Why Adventure bikes?

The “Adventure Bike” is really any motorcycle suitably equipped to be taken vast distances into remote areas on rough roads. It has the ability to carry sufficient luggage to allow its rider to survive days in the middle of no-where, in relative comfort.

When I think of an Adventure Bike, I think of a large capacity road touring motorcycle which has had upgrades done to the frame, suspension, wheels and tyres to allow for light to medium off-road use. Its fair to say that BMW defined the adventure bike with the GS series back in the early 90’s. Since then many motorcycle manufacturers have mashed the DNA of road and off-road machines, and we now have a huge range of bikes capable of taking on the mountains and the deserts, but also quite capable of taking you to work on Monday. 

I must admit, I didn’t really understand the Adventure Bike before owning one. In my younger years I was doing a lot of trail/enduro riding where weight was the enemy. Sub-100kg bikes was the only way to go, anything heavier was too hard for an average rider to handle in the bush. Most of these bikes we rode were terrible on the road, lucky to see 100km/h — but that didn’t matter, recreational registration didn’t really allow for road use anyway. Riding this type of bike meant that you were often limited to about a 25km radius around the car and trailer you unloaded from, so you never really went anywhere. But within that radius, there was no obstacle that couldn’t be conquered, no log crossing too big,no hill too steep. At the end of the day if your bike didn’t go any more — there was a trailer waiting to take it home anyway.

This is where Adventure bikes differ. They’re not ideally suited to being carelesslythrown around the bush, for the most part, they are too heavy, and too expensive for those antics.  They are suited to take you a long way away from home, down the long dirt road that leads to that faraway place, and back again — that’s where the Adventure is!

Robert Haines

Jun 2020

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