Does the idea of a 1000cc adventure bike leave you cold? It does me. The good news is that as the worldwide market for motorcycles begins to grow again, manufacturers are beginning to roll out new small capacity models amongst which are some 250-300cc ADV bikes. Honda CRF250 Rally Doesn't this look fun? Alledgedly based on the CRF450 Rally bike raced in the Dakar Rally, the CRF250 Rally concept bike was unveiled at the Osaka Motorcycle Show in March. There was no spec sheet but from the photo you can see the fully-enclosed bodywork, tall windscreen with headlight protector, wraparound hand guards, the sump/exhaust protector, the rally-style instrument panel with integrated handlebar mounted controls, dual Mugen exhaust, fat-tube handlebars, and some billet aluminum which might or might not make it into the production version. Either way, this looks like a very tasty ADV bike. It's under-powered, you might say. True, but Honda does have a slightly larger engine in the CBR300 which would probably fit. Given that the Honda Rally bike could be build up for less than 150kg wet, that would make quite a good bike for trips to Lao, for example. No word on price yet. CSC RX-3 Cyclone (photo courtesy AdventureMotorcycle.com) On what is sure to be the other end of the price spectrum is a new model 250cc ADV bike that has just been launched in the States. There it is called the CSC RX-3 Cyclone and it has had some pretty good reviews in the magazines. What is different is the "wrench it yourself" approach the importer is using (which means lots of illustrated guides to the bikes online), and the price. $3,495 Stateside. The beauty of the RX-3 is its simplicity. No fuel injection means easy to overhaul carbs. No sophisticated electronics means less to go wrong after a dunk in a river. A straight-forward single overhead cam, 4-valve engine with easy to maintain parts (guide to clutch and valve adjustment). Cycle World recently concluded a long-term test of the 2014 BMW R1200GS (c.245kg dry) and the 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure R (217kg dry). The running costs over 12,000 miles were $1,858.98 for the BMW and $1,641.95 for the KTM. That is the all-in cost of maintaining and repairing the bikes in the USA, including USA labour. Both bikes were ridden hard but I would wager no harder or longer than some of the bikes on the GT-Rider forum. So the question is which would you prefer? Light on both body and pocket, or heavy and costly? What's great is that now there is a choice.