The Best Round the World Motorcycles

Welcome to the Best Round the World Motorcycles Guide. Here’s a selection of the best RTW bikes currently in production in 2024, with a pick of excellent older models and more in-depth guides on adventure bikes.

The Best Round the World Motorcycles


What we mean by ‘Round the World Motorcycles’

You can travel round the world on any motorcycle. Any bike is an adventure bike – we’re big advocates of that. Just take a look at the Motorcycle Travel Stories section where we showcase awesome adventures on mad bikes from riding a Yamaha R1 to the North Pole to a Royal Enfield Bullet round the world to the mighty Honda Cub’s crazy adventures in Africa.

But if we open this article up to every bike in the world, we’d break the website. So, we’ve stuck with conventional RTW motorcycles for this list.

By that, we mean bikes that can easily be ridden off-road, are tough and can take a beating, are comfortable over long distances, have decent ground clearance, with spare parts available worldwide and can be easily fixed anywhere.

Why we chose new models

There are a hundred and thirteen motorcycles missing from this list. You’re right – the Suzuki DRZ400 is a great round the world bike too, and so are all the rest of them.  

But this article’s job is to show what we reckon are the best motorcycles to ride round the world on today. Meaning, current bikes that are still in production and being sold in 2024. We’ve chosen to focus this list on new models to make it more accessible as newer bikes are more widely available and easier to source the world over.

How we chose these RTW motorcycles

We selected these bikes based on the considerations set out in our How to Choose an Adventure Motorcycle for Travelling article. The comprehensive guide is designed to help readers pick the right type of motorcycle for their  trips – specifically long-distance overlanding adventures – and is built up of questions to ask yourself to help narrow down your choices. The motorcycles here satisfy those requirements the best and that’s why they’ve made this list.  

Choosing your adventure motorcycle

If you’re in the market for a new bike for travelling, take a look at the Choosing Your Motorcycle guide first. If you’re after an adventure bike, but not necessarily to ride round the world on, then have a look at our Best Adventure Motorcycle Guide and visit the Adventure Motorcycle Guides page for all our bike guides in one easy to find place. 

The Best Round the World Motorcycles of 2024

Here’s our selection of the best round the world motorcycles in production and on the market in 2024. This article will be updated yearly and discontinued bikes will be dropped into the ‘Older Models’ section below. Let’s get to it!

Honda CRF300L

The Best Adventure Motorcycles Guide: Honda CRF300L Adventure Motorcycle


Released: 2021, Engine: 286cc single-cylinder, Power/ torque: 27bhp/ 26.6 ft-lb, Tank: 7.8L, Seat height: 880mm, Weight: 142kg, Suspension: front 43mm USD forks non-adjustable/ rear monoshock preload-adjustable, Tyres: 21/18

Why ride round the world on a CRF300L

Lightweight, simple, easy to work on, a doddle to ride and fun. These attributes make the CRF300L an excellent choice for a round the world motorcycle and our top pick. 

But let’s break it down first. One of the most important attributes in a RTW bike is reliability because nobody wants to break down on a dusty road in Uzbekistan. You can count on Honda reliability and that’s a major plus point for this little bike. The 300L’s predecessor (the CRF250L) has been going since 2012 and has amassed a worldwide following. Parts and mechanics are readily available and the motor is dogged, proven and easy to work on.

Next up is size and weight – another huge win for this bike. The 300L weighs in at a lean 142kg. You’ll notice more and more riders are opting for lighter machines – a sort of return to overland motorcycling’s routes – because unless you’re a pro off-roader, lugging a 250kg+ machine with all your gear on around is hard work. 

With a smaller bike like this, you’ll be far more confident taking the road less travelled, won’t be as worried about picking it up on your own and more likely to tackle difficult terrain. 

It’s also a very forgiving and easy bike to ride. When riding round the world, you’re going to be with your motorcycle day-in, day-out and that’s what you need. 

Finally, it’s got some decent improvements over the outgoing 250 model such as an engine capacity, power and torque increase, reworked gearing for smoother sailing in sixth and an improved chassis for off-roading. Win. 

The CRF300L is a trailie bike that’s going to be a blast off-road and the perfect RTW companion.  

