adventure motorcycles

Top 10 Adventure Motorcycles for Freedom Motocamping

Top 10 Adventure Motorcycles for Freedom Motocamping

Motorcycle camping is possible on any motorcycle if you plan to visit an organized campsite with amenities, including fire pits, washrooms, water, and food establishments. But if you want to explore faraway places in the mountains, wilderness, or glacial valleys, you need a lightweight motorcycle capable of carrying your camping setup, navigating difficult terrain, and getting you to distant places. According to experienced motocampers, the best motorcycle for freedom camping in the backcountry is a vehicle capable of traveling on paved roads, gravel paths, and muddy trails. Adventure touring motorcycles are the best vehicles for backcountry camping.

This article provides a list of adventure motorcycles that are lightweight, comfortable when traveling long distances, easy to maneuver on off-road terrain, and capable of carrying camping gear. Moreover, they are less expensive than grand-touring and sport-touring motorcycles, whether you choose to buy or rent.

1. Harley Davidson Pan America 1250

Harley Davidson Pan America 1250

Photo Credit: @laidlawsharley , @michelin

The Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 is a modern adventure touring motorcycle that performs well on tarmac roads and off-road trails. Technologically advanced and highly capable, the Harley Pan America 1250 motorcycle can ride through shallow streams, muddy pools, steep inclines, rocky roads, and gravel paths.

The 1250 cc liquid-cooled fuel-injected Revolution Max V-Twin engine can produce a horsepower of 150 hp and a torque of 90 lb-ft at 9,000 rpm. The drive train consists of a wet clutch, a six-speed transmission system, and a standard chain drive, ensuring uninterrupted power delivery and maximum riding control.

The lightweight and durable chassis can maintain high speeds and efficient handling even when carrying the maximum luggage and load capacity. With factory-installed luggage bags, the Harley Pan America 1250 weighs only 500 pounds when running on an empty tank and 550 pounds when with a full tank.

Thanks to the Adaptive Right Height feature, riders can adjust the seat according to their heights to improve overall handling and ergonomic comfort. In addition, this feature can help keep the motorcycle stable when carrying camping gear.

The Harley Pan America 1250 comes with five riding modes and an electronically-controlled suspension system that quickly adapts to changing terrain, bad off-road conditions, and twisties.

  • Balance Mode- Best for riding on smooth roads.
  • Comfort Mode - For enhanced comfort on poorly-maintained tarmac roads
  • Off-Road Soft Mode - For wet and muddy off-road trails
  • Off-Road Hard Mode- For hard and rocky off-road trails
  • Sport Mode- For fast, aggressive riding on highways

The 19’’ front and 17’’ rear cast aluminum wheels to offer optimum traction control that makes it suited for on-road and off-roading. With heated seats, frame-mounted fairing, and luggage bags, the Harley Davidson Pan America 1250 is the best adventure motorcycle for dispersed motocamping.

Motocamping-Friendly Features of Harley Davidson Pan America 1250

  • Fairing
  • Seat Heating
  • Long Passenger Seat
  • Three Options for Factory Installed Luggage (Panniers, Hard & Soft Saddlebags)
  • Five Suspension Modes
  • 1250 cc Revolution Max Engine
  • 150 hp
  • 90 lb-ft
  • Carries 100+ Liters of Luggage/Camping Gear
  • Adaptive Right Height for Seat Adjustability
  • Anti-Lock Braking System

1.1 Maximum Weight Limit of Harley Pan America 1250

The Harley Pan America 1250 has an estimated maximum weight capacity of 213 kg/496 lbs. How much camping gear you can carry depends on your weight and whether you are riding solo or with a passenger. On average, a rider can carry camping gear weighing between 75-100 kg on a Harley Pan American 1250.

2. BMW R1250GS Adventure

BMW R1250GS Adventure

Photo Credit: @DriveMag Riders , @motorcyclenews

The BMW R1250GS is a sophisticated two-wheeler suited for off-roading and backcountry motocamping. The 1,254 cc two-cylinder boxer engine comes with a special ShiftCam variable camshaft that can generate a horsepower of 136 hp at 7750 rpm a torque of 143 Nm at 6250 rpm, and a top speed of 124 mph. In addition, the camshaft ensures smooth power delivery, maximum control despite changing riding conditions, and a consistent speed with few gear shifts.

The 5.2-gallon fuel tank offers a long touring range, ideal for riding to remote campsites. The electronic intake manifold fuel injection system offers good fuel mileage, while the regulated three-way exhaust system with a catalytic converter produces low emissions.

The drive train consists of a hydraulic wet clutch, a six-speed transmission, and a final shaft drive. The suspension system adapts to off-road terrain as soon as you get off the paved road. Moreover, the BMW R1250 comes with an impressive enduro package suited for long off-road trips and wilderness exploration. This package includes sports suspension, an engine protection bar, handlebar risers, and special off-road tires.

