The adventure bike segment has exploded the last couple of years. Some people buy the bikes to go on adventures. Some people do not.
What you buy apart from a capable machine is the image and the dream. You could go on an adventure any moment. You look adventurous. You will be perceived as adventurous. All this irrespective of whether you go on actual adventures or not.
This is not meant to be a stab at the people who buy adventure motorcycles and judging their use of it. As long as people use their motorcycles for riding then I have no complaints.
My stab is at the image of needing these fancy and capable bikes for adventures.
There is a saying in the photography sphere:
The best camera is the one you have in your hand
It is not about specifications, features or anything of the like. It is about which camera you bring with you and have ready when the right composition appears before you.
This mentality fits perfectly with motorcycles.
The best adventure bike is the bike you take on adventures
Ride what you have. There is no need to have a fancy adventure bike in order to go on an adventure. Most well-maintained (or even ill-maintained) bikes will take you further than you can imagine.
It all depends on your comfort-level. You can plan adventures that are ill-suited for superbikes, or 125cc vintage motorcycles. It depends on how pronounced a part the motorcycle has to play. Driving 5000 kilometers on a BMW 1250 GS Adventure will have the bike play a supporting role, but driving the same distance on a 1939 Moto Guzzi Airone 250 Turismo will place the bike as the lead-character in the adventure.
It depends on how comfortable you are fixing mechanical issues on top of whatever issues the adventure brings in itself.
If you look on the internet you will get the impression that adventures have to span at least months if not years, cross borders that are closed, preferably run through a country with war or conflict and include a scene of you almost dying.
That will surely grab the attention of others, but if the motivation for your adventure is to grab the attention of others, then you are already off course before you set out.
Adventures should be rooted in yourself and what you want. Adventures can span anything from hours to days and beyond. Just take the bike you own already own and find new roads. You do not need fancy tents, backpacks or satellite-controlled GPS. The adventure is right there waiting for you in the opposite direction of your normal route.
Just take it.
Once in a while.