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Adventure bikes

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Didn't have much use for offroad bikes until I moved to Zonie land.  There's a lot of this state that has no paved roads.  Started with a junker Yami XT350 but needed better connector highway performance and a magic button. Picked up a Beemer R100GS and rode the shiz out of it.  All over the west and several Mexico adventures.  When the F800GS showed up, I upgraded to much better offroad suspension with similar highway manners, if a bit top heavier.


Still have the R100GS in the garage, too attached to it to sell it even though I hate to see it just collecting dust.

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I had a KTM 950 Adventure for a while. A very good motorcycle in all types of terrain, but a bit thirsty and a bit tedious to work on. I traded it in when I got my Scura, but sometimes I miss the KTM. I've been eying the Africa Twin - but also thinking that a Husqvarna 701 might work.  After all, people tour all over on KLR 650s. The Husky 701 is so good off road that it could potentially replace my TE450 Husqvarna. Then there is the new Yamaha T7... which I suppose will be available as a 2018 model?


I've rented a BMW GS twice. They're great road bikes and were perfect for the dirt roads I took them on, but they're just too big for the sort of technical dirt riding (rocks, roots, ruts, etc.) that I would want to do as part of a proper "adventure."

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IMO, it's only an ADV bike if:

  • Knobby tires on spoked wheels
  • You can crash it in the dirt or bounce it off a tree and not care
  • It weighs closer to 500 pounds than 600 (and ideally less than 500)
  • It has serious suspension travel
  • You can take it on intermediate to difficult technical terrain
  • Your buddies on "real" dirt bikes make you pose for "embarrassing" photos if you get stuck on something simple (like this trench I dug with the rear wheel).



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agreed Tim. As with other moto genre, adv, and adv bike are subjective I guess. I would ride the VStrom anywhere, any distance, on state hiways or dirt roads, but on roads. I had my Jeep many places in AZ back country that I wouldn't shy away from on the Strom. This could pass for an adventure if I camped. My DR650 is more capable than the Strom where your KTM is sitting, but lacks comfort for much distance. I could see using the 650 for the TAT sometime.

I'm looking into some more improvements for the 650 to make it friendlier over hiway distance. A pumper carb, and a seat that's shaped more like a butt. Maybe it'll turn out right for me.

I'd want a 250 for anything technical, and alas, the really rough stuff is for a younger man.

The VStrom is going to go. I may still get a liter bike.. a GS maybe. So many bikes...


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Some weights.


"wet" is real world, but "dry" gives a better base line imo. These are dry, and are subject to interweb mistakes, and may vary by model, options (like abs), and year.  I own the * 2 listed Suzukis.


KTM 950 ADV                       454

'06 DL1000 VStrom *            458

'11 Stelvio                              472

'12 R1200 GS (non Adv)       461

'90 Africa Twin                       452

'16 Africa Twin                       458

'12 Super Tenere                   520

'01 DR650 *                           324

'04 Aprilia Caponord 1000     474


The obvious thing is that the 450lb threshold for a liter bike won't be broken by much, easily. The big thumpers seem to be the only way to whack off a big chunk of weight.


Though I love the Super 10, it's out. Unless I my only consideration is touring. I would eye an older Africa, but they are rare. The newer ones are too new and don't fit my price point.


edit Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 add

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I would eye an older Africa, but they are rare.


Yeah, there are probably 10 in the US, since they were never imported - but I saw a lot of them in Europe recently. You can find some older V-twin Honda Transalps in the US.

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looks like the '89 Transalp is the same weight wet as the '90 Africa is dry, so some weight savings there. That weight compares to that era R100GS non Paris Dakar, at 426. This illustrates that over 25+ years doesn't translate to a lighter weight bike.


I have an R100/7 basket case.... possibly I should investigate a GS conversion? ...hmmmm, Lotsa parts out there.

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I have a 1st generation Aprilia Caponord with the Rotax V990.


After fettling all the typical Italian motorcycle issues, it is a fantastic bike. One of the best frame geometries I have ever ridden, perfectly neutral handling and no weirdness.


After remapping, it now has great power, and the power band is as wide as the side of a barn. It's less an ADV bike than it is a rally car on 2 wheels: a snarling fire road type of machine with a lot of suspension travel and sport bike characteristics.


A friend with the same model just did a 3k+ rounder to Oregon and back, no issues.


I have been eyeing the new Africa Twin, but every time I fire up the Capo I am happy.....happy having saved so much money not buying a new bike!

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