Top 5 Adventure Motorcycles of 2022 [The Big Boys]

Top 5 Adventure Motorcycles of 2022 [The Big Boys]

The ADV scene has seen huge growth recently, with several manufacturers jumping in the category and producing some fine motorcycles.

It makes sense—what better way to see the world than on two wheels?

And for those times when a paved road ends and a dirt road begins, an Adventure bike is the perfect vehicle to take you to the corners of the globe.

The big displacement ADVs are as popular as ever, with a few new models entering the ranks. At the same time, the established players in the field have had to step up their game to compete.

The result is a huge field of motorcycles, all aimed at taking you wherever you want to go.

Today, Lone Rider is going to take you through our pick of the top seven adventure motorcycles of 2022.

Now, picking only seven bikes means we’ve left some models off the list, but we think you’ll agree all of these deserve to be included.

They are here in alphabetical order, but don’t mistake this for a review of each bike.

Rather, consider this a quick guide to get you up to speed on what each model offers (or doesn’t).

2022 BMW R 1250 GS Adventure - starting at $20,345
  1. 2022 BMW R 1250 GS Adventure - starting at $20,345

This list may be alphabetical, but starting things off with the grand-daddy of the adventure category only seems right.

Many will argue the BMW GS created the adventure craze to begin with more than 30 years ago.

Fortunately for us BMW hasn’t let up, and the Adventure version of the R 1250 GS is the one better suited for touring and getting dirty.

Powered by BMW’s tried-and-true boxer engine. Its 1254cc displacement is bold in itself, but its Shiftcam variable valve timing gives you power anywhere you want it.

Gas stops will be few and far between since it has a huge 7.9-gallon fuel tank, and of course, being a BMW, the GS Adventure is loaded with tech like ride modes, electronic suspension, ABS, traction control, and even a 6.5-inch TFT display that’s so clear, colorful, and bright, you could watch a movie from it.

2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 S - starting at $19,995

  1. 2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 S - starting at $19,995

Even Ducati, a brand most well known for its high-performance sportbikes, isn’t ignoring the adventure market.

The Multistrada 1260 Enduro still has a spot in the family tree as its top-dog V-twin ADV, but for 2021, Ducati surprised many of us when it unveiled the all-new Multistrada V4 S, powered by the new V4 Granturismo engine.

It’s very close to the V4 in the flagship Panigale sportbike, but Ducati veered away from decades worth of tradition by giving the Granturismo engine traditional valves and valve springs!

The result is a 170 hp engine with service intervals pushed out to every 36,000 miles! Ducati’s traditional desmodromic valves could never go that long.

The changeup with the engine and its valve actuation is the biggest sign Ducati is serious about making the Multi V4 a departure from the norm. If Ducati is willing to use traditional valve springs, what else will it do?

Granted, the Multi V4 tries to do it all, both on pavement and in the dirt, and comes with tech like a navigation system, radar-assisted blind-spot monitoring, and much more.

In the dirt you can opt for the wire-spoke wheels and benefit from the high ground clearance, electronic suspension, ergonomics that were actually designed to be comfortable while standing, and an electronics package that keeps the off-road rider in mind by allowing generous amounts of spinning.

2022 Harley-Davidson Pan America – starting at $17,319

  1. 2022 Harley-Davidson Pan America – starting at $17,319

You never thought you’d see a Harley-Davidson on an Adventure bike list, did you? The fact that it’s here should tell you all that you need to know about how hot the Adventure bike market is.

But not only did Harley build an Adventure bike, they built one to go toe-to-toe with all the heavy hitters in the category!

The Pan America 1250 represents a bold new direction for Harley-Davidson, but one thing that remains is the V-twin engine.

The all-new Revolution Max is a 1252cc V-twin, but this ain’t your grandpa’s V-twin Harley. This one is liquid-cooled with overhead cams, tuned to make 150 horsepower. It’s also a stressed member of the chassis, reducing weight.

Designed with Adventure touring in mind, the Pan America can easily cruise down the highway (it is a Harley, after all), but when the urge comes to veer off the paved path and head into the dirt it’s ready for that, too.

Long-travel, semi-active suspension, a 19/17-inch wheel set, and a full array of electronic goodies ensure you have a good time no matter what sort of terra is underneath you.

2022 Honda Africa Twin – starting at $14,499

  1. 2022 Honda Africa Twin – starting at $14,499

The Honda Africa Twin occupies a unique spot in the “big” ADV space.

While many of the other players have gone with the “bigger is better” mantra and stuffed huge engines into their frames, when Honda re-introduced the Africa Twin in 2016 it came with a “small” 1000cc parallel twin.

For 2020, Honda has beefed up the engine a tiny bit to 1084cc thanks to a longer stroke, but has also thoroughly revamped the bike.

