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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.

2015 BMW S 1000 XR – First Look Review

2015 BMW S 1000 XR

Rider Magazine Staff
November 4, 2014

2015 BMW S 1000 XR in Light White with optional equipment. Since its debut for 2010, BMW’s S 1000 RR sportbike, powered by a ferocious in-line four-cylinder engine that makes a claimed 190 horsepower (for 2015, peak output is up to 199 hp), has ruled the racetrack. An even more race-oriented version,... Read more »

2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 – First Look Review

2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S

Greg Drevenstedt
November 3, 2014

At the EICMA show in Milan, Italy, Ducati announced a major update to its Multistrada 1200 for 2015, the third generation of its sport/adventure tourer. Already renowned for power and technological sophistication, the new Multistrada will offer more of both. Featuring new Desmodromic Variable Timing,... Read more »

2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale – First Look Review

2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale

Greg Drevenstedt
November 3, 2014

2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale Named after Borgo Panigale, the manufacturing district of Bologna, Italy, where Ducati is headquartered, the 1199 Panigale superbike made a huge splash when it debuted at EICMA in 2011. It featured a 195-horsepower (claimed), 1,198cc Superquadro L-twin engine that served as... Read more »

2015 Yamaha R3 – First Look Review

2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 in Team Yamaha Blue/Matte Silver

Greg Drevenstedt
October 16, 2014

2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 in Team Yamaha Blue/Matte Silver Entry-level sportbikes have been coming on strong lately, with the recent release of the all-new KTM RC390, the updated-for-2015 Honda CBR300R and the Kawasaki Ninja 300, which received a major revamp for 2013. Now Yamaha is getting into the game, as... Read more »

2015 KTM RC 390 — First Look Review

2015 KTM RC 390

Greg Drevenstedt
September 4, 2014

2015 KTM RC 390 KTM takes its “Ready to Race” motto to heart. It has been the spec manufacturer for the Red Bull Rookies Cup since the series debuted in 2007, running the two-stroke KTM RC 125 for the first six seasons and the Moto3-spec four-stroke KTM RC 250 R for 2013 and 2014. In the... Read more »

2015 Victory Magnum—Ridden & Rated

2015 Victory Magnum in Ness Midnight Cherry

Greg Drevenstedt
August 27, 2014

The Magnum is first and foremost about making a statement, but underneath the flashy paint and chrome is the very solid Cross Country platform. With a significant share of Polaris Industries’ motorcycle R&D focused on the Indian branch of the family tree, Victory’s new-for-2015 models are stylistic... Read more »

2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R ABS 30th Anniversary Limited Edition

2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R LE

Rider Magazine
July 11, 2014

The 2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R LE features special paint reminiscent of the 1984 Ninja 900. Kawasaki is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Ninja with a very limited edition of numbered 2015 ZX-14R ABS motorcycles. Only 300 ZX-14R Limited Editions will be available, all individually numbered and... Read more »

2014 BMW R 1200 RT—Road Test

BMW’s new liquid-cooled R 1200 RT

Mark Tuttle
July 11, 2014

BMW’s new liquid-cooled R 1200 RT has gained power and lost a little weight, and it’s nearly as pretty as the sunrise over Sedona, Arizona. (Photos by Kevin Wing) Sport-touring bikes have a love/hate relationship with weight. A rider generally moves up to a sport tourer in order to get creature comforts... Read more »

2015 Aprilia Caponord 1200 ABS Travel Pack—Road Test

2015 Aprilia Caponord 1200 ABS Travel Pack

Greg Drevenstedt
July 8, 2014

Revived in name but all-new in execution, the Caponord splits the difference between an adventure bike and a sport tourer. (Kevin Wing and Courtesy Aprilia) Norway’s Nordkapp (North Cape) is a 1,000-foot cliff overlooking the frigid Barents Sea, reached by riding through a 4.3-mile undersea tunnel... Read more »

2014 Honda CBR650F – First Ride Review

2014 Honda CBR650F First Ride Review

Greg Drevenstedt
July 1, 2014

The all-new Honda CBR650F is powered by a liquid-cooled 649cc in-line four and fills the gap between Honda’s entry-level and high-end sportbikes. Photography by Kevin Wing Since 2012, Honda has rolled out more than 30 new or updated models, everything from the playful new Grom 125 to a revamp of... 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.