Looking for the best of the best when it comes to touring motorcycles, something that arguably does it all? We’ve compiled 10 of the best new options you can waltz into your nearest dealership and buy!

This is the 10 best sports touring motorcycles on the market today – the crème de la crème, if you will. A combination of long-distance comfort without discounting the ability to tuck in and knuckle down on the twistier roads.

Worth noting this is a purely subjective list, and you could argue that any of these deserve to be at the number 1 spot – but let us know what you think. Nevertheless, you’ll be a happy long-distance bunny in the saddle on any of these picks.

We’ll cover the basic info, specs, price, and what sets all of these popular picks apart from one another. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

10. Energica Experia

Energica Experia electric motorcycle on beach

An odd-ball to start the list, the all-electric 2022 Energica Experia was first unveiled for a 2022 release, and the premium tourer (around £25,990 new) was a first in the combination of large-scale motorcycles with electric propulsion.

Naturally, a long conversation can be had about the merits of an electric vehicle over long distances, but with built-in fast charging the 260kg beast can be back on the road with 0-80% achieved in circa 40 minutes, for another claimed 261 miles (City, Combined is 160 miles).

It’s superb fun to ride on the road, with handling akin to being on rails and an immense feeling of instant torque at your disposal, along with a flush suite of electronics (like Bosch cornering ABS) to help you along the way – and the peak 102 bhp and 115 Nm figures are enough to rocket you 0-60 mph in around 3.5 seconds. For that reason alone it silently sneaks onto our list at number 10, and is a nice alternative option – though admittedly fast chargers may be few and far between on a long tour, and it’s a hefty purchase price!

Engine Permanent Magnet Assisted Synchronous Reluctance Motor (PMASynRM) 306V nominal, 102 bhp, 115 Nm
Fuel tank Max. 22.5 kWh / Nominal 19.6 kWh – lithium polymer
Brakes Brembo (F) Twin 330 mm disc 4 piston radial caliper (R) 240mm disc 2 piston caliper
Seat height 847 mm
Weight 260 kg
Suspension ZF Sachs (F) 43mm USD forks, 150mm travel, preload extension and compression adjustable (R) mono shock, 55mm travel, adjustable extension and preload.
Price £25,990


9. BMW R 1250 RT

BMW R 1250 RT

Bavarian giants BMW has been hugely successful with the GS series, which is certainly well-capable of a tour and a top-selling machine as a result – but we’re going for the BMW R 1250 RT. A long-standing firm favourite with the Police in the UK (and beyond), the RT series is an elegant choice with brute force in equal spades.

The £17,350 starting price gives you a 1254cc twin boxer engine with BMW ShiftCam tech and is shaft driven with 136 bhp & 143 Nm of torque, dynamic traction control, a huge 10.25 inch TFT display, Active Cruise Control, and ‘Pro ABS’ to name but a few.

It is a weighty bike, though, at a chart-topping 279 kg kerb weight, though has a big 25 litre tank – once you’re on the road on one of these, it’s unlikely you’ll need (or want) to stop anytime soon. It’ll feel surprisingly light on its feet, too, with the telelever front suspension and paralever with preload & rebound adjustability at the rear. There’s also the BMW K 1600 series to consider!

Engine 1254cc boxer twin, air-/fluid-cooled, four-stroke, two overhead spur-gear driven camshafts, one balancer shaft and BMW ShiftCam variable intake camshaft control. 136 bhp, 143 Nm
Fuel tank 25 L
Brakes (F:) Twin disc brake, floating discs, diameter 320 mm, four-piston radial brake callipers (R:) Single disc brake, diameter 276 mm, double-piston floating calliper
Seat height 805 / 825 mm
Weight 279 kg
Suspension (F:) BMW Motorrad Telelever, central spring strut, standard diameter 37 mm 120mm travel (R:) Cast aluminium single-sided swinging arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever, WAD spring strut, spring preload continuously and hydraulically adjustable via adjuster knob, adjustable rebound-stage damping via adjuster knob 136mm travel
Price £17,350


8. Honda NT1100

Honda NT1100 with luggage in the clouds

With the same motor from the famed Africa Twin, Honda put together the 2022 Honda NT1100 as a road-based solution for those who want long-distance capabilities (with or without the DCT automatic option) at a launch price of £12,499 for the manual model, or £13,499 for the DCT.

