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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Ducati 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.
2019 - 2021 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE+
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.
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.
2016 - 2021 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.
2017 - 2021 Honda CBR1000RR
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’.
2021 BMW S 1000 R
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.
2021 Moto Guzzi V7: First Look
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.