Part 1 - 8 FULL-DRESS TOURERS TO RIDE COAST-TO-COAST
We’ve previously covered a selection of adventure-tourers and sport-tourers, but if your plan is to ride hundreds or even thousands of miles in comfort (and luxury) there’s no alternative but for a full-dress tourer.
Full-dress tourers are large to provide optimum comfort through protection from the wind, large seats, even larger luggage space and on-board features such as a sound system.
Here are eight you could choose from. Bear in mind that each manufacturer offers a number of variants and a large number of accessories for each model.
BMW K 1600 GT, K 1600 GTL, K 1600 B
The 160 bhp, inline-six-cylinder BMW K 1600 GTL replaced the long-running K 1200 LT. The differences between the variants are: The GT is more of a large-sized sport-tourer, the GTL is a luxo-tourer to compete with the Honda Gold Wing, and B (for Bagger) is the latest addition to the line-up and intended primarily for the American market.
The engine is slanted forward at 55 degrees to put weight on the front wheel, but the most innovative technology is most definitely the adaptive headlights that compensate for the bike’s chassis pitch. There’s an option for adaptive headlights for cornering as well.
BMW K 1600 GTL - courtesy of BMW Motorrad
HARLEY-DAVIDSON ELECTRA GLIDE ULTRA CLASSIC
The iconic “Batwing” fairing goes all the way back to 1969 first as an option than as a standard equipment in 1971. The Electra Glide name has always been associated with comfort and pragmatism for a touring motorcycle. It has gone through many upgrades since, although Harley-Davidson still adheres to the classic lines. The Project Rushmore update in 2014 saw a redesigned Batwing and luggage, the addition of the Tour Pak accessories that include the Boom! entertainment system, and liquid-cooling for the cylinder heads and exhaust ports.
Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic - courtesy of Harley-Davidson
HONDA GOLD WING
The Gold Wing started out as a tourer from the outset, although sans fairing. It has since evolved and grown to be the tourer of choice for many riders in America (640,000 sold) and around the world.
Honda had unveiled the sixth generation ‘Wing for 2018 in both Tour and bagger (replacing the F6B) variants. Everything is new: The Hossack-style “forks,” six-cylinder-Boxer engine with four valves per cylinder, fairings and aerodynamics, up to 20% better fuel economy, Ride-by-Wire throttle, riding modes, traction control, LED lights, cruise control, hill-assist, full infotainment system. Honda also offers the Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) and Airbag edition.
Honda Gold Wing - courtesy of Honda Motorcycles
INDIAN ROADMASTER ELITE
The Indian Roadmaster Elite is positioned as a premium heritage intercontinental tourer, boasting amenities such as the Ride Command System which includes a touchscreen GPS, Bluetooth, vehicle status information; 300-watt audio system with high output speakers; Keyless Ignition; 37-plus gallons of cargo space; LED lighting; powered windshield; individually controlled seat heater and many more. The special paint itself takes 30 hours to complete. While it looks classic, the bike is well-known for its good handling and brakes as with all Polaris motorcycles.
Indian Roadmaster Elite - courtesy of Indian Motorcycles