READ MORE: The Ultimate Honda CRF300L Adventure Bike Guide

Royal Enfield Himalayan

The Best Adventure Motorcycles Guide: The Best Adventure Motorcycles Guide: Royal Enfield Himalayan


Released: 2016, Engine: 411cc single-cylinder, Power/ torque: 24bhp/ 23.6 ft-lb, Tank: 15L, Seat height: 800mm, Weight: 185kg, Suspension: front 41mm forks / rear monoshock, Tyres: 21/17

Why ride round the world on a Royal Enfield Himalayan

Think of the Royal Enfield Himalayan as a back to basics adventure bike. It’s simple, inexpensive, easy to work on and novice friendly. It’s never going to bite your hand off if you yank the throttle and that inspires confidence when riding this bike – especially off-road. 

There’s a lot to be said for easy-going travel bikes, and this is one of the easiest out there. The Enfield has no complicated gizmos or rider modes. The forks and spring are simple but sturdy enough, the motor is basic but with enough poke and there are very few additional features. It has a low seat height, decent 15 litre tank, comfy upright riding position, big 21 inch front and there’s already a huge range of bolt-on extras to help get it kitted out for big adventures.  

It’s a simple, easy going machine, will go pretty much anywhere you want to take it and will put a smile on your face while you’re at it.  

READ MORE: Royal Enfield Himalayan Review

Yamaha Tenere 700

The Best Adventure Motorcycles Guide: Yamaha Tenere 700


Released: 2019, Engine: 689cc parallel-twin, Power/ torque: 72bhp/ 50 ft-lb, Tank: 16L, Seat height: 880mm, Weight: 205kg, Suspension: front 43mm KYB USD forks / rear sachs monoshock, Tyres: 21/18

Why ride round the world on a Yamaha Tenere 700

This bike needs no introduction. The Tenere 700 was one of the most hyped up and marketed bikes in years – and for good reason too. Yamaha clearly aimed this bike at off-road adventure riders and that criteria ticks all the boxes of round the world bikes too. 

Finally, a middleweight adventure bike that isn’t bloated with electronics and has a healthy weight of 200kgs. We need to appreciate Yamaha’s move here, at a time where manufacturers are injecting every rider-aid and gizmo they can and ramping up the price of their new stock, Yamaha took a courageous step back and pointed the Tenere towards the simplicity of original pure adventure bikes and with an affordable price tag too.

This bike has been built for off road adventure riders. But as it uses the MT-07’s pokey twin motor making it a great road bike too. Yamaha fine-tuned the engine and draped it in off-road focused clothing including off-road chassis, long travel, excellent adjustable suspension and gave it plenty of power and torque. So, if you’re after a middleweight bike because a single-cylinder just won’t cut it power wise, then the 700 is an excellent option. It’s a blast on road and will put a much bigger smile on your face than a single-cylinder could when scratching corners.

This versatile machine is perfect for those who want to predominately ride the rough stuff but also want a great (and comfortable) road bike, are happy without all the electronics, are after something reasonably affordable. It’s a proper adventure bike and does its Dakar Tenere ancestors proud.

READ MORE: Yamaha Tenere 700 Review

Kawasaki KLR650

The Best Adventure Motorcycles Guide: Kawasaki-KLR-650


Released: 2022, Engine: 652cc single-cylinder, Power/ torque: bhp not provided by Kawasaki, but we estimate 40bhp/ 39.1 ft-lb, Tank: 23L, Seat height: 871mm, Weight: 208/213/220kg (dependent on model), Suspension: front 41mm telescopic forks / rear Uni-track monoshock – preload and rebound adjustable, Tyres: 21/17

Why ride round the world on a Kawasaki KLR650

Loved by American adventure bike riders, the Kawasaki KLR650 is the US’s answer to the UK and Europe’s Yamaha XT660R. Unfortunately for us Brits, the KLR isn’t offered to the UK market, so this one is just for American, Canadian and Australian riders.

Built in the 1980s, the KLR had a 30-year streak with pretty much zero changes. During that time, it built up a huge ‘dual-sport’ following in the US. Why? Because, like all the other proper round the world motorcycles – it’s utilitarian. The KLR is a simple machine and there’s nothing over the top about it.

