Adventure riding and adventure motorcycles are all the rage right now worldwide. While the idea of blending some of the off-road styling into scooters isn’t an entirely new idea, Honda has taken this approach to an entirely new level with the X-ADV, a 750cc Parallel Twin scooter with a dual-clutch transmission. Sadly, we won’t be seeing that model stateside any time soon thanks to US regulation of what constitutes a scooter versus a motorcycle (Honda says the X-ADV can’t be considered a scooter and without foot controls, it cannot be considered a motorcycle).
We’ll admit this is an unusual ADV test. There are any number of competitors we could have lined up against the new-and-improved 2020 Honda Africa Twin. Honda’s dirt-focused ADV bike has received a host of changes to make it even better both on-road and off, but it has always felt most at home when the paved path turns to the loose stuff.
I’m a gear nerd. Have been, and hope to always be. I nerd out on unique materials, armor, and the latest and greatest of motorcycle gear. That makes me a sucker for KLIM’s heavily researched and developed garments. Toward the end of 2019, I had the chance to join the folks at KLIM for a 2020 product launch and an inside look at some of the materials technology that was being developed and tested at the Gore Labs in Maryland. It was akin to touring Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
Yeah, well, maybe it is kind of a ridiculous comparison, but who went on a nice day-long adventure ride while you were locked down? Ryan Adams and I did, that’s who. Really it’s not even that ridiculous. The KTM 790 Adventure R sells for around $13,500; the 390 Adventure’s less than half that at $6,200. Ryan came back from the 790’s launch in Morocco last year calling it the best adventure bike in the world. Then it won a three-bike comparo starring Eric Bostrom…
I don’t know why I assumed the new baby KTM 390 Adventure would be more of a milquetoast little beginner bike, like most of the other wannabe ADV bikes in its class, but I kind of did. It’s nothing of the sort. We’ve seen the photos (and maybe I failed to read the words), but in the flesh at KTM’s Murrieta, California, HQ, I was a little surprised. Say, this mini-Adventure looks like a full-size ADV bike, not a kiddie toy. Personally, I’d prefer something a bit lower, but as it turns out, looks can be deceiving. Though the 390 looks a lot like the acclaimed new 790 Adventure, it is way lighter.
If you’re making a tire in the sport-touring category, you probably have one of the most difficult jobs in the entire tire business. Where racers want the grippiest tire they can find, longevity be damned, and the touring set seek high-mileage with modest grip, the sport-touring crowd wants the best of both worlds. Oh, and it better have good wet weather performance, too. No easy feat.
Motorcycle touring, traditionally, means we’re sticking pretty much to pavement. Though you can wear any of these for Adventure riding, we have a whole other list of suits more suited to life off the beaten path, designed for the most part with even more freedom of motion and impact absorption. Every suit here, from the one-piece Aerostich to the jacket/pants combinations of the others, are a bit closer-fitting for reduced drag at highway speeds, with plenty of ventilation but not too much, and with enhanced abrasion resistance as well as armor. When you’re caught out in the rain after dark, you’ll be glad to find yourself inside any one of them.
Triumph announced two special edition versions of the Tiger 1200 inspired by desert and mountain landscapes. The Desert Edition and Alpine Edition models are based on the mid-tier Tiger 1200 XCx and XRx, respectively, but add titanium Arrow exhaust, shift assist and, of course, special edition paint and graphics.
How much do we like the 2019 KTM 790 Adventure? How about enough to name it Motorcycle.com’s Motorcycle of the Year. That’s high praise. So, when we found video assets from the 790 Adventure’s introduction kicking around the MO Video Archives, we thought that time was right to share Ryan’s firsthand experience with those who don’t like to read. But first a little refresher.
When Dunlop began its presentation of the all-new Trailmax Mission 50/50 adventure tire *insert record scratch*. Wait, what? 50/50? There are no knobs. There are hardly even lugs on this new adventure offering and it has the rounded profile of your typical street tire. What gives? Well, Dunlop says it’s reinventing what it means for a tire to pull double duty both on-road and off.
Honda unveiled the new 2020 Africa Twin, revealing a larger engine, lighter weight and a number of electronic rider aides including the much requested cruise control. The 2020 CRF1100L Africa Twin will be offered in regular and Adventure Sports ES models, both available with a choice of manual or DCT versions.
Back in July, Honda released a video teasing a new “ True Adventure” model, expected to be an upsized Africa Twin CRF1100L. Thanks to new vehicle certification documents published in Australia, Motorcycle.com can confirm the 2020 Honda Africa Twin will have a 1084cc engine, a choice of manual or dual clutch transmissions, and be offered in both a regular and Adventure version. According to the documents, the 1084cc engine produces 101 hp at 7500 rpm, whereas the previous 998cc engine is certified at 94 hp.
What’s not to like, really? Kawasaki’s “versatile system” Versys sisters – X 300, 650 and 1000 – are all just that, versatile bikes for all seasons. But now that there’s a lot more competition in the adventurish sporty roadbike segment than there used to be, the Versys 1000 felt like it needed to keep up with the Joneses.