European touring holidays can be some of the most fun you can have on a motorcycle. You get to take in some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet, and drive on some fabulous roads at your own pace. Of course, having the right bike for long trips is vital, and you’re going to need something that combines power with comfort. The team at Bikesure has put together a list of the best of the new bikes being released this year, which are perfect if you’re planning a grand tour.
The rules for travelling in Europe in 2021
Before we start on the good stuff, though, there are some new rules for British tourists travelling to Europe in 2021. Please note that advice is changing all the time, so it might be a good idea to check the rules about driving abroad on the official government website before travelling. Firstly, you can no longer use the EU customs lanes when moving between countries, which could cause delays.
When entering a country, you may need to show a return or onward ticket, and prove that you have enough money for your stay. You won’t need a visa if you’re staying less than 90 days, but it’s probably a good idea to check on the individual requirements of the countries included in your trip. You are not allowed to take milk or meat, or any products containing them, into any EU country.
Your vehicle will need a green card and a GB sticker, and you will need the correct international driving permit for the country you’re visiting. You should also carry around your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which is still valid until it expires. If your card has already expired, you can apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
It might also be a good idea to fill in a European Accident Statement Form and keep this on your person. If you get into an accident on your trip, you’ll be asked to fill in one of these forms. However, most forms will be in the local language of the place you’re visiting. As all forms have a standard design, keeping a statement form in English will help you know how to fill in the form if you’re given one in a different language. Car Travel Docs offers a downloadable version you can print out if necessary.
Finally, your passport must have more than six months of validity remaining and must be less than ten years old (even if it does have over six months remaining).
1. Triumph Tiger 1200
Triumph’s Tiger is an excellent bike for touring, with a powerful engine and the capacity to carry enough luggage for a trip. It’s available in a range of variations including an alpine and desert edition, as well as some that are as comfortable off-road as they are on. In 2021, Triumph is releasing updated versions of the XR and XC models, which feature different levels of trim and also come in low profile versions that are ideal for shorter riders.
2: Yamaha Tracer 9
The Tracer 9 updates Yamaha’s flagship Tracer sports tourer with advanced new components to create an even more powerful ride. Some of the new features include electronic suspension, a new more powerful engine and lighter wheels, which help to make it faster and more powerful overall. It comes with two hard cases fitted as standard, so it’s holiday-ready the second you buy it.
3. KTM 1290 Super Duke GT
With a more powerful, Euro 5 compliant engine and a redesigned chassis heading up a range of incremental advancements, the latest version of KTM’s flagship sports tourer is ideally suited to tear up any road. Alongside the new engine, for 2021 KTM have upgraded the electronics and generally made it a more rider-friendly bike without sacrificing any of the raw ability users have come to expect from the manufacturer.
4. Honda Goldwing 1800
The Honda Goldwing is in many ways the archetypal touring motorcycle. It’s designed to maximise comfort for long rides. The changes for the 2021 version include an upgraded audio system, a 61-litre capacity top box and a redesigned seat that makes it even more comfortable for both the driver and the pillion passenger. If you want a relaxing holiday, then the Goldwing is basically an armchair on wheels – albeit one that’s powerful enough to keep up with the sportier tourers.
5. Indian Roadmaster
The Roadmaster is almost the Goldwing’s equal in terms of comfort, but with a more classic chopper look. Despite its retro styling, it’s packed with the latest modern equipment, with electronic fuel injection, a touchscreen control panel with full Apple integration, a powerful audio system, and heated grips and seats, as well as saddlebags and a rear trunk. Indian are releasing a Limited version for 2021, which features a newly designed fairing to showcase the powerful engine and new saddlebags.
6. BMW R1250GS
For 2021 BWM is introducing a wide range of optional packages for the GS1250, allowing owners to customise it to their requirements. Whether you want it tweaked for performance and speed, for off-road travel, or as a tourer, there are options for you. The tourer package gives it an advanced navigation system, adaptive cruise control and case holders for your luggage. An advanced ABS system, traction control and a fuel-efficient eco mode are standard features, which will help to increase the levels of comfort and safety on long trips.
7. Suzuki V-Strom 1050
The 2021 V-Strom adds aluminium panniers and a top box that gives a generous 112 litres of storage as standard. A powerful v-twin engine and three drive modes mean it can eat up the miles with ease, whether on the motorway or smaller, bendier roads.
8. Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro Touring
Ducati’s “maxi enduro” features a new auto-levelling suspension system, clutchless gear shifts, 19-inch wheels and cruise control among its additions, as well as a powerful new 1262cc spring valve engine. This helps increase its service intervals from 15k up to 36k miles travelled, which makes it ideal for the longest tours. It’s equally at home off as well as on-road, making it a great choice for anyone planning on venturing off the beaten track.
9. Kawasaki Versys, 1000S
Kawasaki has given their popular Versys tourer some hefty upgrades for 2021. A new semi-active suspension system uses advanced sensors to constantly adjust the vertical position of the bike, giving an extra smooth ride, while a larger dashboard screen gives you all the information you could possibly need at a glance. A larger windshield and handguards make for a more comfortable ride, and it’s also fitted with innovative self-healing paint that protects against lighter scuffs and scratches.
10. Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
Harley-Davidson has been busy, preparing new versions of 27 of their models for 2021. The CVO Road Glide features the most powerful V-Twin engine yet offered by the big H-D, backed up by a powerful suite of assistive driving technology that helps you maintain control no matter how tough the driving gets. With the unmistakably bold Harley styling and a powerful new audio system, it’s a pricey bike for sure but undeniably luxurious. Large saddlebags as standard give you plenty of luggage room, and you’ll definitely be turning heads on your holiday riding this.
Cover for every bike on a European road trip
Whatever bike you plan to use on your grand European road trip, make sure you take bespoke Bikesure motorcycle insurance with you. Call us on 0330 123 1028 for a quicker, better and cheaper deal. Our policies come with green card insurance for your European touring holiday.