2020 - 2022 Kawasaki Ninja 650
Kawasaki gave its Ninja 650 supersport a facelift ahead of MY2020 with aggressive new lines. Safety and visibility were increased through LED technology, and instrumentation moves into the 21st century with a TFT display to deliver the metrics. New tires and new networking technology round out the package along with the engine performance and handling that made the last generation a hit.
2018 - 2022 Kawasaki Ninja 400
Kawasaki took the next step in the struggle to find that perfect balance between displacement, performance, and affordability with the new-in-2018 Ninja 400. This ride delivers the aggressive styling that you expect from the Ninja family with a host of improvements over the previous generation. More power, less weight, and a mature presentation should hold the new Ninja in good stead in the highly-competitive small-displacement sportbike market that serves as the main battlefield in the contest to instill some brand loyalty in the increasingly important new buyer base.
2017 - 2019 Aprilia Dorsoduro 900
Aprilia’s Dorsoduro line added to its stable for MY2017 with the all-new Dorsoduro 900. This supermoto-inspired ride serves as the successor to the popular Dorsoduro 750. It brings over 95-horsepower to the table with a ride-by-wire throttle, variable power delivery, traction control and ABS to help riders cope with the extra power. Not only does this show a certain amount of model-maturity, but it promises some security and safety for those who would use it in their day-to-day riding. Officially billed as a sportbike-supermotard hybrid, the factory also refers to it as “the fun bike.”
2017 - 2020 Suzuki SV650
Suzuki continued with the evolution of the SV650 line with the all-new-in-2017 SV650. Built on the success of the original SV650 that covered 1999 through 2008, and its offspring, the SFV650 “Gladius,” the new ride carries the SV DNA into a new generation. With a revamped 645 cc engine, it has more horsepower than ever before.
2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S
It’s been four years since the last update to Ducati’s SuperSport 950 platform, and now it’s on the receiving end of a fairly major rework ahead of MY2021. Tuned-up fairings enclose a more emission-compliant engine along with beefed-up electronics to complete the package. The SuperSport comes in the base 950 package, but if you’re a bona fide pegdragger, the 950 S version takes things up a notch or three.
2019 - 2021 Ducati Hypermotard 950 / 950 SP
Ducati revamped its Hypermotard range ahead of MY2019 with the 950 and 950 SP to replace its outgoing Hypermotard 939 models. The new 950 borrows from the supermotard world for general design and rocks sharper angles for a more aggressive look. The 950 dropped some weight compared to its predecessor and replaced it with ponies for greater performance across the board, and the “SP” comes with top-shelf suspension and wheels, plus an expanded electronics suite and carbon fiber components to sweeten the deal. The hooligan-bike sector isn’t what you’d call the most populated by any means, but I’ve already got some potential competitors in mind for Ducati’s newest jackass bikes.
2022 Indian Super Chief Limited
Indian rolls out its MY22 Super Chief Limited in the 2021 season to add a nostalgic note to the new Super Chief platform. Powered by a Thunderstroke 116 plant, the “SCL” bundles modern performance and electronics with old school custom looks that hail all the way back to the years immediately after the end of WWII. Chrome and blackout combine to complete the homegrown panache that the SCL wears so well.
2020 - 2022 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
Kawasaki stepped up its game ahead of the 2020 model year with new body components, updated electronics, and a smoother-running engine for its Ninja 1000SX. The factory also tuned up the ergonomics to improve long-range comfort and even chucked on an adjustable clutch lever for a little bit of lagniappe. Improvements in rideability, control, and aesthetics join the liter-plus engine and Ninja pedigree to deliver a refined product to the masses.
2021 KTM 890 Duke
KTM juiced up its 790 Duke platform with a more powerful engine, beefed up electronics, and improved suspension for its 2021 release in the U.S. market. New graphics are available on this new platform that comes with a robust electronics suite to help you keep the thing dirty-side down. It rocks a pricetag that’s a full grand less than the more-racetastic “R” variant for an ever so slightly more-relaxed type of rider.
2017 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Road Glide
Harley-Davidson updated its sharknosed Road Glide in 2017 and replaced the little-loved Twin Cam engine with its new Milwaukee-Eight powerplant, a combination that persists into model-year 2021. There were a handful of aesthetic adjustments made over that span, but the model remains pretty much as it was when it hit the showroom floors in MY17. On the current-year model, top-shelf infotainment capabilities join with a plush suspension system and premium paint packages to deliver the comfort and style H-D riders expect, and the Mil-8 107 engine turns out the torque that we demand.
2022 Indian Chief
Indian Motorcycle’s famous “Chief” branding first saw light of day way back in 1921, so the factory put together an all-new, 100-year-anniversary model Chief to mark the occasion. A post-war panache joins classic-custom chops and contemporary technology to complete the antique-looking package and ensure modern performance parameters. Indian powers this platform with its powerful Thunder Stroke 111 engine.
2020 - 2021 Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Motorcycle rolled into MY2020 with an all-new model family – the Challenger – that comes complete with a new look, powerful 122-horsepower PowerPlus engine and improved safety equipment to keep America’s oldest bike builder competitive against challengers domestic and abroad. The inaugural year sees a trio of packages ready for public consumption, but it’s the sinister, boulevard-bruiser blackout Dark Horse version we’re going to look at today. Like the rest of the Dark Horse category, it makes a visceral connection to the custom-life underbelly of American motorcycling and brings a showroom-custom vibe to the new Challenger line.
2020 - 2021 Indian Challenger Limited
No doubt about it, Indian Motorcycle entered a new chapter with its all-new Challenger line and PowerPlus engine, and so far, the toppest-shelfest example of that combination is the Challenger Limited. It has that custom bagger style that Americans like so much along with a host of electronic goodies that improve safety and comfort over the long haul. Of course, the 120-plus pound-feet of torque it brings to the table doesn’t hurt at all, neither does all the historical Easter eggs the factory scattered about to tie into its own storied history.
