, larger fuel tanks, and durable tires. These bikes are generally more comfortable and practical for long-distance travel on varied terrain.

So, while it is possible to travel on any motorcycle, it is important to consider the suitability of the bike for adventure travel, as it can greatly impact the overall experience.

What We Didn’t Cover?

Although dirt bikes and enduro motorcycles can be great options for off-road adventures, they were not included in our discussion of adventure motorcycles. This is because while these bikes excel in technical terrain, they are not always the most practical or reliable option for long-term adventure riding. These performance-oriented machines were built with racing in mind, featuring slim chassis, powerful engines, and top-notch suspensions. However, they often require frequent maintenance, including oil changes and other upkeep, which may not be ideal for every rider. For many, reliability and ease of maintenance are important considerations when choosing the perfect adventure motorcycle.

In conclusion

Choosing the perfect adventure motorcycle is a personal journey that requires careful consideration of your needs, preferences, and budget. It’s important to understand the different types of adventure motorcycles, their unique features and capabilities, and how they match up to your intended riding style and destination. By asking yourself some key questions and doing your research, you can make an informed decision and find the adventure motorcycle that’s right for you.

If you’re looking for more in-depth information on adventure motorcycles, we invite you to read “The Ultimate Adventure Motorcycle Guide.” This guide covers everything from the basics of adventure motorcycling to tips on planning and preparing for your next adventure, as well as recommended destinations for adventure riding around the world.

We hope this article has helped you in your search for the perfect adventure motorcycle. Whether you’re planning a cross-country trip or just want to explore the backroads near your home, we encourage you to get out there and ride. Adventure is waiting!

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