Think of the Suzuki DR650: basic, but that’s what makes it so rugged. Simple telescopic forks, single twin-piston sliding caliper, steel frame and nothing to write home about. But that’s a good thing for a round the world motorcycle, because there’s less to go wrong and it’s easier to fix when it does.

But in 2022 the legendary Kawasaki KLR650 was finally been brought back to life and given a makeover. Updated and upgraded for ’22, the KLR gets an LCD dash, an ABS option, fuel injection, one piece frame, new fuel tank and fairings, clutch updates, more mid-range power, new seat, wider bars and pegs, screen and a few more tweaks. There’s a lot of new changes, but none of these are special. Instead they just bring a very outdated bike up to the minimum level of today’s bikes.

So, while before it was like the DR650, it’s now a more modern, emission compliant, acceptable and more comfortable version of that.

And another massive plus is its competitive price tag. You can get a new model for £5,124 / $6,699… that’s a lot of adventure for a brand-new bike.

The KLR650 falls into the same bracket as the Royal Enfield Himalayan. If you’re after a back to basic, reliable, simple, easy to work on adventure bike, but with more power, a larger tank, more comfort and an all-round larger motorcycle, then this one’s for you.

Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin

The Best Adventure Motorcycles Guide: The Best Adventure Motorcycles Guide: Honda CRF1100 Africa Twin


Model: 2020, Engine: 1084cc parallel-twin, Power/ torque: 100bhp/ 78 ft-lb, Tank: 18.8L, Seat height: 850mm, Weight: 226kg, Suspension: front 45mm Showa USD forks – fully adjustable / rear Showa monoshock – fully adjustable, Tyres: 21/18

Why ride round the world on a Honda Africa Twin

Why is a 1000cc motorcycle on this list considering all of its lightweight competitors? Because it’s the best option on the market today for those looking for a heavyweight machine. There are so many reasons why you might want to go for a bigger bike. Not all round the world riders crave the road less travelled, or want to ride endlessly off-road, some might be on a two-up trip and need something capable of carrying more gear, you might want to take in more road miles or you might just be a bigger person and need the comfort and space of a larger motorcycle. Whatever the reason, people travel on larger motorcycles and if you’re after a 1000cc+ machine, this is our recommendation and here’s why…

The Honda Africa Twin takes a step back from the conventional heavyweight adventure bike spec sheet. We’re now up to Honda’s third iteration of the Africa Twin since its 2016 CRF1000L re-launch. Now as the 1100L, Honda have taken the bike even further down the off-road route (for a list of its changes, check out the Best Adventure Motorcycles article).

But overall, the Honda Africa Twin is a lighter and more off-road focused motorcycle than its competitors in the heavyweight division. It’s well suited for those who like to ride off-road just as much as on road and aren’t after the touring focused luxuries of the GS. It’s a capable adventure bike with a more balanced mix of capabilities from off-roading and trail riding to touring and carving up mountain bends. If you need a larger bike for your round the world adventures, you can’t go wrong with the Honda Africa Twin.

The Shortlist

More New Bike Options

Honda CRF300 Rally

The Best Adventure Motorcycles Guide: The Best Adventure Motorcycles Guide: Honda CRF300 Rally

While the 300L is geared more towards off-roading, the Rally version takes on long-range riding and comfort. It’s beefier and bigger with a larger tank, wider seat, stronger brakes, higher ground clearance and also gets treated to its own set of goodies like a proper alloy bashplate and a 4kg diet.

AJP PR7 Adventure 650

The Best Adventure Motorcycles Guide: AJP PR7 650 Adventure

The AJP PR7 Adventure is a no-nonsense adventure bike and the most off-road focused machine in this list. The AJP is packed with dirt riding goodies like the fully adjustable front and rear Sachs suspension, Dakar rally style setup and there’s no unnecessary for off-road electronics like traction control. 

READ MORE: AJP PR7 Adventure Review

Suzuki V-Strom 650XT

The Best Adventure Motorcycles Guide: The Best Adventure Motorcycles Guide: Suzuki V-Strom 650XT

The Suzuki V-Strom is not going to knock your socks off. Instead, you’ve got an incredibly easy to use and simple machine that does everything well. It’s well priced with a proven engine, excellent fuel consumption and big tank. It’s a versatile workhorse and if you’re after a bigger bike for predominately road miles, this makes a reliable round the worlder. 

