Combining the performance of a sport bike with the long-distance capabilities

Call them bikes that perfectly fill the gap between thrilling sportsbike and the gigantic touring machines, sports-tourers are naturally long haul motorcycles with sportbike expectations built to get the best out of that long way home. Here is our list of 2020’s top five machines offering the same capabilities as touring bikes but without sacrificing any of the sporty performance.

They tend to be a bit lighter and corner well but aren’t the most comfortable. The riding position tends to be a bit more relaxed compared to sports machines, and there’s better wind protection, much better pillion comforts, transmission with lower gearing, and usually a whole quick-release pannier system designed.

2020 BMW F 900 XR

Top 5 new Sports-Tourers coming in 2020
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2020 BMW F 900 XR

This is the Bavarian manufacturer’s latest additions to its touring category and is powered by the same engine as the F 850 GS with the displacement bumped up to 895cc. The parallel-twin now produces 105 hp and 68 lb-ft of torque, sipping juice from an ultra-lightweight, plastic-welded fuel tank – the first in the industry.

Along with the engine, it also borrows the steel bridge frame and a new bolt-on steel rear frame. This is tethered with an upside-down 43mm telescopic fork and a fully adjustable shock. It features a 6.5-inch TFT screen with BMW Motorrad Connectivity and gets two riding modes, ABS and ASC, as standard. Also available as options are cornering lights, quickshifter, traction control, electronic suspension, cornering lights, keyless ignition, quickshifter, and an emergency call system. MSRP is $11,695.

2020 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour

Top 5 new Sports-Tourers coming in 2020
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2020 DUCATI MULTISTRADA 1260 S GRAND TOUR

Singing the last hurrah, the 1,262cc DVT Testastretta Evoluzione DVT motor sees a last appearance on the Multistrada to produce a claimed 158 hp and 97.35 pound-feet of torque. This GT will come equipped with bold new graphics, panniers, side stand, heated grips, a new and more comfortable seat, a TFT dash that incorporates the Ducati Multimedia System (DMS) and LED fog lights as standard.

This 1260 gets Sachs 48 mm front upside-down fork and Sachs monoshock adjustment with Ducati Skyhook Suspension Evo (DSS), radial Brembo Monobloc Evo M50 4-piston calipers clutching on dual 330mm discs. The electronic package includes the Cornering ABS, Cruise control, riding modes, Wheelie Control, Traction Control, Hold Control, quick-shifter, and Cornering Lights. MSRP: $23,295.

2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX

Top 5 new Sports-Tourers coming in 2020
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2020 KAWASAKI NINJA 1000 SX

Getting onto Euro-5 norms, the new sports-tourer from the Green Team gets a new, more aggressive and dynamic style, a unique exhaust, a more comfortable saddle, larger fairing, new larger double-bubble windshield, five-way adjustable clutch lever, new TFT instrumentation with Kawasaki’s "Rideology" smartphone app, and full LED lighting.

It retains the proven 1043cc inline-four that produces 140 hp and 81.7 ft/lbs of torque. Suspension duties are taken up by beefy 41 mm USD forks up front and a monoshock, while braking sees dual 300mm petal disc brakes with Brembo 4-pot monoblocks. Electronics include cruise control, a Quickshifter up & down, integrated driving modes, cornering ABS, and traction control. Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tires are the new rubber. MSRP: $12,399.

2020 Yamaha Tracer 700

Top 5 new Sports-Tourers coming in 2020
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2020 YAMAHA TRACER 700

Essentially, Yamaha took the naked MT-07 and added a bunch of things to give us an entry-level soft-roader that could take you between states. Borrowing cues from the latest YZF-R1, the 2020 design is far sleeker and cleaner, which now sports two R1-style LED lamps, DRLs’, manually adjustable screen, a new single-piece seat, handguards, a larger handlebar, new instrumentation and more.

The same 689cc CP2 parallel-twin runs the show here but is tweaked to comply with Euro-5 norms, producing 72.4 hp and 50.2 pound-feet of torque. The tubular frame and aluminum swingarm remains unchanged but carries a new 41mm cartridge-type fork, rear monoshock, and 282mm hydraulic brakes.

2020 BMW S1000 XR

Top 5 new Sports-Tourers coming in 2020
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2020 BMW S1000 XR

Built on the new S 1000 literbike platform, the updated XR really puts the “sport” in touring with a new lighter 999cc inline-four that produces 165hp and 84 lb-ft of torque. The engine gets longer ratios, anti-hopping clutch, drag torque control, and is Euro-5 compliant. TFT dash and all LED lighting with cornering function make the scene here. On the whole, this machine weighs 22 pounds lighter than its predecessor.

Built around the new Flex Frame, the XR gets 46mm adjustable fork forks, rear monoshock, and 320mm floating disc with four-pot calipers. Electronic aids include riding modes, Electronic Suspension, Hill-start control, Dynamic Brake Control, Shift assist, cruise control, traction control, wheelie control, and cornering ABS. MSRP: $17,645.

Bonus

SUZUKI GSX S1000F

Top 5 new Sports-Tourers coming in 2020
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SUZUKI GSX S1000F

Alongside the name, the Suzuki GSX S1000F also shares its core heart with the naked streetfighter GSX S1000 and comes for 2020 in a new Glass Sparkle Black. The same four-stroke, four-cylinder, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, 999cc engine makes about 144 hp.

Other than the 999cc engine, the GSX S1000F retains other mechanical hardware such as a frame, suspension, and brakes from the GSX S1000. The bike is equipped with a set of inverted hydraulic telescopic forks at the front and link-type hydraulic monoshock at the rear. Braking duties are taken care of by dual discs at the front and a single disc at the rear, along with the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). The three-mode traction control comes as standard.

Sagar Patil
Motorcycle industry expert since 1997! - sagar@topspeed.com
Over the years, a deeper conscience of machines moving body and soul has given him a crisp grasp over the concepts of motorcycling. A sucker for details and common sense, he loves getting his hands dirty every once in a while. His love affair with motorcycles ushers in the specialist skillset making Sagar our go-to expert for everything on two-wheels.  Read More
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