The bikes being marketed by the Japanese here as Adventure bikes, or bikes being sold by the dealers as "Adventure Bikes" of Japanese origin are all that bad.
Where did the engine in the V-strom come from? How long has it been around? What significant changes - if any - have been made to it since inception?
It is basically a road bike. The category it would have been marketed in 20 years ago is "touring". It does it quite well. As a mid weight, mid capacity budget tourer it's probably the most sensible choice for a lot of people. Especially if you aren't going "off road".
Having just come back from a decent trip with a mate on a DRZ400 I'd say it would have to be one of the all round greatest small capacity "Adventure Bikes" ever. But it is limited on road by it's capacity. Plus, his has had a fair bit of proper suspension work done.
Yamahas Tenere......well, my mate took the DRZ400 because completely rebuilding it, registering it, and the cost of running it for the trip were all cheaper than dropping the pig heavy Tenere just once. It's not like he can't ride, having been both an Advanced Rider instructor and a Trail Bike Tour guide on Cape York.
He loves his Tenere, as I love the BMW, but I took a DR and he took a DRZ. Horses for courses. Plus, as I pointed out, if it all turns to shit I just burn it on the side of the track and claim the insurance when I get home. Tragic accident. I was going for the fun of having a trail ride, not for the single minded conquest of pushing a fully loaded pig through tracks I'd have been legally "stupid" to attempt.
Hondas latest are all Adventure bikes on paper, in name only. Not even worth commenting on. Again, they make great all round road bikes.
Kawasaki.....the KLR. An overweight, outdated, simplistic farm bike. Which makes it the perfect "Adventure Bike" for some people. For others, it isn't even a serious overweight, outdated, farm bike. It's just wrong. People love to hate them. But they just keep on coming back. So do postie bikes and herpes. I don't want either. For much the same reason.
Horses for courses. As for doing RTW trips....meh. I've seen some larger parts of the world. I have no desire to visit them again. Unless it was from high altitude in a B2.
I suppose you'd have to look closely at what you define as an "Adventure". Clearly, for some, riding to the shops is at the limit of their skillset. For others, a weekend of ISDE style single track in remote mountains is the only way to see the truth and the light.
The whole "strap as much crap as I possibly can to a mediocre bike and take my limited skills to places they should never have ventured" brand of "Adventure Riding" will most likely be regulated out of existence in an increasingly "Nanny State" world.
We can't have you people hurting yourselves, and worst yet, putting the innocent children at risk....oh why wont you think of the innocent children you monsters...
For me, it's just sharing a trail ride experience with the wife. Having a hoon along some empty mountain roads and fire trails. Having quiet weekends away on the bike, in the small mountain towns around here. It's nice to be able to do that without suffering permanent spinal damage from the "cheap as shit Chinese made suspension" so common on modern "Adventure Bikes". Yes, I'm referring to the likes of BMW and their "made under license as good as the real thing" Marzzochis.
So you stick with your KLRs. I'll play with my toys. We'll all pretend we're having an adventure.
Oh, and Pete....get bent. The KTM will be mine soon enough Brother. Just because I want one. Not because I need one.