Touring Motorcycles Suck

I despise touring motorcycles.

In Florida these are, by far, the most common motorcycle you see on the road, almost always manned by a middle-aged man looking pretty damned smug and sure of himself.  Why do I despise them so much?  Let me iterate through my reasons:

  1. They are almost always ridden by middle-aged men going through a mid-life crisis who want to regain the freedom and rebelliousness of youth, but with an extra-comfy seat for their aging prostate.
  2. They are over-priced.  The highway bars, the sissy bars, the extra wide seats, the windshields, the built-in radios, and fairings add a lot of unnecessary dollars to the bike – making them status symbols for  middle-class, over-the-hill, men to compare against one another.
  3. They aren’t used for touring!  Seriously – look at the image above.  I snapped it today on my way home from work.  Almost universally, these “touring bikes” are towed to their final destination and used for local riding only.  This is the most hypocritical part of the entire debacle.  The only valid touring bikes I have ever seen were on my 5,000 mile trip to Sturgis and back.
  4. You don’t need an over-priced touring bike to tour.  Seriously.  I am a middle-aged, middle-class biker who has been riding bikes for about 25 years.  I just went 5,000 miles on my bike in less than 2 weeks.  Without a windshield.  Without fairings.  Without hard saddle bags.  Without highway bars.  Check out the image below.
  5. Most guys on these touring bikes don’t know how to handle a bike of that size.  They are a danger to themselves and everyone on the road with them.  The bike is heavy, bulky, and difficult to maneuver.
  6. Lastly, for me, these bikes kill the spirit of being a biker.  They are essentially convertibles on two wheels.  Being a biker is not about the accessories, but about chasing the wind.  And these touring bikes do everything they can to take the wind out of the ride – and that, more than anything else, is the unforgivable flaw in a touring bike.

 

You don't need a touring bike to tour

  1. You don’t need a touring bike to tour
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3 Responses to “Touring Motorcycles Suck”

  1. As Sportster riders my wife and I have ridden several 1000 plus mile rides.
    We both would prefer a better bike for comfort reasons alone preferably a Heritage Softtail.
    I work with a tiny sized guy with the bigguys attitude that rides his big harley listening to his radio only around town and he thinks he is a badass.
    On a trip down to Daytona’s Octoberfest in 2010 and this years 110th in Milwaukee all we saw were big beautiful bikes being hauled..and yes we still ride our Sportsters.

  2. This article is well written even if I have to disagree with some of the content, except the middle age part. I am a female rider and have been riding since I was nine years old. My husband is also middle age and has been riding since he was fourteen. Hubby rides a road glide and I ride a street glide, we pretty much ride them for their size and power and amazingly their handling capability. My last bike I bought in April it had 4600 miles on her, in 5 months she had 13,700 miles. Just under 2000 miles a month. I for one envy the rig at the top of the page, to be able to travel this great nation and to be able to ride also, would be awesome. All of that being said, I am one f those people who loves all kinds of bikes, like yours it’s beautiful! Ride saf,e keep the rubber down.

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