2020 - 2021 Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse
Based on the success of its Chieftain Dark Horse, Indian Motorcycle expanded its Dark Horse lineup in 2020 with the new Roadmaster Dark Horse. It brings blackout treatment to the table along with Indian’s newest technological treats. Touring amenities and comfort features join with the Ride Command electronics and 200-Watt sound system for your riding enjoyment. If you’re into power, then the Roadmaster Dark Horse has you covered with Indian’s Thunder Stroke 116 engine that churns out over 120 pound-feet of grunt.
2018 - 2021 Yamaha XMAX
Yamaha brought the XMAX to the U.S. market with a 27.6-horsepower mill that promises enough speed to be safe, even comfortable, at highway velocities, and that’s muy importante in the American market. This performance comes bundled with a decidedly modern and mature look that just screams metro-commuter.
2020 - 2021 Honda Gold Wing
Honda greeted the new decade with a buffed-up, base-model Gold Wing range that’s best described as a BNG-Plus treatment with a few extra goodies thrown in. Updated damping values tune up the suspension system along with improved electronics to complete the package. Of course, this is all accompanied by the performance and handling that has always held the Gold Wing in good stead and keep the line in an excellent competitive position within the U.S. Market.
2021 Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Sport Advanced
Piaggio comes out swinging in 2021 with its largest, and most advanced, MP3 model. Built on its proven leaning-Delta trike chassis, the MP3 500 hpe Sport Advanced carries the largest mill found to date in an MP3 platform, and it comes with advanced electronics that remain a rarity within the realms of scooter-dom. The addition of a reverse gear moves the “500” from rare to unique as the only three-wheel production scooter to claim such a feature.
2022 Indian FTR S
Indian expands its street-friendly Flat Track Racer line for 2022 with the addition of the FTR S model that brings top-shelf ride-quality/safety equipment and advanced electronics to the table. Power comes from the same mill that drives the rest of the platform with 120 horsepower on tap to get things moving right along.
2021 Honda CRF300L / CRF300L Rally
Good news sports fans! Honda spruced up its dual-sport CRF300L base model and its Rally variant ahead of 2021 with a solid 15-percent increase in displacement, a concurrent 10-percent increase in power, reduced weight, and improved off-road performance. The Rally model brings even more off-road prowess to the table with its Ricky Brabec-inspired equipment package for riders looking to do some actual trailblazing/globetrotting work.
2020 - 2022 Kawasaki Z900
Kawasaki beefed up its naked Z900 with even more under-the-hood updates for 2020 and an all-new look created by wild new color combinations. It may look a lot like the previous generation, but this model saw a ground-up rebuild that touched on just about everything but the engine with refinements across the board. While the 948 cc engine reprises its role as the beating heart of this machine, it also benefits from new electronic features to garner an advantage in the hotly-contested, sub-liter naked bracket.
2021 Yamaha Tricity 300
Yamaha bills its Tricity 300 as an all-new model that accommodates a wide range of riders, including those who are clawing their way through the tiered-license nightmare found in places like GB and the EU. In the Tricity, find comfort in the stability inherent in three-wheel rides while retaining that feeling of flight we get when we lean into a corner. Best of all, the cleaner engine meets Euro-5 emissions requirements and turns out a top speed that should accommodate travel on any and all public roads, plus it can be driven with a full B car license.
2020 Indian Chieftain Elite
Indian Motorcycle rolled into the 2020 model year with a host of new features, and the new Chieftain Elite serves as the flagship bagger model, delivering some of the best gear the factory has to offer. Hand-painted sheet metal in a distinct color combination heralds the coming of this aptly-named elite machine. Not only does it rock with a premium sound system, it rolls with a new engine that boosts displacement up to a total of 116 cubic-inches. Indian also upgraded the Ride Command system with a new quad-core processor and Indian’s new Connected Services feature that further improves an already top-shelf system. It all comes with the usual bad-itude that has always come stock on Indian’s baggers.
2020 - 2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour
Honda shows its commitment to continual improvement with its 2021 array of top-shelf, tour-tastic Gold Wing models. The Gold Wing range received a handful of improvements to include reworked heads and cylinders that reduce the weight of the drivetrain plus stock foglights and revised ergonomics to boost performance, safety, and comfort across the boards. Of course, this comes on top of the speed and handling for which the Gold Wings have long been famous to make it a serious competitor in the U.S. touring market.
2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114
Harley-Davidson ditched the Milwaukee-Eight 107 and repowered its Street Bob platform ahead of MY2021 with the powerful Mil-8 114 to give it a performance boost over its predecessor. This makes it the least expensive stoplight burner in the 2021 lineup, as well as the lightest Big-Twin to carry the up-sized Milwaukee engine. The homejob-custom look is a carryover from last year but the graphics package is unique to this year-model setting it apart from its peers.
2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S
Harley-Davidson gives us a glimpse of the near future of the Sportster lineup with the release of its all-new Sportster S model. The MoCo breaks with 35 years of tradition by moving away from the powerplant and base design that first rolled back in ’86 in favor of a new, from-the-ground-up re-imagination that bears little resemblance to its predecessor. Modern chassis design and high-performance V-Twin power set the tone for the newest Sportster addition as the factory looks to become more competitive in its sub Big-Twin range.
2022 BMW R 18 B and Transcontinental
It was more a question of “when” rather than “if” BMW was going to branch out with its retro-styled R 18 family tree, and it seems the factory opted for sooner rather than later with the release of the new-for-2022 Bagger “B” and Transcontinental. The classically-designed platform carries touring-minded bodywork up front along with 27-liter hard bags out back, and together cover the touring market as well as the boulevard bruiser segment. Power comes from the most powerful Boxer Twin to ever come from Beemer, and they carry an electronics suite that is frankly surprising, even from a marque so well known for its technological prowess..
