2020 ADVENTURE BIKE BUYER’S GUIDE

KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R: $18,599

The 1290 Super Adventure Rs emerged from KTM’s heritage in the dirt world, and its WP suspension (48mm fork, 220mm of travel), steering damper, adjustable footpegs, brakes and trellis chassis work are proof. It’s powered by a 160-horsepower, six-speed engine with advanced electronics. It weighs 478 pounds (dry), has a Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) package with multi-mode Combined ABS and multi-mode traction control (MTC), including Sport, Street, Off-road and Rain settings that allow the rider to fine tune the power application in any situation. It uses turn-by-turn navigation on the TFT dash and now features a power assist slipper clutch.

KTM 1290 ADVENTURE S: $18,599

This is KTM’s more street-biased 1290 and uses alloy wheels that are light weight and fit with a 19/17 combo of Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tires. The dashboard is organized on a 6.5-inch TFT display. In addition to standard data (speed, revs, fuel level etc.), the computer can show different ride modes, ambient air and oil temperature, on-board voltage, trip info, average speed, fuel consumption stats, plus range and distance to next service. The suspension comes with four settings—Comfort, Street, Sport and Off-Road—and adjusts to real-time riding through an SCU (Suspension Control Unit) that lets the damping adapt to the terrain.

BMW R1250 GS ADVENTURE: Base Price $20,195

This is the dirtier-minded of the BMW GS 1250 line. The GS Adventure 1250 has the 136-horsepower Boxer engine that’s a twin-cam, liquid-cooled six-speeder that is fit with BMW’s ShiftCam variable camshaft control system, which ensures consistent power delivery. The Adventure has a 7.9-gallon fuel cell, a 6.5-inch TFT display, two ride modes (with more available), spoked wheels, a steering damper, 8.3 inches of travel out of the BMW Telelever Central spring strut front suspension, and 8.7 inches from the single-sided swingarm with BMW Paralever, WAD-strut rear suspension.

BMW R 1250 GS: Base Price $17,895

Last year big power gains came to the 1250 BMW Adventure line. The GS received an 11-horsepower update; the exhaust note has been toned down; and it comes stock with two ride modes (Rain/Road) with the option for more. It has a height-adjustable seat, cast-aluminum wheels, ABS, an adjustable windshield, and connectivity with the 6.5-inch TFT display. The lights are LED. It comes with a steering damper, and, as with the entire BMW line, there are available upgrades for just about every facet of the machine.

TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 XR: Base Price $16,500

The Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 RX is BMX’s ADV machine line that targets a more on-road ride approach to adventure riding. The Explorer XR model features a 1215cc triple engine and delivers its power through a final shaft drive. It comes with three riding modes (Road, Off-Road and Rain), cruise control, switchable ABS, traction control, cast wheels, Brembo brakes, WP adjustable suspension, an adjustable seat and electronically controlled adjustable windscreen.

TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 XRX: Base Price $18,900

Triumph’s Tiger Explorer 1200 XRX/XRX LRH features a full-color TFT display, keyless ignition, heated grips and four riding modes (Road, Rain, Off-Road, Sport). It uses Triumph’s Semi-Active Suspension and has optimized cornering ABS and cornering traction control. There is a low-ride-height model available. It uses an electronically adjustable windscreen and is fit with adjustable WP suspension. The engine is a six-speeder, has a 5.2-gallon fuel capacity and has heated grips.

TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 XRT: Base Price $21,300

The Tiger 1200 XRT shares features with the base model XR and XRX but offers Triumph’s shift assist, is lighter, uses adaptive cornering lighting, and has a titanium and carbon fiber-wrapped Arrow silencer. There are five riding modes (Road, Rain, Off-road, Sport and Rider Programmable), along with Hill Hold control, heated grips and seats, and an electronically adjustable screen.

TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 XCX: Base Price $19,700

The XC line is more dirt-oriented, thanks to the new Off-Road Pro riding mode that turns off the ABS and traction control for enhanced dirt drive-ability. The XCX pumps out 139 horsepower, has five riding modes (Road, Rain, Sport, Off-Road, Off-road Pro), is lighter by 11 pounds (silencer, crankshaft, battery, flywheel) and uses spoke wheels, which are more dirt-oriented.

