Best Adventure Motorcycles In 2021
Adventure motorcycles are incredibly versatile and are perfect for cruising down long stretches of highways and trekking through the dusty Australian landscape. Although touring and adventure motorcycles are both designed for riding on and off-road, the main difference is that adventure (dual sport) motorcycles lean more towards the off-road, motocross side. Whereas touring motorcycles lean more towards comfort for long trips when riding on pavement.
Are adventure motorcycles good for beginners?
Yes! There are many types of adventure motorcycles that are designed to be more practical and are suited for beginner riders. If you are an entry-level rider and are considering getting an adventure bike, look into the smaller, lightweight range of bikes such as the KTM 500 EXC-F.
What are adventure bikes good for?
Two words: road trips. Adventure bikes are designed to ride over long periods of time before needing to be refuelled. They are also made with a strong emphasis on comfort and safety. If the thought of exploring new places and setting up a tent as the sun goes down intrigues you, then you should definitely consider getting an adventure motorcycle.
Why are adventure bikes so heavy?
Adventure bikes can be pretty heavy, such as the Honda Africa Twin DCT which weighs a whopping 242kgs. If you’ve watched the Long Way Round in 2004 where Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman rode across the world on their BMW R 1150 GS Adventure bikes, you’ve seen just how difficult larger adventure bikes can be.
The main factors that contribute to a heavier weight are having a larger fuel tank, a bigger front wheel and having a decent ground clearance. These are crucial factors that make adventure motorcycles excel at having off-road capabilities and long-distance touring.
Now that we have the basics out of the way, here are the best adventure motorcycles available in 2021:
2021 Suzuki DR650SE
For an adventure motorcycle that effortlessly goes that extra mile, the 2021 Suzuki DR650SE is a perfect choice. One main area this motorcycle excels in is its exceptional handling, featuring a smooth powerband for accelerating through corners and an impressive 644cc four-stroke engine.
The Suzuki DR650SE has a lightweight, compact frame and is very easy to maneuver, making it ideal for dual sport motorcycling. It also has a perfect power-to-weight ratio, is built with a tough design and has technically advanced, height-adjustable front forks that are great for absorbing every small bump along the road.
Its four-stroke air-cooled engine features the SACS (Suzuki Advanced Cooling System) and comes tuned for high performance in the low to mid-rpm range. It is also quick to start with its electric starter and has a large Mikuni 40mm carburettor for quick throttle response and smooth intake flow.
2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700
This powerful Yamaha adventure bike combines ease of use, great value and high functionality. Featuring a beautiful and purpose-built shape, the 2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700 weighs roughly 205kgs yet feels lightweight when riding. It has a 15-litre fuel tank and an 87cm high seat.
There is a range of additional options available as well, such as heated grips for riders who enjoy cruising in colder weather. A big standout of the Ténéré 700 is its excellent suspension, providing a smooth experience when riding both on and off-road. You can also adjust as you see fit with independent spring damping and preload adjustment.
It has a powerful liquid-cooled parallel-twin 689cc 8-valve engine with electronic fuel injection, perfect for kicking up the dirt or tearing down the highway. The 43mm Kayaba front forks are fully adjustable and the brakes feature ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) that can be completely disabled. Overall, the 2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700 is an impressive adventure bike that demonstrates the well-known reliability of Yamaha.
2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250
Harley-Davidson might not be the first name to come to your mind when discussing adventure motorcycles, but the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 will quickly show you why it should be! It comes with a range of unique features and some serious power underneath.
A clever and intriguing feature of the Harley adventure bike is its Adaptive Ride Height System. Utilising various algorithms and sensors, the motorcycle will automatically lower its height by 2 to 5 centimetres when coming to a complete stop. This system can also be customised according to your needs, making it a very big selling point when the Pan America 1250 entered the market.
