TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.

In his bid to join the U.S. Navy, T.J took a vocational college course in Auto Mechanics when it became apparent he had a strong mechanical aptitude. Afterwards, he worked as an engineer on crewboats in the offshore oilfields where he gained more knowledge specific to the maintenance and repair of marine diesels. Having grown up around motorcycles, TJ had a passion for bikes and expanded his knowledge base specific to motorcycles by starting his secondary education at the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Orlando, Florida in 1994. He graduated in 1995 with a certification to work on any of the Big Four and a specialty in Harley-Davidson to include early models through the Evolution years. He worked as the lead mechanic at a small aftermarket shop for a time and then became parts manager for an H-D dealership while also working as a club mechanic for a local M.C. Since then, he has worked as a commercial fisherman in both diesel boats and gasoline outboard boats and has added those drive systems to his repertoire, all the while owning a number of H-D and Honda motorcycles that he maintained, customized, and repaired himself. TJ started writing DIY repair articles and general mechanic pieces in 2010 for a number of different outlets, and his love of motorcycles landed him at Topspeed in 2015. TJ continues to ride and work on his own bikes and shares his motorcycle expertise with his readers.

Follow me on Twitter: @hinton_tj

About the author
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2022 Triumph T100

2022 Triumph T100

A thoroughly modern ride straight out of the history books

Triumph tuned up its Bonneville 900 High Torque plant that powers the modern-classic T100 ahead of MY2022. 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.

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2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE

2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE

If handling, performance, and speed are your top priorities, the Z H2 SE should be on your list of possibles

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.

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2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS

2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS

This is the most powerful Speed Triple to date with more cubes, grunt, and power

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.

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2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC

2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC

It has more off-road chops than most competitors in the ’all-roads’ market

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.

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2021 Kawasaki KLX300SM

2021 Kawasaki KLX300SM

This is the most fun you can have for under $6k

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.

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2021 BMW R 1250 GS

2021 BMW R 1250 GS

BMW offers its most sophisticated GS yet

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.

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2021 Honda PCX

2021 Honda PCX

Restyled on the outside and a new, larger engine on the inside

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.

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2021 Triumph Bonneville Street Twin

2021 Triumph Bonneville Street Twin

It’s a really nice combination of charm, performance, and utility

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.

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2021 Kawasaki KLX230

2021 Kawasaki KLX230

Designed from the ground up to be your “I wanna have fun” bike

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.

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2020 - 2021 Indian Springfield Dark Horse

2020 - 2021 Indian Springfield Dark Horse

The new Thunder Stroke 116 engine is one of the most powerful production engines out there

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.

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2021 Aprilia Tuono 660

2021 Aprilia Tuono 660

It has the performance of the RS 660 and the comfort of a sport-tourer

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.

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2018 - 2021 Indian Scout Bobber

2018 - 2021 Indian Scout Bobber

It’s a bare-bones bike; when you ride, it’s just you and the machine

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.

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2021 Triumph Trident 660

2021 Triumph Trident 660

Triumph has a sporty new entry-level, mid-displacement ride

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.

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2020 - 2021 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty

2020 - 2021 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty

It’s got an old-school bobber look with a modern ride

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.

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2020 - 2021 Indian Roadmaster

2020 - 2021 Indian Roadmaster

Old-school luxury on the outside; modern tech and a new engine on the inside

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.

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2021 BMW R nineT Pure

2021 BMW R nineT Pure

Pure design waiting for your custom touches

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.

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2018 - 2021 Kawasaki Z900RS CAFE

2018 - 2021 Kawasaki Z900RS CAFE

It’s more than just a Z900RS with a bullet fairing

Kawasaki maintains the momentum it garnered in 2018 by rolling its popular Z900RS CAFE straight over into MY2021. 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.

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2019 - 2021 Indian Springfield

2019 - 2021 Indian Springfield

It’s among the least expensive of Indian’s baggers

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.

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2020 - 2021 Indian Chieftain

2020 - 2021 Indian Chieftain

If you want a thrill, definitely run the Thunder Stroke engine in ’Sport’ mode

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.

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2021 BMW R nineT Scrambler

2021 BMW R nineT Scrambler

Channeling the homegrown spirit of the early scramblers, yet with improved performance and updated tech

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.

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2021 Honda CB1000R Black

2021 Honda CB1000R Black

The Black Edition is the first real update to the CB1000R in a long time

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.

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2021 Ducati Desert Sled

2021 Ducati Desert Sled

New for 2021, the Fasthouse edition takes the Desert Sled to the next level

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.

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2021 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Dark PRO

2021 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Dark PRO

Ducati sends the Scrambler 1100 over to the Dark side

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.

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2021 Husqvarna Svartpilen125

2021 Husqvarna Svartpilen125

Cross a KTM Duke 125 with a Husky Svartpilen 401 and this is what you get

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.