That smooth 1084cc parallel-twin with 270-degree crank (with 101 bhp and 104 Nm) is a solid combination of low-end pull and comfortable 70mph cruising, particularly if solo riding or two-up with full luggage.

Weighing in at 248kg with the DCT (+10kg from the standard), the 20.4-litre tank is quoted to provide around 250 miles of range, it’s certainly a solid option for someone looking to do the distance – albeit the style is very polarising. Some people say it looks like a whale on the road! Looks don’t bother me too much, it’s a good price and top ride.

Also from Honda, and you thought I’d forget to mention this, is a serious alternative in the Gold Wing, also. It is revered in the two-wheeled world for a reason, and loves a tour.

Engine Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve parallel twin with 270 crank and uni-cam, 101 bhp and 104 Nm
Fuel tank 20.4 L
Brakes (F:) Twin 310mm disc, radial mounted four-piston caliper. (R:) 256mm disc single caliper.
Seat height 820 mm
Weight 238 kg
Suspension Showa (F:) 43mm SFF-BP USD, 150mm stroke preload adjust (R:) Monoblock aluminium swing-arm, pro-link damper preload adjust 150mm stroke
Price £12,499


7. Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX

Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX with pillion passenger

Kawasaki’s famous Ninja gets decked out with the touring treatment with a sporty flair. Before we cover this one, though, there is also the Versys range from Kawasaki for those who want a more upright touring experience.

A 1043cc in-line four motor provides 140 bhp and 111 Nm to play with, it weighs in at 235 kg, and has a 19 litre tank for around 180 miles of quoted range. The blend of sports styling with comfortable ergonomics is down to the Kawasaki ‘ergo-fit’ system, allowing you to adjust the bike to suit you – and there is the KCMF (Kawasaki Cornering Management Function) with 6-axis IMU to help you along the way.

Though once more of a budget-friendly option, the pricing now starts at £12,349 for the base model – certainly still palatable considering what you get for your money (with panniers as the Tourer or Performance Tourer you’re looking at an extra grand or two respectively).

Engine 1043cc Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke In-Line Four, 140 bhp, 111 Nm
Fuel tank 19 L
Brakes (F:) Dual semi-floating 300 mm discs. Caliper: Dual radial-mount, monobloc, opposed 4-piston (R:) Single ø250 mm disc. Caliper: single-piston
Seat height 835 mm
Weight 235 kg
Suspension (F:) 41 mm inverted fork with compression and rebound damping and spring preload adjustability (R:) Horizontal Back-link, gas-charged rear shock with rebound damping and spring preload adjustability
Price £12,349


6. KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

KTM 1290 Super Duke GT on road at night

Austrian touring delights are guaranteed here, with the 1301cc V-twin proving an excellent tool for those after a thrilling, tech-heavy ride. The 2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT starts at £18,799, with a devilish 175 bhp and 141 nm to work with – KTM call it a bit of a weapon, I’m inclined to agree.

Naturally there is also the 1290 Super Adventure S and R to consider as KTM alternatives, decked out with the full suite of latest advanced electronics – IMU fed traction control, cornering ABS and stability control, and performance mode to name a few. Plus the WP Semi-Active suspension will ensure that the ride quality is bang on through the corners and over all terrains, and the 223 kg Super Duke GT will be sure to handle anything you come across.

The 23-litre tank should be good for a quoted 220-mile range, you could say this bike can do it all – though there will always be that underpinning fear that the electronics could give out midway through a cross-continental tour…

Engine 1301cc 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, V 75°, Liquid-cooled, 175 bhp, 141 Nm
Fuel tank 23 L
Brakes (F:) Brembo four-piston radial fixed calliper, 320 mm brake disc (R:) Brembo twin-piston fixed calliper, 240 mm brake disc
Seat height 835 mm
Weight 223 kg
Suspension (F:) WP Semi-active suspension USD Ø 48 mm 125mm travel (R:) WP SAT (semi-active technology) shock absorber 156 mm travel
Price £18,799


5. Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello S

Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello S on road

Celebrating 100 years of Guzzi, the Italian manufacturer has learnt from their stylish past to create what they think is the touring motorcycle to take them forward for the next 100 years – and stuck self-deploying wings on the S model!

