2018 is the season for mid-size ADV machines


Expedition Leader
Two and three years ago, the autobahn-storming 1000cc and above adventure machines were revamped and new models introduced. Models include the KTM Super Adventure 1290 and 1190, Aprilla Caponard Rally 1200, Ducati Multistrada 1200, Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200, Triumph Tiger Explorer XC, Suzuki V-Storm 1000, and the Honda Africa Twin. The BMW R1200 GS outsold them all.

2017 was the turn of the lightweight, less than 400cc machines. Honda revitalized the market with the CRF 250 L Rally. BMW G310 GS, Kawasaki Versys-X 300, and Kawasaki KLX 250 joined the Yamaha WR250R.

So 2018 is the time to update the 650cc to 800cc models. New or heavily revised “midsize” ADV motorcycles include BMW 850 GS, and Triumph Tiger 800 XC. Also making the rounds are production-ready prototypes from Moto Guzzi (the Concept V85), KTM (790 Adventure R) and Yamaha (Tenere 700).
Caught in the middle are the ageless Suzuki V-Storm 650 XT, Honda XR650L, and Kawasaki KLR 650, all proven, reliable, inexpensive midsize choices for the adventure rider.

Which 2018 model meets your two wheel adventure travel needs?



I come in Peace
To put it in my own perspective, I'm only 5.6 with a 29" inseam so my choices are limited. I really want a mid-sized ADV bike that can peel off the freeway miles with ease, and still be fun on the rough dirt roads.

I'm currently enjoying a 2007 KTM 990 Adventure. It's a handful off pavement for me (still working out my suspension setup)

I'll be holding onto my 990 ADV in hopes of that Yamaha 700 Tenere actually gets released in the US next year (2018) - This looks to be a great mid-size adventure bike.

I've owned a V-Strom 650 - Loved it on the street, and it was fun on dirt roads, but I really missed the 21" front wheel and off-road ability of my KLR650 (1st Gen) when the roads got bumpy, rutted, rocky, ect.. - I still have the KLR, but it's semi retired. It needs a rebuild, and not sure it's really worth it at this point.

The XR650L is great, but not for a lot of freeway riding unless you're into that sort of thing. I have several friends who have them, but they don't do the "Adventure Riding" think. They are great for Baja, and dual sport rides though.

I test rode a Tiger 800XC and loved it, but it was a bit much in the power department. If I was taller and bigger this would be one of my choices for sure. Same for the BMW F800 for the most part.

I'm pretty stoked on the Yamaha so I haven't looked at the KTM 790 much at all.
I wont lie...

the Royal Enfield Himalayan that is finally coming to the states looks appealing.
410 cc. Solid off road prowess with the right skill and picking a good track.
Simple, no bells and whistles.
Watched a few test ride clips. Seems like it will pull 70 all day long on the highway.
The price point of around 5 k is also. Pretty dang attractive.

some of those youtube clips are of them riding it actually up in the himalaya. If it can tackle that, it can take anything I would want to throw at it.
For anything gnarly and nasty Il stick with my little KLR 250. Not amazing off road but it is light enough you can push over a lot.

I truely miss my 1999 BMW 650 classic. That was nearly the perfect bike. It had a bad habbit of buffering around above 70 in the wind. Off road it went a lot of places but needed more travel and more clearance. Both could have been fixed.

At this point, I am looking hard at both the RE and teh Kawi 300. The both look like a lot of fun for canyon carving and fFS road exploring. We have a lot of both out here.