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2019 - 2021 Kawasaki Z400

2019 - 2021 Kawasaki Z400

It’s a ’Z’ on the outside and a Ninja on the inside

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.

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2019 - 2020 Honda CB650R

2019 - 2020 Honda CB650R

The new neo-sport café adds its retro-tastic flare to the middleweight field

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.

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2022 BMW C 400 GT

2022 BMW C 400 GT

Improvements all around, the BMW C 400 GT doesn’t disappoint

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.

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2017 - 2020 Suzuki GSX-S1000F

2017 - 2020 Suzuki GSX-S1000F

The GSX-S1000F has a GSX-R-derived engine for Gixxer thrills in a comfortable ride

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.

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2018 - 2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701

2018 - 2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701

It’s got that funky contemporary style and a race-tastic vibe

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.

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2019 - 2020 Husqvarna Svartpilen 701

2019 - 2020 Husqvarna Svartpilen 701

Husky pushes further into streetfighter territory with the largest engine currently offered in its streetbike division

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.

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2021 BMW R 1250 RT

2021 BMW R 1250 RT

BMW puts the ’sport’ in sport-tour

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.

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2022 Kawasaki KLR 650

2022 Kawasaki KLR 650

After a two-year hiatus, the KLR 650 returns to the line-up more adventuresome than ever

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.

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2019 - 2020 Ducati Monster 821 Stealth

2019 - 2020 Ducati Monster 821 Stealth

It’s a highly functional tribute to the ’93 Monster 900

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.

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2021 Ducati Panigale V4

2021 Ducati Panigale V4

Ducati’s MotoGP-derived supersport just got better

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.

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2019 - 2020 Triumph Street Scrambler

2019 - 2020 Triumph Street Scrambler

Significant upgrades including more power & more torque

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.

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2017 - 2020 Ducati Monster 797 / 797 Plus

2017 - 2020 Ducati Monster 797 / 797 Plus

It’s an approachable naked monster

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.

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2018 - 2020 Suzuki GSX-S1000

2018 - 2020 Suzuki GSX-S1000

The beauty of a gixxer engine in a naked chassis

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.

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2020 - 2021 Indian Scout Bobber Sixty

2020 - 2021 Indian Scout Bobber Sixty

Indian expands the Scout lineup into the under-$10k category

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.

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2020 - 2021 Indian FTR Rally

2020 - 2021 Indian FTR Rally

Finally, an off-road worthy FTR

Fresh off its European release, the Indian FTR Rally returned to home turf for a North American launch in 2020. The Rally comes set up more as a proper dual-surface scrambler than the street-centric, base-model FTR 1200 and souped-up 1200 S models. Power comes from the same 73 cubic-inch engine as the rest of the range with a set of stealth knobbies to make the connection to terra firma. To further the Rally’s multi-purpose mission, the factory offers a quartet of accessory bundles that add four more potential personalities.

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2020 Indian Roadmaster Elite

2020 Indian Roadmaster Elite

Indian’s new flagship tourer caters to the elite of the elite with hand-finished paint and their biggest production engine to date

Indian Motorcycle brings classic and contemporary together for its limited-edition Roadmaster Elite. Powered by the 116 cubic-inch Thunder Stroke plant and enhanced with top-shelf infotainment features as well as safety equipment, the Roadmaster Elite serves as Indian’s Flagship entry in the tourbike bracket and looks like it’s set to take on its domestic competition.

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2020 - 2021 Ducati Panigale V2

2020 - 2021 Ducati Panigale V2

Goodbye Ducati Panigale 959, Hello Panigale V2

Ducati headed into MY2020 with a revamped, low-displacement Panigale that the factory rebranded from the Panigale 959 to the Panigale V2. It’s a mixture of old and new with new body fairings over a modified monocoque frame, upgraded suspension components, and six-axis ride-quality controls to deliver extra safety on the road. Power comes from the Superquadro V-twin plant with over 150 ponies on tap to serve as the icing on the cake.

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2016 - 2019 Ducati Scrambler Sixty2

2016 - 2019 Ducati Scrambler Sixty2

Who doesn’t have fun on a scrambler?

The scrambler market is booming, and so far, Ducati is ahead of the curve with a full range of purpose-built Scrambler models. It added to the lineup in 2016 with its Scrambler Sixty2, a model that reflects what the factory calls modern pop culture, with a liberal dose of sixties, mid-size standard cruiser flavor blended in. Powered with a 399 cc L-twin, the Sixty2 isn’t a poser in a scrambler costume; it’s ready to rock and roll.

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2022 Suzuki Hayabusa

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa

Restyled, but still clearly Hayabusa

Suzuki rolls into 2021 with its newly-improved-for-MY2022 ambassador model for the sportbike world; the inimitable [Hayabusa->mot. Windtunnel-tested fairing tweaks seek to further improve penetration and reduce drag so you can get the most out of the next-generation in-line four. A beefed-up, model-unique electronics suite helps improve rider safety and control with a new ride-by-wire throttle system that supports a number of the new engine-control features.

