The term “SUV” refers to vehicles that have the appearance of a rally car but are built on a completely street-oriented setup. They are designed for pure road driving needs and generally do not go off-road, nor do they have much off-road capability. Some typical examples include the DL250, Kawasaki Versys 650, BMW S1000XR, and other models that fall into this category.

Taking the DL250 as an example, this motorcycle features front and rear 17-inch diameter aluminum alloy cast wheels with tubeless tires, similar to street bikes. The ground clearance is only 155mm. The aluminum alloy wheels are sturdy but brittle, so you have to slow down on uneven roads, otherwise, the wheels may crack. This is not suitable for off-road riding.

The 17-inch wheel size is commonly seen on street bikes, which allows for agile turning, but it lacks the ability to traverse rough terrain and has poor shock absorption, making it unsuitable for off-road environments. As for suspension travel, there is no need to know because the design of this bike did not consider off-road riding at all. So, the purpose and use scenario of this bike are long-distance motorcycle touring on paved roads. Don’t go off-road, of course, this is not absolute, if it’s a bad road that even a scooter can pass, don’t hesitate. What Qicheng House means is that you shouldn’t compare it with ADV and rally cars – it can’t really go off-road!

As for ADV, there are two types of ADV motorcycles: hard-core ADV and road-oriented ADV. A typical example is the KTM 790 ADV, which is a hard-core ADV model. There are two versions: the standard KTM 790 ADV and the sport version KTM 790 ADV R.

Using the DL250 as an example, this motorcycle has a suspension system with 17-inch diameter aluminum alloy cast wheels and tubeless tires, similar to street bikes. The ground clearance is only 155mm, and the aluminum alloy wheels are sturdy but brittle. You need to slow down on uneven roads to prevent the wheels from cracking, making it unsuitable for off-roading.

The 17-inch wheel size is commonly seen on street bikes, providing agile turning but lacking the ability to traverse rough terrain and poor shock absorption, making it unsuitable for off-road environments. As for suspension travel, there’s no need to know because the design of this bike didn’t consider off-road riding at all. So, the purpose and use scenario of this bike are long-distance motorcycle touring on paved roads. Don’t go off-road, of course, this is not absolute. If it’s a road that even a scooter can pass, don’t hesitate. What Qicheng House means is that you shouldn’t compare it with ADV and rally cars – it can’t really go off-road!

As for ADV, there are two types: hard-core ADV and road-oriented ADV. A typical example is the KTM 790 ADV, which is a hard-core ADV model. There are two versions: the standard KTM 790 ADV and the sport version KTM 790 ADV R.

Differences between the two versions:

  1. Front mudguard: The R version has a standard off-road mudguard, which is higher. The standard version has a street bike mudguard.
  2. Tires: The R version has off-road knobby tires, while the standard version has all-terrain tires. The former is more suitable for off-roading.
  3. Front windshield: The R version has a small front windscreen, while the standard version is larger. This is because the R version is more inclined to off-road sections, and a large front windscreen could hit the rider’s head while standing. The standard version is designed for mixed sections, and a larger front windscreen helps improve comfort and block airflow.
  4. Seat: The R version has a flat one-piece seat, while the standard version has a split high-low seat. The flat seat of the R version allows the rider to quickly move their hips to maintain balance during off-road sections. The standard version doesn’t need this, and the split seat is wider and more comfortable.
  5. Suspension travel, ground clearance, and seat height: There are significant differences between the two models in these aspects.

It should be noted that although the standard version of the KTM 790 ADV is more oriented towards mixed sections, its off-road capability is much stronger than that of road-oriented ADV motorcycles. Therefore, it is also classified as a hard-core ADV.

As for the pros and cons of the KTM 790 ADV, since it is so focused on off-roading, it naturally falls short on paved roads. This is easy to understand, right? The high center of gravity is inevitable. Even the standard version, which is more oriented towards mixed sections, has a ground clearance of 233mm, which is not conducive to high-speed driving.

Additionally, both models have front 21-inch and rear 18-inch wheels, which are great for off-roading, but not as agile as the cornering rockets on paved roads. If you have ridden the KTM DUKE 390, this difference will be obvious. The 790 ADV is clearly more clumsy in corners, and the tires don’t grip as well as street bike road tires.

Now let’s talk about what is called road-oriented ADV. A typical example is the Benelli TRK502, which also comes in standard and ADV versions, codenamed TRK502 and TRK502X.

