Machines built for the love of adventure with powerful engines, top-spec electronics, suspension, and brake setup. (2020 models)

All around the globe, asphalt or no asphalt, the adventure series of machines give riders the swiss knife to carve up terrains and tread through almost anything with versatility and style. With the looks and utility of a capable off-roader and the balance and handling of a sport-standard, adventure motorcycles are a bipartisan look at how to tackle paved roads and dirt. Big and powerful engines, long travel suspensions, and a higher riding position with multiple rider aids adorn these machines.

With having a lot to carry around to fight a multitude of terrains, they are usually an expensive affair (easily 14 grand or more for the latest top-spec models). Luckily, manufacturers have been recognizing this and have been tweaking things around to offer more affordable options to give not so fortunate riders like us to experience the thrill of finding our way through the unknown on two-wheels.

Here are our top six picks of ADV machines falling under the $ 10,000 price tag that you can buy in 2020:

KTM 390 Adventure

Top Speed Top Six Adventure motorcycles to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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KTM 390 ADVENTURE
MSRP : $6,199
Source: image source: ktm.com photographer credit: R. Schedl

Built on the success of its bigger adventure bothers, the 390 Adventure kicks off the game for riders new to this segment. KTM will make use of the same 373cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine on both the models, which is capable of producing about 44 hp and 27 lb-ft of torque that is also making the runs on the Duke and RC models.

It gets off-road and cornering ABS, Motorcycle Traction Control, an adjustable windscreen, LED lighting, a TFT display, and KTM My Ride Bluetooth connectivity. It has a WP Apex 43mm USD fork rebound-adjustable WP Apex shock handling the undulations, and Bybre brakes take care of hauling it down. Cast 19 /17-inch wheels are fitted with tubeless Continental TKC 70 tires. MSRP is $6,199

Yamaha Tenere 700

Top Speed Top Six Adventure motorcycles to buy under $10,000 High Resolution Exterior
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YAMAHA TENERE 700
MSRP : $9,999

With the middleweight ADV segment getting hotter by the day, Yamaha’s Ténéré 700 takes on the Brit’s Tiger 800 at its own game. Yes, the 698cc parallel-twin “Crossplane Concept” engine might punch 20 fewer horses or lesser grunt than its competition, but it makes it all up with its rugged rally-inspired character that oozes out of this Dakar inspired looks. This is the same engine that runs on the MT-07 naked, which, of course, will be tuned to suit the harshness on the tarmac and dirt, while its mass-centralized layout and low weight contribute to the bike’s agile handling characteristics.

The Ténéré 700 starts off with the front cowl equipped with a Dakar-esque 4-projector headlight assembly, state-of-the-art instrumentation with a mounting bracket to hold your GPS and/or smartphone, laced wheels and street-knobbies, and a low 34.6” upswept bench seat. USD 43mm forks and rear monoshocks will be handling the undulations while dual, twin-piston Brembo calipers provide the needed stopping power. The 700 will be available in the Ceramic Ice, Matte Black, and Intensity White color schemes, with all three models carrying an MSRP of $9,999.

Kawasaki Versys 650 LT

Top Speed Top Six Adventure motorcycles to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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KAWASAKI VERSYS 650 LT
MSRP: $9,199

As opposed to the oddball and controversial design of its previous version, the new Versys 650 LT is now a more striking and sharp motorcycle to look at. Under the skin, this Kawasaki sources its life from the parallel-twin, liquid-cooled, 649cc engine, which also powers the Ninja 650. Mated to a 6-speed gearbox, this parallel-twin mill churns out 69 hp of maximum power and 40 pound-feet of maximum torque.

The Versys 650 LT sits on a diamond type frame and is blessed with 41mm upside-down hydraulic telescopic forks at the front and an offset laydown with remote spring preload-adjustable monoshock at the rear. This suspension setup is finely tuned for tackling rough terrains as well as soft tarmacs with equal ease, a package that makes the Versys 650 LT a hugely practical proposition for a middleweight adventure bike. The bike comes with dual petal 300mm disc brakes at the front and a single petal 250mm disc brake at the rear, with ABS as standard. MSRP: $9,199.

Suzuki V-Strom 650

Top Speed Top Six Adventure motorcycles to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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SUZUKI V-STROM 650
MSRP: $9,299

Although it has been quite long in the tooth today, the V-Strom 650 is renowned for versatility, reliability, and value. The bird’s beak is ever more pronounced, and a high-tech-looking adjustable windscreen gets slapped on the fairing, while the XT gets the skid plate. The water-cooled, 90-degree V-twin 645 cc mill is capable of 66 ponies and 43 pounds of grunt, thanks to the 39mm throttle bodies, Dual Throttle Valves, and low-friction pistons.

Suzuki retained its twin-spar aluminum frame on the V-Strom 650 to keep things light and rigid. It features a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear rubber onto spoked wheels, 43 mm, rwu front forks, link-type rear shock with a spring preload adjuster, a pair of 310 mm front discs and dual-pot Tokico calipers at the front and a single-pot Nissin caliper to bite the 260 mm disc on the rear with ABS protection all around. A two-channel traction control system keeps things sane. MSRP: $9,299.

BMW G 310 GS

Top Speed Top Six Adventure motorcycles to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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BMW G 310 GS
MSRP : $ 5,795

BMW Motorrad’s entry-level ADV motorcycle BMW G310 GS made its debut at the 2017 EICMA motorcycle show. This motorcycle gets its styling cues from its bigger siblings, while the GS initials can be found on the fuel tank. It is powered by the same 313 cc water-cooled, single-cylinder engine which is capable of producing about 34 hp of peak power at 9,500 rpm and 20.6 lb-ft of torque at 7,500 rpm.

The motorcycle uses a 41 mm travel suspension setup towards the front and monoshock setup towards the rear. For stopping, it relies on disc brakes on both its front as well as the rear wheels, which also come equipped with dual-channel ABS setup as standard. Manufactured in India, this GS is being imported here with an MSRP of $ 5,795.

HONDA NC750X

Top Speed Top Six Adventure motorcycles to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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HONDA NC750X
MSRP: $8,099

With a large windscreen for better weather protection and key-less ignition, the NC750X is one of the most practical bikes I’ve come across. But what sets it apart from the rest is that tough-looking bodywork which has a 22-liter "Frunk"(front + trunk), a storage compartment that could fit in a full-sized helmet and a utility rail built onto its lid. It is powered by a 745cc (up from 670cc) liquid-cooled, SOHC 8-valve parallel twin-cylinder engine that belts 54 hp and 50 lb-ft of torque, and gets most of its power in the low-to-mid-range. Honda’s automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (optional) makes life simpler, and the 7,500 raised rpm will allow the rider to even hoon around in manual mode.

Showa Dual Bending Valve components upfront and rear monoshock give excellent control over the bike’s movements. 320mm petal discs with two-piston brake caliper and two-channel ABS deliver plenty stopping power on all surfaces. The bike also gets a 2-level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC, a.k.a. traction control). MSRP: $8,099.

Sagar Patil
Motorcycle industry expert since 1997! - sagar@topspeed.com
Over the years, a deeper conscience of machines moving body and soul has given him a crisp grasp over the concepts of motorcycling. A sucker for details and common sense, he loves getting his hands dirty every once in a while. His love affair with motorcycles ushers in the specialist skillset making Sagar our go-to expert for everything on two-wheels.  Read More
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