The Best Touring Motorcycles: Top Picks for Comfort
If you are looking for luxury, mile-eating ability, long-distance motorcycling comfort, your best option is a touring motorcycle. Touring motorcycles come with large but smooth engines that can pull two riders and their luggage without any issues.
Touring motorbikes are equipped with road-oriented chassis to provide you with a reassuring, planted handling. If you want to go on tour for a couple of days or weeks without letting anything come between you and the environment, then you need the right motorbike for the job. However, you might have a hard time finding the best touring motorcycle for your little trip due to the numerous options available on the market. To help you make the right choice, we have compiled a list of the best touring motorcycles on the market. Read on to see how to pick the right option.
Our top recommendation is the BMW Motorrad K 1600 GTL. This touring motorbike comes with many great features to enhance your touring experience. The seats are super comfortable, the engine boasts of high performance, and it has a very large fuel storage tank. It also has compartments for storing your luggage.
The Best Touring Motorcycles Are:
1. BMW Motorrad K 1600 GTL – Most Comfortable Touring Motorcycle
BMW is one of the most respected brands when it comes to automobiles. This motorbike comes with many great features at a pretty reasonable price. It comes with a powerful 6-cylinder, 1,649cc inline engine that generates an output of an impressive 160 horsepower. The seats on this touring motorcycle are roomy and they are ergonomically designed for two people. Interestingly, the seats come with a heating feature that makes it great for long cold rides.
It also comes with many great features such as keyless ignition, an adjustable electric windshield, and beautiful Xenon headlamps. With the electronic, computerized suspensions and ABS brakes of this machine, you will always enjoy smooth and safe rides. This high-performance touring motorbike is the peak of sheer and high-quality comfort.
The design of the bike allows for effortless steering on all terrains and trips, whether you are carrying a passenger or on your own. It also has three different colors for you to choose from. The height of the seat is 29.5 inches while the fuel storage can contain up to 7 gallons of fuel. The reserve fuel storage is approximately 1 gallon. With the LED auxiliary lights, you can see and be seen even in the rain, fog, and snow. The unladen weight of this machine is 772 pounds while the permitted total weight is 1,235 pounds.
2. Honda Gold Wing Tour
The Honda Gold Wing Tour is one of the best touring motorcycles on the market, and it is available in two powerful variants. Honda is a very popular brand, and this brand is known for making some of the best engines and power tools across the globe. This touring motorbike from Honda features a classic design and you would have a great time touring with it.
This touring bike comes with very comfortable seats, and the seats support a natural spine position. It comes with a pillion seat with an armrest and backrest for added comfort. There is also a 50-liter top luggage compartment at the back of the motorbike, which is more than enough space to store a few things. There are also two 30-liter luggage compartments beneath the top compartment.
This machine also delivers great performance, thanks to its 6-cylinder 1,833cc engine with an output of 125Hp. It features a 7-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission while the second model has a 6-speed manual transmission. This bike comes with a double-wishbone front suspension with a single-side swingarm as the rear suspension.
The seat height of this touring motorbike is 29.3 inches and it can contain up to 5.55 gallons of fuel. The curb weight of this machine is 787 pounds, including all standard equipment and a full tank of fuel. It is also available in different colors. This motorbike comes with a 3-year warranty and up to eight years of extended coverage available with Honda Protection Plan.
3. Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS – Best Touring Motorcycle for the Money
If you are looking for a high-performance and comfortable touring motorbike that will not leave a hole in your pocket, you should consider the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS motorbike. It is one of the best adventure motorbikes on the market, and it comes with a pocket-friendly price tag. This motorcycle comes with almost everything you need to hit the road and it also has an amazing finished for added style.
The bike allows for easy maneuverability, thanks to its two-stage traction control. It also comes with the anti-lock brake system, which is a great safety feature you should look out for when buying any motorcycle. This motorcycle is great for both beginners and professionals alike, as it comes with an average power engine. The driving force of this machine is a liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, 1,037cc 90-degree V-twin engine.
You can take this motorbike virtually anywhere, and you will not be disappointed with its performance. The motorbike is also great for off-road touring. The ABS of this motorbike has been updated with the new Motion Track and Combination Brake System of Suzuki. It features a 6-speed constant mesh transmission with a wet, multi-plate clutch.
The front brakes consist of Tokico 4-piston calipers, and twin disc while the rear brakes consist of Nissin, 2-piston, and single disc. It also comes with super bright headlamps to illuminate your path in the dark, rain, snow, or fog. The seat height of this machine is 33.5 inches, which is a bit high. It weighs only 511 pounds, which is great for new riders. The fuel storage of this bike is also large, with a capacity of 5.3 gallons.
