Top 7 Adventure Large Capacity Motorcycles
So you’re looking for a large-capacity adventure bike in 2024, but you’re not quite sure which one to choose. Well, here’s our guide to the best adventure bikes on the market over a 1000 cc.
So again, in price order ascending and along the way we’ll tell you which bike we think is right for which type of rider.
So kicking us off at the more budget friendly end of the spectrum.
Suzuki V-Strom 1050
We’ve got the Suzuki V-Strom 1050, which starts at 13,199 pounds in its most affordable spec.
Now look, it’s not the most powerful bike on the list, it’s not the lightest or the most technology laden either, but what it does do is set a good benchmark with a nice toky delivery and feel and sound from the 90 degree V twin.
Now it comes in two different flavors with the standard version being slightly more road biased with cast aluminum wheels and being a little lower slung,
whereas the DE version gets spoke wheels front and rear with a big 21 inch at the front and there’s also a bit more travel in the suspension and so it sits that little bit taller.
Each of them is also available in a tour edition, which gets you stuff like the three piece hard luggage.
I tried out the DE without the tour pack and luggage on board, and yes, while I did like the engine and I actually found it fairly quick in the real world.
I also found it a little bit on the tool side and it’s about 10 kilograms heavier than the standard version. So that made it a bit of a handful at lower speeds.
Still perhaps want to look at if you’re a big fan of a proper V twin, especially if you’re on a budget, although I should add at this sort of price point,
you might also want to consider one of the middleweight bikes like the Triumph Tiger 900 or the KTM 890 Adventure because for similar money you get in similar power, comparable features and also typically in a slightly lighter package.
Honda Africa Twin
Another bike you almost certainly have to consider at this sort of price point as well is the base Honda Africa twin 1100. It comes in at the exact same 13,199 pounds.
And while it is a little bit down on power, it’s also about 10 kilograms lighter and it biases much more to towards off-road riding.
In fact, I’ve tried both the manual version of this bike and the automatic DCT off-Road at their adventure center in the uk and I’d definitely say that it’s right up there with the best adventure bikes over a thousand cc off tarmac.
It feels extremely capable, it’s easy and intuitive to ride and also possibly the least intimidating in terms of stature outta the bikes on this list.
New for 2024 though they’ve also made a few tweaks to this base model like the tubeless spoke wheels to make puncture repairs a little bit easier.
And also they’ve made the semi-active electronic suspension available to it, which was previously only offered for the more expensive and road and touring biased adventure sports.
So while it is definitely the bike of the two that’s more off-road focused, I think those little tweaks should also make it a better all rounder in the new model year.
If however, you are majority riding on the road, but you’re still fancy an Africa twin, then definitely do check out that adventure sports version as you’ll get a slightly lower stance, a 19 inch wheel now for better road handling, more fuel capacity with a larger tank and also that’s partly responsible for more wind protection leading to improved comfort over distance.
Now admittedly it is a big jump up in price to 17,599 pounds not helped by the fact that in the UK at least it’s now only available with electronic suspension in their DCT box, but in my experience it’s a very capable adventure Torah with plenty of real world grunt.
And so I wouldn’t rule it out based upon the relatively modest peak power figure.
Moto Guzzi Seat V 100 Stelvio
Now moving up about 1500 quid, we’ve got a new entrance in this market for 2024 and that’s the moto guzzi V 100 stelvio.
Now as a result, this is the only bike on this list that I’m yet to experience out on the road and that’s because press bikes aren’t available yet.
But actually last year we had a couple of weeks borrowing the more road bias V 100 Mandela equivalent, and so we’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect here.
Firstly, although the engineers all knew for these V 100 models with lots of modernities like liquid cooling previously unseen on a motor guzzi, you still get a lot of their typical sound and feel and delivery with the transverse orientation of the V twin out through a shaft drive to the rear wheel.
It’s also got a decent amount of power to it, so it feels up to spec versus its contemporary rivals. And I really like the way that that bike handled too.
The only thing I didn’t like that much was the riding position, which was a little bit cramped in the legs for my taste, but presumably with this new Stelvio version, there’ll be more distance between the seat and foot pegs and so that should help with comfort over distance.
There’s also a little bit more tech here with radar’s front and rear, and so I look forward to testing out their active cruise control and blind spot warnings.
And I think they’ve also done a very nice job with the styling.
Price wise, it is a little bit of a step up from the two bikes that we just looked at, but I think this one will make for a good road by a venture tour and it’ll be especially appealing to anyone who likes a little bit of Italian design flare.
Triumph Tiger 1200
Now next up starting at 14,995 pounds for the most affordable GT edition, we’ve got the Triumph Tiger 1200, and this marks a pretty significant step up in performance making 148 horsepower peak.
Now this particular engine is unique in this market in that it’s a triple cylinder, but also it gets the same T plane crank as the Tiger 900, which is quite different from other triples in that two cylinders far closer together, one further apart and that gives it some of the sound and feel of a twin cylinder bike, which they say gives it a sense of chalkiness in the lower revs, which is meant to be ideal for off-roading.
The trade-off is that it does introduce some vibes though, and these do become noticeable when you’re cruising at motorway speeds.
But on the flip side, I will admit it does give the bike a nicer sound and snarl at the exhaust, especially when you’re accelerating hard elsewhere.
This bike is pretty accomplished with good quality components and impressive techie features, and there’s also a nice variety of flavors to choose from.
