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Touring bikes for a fun road trip

October 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Autumn in California is a great time for a road trip. The weather isn't too cold and the scenery is great to take in.

If a journey in fall colors is fun with four wheels, it can be even more so on two.

Looking svelte and continental is Honda's NT700V. It's comfortable, not too expensive at around $10,000 and quite practical for taking along a weekend's worth of stuff in its built-in saddlebags.

The windshield even adjusts to keep you stay either cooler or warmer depending on how the weather is behaving.

For something more traditional and big check out Kawasaki's Vulcan Voyager. As its name suggests, it's ready for a voyage with comfy seats for both rider and passenger.

At nearly 900 pounds, it's not for the inexperienced, nor is it for the faint of wallet at $19,000. Along with anti-lock brakes, many luxuries are standard, like stereo and even cruise control.

Lookswise, chrome is everywhere. You won't even need to pack really light because there's tons of storage space.

Modern technology means they can engineer a big V twin to be really smooth, but a lot of people who buy these kind of bikes like a bit of shakiness when they ride. Kawasaki's engineers purposely added a little shaking to the Voyager engine on purpose.

Try and hurry this big Kawi and it's not too happy. The engine prefers a leisurely pace, just thumping along.

The smaller, lighter Honda on the other hand is ready for a more sporting time. Popular in Europe with everyone from couriers to police officers, the NT700V puts the sport in sport touring.


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