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2019 - 2021 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE+

2019 - 2021 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE+

Kawi’s supercharged hyper-tourer lets the fiery-eyed peg draggers share with a friend

Kawasaki beefed up its Ninja lineup ahead of MY2019 with the upgraded H2 SX SE+. Competition is fierce at the top of the liter-bike range, but Kawi has a not-so-secret weapon in its fight for street dominance in the form of a supercharger (compressor) that significantly boosts performance. The electronic suite received a buff as well with electronic suspension control bundled with new riding modes and the ability to network with your smartphone. Plus, it rocks a “self-repairing” finish that resists dings and scratches to help it keep its curb value.

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2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special

When the ADV industry said "Go big or go home", Harley replied "Hold my beer and watch this"

Harley-Davidson’s design team pulled out all the stops for its “Special” version of the new Pan America 1250 platform, and it shows throughout the details. Electronic suspension controls join with a TPMS and high-output, adaptive headlight that responds to changes in lean angle as you stoop to a corner. The addition of heated hand grips and brush guards increase the Special’s cold-weather and off-road utility, plus it rolls with a center stand that helps ease the pain of trail-side stops. To enhance its adventure worthiness, the engine has a variable valve-timing feature that broadens the tractable power band, and the suspension sports an optional Adaptive Ride Height feature in an industry first. The Special is a more appropriate machine for riders who are more likely to head off-road than its more street-centric base model sibling, the Pan America 1250.

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2022 Honda Grom

2022 Honda Grom

The third generation of Grom promises more speed and more fun

Honda rolls out its 2022 Grom 125 with a handful of improvements to go along with a reworked, retro-styled body. It carries a new transmission ahead of a cleaner engine in terms of emissions, and sports a larger fuel tank to extend the good times. In spite of its new look, it’s still readily recognizable as a Grom ’cause the monkey-bike charm still shines through to make that crucial connection to Honda’s own rich history and the 1963 model that started it all.

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2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S

2021 Ducati SuperSport 950 / 950 S

Panigale-inspired styling for the next-gen SuperSport 950

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.

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2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Iron 1200

2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Iron 1200

It’s a little bit retro, a little bit café, and a little bit gangster

Harley-Davidson expands the Sportster family with the new-in-2018 Iron 1200. Retro is in, so the ’70s-esque paint and custom touches drawn from that era give the Iron 1200 plenty of nostalgic value. Power comes from the venerable Evolution engine to the tune of 73 pound-feet of torque to give this ride modern performance that belies the dated veneer. A classic dish with custom spices, the new Iron 1200 raises the Iron stable’s displacement ceiling to draw new customers from a market that has been in decline for over a decade.

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2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250

New from the ground up, it’s Harley’s leap into the adventure market

No doubt about it, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company is breaking new ground nowadays as part of its “100 new bikes” initiative, and look no further than the new Pan America 1250 for one of the most obvious examples thereof. That’s right sports fans, H-D takes on the adventure bike segment with its very own entry that is a standalone machine with no direct connection to the rest of the lineup. An all-new Revolution Max 1250 engine powers this line with H-D’s new RDRS as part of the stock package to make the Pan America a technological marvel.

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2016 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Iron 883

2016 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Iron 883

Nothing comes out of the hole like a Sporty

When Harley-Davidson makes changes to the Iron 883, they stay faithful to at least one important aspect – performance. While XL models have never been known as ’fast’ bikes, they certainly have a well-deserved reputation as ’quick’ bikes. Nothing in the Harley world comes out of the hole like a Sporty, or handles the corners like one, and the Iron 883 maintains that tradition with aplomb. Bikes like this show how the XL line has not only survived, but also thrived in the entry-level and sport-minded American markets.

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2016 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2016 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

It’s lean and mean with dark custom attitude

The Forty-Eight from Harley-Davidson’s Sportster stable has that signature bulldog stance with beefy front forks and fat tires on a narrow frame. The 1,202 cc Evo engine comes blacked out with chrome blings, fed by a ’peanut tank’ that appeared on Sporty’s throughout its history. Low, low seat height and Dark Custom attitude give the Forty-Eight that low-slung, lean, mean look.

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2021 KTM 450 SMR

2021 KTM 450 SMR

Back by popular demand, the 450 SMR is a contender right off the showroom floor

MY2021 brings with it the return of the KTM 450 SuperMoto to the paddock after a seven-year hiatus, and it looks like just what the doctor ordered if power-drifting, racing, and stunt riding – or any combination thereof – is your thing. It sports the proven 450 engine that comes with a smattering of rider-aid electronics so you can dial in the bike’s personality as you like. Additionally, the frame is adjustable, and the suspension comes off the top shelf to finish off the package.

