Sunday, May 24


Very early days yet in the current Kiwi Rider Poll, but the trend has been 30% of clickers nominating an Adventure/Dual Sport bike as their next bike purchase.

This will make Vege happy because of his ongoing commitment to covering Adventure riding in the mag, but it also shows what might turn into a trend in sales - perhaps.

A lot of us at KR already have a dual sport type bike and are fans of motard style road machines. We reckon they are a great way to see the real NZ.

Here's a few worth considering as excellent NZ Machines. They ride very well as Road Bikes in their own right - and are capable of dealing with a crappy road or occasional track.

If, like a lot of us, this is your idea of a 'great road'

you might want to consider one of these.

No - not a Geoff Osborne doing his KR thing - a V-Strom. Available in 1000cc and 650cc variants it's a great utility motorcycle.

It's doesn't lack for lean angle - but it's a very easy motorcycle to get the pegs on the tarmac through the sports bike sections and Campbell manhandled a 1000 around the Capital Coast Adventure Ride not so long ago too.

Currently the 'Zuki website lists the V-strom at $16,795 and the 650 at $13,995 and if you are a pure utilitarian that's their best angle right there. Big, strong, capable - and a Suzuki with all the dealer backup and advantages that entails.

If you are looking for something more traditionally styled and a different aesthetic - then a Triumph Scrambler could be the go.

We are always surprised by how well the Scrambler does every time we have challenged the bike.

It's a great day ride, works really well round town, tours nicely and is nicely capable on the gravel.

At $15,590 it a very cool all-rounder.

Or fancy something exotic and got around $25k in the kitty?

Try a Moto Morini Granpasso.

This is a really spectacular bike both on and off the road. Here an extract from the Big Dave KR quick spin article on the bike:

This vehicle up there with the BMW Meagamoto on the Big Dave ‘Most Desirable Motorcycles’ Shelf.

It’s quite a weird looking unit but it doesn’t care. Bulbous headlights in canisters on either side of a beak might not work on a lot of motorcycles, but the Mother of all Ohlins hanging off the back, Marzocchi upside down forks with 50mm stems and 190mm of wheel travel, the tasty Excel rims, serious bash plate, the Verlicchi high strength steel tubular trellis frame and the overall demeanour of the rest of the machine tell you that this is one is all about doing the business. ‘Enduro Veloce’ the factory calls it.

It tips the scales at 198kg dry and the detuned Bialbero CorsaCorta engine develops 86.5kw (118hp) @ 8,500rpm and 102 Nm (10.4 kg-m) of torque @ 6750 rpm. (How am I doing there, Ed?)

It gets along. That monster Ohlins single shock, with separate tank is preload, spring height, rebound and compression adjustable. It offers 200mm wheel travel to the cast aluminium swingarm and it soaked up all of the test loop conditions admirably.

I left the Sarge on the seal and punted the Granpasso up some marble strewn side roads with great interest.

Even without properly tuning the three way adjustable front end it proved neat and tidy and rather easy to get the Metzler Tourance shod rear wheel lit up. The Front Tourance is a 110/80 ZR 19 and the rear is a 150/70 ZR 17 and they were sweet on the tarmac and ‘not-knobbies’ on the dirt roads.

I was just sweet on the bike to tell the truth. My only gripe was I found it pretty easy to stall after coming off the gas. Once aware it was OK if kept spooled up.

Apart from that everything worked exceptionally well. A dream to punt through the twisties, wheelies on demand, light, chuckable, very comfortable for a tall man (870mm saddle height) and with a full inventory of the names you’d want on any component wish list.

The factory claims the 25 litre fuel tank will give a range of over 300km and the saddle felt like it would be good for several few tankfuls in a day. The small screen has some adjustability whilst on the move too.

Eighty seven degrees doesn’t make smoothest vee twin, nor does it shake like some others, but it is one of the most potent engines in an ADV style bike. It has simply fabulous punch and corner exiting drive.

Or there is the Stelvio 1200 by Moto Guzzi. Priced at $27,990 this is one of the sweetest sounding motorcycles we've ridden.

There's heaps more too - Numerous offerings by BMW, KTM, Aprilia, Honda and more.

What do you think, will we see a market and sales shift towards large utility bikes in the short term?