Best Sport Touring Motorcycle

Part 3 of 5


The most important factor determining the best sport-touring motorcycle for you is only this: comfort.

If comfort were “not” a factor for a rider, then instead of considering a sport-touring motorcycle, he or she should simply select any of the excellent sport bikes available to go for a long ride.

Unfortunately, “comfort” cannot be adequately quantified.

Minimally, you need to get on the bike and experience its ergonomics. Ideally, you would take it out for a long, overnight ride, or several-day ride, to see how it feels. To do that, you either need to borrow one, rent one, or buy one: And you’re still left with having to determine which to try first.

Motorcycle reviews for these models are available online and in various motorcycle magazines. These reviews are informative and valuable reading. Even though much of what may be presented comes down to a subjective interpretation from the rider/writer, reading reviews and comparisons offers insights that are otherwise unavailable to you as a potential sport-touring motorcycle buyer.

However, to re-establish the obvious, getting your butt on a bike of interest and riding the darn thing is the primary way to determine what’s best for YOU.

Alas, insurance liabilities existing as they are in our modern world result in very rare motorcycle dealers that will allow you to do any more than sit on the bike in their showroom.

So, other than riding a motorcycle, reviewing specifications from the manufacturers is the next best way to differentiate these bikes from each other relative to your own requirements. But those spec sheets can be daunting, especially if you are not a mechanical engineer, or at least a serious enthusiast.

And lord have mercy! What if you are new to motorcycling? Most motorcycle specification lists will only create more confusion if you have no reference to what they mean in the real world. Where do you even start?

So to differentiate these sport-touring motorcycles in such a way that would establish a useful comparison for new or experienced riders, I’ve compared only four of the most elementary specifications for these bikes, from the viewpoint of a sport-touring rider, based upon the following assumptions:

  1. A larger fuel capacity reflects a substantial touring bias. Not only can you go longer distance without gas stops, but conversely, a smaller tank is indicative of a sports and performance perspective because that makes the bike lighter. The fuel capacity specification is a pretty good indication of who the manufacturer was targeting a bike for within this wide range of sport-touring motorcycles.
  2. More horsepower signals a sports orientation since all of these bikes have more than enough horsepower to take two people and all their gear across a continent with relative comfort. In other words, from a purely practical perspective, more power in this category represents more “excessive” power, primarily of interest at the “Sport” end of the sport-touring spectrum.
  3. Motorcycle Weight is an important and fundamental specification. A sport-touring bike built to have less weight, without loss of comfort or adequate power, represents a core simplicity — or even mechanical elegance. Not to mention that it’s easier to handle a lighter bike. The assumption for this specification is that most riders would prefer a lighter motorcycle, all else being equal.
  4. Pricing is one of those things where some riders need or want to have the best and most expensive equipment available while others prefer the best value. For some riders it is the most important specification. For others, it is the least important spec. Regardless, every rider will fall somewhere in the spectrum of price/value. The assumption here is that price is an important factor for most riders.

Are these the only specifications (other than comfort) you should consider when making your purchase?


But this is an easy way to align them within this broad and sometimes nebulous category of “Sport-Touring Motorcycles” for the purpose of comparison.

By the way, one other assumption inherent in these following comparisons is that you have some idea of whether you are more of a “sports” or “touring” kind of rider, or even right “in between.”

So here we go….

Click To Read Sport-Touring Comparisons