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2019 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard

2019 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard

It has all the essentials needed for cruising/touring and none of the fluff

Harley-Davidson Motor Company rolled out a mid-year release in 2019 with a new addition to its touring line, the Electra Glide Standard. This new model strikes a balance between comfort and fandanglery with all the essentials you need for cruising/touring and none of the fluff. It rocks the Milwaukee-Eight 107 powerplant and all the ride-quality controls associated with the revamped touring line, but leaves the Infotainment gear on the shelf to deliver a refined-yet-raw riding experience.

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2022 Indian Super Chief

2022 Indian Super Chief

Indian celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Chief

America’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer rolls into model-year 2021 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.

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2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Roadster

2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Roadster

Maybe not fast, but it’s certainly quick

A little sparse, a little spare, and an exercise in understatement describes the new-in-2016 Harley-Davidson Roadster, at least in appearance. Performance-wise, it’s agile with a greater lean angle than what you typically find in the Sportster stable. Not just a cut-down Sportster, the Roadster features a different frame and enhanced suspension along with the tried-and-true air-cooled Evolution engine.

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Four Motorcycle Heavy-Hitters Join Forces in the EV-Battery Industry

Four Motorcycle Heavy-Hitters Join Forces in the EV-Battery Industry

KTM, Yamaha, Honda, and Piaggio form the Swappable Batteries Consortium

A handful of the major movers and shakers within the burgeoning electric-vehicle industry have come together in a move calculated to increase EV viability as a practical form of transportation. I’m talking about industry heavies such as the Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Piaggio & C SpA, KTM AG, and Yamaha Motor Co., plus subsidiaries thereof including, but not limited to, Vespa, Husqvarna, and Moto Guzzi. All four have some sort of complete vehicle such as street scooters and dirt bikes with the exception of Yamaha who has so far stuck to Power Assist Electric Bicycles and general electric motor production for use in other applications. These marques have all come together in the spirit of the Paris Climate Agreement to form the Swappable Batteries Consortium whose purpose is reaching a uniform power-pack design that, ostensibly, will make it easier and less expensive to buy and maintain electric bikes.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

Expect a low seat height, butt-friendly saddle, and a smooth ride

Harley-Davidson’s Fat Boy survived the Great Purge of 2017 that saw so many models eliminated from the Softail and Dyna lineups as the former absorbed the latter. The FLSTF joins the rest of the all-new-in-2018 Softail range with a completely reworked frame and a choice between the 107-inch and 114-inch Milwaukee-Eight powerplant, though the 107 was dropped going into 2020. New design features add to the aesthetics and clearly mark these Fat Boys as members of the New Guard.

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2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE

2019 - 2021 Vespa GTS Super 300 HPE

The new high performance engine makes for a more lively ride

Vespa rolled out its GTS Super 300 line last year with a new high-performance engine that makes the transition directly over into the 2021 model year. Modern safety and comfort features come stock on the entire GTS family to introduce an element of electronic rider support that’ll help you keep it rubber-side down. All of this runs with the classic, large-frame Vespa style that sets Piaggio products apart from the rest of the world.

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2017 - 2021 Honda CBR1000RR

2017 - 2021 Honda CBR1000RR

It’s a much better CBR1000RR than the CBR1000RR has ever been

Honda carries its CBR1000RR superbike, a.k.a. ’Fireblade’, into 2021 with little in the way of changes. 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’.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Bob

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Bob

Risen from the ashes of the Dynas, the Street Bob was rebuilt and reintroduced as a Softail

The Harley-Davidson lineup underwent some serious changes in MY2018, and the chopped-down, Dyna-based Street Bob was rebuilt and reintroduced as a Softail model. Not only did it switch to Harley’s faux-rigid style frame, but the frame itself was completely reinvented to the point where it bears little resemblance to the original that saw the light of day for the first time back in ’84. Sure, it still has that classic Softail visage, but the factory achieved it in a totally different way this time, and any perceived similarities are only skin deep. To add to the revamp, the Street Bob was on the receiving end of a beating-heart transplant with the addition of the then-new-to-cruisers, Milwaukee-Eight 107 powerplant that brings over 100 pounds of grunt to the table. The Street Bob has more power, new frame, and a new family/model combination as it rolls through to 2020.

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2019 - 2021 Ducati Diavel 1260 / 1260 S

2019 - 2021 Ducati Diavel 1260 / 1260 S

The engine is a Testastretta L-Twin that rocks Ducati’s hot new variable-timing

Italian powerhouse Ducati hit MY2019 with an all-new pair of Diavel models for the sport-naked sector: the Diavel 1260 and 1260 S. Both toe the family line as far as aesthetics are concerned, and they run the same Testastretta powerplant so the differences between the two essentially come down to the trim package and chassis features. Performance and safety go hand-in-hand with a number of top-shelf electronic goodies to help you keep all that power under control. This bike is truly a rolling tribute to Ducati’s ingenuity, and the best is under the hood hidden away from plain sight.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider

It’s one of the Softail initiates from the Dyna family

Powered by the Milwaukee-Eight engine with a total of 110 pound-feet of torque, the agile Softail frame brings heretofore unseen performance to the Low Rider. Harley-Davidson is digging deep to give us better handling and more power and the Low Rider is a prime example.

