10 Best Lightweight Adventure Motorcycles for Beginners – 2020 Review

Adventure motorcycles today come in a variety of shapes and sizes. However, in an increasingly developing market with endless options for adventure vehicles, most off-road riders aspire to find themselves a lightweight motorbike. And, you can see why. The simple reason is that lighter motorcycles make it much easier to overcome rough terrain or handle dangerous situations faster. This vehicle is the smartest choice for newcomers to the off-road riding world.

So, what are the best light adventure motorcycles for beginners? Let Vietnam motorcycle tours club choose for you in the list of top 10 options below!

Table of Contents

Advantages of lightweight motorcycles to tour on Vietnamese terrain

Attending an Asian journey is always the greatest experience that any adventure and off-road enthusiasts want. With its special terrain, Vietnam has long been an ideal destination for all off-road riders worldwide. So, owning a low-to-mid displacement motorbike is fascinating; experiencing your vehicle on challenging roads in Vietnam is much more interesting.

How beneficial are the best lightweight adventure motorcycles? Read on to discover:

  • North Vietnam Motorbike Tour from Hanoi to Halong Bay – 10 days

First, know Vietnam’s terrain well

conquer Vietnam's terrain with lightweight adventure motorcycles

Before jumping on your two-wheelers through endless roads in Vietnam, it is important to prepare geographical knowledge of the country. The more you know, the more exciting experience you will get.

Vietnam is perfect for dirt bike adventures! Roads here are small and come in different conditions, ranging from steep mountain roads and back roads to crowded highways with multiple random unexpected potholes. The standard speeds are slow, often from 60km/h to 90km/h. That is perfect for off-road dirt motorbikes. While other countries come with perfect routes for bigger vehicles, Vietnam is home to two-wheelers which gain the upper hand in the races over challenging mountainous terrain. Be careful because there will be a lot of unsuspecting obstacles on the trails, such as tree gates, steep descents, water, and mud. But the experiences will be super awesome!

For a smooth trip through various regions in Vietnam, you also should refer to  10 Best Touring Motorcycles for Beginners – Under 500cc

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How these best lightweight adventure motorcycles are perfect for Vietnam off-roading   

lightweight adventure motorcycles - a perfect choice for off-roading in Vietnam

Lightweight motorcycles are becoming the very first choice for adventures thanks to the endless benefits they bring to riders. So, what are the main advantages? Here comes the best part:

A vehicle with power

The main characteristic of these lightweight adventure motorcycles is that those vehicles are normally manufactured with highly powerful engines. That allows riders to bring lots of luggage, even tents for camping on their journey. That’s not all a lightweight motorbike can do. This type of vehicle can carry people too. A journey will be much more interesting when sharing it with your fellow riders.  Lightweight motorcycles allow you to share your happiness and true feeling with another person on the back of your motorcycle.

Conquer every terrain with ease

Lightweight adventure bikes can easily help riders cross almost every terrain in Vietnam, especially the enduro-bias ones such as Suzuki DRZ400S, Honda CRF 450L, Honda XR400, KTM 500 EXC-F, Honda CRF250L,…These vehicles will bring you the real feeling of real discovery while conquering all off-road routes in Vietnam, including the most hardcore roads.

Lightweight motorcycles are extremely maneuverable when compared with heavyweight motorcycles. If your motorcycle is too heavy, crossing off-road areas under the heavy rain in Vietnam is such an impossible task.  Dirt roads in this mountainous country will take riders at least several hours to pass a few kilometers on heavy vehicles. But, with lightweight motorbikes, completing the duties is much easier.

Advantages of lightweight adventure motorcycles

Control with ease

Just imagine that when your vehicle accidentally falls on the street, you will have to lift it immediately. That action with lightweight vehicles is much more energy-saving. And, because they are light in weight, riders can easily accelerate and ride at high speed with them while worrying nothing about unexpected accidents. Jungles or sandy areas are not challenging anymore. You can handle any situation with those highly easy-to-control motorbikes.

Amazing experience in strange lands

On the back of a lightweight motorbike, your experience also changes. You will have the opportunity to experience, interact with the indigenous people, and learn more about the unique cultural life of many different regions. Your eyes and soul will be served with the untouched sceneries, immersed in the cultural space and mouth-watering local cuisine.

Awesome experiences on lightweight adventure motorcycles

Save your discovery time.

Now, you will have more time to explore endless destinations, even the new locations only for trekking. Get ready to conquer the whole stunning Vietnam on motorcycle adventure trips.

Be your repairer

Lightweight motorcycles do not require periodic maintenance. And they are effortless to fix when something goes wrong with them. Changing a broken tire or brake pad is also simple.

