Friday, December 01, 2006

So What Exactly Is Sport-Touring?

Well, for starters I've pasted Wikipedia's definition (current as of this moment anyway) below, which is the result of social collaboration of a number of sport-touring riders (I contributed the last 2 sentences of the 2nd paragraph).

Sport touring

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sport touring refers to a style of motorcycle design, or a philosophy of riding. It is an attempt to blend performance with long-distance capabilities while providing comfort and relative safety to the rider. Sport touring has evolved over decades from simply strapping a bag to the back of any sporty motorcycle to a very specified genre of motorcycle riding for which specific models of motorcycles, luggage, riding apparel and other accessories have been designed.

Yet, sport touring is truly a frame of mind more so than a product appellation. Sport tourers come in all flavors, and whether riding an ST-specific motorcycle or their old "beater" with a duffle bag strapped to the seat, it's the ride that matters. It's not the destination, but the journey. A sport-tourer seeks out beautiful scenery, interesting (or just plain weird) attractions and most important of all -- twisty roads. A sport-tourer's path between Point A and Point B is seldom a straight line; it's often the most convoluted possible.

Most sport touring riders also have a riding life outside of their travels. Weekend rides with friends, commuting or just running an errand on two wheels may also put miles on a sport-touring rider's odometer.

Sport-touring aficionados tend to disdain those who only ride their motorcycle a few miles to a restaurant on a sunny Sunday, and some feel outright contempt for any able-bodied person who would trailer their motorcycle behind a pick-up truck to attend a rally. Though a very diverse bunch in other aspects of their lives, what unites sport-tourers is their relentless pursuit of the perfect road -- be it in their backyard or across the continent.

Sport-tourers tend to install accessories, called farkles, to better enjoy the ride.

Lastly, sport tourers are often recognized by the gear they wear. A favorite motto is ATGATT: "All the gear, all the time," which means the sport-touring motorcyclist will not ride in shorts and a t-shirt. When a non-rider asks "Aren't you hot in all that gear?", a good standard reply is "Well, thanks for noticing..."

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