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ADV Bikes10 Adventure Motorcycles You Can’t Buy in the USA

10 Adventure Motorcycles You Can’t Buy in the USA

These enticing ADV Bikes from around the world are off limits for Americans.

Published on 05.13.2014

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Every year, the latest and greatest Adventure Bikes are put on display at international motorcycle shows like INTERMOT or EICMA. All too often, those exciting new models are destined for markets other than the USA. Plans for distribution to the U.S. usually seem to be vague afterthoughts and Americans are left wondering if their dream bike will ever become available.

The cost of meeting U.S. compliance standards may be too high for some of the smaller motorcycle manufacturers. The big Japanese firms have the resources, but may still be shell-shocked from weak U.S. sales on Adventure Bike models introduced in the late eighties.

It took the U.S. a bit longer to gain an appreciation for Adventure Bikes, but the craze has definitely taken hold now. Dual Sport motorcycles had the largest growth rate of any category in 2013, with an increase of 14% and a total of 32,979 units sold in the United States.


Hopefully, these sales figures will encourage more manufacturers to ship their bikes to the U.S. At least one Adventure Bike that was once thought to be unobtainable, the CCM GP450, is now heading for U.S. showroom floors.

We compiled a list of 10 current Adventure Bikes you can’t buy in the USA. We included Adventure Bikes with at least some touring features like a windscreen, large tank or luggage rack, and a displacement of 250cc or greater (anything less than 250cc is not advisable on U.S. highways). We excluded street legal Enduro Bikes that are primarily designed for off-road use. Bikes are listed in order from smallest to largest displacement.

The booming U.S. Adventure Bike market is ripe for new models. It’s time we started getting more choice and selection.

Click the “Next Page” link below to get started.

Author: Rob Dabney

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18 thoughts on “10 Adventure Motorcycles You Can’t Buy in the USA

  1. Every thing is true except stiff suspension, in fact its very soft and sags about 2 inches upon mounting bike by 180 lb rider. Very torquey and agile upon take off. Power bleeds oft very slow past 100 kph or 60 mph, which doesn’t it cant do 75 mph. I think 65 cruising speed is spot on, but who knows, still in the break in period.

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  3. Hi Friends,

    Sorry, but I have to respond to this matter.
    Unfortunately you have no idea of how our national bikes are bad.
    If one day our bikes arrive in america you will understand the drug of bike we have in our market.
    This bike has several manufacturing problem that are not repaired by the manufacturer.
    Outside the high value q costs.
    Just to have an idea this bike would cost in america
    Based on the value she and sold here in Brazil Honda XRE-300
    R $ 15.500 Reais (Rate $1,00 = R$ 2,50 )
    $ 6.200

    Sorry for my english, I hope I have expressed myself well

    • $6,200 does seem a bit expensive to pay for a 300cc motorcycle. But here the Suzuki DR-Z400 is $7,300 so it’s not completely out of the question. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. Hey guys… be careful with what you wish for! There are great bikes on this list, but there are some of them that are nothing but pure crap (such as shinerays).

    Here in Brasil we have the XRE and all Yamaha’s bikes listed. I’ve had a Tenere 250 myself and that is such a great bike! Terrible brakes though and the suspension is not good indeed…. But they are reliable as f***! Great fuel economy and sure a great bike for a low budget adventure ride.

    Honda’s XRE have a chronic issues in the overhead cam. I don’t have the proper vocabulary to explain it in english… but I can tell that this bike is manufactured here in Brasil since 2009 and Honda STILL HADN’T found a solution for it (or didn’t want to find one solution). However, I suppose they woud treat the american consumer differently from what HOnda consider “fair” to treat brazilians consumers.
    Nevertheless, it’s a great bike if you do not depend on it for your daily duty.

    • Good to know that there may be some problems with the XRE 300 in case someone tries to import one of these things. Honda should protect their reputation for reliability, no matter what country they are selling in. Thanks for the information!

      • I own a xre300,the biggest “problem” this bike has had in Brasil,is that people don’t know what it means to check valve clearence.. it’s as simple as that.. check valve clearence every 8.000km and you will have a very,very reliable machine. I’m embarassed to admit that my fellow countrymen don’t know what it means to check valve clearence,and then calling a great bike as bad.

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  6. Unfortunately, the Brazilian legislation about security is very bad. Because of this, the Honda XRE300 have a chronic defect since 2009, year of its launch in the Brazilian market, and today, in 2015, has not yet been fixed. Break valve cover, cylinder head, oil leakage occurs, valve breaks, etc.
    But as Brazilian politicians are more interested in theft and corruption, they are not able to formulate laws which provide quality products sold here.
    Another example: There is a Chinese motorcycle being sold here, Dafra Kansas 150cc since 2008, the underbody “chassis?” (below the seat) breaks while the pilot is riding !!! Can you believe it? How many people have died without knowing why?
    Another example about security: Most bikes here do not have disc brakes. The bikes that have disc brakes are at least 70%-80% more expensive.
    Therefore Honda does not sell certain motorcycle models to the United States, whose laws are stricter for these absurdities defects that can even kill the pilot.
    Hugs, from a sad Brazilian biker.

  7. I live in Texas, I ride dirtbikes all the time. I want a adventure bike but none seemed to look right, but this thing has the perfect combo, street legal and looks similar to a dirtbike with the slickness of a street. But the I can’t find one.. Wtf

    • @Waldemar, they do explain it is Chinese in the article. Also, look at the date of this article. In 2014 the bike had not been brought to the US.

  8. I’ve got a 2014 XT250 that I’m extremely happy with, save the lack of range, some weather protection and oil cooler (and some increased hp.) that this 250 Tenere has.
    Bring it to the USA YAMAHA!…I’d gladly pay extra for the 3 things I mentioned above.
    Unlike the WR250R, the XT is soooo simple in design and maint. needs. (and no parts are needed for valve adjustment)
    PLEASE!…bring it into the States. Honda has their 250 rally and Kawasaki has the 300 Versys, what the heck are you waiting for?


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