4. BMW R1250GS Adventure
The BMW R1250GS Adventure is one of the best adventure motorcycles on the market today. This motorbike comes with an awesome finish and look, and it was designed to keep you comfortable regardless of how long you ride on it. When it comes to performance, this motorbike has a lot to offer, thanks to its air/liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, flat twin, 1,254cc engine. The output of the engine is 136 horsepower at 7,750 RPM.
It also comes with supreme traction control, an adjustable anti-lock brake system, and a nice finishing that epitomizes the brand. This adventure motorbike boasts of great functionality and power, and you can use it on any terrain. The maximum torque of this machine is 105 lb-ft at 6,250 RPM. It also comes with a wet clutch with an anti-hopping function, hydraulic activation. This bike features a constant-mesh 6-speed gearbox with helical gear teeth.
The wheels are made with cast iron with 120/70 R 19 front tire and 170/60 R 17 back tire. The fuel tank can accommodate up to 5.2 gallons of fuel and it has a reserve of about 1.1 gallons. The seat height is 33.5 inches, and it is designed to promote proper sitting posture.
The weight of the motorbike (fully fuelled, road-ready) is 549 pounds while the permitted total weight is 1,025 pounds. It also has three ride modes (road, rain, and eco), integral ABS pro, full-LED headlight, USB charging socket, and TFT color display with connectivity.
5. Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro
Next on the line is the Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro, and it is one of the top touring motorcycles on the market. This machine comes with the Testastretta DVT 1,262 engine that delivers an output of 158 horsepower. With this heavy-duty machine, you will always enjoy smooth and powerful rides. Sitting on this bike feels as if you are sitting on your couch at home. The seat is designed to make you feel comfortable and safe, even when traveling long distances.
This touring motorcycle comes with the entire safety measures combo of Ducati. Some of the safety features it comes with include power modes, riding modes, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), Vehicle Hold Control (VHC), and DTC + Bosch cornering ABS (Ducati safety pack). The advanced features of this bike make it to ride over closed curves on high cliffs.
It also comes with a clear electronics command center that displays all the information about the motorbike. If you are looking for a safe, fast, and comfortable ride to tour around with, this is one of the best options to consider. The seat height of this powerful motorbike is 33 inches, and it is designed to provide optimum comfort.
It features a 6-speed transmission gearbox with up/down Ducati Quick Shift. The bike is also lightweight, as it weighs only 496 pounds. One of the most appealing features of this bike is its storage tank, as it comes with an impressive storage capacity of 7.9 gallons.
6. KTM 1290 Super Duke GT
The KTM 1290 Super Duke GT motorcycle is an all-around motorbike, and most people refer to it as a do-it-all bike. This motorbike is one-third touring, one-third urban, and one-third sports bike. It comes with a powerful 1,290cc engine that delivers great power and torque. This is a great bike that you can use to tour smoothly through a beautiful landscape.
One of the most outstanding features of this motorbike is its speed. It features an incredible speed, thanks to its powerful motor. The engine generates a torque of 141 Nm with an output of 175 horsepower. It also provides a smoother throttle response, and this minimizes the chances of low-rev jolting and involuntary wheelies.
It comes with handlebars that give you full control, from adjusting the suspension to small steering inputs and changing ride modes with the push of a button. The multi-adjustable handlebars also make it very easy to steer and maneuver the bike. It comes with an aggressive yet functional and nice-looking headlight. The dashboard is also clear and very easy to understand.
It also comes with an impressive 6.1-gallon fuel tank capacity. For the safety of the rider, this machine comes with Bosch 9ME Combined ABS, including supermoto mode, cornering ABS, and easy to disengage. The height of the seat is 32 inches while the overall weight of the machine is 460 pounds, which is considerably lightweight.
If this bike floats your boat, check out our sport touring motorcycle roundup.
7. Yamaha V Star 1300 Tourer
If you are looking for a classic and flashy motorbike to tour in style, you should consider the Yamaha V Star 1,300 Tourer. This is a highly customizable motorbike that is designed to provide you with superior comfort while riding. It comes with a removable windscreen and a flappable backrest that lets you cruise the roads in style.
Interestingly, this motorbike comes with many great features at a pocket-friendly price. It also features a belt final drive that helps to reduce noise significantly. This motorbike does not require a lot of maintenance, and its design and features also make it a great tour motorbike for beginners. It comes with a 1,304cc, liquid-cooled, SOHC, V-twin, 8-value engine. The engine is powerful and it delivers great speed as well.
