I Want It All, Including Performance

If you’re the type of rider who wants adventure, or at least the thought of adventure, and wants a motorcycle that’s loaded with technology that you can have fun in the twisties with, this is the category for you.  The great thing is in 2011 you have choices that were not there before.


BMW R 1200 GS / R 1200 GS Adventure

The “big” GS has been the leader in the High Performance Adventure Touring category for years, mainly because it was the only game in town.  This motorcycle does just about everything well.  It’s reliable and has a near endless list of add-ons that will hall all your important stuff on your adventure.  Both options powered by the near bullet proof Boxer engine, which produces a wide, strong and usable torque curve, which means that all you have to do is twist the throttle and the GS will go.  Shifting optional. 

Throw in some extra cash and you can have BMW’s Electronic Suspension Adjustment system and Anti-Lock Breaks.  Hey, this is High Performance so you might as well have it all.

For more information check out the BMW website at www.bmwmotorcycles.com.


Ducati Multistrada 1200 / Multistrada 1200S Sport / Multistrada 1200S Touring

This is not the ugly Multistrada of years past, far from it.  The designers at Ducati kept the name, which means “many roads” but designed a completely different motorcycle.  To start with, the heart of the Multistrada is a re-tuned Testastretta L-Twin that’s found in the Ducati1198 Superbike.  You guessed it, this motorcycle has some “zing”, 150 hp to be exact.

Because this is a multi purpose motorcycle, that much power in some situations could be a problem so Ducati has built in a few features handed down from his Moto GP program.  First, the rider can choose between Sport, Touring, City and Enduro modes, which adjusts the engine torque and horsepower.  The S models are further decked out in Ohlins suspension, anti-lock brakes and traction control, and is dressed up with carbon accents and can be ordered with Ducati Electronic Suspension or DES for short. 

Ducati throws in that unique Ducati sound for free and in my opinion it’s in my top 2 motorcycle exhaust notes.

Check out all the details at www.ducatiusa.com.


Moto Guzzi Stelvio / Stelvio NTX

Moto Guzzi named its Adventure Touring motorcycle after a twisting mountain road in Italy, which is fitting.  The “other” Italian motorcycle in this group is quite different from Ducati, and is unique in it’s own right.

In looks, the Stelvio is powered by the hard-to-miss Moto Guzzi 90 degree, air cooled “V” twin engine, that has it’s big finned cylinders out the sides of the motorcycle.  Nothing on two wheels has the looks of a Guzzi.

The Stelvio comes with ABS and in the NTX version has some added guards to protect the rider’s hands and some engine components.  Stronger rims and spokes are also included.

Like the BMW, Moto Guzzi has a thick catalog of goodies for the Stelvio.  Sadly, traction control isn’t one of them.

Details can be found at www.motoguzzi-us.com.


Yamaha Super Tenere

The Super Tenere is the newest addition to the High Performance Adventure Touring class, at least in North America.  When this motorcycle was introduced in Europe a couple of years ago few thought it would find it’s way into the North American market but with the huge success of this class of motorcycles in recent years, Yamaha made the decision to bring it over.  Those who want a Super Tenere in 2011 will have to pre-order the motorcycle or hope that their dealer brings in a couple for sale.

Anyway, the Super Tenere is named after a desert region in the south central Sahara, most likely keeping homage to where this motorcycle has had the greatest racing success, the Dakar Rally.

The Super Tenere is powered by an 1199cc parallel twin engine that has a unique 270-degree crankshaft, which allows the two cylinders to fire close together which provides increase torque and better control exiting the corners.  It also makes for a compact engine that gives the Super Tenere a narrow profile.

The Super Tenere comes standard with ABS, two-position engine power settings and traction control with three settings, one of them being “off”.  The ABS is linked, which means that when the front brake is applied, the rear brake is too, even though the rider may not be actively depressing the rear brake.  The linked system can be over ridden by depressing the rear brake first, however the system can’t be turned off completely.

The Super Tenere is the least expensive of the models mentioned, which will leave you $1,000 or more to add the features you want.  If I were to get this motorcycle, the first order of business would be heated grips.

Info on the Super Tenere can be found at www.yamaha-motor.com.


KTM 990 Adventure

While some may question the inclusion of the KTM in this group, it is a great performing motorcycle.  It’s the most “off road” capable one of this group and doesn’t have the weight of the others either.  While it doesn’t have all the electronic “gadgets” the other have, that’s not the point of the Adventure.  It does come stock, however, with Brembo ABS brakes.

More information can be found at www.ktmusa.com.


If you’re looking for adventure and performance and don’t have too much worry about the cost, one of these motorcycles should fill that need.  At least they’ll give you a reason to dream on your ride to work.

Lets Ride!

Gerald Trees

Lets Ride! (copyright: whichmotorcycleforme.com,  contact information: info@whichmotorcyleforme.com)