2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival
Harley-Davidson rebrands its tourbike line under the “Grand American Touring” banner in 2021, and the American marque marks the occasion with the all-new Electra Glide Revival. This bike is a bona fide rolling tribute that brings classic design elements together with top-shelf electronics and a large powerful engine, all of a more recent vintage to make this a thoroughly modern ride.
2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob
Heavily bobbed and blacked-out, the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob came with a choice of engine — the 107-inch Milwaukee-Eight or the 114-inch version – up until 2020 when only the 114 was carried forward. These grunty powerplants, along with a (relatively) sporty new suspension system from the redesign in 2018 give the Fat Bob an aggressive bent meant to appeal to a younger generation of rider. The Fat Bob saw a complete do-over in 2018, so if you rode it before and weren’t impressed, know that you haven’t ridden this Fat Bob.
2021 - 2022 Kawasaki KLX300
Kawasaki put together its KLX300 model with dual-sport riders in mind and a definite bias for the off-road work. Suspension stroke and ground clearance point to a capacity for fairly rugged terrain, while the mirrors and full all-around lighting make it street legal. Whether you plan on proper adventure riding, or just want to forego the trailer action every time you want to hit your favorite trails, the KLX300 has you covered.
2021 Piaggio Beverly
Piaggio celebrates the 20-year anniversary of its very own urban legend, the Beverly scooter family. Billed as a crossover unit between the Urban Mobility and Gran Turismo categories, the new Beverly comes in a “300” and “400” model with new bodywork, updated suspension, all-around LED lighting, new saddle, and new hand controls. Both displacement sizes roll with new High Performance Engines (hpe) that sport a Euro-5 emissions rating and a keyless ignition feature.
2021 Piaggio MP3 300 hpe
Piaggio’s littlest MP3 – the 300 hpe Euro 5 – serves as the entry-level model for its groundbreaking leaning-trike scooter family. Able to be driven with a B license, the “300” brings all of the stability and safety of the larger models to the table in a compact package that’s all about urban mobility. Practical and relatively safe compared to two-wheeled machines, the MP3 carries itself with dignity and grace with a business-like mien that is sure to appeal to urban professionals and students alike.
2021 Husqvarna 701 SuperMoto
Husqvarna updated its 701 SuperMoto for MY2021 with performance upgrades alongside a facelift in an all-around revision for its fantastic little hooligan bike. New digital instrumentation joins the reworked bodywork to add functionality to the package while new brake components increase control and safety. Naturally, the electronics and performance that made the previous version a hit makes the jump to this newest model in a move that shows good continuity of design.
2021 Husqvarna 701 Enduro
Swedish giant Husqvarna rolls into MY2021 with boosted performance, new electronics, and a spanky new Euro-5 emissions compliance rating on the 701 Enduro. The factory also gave it a bit of a facelift with a new headlight housing, new instrumentation, and tuned up bodywork that benefits from Husqvarna’s extensive off-road racing experience. New brake hardware and switchable ABS rounds out the safety package.
2022 Indian Chief Bobber Dark Horse
Indian subjects its new Chief platform to the homegrown-custom treatment to turn out the new Chief Bobber Dark Horse. Liberal blackout treatment adds another spice to the already custom-flavored Bobber as it seeks to connect to the homejob bikes of old. In spite of its attempt to channel the antique, the factory packs in lots of the modern with its Thunder Stroke 116 engine and under-the-hood electronic wizardry that promise to help you keep the thing dirty-side down.
2022 Indian FTR Rally
Indian Motorcycle’s Joe Public, dual-surface version of its podium sweeping FTR 750 racebike, the FTR Rally, sees a number of improvements ahead of model year 2022. A refined powerplant drives this model along with expanded electronics and an off-road bias in the rider’s triangle, elements that play right into the “Rally’s” multi-surface capabilities. It comes naked, but a robust accessories lineup lets you gear up for proper rally riding or good old-fashioned globetrotting work.
2021 Piaggio MP3 400 hpe / 400 hpe Sport
Piaggio significantly expanded its renowned MP3 range upwards for MY2021 to include the new MP3 400 hpe and 400 hpe Sport. The new engine boasts a clean, Euro-5 emissions rating and comes with some comfort-enhancing elements along with mobile-phone connectivity to bring the lump into new territory. Like it’s predecessor, the MP3 400 siblings are configured as a Delta-trike with two front wheels that lean into the corners to deliver a rare combination of safety and fun.
2018 - 2022 Kawasaki Z900RS CAFE
Kawasaki maintains the momentum it garnered in 2018 by rolling its popular Z900RS CAFE straight over into MY2022. And, why not? It’s hard to argue with success, and the retro-tastic looks and modern performance make excellent bedfellows, especially with the Seventies-fabulous graphics as the icing on the proverbial cake. The “CAFE” falls at the southern edge of liter-bike territory, which could potentially be dangerous for a new rider, but it carries all the requisite safety equipment needed to keep it dirty-side down.
2020 - 2021 Indian Roadmaster
Indian Motorcycle made a number of changes to its touring lineup ahead of MY2020 including a new powerplant for its full-dress Roadmaster. The base-model Roadmaster hits important historical high notes and maintains the full-size front fairing, but the real news here is the addition of the new Thunder Stroke 116 engine that toes the family line and pumps out over 120 pounds of stump-pulling torque. Comfort and luxury for the every-rider are the hallmarks of the Roadmaster, and it delivers with its usual style and aplomb.
Triumph launches a new SOS system for your Smartphone
Triumph announces a new essential component of motorcycle safety equipment. The Triumph SOS app, specifically tailored for motorcyclists, and monitors sensors in your smartphone to detect and validate an accident and then request emergency services, even if you can’t.
