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Top five… middleweight adventure bikes for 2023


Whether you want to tighten your belt or just enjoy something a bit lighter and more manageable, there are a host of new adventure bike styled machines out there for us to consider in 2023. Built around parallel twin powerplants and with prices around the £10k mark, these bikes look set to very popular among riders on the British Isles.

Don’t believe us? Look at these crackers and try to convince us otherwise!




Honda Transalp

Honda were making middleweight adventure bikes before they were cool, with the original Africa Twin and Transalp proving hugely popular on continental Europe in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Both nameplates disappeared briefly as dual purpose machines fell out of favour around the turn of the century but, after the successful revival of the Africa Twin in 2016, the Transalp is also making a comeback for 2023.

Based around the same 755cc twin as the equally new-for-2023 Hornet, the XL750 Transalp ticks all the adventure bike boxes with its 21” front wheel, tall suspension and a comfortable looking, upright riding position. It’s also got a great looking spec sheet for a middleweight, with 90bhp and an electronics and rider aid package that would not have looked out of place on a range topping machine a few years ago.




KTM 790 Adventure

While competitors have built brand new models to take advantage of the increased interest in sub 800cc adventure bikes, KTM has gone back to the future with its competitor.

The 790 Adventure dropped out of the Austrian brand’s range a few years ago, replaced by the bigger and more expensive 890 Adventure models to meet the incoming Euro5 regulations.

But now it is back, providing KTM fans with a simpler and more affordable entry into the brand’s adventure bike offerings. Built in China, by CF Moto, but to the same standards as the Austrian factory, the 790 platform has been given a mild reworking to meet the latest emissions laws and to give it a new character from the 95bhp motor.

KTM have also fitted its 790 with a six-axis IMU, allowing the use of some seriously sophisticated electronic rider aids, however many of these features are optional extras and need to be unlocked after an initial trial period.




Suzuki V-Strom 800DE

Suzuki has a solid reputation in the value-for-money adventure bike stakes, with the 650 and 1000cc V-Stroms proving popular choices for two decades now.

The new V-Strom 800DE sits between those two veterans in the 2023 Suzuki range. Like the Honda Transalp, the 800DE forms one half of a pair of all-new models, with the GSX-8S roadster set to take on the Hornet and Yamaha’s MT-07.

Despite the name, it’s a parallel (rather than V) twin, with the 776cc motor delivering 82bhp. As with all the bikes in our selection, it features spoked wheels with a 21” front hoop and long travel suspension. Suzuki has a reputation for offering lots of bike for the money, and if the 800 continues this trend it should be a good seller in 2023.


Yamaha Tenere 700

Arguably the bike which started the trend for well priced, middleweight, adventure bikes, the Tenere has spawned a host of imitators since being introduced in 2019.

Three variants of the Tenere now exist, with the standard model joined by the specced up Rally edition and the middleweight-on-steroids ‘World Raid’ with its taller suspension and Dakar style twin fuel tanks.

But the standard model remains a great everyday motorcycle with its lively MT-07 derived engine and relatively light 204kg wet weight.





Aprilia Tuareg 660

Something of a wildcard in our selection, Aprilia’s Tuareg was introduced for 2022 and is based on the racy RS 660/Tuono 660 platform.

Unlike the other bikes here, which are powered by parallel twins unashamedly developed to built to a budget, the Aprilia features a reverse engineered superbike engine at its heart.

Essentially built around one bank of cylinders from the RSV1100’s V4 200+ bhp engine, the Tuareg 660 has been tuned for tractability but still delivers a sprightly 80bhp despite displacing just 659cc. As we’ve come to expect from Aprilia, the electronics are at the cutting edge too.

It’s a bit pricier than the competition, but brings with it a degree of Italian flair and performance not typically found in the class.

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