Let’s talk new bikes: in the last few years, motorcycle manufacturers seem to have caught up with the fact that riders want smaller, more agile 500-700 cc bikes rather than the heavy 1200’s. Kawasaki resurrected the KLR650, Yamaha came out with theT7, KTM offers the 790, and there are several smaller dual sports now available. Gear manufacturers are also working on the lighter, more off-road-oriented gear rather than heavy ADV suits, and minimalism seems to be having a Renaissance – light bikes, lots of dirt, light gear and luggage, more exploration.

At the same time, there’s the Harley-Davidson Pan America, and the Honda Africa Twin is as popular as ever.

So if you were shopping for a new bike, what would it be? And what mods would you do on it first?

For me, the T7 looks best. It seems both reliable and versatile, and it could be modified for amateur rally racing instead of adventurizing the more capricious KTM500 EXC which a lot of world riders seem to be doing. Personally, a bike that’s sturdy and bulletproof, simple enough to fix, and capable of doing some cross country racing while covering long distances in-between sounds like the ideal world travel and racing bike. But that’s just me – and for now, I’m still simply plodding along on my Suzuki DR650 which, despite serious abuse and neglect, is still going surprisingly strong; the T7 remains a distant dream.

However, if you were to buy a new bike now, what would it be? Would you go for the old new Kawasaki KLR? The shiny new Yamaha Tenere? The classic 790? Or would you give the Harley Davidson Pan America a go? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Featured image: Yamaha Motor

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