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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.

2014 Yamaha FZ-09 – First Look

Yamaha FZ-09

Greg Drevenstedt
June 12, 2013

Last fall, at the Intermot show in Cologne, Germany, Yamaha unveiled the Crossplane Concept in-line triple, promising that, “with its clean torque output, this advanced new, light, slim and compact 3-cylinder engine will shape Yamaha’s future motorcycle lineup.” The engine was displayed on a platform... Read more »

2013 Ducati Hyperstrada – First Ride

2013 Ducati Hyperstrada

Greg Drevenstedt
June 9, 2013

Three new-for-2013 Ducatis have strada, the Italian word for “road,” in their model names, each offering a different take on high-performance touring. The Multistrada 1200 adventure tourer, the Diavel Strada muscle cruiser and the Hyperstrada, a new touring version of the Hypermotard supermoto, differ... Read more »

2013 BMW F 800 GT Road Test

BMW’S new version of its sport-touring parallel twin is seen here with optional touring side cases and centerstand. The F 800 GT is much improved over its F 800 ST predecessor.

Mark Tuttle
May 30, 2013

Earlier this century, when BMW Motorrad decided to shed its gray-haired, pipe-and-slippers image for good, rather than abandon the boxer engine that had been synonymous with the German company for more than 80 years, it completely revamped the flat opposed twin and its drivetrain. The 2004 R 1200 GS... Read more »

Five Fast Fellows: 2013 Sport-Touring Shootout

Even in the dark cold of winter, it’s well worth it to get up early for sunrise over California’s majestic Sierra Nevada range.

Greg Drevenstedt
May 6, 2013

Sport touring, a hybrid category that blends the performance of sportbikes with the comfort of touring bikes, takes many forms. Some add a taller windscreen, bar risers and soft luggage to their GSX-R, while others bevel the pegs and scrape the belly pan on their Gold Wing. Between these two extremes... Read more »

2013 Yamaha FJR1300 Review

Not the lightest, but the FJR1300 is the smallest and has the least luggage capacity.

Greg Drevenstedt
May 6, 2013

Every bike in this comparison has roots that go back decades, from the BMW R100RT in the late ’70s, to the BMW K100RT, Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 and Yamaha FJ1100 in the ’80s, to the Triumph Trophy 1200 in the early ’90s. Engines, chassis, components, tires, technology and features have improved... Read more »

2013 Triumph Trophy SE Review

The Trophy has excellent wind protection and agile handling but excessive engine noise.

Greg Drevenstedt
May 6, 2013

The Triumph Trophy SE is the only all-new model in this comparison, yet it seems strangely familiar. Its liquid-cooled, 1,215cc in-line triple is the same engine found in Triumph’s Tiger Explorer adventure tourer (though the Trophy has a taller sixth gear and recalibrated throttle-by-wire settings),... Read more »

2013 Kawasaki Concours 14 Review

With its Ferrari-like fins, the Concours looks like the king of horsepower that it is.

Greg Drevenstedt
May 6, 2013

When the Kawasaki Concours 14 sped onto the sport-touring scene for 2008, it easily arm-wrestled the competition into submission. With its liquid-cooled, 1,352cc in-line four derived from the time-warping Ninja ZX-14 sportbike, the mighty Concours puts 144.2 horsepower to the rear wheel—4.4 more than... Read more »

2013 BMW R 1200 RT Review

The RT’s boxer twin makes the least power, but its handling and wind protection are hard to beat. And, at 626 pounds, it’s the lightest bike here by 37 pounds.

Greg Drevenstedt
May 6, 2013

Now in its 34th year of production, the BMW R 1200 RT has long been sport touring’s standard-bearer. Designed, built and refined in the shadow of the Alps, the RT name is synonymous with tractable power, intuitive handling and first-rate comfort and wind protection. Its trademark air/oil-cooled boxer... Read more »

2013 BMW K 1600 GT Review

More cylinders, more torque, longer, heavier, more fully featured and more expensive than the rest. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Greg Drevenstedt
May 6, 2013

Tremors and aftershocks are still being felt two years after the Big One, when BMW’s dynamic duo—the K 1600 GT and GTL—reconfigured touring’s tectonic plates (Rider, May 2011, and on ridermagazine.com). After impressing us in their respective solo and comparison tests, both models shared Rider’s... Read more »

2013 Honda CBR600RR First Ride

Honda-CBR600RR-featured

Greg Drevenstedt
March 29, 2013

Ten years. More than 100,000 units sold. Multiple AMA Supersport and Formula Xtreme championships. Seven FIM World Supersport titles. Genesis for the official spec engine in Moto2 racing. New MotoGP-inspired bodywork has 6.5% less aerodynamic drag. Those are serious bona fides for a serious sportbike.... 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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