Its powerful 60-degree V-twin, 4-valve Revolution Max engine still has that signature ‘Harley rumble’ when started. With a maximum torque of 127 Nm and a maximum of 150 horsepower, the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 has proven to be a serious contender in the competitive adventure bike market.
Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro
The Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro is one fantastic looking middleweight adventure motorcycle from top to bottom. It features an updated 888cc engine that has been optimised to favour more torque (87 Nm) and provide better traction and low end feel.
The Tiger 900 Rally Pro stands out with a slick, eye-catching style that doesn’t have a typical off-road look. It offers a comfortable feel when riding long distances due to its improved design and thinner fuel tank shape, allowing the rider to easily shift their weight around more easily.
You will have a blast with its new three-cylinder, 12-valve 900cc engine, which features an uneven T plane crankshaft and one of the best quick shifters you will find. It offers ideal chassis and suspension balance for long rides and has a large 20-litre fuel tank.
2022 Kawasaki KLR 650
This nifty Kawasaki adventure bike ticks all of the boxes when you want long enjoyable rides on the highway. Apart from its overall design, the 2022 Kawasaki KLR 650 features a massive improvement to its engine. It now features a fuel injection system that uses a 10 hole fine atomising injector, perfect for maximising air-fuel mixing for ideal combustion.
Also perfect for everyday riding, the Kawasaki KLR 650 offers mid-range torque due to the revision of its exhaust and intake cam profiles. It has a cleaner, fuel-efficient 4-valve 652cc engine as a result of an all-new 02 sensor providing feedback to the closed-loop fuel injection system.
It has a comfortable low seat height, although it can be an issue for some riders due to its taller handlebars, and has footpegs attached via a rubber damped bracket to its frame to provide some impressive vibration dampening. With 5-speed transmission and wet multi-disc manual clutch, TCBI (Transistor Controlled Breakerless Ignition) and liquid-cooled 4-stroke engine, the 2022 Kawasaki KLR 650 adventure motorcycle is ideal for both on and off-road riding.
Honda XRV750 Africa Twin
Anyone who is an avid motorcyclist will be familiar with the classic African Twin models. Even though this impressive Honda adventure bike first hit the scene back in 1990, it has continued to be an incredible dual sport model and a testament to the ingenuity of Honda.
The iconic Honda XRV750 Africa Twin features wide handlebars, large windscreen, bold twin headlights and long travel suspension. Even though it’s an older model, it still has unparalleled power due to its mighty 742cc, 6-valve V-twin engine. This powerful beast produces a maximum of 62.7 Nm of torque and a maximum of 62 horsepower.
Featuring TCI (Transistor Controlled Ignition), 5-speed transmission, air-assisted telescopic front forks, a 23-litre fuel tank and much more, it is not hard to see why the Honda XRV750 Africa Twin is still one of the best adventure motorcycles you can get your hands on. However, you’ll have to go searching as the Honda XRV750 ended its production in 2003.
2020 Kawasaki KLX250S
If you are looking for a Kawasaki adventure bike that does everything right, then the 2020 Kawasaki KLX250S is a dual sport motorcycle that will surpass your expectations! It is also a great starter bike because you can increase its power with some tinkering as you get more comfortable with your skills.
Its 8.6-litre fuel tank may seem on the small side for an adventure bike, but its fuel efficiency more than makes up for it. The KLX250S has a 4-stroke, liquid-cooled 249cc engine with a 6-speed transmission, making it ideal for beginner riders. It is also built to be extremely durable, so don’t worry about putting it through its paces.
The KLX250S features a digital CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition), adjustable suspension, fuel injection and a short-stroke DOHC (Dual Overhead Camshaft) single-engine, making it a great adventure bike for both trail riding and street riding.
Perfect for kicking up the dust off-road or cruising down the street, these are our top picks for the best adventure motorcycles in 2021. If you currently own or are thinking about getting an adventure bike, then check out our range of dual sport motorcycle tyres and make sure you are riding on the right tyres.