Since this is my very first post about this topic and this category I wanted to make it something special. Let’s understand from my point of you what an adventure motorcycle is and what defines an adventure motorcycle rider.
According to Oxford Dictionary adventure is:
“an unusual, exciting, or dangerous experience, journey, or series of events”
Yet if anyone would ask me what adventure means: I would just sum it up as:
“To enjoying life being outside of your comfort zone and place.“
You may agree and disagree but that is my version of it. Adventure however is of course much more than simply writing one line. I would dare to say that adventure itself cannot be explained in words, because it is something that has to be experienced first hand, it is something has to be lived in person.
I have always been into adventures either on foot or bicycle but it there was something that I always wanted to do whilst still living in Venezuela was to explore Europe on a motorbike. This continent despite its size has plenty of places to explore and enjoy for every different kind of person there is.
Spain, the country I consider my home since almost five years ago, is one of the best places in Europe to come and go on an adventure. And sure there are many more but I am just talking for what I have experienced myself. Spain offers you deserts, empty mountains, amazing sunrises, chilled sunsets along the coastline, the snowed caps of the Pyrenees, the roughness of the Galician sea, of the beauty of the many mountains and castles (some of them abandoned) that can be found around the country.
Here comes a question or a topic that if you are into this world you might agree or disagree. The fact is as everything in life this is not just pure black or pure white kind of answer. Why not?
Some people believe that and adventure motorcycle is an BMW 1250GS Adventure Rally, or a KTM 790 R, Yamaha Tenere 700 or the Africa Twin. And the truth is that you do not need to own one of those to go on an adventure around the world. Sure trips and documentaries like the one who took Ewan McGregor with his friend around the northern hemisphere with two BMW GS1200 gave that impression, but then again it gave the wrong impression to many motorcycle riders out there. Not everyone can afford a filming crew and a back up truck around the world.
Ultimately any motorcycle has the potential to be an adventure motorcycle, so yes even the vespas can be your perfect adventure motorcycle.
For me an adventure motorcycle is the one that can take you anywhere effortlessly .
The problem starts when motorcycle manufacturers start pitching the wrong message to the audience, making everyone believe that owning a over 240kgs bike can take you anywhere. Yes, of course, they are not lying, but they are not the only ones.
It will al depend of the type of rider you are, the type of on and off routes you want to take and how comfy you want to be when riding it.
Say you want to explore Europe and just do tarmac a simply 500cc can do the trick. Sure you will not go over 120km/h but it can take you from A to Z easily and without too much effort.
Here is a list of some stereotype of adventure motorcycles
- Light: this will normally be someone riding a 450cc. This person will not be cruising motorways, most likely will do light off -road and occasionally a bit harder off-road without pushing himself. This person tends to ride alone and carry the minimal for survival. The benefit of this is that if you drop your bike you can always pick it up no matter how unfit you are. The no so cool part of this is that since the petrol tank is not big, he must be always be careful how many kilometres he can go before having to fill in his tank again.
- Mid-weight: Here you could consider anything between 500CC and up to 650CC. Here this kind of rider would be able to travel more comfortable on the motorways and enjoy off-roads. This engine size range is probably the best there is but sadly there aren’t many out there at the moment, although possibly in the future and with the introduction of e-engines we could see this changing.
- Heavy-weight: here enter anything above 650cc. This kinda of rider would most probably stick to the tarmac and not because he doesn’t want to ride off-road but because of the risk of dropping this heavy bikes anywhere.
Help me I can’t make up my mind
Unfortunately like I said before there is no right or wrong with an adventure motorcycle. Technology has come a long way and nowadays all main manufactures somehow offer at least one model to go on an adventure in a very comfortable way. Of course there is a price to pay to it so my only recommendation is that if you like German or Austrian motorcycles get ready to pay for it, unless you are a pro mechanic and you can take care of it. If you prefer a reliable motorcycle the Japanese brands will always be on top, as long as you take good care of them and service them when it is needed they will not let you down.
Before you go
Everyone has a different concept about what adventure motorcycle is, so do not let my comments or anyone’s comments put you off from getting your dream motorcycle and go an explore. Remember that is just a tiny bit of a much more wider topic and I am sure that we ever happen to cross paths we would talk about this none-stop.