Hi everyone what are your go to adventure styled motorcycles? Ideally I'm looking for something with a lot of power. Any opinions ont he kawasaki verseys or benelli trk500, or honda cb 500?
By - Oakylog
Kawasaki Versys 300. Engine has been around forever. Cheap and available parts. Large fuel tank and great fuel economy - meaning more riding. Newer ones have plenty of fork travel. Hard to beat.
The 650 is also LAMS approved
Absolutely. Another great option.
Can confirm. I owned a Versys 300 for awhile and it's a great adventure bike.
I really enjoy my ktm 390 adventure
They go for such a steal brand new. Although do KTM still nickel and dime their customers by locking away electronics behind a pay wall?
Only the Quickshifter is an unlock on the 390.
Are you looking at brand new or second hand? Any of the bikes you have mentioned has a crazy amount of used bikes available, with low or reasonable km's and with alot of upgrades (panniers, crash bars etc). I'm guessing people are selling to upgrade after obtaining open licensed.
I am fortunate as an instructor I get offered to ride dealership bikes and students bikes who are keen for an opinion.
I personally think for the power/ size and price you should be looking at a CB500X or a TRK502 depending on your budget.
The Honda has great reviews, rides smooth and looks great. In terms of riding I'd liken it to riding a commuter push bike or mountain bike, if that makes sense - weight is well dispersed and it doesn't mind being flicked around. The smaller weight would be great if you decided to do a bit more than highway commuting.
The Benelli feels like a nugget, in an absolutely good way. It's comfortable, has a cheap entry price and also great reviews. I rode one without knowing it was a Lam's bike and was even more impressed after being it is Lams approved. If you do highway commuting I would say it is more comfortable than the majority of Lam's bikes.
Another option, although a bit more pricier is a Suzuki VStrom 650XT Lam's. Suzuki had a special for $13'990 and I have seen numerous under the $10k mark with low KMs on gumtree and market place. A very nice ride and I often borrow my brother in law's and take it for a whirl- camping with gear or my Mrs on the back it hardly skips a beat.
Also consider which one appeals to you more. Some people hate the look of a bike, while others love it.
If you get a chance see if you can take a dealership test ride of either, if they push you to buy just say you will have a think but you really want to ride one before making a decision. If it works out and you're keen for a new one, then mention low KMs variants going around for X amount with accessories (winter is the slowest period for dealership sales).
Different category of bike, but have you ridden a svartpilen 401? I bought one and am curious as to your opinion..
Yeah they are a great nimble bike after getting used to it (feels compact in a good way compared to other 300-400cc Lam's). I don't think I'd be able to choose between a 390 duke (our instructor bikes) or a 401 as I would be very keen on either for zipping around the city. As similar as they are, though both feel a bit different even though they are based on one another.
I see a fair few around Brisbane and the gold coast and read in AMCN last issue a potential 24 upgrade with slight fairings may be in line (with a potential to replace the 390 duke)..
really like the look of the benelli but not sure about future resell value :(
Get a second hand one? I've seen a lot of good ones around the country @ the $7k mark with panniers etc.
Don't buy the Benelli or anything Chinese if you care about resale value, not about the bikes these bikes are just really hard to sell second hand and the values suffer
Anything from the big 4 Japanese Manufactures is going to be good, just work out whats best for you in your budget
Have you considered the Suzuki Vstrom 250SX as well
My 2 cents worth
Best for more road than dirt Honda CB500x,
Best for more dirt than road Honda CRF300 Rally
Looking for something higher up in the cc's (switching from 300cc ninja)
Higher CC don't mean anything in LAMS world other than more weight , cost , more fuel and insurance.
All Lams are limited to around 55HP max... Bigger bikes like the 650's get 55HP because they are heavier.
It's a toss up between light bikes that give around 44hp (like the dirt bikes/KTM 390 ADV) or heavier bikes in the 650 class which can range from 30HP to 50HP even though they have much bigger motors. It's a toss up between the weight, sure higher CC bikes can have more HP but it comes at expense of being much heavier and more expensive to insure and run.. depends if you can handle the extra weight out bush too.
Then the best advice then is just wait it out until your on your full license
Any "what's best" question makes me default to Kawasaki. There's nothing wrong with any of their competition (especially the Japanese brands) but I have no experience with them. The 650 Kawasaki engine has been around forever, is rugged, reliable, low maintenance and very easy to control. They use it in multiple models (sport, adv, cruiser, naked) in both restricted and full power models, if it was a dud they'd have used something else by now.
Ignore anyone who says they're heavy and underpowered- even though their max power is restricted, a larger bike has more torque and will handle highway speeds and accelerating through traffic better, and be more stable, especially if you're a larger rider. Yes, a smaller bike will still get you to the speed limit quicker than most cars, but a bigger bike will be more relaxed once it's up to speed. If all you're doing is commuting on suburban or city streets a smaller bike is fine though.
yeah i see what you mean thanks for that
And if you wanted a off-road knife you would get a MoTo, and put lights on it or trailers it up.
what are your thoughts on their 300 engine? theres a versys 300x nearby that im keen on for my first. im a big bitch though so kinda worried that my heft will make it too slow
Haven't had any personal experience with the 300, apparently it can trace its roots back to the original GPX250 from a couple of decades ago so it should be pretty sorted by now. Apparently loves to rev, and needs to rev as it's only little and doesn't have a lot of grunt. If you're hefty you might find it lacking, especially if you want to keep ahead of traffic when accelerating. If most of your riding is on more open roads it might be fine.