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2021 BMW R nineT

2021 BMW R nineT

It’s the next generation of one of BMW’s most popular models

BMW rolls into MY2021 with a handful of improvements to its base-model R nineT. The updated engine meets EU-5 emissions standards and the electronics suite delivers more safety- and ride-quality features right off the showroom floor. New suspension components boost comfort as well to finish out the improvements for the 2021 R nineT model.

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2022 Indian Chief Bobber

2022 Indian Chief Bobber

Indian brings us a Chief Bobber in its 100-years-of-Chief celebration

Indian Motorcycle is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its iconic Chief family line, and part of that party belongs to the new Chief Bobber that’ll bring to mind the gassers of yesteryear. Old school lines join with early performance tinkering to give the Bobber a charm all its own even while it makes connections to models from Indian’s own rich history. The Thunder Stroke engine ties it all together with its faux-flathead construction that turns in a thoroughly modern performance that will serve you well in the urban jungle of your choice.

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2021 BMW G 310 GS

2021 BMW G 310 GS

Restyling and updates include a 40th anniversary celebration model

BMW gave its all-surface G 310 GS a soft body redesign ahead of MY2021 along with a handful of drivetrain upgrades to boot. The factory offers the G 310 GS in a pair of standard paint packages, but adds a two-tone 40th anniversary paint package with historical roots all its own. Comfort and safety also saw a buff with a number of new-for-2021 features on Beemer’s littlest GS.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

Ride it again for the first time

With the Softail Deluxe, Harley-Davidson brings a strong dose of nostalgia and antique design and with it comes H-D’s Big-Twin powerplant — the Milwaukee-Eight 107 — and its 109 pound-feet of stump-pulling torque that turned in a stronger top-gear roll-on than any previous engine family before it with the same 45-degree V-Twin. The charm and engine lope that even the oldest fans of the brand would recognize wasn’t lost, and ABS, security and oodles of laid-back, classic vibes are included in the standard equipment package, so this is truly a melding of two technologically-distinct eras.

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2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114

2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114

Now quicker with a faster 0-to-60 time

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.

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2021 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114

2021 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114

2021 Restyling brightens H-D’s iconic Softail

Harley-Davidson pared down its Softail lineup ahead of MY2021, but its venerable Fat Boy makes the cut to continue into the current lineup. It rolls with the relatively new, 114 cubic-inch Milwaukee-Eight engine in a similarly newish Softail frame, but the overall look still displays the classic genetic markers of the Fat Boy family. Better handling and improved performance join with stock ABS protection to complete the 2021 package.

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2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

The absolute tippity-toppest of the best features and tech the factory has to offer

Harley-Davidson’s 2021 CVO Road Glide is a bona fide showroom showstopper with lots of chrome and a trio of new paint packages. Powered by a top-shelf Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine – the largest production engine from the MoCo to date – this machine rolls with stock ride safety-control features that keep all that power under control. Stock bags and fairings complete the bagger ensemble to make this a viable bike for performance-minded riders looking to tour, cruise, or just boulevard bruise.

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2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide

2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide

The closest thing harley has to a sport-tourer

Harley-Davidson introduced the Sport Glide in 2018, an all-new Softail model that borrowed from the past while looking to the future. The detachable panniers and mini-fairing give it some (very) light touring capabilities, but it’s the 108 pounds of grunt from the Milwaukee-Eight engine that reveals its true nature as a power cruiser.

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2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim

It’s post WWII-Era bobber styling on a modern power-cruiser

Harley-Davidson and the custom-bike culture have always gone hand-in-hand, and the updated-in-2018 Softail Slim makes for a rolling tribute to both. The Slim rides on the same, newly-revamped frame as the rest of the fake-hardtail family for the unmistakable geometry and dated look that you just can’t get from a traditional swingarm. Bobbed fenders and blackout paint tie right into the custom trends of yesteryear quite nicely, but it’s the 107 cubic-inch Milwaukee-Eight V-Twin and its 100-plus pounds of torque that drives the Slim past “historical-tribute” turf right into viable power-cruiser territory. Since the whole point of the original bobbers was to provide a more thrilling ride, I find this pairing of power and panache to be entirely fitting.

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2021 BMW S 1000 R

2021 BMW S 1000 R

The S 1000 R is leaner and meaner than ever before

BMW rolls into MY2021 with a revised version of its street-legal sportbike, the S 1000 R. It borrows heavily from its race-tastic stablemate, the S 1000 RR. The new model hits the street both leaner and meaner this year to deliver an absolutely essential roadster platform, even though the electronics suite is rather robust within the standard features. Optional electronics and gear can turn this bike into a bona fide race machine.

