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Old 07-24-2011, 07:24 AM   #1
Chickenlegs OP
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Sport Touring vs cruiser - How much is different?

Ive logged over 120K on HD touring chassis, and while Ive enjoyed most of it, I always find myself wanting a sport touring bike after having ran thru the twisties. I normally travel two-up and tent camp sometimes but Im wondering what, if any comparisions there would be between the two type of bikes. I know there isnt any one bike does everything so for those that have experience with both whats the pros-cons?

My likes on HD
-cheap to maintain
-easy for two up mile munching
-can reinvent the bike with mods, which I do when I get bored with it

My dislikes
-Its a money pit, I cant leave it alone (I have to reinvent it to keep my interest)
-80 hp isnt enough
-cornering is relative

What I think I may like in a sport tourer
-smooth power
-good brakes
-maybe a full face helmet with intercom
-something I dont constantly feel the need to change

My current ride:

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Old 07-24-2011, 07:44 AM   #2
Jellyrug
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Two-up and tent camping does not really suit sport touring.

Sport touring is about comfort at high speed, while staying out of trouble. Can't do that with a lot of luggage and a passenger as well.
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:08 AM   #3
D-Mac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellyrug View Post
Two-up and tent camping does not really suit sport touring.

Sport touring is about comfort at high speed, while staying out of trouble. Can't do that with a lot of luggage and a passenger as well.
Jellyrug - clearly, we don't think we define sport-touring the same way.

Sport-touring does NOT have to be about high speed or riding solo, but I agree that you should try and travel as light as you can. Make some hard choices, and then leave half of what's left at home. There are many, many bikes that will accommodate a passenger and gear and handle/brake/accelerate better than your current ride. I have done several camping trips on an FZ6 and taken trips with my wife on my RT. You also don't need to pack a lot of stuff to take a long trip (I spent a month on the road this summer and visited all of the "lower 48," while packing everything into just 1 1/2 side cases - and that included packing some camping gear; I left my big topcase at home).

You have a large bike already, so choices on the "touring" end of sport-touring (FJR, R1200RT, C-14, ST1300) would all work very well for your needs. Many other bikes could also be used comfortably.

Light is right.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:16 AM   #4
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Well if ya need a trailer to haul your crap ya don't want a RT/c14 or the like. Your passenger won't like most S/Ts as much. They are a completely different experience than the HD. They actually go stop and turn giving your skill level more control over how ya ride rather than the limits of the bike. Ya really need to ride a couple to see if it is for ya. A weekend rental is the way to do it.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:11 PM   #5
ScottFree
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickenlegs View Post
...My likes on HD...
-can reinvent the bike with mods, which I do when I get bored with it

My dislikes
-Its a money pit, I cant leave it alone (I have to reinvent it to keep my interest)...

What I think I may like in a sport tourer...
-something I dont constantly feel the need to change...
These are statements about you, not the bike. So I kinda doubt that getting a different bike will cause you to lose the urge to constantly change it... unless, of course, you buy a bike that's so weird and obscure that nobody makes any alternative parts or accessories for it. In that case, you may be able to keep from changing it... but odds are, you'll still feel the itch. You just won't be able to scratch it.

ScottFree screwed with this post 07-24-2011 at 12:12 PM Reason: Itchy and Scratchy Show
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:58 PM   #6
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I sometimes think about going the opposite way.

I'm just afraid if I do get a HD (Road Glide or Street Glide), I'd get frustrated and bored within a couple of years with the lack of all-around performance, compared to what I'm used too. I know it's a completely different mind-set and riding when on a large-scale HD cruiser, but giving up ALOT of HP and handling will take some serious adjustment.

I need to test drive and rent more to make sure. I'm not rich so spending 20K+ on ANYTHING is a big thing for me.
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:46 PM   #7
blk-betty
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Although not a sport tourer, I have a relatively new to me '08 Triumph Tiger 1050 and a '06 HD Street Glide with the old 88" engine.

No question the Tiger is more responsive, stops quicker, corners harder, and is faster.....BUT where I spend 90% of my riding on flat straight roads the faster, better braking, better cornering Tiger doesn't do anything that the Street Glide can't.

And after a 4600 mile trip on the Tiger consiting of almost entirely secondary and rural roads in MT, ID, WY, and CO then heading east back home to coastal SC I realized I much perfer the comforts of the Harley. So much so that the Tiger is for sale with plans to sell or trade the Street Glide for an '11 or '12 Road Glide Custom with the 103" engine.

I think one needs to seriously look at where they do most of their riding and what specifically it is that they like and dislike about their bike and them make a decision.

I love riding the Tiger and suspect I would feel the same about a true sport tourer but if I'm slabbing it or just running down the backroads for 4+ hours and not on some serious twisties, the HD suits my needs better.

