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2021 - 2022 Yamaha Ténéré 700
Yamaha’s Ténéré line expanded down into the mid-range with the all-new-in-2021 Ténéré 700 (XTZ700). The “700” brings solid dual-sport capability to the adventure-touring range with an off-road bent that definitely favors soft terrain. Yamaha’s CP2 engine delivers the goods with a transmission and chassis tuned specifically for trips off the beaten path, much more so than its bigger brothers in the Super Ténéré family. After a race to the top, this model marks a new front in the battle for market supremacy as the factory seeks to fill in under the 1,200 cc units.
2021 - 2022 Honda NC750X
Honda’s adventuresome NC750X got a facelift ahead of the 2021 model-year that includes refined front fairings for improved penetration and an enlarged cargo space to contribute to its utility as both an adventure bike and a commuter cycle. The engine also enjoyed a few mechanical tweaks along with an improved electronic-control system, and the lump lost some weight so even more of that power is converted into acceleration. A new slipper-type clutch and re-calibrated transmission completed the MY2021 package with a concurrent gain in safety. Shorter gear-ratios for the first three gears let you come out of the hole like a champ while remaining in the usable powerband.
2021 - 2022 Yamaha 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.
2018 - 2022 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.
2022 Kawasaki Z650RS
Kawasaki brings back the mid-size seventies-style UJM cruiser look with a new addition to its naked-sport family, the 2022 Z650RS. Classic design elements join with a modern engine and chassis plus a handful of electronic safety systems to round out the package. This new Z650RS can serve as an entry-level machine, but should be entertaining enough for riders with some smaller-displacement experience.
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2017 - 2022 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.