Lightweight adventure bikes are the new thing. Why not build one yourself?
When it comes to adventure bikes, we think about a versatile and reliable motorcycle. The general idea of an ADV bike consists of its ability to tackle muddy trails and asphalt with ease. We are looking for large gas tanks, long travel suspensions, a lot of protections, a large front wheel and the possibility to fit luggage racks. The big manufacturers are coming up with a lot of options for this segment, but they are charging a bit too much for a bike that walks with danger.
For starters, you need to find yourself a bike. The list of models that can be transformed in a reliable ADV is not that long. The enthusiasts choice are the thumpers with the displacement varying from 400cc to 700cc. These bikes have a steel frame, are easy to repair, reliable and cheap. With $1500 you can choose between a Honda NX650 Dominator, a Suzuki DR650, a Yamaha XT600E or something smaller like the Suzuki DRZ400E. All of them are known for their reliability, great fuel economy and the affinity for oil. For every trip bring some extra oil with you.
The skid helps a lot when you go off-road, it protects the engine from direct hits. This plate will ensure that you will make it on the trail. The price for this part varies between $100 and $200 depending on the manufacturer. The aluminum ones are a bit more expensive, but they help dissipate the heat and keep the weight under control.
Acerbis gas tank
Extra gas is critical for an ADV bike. Gas cans can be fitted on top of your luggage, but a bigger tank is what you look for. You can get even three times more out of a bigger gas tank than the original one. Acerbis is the company that builds fuel tanks that can handle additional fuel capacity. The ergonomics will remain the same, and the handling doesn’t have to suffer from extra gas cans. The price varies between $200 to $400 depending on the bike model.
Fork Guards / Fork gaiters
The front end has to be protected from any possible off-road impacts. A leaking seal can end up affecting more than your suspension. Oil can end up on the brake rotor or tire raising the chances of an accident. Depending on the type of bike you go for you can buy guards for the up-side-down model or gaiters for the classic suspension. The fork guards cost around $50 while the gaiters are around $40.
Long trip saddle
Large distances might be a bit sour for your bottom. Seating for a long period will end up with serious numbness. This a good reason to buy a wider, softer and more comfortable seat. For example, a Sargent touring adventure seat for DR650 costs $370 but worths every cent.
Covering the distance on paved roads will be easier with the help of a windshield. Is lightweight and easy to fit no matter the bike. The price varies from $100 to $150, but you will be grateful for the wind protection it provides.
Touring or adventure gloves are designed to handle harsh temperatures, but a little more protection won’t hurt. The hand guards come in very helpful when going both asphalt or off-road. Besides keeping your hands unharmed, the hand guards also protect the levers. A pair of aluminum reinforced hand guards is $100.