Touring Bikes Comparison - Long Rangers

Four Philosophies, One Purpose

Photography by Kevin Wing

We're on the first leg of our touring bike comparison and we've been lost all day. It seems even the best navigation systems are only as efficient as their operators. Staffer Tim Carrithers and our guest testers, Dave Russell and Mauricio Fernandes, have been following me like lemmings, not even questioning why the typical four-hour ride from Los Angeles to Death Valley has already taken eight. And we're nowhere near the whiteout sandstorm.

The lack of grumbling may have something to do with the bikes we're riding. The august Honda Gold Wing, contemporary Victory Vision, brawny Triumph Rocket III Touring and classic H-D Ultra Glide Classic are an eclectic mix, but each is geared for long-range comfort, so we're feeling good. A few more days of tying Boy Scout knots in our high-desert route will give us ample opportunity to examine these four very different touring philosophies.

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