Think of the term Adventure bike and your mind will more than likely be drawn to the large beasts in the market such as the BMW R1250 or the Honda AfricaTwin. For some though the cost and licence restrictions might prevent such a dream from happening but don’t fear there are some truly great options out there for all.

From low powered, air-cooled, budget-beating offerings to the latest high spec liquid-cooled Japanese and European models, there should be at least one Adventure bike for everyone so, in this article and in no particular order, I’m looking at 10 of the best A2-friendly Adventure bikes.

Before we start, do bear in mind some of the larger models are only A2-friendly once they have had a restrictor kit fitted, but I’ll point these out as we go. So, with no further ado let’s get straight into!

1‎

Triumph Tiger 900 Rally

Starting off with that 900cc triple, Euro 5 compliant engine. With 9% more power across the rev range and 10% more torque, the Tiger 900 Rally is bringing the heat and the performance. I’m sorry to crush any dreams but anyone on an A2 licence will need to have the dealer-fitted compliance kit added to restrict the power to 47 bhp. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t have to be permanent because once you’ve passed your next test you can fully let this cat out of the bag and enjoy that 93.9 bhp.  

To reflects, its off-road performance Triumph has included Showa suspension, Brembo Stylema brakes, closer handlebars, an upright riding position and an adjustable 850-870mm seat. They have also managed to shed a few kgs off the overall weight making it lighter compared to the previous 196kg model.

Tech-wise, a few snazzy bits and pieces have also been added, including a 7” TFT display, cornering ABS, 6 riding modes, full LED lighting, heated grips and cruise and traction control. It’s also a bonus that it looks so good!

With that list of spec, off-road capability and on-road presence, it’s clear to see that Triumph’s big cat is marking its territory. The Tiger 900 Rally is a bike that’s been built for adventure, all-day riding, control and comfort, and can be yours from £12,000.

Engine  888cc, 93.9 bhp (or 47 hp reduced power version), liquid-cooled
Fuel tank  20L
Brakes  Front and rear disc 
Seat height  850-870mm 
Weight  192kg 
Price (starting from)  £12,000

‎2

Zontes T310

With a decent engine, comfortable riding position, and low weight as the basic ingredients, Zontes have kept this recipe simple and are serving us a real taste of adventure with their A2-friendly T310.

Mechanically speaking, a 312cc, liquid-cooled, EU5 engine sits at the heart of the T310 and reaches 35 hp. It’s high-performing, durable, and has two riding modes, Eco and Sport, for extra versatility.

Light in weight (the lightest on the list in fact), neutral riding position and adjustable screen make this a bike that will cope with whatever is thrown at it, though it might not quite have the off-road capabilities as some of the others.

Zontes have also kitted this little beauty out with a selection of rider aids, including BOSCH ABS, and luggage mount, as well as a few techy bits too including keyless ignition, USB charge point, and TFT dash.

It may be one of the lesser-known brands but when comparing against its liquid-cooled rivals, this is a Chinese-built bike that wins in the price department every time! Zontes have packaged this quest-ready two-wheeler in an affordable, accessible, and adventure-ready bow, and if I were you, I’d get my hands on one quick!

Engine 312cc, 35 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 19L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 830mm
Weight 149kg
Price (starting from) £4,199.99

‎3

Royal Enfield Himalayan

Royal Enfield state it’s taken “decades of expeditions, thousands of kilometres and years of living” to build an A2-friendly bike that has it all. But what do we think?

Well, for handling and control it’s equipped with ABS, a half-duplex split cradle frame along with long-travel suspension, and 17” and 21” tyres. For performance, a 411cc, air-cooled engine reaching just over 24 hp. For comfort, an 800mm seat, carefully positioned foot-pegs, and handlebars. For exploring, a tripper Navigation system powered by Google maps. And for action-packed style, panniers at the back, jerry cans at the front, and a choice of colours.

All of these features create a dual-purpose bike that’s ready to take you wherever adventure calls. So you tell me, did Royal Enfield hit the brief?

In my opinion, the Himalayan is the perfect adventure bike for those A2 licence holders with a smaller budget or anyone looking for an agile, yet basic, steed to ride when battling the less explored trails.

Just be aware that the Himalayan is a more rustic offering from Royal Enfield, but there is no denying that this approach has been popular with many!

