Now the second year of biking is approaching with the onset of spring, I've been looking at broader horizons. I plan to do a tour of Europe as a holiday this year and wondered what you folk would recommend my trusty iron steed to be. Riding a CBR600 at present but the old Honda saddles tend to leave their impression on the rear after 300 miles or so on the road. Looking towards the sports/tourer crossover bikes and would love to hear first hand reviews from anyone who eats up the distance.
I have been riding for long enough now( 35 years) to know that the chances of getting a REALLY comfortable ride on your average bike are pretty low. I'd suggest the only way to get real comfort is to either get an old BMW, or look at an air or gel seat. It will help if you can adjust bars and footpegs, adjustable jobs are available now thank goodness. Also maybe have a talk to a seat upholsterer, they may be able to reshape your existing seat. I have done this successfully in the past. Hope this helps.
Personally I think you should try a 07 Ultra Classic...Put a set of highway pegs on it and a adjustable backrest, download a bunch of whatever musice you like and convert to MP3 format and you can have 150-180 songs on each disc...Insert into the stereo and hit the random buttom and you have good music and a good ride... BUT if you do not wish to get a different bike them try Mustang seat and try a Mustang deluxe touring seat and add the backrest(you can just slide it in or out)
To be honest i think going down the cruiser route is wrong. I spend at least 8 hours a day, 6 days a week in the saddle both in the UK and all over Europe. To travel in comfort is one thing but you also need to have fun and that means a bike is fun to ride go down the big trailie route 1000cc v-twin, particularly the aprilia caponord as good as 1200gs ?6000 cheaper
I travel all over the states on my Kawasaki KLR 650, yeah it's not a big bike by some standards, but it handles the paved AND dirt roads super and will cruise 80mph all day long if you want to.. It's what they call a dualsport bike. Put a good corbing seat on it and you can pound out the miles real easy. I rode to Vancouver BC last summer and that corbin was the best thing sinse sliced bread !,
I have to say I am partial to my HD Softail. Did 1600 miles in 2 days comfortably. Cruised 100mph at around 4100rpm for sections of it. Combined I have about 48,000 on my softails in two years alone.
Europe is a neat place to tour for a Yank. Given the traffic and narrow roads you shouldn't have the time or place to cruise at a 100mph but you know the roads better than I. Something with good acceleration is always a plus in a tight or unwelcomed situation. Having learned on a 750 NightHawk and tried that on distance rides I can empathize with the but t statement. Cruisers depending on bar and seat configuration can give you a nice seating stance for the long rides. I enjoy my beach bar on long cruises but many prefer apes. I don't feel they give me enough quick turn response, but in that department listen to your body and think not only of saddle time comfort but of emergency response control. Strike a balance between control and comfort.
Lastly how are your noise restrictions and emission requirements across the pond for motorcycles? Sounds like your lining up a good year in your future memory.