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Best Motorcycles for Long-Distance Two-Up Riding 2022

Motorcyclist logo Motorcyclist 1/24/2022 Byron Wilson

Two-up rides are a whole different kind of motorcycle adventure, especially if you plan to log a respectable amount of miles. Without the right bike, long touring rides with a passenger are taxing, frustrating, uncomfortable, and a quick way to ensure your passenger never hops on for another ride again. With the right cruiser though, they can be an incredible way to share the magic of the road together. So if a long-distance, two-up tour is on your to-do list this year, be sure to set out on one of the 10 streetbikes below. Also read the Best Motorcycles for Two-Up Riding 2021 and Best Motorcycles For Two-Up Riding articles for added touring-friendly insight.

The OG two-up bike, the Honda Gold Wing Tour makes long-range rides with a passenger a luxurious experience. © Provided by Motorcyclist The OG two-up bike, the Honda Gold Wing Tour makes long-range rides with a passenger a luxurious experience.

The OG two-up bike, the Honda Gold Wing Tour makes long-range rides with a passenger a luxurious experience. (Honda/)

Honda Gold Wing Tour

The Honda Gold Wing Tour is a no-brainer if you are looking for a phenomenal blend of comfort, convenience, and capability. Its smooth-as-butter 1,833cc six-cylinder mill, sophisticated chassis, capable braking package, and generous carrying capacity are just the tip of the iceberg. The Gold Wing Tour packs a treasure trove of electronic amenities aimed at improving safety and performance and an impressive trim selection that allows riders to select an automatic dual-clutch transmission version, automatic DCT with airbag protection, or standard six-speed manual transmission.

Yamaha’s Star Venture is a phenomenal two-up machine. © Provided by Motorcyclist Yamaha’s Star Venture is a phenomenal two-up machine.

Yamaha’s Star Venture is a phenomenal two-up machine. (Yamaha/)

Yamaha Star Venture

Yamaha’s answer to the Gold Wing is the air-cooled 1,845cc V-twin-powered Star Venture. While it may be mechanically simpler in a number of ways compared to the Honda, you can still expect an impressive selection of creature comforts aimed to make long hauls in the saddle a joy for you and your passenger. Touches like heated seats, heated grips, dual-zone audio control for the multifeatured infotainment system, electronic luggage locks, an alarmed security system, and more make the Star Venture a luxurious ride, no matter the destination.

Harley’s Ultra Limited is as fine a two-up machine as you’ll find. © Provided by Motorcyclist Harley’s Ultra Limited is as fine a two-up machine as you’ll find.

Harley’s Ultra Limited is as fine a two-up machine as you’ll find. (Harley-Davidson/)

Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited

Harley-Davidson has a full line of Grand American Touring models, but the Ultra Limited is one of the best-suited for two-up rides straight off the showroom floor. The massive Milwaukee-114 V-twin engine is the biggest you can get in a standard H-D Touring bike, the Boom! Box GTS infotainment system is fully decked, and the plush passenger seating setup will allow your companion to take in the sights all day long. The large, fork-mounted fairing provides a calm cockpit, and integrated luggage makes it easy to leave home for long stretches.

The BMW K 1600 GTL is a popular option for riders who often head out with a passenger. © Provided by Motorcyclist The BMW K 1600 GTL is a popular option for riders who often head out with a passenger.

The BMW K 1600 GTL is a popular option for riders who often head out with a passenger. (BMW Motorrad/)

BMW K 1600 GTL

The 1,649cc, six-cylinder K 1600 GTL is a longtime favorite of touring riders, and for good reason. The platform is incredibly smooth, from its power output to the way the dynamic ESA soaks up road imperfections. It has all the creature comforts you and your passenger need to handle a bevy of different ride conditions, and an elegant and effective design that effortlessly cuts through the air. Plus, if you like the base platform, you can upgrade to get even more out of your machine with the K 1600 GTL Grand America.

The Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS is a proven touring machine that is surprisingly great on two-up rides. © Provided by Motorcyclist The Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS is a proven touring machine that is surprisingly great on two-up rides.

The Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS is a proven touring machine that is surprisingly great on two-up rides. (Kawasaki/)

Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS

The Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS has power, has handling, and has the track record of being a beloved long-range touring bike. In standard trim, the 1,352cc inline-four-powered motorcycle doesn’t immediately scream “two-up” like other bikes on this list, but add the Kawasaki top case and passenger backrest and suddenly you have a machine that’s very accommodating for two riders. It won’t come with all the creature comforts as some of the other machines we’ve listed, but it has one of the most approachable price tags of the bunch and opens the door to more sporting solo rides when two-up isn’t on the menu.

The Indian Roadmaster Limited is a gorgeous machine. © Provided by Motorcyclist The Indian Roadmaster Limited is a gorgeous machine.

The Indian Roadmaster Limited is a gorgeous machine. (Indian Motorcycles/)

Indian Motorcycles Roadmaster Limited

The Indian Roadmaster Limited is a gorgeous machine with a big ol’ 1,890cc V-twin that provides smooth, powerful pull at just about any point in the rev range. It’s decked with luggage, has a sophisticated Ride Command touchscreen display and full-feature infotainment system, plush seating for rider and passenger, along with all the current electronic aids you’ll need to have a safe, comfortable ride.

Turn heads in style with the BMW R 18 Transcontinental. © Provided by Motorcyclist Turn heads in style with the BMW R 18 Transcontinental.

Turn heads in style with the BMW R 18 Transcontinental. (BMW Motorrad/)

BMW R 18 Transcontinental

As the name suggests, the BMW R 18 Transcontinental is designed to tackle miles and miles of road without missing a beat. The 1,802cc boxer twin is one of the newest machines in this particular segment, and its classic styling combined with contemporary amenities make this one of the most head-turning machines on the list. It has a full suite of electronic ride aids, state-of-the-art cockpit, super cozy seating, advanced wind deflection solutions, and a low-maintenance shaft drive. BMW also offers loads of upgrades and personalization options.

The Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited is one of its best two-up options in its line. © Provided by Motorcyclist The Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited is one of its best two-up options in its line.

The Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited is one of its best two-up options in its line. (Harley-Davidson/)

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited

The Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited is the second from the Bar & Shield brand and closely resembles the slightly more pricey Ultra Limited. It has all the essential bells and whistles for long-range two-up rides, including integrated luggage, plush seating, ample wind protection, and a powerful Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-twin engine. Linked Brembo braking kit and a dialed infotainment setup sweeten the deal, and styling is unmistakably Harley.

The Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager is classically styled and comfortable. © Provided by Motorcyclist The Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager is classically styled and comfortable.

The Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager is classically styled and comfortable. (Kawasaki/)

Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager ABS

Kawasaki’s Vulcan 1700 Voyager ABS packs a 1,700cc V-twin, electronic cruise control, K-ACT ABS braking system, plenty of cargo space, and a somewhat bare but effective infotainment setup. It doesn’t feature the higher-spec TFT instrument panel as many of the other machines on this list, but the stripped-down design has its own type of appeal, especially as a complement to the classic aesthetic of the machine as a whole.

The Triumph Speedmaster is a great two-up bike with a few upgrades. © Provided by Motorcyclist The Triumph Speedmaster is a great two-up bike with a few upgrades.

The Triumph Speedmaster is a great two-up bike with a few upgrades. (Triumph/)

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster

The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster isn’t quite as formidable as the other bikes on the list, but with the accessory passenger backrest, side bags, and windscreen added to the package it quickly becomes an appealing two-up machine. The torquey 1,200cc twin can easily carry the added weight of a passenger, and the styling is elegant and eye-catching. Plus, the price tag, even with the added cost of a few upgrades, is still under that of the other bikes on the list.

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