The best touring and adventure bikes
There are hundreds of motorcycle magazines and websites with some extremely knowledgeable test riders providing excellent reviews on adventure bikes. Here at riderslog.com we won't do the same.
We are aimed to give personal reviews on bikes that we had experience or in most of the cases the joy of riding on it.
In this way helping riders to decide on which is the right bike for the purpose, open up discussions from different bike owners and hear their testimonials and personal experiences on each model.
Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom
The small V-strom is inevitably my first choice of touring bike when I have to consider my budget. I owned a 2005 model for almost 10 years and put over 150,000 kilometers in it without any major problem. The engine is a very reliable 645 cc, 4-stroke, liquid cooled, 90-degree V-twin with a plentiful 66 horsepower and 44.3lb ft of torque at 6,400 rpm. For GS 1200 fans it might sounds a bit low but considering its fuel efficiency and light weight (194 kg) the small V strom is an ideal long distance touring bike. It is great for constant highway rides. We did over 1000 kilometers daily crossing Iran in a 45+ Celsius degree temperature and the bike was just great. Excellent fuel usage (about 450-480 kms with one tank) on 140 km/h cruise with over 50 kilograms of gear. The light weight and the less power came very handy in the Laotian jungle where the daily average distance was about 120 kilometers in 12 hours, very Camel Trophy style. Apart from the sprockets, brakes, chain and tires, only the starter engine needed some repair after about 100,000 kilometers, the bike was still usable thought, it just needed some hit on the starter with a rock.
Suzuki DR 650
Suzuki's DR 650 is inevitably a masterpiece in its class. The four stroke single cylinder engine provides a very comforting 46 horsepower for its 166 kilograms. This model is one of the oldest standing in Suzuki's palette and it came as a replacement of the DR 600 in 1990. Personally I rode the DR 650 in Australia, throughout outback New South Wales and one think its sure, if you can manage that few hundred kilometers on the highway to get away from any types of civilization, this bike will give you huge amount of fun and confidence. The bike I had was fitted with a 26 liters custom made tank which put this beauty somewhere close to 800 kilometers range. One of our biker friend had a 2004 model with over 150.000 kilometers in it and worked just perfectly fine.
Honda XRV 750 Africa Twin
Africa Twin is a legendary motorcycle, one we all check out when a nice one comes around. It all started with the NXR 750 which won the Paris Dakar rally four times during the late eighties. Africa Twins have a very fine tuned 742 cc V-twin engine which moves this rather big bike around fairly easily. This is a big bike but its lower power output allows us to take it off road or on long trail rides. However, its heavy weight could be very costly when it comes to lay downs, even a gentle lay down could cost a lot. On the road the big Africa is a very smooth ride. The narrow front tyre and wide handle bar makes it very easy to handle, even in narrow turns and the high sitting position gives great views. Africa Twins were used for long distance travelling since it has hit the market. Unfortunately Honda discontinued the manufacturing of this model in 2003. One of our blogger Akos Nemeth is riding an Africa Twin around the world.