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Great Touring Motorcycles

Updated on July 24, 2009

Choosing The Right Bike For You

While it is possible to tour on any motorcycle , the whole idea behind a great touring motorcycle is offering the rider the most pleasure out of the experience.

Sport bikes are famous for their fine handling attributes, as well as having an abundance of power to get you from point A to point B in the fastest time possible, but rider comfort on a long distance trip leaves a lot to be desired. Don't even think about a long trip on one of these bikes two up or you're more than likely going to have a very disappointed partner.
Cruisers are built for ,well cruising. They offer a fair amount of comfort, even for a long sit in the saddle. Some even have decent passenger accommodations, but they're not built for all out touring so they are usually lacking in the handling department. When it comes to long winding roads that go on forever they can be very tiring to force through the curves. The seating position on cruisers isn't ideal for long distance travel either
Touring on a motorcycle is all about comfort and enjoyment. Bikes specifically built for this purpose do it very well.

Good wind and rain protection is a must have for someone heading out on a cross country tour on a motorcycle. Touring bikes are designed with fairings and windshields to protect you from whatever elements Mother Nature may through at you on your travels.
A comfortable saddle and good seating postion is another one of the the things I consider a necessity for a long distance touring motorcylce. It's not much fun being on a 2000 mile trip with a sore back and an aching butt.

Storage compartments is another item that is needed on a touring motorcycle. If you're going on a long distance trip, you need a place to secure the things you plan on taking with you. As such, most purpose built touring motorcycles have saddlebags. Some of them even have detachable bags that you can remove and carry with you.There are a few touring motorcycles that are factory equipped with a trunk to add more storage space for your gear. I have found the trunk on our Gold Wing to be very useful for keeping our helmets in while sight seeing.
Sport touring motorcycles offer those that enjoy aggressive riding more of a sport bike feel with the comfort of a tour bike. Although they are a little heavier than their sport bike counterparts, they usually haveĀ  fairly impressive riding and handling characteristics.

While no one bike can do everything great, knowing how you are intending to use the motorcycle most of the time will help you choose a bike that will best suit your needs.

Harley Davidson Ultra Classic
Harley Davidson Ultra Classic
Honda Gold Wing GL1800
Honda Gold Wing GL1800

The Kings of the Touring Class Motorcycles

When most people think of touring motorcycles The Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide and the Honda Gold Wing are probably ths first 2 bikes to enter their mind.
Rightfully so, These 2 peices of American Iron represent the ultimate in touring class motorcycles.
Decked out with just about everything you could possibly want on a motorcycle, these bikes are designed from the ground up to get you across country in complete luxury.
Now there are a few that are going to get upset about me calling the Honda Gold Wing American Iron , but what many don't realize is that Honda has produced the Gold Wing in their Marysville,Ohio plant since 1981.Sadly, Honda has decided to move production of the Gold Wing back to Japan for 2010.

Stay tuned for my next hub on a side by side comparison between the Honda Goldwing GL 1800 and the Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic.

BMW K1300 GT
BMW K1300 GT
Honda ST1300
Honda ST1300
Yamaha FJR1300
Yamaha FJR1300
Kawasaki Concours14
Kawasaki Concours14

Super Sport Touring Motorcycles

Next in line for sweet touring motorcycles are the Super Sport Touring bikes. Most of the big manufacturers have one of these in their lineup these days. They have managed to take a big market segment from the "starting to hit middle age" sport bike riders. Looking for the excitement they are used to from an all out sport bike , but wanting a lot more comfort for an all day riding adventure.
As to not put these in any particular order as to my personal preferences I will list them by price,
The BMW K1300 GT
BMW's newest addition to the super sport touring class. After listening to what faithful BMW riders had to say BMW decided to redefine the K1200 and from all the rave reviews, they seem to have done a superb job of filling the requests of their fans.The 1300GT is pushing 160 hp at 9,000 rpm with 99 ft-lbs at 8,000 rpm. In addition, BMW claims that 80% of max torque is available as low as 3,500 rpm.
With An MSRP of $18800.00 USD , the BMW K1300 GT takes top position on our super sport touring list
With an MSRP of $15.700.00 USD the Honda ST 1300 is next in line.
Very little has changed in the styling department on the ST 1300 since it's introduction to the US in 2003.In fact the ST 1300 has seen very few changes throughout which is a testament that BIG RED must have gotten it "right " the first time around.
3rd place in the lineup is the Yamaha FJR 1300 with MSRP coming in at $ 14,490.00. Introduced in Europe in 2001 and released to the American public in 2002, Yamaha makes claim to the first ever production super sport touring motorcycle.
Last on our list of super sport touring bikes is Kawasaki's Concours 14 dropping the bid down to $13,499.00. Don't let the price deter you though. Kawasaki has managed to impress many a rider with their newest entry to the super sport touring class.


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    • Wingrider profile image

      Wingrider 8 years ago from South Carolina

      Hey Daryl,

      There's way too many great touring bikes to list them all. I was just trying to get the latest and greatest from the top 5 here in the states.

      Good luck on your tour.

    • profile image

      Daryl Makk 8 years ago

      You left out a few great touring bikes. The BMW RT1200 and K1300ST. The Suzuki Bandit 1250 is another great bike for eating up distance and is the one I ride. A bit less weather protection than the ones listed but able to drone down the slab or have fun in the twisty roads all day