1949 Honda Dream D-Type
Every motorcycle builder has that one model that, while it may not be first, is the one that put the factory on the map. For Japanese giant Honda Motor Company, the first motorcycle was the 1949 “Dream” D-Type aka “Type D or Model D,” though nobody living knows for sure who gave it the “Dream” name. The D-Type brought all of the elements of a proper motorcycle together with a 98 cc thumper. It did away with the need for a traditional clutch lever through a clever shifter and cone-clutch arrangement to appeal to a broader rider base through easier operation. Success would follow, though it was short lived, but a legend was born, first in the island nation and then on the world stage.
2020 Triumph Bud Ekins Bonneville T120 Special Edition
Triumph has been the oldest British motorcycle manufacturer that has a rich 115 years of heritage and has been sweating it out on the arena and treating us with exceptionally new modern classics over and over again. Their Bonneville range is selling as fast as they can make them, and now they are coming up with a limited run of their Bonneville T120 and T100 models.
Commemorating a motorcycle icon, Triumph gave their retro Bonneville machines a southern California special, courtesy - the top racer in the 1950s - Bud Ekins. Celebrating the top motocross and desert racer, Hollywood stuntman and one of Steve McQueen’s closest friends, the British manufacturer gave the T120 a visual exercise with its beautiful California-inspired paint scheme and a range of dedicated individual details and touches.
2020 BMW R nineT /5
The half-century mark is an important milestone for any motorcycle manufacturer, and BMW Motorrad celebrates by building the retro-tastic R nineT /5. This is actually a fairly faithful visual representation of the original R 50/5, R 60/5 and R 75/5 that populated the streets back in 1969 and on into the early ’70s. A 110-horsepower, modern boxer engine drives this tribute piece with all the contemporary electronics and features “under the hood” that we’ve come to expect from our meticulous Bavarian friends.
2017 - 2020 Moto Guzzi V7 III Special
Moto Guzzi carries its “Special” into 2020 after the introduction of the V7 III family in 2017 that brought in a new engine and all-new frame. This is the third generation of ’Guzzi’s venerable V7 line, and the Special has DNA that goes all the way back to the V750 S3 of ’75 in a conspicuous display of its deep roots but keeps things purely modern where it counts. A new V-twin delivers ample ponies with that distinctive rumble and transverse orientation you’d expect, along with a traction control feature to help you keep it under control while accelerating. ABS overwatch for safe braking makes the Special suitable for entry-level riders and fun for experienced ones.
2017 - 2020 Kawasaki Z650 ABS
Kawasaki makes inroads into the naked streetfighter market with the new-in 2017 Z650 and adds some brush-up changes for 2020. 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.
2020 Kawasaki W800
Kawasaki draws on its very own historical roots for the newest addition to its “W” range with the reintroduced-for-2020 W800. This authentically retro ride doles out a healthy dollop of nostalgia for the 40-plus crowd, but beneath the classic veneer beats the heart of a thoroughly modern machine. An air-cooled twin delivers the goods with over 40 pounds o’ grunt and many of the ride-quality electronic features riders have come to expect to round out the package.
2017 - 2020 Kawasaki Z125 PRO
“Cheap thrills” takes on a whole new meaning — or maybe just a revitalization of the old meaning — when it comes to the Z125 PRO from Kawasaki. It’s small and relatively fast for the thrills, good fuel economy, and a bargain-basement price. Sure, as a fun bike, it has that hands down. It’s also a commuter if you have to navigate congested thoroughfares because it’s small, lightweight, and narrow so filtering through traffic is a breeze. As a first bike for someone new to two wheels, this is a completely approachable bike, not intimidating at all and without the electronics that frequently get used as a crutch. On this bike, you learn how to ride.
2017 - 2020 Honda Grom
Introduced in 2014, the Grom from Honda is a compact bike with sportbike styling, two-up capabilities if you don’t mind having to Fred-Flintstone the take-off, has amazing fuel economy, and offers a little something more for folks who might consider a scooter in this size-range. Marketed in other countries as the MSX125, the Motrac M3, and the Skyteam M3, the Grom is a spunky little — “little” being the operative word here — motorcycle, good for folks new to two wheels or for anyone else who wants a fun ride. It’s not fast, but that’s not the point.
2017 - 2019 Honda Rebel 300 / Rebel 500
Honda brought one of its most recognized model families into the 21st century with a complete overhaul of the much celebrated Rebel range in 2017. Available as the Rebel 300 and 500, this reworked line features water-cooled mills and fuel-injection induction control to meet modern and near-future emissions standards. A sportier look greets the eye this time around, though the Rebel still targets the same small-[cruiser-mot392], entry-level market.
2019 - 2020 Honda Super Cub C125
After much speculation and anticipation, Honda finally released the all-new Super Cub C125 ABS to U.S. dealerships in January 2019, and will carry over into 2020. This iconic ride brings the same 124.9 cc powerplant that drives the popular Grom coupled with a semi-automatic, clutchless shifter, and four-speed gearbox delivering the same ease of operation that helped to make the original such a hit. A disc front brake and ABS bring the classic design closer to modern standards, but the looks are straight outta’ the ’50s for a genuinely dated vibe that is impossible to imitate. Entry-level pricing provides the icing for this charming little cake in order to endear itself to that critical market segment, but I’d argue that this ride is good for more than just as a trainer.
2016 - 2020 Triumph Bonneville T120 / T120 Black
Triumph carries the Bonneville name into a new generation with the Bonneville T120 and T120 “Black.” Such a classic name deserves to be treated with dignity with a certain amount of retro appeal, and the factory took extraordinary steps to keep this ride as old school as possible. The designers didn’t go too far, though; a modern mill cranks out 80 ponies and over 77 pounds of grunt under a ride-by-wire throttle and traction control. A modern ride through and through, but with a very definite, and dated, curb appeal.
2016 - 2020 Triumph Bonneville T100 - T100 Black
Triumph started the Bonneville legacy all the way back in 1959, and it is a name that the factory is still taking to the bank today. The newly-repowered “Bonnie” T100 and T100 Black boast a 900 cc mill set in what is more or less a T120 chassis. At 59 horsepower, the T100 plant makes for a newbie-friendly riding experience while the weight savings around the bike imparts a nimble nature that you don’t really feel with the big-brother T120. Classic looks abound on the base model, while the “Black” takes a turn down memory lane to the heyday of garage custom standards with a large dose of blackout treatment for a more sinister look. So, not only do we have a bit of a spread on design, but we also have a balanced machine that can introduce folks to the joys of riding while remaining fun enough to keep experienced riders interested. If that sounds good to you, read on to see what else the T100 family has to offer.
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.