Some sports tourers are more radical than others, so if you’re in the market for something a bit different then you might want to try the KTM 990 SMT. It combines the wild fun of a supermoto with practical touches that make it akin to an adventure bike — and therefore capable of big miles. The 999cc V-twin engine may only make 115bhp but you wouldn’t know it from the way the SMT rides. It’s an absolute hoot if you ride aggressively but can soon be calmed down with a gentle touch and is well-behaved when you want it to be. KTM’S V-twins are known to have a thirst for oil so keep an eye on the levels.
About as far from the 990 SMT as it’s possible to be, the Honda VFR1200 is nevertheless another supremely good sports touring bike. It wasn’t to everyone’s taste when it was launched in 2010 — perhaps too much of a departure from the previous VFR range — but that means secondhand prices are not sky high and you can pick up a good (and updated) 2012 example for as little as £6000 — less than half the asking price of a new model. For that you get a fast V-four engine, ABS, traction control, supreme build quality and of course, nearbulletproof reliability.
While the earlier version of the Kawasaki Versys 1000 wasn’t quite sure what it wanted to be, the 2015 model was a more focused sports tourer and a very capable one at that. It’s tall and roomy, has a three-stage traction control system, slipper clutch, ABS and an adjustable screen. The build and finish are superb and reliability is top notch too. You can pick up a two-year-old example for £7200.
You can pick up an early BMW K1300S for less than £6000, but it’s worth spending a bit more for a good one with decent extras. It’s a super-sophisticated 175bhp sports tourer with electronically-adjustable suspension and traction control. The 1293cc four-cylinder engine was hailed as one of the best big engines in any motorcycle at the time and it’s still enormously impressive now.
Quirky styling and a huge spec make the Honda VFR1200 a good bet 2012 KTM 990 SMT with only 14,238 miles on the clock. £6999. Dealer ad on www.mcnbikesforsale.com likes: