The Best Adventure Bikes to Take On Your Travels
There’s no better way to explore a new destination than with your very own adventure bike if you’re lucky to get your hands on one.
These motorcycles manage to toe the line between a dirt bike and a sportbike, giving you the ultimate mode of transport, no matter where you’re going.
What are the best adventure bikes on the market?
MV Augusta, Yamaha, Honda, Ducati, and Suzuki have manufactured some of the coolest adventure motorcycles to hit the market in recent years.
These ADVs span everything from larger engines to lighter bodies, so you can find one with the exact specs you need.
With so many cool bikes out there to choose from, finding one worthy of taking on your next escapade can be a challenge.
We’ve rounded up some of the most impressive adventure bikes for traveling with, so you have only the best of the best to choose from.
The Coolest Adventure Bikes to Tour On
Adventure bikes have all of the features you need for traveling, including strong frames, larger capacity tanks, and the ability to tackle all kinds of roads.
If you’re looking for your ticket to freedom on the open road, check out some of the coolest ones on the market in 2021.
#1 KTM 390 Adventure
The long-awaited adventure-bike version of the popular KTM 390 did not disappoint and has been one of the more affordable options out there for a serious ADV.
With a 373.2cc single-cylinder and 43hp engine, and over 1700mm of suspension in the front and back, you can take on just about anything the road throws at you.
The KTM 390 adventure was designed to go anywhere, and features like a slipper clutch, skid plate, off-road ABS and cornering, and Kiska bodywork prove it.
You decide how you want to ride with various modes you can slip into, and be amazed at how sporty this adventure bike feels.
The KMT 390 Adventure might have been in the works for a while, but its release certainly didn’t disappoint.
#2 Moto Guzzi V85 TT
Those who like their bikes with a retro twist will enjoy the throwback look that Moto Guzzi has designed their V85 TT with.
The Italian brand knows how to do everything with classic style including the transverse-mounted 853cc V-twin engine, which gives you plenty of power to tackle all kinds of trails and paths.
The Moto Guzzi V85 TT is on the expensive side and is probably a better pick for riders who prefer the road over the dirt, due to a less than average ground clearance.
However, it comes with everything you’d expect like a skid plate, luggage racks, and crash bars, so you’ll be more than comfortable driving this to your next destination.
#3 MV Augusta Turismo Veloce 800
No surprised here to see another Italian powerhouse on our list, and this time, it’s the MV Augusta version with their Turismo Veloce 800.
What makes this such a cool pick is that it’s currently used by the Milan police force, and thanks to its 798cc DOHC inline-three engine with 125hp capabilities, you’ll feel just as powerful as a cop as well.
What makes this such an enviable adventure bike is how it seems to have been made for rough terrain.
With more than six inches of suspension on front and aft, anti-wheelie and traction control, plus the famous Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System built-in, you can do just about anything when you’re riding on the Turismo Veloce 800.
As expected though, this ADV from MV Augusta doesn’t come cheap, but legends never do.
#4 Yamaha Ténéré 700
If you want an affordable ADV that can still go head to head with the competition, look no further than the Yamaha Ténéré 700.
The Ténéré 700 is extremely powerful and with good toque without feeling too bulky, and overall, it weighs about 450lbs.
It was clearly designed for travel thanks to its LED headlights, MX-style cushioned seat, and slim bodywork that make it a dream to ride just about anywhere.
This motorcycle was created after years of real-world testing, research, and development that got it where it is today.
There are lots of expensive features packed into its economical build, including a 689cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine, off-road ergonomics for your comfort, and lightweight that’s a dream to handle.
The Yamaha Ténéré 700 can do it all, and more, and it’s one of the best-priced ADVs we’ve found.
#5 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R
Another entry from KTM and this one is a little more serious, and a lot more costly, with their 2021 model getting a top to bottom makeover.
The 1,301cc V-twin engine has lots of torque but handles like a dream, with a motor slip regulator built-in and hill hold control, among others.
There are plenty of functional and cool features in the KTM Super Adventure R, including 6-axis lean angle sensor, new pistons, 7” TFT display, and remodeled frame.
It’s a major upgrade from the R-spec Super Adventure, even if nobody was asking for one, and you’ll have to pay a pretty penny to get your hands on it.
The 2021 model is lighter and more capable than ever, thanks to the ingenuity of the KTM brand.
#6 Honda Africa Twin
Arguably one of the more serious contenders in our hunt for the best adventure bike is the Africa Twin from Honda.
With over 100.5hp of power and a liquid-cooled 1,084cc SOFC parallel twin-engine, you’ll get 6% more horsepower, and if you’re in the market for a semi-automatic version, Honda creates one of those in the same style as well.