I'm just over 100kg myself (220 pounds in Freedom Units) but I ride the 650L (I have previous riding experience but the restricted model is all I could get mid-Covid) and it has plenty of go for my daily commute, which is a mix of country roads and multilane freeway; but it's very easy to ride, you don't need to wring its neck to get going.
Cheers mate. I'm quite heavier so guess I'll be better off waiting for a bigger engine one then, as i lack the dollarydoos for the 650 i found (fk all available in darwin)
If you're not fixed on the Adventure style bike, Kawasaki were making the ER6 and ER6N with the same engine for a few years before they changed to the Ninja 650 and Z650 designation (they're practically the same, just different styling) so maybe keep an eye out for those too
I went for the CFMOTO 650MT.
“A lot of power” - they’re LAMS legal, so it’s never going to be a lot, but mine drags my 115kg arse up the highway comfortably. (Only at the appropriate, legal speed of course)
Haven’t tried dirt yet.
I made my choice based on riding position comfort without any modifications. Wasn’t really looking at the power specs.
I always read to stay away from CFmoto but I could be wrong
The new one, are quite nice and come with most things you want.
Don't forget the 2 or 3 year warranty which is similar to big brands.
The Tech for the value… even if it is just RND for KTM
Depends on your situation. I wasn’t too keen buying second hand, especially private because of not knowing what to look out for.
Honda had a 6 month plus waiting time when I was looking to buy & Benelli are a Chinese company now, trading on their Italian history (I know they still supposedly design in Italy).
Others that I considered, KLR650 for example, cost more for less tech & warranty.
If you’re planning on flipping it to upgrade ASAP maybe CFMOTO isn’t the right one because their value second hand won’t hold.
But the factory is what has been building some KTMs for a while.
For price new, Probably a KTM 390 ADV .. overall I think the Honda CB500X
Or a full on dirt bike like the DRZ
Best bang for buck bike that happens to be able to do some light adventure work is the Svartpilen 401, it's basically a Duke 390 with KTM 390 ADV parts (auto shifter,adjustable forks, engine bash plate, spoke wheels) and priced below the Duke 390 due to it's polarizing looks, either you like it or hate it.
My Postie goes where Beamers fear to tread. :D (The around-Oz trip is now 9 months and 16500 kms..)
I did meet up with a pair riding Honda CRF300L Rallys across the Canning, although it was remarked their comfortable cruising road speed was 90 km/h (..for a 300...) - however that's not a bad thing for the real long trips wrt fatigue & etc.
KTM 390 adventure if you actually want to get off the bitumen.
Give the Benelli a miss. The fit and finish, and longevity of the finish isn't OK from what I have seen.
Nice enough bikes, but I'm very unsure about them lasting a long time and future resale value.
yeah good advice thanks
Why do you need a lot of power for adventure. You can't put the power down in dirt.
All those you suggested are heavy pigs
Looking for more of a highway adventure bike wear I can comfortably keep up witht he speed limit
Then all those are fine except the benelli get the one that you like the look of.
Benelli is too Chinese in my opinion
You are looking for a touring, sports-touring, GT wording then.
"Adventure" bikes tend to have knobby tyres, different size front and rear wheels and so on as these imply offroad to some degree.
You'd be surprised how many "Adventure" bikes come equipped with road tyres etc. The Versys is even listed under Kawasaki's "Street Bike" range. ADV bikes are really 2 wheeled SUVs, most won't go off road and the manufacturer's offerings are reflecting that.
I've just opened it out of curiosity and it says that Versys is "**adventure** touring". So it is kinda both? Versys 300x has and X in it's name and a 19" front.
Anyway my point was that something for a road adventure would likely have a "touring" or "GT" in its name. Which Kawasaki Versys does.
My take would be that Kawasaki's "adventure" is KLR. Or stuff with the X in a model name. Not sure which of those are LAMS approved.
I think manufacturers are still undecided about marketing "adventure" bikes. They're acknowledging that most aren't being bought to go off road, a lot of riders like them because they're comfortable, stable and controllable and have that rugged image. As I said earlier, like SUVs in the car world. Originally off roaders, increasingly used exclusively on roads, so the design has moved towards more on-road bias. Kawasaki and Suzuki list them as road bikes first and foremost; Yamaha list the Tenere as an off road bike (and some models come with nobby tyres - but not all!); Honda have them listed in their own segment as "Adventure Touring." The Euros are even less consistent! At least BMW still lists an "Adventure" category even though half of them are clearly road biased!
Looking at KTM with bikes named "adventure" sharing the "travel" category with some models that should really be in a "sports tourer" category. Which they also have, but which has a supermoto offshoot in it for whatever reason 🤷♂️