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2020 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

2020 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

It’s back and the Dyna crowd is celebrating

Harley-Davidson’s cruiser line isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind for a performance-oriented street machine, but that changes with its recently refurbished Softail Low Rider S model. The steering geometry is sharpened for the sake of agility, and as for power, the torque-rich, Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine delivers the goods with well over 100 pounds o’ grunt ready to be unleashed on the public roads.

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2020 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard

2020 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Softail Standard

It’s a blank canvas for you to make it your own

Harley-Davidson makes some progress on its “100 new bikes” promise with the mid-2020 release of the new Softail Standard that it carries into 2021. The Standard presents a combination of old-school and custom features over a rather minimalist design, and that has the effect of keeping the price down to make this the least expensive Big Twin the MoCo has to offer. It also makes for a great starting point for you would-be bike customizers looking for a suitable platform.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Breakout

Now with new engines, new chassis, and a whole new attitude

Once again, Harley-Davidson takes what’s old and makes it new again with its revamped-in-2018 Softail lineup. The drag-tastic “Breakout” is one of the models that made the jump and carried into 2020. Harley offered this bobber-burner with the 109 pound-foot, Milwaukee-Eight 107 and the Mil-8 114 that boasts a total of 119 pounds o’ twist last year, but sticks to the 114 for 2020. The ground-up Softail-family rebuild contains myriad changes from the remarkable to the mundane that go way beyond a handful of re-arranged trim packages. This is a re-invention of the whole range with capabilities meant to offset the loss of the Dyna family, and technology more in line with the current industry standards. We’re talking a renewed focus on the Softails as H-D’s sole (or should it be soul?) cruisers.

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2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob

2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob

Ride it again for the first time

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.

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2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114

2019 - 2020 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114

Features inspired by Harley’s NHRA Team

Harley-Davidson advanced its 100-new-bike agenda in 2019 with the new FXDR 114 that turned the nearly-new Softail into a drag race-inspired stoplight burner. The factory went outside the envelope for design inspiration, with some interesting results that head in an unexpected direction, to say the least. A 114 cubic-inch engine delivers the goods to made the FXDR the most powerful production Softail up for grabs, so you can be assured that it’s by no means an all-show/no-go machine. Plus, an effort to shed some weight to improve handling- and ride-quality, and that translates into even better acceleration to make this a rather sporty, non-Sportster ride.

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2021 BMW G 310 R

2021 BMW G 310 R

BMW’s plucky little roadster just got hotter

BMW rolls into 2021 with what it calls a soft re-imagination of its plucky little roadster, the G 310 R. Not only did BMW tuneup the looks, but the new G 310 R sports a number of tech upgrades and safety equipment to boot. The engine is a carryover from last year, even though it, too, hits the showroom floor with buffed engine-control electronics and mechanical features. New paint packages finish out the details that make their model debut in MY2021.

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2020 BMW K 1600 Grand America

2020 BMW K 1600 Grand America

It’s a grand tourer with a host of features now standard equipment

BMW spruced up its Grand America ahead of 2021 with a host of improvements, most of which were offered as optional equipment on the previous year-model. A powerful flat-six engine drives this long-distance tourbike, and the attention to detail is evident throughout the comfort amenities to make this a serious contender for the U.S. full-dresser market. Hard bags and a topcase, that provides a backrest for the pillion, join a vented windshield and broad front fairing to protect both rider and passenger.

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2021 Moto Guzzi V7: First Look

2021 Moto Guzzi V7: First Look

A new engine with more power and torque comes in the new V7 evolution.

Moto Guzzi rolls into 2021 with a next-generation V7 family in the classy “Stone” and the classic “Special” models. The ground-up rebuild maintains the established panache — even as it touches on nearly every aspect of the build — to present a familiar visage to the world. To mark this newest version, the factory dropped the Roman numerals from the platform for a cleaner moniker and billed it simply as the V7.

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2016 - 2020 BMW R nineT Scrambler

2016 - 2020 BMW R nineT Scrambler

It’s the on-road bike with off-road attitude

The new-from-2016, R nineT Scrambler from the Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW Motorrad) rolls into 2020 still based on a general design popular from the ’50s all the way through the ’70s. The Scrambler embodies the form of the original scramblers, while borrowing from the 1951 Beemer R 68. The result is a ride that invokes nostalgia in those old enough to remember the originals and subsequent variants, but also appeals to a younger crowd who appreciates classic looks coupled with updated performance and more reliable technology than its antique predecessors.

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2017 - 2020 BMW R nineT

2017 - 2020 BMW R nineT

It’s top of the R nineT range

Heritage sells, and BMW looks to take it to the bank with its R nineT model family that brings classic looks and a timeless engine configuration together. Outward appearances may draw on dated (read: classic) design elements, but performance from the boxer-twin powerplant puts the R nineT in a decidedly modern category that has launched an entire line of sub-models.

