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Sport + Sport Touring Motorcycles

Motorcyles guides discussing Sport + Sport Touring Motorcycles include discussion of sportbikes that resemble road race bikes with turn signals and license plates, and motorcycles that blend the performance of sportbikes with the wind protection, comfort and luggage capacity of touring bikes. Sportbikes, some of which are homologated for racing and others that offer the go–fast look but are designed exclusively for street riding, cover a broad range of engine sizes (from the 150cc Kymco Quannon 150 to the 1,441cc Kawasaki Ninja ZX–14R), numbers of cylinders (singles, twins, triples and fours) and configurations (parallel twin, V–twin, V4, in–line triple or four), but according to reviews and road tests, most have performance oriented engines and components, aerodynamic bodywork and aggressive riding positions. Because sport–touring motorbikes are a hybrid category, guides also cover a broad range of engine sizes and types, but reviews state that they tend to have comfortable riding positions, good wind protection thanks to a windshield and fairing, standard luggage (saddlebags, perhaps a trunk) and touring amenities such as cruise control, ABS, audio systems and more.

Rider Comparo: 2015 Aprilia Tuono V4 R APRC ABS, 2015 BMW S 1000 R, 2015 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

When the radical, Hayabusa-based Suzuki B-King debuted for 2008, it was the very definition of excess, a naked sportbike that made 145 rear-wheel horsepower and weighed 572 pounds wet. These three from Europe clock in at more than 150 horsepower with curb weights well below 500 pounds, knocking the B-King off its throne. But they aren’t bucking broncos, they’re civilized steeds with state-of-the-art electronics that manage power delivery, chassis dynamics, braking control and more.

Greg Drevenstedt
July 14, 2015

When the radical, Hayabusa-based Suzuki B-King debuted for 2008, it was the very definition of excess, a naked sportbike that made 145 rear-wheel horsepower and weighed 572 pounds wet. These three from Europe clock in at more than 150 horsepower with curb weights well below 500 pounds, knocking the B-King... Read more »

2015 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

If you want to go ultra-sport touring, this is your bike. An upright seating position, a modest reach to the bars, generous legroom and a well-padded seat make it all-day comfortable.

Greg Drevenstedt
July 14, 2015

If you want to go ultra-sport touring, this is your bike. An upright seating position, a modest reach to the bars, generous legroom and a well-padded seat make it all-day comfortable. The Aprilia Tuono and BMW S 1000 R are based on existing superbikes, but the original 990 Super Duke, which debuted for... Read more »

2015 BMW S 1000 R

The ace up the S 1000 R’s sleeve is optional Dynamic Damping Control, a semi-active suspension system that automatically adjusts damping behavior based on riding conditions as well as each riding mode.

Greg Drevenstedt
July 14, 2015

The ace up the S 1000 R’s sleeve is optional Dynamic Damping Control, a semi-active suspension system that automatically adjusts damping behavior based on riding conditions as well as each riding mode. Few motorcycles shattered expectations as much as BMW’s S 1000 RR. Introduced for 2010 amid lots... Read more »

2016 BMW R 1200 RS | First Ride Review

2016 BMW R 1200 RS

Greg Drevenstedt
July 8, 2015

Absent from BMW’s lineup for more than a decade, the R 1200 RS (Reisesport, or “Travel Sport”) returns for 2016 with the “water boxer” twin, a telescopic fork and more. Photography by Kevin Wing Rider, like many motorcycle magazines, is based in Southern California, where... Read more »

Motus MST & MST-R — First Ride Review

Seven years in the making, the first production Motus motorcycles began shipping late last year. Right: Fully spec’d MST-R gets more power and uprated suspension, handlebar and brakes. (Photography by Phil Hawkins)

Alan Cathcart
May 11, 2015

Seven years in the making, the first production Motus motorcycles began shipping late last year. (Photography by Phil Hawkins) The first American four-cylinder street bike in the 70 years since World War II has now reached production, and the initial examples of the V-4 Motus MST and higher-performance... Read more »

2015 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800–First Ride Review

Red and silver are MV Agusta’s traditional livery, and the Turismo Veloce also comes in silver/gray with a red frame. That’s an LED daytime running light surrounding the LED headlight—the low beam comes on automatically at dusk.

Mark Tuttle
April 30, 2015

Red and silver are MV Agusta’s traditional livery, and the Turismo Veloce also comes in silver/gray with a red frame. That’s an LED daytime running light surrounding the LED headlight—the low beam comes on automatically at dusk. Photography by Milagro MV Agusta has been making motorcycles in Varese,... Read more »

2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 First Ride Review

2015 Yamaha YZF-R3

Greg Drevenstedt
April 2, 2015

Yamaha’s all-new YZF-R3 is a 321cc sportbike that should appeal to a wide audience. Photography by Brian J. Nelson Those interested in a new small-displacement street bike have a wide range of options to choose from. There are cruisers, sportbikes, standards, supermotos and dual-sports from Honda,... Read more »

2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT – First Ride Review

2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT

Greg Drevenstedt
January 19, 2015

The all-new 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT combines sportbike performance with adventure-bike comfort and standard saddlebags. Photography by James Wright and Ula Serra I Prat Using the same engine in multiple motorcycle models makes good economic sense. The 649cc parallel twin that debuted in the Kawasaki... Read more »

2014 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V—Road Test Review

2014 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V (Photos by Kevin Wing)

Ken Lee
January 15, 2015

2014 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V (Photos by Kevin Wing) Spec charts are wondrous things. Given accurate data, a spec chart forecasts amazing insights into a motorcycle’s performance before you ever fire it up. By digesting wheelbase, steering geometry, curb weight, engine configuration, power figures and... Read more »

2015 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT—First Ride Review

2015 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT

Greg Drevenstedt
December 30, 2014

Only its tall, slender proportions would tell you this sleek Versys 650 is related to its quirky-looking predecessor. New-for-2015 LT model adds 28-liter saddlebags, hand guards and a longer warranty. Photography by James Wright and Ula Serra I Prat As Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan advised, “A... Read more »

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Sport + Sport Touring Motorcycles, Who Uses Them?

Road tests have found that Sport + Sport Touring Motorcycles appeal to a wide range of riders, including men and women of all ages, but what unites them is a love of performance. Sportbikes and sport tourers are designed to go fast, be it on the track, in the canyons, or down an interstate highway. Sportbike riders are usually willing to sacrifice some comfort in exchange for light weight and sporty handling, which may involve firm suspension, low handlebars and high, tucked–back footpegs. Motorcycle reviews indicate that Sport–touring riders don’t want to concede too much performance, but they’ll accept a heavier motorcycle that offers more comfort, wind protection, luggage capacity and features that make life easier when you spend long hours in the saddle.


Sport + Sport Touring Motorcycle Standouts

All major European and Japanese motorcycle manufacturers have sportbikes in their lineups, and many offer sport–touring bikes as well. Popular sportbikes in reviews and road tests include the Aprilia RSV4; BMW S 1000 RR; Ducati 848 and 1199 Panigale; Honda CBR250R, CB500R, CBR600RR and CBR1000RR; Kawasaki Ninja (300, 650, 1000, ZX–6R, ZX–10R and ZX–14R); KTM RC8 R; Suzuki GSX–R (600, 750 and 1000) and Hayabusa; Triumph Daytona; and Yamaha FZ6R, YZF–R6 and YZF–R1. Motorcycle guides indicate that some popular sport–touring bikes include the BMW R 1200 RT and K 1600 GT; Honda VFR1200F; Kawasaki Concours 14; Triumph Trophy; and Yamaha FJR1300.

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