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.
2022 BMW K 1600 B
BMW beat its K 1600 tourbike platform mercilessly with the buffhammer for the ’22 model year, and the result is a marked improvement over the previous generation for its bagger-tastic “B” variant. Updated electronics and out-of-this-world graphics join a souped-up engine and specialized LED lighting to make this a significant upgrade worthy of the “new” tag. This model is clearly aimed at the U.S. market, or at least at riders interested in a proper Boulevard Bruiser with strong, American-style touring capabilities.
2020 - 2021 Indian Challenger
Indian Motorcycle rolled into MY2020 with a net-new bagger family powered by an all-new powerplant with some serious ride-quality and safety features as the icing on the cake. The “Challenger” range marks a new era for America’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer with impressive power numbers and a look that’s borrows from the past even while it reaches for new territory and, I’m sure the factory hopes, an expanded buyer base. Fixed fairings, new electronics, and a powerful engine are the hallmarks of this machine, and it’ll be interesting to see how it performs in the market against its longtime domestic foe, Harley-Davidson.
2019 - 2022 Yamaha YZF-R3
Done properly, brand indoctrination starts early, and the updated-in-2019 YZF-R3 is Yamaha’s primary bid for the supersport larvae it needs to support the rest of the range. The”R3” presents a race-tastic face to the world with design elements borrowed from its big brothers, the YZF-R6 and YZF-R1. It sports lower-drag bodywork and the same powerplant as the ’18 model for a net performance gain, however slim, and maintains its agile nature/fun factor for experienced pilots.
2022 Husqvarna Norden 901
Husqvarna rolls into MY2022 with a significant addition to its lineup. Launching the adventure-bike sector, Husky introduces its ambassador, the Norden 901. Built with an off-road bias, the dual-sport “901” is nevertheless street legal to give it all-around globetrotting capabilities. A powerful, 899 cc engine delivers the goods with over 100 horsepower on tap, and comes partnered with a top-drawer electronics suite for safety, comfort, and control.
2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
Kawasaki takes its Superbike racing program to the bank with its made-for-public Ninja ZX-10R platform that brings an uncommon level of performance to the streets. A newly-updated engine carries improved cooling features and exhaust components with a new bundle of ride-control and ride-safety electronics to keep it all under control. Next-gen bodywork wraps up the package with windtunnel-tested efficiency and some interesting paint choices.
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT
Suzuki replaces the GSX-S1000F sport-tourer with an all new “GT” version on the GSX-S1000 platform for the 2022 model year. Long distance comfort and sportbike performance combine on the new GT and its GT+ sibling, along with top-shelf stability and ride-quality electronics to complete the package.
2015 - 2021 Honda XR650L
Honda carries its venerable XR650L line into 2021, but to be honest, it’s almost completely unchanged from the original version unleashed on the world back in 1993. Before you scoff, I would point out that sharks haven’t changed in millions of years, having evolved long ago into creatures perfectly suited to their environments, and apparently, so it is with the XR650L. The Red Riders got it right out of the gate with this one, and popular support keeps the bike on Honda’s showroom floors even after nearly a quarter-century.
2020 Triumph Street Triple R
Triumph revised its Street Triple R ahead of MY2020 with a number of improvements across the board. A more extreme nose-down look adds to its racing credentials, and it all comes powered by a new three-banger that generates 11.3-percent more oomph than the superseded model. It’s also available in a “Low” configuration that drops the seat almost two inches closer to the deck.
2021 - 2022 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
Triumph updated its Bonneville Bobber platform ahead of MY2021 with a number of improvements. Brake and suspension components were spruced up, along with a larger fuel tank and the extra range it brings. The engine itself is cleaner than ever and it spools up faster than ever for a double whammy in the drivetrain, plus the suspension and brake components come off a higher shelf to finish the practical changes. New paint packages and expanded blackout treatment gives this year-model a unique look, in spite of Triumph’s efforts to channel the soul of a decades-old design.
2022 Kawasaki KLR 650
Kawasaki leaps ahead to its 2022 model-year lineup with a new KLR 650 family. The base model comes with a number of improvements to the engine and electronics, all wrapped up under new bodywork. Fuel injection replaces the carburetor this year to modernize the powerplant along with a new instrument panel and updated lighting that does the same for the rest of the bike. If the base model isn’t exactly as adventure-tastic as you’d like, the factory put together an “Adventure” accessory pack and a touring “Traveler” trim package for a pair of bona fide adventure bikes that are good to go right off the showroom floor.