Engine 411cc, 24.3 bhp, air-cooled
Fuel tank 15L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 800mm
Weight 199kg
Price (starting from) £4,599 (Mirage Silver & Gravel Grey) & £4,699 (Granite Black, Pine Green, Rock Red & Lake Blue)

‎4

BMW F 750 GS

Thanks to BMW kitting this baby out head to toe with a range of equipment, the F 750 GS is easy to handle on all types of terrain. Expect to see Rain and Road riding modes, ABS Pro, full LED lighting, dynamic ESA, traction control and a new ‘extra low’ 815mm seat.

It features the same 853cc twin-cylinder motor as the F 850 GS, but a restrictor kit will be needed to achieve A2 compliance. Once that’s fitted, you’ll be able to enjoy the soundtrack that engine plays.  

Available in three action-packed colourways, it definitely has a strong and individual style. I 100% think it’s the ‘Edition 40 Years GS’ with the eye-catching black and yellow colouring that gets my heart beating fast!

BMW’s F 750 GS provides all the thrills, kit and all-round Adventure bike spirit, plus 3-years warranty, for a surprisingly low price of £8,600.  But if you are looking at that and thinking ‘it’s still a little out of my price range’ then the G 310 GS is an alternative Beemer that’s more budget-friendly at £5,345, though it is slightly down on power.

Engine 853cc, 77 hp (or 47 hp reduced power version), liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 15L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 815mm
Weight 227kg
Price (starting from) £8,600

‎5

Suzuki V-Strom 650

You may be asking why Suzuki’s V-Strom 650 and Kawasaki’s Versys 650 (up next) are featured on our list? Well, you’ll be happy to hear that neither brand wanted to lack in options, so both can be made A2-compliant via a restrictor kit. You can then ride happy as Larry with your A2 licence and the wind in your hair.

Now we’ve cleared that up, let’s get into the good stuff!

From B-road twisties, dirt tracks, everyday commuting, and everything in between, take control with the V-twin engine, lightweight frame, and 19” front and 17” rear tyres. Travel in comfort with telescopic fork suspension and a newly designed seat.

Feel equipped with rider tech including traction control, low RPM assist, and easy start. Explore with a 9mm windscreen, 20L fuel tank, and added luggage accessory pack. And look good with style inspiration from the original DR-BIG and DR-Z – I’m really enjoying the new bright yellow colour option!

Suzuki’s V-Storm 650 is the ultimate do-it-all-and-anywhere bike. You’re really investing in the future when purchasing because the bike's power restriction can be easily reversed for when you progress and get your next licence.

Engine 645cc, 70 hp (or reduced power version), liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 20L
Brakes Front and rear disc 
Seat height 835mm
Weight 213kg
Price (starting from) £7,999

‎6

Kawasaki Versys 650

It’s sleek, it’s sporty and it’s ready to take on all roads. Give it up for Kawasaki’s Versys 650.

But what can you expect from such a bike? Well, let me tell you…

A slim, lightweight frame, wide handlebars, and triple petal disc brakes offer maximum control. A large 21L fuel tank, 47L top case, and adjustable windscreen ensure the Versys is capable of whatever adventure crosses its path. Repositioned foot pegs and a compact engine make it easier to ride. And long-travel rear suspension soaks up any road imperfections.

The Versys blends style, wind protection, aerodynamics, and airflow management to ensure the journey is as enjoyable as possible.

As I said, you will need a restrictor kit to ride this on an A2 licence but once that’s all sorted you can, in the brand’s own words, let the good times roll!

Engine 649cc, 65.7 hp (or reduced power version), liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 21L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 840mm
Weight 217kg
Price (starting from) £7,549

‎7

KTM 390 Adventure

When looking at the KTM 390 Adventure you’ll be surprised to hear that you don’t need a full motorcycle licence to ride this thing.

The single-cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled engine is powerful and ready to ride but still well-mannered and easy to maintain. For added confidence, control, and to appeal to you A2 riders, the 390 sports a slipper clutch, lightweight frame, 17” Continental TKC 70 tyres as well as BOSCH ABS.

Making for an even more enjoyable ride, KTM has also included an easy-to-read TFT dash, LED headlights, long-travel suspension, two windshields, traction control, off-road and cornering ABS and a tapered aluminum handlebar. 

As you can see, this pocket rocket has a lot of good spec and is priced at £5,849 so makes it a tad cheaper than some of the other premium-priced models on the list. 

Engine 373cc, 43 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 14.5L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 855mm
Weight 158kg
Price (starting from) £5,849

‎8

Sinnis Terrain 380

It’s all in the name and Sinnis have awarded the most appropriate to their A2 adventure bike, the Terrain 380 but that’s not all...