2017 - 2020 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
A 1,200 cc plant pushes the classic-looking frame on the new-from-2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber. Much like Harley-Davidson’s Softail, it comes built to look like an old hard-tail. The result is a modern ride with very deep roots traceable back to the Speed Twin 5T of the late ’30s. There are plenty of other little historical touches here and there, and though this is no replica piece, it can serve as a sort of rolling museum.
2022 Indian Super Chief
America’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer rolls into model-year 2022 with a new platform that pulls double duty as a celebration of the Chief’s 100th anniversary; the Indian Super Chief. Old-school bagger style and homegrown custom details join to set this new machine apart from the pack. Available with and without ABS, the Super Chief is powered by the proven Thunder Stroke 111 plant. It comes shot in monochromatic paint schemes on the sheet metal with liberal blackout treatment everywhere else. The Super Chief is a rolling history lesson, and class is in.
2020 - 2021 BMW S 1000 RR
The Bayerische Motoren Werke led off its 2020 lineup with a new version of its race-tastic S 1000 RR. As usual for BMW, items that were optional equipment previously are now part of the standard equipment package. I’m talking about such features as all-around LED lighting, lean-sensitive ABS, and an adjustable clutch lever, just to name a few. The 999 cc powerplant shed some weight and took on the ShiftCam technology to deepen the torque well a bit and pick up a few ponies in the process. In short, Beemer’s new street-legal racebike comes to the table with more of the goods that made the previous generations such a hit.
2022 BMW CE 04
The Bayerische Motoren Werke Motorrad USA has taken the next step in its journey into electric urban-mobility territory with the announcement of its new CE 04 model. This all-electric scooter has the range, speed and charging options you need for convenience and practicality, plus it rocks an electronics suite with an infotainment package that together have the potential to embarrass much pricier machines.
2022 Yamaha Zuma 125
Yamaha tweaks its Zuma 125 scooter platform ahead of MY2022 with a handful of improvements across the board. Fuel-efficient power comes from a new “Blue Core” engine sporting some pretty fancy fandanglery in the valvetrain. Rugged new bodywork and a re-imagined headlight area seal the deal to further separate this newest-generation adventure scooter from its predecessors and peers.
2021 Honda CB1000R Black
Honda goes a bit beyond the cursory “Bold New Graphics” package that frequently heralds a new model-year with new bodywork and a blackout paint package on the Honda CB1000R that sets it well apart from the previous version to make it the “Black Edition.” Improved electronics join with the new looks for some under-the-hood improvements increasing its utility as a commuter, and a fun one at that. The punchy four-banger reprises its role as the beating heart with throttle-by-wire and riding modes on board to help with engine management.
2020 Triumph Street Triple R
Triumph revised its Street Triple R ahead of MY2020 with a number of improvements across the board. A more extreme nose-down look adds to its racing credentials, and it all comes powered by a new three-banger that generates 11.3-percent more oomph than the superseded model. It’s also available in a “Low” configuration that drops the seat almost two inches closer to the deck.
2022 Indian FTR
Indian Motorcycle revamped and rebranded its FTR 1200 model as the FTR ahead of 2022 to maintain the momentum of the civilian-version of its proven Flat-Track platform. A new paint package dresses up the new version that comes complete with standard goodies such as a top-drawer suspension system and a retuned engine that now comes with Rear-Cylinder Deactivation for improved comfort.
2021 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
Triumph updated its Bonneville Bobber platform ahead of MY2021 with a number of improvements. Brake and suspension components were spruced up, along with a larger fuel tank and the extra range it brings. The engine itself is cleaner than ever and it spools up faster than ever for a double whammy in the drivetrain, plus the suspension and brake components come off a higher shelf to finish the practical changes. New paint packages and expanded blackout treatment gives this year-model a unique look, in spite of Triumph’s efforts to channel the soul of a decades-old design.
2017 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Rod
Traffic-carving performance wasn’t the first thing I thought of when hearing the name Harley-Davidson, but the MoCo started changing that perception with the new-in-2017 Street Rod 750. While it is, in fact, based on the Street 750, multiple changes in the setup and equipment turn it into another animal entirely. Shorter steering geometry, a more aggressive rider triangle and a more powerful engine come together in H-D’s decisive push into the sport-standard market.
2020 - 2021 Honda Rebel 300 / 500
Honda rolls into the new decade with the first overhaul to its newest-generation Rebel range. It has only been a few years since the classic Rebel line was replaced by the current iteration, and the added features are largely due to feedback from the new rider base. New suspension components improve the ride along with upgrades to the lighting and clutch pack to increase overall safety and expand its buyer base.
2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE
Triumph rolls into MY2022 with a new High-Power Bonneville Twin for its multi-surface Scrambler 1200 XE. The “XE” maintains its design as a proper crossover model melding turf- and tarmac-capability with a homespun look that brings to mind the earliest scrambler models built on UJM platforms, or in this case, most likely some old Bonneville model. Spartan in its appointments but rich in power with top-shelf suspension and electronic ride-quality features, the XE is a real sleeper that should prove to punch above its weight.
2021 BMW R 1250 GS Adventure
The 2021 model year marks an important milestone for BMW’s “GS” platform as the 40th year of adventure-enduro magic to come out of Germany. There’s a special limited-edition model this year of the R 1250 GS Adventure to celebrate the GS line’s success through a special trim package and color selection, but even the base platform was improved, largely due to feedback from riders of the previous generations. New features join equipment that was previously considered optional along with an expanded range of ex werke features and gear.
2021 Kawi Ninja ZX-10R
Kawasaki takes its Superbike racing program to the bank with its made-for-public Ninja ZX-10R platform that brings an uncommon level of performance to the streets. A newly-updated engine carries improved cooling features and exhaust components with a new bundle of ride-control and ride-safety electronics to keep it all under control. Next-gen bodywork wraps up the package with windtunnel-tested efficiency and some interesting paint choices.
