Originally Posted by Adv Grifter
IMO, the HUGE ADV phenom over the last 10 to 12 years comes from a variety of sources ... which, when blended together, have brought us to where we are now.
You have to count this very site ... ADV RIDER ... for being a Prime Mover in the whole thing. But pioneers were there earlier ... add guys like Ted Simon, Helge Pederson, Austin Vince ... and many others who have used both Books and Movies to inspire us.
As far a OEM's go ...you have to give credit to BMW for pushing the ADV theme before anyone else (since 1981) ... and hooking their Dakar cred and using it to Market Dreams to millions.
The main stream Moto Media have been (unsurprisingly) VERY LATE in coming to this game ... and so were most of other OEM's. Companies like Suzuki and Honda both had ample opportunity to jump on the ADV band wagon early. They did not.
Main stream magazines let years go by before ever featuring travel bikes and travelers. ADV Rider and Horizon's Unlimited have to be counted as two major influences to both riders AND to Media. Magazines learned what was going on via ADV Rider and HU. Now, it's all the rage. But to them, just a fad that will fade away.
It won't, IMO. It's becoming a lifestyle, way of life and a direction for retirement for millions of riders.
For KTM the transition to the ADV theme was easy. With Dakar victories and solid off road racing history ... their marketing direction was clear.
KTM are lucky indeed that not one of the BIG FOUR chose to enter this arena. Had they done so ... KTM would have been Blown Up before they ever got started.
You can be sure ... this was well known by the big four .... the Japanese need KTM, Husky and BMW badly. These small, innovative companies keep the overall market healthy and thriving and do things the Japanese are afraid to do. This innovation ... and risk taking, of course benefits the Japanese too. The Japanese are JUST NOW beginning to toy in the ADV area ... ten years behind and several billion Yen short.
Lots of aftermarket guys have jumped in on this ... and plenty have become zilliionares as a result. But how far can they go without innovative new bikes from KTM, BMW, Husky ... and hopefully, someday ... the Japanese companies?
KTM are going there ... look at the new 390. But will Bajaj continue to head in a positive direction? I have my doubts.
Husky? Total mystery at this point. BMW? They are OUT! Going GREEN.
Honda too ... look to be going GREEN. Look for the most amazing All Electric off road bikes in the near future from mass producers.
More on point is the constant debate between single vs. twin as adventure bikes...and their inherent properties.
No doubt a discussion our grandfathers had when creating early scramblers. And the Japanese jumped in with their retro scramblers in the early 70's... an homage to the 60's bikes.
The advent of the Dakar certainly glorified what many extreme adventure riders already were lusting after exploring the African Continent.
The US market was so fixated on MX, Strret bikes or Cruisers their just wasn't any attention paid to adventure bike options.
And the US DOT places such high costs for "stamps of approvals"... I think it's a million US dollars or more per manufacture model. Honda simply couldn't make up those costs on the Transalp in '88 and '89. to warrant importing the Africa Twin, as those bikes sat unnoticed.
Cycle World and Jimmy Lewis wrote adventure articles to somewhat def ears in the 90's, as Jimmy documented his Dakar campaigns.
The manufacturers and magazine press aren't the ones lagging here... It's our US government beauracracy... as well as the tunnel vision approach of the buying public.
Finally we now have an aware buying public, who also appreciates choices.
And we also have ATGATT options.
Hell, I can remember when I had to import an Italian Biefe helmet to have a pull down visor. Now there are a million options.
I say let the adventure floodgates open. We'll all be the better for it... for wanting small, medium or Super 1190 sized.