The 5 Best-Looking Adventure Motorcycles Out Now

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
The adventure bike spectrum is expanding far and wide, with more brands jumping into the fray, and powerplants ranging from 300 to 1,300 cc. If you’re in the market, you’re probably considering all the usual factors, like cost, comfort, electronic gadgetry and standard features, and that’s probably smart. Sometimes the intrusive thoughts win though, and blind to reason, we shell out for pure aesthetics.

In the ADV world, the most aggressive-looking bike is rarely the most ridden, but every forum has a hero, and there’s always an exception to the rule. Throwing all the usual metrics to the wind, we asked the question; what are the best-looking adventure motorcycles on the market right now?

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
Yamaha Ténéré 700 Rally Edition
The Ténéré 700 debuted in the U.S. in 2019 and immediately established itself as a serious contender in the middleweight ADV market. It’s lightweight at 452 pounds, has excellent rock-taming suspension and its 689 cc liquid-cooled parallel twin (lifted from the old FZ-07) provides reliable performance to the tune of 72 hp.

What the Yamaha Ténéré 700 doesn’t have, is most of the other things we’re used to seeing in the ADV segment. You get switchable ABS, but there’s no traction control, no cruise control, rider modes, integrated GPS, etc.

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
In an age where spec sheets are typically dominated by computers, lean sensors and color gauge displays, the Ténéré 700 is a breath of fresh air. Its approach is minimalistic with standard dirt-bike geometry boasting nearly 9.5” of ground clearance, a 21F/18R wheel combo and stand-up ergonomics. Sprinkle in a larger 4.2-gallon fuel tank, a meaty skid plate, dual front discs and a slim frame-mounted fairing, and the Ténéré has just enough capability for long-haul riding across any terrain.

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
Finished in Yamaha’s classic white-and-red speedblock livery and gold wheels, the Ténéré 700 Rally Edition is an eye-catching homage to Yamaha’s Dakar history. The Rally Edition will set you back about $14,534—an extra $1,500 ish dollars over the standard Ténéré. [Yamaha]

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
Husquvarna Norden 901
Edgy angles and pointed lines are common in the adventure segment, but it’s hard to deny the appeal of the classic slab-side aesthetic. Based on KTM’s proven 890 mechanics, Husqvarna’s Norden 901 is a slightly more refined everyday adventure machine with textbook Husky character.

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
The majority of the Norden’s nuts and bolts come from the KTM 890 Adventure, including the chromoly trellis frame, Bosch EMS and 103 hp, 889 cc parallel-twin as a stressed member. Suspension is a bit of a contention point, as both the KTM and the Norden 901 Expedition model are upgraded with WP XPLOR suspension systems, while the standard 901 sticks with WP APEX.

With both bikes parked at the curb, I’m giving the Norden the edge in appearance though. Nothing against Team Orange, but I like that Husky gets away from KTM’s sharp-cut angular bodywork and extraterrestrial headlight, in favor of flat slab sides, a low front fender and a high-mounted circular headlight.

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
Finished off with a massive skid plate, tinted windshield and an eye-catching lime over slate finish, the standard Norden 901 is rugged and functional, with capability to back it up. Its $14,499 MSRP is also quite competitive in the segment. [Husqvarna, KISKA Gmbh & Rudi Schedl]

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports
There are few looks more synonymous with rally excellence than the pairing of Honda’s HRC colors, gold hoops and the Africa Twin script. Made famous in the late ’80s on the XRV650, the scheme continues to represent off-roady touring capability for Team Red on the 1,100 cc Africa Twin.

True to Honda form, the Africa Twin occupies a unique niche in the ADV market. Its 101 hp, 1,084 cc parallel twin is not particularly powerful in the over 1,000 cc class, and its 529-pound curb weight is heavier than many of its middleweight peers. But Honda’s never one to skimp on quality, and recent improvements have taken the Africa Twin’s tech savviness and dirt capability up a notch.

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
The new Africa Twin has an active Showa suspension system integrated into the riding modes, returning 9.1” of travel up front and 8.1” in the rear. The bike has also lost 10 pounds thanks to a new aluminum subframe, and the optional Automatic Dual Clutch Transmission provides selectable shifting and terrain modes—if that’s your kind of thing.

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
But hey, we’re here for aesthetics, and Honda’s frame-mounted fairing is sharp and purpose-built, without being too knife-edged and angley. Across the different Africa Twin trims, the Pearl White Adventure Sports model is a knockout. It comes equipped with a taller windshield and a larger 6.5-gallon fuel tank, not to mention the classic HRC colors and gold wheels. The Adventure Sports model will set you back an extra $2,800 over the standard Twin, at $17,299. [Honda]

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
Ducati DesertX
The Ducati DesertX blends into the ADV crowd a whole lot for being one of our favorites. It looks like most any other adventure bike from a distance—albeit with a sea of white plastic affixed to the front—and the whole side profile is pretty plain and dichromatic. The devil’s in the details though, and when you add up the factors, the Ducati’s beauty is more than skin deep.

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
The DesertX is built like many others in the multi-cylinder middleweight ADV class, sporting a steel trellis frame, a dirt-friendly 21F/18R wheel combo and a full-length skid plate covering the essentials. Things get spicey under the 5.5-gallon fuel tank, though, as that’s where the 937 cc Testastretta 11° V-twin resides. This sweet mill pumps out 110 hp at 9,250 rpm, high for the class, and output can be fine-tuned to the terrain with six riding modes.

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
Getting off the beaten path, the DesertX will go just about as far as a multi-cylinder ADV bike wants to be pushed. Its manually adjustable KYB suspension soaks up whoops and returns 9.1” of travel up front and 8.7” in the rear. That’s the type of terrain where you’ll be wanting the off-road accessory package, including improved engine protection, crash bars, a radiator guard and hand guards—consider that mandatory equipment if you’re filling out an order form and want to be somebody.

Sporting trick spoked wheels, tubeless Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR rubber, a stellar powerplant and the right accessories, the allure of Ducati’s DesertX starts to become clear. It’s a functional beauty, consisting of all the right hardware, and eliminates the need for wild graphics or loud colors. But sometimes even functional beauty gets expensive, and the DesertX will set you back at $17,695. [Ducati]

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
AJP PR7
Every roundup needs a wildcard, and just beyond the outermost edge of what you could feasibly consider an adventure motorcycle, there’s the AJP PR7. It lurks in the wild unknown, preying on your desire to blast through terrain. And while it’s no tourer, you have to admit it’s the baddest thing out there with a windscreen.

The lone adventure offering from Portugal’s successful supermoto and enduro bike manufacturer, AJP takes a minimalist approach on the ADV scene. There are no fancy electronics besides the gauge display, and it’s powered by a 600 cc single producing an undisclosed amount of hp. But one look at the spec sheet, and it’s hard to argue with Brembo brakes, ZF SACHS suspension, a wet weight of 364 pounds and an under-seat fuel tank.

Best Looking Adventure Motorcycles
For most ADV customers, the AJP is just a bit too radical. The suspension is aggressive and wind protection is minimal at best. You’re essentially riding a modified enduro, and that’s just not going to cut it for long-haul riding. But considering (at least one person) has logged over 50,000 miles on a PR7, I’m dying to know what this machine has to offer.

A slightly more usable replacement for my CRF450L? I think maybe so. So AJP, if you’re listening, I’ll take one shipped to northern Wisconsin, please, before winter comes. [AJP Motorcycle]

AJP PR7

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