10 Best Lightweight Adventure Motorcycles for Beginners

When the open road is calling, you’re exactly the one who answers it. The right vehicle will be the best preparation for getting the best experience in the world of motorcycling adventure. If you are new to motorcycling, look at the top 10 best lightweight adventure motorcycles for beginners below.

Shift your dream to reality!

SUZUKI V-STROM 250 (188kg)

They are becoming  adventure motorbike riders that may be the dream of any adventurer worldwide. So, this very first adventure motorbike is a smart choice. This model from the popular Motor Corporation Suzuki works brilliantly. From the ability to manage long distances to easy control, the model V-STROM 250 will make your motorcycling adventures unforgettable.

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Perfect ergonomics for comfort

The V-Strom 250 is a good start for anyone who wants to go on a  motorbike adventure. The perfect built-in size, smaller engine, and lighter weight are a fascinating mix to reduce dangers on the way. You will surely feel comfortable and enjoyable as a newbie rider during your ride.

Safety is another priority of almost any rider on the way. Dangers are all around you, but with this stable weight, full of equipment, and optimized speed, V-STROM 250 ensures your complete safety.

A reasonable price

Beginning your new adventure on lightweight touring motorcycles has never been this cheap. Just with over £4,000, enjoying your first move on the back of the Suzuki V-Strom range is not a dream anymore. Many necessary accessories are available, including the top box, heated grips, side cases, and even knuckle guards. Get your V-storm tour ready!

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SUZUKI V-STROM 250 - best lightweight motorcycle

Basic specs: 

  • Engine: 248cc
  • Wet weight: 188 kg
  • Tank capacity: 17.2 liters
  • Brakes: Disc brakes
  • Tyres: Rear: 140/70-17 inches,   Front: 110/80 17 inches


Fans of the Kawasaki Versys-650 model should not miss this X-version since it is much more worth your money. Micro weight (30 kg lighter) and the ability to handle with ease are promised. The low price will soon make this KawasKawasaki the safest bet for the ADV riders at the entry-level.

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Smart design 

The model has a perfect design with a low seat that suits almost small to mid-sized riders. Its low clearance ensures that riders won’t be unexpectedly jumping logs or means you won’t be jumping logs or recklessly falling behind the vehicle. Robust and versatile looks make this one an ultimate choice for entry-level adventurers. Don’t be afraid of strong wind because the big-bike bodywork and the handguards offer absolute protection.

Handle your ride with fun 

You have fun on the way with this interesting lightweight vehicle. The lower seat height leads to surprisingly pleasant handling. Since the motorbike is also light in weight, it works stably and allows the riders to speed up and race around confidently.

  • Off-road Vietnam Dirt Bike Tour from Hanoi to Lang Son – 16 Days

KAWASAKI VERSYS-X 300 adventure bike

Basic specs:

  • Engine: 296cc
  • Wet Weight: 173 kg
  • Tank capacity: 17 Litres
  • Ground clearance: 180 mm
  • Seat Height: 815 mm

BMW G310 R (158,5kg)

Honestly speaking, the BMW G 310 R model is completely perfect for small to tall riders. Lighter weight along with reduced capacity contributes to the out-of-this-world riding pleasure.

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BMW G310 R

Small but maneuverable

Well, owning a flagship model from a major brand like BMW is a dream for every adventure lover. However, only a certain portion of the majority can afford their dream ones. Understanding that need, BMW has released similar-looking but cheaper models than original premium products. The BMW G310Rs are built with only a 313cc engine and are lighter weight. This characteristic allows riders to control the rides in any road situation easily.

Modern equipment attached

Now, purchasing high-quality from the popular brand BMW doesn’t remain a dream. Opposed-twin engine is hung on both sides of the model like funny Dumbo ears, creating a trademark adventure-style bike. The slim design of small,  lightweight motorcycles like the BMW G310 R does not mean its capacity will be limited. This innovative off-road motorcycle can take riders nimbly to wherever bigger GS models could go. Adopting this baby beemer for your first move is a smart choice.

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BMW G310 R - an ideal motorcycle for adventurous lovers

Basic specs:

  • Engine: 313 cc
  • Wet Weight: 169 kg
  • Tank capacity: 10.9 Liter
  • Ground clearance: 220 mm
  • Seat height: 835 mm

Honda CB190X (148kg)

Welcome to a super adventure motorcycle with a small displacement from the popular Wuyang-HONDA brand. The CB190X version is fully equipped with stana dard but an upgraded BOX and a USB port to serve the basic touring. That’s perfect for baby boomers.

