2011 Luxury Touring Motorcycle Shootout Conclusion

Adam Waheed | September 6, 2011

Adam Waheed – 6’0”, 175 pounds – Honda Gold Wing

For a 900-plus pound bike the Honda Gold Wing delivers a high-level of road performance. But it is easy to drag hard parts around corners during faced paced maneuvers.
Motorcycle-USA tests three top luxury touring mounts on the way to Laguna Seca for the Red Bull USGP at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The BMWs Inline-Six engine is simply amazing. Its smooth  powerful and has a ton of character. Well done BMW!
Despite the BMW K1600 GTL winning this year’s Luxury Motorcycle Touring Shootout, two out of three of our test riders said they would buy the Honda Gold Wing.

As Brian mentioned in the Spyder RT video there is a definite niche for the Can-Am. It has the ability to bring a person with no experience into the world of motorcycling. Although it doesn’t really handle like a bike it is a stepping stone and a great way for someone to get a taste of what it’s like to ride on the open road. Personally, the Can-Am isn’t my cup of tea but I would recommend it to older folks or someone with limited mobility. The BMW on the other hand is just a marvelous bike. Just when you thought the world was going to be ruled by silent electric cars and bikes, BMW builds the mother of all bikes/engines. The Inline-Six engine in that bike is unbelievable and is one of the finest engines I’ve ever experienced in a car or motorcycle. And while it is an excellent touring bike it is a little too performance oriented (I can’t believe I’m even saying that). For me luxury touring is all about just that and the Honda Gold Wing is the most comfortable motorcycle I’ve ever ridden. Sure it’s not as fast as the Beemer or nearly as fun to ride but it is more comfortable plus the audio system and GPS are fantastic and those are really important features when I’m on a destination ride.
 
Ray Gauger – 6,5”, 180 pounds – Honda Gold Wing
 
If my money was on the line I’d buy the Gold Wing. It’s the most logical choice as it is the most comfortable for both rider and passenger and has the best creature comforts. I sure had fun riding the BMW but it is a little too sporty for me and the performance kind of goes to waste. The Spyder is a cool idea for sure but it just isn’t for me. It’s too big and heavy and it just feels awkward on the road.
 
Brian Steeves – 5’9” – 165 pounds – BMW K1600 GTL
 
There’s no doubt in my mind that if I had the cash I would buy the BMW. This bike just plain rips and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had on a touring bike. I really like how light it is and how well it handles in turns. The sound system isn’t nearly as good as the Honda but the character of the engine and how much ass it hauls makes up for it.

Adam Waheed

MotoUSA Road Test Editor | Adam's insatiable thirst for life is only surpassed by his monthly fuel bill. Whether rocketing on land, flying through the air, or jumping the seas, our Road Test Editor does it all and has the scars to prove it.

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