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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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Aug 10

Posts: 7

Darren950 says:

Everyone's entitled to an adventure.

Everyone to there own, an adventure has a definition that is personal to the adventurer. Your first round the world trip maybe on a well used path but to you it will be the trip of a life time. I have meet Austin several times and he is undoubtedly an experienced traveller with a lot knowledge and I think what he is getting at, is that its not what you've got, its what you do with it that counts. In 8 weeks time a friend and I leave London for Sydney via China and Tibet on KTM 690 Enduros, its the first time we have attempted a journey of this type, we are running a face book page so if you have the wanderlust bug, pop over to "Continental Drift" on facebook to follow our preparation and journey progress.

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May 12

Posts: 1

SnowAviatoin says:

Opinions are like...

My opinion is that Austin Vince is a pompous ass, and here's why.

ANY bike that finds YOU adventure is an adventure bike.  The size isn't important, whatever fits YOU and YOUR style of riding and where YOU desire to go.  When Mr. Adventure "Expert" Vince says that a 1200 is "a farce" of an adventure bike he is just showing his eliteism.  Thinking that in order to be an adventure tourer you must desire to travel around the globe to godforsaken places, filtering your fuel in cheese cloth and boiling your water to prevent dysentery, fine for him but not for the majority of motorcycle adventure travellers. 

So if a person finds satisfaction riding on a 250 across the great divide or zippig along on a 1200 and sometimes fighting the extra weight....then more power to them for finding out what type of adventure riding suits them and going for it. 

Screw Austin Vince and his snooty opinion.

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Feb 10

Posts: 159

ducatigav says:

its your cash buy what you like

i dump sports for adv as im 6,3ft and i felt my lo gsxr 600 was like riding a monkey bike and with all the pot holes and crap on our roads my ktm just soaks them up and give me more smiles than any sports bike i have had. i used a xt660 for work last year and a little engine was all good off road but as soon as you it the road the little engines are too buzzy but why not have best of both a nice comfy big adv and a ktm exc (200-300 2t ummm) for the dirt as 95% of use will never have time for a round the world

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Nov 11

Posts: 203

jimbo8098 says:

Depends on what you want to do

If you want to do the adventure road racing like these big "adventure" bikes are deigned for , that is what you'll need. If you want to go climing up the side of a mountain then it is most certainly not. Weight is the biggest factor I have found (I've not offroaded lng mind you). I've had a Honda NX 125 and a Yamaha XT 600. The NX lacks power but it insanely light , the XT has a good bit more acceleration and power but is still light enough to throw around. That said I wouldn't want to be doing anything TOO rigarous.

250cc is too small for any long ranged travel in my opinion. That 125 I had would have a top speed of about 60mph with the wind behind it and you would need a shot of the crapper as soon as you got off for sure!

But , again , depends on what you are doing. If you are pacing yourself , go 250 or small engined bikes.

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May 10

Posts: 1

tomroyle says:

Whose adventure?

Seems to me that each to his/her own, and what may be called an adventure to some may be a stroll in the park to others. The demand for the big adventure bike was driven by that well known TV series, and the rest is history as they say. I came into biking late in life through direct access and did a few miles each weekend with a friend. The TV programme inspired us (and thousands of others) to rent big BMW's in Spain and travel into Morocco to do 4,000 miles over all sorts of roads. We didn't do, nor want/need to do off-roading and besides, we didn't have the skill nor fitness. But the big adventure bike lead us to an experience we will remember for many years. So stop being a complete snob and let everyone get on with life. There are plenty of bikes out there to suit everyone's taste.

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Sep 08

Posts: 100

Andy_L says:

Adventure Tourer

Perhaps "adventure tourer" is a more appropriate term for these big bikes, in the same way that we don't call a VFR a sports bike.


I agree with ewanhind about the need for more long-distance capable lightweight bikes.  A bike like that would make a great economical commuter as well as being a true adventure bike (anyone who rides in London will know how many of the "adventure tourers" get used for commuting!).

When are Suzuki going to replace the DRZ400?  The road-legal versions have been off the market for 3 or 4 years now.  I think the Japanese manufacturers have lost either the will or the ability to build a light road bike.  Apparently well-north of 200kg is considered about right for a "middle-weight" these days.

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Sep 09

Posts: 835

Rogerborg says:

Eh, what?

"I think what [Vince] is getting at, is that its not what you've got, its what you do with it that counts"

No, I'm pretty sure that what he's saying is "The 1200cc bikes are just a farce if what you want to do is 'adventure motorcycling'", since that what he's just said.

Of course, if you redefine "tarmac tour of Europe or North America" as "adventure motorcycling", then the GS is probably a great choice. Although you could have bought a Divvy 900 or Dullsville instead and had several thousand £££ spending money in your pocket, but each to their own.

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Oct 10

Posts: 182

zoobaz says:

Tall Tourers

I've made this post before a few months ago on a similar topic, so apologies if I'm boring anyone by repeating myself!

I remember ages ago, late 80s early 90s etc, people (MCN, Superbike, PB, Motorcycle Mechanics magazine  etc..) used to refer to the Triumph Tiger and BMW GS etc as 'Tall Tourers'  on the premise that they rarely go offroad and are just big comfy tourers.

i always thought it was an apt description and nowadays even more so.

That's it!


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Oct 10

Posts: 182

zoobaz says:


Spot on mate!


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May 12

Posts: 11

Ddod says:

Depends on definition of "Adventure" I know from off-roading in the desert 450 singles are generally regarded as the best power-to-weight (could never take a GS1200 on soft sand). 

However when I "graduated" to a big road bike from a trail bike i seriously missed being able to occassionally bump up and down kerbs etc (bottomed out on the front forks a few times before learning the lesson). 

At least the GS1200 can do that sort of thing when you get lost on your long (road based) adventures.  I imagine they are comfortable too

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