Firstly, there’s the more road bias GT models and these come in the standard version, the GT Pro, which is a little bit more feature laden, and then the GT Explorer at the top of the range, which gets all the bells and whistles and a much larger 30 liter fuel tank for extra touring ability.
The Rally Pro and rally explorer though are much more off-road bias with a bigger 21 inch front to the 19 of the gts and also more suspension travel and ground clearance for tackling those trickier terrains.
So look, there’s a bit of something for everyone, but I think the deciding factor on whether you’ll like this bike or not will be that triple cylinder engine. So definitely go and demo one of these if that sounds like your cup of tea.
BMW R 1300 GS
Now, an extra thousand pounds or so though will get you on the BMW R 1300 GS ladder and with the previous generation 1250 being a bestseller year in year out in this category,
I think it’s fair to say that the new 1300 version will become the benchmark for the category as well.
This is the bike we’ve been most recently out testing, having had the pleasure of borrowing one for the last couple of weeks.
And while it is a ground up redesign of this bike with very few if any components in common with the previous generation, fundamentally, you’re still getting a bike with a very similar flavor that’s just been refined and modernized, much like the triumph having a distinctive feel to the engine, the boxer twin is unlike any other in this market with very smooth even firing intervals that give it a drone like note at the exhaust.
And so I also think this is gonna be one that you either love or hate.
What you absolutely can’t argue with though is the takiness that it delivers, which is absolutely fantastic.
And also that smoothness that gives it this exceptional comfort over distance.
Also, in terms of the chassy, their tele lever front suspension and the parle shaft drive at the rear, well, they help to give it this beautifully planted feel out on the road if not feeling the sportiest of the bikes on this list.
But look, I think the biggest update to this new 1300 model has to be the technology package, which has come on leaps and bounds and I think makes it the most technologically advanced bike you can pretty much buy in the market even outside of our venture bikes specifically.
So you’ve now got an electronically adjustable windscreen. There’s an updated electronic suspension package with a new adaptive ride height feature and also variable spring rates.
There are radars front and rear for all the latest rider raids and safety features. A phone stash in the tank with a charging point built in heated grips and seats are available.
There’s keyless ignition there, emergency SOS button that you can get mounted on the bars and also a central lock-in luggage system that has charging points and internal lighting in each case.
Now naturally when you add all that stuff, the price goes far beyond the starting price that are listed above and the particular press bike that I borrowed was getting close to 23,000 pounds when you run it through the configurator.
But I think if you’re an existing GS fan, then this is the first bike on the list that you should check out.
And also for anybody who just loves the latest and greatest in terms of technology, then this bike is gonna be hard to resist.
Harley Davidson Panamerica
Just an extra though will get you a Harley Davidson Panamerica, at least in the most affordable spec.
And while they haven’t had many major updates to this bike since it launched a couple of years back, I still think it’s a decent offering, especially considering its Harley’s first stab at this format in recent years.
The liquid cool V twin makes a decent 150 horsepower. It’s not terrible on weight either, and there’s also some decent tech and creature comforts built in.
In fact, generally I actually found this bike to be very comfortable with a nice soft saddle, decent wind protection and it wasn’t too bad on fuel either, so it’s not a bad adventure Torah.
This is also another bike I was lucky enough to ride at their off-Road Center in Wales, although you will have to pay a little bit extra for the spoke wheels you’ll see here by upgrading to the Panamerica special still, it did really impress me actually off road and while it might not be the most aggressively off-road focus bike on the list and I don’t think it’s particularly good on ground clearance, if you’re just gonna throw in a little bit of light gravel riding into your tours, then it can certainly eat that sort of stuff up.
The looks on this one are probably the most divisive on the list, so that might put some people off.
But if you like that sort of blocky aesthetic and especially if you’re a big fan of the Harley brand, then you might still wanna stick this one on your short list.
Ducati multiStrada V4
Now things are getting a little bit spendy now with the Ducati Multistrada V4, which starts at 16,995 pounds.
That really is the starting point though because this bike is available in a whole different bunch of specs, which also have a whole different bunch of price points.
You see there’s an S version at just over 20 grand, which gets you better suspension and breaks as well as more technology or the grand tour edition at 23,595, which has all the extra features you want for longer trips as well as the hard luggage thrown in the V4 rally for similar money is the most off-road focus with the spoke wheels and slightly taller stance.
And it also gets a 30 liter fuel tank for those more remote trips as well as more space for a passenger and luggage with a longer subframe track Fiends might wanna look at the multis strata V four Pike’s Peak and at 26,595 pounds,
this one gets 17 inch forged wheels front and rear for optimal road handling, as well as a single-sided swing arm for a more sporty luck and also a moto GP inspired livery.
But if that all sounds a bit pedestrian and boring to you, then another five grand or so will get you the multis strata V4 Rs.
And it’s a similar concept, just pushed a little further. It gets the variant of their V4 engine that’s more similar to the Pagal and street fighter and the result is another 10 horsepower at the top with a new peak figure of 180 horses.
So look, lots to choose from providing your budget allows and personally, I’ve been lucky enough to test out the V4 the grand tour, and also the rally.
And the thing that stands out to me about all of them is that V4 engine, which gives you some of the field that you’re riding in a super bike just in a super comfortable form.
There’s also a lot of good tech on these bikes with adaptive cruise control and blind spot warnings available.
And so it can compete with the GSS on that front. So yeah, definitely put this one on your list.
If you like the sound of a super bike derived engine, it probably offers the most thrills of any bike on this list. And of course you get that Ducati desirability and design.