Best Adventure Motorcycle of 2020

Ryan Adams
by Ryan Adams

Best Adventure Motorcycle of 2020: Triumph Tiger 900

We always say it’s a great time to be a motorcyclist. There are so many great bikes for all sorts of end uses these days. Perhaps the best example of this is the Adventure category – specifically the red hot middleweight adventure class. There are a handful of middleweights that quite thoroughly span the breadth of what moto-wanderers might consider necessary to tackle the unknown. In MO’s collective opinion, no motorcycle quite runs the gamut like Triumph’s new Tiger 900 Rally Pro.

2020 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro & Rally Pro Review – First Ride

The Triumph Tiger Rally Pro brings with it a plethora of top-shelf componentry and cutting edge technology. The snarling new 888cc Triple that propels the machine ferociously is smaller, lighter, and perhaps most importantly, pushing more power than before. What has always made Triumph’s Triples great has been the amount of low-end torque and top-end power, which makes the Tiger’s powerplant well-equipped to a variety of uses. In addition to its solid motor, the new Tiger 900 Rally Pro features fully-adjustable Showa suspension that can handle everything from dicing through paved switchbacks, to miles of whatever terrain you might find down the trail.

What sets the Tiger 900 apart is how well it can handle the changing terra while still offering some of the best touring technology on the market. The massive seven-inch TFT display hints at the underlying technology you can’t see. Six ride modes vary traction control and ABS settings and, with the Off-road Pro mode, all of those rider aids can be disabled should you want unencumbered access to all the Tiger has to give. Also useful is Bluetooth connectivity for phones and GoPros. The top-o-the-line performance continues with the Tiger’s Brembo Stylema calipers and the aforementioned Showa suspension.

The Middleweight Adventure Triad

We chose the Triumph Tiger 900 Rally as our Best Adventure Motorcycle of 2020 because it so thoroughly covers what most adventure riders want out of their machines. Is it the best off-road? Maybe not, but it can get the job done… make that all of the jobs done, with comfort and relative ease.

Best Adventure Motorcycle of 2020 Runner-Up: KTM 790 Adventure R

Last year’s winner is this year’s runner-up. To date, there still isn’t much competition when it comes to the best adventure bike for off-road use. The Yamaha Ténéré is a fantastic option, but still doesn’t quite match the KTM as a whole. The 790 Adventure R delivers staggering performance off-road with a host of useful electronics and overall design that continues to be unmatched.

2019 KTM 790 Adventure R First Ride Review

The chassis and low-slung fuel tank wrapped around the compact 799cc Parallel Twin makes the KTM handle like no other bike on the market by keeping the center of gravity and overall mass low to the ground – a configuration that makes all the difference in technical off-road settings. And as good as the KTM is off-road, it can still handle pavement with ease, as all adventure bikes should. Does it give up some touring performance for its stellar off-road capability, sure. For some, that might matter, and for others, it won’t. With the Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro taking the overall in the ADV category this year, the 790 Adventure R still carries the torch as the most capable off-road adventure machine, but to many, that’s not all that matters. Best of 2020 Categories

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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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4 of 29 comments
  • Larry W Larry W on Dec 14, 2020

    Dear MOrons: Tiger 900 GT or Scrambler 1200XC as your only bike? Mostly paved mountain roads, occasional fire roads. Two to three trips of three to five days a year, otherwise 90% twisty day rides. I think I need more than a short test ride to decide. Which would you choose?

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    • Larry W Larry W on Dec 16, 2020

      Thanks Ryan! First it has to fit. At 6'2", big standards and adventure bikes fit me best. Price point suspension and/or brakes would be my other pet peeves. Now that some of the naked/standard class have the suspension, brakes, and electronics on par with ADVs, I'm leaning in that direction after riding ADVs for more than a decade. Trade a little wind protection for better looks, sound, and feel. Don't want to give up fun twisty road performance. If you'd choose the scrambler, it works for me.

  • Rumblestrip Rumblestrip on Dec 15, 2020

    Whichever bike they choose for any category will be wrong because the internet.