READ MORE: Suzuki V-Strom 650 Review

Honda CB500X

Honda CB500X

The Honda CB500X is gaining popularity in the adventure bike scene. The twin has been around since 2013 and, due to its popularity, was revamped in 2019 and 2022. Like the V-Strom, the CB is a fantastic road bike, but lighter, smaller, more nimble. If you want to go full on, there’s the option of a (pricey) Rally Raid kit too.

READ MORE: Honda CB500X Review


Older bikes no longer in production

Honda CRF250L / CRF250 Rally

The Honda CRF250L and Rally only ceased production around 2020. Their successors are bigger and better but that doesn’t stop these from being formidable options. Lightweight, easy to ride, reliable, simple to fix and a lot of fun to ride. These make for great round the world machines. 

READ: CRF250 Rally Review

Suzuki DR650

The Suzuki DR650 is much loved by adventure bike riders and round the world riders. They’re cheap, solid and dependable machines that pack enough of a punch to keep a smile on your face. They’re massively outdated now compared to the current crop, but too legendary not to include on this list. 

READ MORE: Suzuki DR650SE Review

Yamaha XT660R / XT660Z

Ancient but bullet proof engine, fuel injected, easy to work on, ultra simple, reliable and tough. These bikes will go anywhere, do anything and take whatever you can throw at them. The Yamaha XT660 makes for a brilliant round the world motorcycle. 

READ: Yamaha XT660R Review

More on Adventure Motorcycles

Thanks for checking out the Best Round the World Motorcycles Guide. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on adventure motorcycles and round the world bike travel that we recommend you read next. 

Liked that? Try these next…

Are you looking for a round the world motorcycle or planning a RTW trip? If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, then leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you. 

13 thoughts on “The Best Round the World Motorcycles”

  1. most of these bikes will not make my list as the gas tank is way to small, the KLR with a large gas tank hits the spot. also the DR650 if you add the 20 liger gas tank. Been looking for some time, very glad the brought back the KLR had one and loved it, now have the DR650 with the larger 20 liter gas tank, and the would be bit of a win over the KLR 650, lighter and much better on the off road and just as good on the highway. The one that woke me up is the new V Strom 800 great gas millage (64 mpg ) and a 20 liter gas tank. Another good on is the KTM 390 as long as you stay under 85 km per hour you get great gas millage most of the roads I ride are 80 Km speed limit and ma getting 2.8 to 3.2 liters per hundred.

    • Hi Hilton, thanks for your comment.
      That’s very interesting that they wouldn’t make your list apart from the KLR. I understand what you’re saying regarding a large gas tank, but apart from the CRF with a 7.8 tank, the rest have a minimum of 15L, which is enough to travel with.
      Of course, for the CRF, and the others if required, modifications can be made like adding a larger Acerbis tank, Rotopax, Camel tank etc to increase capacity – as after all, no bike comes ready to ride round the world off the factory line!
      But regardless, 15L is enough. We left in 2018 on a RTW trip with an XT660, 15L tank and 5L Rotopax, no problems whatsoever and we’re still going. Sure, there are some countries, like Uzbekistan where there are very long stretches without fuel, but we just filled up water bottles with spare fuel – you just plan for those few and far between places where fuel may be more of an issue. But nowadays, they really are few and far between.

      These are the most common and widely used round the world motorcycles out there and what I see most people on as we ride round the world. It’s interesting because out of all these bikes, the KLR would be my last choice. But I do agree the DR650 would take the win over the KLR as well. Yeah, the Strom 800 looks interesting, I’ve had a 650 and 1000 Strom before and loved them so will be good to see what the 800 is like. I’m surprised to hear you say that about the KTM 390 though, I would never even consider that as a round the world – or adventure – bike. Have you tried riding one off-road?

      Thanks again for your comments, great to hear different points of view. We all have our own list of what’s important when it comes to bikes ey! I think you might find this article a good read next: How to Choose an Adventure Motorcycle for Travelling


  2. What about a mt500 to go rtw,its tough but old?.and what about spares.its easy to work on though and reliable.does anyone think it would be any good.would like to hear people’s thoughts.?