TRIUMPH TIGER 1200 XCA: Base Price $22,000

This is Triumph’s big kahuna. The new 1200 is lighter and has adaptive cornering lighting, Triumph shift assist, a high-end Arrow exhaust and six riding modes, including Rider Programmable and Off-Road Pro. This is an advanced off-road setting that gives the rider maximum control precisely when it’s need needed.  Basically, Off-Road Pro switches off ABS and traction control and sets the semi-active suspension setup to Off-Road, so you can really push your motorcycling to the limit.

DUCATI MULTISTRADA 1260 S GRAND TOUR: TBA

There’s no price tag yet for the very high-end Ducati 1260 S Grand Tour. Fit with a Superbike-inspired chassis and a 158-horsepower, eight-valve, 1260cc, DVT-equipped engine, the 1260 S Grand Tour features a Kayaba 48mm USD fork, a Sachs rear shock, and the Ducati Touring pack (panniers, sidestand, heated grips), along with LED fog lights. Like the other 1260s, it gets Quick Shift and features Vehicle Hold Control, Traction Control, Ducati’s Cornering ABS/DTC and Wheelie Control.

DUCATI MULTISTRADA 1260 ENDURO: TBA

Ducati’s Multistrada 1260 Enduro received a horsepower increase and features Quick Shift, Vehicle Hold Control, Traction Control, Ducati’s Cornering ABS/DTC and Wheelie Control. It has a 19-inch front wheel, a double-sided swingarm, updated suspension travel via DSS (Ducati Skyhook Suspension) Evolution, which is based on a pressurized 48mm Sachs fork.

DUCATI MULTISTRADA 1260 PIKES PEAK: $25,795

The Ducati Pikes Peak is a high-performance alter ego to the 1260 Enduro. A very high-end Ohlins fork, an Ohlins TTX36 rear damper, and a super-light EU-approved Ducati Performance by Termignoni carbon silencer highlight this beauty. It makes considerable power through the double-variable valve timing and is managed with ABS cornering, Ducati wheelie controls and four available riding modes.

YAMAHA SUPER TENERE ES: $16,299

Yamaha’s 2020 Super Ténéré has a very dirt-oriented feel to the machine. The slim 1199cc parallel twin makes strong power. It’s a shaft-drive six-speed that uses a twin downdraft throttle body for control and acceleration. It has a two-position Drive mode, allowing the rider to adjust mapping for conditions, and has cruise control and traction control. The push-button electronically adjusted suspension has four preload settings, three damping presets and an additional seven fine-tuning damping adjustments.

SUZUKI V-STROM 1050: $13,399

Powered by a 90-degree 1037cc V-twin, the 1050 V-Strom has four modes of traction control, three modes of power delivery and Suzuki’s easy-start system. The aluminum twin-spar frame controls flex and optimizes handling. The suspension is KY, and this model is fit with cast-aluminum wheels,Bridgestone Battlax tires and Suzuki’s legendary handling.

SUZUKI V-STROM 1050XT $14,799

Suzuki’s newest and biggest ADV machine is the V-Strom 1050XT. The spoked-wheel machine makes power through a V-twin, has new engine internals, makes great fuel economy, and has a light throttle via Ride by Wire and electronic throttle bodies. It has a new Traction Control System that mates to a Suzuki Drive Mode Selector that lets the rider pick three different power delivery characteristics. The 1050 V-Strom has an updated Motion Anti-lock Brake System and selectable ABS. Bridgestone Battlax ADV tires are fit to the tubeless spoked wheels.

SUZUKI V-STROM 1050 XT ADVENTURE: $16,999

The 1050 XT Adventure uses Suzuki’s new engine design, boasting new electronics that dominate the machine with crucial adventure accessories that make the machine more travel worthy. Included are Suzuki’s ADV-style, 37-liter aluminum panniers that attach to powdercoated, stainless steel carriers. Built to be waterproof with rubber-sealing lids, these panniers have powder-coated interiors that prevent aluminum stains on cargo.

HONDA AFRICA TWIN: $14,399/DCT MODEL $15,199

The Honda Africa Twin has received a shot of more motor via a new 1084cc engine spec that has a 6.4mm-longer stroke. This makes for better power and torque. The 2020 Africa Twin gets cruise control and a full 9.1 inches of travel through Showa suspension. The frame lost 4 pounds of weight and features a 6.5-inch, touch-panel, LCD multi-information dash. You can choose between three displays, and the screen also enables the Africa Twin to offer integrated Apple CarPlay. The DCT tranny is Honda’s automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). Africa Twin models have a Throttle-By-Wire system (TBW) and Honda’s Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) system that give the rider multiple ways of managing engine output and rear wheel traction.

