When it comes to riding off into the sunset for your next cross-country trip, choosing the right bike can make all the difference. It’s often the case that a motorbike is aimed at a certain type of rider.
And when it comes to motorcycles for traveling across the country the best options have a versatile engine and chassis, as well as good suspension. Certain bikes are far better suited to touring than others, so it’s important to know what you want from your bike before making a purchase.
In this article, I’ll tell you the absolute Best Motorcycle for Cross Country & what to look for in a touring motorbike.
The Best Cross Country Motorcycle & Touring Bike Ever Made
The single best motorcycle to travel around the country is the Honda GL 18010 – Goldwing. This bike is hands-down the best touring bike on the market.
But let’s go through my top 9 touring bikes to travel around the country!
9 Best Touring Bikes
- Honda GL 18010 – Goldwing
- Ducati Multistrada V4
- BMW R1200GS
- BMW K1600GTL
- Harley-Davidson Road Glide
- Suzuki V-Strom 1050
- Indian Roadmaster
- Kawasaki Vulcan
- Kawasaki Versys 1000 Grand Tourer
Let’s break this list down and get into the nitty-gritty details…
Honda GL 18010 – Goldwing
The Honda GL 18010 – Gold wing touring bike is one of, if not the best touring motorcycles. It has an energy-efficient engine that delivers a power-packed performance along with a comfortable riding experience.
The motorcycle has a cruiser-type body design with heavy extensive frames that enables the rider to have better control over the bike in the twists and turns of long road journeys.
The gold wing tour is equipped with a four-valve six-cylinder 1833cc liquid-cooled engine that offers a top speed of 112MPH at an incredible torque of 170 Nm at 7,000RPM. The 7-power transmission engine is also powered by Honda’s DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission Technology).
The gold wing tour has a larger windscreen compared to Honda’s other Touring bikes and it has an additional rear trunk attached to it, which can be used by the passenger on the bike as an armrest or backrest.
One of the great features of this motorcycle is its ‘Walking Speed Forward & Reverse Mode’ assisted by a powerful electrical motor that helps the rider in seamless maneuvering of the bike while parking it in tight spaces.
The Honda GL 18010 – Goldwing also has the Honda Stability Torque Control (HSTC) system integrated into it along with Honda’s Dual-combined Braking System (DCBS) and ABS that gives the rider that added cushion of safety on their long touring days.
It also comes with a Hill Start Assist technology that works as a blessing in terms of countering the problem of cold starts at high altitudes. The audio system of the bike is completely waterproofed for weather protection, with all its control over the handlebar and the infotainment system comes with integrated Apple CarPlay technology.
Overall, this bike from Honda has all the futuristic electronic equipment and features that are engineered keeping the riders in mind who love to go on tours riding their two-wheelers.
Ducati Multistrada V4
The Ducati Multistrada V4 gives the riders an exciting and comfortable riding experience on a sport-touring bike. This sport bike is a great option for long trips and cross-country commutes as it comes with an advanced Navigation System along with its own innovative Rider Assistance Radar System technology, integrated into the dashboard of the bike to help the rider in locations that are quite far from towns and villages.
The frame of the bike is compact, sporty, and agile that giving superior control over the bike to the rider even at very high speeds. The sport bike comes with a smooth Ducati V4 Granturismo 1158cc lighter and compact engine that generates 168BHP at 10,500RPM along with top-notch torques of 125Nm at 8,750RPM.
Not just all this power, the engine of this motorcycle comes with a cylinder deactivation system and a 60,000 Km valve-service interval to free the rider off the worries of expensive servicing and maintenance schedules. When the bike is sitting idle, the cylinder deactivation system automatically shuts down the rear cylinder bank of the bike, which is another impressive feature.
Sports tourers are so fun to ride for long trips, but watch out on rough canyon roads!
All the electronic elements come with an advanced and powerful Inertia Measurement Unit which helps the rider in managing the traction control systems, the wheelie control system, and the controlling ability of the ABS present in the bike.
The 6.5 inch TFT screen of the motorbike is equipped with all the latest smart technology and the innovative optical bonding viewing that allows the rider to have a crystal clear vision of all the information – be it the sunny days or foggy nights.
The Ducati Multistrada V4 has 4 different riding modes which are Travel, Urban, Sport, and Enduro which compliments different riders and their different styles and locations of riding. The bike’s front and rear Radar System coupled with blind-spot detection technology and adaptive cruise control technology make it a perfect choice for riders who love to travel long distances.
The BMW R1200GS is a tourer that is made to also go off-road. It fits into the adventure bikes category but offers features like no other bikes. It comes with the latest technology and safety-fitting options that guarantee comfort on long-distance riding experiences.
