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MCN  says:

Poll: Are big adventure bikes killing adventure riding?

In this week's MCN the new BMW G650GS Sertao is tested against Yamaha's Tenere 660. Part of the discussion between the testers concentrates on how much easier off-roading is on a bike that feels light and agile – which both these single-cylinders do compared to behemoths such as Triumph's Explorer and Yamaha's Super Tenere 1200. But are these two middleweight...

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  • Posted 3 years ago (01 May 2012 11:35)

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Mar 06

Posts: 253

stu_sp2 says:

Its all Relative...

Right or Wrong, good or bad.... Bit fed up with seeing this argument AGAIN.. 95% of Adventure bikes never see dirt?? So what!! probably the same amount of Blades and R1's never see a race track or lap a race track anywhere near the laptimes they are REALLY capable of, Charlie and Ewan wanna be's , again, how about all the Rossi wanna be's with Knee sliders and one piece " race suits " are they going racing???? Are they bugger! Argument works both ways. The fact that this segment has opened up another niche in our world should be welcomed with open arms, these bikes are perfect for British roads, the bikes are getting better! so much so that I sold the R1 and indulged, I've got no intention of going off road, I bought it after riding a few and realising how capable they where..thanks for that. People where riding GS's around the world donkeys years before Charlie and Ewan did it, and many many years before Mondo Enduro!! so again, thanks for your input Mondo!! As for slating guys who buy the bikes but tend not to go round the world, bear this in mind, one mans round the world "camping trip" is another mans walk in the park...For the last decade my adventures have been hardcore foot patrols in Sangin, Killing thats a Fu**in adventure... just enjoy your bikes....and ride

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Mar 10

Posts: 119

MudDoctor says:

Most things you buy

are selling an image. Your S1000RR says that you race wheel to wheel with Liam Haslam every weekend. Your Lorenzo replica helmet says that your going to kick Stoners ass. Your Replica England kit says that you will be taking over from John Terry next week. Your divers watch says that you will be meeting sharks at 200m for fun. Your Ferrari jacket worn carelessly over your shoulder as you mince into a club makes no apology for the wanked up Corsa parked outside.

Yes, we all know of bikers who, lets face it, seem to do it just for the dressing up. They're like grown up cowboys, with a silver six shooter and Milky Bar Kid glasses. But don't assume that the GS rider is any different to the Fireblade rider with the Repsol paint job, HRC leathers, unblemished knee sliders and 2 inch chicken strips.

I don't think that big Adventure bikes are killing off adventure riding. I would guess that it might even encourage more. It just depends on differing opinions of what defines an "adventure". I reckon the poor lad who got pulled off his scooter in last summer's riots felt that he'd just had one hell of an adventure, and not even left London.

I also suspect that Austin Vince is suffering from a severe bout of inverted snobbery. A wee bit of Bear Gryls.

"You don't need a chainsaw to cut up your firewood. Look, I cut this tree down with my Swiss Army Knife"

As other bikers have shown in the past, you can traverse continents on a Honda C50. But would you really, really want to?

Sure, the big Adventure bikes are selling a dream. So are Harley Davidsons, so are Race Replicas. I would suggest that some contributors to this forum look a wee bit closer at themselves before criticizing what others are riding, or wearing, or where they choose to park their bikes.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, etc.....

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Jul 05

Posts: 1

marko6556 says:

ST better!

The 1200 GS is the most overrated bike ever! If you want to go touring on a BMW buy an ST.

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Aug 02

Posts: 7

robinbegley says:


I have had 1100, 1150 & 1200 variants of the GS and I bought them to be great all rounders with good touring ability, a bit of presence round London for safety reason and fun b-road ability. The last thing I was ever going to do was take them off-road! I really don't like the "action man" tag that the manufacturers are using to sell these excellent bikes. I dare say that if I wanted to get to the far side of the Atlas mountains and only had 2 weeks off work then the GS would be the bike. However, if you are going to travel the world on a limited budget but unlimited schedule then the last thing you want is a big BMW. I once had to push my R1200GS out of soft sand on Torremolinos Beach and it's a sod. Big respect to Ewan and Charlie because that really hurt. I would be looking at a 400/500 all rounder that could get serviced and repaired almost anywhere, maybe a CB500. In round the world spec it would get panniers, crash bars and slightly off-road tyres. Conclusion: manufacturers need to make a tough, semi-trail style 500 with plenty of bungee points and no unnecessary gadgets that runs on distilled donkey piss.

