Travel Motorcycle reviews

view thumbnails grid view horizontal compact blog view
2020 BMW K 1600 Grand America

2020 BMW K 1600 Grand America

It’s a grand tourer with a host of features now standard equipment

BMW spruced up its Grand America ahead of 2021 with a host of improvements, most of which were offered as optional equipment on the previous year-model. A powerful flat-six engine drives this long-distance tourbike, and the attention to detail is evident throughout the comfort amenities to make this a serious contender for the U.S. full-dresser market. Hard bags and a topcase, that provides a backrest for the pillion, join a vented windshield and broad front fairing to protect both rider and passenger.

Read more
2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 RT

2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 RT

More Torque, More Horsepower, More Touring

BMW Motorrad hit MY2019 with the R 1250 RT as its spanky new super-tour bike. Why “super?” Well, it carries a newly refined boxer-twin that brings more mechanical prowess to the table, to include variable cam timing and staggered intake timing meant to broaden the powerband; and a combined engine/transmission case that eliminates some unnecessary weight from the assembly. As you’d expect, the electronics suite is pulled from the top shelf for the stock package, and unsurprisingly, the factory has optional packages available that introduce even more fandanglery to the situation and make the “RT” a proper technological marvel. It all comes together on an undeniably progressive machine with clear Euro-sport roots.

Read more
2017 - 2020 BMW K 1600 GT

2017 - 2020 BMW K 1600 GT

It’s a luxury tourer with the heart of a sportbike

BMW’s K 1600 GT moved into its seventh year of production in 2017 with a fresh rebuild that the Bayerische carries right on into MY2020. A six-cylinder engine puts it in the power-tourer category in both the torque and horsepower columns for solid performance even in spite of its not-inconsiderable heft. Built for touring, it strikes a balance between storage and aesthetics for a sort of “Euro-bagger” look that compares well with Honda’s new bagger-tastic Goldwing since both leave off the top case for their fully dressed, top-shelf models. This Bavarian bruiser brings a dark-and-swanky attitude to the table with the performance to back it up.

Read more
2021 Ducati Multistrada V4

2021 Ducati Multistrada V4

The new V4 features a new engine, new lighter-weight chassis, and a host of new technology for motorcycles

Ducati rolls into 2021 on its fourth generation Multistrada that reaffirms Duc’s position as a world leader in motorcycle development and production. Aptly named “many roads” in translation, the newly updated Multistrada V4 stable covers not only a range of riding surfaces, but a span of rider types as well, something that will hold it in good stead on the global stage. This family also has the distinction of being the first motorcycle equipped with front and rear radar that enables an automatic station-keeping system in traffic, much like many of the higher-quality automobiles that are currently on the market. The line includes a trio of sub-models, the Multistrada V4, V4 S, and V4 S Sport.

Read more
2017 - 2021 BMW K 1600 GTL

2017 - 2021 BMW K 1600 GTL

It’s a fast and nimble sporty tourer

BMW Motorrad embraces the American style for its full-dress tourbikes , and the K 1600 GTL represents the pinnacle of that genre. Built for luxe comfort with an eye toward safety, the “GTL” brings all the top-shelf gadgets to the table along with over a liter-and-a-half of flat-six performance placing it well into the power-tourer bracket. The factory also blessed it with the “Spezial” treatment that brings factory-custom touches to lend the line an extra element of exclusivity.

Read more
2015 - 2021 Yamaha FJR1300

2015 - 2021 Yamaha FJR1300

It has a liquid-cooled four-banger in a sportbike frame for a bit more thrill than just a tourbike

The biggest sport-tourer in Yamaha’s lineup is better than ever. In 2016, the FJR1300A and its stablemate the FJR1300ES saw some evolutionary changes that brought just enough tweaks to make them smoother, more comfortable rides. Probably the biggest change in that update was in the transmission with the addition of a sixth gear and adding a slipper clutch to reduce hand fatigue at the clutch lever. Both of these tourers run a 1,298 cc liquid-cooled four-banger and come on a sportbike frame for a bit more thrill than just a tourbike.

Read more
2021 Indian Roadmaster Limited

2021 Indian Roadmaster Limited

Premium features and stellar performance make the Roadmaster Limited a luxury tourer

Indian Motorcycle adds the Roadmaster Limited to the lineup ahead of MY2021 as an alternative to the vanilla Roadmaster at the bottom of the fully dressed tour-bike price range. The standard electronic suite and Ride Command infotainment system supports long trips as is, but new equipment really adds comfort through the ClimaCommand Rogue saddle that can heat or cool your nethers underway. Front fairing protection and a trio of hard bags round out the touring package to make it ready for the highway right off the showroom floor.

