2017 - 2019 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 & 1000XT
Suzuki hits MY2019 with its V-Strom 1000 along with the off-road-tastic 1000XT added to the adventure stable last year for the folks who favor the road (or non-road) traveled by few. Power remains the same at the 100-pony mark, but the mill upped its emissions game to meet the current requirements with a new exhaust system. Electronics received a buff as well with a new Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit that refines the ABS system to include lean-sensitive intervention for an extra layer of protection for those times when the available traction is split between steering and braking forces. Overall, the new V-Stroms look to be a little more capable and user friendly than the previous gen with more top-shelf goodies even if the top-end is currently showing a flat growth curve.
2017 - 2018 Suzuki GSX-R1000R
Coming off a fresh update in 2017, Suzuki carries its GSX-R1000R into MY2019 with a new color palette, but little else in the way of changes. The next-gen “Gixxer” 1000 brings an all-new 999.8 cc powerplant to the table with a claimed 199 horsepower at the shaft and a whole passel of electronic goodies to help manage all those ponies. Traction control, lean-sensitive ABS, launch control and more, Suzuki’s flagship literbike comes equipped with overlapping safety nets to help keep us mortal, non-professional riders dirty-side down as we explore our electronically augmented performance envelope. MotoGP tech influences the design to give the rider a little taste of track-day performance, or at the very least, ’performance light.’
2015 - 2019 Piaggio BV 350 ABS
The BV 350 from Piaggio, sold as the Beverly Sport Touring in other markets, is win-win as far as scooters go. With a big 16-inch wheel up front, monster-size brakes usually seen on full-size motorcycles, an assortment of tech acronyms, and an ample touring windscreen, the Beverly is a downright proper little touring scooter. As a commuter in the city or suburbs or for your weekend getaway, the BV 350 fits right into the niche that Piaggio intended. With a lively throttle response and plenty of power and torque to back it up, the Beverly puts “sport-touring” into scooter vernacular.
2017 - 2019 Honda CBR1000RR SP
In 2017, Honda put plenty of “super” in its next-generation, 25th anniversary (of the CBR900RR) edition superbike line with the newly redesigned CBR1000RR SP. While the Fireblade name has long been associated with race-capable machines, that connection to the track has never been clearer than with this bike. Less weight, more power and even more electronic wizardry than ever before, Honda’s flagship literbike brings the pain for a lot less cheddar than some of their, shall we say, ambitious rides. (CoughRC213V-Scoughcough.)
2015 - 2019 Kawasaki Versys 650 / 650 LT
Street-oriented adventure bikes are rapidly establishing themselves as capable commuters as well as tour bikes, and Kawasaki’s Versys 650 line is no exception. The 650 and the 650 LT deliver 68 horsepower and 47 pound-feet of torque to establish them as capable competitors in the mid-range adventure market.
2017 - 2019 BMW R nineT Pure
The Bayerische Motoren Werke has been busy expanding its R nineT family, and MY2017 saw the addition of the “Pure” model. At a glance, the Pure is exactly that; a roadster-style model reduced to its absolute essential form with nothing in the way of what you might call superfluous contaminants. BMW’s Boxer-Twin provides the power with both standard and optional safety equipment that’ll help you keep it dirty-side down. The factory brushed up the aesthetics as well with two new finishes from Beemer’s Spezial division that really make the sparse sheet metal pop visually.
2017 - 2019 BMW R nineT Racer
BMW expanded its Heritage lineup for MY2017 with the R nineT “Racer” variant that it carries over right on into 2019. The Racer takes Beemer’s popular roadster and gives it a café-tastic bent that, in spite of the fact that it adds more body components, seems to accentuate the essential nature of the model. Power comes from a classic boxer engine, and of course, the factory threw on a handful of extra safety items to help you keep it all under control.
2017 - 2019 Honda CBR1000RR
Honda carries its CBR1000RR superbike, a.k.a. ’Fireblade’, into 2019 with little in the way of changes from last year. That’s hardly surprising given the scope and scale of the revisions done prior to MY17 that brought us the newest gen of Honda’s Total Control initiative with a host of electronic goodies to help keep the 189-horsepower engine (10 more ponies than the previous gen) under control. It’s Honda’s first inline four-banger to run a throttle-by-wire induction control, and the factory piled on with Riding Modes, Wheelie Control and more to make the ’Blade serve as a model flagship for the affordable-supersport sector with plenty of influence from the racing department for the ’everyrider’.
2017 - 2019 Yamaha YZF-R6
If you’ve ever wanted to own a bona fide racing machine but didn’t have the money or vanity to go for one of the $100K-plus literbikes on the market right now, I’ve got good news for you; Yamaha updated its mid-size YZF-R6 in MY2017, and it can be had without selling a kidney or your firstborn. At just over the $12K mark, the R6 claims over 120 horsepower with a host of features to help riders manage the tremendous forces this thoroughbred generates. The 600 cc-ish bracket has been getting a little stale as of late between competition from the liter category and the burgeoning interest in the 300 cc bikes, so the updated version of a proven mid-size racetrack champ is exciting news indeed.
2015 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R ABS
The Ninja ZX-14R ABS continues to serve as Kawasaki’s non-H2 Ninja flagship as we head into the 2019 model year. Essentially unchanged since this generation hit showroom floors back in ’12, the “14R” brings almost a liter and a half of four-cylinder supersport-goodness to the table along with the ride-quality and safety subsystems you’ll need to keep it under control. Make no mistake; this is a serious ride meant for experienced riders, and not another one of these racebike-looking commuters so popular with the masses right now.
2017 - 2019 BMW K 1600 GT
BMW’s K 1600 GT moved into its seventh year of production in 2017 with a fresh rebuild that the Bayerische carries right on into MY2019. A six-cylinder engine puts it in the power-tourer category in both the torque and horsepower columns for solid performance even in spite of its not-inconsiderable heft. Built for touring, it strikes a balance between storage and aesthetics for a sort of “Euro-bagger” look that compares well with Honda’s new bagger-tastic Goldwing since both leave off the top case for their fully dressed, top-shelf models. This Bavarian bruiser brings a dark-and-swanky attitude to the table with the performance to back it up.
2017 - 2019 Ducati SuperSport / SuperSport S
It was four years in the making, but Ducati finally released the revamped SuperSport family for the 2017 model year. This range brings sportbike handling and performance to the table with its race-inspired “Monster” frame and over 100 ponies on tap, but in a package meant to be less intimidating to prospective ’Ducatisti’ than some of their, shall we say, spicier models. The factory touts the new line as “versatile and accessible,” and while the base SuperSport is meant to appeal to riders who want a sportbike that’s a little light on the “sportier aspects,” the “S” model takes on some of the trappings of a proper racebike for a decidedly more sport-tastic nature