I started off adv style riding on a KLX250, and thought it was really great at it.
A bit under powered, but I had a great time traveling on it.
I killed that and went onto an old DR650rs and loved the extra power on the road and it's ability to cart my crap better.
But I did still sometimes wish I was on the KLX, the better handling and suspension were the main things I missed.
After the DR fell apart on me I stumbled on an older KTM 640 Adventure.
I do not miss anything about any bike I have ever had after riding the 640.
Being able to do 130 Kph fully loaded up on gravel roads with ease is something I really enjoy these days, and I have found myself wishing I had more speed on some desert roads I have traveled on with it (160 was the best I had seen on a GPS once, but I don't usually look how fast I am going or carry a GPS).
It has completely changed my style of riding from plodding along just on the speed limit to pretending I'm racing Dakar every time I go on a trip.
I ended up rebuilding the old KLX with the intention of doing a few trips on it, but after riding it again, I sold it because it was just so boring, a trip on it would be a chore...
I have nothing against smaller bikes, I used to preach loudly that they were a lot more capable than people give them credit for, but I could not go back to them for gravel road work.
"Far to the general now, and without great final hope of victory, he has nothing to lose. And it must above all have rabies. For the moment, it dominates this special."