Motorcycling, Routes, Ride Outs & Custom Culture
Want a long distance mile muncher that will take you and your luggage in comfort but still be able to peg it around tight turns and cruise happily along the autobahn at 100mph? You want a sports tourer.
The European definition of a sports tourer is a little different to over in the States. Across the pond a ‘Sports Tourer’ is any touring machine that’s not a V-twin Harley here in Europe a proper sports tourer needs to be, well, sporty! So here’s my list of the most desirable sports tourers from 2012:
1) Kawasaki ZZR 1400
2) BMW K1300S
3) Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa
“The King is dead, long live the King”! What adds the desirability of a bike more than the title of “World’s Fastest Production Bike”? The big Zed had it back in the early nineties with the ZZR1100 – one of my favourite motorcycles of all time and has repeated the trick with the 2012 ZZR 1400. Its looks divide the motorcycle community but I’m firmly on the ‘love it’ side of the fence. The big Kwaka is a rocket ship for the road that’ll take you to your destination quicker than anything else on the road.
The BMW K1300S has a certain timeless ‘big sports bike’ look that harks back to the styling of the original Yamaha FJ and Honda Super Blackbird. It’s a cruise missile for the autobahn that can also scratch it with the pure sports bike when the going gets twisty.
The big ‘Busa was king on the high speed crown until the ZZR reclaimed its throne. Looking like a Samurai warrior for the road it may be knocking on a bit now but it’s still a mad, mad motorcycle. With its distinct looks and reputation it gives the rider an instant kudos boost with the motorcycle fraternity, except maybe for Harley riders but then what would they be doing reading this story anyway?
It’s worth mentioning the Triumph Sprint which is known for being a formidable sports tourer but for me it looks a little too ‘safe’. While there’s no doubt that it’s a great motorcycle a bike that looks like an accountant wearing running shoes cannot be classed as cool or desirable in my book. The Honda VFR1200 (and VFR800) are also worth a mention, however no matter how good a motorcycle the VFR1200 is you can’t escape the fact that it looks like a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica. The VFR800 is a fantastically good-looking motorbike (especially in white) and almost snuck in my top three but ultimately it couldn’t compete with the Hayabusa.
But what do you think?