What is a Tourer Bike or Touring Bike?
A Tourer bike or Touring Bike is a type of cruiser bike - its distant sibling. It falls under the luxury/premium cruiser bike segment. They both have a similar riding position and comfort levels. Most of the Tourers in the world cost comparatively more than the cruisers because of the features they offer. Traditionally, the Tourer bikes have low seat-height with better seat cushions similar to cruisers.
In these bikes, the riding position allows the feet to rest at the front side and the hands up. Thus, it helps to keep the spine in the upright position or lean it back slightly. It gives a relaxed posture/position to the rider.
Design of a Tourer Bike or Touring Bike:
Just like the cruisers, the tourer bikes also have high and wide handlebars. They provide superior riding posture. This also enables a better road view and more comfort to the rider. The footpegs are placed at the front end, close to the engine and away from the rider’s body. They offer an improved sitting position with stretched legs. So, the Tourer bikes are more comfortable and offer fatigue-free riding experience on long journeys. With great sitting position, there is no stress on the rider’s body and muscles.
The Tourers are even more comfortable at high speeds. However, they are slightly heavier than the cruisers. At times, the additional weight of the bike makes it tricky while balancing the bike at slow speeds. Cornering the Tourers is very tricky because of the extra weight and hence, needs a lot of practice.
Characteristics of a Tourer Bike or Touring Bike:
The Tourer bikes are the ones which most people use for the long-distance commute. The traveling distance could be more than 500 km or so in a day. So, the manufacturers offer higher capacity engines for Tourers. Some high-end Tourers offer engine capacities up to 1800cc which offer more power.
These ultra-luxury Tourers offer the power output in excess of 100bhp. Often, the Tourer bikes have an attractive shape, swanky design, and multi-level manufacturing process. So, technically, they are more expensive to manufacture than the other bikes. The Tourer bikes are more comfortable to ride on. However, they offer low mileage. Their maintenance cost is higher. Primarily, their focus is on the rider’s well-being and convenience.
Features in modern Tourer Bike or Touring Bike:
Some of these bikes use lightweight materials such as the cast aluminum to reduce the weight and improve the handling. A few tourer models are equipped with acoustically-engineered dual-exhaust pipes which deliver a distinct exhaust note. They also offer premium features such as the Cruise control, ABS, push-button powered windshield, bigger tires. The high-performance front & rear suspension and keyless ignition are given for rider’s comfort & convenience.
Other convenience features comprise of spacious, hard saddlebags with weather-proof seals. Some modern Tourers even offer a TFT touchscreen with navigation, Bluetooth® audio, points of interest, vehicle status. They also offer a full-fledged integrated premium infotainment system with high-output speakers. Certain manufacturers provide special features such as the hand-crafted leather seat covers and saddles. The 2018 Honda Gold Wing even offers a reverse gear to further increase the rider’s convenience.
Some manufacturers bestow upon the tourers with chrome elements. These bikes are loaded with heaps of chrome to make them look more attractive and shiny. Some of these bikes also get a dual-tone theme and metallic color paint-job to make them stand out in the crowd. So, with these premium aesthetic elements, these bikes command a handsome price-tag. The manufacturers sell these retro-looking bikes for an extra-premium price to the customers.
However, some of these Tourer bikes deliver an average of only up to 20 Km/L. They also have plenty of expensive spare parts. Hence, they need only trained technicians for servicing and maintenance. Hence, these bikes may not be attended well by the local mechanics.
Advantages of a Tourer Bike or Touring Bike:
Generally, the premium Tourer bikes have higher power & torque, trendy colors, and eye-catching design/style. The Tourer bikes are comfortable motorcycles to ride for a long distance. Hence, these bikes are more popular in the developed countries such USA, Canada, and South America. Some of the popular premium Tourer bike manufacturers include the Harley Davidson, Indian, Honda, and Yamaha.
These Tourer bikes can travel the long-distance without any hassles. They offer great comfort, safety, and premium features. However, they are difficult in negotiating the stop-and-go traffic due to their bulky size. They are ideal for the intra-city travel. Some premium Tourer bikes offer improved suspension, additional safety and other equipment that the long-distance travelers need the most. Hence, these bikes are very expensive. Fancier and more contained the Tourer gets; it sells at an even higher price-range.
Disadvantages of a Tourer Bike or Touring Bike:
However, the Tourer bikes are not ideal for city commuting because of their large size. Hence, most people prefer to use them on the highways for the long-distance commute. With limited cornering ability, the Tourer bikes are not relatively easier to ride on the winding roads/bends.
Watch a Tourer Bike or Touring Bike in Action:
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