Touring motorcycle: what you need to know

The touring motorcycle is the best friend of the touring rider. It's designed for touring, which means it has plenty of storage space, luggage racks, and touring tires that provide stability on surfaces with poor traction. It has a large fuel tank capacity to ensure long distances between stops for refueling, and features powerful brakes to stop quickly in heavy traffic or if the rider dismounts at high speeds.

The ideal touring motorcycle for everyone is different. Heavy motorcycles with a roomy luggage compartment are suitable for a round-the-world ride on smooth tarmac. Conquerors off-road will come to the aid of light and heavy enduro. Those who travel together should look at models with equal comfort for the driver and passenger. Regardless of the purpose of the trip bikers travelers always welcome a roomy gas tank, a powerful motor, capable of "pulling" the impressive weight of the loaded bike, and nice additions in the form of a voluminous case, luggage compartment, GPS, sound quality, etc.

Touring motorcycles: parsing classes

Analysis of the experience of avid motorcycle touring enthusiasts allowed to create of a list of the most suitable classes of bikes for long-distance


In terms of comfort, these bikes have no equal - comfortable footwells, wide leather seats, with the passenger often represented by a kind of chair, with a backrest and armrests. Powerful and traction, to go on such a bike in a long way - a pleasure, but it is worth understanding that they are designed exclusively for travel on the highway, off-road can create problems. The category of the most comfortable to ride can also include luxury tourers and buggers.

Touring motorcycles Cruisers.

Sport touring motorcycles

Such bikes - a kind of attempt to find a compromise between the zeal of a sports bike and the comfort of a tourer. From sports bikes, they took a spectacular design with lots of plastic body kits, as well as agility. From the touring bike - straight landing, a large windshield, and some additional attachments that can make life easier for the rider while traveling. However, the speed here clearly exceeds the comfort, and therefore these machines will quickly get from point A to point B, but to talk about the great comfort for riders in the process of movement is not necessary.

Sport touring motorcycles.

Enduro Tourists

As the name becomes clear, these motorcycles embodied the main feature of their "ancestor" - a good cross-country ability. Tourenduro can pass off-road as easily as a paved road, while it has a good carrying capacity. They are reliable, have good speed on the track, and can withstand riding on the bumps, and therefore will be the ideal choice for those motor-travelers, whose route passes through the most rugged parts of our country.

Enduro Tourists.

Recommendations for choosing a touring motorcycle for travel

Recommendations for choosing a touring motorcycle for travel.

Be sure to consider the following points:

  • The nature of the road surface - if it is assumed that the iron horse will ride only on paved trails, you can especially not worry. If you plan to conquer rough terrain, you need to have a motorcycle with a rigid suspension and other attributes of increased cross-country ability.
  • Curb weight - do not let the weight of 200 or even 500 kg scare you, for this family is the norm. But it is necessary to remember one simple law: the easier the transport is, the more maneuverable, it is easier to control it entering turns. On the other hand, the heavier it is, the more stable and safer at speed.
  • Trip length - a modern motorcycle for long trips should have a spacious luggage compartment because you will almost certainly have to take a lot of things with you, especially if you ride with someone. One trunk is suitable for country trips or picnics, and 185-300 miles rushes there should be three of them, with the volume of 24-27 gallons. By the way, compatibility with a trailer, two- or single axle, in this case, will be an additional plus.
  • Fuel tank capacity - the manufacturers vary it in the range from 2 to 10 gallons. The roomier the tank, the longer you can drive without refueling, but also the heavier your motorcycle, which means you should observe moderation. For short distances, 3 gallons are enough, for long distances 10 gallons are enough.
  • The presence/absence of a passenger - the best motorcycle for traveling together just must have a roomy seat, even if it will increase its weight. Therefore, the optimal choice, in this case, is rather cruisers than enduros and sports. By the way, it is not only more fun (or romantic), but also safer to conquer hundreds of miles with someone.
  • Comfortability - a few hours in a row while driving is very tiring, so it is good if the equipment of the model you like has solutions for increasing comfort and reducing the level of fatigue. Here we'll add technology: adjustable windshield and heated grips, LED lights, and USB connectors on the dashboard will be a definite plus. But remember, motorcycles for long journeys cost the more expensive the more additional functions they have.
  • Repairability - today it is better to give preference to those models that are equipped with electronic diagnostic systems, timely warning of the appearance of failure. Although it is important not only how often the bike breaks down, but also how easy it is to get parts for it, whether there are service centers of its manufacturer in your city or state.

What is the difference between a cruiser and a touring motorcycle?

 What is the difference between a cruiser and a touring motorcycle?

Touring motorcycles are touring-oriented touring bikes. Technically, any motorcycle that can accommodate touring accessories or baggage can be used for touring purposes - touring itself is a state of mind rather than a type of bike.

Cruisers have more relaxed ergonomics and styling. They also lack the touring packages found on touring motorcycles such as fairings, windshields, and taller handlebars. Cruisers may have smaller tanks, which means riders need to spend more time at fuel stops during long rides if they don't want to carry auxiliary fuel containers with them at all times.

What touring accessories should I add to my touring motorcycle?

Accessories such as windshields, fairings, and luggage racks can add comfort and convenience when touring because they provide shelter from the elements. Motorcycle saddlebags are also very useful for carrying extra gear on long-distance while panniers provide even more storage space.

Touring motorcycles come in a variety of styles and configurations, which means riders can choose touring accessories that suit their touring needs and lifestyle the best. For example, touring bikes designed for commuting to work may feature frame or tank luggage carriers while touring bikes meant for touring on highways will often have luggage compartments in the rear end.

What kind of touring motorcycle should I buy?

A touring motorcycle is a perfect choice for new riders because it's easy to operate and has plenty of storage space for touring gear. Some touring motorcycles feature long travel suspensions for a smooth ride and high-torque engines that make it easy to accelerate when in heavy traffic. Such touring motorcycles also come with large fuel tanks, touring tires, and powerful brakes to allow riders to stop quickly during emergencies.

A touring motorcycle will usually offer comfortable seating positions but it may not be as sporty or nimble as a touring scooter or dual-purpose machine.

What is the best way to tour with my touring motorcycle?

Motorcycle touring involves spending time away from home so being comfortable during your journey is essential. Because touring motorcycles are designed for touring, they offer spacious seating positions and storage space required by touring riders. Most touring motorcycles even accommodate extended windshields, fairings, and saddlebags that not only increase rider comfort but also improve aerodynamics.

Touring motorcycles are equipped with touring tires and large fuel tanks, which make them ideal for touring. Some touring motorcycles like Triumph touring bikes come with anti-lock braking systems that allow riders to stop quickly even on wet surfaces or during emergency braking maneuvers.

Touring motorcycles also come with touring suspensions that provide a smooth ride and superior handling. There are touring motorcycles available for riders of all sizes, too. So touring motorcycle passengers need not worry about riding comfort because touring bikes offer adequate legroom and wide seats for comfortable touring.

Most touring motorcycles also have high windshields to protect the rider from wind and splashing rainwater.

Excellent mileage is another reason why touring motorcycles remain popular among touring enthusiasts even though other types of motorcycles like sports or adventure bikes might be faster than them.

Bottom line

Touring motorcycles are perfect touring companions because they happen to be the best fit for touring riders. That said, touring motorcycles can also be used for other purposes like touring in the countryside or short-distance commuting.