    • Hi Chris,
      Wow! Going round the world on a CCM Armstrong! You’d have to be brave to do that haha. I’m sure there are people out there who have done such trips. People have ridden round the world on older and crazier machines (check out the First Adventure Bike Riders stories as their machines are 100 years old).

      It could certainly be done. You can ride round the world on any motorcycle – anything – from a scooter to a sportsbike to a Goldwing to an MT500. Just look at our Stories page to see what some people are riding on. It’s amazing really.

      So, what it comes down to is your personal circumstances. It depends on how much time you have, where you want to go and how mechanically adept you are. You’ll have to factor all of that in and weigh it up. For example, a Japanese bike like a Honda CRF300L will have parts and spares everywhere and will be easier to fix by local mechanics. While an MT500 with a Rotax motor won’t. Consider breaking down in the middle of Mongolia on it. Sure, just chuck it on a truck and get it to a city if you can’t repair there and then, but you’ll also need to source spares, parts etc and it’s likely you’ll need to do a lot of the work yourself. If you’re on a tight time schedule and you’re spending a big chunk of time waiting for spares or fixing it up, that could seriously dent your trip, visas and route etc.

      But, if that’s the bike you like then go for it! I’d spend a lot of time beforehand becoming proficient with it, anything that could easily break, what parts will need servicing and replacing and take the entire thing to pieces so I’d know exactly what I do and don’t need to take (and to check if they even still make spares for it). And just allow extra contingency time in your trip for repairs etc.

      And do let us know if you decide to go on it! Would love to see the pictures of that setup.

  3. How about the cb500x? Fuel consumption is really good some get nearly 70 mpg or so I’ve heard. A good modern basic machine like the strom..

    • Hi Scott, thanks for your comment.
      Yeah, it’s funny you mention the CB because I had been considering adding it to the shortlist. They are great bikes, but are predominately road bikes as standard – but you’re right, if the Strom 650 is on there, then the CB should be too! I’ll add it to this page this week 🙂
      We do have a review of the CB500X on the site if you’re interested in a read.

    • I have the CB50X and great on paved roads. Not so good on gravel or dirt roads. Also do not like the way it handles windy roads long curves you have to work to keep it in the part of the lane you want to be in. It will do them but have had much better bikes for this in fact most of the over 20 + bikes I have had. I am looking forward to getting the Royal Enfield Himalayan 450, think that would be my pick, from what I have seen about it. If you wang simple the DR650 with a 20 liter tank added is a great all around bike, some do not like the seat but I had no problem with it.

      • Good suggestions Hilton. Please do report back once you’ve got your Himalayan, as it’ll be interesting to hear your comparisons and thoughts versus your current CB500X.

  4. Hi Andy,
    Can you tell me why the BMW G650GS Sertao wasn’t on the list of discontinued bikes? They seemed very popular over-landers in the Americas and Australia.
    They’re very cheap, are able to sit all day at above the legal limit, apparently have better road manners than the KLR or DR 650’s, do 65~70 mpg, and, according to some reviewers, are better off-road than the mighty GS’s. They weigh 192 kg wet, which apparently can be reduced by up to10 kg by removing the catalytic converter, lead-acid battery and other non-essentials. Is there a reason they’re overlooked?

    • Hi Andy, thanks for your comment. You’re right! They are very cheap and may be popular in the US and Aus (not as much in the UK). And sure, most single-cylinders would perform better than a 300kg bike off-road regardless. But they were marred by a lot of reliability issues in the past and became harder to get parts while abroad so we passed on it. Have you ridden the bike or are you interested in buying one out of curiosity?

      • Hi,
        I found a very low mileage one and have taken a gamble! The reliability issues (hot starting, idling) were all sorted and I have had absolutely no problems with it in 3,000 miles. It handles extremely well on the road, apart from huge front fork dive on braking, and rubbish ABS (which at least is switchable). I’m now wondering whether to strip weight out of it and use it as an all-rounder, or sell it and get a more dedicated light-weight dual purpose and buy a dedicated tourer. Thing is, I don’t want to tax and insure two bikes!

        • Hi Andy, that’s great news to hear you haven’t had any issues in 3K miles! Yeah, taxing and insuring two bikes would be a pain! So are you considering taking the bike on a big trip?


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