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2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 RT

2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 RT

More Torque, More Horsepower, More Touring

BMW Motorrad hit MY2019 with the R 1250 RT as its spanky new super-tour bike. Why “super?” Well, it carries a newly refined boxer-twin that brings more mechanical prowess to the table, to include variable cam timing and staggered intake timing meant to broaden the powerband; and a combined engine/transmission case that eliminates some unnecessary weight from the assembly. As you’d expect, the electronics suite is pulled from the top shelf for the stock package, and unsurprisingly, the factory has optional packages available that introduce even more fandanglery to the situation and make the “RT” a proper technological marvel. It all comes together on an undeniably progressive machine with clear Euro-sport roots.

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2018 - 2021 BMW K 1600 B

2018 - 2021 BMW K 1600 B

Unmistakably "Bagger"

The bagger genre is a uniquely American phenomenon, and as such, it can be difficult to compete against the established domestic brands, but BMW does exactly that with its K 1600 B. At a glance, the “B” hits all the pertinent design high points, and under the hood, the thing is chock full of comfort and safety features to make it capable of pulling double duty as a tour bike. If you’re into inches (no giggity), Beemer accommodates you with over a liter-and-a-half in its six-banger mill to make it capable of standing up to Honda’s Gold Wing.

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2017 - 2020 BMW K 1600 GT

2017 - 2020 BMW K 1600 GT

It’s a luxury tourer with the heart of a sportbike

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 MY2020. 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.

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2017 - 2020 BMW S 1000 R

2017 - 2020 BMW S 1000 R

This ain’t your granddad’s roadster

The BMW S 1000 R was on the receiving end of a facelift ahead of the 2017 model year, and it carries that enhanced package right on into MY2020. BMW’s liter-sized naked roadster rolls with a new frame, increased engine output and Euro 4 emissions compliance. That comes on top of the already impressive electronics package that includes Beemer’s Automatic Stability Control, Ride Modes and a Race ABS feature.

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2021 Ducati Multistrada V4

2021 Ducati Multistrada V4

The new V4 features a new engine, new lighter-weight chassis, and a host of new technology for motorcycles

Ducati rolls into 2021 on its fourth generation Multistrada that reaffirms Duc’s position as a world leader in motorcycle development and production. Aptly named “many roads” in translation, the newly updated Multistrada V4 stable covers not only a range of riding surfaces, but a span of rider types as well, something that will hold it in good stead on the global stage. This family also has the distinction of being the first motorcycle equipped with front and rear radar that enables an automatic station-keeping system in traffic, much like many of the higher-quality automobiles that are currently on the market. The line includes a trio of sub-models, the Multistrada V4, V4 S, and V4 S Sport.

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2017 - 2020 Kawasaki Versys-X 300

2017 - 2020 Kawasaki Versys-X 300

A street-oriented version of the KLR

Kawasaki entered the 2017 model year with an eye toward the small-displacement adventure-bike market, and the all-new Versys-X 300 was its weapon of choice for this new front. The “X” joined the rest of the Versys adventure-bike lineup with the characteristic family flylines atop unique features all its own. Most apparent was the 296 cc engine attractive to riders looking to enter the adventure world as well as the young adults emerging as the new generation of pragmatic buyers.

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2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT

2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT

All-new from the ground up with an all-new engine and upgraded electronics, all in a spankin’-new frame.

It’s out with the old and in with the new for Yamaha’s Tracer model that saw a ground-up rebuild ahead of MY2021. That’s right, Yamaha went for the trifecta with an all-new engine and upgraded electronics, all in a spankin’-new frame. This newest Tracer replaces the previous version, the Tracer 900 GT, and represents a natural evolution of Yamaha’s sport-touring design philosophy.

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2021 Yamaha MT-09 / MT-09 SP

2021 Yamaha MT-09 / MT-09 SP

A new engine in a new frame with new suspension components as well as new ride-quality electronics make the MT-09 a genuinely new version of Yamaha’s second largest “Master of Torque” model

Yamaha recently rebranded its holdout U.S. FZ family with the MT moniker to match the markets around the world, and MY21 brings with it a ground-up rebuild for the existing MT-09. The factory doubles the “09” lineup with the addition of the top-drawer MT-09 SP to the mix. A new engine rides in a new frame with new suspension components as well as new ride-quality electronics to make this a genuinely new version of Yamaha’s second largest “Master of Torque” model.

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2017 - 2021 BMW K 1600 GTL

2017 - 2021 BMW K 1600 GTL

It’s a fast and nimble sporty tourer

BMW Motorrad embraces the American style for its full-dress tourbikes , and the K 1600 GTL represents the pinnacle of that genre. Built for luxe comfort with an eye toward safety, the “GTL” brings all the top-shelf gadgets to the table along with over a liter-and-a-half of flat-six performance placing it well into the power-tourer bracket. The factory also blessed it with the “Spezial” treatment that brings factory-custom touches to lend the line an extra element of exclusivity.

