Looking for a bike you can enjoy riding for hundreds of kilometers? We’ve compiled the top touring bikes especially for you, including the best models in different classes to make it even easier for you to decide.
Who will take up residence in your garage, an aggressive enduro, a fast sports tourer or an impressive cruiser? It’s up to you to decide, but we’ll tell you what parameters to look for when buying. The fact is that every driver has his own ideal, depending both on his riding style and on the conditions of his surroundings. Conquerors of difficult terrain can sacrifice comfort in favor of lightness and steerability, admirers of functionality will be pleased with GPS systems and abundance of other modern technological solutions, a couple in love needs heightened comfort and a bigger petrol tank – link.
Everyone’s priorities are different, so we’ll be sure to highlight the key pros and cons, but first we’ll tell you what you simply need to pay attention to.
Advice on choosing a touring bike for travel
Be sure to consider the following points:
The nature of the road surface – if it is assumed that the iron horse will roll only on asphalt trails, you can not particularly worry. If, however, cross-country conquest is planned, it is necessary that the bike has a rigid suspension and other attributes of increased cross-country ability.
Curb weight – don’t let the weight of 200 or even 500 kg scare you, it is the norm for this family. But it is necessary to remember one simple law: the easier is transport, the more maneuverable, it is easier to operate it entering turns. On the other hand, the heavier it is, the more stable and safer at speed.
Journey length – a modern motorbike for long journeys should have a spacious luggage compartment, because you will almost certainly have to take a lot of things with you, especially if you are going with someone. One case is suitable for picnic trips, and for 300-500 km rides, there should be three of them with capacity of 90-100 liters. By the way, compatibility with a trailer, two-or single-axle, in this case will be an additional advantage.
The capacity of the fuel tank – the manufacturers vary it in a range from 10 to 30 liters. The roomier the tank, the longer you can ride without refueling, but also the heavier your vehicle, which means it is worth exercising moderation. For short distances 15 liters is enough, for longer rides 25 liters are enough.
Passenger presence/absence – the best motorbike for traveling together just have to have a roomy seat, even if it will increase its weight. That’s why cruisers rather than enduros and sports bikes are the best choice in such a case. By the way, it is not only more fun (or romantic) but also safer to conquer hundreds of kilometers with someone.
Comfortability – several hours in a row behind a steering wheel are very tiring, so it’s good, if the equipment of the model you like has solutions for increase of comfort and decrease of fatigue level. Technology wise, adjustable wind deflectors, heated grips, LED lights and USB ports on the dashboard are pluses. But remember, long-haul bikes cost more the more extras they have.
Repairability – today it is better to give preference to those models, which are equipped with electronic diagnostic systems, timely warning of the appearance of failure. Although it is important not only how often the bike breaks down, but also how easy it is to get to him for parts, whether there are service centers of his company, the manufacturer in your city or region.
We have given you a basic guide, so now let’s take a closer look at specific families, series and collections, so you can get a closer look at the market leaders.
Top 5 best touring motorbikes
BMW R1200GS Adventure
One of the most famous ‘geese’ produced since 2004, fast and comfortable. Accelerates to 200 km/h without a problem, keeping control even in rough terrain thanks to Road and Rain mode. It has a 33-liter tank, cruise control, ABS, 1170 cc twin-cylinder engine and 125 horsepower.
- manoeuvrability and versatility;
- ease of straight-line seating;
- reliability of suspension and frame ergonomics;
- capacious petrol tank, roomy cases.
- short gear travel;
- at considerable acceleration vibrations are observed;
- comparatively expensive in service.
Customer rating: 4,6
KTM 1190 Adventure
One of the leaders in the “best long-distance enduro touring bikes” category. Why? Because it’s powerful, with a 148-horsepower engine, and perfectly equipped – with a full electric package, adjustable suspension, a reinforced chassis and wide tyres.
- predictability on the road;
- excellent visibility;
- effective Brembo brakes;
- straight-line seating;
- productive 1195 cc engine.
- comparatively high heat output;
- gear shifting can be problematic.
Biker rating: 4.8
BMW K1600 GTL
The near-perfect motorbike for city and travel, offsetting its 348kg weight with 160 horsepower, speeds in excess of 200 km/h and cutting-edge technology. With a removable rear luggage compartment, seat heating, on-board computer, it makes for a fun ride.
- spectacular design;
- excellent driving characteristics;
- good optics and modern electronics;
- well thought-out ergonomics.
- stiff front suspension;
- relatively high cost;
- windshield can be improved.
Customer rating: 4,9
Harley-Davidson ROAD GLIDE ULTRA
Very effective American, with a fairing “bat-wing” and “shark nose”, with low-forced engine with 87 “horses”. A heavy (424 kg) and big touring bike that serious and modern bikers will surely appreciate.
- original appearance;
- build quality;
- richness of equipment;
- reduced exhaust.
- large dimensions;
- regular optics could use an improvement;
- high price and costly maintenance.
Average rating: 4.8
Honda GL1800 Gold Wing
A Japanese legend, popular since 1974, easy to ride, with a reasonably powerful 126hp engine, 225km/h, with comfortable low footpegs and a wide passenger seat.
- four electronic ride modes;
- good thrust, even at low revs;
- excellent wind protection;
- cases with a capacity of 110 liters;
- fuel economy;
- cruise control; multimedia.
- rather high weight – 365 kg;
- plastic body kit.
Rating by Gennady Yagupov: 4,7