Adventure Tourer: Most Suitable Bike For Adventure Rides

Adventure Tourer Bike

What is an Adventure Tourer Bike?

An Adventure Tourer bike is a type of touring bike which falls under the luxury tourer segment. Typically, most of the Adventure Bikes around the world cost almost similar to the conventional Sports Bikes. Traditionally, the Adventure Tourers have high ground clearance and low seat height. In addition, the riding position allows feet to rest in the middle and hands straight up in these bikes. Thus, it places the spine upright or leans it back slightly.

BMW 1200GS (Courtesy: BMW) Adventure Tourer
BMW 1200GS (Courtesy: BMW) Adventure Tourer


The Adventure bikes also feature high and wide handlebars, providing superior riding posture like the touring bikes. Thus, it also provides a better view and more comfort to the rider. Similarly, the footpegs are placed in the middle, close to the engine, and near the rider’s body. As a result, it offers a better sitting position. So, the Adventure bikes are more comfortable and provide a fatigue-free riding experience on long journeys. There is no stress on the rider’s body and muscles with an excellent sitting position.

The Adventure Tourers are even more comfortable than the sports bikes at low-moderate speeds even though slightly weighing more than the sports bikes. However, the bike’s additional weight sometimes causes some issues while balancing the bike at slow speeds. Besides, cornering the Adventure Bike is tricky because of the extra weight.

KTM 1290 Duke (Courtesy: KTM)
KTM 1290 Duke (Courtesy: KTM)

Characteristics of an Adventure Tourer Bike:

The Adventure Tourer bikes are those that most people use for long-distance, adventure travel of more than 400 km or so in a day. So, the manufacturers offer higher capacity engines for Adventure Tourers. However, some entry-level Adventure Tourers come with engine capacities of sub-400cc and power output around 35 bhp. For example, the BMW 310GS is a 300cc entry-level tourer, while the BMW 1200 GS is one of the world’s best adventure tourers.

Manufacturers design Adventure bikes for dual-sports purposes. They offer long-distance touring and both on-road and off-road capabilities. Adventure Tourers have high ground clearance for off-roading, large fuel tank, and bigger-sized engines for better reliability. Besides, these bikes may also get GPS navigation systems wire-spoked wheels with knobbed tires. They also have skid plates to protect the engine and transmission during off-road use and metal panniers. Sometimes, the participants use modified Adventure Tourers to participate in challenging rally events such as the Dakar Rally.

Dakar Rally 2018 (Courtesy: Dakar)
Dakar Rally 2018 (Courtesy: Dakar)

Engine, Power & Efficiency:

The mid-level Adventure Tourer motorcycles feature engine sizes between 400-800cc, which offer more power. Some high-end Adventure Tourers offer engine capacities above 800cc up to 1400cc. These Adventure Tourers deliver an ample power output that exceeds 100bhp. Often, the Adventure Tourer bikes have an aerodynamic shape, swanky design, and complex manufacturing process. So, technically, they are more expensive to manufacture than the other bikes. However, the Adventure Tourer bikes are more comfortable. They offer low-moderate mileage, and generally, their maintenance cost is a little higher. Primarily, their focus is on the rider’s well-being and comfort.

Features in modern Adventure Tourer Bikes:

Some of these Adventure bikes use lightweight materials such as cast aluminum to reduce weight and improve handling. In addition, manufacturers equip some models with acoustically engineered exhaust pipes that deliver a distinct exhaust note. They also offer premium features such as the Riding Modes, Cruise control, ABS, push-button start, bigger tires, high-performance front & rear suspension, and keyless ignition for rider’s comfort & convenience.

Triumph 1200 (Courtesy: Triumph) Adventure Tourer
Triumph 1200 (Courtesy: Triumph) Adventure Tourer

Other convenience features comprise spacious metal panniers with weather-proof seals. Some modern Adventure Tourers even offer a TFT with touchscreen and navigation, Bluetooth® audio, points of interest, and vehicle status. However, some of these Adventure Tourer bikes deliver an average of only up to 20 Km/L. They also have plentiful expensive spare parts. Hence, they need only trained technicians for service.


Generally, the premium Adventure Tourer bikes have higher power & torque, trendy colors, and eye-catching design/style. Moreover, the Adventure Tourer bikes are comfortable motorcycles long-distance riding such as the ‘‘Riding around the world’’ The Adventure Bikes are relatively easier to ride on winding roads/bends. Hence, the Adventure Tourer bikes are becoming more popular globally because of their off-roading capabilities. Some popular premium Tourer bike manufacturers include BMW, KTM, Honda, and Triumph.

2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Tourer (Courtesy: Honda)
2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Tourer (Courtesy: Honda)

In short, Adventure Bikes travel a long distance without any hassles. They offer superb comfort, safety, and premium features. However, they have difficulty negotiating the stop-and-go traffic due to their large size. So, they are ideal mainly for intra-city travel. In addition, some premium Adventure Tourer bikes offer improved suspension, additional safety, and other equipment that long-distance travelers need the most. Hence, these bikes are very expensive to buy and use. Thus, fancier and more contained the Adventure bike gets, it demands an even higher price tag. However, these bikes’ on & off-road riding ability makes them the most versatile bikes for adventure touring.

Disadvantages of an Adventure Tourer Bike:

However, the only disadvantages of these bikes are their limitation while riding within stop-and-go traffic conditions. In addition, the Adventure Tourer bikes are not ideal for city commuting because of their large size. So, maneuvering in the urban city traffic sometimes becomes tiresome and hectic. Hence, most people prefer to use them on the highways for long-distance commute and adventure touring purposes.

Watch an Adventure Tourer Bike in Action:

Read more: What is a Touring or Tourer Bike?>>

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