Top 10 Sports Tourers

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+

Kawasaki H2 SX SE+ For Sale

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. Read the SX SE review.

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.

  • Engine: Inline 4
  • Capacity: 998 cc
  • Power: 197 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 835 mm
  • Wet Weight: 262 kg
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BMW S1000XR For Sale

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.

  • Engine: Inline 4
  • Capacity: 999 cc
  • Power: 162 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 840 mm
  • Wet Weight: 226 kg

Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX

Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX For Sale

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. 

  • Engine: Inline 4
  • Capacity: 1,043 cc
  • Power: 140 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 835 mm
  • Wet Weight: 235 kg


BMW R1250RS For Sale

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.

  • Engine: Boxer
  • Capacity: 1,254 cc
  • Power: 134 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 820 mm
  • Wet Weight: 243 kg

Yamaha Tracer 900 GT

Yamaha Tracer 900 GT For Sale

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. Read the review.

  • Engine: Triple
  • Capacity: 847 cc
  • Power: 114 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 850 mm
  • Wet Weight: 227 kg

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Ducati SuperSport

Ducati SuperSport For Sale

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. Read the review.

  • Engine: V-Twin
  • Capacity: 937 cc
  • Power: 113 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 810 mm
  • Wet Weight: 210 kg

Honda VFR800

Honda VFR800 For Sale

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. Read the review.

  • Engine: V4
  • Capacity: 782 cc
  • Power: 104 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 789 mm
  • Wet Weight: 242 kg

Yamaha Tracer 700

Yamaha Tracer 700 For Sale

Last but not least is the 2016 Yamaha Tracer 700 which is based on the best selling naked MT-07.

With only 74bhp on tap it's probably best suited to solo touring and it doesn't have masses of equipment to boast about but the engine is renowned for being excellent. Read the Review.

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

  • Engine: Parallel Twin
  • Capacity: 689 cc
  • Power: 74 bhp
  • Licence: A2 (Restricted)
  • Seat Height: 835 mm
  • Wet Weight: 196 kg

KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

KTM 1290 Super Duke GT For Sale

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. Read the review.

  • Engine: V-Twin
  • Capacity: 1,301 cc
  • Power: 170 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 835 mm
  • Wet Weight: 228 kg


Yamaha NIKEN GT For Sale

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. Read the NIKEN review.

  • Engine: Triple
  • Capacity: 847 cc
  • Power: 114 bhp
  • Licence: A
  • Seat Height: 820 mm
  • Wet Weight: 267 kg

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.