Roadster Motorcycle reviews

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2021 - 2022 BMW R nineT

2021 - 2022 BMW R nineT

It’s the next generation of one of BMW’s most popular models

BMW rolled into MY2021 with a handful of improvements to its base-model R nineT. The updated engine meets EU-5 emissions standards and the electronics suite delivers more safety- and ride-quality features right off the showroom floor. New suspension components boost comfort as well to finish out the improvements for the R nineT model.

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2021 - 2022 BMW G 310 R

2021 - 2022 BMW G 310 R

BMW’s plucky little roadster just got hotter

BMW rolled into 2021 with what it calls a soft re-imagination of its plucky little roadster, the G 310 R. Not only did BMW tuneup the looks, but the new G 310 R sports a number of tech upgrades and safety equipment to boot. The engine is a carryover from 2020 even though it, too, hits the showroom floor with buffed engine-control electronics and mechanical features. New paint packages finish out the details that make their model debut in MY2021.

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2016 - 2022 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2016 - 2022 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

It’s lean and mean with dark custom attitude

The Forty-Eight from Harley-Davidson’s Sportster stable has that signature bulldog stance with beefy front forks and fat tires on a narrow frame. The 1,202 cc Evo engine comes blacked out with chrome blings, fed by a ’peanut tank’ that appeared on Sporty’s throughout its history. Low, low seat height and Dark Custom attitude give the Forty-Eight that low-slung, lean, mean look.

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2018 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900RS

2018 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900RS

It’s a modern classic tribute to the original Z1

The race to grab a slice of the burgeoning Millennial market is heating up, and Kawasaki enters the fray with its sizzlin’ hot, retro-style Z900RS. Built as a tribute of sorts to the legendary Z1 superbike, the new-in-2018 RS packs a punch that does its predecessor justice with 111 horsepower ready to go with a twist of the mechanical throttle control. Suspension components are thoroughly modern as well, and at a glance, it seems Kawi has nailed the balance between nostalgia and nouveau with this ride.

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2022 Indian FTR S

2022 Indian FTR S

It’s less flat-track and more naked sportbike

Indian expands its street-friendly Flat Track Racer line for 2022 with the addition of the FTR S model that brings top-shelf ride-quality/safety equipment and advanced electronics to the table. Power comes from the same mill that drives the rest of the platform with 120 horsepower on tap to get things moving right along.

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2018 - 2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701

2018 - 2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701

It’s got that funky contemporary style and a race-tastic vibe

The Vitpilen 701 joined its diminutive 401 sibling to double the number of Black Arrows on offer last year from Husqvarna. Like its little brother, the 701 packs all of its cubeage into a single cylinder to the tune of 692.7 cc with a respectable 75 horsepower on tap and ready to go. Contemporary style and a race-tastic vibe give the 701 even more of what makes the 401 so popular, and it’s clearly targeting mature/experienced buyers while simultaneously trying to appeal to the Millennial buyers who, thus far, have largely shunned the two-wheeled lifestyle but seem to be crazy about the ’Pilen range.

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2019 - 2020 Husqvarna Svartpilen 701

2019 - 2020 Husqvarna Svartpilen 701

Husky pushes further into streetfighter territory with the largest engine currently offered in its streetbike division

Husqvarna expanded its streetbike lineup ahead of MY2019 with the new, flat track inspired Svartpilen 701. The Svartpilen – literally Black Arrow in Swedish – carries the relatively new family of naked bikes into streetfighter territory with a race-tastic chassis and the largest engine currently offered by the streetbike division. Thoroughly modern, the Svartpilen comes loaded with all sorts of top-shelf safety and ride-quality tweaks to deliver the stability and peace of mind that is becoming more ubiquitous, and expected, almost daily.

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2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Roadster

2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Roadster

Maybe not fast, but it’s certainly quick

A little sparse, a little spare, and an exercise in understatement describes the new-in-2016 Harley-Davidson Roadster, at least in appearance. Performance-wise, it’s agile with a greater lean angle than what you typically find in the Sportster stable. Not just a cut-down Sportster, the Roadster features a different frame and enhanced suspension along with the tried-and-true air-cooled Evolution engine.

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2021 BMW S 1000 R

2021 BMW S 1000 R

The S 1000 R is leaner and meaner than ever before

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.

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2017 - 2020 BMW R nineT

2017 - 2020 BMW R nineT

It’s top of the R nineT range

Heritage sells, and BMW looks to take it to the bank with its R nineT model family that brings classic looks and a timeless engine configuration together. Outward appearances may draw on dated (read: classic) design elements, but performance from the boxer-twin powerplant puts the R nineT in a decidedly modern category that has launched an entire line of sub-models.

