Motorcycle icon

Best adventure touring motorcycles for gravel roads, dirt & asphalt

14548 Views Feb. 9, 2021, 3:43 a.m.
Image of two bikers riding on a gravel path

BMW F 850 GS

Motorrad’s BMW F 850 GS is a mid-weight, more compact, sizeable adventure-touring bike made for rough and gravel terrains. The 2-cylinder-in-line 853 cc engine with 90 hp maximum engine power at 8250 rpm and high torque makes 850 GS perform impressively on a variety of terrains. With 21-inch wire-spoke front wheels as opposed to R1250GS Adventure’s 19-inch wheels and standard 17-inch rear diameter, the tires perform exceptionally well on off-roads and gravel too.

BMW F 850 GS image

850GS employs front suspension with 43 mm upside-down telescopic fork and delivers damping support. The rear suspension gets limited to spring preload and rebound damping. Like a dirt bike, the suspension performs well and like a knobby bike, it’s comfortable to control the bike between legs and controls position.

Controlling in the dirt is elevated with traction control, switchable BMW Motorrad ABS and cornering ABS function. BMM F850GS comes incorporated with Enduro and Rain settings, heated grips, engine guard, dynamic brake light, 6.5-inch colour TFT display and has excellent throttle response. BMW F 850 GS is one of the best motorcycles for gravel roads.

BMW F 850 GS Specifications

Engine Type: 4-stroke parallel-twin, liquid-cooled 853 cc

Max.Power: 90 hp @ 8000 rpm

Max.Torque: 86 Nm @ 6250 rpm

Max.Speed: 125 mph

Gearbox: 6-speed constant mesh integrated in the crankcase

Steering Head Angle: 62 degree

Front Brake: dual floating disc-brakes, dual-piston floating calipers, 305 mm

Rear Brake: Mono disc brakes, single-piston floating calipers, 265 mm

Tank Volume: 15 l, 4 gal

Reserve: 3.5 l, 0.9 gal

Honda Africa Twin

Honda’s Africa Twin lineup sports four Africa Twin 2021 models - Africa Twin, Africa Twin DCT, Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES and Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT. Made for various riding terrains, from street to gravel roads to off-roading, Africa Twin incorporates features like touch-screen technology and cruise control. All four variants have the same engine type and frame structure. This is one of the best gravel bikes for road.

Honda Africa Twin

Standard Africa Twin is for off-roading riders and Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES is for long-distance adventure touring with 6.5 gallons fuel capacity, unlike Standard Africa Twin’s 5 gallons. Both have manual and automatic DCT transmission models. Adventure Sports ES model comes with electronic controlled suspension, tubeless tires, heated grips, three-stage cornering lights, aluminium tail rack, accessory socket, adjustable windscreen and EERA suspension (Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment).

There are four suspension damper settings, medium, hard, soft, off-road and customizable user settings with easy to switch settings. Powered with 1084 cc 4-stroke parallel twin-engine, the engine makes the front wheel tuck more closely and reduces the wheelbase for more comfortable off-road and pavement riding. In challenging tractions, Africa Twin’s 270-degree phase crank gives power delivery and selectable off-road and on-road ABS setting with rear ABS OFF setting makes riding in the dirt easier.

Twin four-piston brake callipers deliver impressive braking performance and semi-double-cradle frame makes the bike perform well on challenging terrains. Africa Twin’s long-travel front suspension is fully adjustable with 9.1 inches of travel and 45 mm tubes. Riding on tight terrains feels more comfortable with 43-degree steering lock. The Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) settings for challenging to off-roads power delivers at the comfort of your hand, making it a good choice as gravel bikes for touring.

Honda Africa Twin Specifications

Engine Type: 4-stroke parallel-twin, liquid-cooled 1084 cc

Front Suspension: inverted telescopic fork, 45mm, 9.1 inches travel

Rear Suspension: single shock pro-link, 8.7 inches travel

Front Brakes: two four-piston, ABS, hydraulic calipers

Rear Brakes: single one piston, ABS, hydraulic calipers

Tires: front - 90/90-21, Rear - 150/70R-18

Suzuki V-STROM 1050

2020 Honda V-Strom has updated engine, 1037 cc 90-degree V-Twin with more peak power with same torque level, fuel economy, updated Traction Control System with Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (SDMS), Suzuki Easy Start System and more. For precise throttle control, independent motors control each throttle body with a single butterfly valve.

Suzuki V-Strom Image

The throttle feel becomes lighter and linear because of no mechanical cable owing to the Ride-by-Wire System. Suzuki Composite Electrochemical Material (SCEM) plated cylindrical bores integrated into the upper crankshaft increases durability, heat dissipation and reduced friction. V-Strom’s Low RPM Assist feature adjusts the speed during low-speed riding and takeoff, reducing the chances of motorcycle stalling.

