My Dream Sports-Tourer?

This last weekend’s crushing disappointment over having my offer for that 2005 ZZR1200 rejected and my jotting down of some motorcycle perspectives came at about the same time. Because, in considering the ZZR, I’ve been thinking about the bike I really want to have.

If I could have a dream sports-tourer, it would have the following characteristics:

  • Wet weight: under 600 lbs.
  • Great handling
  • Hard bags
  • 90lb-ft of torque and 140+HP at the rear wheel, enough to give me a 1/4 in the mid 10s.
  • Good wind protection, including an adjustable windscreen.
  • Handlebars that allow easy mounting of electronics.
  • Heated grips
  • 2 aux. 12-volt electric outlets
  • ABS

Give me that, and I’ll happily live with a chain drive to save weight.

But what I think I’ve actually just done is designed a K1600GT with a chain drive. Let’s see, wet weight, 703 lbs…

Yeah. That’s what I did.


Maybe that extra 100 lbs isn’t a deal-breaker.

Oh, speaking of the new BMW K1600 bikes, BMW released the prices today.  $21,000 for the GT, $23,000 for the GTL. Compared to the inflated price of a Gold Wing, that $23k for the GTL is a steal.

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.

8 thoughts on “My Dream Sports-Tourer?”

  1. Acceleration was important to me too, once upon a time. I rode a Kawasaki 750 two-stroke triple home from Savannah, GA for a long weekend in June 1972 and was surprised by hurricane Agnes somewhere around Chattanooga, TN. The chain oiler was overwhelmed by nine hours of rain on the Interstate highway. I swore from that day any touring bike I owned henceforth would be a shaftie.
    Odd to think now that buzz-saw 750 was the fastest (but evil handling) production bike made, but I bought it for that reason. Now any 600cc bike would blow it in the weeds. Still, I sorta understand your “need for speed”.
    But 10-second quarter mile times? Why?

  2. I had the chance to see a K1600GT this past weekend at the Atlantic Motorcycle Show.  It was impressive and I liked everything about this bike. I would love to take one for a ride just to crank up that six cylinder power plant! Couple of pics I took here –

  3. * Why only two aux outlets? That’s barely enough for the GPSs. How about a built in aux fuse box (a la Centech), half switched and half unswitched.
    Here’s a few more:
    * Upright riding position. I’m also looking for a new ride, and sat on the new Triumph Sprint GT. It spec’ed out great, but I knew within a second that this wasn’t the bike for me as it had a racer layout. Not for thousand mile days, thank you. I sat on a BMW RT and felt at home right away.
    * Decent seat that doesn’t need to be upgraded immediately. (See thousand mile days above.)
    * Rider-serviceable. I don’t know if these exist anymore. I’m wary of the Connie 14 because of the electronic everything.
    * Decent number of aftermarket accessories and vendors.
    * A dealer nearby, and fairly easy to find while on the road (rules out the BMW.)

  4. Odd, you seem to be describing the new Multistrada, except the MTS exceeds most of your requirements except maybe the wind protection which isn’t bad.  It’s about 100 lbs lighter than your requirement.  Go ride one. =)

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