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6 Concept Adventure Bikes We Can’t Wait To Get Here

We're hoping these adventure bikes bust out of prototype purgatory.

Published on 03.22.2018

4. KTM 390 Adventure

KTM 390 Adventure Concept Adventure Bikes
Courtesy Cycle World

Just like in older movies made about the future, the guesses that the KTM 390 would surely be here by now were quite wrong. We guess the motorcycle industry hasn’t learned from Hollywood that jetpacks and flying cars weren’t going to show up in the ‘90’s. True, KTM has a real-world model it could potentially steal a motor and chassis from – the 390 Duke. However, KTM let ADV Pulse know the current Duke platform can’t be easily adapted for use as an Adventure Bike model.

In 2014 when these rumors started, the lightweight ADV category was pretty much wide open. But in the past year, it has really started to fill in with bikes from BMW, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Honda. We think now is the time for KTM to pull the trigger on a 390 Adventure and we aren’t just saying that because we just want more models to ride. The motorcycle industry as a whole needs to be cognisant of growth and to continue to get new, first time riders into the fold. A 1200cc megabike with a mega price tag isn’t likely going to be the very first bike a new rider will gravitate towards. But something around five grand that him/her can maneuver easily is.


READ MORE: Elusive KTM 390 Adventure Gets Spied

5. KTM 790 Adventure R

KTM 790 Adventure R prototype adventure motorcycle

For those who have orange pumping through their veins, we haven’t forgot about the KTM 790 Adventure R Prototype. The ADV world has been abuzz with anticipation since the first spy photos of this bike surfaced in late 2016. Then, to crank up the hype to 11, KTM unveiled the now famous video featuring Sam Sunderland on his rally bike and what appears to be Chris Birch, gnarly extreme enduro racer, on the prototype 790. This machine should be pretty close to production since there is at least one fully-functional bike in the world and the 790 Duke (a street-only bike that will share the same motor) has already been launched.

Again, what is most exciting about this bike is its 799cc powerplant placing it neatly in the middleweight ADV range that has plenty of room for more bikes. And, going in the opposite direction style-wise from the Moto Guzzi bike, the KTM has a rally-racer-from-space vibe that is cool in its own way. The 790’s LC8 parallel-twin motor differs from other KTM ADV bikes, past and present. Yet as we all know, KTM knows how to make an adventure bike and we eagerly await this (fingers crossed!) 2019 model.

READ MORE: KTM 790 Adventure R Prototype Unveiled

6. Yamaha Tenere 700

Yamaha Tenere 700 prototype Adventure Motorcycle

The T7 created a surprising amount of buzz in 2016 when it was first floated out into the motorcycle interwebs. Even among hard core dirt guys and full on street dudes, a 700cc on-and-off road machine from Big Blue somehow hit a cord. Luckily for everyone, Yamaha has announced plans to bring it to market much like KTM. Unlike KTM, Yamaha is “testing” its prototype in a “World Raid Tour.” Perhaps it really is testing, or it could just be showing it off and making us drool even more than we already are. The first leg of the RTW journey is taking place in Australia and then will hit Africa, according to Yamaha.

We think the significance of this model is that when most people think of ADV bikes, Yamaha is not necessarily the first brand that comes to mind. Yet, in the early and even heyday of the Dakar Rally, Yamaha dominated. Don’t get us wrong, the Super Tenere is solid, it’s just getting a little long in the tooth. This T7 machine with its already proven CP2 689cc powerplant could possibly be the standard by which all these new middleweight machines are measured. Only time will tell.

READ MORE: Yamaha Tenere 700 Kicks Off Its 2018 World Tour


CCM GP600 Concept Adventure Motorcycle

Reaching further out on that theoretical limb, the CCM GP600 is just a twinkle in CCM owner Austin Clews’ eye. Another bike that has been stricken down by changing European emissions standards, the GP450 was CCM’s lightweight, off-road-bike based ADV machine that was gaining in popularity. Unfortunately, the 450cc motors that it sourced from BMW’s old G450X won’t meet the new Euro 4 emmissions.

But all is not lost. Clews told ADV Pulse that a batch of 600cc four-stroke singles are in the process of being procured by CCM. These are from SWM Motors who, in turn, got these engines from BMW/Husqvarna. A big bonus to the 600 is a six speed gearbox, one more than the GP450. The plan, according to Clews, is to keep the rest of the bike close to the same, just with a bigger motor. That includes the super unique bonded aluminum frame featuring multiple pieces fitted together. This, along with carbon fiber replacing some plastic pieces should keep the 600 in the same lightweight category as the GP450. The 600cc engine is said to only be 22 lb more than 450 motor.

While a CCM GP600 can be pretty much guaranteed to be a long ways down the road, the aforementioned SWM brand might have its own bike, the SWM SuperDual, available in the US sooner since those machines are already on European streets and borrow heavily from the old Husky Terra and Nuda models.

READ MORE: New CCM 600cc Model Coming

Author: Sean Klinger

With his sights set on doing what he loved for a living, Sean left college with a BA in Journalism and dirt bike in his truck. After five years at a dirt-only motorcycle magazine shooting, testing, writing, editing, and a little off-road racing, he has switched gears to bigger bikes and longer adventures. He’ll probably get lost a few times but he’ll always have fun doing it. Two wheels and adventure is all he needs. 

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Author: Sean Klinger

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Vu Nguyen
Vu Nguyen
March 22, 2018 3:38 pm

Nice list… all bikes look great. If I may, I might suggest including Earle Motor’s “Alaskan” build in the mix (based on Ducati Desert Sled).

ADV Pulse
ADV Pulse
March 25, 2018 11:44 am
Reply to  Vu Nguyen

Hey Vu, The Alaskan is a nice build but it is not an actual OEM concept like the bikes in the article.

Vu Nguyen
Vu Nguyen
March 26, 2018 9:09 am
Reply to  ADV Pulse

ok, fair point.

April 4, 2018 4:35 pm

drooling over the Yamaha Tenere 700

Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming
April 12, 2018 7:16 pm

Ah, shouldn’t you know the difference between a longitudinally-mounted engine (BMW boxers, Guzzi V-twins) – in which the crankshaft is oriented longitudinally and a TRANSVERSELY mounted tripe (my tigger) VTwin (katoom) or pretty much all parallel twins, triples and 4’s…

Saying that a guzzi has a transversely-mounted V-twin is just exactly 90 degree incorrect!
I sure like the look of the V85 though…

Kenny Moore
Kenny Moore
April 16, 2018 3:27 pm

Where is the Yamaha MT-07 ADV? Where is the Africa Twin 500? Where is the KTM 390 ADV? Will we live long enough to see these bikes?

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
April 19, 2018 5:35 pm
Reply to  Kenny Moore

The USA is the land of bigger is better. Me and you would buy the AT 500 along with a a few hundred other Americans and then Honda would stop US sales and only sell them in Europe.. But at least WE would have one! Lots of great Honda models have suffered that fate. Lots never even make it to the USA.

Pete Mann
Pete Mann
April 17, 2018 12:23 am

That Africa Twin Enduro Sports needs to hit production ASAP!

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June 19, 2018 9:02 am

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