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A great way to see the country is to travel on a motorcycle. Not all bikes are suitable for a cross-country ride. Before setting off, it’s good to have a plan. This includes the correct bike and equipment.
Before you travel cross-country
To travel across the country, you must first have a plan. But, it will make the journey more exciting if you allow for some spontaneity. A general route will allow you to reach your destination, as well as any major stops. It’s possible to discover something new by allowing for uncertainty.
Planning ahead is another important aspect. There are many roads and byways you can take to cruise the country, but it’s worth taking the time to explore some of the more interesting places. If you’re strictly on the street, a cruiser or touring bike is the way to go. A dual-sport motorcycle is a great way to explore dirt trails.
What to Look for in a Cross Country Bike
While it is romantic to imagine riding a vintage bicycle into the sunset over the desert, it can be uncomfortable. A modern convenience makes a long trip more enjoyable. Modern motorcycles come with safety features, comfort amenities, cargo and other accessories that make long trips more manageable.
But before getting into these options, it’s important to consider the basics. A bike with a bigger engine, such as 1000cc, will allow you to cruise more efficiently on the highway. You can ride your motorcycle at highway speeds, but you will have low-end torque so that it is easy to go. A larger motorcycle will get you better fuel mileage, even if you’re not hot-rodding it. A longer wheelbase makes handling easier.
Anti-lock brake systems, lighting and crash bars are all safety features. By pulsing the brakes, ABS helps the rider maintain control when aggressive braking is required. This prevents skidding. A good lighting system, which includes headlights, brake lights, turn signals and marker lights, will improve visibility, as well as help to avoid accidents. Installing crash bars can help reduce the risk of injury and damage in the event of an accident. The proper clothing, such a helmet jacket, boots and jacket, will provide protection and peace of mind.
It is important to know what is comfortable. Sitting for long periods of times can put stress on your back, hips, and shoulders. This is something that no one wants to do on a long journey. So make sure you plan ahead and choose the bike that provides the best comfort. You should also consider the seat type and the height. These will depend on the preference of the rider and their size. However, there are many options.
The riding position and the riding position are closely related. Long trips will be more comfortable if you are upright and your legs should be in front. For long rides, a sport riding position with the legs under the rider will be more comfortable. A more forward-leaning position will not be as comfortable. A windshield, which deflects the wind’s force and makes it easier to hang on, is another comfort feature.
You will save money by getting fuel mileage. Long trips require a lot more fuel. Also, frequent stops can prove to be disruptive. Take into account the size and fuel economy of your cross-country bike when you are shopping. This can make a difference especially if you’re traveling in the desert or through national parks where gas stations tend to be more scarce. A good MPG will range from 40 to 45 and a tank capacity of around 4-6 Gallons.
Motorcycles aren’t designed to carry much cargo, but on a long trip, you will need to have some supplies. You have options to increase your cargo capacity. Instead of a backpack, a saddlebag will work better for cargo. On long trips, extra weight will cause discomfort for your shoulders and back. Although motorcycles can be used as a single-person ride, there are many ways to transport a passenger. Some passenger seats include back support and armrests. Towing a small trailer can be an option, which allows the bike’s use to be exclusively for riders.
The right accessories can make the trip more comfortable. Motorcycles have more infotainment systems than ever before, which can make the trip more enjoyable. A way to listen, read, or download music can make long trips more enjoyable. For those unfamiliar roads, GPS systems are also available. Cruise control is another comfort feature. For long distances, this takes the strain off your wrist. The newer cruising bikes have cruise control, cup holders, stereos and so forth. So shop around to find the right one for you.
These options are just choices. Your preference is what really matters. You can still find out what you should look for by visiting your local dealer or browsing the forums. It’s worth taking some extra prep time to yield an awesome cross-country tour.
Top 10 Bikes for Cross Country Riding
They are durable and a great investment. The Goldwing is a great example of Honda’s legendary reliability. It’s easy to find a bike that has a lot left in it, which makes it very convenient. If you’re looking for a newer model, you can rest assured that it’s going to take you on as many trips as you want to take. Although the fuel economy is only 38 mpg, it is still better than many of its rivals.
Harley Davidson Electra Glide
The HD Electra Glide, another classic ride, is also available. This model is versatile and can be modified to suit different tastes, but it’s well-suited for 2 person touring. The Electra Glide’s reputation for its “laughable” nature is also well-known. “batwing” Fairing is the bodywork that attaches to the handlebars. In the hard-body saddlebags, cargo is easy to find.
The final Harley Davidson FL series bike, the Electra Glide, is it. These bikes are large in size and come with the Milwaukee-Eight107 107. Modern bikes have electronic gauges and electronics in the batwing fairing. For a more comfortable ride, the rider must sit upright.
Although used bikes can be quite expensive, they are well worth the money. There are many options for aftermarket parts to suit your needs. The Electra’s fuel economy is a problem. It averages between 33 and 38 mpg. It all depends on how you ride it, but it is definitely worth looking into.
The GS is similar to the RT and an adventure-style bike. It can be used to cruise on the highway as well as off-road. These adaptations come in many variations, including off-road or road-biased versions. The bike’s boxer engine produces about 134 horsepower and weighs in at 600lbs. For easier or more aggressive riding, the eco-mode can be switched to pro-mode.
Although there are no standard saddlebags and panniers, aftermarket options are available. The Enduro Package is an option available directly from the manufacturer. It includes an engine guard, raised handlebars and a raised handlebar.
Despite being more expensive, the GS is still able to get 41 mpg with a 5-gallon tank. This is a great way to go off-road, where gas stations are miles away. The rider must sit straight up and be able to stand when navigating through trails or rocky terrain.
