What Is a Touring Motorcycle?

POSTED BY Andrew Kass||

Touring motorcycles are designed to travel the country, or even the world, with ease. These motorcycles are larger, sport powerful engines, and offer a more comfortable ride than other motorcycles. These motorcycles are designed to carry luggage and usually have ample space for a passenger, as well. The larger size and extra power of touring motorcycles means that they can be a little more difficult to ride and control. But many find the added comfort and the ability to travel long distances sway them towards choosing a touring motorcycle.


One of the most sought after benefits of a touring motorcycle is the comfort. The seats offer ample give and allow the biker to sit back with their arms positioned naturally in front of them. These motorcycles work well for larger bikers who might require additional seat space. Most touring motorcycles will easily fit a passenger, as well. But the comforts are more than just physical. Touring motorcycles offer creature comforts that we all love, like built-in GPS tracking, electrical charging outlets, ample storage space, and even heat and air in some models.

Of course, any biker will tell you that being comfortable isn’t the most important factor when choosing a motorcycle. Touring motorcycles have powerful engines and large fuel tanks. Despite the size, you won’t have to sacrifice when it comes to the engine, but keep in mind that you’ll suffer when it comes to fuel efficiency. So despite the extra-large fuel tank, you may find you still need to search for a gas station when you least expect it.

Though touring motorcycles are larger and more comfortable than other bikes, riders sacrifice when it comes to maneuverability. These motorcycles are designed for the open road, and thus perform poorly in stop-and-go traffic and city riding. With experience, most riders find they can use their touring bike in many different road conditions, but without the ability to move quickly around traffic, touring motorcycles may present an additional hazard.

As with so many things in life, the additional benefits come with an inflated price. Touring motorcycles, especially right off the showroom floor, tend to be very expensive. You are paying for the additional size, added features, larger engine, and all those extra bells and whistles that make these bikes so appealing. Instead of shopping new, consider looking at some used touring motorcycles. These bikes have been broken in and have passed the stage of rapid depreciation.

One benefit of touring motorcycles that is often overlooked is that they have the lower driver fatality rate of any type of motorcycle. The Role of Motorcycle Type in Fatal Motorcycle Crashes study attributes the decrease in fatality rate, at least partially, to a decrease in unsafe driving by owners of touring motorcycles. Even though owners of touring bikes tend to ride significantly more per year, they still have fatality rates far less than those of owners of sport bikes and cruisers. Part of the impact may be due to the fact that younger bikers tend to be riskier drivers. On the whole, bikers who choose touring bikers are older than those who choose standard or sport bikes.

Whether you choose a touring motorcycle for the increased comfort, ability to travel long distances with added storage space, decrease in fatality prevalence, or simply because you like the design, you are sure to find the riding experience relaxing and enjoyable. You’ll still experience the thrill of the open road but you won’t have to sacrifice when it comes to comfort and style. Check out some of the best touring motorcycles on our Facebook or Twitter feeds and send us a picture of your bike to post!