Machines built for the love of adventure for the newbies into motorcycling

If carving up terrains was your idea of motorcycling, adventure motorcycles are a bipartisan look at how to tackle paved roads and dirt. With long travel suspensions, and a higher riding position, these machines can take your motorcycling learning curve through a multitude of terrains, teaching you some of the biggest lessons travelling on two wheels can.

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 and the young guns to experience the thrill of finding our way through the unknown on two-wheels.

KTM 390 Adventure

Top Speed Top Six Adventure motorcycles to consider for beginners Exterior
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MSRP is $6,199
Source: image source: 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

BMW G 310 GS

Top Speed Top Six Adventure motorcycles to consider for beginners 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.

Kawasaki Versys-X 300

Top Speed Top Six Adventure motorcycles to consider for beginners Exterior
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MSRP: $ 5,499

Tall stance and a narrow body are designed to mean equal parts functional and stylish. High subframe and mudguard allow enough room to move over the biggest of boulders. The liquid-cooled, 4-valve, parallel twin, 296 cc mill in the “X” is a variant of the mill that drives the Ninja 300 range. Power figures are not out yet but expect a similar 39 bhp of peak power and 15.5 lb-ft of peak torque.

True to its adventure figure, the X-300 fancies an upright riding position with wide handlebars to maneuver yourself out of any situation. Suspension duties are taken over by the straight forward issue right-way-up front forks sporting a large 41mm non-adjustable Showa fork tubes and a centrally mounted charged monoshock with obligatory preload adjustments and is beefed up for more rigidity. Sufficient but not exactly sophisticated. Braking issues are handled by single 290mm petal-style rotor with a dual-piston caliper at the front, borrowing from the Ninja 300. Rear braking is with a 220mm rotor with its own dual-piston caliper. ABS is an optional package but not at a premium for sure. MSRP: $ 5,499.

Royal Enfield Himalayan

Top Speed Top Six Adventure motorcycles to consider for beginners Exterior
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MSRP: $ 4,499

With the Himalayan, Royal Enfield has opened up an all-new chapter in its glorious book of functional motorcycles, with the overall appeal of the motorcycle being drastically different from its rest of the other stablemates. The overall design of the Himalayan may not be an eye-pleasing one and may not command a second glance, but the fact that it is designed for a purpose seals the deal. The Himalayan runs on a fuel-injected engine, which has been christened as LS410, is a single-cylinder, air and oil-cooled, 411cc motor that can churn out a maximum power output of 25 hp and maximum torque output of 25.6 lb-ft.

The Himalayan gets bolted onto a half-duplex split cradle frame designed and developed by UK-based Harris Performance. The suspension setup includes 41mm telescopic front forks and a linked hydraulic monoshock at the rear, with much longer suspension travels of 200mm and 180mm. This is the first Enfield to have a monoshock at the rear. Having a 220mm ground clearance gives it sufficient gateways to wade through deeper rivers or bigger rocks. Braking will be handled by 300mm front disc brake on a 21" spoked wheel and a 240mm rear disc brake with ABS on a 17" spoked wheel. Moreover, the knobby tires won’t make you run out of traction on loose surfaces. MSRP: $ 4,499.

Honda CB500X

Top Speed Top Six Adventure motorcycles to consider for beginners Exterior
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MSRP: $ 6,699

Long been a favorite among novice riders, the CBX500X is a easy to throw a leg over option to become a beginner motorcycle riders dream come true. Featuring new are the headlight designs, a newly designed 4.6-gallon fuel tank, newly laid out dash and more. The 471 cc, water-cooled parallel-twin powerplant was on the receiving end of a number of improvements this year that garners a torque boost of around four-percent for a total of 31.7 pound-feet of grunt at 7,000 rpm. Horsepower caps out at 8,500 rpm with 49.6 ponies.

A number of tweaks were also made on the steel diamond-tube frame with a 27.5-degree steering head for stability at speed. The 41 mm forks come with fixed values and 5.3 inches of travel while the Pro-Link monoshock sports only the obligatory spring preload with 5.9 inches of travel. The brake hardware checks in with a twin-pot anchor and 310 mm disc up front with some tweaks to the single-piston rear caliper. The rear delivers improved hydraulic leverage as it bites the 240 mm disc outback. Additionally, the ABS feature available on the ABS model. MSRP: $ 6,699.

Suzuki V-Strom 650

Top Speed Top Six Adventure motorcycles to consider for beginners Exterior
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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.

Sagar Patil
Motorcycle industry expert since 1997! -
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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