It’s a truly stunning motorcycle, and with prices starting at £15,750 (£13,500 for the base model) it’s also not so bad on the wallet – factoring in the usual exclusive pricing from the eagle brand.

Smart semi-active suspension from Ohlins provides top level road feel, heated grips and a quickshifter come as standard, plus the Bluetooth smartphone connectivity. A transverse 1042cc V-twin powers the motorcycle, giving you 115 bhp and 105 Nm torque at its peak via the shaft drive.

So a balance of poise and style, with tech galore, lands this eagle at fifth in our list.

Engine 1042cc Transversal 90° V-Twin, four valves per cylinder, liquid cooled with Ride by Wire. 115 bhp, 105 Nm
Fuel tank 17 L
Brakes (F:) Twin Ø320 mm floating discs, 4-piston Brembo monobloc radial calipers. Radial
front master cylinder. (R:) Single Ø280 mm disc, 2-piston Brembo caliper. Cornering ABS
Seat height 815 mm
Weight 233 kg
Suspension (F:) Fully adjustable Ø43 mm USD Öhlins Smart EC2.0 fork, with semi-active
compression and rebound damping (R:) Fully adjustable Öhlins TTX Smart EC2.0 monoshock with semi-active
compression and rebound damping, remote preload adjustment
Price £15,750


4. Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT

Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT with pillion passenger

Suzuki launched the GSX-S1000 as the naked litre-bike with streetfighter style (and stacked headlights that caused a stir, but not on this GT version). The GT edition is priced at £12,499 (and GT Plus, including the hard luggage set for £13,599) takes the touring to the masses. It was the top-selling sports tourer in 2022, and it only went on sale in April!

With the sport-touring ergonomics that’ll suit two riders, it’s more than just a naked bike that has a fairing stuck on the front – with 999cc inline-4 with 150 bhp and 106 Nm, 19-litre tank (should be good for 180 miles), adjustable KYB forks, configurable riding modes and full-colour TFT – it really could be a perfect option for a long tour.

Tests and reviews have seemingly all come back gleaming about this GT, and for the price it’s a pretty good contender for a rider looking for sports-tourer riding, with performance to boot.

Or you could go for a V-Strom for more upright touring… or Hayabusa, that’s always an option.

Engine 999cc 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 150 bhp, 106 Nm
Fuel tank 19 L
Brakes (F:) Twin disc (R:) Disc
Seat height 810 mm
Weight 226 kg
Suspension (F:) Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped (R:) Link type, coil spring, oil damped
Price £12,499


3. Ducati Multistrada V4

Ducati Multistrada V4 with mountain background

The Italian powerhouse slots in at spot three thanks to its gold-standard of performance and rider comfort. There are plenty of options for the Multistrada, meaning ‘all-roads’ in Italian, with some pricier variations including the V4 Pikes Peak, V4 Rally and V4 S (as we’ve briefly ridden at BikeMatters) the standard V4 goes for £16,995. There are also the V2 variations.

But, sticking with the V4 for our list, that powerhouse 1158cc V4 Granturismo engine has 170 bhp and 125 Nm for true rocketship power on any road. It’s certainly well-decked out for long tours, with a main valve-clearance service interval extended to only be required after 60,000 km, and oil service intervals at 15,000 km or 24 months. It has the winning Ducati DNA within and is serious fun on the roads.

Part of that is down to the state-of-the-art electronics package, with rider aids including front-and-rear radar systems, top-spec electronic riding assistance, electronic suspension, and the usual rider modes and more – all wrapped up in a package that weighs in at 240 kg with a 22-litre tank.