It also features a 5-speed transmission with a multi-plate wet clutch. The front suspension is a 41mm telescopic fork while the rear suspension is a single shock; 4.3-inches travel. It comes with a very low and comfortable seat, with a height of 27.2 inches. The fuel capacity of this machine is 4.9 gallons while the net weight is 712 pounds. It also comes with a one-year warranty, and this will give you confidence when buying the bike.
8. Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager ABS
Next up, we have the Kawasaki Vulcan 170 Voyager ABS touring motorcycle. If you are looking for a touring motorbike with a very powerful engine, this is one of the best options to consider. It comes with a high-performance 1,700cc V-twin engine that generates a torque of 107 lb-ft at 2,750 RPM. The bike also features an intercom headset system and cruise control to ensure you enjoy smooth and comfortable rides. Another great technology of this bike is its electronic throttle values.
It also comes with K-ACT ABS, which is the advanced co-active-braking technology of Kawasaki. The bike has a 6-speed transmission with overdrive and positive neutral finder. The final drive is a carbon-fiber-reinforced belt while the ignition is TCBI with digital advance. The front suspension is a 45mm hydraulic fork while the rear suspension is Swingarm with twin air-assisted shocks, with 4-way rebound damping.
The front brake system consists of dual 300mm discs, K-ACT II ABS, and dual four-piston calipers while the rear brake system consists of a single 300mm disc, K-ACT II ABS, and twin-piston caliper. The seat height is 28.7 inches while the curb weight is 895.2 pounds. It also has a fuel capacity of 5.3 gallons. Interestingly, this machine bags a 36-month limited warranty.
9. Suzuki Hayabusa
The Suzuki Hayabusa is one of the most affordable motorbikes on our list, and it comes with many great features. Many bikers love this model because it has an amazing look and finish. You will love the look of this motorbike and you will not be disappointed with its performance. With the design and power behind this machine, you can ride it through the varied terrain of Asia and Europe. The affordability of this motorbike did not affect its functionality.
It is equipped with a water-cooled, V-twin, 1,340cc engine with a spray handling that does not show its age. The engine was designed to provide a broad wave of torque for effortless acceleration. It features PVD-coated rings that enhance cylinder sealing and reduce friction with a forged 3-ring aluminum-alloy slipper pistons that provide superior strength.
It features a seat height of 31.7 inches with a curb weight of 586 pounds. The fuel tank capacity is 5.5 gallons and it comes with a 12-month unlimited mileage limited warranty.
What to Look for When Buying a Touring Motorcycle
Touring bikes provide the comfort of a car in the form of a bike. Many refer to touring bikes as “dressers” because they dressed up with many great features and options. Some of the options on these bikes include heated seats, GPS, stereos, lots of carrying capacity, windscreen, automatic transmissions, and many more.
With these options and features, you can go on tours safely, comfortably, and in style. As such, you should go for an option that comes with some or most of these features.
When picking a touring motorcycle, you want to consider the terrain you want to use the bike on. You want to make sure the tires of the bike are designed for the road. Some touring bikes are not designed for off-road tours, and you will not get a great performance if you force the bike on such roads. Hence, the bike should be designed for both off-road and on-road tours.
The ergonomics of the motorbike is another vital thing to consider when buying a touring motorbike. Make sure the motorbike is ergonomically agreeable with your body posture. It should have the perfect seat height and the seat should be ergonomically designed to keep you comfortable. The seat should also promote adequate sitting posture and you should not have any issues with it even when riding long distances.
Power and Handling
You should go for a motorbike with enough power to take you from one city to another with ease. You need to figure out how much shifting and throttle work is needed for your trip. High torque is generally better for touring applications, and you would need a motorbike that generates a lot of torque.
It should come with a high-end engine that delivers superior performance, power, and speed. While speed is not the main focus here, it is still very important. You should also make sure it is reliable and durable. Of course, you need to consider your skill level when making this choice.
When looking for the best touring motorbikes, the first thing you should consider is what type of touring you will be doing. There are many touring motorcycles out there, and finding the right one for your intended use is very important. To help you find the right one, we have compiled a list of the top touring motorbikes on the market, making it easy for you to choose the right option for your trip.
Our top pick for the best touring bike is the BMW Motorrad K 1600 GTL because it comes with many great touring-specific features to provide you with a smooth, comfortable, and enjoyable touring experience.