The bike comes with an upgraded ‘Automatic Stability Control’ technology along with its two riding modes which are called ‘Road’ and ‘Rain’ to aid riders with different levels of riding experience.
It also has two other sub-categories in terms of driving mode called Enduro and Dynamic, which again can be interchanged between with the help of a single button.
The motorcycle has a powerful four-stroke liquid/air-cooled 1170cc boxer engine which is capable of delivering a power of 125 BHP at a maximum torque of 125 Nm. Depending on the model a rider chooses, the fuel tank capacity of this bike is either 20L or 25L which again makes it a good tank range for all those long journeys.
The bike is also equipped with the technology of Hill Start Control Assist and electronically powered next-generation Dynamic ESA Chasis that makes sure the rider gets every level of comfort on a road trip.
The Dynamic ESA plays an important role in mixed terrain conditions as it has the ability to adjust the suspension of the bike depending on the road and the riding style of the rider. Not just that, in different situations, the Dynamic ESA automatically maneuvers the bike providing the rider a higher degree of control over it.
The BMW Motorrad Connectivity integrated into the TFT screen of the bike gives all the necessary information to the rider in terms of navigation, speed, revs, phone calls, media, and many more. In terms of smart connectivity, this technology opens up all kinds of new possibilities to the rider on road trips that is easy to operate and highly convenient for long road journeys.
The BMW K1600GTL is a touring motorcycle that personates performance touring by delivering dynamism in terms of both comfort and safety. The bike has a calming look of elegance that is sure to give you the touch of sophistication on your travels and on top of this, it has a 3-year or 36,000 miles warranty attached to it with the brand loyalty of BMW.
The motorcycle is equipped with a water/oil-cooled four-stroke six-cylinder 1,649cc In-line engine which can deliver the maximum speed of over 120 MPH and has an output capacity of 160 hp at 6750 RPM and produces a maximum torque of 132.7 lbs at 5250 RPM. So this engine not just delivers powerful performance but also, at the same time offers the dynamism and the stability that is required for traveling long distances.
The motorcycle has a big 10.25 inch TFT screen that is integrated with the BMW Motorrad Connectivity that offers the most advanced cockpit-navigation control to the rider which makes reading maps and reaching destinations feel like a breeze with this technology.
The Dynamic Engine Brake Control which is also known as the Engine Drag Torque Control along with electronically controlled Dynamic ESA gives the rider the ultimate power controlling power over the bike when situations get tricky or the roads get difficult.
If you are looking for a bike that is not just great in the department of touring but also, delivers exceptional performance on the road, you should definitely settle for the BMW K1600GTL.
In addition to its stylish and classy look, the bike has many features like Shift Assist Pro technology to help the riders in seamless shifting of gears without having them operate the clutch. Even the LED headlight of the bike has adaptive features to it which are again designed keeping the convenience of riders in mind.
Harley-Davidson Road Glide
The Harley-Davidson Road Glide is a Touring motorcycle for riders who love the classic design of touring bikes. This bike has the traditional look of Tourers but is packed with all the modern and advanced technology that riders need for traveling across countries or borders.
This motorcycle comes with the cutting-edge MILWAUKEE-EIGHT™ 114 ENGINE which offers the highest displacement among all standard Harley Davidson Touring bikes. With this engine, the rider gets 114 cubic inches of passing along with horizon-chasing power. This six-speed transmission engine has the capability of displacing 1745cc and it delivers a torque of 150 Nm at 3250 RPM.
The 6.5 inch TFT screen of the bike has all the premium control features that help the rider with information on navigation and other elements of the bike like a fuel gauge, revs, audio control, and many more. The bike is also equipped with a Smart Security System and advanced ABS that make sure the rider’s safety is never compromised on the road.
It’s important to mention that the standard ABS of this bike comes with REFLEX™ LINKED BREMBO™ BRAKES technology that assists the rider in maintaining control of the bike, while they are braking in a straight line. The stretchable saddlebags that come with the bike are extremely spacious and can be opened with just one hand.
The high-performance suspension technology at the front and rear of the bike comes with easily adjustable rear shocks which are designed specifically for the riders to have a higher degree of control over their bikes when they are on difficult terrain.
The Harley-Davidson Road Glide has a black sporty finish –from its body to its alloy wheels that is classic and modern at the same time. If you want your bike to have an aggressive attitude of its own, this motorcycle is the one for you.
