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The true fate of "adv" riding


Well-known member
Mar 20, 2022
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East Coast
I have been riding for over 3 decades. I have owned 50cc to 1640cc. My 1st bike was a 750 zook. I see patterns and I just wonder what everyone else sees and experiences in the life of motorcycles. I could write a book but I see patterns from the 1% to moped gangs to bmw enthusiasts, working at an hd dealer, wringing out xr100s to ke100s, it400 to yz250. I actually feel blessed in the moto world. But I always wonder!

I see new videos of sur ronster and e bikes or other e bikes. Walmart razor builds to my coleman builds. Is there 2 wheel unity in our future. I dream of knucklehead cross country the same as a zuma. I just wonder...is there something for us all in the future. I get escaping life in another continent and taking care of an in-law parent. Is the dream still alive or will the dream never die? I think I said enough but.....I would appreciate insight from the crew.
Wile e Coyote never dies!
Who needs honda when harbor frieight and the 1320 exists!

Hell of adventure. Got a 1000 more 2 wheel enthusiast. But it is meaningless.
I'm not sure what question is being asked, but as long as people want to have an adventure, they can.

None just that fellow appreciation means something. Kinda an inside joke but very serious because it affects us all. So giving back to younger generations outside of the normal demographic pay dividends rather than constant arguments that lead to politics or things outside of 2 wheel passion. Nothing serious but all comes back full circle. I own 20 different bikes. I was saved by moto enthusiasm and that is what I back.
I have watched the passions of my life destroy themselves. Wakebording was the worst. I was maybe top 100 in the world in the 90s and now it is destroyed. Boats cost $180k and the soul of the sport was lost. But I called the downfall through the patterns of the players. I do watch post count here, there and even chinarider. I see patterns....attitudes. corporate you name it..so also a warning to those who care.
I'm still not tracking. Is this about how ADV riding has moved away from its simple roots and been transformed and diluted into something less desirable?
I am not sure..but the patten for destruction might loom because of cost. But adv is such a wide term that it has the chance of reinventing itself. Then corporations will become flexible...ha already quite flexible. A trials bike can be an adventure or a rokon. But rtw does seem to be the romantic version of adv. But not so much a ruckus or gy6 clone riding to Dead Horse.
I haven't been adventurous. I've ridden with others that I thought were adventurous though. I used to measure myself by the acts of others, but I don't anymore. I feel that all motorcycles enable freedom, adventure and excitement. You don't need special gear to get out there in the thick of it, although some (as in all things) will work better than others. I don't use social media, unless motorcycle forums count. I don't have a large budget for my bikes, and although it seems to be growing, I still take advantage of bargains. I'll get out riding, but it'll never scratch the itch to go farther, higher or lower. There will always be another road, another bike, another day. I'm not seeing a decline personally, I'm hoping for a better riding season each year. I think if more of us ride, there will be more of us riding. It's really not more complicated than that.
Stuff like riding around the world on dirt roads is getting more difficult. It seems more countries are closed now than at any time since the collapse of USSR. "Adventure" bikes are prohibitively expensive.

Some sort of adventure riding will always be with us. You can have adventure on any bike. There are still plenty of nice and safe areas you can ride in.
Well that sums up alot. So maybe a shift is happening. And riders will always adventure. Maybe the core group is all riders and not just what mfgs are quick to cash in on as a key word. That is how I kinda see it. In surfing or skating it is getting back to your roots. Both those sports/lifestyles have survived, evolved, remained affordable and seem to always grow. I guess I have never said "I went adventure riding" but I have said "I went riding and explored some new roads".
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"Adventure" has different meaning to different people. Adventure is much more than riding a fully farkled, fully loaded BMW GSA around the world. When I bought my first bike and started exploring the area within around 25 miles of my home I considered that an adventure. A few years later I loaded up my GS550E and moved across the country. Before that I had never ridden across the state line. That was certainly an adventure to me. Since then I have had hundreds if not thousands of adventures on two wheels. I have even owned a real adventure bike, a 95 R1100GS.

The biggest threat to adventure ridering for future generations is that so many look for adventure on their devices online and disconnect from the real world and reality. On top of that so many have been taught that safety is paramount and risk taking is stupid. Luckily not everyone buys into that.
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The best adveture I ever had on motorcycles was commuting to work 300 days a year in the snow belt. I once went 2 1/2 yrs without touching a steering wheel. I lived there from 2007 and didnt have a car till 2017. I might take the wife's car a few day a yr but it was rare. I always got riding time on some of the prettiest days even if it was only 3°.
There were lots of people taking "adventure" trips long before it became "in vogue", and I will suspect that will continue long after the market moves on to the next hot, money making, segment.

You just won't see as many posers hanging around Starbucks on their immaculate 4 year old GS with 1,000 miles on it, wearing $2K worth of spotless adventure gear.
I think the biggest influence on the whole adventure market has been the huge advent of social media in our society.

Once adventure riding became so popular in social media, the manufacturers picked up on this new and exciting market segment.

