13 Fastest Touring Motorcycles Ranked—With Top Speed Videos

Chetan Rao

Recently, a friend was telling me about his experience driving on Germany’s famed autobahns. He recounted how shocked he was when, while driving at 110 MPH, a guy on a bike went past him in a flash and shrank into a dot on the horizon in just seconds. “It was as if I was doing 30 MPH. How fast can those things go?!” he asked.

His description of the bike sounded like it might be some grand-touring hyperbike, though he couldn’t be sure. But I decided it was a great topic for a post: which is the fastest touring motorcycle in the world?

It’s not as straightforward a question to answer as you might think. For one thing, manufacturers often shamelessly market bikes as sports tourers, when they are actually supersport motorcycles with a windshield tacked on. This is a problem because supersport bikes can be very fast, but they’re not the most ideal machines to ride long distances in the real world.

Secondly, many brands nowadays are shying away from publishing official top speed figures for their bikes. Seriously. Go check out the websites of major motorcycle manufacturers. How many of them have published top speed specifications? That’s right: hardly any.

Even when bike makers do mention top speed figures somewhere, those are usually conservative estimates. And often, manufacturers say that a bike is electronically limited to a certain speed (even though it has the power to go faster), while owners find that the bike isn’t limited and can go faster without having to meddle with the ECU (or so the owners claim ;) ).

So to compile this list, I had two simple criteria. First, it has to be a commercially available touring bike. The parameter I used for this is that the rider’s sitting position should have no more than about 15 degrees of forward lean. Honestly, you’re not going to do much touring on a bike that requires you to lie flat on the tank to reach the handlebars.

The second factor is that the speed has to be a real-world observation, not just a claim let slip in some press release. So, without further ado ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the 13 fastest touring motorcycles in the world.

13. Triumph Tiger 1200 XR

Top Speed: 140 MPH (224 KPH)
Power: 131 HP
Curb Weight: 570 lb (356 kg)
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.23 HP / lb
2020 MSRP: $ 16,500

Before you laugh about a Tiger 1200 being featured on a top speed list, just keep in mind the criteria about the rider’s forward lean angle. You sit almost bolt upright on the Tiger 1200, and that epic triple motor runs smoother than honey sliding down a polished, marble floor. 140 miles per hour isn’t going to win any drag race, but it’s certainly plenty to make quick work of the long miles on even the most epic transcontinental journeys.

12. Yamaha Tracer 900 GT

Top Speed: 144 MPH (230 KPH)
Power: 113 HP
Curb Weight: 473 lb (296 kg)
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.24 HP / lb
2020 MSRP: $ 12,999

I’m as surprised as you are to find Tracer 900 on this list. After all, 113 horsepower doesn’t sound like a whole lot in this day and age. But the secret might be the bike’s relatively low weight at just 473 lb fully loaded. The Tracer 900 is the second cheapest bike on this list, and considering its go-anywhere capabilities, that’s a pretty compelling reason to get one.

11. Suzuki Katana

Top Speed: 161 MPH (258 KPH)
Power: 147 HP
Curb Weight: 483 lb (302 kg)
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.30 HP / lb
2020 MSRP: $ 13,499

The original Suzuki Katana was first released back in 1980 before I was even born. But I grew up seeing images of that bike in picture books, not realizing at the time that I was looking at a legendary icon of a motorcycle. You see, in the 80s, Suzuki claimed that the Katana was the fastest production motorcycle in the world. A claim which was most likely true back then. No surprise then, to find this new 147-HP speed-machine on this list.

10. BMW K 1600 GT

Top Speed: 162 MPH (259 KPH)
Power: 160 HP
Curb Weight: 802 lb (501 kg)
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.20 HP / lb
2020 MSRP: $ 24,045

At 802 lb when fully fueled and ready to go, the K 1600 GT is far and away the heaviest bike on this list. Given that fact, it’s really impressive what the engineers at BMW have pulled off. The K 1600 GT may not beat a supersport any time soon, but it will at least keep up enough to stay in their mirrors. And once you reach your destination, this tourer would have kept you in such comfort that you’ll still be up for plenty more, while the supersport riders nurse their tired backs.