Suzuki V-Strom 1050
The Suzuki V-Strom 1050 is a dual-sport adventure bike for riders who want to explore the wilderness to their heart’s content. This motorcycle from Suzuki is specifically designed for comfortable long-distance journeys and it is loaded with the most advanced of features so that your adventures can go on without any break or pause.
The dual-sport motorcycle is equipped with a powerful 1073cc V-twin engine which is angled at 90 degrees that do not just give more peak power and strong pull off the bottom but also, it gives extraordinary mileage to the riders so that they do not have to stop at every gas station on the freeway.
The big 49mm Electronic Ride-by-Wire Throttle bodies attached to the engine give precise throttle grip action and also make sure that every ride is smooth and comfortable. The updated Traction Control System from Suzuki coupled with the latest Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (SDMS) allows the riders to choose from three different engine power delivery options.
The LOW RPM Assist technology from Suzuki makes it super easy for the rider to maneuver the bike through busy streets and also helps them to avoid stalling the engine of the bike when starting from a Stop situation. The Twin-Spar aluminum frame of the bike is highly durable and it helps in an optimal balance of weight and rigidity that allows the rider effortless handling of the bike on any type of road.
The bike comes with a stylish LCD screen that presents all important information to the rider, within a lucid and intuitive layout. The height of the windscreen can be adjustable according to the need of the rider along with the Traction Control System of the bike which again has four different modes to choose from depending on the preference of rear wheel spin sensitivity.
The Indian Roadmaster is a Touring motorcycle that is engineered brilliantly for touring purposes and is loaded with all the upgraded technology to assist the riders with all their long-distance needs.
This motorcycle comes with adjustable floorboards, an electronically adjusted visor, tire pressure monitoring system, and the luxury of 10 different settings for the rider as well as the passenger, specifically in terms of the leather heated seats, in the case of the latter. The tire pressure monitor is exactly what you need on a trip like this!
When it comes to the engine, the Indian Roadmaster is equipped with an air-cooled Thunderstroke 116 V-twin engine that is capable of producing a torque of 171 Nm. This makes the engine deliver exceptional power even at very low RPMs and it makes sure that the rider is entitled to a comfortable ride even at higher speeds fully loaded.
In the department of the display, the bike comes with a classy 7-inch touchscreen that is powered with the RIDE COMMAND technology along with Bluetooth, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, and Apple CarPlay Connectivity.
The adjustable vents of the bike and the hard but low fairings enable the rider to tailor the flow of the air according to his or her need, which makes sure their comfort is never compromised. One of the great features of this bike is that it comes with independent heat controls for both the passenger and the rider to make sure their individual comfort level is always catered to.
In addition to all these, this motorcycle has a keyless ignition feature, LED headlights, cruise-control mode, and an upgraded ABS system. It has a cargo space of 137L and even the audio system of the motorcycle which is capable of delivering crystal-clear audio of 200-watts comes with a dynamic equalizer mode that can automatically adjust the sound depending on the road, wind speed, as well as engine noise.
The Kawasaki Vulcan is a stylish-looking Touring motorcycle that boasts the non-traditional look of a cruiser with its stunning color of Metallic Matte Graphenesteel Gray. One of the most notable features of this motorcycle is its ERGO-FIT® seat system which can be perfected according to the rider’s need.
This technology offers customizable adjustment options for the bike’s seat, handlebar, and footpegs which accommodates riders of all sizes, depending on their reach and individual height.
The ERGO-FIT® comes with as many as 18 configuration settings that fall in between Reduced, Mid, and Extended Reach, giving all riders a comfortable experience in terms of riding. The engine of Kawasaki Vulcan is a liquid-cooled four-stroke 649cc parallel-twin type that is extremely lightweight and is capable of delivering responsive power but in a very smooth way.
Another interesting feature of the engine is its under-located muffler. This muffler under the engine contributes to the low center of gravity which enables the rider to easily reach the ground when the bike gets stopped.
The chassis of the motorcycle is designed keeping the Sportbike style and suspension in mind that makes overall maneuvering and handling of the bike an effortless task.
Just like its ERGO-FIT® technology, the rear wheel shock system of the motorcycle features a seven-position pre-load adjuster that has the ability to automatically optimize the rear adjustable suspension of the bike, depending on the body type and riding style of the rider, along with the payload that goes on to the bike. This creates a relaxed seating position and perfect long-travel suspension.
Although the bike has the look of a non-traditional cruiser, the instrumentation of the bike is designed keeping originality in mind. The instrumentation cluster features an analog tachometer along with an LCD screen that delivers all the useful information to the rider in an easy-to-understand layout design.