HONDA AFRICA TWIN ADVENTURE SPORTS ES: $17,199/$17,999 DCT

The larger, 1084cc Africa Twin Adventure Sport not only gets a power increase, the frame is lighter, the Showa suspension is electronically controlled (Showa EERA-5 damping settings: Hard, Medium, Soft, Off-road and Customizable), and the Adventure Sport has a new saddle, windscreen and taller, tapered, aluminum handlebar. The Africa Twin’s Throttle-by-Wire system gives access to Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). Here you can dial in the power delivery that you want. There’s a wheelie control that works through front and rear wheel sensors, and the shock has a remote preload adjuster for easy adjustments.

KAWASAKI VERSYS 1000 SE LT: $17,999

The Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT + features Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS), Integrated Riding Modes, Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS), Electronic Cruise Control, and a TFT Color Meter. It’s fit with a slipper clutch and KCMF (modulates brake force and engine power), plus has two power modes (Full and Low), allowing riders to select power delivery to suit their preference and riding conditions. The 1000 has a 5.5-gallon fuel tank, a large adjustable windscreen and a KQR 28-liter saddlebag system.

DUCATI MULTISTRADA 950/950S: Base Price $14,495

The Ducati Multistrada 950 has the basics to handle the ADV world. Powered by a liquid-cooled, twin, 937cc powerplant with 113 horsepower, the Multistrada 950 caters to the street and canyon crowd more than the off-road zealot. Its S version (spoked wheels) is equipped with the Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) Evo system, four riding modes (load conditions, number of riders and fine tuning for front or rear suspension), Ducati Quick Shift up and down (DQS), a full-LED headlight with Ducati Cornering Lights (DCL), a 5-inch color TFT display, a hands-free system, cruise control and backlit handlebar controls.

TRIUMPH TIGER 900 RALLY: TBA

The Tiger 900 Rally most definitely targets the more dirt-oriented ADV rider via the spoked (21/17-inch) wheels and adjustable Showa suspension (9.44-inch front/9.05-inch rear). It has optimized cornering ABS, traction control, Pirelli Scorpion Rally tires, heated grips and four riding modes (Road, Rain, Sport, Off-road) that help focus the 94 horsepower that the triple produces.

TRIUMPH TIGER 900 RALLY PRO: TBA

The Rally Pro features everything that the Rally has, along with My Triumph connectivity and a Bluetooth module enabling phone calls, music, turn-by-turn navigation and GoPro control. It also comes fit with Triumph shift assist (quick clutch-less gear changes) and six riding modes (Road, Rain, Sport, Off-Road, Off-Road Pro and Rider Programmable), along with a heated seat and LED lighting.

MOTO GUZZI V85TT ADVENTURE: $12,990

The classic Moto Guzzi V85 TT has an air-cooled, 853cc, fuel-injected V-twin motor. It has three different riding modes (Road, Rain and Off-Road), and they correspond to unique mapping, ABS and traction-control calibration. The Adventure model shown here will come with panniers and a travel trunk. The fuel tank holds a little more than 6.0 gallons. The wheels are spoked and offer a 19-inch front/17-inch rear combination.

BMW F 850 GS Adventure: Base Price $14,445

BMW’s more off-road oriented 850-class adventure machine, the new 850 GS Adventure, gets 90 horsepower out of the parallel twin, water-cooled engine. The fuel tank holds 6.1 gallons. The wheels are cross-spoked, and the front is a 21-incher, which is preferred by the experienced off-road rider. The windshield is adjustable. There are two ride modes (Rain and Road), ABS, and it comes with a rack and engine guards for protection.

BMW F 850 GS: Base Price $13,345

The 850 GS benefited from a substantial power gain last year (now at 90 horsepower) through the twin in-line engine. It comes fit with Automatic Stability Control (ASC), which regulates the power transmission to the rear wheel, while the standard Road and Rain Ride modes regulate the throttle response. You can upgrade and add the Pro mode and Dynamic ESA, which enhances the versatility and stability of the machine. The fuel tank is smaller on the standard GS (4.0 gallons). It uses spoked wheels, adjustable rear suspension, a tall windshield and a skid plate for the ignition.

