And the Winner Is...
Add up all the numbers. Think long and hard. The best sport-tourer still depends entirely on what sort of sport-touring you have in mind. Fast? Leisurely? Transcontinental hauls? Day trips? The winner should handle all that comfortably, two-up or solo, for a rational amount of money. Day or night, spring, summer, fall or winter.
If going long and fast trumps everything else, including the price tag, BMW’s biggest sporting four will go longer and faster than anything here. In exchange for unflinching physical and financial commitment, the K1300S delivers unwavering stability, precise handling and the sort of top-end rush usually reserved for pilots of Hayabusas and F-22 Raptors.
Devotees of clever engineering in search of a motorcycle that looks, feels and acts like no other will get one taste of that intoxicating V-4 and go with the Honda. It’s expensive for what you get. Stopping for fuel every 140 miles gets tiresome, and there’s that sloppy driveline to contend with. Carve the heart out of a tight second-gear corner, ease the horizon back to horizontal and pull the trigger at 6500 rpm. The VFR will give you 142 reasons to forget everything else.
The Triumph makes a simpler case, showing up with everything you need for a price more people can afford and never mind the rest. No electronic accoutrements. No electrically adjustable creature comforts. Just a comfortable, cooperative traveling companion for any stretch of pavement. Spend the money you save to amend a shortcoming or two, or on gasoline and cheap motels. Your choice. Therein lies the Sprint GT’s real beauty.
Then there’s the winner. Other bikes can run quicker here or feel more capable over there, but only one is very, very good at all the things that makes a big, fast sport- touring bike truly great. All hail the winner: Kawasaki’s Concours 14.