Easily adjustable, the rider seat offers warmth in frigid temperatures.

The ABS Pro and DTC system are useful features that ensure better handling and safety on off-road terrain. The ABS keeps the bike stable, while the DTC prevents the bike from slipping on wet inclines, slick muddy slopes, and snow-covered trails.

The BMW R1250GS’s TFT display makes it possible to connect your phone to your motorcycle; this gives you access to navigation, phone calls, or music while keeping your hands free. If your phone battery runs out of power, you can recharge it by connecting your phone to your motorcycle with its built-in USB socket.

2.1 Maximum Weight Limit of BMW R1250GS

On a full tank, the BMW R1250GS weighs 549 lbs/249 kg. With a payload capacity of 476 lbs, the BMW R1250GS can easily carry your camping gear. The BMW R1250GS’s total weight is 465 kg/1,025 lbs, including the motorcycle, rider, and camping gear.

Motocamping-Friendly Features of BMW R1250GS

  • Seat Heating
  • Windshield
  • 30 mm Handlebar Risers with an Improved Handlebar Position
  • Enduro Package for Off-Roading

3. Honda Africa Twin ES

Honda Africa Twin ES

Photo Credit: @rideapart , @webbikeworld

The Honda Africa Twin ES features a powerful 1,084 cc liquid-cooled Unicam motor, a lightweight chassis, an electronic fuel injection system, and a smooth drive train for a comfortable off-roading experience.

The Honda Africa Twin ES has innovative features, including an optional DCT transmission system, an electronically controlled suspension system, tubeless tires, and a large 18.8 liter/5 gallon fuel tank offering a reliable touring range.

Riders can opt for a six-speed transmission and manual clutch work. For automatic gear shifts, it is possible to install a DCT transmission. The tall aluminum tapered handlebars, optional heated grips, and fairing are other features that support long-distance freeway touring and off-roading in remote areas.

The Honda Africa Twin lacks standard factory-installed luggage; however, riders can purchase optional three-piece aluminum hard luggage. Alternatively, the Africa Twin’s long, flat pillion can help to mount dry tail bags. The rear suspension makes it easy to install saddlebags on either side of the bike, allowing you to increase Africa Twin’s storage capacity and pack your gear. Riders can also add tank bags and handlebar bags to increase storage space.

3.1 Maximum Weight Limit of Honda Africa Twin

The Honda Africa Twin’s maximum carrying capacity is 384 lbs/174 kg, including the rider, passenger, and luggage/camping gear.

This means if you are 80 kg, and your passenger is about 55 kg, then the available weight limit for camping gear and fuel would be 39 kg.

Due to the Honda Africa Twin’s limited carrying capacity, it is best suited for solo motorcycle camping trips.

Motocamping-Friendly Features of Honda Africa Twin

  • Six-Speed Automatic DCT Transmission (optional)
  • Electronically Controlled Suspension System with Long Travel
  • TFT Touchscreen Display
  • Three-Piece Aluminum Luggage (optional)
  • Large 18.8-Liter Fuel Tank
  • Apple Car Play
  • Fairing
  • Heated Grips (optional)

4. Ducati Desert X

Ducati Desert X

Photo Credit: @ducatistore , @motorcyclenews

The Ducati Desert X is designed to handle long asphalt roads and challenging off-road trails. Powered by a revolutionary 937 cc Testastretta 11th Desmo engine, the Ducati Desert X is suited for off-road adventures. This powerful engine generates a horsepower of 110 hp and a torque of 92 Nm.

The Ducati Desert X is a maneuverable bike due to its lightweight chassis, featuring 22’’ front and 18’’ rear spoked wheels. The impressive Kayaba suspension system offers long-wheel travel and a ground clearance of 250 mm. The Ducati Desert X’s durable frame can withstand rough weather and road conditions.

The Ducati Desert X boasts a superb ergonomic design for comfortable urban commuting, highway touring, and off-roading. The impressive Ducati Desert X comes with six riding modes, including Enduro, Rally, Sport, Urban, Wet, and Touring. The Enduro and Rally modes are best suited for off-roading.

4.1 Maximum Weight Capacity of Ducati Desert X

The Ducati Desert X has a carrying capacity of 240 kg, including the rider, passenger, and camping gear. When riding with a passenger, you can carry 60-70 kg of luggage. For solo camping trips, the maximum weight capacity of the camping gear can increase to 150 kg.

