For as long as I can remember, I’ve been mad about sportsbikes. In fact, growing up I was one of those people that thought anyone riding anything else could ‘do one’. It’s a foolish and entirely immature attitude to have, I now realise. Now I’m a bit older and I’ve learnt that the world doesn’t revolve around people like me, I’ve discovered there’s more to life than sportsbikes, and that I really ought to give adventure bikes a chance.
In actual fact, it probably doesn’t have a lot to do with the fact that I’ve grown up because if the truth’s know, I haven’t grown up; I’ve just got older. What I have done, though, is had the opportunity to ride whole host of motorbikes. Some have been absolutely brilliant, others have been shit… but there have been brilliant ones and shit ones in every category. The point I’m trying to make is that a bike doesn’t need to be a sportsbike to be any good.
But although I have learnt that there’s a ton of enjoyment to be had from riding any bike, I still can’t help getting excited about the prospect of a day riding a sportsbike. Especially if it’s the latest and greatest, streak-of-lightning version. I still don’t get excited in the same way about the thought of a day on an adventure bike. And I’m not sure why, because if I’m being 100% honest with myself, I know I’d have just as good a day. I might not drag my knee left, right and centre (well, just left and right, actually), and do 100mph wheelies, but that’s alright, because you can have a different type of fun on an adventure bike.
Don’t get me wrong, you can still do skids and wheelies on Ducati Multistradas, Triumph Tigers, Honda Africa Twins, BMW GSs etc. but you can do other stuff as well. Like going off the beaten track. Well off it. Because most modern adventure bikes are capable of tackling some serious off-road terrain. I’ve seen people ride massive adventure bikes over rocks, logs and climbs that I’d struggle to scale with climbing tackle.
And the best thing about it, is that you can do it all in comfort. Because let’s face it, sportsbikes aren’t comfortable. Even the comfortable ones are only ‘comfortable for a sportsbike’. If you try and do too many miles in a day on one, you’ll probably live to regret it. I know I have. Whether you’re riding off-road or not though, if you’re doing it on an adventure bike, chances are, you’re going to have a fairly plush ride.
I know they might not be the coolest things on the planet, and if you only really ride motorbikes to bolster your street cred (these people actually exist), then I doubt I’m going to be able to persuade you to give adventure bikes a chance. But if you don’t mind people taking the mickey now and then, a change of pace might be for you.
I’m not saying you need to go out and spend £20k on an all-singing-all-dancing adventure behemoth. I’m just saying you maybe ought to give it some thought. They’re really, really good.