Expectations and results invert when tarmac gives way to nature's highway. Light (by the class standards), agile, predictable and confidence-inspiring, the Adventure tackles all but the most technical terrain without causing the rider to have a what-the-hell-am-I-doing? moment. Yamaha's beast, the heaviest in the test by 47 lb. (591 lb. wet compared to 544 for the BMW and 519 for the KTM), causes some initial concern. Says Off-Road Editor Ryan Dudek, "Compared to the others, the weight of the Ténéré is most apparent, giving the impression that it is hardest to handle." But it turns out to be surprisingly adept, tracking through sand reasonably well and steering predictably once you've switched off TC. The BMW was everyone's least favorite off road, with the experienced guys fairly sanguine about its weight and the front end's propensity to dance, skitter and generally fail to redirect the Beemer's mass. The one tester with little recent time off-road hated it. As for Dudek, the guy who lives off-road: "You have to build a certain confidence in the GS, as well as with the others, before challenging a steep climb or sandy hill. But put out the spoiler alert: The KTM is obviously best for off-road work. Its riding position is closest to that of an actual dirtbike, from its aggressive handlebar to its slim chassis. It gives the rider more control over the bike."