It’s now slimmer, lighter, and comes with a Bosch IMU. Available in both the standard and Adventure Sports varieties, you can also get the Africa Twin with either a traditional transmission or Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission, both gearboxes getting further updates as part of the 2020 refresh.

As far as adventure chops go, the AT gets 9.1 inches of suspension travel and the Adventure Sports gets electronic suspension.

There are six different ride modes, Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), adjustable engine braking, wheelie control, cornering ABS, and the ability to connect the bike to your iOS device to use Apple Carplay. Virtually everything is adjustable via the bright 6.5-inch touchscreen TFT display, too.

2022 KTM Adventure R

  1. 2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R – starting at $19,499

If we’re talking about the big boys of the adventure category, then it doesn’t get any bigger than the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R.

The 1290 in its name actually sells itself short, since its V-Twin engine comes in at a monstrous 1301cc. KTM claims 160 hp and a crazy 103 lb-ft of torque!

It’s wrapped in KTM’s signature trellis frame, with long-travel 48mm, fully adjustable WP suspension.

Further off-road chops include tubeless, wire-spoked wheels measuring 21 inches in the front and 18 inches in the back, Brembo brakes, and a 6.1-gallon fuel tank ensuring you won’t have to worry about gas very often.

You can control everything on the bike, like the cornering ABS, traction control, ride modes (including a dedicated off-road mode), and a whole lot more from the 6.5-inch TFT display which is bright and colorful even in direct sunlight.

There’s so much to cover with the 1290 Super Adventure R we couldn’t possibly fit it all into this tiny space. But we think you get the idea.

2022 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 – starting at $12,999

  1. 2022 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 – starting at $12,999

Going from arguably the most extreme bike on this list (the KTM) to the most underrated, Suzuki’s V-Strom 1000 has quietly been flying under the radar for years with only minor updates along the way.

Nobody will mistake it for the class leaders like the BMW or KTM, but the ‘Strom has a loyal and robust following.

We think this is because, as a whole, the V-Strom is a solid and capable motorcycle, even if no one individual component stands out above the rest. Its appeal lies in its simplicity and cost.

The least expensive bike on this list (and possibly in the category), its 1037cc V-Twin can trace its roots back to the TL1000 sportbike.

For those keeping track, that’s over 20 years ago . Even today, that engine remains a performer for its satisfying power and tractability.

That said, Suzuki’s latest version, the V-Strom 1050XT gets wire-spoked wheels, design inspiration from Suzuki’s DR line, ride-by-wire, cruise control, traction control, Drive Modes, an Easy Start System, IMU (new for 2020), combined brake system, Hill Hold Control, Slope Dependent Control, 43mm KYB suspension, and so much more.

So as you can see, even though the V-Strom is getting up there in years, it’s aging like a fine wine and adapting with the times.

2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 – starting at $19,100
  1. 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 – starting at $19,100

The Triumph Tiger 1200 range consists of a total of five models. We’re just going to focus on the Adventure-focused ones here—the Tiger 1200 Rally Pro and Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer.

Opt for the Tiger 1200 Rally Pro and the starting price jumps to $22,500. For that price you get Triumph’s entry into the big-boy Adventure market.

Both 1200 Rallys are powered by at 1160cc three-cylinder engine making 147 peak horsepower and 95 lb-ft of torque.

The engine is suited for loose conditions and provides linear, easy-to-use power. The wire-spoke wheels measure 21 inches in the front and 18 inches in the rear for great off-road traction and a wide array of available tire options. Showa provides the suspension components, with semi-active units both front and rear. Suspension travel is a generous 8.6 inches.

Compared to the previous Tiger 1200, the new model is significantly lighter with a low center of gravity, making it much easier to ride slowly and in off-road conditions.

It’s no surprise you’ll find an array of ride modes on the 1200s, but these two Rally models get a dedicated Off-Road Pro mode to let you wag each bike’s tail.

So, what’s the difference between the Rally Pro and Rally Explorer? The Explorer gets a 30-liter fuel tank versus 20 liters for the Rally Pro, the Explorer features blind spot warning using radar detection, a tire pressure monitoring system comes standard on the Explorer (it’s an option for the Rally Pro), as does heated rider and passenger seats.

Finally, the Explorer gets more robust protection that includes crash bars for the engine and fuel tank, in addition to the hand and sump guards the Rally Pro comes with.

We said it before and we’ll say it again: this is an amazing time to be an adventure rider. With so many choices to pick from, there’s sure to be something that’s your flavor.

The wild thing is that there are some models we couldn’t fit into this list, like the Yamaha Super Tenere, and even the aforementioned Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro.

Of course, if you wanted to open Pandora’s box we could have also mentioned some mid-displacement models, too (actually, we’ve saved those for another article).

Nonetheless, we think you’ll agree the models above are all excellent examples of the performance and diversity the big-bore adventure market provides.