Motorcycle touring has always been a part of motorcycling. Early riders wanted to jump on their motorcycles and ride to see what was over the next hill. Of course the roads weren't too good in those days and travel could be slow. Bill Stermer in his book, Motorcycle Touring and Travel: A Handbook of Travel by Motorcycle, says:
"The bike on which most people choose to tour tends to be the one they own at the time."
This was certainly true early on before the advent of the heavyweight touring motorcycles of the last twenty-five years. The introduction of the Honda Gold Wing has changed all that. Read more.