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2015 - 2020 Honda Ruckus

2015 - 2020 Honda Ruckus

This has got to be the Mad Max of scooterdom

Bare bones — naked bike, anyone? — and gnarly, the Ruckus looks like it’s right out of Mad Max. Even though it does have a 50 cc engine, no one is going to say, “Awww, isn’t that cute?” when you ride by on a Honda Ruckus. Granted, you won’t get going very fast on a Ruckus, so on-lookers will get a good, long look.

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2016 - 2020 Honda Metropolitan

2016 - 2020 Honda Metropolitan

The Metropolitan to us, the Giorno to the rest of the world

Honda revamped its classic-looking Metropolitan – known in other markets as the Giorno – for the 2016 model year. Early models enjoyed a bit of popularity starting back in 2002, but that took a hit with the changes made for the ’13 models up through ’15. The factory proves that it listens to customer feedback and acts on it with a fresh set of changes for the 2016 and 2017 models, tweaks that directly address the concerns coming from the customers. On the top of the list was a new, liquid-cooled engine that ramped up overall performance, as well as relocating the fuel tank for more storage under the seat. What we have for 2020 is a scooter that aims to regain the popularity it once enjoyed with a classic look and a revamped engine.

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2016 - 2019 Honda Fury / Stateline

2016 - 2019 Honda Fury / Stateline

Gotta love that stretched, custom look in a production bike

The Honda designers targeted the outlaw chopper culture of the ’60s and ’70s, and managed to turn out a fairly faithful interpretation in the Fury, which is carried into 2020 though we lost its stablemate, the Stateline, from the lineup in 2017. The deep saddle and cut-down rear fender combined with the sweep of the fuel tank give it that stretched, custom look. For the American market, the 52-degree V-twin fits right in with a 1,312 cc engine that isn’t so big as to be intimidating.

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2019 - 2020 Honda CBR500R

2019 - 2020 Honda CBR500R

Now with more power in the mid-range, right where you need it

Honda spruced up its CBR500R ahead of MY2018, and in an unusual move, buffed it up yet again for MY2019. The new model dips further into race-tastic territory with aerodynamics and ergonomics as the main front-burner considerations for an effort far beyond the BNL treatment, and the factory also tweaked the drivetrain to give it a bit more go to match the sporty new show.

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2015 - 2020 Honda CBR300R

2015 - 2020 Honda CBR300R

It’s a Fireblade that was left in the dryer too long

Honda shows us that big isn’t always better with its CBR300R. As the small-displacement sportbike bracket fills in from every quarter, the CBR300R with its 286 cc engine has the aggressive look and feel of the bigger bikes – like a Fireblade you left in the dryer too long — but in a commuter-friendly version that could be a stepping stone on your way up the displacement ladder.

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2019 - 2021 Honda CB500X

2019 - 2021 Honda CB500X

It’s even more adventure-tastic now

Honda brushed up its CB500X ahead of MY2019 with a number of improvements that came hot on the heels of the buffs it got just the year before. A number of engine tweaks net a small gain in torque, along with a larger front wheel to better tackle road bumps and light terrain. The ’stop’ was boosted right along with the ’go’ in the form of a few refinements in the electronics department, as well as the hardware. Improvements in the suspension and rider’s triangle do their bit to increase rideability and comfort on Honda’s new smallish-displacement adventure bike.

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2017 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Rod

2017 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Rod

Harley’s Hot Little Urban Commuter

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.

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Top 10 Cheap Cars That Are Really Fast

Top 10 Cheap Cars That Are Really Fast

Fast cars don’t have to break your bank account

Most of us have the dream of one day owning a car that can satisfy our need for speed. But not every one of us can afford a car that can quench that thirst. That’s why, in the absence of the capacity to spend big bucks on fast, powerful, and expensive cars, we instead look to the used-car market to find cheap cars that also happen to be fast.

There’s no shortage of options in this ecosystem. You can buy any car you want for a fraction of the cost of buying a brand-new model. You’re going to have to spend a little extra restoring some of these affordable fast cars, but that’s part of the challenge — and excitement — of diving deep into this pond. You spend a little and spend a little more until you have the car of your dreams, one that’s fast, powerful, and cheap, all rolled into one. Take a look at these 10 cheap fast cars to get you started.

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Kia's Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) Explained

Kia’s Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) Explained

Is Kia’s intelligent manual transmission a game changer or just needless technology?

Hyundai and Kia are two peas in a pod. As sister companies, they share technology, drivetrains, and platforms, among other things. So, when we broke down Hyundai’s Intelligent Manual Transmission – you know, the one with no clutch pedal – we figured Kia would be quick to follow suit. And, it has, but only to a certain extent. We’ve now learned that the mild-hybrid versions of the Kia Ceed Hatch, Xceed crossover, and the facelifted Rio will all be available with an iMT. But Kia’s version is a little different compared to Hyundai in that it still has a clutch pedal. This is getting interesting, huh?

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2017 - 2018 KTM 390 Duke

2017 - 2018 KTM 390 Duke

It has a smooth engine, plush suspension, and electronics you just don’t see at this price point

The value of indoctrination is not lost on KTM, evidenced by the fact that they updated and generally spruced up their entry-level unit, the 390 Duke in 2017, and those improvements carry straight over into the 2020 season. New upside-down stems float the front end along with larger, more powerful brakes to help manage the energy from the 44-horsepower engine and 328-pound dry weight. Ride-by-wire makes an appearance for a bit of tech you normally don’t see at this price point. Add to this a fresh new look and you have a recipe for success.

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2020 Vespa Elettrica 70 KM/H

2020 Vespa Elettrica 70 KM/H

The Elettrica now has greater top speed and four-hour recharge

Piaggio is committed to the progression of EV scooters, and the Group proved it yet again at 2019 EICMA with its Vespa Elettrica 70 KM/H model. As the devilishly clever name suggests, the top speed has been raised to a more useful max for increased utility as an around-town commuter/grocery-getter. The range increase pairs well with the beefed-up output and higher speed to complete the improved drive package, and of course, it comes clad in that timeless Vespa body style that evokes images of the machines that once mobilized a post-war Italy.

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2017 - 2020 KTM RC 390

2017 - 2020 KTM RC 390

This is the “race” beginner bike

KTM’s RC 390 saw a major revamp ahead of MY2017, and the Austrian giant carries that revised model through into 2020 as the smallest starter-super to be offered in the U.S. market. Don’t be fooled by the small displacement; this is a proper racebike trainer with all the handling performance you’d expect from larger machines.

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2017 - 2019 Suzuki VanVan 200

2017 - 2019 Suzuki VanVan 200

Perfect anywhere the ground is loose and four wheels just won’t do

The VanVan from Suzuki comes equipped with a 200 cc engine, which is an upgrade from the old 125 cc model still available in other markets. In typical scrambler fashion, the VanVan 200 is the dirt-road/gravel-road/loose-dirt ride that qualifies it as a “sandbike” because of the fat rear tire to keep you going. Better than an ATV in some situations, the Vanvan is lightweight and capable, perfect for a jaunt around the ranch, a quick run up the trapline or an excursion on the beach, anywhere the ground is loose and four wheels just won’t do.

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