The Best Touring Motorcycles From the Five Major Manufacturers
If you’re on the hunt for a bike that will let you pile up the miles comfortably, you’ve got quite a task in front of you, but we’ve got a few suggestions that will help you make the right choice.
Start with the major manufacturers like Yamaha, Honda, BMW, Ducati and Triumph.
Yamaha has been known to provide top quality sports touring motorcycle over the years. Currently, the manufacturer offers one of the most popular touring motorcycles available in the marketplace – the FJR 1300. This bike comes with an electronic clutch and weighs in at a svelte 600 pounds which makes it both powerful enough and easy to handle.
It’s hard to beat BMW as the marque offers the maximum number of models in the sports touring variant. Their model line includes the F 800ST, K 1200GT, K 1200LT, R 1200RT and the R 1200ST. Of all these models, a great value for money comes with the F800 ST. At an attractive prize of $11,000, the F800 offers a sporty look and the compact size which will prevent you from having to spend your day wrestling a monster down the road.
BMW’s R 1200ST is a light-weight version of the 1200cc models in the BMW lineup. Rated as one of the fastest sports touring motorcycles available in the market place, the K 1200 GT would be an excellent choice as it offers exceptional performance in a stripped-down package. If you want something a little more substantial, the K 1200LT is a bit pricier, but offers a slightly more feature-rich platform.
Honda has its own versions of the touring sports motorcycle category. Two popular versions are the Goldwing and the ST 1300. The venerable Gold wing is one of the most comfortable touring motorcycles in history and it sets the bar for the long haul riding category in terms of comfort and ride-ability. With a seat height near 30 inches, shorter riders might find it a bit on the tall side, but that’s a slight quibble when placed against the comfort and reliability benefits that the line provides.
Want to go with a European marque? It would be hard to go wrong with a Triumph Sprint ST. Featuring a 1050cc powerplant and a very competitive price of $11000, the Sprint ST is relatively economical to operate compared to other models with the same engine size.
If you’d like something a little more race-proven, the Ducati ST3 Sports tourer comes with the manufacturers iconic 992cc powerplant. Tipping the scales at a positively featherweight 450 pounds and featuring the magnificent styling Ducati is known for around the world, the ST3 Sports Tourer is also superb at handling twisty roads.
There are lots of other models to choose from in the Triumph and Moto Guzzi lineup, and any of them would be excellent choice in the touring sports category, but the major considerations, as always when selecting a bike to ride long distances without having your kidneys pounded to mush should always the comfort factor and the price.