2017 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Rod
Traffic-carving performance wasn’t the first thing I thought of when hearing the name Harley-Davidson, but the MoCo started changing that perception with the new-in-2017 Street Rod 750. While it is, in fact, based on the Street 750, multiple changes in the setup and equipment turn it into another animal entirely. Shorter steering geometry, a more aggressive rider triangle and a more powerful engine come together in H-D’s decisive push into the sport-standard market.
2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE
Triumph rolls into MY2022 with a new High-Power Bonneville Twin for its multi-surface Scrambler 1200 XE. The “XE” maintains its design as a proper crossover model melding turf- and tarmac-capability with a homespun look that brings to mind the earliest scrambler models built on UJM platforms, or in this case, most likely some old Bonneville model. Spartan in its appointments but rich in power with top-shelf suspension and electronic ride-quality features, the XE is a real sleeper that should prove to punch above its weight.
2019 - 2022 Kawasaki Ninja H2 R
Many of the major players offer a pure-D racetrack hypersport for the public’s consumption, and for Kawasaki, that honor falls to the freshly updated Ninja H2 R. The H2 R brings to the table the best Kawi has to offer along with top-flight aerodynamics and a supercharged engine on top of a full electronics suite making it a threat on the track right out of the box. That’s about the only place it’s a threat though, since the H2 R is far too awesome to be street legal, and as a track-only bike, it wastes not an ounce on any silly old mirrors, headlights, or turn signals. Carbon-fiber components complete the package with their own brand of lightweight strength.
2020 - 2022 Kawasaki Ninja 650
Kawasaki gave its Ninja 650 supersport a facelift ahead of MY2020 with aggressive new lines. Safety and visibility were increased through LED technology, and instrumentation moves into the 21st century with a TFT display to deliver the metrics. New tires and new networking technology round out the package along with the engine performance and handling that made the last generation a hit.
2018 - 2022 Kawasaki Ninja 400
Kawasaki took the next step in the struggle to find that perfect balance between displacement, performance, and affordability with the new-in-2018 Ninja 400. This ride delivers the aggressive styling that you expect from the Ninja family with a host of improvements over the previous generation. More power, less weight, and a mature presentation should hold the new Ninja in good stead in the highly-competitive small-displacement sportbike market that serves as the main battlefield in the contest to instill some brand loyalty in the increasingly important new buyer base.
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.
2016 - 2022 Yamaha Bolt R-Spec / Bolt C-Spec
The Bolt from Yamaha’s Star cruiser line is a cool little bobber-style bike with its high tank, short wheelbase, and solo seat. It’s a nice around town bike — lightweight and agile — and naked with real-steel sheet metal, so it just begs you to customize it. What could be better? Enter the Bolt’s siblings, the dressier Bolt R-Spec and the café racer Bolt C-Spec. The Spec duo are every bit as snappy and fun to ride as the Bolt, but with some upgrades, both hardware and cosmetic. Powered by the air-cooled 942 cc V-twin engine, the Specs are in the same size slot as the Bolt: not too small that you’ll outgrow it right away and not so big to be overwhelming for new riders. At just a few bills more than the Bolt, they’re worth a look.
2017 - 2019 Aprilia Dorsoduro 900
Aprilia’s Dorsoduro line added to its stable for MY2017 with the all-new Dorsoduro 900. This supermoto-inspired ride serves as the successor to the popular Dorsoduro 750. It brings over 95-horsepower to the table with a ride-by-wire throttle, variable power delivery, traction control and ABS to help riders cope with the extra power. Not only does this show a certain amount of model-maturity, but it promises some security and safety for those who would use it in their day-to-day riding. Officially billed as a sportbike-supermotard hybrid, the factory also refers to it as “the fun bike.”
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.
2019 - 2021 Ducati Hypermotard 950 / 950 SP
Ducati revamped its Hypermotard range ahead of MY2019 with the 950 and 950 SP to replace its outgoing Hypermotard 939 models. The new 950 borrows from the supermotard world for general design and rocks sharper angles for a more aggressive look. The 950 dropped some weight compared to its predecessor and replaced it with ponies for greater performance across the board, and the “SP” comes with top-shelf suspension and wheels, plus an expanded electronics suite and carbon fiber components to sweeten the deal. The hooligan-bike sector isn’t what you’d call the most populated by any means, but I’ve already got some potential competitors in mind for Ducati’s newest jackass bikes.
2015 - 2022 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS
Kawasaki delivered the 2015 Concours 14 ABS with a whole slew of improvements over the prior year — some cosmetic and some for performance — and carried that over to 2022. At the core, the Kawasaki kept the 1,352 cc engine derived from the Ninja® ZX™-14R in a chassis tuned for touring. The sportbike DNA is quite evident in the overall styling, so whether you love it or hate it, you don’t ignore the Concours 14 ABS.