2020 Kawasaki Z H2
Kawasaki’s H2 crossed family lines from the Ninja superbikes over to the “Z” supernaked range with the 2020 Z H2 model. This brings with it the supercharged engine that made waves when it landed in the top-shelf Ninjas to make this bike the flagship of the Z range. The magic doesn’t stop there ’cause Kawi blessed it with a veritable alphabet soup of electronic features that increase safety and rideability all at once. Best of all, the Z H2 wastes not an ounce on superfluous body panels, so the 100-plus pounds of grunt converts directly into acceleration to make it even meaner than the much-vaunted Ninja line, and the price schedule keeps it within reasonable reach for the majority of riders.
2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
Ducati spruced up its base mid-size 950 Multistrada ahead of MY2019 with a host of electronic rider aids, and in a first for the 950 range, the builder in Bologna put together an “S” variant with even more top-shelf fandanglery for your riding pleasure. The 950 range offers an alternative to riders for whom the 1260 model is just a little too much, and that makes it more suitable for the folks who are looking for a commuter-friendly, everyday ride. Street-oriented adventure bikes are rapidly replacing standards and sport-tourers as the favored choice du jour for urban travelers and weekend warriors, so this is an increasingly important bracket in which to perform.
2020 Kawasaki W800
Kawasaki draws on its very own historical roots for the newest addition to its “W” range with the reintroduced-for-2020 W800. This authentically retro ride doles out a healthy dollop of nostalgia for the 40-plus crowd, but beneath the classic veneer beats the heart of a thoroughly modern machine. An air-cooled twin delivers the goods with over 40 pounds o’ grunt and many of the ride-quality electronic features riders have come to expect to round out the package.
2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
Engine upgrades joined other improvements in the 2018 model year as Suzuki pushes 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 last year. The family now has even more of what it takes to dominate the street with a Gixxer engine in a naked bike chassis.
2020 Ducati Panigale V2
Ducati heads 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.
2016 - 2020 Yamaha Bolt
The Yamaha Bolt continues into 2020 with that classic "bobber" style, high tank, and short wheelbase, folks expect to see in old-school styling. Powered by an air-cooled V-twin engine, but with a plenty of technology on board, the Bolt is a good in-between size: not too small that you’ll outgrow it soon and not so big that it is intimidating for new riders. The bobber-style solo seat, easy cruisin’ rider triangle, and naked-bike look make the Bolt a choice little bar hopper or commuter ride.
2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Iron 883
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.
2020 Triumph Street Triple RS
Triumph hits its top-shelf Street Triple RS roadster with a major overhaul ahead of the 2020 model year that includes aggressive tweaks to the overall look and an improved engine to back it up. The factory managed to eke out a 9-percent increase in torque and horsepower while it hits the important Euro 5 emissions-rating benchmark. Moderate ride-quality adjustments round out the ride with safety and infotainment as part of the standard package.
2015 - 2020 Suzuki Boulevard C50 / Boulevard C50T
Suzuki unveiled the Boulevard C50 back in 2005 after renaming its “Volusia” bike of prior model years. The C50 and C50T carry straight through into 2020 with a mid-displacement engine to serve as Suzuki’s mid-size cruiser and weekend tour bike. Smooth acceleration and comfortable seating combine with laced wheels and classic styling to keep the C50s on the list of middleweight contenders in the two-wheeled market.
2018 - 2020 Triumph Street Triple S
Triumph upped the ante in 2018 with a newly-redesigned base model for its Street Triple line and introduced the all-new-in-2018 Street Triple S. The “S” runs with the same naked roadster looks as its predecessor, but with revised bodywork, an all-new powerplant for greater performance and tweaks to the frame to better handle high-speeds. Electronic wizardry abounds in the form of a riding mode feature, traction control, and ABS to help you manage all that newfound power that comes with an impressive 113 horsepower, all for about $10k.
2015 - 2018 Suzuki GSX-R750
Suzuki keeps improving and expanding its signature supersport series, and the 2020 GSX-R750 carries the torch first ignited by the original Gixxer 750 all the way back in 1984. Granted, the “late model” Gixxers dropped the steel frame in favor of aluminum, and the air-cooled engine has been replaced with a jacketed mill, but the overall mission for the bike remains the same: to provide the general public with the most race-ready production bike available for legal use on the street. Of course, the rest of the market has caught up to Suzuki and the supersport segment is flooded with similarly capable rides — and a good number of more capable sleds — though the most race-tastic of them are far more expensive than the $12K-ish GSX-R750.
2018 Triumph Street Triple R
Triumph raises the bar with a mid-level upgrade to its base Street Triple model with the Street Triple R and Street Triple R Low. These two siblings take the family to a more sport-tastic level with a number of upgrades to go with its aggressive good looks, starting with TFT instrumentation and extra electronic engine-control features that see riding modes added alongside the TC system, and an on-board ride computer that monitors and displays fuel burn rates, ambient temps and more. A souped-up engine powers the pair with 116 ponies in the paddock that are just waiting to be turned loose and let run. Upgraded suspension components improve handling with beefier brakes to haul it down, but that’s just the broad strokes.