Honda and Suzuki have come up trumps with two affordable adventurers, but which shines brightest on the MCN250?


Honda’s XL750 Transalp and the Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE are two of the new adventure stars of 2023. They impressed at their respective launches earlier this year and both are propelled by minty-fresh 270-degree parallel twins, also used in the recently released Honda CB750 Hornet and Suzuki GSX-8S nakeds.

‘Middleweights’ like these hit the adventure sweet spot more than any other. They don’t cost the earth, they’re easy to manage and will do anything a big-cube, big money adventure bike can do – from short blasts to full-on touring.

They’re roomy, engaging, have more power than you’ll ever need while long-travel suspension and 21in front wheels will keep them trucking as the roads turn to dirt. We’ll be getting their tyres muddy in an MCN head-to-head over the summer, which will also include the Yamaha Ténéré 700.

But for today’s test we want to find out what they’re like purely as street bikes, where most owners will use them.

We’ve chosen our designated B-road and motorway loops for our ride…