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Nov 06

Posts: 1122

admin says:

Video: Adventure Bikes 2013 - Off Road

MCN took the top dog of adventure bikes, the BMW R1200GS to South Wales to test it against Yamaha's stalwart Super Tenere, last year's winner the Triumph Explorer, and KTM's new pretender the 1190 Adventure R. As well as three days of road riding, we also took them off road with pro rider Llewellyn Pavey. brightcove.createExperiences();

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  • Posted 2 years ago (10 April 2013 10:17)

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Oct 12

Posts: 133

flydnb says:


its funny that the guys testing the bikes didn't do any off road testing when the core market for these will be people with no off road ability., and notice the interview in front of a proper off road bike.. who wants to drop a 12k bike in the mud in the real world.

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Sep 06

Posts: 8

jayninja says:

Adventure Bikes

It's a strange fashion the whole adventure bike thing - becuase that's exactly what it is - Fashion.

Reality is the majority of owners of these types of bike will do most of their riding on smooth flat tarmac - So surely that means most of the time (if not all) your actually compromised on suspension, tyres and weight over a standard 'road' or 'street' bike.

That's why ultimately it's simple a fashion thing - riders of a certain age (40+) who use to wear power ranger day-glo one piece leathers to match their super trick race bikes (which themselves were also one big compromise just in another direction) are now switching to become fashion victimes of another type.

Of course Im not saying there is anything wrong with that - each to his own, it just depends how often you like to check your reflection as you adventure bike through the town centre !

Oh, an by the way, I tick all the above boxes too !!!!

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Nov 03

Posts: 11

twiggmj says:

I ride an adventure bike (moto guzzi stelvio) because I find it more comfortable and it handles the B roads I like to ride allot better than any road bike I have ridden, FJR CB1300 CBF1000 RT1200 Its also allot better to ride through town than any of those bikes. Its nothing to do with the image I prefer the look of the CB1300 but the adventure bikes are just much more fun to ride on Britain's roads than sports bikes and road bikes.

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Oct 11

Posts: 28

Mistafunky says:


I think these off road tests for big adventure bikes would have a lot more credibility if they were a bit more than just a muddy/dusty track. Lets have rocks, soft sand, deep mud, deep ruts, serious inclines/declines, narrow tracks with tree roots and maybe a river crossing. All the types of thing you encounter on a real off road adventure

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Feb 12

Posts: 161

plumber01 says:

150bhp offroad

Im really interested in these, no I wouldnt think about taking one of these over anything other than a gravel path, or farm lane, proberly the same as 95% of other owners, but as Im some what larger than the avarage jockey, and somewhat older I just cant ride a modern sports bike for more than about 20 minutes without cramped knees and knackered wrists, I still want something that goes like stink, so a sporty adventure it is for me, I dont think Im old enough for the BMW yet, so its a Duccati Multi or more than likely the KTM for me, I want something to wizz down to the alps in comfort , and then something to really enjoy on the most twisty mountain passes I can find, job done.

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Feb 12

Posts: 242

Titosfuneral says:

Substance over style

@jayninja You may think it's all about fashion for the 95% who don't take them off-road. However that's not enough to explain their massive popularity or the fact they've been popular on the continent for a lot longer than in the UK. In fact they're a lot of fun to ride when they're on the road too. If you're not below 5'10" or weigh less than 10-12 stone they're a whole lot more comfortable than cramming yourself onto a sports bike. They have great presence on the road and you can see a lot further, giving yourself time to react to the road conditions. Talking about road conditions, the rapidly deteriorating conditions of our roads mean that you're riding a bike that's far less likely to be unsettled by the potholes, and b-road blasts are just that; a blast! They're not a seddate as many tourers. As someone who has had these types of bike for the last 20 or so years and who does use them off-road, I've got to say that the on-road manners of something like a GS is something I love. That said, I would agree that some of them are getting just too large to go off-road..

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Apr 13

Posts: 1

Slim52 says:

Surely getting LLewelyn Pavey to review the bikes is a bit much - he races BMWs, as does his dad, Simon Pavey, who also happens to run the BMW Off Road school.  And they said the BMW was best.  What a surprise - really impartial.

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Apr 13

Posts: 1

johnpf says:


Why did you test the BMW, Triumph and Yamaha with panniers, and KTM without. The panniers do the bike heavier (maybe 10kg) and more unbalanced.

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Mar 10

Posts: 119

MudDoctor says:

I'm just back from the BMW Offroad Skills Course

at Walters Arena, where I did  Level One. A bit basic to start with, but it builds quite nicely into some challenging stages. We were provided with the new R1200GS, and it's the first time that I have taken anything that size and weight seriously offroad.

There is no doubt in my mind that the new GS is quite astonishing in what it can do, and that the sophistication of its electronics are a large part of that. There is also no doubt about the amount of punishment that they can take, watching them being chucked down tracks, hills and into ditches and being abused pretty much in all ways by the various students.

Tyres make a HUGE difference, and it would be a fool who takes anything of this size and weight offroad without changing to knobblies and expecting it to perform.

I have owned an R1200GSA for 5 years now, and had no problems whatsoever. The new GS has moved the game on considerably. The engine has got some pretty useful power just where you need it, and pulls like a train. On the wet and sometimes slimy tracks at Walters Arena, I was amazed that I managed to get it into 5th gear at full chat with the confidence that I was not going to bin it. Great offroad ABS and traction control, it has to be said.

I don't think that KTM and BMW owners will ever agree about who's is best. Money no object, I'd have one of each.

However, we should not lose sight of the fact that while they both have good offroad capabilities, neither of them are motocrossers, so there are plenty of bikes out there that are better offroad, but few that are better on both.

Having now seen this second part of the group test, I see that they stuck with the road tyres, and respect to young Pavey for riding the bikes that way. You can see, though, that even with his skills he struggled for grip at one or two parts of the track. We were hooning ours with the TKC Knobblies over that same jump, and the approach and landing areas are pretty slimy when wet. There is no way that I would have attempted that with the standard fit tyres, even assuming that I could have reached the jump without dropping the bike first.

Just to re-iterate, these behemoth bikes are far, far more capable offroad that most people would them credit for. For most, I suppose that they'll never believe it until they've either seen it o done it.

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Feb 12

Posts: 242

Titosfuneral says:

@muddoctor I agree with what you're saying. A lot of people talk about not being able to take these bikes offroad without finding out just how far they can go. Or they talk about not being able to pick 'em up without finding out that you can pick the BMW's up with one hand due to the wide handlebars (Done it many times) I used to have a 1150gs which I regularly took offroad through some of the most challenging conditions. I've ridden through sand, mud, volcanic ash fields, gravel and the rest. Never going to be as fast or as capable as a pure offroad bike but a lot of fun anyway. The newer bikes are much lighter than the old 1150.. only 30kg or so more than a good few of the 650 adventure bikes. (The KLR I spent 5 years travelling on for example) The big difference is that the new BMW and KTM seem to be brilliant on road as well.

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