2022 Indian Chief Dark Horse
Indian completely reworked its Chief Dark Horse ahead of MY2022 with a ground-up build that actually has little in common with its predecessor. A new frame carries a larger engine and comes clad with minimal bodywork in contrast to the outgoing model. Custom fenders and blackout paint makes the connection to the U.S. custom culture with ride-safety electronics under the hood to finish off the package.
2021 Ducati Panigale V4S
Ducati refined its Panigale V4 S model ahead of MY21 with a number of improvements across the board. The lump is now cleaner with a Euro-5 emissions rating, and it comes with new engine-control electronics for even more safety and control than before. New brake- and clutch-actuation equipment joins with a new chain guard as stock equipment. For the first time, the Panigale V4 S comes pre-wired to make installation of the optional heated grips a plug-and-play affair to extend both your riding range and riding season.
2022 Yamaha YZF-R7
Yamaha plugs the hole in its YZF line between the R3 and R1 Supersports with the all-new-for 2022 YZF-R7 model. Power comes from the proven CP2 plant with a new LCD instrument bundle, all LED lighting, and adjustable KYB suspension as part of the stock equipment package. All of this is built around the narrowest YZF platform that also incorporates the pilot’s body in the overall shape to maximize penetration. This is also the first YZF model to come stock with a slip-and-assist clutch for an extra layer of safety on the street, and even the track if you’re into that sort of thing.
2014 - 2021 Honda CBR600RR
Honda’s latest generation of 600 cc, CBR supersports toes the family line with its race-winning blend of power and maneuverability all packed onto a MotoGP-inspired chassis. Much like the original CBR600RR that hit the streets back in ’03 and was built as a racebike replica, the current model features a strong engine along with a front suspension featuring Honda’s 41mm Big Piston Fork for superb handling and snappy action, plus MotoGP-inspired bodywork in a race-tested aerodynamic supersport design.
2019 - 2021 Yamaha YZF-R125
Yamaha takes early indoctrination to a whole new level with its YZF-R125 meant to scoop up riders who live in areas that use the tiered-license system. That’s right, it’s an R-series model specifically built for A-1 license holders in Europe and the U.K. The trackside DNA is evident in the overall look that borrows heavily from its larger-displacement siblings in keeping with it intended use as an entry-level trainer. Supersport looks and handling meet license restrictions to make this a proper first-timer’s bike.
2021 Aprilia RS 125
Aprilia revamped its RS 125 ahead of MY2021 with a number of improvements on its proven eighth-liter platform with a fresh design, newer more powerful plant, and updated electronics. All of this comes on the heels of a quarter-century of racing success to bring a bona fide racebike experience to all those nascent pegdraggers out there. Choose between the base-model RS 125 and its GP Replica variant that brings even more racetrack yummygoodness to the table.
2021 - 2022 Triumph T120 / T120 Black
Triumph spruced up its interminable Bonneville lineup for 2021 with a fairly major update to its T120 platform. The newest version of the interminable T120 and T120 Black both roll with lighter components, an updated Bonneville powerplant, and tweaked chassis components to make these the quickest and most nimble specimens to date. Even the electronics took a whack from the buff-hammer with new standard equipment and enhancements to the Riding Modes feature. Modern performance and control mate with old-school British charm to make this pair worthy of their rich pedigree.
2018 - 2020 Yamaha Star Venture
Yamaha took a little hiatus from the full-dresser market to the tune of almost a half-decade, but the Tuning Fork Company broke its fast in 2018 with the release of the all-new Star Venture. This ride clearly comes geared to take on Harley-Davidson’s touring line in general, and the Road Glide Ultra specifically. Ambitious? You betcha, but Yamaha did its homework and put together a machine that brings a torquey, big-inch, V-twin to the U.S. market in a rather tour-tastic package with over 37 gallons of dry storage across the two hard bags and trunk box.
2018 - 2021 Yamaha XSR700
Part of Yamaha’s “Faster Sons” lineup, the XSR700 is based largely on the proven MT-07 platform. It is a reinterpretation of a vintage design for a modern-retro look, clearly meant to draw in the hipster/Millennial crowd, as well as those with an appreciation for classic design elements. It’s not all about looks, though, the mill churns out a claimed 73.8 horsepower and 50.2 pound-feet of torque to push the 410-pound wet weight, so there’s no shortage of thrills to be had on Yamaha’s mid-size roadster.
2020 - 2021 Indian Chieftain Limited
Indian Motorcycle spruced up its Chieftain Limited ahead of MY2020 with a new color palette and abundant chrome treatment. It ain’t all about the aesthetics, though. The factory powers its revamped Chieftain Limited with the Thunder Stroke 116 engine with over 120 pound-feet of torque on tap. Custom touches abound on this top-shelf bagger with the usual smattering of historical references to tie in with the factory’s storied past along with a modern electronics suite to round out the package.
2021 - 2022 Triumph Bonneville T100
Triumph tuned up its Bonneville 900 High Torque plant that powers the modern-classic T100 ahead of MY2021. The new version is both cleaner and stronger with snappier throttle responses than ever before along with a higher red line. New forks float the lighter chassis with new top-shelf Brembo brake components to make the T100 more fun to ride and safer to boot.
2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE
Kawasaki’s H2 Special Edition comes built around the Z-family flagship model with all of the supercharged yummygoodness of the previous version plus a handful of improvements for MY2021. New for this year, the electronic suspension control now comes with the stock equipment package and a beefed up brake system for even more stopping power. Sugomi styling remains a constant along with an electronics suite that rivals the best in the world to make this “SE” a solid competitor within the Hypersport sector specifically and among barely street-legal stoplight burners in general.
