For many riders, touring is what motorcycles were made for. Making the most of the freedom and mobility of a big, powerful bike, heading out for the horizon with your life in the panniers. Rather than being cooped up inside a sterile car, you become a part of the new world you're travelling through, breathing the air and feeling the sun on your back.
Ultimately, you can go touring on any bike that's street legal. Even the most extreme current sportsbikes can be made into a tourer with nothing more than a rucksack and some determination. But if you want to cover large mileages in comfort, with your spouse on the back (while avoiding a forcible divorce), you're best advised to look for a specific touring model.
There are various levels of touring weaponry: at the top of the tree are the mega-tourers – massive, 700lb behemoths like Honda's Gold Wing, which are built solely with comfort in mind. They incorporate huge, sofa-like seats for rider and pillion, massive, built-in hard luggage and a host of gadgets, from sound systems to sat-nav and reverse gears. Next are the big tourers like Honda's Pan European or BMW's K1200GT. These keep the comfortable seats and hard luggage, but in a smaller, less luxurious package that's much more recognisably a motorcycle. Finally, there are the sport-tourers, like Triumph's Sprint ST, which make small concessions to comfort, and can have hard luggage fitted optionally, but are essentially, softer versions of "proper" sportsbikes.
Feel the freedom with the best touring motorcycles for making the long haul across the country. These powerful touring motorbikes feature massive motorcycles that have spots for all sorts of gadgets in the built-in luggage.