A Concise History of Sport-Touring Motorcycles by Peter Egan

27 Фев 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи A Concise History of Sport-Touring Motorcycles by Peter Egan отключены

Built for Comfort. Built for A concise history of rambling on sport-touring bikes.

Photographer. by Martin O’Neill

Chicago Howlin’ Wolf first out the essence of the problem in 1963, he sang, “I’m built for I ain’t built for speed.” was a big man—as was Willie Dixon, who the song—so they put the best spin on their bulk, us they had, “everything all you women need.”

This is all well in a Southside nightclub everyone’s had a few drinks, but out on the highway, we sober motorcyclists have trying for years to balance the irreconcilable demands for both and speed. We want it all, and engineers get it approximately right, the is usually called a “sport-touring

So, then, what exactly is a

I see it as a kind of genetic cross a café racer and a full-blown machine, with the glaring of both types removed. you want, essentially, is a café that doesn’t hurt wrists and a touring bike doesn’t feel like a Suffering is thereby minimalized on the Plains and the bike is actually fun to when you hit the Rockies or Appalachians.

Depending on which way your is pointed.

My own early long-distance were done on fairly “standard” bikes (Honda Norton Commando, Honda Honda CB750), usually an Army surplus duffel bag on the back. But the first dedicated I bought was a 1984 BMW R100RS. Smoke.

I rode this from Wisconsin to the West and back several times, and it may be the traveling bike I’ve It had a great stock seat, fairing, tall gearing, and cruise across the wide-open at a serene 100 mph all day long or until the showed up. Yet it handled two-up with supple stability progressive fork springs installed), whether climbing the Road or descending through Big Sur on 1. Great factory hard too.

“ What exactly is a sport-tourer? I see it as a of genetic cross between a racer and a full-blown touring with the glaring disadvantages of types removed.

Shortcomings? A charging system for heated and vests, and brakes that fairly wooden. A little around town, too.

that, I did a long trip out on my 1996 Ducati 900SS soft bags, which was all-day comfortable (with a seat), though somewhat at the rear. Seduced by hard I foolishly traded it for a Ducati on which I could never get enough to contemplate crossing a line, no matter how many handlebars, seats, and over-the-counter I tried. Same for my ST4S.

I the looks, sound, and feel, but the just didn’t fit me.

Back into the beckoning of BMW . First an oil-head R1100RS and an R1100RT that Barb and I all the way to Canada’s Gaspe Peninsula and home through New England. The actually handled better and was rubbery than the RS, even it was a larger, heavier bike. The seat, however, was terrible, and I left on the trip without it. I don’t think Barb has forgiven me—or BMW.

We up most of the way from Maine to as if cresting sand dunes on our way to

When the R1100S came I used CW  ’s long-term test for the summer. I rode it to Wisconsin, and returned it to California in the fall, via the To me, this was a nearly perfect sport-tourer. Comfortable, fast, not too big, and with modern

I still have a thing for bikes and am always half-watching for the one to come along. In black.

But about this time, a sea occurred with me and my riding Sport-tourers, in general, seemed to be porkier, more complex and dense, while the growing of dual-sport bikes offered a to see-through simplicity, utilitarian and upright, roomy comfort. you could ride on a gravel even a goat path, breaking your leg in exotic with the natives watching.

“ All I ask for in my sport-tourer is lightness, comfort, and And heated grips, of course.

I from the RT to a KTM 950 and, later, a Ulysses, which I still And a lot of my friends began a serial affair with various of the BMW GS. At the moment, there doesn’t to be much will to retreat this one-bike-does-it-all versatility. of course, dual-sport bikes too tall, heavy, and complex. happen.

I know three guys who recently downsized to 650 V-Stroms. But to sport-touring.

I rode a friend’s BMW again on a road trip Northern California last and it suddenly seemed…small, light, and agile. And rational. The whole café racer concept flooding back to me in a warm It was a great traveling bike, very little extra hung on its spare engine/frame

Coming up off the sidestand, it “hefted” right. This is an extremely test to me.

There’s a terrible we often use in road tests, one often signals the beginning of the end for my in a given motorcycle genre. And phrase is: “It’s a big, bike, but the weight goes once you get rolling.”

Personally, I’m a big fan of the weight go away on the drawing at the motorcycle factory.

So all I ask for in my next sport-tourer is lightness, and agility. And heated grips, of My needs are very simple. And simpler all the time.

I’m actually of taking my next long (to King Biscuit Blues in Helena, Arkansas) on a DR650 a duffel bag bungeed across the but I suppose I could be talked out of it by an minimalistic café racer of comfort. And speed.

Suzuki GS Sport Touring
Suzuki GS Sport Touring


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