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.”
2017 - 2020 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.
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.
2018 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
After a revamp for the 2018 model year, Softail underpinnings are all radically different than the originals, but the overall classic look of the Heritage Classic remains largely unchanged for the requisite historical tie-in. Harley-Davidson put a new emphasis on the Softail lineup with plenty of performance-driven custom designs for the fiery-eyed pegdraggers out there, but for someone looking for an old-school cruiser and tour bike, the Heritage Classic is your Huckleberry.
2022 Indian Super Chief Limited
Indian rolls out its MY22 Super Chief Limited in the 2021 season to add a nostalgic note to the new Super Chief platform. Powered by a Thunderstroke 116 plant, the “SCL” bundles modern performance and electronics with old school custom looks that hail all the way back to the years immediately after the end of WWII. Chrome and blackout combine to complete the homegrown panache that the SCL wears so well.
2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
Kawasaki stepped up its game ahead of the 2020 model year with new body components, updated electronics, and a smoother-running engine for its Ninja 1000SX. The factory also tuned up the ergonomics to improve long-range comfort and even chucked on an adjustable clutch lever for a little bit of lagniappe. Improvements in rideability, control, and aesthetics join the liter-plus engine and Ninja pedigree to deliver a refined product to the masses.
2021 KTM 890 Duke
KTM juiced up its 790 Duke platform with a more powerful engine, beefed up electronics, and improved suspension for its 2021 release in the U.S. market. New graphics are available on this new platform that comes with a robust electronics suite to help you keep the thing dirty-side down. It rocks a pricetag that’s a full grand less than the more-racetastic “R” variant for an ever so slightly more-relaxed type of rider.
2021 Aprilia Tuono 660
Aprilia takes the RS660, removes a bit of the bodywork and relaxes the riding position to create the semi-naked Tuono 660. A little less power but revised gearing to make it feel just as fast, electronics normally only seen on larger bikes and a dynamic chassis make a convincing argument. The only blot on the landscape is the price.
2015 - 2022 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.
2022 Indian Chief
Indian Motorcycle’s famous “Chief” branding first saw light of day way back in 1921, so the factory put together an all-new, 100-year-anniversary model Chief to mark the occasion. A post-war panache joins classic-custom chops and contemporary technology to complete the antique-looking package and ensure modern performance parameters. Indian powers this platform with its powerful Thunder Stroke 111 engine.
2017 - 2021 Harley-Davidson Road Glide
Harley-Davidson updated its sharknosed Road Glide in 2017 and replaced the little-loved Twin Cam engine with its new Milwaukee-Eight powerplant, a combination that persists into model-year 2021. There were a handful of aesthetic adjustments made over that span, but the model remains pretty much as it was when it hit the showroom floors in MY17. On the current-year model, top-shelf infotainment capabilities join with a plush suspension system and premium paint packages to deliver the comfort and style H-D riders expect, and the Mil-8 107 engine turns out the torque that we demand.
2020 - 2021 Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Indian Motorcycle rolled into MY2020 with an all-new model family – the Challenger – that comes complete with a new look, powerful 122-horsepower PowerPlus engine and improved safety equipment to keep America’s oldest bike builder competitive against challengers domestic and abroad. The inaugural year sees a trio of packages ready for public consumption, but it’s the sinister, boulevard-bruiser blackout Dark Horse version we’re going to look at today. Like the rest of the Dark Horse category, it makes a visceral connection to the custom-life underbelly of American motorcycling and brings a showroom-custom vibe to the new Challenger line.
2020 - 2021 Indian Challenger Limited
No doubt about it, Indian Motorcycle entered a new chapter with its all-new Challenger line and PowerPlus engine, and so far, the toppest-shelfest example of that combination is the Challenger Limited. It has that custom bagger style that Americans like so much along with a host of electronic goodies that improve safety and comfort over the long haul. Of course, the 120-plus pound-feet of torque it brings to the table doesn’t hurt at all, neither does all the historical Easter eggs the factory scattered about to tie into its own storied history.
2020 - 2021 Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse
Based on the success of its Chieftain Dark Horse, Indian Motorcycle expanded its Dark Horse lineup in 2020 with the new Roadmaster Dark Horse. It brings blackout treatment to the table along with Indian’s newest technological treats. Touring amenities and comfort features join with the Ride Command electronics and 200-Watt sound system for your riding enjoyment. If you’re into power, then the Roadmaster Dark Horse has you covered with Indian’s Thunder Stroke 116 engine that churns out over 120 pound-feet of grunt.
The Decline of the British Motorcycle Industry, Part 1; BSA
BSA was once the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world, famously selling one in four motorcycles around the world. By the end of the 1960’s, it was all over, just another once-famous name to go to the wall as the British motorcycle industry managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
2018 - 2021 Yamaha XMAX
Yamaha brought the XMAX to the U.S. market with a 27.6-horsepower mill that 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.
2021 Piaggio MP3 500 hpe Sport Advanced
Piaggio comes out swinging in 2021 with its largest, and most advanced, MP3 model. Built on its proven leaning-Delta trike chassis, the MP3 500 hpe Sport Advanced carries the largest mill found to date in an MP3 platform, and it comes with advanced electronics that remain a rarity within the realms of scooter-dom. The addition of a reverse gear moves the “500” from rare to unique as the only three-wheel production scooter to claim such a feature.