You say tom-a-to, someone says tom-o-to.
Your riding buddies say they can tour on any bike. You say most touring-oriented bikes have a sporty side and therefore make the best sport-tourer.
Oops! Did we just allude to one of the more controversial, even incendiary, topics in modern motorcycling?
Today, when someone utters the word sportbike, the likely response is a GSX-R, an R6, a Honda CBR, or some such thing. But ask a rider to describe his or her ideal of a sport-touring machine, and the answers are wide ranging.
Sure, lots of folks would naturally point to the likes of Honda's venerable ST1300, Yamaha's FJR1300 or BMW's K1200GT or R1200RT, as prime examples of sport-tourers. Each bike offers good to great wind protection, hard saddlebags as standard, robust engines and some darn good handling qualities.
Yet for every rider that sees those sleds as icons of S-T, many other enthusiasts would scoff at the idea of most of them handily slicing up canyon roads.
To these folks, practically all that's required is a tank bag, a set of soft saddlebags lashed to the tail section of their R1, and maybe a GPS or other accessories as-needed. Voila! Instant sport-touring motorbike! "After all," they say, "Sport touring is about sport capability while traveling, and my bike equipped the way I want it is lighter, handles better, and costs less than a turnkey ST."
More: 2010 Oddball Sport-Touring Shootout: Ducati Multistrada vs Honda VFR1200F vs Kawasaki Z1000 on Motorcycle.com