2019 Arcimoto FUV Evergreen
Arcimoto expands its Fun Utility Vehicle (FUV) footprint in 2019 with its new Evergreen Edition. The “EE” serves as the flagship for the Oregon-based builder as it seeks to drive a new type of commuter market; the plug-n-play urban rider. Yeah, I say “rider” because the two-up seating is arranged in tandem and the main control is a handlebar, not a wheel, but the thing doesn’t lean so it’s similar to Can-Am’s Spyder in that regard. A 100-mile range and interstate-capable top speed makes it suitable for most commutes, and since the charging system’s power requirements are so user-friendly, you can easily plug up away from the house without benefit of charging station.
2019 Piaggio MP3 Sport 500 hpe
Piaggio Group continues to expand its Delta-scooter program with an all-new High Performance Engine that falls in the 500 cc range to bring even more power and fuel economy to the MP3 family. The MP3 Sport 500 hpe boasts top-shelf shocks and front brakes along with four distinct and dedicated paint and trim packages, but the real gem here is the “Sport Advanced” model that adds even more value with LED tech and even a reverse gear. Of course, all of this is on top of its general design that is already a shot of Pure-D awesomesauce that puts it in a league almost all its own.
2015 - 2019 Piaggio BV 350 ABS
The BV 350 from Piaggio, sold as the Beverly Sport Touring in other markets, is win-win as far as scooters go. With a big 16-inch wheel up front, monster-size brakes usually seen on full-size motorcycles, an assortment of tech acronyms, and an ample touring windscreen, the Beverly is a downright proper little touring scooter. As a commuter in the city or suburbs or for your weekend getaway, the BV 350 fits right into the niche that Piaggio intended. With a lively throttle response and plenty of power and torque to back it up, the Beverly puts “sport-touring” into scooter vernacular.
2019 Vespa GTS 300 hpe
The Vespa division of the Piaggio Group continues to expand its footprint with a brand-new powerplant for the GTSscooterline with the GTS 300 hpe. Fans of the brand rejoiced at the news of the most powerful engine to make it onto a Vespone descendant, and for many, this is the engine they’ve been waiting for. Safety comes standard with a few traction-protection subsystems as part of the stock package, plus it features LED forward lighting to help you see and be seen. Best of all, it remains faithful to the design progression that began right after WWII and continues to this day, so it has that classic look that really seals the deal.
2017 - 2019 BMW R nineT Pure
The Bayerische Motoren Werke has been busy expanding its R nineT family, and MY2017 saw the addition of the “Pure” model. At a glance, the Pure is exactly that; a roadster-style model reduced to its absolute essential form with nothing in the way of what you might call superfluous contaminants. BMW’s Boxer-Twin provides the power with both standard and optional safety equipment that’ll help you keep it dirty-side down. The factory brushed up the aesthetics as well with two new finishes from Beemer’s Spezial division that really make the sparse sheet metal pop visually.
2019 Ducati Scrambler Icon
Ducati has been rapidly expanding and refining its Scrambler lineup, and the “Icon” variant was on the receiving end of some of the latter. That’s right; the Icon took a beating from the buffhammer as part of Ducati’s “Joyvolution” initiative, and it rocks a new color to go with updated lights and reworked ergonomics for MY2019. The new safety electronics come off the top shelf, as does the Multimedia System that networks your bike and your smartphone for a host of new infotainment possibilities. There’s more, but as always, the devil is in the details, so let’s dive right into this second-generation Scrambler and see what else Ducati has cooking over there.
2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring
Suzuki adds to its V-Strom 650 family with the new-for-2019 V-Strom 650XT Touring. The “Touring” builds on the proven 650 XT platform even as it borrows its looks from elsewhere in the V-Strom lineup. Power comes from a 645 cc V-twin, and the Touring comes with a host of safety features to help you keep it dirty-side down and between the appropriate lines. Comfort was a front-burner topic as well, as evidenced by the vented windshield and handguards that come with the stock equipment package, so this new variant can definitely pull double duty as a light tourbike or a dandy commuter.
2017 - 2019 Yamaha YZF-R6
If you’ve ever wanted to own a bona fide racing machine but didn’t have the money or vanity to go for one of the $100K-plus literbikes on the market right now, I’ve got good news for you; Yamaha updated its mid-size YZF-R6 in MY2017, and it can be had without selling a kidney or your firstborn. At just over the $12K mark, the R6 claims over 120 horsepower with a host of features to help riders manage the tremendous forces this thoroughbred generates. The 600 cc-ish bracket has been getting a little stale as of late between competition from the liter category and the burgeoning interest in the 300 cc bikes, so the updated version of a proven mid-size racetrack champ is exciting news indeed.
2017 - 2018 KTM 390 Duke
The value of indoctrination is not lost on KTM, evidenced by the fact that they’ve updated and generally spruced up their entry-level unit, the 390 Duke in 2017, and those improvements carry straight over into the 2019 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 tech 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, or so KTM hopes. Let’s dive in and see what else the Austrian bike maker has in store for us.
2016 - 2019 Ducati XDiavel / XDiavel S
It’s safe to say that “cruiser” isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind when I think of Ducati, or even the third, yet here we are with the XDiavel and its slightly dressier, “S” trim package that carries the brand into uncharted waters. The “X” is meant to signify the cross and blending of the two worlds — cruiser and sport — and the end result is what the factory calls a “Techno-cruiser” due to its melding of Italian performance DNA and a more cruise-tastic rider triangle than you normally see from this brand. Powered by a 1,262 cc Testastretta engine, the XDiavel duo put the “sport” in “sport-cruiser” and opens the performance field to folks that ordinarily wouldn’t have such an option.
2018 - 2019 Yamaha XMAX
Yamaha brought the XMAX to the U.S. market last year after testing it in Europe for a bit. It’s a shame that it took this long ’cause the 300 cc class makes a lot of sense on our side of the Pacific Rim/Pond. A 27.6-horsepower mill promises enough speed to be safe, even comfortable, at highway velocities, and that’s ’muy importante’ in the American market. This performance comes bundled with a decidedly modern and mature look that just screams metro-commuter to me, and not necessarily for the younger set, either.
2009 - 2019 Suzuki TU250X
2016 - 2019 Yamaha SMAX
Yamaha’s new-in-2016 SMAX scooter features a 155 cc engine, which knocks it off the usual tier-license tables, but brings us a minimal-displacement highway commuter option for the U.S. market. The unusual engine size puts the displacement just over the line making it legal to hit the interstate and second now in size to the XMAX in the Yamaha scooter stable for 2019.
2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Z650 ABS
Kawasaki makes inroads into the naked streetfighter market with the new-in 2017 Z650. Drawing from the popular Ninja line, the factory gave the Z650 that 649 cc parallel twin and put it in a new, lighter weight frame for improved handling and a exponentially greater fun factor.
2015 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero / Vulcan 1700 Voyager
Kawasaki’s Vulcan 1700 line is well established with the Vaquero and the Voyager — a bagger and full dresser, respectively — both come with ABS and, as the name suggests, the 1700 cc engine in the V-twin configuration with liquid cooling and a six-speed transmission. Ready for a cruise around town or hitting the open road, the Vulcan 1700s are well fitted and all-around solid.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero and Vulcan 1700 Voyager.
2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 650
Coming off an update in MY2017, the Kawasaki Ninja 650 remains a very capable sportbike as we move into 2019. The Ninja is powered by a 649 cc, water-cooled engine with all the wizardry needed to earn it a place in the iconic Ninja lineup.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Ninja 650.