What is a “Touring” motorcycle? Part 2

Inspired by the time I spent gazing at the little Yamaha below, which I rode from 1967 until it met an unkind fate when ridden too rapidly into a hairpin corner behind Cougar mountain in 1969, I searched the web for a picture of my next bike.   I purchased an almost brand new 1969 Honda CL 450 Street Scrambler from an anal compulsive neatness fanatic.  Mine was a rare color combo of a silver tank and gold stripes. I loved it. That bike was pretty much  my best friend until it ate its own cam chain in St. Petersburg Florida, about one mile into a planned return leg to Seattle.  Yes, I rode this bike, with high pipes and no windshield, from Seattle to Florida, and had a wonderful time.  On this occassion I did not camp, but used motels and the kindness of friends across the country. What a trip!  I long to do it again. Take a look at this – would folks consider this a “touring” bike today?

About david

I am a 69 year old motorsports nut who lives in Bothell, Washington. After a 31 year career as an English teacher, I segued into a self-created job in the motorsports business. Now retired, I was involved in customer relations for Ride West BMW in Seattle, after almost 10 years of similar work for the Cycle Barn MotorSports Group. I have been married forever and have two grown children. I own, at the current time, a Triumph Bonneville T 120 , a Triumph Thruxton, a Fiat 500S and a VW Tiguan. What else would you like to know?
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1 Response to What is a “Touring” motorcycle? Part 2

  1. Attila says:

    Touring motorcycle? What for? Touring is in the rider, not the bike. Any bike will do, as long as its properly taken care of. Some are more comfortable than others, but those are customizable details as well.

    For example, in East Europe (ex-Soviet Union excluded), people would use 125 to 250/300 cc two stroke bikes – MTZ, ETZ, IZH and their assorted copies and variants, right up to the early 90’s. Some countries (like Romania for example) had 50cc bikes as a standard, if you had anything bigger, well, you had to know the right people – instant declaration of status 🙂 These were used for anything from getting to work, touring – if you can think of a use, it was done.

    As a personal choice, I use my barcalounger Honda maxi – its only a 250cc, but it took me all the way around wester Europe, safely and without lower back pain. A comfortable, lazy, laid back style of touring. Can hardly wait for summer!

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