Top 5 Adventure Motorcycles – The Smaller Guys

Are you ready to take on the open road and explore new territories? Adventure motorcycles are the perfect choice for those seeking a thrilling and versatile riding experience. With their off-road capabilities and comfortable long-distance touring abilities, adventure bikes have become increasingly popular in recent years. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for you.

BMW G 310 GS – starting at $5,695

When it comes to adventure motorcycles, BMW is a name that often comes to mind. The German manufacturer has been producing high-quality bikes for decades, and the BMW G 310 GS is no exception. This bike is the smallest in BMW’s GS lineup, but don’t let its size fool you. It packs a punch and is perfect for both on and off-road adventures.

Engine and Performance

BMW G 310 GS is powered by a 313cc single-cylinder engine that produces 34 horsepower and 21 lb-ft of torque. While this may not seem like much compared to other adventure bikes, it’s more than enough for a beginner or someone looking for a lightweight and easy-to-handle bike. The engine is paired with a six-speed transmission and has a top speed of around 90 mph.

The G 310 GS also features a slipper clutch, which helps with smoother downshifts and prevents rear-wheel lock-up. It also has an adjustable front suspension and a rear monoshock, providing a comfortable and stable ride on any terrain.

Design and Features

The design of the G 310 GS is inspired by its bigger siblings, the BMW R 1200 GS and R 1250 GS. It has a rugged and aggressive look with a high front fender, beak-like front fairing, and a tall windscreen. The bike also has a comfortable seat height of 32.9 inches, making it accessible for riders of all heights.

In terms of features, the G 310 GS comes equipped with ABS, traction control, and ride-by-wire throttle. It also has an LCD instrument cluster that displays all the necessary information, including gear position indicator, fuel gauge, and average fuel consumption.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Lightweight and easy to handle Limited power compared to other adventure bikes
Comfortable seat height for all riders Higher price point for a smaller engine size
High-quality build and design Limited off-road capabilities compared to other adventure bikes

Honda CRF300L/CRF300L Rally – starting at $5,249

Honda is another well-known name in the motorcycle industry, and their CRF series has been a popular choice for adventure riders. Honda has updated their CRF250L and CRF250L Rally models to the CRF300L and CRF300L Rally, respectively. These bikes offer more power and improved features, making them a top contender in the lightweight adventure bike category.

Engine and Performance

The CRF300L and CRF300L Rally are powered by a 286cc single-cylinder engine that produces 27 horsepower and 19 lb-ft of torque. While this may not seem like a significant increase from the previous 250cc engine, the new engine has been tuned for better low-end torque and smoother power delivery. It also has a six-speed transmission and a top speed of around 85 mph.

Both bikes have a fuel capacity of 2.1 gallons, providing a decent range for long-distance rides. They also have a slipper clutch and an assist-and-slipper clutch, making it easier to downshift and preventing rear-wheel lock-up.

Design and Features

The CRF300L and CRF300L Rally have a similar design, with the main difference being the addition of a rally-style fairing on the latter. Both bikes have a high front fender, tall windscreen, and a comfortable seat height of 34.7 inches. The CRF300L Rally also has a larger fuel tank at 3.4 gallons, making it more suitable for longer rides.

In terms of features, both bikes come equipped with ABS, LED lighting, and a digital instrument cluster that displays all the necessary information. The CRF300L Rally also has a larger windscreen, handguards, and a skid plate for added protection during off-road adventures.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Improved power and torque compared to previous models Limited fuel capacity for longer rides
Comfortable seat height for taller riders Limited off-road capabilities compared to other adventure bikes
Affordable price point for a Honda adventure bike No traction control or ride-by-wire throttle

Kawasaki Versys-X 300 – starting at $6,099

Kawasaki’s Versys-X 300 is another popular choice in the lightweight adventure bike category. It offers a good balance between on and off-road capabilities, making it a versatile option for riders looking to explore different terrains.

Engine and Performance

The Versys-X 300 is powered by a 296cc parallel-twin engine that produces 39 horsepower and 20 lb-ft of torque. This makes it the most powerful bike on our list, but still manageable for beginners. It has a six-speed transmission and a top speed of around 100 mph.

