The best small adventure bikes you can buy

Published: 06 July 2017

Bikes for sale

With photos emerging of Yamaha's new 700cc adventure bike based on the MT-07 we've got all excited about smaller capacity adventure bikes.

For too long the adventure bike class has focussed on large capacity bikes, with ever-increasing power and hefty price tags. But the latest spy shots of Yamaha's upcoming model have got us all excited for smaller capacity adventure bikes which are easier to use, more manageable and much more affordable.

Below are some of our favourite small capacity adventure bikes that you can buy right now without having to wait for the new Yamaha to become available.


Yamaha XT660Z Tenere

Kawasaki ER-6F motorcycle for sale

This is the bike the new parallel-twin Yamaha will be replacing, the much-loved but often forgotten Tenere. Launched in 2008 and killed off this year by Euro 4 legislation, the Tenere is powered by Yamaha's bulletproof 660cc single-cylinder engine which is a great engine for off-road riding, but struggle slightly with the 185kg weight on the road. 

The Tenere is extremely capable when it comes to riding off-road which makes it a great choice if you're serious about going off-road with your adventure bike.

Yamaha XT660Z Tenere for sale

Honda CB500X

Honda VFR800 motorcycle for sale

Compared to the Tenere the CB500X is softer and much more road-focussed. 17-inch wheels all round mean off-road capability is limited but it's much easier to ride on the road. It's A2-licence friendly and excellent value for money new and second hand.

The CB500X is an incredibly versatile machine for commuting and longer journeys with excellent ergonomics for all shapes and sizes of rider. If you fancy taking the CB500X on the rough stuff there's a huge range of products out there to make it adventure ready.

Honda CB500X for sale

CCM GP450 Adventure

BMW R1200GS motorcycle for sale

Probably not at the top of everyone's list when it comes to small capacity adventure bikes, the CCM is a proper adventure bike capable of tackling almost anything you can throw at it, but it lacks refinement on the road.

If you want something a little different with true off-road potential you should have a serious look at the CCM. Although shorter riders should take note of the tall seat height.

CCM GP450 Adventure for sale

Kawasaki Versys-X 300

BMW R1200GS motorcycle for sale

New for 2017, the Versys-X 300 impressed us when we rode it at the launch. As you'd expect for a small capacity bike it's lithe, nimble, light and incredibly easy to handle. It's powered by the same 296cc parallel-twin engine as found in the Ninja 300 which makes a great engine in all situations, although it may lack the low down power needed if you venture off-road.

Kawasaki Versys-X 300 for sale


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