By Wade Thiel
Need an Adventure Machine?
The SUVs of the motorcycle world are adventure bikes. They’re the motorcycles that are designed to do anything and pretty much everything. They can take you across the country comfortably, traverse difficult terrain, and they even handle much better than expected on a twisty canyon road.
These motorcycles are the Swiss Army Knives of the motorcycling world and they’ve become quite popular in recent years. If you want a bike that can chug along through pretty much any pavement-based environment and handle loose dirt, hard-packed trails, sand, mud, rocks, and more, you have to have one of these. So, with all that said, let me guide you through this interesting segment.
The State of the ADV Market
Born from the need to do more than a typical dual-sport motorcycle is capable of, adventure motorcycles seek to be the only bike you need in the garage. The genesis of this type of bike is often attributed to the 1981 BMW R/80 GS, a motorcycle that basically opened the door for these hybrid off-road and on-road machines. It was a misunderstood machine at first, but it made more sense than people originally thought.
Since that first GS, BMW has crafted more and more advanced adventure motorcycles and became more or less the king of the segment, but other manufacturers were building interesting dual-sport and adventure machines right alongside them and the segment continued to evolve until we get to where we are today.
And where we are is a wonderful place to be. What you have is a slew of fantastic adventure motorcycles that blend touring characteristics with off-road characteristics into one extremely practical and versatile package.
These days there’s not just big adventure bikes and middleweight adventure bikes, there are smaller displacement bikes, too. Smaller displacement used to …read more