10 adventure bikes you’ll regret buying
One area of ââthe motorcycle industry that has seen near explosive growth is the adventure bike market, with more interest than ever in these bikes.
Manufacturers have all answered the call and launched several entry-level bikes aimed at new riders. They make machines that are now generally more accessible, and in some cases even suitable for beginners for a market that was once anything but that thanks to high seat heights and powerful motors. Going out exploring on a motorcycle is an amazing way to spend your free time, and with the demands of social distancing all over the world, doing it on your own makes more sense than ever.
With the rapid expansion of this market segment, we have seen some sensational products, but there are also some less than spectacular offerings, often presented as entry-level bikes, their novelty may very well wear out quite quickly.
ten KTM 790 Adventure R
It should have been one of the best adventure bikes on the market, unfortunately it ended up being a problem kid for KTM and all of its loyal customers.
Although it was only the subject of one recall, there were so many problems with these 790 engines that the Austrian giant has just cut losses and shut it down after just a few years of production. It was replaced by the 890 engine that meets emissions standards.
9 Honda CB500X
As is the case with just about all Honda bikes, this is a high quality offering and will certainly do whatever you ask for.
It’s also one of the most accessible adventure bikes on the market, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. If you are tall you will feel unusually cramped and the performance will not inspire anyone, whether on or off the road.
8 KTM 390 Adventure
To be fair to the bike, there was so much demand for KTM to put it into production, it didn’t make sense for them not to.
Unfortunately, while many Duke fans went to great lengths to transform the little nude into an adventure bike, the cold light of day really shone on the real adventure version. As much as it is a good entry-level machine, it is seriously compromised off-road.
seven Kawasaki KLR650
Getting an older bike for a good price will be a smart buy, for those who desperately want a new one, well, they might be feeling a bit cheated.
It’s still the same solid dual sport we all know and love, but with so few updates and so little comfort, the new price just isn’t deserved.
6 CFMoto MT800
You know that KTM engine they shut down, guess where it found a home? That’s right, the MT800 is the beneficiary of this particular debacle.
So it has the potential to be the worst of both worlds in terms of reliability, with the over-ambitious Austrian engine now being made in China. It may be too early to say for sure, but it looks like a looming disaster.
5 Kawasaki Versys-X 300
The low end of the market is actually getting busier these days, which is why this particular Versys is starting to look dated.
To keep costs to a minimum, it is clear that compromises had to be made, which unfortunately hurts the overall product. Add to that the mediocre horsepower and you’ll quickly realize that you had better get yourself a cheaper dual sport.
4 Honda Africa Twin DCT
It’s important that we approach this one correctly, as a tourer the DCT makes a lot of sense, off-road it gets a bit of a mess.
It is a perfect system for those who will occasionally use dirt roads. However, if you are planning to trail it will be a costly mistake as the system does not allow for real off-road fun.
3 Benelli TRK 800
All that’s left of Benelli is a name, the rest is now completely made in China. Over time we’ll likely change our tone, but right now these bikes are some of the least reliable bikes money can buy.
With respectable horsepower figures and a very attractive price tag, it may be tempting, but it will also be a big regret down the line.
2 Yamaha Super TÃ©nÃ©rÃ© 1200
An adventure bike should be as adept at going off the road as it is touring, obviously no bike can be the best of both, but it should be able to do both.
With the Super Tenere overweight, you might be better off accepting it as a touring bike and sticking road tires on it. It’s so bad off-road, in fact we honestly think there are real road bikes that are more capable off-road.
1 Benelli TRK 502X
Again, this could one day become a real competitor. Slip into the booming beginner adventure bike market; it’s priced right and actually looks pretty sharp compared to some of the alternatives.
Make no mistake, there are still alternatives at the same price that will serve you much better even if you only intend to keep it for a short time.
Adventure bikes are the perfect travel companions. They perform as well on the road as they do off-road, so they’ll definitely get you where you want to go.
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