The top image is of the TRK502, and the bottom image is of the TRK502X.

Road-oriented ADV motorcycles further reduce off-road capabilities compared to hard-core ADV bikes and focus more on riding comfort and handling on paved roads, with only limited off-road capabilities.

First, let’s talk about the standard TRK502. This bike is equipped with aluminum alloy cast wheels, and both front and rear wheel diameters are 17 inches. This cannot be classified as a road-oriented ADV but falls into the category of an SUV. Please note this point: although ADVs cannot compete with rally cars in off-road capability, they still have a certain ability to pass through rough roads. Therefore, they usually have a larger front wheel and a smaller rear wheel. Models like the TRK502, which use aluminum alloy cast wheels of 17 inches for both front and rear, are definitely SUVs. Take a side note – look at the hidden exhaust pipe, does this look like something that can go off-road?

Although the TRK502X is equipped with front 19-inch and rear 17-inch wire-spoke wheels, the front suspension travel is only 140mm, which does not meet the standard of a hard-core ADV. Generally speaking, a front suspension travel of more than 180mm is the threshold to enter the hard-core ADV category (though not the only standard). Therefore, although this bike is slightly better in off-road capability than the standard TRK502, it is still classified as a road-oriented ADV. Road-oriented ADVs have some off-road capability, but they cannot compare with hard-core ADVs and focus more on road driving needs.

The biggest difference in appearance between hard-core ADVs and road-oriented ADVs is the wheels. This is the easiest way to identify them: hard-core ADVs must have wire-spoke wheels, and the front wheel is generally 21 inches or 19 inches in diameter, while the rear wheel is generally 18 inches or 17 inches in diameter. Road-oriented ADVs can have either wire-spoke or cast aluminum alloy wheels. Remember this point, and you can distinguish the difference between hard-core ADVs and road-oriented ADVs. There are other differences as well, but they are generally not noticeable to the naked eye, such as suspension travel, shock absorber inner diameter, adjustability (hard-core ADVs are generally adjustable), seat height, tire cross-section width (hard-core ADVs generally have smaller widths), etc.

Of course, not all bikes with wire-spoke wheels are hard-core ADVs; this cannot be inferred in reverse. Many American cruisers and retro bikes also have wire-spoke wheels, but that is for style and not for functional needs like hard-core ADVs. Wire-spoke wheels have inherent advantages in off-roading. Just look at which professional off-road vehicles are equipped with cast aluminum alloy wheels, and you’ll understand.

Finally, let’s talk about what a rally car is.

Rally cars, also known as RALLY, are race cars designed to participate in rally competitions. The term “rally” in English refers to multi-round competitions, and the famous Dakar Rally is the most representative. The race sections are not fixed and can include paved roads, unpaved roads, and even deserts and wetlands. The race style is often like this.

In such extreme road conditions, no motorcycle performs well, and the only type of vehicle that can meet the requirements is a rally car. The image below shows the motorcycle of the 2017 Dakar Rally champion, British rider Sunderland, which is a KTM racing bike.

This motorcycle is designed specifically for conquering rally race tracks. It has a very lightweight body and explosive power. However, just like the racing bikes used in the MotoGP, you can’t buy one for regular use as they are not available for sale to the public.

To satisfy the intense enthusiasm of rally racing fans, some manufacturers do release market versions of rally motorcycles. While these bikes might have some reductions in power tuning, cooling systems, and suspension settings compared to the competition versions, they are similar in most other aspects. A famous example is the KTM 450 RALLY, which is a high-performance off-road motorcycle available for sale to the public and is designed to have rally racing capabilities, as shown in the image.

The maximum horsepower output and torque of a 450cc single-cylinder water-cooled engine are unknown, as the official data has not been provided. However, it is described as having explosive power, and its price is high, reportedly enough to buy a high-end four-ring A6, haha! Additionally, it is not something you can buy just because you have money; the qualification review is very strict.

In fact, what Qi Xing Fu wants to express is that rally cars are rare because they are too focused on off-road capabilities, resulting in poor human-machine integration and comfort. Only hardcore players buy these cars, so the target population is very small. This leads to a lack of motivation for most manufacturers to bring such models to the market, making it difficult to see real rally cars. Generally speaking, rally cars will have the word “RALLY” in their names, which is the most straightforward way to identify them. For example, models like the Honda CRF450 RALLY can be considered civilian versions of rally cars.