Read more
2020 Indian Roadmaster Elite

2020 Indian Roadmaster Elite

Indian’s new flagship tourer caters to the elite of the elite with hand-finished paint and their biggest production engine to date

Indian Motorcycle brings classic and contemporary together for its limited-edition Roadmaster Elite. Powered by the new, 116 cubic-inch Thunder Stroke plant and enhanced with top-shelf infotainment features as well as safety equipment, the Roadmaster Elite serves as Indian’s Flagship entry in the tourbike bracket and looks like it’s set to take on its domestic competition.

Read more
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special

Offered in Eagle-Eye Special Edition paint and graphics for 2020

Harley-Davidson goes to the top shelf for the goodies on its 2020 Road Glide Special. The Milwaukee-Eight 114 powerplant carries over from the previous year, as does the well-rounded infotainment system and ABS protection. Harley’s Reflex™ Defensive Rider System (RDRS) is available as optional equipment, but if you like your paint to be a little on the wild side, the Special Edition model carries it as part of the standard equipment.

Read more
2020 Indian Roadmaster Elite

2020 Indian Roadmaster Elite

The ultimate touring machine just got a lot snazzier with more power, technology, and styling

It’s a nostalgic yet sumptuous take on the already blummin’ good Roadmaster dresser. The Elite has been the best money can buy, and has pulled it off with all bells and whistles ever since it was launched a couple of years ago.

For 2020, the Elite gets a brand-new custom-inspired two-tone candy paint, requiring nearly 30 hours and hand finishing to complete, an upgraded Ride Command system with a 600-watt PowerBand Audio Plus set up, 19-inch precision-machined wheel. Powering this is Indian Motorcycle’s most powerful air-cooled engine - the Thunder Stroke 116.

Read more
2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special

A Majestic calling of Wanderlust, now with a custom paint scheme only available as installed at the Harley-Davidson factory

The venerable Road Glide Special has been one of HD’s iconic tourers ever since it was launched back in 2017. The bike takes the touring must-haves and wraps them in a no-apologies style, making it the motorcycle of choice for the high-mileage road warrior. It is sophisticated and technologically packed while keeping the core values of its predecessors intact.

For 2020, the Bar & Shield Company continues rolling with the Road Glide Special, now with a new Eagle Eye Special Edition Paint Option giving the customers “an attainable custom paint option that eliminates the need to either re-paint the original components or install an accessory paint set that leaves take-off painted parts on the shop floor.”

Also running under the hood this time is the brilliant Milwaukee-Eight 114, an upgrade from the 107 that ran point all this while, delivering power and reliability unlike any time before. Harley will also let you enjoy the optional Reflex Defensive Rider Systems that help give you confidence and control in less-than-ideal situations.

Read more
2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Desert

2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Desert

Triumph took its Tiger XCx to the Nth degree

There’s nothing quite like a special-edition to spruce up a model family, and Triumph takes that to the bank with its new top-shelf Tiger 1200 Desert Edition. The “Desert” builds on the mid-grade, off-road-centric Tiger 1200 XCx with titanium and carbon-fiber touches and a model-specific “Sandstorm” paint package with Desert Edition graphics to set it apart visually from the pack. Of course, the factory maintains its premium electronics suite and active suspension system, and it drives it all with its proven 1,215 cc triple.

Read more
2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition

2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition

Triumph takes its Tiger 1200 to a whole new level

Triumph Motorcycles has long been on the cutting edge of adventure-bike design with its venerable Tiger line, and the British giant expands it top-displacement, mid-range technology bracket with the addition of the Tiger 1200 Alpine for MY2020. Special paint and graphics set the Alpine apart visually from the rest of the family, and under the “hood”, Triumph’s premium electronics suite works to keep it dirty-side down. The in-line triple delivers well over 100 ponies with almost 100 pounds o’ grunt to drive the Alpine over the hills and dales it was designed to conquer.

Read more
2017 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide

2017 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide

It’s the smooth throttle response and stump-pulling torque you expect from a premium bagger

Harley-Davidson updated its sharknosed Road Glide in 2017 and replaced the little-loved Twin Cam engine with its new Milwaukee-Eight powerplant, a combination that persists into model-year 2020. There were a handful of aesthetic adjustments made over that span, but the model remains pretty much as it was when it hit the showroom floors in MY17. On the current-year model, top-shelf infotainment capabilities join with a plush suspension system and a half-dozen paint packages to deliver the comfort and style H-D riders expect, and the Mil-8 107 engine turns out the torque that we demand.

Read more
2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

It’s a hot-rod bagger with Harley’s largest factory-installed engine to date

Harley-Davidson makes progress on its 100-new-bikes promise with the mid-year release of the updated CVO Road Glide. Built with a bagger-tastic bent, the revamped custom Road Glide carries the largest production Big Twin the MoCo has built to date. Under the hood you’ll find H-D’s new safety and ride-quality electronics along with the usual top-shelf infotainment goodies, and it all comes wrapped in bodywork that makes a solid connection to the current popular custom culture.

