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Sport Touring, What is it really?

I know that each rider has his own definition of what a sport touring bike should be. Some would say that it should be a sport bike with some bags thrown on with a back pack. Others would say that it should be a heavy weight bike that can pack on tons of miles, with plenty of power, wind protection and two up ability. Others just feel any bike that can be enjoyed in the twisty roads, no matter what type of machine, is a sport touring bike. I have to agree with most of them. Sport touring is a state of mind, more so than a specific type of machine. With that being said, let me give you my definition of a sport touring bike. And believe me it has changed over the years. 

In my early 20’s and 30’s I was all about the “sport” in sport touring. I logged over 40K on a GSXR 750 with nothing more than soft bags and a tank bag. It did not hurt, that at that time, my father was riding a Goldwing. He had graduated from his sport touring days on his BMW 90/s. He could help with any packing that I could not fit on the Gixxer. Hard to pack tools and camping gear on a bike like that for a week or longer journey.  I have to step back and tell you all how I became addicted to the sport touring genre. My father was always doing trips and riding with friends. He would come home and talk about riding in the mountains without a care in the world. His eyes would light up at the thought of the next journey.  I know that there were times when I got frustrated with my dad

for being gone all day on a Saturday, but as I grew older I could understand the attraction. It was his get away from the stresses of life. I wish I could have seen that at an earlier age. he deserved those trips. My dad always had the touring thing going on no matter what machine he was riding at the time.  I loved those trips with my father and I did together. I wish every single day that I could ride with him again. He gave me his love of motorcycles and I will always love him even more for that. My father loved riding his bike. He loved that he could escape and not think of anything except the machine and the road he was on. I am sure all of us that ride a motorcycle can appreciate that. 

As I grew older and got bigger, I decided that I really liked the added comfort of having a bigger, more powerful machine. I wanted to be able to ride longer than a few 100 miles without feeling like my wrists were going to fall off. So I started riding bigger machines. I also needed to have a bike that could handle two up adventures. My wife loves riding and she wanted to spend more time doing the touring thing. 

The last thing is probably the most important thing. The building of relationships. I love the fact that my life partner and I can enjoy the bike together. I am sure we get different things from the ride, but we both seem to enjoy the feeling of being on the bike. The way we smile at each other after a nice fun spirited ride. The secure feeling I get when she leans into me as we speed down the road, not a care in the world. Riding the bike has played a large part in our closeness and it has given us a glimpse of what our future will look like when the kids are gone and we can spend more free time together.