Damn I love motorcycles. I kid you not. I wish I lived somewhere that I could ride one all day every day. Like Hawaii or Southern California. And if I’m going to ride, I want the comfort of a touring bike, but also the performance of a sport bike.
Since I’m not alone, manufacturers have created the Sport Touring category. And the three finest bikes available (in my opinion) are the BMW R1200RT, the Triumph Sprint ST and the Yamaha FJR1300.
Each rider is going to have a different preference among these bikes, but what I’m going to do is try and explain the different qualities that allow each of us to determine which type of rider we are.
BMW of course has a fantastic marketing department, and very deep pockets to help instill lust in their moto-gear. Just to get us started, here is a little video that showcases the R1200RT.
The BMW R1200RT is a big beautiful bike with an extremely comfortable riding position. It’s made with top of the line components and loaded with excellent technology:
- 110HP / 85lb ft
- 6 Speed
- electronic suspension adjustment
- heated handgrips
- a heated seat
- a power windshield
- electronic stability control
- anti-lock brakes
- and more…
Motorweek reviews the BMW R1200RT
Motorcycle USA also did a review, but they did it on the R1200GT, a slight variant of the RT.
In my opinion, the BMW is your bike if your priorities come in the following order:
Triumph Sprint ST
I have a personal link to the Sprint ST. I used to own one. And I loved it almost more than life itself! This motorcycle was reasonably comfortable for long rides even over pretty rough pavement (though it’s not a BMW), but at the same time it was fast enough to outrun most smaller displacement pure sport bikes in a straight line.
One thing that is almost universally agreed by motorcycle enthusiasts is the fact that the Triumph has one of the most magnificent motors in the business. The Triumph three cylinder motor is a work of genius, and makes heavenly noises as it pulls with a combination of V-twin low end grunt and 4 cylinder high revving enthusiasm.
In my opinion, the Triumph is your bike if your priorities come in the following order:
Yamaha made huge waves in the industry when they announced the new FJR sport tourer, essentially because they married a massive sportbike motor with a large body and an upright seating position. Any time you can sit on a 150hp motor, you’re not going to have any problem getting down the road – really fast, and riders love this.
When you add Yamaha’s historical reliability into the mix, and a few very unique features such as an automatic clutch, you have a winning combination.
Here is a short commercial for the FJR:
A few of my favorite features of the FJR include:
- Automatic clutch
- Adjustable windshield
- Largest engine in the group – 1300cc
- Hand warmers
And here is a review of he FJR1300:
In my opinion, the Yamaha is your bike if your priorities come in the following order:
Well, that’s enough dreaming about motorcycles today. With the global financial crunch on, I don’t think I’ll be getting another bike any time soon. Unless someone wants to sell me a kick ass bike for like 75% off because they are desperate as hell for some cash!
Jim Kubitza says
I’ll take a Moto Guzzi Norge 8v GT please.
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Madhu Sudhan says
BMW stands for sturdy, reliability and quality. The choice of Bikes depends on the rider as each individual has a preference. Yamaha FJR stands atop in my list.
Jim Evarts says
I have ridden the FJR (test drive) and the BMW 1150RT (which I own). The BMW is not quite fast enough to scratch the speed itch like the FJR does. I love your list of priorities for each bike, which really should be on every bike review. As far as the BMW goes, I agree exactly with your list, including reliability in 3rd place. It’s a good chunk of change to get the 3k maintenance done and the bike seems to know when it’s due. But people always admire the looks and BMW insignia.
Thanks, I enjoyed the clips.
I’m leaning toward the Sprint ST at the moment. Ergos are good, and not too sporty, and I don’t need all the bells and whistles of the BMW.
I guess my chinese Dayang – Chopper – Copy can’t really compete with this real bikes :-(