Motocamping-Friendly Features of Ducati Desert X

  • 240 kg carrying capacity
  • TFT Screen Display
  • Smartphone Connectivity
  • Direct Navigation
  • Six Ride Modes: Rally, Enduro, Touring, Wet, Sport, & Urban
  • Ride Aids: Cruise Control, Cornering ABS, Engine Brake Control, & Traction Control
  • Windshield
  • Ease of Mounting Luggage Bags

5. Kawasaki Versys 650 Adventure

Kawasaki Versys 650 Adventure

Photo Credit: @dirtbikemagazine , @visordown

Weighing 482.9 lbs, the Kawasaki Versys 650 is built impeccably for on-road and off-roading. Lightweight and nimble, the Kawasaki Versys 650 is powered by a fuel-injected liquid-cooled 659 cc DOHC engine capable of producing a torque of 44.8 lb-ft.

The Kawasaki Versys 650’s powerful parallel-twin cylinder engine provides linear power delivery suited for smooth highway rides and traveling on dirt trails. This adventure motorcycle features disc brakes that offer reliable stopping power on difficult terrain. The standard anti-lock braking system improves braking, ensuring better safety when traveling off-road. Moreover, the 17-inch rear cast aluminum wheel provides optimal traction control on rough terrain.

The sturdy suspension system offers longer wheel travel and adapts to different landscapes to ensure comfortable rides. The Kawasaki Versys 650’s Lightweight chassis, upright riding position, and slim fuel tank improve overall ergonomic comfort. To ensure adequate wind protection, the Kawasaki Versys 650 comes with a four-way adjustable windshield.

The Kawasaki Versys 650’s windshield and tall handlebars can also be used to attach small luggage bags. An 8-liter tank bag, a pair of 25-liter saddlebags, and a 40-liter dry bag can be mounted/attached to this bike.

Other technological features this bike has suited for motorcycle camping include

  • Kawasaki Traction Control: Which helps navigate slippery, rough, and rugged terrain
  • Economical Riding Indicator: Which helps achieve optimum fuel efficiency.
  • Smartphone Connectivity: Help to stay connected to family and friends, access navigation, and listen to music.
  • Dual-Throttle Valves: For improved combustion, greater power outputs, and smooth engine performance

5.1 Maximum Weight Limit of Kawasaki Versys 650

According to the Kawasaki Versys 650’s instruction manual, its maximum carrying capacity is 399 lbs/180 kg, including the rider, passenger, and camping gear. On average, riders can load 30-55 kg of luggage when riding with a passenger, and 70-100 kg of luggage when riding solo.

Motocamping-Friendly Features of Kawasaki Versys 650

  • Smartphone Connectivity
  • TFT Screen Display
  • Traction Control
  • Strong Suspension with Longer Wheel Travel
  • 5.5-Gallon Fuel Capacity
  • Ease of Mounting Luggage Bags for Camping Gear

6. Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT

Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT

Photo Credit: @globalsuzuki

The Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT is a popular adventure touring bike due to its comfortable riding position, polished seat, performance-oriented engine, lightweight chassis, and high carrying capacity.

The liquid-cooled DOHC 645 cc V-Twin engine produces a torque of 60.3 Nm and a horsepower of 65 hp. Its engine power outputs make this motorcycle suited for long-distance rides and off-road adventures.

Primarily designed for long-distance touring, the Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT’s tubeless spoke wheels help the motorcycle’s off-road performance.

The Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT’s low rpm assist technology, anti-lock braking system, easy start feature, and traction control make this a beginner-friendly bike on off-road adventures.

The Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT also comes with a 5.3-gallon fuel tank, a preload adjustable suspension setup, and a three-way adjustable windshield.

6.1 Maximum Weight Limit of Suzuki DR650

The Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT has an impressive carrying capacity of 448 lbs/203 kg, including the rider, passenger, and camping setup. Riders can carry 100-110 kg of luggage on a Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT for solo trips. When traveling with passengers, the maximum weight limit for camping gear is reduced to 30-50 kg.

Motocamping-Friendly Features of Suzuki DR650

  • ADV fairing
  • Windshield
  • 203 kg carrying capacity
  • Ease of mounting luggage
  • Heated grips
  • Comfortable seats
  • Side & Top Cases (optional)
  • 5.3-gallon fuel tank

7. Ducati Multistrada 1200

Ducati Multistrada 1200

Photo Credit: @roadrunner , @motoforum

Powered by a lightweight and powerful 1198 cc engine, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 produces a horsepower of 160 hp and a torque of 87.5 lb-ft.

The bike comes with four riding modes: urban, touring, sport, and enduro.
For freedom motorcycle camping, the touring mode helps you reach remote locations and the enduro mode helps you travel across rough and uneven roads.

The Ducati Multistrada 1200’s plush suspension, natural riding position, comfortable wide seat, electronically regulated traction control, and ABS make this motorcycle a reliable adventure tourer.

7.1 Maximum Weight Limit of Ducati Multistrada

The Ducati Multistrada 1200 has a maximum weight capacity of 438 lbs/199 kg.

