Friday, 12 August 2011 12:34 PM
When it comes to selecting the perfect motorbike, your choice is as much about the kind of rider you are as the specs of the vehicle itself. A bike that seems like a dream to one person might be wholly unsuited to another, so it's important you think about what you really want out of your motor before choosing.
Of course, whichever type of motorcycle you're looking for, you're undoubtedly going to be seeking quality, style and reliability – and two manufacturers known for being hard-hitting on all counts are Victory and KTM.
So, how do you choose which is for you?
Victory motorbikes are goliaths when it comes to cruising models, even rivalling legend Harley Davidson in their tight control, power and comfort.
Heralded as one of the top makers of the new American motorcycle, Victory provides incredible cruisers with enough force and style to please even the most discerning rider.
Of course, cruisers are ideal for enthusiasts who hit the road and stay on it for hours on end. Long-distance riding is a real experience – and to get the most out of it you need a bike that'll really perform.
The raw power of Victory's bikes stems from its precision-designed V-Twin engines, while their slick, seductively stylish bodywork completes the package.
One option for riders looking to go the distance is the Victory Cross Roads, which boasts some 21 gallons of cargo space. This huge amount of storage room adds to this bike's already strong appeal, giving riders the ability to carry everything they need on long trips – hassle-free.
However, if there's an element of the racer about you, you might be more drawn to KTM motorbikes.
This prestigious Austrian manufacturer has historically specialised in designing off-road motorsport models and has recently expanded its range to include street bikes, such as adventure tourers.
So, if you're a long-distance rider who wants a little bit of a racing streak in their motor, this could be the brand for you.
Known as a technology pioneer, KTM has clinched more than 130 off-road titles – something that could be an indicator of great things for its venture into producing street motorbikes.
Among its range designed for the road is the KTM 990 Adventure R, which boasts a compact yet powerful engine. Reliable and low-weight, this bike is ideal for long-distance riders who are after a smooth ride that still allows them to feel the force of the motor.
Plus, it has several practical touches that make this ride even more appealing to enthusiasts intending to use their machines for distance drives.
These include its immobiliser, hazard warning lights and a lockable compartment tucked between the tanks.
If you're after something with a racing feel, why not give the KTM 990 Adventure Dakar II a try? This model has a 19.5 litre fuel capacity and a suede-look seat, which helps to prevent slippage even when you're riding on extreme tracks.
Alternatively, you might like to consider the model that launched KTM's adventure series, the KTM 990 Adventure 11. Released in 2003, this bike represents the manufacturer's vision of a dual sport, long-distance motorcycle for the modern era.
With storage space, low-weight, a powerful engine and stability even on the roughest surfaces, this model is ideal for riders after a machine that can provide a smooth long-distance journey, as well as tight control and real force.