What you gain in performance you sacrifice in comfort.
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:55 PM   #8
Harry Backer
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Most bikes I have had I am always changing or putting money into, Thats just part of anything. Sounds like you need to try a Goldwing.
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Old 07-24-2011, 02:32 PM   #9
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In 2006 bought a K1200R, and to me it's a perfect definition of sport touring. Fast, excellent handling coupled with long distance comfort and smoothness. Full BMW luggage. Lighter than a cruiser, heavier than a sport bike. ESA big part of the package. I really feel a part of the bike, which I didn't on my cruisers. Incredibly comfortable. Could tour two-up, but wife has her own bike. So far, completely reliable.
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Old 07-24-2011, 02:38 PM   #10
Snapper
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My definition of a sport-touring rider is someone that like riding twisties and exploring at spirited but sane street paces. Sport-touring bike are great all-arounders for anything paved, and the big dual sports to include mild unpaved stuff.

You can even use a trailer...... just ask Omnivore (a member here) who has the "fastest trailer on the Dragon." He says the bike handles much better with the trailer than with saddlebags - I don't many in a position to argue with that .

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Old 07-24-2011, 06:29 PM   #11
Wasser
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I have a Honda ST1300.

It's great for 2 up sports touring but, I have had to spend a small fortune to get it where I want it. For the amount I have spent, a loaded BMW R1200, K1300, the new K1600 and even a GoldWing would have probably been cheaper in the long run. But, you seem like me. I like tinkering on my bike getting it just the way I want it.

I love my ST. It is extremely reliable and very, very low maintenance. It also has a huge fuel tank capacity, 7.6 gallons.


I can tell you right off the bat for just about any Japanese Sports touring bike, you are going to need to drop about $800 for a good set of seats. Add another $800 to have the rear shock properly sprung and valving upgraded.

Cruise control...anywhere from $300 - 1000. The list goes on.....top boxes, back rests, lighting, highway pegs, crash bars, power outlets, heated grips, etc. A good com. system, including GPS, FRS, MP3, bluetooth, headsets....an easy $1000. Add quality helmets, another $600 at least.

A lot of folks flinch at the price of a BMW but, a lot of options can be had as standard equipment on a BMW compared to what FARKLES are going to cost you on a Japanese sports touring bike.

The same comments about loaded BMW's can be said about a GoldWing. I know a lot of people consider it a geez-a lounger but, it can be had with every option known to man. Aftermarket parts are very plentiful. I have a couple of friends that ride GoldWing"s that can out ride quite a few people on sports touring bikes.

I've actually been kicking around the idea of a another bike......a GoldWing. Heck, a wing with 100K miles is considered to be just broken in.

A GoldWing would haul that trailer you have like it does not exist and, still get good fuel mileage. My ST would as well but, I would need to spend more money for a hitch and, fuel mileage would probably go to heck.

Defiantly hang on to your Harley. Go check with dealers for test drives. BMW dealers are very gracious with long test rides. Some of the better Honda dealers are equally as gracious for extended test drives. Some Honda dealers even offer rentals.

If'n ya lived near me, I'd offer to let you take my ST out for a drive to see what you think.
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:38 PM   #12
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You can lose your license on an Electra Glide just as fast as you can lose it on Busa, I cover ground much quicker on a bike I can stay on for long periods of time. I'll take the Glide every time, but a man should ride what he wants to ride. Ride something you enjoy.
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:58 PM   #13
gumshoe4
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Sounds like you're pretty bored with that Harley, and no wonder...the darn things don't handle, have no power, are heavy and expensive to service, etc, etc.

You'd better get rid of it right away and go get yourself a sport tourer so you can be respected...I'll help you out by taking that Harley off your hands. When you're ready to mail me the signed pink slip, contact me by private email and I'll give you mailing instructions...

...'cause, frankly, I'd love to have your Harley....
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:22 PM   #14
2tallnwide
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It's hard to imagine someone that enjoys riding a cruiser replacing it with a sport tourer, and vice versa. Harley doesn't build anything I'm comfortable on, they're all too cramped. I don't like the riding position of sport tourers either though. To me bikes like the GS/MS/Tiger/Uly/Strom/etc fit the bill better than anything else. More fun to ride than a cruiser, better 2up than most sport tourers, more comfortable, and versatile than either.

Just my .02 mind you, YMMV....
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:24 PM   #15
dmdbit
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harley vs sport touring

I have a 1250 bandit but am lusting after a road king. The bandit accelerates and turns much better but is just not as passenger friendly. I rode the bandit up to Tn planning on the dragon. After considering the long day of riding we had planned, my wife twisted my arm(sarcasm) into a more comfortable bike for the days travels. We rented a road king and rode all day including the dragon twice. I may have had faster speeds through all the curves on the bandit but enjoyed riding the road king just as much. I have been very impressed with the handling of the new harley touring chassis for an 800lb. bike. Acceleration is what I would want to be better. If you ever make it down to lower Alabama shoot me an e-mail and you can check out the bandit although it is not a true sport tourer like an fjr or concours.
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