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Sport touring motorcycles made for road trips

New generations of sport touring motorcycles are quite comfortable and perfect for your fall road trip vacation.
November 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Sporty motorcycles are well sporty and made to perform on a favorite back road or track. Touring bikes let you ride in comfort, take in the scenery and take plenty of stuff along.

Combine those two kinds of two-wheelers and you've got a sport touring motorcycle, the best of both.

And one of the best examples is Yamaha's FJR1300 ($15,890 base price), popular in both the United States and Europe.

It got a few improvements for 2013 and has just about everything you'd want for a long trip, a trip that might take you to some windy sections of "Two-Lane Blacktop."

Locking hard luggage easily detaches and the windscreen is electrically adjustable to suit different riders.

If one motorcycle brand essentially invented sport touring, it has to be BMW. Their BMW F800GT ($11,890 MSRP) is an ideal middleweight for those who don't want something too big.

New optional hard bags keep travel essentials secure and dry and the 800CC engine delivers good MPG, in the mid-50s to upper-60s, claims BMW.

The basic formula for a sport touring motorcycle is pretty simple: engine power, comfort and of course, luggage capacity. But within that basic framework, there are a lot of variations on what defines a sport tourer.

The name ninja is typically associated with sport bikes, but Kawasaki's given the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ($11,099 base price) a sport touring touch. An easy riding position combines with optional hard luggage to create a sport tourer that covers the more high-performance end of the segment.

Going another direction, BMW's R1200GS ($16,100 MSRP) adventure touring motorcycle is all new this year. And even though it doesn't necessarily fall onto the sport touring radar right away, it's one of the best ones out there.

Superbly comfortable on the road - or on the trail - it can take you where the others can't. The rugged looking luggage adds to its world traveler persona and can carry lots of gear.

From ready for a dirt road to ready for the curviest of roads, sport touring motorcycles are the ones that can almost do it all. And, take you away from it all.


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