Top 10 Sports Tourers

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Sports Tourers offer the same capabilities as touring bikes with the main sporting credentials of dedicated sports bikes, just toned down a bit for the real world. What is a sports tourer?

The Best Sports Touring Motorbikes:

Kawasaki H2 SX SE+

What Is It?

In 2018 Kawasaki evolved their supercharged H2 sports bike into a more relaxed sports tourer.

The H2 SX SE has a less aggressive riding position, taller screen, much higher maximum load from a stronger rear frame and a useful two litres of extra fuel capacity.

It also comes packed with all the tech you can think of like launch control, a quickshifter, fancy colour TFT dash, heated grips and even LED cornering lights.

For 2019 the SE+ adds electronic semi-active suspension from the ZX-10R SE sports bike, upgraded Brembo Stylema brakes and a "self-healing" paint finish.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £21,600
  • Engine: Inline Four
  • Capacity: 998 cc (high)
  • Power: 197 bhp / 147 kW (very high)
  • Top Speed: 185 mph / 298 km/h (very high)
  • Economy: 45 mpg / 6.3 L/100km (average)
  • Range: 190 miles / 306 km (high)
  • Seat Height: 835 mm / 32.9 inches (average)
  • Wet Weight: 262 kg / 578 pounds (very heavy)
  • Power to Weight Ratio: 0.752 bhp/kg / 0.561 kW/kg
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BMW S1000XR

What Is It?

The S1000XR is a well established sports touring / adventure front runner and is powered by a de-tuned version of the engine found in BMW's S1000RR sports bike.

For 2020 there's a new wasp styled nose, LED lighting, TFT dash, lighter frame / swingarm / exhaust, cornering ABS, hill hold control, electronic suspension and hill start control. It should prove just as popular as the old model.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £14,290
  • Engine: Inline Four
  • Capacity: 999 cc (high)
  • Power: 162 bhp / 121 kW (very high)
  • Top Speed: 160 mph / 257 km/h (very high)
  • Economy: 40 mpg / 7.1 L/100km (average)
  • Range: 180 miles / 290 km (high)
  • Seat Height: 840 mm / 33.1 inches (average)
  • Wet Weight: 226 kg / 498 pounds (heavy)
  • Power to Weight Ratio: 0.717 bhp/kg / 0.535 kW/kg

Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX

What Is It?

The venerable Z1000SX is now in the Ninja camp with an up to date 4.3" TFT dash, cruise control, LED lighting, a quickshifter and a comfier seat. 

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £11,000
  • Engine: Inline Four
  • Capacity: 1,043 cc (high)
  • Power: 140 bhp / 104 kW (high)
  • Top Speed: 150 mph / 241 km/h (very high)
  • Economy: 40 mpg / 7.1 L/100km (average)
  • Range: 170 miles / 274 km (high)
  • Seat Height: 835 mm / 32.9 inches (average)
  • Wet Weight: 235 kg / 518 pounds (heavy)
  • Power to Weight Ratio: 0.596 bhp/kg / 0.444 kW/kg

BMW R1250RS

What Is It?

New for 2019, the R1250RS replaces the popular R1200RS with a host of upgrades.

The engine now features Variable Valve Timing, there's more power, a full LED headlight and a fancy colour dash.

It carries its weight down low due to the Boxer engine design and can be spec'd up with with full luggage.

The Exclusive model has the semi-active suspension, keyless start, cruise control and centre stand so that's probably the one to go for.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £12,100
  • Engine: Boxer
  • Capacity: 1,254 cc (very high)
  • Power: 134 bhp / 100 kW (high)
  • Top Speed: 145 mph / 233 km/h (high)
  • Economy: 45 mpg / 6.3 L/100km (average)
  • Range: 180 miles / 290 km (high)
  • Seat Height: 820 mm / 32.3 inches (average)
  • Wet Weight: 243 kg / 536 pounds (heavy)
  • Power to Weight Ratio: 0.551 bhp/kg / 0.411 kW/kg

Yamaha Tracer 900 GT

What Is It?

This bike should definitely be on your list to test ride and presents great value for money.

New for 2018 the Tracer 900 GT is £1,400 more expensive than the excellent Tracer 900 but you get the quick release panniers, quickshifter, cruise control, heated grips, a better fork and the colour TFT dash from the MT-10 SP.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £10,650
  • Engine: Triple
  • Capacity: 847 cc (average)
  • Power: 114 bhp / 85 kW (high)
  • Top Speed: 140 mph / 225 km/h (high)
  • Economy: 45 mpg / 6.3 L/100km (average)
  • Range: 180 miles / 290 km (high)
  • Seat Height: 850 mm / 33.5 inches (average)
  • Wet Weight: 227 kg / 501 pounds (heavy)
  • Power to Weight Ratio: 0.502 bhp/kg / 0.374 kW/kg

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Ducati SuperSport

What Is It?

If looks are near the top of your sports touring wish list then the 2017 Ducati SuperSport is a great option.

It's has Brembo brakes, riding modes and a lovely single-sided swingarm.