9. Kawasaki Concours 14

Top Speed: 165 MPH (264 KPH)
Power: 158 HP
Curb Weight: 690 lb (431 kg)
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.23 HP / lb
2020 MSRP: $ 15,599

The Concours 14 is basically a Kawasaki ZX-14R, with a few different bits of fairing and slightly higher handlebar. That should tell you something, because the ZX-14R is a seriously fast motorcycle. But while there are plenty of videos of its cousin clocking speeds in excess of 180 MPH, the Concours 14 seems marginally slower. Be warned though: don’t just twist the throttle wildly, or the Concours will throw you off in a heartbeat. 60 MPH comes up in just 2.9 seconds.

8. Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak

Top Speed: 168 MPH (269 KPH)
Power: 156 HP
Curb Weight: 504 lb (315 kg)
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.31 HP / lb
2020 MSRP: $ 25,795

I’m a huge fan of the Multistrada, but even I will admit that the 1260 Pikes Peak variant is definitely terrible value-for-money on a dollar-per-MPH basis. It’s the most expensive bike on this list, but only the eighth fastest. Obviously, any adventure touring enthusiast will tell you that out-and-out speed is not what the Multistrada is about. Even so, keep in mind that the base variant of the 1260 costs nearly $6,000 less -- that’s just $200 shy of the price of a KTM 390 Adventure! Clearly, the Pikes Peak edition is only for the hardcore (and very wealthy) fans.

7. Diavel Diavel 1260

Top Speed: 169 MPH (270 KPH)
Power: 159 HP
Curb Weight: 538 lb (336 kg)
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.30 HP / lb
2020 MSRP: $ 20,295

It’s what some call a “power cruiser”, but the Diavel 1260 is unlike any other cruiser ever made. It’s based on the same engine that powered the legendary Ducati 1198, a bike that won both the manufacturers’ and riders’ titles in the World Superbike Championship in 2011. The Diavel revs eagerly all the way up to 10,000 RPM, delivering those Italian horses all through. Even before it reaches its incredible 169 MPH top speed, it would have long left other cruiser-style tourers in the dust.

6. BMW S 1000 R

Top Speed: 171 MPH (274 KPH)
Power: 165 HP
Curb Weight: 452 lb (283 kg)
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.37 HP / lb
2020 MSRP: $ 14,045

The S 1000 R is based on its supersport cousin, the S 1000 RR. It runs the same inline 4-cylinder engine, albeit in a different state of tune. It produces about 30 HP less than the RR, but at every single point across its entire rev range, the S 1000 R makes a lot more torque. The result is blindingly fast acceleration, all the way to 11,000 RPM -- accompanied by an equally incredible soundtrack.

5. Yamaha FJR1300ES

Top Speed: 172 MPH (275 KPH)
Power: 142 HP
Curb Weight: 644 lb (403 kg)
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.22 HP / lb
2020 MSRP: $ 17,999

Unlike many of the other motorcycles on this list, the FJR1300 isn’t just a sports bike with a more upright handlebar slapped on. Like its predecessors in the FJ series, Yamaha designed this bike from the ground up with a focus on touring, while retaining the sporty handling that we all love so much through twisty mountain roads. As a result, it hides its weight well, and you’d never guess that it’s a 650-lb machine when riding it (until you have to push it).

4. Honda VFR1200X

Top Speed: 175 MPH (280 KPH)
Power: 127 HP
Curb Weight: 611 lb (382 kg)
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.21 HP / lb
2020 MSRP: $ 15,999

The VFR1200X is a bit of an oddball machine. Honda likes to bill it as an adventure tourer, but it doesn’t have many of the typical adventure bike attributes. The 127 horsepower output seems quite low, so it’s surprising that the VFR ranks this high on this list. A CFD engineer will tell you that this is a great example to demonstrate why aerodynamics is important.

