You’ve heard them before…the stereotypes about Iowa from our “flyover” relatives that live along America’s coasts. Iowa is boring. Its terrain is flat with nothing to see. There are no mountains or grand natural sights. And on and on. Fortunately, Iowa’s avid outdoors men and women know those stereotypes are not true, and many locals are more than willing to keep up those myths as a way to maintain the state’s quiet beauty and rural solitude from being overrun by outsiders. In reality, outdoor adventure seekers will find the state to be a virtual playground of wilderness activities off the beaten path that can rival those in better known states. This can be seen in many sports, including Adventure Motorcycling, which is practiced by a small subset of riders that combine on-and-off road trips with special “dual-purpose” bikes to fully enjoy the outdoors.
Adventure Motorcycles are a special class of bikes. They are not street bikes. They are not dirt bikes. They are actually “jack-of-all-trade” motorcycles that can ride on many different kinds of terrain quite well. They come in light, midweight, and heavy weight classes. Many companies make Adventure Motorcycles, like the BMW GS; the Triumph Tiger; the Ducati Multistrada; the Kawasaki KLR, the Suzuki DRZ, the Royal Enfield Himalaya, and others. Most Adventure Motorcycles have aggressive tires that can handle rain, snow, loose gravel, and creek crossings. They have high clearances to cross over rocks and logs, and usually have reinforced protection around various bike parts to protect the motorcycle in rough terrain. Larger versions of these bikes also feature generous gasoline tanks that can allow for hundreds of miles in between fill-ups if riding in remote areas, like across the Sahara, literally, in the famous Dakar rally.