There's also a £1,300 more SuperSport S with fully adjustable Ohlins suspension, a quickshifter and white paint scheme with red wheels.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £11,500
  • Engine: V-Twin
  • Capacity: 937 cc (average)
  • Power: 113 bhp / 84 kW (high)
  • Top Speed: 150 mph / 241 km/h (very high)
  • Economy: 55 mpg / 5.1 L/100km (average)
  • Range: 190 miles / 306 km (high)
  • Seat Height: 810 mm / 31.9 inches (average)
  • Wet Weight: 210 kg / 463 pounds (heavy)
  • Power to Weight Ratio: 0.538 bhp/kg / 0.401 kW/kg

Honda VFR800

What Is It?

It features the same lovely single-sided swingarm design as the Ducati SuperSport but the Honda VFR800 is unique on this list because it's powered by a compact V4 engine with Variable Valve Timing (VVT).

While it was introduced in 2014, with only a minor update in 2017, the model has been slowly evolving since 2001 and has a massive following due to the change in engine character from frugal to full sports bike power when the VTEC kicks in.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £10,700
  • Engine: V4
  • Capacity: 782 cc (average)
  • Power: 104 bhp / 78 kW (high)
  • Top Speed: 165 mph / 265 km/h (very high)
  • Economy: 45 mpg / 6.3 L/100km (average)
  • Range: 210 miles / 338 km (high)
  • Seat Height: 789 mm / 31.1 inches (low)
  • Wet Weight: 242 kg / 534 pounds (heavy)
  • Power to Weight Ratio: 0.430 bhp/kg / 0.320 kW/kg

Yamaha Tracer 700

What Is It?

The 2016 Yamaha Tracer 700 is based on the best selling naked MT-07 but with only 74 bhp on tap it's probably best suited to solo touring. It doesn't have masses of equipment to boast about but the engine is renowned for being excellent.

From 2019 the Tracer 700 GT includes the panniers, comfort seat and larger screen. Read the GT review.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £7,950
  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 689 cc (average)
  • Power: 72 bhp / 54 kW (average)
  • Top Speed: 120 mph / 193 km/h (high)
  • Economy: 60 mpg / 4.7 L/100km (good)
  • Range: 220 miles / 354 km (high)
  • Seat Height: 840 mm / 33.1 inches (average)
  • Wet Weight: 196 kg / 432 pounds (average)
  • Power to Weight Ratio: 0.367 bhp/kg / 0.274 kW/kg

KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

What Is It?

The 2016 GT is a small evolution of the naked 1290 Super Duke R with a larger 23 litre tank, screen and pannier mount system.

It's very well equipped with cornering lights, semi-active suspension, cruise control, ride modes, tyre pressure monitoring and self cancelling indicators however it's somewhat unusual in this list because most of the competition opt for the smooth power of an inline four engine over a V-Twin.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £16,000
  • Engine: V-Twin
  • Capacity: 1,301 cc (very high)
  • Power: 170 bhp / 127 kW (very high)
  • Top Speed: 185 mph / 298 km/h (very high)
  • Economy: 40 mpg / 7.1 L/100km (average)
  • Range: 200 miles / 322 km (high)
  • Seat Height: 835 mm / 32.9 inches (average)
  • Wet Weight: 228 kg / 503 pounds (heavy)
  • Power to Weight Ratio: 0.746 bhp/kg / 0.556 kW/kg

Yamaha NIKEN GT

What Is It?

The NIKEN GT is unique but shouldn't be overlooked. Yamaha set out to create a sporty naked bike with the original NIKEN, that cornered better than anything else on two wheels, but they ended up creating a really capable sports tourer instead. For 2019 it evolved into a fully featured sports tourer with the NIKEN GT by adding all of the options available on the original.

The extra wheel adds loads more grip and improved braking while the MT-09 derived engine basically ticks all the boxes.

More info, pics, prices and videos →

Key Specs

  • RRP: £14,700
  • Engine: Triple
  • Capacity: 847 cc (average)
  • Power: 114 bhp / 85 kW (high)
  • Top Speed: 110 mph / 177 km/h (high)
  • Economy: 40 mpg / 7.1 L/100km (average)
  • Range: 160 miles / 257 km (high)
  • Seat Height: 820 mm / 32.3 inches (average)
  • Wet Weight: 267 kg / 589 pounds (very heavy)
  • Power to Weight Ratio: 0.427 bhp/kg / 0.318 kW/kg

Want To See More Bikes Like This?

Head over to the Choose & Compare Tool to see them all.

How Did We Rank Our Top Ten?

We looked at all the best sports tourers you can buy new at a variety of price points and picked the top contenders, taking into account style, power, technology and value for money.

What Is A Sports Tourer?

What is a sports touring motorbike?

Sport Touring bikes are usually slightly modified high end sports bikes, such as the Kawasaki Z1000SX, however some are designed specifically for the job like the Honda VFR800.

They aim to offer the same capabilities as touring bikes but without sacrificing any of the sportiness in the process, so they tend to be a bit lighter and corner well but aren't as comfortable.

Compared to the sports bike donor, or sometimes a "designed from scratch" naked bike, the riding position tends to be a bit more relaxed, there's better wind protection, much better pillion provision and usually a whole quick release pannier system designed in.

Check out the other types of motorbikes.