Motorcycle News - Church of MO: Sport Tour 2006!
It’s an ill wind that blows no man good. Two years BC – Before the Crash – your sport-touring choices were considerably less plenteous than today. Or maybe these were the only three the crew could round up at a time when online mags were still scrambling for equal rights? Twelve years on, in the reign of Trump, if you got the money, honey, we’ve got many more great S-T/ ADV-bike options. Let us pray.
BMW K1200GT :: Triumph Sprint ST :: Yamaha FJR1300AE
By MO Staff Dec. 28, 2006
Photography by Fonzie
Kilroy Wuz Here.
That cryptic message, accompanied by a goofy drawing of a little guy with a big nose peeking over a wall, has been spotted in every corner of the planet. But what does it mean and where does it come from? There are those who say an anonymous GI scrawled it on the bulkhead of a troopship bound for North Africa in 1942. Others say it was actually invented by an unknown Australian or Kiwi soldier in WWI. Still another version of events is that Kilroy was a supervisor in a Connecticut shipyard who approved his riveter’s work by chalking the missive on finished bulkheads. Which is true? At this point, it’s impossible to know, so pick your favorite.
Three bikes, three different countries, three ways to sport tour.
So the same can be said of the ideal parameters of a sport-touring motorcycle. It can vary from something just short of a Honda Goldwing all the way to a single-cylinder MuZ Traveler. There are a few elements we can safely agree on, though. First, it must be comfortable, or at least more comfortable than your average racer replica. Second, it must have good wind protection, enough to keep you comfortable at triple-digit speeds. Third, it must be able to handle twisting roads with better-than-average competence. Finally, it should have locking hard luggage and humane passenger accommodations.
We here at MO realize that many non-ST bikes can be modified to meet the above criteria. Luckily, many manufacturers do it for you already, so you don’t have to. Otherwise, you would all buy Honda Nighthawk 750s and modify them however you require, and the MO staff would have to get real jobs. Fortunately for everyone concerned, you have lots of choices.
We know there are bikes that lean towards the very sporty end of the spectrum, and there are bikes that are so big, squooshy and comfortable you might as well get a full-dress touring rig. What we’re concerned with is the bikes that we think have the best balance of performance and comfort for us and how we ride. For this test we took three that we hadn’t tested and had an impromptu tour de California to see how they stacked up.
The bikes we chose have the most modern of everything, and are loaded with electronic, mechanical and styling innovations. From BMW, fresh from Managing Editor Pete Brissette’s intro report is the K1200GT. The Triumph is the Sprint ST, and the heavily revised and revamped FJR1300AE with anti-lock brakes and electric shifting represents Yamaha’s sport-touring ideal.
Bikes in hand, we needed an extra rider. Friend-of-MO Jack Straw is always available to drop everything, call in sick and spend a couple of days on the road with the regular crew of MOrons.
The destination was San Luis Obispo, heart of California’s Central Coast and more importantly, the center of hundreds of miles of twisty roads. It also has what must be the highest number of brew pubs per capita of any city in the USA. What more do you need? After hundreds of miles of riding, evaluating and trying to get phone numbers from co-eds, we had enough data to speak semi-intelligently about this trio of sport tourers. How do they measure up? Read on.
via Motorcycle.comMotorcycle.com https://ift.tt/Xzx9iy
July 15, 2018 at 11:49AM