2020 - 2021 Indian Chieftain Dark Horse
Indian Motorcycle carried over its popular Chieftain Dark Horse into MY2020 with much the same custom panache, but repowered it with the Thunder Stroke 116 engine. Classic historical touches abound on this ride for a healthy dose of nostalgia, but of course, it rocks all of the factory’s electronic fandanglery to make it a thoroughly modern machine. Whether you want to do some light touring or just do some boulevard cruising, the Chieftain Dark Horse brings something to the table for you.
2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS
Triumph subjected its Speed Triple 1200 to a ground-up reimagination to turn out the 2021 RS variant. This is it folks, the most powerful Speed Triple to date with more cubes, grunt, and power than ever before. It’s also lighter and narrower to get the most out of that extra juice, and comes complete with a well-rounded, performance- and convenience-driven electronics suite. Tuned up lines and an all-new look finish out the package in style.
2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC
Triumph cleans up its act ahead of MY2022 with a newly-adjusted, lower-emissions Bonneville powerplant for its “all-road” Scrambler 1200 XC platform along with improved heat distribution with no loss in power. The genuine classic scrambler looks remain the same this year, as does the custom panache that serves as a common thread with scramblers the world around. Clean lines and an old-school finish meet with modern tech under the hood to make this model a capable contender on the world stage.
2021 Kawasaki KLX300SM
Kawasaki adds to its dual-surface capabilities with the net-new-for-2021 KLX300SM “Super Moto” model that comes set up to tackle both on- and off-road work. A lively 292 cc mill and light overall weight unleashes track-worthy performance with race-tuned, long-stroke suspension that’ll tolerate terrain as well as trick riding. Aggressive Super Moto looks and oodles of hooligan capability seal the deal to make this new model a capable competitor right off the showroom floor.
2021 BMW R 1250 GS
BMW launches into MY2021 with a freshly updated R 1250 GS base model accompanied by a 40th year anniversary model that sports the Option 719 “bumblebee” livery. The boxer-twin powerplant remains the same mechanically but comes with improved ride-control and safety electronics along with some long-requested optional comfort gear and a full line of ex-werke accessory equipment to boot. BMW brings its on- and off-road experience together to make this thing a truly capable globetrotter, and decidedly not the two-wheeled equivalent of a soccer mom’s SUV.
2021 - 2022 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster
Triumph beefed up its Bonneville lineup ahead of MY2021 with an updated Speedmaster model. This popular variant on the Bonneville Bobber platform comes with a cleaner engine this year, along with higher-spec suspension components, and improved pilot/passenger comfort features for longer spells in the saddle. A robust accessories selection stands ready to help you get set up just how you like whether you’re into touring, commuting, or just cruising and grocery-getting.
2021 Honda PCX
Honda went far beyond the cursory Bold New Graphics treatment for 2021 with a newly rebuilt and rebranded PCX for riders seeking an affordable urban-mobility solution. The ground-up redesign features a new frame with an equally-new-and-improved engine, all wrapped up under newly refined bodywork. You are given a choice between a base model and an anti-lock brake version that won’t break the bank and promises to be inexpensive to operate as well.
2021 Triumph Bonneville Street Twin
Triumph generally spruced up its Bonneville-powered models ahead of MY2021 with special attention paid to the Street Twin model. This year, the 900 cc twin is cleaner so it qualifies for the Euro-5 emissions rating, and the seat was padded with deeper foam for better long-distance comfort. New bodywork and detailing sets this bike apart from its forebears, but under the hood, the Street Twin carries ride-quality and safety electronics to rival that of many larger machines currently on the market.
2020 - 2021 Indian Springfield Dark Horse
Indian Motorcycle is proving to be quick to capitalize on popular products, and the 2021 Springfield Dark Horse is yet another example that drives the point home. The Springfield Dark Horse seeks to ride on the success of the Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition model that made such a splash at Daytona. Bad-boy blackout is a constant throughout the paint packages up for grabs this year, as are the factory-custom touches that set this model apart from the crowd. Best of all, Indian powers it with the brand-new Thunder Stroke 116 that boosts power and performance even further with over 120 pound-feet of torque on tap.
2020 - 2021 Kawasaki KLX230
Kawasaki doubled down on its dual-sport lineup for 2020 with the all-new KLX230 and KLX230 ABS. Set up primarily as an off-road machine complete with knobby tires and long-stroke suspension, it also carries all of the requisite equipment to qualify as a street-legal machine that’ll go just about anywhere, trail or tarmac.
2021 Aprilia Tuono 660
Aprilia rolls into 2021 with an all-new addition to its stable of race-capable street-legal machines, the Tuono 660. Billed as a cross between the Tuono V4 and the RS 660, this bike carries a mid-size parallel-twin with all the appropriate ride-control and safety electronics, all under a windtunnel-tested bodywork style inspired by its larger race-tastic stablemates. Perhaps best of all is the sticker that barely breaks the $10k mark to put this magnificent model within reach for a significant portion of the would-be sport-riding public. This is one of those rare machines that will cover a wide range of riders from beginner to pro.
2018 - 2021 Indian Scout Bobber
Indian Motorcycle has certainly called some attention to its mid-size bikes through its success on the flat track, and the Scout Bobber looks to capitalize on that by garnering some of the factory-custom business. The “Bobber” brings modern performance to the table along with the overall look of the iconic bobber style, yet fits in well with the rest of the made-for-the-US market, foreign and domestic built. An 1,133 cc plant delivers the power, and last year, the Bobber rocked improved electronics plus a USB charging port, regardless of which color you choose.
