Adventure Motorcycling Handbook 8

Welcome to the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook (#AMH) website.
I’ve been travelling on bikes since 1982 and the late 1990s coined the term ‘adventure motorcycling’.
Read about AMH8. Buy AMH8 discounted.
Otherwise, there’s plenty to read here without buying anything. Back in 1981, my very first travel bike was a Yamaha XT500 (below left) and lately I’ve run a different project bike most years. See the ‘Bikes‘ menu above; I’ve owned over sixty. I had one of the first Rally Raid CB500Xs, then adapted a Yamaha XSR 700. For 2019 I used Enfield’s Himalayan and in 2020 picked up an Africa Twin for a desert trip. Late 2021 I finally managed to ride it back via France as the doors slammed shut behind me.


I write other books on the same theme: the 3rd edition of Morocco Overland covers roads and tracks in Morocco’s Atlas mountains and Saharan fringe. Buy Morocco 3 discounted.
Reissued in paperback, Desert Travels is a Sahara travelogue spanning my early years on XT600s as well as my first disastrous desert tour. 
And reissued in 2022, The Street Riding Years  is my urban memoirs also set in the 1980s. It was RIDE magazine’s ‘Book of the Year’.

15 thoughts on “Adventure Motorcycling Handbook 8

    1. Chris S Post author

      Yes I saw that Will, but they’re just 690/701s in red, no?
      The engine is a great platform – nothing else comes close in big singles.
      Of those three I’d take a later 701 – or whichever one had the lowest/widest seat and the biggest tank – which I think is none of them ;-)


        1. Chris S Post author

          I tried one a couple of years back and was quite impressed by the motor and build quality. Wasn’t so sure about the speedo console tablet idea but maybe it’s evolved. But these Euro big singles are a bit hard-edged these days. Imo for travelling you want something more like the old Sertao or the long lost Japs. Comfort and range; no so bothered by 10 inches of travel/clearance.


  1. Paul Marchment

    Chris great book I wish I’d bought one before I started travelling in 1984
    I’m restoring an old Paris Dakar 1981 BMW R 80 GS which I still feel is a a great (albeit limited off road) all rounder.
    Paul M


  2. Ben south

    Hi Chris , really enjoyed reading the latest installment of amh ,
    I have a tracer700 which is ok 90% of the time, the problem is ground clearance,is there a cheap way of achieving that without going down the 19inch front wheel way,
    I have seen fork caps used but seem very expensive.
    Cheers Ben


    1. Chris S Post author

      Thanks Ben. A Tracer could make a good travel bike but the only way to increase clearance is to elongate or just firm up the suspension, either with preload or springs. You can also experiment with taller tyres, but on the wide back you’re limited.
      I see from caps like mine on eBay ( for 26 quid a pair, same as I paid from Hong Kong.
      The CP2 engine’s sump is annoying deep, though the pipes are the same depth. The other solution is make a solid baseplate down there.



  3. Pingback: Review / Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook (New Eighth Edition) - Adventure Rider

  4. Dale Yoder

    Hey Chris

    Love your writing about your bikes and your adventures. I am a returning rider who wants to buy a motorcycle for riding around locally for fun and for travel on and off road. After reading your experience I am at a loss as to which bike to get? Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am in Houston, Texas by the way and am 6 feet with 30 inch inseam and about 210 lbs.
    Dale Y.


    1. Chris S Post author

      Hi Dale, glad to hear you enjoy the website. Sounds like you’re about my size. so might manage taller saddled bikes.
      Assuming your budget is not too much of a constraint I’d have a look at a Ducati Desert Sled and a Yamaha XT700. Anything heavier will not be fun off-road, no matter what the adverts show. Honda CB500X is another, but the motor’s comparatively bland. A KTM 790 is also worth a look. Make sure you try before you buy! Chris



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