This has had both a positive and negative influence. On the plus side, manufacturers have provided a slew of new adventure focused bikes and gear.

The negative side of that coin is they have dollar signs in their eyes and want to maximize their piece of the pie (btw...I am all for capitalism).

The more popular a market segment is, the more you can charge customers to "join in the revolution".

I've been to enough rallys over the past decade plus to see brand new "adventure riders" show up with all of the right bikes and gear, but none of the skills. They buy everything but some actual training. The minute they hit the dirt, all of the high dollar trinkets become worthless, and they bite the dust (just like we all did while learning).

My experience has shown me that those noobs that show up on an old beater, wearing bib overalls and a pair of workboots are more likely to stick it out and actually learn how to ride dirt. The noobs with all of the high dollar gear instantly head for the tarmac, and you never see them again at another rally.

Just my ramblings...:gerg
There were lots of people taking "adventure" trips long before it became "in vogue"
Very true. I met someone back in 1994 who was on what I would consider a truly epic adventure ride. Some of you may have read this story in my "Those were the days" thread in ride reports but I'll repeat it here:

Another young lady was also camping at TWO at this time. She was on a truly epic journey. Keep in mind this was was before ADV where there are a lot of epic ride reports. This lady would have been able to write a truly epic ride report.

Meet Nicki:


Nicki was from England where she was a migrant farm worker. She was also a motorcycle rider. She saved her money for a few years and bought a round trip ticket to Florida. The return ticket had no set date. Her plan was to see as much of America as she could before she ran out of money. When she got to Florida she bought a used Suzuki GS650L. The guy who sold it to her told her about TWO so she rode up to GA and was Camped at TWO while we where there. She even gave the old ladies in the previous pic a ride on her bike! When she went to pay her bill at at TWO she discovered the guy in Florida had phoned ahead and said he would pay her bill

She also said that everywhere she went people where paying for her meals and other stuff. She said at this rate it would be a long time before she ran out of money.

Months later I got a letter from Nicki. She made it all the way to San Francisco and back riding over 16,000 miles. She included copies of a some pics from her trip. Someday when I find them I'll add them in here.
What is ADV riding?
To some it's dirt roads, to some its double track , some single track, some no track, to some pavement.

I think the 200mph street rider is ADV also the moped rider, the guy on the trike. All of us that ride , if it's TAT or just local riding in the neighbor hood.

Riding styles will change, it always has. The only thing that never changes is: that there's always change.

To me it's any motorcycle ride, it's always an adventure.
There's some really good points being made.

I agree that every ride is an adventure. The adventures of old when people left for weeks and months and wrote a book about it has been replaced by daily/ weekly posts on social media. Most of the earth has been covered by motorcycle over the past 40 years and some places have been so popularized that they have lost some of their mystic. But it doesn't have to be Ushuaia every day either. Adventure is right around the corner. Part of motorcycling is losing yourself out there and making your way back home. Who doesn't like exploring and discovering new roads and new routes? Who hasn't participated in a pie run? Even commuting has its place. I'd say as long as you get out there and enjoy yourself, you've had an adventure.
The ADV change being discussed here is fascinating to me.

Unlike most on the forums, I am relatively new at adventure riding and don't have near as many years of experience under my belt. I was introduced to 'dirt biking' by a neighbor in the late 90's as a kid in middle school. My neighbor was an avid motocross racer and it looked like a ton fun. Soon I had a KX80 and was busy learning to ride it. Going 'riding' with other neighbor kids (who also got dirt bikes) through the wood areas behind our houses were the greatest days of my childhood. Eventually I felt pretty confident in my riding skills and tried racing at the MX track with the kids I had been riding with for a few years. My riding buddies loved the racing and I hated it. I am far from competitive so the desire to win wasn't important to me. There was no exploration, nothing new to see and I was surrounded by people.

In 1999 my dad and I were invited to go 'riding' in Colorado with one of his co-workers and buddies. It was a rag-tag group of dirt bikes, ATV's and dual sports. The surprise around every corner, the spectacular scenery, the wild history you would stumble across and general comradery of that style of riding sucked me in. Keep in mind, I was a punky a high school kid at the time. Something about that trip (and the several annual trips that followed) changed what I viewed as important. It was an adventure! I had to sell the dirt bike to buy my first car, a Jeep, and eventually started making those same kinds of trips on 4 wheels.

I never bothered to get my motorcycle endorsement since I had a drivers license and a vehicle that could take my on adventures! In fact, I took an 18 year hiatus from riding motorcycles until I picked up a WRR in 2020 and finally buckled down to get my endorsement. All of those feelings I experienced on that first riding trip to Colorado came back to me. While I had ridden on country roads on the dirt bike, there was a wild sense of freedom leaving my driveway for the first time on the WRR with my endorsement. There were no boundaries, no restrictions. Nothing was standing in my way of an adventure. I still get that feeling even if I am just riding the 25 minutes work in the morning.

So what does any of that mean? I don't know. I do believe the desire for adventure and ADV style riding has to come from within. Society/social media or even your close friends can encourage or discourage that desire, but it ultimately has to come from you.
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