2021 Triumph Trident 660
Triumph rolls into MY2021 with an all-new street bike in its Trident 660. Just think of this as the British giant’s ambassador – or perhaps recruiter would be a more apt as a title – to the entry-level segment. It qualifies for a number of reasons, chief among them is the tractable power delivery, ride-safety electronics, and even the price. Lean, clean, and essential, the new Trident 660 brings a rare level of accessibility to the market, all wrapped up in one sporty package.
2021 BMW R nineT Pure
BMW spruced up its R nineT lineup ahead of MY2021 — including the Pure — with aesthetic tweaks, increased performance, and a standard equipment package that includes features that were on the optional accessories list just last year. The factory added a trio of Option 719 paint packages to the mix for the Pure this year for a total of five color choices. Power comes from the classic, 1,170 cc boxer-twin, and this year it rocks a shiny new Euro-5 emissions rating for areas that require it. Plus, the standard electronics suite brings safety and ride-quality features to the table to round out the package.
2020 - 2021 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty
With its recent success on the Flat Track circuit and burgeoning footprint in the worldwide market, it’s easy to forget that Indian Motorcycle is actually America’s oldest bike manufacturer, and the marque reminds us of its deep roots with the new Scout Bobber Twenty model. This bike takes us right back to the custom bikes of the early 1900s with bobbed sheet metal, blackout treatment, and laced wheels on a modern chassis that mimics the geometry of the old-school hardtail bikes. A modern V-twin delivers 100 ponies for your riding pleasure, and ABS protection is available on all the colorways to deliver some modern safety as well.
2019 - 2021 Indian Springfield
Indian Motorcycle cashes in on its deep design roots with the Springfield model that hit the market in ’16 and has been carried over into the 2021 model year with nary but a few adjustments to the color palette. Power comes from what was Indian’s largest production engine prior to 2020, along with ABS and keyless ignition on board, but it’s the classic, old-school bagger looks that drive sales of this particular unit. Best of all, it’s among the least expensive of the available baggers, and that positions it well within the boulevard-bruiser/light-tour categories.
2020 - 2021 Indian Chieftain
Indian Motorcycle brushed up its Chieftain line for 2020 with a lean, slammed look, and a choice between its proven Thunder Stroke 111 and the new, more powerful Thunder Stroke 116. As always, the Chieftain brings classic bagger style to the table, and of course, Indian’s top-shelf infotainment system comes stock to keep it competitive against the other top baggers around the world. No matter which engine you choose, you can count on 100-plus pounds of grunt that make the Chieftains perform as well as they look.
2021 BMW R nineT Scrambler
BMW tweaked its R nineT family ahead of MY2021 with a handful of updates, and this refurbishment naturally includes the “Scrambler” model that reprises its role as something of an homage piece. It channels the homegrown spirit of the early scramblers. The update adds a potent and improved dose of contemporary tech in its safety and ride-control electronics suite along with an equally modern mill. Some of what was once billed as optional equipment now comes standard, as does the Euro-5 emissions package and redesigned internals in the classic boxer-twin engine.
2021 Ducati Desert Sled
Ducati rolls into 2021 with some fresh paint for its returning Desert Sled model, and for you connoisseurs out there, a limited-edition Fasthouse variant rolls with unique coloring and an even more aggressive mien. Both come set up with an off-road bias while maintaining some street capabilities in keeping with its Scrambler roots. Power delivery remains the same with the 803 cc L-Twin powerplant that reprises its role alongside cornering ABS to help you keep the thing dirty-side down.
2021 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Dark PRO
If you like your two-wheeled goodness served up with a side of darkness, then Ducati’s Scrambler 1100 Dark PRO is definitely on the menu just for you. New for 2021, the “Dark PRO” brings the usual youthful attitude to the table along with its “Dark Stealth” livery that shows a gritty streak for a unique look. It relies on the same 1,079 cc plant as the rest of the 1100 PRO family and sports cornering ABS along with other top-shelf electronics. A fairly-bare bike, the Dark PRO makes for a good blank canvas for custom-bike enthusiasts, and like the rest of its kameraden, is a suitable machine for a new rider.
2021 Husqvarna Svartpilen125
Husqvarna expanded its burgeoning Svartpilen lineup downward with the addition of the entry-level “125” model, the smallest in the family. A 125 cc thumper drives a rugged machine that has clear urban DNA with a dual-sport bent. The lightweight and narrow-waisted 125 both enables and encourages the use of body English so you can practice and get accustomed to shifting around on a bike. For our friends in areas with tiered learner’s permits, the 125 comes “A1” compliant right off the showroom floor to make it even more accessible for younger riders.
2019 - 2022 Kawasaki Z400
Kawasaki needed to plug a hole in its super-naked lineup between the Z300 and the Z650, so it cooked up the new Z400 ABS to do the job. Aggressive Kawi styling dominates the look, but not necessarily the attitude, to make the Z400 an excellent commuter/first upgrade from whatever you cut your teeth on. The ergonomics are friendly to shorter inseams and conducive to relaxed riding, so this is a bike that should cover a range of body types. Is it right for you? Let’s find out.
2019 - 2020 Honda CB650R
After a race to the upper displacement range and a subsequent search for the bottom usable cubeage, Honda revisited its midrange and spruced up its CB650R ahead of the 2019 model year. That’s right sports fans; the Neo Sport Café concept has gone to production under this new moniker, and it rolled into MY2019 with a handful of tweaks that brushed up the looks and carved off a little fat. The powerplant also took a beating from the buffhammer to turn out a 5-percent increase in power with changes to improve rideability and safety.
2017 - 2020 Suzuki GSX-S1000F
Suzuki rolls its GSX-S1000F into MY2020 with a new Glass Sparkle Black colorway that is sure to turn heads, day or night. A GSX-R-based engine design delivers the goods with advanced rider-aid technology along with adjustable suspension and ABS protection to finish the package. This model makes an “all-new” return in 2020 after a hiatus last year.
