10 Best Motorcycles for Long Rides

Jake Robison - November 17, 2021

Touring motorcycles and sport-touring motorcycles are the two primary categories of motorcycles for long-distance drives. Technically, a person can use any motorcycle as a touring bike, but comfort and performance are worthwhile considerations and relate to the distance one might wish to cover.


Both categories have a unique and enthusiastic fan base. Touring motorcycles are essentially a category of luxury vehicles. They are engineered for stability, comfort and seek to provide not just a smooth ride but a smooth experience overall, augmented by any number of creature comforts such as radios, heated handles and seats, cup holders, and seat padding.


The luxuries associated with touring motorcycles are gained at the expense of their weight and bulk. This means touring motorcycles take longer to get up to speed and are less maneuverable than many sportier motorcycles. Much-loved motorcycles in this category include:


  1. BMW R 1250 GS - This touring bike features adjustable handlebars and seating positioning designed to provide drivers with unimpeded control and visibility. The most frequently heard comment in reviews of this elegant cycle concern its versatility. The BMW R 1250 GS is not only one of the comfiest motorcycles available today, made for long road trips and capable of performing equally well in a city environment, something not possible for just any bike.
  2. Honda Gold Wing - 1975 was the year that produced the first Honda Goldwing. Every year since Honda has made this classic motorcycle a little better without sacrificing its sturdy basic construction. Year after year, the Honda Gold Wing has provided the industry with a gold standard for physical comfort and insulation from the road while on it. The Honda Gold Wing features large, comfortable, upright seats and lowered floorboards for ergonomically superior driver and passenger comfort. Whether on the backroads or the freeways, this bike’s combination of enjoyment-enhancing features will carry you smoothly in the lap of motorcycle luxury anywhere you might wish to go as securely as if you were in your living room recliner. The 2021 Gold Wing offers drivers a choice of manual or automatic transmission.
  3. Harley-Davidson Electra Glide - You’ll have a blast touring on this 107 hp, 6-speed transmission bike with its comfortable and well-padded seats, one-touch saddlebags, and integrated intercom and stereo system equipped helmets. The Harley-Davidson Electra Glide is one of the most popular motorcycles within its class. When atop this bike, a long motorcycle ride becomes something to be enjoyed, not merely endured.
  4. Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager ABS - The Vulcan 1700 Voyager ABS is a big motorcycle more than capable of providing the utmost when it comes to driver and passenger comfort. One of the best offerings on this machine is its frame-mounted fairing with lower panels, cushioning the air space around both driver and passenger. Enjoy all of the usual bells and whistles, such as comfortable seating, great storage solutions, intercom, Bluetooth, as well as cruise control.
  5. Indian Roadmaster Limited - Who doesn’t appreciate the classic appearance of the Indian Roadmaster Limited? It’s the endurance touring motorcycle that everybody wants to take for a spin. It entices with comfortable seating, individual heat controls, plush comfort, and luxuries such as remote locking compartments, GPS, tire-pressure monitoring, and a keyless start. Riders will enjoy the quality of this motorcycle’s Bluetooth stereo system even as they rack up the miles.


Sport-touring motorcyclists have reached a different compromise between the comforts and conveniences of touring motorcycles and the speed, performance, and precision that come with a sportbike.  are important enough to the pleasure of some motorcyclist’s experiences that they’re willing to sacrifice some (but not all) luxuries to gain a ride that lets one hear the transmission and hear the gears as they shift, and feel the wind of the open road upon their faces. Top considerations in the sport-touring category include the following:


  1. BMW R1 1200 RS - The BMW R1 1200 RS is much more of a sports-touring type of motorcycle than its BMW R 1250 GS big brother. It is one of the lightest bikes in its class. At just over 500 pounds, it still feels substantial due to its low and stable center of gravity that causes it to handle and feel like the exceptionally well-balanced bike it is. In addition, users rave about this machine’s automatic D-ESA suspension system.
  2. Triumph Tiger Explorer XRT - The Triumph Tiger Explorer XRT satisfies nearly all the desires of the open-road motorcyclist who desires to experience every weekend with a roar. It allows one to enjoy the benefits of a top-performing bike without having to sacrifice any basic comforts.
  3. Honda ST1300 - If you’re looking for a super comfy touring bike that doesn’t quit when it comes to power and agility, then the Honda ST1300 might be the bike for you. It is renowned for its dependability, durability, maneuverability, and handling. In addition, many owners remark how easy and affordable this bike is to maintain.
  4. Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour - The Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour is a head-turning bike that provides all anyone could desire in terms of performance,            capability, and comfort. This versatile bike can do it all: daily commute, long-distance trips, enduro, or sportbike activities.
  5. Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX - The Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX is one of the top-selling sports-touring motorcycles globally for many good reasons. It is also one of the most nimble. Enthusiasts of the bike talk up its silky-smooth ride, incredible stopping power,      and ability to get up and go whenever necessary.


 Every motorcycle enthusiast has unique reasons for taking to the open road and choosing a particular motorcycle type. Selecting a motorcycle for long-distance trips is a bit like choosing a car for one’s family. Concerns like safety and comfort affect both the motorcyclist and potential passengers. Some people like to feel the bike under them; others opt for the most comfortable ride. Do your homework and due diligence well, and thus be sure that you end up with a motorcycle that fits your needs perfectly.

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