November 2019

This is me on Yam’s Ténéré 700, scurrying up a big hill somewhere in North Wales. The new twin takes the swollen adventure market in a fresh direction, with more than a hint of the original dual-purpose ‘giant trailies’ of the 80s and 90s (I had a Suzuki DR650RS but fancied a DR750 Big). So to see where the 700 sits we took it on a road trip with seven other adventurers.

With bikes of every shape, size and flavour back-to-back it was truly eye-opening. But the best thing about our all-roads, all-weather adventure was that it felt like exactly that – an actual adventure. We strode over landscapes, slipped down back lanes, laughed on slatestrewn tracks, got lost a few times and relived it all over a beer (or three) in the evenings. It’s easy to scoff at large, beaked, semi-knobbly bikes as two-wheeled equivalents of a Range Rover on the school run. Yet their stance, abilities and feel make you believe you can genuinely go anywhere. For a long weekend exploring Britain’s varied landscape there’s surely nothing better. They’re pretty ruddy good for popping to work, too.

You don’t need the latest whizzbang bike to make every day an adventure of course, as shown by our big-value used guide and the buying exploits of John Westlake. Hanging out in the crowds at the baking-hot British MotoGP was a bit of an adventure too, as was heading over to the Classic TT with the Team Bike Honda RC30s.

Though autumn’s taken hold there’s still plenty of chance for bike-based shenanigans. I’m off to the Goodwood Revival as soon as I’ve written this (read about it next issue), and there are hand-picked recommendations for your own mini-adventures.

Enjoy the issue.

Mike Armitage, Bike, Deputy Editor

The death of the…

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Your weekend is served

Adventure bikes come in more shapes and sizes than ever before. Bike takes a road trip to North Wales with representatives of every flavour, from simple 700 to techladen 1250…

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The real Great Escape

Eighty years ago a British Army team were on course to win the International Six Day Trial in Austria. But Hitler had other plans, and they were forced to escape on their race bikes…

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