Read more
1975 - 1979 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing

1975 - 1979 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing

This is the bike that started the legendary line

The D-Type “Dream” of 1949 may have put Honda on the map, but it was the U.S. release of the Gold Wing in 1975 that eventually made the marque a power in the American touring market. Originally built as a power-cruiser, the domestic consumers had a different purpose in mind — long-distance touring — and with that a legend was born. The basic parameters had been established that would go on to create a family of bikes that, to this day, serve as a staunch competitor to American manufacturers Indian and Harley-Davidson, and enjoy a reputation for speed and agility as well as comfort.

Read more
2020 Honda Gold Wing Tour

2020 Honda Gold Wing Tour

A host of improvements give it even better handling than before

Honda shows its commitment to continual improvement with its 2020 array of top-shelf, tour-tastic Gold Wing models. The Gold Wing range received a handful of improvements to include reworked heads and cylinders that reduce the weight of the drivetrain plus stock foglights and revised ergonomics to boost performance, safety, and comfort across the boards. Of course, this comes on top of the speed and handling for which the Gold Wings have long been famous to make it a serious competitor in the U.S. touring market.

Read more
2020 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally / Rally Pro

2020 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally / Rally Pro

More power and more torque in the low range, it’s a whole new generation of Tiger

Triumph’s new Tiger 900 line covers an array of bases throughout its range, but while the base model and GT versions are built for urban touring/commuting, the Rally and Rally Pro are clearly geared toward off-road work. Long-stroke suspension components and laced wheels set the tone with the full spectrum of ride-quality and safety systems, several of which benefit from the IMU to deliver corner-optimized performance both on-road and off. All of this delightfulness rides on an all-new chassis with an also-new, 888 cc powerplant that cranks out 10-percent more grunt than the previous “800” to drive your multi-surface adventures.

Read more
2020 Indian Motorcycle Jack Daniel's Limited Edition Indian Springfield Dark Horse

2020 Indian Motorcycle Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Springfield Dark Horse

America’s oldest companies creating limited-edition exquisite motorcycles celebrating craftsmanship

In 2016, Indian Motorcycles and Jack Daniels, two legendary American brands joined forces to commemorate JD’s 150th anniversary of the Jack Daniel Distillery, which was registered in 1866. This occasion led to Indian Motorcycles building a very limited number of the Jack Daniel’s Indian Chief Vintage, and the Scout motorcycle models, all of which were sold barely under 8 hours within the launch.

For 2020, the same stalwarts came together again to produce yet another limited edition of the iconic spin-off of the sumptuousness Indian Springfield Dark Horse. Limited to 177 examples, this Springfield gets reworked by Klock Werks Kustom Cycles and is themed after JD’s high- baller, the Jack Daniel’s Single Bar Select.

Read more
2020 BMW F 900 XR

2020 BMW F 900 XR

BMW put an XR in its mid-displacement GS lineup

BMW buffed its mid-size adventure-bike range with the new-for-2020 F 900 XR model that builds on the equally new F 900 R roadster. The XR is built as an on-road tourbike/commuter on a new chassis with a new plastic-welded gas tank and a handful of top-drawer electronic safety and ride-quality control features to polish off the package. A new parallel-twin engine drives the XR with nearly 100 ponies on tap to drive your asphalt adventures.

Read more
2020 Honda Gold Wing

2020 Honda Gold Wing

A revamped suspension and updated features make for an even better Gold Wing

Honda greets the new decade with a buffed-up, base-model Gold Wing range that’s best described as a BNG-Plus treatment with a few extra goodies thrown in. The sheet metal comes shot in a new, monochromatic finish with generous blackout treatment over the rest of the machine to take a deep dive into Honda’s dark side. Updated damping values tune up the suspension system along with improved electronics to complete the package. Of course, this is all accompanied by the performance and handling that has always held the Gold Wing in good stead and keep the line in an excellent competitive position within the U.S. market.

Read more
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Adventure

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Adventure

Suzuki adds to its lineup with a mid-displacement adventure-ready V-Strom

If you’re looking for a mid-displacement adventure bike that will actually handle some off-road work or a solid commuter for the urban jungle, then Suzuki’s 2020 V-Strom 650XT Adventure should be on your short list. This model builds on the 650 platform and it boasts extra protection for both bike and rider along with stock dry-storage and a proven V-twin powerplant. As usual, Suzuki rounds out the package with a bevy of proprietary ride-quality electronics to back up the various variables built into the mechanics of the bike to deliver a customizable riding experience.

Read more
2020 Triumph Tiger 900

2020 Triumph Tiger 900

New from the ground up, it’s a whole new generation of Tiger

Triumph up-sized its outgoing Tiger 800 adventure model ahead of MY2020 to create the all-new Tiger 900. This machine serves as a platform for a number of upscale stablemates, but today I want to focus on the base model. The factory balances capabilities and cost to deliver a bike that can both tour and serve as a daily commuter. The safety electronics covers the basics and come bundled with a handful of ride-quality controls for push-button personality changes to round out the package and give the 900 a bit of versatility.

Read more