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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.

2012 Kawasakis – First Look

2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R

Rider Magazine
October 10, 2011

Even though the leaves are turning brown, the season is green…Kawasaki green. The company has pulled the covers off its new-for-2012 street models, which includes three sportbikes and its flagship touring cruiser. 2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R For 2012, the mightiest Ninja has been reworked from stem... Read more »

2011 BMW R1200R Road Test

2011 BMW R1200R right side action

Rider Magazine
October 6, 2011

photography by Kevin Wing [This 2011 BMW R 1200 R Road Test was originally published in the October 2011 issue of Rider magazine] Helmet: Shoei Qwest / Jacket & Pants: Rev’It Cayenne Pro / Boots: Forma / Seatbag: Wolfman BMW calls the updated 2011 R 1200 R model tested here a “roadster,” which... Read more »

2011 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V Road Test

2011 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V right side action

Rider Magazine
September 20, 2011

[This 2011 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V Road Test was originally published in the September 2011 issue of Rider] photography by Kevin Wing Mama mia, look at it lean! The centerstand no longer scrapes but the sidestand will drag on the left side moments after the peg feeler. Still, you can go deep on the neutral-handling... Read more »

2012 Yamaha YZF-R1 – First Look

2012 World GP 50th Anniversary Edition Yamaha YZF-R1

Rider Magazine
September 14, 2011

2012 World GP 50th Anniversary Edition Yamaha YZF-R1 Consecutive AMA American Superbike Championships in 2010 and 2011, plus a World Superbike Championship in 2009, give the 998cc in-line four Yamaha YZF-R1 sportbike serious on-track bona fides. After successfully adopting its crossplane crankshaft in... Read more »

2011 Triumph Speed Triple 1050 ABS Road Test

2011 Triumph Speed Triple 1050 ABS left side action

Rider Magazine
August 12, 2011

[This 2011 Triumph Speed Triple 1050 ABS Road Test was originally published in the August 2011 issue of Rider] photography by Kevin Wing and Riles & Nelson As a naked sportbike, the Speed Triple is now more comfortable for the rider, but a passenger has to deal with a small seat, just a strap... Read more »

First U.S Ride: 2012 BMW K1600GTL Road Test

2012 BMW K1600GTL left side action

Rider Magazine
June 21, 2011

photography by Rich Cox [This First U.S. Ride: 2012 BMW K 1600 GTL Road Test was originally published in the July 2011 issue of Rider] When upbeat reports started hitting the Interwebs from the very first evening of the BMW K 1600 GT/L world introduction in South Africa in February, including some from... Read more »

2011 Honda CBR250R vs. Kawasaki Ninja 250R Road Test Comparison

2011 Kawasaki Ninja 250 and Honda CBR250R action

Arden Kysely
June 13, 2011

photography by Rich Cox [This 2011 Honda CBR250R vs. Kawasaki Ninja 250R Road Test Comparison was originally published in the May 2011 issue of Rider magazine] The Ninja (left) reigns in the canyons, the CBR rules in town, but their capabilities overlap so much that we're still flipping a coin. Reading... Read more »

2011 Honda CBR250R Road Test

2011 Honda CBR250R left side action

Arden Kysely
June 13, 2011

photography by Kevin Wing [This 2011 Honda CBR250R Road Test was originally published in the May 2011 issue of Rider magazine] Forget everything you thought you knew about 250 singles. Honda’s 2011 CBR250R has shredded the rulebook, packing brainloads of fresh thinking into a small motorcycle with... Read more »

2012 BMW K1600GT and K1600GTL Road Test

2012 BMW K1600GTL right side action

Rider Magazine
June 9, 2011

photography by Bernhard Limberger,  Alberto Martinez and Daniel Kraus GTL emphasizes comfort with a larger windscreen, plusher and more relaxed ergonomics, milder exhaust sound and a standard top trunk and other amenities, but it's still fast and nimble. [This 2012 BMW K1600GT and K1600GTL Road... Read more »

2011 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Road Test

2011 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 left side action

Rider Magazine
June 3, 2011

photography by Adam Campbell [This 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Road Test was originally published in the February 2011 issue of Rider magazine] The Ninja 1000 feels right at home in tight, twisty conditions with modest weight and zippy power. Perhaps because of our Puritanical roots, naked bikes aren’t... 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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