The Africa Twin from Honda can handle any terrain, comes with a Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment which actively adjusts your suspension and damping, four riding modes built-in, and a 6.5 touch screen for your pleasure.
It’s mid-range in price but extremely powerful, and with all of the added features that Honda has included, you’re still getting a great bargain on this ADV.
#7 Triumph Tiger
The Tiger range of bikes from Triumph has been around longer than most, with the first iteration launching in 1937.
The 900 Rally Pro is our favorite of all for an adventure bike and it comes with an 888 inline-triple engine that can produce 93.9 hp and 64 lb-ft of torque, showing a slight improvement on the previous 800c Tiger range.
This bike is consistently rated as one of the best, and it’s perfect for on and off-road use which makes it the ideal ADV.
Using a T-plane crank design in the engine, the Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro can get the most torque possible without using too much power, and it has features like high-quality suspension and a stand-up riding position for the owner that can help you tackle just about any terrain.
#8 Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 Special
A Harley like this doesn’t come cheap, but those who are loyal to their favorite brand won’t mind paying.
The Pan America is their very first purpose-built adventure bike, and surely not their last, but they’ve managed to upstage many of the regulars and done it well.
It’s worth spending more for the upgraded version with features like a built-in tire pressuring system and an aluminum skid plate, among others.
Showing off its 1,250.3cc DOHC V-twin engine that can pump out 150hp, the Pan America from Harley Davidson means serious business.
The bike is equipped with a steering damper, front and rear suspicion, Adaptive Ride Height system, and Daymaker headlight, so you’ll want for nothing on your next adventure with this ride.
#9 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Adventure
If your idea of a good adventure bike is one that can truly handle the off-road challenges, you’ll want to check out the Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Adventure.
Among its most notable off-road features are crash bars, a full skid plate, and gold anodized spoke rims, which are super durable and look just as cool.
The V-Strom from Suzuki features a liquid-cooled 645cc DOHC V-Twin engine rated at 75hp, so it’s slightly less powerful than others but some may find it easier to handle.
As a mid-sized bike, it has a rated curb weight of 528lbs and with a slightly smaller suspension at 150mm on the front and 160mm on the rear.
Suzuki has included their Low RPM Assist and Easy Start functions, so if you’re a newbie to adventure bikes, these could be helpful on the road.
#10 Ducati Multistrada V4
If you want to ride with the big boys, the Ducati Multistrada can help you compete.
This four-cylinder engine stomps the competition and has peak power ratings of 170hp when you hit 10,500 rpm.
The inertial measuring unit keeps everything in check and gives you better brake and wheel control, so you can spend more time focused on the road.
The Ducati Multistrada V4 is perfect for off-road thanks to the semi-active Ducati Skyhood System that’s included, which works for you adjusting the fork and shocker absorber, and the auto-leveling function.
There are four riding modes built-in and a 5.5 inch TFT screen to work with, so although it’s feature-rich, it couldn’t be easier to get a handle on.
The Multistrada V4 doesn’t come cheap, but neither do its features and capabilities, so if you can afford the higher price tag it’ll be well worth it for a powerful ADV.
#11 Kawasaki 2022 KLR 650
The Kawasaki KLR 650 is no new bike, in fact, it was first released in 1984, but the modern 2022 model has never been more perfect for the adventure class.
With an upgraded 10-hole fuel injector, one-piece frame for stability, rubber-mounted handlebars and footpegs, and rubber dampers under the seat, you can take it on the toughest terrain possible and not notice a thing.
The 2022 KLR 650 from Kawasaki runs with a 625cc four-stroke engine and is lightweight enough to take on the dirt or the sealed road.
What’s even better is it’s an affordable alternative to some of the bikes we’ve seen here, but with a Chassis Management Technology System, fuel-injected engine, and the trusted name of Kawasaki behind it.
Adventure bikes have become the coolest new way to travel the world if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one.
To find out more about the best type of bike for traveling with, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions that can give you a push in the right direction.
Can I Ride a Dirt Bike on a Paved Road?
In the US, dirt bikes are not classed as street-legal bikes, and you will not be able to ride them on a paved road, sidewalk, or in a parking lot.
The only exception is a dual-sport bike that might be classified as a dirt bike, but the majority of them are not deemed street legal when riding in the US.
What’s the Difference Between an Adventure Bike and Road Bike?
An adventure bike is designed to handle off-road and on-road surfaces, compared to the alternative which is made specifically for roads.
Other benefits of adventure bikes include quick-handling, disc brakes, larger fuel capacities, and comfortable seating that allows you to travel long distances.
Is An Adventure Bike Worth It?
An adventure motorcycle or ADV is a good investment for someone who wants to travel and tour with their bike and not have to worry about it.
They’re durable and built for long days on the road, with the ability to switch between off and on the road as needed, so paying a little extra for these benefits is worthwhile for many.