Where did all the middleweight sport touring bikes go?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by FranknStein7, Jul 13, 2021.

  1. FranknStein7

    FranknStein7 Been here awhile

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    It seems strange to be that there aren’t more sub-liter touring bikes on the market. I already have a big adventure bike. Sometimes I just wish I could hop on a smaller sporty bike that can also accommodate luggage. It doesn’t need to be alarmingly fast. Related topic: https://advrider.com/f/threads/is-there-a-lightweight-touring-motorcycle.1472911/, although even under 500 lbs would be fine.

    Requirements:
    -500-1000cc engine
    -17” front wheel
    -OEM panniers
    -sub 500 lbs wet
    -some basic wind protection
    -preferably cruise control option and reasonable seat height

    Options:
    -Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
    -BMW F900XR
    -MV Augusta Turismo Veloce (110 hp and priced liked a heavyweight sport tourer though)
    -Honda NC750X (no cruise control)
    -Kawasaki Versys 650 LT (no cruise control)
    -Benelli TRK 800 (announced)
    -Triumph Tiger Sport 660 (announced)

    Honorable mention:
    -Triumph Tiger 900 GT (19" front wheel)
    -Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT (19” front wheel and no cruise control)
    -Ducati Multistrada 950 (19" front wheel, ~500 lbs wet, 33" seat height)
    -Moto Guzzi V85TT (19" front wheel, 505 lbs wet)
    -Kawasaki Z1000SX (liter bike, 518 lbs wet)
    -KTM Super Duke GT (liter bike, 497 lbs wet), or alternatively a Super Duke R w/ a fly screen (~462 lbs wet)
    -Aprilia Tuono 660 (meets all criteria except OEM luggage, subframe does appear small)


    What am I missing? I realize there are more older bikes that fit these criteria, but what about current bikes? The Aprilia Tuono 660 would nearly make the cut if there were an elegant pannier system available.

    Edited: added bikes in bold
    #1
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  2. Vistavette

    Vistavette Been here awhile

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    Triumph Tiger 900
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  3. FranknStein7

    FranknStein7 Been here awhile

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    19” front wheel but otherwise real close
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  4. Tim270

    Tim270 n00b

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    Pretty much adventure bikes killed off the sport touring market to be honest, or rather, they merged into one.

    VFR is still going, Z1000SX, GSX1250fa, Tiger 800/800 roadie, Multistrada 950 etc.

    Otherwise just buy the bike you like, throw some soft/hard bags on it and get going!
    #4
  5. fastring

    fastring Been here awhile

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    I would look at this differently. The tracer, xr and tiger are relatively new. Rewind a few years back and there werent ANY new options that meet those requirements. Good trend to see some new models released recently!
    #5
  6. dddd

    dddd Long timer

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    So I guess you don't know about kawasaki, suzuki, honda.... Google them up.
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  7. FranknStein7

    FranknStein7 Been here awhile

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    Really? Some of the bikes I had in mind were the Ducati ST4 and BMW F800ST. It seems like sport touring bikes were more popular before the adventure bike craze started.
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  8. FranknStein7

    FranknStein7 Been here awhile

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    Didn’t realize the VFR800 was still being made. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one on a showroom floor. I’d put the Z1000SX and GSX in the heavyweight category. The Multi 950 also nearly fits the bill, but like the Tiger it has a 19” front.

    Edit: I’m not sure the VFR800 is still available in the US?
    #8
  9. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    Yeah it’s a dead market with the fracturing of the middle weight ADV bikes Into dirt or road focus. I did see an F700 GS Sport today. All the “just short of Supersport”” middle weights are gone. RIP; FZ6R, ZZR’s, F4i’s. But none of them had fitted luggage.
    Best bet is find the bike/engine you want and farkle as needed.

    Edit!
    Arn’t the Vstrom and Versys 17”? iIRC they have a “tour package” with panniers.
    #9
  10. FranknStein7

    FranknStein7 Been here awhile

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  11. FranknStein7

    FranknStein7 Been here awhile

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    Looks like Vstrom has a 19 but the Versys has a 17. The Versys 650 LT just about fits the bill.
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  12. mmc45414

    mmc45414 Adventurer

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    CB500x didn't go 19" until 2019, maybe a new one out there someplace? Not factory bags but lots of options.
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  13. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    I onLy just barely fits the middle weight category.
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  14. oldoval

    oldoval Pleasant as fuck

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    I wouldn't get too hung up over weight numbers. Center of gravity and chassis geometry can also have a pretty huge effect on how "heavy" a bike feels. I've ridden "heavy" bikes that are light on their feet (BMW's GS and RT) and "light" bikes that are handling slugs.

    My Ninja 1000SX is a prefect example. 514 lbs wet, but fantastic handling by any measure. Quick and accurate in transitions, but also unflappable stability. Going by numbers alone you might miss out on some wonderful motorcycles.

    I also wouldn't sweat too much over the availability of factory luggage either as it is often designed for aesthetics rather than functionality and often overpriced.

    The bike in your sig line (R1250GS) is an amazing sport tourer. I can't imagine any middle weight being able to do anything better than that motorcycle.

    .
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  15. FranknStein7

    FranknStein7 Been here awhile

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    Oh I totally get. My 1250GS is an incredible machine. It probably feels more nimble in the twisties than my Husky. No plans of getting rid of it. There is still just something appealing to me about a bike that feels smaller. For instance whenever I sit on a S1000XR, it still feels like a large imposing motorcycle, even if it does handle amazingly. Plus I don’t think I need another ludicrously fast bike. I think I’m always going to want a smaller bike to complement my GS. I’m just one of those weirdos who wants all my bikes to have cruise control and luggage accommodations.
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  16. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    Let’s back track a little, sporty is easy. How many days luggage do you need? Long tours, weekends? Camping or hotels?
    There are a ton of fun middle weights out there. With some creativity of luggage you could do a long tour.
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  17. oldoval

    oldoval Pleasant as fuck

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    I'm with you here. The ability to fit quality hard luggage is a requirement for any bike I own. Givi usually has me covered. Even the sportiest bikes need to have some practicality for me to consider them. Cruise is nice too once you've had it... my last two bikes have.
    #17
  18. FranknStein7

    FranknStein7 Been here awhile

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    Doesn’t even need to be a multi-day trip. My GS is already perfect for that. One thing I really like about having hard luggage is that I can secure my gear in my bike. I will frequently go for 8 hour day trips and stop to hike or sight see. I much prefer putting my helmet and jacket in hardbags rather than relying on a helmet lock.
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  19. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    Double check the size of those Versys cases. If you want to stash a helmet you’ll likely need a top box
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  20. Mr Pou

    Mr Pou Been here awhile Supporter

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    Find a mid-sized bike that Givi or Ventura makes racks for, and go touring. I toured for a number of years on my SV650 standard.

    5F49F8BE-9427-4A9C-A678-106AA3D94CBD.jpeg

    I also toured for a few years on a Triumph Street Triple R using a Ventura rack and bags.
    #20