PRICE RANGE: £4000-£6000
For solid build quality at a decent price, look no further than a Yamaha Super Ténéré. Prices start just below £6000 from a dealer. The original 2010 ‘First Edition’ model came with panniers, bash plate and a headlight cover. Its smooth 1199cc parallel twin is happiest in the midrange and while the Ténéré isn’t light (at 261kg), it is well-balanced.
Another heavyweight is the first Kawasaki Versys 1000. Zero off-road ability but an ideal two-up tourer with its wide, flat seats and mighty carrying capacity. The 1043cc inline four is from the Z1000SX but it’s not at all a sporty ride. The first 2012 bikes start at around £5000.
At the opposite end of the adventure spectrum is the KTM 990 Adventure – a modest seat, snarling engine and Dakar Rally heritage. The older 950s are nicer to ride (the 990’s fuel injection is sharp) but harder to find in good condition – there’s more choice of clean 990s.
Another left-field option (for different reasons) is the Moto Guzzi Stelvio. From the frog-faced styling to the air-cooled V-twin’s pronounced pulses, there’s no shortage of character. Very comfortable, if on the hefty side, with bikes advertised from £4000. 2010 Yamaha Super Ténéré, 13,526 miles, Yamaha panniers, heated grips, £5995. Dealer advert on mcnbikesforsale.com
The Moto Guzzi Stelvio is full of character...