An excellent model of attention

Taking inspiration from  the Honda CB190R street bike sold in China, the manufacturers attached the Honda CB190X with a beakish mudguard, large windscreen, protective handguard, and modern bash plates. The long suspension and telescopic forks at the front give the version a stylish look no matter the color.

Dominate all terrains

With sufficient capacity, packing the entire luggage for your 2-day journey with the Honda CB190X is a simple task.  Lightweight and compact, riders will not have trouble handling the riding along the way. The powerful mudguard engine installed from the beginning protects the adventurers when riding on rough and dirt roads. Great!

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Honda CB190X

Basic specs:

  • Engine: 184.4 cc
  • Wet Weight: 148 kg
  • Dimension (mm): 2.030 x 830 x 1.375
  • Motor: single-cylinder, fuel-injected

Honda CRF250L (147kg)

The Honda CRF250L made 2016 the year of Honda’s success with its dual-sport line-up. This smaller but more-modern bike creates a chance for newbie motorcycling adventures  and a great chance to own a versatile, economical, and dependable vehicle. Feel the real blast of riding.

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Honda CRF250

Trail bike experience awaits!

Yes, your right choice for a lightweight sport trail motorbike is here. Get ready to explore a whole short commute just in a week! Drop your soul into the immense green color from lanes in the peaceful countryside. The Honda CRF250L version is made for it.

Get real offroad riding.

More torque and better bottom-end power make this model more special and powerful. Along with the predictable and smooth power delivery, the real essence of off-road is promised. The revving engine, lightweight, and power balance perfectly fit the bill.

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Honda CRF250L - best choice for conquering Vietnam's terrain

Basic specs 

  • Engine: 249.6 cc
  • Wet weight: 147 kg
  • Seat height: 34.4 in.
  • Capacity: 2.1 gals

Suzuki DRZ400S (144kg)

Here comes the true Dual Sport motorbike, which is focused on aggressive off-road and enduro riding. Small and lightweight without any windscreen or luggage rack. But, the lightweight feel, good power, and real off-road capabilities make it a good start for a motorcycling adventure.

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Suzuki DRZ400S

All trails are in control.

Enjoy the real dirtbike feel with a built-in high-revving engine. Beginners can tackle even the most difficult trails of race paces. Its performance-tuned engine frequently requires maintenance and oil changes, but theDR-Z400S is always known as a reliable vehicle to put endless miles on.

Real dirt bike focus

Riders with passionate off-road riding skills will appreciate the model’s dirt focus. Coming with a more comfortable performance tune compared to an Enduro R or KTM 500 EXC, riding on the DR-Z400S is less threatening. Multiple aftermarket modifications included ensuring the ability to handle medium distances on highways or long travel. Once you’ve ridden on this lightweight motorcycle, you are ready to hit the dirt.

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Discover Vietnam on Suzuki DRZ400S

Basic specs: 

  • Engine: 398cc
  • Wet Weight: 317 lbs (144 kg)
  • Seat Height: 36.8 inches (935 mm)
  • Horsepower: 40 hp
  • Capacity: 2.6 gal

Honda CRF 450L (131 kg)

A new road-looking bike with bells and whistles is made for those who enjoy the bike’s bulletproof reliability and great performance on the road. Riders will be surprised with significant highway capability and more power this time. It’s time to hit the highway with weekend luggage on the back of your lightweight motorcycle. The Honda CRF 450L is on the go with newbie riders.

Honda CRF 450L

Trail time as always

The Honda produces lightweight motorcycles for beginners who are comfortable drifting through corners and remain natural to jumping hard on intersecting trails. The lighter weight gives the CRF the balance and stable feel whenever you are on the road.

Open trails are what make the model stand out from the crows. When speeds keep going higher, the lightweight becomes more evident than ever. That turns out to be an advantage in every single-line trail.

Durability is evident

Like other typical bikes from Honda, the CRF 450L is built to last with high quality. The modern LED lights are more weight-saving than traditional equipment, committing to staying long enough with the trail riders.

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Honda CRF 450L for new riders

Basic specs: 

  • Engine: 449 cc
  • Wet weight: 131 kg
  • Capacity: 7.6 L
  • Ground Clearance: 314 mm
  • Seat height: 942 mm

CCM GP450 ADVENTURE (125 kg)

The adventure motorcycle industry gets dominated by the biggest beasts today. Taking advantage of this burgeoning market, the small British company, CCM, became the pioneer in providing mid-range adventure motorcycles capable of conquering all terrain. The CCM GP450 Adventure has enough power to munch many miles and defeat any other obstacles in the competition.

