Hog Heaven: 8 Best Touring Motorcycles

Let’s face it: you don’t buy a motorcycle to just commute to work or galavant around town. It’s not the reason why we attached a motor to these two-wheelers in the first place. No, a motorcycle is built for adventure, traveling, and searching high and low across the land in those hard to reach places, remaining prepared and without a real plan for what lies ahead of that next hairpin turn. It’s this cross-country nomadic lifestyle that draws so many of us into the realm of motorcycles. And if you’re asking yourself why, the answer is actually quite simple. They represent freedom, independence, curiosity, and a life outside the societal norm. It’s living life on your own terms and traveling where and when you want to go.

There are many types of motorcycles out there that assist in this matter, but none quite like the touring bike. These hogs are built for the long haul, often times with larger displacement fairings, large capacity fuel tanks, engines with lower end horsepower, and a more upright seating position for comfort on longer treks. They typically boast a set of built-in panniers, saddlebags, or various other means of storage and a comfortable seating arrangement, sometimes for two. And with so many options to choose from out there, it’s best to get started somewhere. Keep in mind this is by no means an end-all-be-all list of the best touring motorcycles. It’s simply a compiled selection of suggestions to get you out on the road without worry or regard for what tomorrow will bring.

Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager ABS

Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager ABS

With power and reliability, Kawasaki delivers with a vengeance, thanks to their Vulcan Voyager. It’s their self-proclaimed king of cruisers under the Kawasaki name, proving both power and precision on the open road. From cruise control options to an intercom headset compatible audio system, convenience and comfort are paramount with this ride. Throw in a 1700cc V-twin engine, however, and this ride has the strength and stamina to get you wherever you need to go – so long as it’s long distance.

Engine: 1700cc V-twin
Transmission: 6-speed with overdrive
Weight: 895 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gallons

Purchase: $17,500+

Triumph MY16 Trophy S

Triumph MY16 Trophy S

It’s hard not to include a Triumph in this list of touring bikes simply because the brand is known for all-around quality. The MY16 Trophy is certainly one of those bikes that’s drool-worthy, given the ride’s comfortable features, technology, and fuel efficiency. It runs via a 1215cc inline triple engine which delivers the goods on the road without eating too much fuel. And the bike’s handling and agility make this tourer a ride without restrictions. There’s also an on-board audio system, electronic suspension adjustment for an even smoother ride, and a sleek aerodynamic profile.

Engine: 1215cc inline 3-cylinder
Transmission: 6-speed
Weight: 649 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 6.6 gallons

Purchase: $19,500+

KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

Modeled after their high-performance Beast but with the comfort and dynamics of a tourer, the Super Duke is a performance bike at heart with a touring aesthetic. We’re talking stamina, state-of-the-art electronics, and ergonomics for an unbelievably comfortable ride. This thing roars to life, putting you in the same category as those super bikes on the road, just with more comfort. It’s all thanks to a 1302cc V-twin engine that get your cruising in the fast lane without any hesitation. Ride on.

Engine: 1302cc V-twin
Transmission: 6-speed
Weight: 451 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 6 gallons

Purchase: $20,000+

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring

If over the years you only thought that Ducati made super bikes, then rejoice at the fact that their persistent mindset in building powerful yet quality motorcycles transfers into the world of touring bikes as well. Their premier offering, the 1200 S Touring, is based off their powerful Multistrada (looking the part as well) and comes complete with just about everything you need to hit the Italian countryside. Powering the ride is a 1198cc Testastretta 11 L-Twin liquid-cooled engine that gets this relatively lightweight and powerful tourer up to your desired cruising speed in no time. Onward and upward.

Engine: 1198 Testastretta 11 L-Twin Liquid Cooled
Transmission: 6-speed gearbox
Weight: 516 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gallons

Purchase: $21,700+

BMW R 1200 RT

BMW R 1200 RT

The RT has been around for almost 30 years. And with a track record like that we feel it’s safe to assume BMW knows what they’re doing when it comes to this ride. With excellent wind and weather protection, ergonomics, and a reliable power source under the seat, BMW Motorrad has kept consumer comfort in mind all these years. This bike runs off an 1,170cc air/oil-cooled 4 stroke flat twin engine, comes equipped with a high-quality audio system, and is built to cover thousands of miles, ideally during one trip.

Engine: 1170cc air/oil-cooled flat twin 4-stroke
Transmission: 6-speed with single dry plate clutch, helical gear teeth, and a shaft drive
Weight: 514 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 6.6 gallons

Purchase: $23,500+

Honda Gold Wing

Honda Gold Wing

The Gold Wing is nothing new. In fact, the bike has been around for almost four decades now. It was initially conceived as the perfect touring bike (at least that was its goal) and with all these years under its belt we have say that this option is pretty darn close to perfection. This model runs off a 1832 cc liquid-cooled six cylinder engine, boasts a fuel capacity of 6.6 gallons, offers 35 MPG, and is full of additional features such as heated grips, heated seats, lower leg wind protection, and Combined Anti-Lock Brakes for extra stopping power in sketchy conditions.

Engine: 1832cc liquid-cooled six-cylinder
Transmission: 5-speed with overdrive
Weight: 933 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 6.6 gallons

Purchase: $24,699+

Harley Davidson Ultra Limited

Harley Davidson Ultra Limited

The hog of hogs, this Ultra Limited from Harley Davidson is built for one thing: road trips. It’s their top-of-the-line tourer and they have the comfort and amenities to prove it. From heated handgrips, to its batwing fairing, to the Box 6.5 Gt touchscreen, to the powerful Twin-Cooled Milwaukee Engine, all the ingredients are present for one fantastic touring motorcycle. Either traversing the coastline or heading across country, this is one reliable bike that’s American-made and won’t let you down.

Engine: Twin-Cooled Milwaukee Eight
Transmission: 6-speed
Weight: 908 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 6 gallons

Purchase: $27,000+

Indian Roadmaster

Indian Roadmaster

Built for the long haul, the Indian Roadmaster is made for those looking to leave home for extended periods of on-the-road contemplation and adventuring. Thanks to up to 37 gallons of weatherproof storage, a reliable power plant, outstanding comfort in the saddle, and a comprehensive infotainment system in the dash, it’s a user-friendly and durable tourer perfect for cross-country expeditions for two. Pepper in a sleek cast aluminum frame with a handsome retro design and you have an ideal touring motorcycle that’s built to last.

Engine: 1811cc Thunder Stroke 111
Transmission: 6-speed
Weight: 944 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 5.5 gallons

Purchase: $29,000+

8 Adventure Bikes That Will Get You Off The Grid

Because the journey doesn’t have to stop when the asphalt ends, check out these adventure motorcycles that will help you take that extended trip to the next level.

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