Best Adventure Motorcycle of 2023

Ryan Adams
by Ryan Adams

Best Adventure Motorcycle of 2023: Suzuki V-Strom 800DE

It was yet another good year for adventure enthusiasts with a handful of new or revamped models hitting showroom floors in a variety of sizes and flavors. The one that shone brighter than the rest for us though was the all-new Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE. A drastic departure from the previous V-Strom line, the DE proved to be the most off-road focused ‘Strom yet. Complimenting its new focus was the inclusion of an excellent 776cc Parallel-Twin – a decision that had keyboard jockeys around the world thinking their “P-Strom” comments were funny and original.

The new 776cc DOHC engine uses a 270-degree crank, 84mm by 70mm bore and stroke, and 12.8:1 compression ratio which Suzuki says translates to 84 hp at 8,500 rpm and 57.5 lb-ft of torque at 6,800 rpm. Combined with its two-piece steel frame and fully adjustable Showa suspension offering nearly nine inches of travel, the 800 DE’s ingredients looked like a good recipe.

When it came time for MO to throw a leg over ’er, the 800 DE Twin’s balanced engine delivered an excellent amount of low end grunt while balancing smooth power through the rpm range. The fact that the new mill was tucked into an equally balanced chassis made for an exhilarating ride.

Suzuki managed to deliver an excellent new option in an absolutely packed segment while somehow carving out a hole for itself that hadn’t been entirely filled by other machines. The most well-rounded V-Strom to date earned Suzuki top honors this year in the highly competitive ADV category.

Best Adventure Motorcycle of 2023 Runner-up: Husqvarna Norden 901 Expedition

Early this year, we had the opportunity to test the Norden 901 Expedition in South Africa over a vast variety of terrain and it turns out the Expedition treatment was exactly what the Norden needed. The stars of the Expedition were the upgraded WP XPLOR suspension and the included ride modes that have to be purchased separately on the base model – a stout skid plate never hurts either. Other items like the center stand, taller windscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, heated rider seat and grips, and rack and bags are also nice to have, but with only a $1,300 price difference between the two models, the Expedition is a smokin’ deal.

The Norden Expedition carries on Pierer Mobility’s off-road pedigree, living at the dirty end of the ADV spectrum. While the Expedition is little more than extra bits bolted on (or turned on) to the standard bike, that “little more” makes a big difference and the performance extracted from something so seemingly simple has resulted in an excellent option for those who dig the Norden’s looks, but want to be able to tackle the trails aggressively.

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Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams

Ryan’s time in the motorcycle industry has revolved around sales and marketing prior to landing a gig at An avid motorcyclist, interested in all shapes, sizes, and colors of motorized two-wheeled vehicles, Ryan brings a young, passionate enthusiasm to the digital pages of MO.

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3 of 8 comments
  • Ponch Ponch on Dec 10, 2023

    There will me less variety as time goes on. It'll be more akin to badge engineering. It's the standard business model to increase profit with less. Differentiation with vehicles, over time, has become less.

    • Imtoomuch Imtoomuch on Dec 13, 2023

      That's what is happening now. Manufacturers are making cheap, compact and boring parallel twins to stuff in all kinds of different motorcycles. It's sad.

  • Imtoomuch Imtoomuch on Dec 13, 2023

    Heck yes another new Suzuki wins! Too bad it is, again, a motorcycle with an APT - Another Parallel Twin. Good to see it lay the smackdown to the KTM rainbow.