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TopSpeed 2020 Honda Buying Guide

TopSpeed 2020 Honda Buying Guide

What does Honda have on tap for 2020?

Honda rolls into 2020 with the usual handful of Bold New Graphics items that include additional paint packages and not-so-subtle changes to the liveries across the board. The renowned Africa Twin family sports a new flagship with its Adventure Sports ES and ES DCT models, but for the most part MY20 is more about the improvement of existing models. Toward that end, you’ll find a handful of models which come with improved electronics packages as standard equipment instead of optional this year, but little in the way of newness to be found. (Spoiler alert; all of this changes for MY21.)

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2015 - 2020 Honda Shadow Aero / Shadow Phantom

2015 - 2020 Honda Shadow Aero / Shadow Phantom

This is vintage American-cruiser style

Honda made an honest attempt to capture that look and feel of yesteryear with the Shadow duo, the big brothers to the Rebel range. Maybe just a little too honest – is that a mechanical drum brake I see? Still with a 745 cc engine and a wide-ratio transmission, the Shadow Phantom and the Aero fill the "cruiser" slot quite adequately for Honda.

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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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2018 - 2020 Honda NC750X

2018 - 2020 Honda NC750X

It’s a pragmatist’s approach to two wheels

Honda introduced the NC750X to the U.S. market in 2018 to solidify its position in the adventure-commuter sector. Like its predecessor, the NC700X, the new sled is built for comfortable riding with a capacity for touring. The new engine lends it a sportier attitude with 54 horsepower on tap and a two-level torque control to help you keep it under control.

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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 CBR650R

2019 - 2020 Honda CBR650R

This is the the new mid-displacement kid on the block

Honda dropped an “F” and added an “R” to its lineup last year with its new CBR650R. The factory gave it a look that’s all its own with new fairings and a trim rear end, and it adds to the R’s race-tastic tendencies with an aggressive rider’s triangle. New Showa stems and powerful brakes add value while the souped-up engine adds compression and power to make the R a thrill to ride, along with new electronic safety features to help you keep it dirty-side down.

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2014 - 2020 Honda CBR600RR

2014 - 2020 Honda CBR600RR

It’s a MotoGP-inspired race replica

Honda’s latest generation of 600 cc, CBR supersports toes the family line with its race-winning blend of power and maneuverability all packed onto a MotoGP-inspired chassis. Much like the original CBR600RR that hit the streets back in ’03 and was built as a racebike replica, the current model features a strong engine along with a front suspension featuring Honda’s 41mm Big Piston Fork for superb handling and snappy action, plus MotoGP-inspired bodywork in a race-tested aerodynamic supersport design.

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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 - 2020 Honda CB650R

2019 - 2020 Honda CB650R

The new neo-sport café adds its retro-tastic flare to the middleweight field

After a race to the upper displacement range and a subsequent search for the bottom usable cubage, Honda revisited its midrange and spruced up its CB650R ahead of the 2019 model year. That’s right sports fans; the Neo Sport Café concept has gone to production under this new moniker, and it rolled into MY19 with a handful of tweaks that brushed up the looks and carve off a little fat. The powerplant also took a beating from the buffhammer to turn out a 5-percent increase in power with changes to improve rideability and safety.

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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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Top Speed's 2020 Harley-Davidson Buying Guide

Top Speed’s 2020 Harley-Davidson Buying Guide

Take a look at what Harley-Davidson has on tap for 2020

Harley-Davidson stepped up its game a notch ahead of the 2020 model year with a beefed-up lineup, starting with the mid-year release of its new entry-level cruiser, the Softail Standard. The apparent lag in rider-controlled ride-quality electronics was thoroughly addressed by the Reflex Defensive Rider Systems bundle, and for the electric-bike fans out there, the much-discussed/rarely-seen LiveWire has finally landed on showroom floors. A special Fat Boy marks the 30th anniversary of the model line alongside three new CVO models and an expanded Road Glide family with an S-model Low Rider to round out the new MY20 models.

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