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2017 - 2020 BMW S 1000 R

2017 - 2020 BMW S 1000 R

This ain’t your granddad’s roadster

The BMW S 1000 R was on the receiving end of a facelift ahead of the 2017 model year, and it carries that enhanced package right on into MY2020. BMW’s liter-sized naked roadster rolls with a new frame, increased engine output and Euro 4 emissions compliance. That comes on top of the already impressive electronics package that includes Beemer’s Automatic Stability Control, Ride Modes and a Race ABS feature.

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2017 - 2020 BMW G 310 R / G 310 GS

2017 - 2020 BMW G 310 R / G 310 GS

BMW heats up the small-displacement market

BMW’s G 310 R roadster got a brother as it entered the 2017 model year with the addition of the adventuresome G 310 GS. The “GS” builds on the success of the “R” with a few subtle changes that shift the design toward the adventure bike end of the spectrum. Sharing the same 313 cc engine, the G 310 pair head into the low-displacement market alongside some hot competition.

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2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07

2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07

This could be your "I just want to have fun" bike

Yamaha finally dropped its FZ family designator in 2017 in favor of the MT brand seen by most other markets and the changes aren’t limited the moniker. The MT-07 came with a handful of tweaks to include better suspension and updated looks to reflect its aggressive nature. Fans of the “Fuzz” will rejoice to know that it retains its 689 cc, crossplane concept powerplant with its 50 pounds o’ grunt and steering geometry that makes the family so nimble.

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2019 - 2020 Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200

2019 - 2020 Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200

It’s all about flat-track performance for the street

Indian Motorcycle was obliged to release a “civilian version” of its FTR 750 to qualify to race in the Flat Track circuit, but the factory unleashed a new branch on that family tree last year with the FTR 1200. That’s right sports fans, you can own a piece of history with the second race-inspired performance machine to come from Indian since it was acquired by Polaris], and though it’s not liable to see an official closed-circuit course, it’s built to feel as though it could do so. The FTR 1200 rocks a much larger powerplant with looks that clearly channel its podium-sweeping smaller sibling, and it all comes in a street-friendly package that makes it accessible to the riding public in general.

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2019 - 2020 Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200 S

2019 - 2020 Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200 S

It was born from the podium and built for pavement

Indian Motorcycle, under the Polaris umbrella, looks to capitalize on its success of American Flat Track in recent years with the race-bike inspired FTR 1200 S. The “S” builds on the vanilla FTR 1200 base model with a number of race-tastic features that elevate it to a higher shelf. It includes upgraded suspension components, better safety equipment, and advanced engine-control electronics for an all-around awesome experience. All of that is on top of the new-from-last-year, punched-out engine, and inherent curb appeal. If you’re into the flat-track thing, or just fancy yourself a fiery-eyed pegdragger, this may be the American-style racer you’ve been looking for.

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2018 - 2020 Triumph Speed Triple S / RS

2018 - 2020 Triumph Speed Triple S / RS

It Has More Power, More Poise, And More Control

Triumph refurbished its Speed Triple family ahead of MY2018, and the British giant carries its new-in-’18 Speed Triple S and Speed Triple RS straight over into the 2020 lineup. These two rides epitomize the “performance naked” subgenre with a stripped-down look. They come with an updated powerplant alongside a robust electronics suite on the base model that gets even better on the “RS” variant. Power, poise and control, the new Speed Triples seem to have it all.

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2020 BMW F 900 R

2020 BMW F 900 R

BMW’s replacement for the F 850 with more horsepower and a fatter torque curve

BMW Motorrad finally gave its mid-size sportbike range a much needed update ahead of MY2020 with its new F 900 R roadster. Built for fun, the F 900 R delivers the goods with a new chassis, new all-plastic fuel tank, and a bevy of electronic systems for ride-quality and safety control. A new, parallel-twin powerplant drives your on-road adventures with almost 100 horsepower on tap, and as always, BMW has a well-rounded accessory line that pulls from the top shelf to boost its capabilities even more.

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2019 Triumph Speed Twin

2019 Triumph Speed Twin

A Modern Version Of Triumph’s Most Iconic Bike

Triumph expanded its “Modern Classics” lineup ahead of MY2019 with the new-in-’19 Speed Twin as a tribute piece paying visual homage with all the modern-ness you’d expect tucked away under the hood and out of sight. The result is a clean-looking classic with gobs of retro appeal, and that’s an important detail because the newest generation of riders has shown themselves to have an interest in the old-school looks, much to their credit. So let’s take a closer look at Trumpet’s newest Speed Twin, not the first of its name.

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