Suzuki Clutch Assist System (SCAS) enables smooth downshifts while the Traction Control System monitors the engine speed, front and rear wheel speeds and transmission gears, having four modes. There is a boost of new electrical features like load-dependent control system, motion track brake system, cruise control and power modes.

Suzuki V-STROM 1050 Specifications

Engine Type: 1037 cc, 9- degree V-Twin, liquid-cooled

Clutch: multi-plate type, wet

Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh

Front Suspension: coil spring, inverted telescopic, oil damped

Rear Suspension: coil spring, single shock, link type, oil damped

Front Brakes: 4-piston calipers, TOKICO, twin disc

Rear Brakes: NISSIN, 2-piston, single disc

Front Tire: 110/80R19 M/C tubeless

Rear Tire: 150/70R17 M/C tubeless

Wheelbase: 61.2 inches

Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro

For off-road adventure riding covering terrains like gravel paths, The New Tiger 900 Rally and Tiger 900 Rally Pro come with exciting new features and superior performance. The standard Tiger 900 Rally is oriented for street road, the Tiger Rally Pro is excellent for off-roading and adventure riding. 900 Rally Pro comes equipped with six riding modes, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, heated seats, Triumph Shift Assist and more.

Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro

888 cc liquid-cooled inline 3 cylinder engine delivers a maximum power of 94 HP @ 8750 RPM and has a dedicated off-road suspension. The front suspension has Showa 45 mm upside-down forks with compression damping adjustment and manual preload. Multi-Mode Switchable ABS and cornering optimised ABS ensures traction control and optimum braking. Brembo Stylema Brakes are lightweight and with high-performance calipers.

Pirelli Scorpion Rally Tires boost the capabilities for off-road and rough terrain riding while the Triumph Shift Assist smoothly upshifts and downshifts while maintaining acceleration. For riding in different terrains, Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro comes with six riding modes, rain, off-road, sports, off-road pro, rain and rider customizable with spoked tubeless rear and front wheels

Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro Specifications

Engine Type: 888 cc, inline 3-cylinder, liquid-cooled

Max. Power: 94HP @ 8750 RPM

Max. Torque: 64 lb-ft @ 7250 RPM

Front Wheel: Tubeless, spoked, 21x2.15 in

Rear Wheel: Tubeless spoked, 17x4.25 in

Front Brakes: 320 mm twin floating discs, Brembo Stylema 4-piston Monobloc calipers, Multi-mode ABS, Optimized Cornering ABS

Rear Brakes: 255 mm single disc, Brembo single-piston sliding caliper, Multi-mode ABS, Optimized Cornering ABS

BMW R 1250 GS

The New BMW R 1250 GS with 1250 cc 4-stroke flat-twin boxer engine delivers a maximum power of 100KW @ 7750 RPM and increased performance with smooth low running speeds too. The New Hill Start Control (HSC) makes starting on slopes easy. The rear brakes can be smoothly applied with the help of handbrake lever and when riding off, the brake gets auto released.

BMW R 1250 GS

The Dynamic Braking System helps in emergency braking and reduces stopping distance while maintaining your bike’s stability. The 2021 R 1250 GS comes with a knock sensor, adaptive swivel headlight and standard sensitive ABS. In 2021, the engine is getting EURO5 standard and "Eco" riding mode to save fuel.

BMW R 1250 GS Specifications

Engine Type: 4-stroke flat twin, liquid-cooled 853 cc

Max.Power: 136 hp @ 7750 rpm

Max.Torque: 105 lb-ft @ 6250 rpm

Max.Speed: >124 mph

Gearbox: 6-speed constant mesh with helical gear teeth

Front Brake: dual floating disc-brakes, 4-piston radial caliper, 305 mm

Rear Brake: Mono disc brakes, double-piston floating calipers, 276 mm

Tank Volume: 5.2 gal

Reserve: 1.1 gal


To mark 40 years of GS, BMW has launched R 1250 GS ADVENTURE - “40 YEARS GS” EDITION in a striking black and yellow colour, inspired by the R 100 GS with the nickname, “Bumblebee”.

gravel-roads bmw-f-850-gs honda-africa-twin suzuki-v-strom-1050 triumph-tiger-900-rally-pro bmw-r-1250-gs
Bikeshala thumbnail image

Bikeshala Admin

Official Bikeshala Admin feed for updated motorcycle blogs, tour guides, latest bike news, moto reviews and upcoming technology advancements in two-wheeler industry.


Recent blogs