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ADV BikesAdventure Bikes at the 2013 Progressive Motorcycle Show

Adventure Bikes at the 2013 Progressive Motorcycle Show

 A quick look at new Adventure Bike Models we can look forward to for 2014

Published on 12.16.2013
Progressive Motorcycle Show of Long Beach

The Progressive Motorcycle Show took place December 6th through the 8th at the Convention Center in Long Beach, California.  We arrived ready to discover what new offerings manufacturers had available for the Adventure Touring segment in 2014.  Every year we visit the Progressive Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, we see growth in Adventure Bike market. This year was no different.

The first indication of the continued popularity of the Adventure Touring segment was visible in the parking lot.  You could see a large number of people arrived riding Adventure Bikes.  We took a few photos of some of the more interesting Adventure Motorcycles we came across.

Visitor Rides at the Progressive Motorcycle Show


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KTM

We entered the Progressive Motorcycle Show and headed straight for the KTM booth to take a look at the new KTM 1190 Adventure and 1190 Adventure R models.  The booth was busy with visitors eager to set their eyes on the exciting new replacement for the KTM 950/990 Adventure series.

While the standard 1190 Adventure is designed to be a more comfortable street bike, it still gives the feeling of a capable off-road motorcycle. With a more comfortable perch and advanced electronics, the 1190 Adventure is a major step forward when compared to the previous KTM 990 Adventure.

The 1190 Adventure R is designed to be a better off-road tool than the standard 1190 Adventure.  The bike includes more aggressive off-road ergonomics with a one-piece seat and wider handlebar.  A larger front wheel, higher ground clearance and increased suspension travel offer better performance off-road. The Adventure R model offers more durability as well with wire spoked rims, hand guards and crash bars.

Both the 1190 Adventure and Adventure R are bound to be top sellers this year.  The new 1190 Adventure models are expected to appear on showroom floors in the next month or two.

Suzuki

Next we headed over to the Suzuki booth to take a look at the new DL1000 V-Strom.  We could see right away that Suzuki is making a serious attempt to gain market share from the European dominated Adventure Bike liter-class.  The V-Strom looks stunning with its new adventure styling.  Fully equipped with a powerful V-Twin, ABS and factory touring accessories, the V-Strom is a bargain when compared to its European competition.

We asked the Suzuki reps if they had heard of any plans for an “Adventure Specific” version of the DL1000 V-Strom that would include more off-road features like wire-spoked rims and long-travel suspension, but they could not confirm or deny any rumors.

We were glad to see the V-Strom 650 Adventure and DR650 Dual Sport on display.  These models continue to offer great value for many new adventure riders entering the market. Hopefully, the release of the new DL1000 V-Strom is a sign of exciting things to come from Suzuki. After seeing Suzuki struggle during the economic downturn, we are happy they now appear to be on their way to recovery.

Yamaha

Moving along we arrived at the Yamaha booth.  Unfortunately, nothing new was on display from Yamaha except a few accessories and styling changes on the Super Ténéré.  We talked to the Yamaha reps about new model releases for 2014 and all they would share with us was that they are expecting a new Ténéré model some time in February of 2014.  Could it possibly be the Ténéré XT660Z that is currently not available in the United States?  Clearly, there is a big gap in the U.S. market for a small light-weight Adventure Touring bike that could be filled by the Ténéré XT660Z.

With nothing new to look at from Yamaha, the little XT250 caught our eye. A street-legal Dual Sport with an extremely low seat height, smooth power and cushy suspension. The perfect bike for cruising around the campsite and it would make a great adventure bike for height challenged riders. Light weight and powerful enough to get you on the highway for short stints. Just add some soft bags and an aftermarket windscreen and you can go anywhere at a nice casual pace.

