BMW K1300GT, Honda VFR800, Suzuki Hayabusa, KTM 990SMT

How do you like your big-mile kicks? We evaluate four different takes on the tourer From the Suzuki Hayabusa to the KTM 990SMT

Mortgages, loan repayments, utility bills, taxes... the list of reasons we’re forced to compete in the rat race is almost as long as the daily grind itself.

Different people have different cures for the stresses of modern life but for us the answer is simple: get on a bike and quite literally get lost. Carefully planning a trip is all well and good but when your job involves planning and you’re trying to break the cycle, something a little more gung-ho fits the bill.

The choice of machine really isn’t all that important but, since we’re looking at two stress-free days, we’ve picked four bikes to relax and excite in equal measure. From the Honda VFR800 to the Suzuki Hayabusa.

BMW’s über sports-tourer gained 100cc becoming the K1300GT for 2009. Sharing the same rip-snorting, canted-forward motor as the K1300R we enjoyed so much last month, the GT’s mix of high-tech touring and proper performance should be a strong package.

To make sure we get the fun-to-practicality ratio just right, we’ve also brought along the outlandish KTM 990SMT. Ostensibly a giant supermoto aimed at sensible touring types, this piece of rolling irony promises to be this trip’s jack-of-all-trades – we’ll soon find out if it’s master of none.

Time has pretty much stood still for Honda’s once benchmark VFR800. With only detail changes since the inception of the VTEC model way back in 2002, two days in northern France should vindicate or otherwise Honda’s if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it policy.

And finally, the mighty Suzuki Hayabusa. A motorcycle with more ponies than a Shetland landowner, you’d be forgiven for thinking going fast is the GSX1300R’s one trick. Its sheer torque makes it one of the laziest bikes out there – like so many things in a man’s life, the level of relaxation is dictated by your right hand.