Yamaha Ténéré 700

13 Adventure Bikes That Are Great For Both New And Experienced Riders

Love them or hate them, adventure-style motorcycles are the most popular segment on the market right now. Some might say they’re the SUV of the motorcycling world, but it’s hard to argue against a practical yet fun bike.

Since we would love to see more people join us on two wheels, we’ve collected some of the best entry-level adventure bikes for both new and experienced riders. As excellent as the biggest, heaviest, and most powerful models may be, they aren’t the best for novices, nor are they a great choice if you’re on a budget.

KTM 390 Adventure

KTM 390 Adventure
Image Credit: KTM

KTM built its entire brand on highly capable off-road machines. While it may have ventured into on-road performance bikes, the Austrian brand still knows a thing or two about adventure bikes.

The KTM 390 Adventure uses the same 373cc engine found in the 390 Duke and RC 390, and its 44 horsepower is plenty for one-up touring. With tubeless spoked wheels and knobby tires, this little monster can practically go anywhere.

Honda CRF300 Rally

Honda CRF300 Rally
Image Credit: Honda

Honda’s CRF300 Rally is an excellent off-road adventure bike. In fact, it’s so good that it’s YouTuber Itchy Boots’ weapon of choice as she rides through some of the world’s most desolate places.

The CRF300 Rally has a 286cc single-cylinder engine that thumps out 27 horsepower and 20 lb-ft of torque. It’s a great bike straight from the showroom floor, but thanks to a substantial selection of aftermarket parts, you can turn it into a highly specialized machine.

Royal Enfield Himalayan

Royal Enfield Himalayan
Image Credit: Royal Enfield

Royal Enfield’s popularity has exploded in the last decade, all thanks to fun and affordable motorcycles such as the Himalayan. The first generation arrived in 2018 and was powered by a 411cc single-cylinder engine with 24 horsepower, but the new version has a 40-horsepower 452cc unit—a vast improvement.

The R-E Himalayan is still one of the cheapest adventure motorcycles on the market, and it’s also among the most capable. That’s a proper win-win!

BMW G 310 GS

BMW G 310 GS
Image Credit: BMW Motorrad

BMW’s entry-level single-cylinder 310 has always been a bit underrated, but the Bavarians know a thing or two about building great adventure bikes, and the G 310 GS is no exception.

It features ride-by-wire, a 313cc engine that produces 34 horsepower and 20 lb-ft of torque, and a 6-speed transmission with a slipper clutch. It may not be the most powerful off-road-capable tourer, but it’s still a very capable machine.

Kawasaki Versys-X 300

Kawasaki Versys-X 300
Image Credit: Kawasaki

While the rest of Kawasaki’s entry-level lineup has moved on to bigger 400 and even 500cc engines, the Versys-X is still only offered with the old 296cc unit. However, it’s still just as capable as the competition in this segment, as the little twin churns out 40 horsepower and 19 lb-ft of torque.

The Versys-X 300 is a great bike whether you’re looking for a comfortable everyday commuter or a weekend getaway tool.

Honda NX500

Honda NX500
Image Credit: Honda

Honda’s NX500, formerly known as the CB500X, is one of the best beginner bikes currently on the market. In our opinion, it’s also the best-looking entry-level adventure bike available right now.

The NX500 is adventure-ready straight off the showroom floor, and with just a handful of upgrades, it’ll be more than capable of taking you around the world. It also packs a decent punch, thanks to the 471cc engine that delivers 47 horsepower and 32 lb-ft of torque.

Kawasaki KLR 650

Kawasaki KLR 650
Image Credit: Kawasaki

The Kawasaki KLR 650 is one of the most legendary adventure bikes out there, but it’s not for those who require all the latest tech and gizmos. We can’t think of a more basic adventure bike, making it perfect for those who just want to get away from it all and explore the world without any worries.

The KLR 650’s single-cylinder engine is practically bulletproof, and it churns out 48 horsepower and 39 lb-ft of torque. It’ll take endless amounts of punishment and get you wherever you want to go without complaining.

Kawasaki Versys 650

Kawasaki Versys 650
Image Credit: GM Moto Media / YouTube

If you have your heart set on a 650 Kawasaki but the KLR is too basic, the Versys 650 is an excellent option. It uses a 649cc parallel-twin engine that produces 65 horsepower and 45 lb-ft of torque, making it much more powerful than the KLR.

The Versys also has traction control, LED lights, TFT color instrumentation, and other features to help make it enjoyable to ride both on and off-road.

Suzuki V-Strom 650

Suzuki V-Strom 650
Image Credit: Suzuki

Suzuki is another Japanese manufacturer that offers an excellent adventure motorcycle. Its V-Strom 650 has earned a large following thanks to its reliability, versatility, and value for money, and it’s as good off the beaten path as it is on the daily commute.

Its 645cc V-twin engine produces 70 horsepower and 46 lb-ft of torque, which is more than enough when riding on gravel and dirt roads.

Triumph Tiger Sport 660

Triumph Tiger Sport 660
Image Credit: Triumph Motorcycles

The Triumph Tiger Sport 660 comes packed with high-end components and plenty of rider aids, and the 660cc triple-cylinder engine is a real peach. The larger-capacity Tigers have earned their spots among the best ADV bikes, and the 660 may prove to be one of the best models for inexperienced riders.

Available at a sensible price and producing 81 horsepower, this British adventurer is a great option even for experienced riders who don’t want to break the bank.

Aprilia Tuareg 660

Aprilia Tuareg 660
Image Credit: Aprilia

Aprilia has given the Tuareg the same 660 engine found in the Italian bike maker’s Tuono and RS 660 models, albeit slightly detuned. Whereas the parallel-twin unit produces around 100 horsepower in the road bikes, the Tuareg has to make do with 79 horses—plenty for off-road use.

While some riders may balk at the idea of putting a new rider on a 660cc machine, it’s not unsafe as long as the rider applies some common sense. We can think of many entry-level sports bikes that are way more dangerous. The Tuareg 660 even features different riding modes to help smooth things out even further.

Yamaha Ténéré 700

Yamaha Ténéré 700
Image Credit: Yamaha

Yamaha’s Ténéré 700, or T7, is one of the most excellent motorcycles you can buy right now, no matter the segment. Those looking for even more of a bargain bike can check out the used market, seeing as it’s already been around for four years.

The T7 is simple, lightweight, and reliable, and the 687cc engine is one of the best parallel-twin engines ever. It’s another bike that’s earned the respect of some great YouTube adventure riders.

Honda XL750 Transalp

Honda XL750 Transalp
Image Credit: Honda

Honda introduced the original Transalp in the States in 1989, but Americans didn’t want it, so it was discontinued after two years. Europeans, however, loved it, and it became the number one adventure motorcycle there.

As more people want ADV bikes, Honda has made the Transalp available in the US once again. It comes with all the features you’ll ever need, and the renowned Honda reliability means you’ll never be stranded in the middle of nowhere. Its 755cc parallel twin produces 83 horsepower and 55 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to get you wherever you want to go.

Andre Nalin

Author: Andre Nalin

Title: Writer

Bio:

Andre has worked as a writer and editor for multiple car and motorcycle publications over the last decade, but he has reverted to freelancing these days. He has accumulated a ton of seat time during his ridiculous road trips in highly unsuitable vehicles, and he’s built magazine-featured cars. He prefers it when his bikes and cars are fast and loud, but if he had to pick one, he’d go with loud.

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