3. Honda CB1000R

Top Speed: 176 MPH (282 KPH)
Power: 144 HP
Curb Weight: 467 lb (292 kg)
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.31 HP / lb
2020 MSRP: $ 12,999

Two Hondas back-to-back, so high up on this list, was definitely not something I was expecting to see. It’s all the more surprising because the CB1000R is 30 percent lighter than the VFR1200X, and 13 percent more powerful. Despite this, their top speeds are nearly identical. Guess our CFD engineer will tell you again that aerodynamics is important. Looks like fairing isn’t just aesthetic after all, and the CB1000R would have been a much faster bike if it weren’t a naked.

2. Suzuki GSX-S1000F

Top Speed: 183 MPH (293 KPH)
Power: 145 HP
Curb Weight: 472 lb (295 kg)
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.31 HP / lb
2020 MSRP: $ 11,599

Many people will snort and tell you that the GSX-S1000F isn’t really a sports tourer. And that it’s actually an alien spaceship with warp-drive technology, in a motorcycle’s clothes. Whatever the case, everything about this motorcycle-spaceship is jaw-dropping. Not only is it the second-fastest bike on this list, it’s also the third lightest, and most importantly, it’s the absolute cheapest. If you’re really in the market for a superfast tourer and a Suzuki sales rep tries to pitch you the GSX-S1000F, you should just tell him (or her) to shut up and take your money.

1. KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

Top Speed: 187 MPH (299 KPH)
Power: 157 HP
Curb Weight: 506 lb (316 kg)
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 0.31 HP / lb
2020 MSRP: $ 20,599

There are many bonkers motorcycles out there, but none that lets you go this fast and gives you the seating position of a high-back dining chair. There’s nothing remotely furniture-esque about the way the 1290 Super Duke goes, though. Zero to 60 miles per hour is dealt with in a face-warping 2.6 seconds. More impressively though, that pace continues virtually unabated, all the way to its ECU-limited top speed of 187 MPH.

ModelTop SpeedPowerCurb WeightPower to Weight RatioMSRP
Triumph Tiger 1200 XR140 mph (224 km/h)131 hp (97 kW)570 lb (356 kg)0.23 hp / lb (272.47 hp / ton)$16,500
Yamaha Tracer 900 GT144 mph (230 km/h)113 hp (84 kW)473 lb (296 kg)0.24 hp / lb (283.78 hp / ton)$12,999
Suzuki Katana161 mph (258 km/h)147 hp (109 kW)483 lb (302 kg)0.3 hp / lb (360.93 hp / ton)$13,499
BMW K 1600 GT162 mph (259 km/h)160 hp (119 kW)802 lb (501 kg)0.2 hp / lb (237.52 hp / ton)$24,045
Kawasaki Concours 14165 mph (264 km/h)158 hp (117 kW)690 lb (431 kg)0.23 hp / lb (271.46 hp / ton)$15,599
Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak168 mph (269 km/h)156 hp (116 kW)504 lb (315 kg)0.31 hp / lb (368.25 hp / ton)$25,795
Diavel Diavel 1260169 mph (270 km/h)159 hp (118 kW)538 lb (336 kg)0.3 hp / lb (351.19 hp / ton)$20,295
BMW S 1000 R171 mph (274 km/h)165 hp (123 kW)452 lb (283 kg)0.37 hp / lb (434.63 hp / ton)$14,045
Yamaha FJR1300ES172 mph (275 km/h)142 hp (105 kW)644 lb (403 kg)0.22 hp / lb (260.55 hp / ton)$17,999
Honda VFR1200X175 mph (280 km/h)127 hp (94 kW)611 lb (382 kg)0.21 hp / lb (246.07 hp / ton)$15,999
Honda CB1000R176 mph (282 km/h)144 hp (107 kW)467 lb (292 kg)0.31 hp / lb (366.44 hp / ton)$12,999
Suzuki GSX-S1000F183 mph (293 km/h)145 hp (108 kW)472 lb (295 kg)0.31 hp / lb (366.1 hp / ton)$11,599
KTM 1290 Super Duke GT187 mph (299 km/h)157 hp (117 kW)506 lb (316 kg)0.31 hp / lb (370.25 hp / ton)$20,599

So, there you have it: the thirteen fastest touring motorcycles that money can buy today. Did I leave something out on this list? Or is there a bike that you think doesn't belong here? Let me know in the comments -- I read and respond to every comment.