With a 380cc liquid-cooled engine that produces 36 bhp, you won’t be intimidated by this beauty, you’ll be able to control as you go the distance, and for speed. Chassis guard rails have been included to protect the engine and side fairings from any bumps, drops, slides, or scrapes that might occur along the way. And 19" front and 17" rear cast aluminium alloy wheels are there to instil confidence.

Looks-wise it’s argued that it could be mistaken for one of the more premium contenders – you can really tell this is a bike that’s been built to last!

If you can believe it, you’re getting all that for £4,495 (+OTR), plus three years warranty! And if you are a keen adventure-tourer and the standard model isn’t enough then you can purchase the Terrain 380 with lockable riveted aluminium luggage for £4,799 (+OTR).

So, the Terrain 380 has landed and it’s ready for take-off, but the question is will you be on board?

Engine 380cc, 36 bhp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 18L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 820mm
Weight 200kg
Price (starting from) £4,495 + OTR (or £4,799 with luggage + OTR)

‎9

Benelli TRK 502

Restyled for 2021, Benelli’s TRK 502 has been remodelled to maximise enjoyment, improve handling and stay up-to-date and on-trend.

Up close, you’ll see new graphics that help to add character. New backlit handlebar switchgear. Newly shaped adjustable handlebar and clutch levers. And completing this exterior re-styling is the new ergonomic rear pannier rack and redesigned seat offering more space and comfort.

Reaching the limit for an A2 motorcycle, from its 499cc liquid-cooled engine, the TRK 502 produces 47.6 hp and 46 Nm of torque. Team this with the double-overhead camshaft and chassis and you get an easy-to-handle bike perfect for newer riders.

To add, it also features a six-speed gearbox, ABS, 20L fuel tank, and tall windscreen.

Benelli’s TRK 502 has been given a real makeover to help it keep up with the bigger boys in this category. Though it is a Chinese offering, Benelli have really set out for the TRK 502 to be far from basic and up there with the best in this category, when compared against the likes of KTM’s 390 Adventure the larger TRK 502 is more expensive to the tune of £100.

Engine 499.6cc, 47.6 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 20L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 800mm
Weight 213kg
Price (starting from) £4,999

‎10

Honda CB500X

Finishing off the list today is an adventure bike packed with Honda reliability, quality equipment and globe-trotter spirit, let me introduce you to: Honda’s CB500X.

Bringing the X-factor to the CB500X is that 471cc, liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder powerhouse. Reaching 46.9 hp, it’s been designed to provide a smooth, agile and responsive ride and Honda has been sure to include plenty of low-mid-range torque (43 Nm) for faster acceleration.

Long travel suspension, including 41mm telescopic forks and Pro-Link rear monoshock, soak up all bumps or hits from the road and, as both are adjustable, you’ll be able to make room for a companion or extra luggage.

To add, the steel diamond-tube frame, engine positioning, wide handlebars, 19” front wheel, dual-channel ABS and seat height are all perfectly balanced to ensure easy handling, stability, control and comfort.

Inspired by the legend that is the Africa Twin, the CB500X blends rugged lines with updated graphics to create an attractive bike with a no-nonsense attitude.

The CB500X comes fully equipped with all the adventure-ready gear needed to conquer the big wide world. And priced at a reasonable £6,199 you won’t have to rob a bank for it to become a reality!

Engine 471cc, 46.9 hp, liquid-cooled
Fuel tank 17.7L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 830mm
Weight 197kg
Price (starting from) £6,199

An extra little something...

There has been some exciting news released in the last week, the UK is set to see the arrival of the VOGE 500DS - aka the Chinese-built A2 adventure bike that's affordable with premium parts.

There isn't a lot of information out there but what we do know is the 500DS will have a starting price of £4,999.99 and with that, you get 2-years parts and warranty, a liquid-cooled engine that reaches 46.2 bhp, 17L fuel tank, Pirelli Angel tyres, Nissin brakes with ABS, KYB suspension and a large TFT display. 

Its closest competition is Honda's CB500X so let's watch this space, shall we...

The last stop

The small to medium adventure bike market is getting quite interesting and these bikes are proof of that! But I want to know which is your favourite, comment below now!

And before you go, if you are looking to buy a new model or first bike and aren’t too sure where to get your insurance get onto Lexham Insurance. They’ve been in the two-wheel insurance game for over 20 years and if you go direct, they’ll give you the best deal.