On paper, there seems to be lot going for middleweight adventure bikes like the Suzuki V-Strom 650XT and the BMW F800GS.
Lighter and more-nimble than their big-capacity brothers, the theory is that they offer the off-road ability and touring prowess of a big adventure bike, without the painful purchase price, running costs, or physical scale.
And when you look at the facts, that makes sense. At £7899, the 650XT is £2200 less than its 1000cc counterpart, while the F800GS is over £3000 less than an R1200GS.
If you used those savings to head somewhere, that sort of money would buy you a lot of adventure, and with lower seat heights and better fuel economy, they’re easier to live with too.
But which is the best bet for distance riding and economy? To find out we clocked as many miles as we could on the pair and hit some of the gnarliest, dustiest trails we could find.
Check out the gallery to check out our adventure and buy this week’s issue of MCN to read the full feature.
This year's XT is on the MCN Fleet
Oli Rushby, MCN's BSB Reporter is running a V-Strom 650XT so find out how he's getting on here.
Beemers updated for 2017
And for 2017 BMW's F700GS and F800GS were updated. This was to meet strict noise and exhaust emissions limits as part of the incoming Euro4 regulations. Check out the gallery of images here.
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