In the past decade the ADV segment has been a confusing amalgamation of differing interests, and over that time-period, two distinct groups have boiled to the surface.
First there are the “Long Way Round” hopefuls, who invariably own a BMW R1200GS/A, and seem to be on some sort of perpetual preparation for an African safari, regardless of how much dual-sport experience they actually have.
And more recently, a second group has appeared: those riders who look to these big ADV bikes as more versatile Sport-Touring machines, that have at least some credibility in continuing the trip beyond where the sidewalk ends.
All these riders, and their bikes, have been wedged into a single “Adventure” category, and it has created a bit of confusion for the segment. So, I want to introduce the concept of the “Adventure-Sport” and how it differentiates from the previous “Adventure-Touring” category.
First, let us make some definitions. Adventure-Sport bikes are “middleweight” and “heavyweight” motorcycles, with longer off-road styled suspension. They have an on-road bias, with their 17″ front wheels, and they make sport bike horsepower from their lightweight engines.
Adventure-Sports usually have an abundance of rider aids, which are typically aimed at taming these bikes’ powerful and peaky engines for mixed road conditions.