Kawasaki Versys 1000 Grand Tourer
The Kawasaki Versys 1000 Grand Tourer is a complete Touring motorcycle packed with all the features that are needed by riders on their long adventure trips. This stylish tourer has a sporty look to it and comes with dual LED headlights, massive fairing, a tall visor, and fairly long split seats that can accommodate the rider and the passenger quite comfortably.
The motorcycle is equipped with a liquid-cooled, in-line four-cylinder 1043cc engine that is powerful and delivers 118BHP at 9,000 RPM and a maximum torque of 102 Nm at 7,500 RPM. In terms of modern technology, this motorcycle is equipped with all the latest ones, specially engineered by the trusted brand of Kawasaki.
These are Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC), Kawasaki Cornering Management Function (KCMF), and Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brakes System (KIBS).
All this superior technology does not just guarantee the safety and security of both the rider and the passenger but also, makes sure that every adventure ride you make on this bike is free of all worries, highly enjoyable, and extremely luxurious in terms of comfort and relaxation.
The connectivity of the bike comes with the technology of a smartphone application called the RIDEOLOGY THE APP, which can be used to access all the advanced functionalities of the motorcycle without having to go through any hassle on the road. The Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS) technology also assists the riders in clutch-free downshifts and upshifts that contribute to an easy and quick acceleration or deceleration.
The motorcycle also comes with heated grips that give much-needed warmth to the riders on those cold rainy days. In addition to all these features, another exciting technology present in this bike is the electronic cruise control mode.
Once this mode is activated by a single click of a button, the rider does not have to worry about constantly applying the throttle which again contributes directly to a much more comfortable riding experience.
Best Budget Option
Kawasaki Vulcan is a stylish-looking bike that comes with all the upgraded riding technology from Kawasaki along with its very own ERGO-FIT® seat system that makes it a perfect Touring motorcycle for riders of all heights. It delivers a comfortable riding experience and if you are looking to buy a Touring bike with exceptional features that is well within your budget, you need not look further than Kawasaki Vulcan.
What to Look For In a Cross Country Motorcycle
Choosing the best motorcycle for the cross country can be a tough task, but it’s an important one.
So, what should you look for when searching for your next cross-country touring motorcycle? The following list will help point you in the right direction:
After all other factors have been considered, the most important thing is how reliable your cross-country motorcycle will be. You don’t want to be stranded miles from anywhere with a dodgy bike!
Cargo & Carrying Options
A cross-country motorcycle should have plenty of room for either hard or soft luggage. These should be the right size for the motorcycle, which means that you’ll need to check their capacity before you ride off on your adventure. Many bikes are able to carry more than 1 set of panniers too, so if possible try and get one with mounts for additional bags.
You should enjoy riding this motorcycle because it will eventually become your home away from home. Look for a powerful engine because smaller engines tend to vibrate at high speeds and could even seize up if pushed too hard. Make sure there is plenty of legroom and spacious handlebars because you will spend long hours on the road traveling across
ABS (anti-lock braking system)
ABS is perhaps the most important safety feature on any motorcycle these days. It gives you much more confidence on wet or poorly surfaced roads and allows you to brake harder into corners knowing that your wheels won’t lock. Not all bikes come with ABS as standard, so try and find a bike that does. And don’t worry if it costs more – ABS is an investment in safety, not just convenience.
Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA)
This is not something you see on all cross country bikes, but it’s worthwhile looking for on the ones you do. ESA lets you change the configuration of your motorcycle to suit passengers or luggage without having to manually adjust the suspension every time. A luxury for sure, but one which can save many uncomfortable miles when touring with a companion or heavy panniers full of supplies.
If you’re traveling overnight and need to keep your gadgets charged up then make sure you’ve got a perfect motorcycle with a power socket or USB charging. It’s an annoyance to have your navigation system die on you just as the next turn-off is approaching, and it can also be incredibly dangerous too if your ABS fails as you’re entering a corner.
A motorcycle that has been designed for touring will always have a comfortable seat fitted as standard, so don’t underestimate the effect of sitting down all day! Long distances and days spent sitting in one position can cause serious discomfort and back pain. Make sure you try out any motorcycle before buying, and if possible take someone along who knows their way around motorcycles to give their opinion too – they may spot something you haven’t!
Now you know about the top 9 Touring motorcycles that you can buy and what to look for in a Touring Motorcycle before investing your hard-earned money.
If you have any doubts or questions in your mind, you can, of course, fall back to this article that will give you an in-depth and clear picture of the best Touring motorcycles that suits your need and style.
Buy any of these bikes and you can rest assured that your adventurous long trips or cross country journeys will be as comfortable as taking a stroll in the wilderness.
Happy Exploring to You!