Best Touring Motorcycle?

by Erik
(western Wisconsin)

Wow, I think it really depends on the person riding the motorcycle.

Over the past 37 motorcycle riding years, I've had a few different bikes. I've owned Hondas, Kawasakis, Yamahas, and a Harley.

I've had enduros, Goldwings, a Venture, an FJR, and sport bikes.

I currently own a '06 FJR and a '09 Zx-14. Now I'm no kid, I have an AARP card. For me, comfort plays a big role in touring bike selection. I just finished a 5780 mile trip from WI out to CA and back. I was gone 17 days. I rode the Kawasaki Zx-14. I did a very similar 5900 mile trip on it last year. It now has 24,000 miles on it.

Many people would say that a guy in his 50s is too old for a giant sport bike. I would have to disagree. I have only made a few changes to it to make it my all time favorite touring bike. I put 3/4 inch bar risers on it, changed the windshield to a larger size, and swapped the seat to one from a Kawasaki Concours 14. I run Michelin Pilot Road 2 tires, and get 10 to 12 thousand miles from a set. I added a set of Givi side bags to it.

All the modifications have made this, for me, a very comfortable, long distance sport touring bike. My longest days in the saddle are 650+ miles. I usually try to limit the day to 400 or so.

So what does this mean? I've tried Goldwings, cruisers, standards... For me, as long as I can ride the big Ninja, I've found MY perfect touring bike.

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