The 20 Best Touring Motorcycles for Long Distance Adventures
While for some, motorcycling means burning rubber on a sunny Saturday down the city streets, others dream of that long open road that stretches for hundreds and hundreds of miles as far as the eye can see. Different motorcyclists means different kinds of motorcycles to keep them all riding happily down the road. And for the latter bunch, the choice is obviously: touring motorcycles.
For the ones who feel more at home on the road than at the destination, these touring motorcycles are the holy grail of motorcycling. Amazing freedom machines, perfectly equipped for those long distance adventures, these bikes are more than meets the eye. Large and powerful, yet smooth in handling and comfortable for long days in the saddle, touring motorcycles are built with some of the most amazing roads on Earth in mind.
Because that’s where you want to go when you get on one of these 20 best touring motorcycles for long distance adventures:
- 20. MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso 800
- 19. Yamaha FJR 1300
- 18. BMW R 1250 RT
- 17. Triumph Trophy SE
- 16. Harley Davidson Ultra Limited
- 15. Victory Cross Country Tour
- 14. Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring
- 13. Honda NM4
- 12. Yamaha V Star 1300 Tourer
- 11. Harley Davidson Road King
- 10. BMW K 1600 Grand America
- 9. Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager
- 8. Triumph Tiger 1200
- 7. BMW R 1250 GS
- 6. KTM 1290 Super Duke GT
- 5. Ducati Multistrada 1260
- 4. Honda Gold Wing
- 3. Harley Davidson Electra Glide
- 2. Yamaha Star Venture Transcontinental
- 1. Indian Roadmaster
20. MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso 800
A sport tourer, the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso 800, comes with a counter-rotating crankshaft design, which makes it sort of a unicorn among motorcycles.
It’s built by a sports bike company after all, and this shows not only in the looks of the bike, but also in the tight steering and semi-active suspension, which allow this sport tourer a fast and smooth experience on both the open road and the tight streets of any city in the world.
19. Yamaha FJR 1300
Another sport tourer, the Yamaha FJR 1300 will impress even those who swear they’ll never ride anything but a sport bike. Think again guys. The FJR has that sport bike feel you crave about while offering as much comfort as possible for those long roads.
It’s nice and sleek, and comes with folding mirrors and quick-release luggage mounts, for when you don’t want to look like you’re riding a tourer.
18. BMW R 1250 RT
Designed with cross country road trips in mind and fitted with the legendary 1,254cc ShiftCam BMW Boxer engine, this bike is a good option for hitting the open road without looking back.
The 136 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque make it fast and powerful enough to feel at home even on those twisty mountain roads. Another big plus is its weight. At 498 lbs, it’s a lightweight touring machine. And with no less than 18.4 gallon of storage space, you won’t have to worry about packing too light for the trip.
17. Triumph Trophy SE
Another interesting option when it comes to super tourers is the wonderful Triumph Trophy SE. Equipped with a 1,215cc inline triple engine, this bike stands out from the crowd. It has a sporty and appealing design, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Count in all the extras, like the traction and cruise control, ABS, shaft-drive, tire-pressure monitor, adjustable headlights, electronic turn signals that turn off by themselves, anti-theft lock option and a comfy ride-by-wire throttle, and the Triumph Trophy SE a worthy long road adventure machine.
16. Harley Davidson Ultra Limited
The legendary Harley Davidson is probably one of the first options that come to mind for cross country touring with style. On the more expensive side at almost $30,000, the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited comes as the most touring ready machine from the famed motorcycle brand.
Equipped with everything you might need on a long trip and powered by the big Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine with 114 lb-ft of torque, this motorcycle will easily devour mile after mile, carrying you around in that pure Americana fashion.
15. Victory Cross Country Tour
Another well known player in this industry, Victory, has come up with the Cross Country Tour, a motorcycle for those who are into big bulky customizable bikes that can take them across the entire United States and then more.
Don’t let that classic look fool you, this bike has everything you need for those long hours in the saddle, with cruise control and ABS for increased safety and comfort. The engine has plenty of power to take you wherever that road may lead you.
14. Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring
Maybe less known for some, Moto Guzzi has written a century of motorcycle history, leaving a rich heritage in motorcycling, especially in Europe. With so much history behind, they couldn’t have missed the chance of making one of the best touring motorcycles in the world.
Meet the Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring. Equipped with the company’s signature 90 degree V-twin and modern features like ABS, ride by wire throttle and cruise and traction control, this motorcycle doesn’t miss anything. It’s a pleasure to look at, but even a greater one to ride it wherever your heart wants to go.
13. Honda NM4
The Honda NM4 is quite an appearance. While looking at it makes you think of Transformers or the Dark Knight series, the NM4 is still a trusty Honda under the hood, plus all the modern gadgets you could hope for in a comfy tourer.
Beside the alien looks, which let’s be honest, will for sure make heads turn in admiration, the bike comes with a six speed dual clutch transmission which will make for a smooth ride throughout its entire range. But there’s more on the plus side, with ABS, nicely integrated and aerodynamic storage space for all your belongings and a customizable 25 color LED display. Do you want more? Well, we think it’s enough, especially for the price of $11,000.
12. Yamaha V Star 1300 Tourer
Fan of that classy cruiser style, but don’t have the money for a Harley? Look no further than Yamaha’s V Star 1300 Tourer.
For a fair $12,600 you get flippable backrest and removable windscreen, a belt final drive that reduces maintenance and noise, and a superb looking and trusty steel horse to ride into the horizon.
11. Harley Davidson Road King
Combining the modern with the company’s traditional aesthetics, the Harley Davidson Road King is undeniably worthy of its title. This epic tourer is designed for those who only dream to pack up and go. It comes with riding floorboards, storage saddlebags, a nice and stylish fairing and windshield, friendly upright riding position, plus pillion seat and optional RDRS, Harley’s Reflex Defensive Rider System.
If you don’t know what that is, think of it as a suite of enhancements: cornering enhanced electronic linked braking, cornering enhanced traction control system, cornering drag-torque slip control system, vehicle hold control, and tire pressure monitoring. In a few words, it helps you stay in control in bad weather and other risky situations.
The bike comes powered by the 1,753cc Milwaukee Eight 107 engine, making it powerful enough for any road adventure.
10. BMW K 1600 Grand America
While there are those who swear by Harleys, there’re also those who swear by BMWs when it comes to that perfect touring machine. And the BMW K 1600 Grand America is one of the best examples. The six cylinder inline engine which powers the bike is as smooth as the riders are loud when bragging about it. And they’re right.
Who doesn’t want a smooth ride to the other side of the world?
The K 1600 can get you there both comfortably and fast, with its 160 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque, never letting you down when you need power. Beyond the attractive looks, the windscreen and the fairing do a very good job at protecting you from the wind. Count in the awesome storage space and you’re left wanting nothing more but to get up on it and ride.
9. Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager
Kawasaki might get you thinking more about superbikes than anything else, but let’s not forget about their Vulcan 1700 Voyager, which is a fantastic touring motorcycle with a charm that even Harley or Indian die-hard fans can’t but appreciate.
This motorcycle is a beast when it comes down to what matters most: the open road. Powered by a 4 stroke, 1,700cc V-twin, it has plenty of juice for any road you might want to take it on. And with standard features like electronic cruise control, co-active braking technology, integrated audio system and satellite radio, plus plenty of built-in storage space, all in just $17,400, we’d say it’s a very good option.
8. Triumph Tiger 1200
With the Triumph Tiger 1200 we’re stepping into the adventure touring options out there. What the Tiger offers, is performance and comfort on and off the road. The 1,200cc 140 hp triple cylinder engine offers enough power to get you through almost anything, while the shaft drive removes some of those maintenance headaches – a big plus, especially on those cold wet days far away in the middle of nowhere when you don’t quite feel like cleaning your chain.
On top of that, the Tiger 1200 comes with six different riding modes to adapt that power output to specific situations. In the style department, it might not look like a classy Harley, but it’s not ugly at all. For the adventure riders out there, the Tiger is quite a beauty.