Honda

We continued over to the Honda booth to see if there might be anything newsworthy.  Unfortunately, Honda had nothing new or exciting on display.  Only the NC700X and CB500X, which are classified as Adventure Bike models.  We asked the Honda rep if he knew of any plans for the release of an Adventure Bike model with “Real” off-road capabilities.  Their response was that Honda feels that most Adventure Bike riders do not ride their motorcycles off-road.

The statistics Honda is referring to may be true if they are only polling NC700X and CB500X riders, but we feel the majority of Adventure Bike riders buy these bikes in a large part because of their potential for travel off-road.  If Honda offered more off-road worthy Adventure Bikes (like the Crosstourer which is not available in the U.S.), they might see more Honda owners taking their bikes off-road.

Hopefully, Honda will release the Crosstourer to the U.S. market after seeing the success of Suzuki this year with their new V-Strom.  If Honda really wants to get the U.S. Adventure Bike market excited, they should build a street-legal Dakar styled version of the discontinued XR650R.  We can only dream!

Kawasaki

Next on our list was Kawasaki.  Kawasaki had nothing new to share for the Adventure Touring segment.  However, we discussed rumors with their reps about the release of a fuel-injected KLR650.  For many this may sound like good news, but for the die-hard long-distance touring KLR riders out there, this will be the end of a legacy.

One of the best selling points for many KLR purchasers is the low-tech simplicity of a model that has not changed much in several decades.  It is hard to believe that a motorcycle that was designed in 1987 is still one of the most popular choices in the Adventure Touring segment.  We love the KLR for its versatility, simplicity and low price tag.  We can only hope that when the KLR650 receives its next major update, that those three traits will be retained.

Husqvarna

We decided to check out the Husqvarna booth to see if we could discover anything new and exciting.  Unfortunately, Husqvarna is still going through a restructuring period after being sold from BMW to KTM.  Husqvarna no longer offer any Dual Sport models but their rep had high hopes that they would be releasing new Dual Sport and Adventure models soon.

BMW

The BMW booth had on display their new F800GS Adventure and R1200GS Adventure.  The new F800GS Adventure model is fantastic with new electronics, improved suspension and enormous fuel range.  Even though it was released six months ago, it is still a new and exciting model for BMW.

The BMW R1200GS Adventure is their top of the line Adventure model.  The Adventure model includes all of the recent improvements made to the 2013 liquid-cooled R1200GS, but adds increased long range touring and off-road capabilities.  The new fuel tank increases capacity by 2.6 gallons, allowing the bike to travel nearly 400 miles between fill-ups.  Improved off-road performance is gained through a heavier flywheel (to carry more inertia over bumps),  an “Enduro Mode” fuel map and increased suspension travel.  The Adventure model offers more durability off-road with wire spoked rims, hand guards and stout crash bars.

Expect to pay well over $20k for a fully loaded R1200GS Adventure.  The new model is expected to make an appearance on on dealer showroom floors in the first quarter of 2014.  Contact your local BMW dealer to join the growing waiting list.

Ducati

Continuing our hunt for something new, we arrived at Ducati.  At first glance it appeared the Multistrada had not changed for 2014. Upon closer inspection, we could see that there was a new adjustable windscreen.  The new mechanism is a very simple and intelligent design.  With just a single push button you can manually raise or lower the windscreen.  This design saves weight over electric motor systems and allows a rider to safely adjust the windscreen in small increments while riding.

If you have never been to a Progressive Motorcycle Show, you should look for one in a city near you. Not only can you see all the latest Adventure Motorcycles and accessories, but often you can take a demo ride right at the show. Check out our ADV Events Calendar for more Progressive Motorcycle Shows occurring in your area.

Photos by Bill Lieras

Author: Rob Dabney
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2 thoughts on “Adventure Bikes at the 2013 Progressive Motorcycle Show

  1. Pingback: Kawasaki Announces the KLR650 New Edition for 2014 » ADV Pulse

  2. Pingback: The New Yamaha Ténéré Could Be a Middleweight Triple » ADV Pulse