The adventure motorcycle market has always been kind of split in two branches.
The two main groups have been watching and judging each others for their choices from far away. People going for the 1000+cc and people sticking around the 650cc or less always seemed to be two different kind of riders completely.
This gap between the 650 and the 1000cc has been slimmed in the recent years with the advent of the newest and more technologically advanced models. More cc means more power, but technology helped keeping weight down.
Companies tried to convince 650 owners that their machines weren’t enough anymore.
Rather we admit it or not, we are adrenaline seekers. Riding a motorcycle instead of a more comfortable and safer vehicle is a clear statement for this.
We are also generally attracted by new and shiny things, so bike producers always make sure that we have the next available thing to buy. It’s the way the market goes.
In this sense, the 650 realm, pushed forward, slowly but inexorably with their engine displacement size; from 600 and 650, t0 690, 700, 701, 750, 790 and 800. The 1000cc market pushed forward too, with 1050, 1090, 1100, 1190, 1200, 1250, 1260 and 1290 sizes.
While the main gap remained kind of the same, now new displacements almost overlapped with the old. This is especially true now with the arrival of the 900cc machines, which somehow are blending the two realms together.
The BMW 850 was somehow the precursor of all this new trend. I’m sure the german brand will come up soon with its own 900cc model, too.
Triumph just released the new Tiger 900 and Husqvarna the Norden 901, which will be in production already at the beginning of 2020.We do have also the Multistrada 950, coming as a “downsized” 1260, but indeed compliant with the new category of light super adventure bikes. There are also rumors of a new KTM 890 adventure, coming up later this year.
In this sense, the 900 realm is the new game changer of the adventure bike market. Not too heavy, not too powerful, not too much in any sense. The power to weight ratio has increased because of technological advancements performed on the engines. Technology also entered heavily to the “riding” part of motorcycling with ABS, MTC, etc, which are now almost standards for any kind of bikes.
The new 900cc machines are still in the order of the 190-200kg range, which somehow the 650cc category belonged too.
So there is no more excuse for the “650 lovers” to say that their new 800-900cc bike would be too heavy! And so, the same will apply for the “big bored club,” which I’m sure wouldn’t mind the weight loss.
Here’s some numbers:
While 650cc seems something already from the past and the big 1200cc seem not to become any bigger instead, the new direction to go is to fill that “void” that the two categories left in between.
After the extreme success that adventure bikes have had in the past few years, I can surely expect most brands to deliver something in this sense. Will 900 be the new segment to conquer the adventure moto lovers?
Featured image: Husqvarna