Engine 1158cc V4 Granturismo, 170 bhp, 125 Nm
Fuel tank 22 L
Brakes (F:) Twin 320mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo monoblock 4-piston caliper (R:) 265mm disc, Brembo 2-piston caliper
Seat height 840/860 mm
Weight 240 kg
Suspension (F:) 50mm fully adjustable USD fork 170mm travel (R:) Fully adjustable monoshock, remote spring preload adjustment, aluminium double-sided swingarm 180 mm travel
Price £16,995


2. Triumph Tiger 1200 GT

Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Pro

Triumph’s Tiger range has a bike to suit all touring appetites, with the 1200 T-plane triple being amongst the best out there right now (other options are the 900 variants, or even the Tiger Sport 660) – but we’ve gone for the £14,995 base model Tiger 1200 GT for #2.

Worth noting that there are a few Tiger 1200 options, with the off-road biased Rally, and the Explorer spec models which have 30 Litre tanks – perfect for long distance rides. The base model gets you on the road at a decent price, and you can spec your way up from there – it’s £18,495 for the GT Explorer.

Virtually everything was updated on the 2022 spec Tiger 1200, notably the chassis and electronics, working with the all-new 1160cc triple that has 148 bhp and 130 Nm on tap. It all comes together in a top spec package from Hinkley, the GT package more road-focused at heart, granted nifty Blind Spot Detection, a shaft drive, semi-active suspension and cornering ABS & Traction Control to name but a few features here. Really is a top spec machine!

Engine 1160 cc Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder. 148 bhp and 130 Nm.
Fuel tank 20 L (30 L Explorer)
Brakes Brembo (F) M4.30 Stylema monoblock radial calipers, OC-ABS, twin 320mm floating discs. (R) single piston caliper, OC-ABS, single 282mm disc.
Seat height 850/870 mm (adjustable)
Weight 240 kg
Suspension (F:) Showa 49mm, semi-active damping USD forks. 200mm travel. (R:) Showa semi-active damping monoshock, with automatic electronic preload adjustment. 200mm wheel travel.
Price £14,995


1. Yamaha Tracer 9 GT

Yamaha Tracer 9 GT with mountain background

We’ve reached the summit of our touring top 10 adventure, and at the peak is the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT. With a superb crossplane triple engine, floating panniers, and raucous attitude – it’s certainly a top-spec and top-performing motorcycle. Seriously popular in the UK too, even if the styling has separate camps.

It’s priced at £13,110 for the standard model, and a slightly pricier £14,910 for the + model with radar gadgets (which feeds the assisted cruise and assisted braking), upgraded quickshifter, electronic suspension, and a new TFT display. That 890cc triple has 117 bhp and 93 Nm of torque – not the most on the list, but it’s put down to the rear wheel impeccably.

You could call it the complete touring package, and it’s a very competitive price for the amount of bike you get – regardless of the trim level you opt for. We had a go on the uprated Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ edition here at BikeMatters, and it has improved a huge deal from the 2021 Tracer 9 GT I tested at the UK launch.

Other specs include the 18.7-litre tank quotes at a 200-mile range, it weighs in at 223 kg wet, has a sporty ride feel yet is comfortable enough long days in the saddle, so you can let your proverbial hair down too.

Engine 890cc 4-stroke, Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valves, 3-cylinder, 117 bhp, 93 Nm torque
Fuel tank 18.7 L
Brakes (F:) Hydraulic dual 298 mm discs (R:) Hydraulic single disc 267mm disc
Seat height 820 / 835 mm
Weight 223 kg
Suspension (F:) KYB semi-active Telescopic fork 130mm travel (R:) link suspension, Swingarm 137mm travel
Price £13,110


Yamaha Tracer 9 GT on road riding

Agree with our 10? It was tough to whittle the multitude of options down to just 10, but let us know what your pick would be for a European tour.

If you’ve got a touring motorcycle you need insurance for, particularly including cover abroad for tours in the EU as standard, give Lexham Insurance a try direct for a quote.

Recap of the 10 best 2023 touring motorcycles in the UK:

10. Energica Experia

9. BMW R 1250 RT

8. Honda NT1100

7. Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX

6. KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

5. Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello S

4. Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT

3. Ducati Multistrada V4

2. Triumph Tiger 1200 GT

1. Yamaha Tracer 9 GT

Mountain road from Honda NT1100 release