What is a Tourer 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 similar riding positions and comfort levels. Most of the Tourers in the world cost comparatively more than the cruisers because of their features. Traditionally, the Tourer bikes have low seat height with better seat cushions, similar to cruisers.
The riding position allows the feet to rest at the front side and the hands up in these bikes. 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 Touring Bike:
Just like the cruisers, these also have high and wide handlebars. They provide superior riding posture. It also enables a better road view and more comfort to the rider. Manufacturers place the footpegs 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 provide a fatigue-free riding experience on long journeys. There is no stress on the rider’s body and muscles with a fantastic sitting position.
These bikes 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:
The Tourer bikes are the ones most people use for long-distance commutes. 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 provide more power.
These ultra-luxury Tourers offer a power output above 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 Tourers are more comfortable to ride on. However, they offer low mileage. Therefore, their maintenance cost is a bit higher. Primarily, their focus is on the rider’s well-being and convenience.
Features in modern Touring Bike:
Some of these bikes use lightweight materials such as cast aluminum to reduce weight and improve handling. Furthermore, manufacturers equip a few tourer models with acoustically-engineered dual-exhaust pipes that deliver a distinct exhaust note. They also offer premium features such as the Cruise control, ABS, push-button powered windshield, bigger tires. In addition, manufacturers give high-performance front & rear suspension and keyless ignition for the rider’s comfort & convenience.
Other convenience features comprise spacious, hard saddlebags with weatherproof 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. In addition, certain manufacturers provide special features such as hand-crafted leather seat covers and saddles. The 2018 Honda Gold Wing even offers 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 service and maintenance. Therefore, these bikes may not be attended to well by the local mechanics.
Generally, the premium Tourer bikes have higher power & torque, trendy colors, and eye-catching design/style. In addition, the Tourer bikes are comfortable motorcycles to ride for a long distance. Hence, these bikes are more prevalent in developed countries such USA, Canada, and South America. Some popular premium Tourer bike manufacturers include the Harley Davidson, Indian, Honda, and Yamaha.
These Tourer bikes can travel long-distance without any hassles. They offer superb comfort, safety, and premium features. However, they are difficult to negotiate the stop-and-go traffic due to their bulky size. Therefore, they are ideal for intra-city travel. Some premium Tourers offer improved suspension, additional safety, and other equipment that 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.
However, the Tourer bikes are not ideal for city commuting because they are large. Hence, most people prefer to use them on the highways for the long-distance commute. With the limited cornering ability, the Tourers are not relatively easier to ride on the winding roads/bends. Besides, parking them in crowded old city areas could be troublesome.
Watch a Tourer Bike or Touring Bike in Action:
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