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Four Types of Touring Motorcycles

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Motorcycle Touring

THE DREAM OF LONG-DISTANCE MOTORCYCLE TRAVEL

The dream of motorcycle touring across America was one of the original inspirations that moved me into the sport of motorbikes as a youngster. I could not have imagined that notion would have developed into the passion that it has, with quite a number of coast-to-coast motorbike trips under my belt and many more to come.

FOUR (4) KINDS OF TOURING-SPECIFIC MOTORCYCLES

The thing is, a rider can go for long-distance rides on most any bike.

Whether that be on cruiser, sport bike, standard bike, dual-sport or any other kind of motorcycle.

However, an actual Touring Motorcycle is designed to increase the comfort of rider and passenger, and offer greater luggage capacity. And here are the four types:

1) Adventure Tourer
2) Cruiser Tourer
3) Sport Tourer
4) Luxury Tourer

1) ADVENTURE TOURING MOTORCYCLES

In recent years, this has become the fastest-growing motorbike category – over ALL motorcycles. Adventure-touring bikes could be described as large dual-sport motorbikes. Dual-purpose machines are for on- and off-road riding, usually with an engine size of 650cc or less (250cc is very popular). Adventure touring bikes are bigger than 650cc, and in fact, some are bigger than 1000cc. The main thing about adventure-touring bikes is that they are bikes that “can” go off-road. But they should “not” be described as big dirt bikes. They work well on pavement and on dirt/gravel roads, but they are not really intended to ride through technically difficult trails. The biggest adventure-touring bikes come with saddlebags and fairing, and other such bikes need them added.

2) CRUISER TOURING MOTORCYCLE

Big Harley Davidson motorcycles with full fairing and saddlebags are the iconic cruiser tourer, although other manufacturers make them, too. Cruisers are famous for their classic look and for their easy ergonomics with the rider usually leaning back a little bit and with feet positioned forward.

3) SPORT TOURING MOTORCYCLE

The name is pretty self-explanatory. These are high-performance bikes with powerful engines that have saddlebags and fairings to provide greater comfort and storage for the rider. “Purpose Built” sport-touring bikes typically have shaft drives, instead of chain drives, so that a long-distance rider does not have to deal with chain maintenance, such as adjusting or lubricating the chain.

4) LUXURY TOURING MOTORCYCLE

And of course, there are the big luxury touring bikes, such as the Honda Gold Wing and BMW LT, that some describe as two-wheeled recreational vehicles. They are certainly of a different breed than any of the other categories mentioned. If comfort and luxury capacity are your need, those bikes aim to please. These two machines are the plushest motorbikes you can buy – and they are BIG!

MOTORCYCLE TOURING ACCESSORIES

There is no shortage of Motorcycle Touring Accessories available for the touring public (particularly if you don’t have a luxury tourer). In addition to luggage carrying accessories, there are windshields, custom seats, bigger fuel tanks, upgraded suspension components, and MANY more opportunities to improve your bike’s role as a touring machine.

Here are a few items to consider:

MOTORCYCLE SADDLE BAGS MOTORCYCLE HYDRATION PACKS
MOTORCYCLE TANK BAGS LUGGAGE RACKS
MOTORCYCLE TAIL BAGS TOURING JACKETS
SISSY BAR LUGGAGE BAGS TOURING BOOTS
RAIN GEAR HEATED GRIPS, GLOVES, VESTS, JACKETS, ETC.

In fact, one could argue that an advantage of NOT buying a touring machine loaded with every accessory know to man, is the opportunity to pick and select your own accessories, to really customize your bike to your own preferences. But just as these words fly off the keyboard, I’m simultaneously cognizant of the unimaginable quantity of accessories that are available for the big touring bikes, from the manufacturers themselves, and through aftermarket manufacturers, too.

In the 21st century, regardless of what motorcycle you own, or whichever one you buy next, if you are interested in touring, you will never run out of Motorcycle Touring Accessories that you can buy for your own bike or as gifts for other riders.

Finally, you may want to consider reviewing some of these motorcycle touring books….

REVIEW AND COMPARE MOTORCYCLE TOURING BOOKS:

Click for TOURING BOOKS

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