Motorcycling, Routes, Ride Outs & Custom Culture
Full on tourers need to be able to take you, your significant other and everything but the kitchen sink around the highways of Europe, Asia, America or wherever in comfort, style and absolute ease. Okay, they will be big and bulky and you’ll need a small taskforce to help you up should you drop them but they should also be able to handle well enough to enjoy the twists and turns – I mean come on, that’s half the reason we love our motorcycles!
Many people have different definitions of what a touring motorcycle can be, after all I managed a 800 mile tour on my clapped out old Yamaha Virago XV535 and a 1400 mile tour on my Kawasaki ER6n – not what most people would call ‘touring machines’ but they serve me well enough. Having said that this list is all about motorbikes designed with long distance touring in mind so without further ado this is my top three most desirable touring motorcycles:
1) Victory Vision
2) BMW K1600 GTL
3) Yamaha FJR1300
Traditionally enthusiasts of full-dress touring motorcycles were split between two motorcycles; the purists went for Harley Davidson’s Electra Glide while futurists and technology lovers went for the wardrobe on wheels that is the Honda Gold Wing. Now however there is a motorcycle that can satisfy both parties of this odd group; the Victory Vision. Dripping with style and finesse it packs a V-twin engine to satisfy the Harley boys and the futurist looks and technological gizmos for the Honda lads. As for sheer presence I’d wager that if you parked each of these motorcycles up next to each other it would be the Victory that would draw the biggest crowds. Of course if you want to stay more traditional you could head for the Victory Cross Country Tour, which is still a much more modern motorcycle than the Electra Glide.
If you wanna mix touring with performance many would head towards a sports tourer. The BMW K1600 GTL proves that you don’t have to sacrifice performance with all day comfort. Buzzing with technology it packs sports car performance with the luxury of full dress touring machine. If you’re looking for a bike that will take you and your wardrobe on a tour of Europe the K1600 is just the ticket.
The Yamaha FJR1300 rests precariously on the tilt between sports touring and full-on touring bike but it is definitely weighted more towards the later. The FJ is a legendary Yamaha staple which has many fans and the latest 1300 brings an element of the original bikes sleek styling up to modern standards.
But what do you think?