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8 best adventure touring motorcycles

8 Best Adventure Touring Motorcycles

In the realm between sport bikes and dirt bikes, the best adventure touring motorcycles find their groove. Equipped with stronger frames, larger tank sizes, purpose-balanced tires and a range of utilities, these swift stunners can handle paved and non-paved roads alike. They can also drive long distances before needing to refuel, making them good for the long haul. In other words, top adventure touring bikes are steady, sporty, sturdy, rife with features and always ready to roll–at least the good ones are.

Like any given adventure, no two adventure motorcycles are exactly the same. To further complicate matters, “adventure touring motorcycles” usually denote bikes that are better suited for the dirt than the road (though still quite capable on both). There’s also some debate among experts as to what even qualifies as an adventure motorcycle in the first place since a number of brands are all too happy to throw out the term even when it doesn’t apply. Nevertheless, the choicest examples easily live up to the hype, ably earning a spot on our list below. Here are the Best 8 Adventure-Touring Motorcycles. Don’t forget your helmet.

Side of Honda CRF300L
Honda CRF300L | Image: Honda

1. Honda CRF300L

With a light-weight chassis and slim body, the Honda CRF300L is a classic and capable adventure bike ideal for off-roading. Bolstered by a 260 cc engine, 43mm inverted telescopic front fork, 6 speed transmission and DISC brakes with ABS, this agile ride from Honda is an off-roading champion. Nimble is the name of the game with this motorcycle and the stunning red hues only add to the adventurous spirit.

Weight: 140 kg (kerb weight)
Fuel capacity: 7.8 L
Torque: 26.6 Nm @ 6500 rpm
Horsepower: 27bhp

Side of Royal Enfield Himalayan 450
Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 | Image: Royal Enfield

2. Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

Backed by the Royal Enfield reputation and a new Sherpa inspired engine, the Himalayan 450 is one of the best adventure touring motorcycles money can buy. Designed to take on the expansive mountain range, the Himalayan is a rider’s dream, with a torque capable of pulling you out of the roughest terrain. It’s also bolstered with 6-speed gearbox and slipper clutch, 425 cc displacement and switchable ABS. Plus, the steel twin-spar seat means you can ride comfortably wherever the road takes you.

Weight: 181 kg (dry)
Fuel capacity: 17 L
Torque: 40 Nm @ 5500 rpm
Power: 29.44 KW @8000 RPM

Side of KTM 890 Adventure R Rally
KTM 890 Adventure R Rally | Image: KTM

3. KTM 890 Adventure R Rally

While it hasn’t made it’s Australian launch yet, the KTM 890 R Rally is performance-driven through and through. Successor to the 790, the 890 is armed with precise off-road handling. On-road, however, is fitted by a 6D Inertial Measurement Unit to prevent slips of the rear wheel and lifting of the front wheel. It has updated shock and fork settings to maximise ease in the toughest terrain. ABS, MTC and RIDE MODES allow for seamless riding on rough roads. KTM has taken care of pretty much everything with the new version of their motorcycles, ensuring it is a cut above the rest.

Weight: 216 kg
Fuel capacity: 20 L
Torque: 64.4 lb.-ft.@ 6,700 rpm
Power: 93.3 hp @ 8,450 rpm

Honda Africa Twin three quarter
Honda Africa Twin | Image: Motouutiset

4. Honda Africa Twin

Adventure Motorcycles don’t get much better. One look at the brilliant Honda Africa Twin and you’re already in love. Lurking behind that tight, eye-catching chassis are some impeccable performance metrics and plenty of power. Throw in some desirable ground clearance and a formidable suspension system, and you have an adventure bike that conquers dirt and pavement alike, making it at home crossing the Simpson Desert or cruising down a city street. This adventure bike from Honda is an adventure motorcycle for the dedicated enthusiast.

Weight: 208 kg (dry)
Fuel capacity: 18.8 L
Torque: 98 Nm @ 6,000 rpm
Power: 70 kW @ 7,500 rpm

Side of BMW F800 GS
BMW F800 GS | Image: BMW

5. BMW F800 GS

Available in 3 variants – the GS, GS Sport and GS Triple Back, the BMW F800 GS base model is equipped with a two-cylinder four-stroke, liquid cooled, in-line engine at 895 cc so your journey feels seamless from the get-go. That’s joined by the electronic intake pipe injection and a sporty, stylish body which redefines luxury. Dynamic, functional and performance-driven, this top adventure motorcycle is the stuff that high-speed dreams are made of. Plus, who would argue with a BMW?

Weight: 178 kg (dry)
Fuel capacity: 16 L
Torque: 80 Nm @ 5,750 rpm
Power: 85 hp @ 7,500 rpm

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Side of Suzuki V-Strom 800
Suzuki V-Strom 800 | Image: Suzuki

6. Suzuki V-Strom 800

One of the newest additions to the V-Strom adventure motorcycle range, control the Suzuki V-Strom 800 is pretty much everything you want it to be. Coming in at AUD $17,490, the bike personifies performance, comfort and control. The magic of this adventure motorbike lies in it’s ability to be agile. The Suzuki V-Strom 800 features a parallel twin 776cm3 DOHC 4-valve-per-cylinder engine, and Bi-directional Quick Shift system which is designed to provide smooth shifting. Take the bike literally anywhere, and expect it to perform admirably.

Weight: 223 kg (wet)
Fuel capacity: 20 L
Torque: 78 Nm @ 6,800rpm
Power: 62kW @ 8,500rpm

Side of Ducati Multistrada V2
Ducati Multistrada V2 | Image: Ducati

7. Ducati Multistrada V2

The Ducati Multistrada V2 is more or less like something out of an enthusiast’s wildest fantasies. A sophisticated adventure bike packed with features like cornering ABS, Vehicle Hold Control and Ducati’s trademark traction control. The bike is powered by a twin 937cc Ducati Testastretta 11° engine which can deliver maximum torque and power. Also included are four different ride modes and a 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit. Put it all together and you get one comfortable, cutting-edge adventure bike.

Weight: 225 kg (dry)
Fuel capacity: 30 L
Torque: 94 Nm @ 6,750 rpm
Power: 113 hp @ 9,000 rpm

Side of Kawasaki KLR650 Adventure
Kawasaki KLR650 Adventure | Image: Kawasaki

8. Kawasaki KLR650 Adventure

Built to effortlessly table the off-road and on-road, the Kawasaki KLR650 Adventure is functional, reliable and comfortable. The latest adventure bike from Kawasaki hosts a 652 cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine, regular ergonomics, and DISC brakes with ABS. Backed by legacy, this motorcycle is dependable to it’s core. Did we also mention it’s design-focused exterior, complete with an adjustable windshield, fog lamps and built-in DC and USB outlets?

Weight: 222 kg (kerb weight)
Fuel capacity: 23 L
Torque: 51.5 Nm @ 4,500 rpm
Power: 28.5 kW @ 6,000 rpm

What is an adventure motorcycle and how is it different from a regular motorcycle?

Adventure motorcycles or bikes are dual-sport technology, which means they have both on-roading and off-roading capabilities. They also have lighter and sleeker bodies, as they are designed for nimble and agile movements in often rough terrains. In comparison, regular motorcycles are heavier, studier and optimal for everyday use on city roads and suburban streets.

Where can you ride an adventure motorcycle?

Adventure motorcycles perform at their peak in harsh terrains like dirt roads, areas near mountains and forests, and winding roads which could have a mix of steep and flat hills. They are ideal for slightly remote locations, away from the main city. Mad or Nomad has listed some of the best destinations to ride your adventure motorcycles

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