By Troy Siahaan
Just as there are a million ways to skin a cat, there are a million ways to go sport-touring, too. Some folks prefer the full-on Gold Wing style of touring, while others sway the other direction, slapping on a backpack filled only with the bare essentials as they dart off aboard their sportbike. Throw in muscle cruisers and adventure bikes with integrated or aftermarket luggage, and the options for burning miles and scraping peg feelers are very wide.
For this test, we’re shooting for the happy medium, with three motorcycles that all approach sport-touring slightly differently. The players include the BMW S1000XR, KTM 1290 Super Duke GT, and the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce. Astute moto-heads will notice the distinctive aspect that separates all three: their engines. With a 999cc inline-Four in the Beemer, 1301cc V-Twin in the KTM, and 798cc inline-Triple inside the MV, the quest here is to see how each variety of engine adapts to the demands of touring.
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This test turned out to be an examination of philosophies as much as a typical test. With the BMW, you have the Teutonic, calculated, and polished method of touring. The S1000XR could be considered more along the lines of your traditional sport-tourer. It’s big and very comfortable, with luggage that’s both spacious and easy to use. With the KTM, you have the brash, in-your-face method of S-T riding from neighboring Austria. Everything centers around its big engine, with a personality veering clearly towards the sport side of the sport-touring equation – KTM’s mantra is Ready To Race, after all. Then there’s the Italian MV Agusta, which sneaks in here relying on its svelte and pretty looks to make up for its relative lack of muscles. More than just a …read more