BMW K Series
BMW’s K Series is a sports-touring model. The K series was introduced in the mid-1980s. There are several models and submodels. There are still a few good K series bikes available, even though not all models are currently in production. The K1600, which is comparable to other touring bikes, is one of the current models.
The K1600 is available in the GTL or GTL submodels. Grand America and GLT are the most suitable for touring. They also include a passenger’s seat. Bagger is the B submodel. It offers a lower seating position, floorboards and a chopped windscreen. All models include a 6-cylinder, in-line engine that produces between 100 and 120 lb-ft of torque. New models feature a built in audio and navigation system.
These bikes won’t come cheap but do offer a lot of niceties and a comfy, yet powerful ride. The fuel mileage varies around the mid-to high-30’s from a 7-gallon tank. If you have the money, a K-series touring bike would be a great option for cross-country riding.
Yamaha V Star 1300
The V Star looks like a classic cruiser and the 1300 model can take you wherever you need it to. The 1300 model is no longer in production. It was made between 2007-2017. There are many used bikes available for a fair price.
Due to its age, you won’t be able to have some of the modern amenities, such as infotainment or built-in navigation. The low seat height and upright riding position make it a great touring bike. There are many options for aftermarket saddlebags and windshields. Aside from these upgrades, you won’t need to do much wrenching, as the V Star is pretty dependable.
1300 gets low to mid 40’s for mpg, which is very competitive with the Gold Wing or K 1600. A 5-speed trans to a drive shaft makes it easy to maintain. The V-twin’s carbureted engine runs strong when matched with a 5-speed turbo. Although it may not be the most flashy option, this could be a great option for first-timers.
Indian Motorcycles, another iconic motorcycle manufacturer, knows how to create a cruiser. The Roadmaster, a modified Chieftain is another cruiser. The Roadmaster comes with a trunk, fairings and floorboards. It holds a total of 111 cubic in. It has a v-twin engine and a six-speed transmission, which makes it easy to drive down the road.
The Roadmaster is capable of achieving around 40 mpg using a 5.5 gallon tank. This is quite high compared with its rivals. There is plenty of cargo space between truck and hard saddlebags in the two-seater. The Roadmaster is a classic motorcycle that has a timeless look.
The Vulcan has been Kawasaki’s entry in the cruiser motorcycle market since 1984. The Vulcan is available in many sizes. Currently, there are the 650 S and 900 in production. The Vulcan 1700 Nomad is similar to the Vulcan 1700 Voyager and they are both equipped for touring. With ABS and traction control as well as audio systems and passenger seats, there isn’t much left to be desired.
For fuel mileage, the Vulcan can do mid-to high-30’s with a 5.3-gallon tank. To get to highway speeds, the v-twin produces 107 lbft of torque. New models feature storage and a plush seat for the passenger. The bike’s full front fairing keeps rain and wind off your face, and makes it quieter than other bikes. The Vulcan, a great bike for beginners, can still be ridden by experienced riders.
Yamaha FJR 1300
The FJR was first introduced in the USA in 2002. It has been a successful sport-touring motorcycle. With a zippy 1298cc 4-cylinder EFI engine, it’s easy to see why this makes for a great touring bike. Despite its sporty appearance, it’s well-equipped for long hauls. It also has a passenger compartment. One drawback is that the rider’s legs are more underneath versus forward, which can make for cramped legs on a longer ride.
With a larger 6.6-gallon fuel tank, the FJR puts out an impressive low/mid 40’s for fuel mileage. The FJR’s handling is effortless thanks to its adjustable suspension, antilock brakes, sporty tires, and anti-lock brakes. There is a lot to love about this bike, but for the price, it’s a bit difficult to not consider the BMW 1250RT, which has more features for a similar price.
Top 3 Picks
Best Sport Touring BMW R1250RT
The RT is lighter than other BMW touring bikes. This makes it easier to handle. The RT is sport-touring but comfortable for long stretches on empty roads. It’s worth mentioning that the R1250RT is an award-winning for the best sport-touring bike for a couple of years and it lives up to the hype.
These bikes feature a boxer motor that puts out about 136 horsepower. This makes it easy for you to travel through the countryside. You also get traction control, an adjustable ride height and a windshield that can be adjusted. These and many other options make it a luxurious ride.
The BMX R1250RT’s reported MPG is 47 MPG. This is a lot higher than most touring bikes. This comes at a cost, though, as these bikes are more expensive. But if you’re looking for a bike that you can take just about anywhere in any condition, this is the bike for you.
Honda Goldwing is the best touring vehicle:
The Honda Goldwing is the classic touring bike. The Goldwing was first introduced in 1975 and has been a popular bike in its category ever since. The Goldwing has sold over 640,000 in the United States. This model was introduced at a time when people were looking for a touring bike but didn’t want to break the bank. Since then, Honda has listened to this market.
The Goldwing is a great bike for touring. There are a variety of engine options available, including the flat-four and flat-six engines with carburetors and fuel injectors. Fairings protect you from the wind, and they house all the necessary amenities like the cup holders, infotainment system, and cup holders. The ideal touring bike, with its balance of power and comfort, is the Goldwing. If you need extra gear, there are towing options available for the Goldwing.
Top Choice for Dual-Sport: Suzuki VStrom
The Suzuki V-Strom, another dual-sport option is also available. It’s a versatile machine. The 1037cc Vtwin was originally built for the TL1000S & TL1000R sports motorcycles. However, the fuel-injected engine works well for an adventure model. The V-Strom was produced between 2002 and 2019. It also includes traction control, ABS, and other safety features.
You have the option of clip-on saddlebags and informative dash displays. Although it only has one piece of seating, it can be used as a passenger bike. However, it may not offer as much comfort as other bikes. MPG ranges from high 30’s to low 40’s with a 5.3-gallon tank. This bike is a great choice for anyone who enjoys dual-sport riding.