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Sep 10

Posts: 1323

SatNavSteve says:

One advantage of this adventure bike craze is that people are less likely to be screaming round like lunatics on 180bhp sports bikes and concentrating on touring, perhaps camping, (my favourite pastime on the continent) and doing some actual RIDING, then we might see a lot less of bikes for sale with 5,000 miles on the clock when they are 6 or 7 years old. I don't get that. Why do people buy bikes and then are scared of putting miles on them. In my experience, big bikes aren't running their best until they have over 10,000 on the clock. I hope these adventure bikes encourage people to ride them and see the world (or Europe at least) instead of the Sunday morning 20 miles to the local bike meet as fast as possible!

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Jan 12

Posts: 7

Rgrant says:

When you are 6'9"......a 250cc to 650cc  just doesnt cut it. They are physically too small for me. So, I'm stuck with the big monsters.

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May 12

Posts: 1

250cc Too Small / 650 Too Big

I have been fortunate enough to ride a BMW R1150GS around the world; however, prior to my adventure I received the appropriate training on how to handle this large adventure motorbike in off-road conditions – the training was the most valuable tool I took with me during my trip. 

Unfortunately, many riders do not have the resources or do not take the time to get the proper training for such a large motorcycle.  I agree with with the poll that their should be smaller more manageable adventure motorcycles available to the market but I do not agree with the 250cc trailies. 

I feel an adventure bike in the 400-500 range would be much better.

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Jun 08

Posts: 1

shaunysays says:

GS slagging

seems to be the order of the day at the moment. Asking Austin Vince was only going to bring that kind of response from him. Its well known in the Adventure travelling community that he despises Touratech with a vengeance and if you're using anything over 250cc for your travels with ally panniers then you're not authentic. A shame as Austin makes a living from many of the guys who choose to ride the 1200GS, Tenere or Explorer who buy his books, DVD's or attend his adventure film events. I ride a 1200GS, my second after spells with the F650GS and the F800GS. I'd go round the world on any of them. I look to Miquel Silvester on his GSA, currently in Borneo, Alicia Sornosa on her F650GS on her RTW trip, also others on KTM990's, Ed March on his C90 (who is forever tongue in cheek taking the piss out of GS's)....these guys are proving that all sizes of bikes are capable of taking you on your adventure travels, to extreme levels or just on tarmac....the big Adventure bike manufacturers aren't stopping people from doing their RTW's, I think they actively promote people to live their dreams!

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Jul 08

Posts: 30

I've said for ages that the 1200cc "Adventure" bikes are far too big and heavy. The real ultimate was the R80GS. It was rugged and just about had enough power to do the tarmac stuff whilst being OK on the dirt as well. A good all-rounder. Yes, Austin has a point when talking about what bike to go round the world on but ignores the fact that most of us do lots of other stuff with our bike when we're not going round the world. We go for a thrash with our mates who might have a fast road bike so we need to be able to hang with them. We might want a two up weekend tour with the missus. So, unless you can afford 5 or 6 bikes, one for every occasion, we have to compromise with our choice of bike. For that reason I bought what I consider as the best all-round bike on the market at the moment.....the Triumph Tiger800XC.

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Dec 08

Posts: 13

oceaa says:

They r killing to ride

For the real adventure try the new KTM freeride 350 this is the ideal bike for the job. I have a 990 adventure as does my 5'5'' girlfriend (she insisted she had the same bike) I love the 990 but for the real off tarmac adventure light is everything.

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