7. BMW R 1250 GS
Poking our noses further down the adventure bike territory, we can’t simply skip the BMW R 1250 GS, which has become, at least for some (for a lot actually), the Holy Grail of adventure touring, amassing a cult like following all over the world.
It’s pretty enough to turn heads, powerful enough to get you anywhere with its 136 power boxer engine, asphalt or no asphalt, and it’s incredibly comfortable, making it the perfect choice during those long days in the saddle. This new version also comes with some interesting improvements over its predecessors – like the ShiftCam technology, new braking system, or the open-air audio system, making it even more alluring as a round the world touring machine.
6. KTM 1290 Super Duke GT
It looks kind of alien if you ask us, but it’s one of the closest example to what a touring bike should be, after all. The KTM 1290 Super Duke GT, with its beasty 1290cc, provides excellent performance both at low and high rpms. The bike has proven it has what it takes for long fast days on the open road already, making it a worthy option for those looking for a little bit of speed induced adrenaline too while out there.
The most important part of what makes the Super Duke GT a great option is the semi-active electronic suspension, perfect for those twisties in the canyons. And at $20,500, you get a lot of fun for the buck.
5. Ducati Multistrada 1260
The legendary Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati can boast with the Multistrada 1260, which has won its high place in the touring community around the world.
The Multistrada, as its name states, can get you anywhere, no matter the road. A statement to which you could add all the modern gadgets and systems you wish, plus the sportiness, the power – all 158 horses of it – and versatility.
4. Honda Gold Wing
Probably one of the most popular touring motorcycles ever made, the Honda Gold Wing needs no introduction. It’s the standard. Period. Beautiful, extremely comfortable, agile on curvy mountain roads, easy to ride and with plenty of features to make your trip as good as it could possibly be, the Honda Gold Wing ticks all the right boxes of a true touring motorcycle.
Those huge armchair like seats, low floorboards and large windscreen, combined with a 1833cc flat six cylinder engine and Honda’s dual clutch transmission, will make for the plushest ride around the world.
3. Harley Davidson Electra Glide
Another staple of the industry, the Harley Davidson Electra Glide is one of the finest touring motorcycles out there. Time tested and loved by everyone in the community, owner or simply admirer, the Electra Glide is an All American symbol of freedom.
The strong 1,746cc Milwaukee-Eight 107 is more than apt to take you, your passenger and plenty of luggage on all those iconic routes you’ve dreamed of riding. Harley has stripped down the Electra Glide of all the BS, leaving you with the only touring friendly features you’ll ever need. The result? A gorgeous, simple, no-nonsense touring motorcycle.
2. Yamaha Star Venture Transcontinental
Combining fascinating aesthetics with exceptional power delivery and cutting edge comfort and features, the Yamaha Star Venture Transcontinental is a top choice for endless epic journeys.
The bike’s 1,854cc V-twin purrs beautifully and delivers smooth torque across the entire range, but what you’ll find even more impressive is all those features Yamaha managed to put on this bike to make you feel comfortable no matter how far you’ll go. Heated seats and mirrors, bluetooth and Sirius XM integration, high end speakers, dual-zone audio, integrated security system and a huge, centralized screen to play with all the bells and whistles the bike has to offer.
And with a handling other bikes can only dream of, the Yamaha Star Venture Transcontinental is a motorcycle to fall in love with.
1. Indian Roadmaster
Simply put, the Indian Roadmaster is an incredible machine. It sounds amazing, it looks gorgeous and it doesn’t miss anything for a long trip around the world. The huge 1,811cc Thunderstroke 111 engine gives plenty of power and torque with smooth acceleration through a variety of terrains.
In terms of features and comfort, it’s hard to find a fault with, offering modern tech, navigation system, keyless start, active cruise control, generous storage space, and probably the most comfortable saddle in the industry. The only downside is going to be the price, with the base model starting around $30,000. But if you’ve got the money, it’s surely worth it.
There you have it, these are the top 20 best touring motorcycles in our opinion. Which one is your favorite? Did we miss any model?