Motocamping-Friendly Features of Ducati Multistrada 1200

  • Ease of Mounting Luggage
  • Adjustable windshield
  • Lightweight Chassis
  • 199 kg Carrying Capacity
  • ABS
  • Traction Control
  • Comfortable Riding Position

8. Yamaha Tenere 700

Yamaha Tenere 700

Photo Credit: @bikescatalog , @roadrunner

The Yamaha Tenere 700 is a lightweight, reliable, and fun adventure tourer that can help you reach remote campsites in comfort.

The fuel-injected, liquid-cooled 689 cc twin-cylinder engine ensures smooth power delivery when off-roading. This vehicle includes a narrow fuel tank, a slim chassis, a firm seat, tapered handlebars, and a fairing.

The Yamaha Tenere 700’s six-speed transmission system features a triangular arrangement with the gearbox and crankshaft, reducing the size of the engine and the motorcycle’s overall weight. These features and the lightweight chassis ensure better riding confidence on any road.

The front and rear disc brakes and ABS system provide reliable braking and control. The suspension setup offers longer wheel travel to ensure a comfortable riding experience.

8.1 Maximum Weight Limit of Yamaha Tenere 700

The Yamaha Tenere 700 has a carrying capacity of 397 lbs/180 kg, including the rider, passenger, accessories, and luggage.

Motocamping-Friendly Features of Yamaha Tenere 700

  • Fairing
  • Superior Ergonomics
  • Comfortable Seat
  • 180 kg Carrying Capacity
  • Ease of Mounting Luggage Bags

9. KTM 890 Adventure R

KTM 890 Adventure R

Photo Credit: @ktm

The KTM 890 Adventure R is able to travel on asphalt roads and dirt trails. The KTM 890 Adventure R boasts a responsive engine, impressive off-road handling, riding comfort across long distances, and sharp braking.

Related: Revised KTM 890 Adventure Set to Release in 2023

The motorcycle comes with multiple features, including touring and off-road/rally ride modes, ABS, and Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC).

The MTC keeps the rear wheel from slipping on uneven, steep roads, prevents the front wheel from lifting, and improves acceleration.

The enduro trail tires are optimized for off-road performance, perfect for motor campers looking for reliable handling and durability when off-roading.

The KTM 890 Adventure R’s advanced suspensions and ABS system make it possible to tackle rough terrain with confidence.

9.1 Maximum Weight Limit of KTM 890 Adventure R

The KTM 890 Adventure R has a maximum carrying capacity of 485 lbs/220 kg.

Motocamping-Friendly Features of KTM 890 Adventure R

  • Fairing
  • Windshield
  • Wide Seat
  • Ride Modes: Touring & Off-Road/Rally
  • Motorcycle Traction Control
  • 220 kg Carrying Capacity
  • Ease of Mounting Luggage

10. Triumph Tiger 1200

Triumph Tiger 1200

Photo Credit: @triumphmotorcycles

With reliable off-road capabilities, the Triumph Tiger 1200 is an ideal motorcycle for motor campers who love to set up camp in stunning yet harsh landscapes.

The Triumph Tiger 1200 features an 1160 cc three-cylinder engine that generates a horsepower of 147 hp and a torque of 1309 Nm. Its lightweight chassis ensures better ease of handling.

Its modern semi-active suspension system is responsive on all terrain, whether riding solo or with a passenger with heavy camping gear.

The Triumph Tiger 1200’s superior ergonomic design and natural seating position keep the motorcycle comfortable when traveling long distances and maneuverable at low speeds.

10.1 Maximum Weight Limit of Triumph Tiger 1200

The Triumph Tiger 1200 has a maximum payload capacity of 490 lbs/222kg, including the rider, passenger, luggage, and accessories.

Motocamping-Friendly Features of Triumph Tiger 1200

  • 220 kg Carrying Capacity
  • Showa Suspension
  • Ease of Mounting Luggage
  • Faring
  • Adjustable Windshield
  • Comfortable Seat
  • Powerful Three-Cylinder Engine

11. Takeaway

Motorcycle camping is becoming more popular in recent years. While it is important to consider the location, camping setup, and luggage before embarking on an adventure, choosing the right motorcycle for a freedom camping excursion is also crucial.

The motorcycles covered in this list have powerful engines suited for long-distance touring and are equipped with advanced suspensions, wheels, and brakes for optimal off-roading. Moreover, their lightweight chassis and impressive carrying capacities make them reliable vehicles for touring, off-roading, and motorcycle camping.

If you do not own any one of the motorcycles listed above, you can get a rental at affordable rates from reliable motorcycle rental services like Riders Share, EagleRider, and Twisted Road.

Related: Best Motorcycle Camping Setup

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