TRIUMPH TIGER 800 XR: Base Price $12,000

The more road-based 800 from the Triumph line, the XR uses cast wheels, a 19-inch front, Ride-by-Wire throttle, switchable ABS and traction control. It makes 94 horsepower via the liquid-cooled, DOHC, in-line, 800cc triple. It’s fit with an on-board computer, has adjustable seat height and an updated cruise control.

TRIUMPH TIGER 800 XCX: Base Price $14,600

Focused more on off-road versatility, the Tiger XCX features Brembo brakes, a lower first gear for better traction, five riding modes (Off-Road, Off-Road Pro, Road, Rain and Sport) and WP adjustable suspension (8.66 inches front/8.46 inches rear) for the adventurous dirt explorer. The seat height is adjustable. The machine comes with handguards and has switchable ABS and traction control.

TRIUMPH TIGER 800 XCA: Base Price $16,200

The XCA has all-LED lighting, color TFT instruments and six riding modes: Off-Road Pro, Off-Road, Road, Rain, Sport Rider and Programmable. Standard equipment includes heated rider and passenger seats, heated grips, LED fog lamps and auxiliary sockets. It uses a 21-inch front wheel for off-road performance with a high-level front mudguard, weighs 452 pounds dry, and makes 94 horsepower.

 

MV AGUSTA LUSSO: TBA

MV Agusta is a company with true racing history. The Lusso is a high-end adventure bike with a 798cc, three-cylinder motor producing 110 horsepower. It has integrated MVICS electronics with full multi-map Ride-by-Wire, eight-level traction control, and an Up and Down EAS 2.0 electronic gearbox. The front suspension is Marzocchi, and the rear Sachs is semi-active and electronically controlled.

KTM 790 ADVENTURE R RALLY $19,499

This limited-edition machine uses state-of-the-art WP Pro Components, a compact, eight-valve, dual-overhead-cam twin engine with a six-speed sequential gearbox, a high-end Akrapovic Slip-on Line titanium silencer (30-percent lighter and improved sound) and coughs out serious power. But, the machine is defined by the suspension, which comes directly from the Factory Racing side of the company.

KTM 790 ADVENTURE R: $13,699

KTM’S 790 Adventure R focuses on the ADV rider who has a preference for off-road travel. It churns out just under 100 horsepower and has a six-speed sequential gearbox. The parallel twin is quite compact. It is fit with ABS; MTC and ride modes are there to assist in a variety of conditions.

BMW F 750GS: Base Price $10,395

The BMW F 750 GS puts out 77 horsepower out of the parallel-twin engine. It uses a slipper clutch, has ABS braking and an on-board computer, and, being more street oriented, is fit with cast wheels using a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear. The seat height is adjustable, and with optional connectivity you can connect your smartphone to the F 750 GS via Bluetooth and operate a wide range of innovative functions. You can get Gear Shift Assist Pro as an option, allowing you to upshift and downshift without touching the clutch lever.

HONDA NC750X: $8099/8899 DCT

This machine really rides the fence as a proper ADV machine, being a whole lot more biased towards the street. It’s a SOHC, eight-valve parallel twin, has two-level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), and mode changes to the automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). The suspension is Showa (though the travel is a paltry 5.5 inches). It uses cast aluminum wheels and has a 3.7-gallon under-the-seat fuel tank for centralized mass.

URAL GEAR UP: $17,549 

Ural’s Gear Up is a dirt-oriented, 750cc, opposed-twin sidecar motorcycle. It has two-wheel drive, reverse and a spare tire. It now has Keihin fuel injection; the gearbox is a four-speed, produces 41 horsepower and is shaft-driven. The sidecar is lockable and watertight. There’s an optional three-year warranty.

HUSQVARNA 701 ENDURO: $11,899

The Husqvarna 701 Enduro S features 74 horsepower via a single-overhead-camshaft design that uses advanced electronics, a 50mm Keihin fuel injection and a six-speed gearbox (fit with Easy Shift for seamless shifting without using the clutch), all wrapped around a trellis frame and a rear subframe that houses a 13-liter plastic fuel tank. The suspension is WP, which helps make the 701 Enduro quite adept in the dirt, though it lacks the protection and travel accoutrements of the normal ADV machine.