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Well, less is more

At 125 kg wet only, the CCM GP450’s lightweight is genuinely felt when riders stand the vehicle up or swing their legs over the model’s saddle. Moreover, the standard seat height of 890 mm makes the CCM version less intimidating than towering ADV motorbikes. Well, it’s the right kickoff for those who get into the adventure-riding world for the first time. Once seated, your trail time is just perfect.

Enjoyable riding experience

Thanks to the lightweight feature, the CCM GP450 shows enjoyable moments and rare agility on village roads. The good riding quality is confirmed with effortless control achieved by its wide pegs and Renthal FatBars. The soft seat and unbelievably smooth system give riders a comfortable feel over the high payment.

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Basic specs: 

  • Engine: 449.50 cc
  • Wet weight: 125 kg
  • Seat height: 890 mm
  • Capacity: 20.00 liters

Honda XR400 (125 kg)

It will be our mistake not to mention the legendary XR400, which has been ruling the market since 1996. The current crew is firmly suspended, lightweight, razor-thin,  with lights. Waste no time finding any other model since this classic XR trail bike is a great deal for thousands of riders, especially newbies.

All of the basics

A basic one is always simple to jump on. At a low price, riders will receive all the most common and basic features they need of an adventure motorcycle, like an unsophisticated single-cylinder air-cooled engine. You will find nothing fancy about the gang, which is also really appealing to many adventure riders.

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Reliability is approved

The XR model is highly dependable. This model will never disappoint riders, from its basic motor to all the good running gears. Start with a basic model, not a trendy one. The slim XR gang remains a smooth, elegant motorbike with proven reliability, excellent steering, and durability wherever you do.

Honda XR400

Basic Specs:

  • Engine: 397 cc
  • Wet weight: 125 kg
  • Motor: four-stroke, air-cooled, 5-speed
  • Seat height: 930 mm
  • Capacity: 9.5 lt

KTM 500 EXC-F adventure bike (124kg)

What is the strongest monster in the dual-sport bike world? Well, the KTM 500 EXC-F is in position. Jumping on the back of this lean motorcycle, you will feel like riding on a racehorse though this one is one of the lightest adventure bikes. Let the KTM model rip; you will easily cross any different terrain thanks to the four-stroke, high-speed, SOHC engine. Always run ahead of any competition.

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King of mountains

Small dimensions and fuel-injected motor makes the model the lightest and most compact adventure motorcycle on the market. But, that doesn’t mean it delivers terrible torque and weak power figures. I was riding in a mountainous area now isn’t difficult any more thanks to the latest camshaft cylinder and electronic fuel-injected engine. No sweat drops down, just glory.

Turning standard

The KTM 500 EXC-F with a standard E-starter will make every beginner of motorcycling adventures thumb up. The unique equipment is strong and reliable. So, it will make your crunch time much more outstanding in the battle on the way. Get ready to start your kicks! The single-cylinder head helps create exceptional power and manage heat efficiently. Start your kicks!

  • Northwest Vietnam Motorbike Tour from Hanoi to Thac Ba Lake – 5 days

KTM 500 EXC-F adventure bike

Basic specs:

  • Engine: 510 cc
  • Wet weight: 124 kg
  • Capacity: 9.5 L
  • Seat height: 970 mm
  • Ground clearance: 353 mm

If you love adventure KTM bikes, you may also be interested in KTM450  enduro

Comparison chart 

SUZUKI V-STROM 250248cc188 kg17.2 L24.7 hp790 mm
KAWASAKI VERSYS-X 300296cc173 kg17 L40 hp815 mm
BMW G310R313 cc169 kg10.9 L33.6 bhp835 mm
HONDA CB190X184.4 cc148 kg14 L15.6 hp790 mm
HONDA CRF250L249.6 cc147 kg7.94 L23 hp874 mm
SUZUKI DRZ400S398 cc144 kg9.84 L40 hp935 mm

449 cc

131 kg7.6 L41.7 hp942 mm
CCM GP450449.50 cc125 kg20 L40.23 hp890 mm
HONDA XR400397 cc125 kg9.5 L34 hp930 mm
KTM 500 EX-F510 cc124 kg9.5 L41 hp970 mm

The Verdict

If you, adventure lovers, want to explore all kinds of terrain in Vietnam smoothly and safely, choosing the rightlightweight motorcycle is what you must do right away. “Lighter is right”. That is the mantra that a lot of adventure-loving riders are living by. And, that’s the right decision, particularly for beginners.  Pick your right vehicle from our recommended lightweight adventure motorcycles above and get your credible kicks.

Kawasaky versys 300


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