2022 BMW C 400 GT
The bigwigs over at the Bayerische Motoren Werke pared down its scooter exports to the U.S. to a single model ahead of MY2022, the new 2022 BMW C 400 GT. No, it’s not net-new, but it does carry a number of improvements in both the mechanics and the electronics to make it new enough. Generous under-seat storage and a vented windshield contribute to its utility as a commuter and/or grocery-getter. Perhaps best of all, the drivetrain has long-enough legs to make it suitable for interstate/highway travel and sure to find fun wherever it goes.
2018 - 2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
The Vitpilen 701 joined its diminutive 401 sibling to double the number of Black Arrows on offer last year from Husqvarna. Like its little brother, the 701 packs all of its cubeage into a single cylinder to the tune of 692.7 cc with a respectable 75 horsepower on tap and ready to go. Contemporary style and a race-tastic vibe give the 701 even more of what makes the 401 so popular, and it’s clearly targeting mature/experienced buyers while simultaneously trying to appeal to the Millennial buyers who, thus far, have largely shunned the two-wheeled lifestyle but seem to be crazy about the ’Pilen range.
2019 - 2020 Husqvarna Svartpilen 701
Husqvarna expanded its streetbike lineup ahead of MY2019 with the new, flat track inspired Svartpilen 701. The Svartpilen – literally Black Arrow in Swedish – carries the relatively new family of naked bikes into streetfighter territory with a race-tastic chassis and the largest engine currently offered by the streetbike division. Thoroughly modern, the Svartpilen comes loaded with all sorts of top-shelf safety and ride-quality tweaks to deliver the stability and peace of mind that is becoming more ubiquitous, and expected, almost daily.
2021 BMW R 1250 RT
BMW heads into MY2021 with a significant facelift and upgrade package for its bagger-tastic R 1250 RT. A nip here and tuck there presents a new face to the world with equally-new instrumentation and a revised windscreen to complete the package. As a showroom bagger, it rolls with rider comfort as a front-burner item and comes stock with panniers for immediate utility as a tour bike, commuter, or grocery-getter. The cherry on top is the Active Cruise Control feature that uses radar technology to bring a level of safety to the motorcycle market that has mainly been restricted to use on vehicles with four wheels or more.
2022 Kawasaki KLR 650
Kawasaki leaps ahead to its 2022 model-year lineup with a new KLR 650 family. The base model comes with a number of improvements to the engine and electronics, all wrapped up under new bodywork. Fuel injection replaces the carburetor this year to modernize the powerplant along with a new instrument panel and updated lighting that does the same for the rest of the bike. If the base model isn’t exactly as adventure-tastic as you’d like, the factory put together an “Adventure” accessory pack and a touring “Traveler” trim package for a pair of bona fide adventure bikes that are good to go right off the showroom floor.
2019 - 2020 Ducati Monster 821 Stealth
The Ducati Monster can trace its heritage back to the ’93 Monster 900, and the new “Stealth” variant serves as what you might call a highly-functional tribute piece for that venerated machine. It totes the usual suite of electronic gadgets with Ducati’s Quick Shift feature added to the stock package, and it boasts 100-plus horsepower in a design that is, paradoxically, both sexy and stocky at the same time.
2021 Ducati Panigale V4
Another model-year is upon us, and constant as the North Star, the bikebuilder in Bologna has a fresh update package for its Panigale family with the new-for-2021 Panigale V4. Aesthetically, the body is unchanged, but there are enough tweaks under the hood to qualify the Panigale V4 as a “new” model, at least according to the bikebuilders in Bologna. The V4 powerplant is cleaner this year, so it comports to the EU-5 emissions requirements and rolls with more race-tuned electronic wizardry than ever before.
2019 - 2020 Triumph Street Scrambler
Triumph’s Street Scrambler made a splash when it hit the market a couple of years ago, and the factory rolled out a fresh, new generation for the 2019 model year. That’s right; the “SS” brings more yummy-goodness to the table with an updated look to go with a whole passel of improved electronic features that turn this classic into a thoroughly modern ride. It isn’t all about the visuals and hang-on gear either, the powerplant generates 18% more fun (or power, if you insist) for your riding enjoyment. Really, it would almost be easier to tell you what isn’t new, but that’s not why they feed me, so let’s dig into this new Triumph and see if we can find a suitable competitor for it.
2017 - 2020 Ducati Monster 797 / 797 Plus
Ducati added to its “Monster” family in 2017 with the accessible and relatively rider-friendly “797” version of its popular naked bike. This ride uses the same 803 cc mill that drives the full-size Scramblers, so while it isn’t a net-new engine, it is a proven one. Dual front brakes with ABS, Pirelli tires and fat Kayaba forks are but some of the features included in what looks to be the closest to an “entry level” ride that the Monster family has managed to date. I was eager to take a look at this new ride ever since it was revealed at the Milan show, and what I see so far does not disappoint. In 2018, the Monster 797+ replaced the base model with some extra goodies added in.
2018 - 2020 Suzuki GSX-S1000
Engine upgrades joined other improvements in the 2018 model year as Suzuki pushed to keep its sport-standard-sector momentum going with the GSX-S1000. The family tree branched yet again with the new-in-2018, blackout GSX-S1000Z and Suzuki dropped the “F” in favor of the “FZ” for 2019, but the “F” returns for 2020. The family now has even more of what it takes to dominate the street with a Gixxer engine in a naked bike chassis.
2020 - 2021 Indian Scout Bobber Sixty
Indian Motorcycle treats us to a mid-year release with its new, stripped-down Scout Bobber Sixty. Crisp and clean, the Scout Bobber Sixty rolls with the essentials plus some minimally-intrusive safety electronics, all powered by the proven, 78-horsepower “Sixty” plant. Blackout is the word of the day for the Scout Bobber Sixty as it expands the Scout lineup into the less-than-$10k territory.