The ten best touring motorcycles offer the best of the classic and the new. Touring motorcycle is a term used to describe a bike made for long distance travel. Touring bikes typically have more heft and weight to take rough road conditions and possible weather encountered along the route. Some bikes, known as full-dress, heavyweight tourers, are constructed to ride over a 1,000 miles in one day, while lighter touring pikes are manufactured for only half that journey. Selecting a touring motorcycle involves testing the bikes in person and selecting your personal favorite.
- Harley Davidson Electra Glide. The classic Electra Glide touring motorcycle has a rubber-mounted twin cam 96" engine, seat stitched for comfort and a 2-1-2 dual exhaust. The owner can also select a TLE sidecar to bring along a friend for the trip. Designed specifically for touring, this Harley has its own King Tour Pack that comes as standard equipment.
- Honda Gold Wing. This cruising motorcycle certainly makes many a riders ten best touring motorcycles list. The 1832 cc liquid-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine has programmed fuel injection and computer operated ignition system. The key to the road worthiness rests in the suspension, including a front suspension with 45 mm cartridge fork that includes an anti-dive system. The rear suspension incorporates a Pro-Arm single-side swing arm to keep the ride smooth and even.
- BMW K1100RT. This motorcycle was introduced in 1996, but is still a classic. The flat, inline four cylinders have liquid cooling and four valves per cylinder. The suspension system features front suspension with 41.7 mm Marzocchi hydraulic telescopic forks with a separate stabilizer. The rear suspension has gas-filed, mono-shocks with less than five inches of travel.
- Ducati ST3. This Italian touring motorcycle, the ST stands for sport touring, was made from 2004 through 2007 and still makes for a nice road ride. The engine is liquid cooked and the Marelli electronic fuel injection offers two 50 mm throttle bodies. Added bonuses for road travel include the pollution standards and a chip that provides an anti-theft immobilizing system.
- Yamaha FJR 1300. The Yamaha is described by the company as the "ultimate super sport tourer." With the aluminum frame, pushbutton adjustable windshield and a state-of-the-art instrument panel, this ten best touring bike is the first to feature an ABS system as standard equipment.
- Harley Davidson Road King. Another quality bike on the list of the ten best touring motorcycles, the HD Road King offers riders a timeless cruiser event, according to the company. This bike is designed specifically for long-distance touring. The Road King features include: the classic fuel tank, Hiawatha head lamp, standard GTX saddlebags, 17" monster front wheel to take rough roads and a choice of premium paint. All this and electric reverse.
- Honda Valkyrie Tourer. This Honda is an earlier model, but a road worthy goodie. This big bike has a 1520 cc six cylinder, liquid cooled engine that hints at the company's Gold Wing specifications. The bike features a removable touring windshield and hard saddlebags.
- Kawasaki Vulcan 1700. Take to the road on one of the models of this classic tourers. The bike comes in the Class, Nomad and Vulcan Classic LT, depending on your personal taste in the type of ride you want. The liquid-cooled system has a four-stroke, four valve per cylinder, 52 degree V-twin. Perfect for the road.
- Honda ST1100. The ST in the name of this touring motorcycle stands for "Sport Touring" and this bike, also known as the Pan-European to stresses the touring aspect of the features. The last production year for this bike was 2002, but the a new model using the ST basics was introduced in the U.S. in 2003. The basic model is also still available as a police bike. This liquid-cooled 90-degree V-4 has four values per cylinder and a solid-state digital ignition. The five-speed constant mesh transmission.
- Victory Cross Roads. This traditional touring motorcycle has saddlebags and a vintage-style windscreen to keep the bugs off the face. The bike also comes fully equipped with hard side bags, removable windshield, 106-cubic-inch engine and a six-speed overdrive. All this and a AM/FM stereo sound system. Not a bad ride for a vintage look.
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