Adventure motorcycle helmets meld the features of on-road and off-road lids to provide adventure riders with a level of versatility that mirrors that of the machines they ride all over the great outdoors. Manufacturers of all sorts have jumped into the ADV helmet market to give us riders a smorgasbord of options to choose from. We’ve put together the list below to give adv-curious riders a one-stop article to check out the full range. From budget-minded to expensive feature-packed lids, these are the best adventure motorcycle helmets on the market in 2022, and there’s something here for everyone.
These days, any manufacturer with pretensions to being a global player at whatever level in the marketplace has to have a dual-purpose Adventure model in its range, and MV Agusta is no exception. Italy’s most historic trophy brand – the so-called Ferrari of motorcycles, with 270 Grand Prix road racing victories and 75 World Championship titles in its locker, including 17 successive 500GP crowns – actually has a notable off-road heritage, too. Company founder Count Domenico Agusta’s dirt demons won successive Italian MX/Enduro titles in the 1950s and ’60s, as well as equipping the Italian team in ISDT events abroad. But after the Castiglioni family acquired MV 30 years ago, their focus for the brand was exclusively on the hard stuff – a focus which the company’s current owner Timur Sardarov is now in the process of changing.
Back in May 2021, MO’s resident sleuth Dennis Chung took a dive into the rumor mill surrounding a possible mini-Africa Twin coming from Honda. Trademark filings for the name Transalp were filed in several markets around the world, including the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
When the DesertX prototype hit the scene at EICMA in 2019, it was portrayed as a Dakar-inspired Scrambler variant – that was the initial idea anyway. As you’re likely already aware, the production DesertX is anything but. Powered by the proven 937cc Testastretta 11° Desmo engine, the 2023 Ducati Desert X has been designed from the ground up as a purpose-built adventure machine.
Maybe I’ve been hanging out with Managing Editor Ryan Adams too much. After more than 30 years of riding almost exclusively on the street, I’ve been bitten by the off-road bug. (Having a 14 year-old daughter who asked me to teach her to ride dirt bikes played a big part, too.) However, I don’t want to just drive to the desert, do daylong dirt rides, load the bikes in the truck, and drive home. I want to travel, too. Adventure touring has tickled my fancy.
Lightning Motorcycles has filed designs for an electric adventure bike. The designs, filed with China’s intellectual property office, reveal a motorcycle with the typical ADV accoutrements, and an electric motor and swingarm design that look similar to those of Lightning’s Strike sportbike.
What a beast, I thought to myself as I put my first few miles on the 2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R. In retrospect, that thought kind of made sense given the fact that the mill tucked beneath the 1290’s new tank design is an iteration of the Super Duke’s 1301cc V-Twin – the naked bike dubbed by KTM marketing folks as “the beast.” And beastly it is. Even in larger ADV garb coming in at 542 pounds dripping wet, the SA-R is still an absolute ripper of a motorcycle that is fully capable of serially killing rear tires.
Looking out over the Pacific Ocean, six months into a ride across the Americas, I found myself attending The Cold Start, an off-road riding clinic in Ensenada, Mexico. This may seem like an odd way to spend finite travel funds, but the rewards for this type of investment are surprisingly numerous.
Yamaha has filed designs that reveal what the production version of the Ténéré 700 Raid will look like. The Ténéré 700 Raid was shown at EICMA in prototype form as an even more off-road capable version of the Ténéré 700. While the prototype was essentially a Ténéré 700 modified with Genuine Yamaha Technology Racing (GYTR) performance parts, the designed filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office appears ready for series production.
With all due respect to its Multistrada models, Ducati‘s current adventure bike offerings are better suited for paved streets with the occasional sojourn on fire roads. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, we did just pick the Multistrada V4 S as our MOBO winner for the best sport-tourig motorcycle of 2021. If you were looking for a more off-road performance from Ducati, you now have a better option in the new 2022 Ducati DesertX. With long-travel suspension, a 21-inch front wheel and a large fuel tank (plus an optional second tank), the 2022 DesertX is Ducati’s new entry to the highly competitive middleweight adventure bike segment.
Triumph has finally spilled the beans on its thoroughly redesigned Tiger 1200. A substantial reduction in weight and an emphasis on power and handling is the name of the game for 2022. Bringing its big ADV into line with the 900s, the Tiger 1200 will be offered in five trims: GT, GT Pro, GT Explorer, Rally Pro, and Rally Explorer which follow the same naming scheme with the GT trims being more road-focused while the Rally versions offer off-road accoutrement such as larger wheels and more suspension travel. The Explorer models also hold 7.9 gallons of petrol with the other trims utilizing a 5.2 gallon tank.
This one may or may not come as much of a surprise to those paying attention. If Harley-Davidson entering the adventure bike segment made waves, then doing so with such a solid offering from the get go was a tsunami that stirred up emotions all across the interwebs. Promising a machine that would compete with motorcycles the likes of BMW’s well-established and venerable GS line while having never operated in the segment previously was bold. The Pan America had detractors from the moment the plan was sussed out by our own Dennis Chung in 2017, where he surmised the moniker’s eventual product category: “… Even wilder, how about a full-fledged American-made ADV?” Wild, indeed. Mr. Chung.
Anybody who’s not playing in the ADV sandbox isn’t really playing in 2022, and that’s why MV Agusta is now dipping an exploratory toe. Two toes: Lucky Explorer 5.5 and Lucky Explorer 9.5. The 5.5, which at some point may inherit the Elefant monicker, is to be powered by a 554 cc DOHC parallel Twin to come from MV’s Chinese partner, QJ. “Despite being a mid-sized bike,” says MV, “its appearance is that of a higher displacement travel-oriented motorcycle, capable of seducing European riders looking for a sturdy and unstoppable companion.”
MV Agusta revealed two new adventure bike “projects” at EICMA, the Lucky Explorer Project 9.5 shown here, and the smaller Lucky Explorer Project 5.5. Both models appear ready for production, but the “Project” in the name implies they are still prototypes, and it’s unclear whether they will eventually be sold with the Lucky Explorer name, or if they’ll actually be named for the bike that influenced their design: the Cagiva Elefant.
Ducati introduced the Multistrada 950 back in 2017 as a stepping stone into the Multistrada world. For 2022, Ducati wanted to make that move even easier, with a more accessible Multi V2, thanks to new and rider-friendly ergonomics, a thinner and lower seat, and a significant weight saving of 11 pounds. They also supply it in a 35kW (47 hp) format for A2 license holders in Europe.