Sport-touring riders don't carry city maps in their bags. They're the type that pulls out a state — or even country — map and places pins at the start and end points. In between, they search for the longest squiggly lines they can find, preferably in succession. They're a discerning type, too. In order to ride long distances, the chosen motorcycle has to be plenty comfy yet have provisions to carry everything needed for the journey. Not only that, but sometimes their steed serves as the only companion on the trip, so it also needs to inspire, motivate and thrill.
BMW and Kawasaki have long battled in this category, stretching way back on these pages to 1996 when we compared an R1100RT to the 1000cc Connie in our Lightweight Tourers Comparison. This pair and the Honda ST1100 that won the shootout were forefathers of the sport-touring genre. Fifteen years later, the sport-touring category and the bikes in it have grown.
Today, BMW and Kawi come in with the K1600GT and Concours 14, respectively.
More: 2012 BMW K1600GT vs. 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS [Video]