Motorcycling doesn’t have to be a solitary pastime. In fact, hitting the road with your significant other can be a bonding experience like no other (plus it makes things a lot easier if you don’t have to come up with a reason why you get to go out and have some life-affirming adventure while they have to sit at home). Having the right ride makes all the difference though, so we’re bringing you some of our favorite passenger motorcycles for couples.
Honda Gold Wing
The venerable GL1800. The Gold Wing. This one’s a no-brainer because the GW is the epitome of two-wheeled luxury, especially since the update Honda introduced for the 2018 model year. The flat-six-powered recliner-on-wheels has cloud-like suspension, more infotainment options than your smart TV, and it can carry loads of cargo. The lithe handling, the fuel mileage, the power delivery, and the incredible comfort of the rider and pillion seats will leave you both asking for more.
A direct competitor to the Gold Wing, the BMW K1600GTL is another first-class machine. Here again you get state-of-the-art entertainment and safety electronics, a rock-solid six-cylinder engine, lots of storage capacity, and seats you’ll want to bring in your home after the ride’s done for the next Netflix binge. BMW has refined the design of the K1600GTL to meet every need of the rider and passenger, so the only thing you’ll have to bicker about is where to get a bite to eat.
Yamaha Star Venture
The newest transcontinental tourer from Yamaha will devour miles while you and your passenger enjoy the comforts of heated grips and seats, listen to your favorite tunes on Bluetooth, or simply take in the tuned growl of the 1,854cc air-cooled V-twin. The Star Venture punches right up there with the most extravagant touring rigs around, and Yamaha has clearly dialed in all the amenities for both rider and passenger.
KTM 1290 Super Duke GT
Want to get the pulse rate up and carve corners with your partner? Then the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT will surely please. This V-twin beast is stripped-down and mean, but you can still get your hands on accessory luggage and other touches to make the miles feel a little less sporty. This is the bike for couples who crave the adrenaline rush. It might be a little less cozy than some of the other selections, but what you give up in comfort you gain in sheer two-wheeled thrill.
Moto Guzzi California Touring
Do you and your pillion like that classic look and feel? Think Italians have it right in the design department? Check out the Moto Guzzi California Touring, a motorcycle that never got the memo about plastic fairings or carbon-fiber covers. It’s got integrated luggage and a sizable windscreen, plus it comes with a little backrest for your passenger, so you can both cruise in comfort until the sun does down over the Pacific.
The Yamaha FJR1300 has a similar aspect to the motorcycles we’ve already touched, but you’ll have close to 10 grand left in your pocket to do some sightseeing. Or surprise your lady with a spa day at the destination (trust us, this is a solid move). It’s got a sporty 1,298cc inline-four engine that will keep you smiling, and plenty of comfort built in for your passenger. Built-in luggage, great fuel economy, advanced electronics, and smooth suspension are the icing on this scrumptious cake.
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra
Harley-Davidson might have a little more rumble around the edges than our first three picks, but there’s no denying the appeal of the growl and shake of a 114ci V-twin engine. And the new Road Glide Ultra delivers this emotive mill and then some. Better suspension and braking than ever before, a Boom! Box GTS Infotainment system, and Tour-Pak luggage bring safety, storage, and creature comforts with you on the road.
If you haven’t seen an Indian Roadmaster in the flesh yet, find a way to do it now. It’s a breathtaking behemoth of a bike and you’ll both be chatting up locals wherever you go. The Roadmaster is built with two-up riding in mind, with plush seating for rider and passenger with all the upscale goodies we’ve come to expect in the luxury touring market. Built-in cargo space, infotainment, sophisticated electronics. It might have hallmarks of the past, but this is one modern V-twin touring machine.
Kawasaki Versys 650
Going a little off trend with this one, but you can have two Versys 650s for the price of one of any of the bikes we’ve already selected. And the couple who rides together, stays together. Granted, not every twosome is equally at home in the pilot’s seat, but for those who want to share the twists and turns separately, the Versys is a reliable, versatile, super-fun motorcycle that will give you both stories to share over beers when the day’s done.