2021 YAMAHA TENERE 700: $9999

Tagged a 2021 model, the Yamaha Tenere 700 is powered by a 689cc, liquid-cooled, inline twin derived from the MT-07. The six-speed transmission “stacks” the gearbox and the crankshaft in a triangular layout to keep the overall engine size shorter front to back, which optimizes engine placement in the frame for proper weight balance. It has switchable ABS and 8.3 inches of fork travel with a little less out back.

KTM 690 ENDURO: $10,899

KTM made few changes to its ADV/dual-sport bike for 2020. It features a dual ride mode (Street or Dirt), Ride-by-Wire, Quickshifter (sensors that help with upshifts and downshifts) and it is fuel injected and fit with a slipper clutch. It has traction control and a lean-angle sensor, and the fuel tank is mounted rearward and is a structural element of the subframe. The trellis frame is unusual in the off-road world, but the bike is very dirt-worthy.

KAWASAKI VERSYS 650 ABS: $8,299

The Versys 650 is fit with a 649cc, parallel-twin engine; a six-speed gearbox; and sealed chain driveline. Cast-aluminum 17-inch wheels, ABS braking with dual rotors up front and just under 6 inches of travel target the adventure side of touring. It carries 5.5 gallons of fuel, weighs 476 pounds with all the fluids (including gas) and has an adjustable windscreen.

KAWASAKI VERSYS 650 LT: $9199

The Versys 650 LT shares all the performance and chassis aspects of the standard model, but comes equipped with a set of color-matched, 28-liter (each) hard saddlebags that feature KQR mounts and an integrated mounting system that utilizes the ignition key for simple saddlebag unlocking and removal. The LT version is also fit with handguards.

SUZUKI V-STROM 650/XT: $8799/$9299 (38)

The 2019 V-Strom 650 has a strong V-twin engine, Suzuki’s traction control and a patented throttle body that stabilizes engine idle speed and lowers emissions. The XT version comes with spoke wheels, handguards and engine protection. It also has traction control, ABS braking and tubeless ADV tires.

SUZUKI V-STROM 650 XT ADVENTURE: $10,399

The V-Strom 650XT Adventure comes fit with a 5.3-gallon fuel tank, a three-way adjustable windscreen, a 43mm fork and adventure spec Bridgestone Battlax radial tires. It comes adventure-ready with tubeless-spoke wheels, plus a set of Suzuki’s aluminum panniers, an accessory bar, a handlebar cross-brace, and mirror extensions.

HONDA CB500X: $6699/6999 ABS

The Honda CB500X is another machine that barely meets the criteria as an ADV machine. It has limited suspension, though the 471cc twin makes good power. It’s fuel-injected and has been on the receiving end of some performance updates that improve the torque of the machine. A revamped intake tract and fuel-injection mate to a slipper clutch with a lighter pull and smoother downshifts. The front wheel is now a 19-inch model.

SWM 650 SUPER DUAL X

SWM’s 650 Superdual X is a 600cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valve, single-cylinder, fuel-injected adventure bike fit with a large tank (5.02 gallons), engine armor, and a 21/18-spoked wheel combination. Its heritage is the dirt world, and it is based around the 2012 Husqvarna TE630. The exhaust is a two-into-two system, the suspension has just under 9 inches of travel, it comes with a windscreen, rear rack, Brembo brakes, and ABS is standard.

BMW G 310 GS: $5795

BMW’s 310 GS is the company’s entry-level machine. The single-cylinder engine is liquid-cooled, has six speeds and makes peak power at 10,500 rpm. The frame is tubular steel and is fit with an upside-down fork with 7 inches of travel. It comes with ABS braking, and a 19-inch cast front wheel mates to a 17-inch cast rear. It weighs 387 pounds fully fueled up.

KAWASAKI VERSYS-X 300: $5499/$5799 ABS

The Versys-X is Kawasaki’s smallest machine designed for adventure touring. Power comes via a 296cc parallel twin, which gets fuel through a digital fuel-injection system. It comes equipped with a 41mm Showa fork, a 19-inch front wheel, a 17-inch rear wheel and a 4.5-gallon fuel tank that is good for a long exploration ride. An ABS model can be had for $300 more.

HONDA CRF250L RALLY: $5949/$6249 ABS

Honda’s CRF 250L Rally is one great-looking machine. Nestled under the rally fairing is essentially the same budget-minded, Thai-built, liquid-cooled and fuel-injected 249cc four-stroke. It has 10-inch-travel suspension that is soft yet compliant and targets the street guy looking to do just a modicum of off-road.

 

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