Going out for a long ride on a motorcycle is an amazing way to spend your downtime, and with all the current social distance requirements, it makes more sense than ever.
If you are interested in exploring the area around you and maybe a little further, a touring bike is going to be your best, most comfortable solution. Developed precisely to be comfortable for many miles, these machines are also usually the most reliable option, too. Sadly, not all of us can afford the top spec touring bikes that often cost in excess of $30,000. Thankfully there are other good options on both the new and used market, bikes that will be just as reliable, just as fun to ride, only at a fraction of the cost.
Kawasaki Versys 300
One of the cheapest “touring” bikes is aimed at a very specific target market. It is very much a beginner bike that is intended to be more of a gateway drug than anything else.
The little Kawasaki has its merits though, it can easily keep up at highway speeds and remains comfortable for long distances. It has an approachable, low seat height means it is one of the best options for shorter riders.
KTM 390 Adventure
Another great option for shorter riders in a segment that hasn’t always thought of them in the past, it is also pretty useful off-road but doesn’t exactly live up to its Adventure bike marketing campaign.
It is still an excellent tourer with a big screen to help with wind buffeting, space to add luggage and a good-sized fuel tank compared to the more street oriented Duke.
Kawasaki Versys 650
Arguably one of the less interesting motorcycles currently on the market is still an excellent tourer, more than capable of eating up thousands of miles.
It makes respectable, if uninspiring power, and it is very comfortable cruising at highway speed. It will be a contender for the most dependable bike in its class, so if your priority is reliability, this should be pretty high up on your list.
Yamaha Tracer 700
Yamaha makes a host of bikes on this platform, the 70 horsepower parallel twin will even find a home in a middleweight sport bike soon, such is its versatility.
Like the other 700s, this is a very capable machine that punches well above its weight and will keep you entertained for far longer than any other bike in this class will.
Honda CB 500X
This platform has not necessarily been the winner Honda had hoped for, but the middleweight touring bike hits the right notes.
It comes with the famed Honda reliability, it just lacks a bit of punch but as a direct result stays pretty accessible for new riders and is one of the most comfortable machines for both long distance touring and commuting.
Suzuki V-Strom 650
Already something of a bargain buying it new, for those willing to take a small chance on the used market could win big.
These V-twins are actually really fun to ride and have proven themselves to be ultra reliable too, with so many of them sold they are relatively cheap used and more often than not are well looked after by owners who rarely ride their bikes hard.
Ducati Multistrada 620
These 620 Ducatis remain one of the least popular and arguably ugliest Ducatis on the used market. Even though they are fairly hard to find, they remain cheap.
If you are willing to take a huge chance on one of these less fancied machines you will get a much more approachable, unique Multistrada, admittedly you shouldn’t expect any form of reliability from it.
Prices for the new Tiger are fairly reasonable, but if you are after a bargain, you will need to explore the used market.
These torquey triples have become desirable and are also pretty useful off-road if you fit the right wheels and tires. On the road they are comfortable and fun to ride over long distances, finding bikes that have been well looked after won’t be hard.
For more experienced riders, the FJ series bikes have long since been a fan favorite for touring.
Used as Police bikes in many countries, they offer exceptional luggage options and almost infinite power. They are also extremely heavy, and at low speeds the inline-4 is not at its best.
Honda Gold Wing
Not necessarily a fan favorite but with their bulletproof reliability they are very easy to live with, they remain unpopular and affordable.
It is worth mentioning just how big they are, these bikes are as close as anyone will get to a two wheeled car, and if you are a new rider don’t let the relatively low seat height and comfortable riding position fool you. Try doing a u-turn on this thing, it isn’t graceful!
Touring bikes come in all shapes and sizes, and those who want a more action-filled trip should definitely consider one of these bikes.
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