The bike also has a slipper clutch and an assist-and-slipper clutch, providing smoother downshifts and preventing rear-wheel lock-up. It also has a fuel capacity of 4.5 gallons, giving it a decent range for longer rides.

Design and Features

The Versys-X 300 has a sporty and modern design with a high front fender, beak-like front fairing, and a tall windscreen. It also has a comfortable seat height of 32.1 inches, making it accessible for riders of all heights. The bike also features a luggage rack and handguards, making it more suitable for adventure touring.

In terms of features, the Versys-X 300 comes equipped with ABS, traction control, and a digital instrument cluster that displays all the necessary information. It also has a two-level adjustable windshield, allowing riders to customize their riding experience.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Most powerful engine on our list Higher price point for a smaller engine size
Comfortable seat height for all riders Limited off-road capabilities compared to other adventure bikes
Larger fuel capacity for longer rides No ride-by-wire throttle

KTM 390 Adventure – starting at $6,599

KTM is known for producing high-performance and lightweight motorcycles, and their 390 Adventure is no exception. This bike offers a perfect balance between power, agility, and off-road capabilities, making it a top choice for adventure riders.

Engine and Performance

The KTM 390 Adventure is powered by a 373cc single-cylinder engine that produces 43 horsepower and 27 lb-ft of torque. It has a six-speed transmission and a top speed of around 100 mph. The engine has been tuned for better low-end torque, making it easier to navigate through off-road terrain.

The bike also has a slipper clutch and an assist-and-slipper clutch, providing smoother downshifts and preventing rear-wheel lock-up. It also has a fuel capacity of 3.8 gallons, giving it a decent range for longer rides.

Design and Features

The KTM 390 Adventure has a sporty and aggressive design with a high front fender, beak-like front fairing, and a tall windscreen. It also has a comfortable seat height of 33.6 inches, making it accessible for riders of all heights. The bike also features handguards and a luggage rack, making it suitable for adventure touring.

In terms of features, the 390 Adventure comes equipped with ABS, traction control, and ride-by-wire throttle. It also has a TFT display that displays all the necessary information, including gear position indicator, fuel gauge, and average fuel consumption.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Powerful engine with improved low-end torque Higher price point for a smaller engine size
Comfortable seat height for all riders Limited fuel capacity for longer rides
Equipped with advanced features such as ride-by-wire throttle Limited off-road capabilities compared to other adventure bikes

CSC RX4 Adventure – starting at $4,995

CSC Motorcycles may not be a well-known name in the industry, but their RX4 Adventure is gaining popularity among adventure riders. This bike offers a great value for its price, making it an excellent choice for those on a budget.

Engine and Performance

The CSC RX4 Adventure is powered by a 450cc single-cylinder engine that produces 40 horsepower and 30 lb-ft of torque. It has a six-speed transmission and a top speed of around 90 mph. The engine has been tuned for better low-end torque, making it suitable for off-road adventures.

The bike also has a slipper clutch and an assist-and-slipper clutch, providing smoother downshifts and preventing rear-wheel lock-up. It also has a fuel capacity of 4 gallons, giving it a decent range for longer rides.

Design and Features

The RX4 Adventure has a simple and functional design with a high front fender, beak-like front fairing, and a tall windscreen. It also has a comfortable seat height of 33.5 inches, making it accessible for riders of all heights. The bike also features handguards and a luggage rack, making it suitable for adventure touring.

In terms of features, the RX4 Adventure comes equipped with ABS, LED lighting, and a digital instrument cluster that displays all the necessary information. It also has a USB charging port, making it convenient for long rides.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Affordable price point for a larger engine size Limited power compared to other adventure bikes
Comfortable seat height for all riders Limited off-road capabilities compared to other adventure bikes
Equipped with advanced features such as USB charging port No traction control or ride-by-wire throttle

Conclusion

Adventure motorcycles are a great choice for those looking to explore new territories and experience the thrill of off-road riding. The top 5 lightweight adventure motorcycles that we’ve introduced in this article offer a perfect balance between power, agility, and affordability. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider looking for a smaller and more manageable option, these bikes are sure to provide an exciting and versatile riding experience. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start your adventure!

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