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2021 Yamaha MT-07

2021 Yamaha MT-07

Engine tuning, design updates, safety equipment adjustments, and ergonomic tweaks all made it onto this newest iteration of the hyper-naked MT-07.

Yamaha beefs up its MT-07 ahead of 2021 with a handful of improvements and updates on the menu. This marks the first major update for the Master of Torque since it was renamed from the FZ tag it carried for so long in the U.S. market. Engine tuning, design updates, safety equipment adjustments, and ergonomic tweaks all made it onto this newest iteration of the hyper-naked MT-07.

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2021 Ducati Monster

2021 Ducati Monster

Lighter weight, with more power and torque. Doesn’t that sound like more fun? Yeah, we thought so, too

Ducati rolls into 2021 with a pair of new additions to its famous Monster family. Built to be light, easy to control, and above all fun, the chassis is compact and sporty with ample Monster DNA on display; but its the twin-cylinder Testastretta that really steals the show. In spite of its low overall weight, this is decidedly not a machine for the uninitiated.

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2018 - 2021 Yamaha YZF-R1 / R1M

2018 - 2021 Yamaha YZF-R1 / R1M

It’s certainly not a poser bike, not by a long shot

Yamaha’s R1 family brings genuine racebike fun to the unwashed masses for a price that belies their capabilities. The base-model YZF-R1 and its even more race-tastic “M” variant come with MotoGP-level performance, and indeed are actually set up to be quickly converted for track use, so these are no poser bikes, not by a long shot. A powerful liter-sized mill pushes the R1 family well into the stupidfast category with updated electronic subsystems to help you keep it all under control, and of course, the synergy between the components makes the R1 family much greater than the sum of its parts.

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2021 Honda Rebel 1100

2021 Honda Rebel 1100

It has the body of a Rebel and the heart of an Africa Twin with nice electronics suite

Honda swings for the fences with its new-for-2021 Rebel 1100 taking its place at the head of the Rebel family. A prime candidate for both the entry-level riders and ones looking for their first upgrade, the biggest Rebel’s engine comes out of the globetrotting Africa Twin. Ride-control and safety electronics come off the top shelf and it comes in a choice between a standard transmission and Honda’s DCT gearbox that delivers automatic-transmission functionality. This new ride rolls for less than $10k to cement its status as a contender in the U.S. cruiser market.

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2020 - 2021 Yamaha MT-03

2020 - 2021 Yamaha MT-03

Yamaha brings its naked entry-level ride to the U.S.

Yamaha expands its MT lineup with an all-new-in-2020, entry-level model, the MT-03. Previously available in other markets, it joins the MT-07, -09 and -10 within Yamaha’s hyper-naked range it touts as the “Dark Side of Japan.” The MT-03 toes the family line with minimalist appointments that waste not an ounce on superfluous details. Power delivery is both smooth and predictable to reinforce its rider-friendly nature. ABS protection provides an extra safety net to help make sure you keep it rubber-side down.

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2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-09

2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-09

It gives you everything it’s got and begs you to unleash it

A lot of words come to mind when someone mentions the Yamaha MT-09: powerful, sporty, agile, and aggressive are a few of them. Packed with the 847 cc CP3® engine, the MT-09 combines aggressive styling and impressive performance with a host of electronics – including traction control, ABS, and improved throttle curves – to make it a contender in the naked sportbike arena.

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2018 - 2021 Yamaha MT-10

2018 - 2021 Yamaha MT-10

If stupidfast is your thing, you gotta check this out

Yamaha’s Hyper-Naked literbike features a 998 cc plant that delivers 160 ponies for a brutally powerful ride. The factory tweaked its D-Mode engine mapping feature to help you manage said power and (hopefully) keep the power delivery synched with pilot skill level. Also new from 2018 is the Quick Shift System that lets you run through the gears even faster to get the most out of whichever mode you prefer. TC, RbW, and ABS all make an appearance in the electronics suite, and the suspension comes with an array of adjustments to make this an all-around, top-shelf bike.

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2016 - 2020 Yamaha VMAX

2016 - 2020 Yamaha VMAX

It’s certainly not for the faint of heart

The 1,679 cc engine in the Yamaha VMAX houses mad performance with more than adequate power and torque to give the VMAX plenty of go, and the big, dual six-piston calipers up front give it plenty of stop. The 2020 VMAX comes dressed to impress.

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2021 Ducati Scrambler Nightshift

2021 Ducati Scrambler Nightshift

The blackout look and the overall vibe of the Nightshift sets it apart

Ducati’s Scrambler division unleashes its new-for-2021 “Nightshift” model on the world in all of its blackout glory in a sinister turn for the usually youthfully-jubilant Scrambler lineup. It carries the mid-range, 803 cc L-Twin engine wrapped in a homejob-custom package with unique components that complete the look. The ABS feature is of the corner-sensitive variety to give the Nightshift an edge on the streets.

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