2018 - 2021 Yamaha YZF-R1 / R1M
Yamaha’s R1 family brings genuine racebike fun to the unwashed masses for a price that belies their capabilities. The base-model YZF-R1 and its even more race-tastic “M” variant come with MotoGP-level performance, and indeed are actually set up to be quickly converted for track use, so these are no poser bikes, not by a long shot. A powerful liter-sized mill pushes the R1 family well into the stupidfast category with updated electronic subsystems to help you keep it all under control, and of course, the synergy between the components makes the R1 family much greater than the sum of its parts.
2019 - 2021 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE+
Kawasaki beefed up its Ninja lineup ahead of MY2019 with the upgraded H2 SX SE+. Competition is fierce at the top of the liter-bike range, but Kawi has a not-so-secret weapon in its fight for street dominance in the form of a supercharger (compressor) that significantly boosts performance. The electronic suite received a buff as well with electronic suspension control bundled with new riding modes and the ability to network with your smartphone. Plus, it rocks a “self-repairing” finish that resists dings and scratches to help it keep its curb value.
2019 - 2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R
Kawasaki’s Ninja lineup made a well-deserved impression on the sportbike sector, and the factory elevates its game with the ZX-6R. This mid-size Ninja “636” added last year carried a host of improvements that range from vanity-to-vroom with spruced-up looks, LED lighting, and new instrumentation, just to name a few. The electronics were upgraded as well, and the new features stack with the incumbent power modes, traction control, and Kawasaki’s own Intelligent Brake System.
2017 - 2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000R
Coming off a fresh update in 2017, Suzuki carries its GSX-R1000R into MY2020 with little else in the way of changes. The next-gen “Gixxer” 1000 brought an all-new 999.8 cc powerplant to the table with a claimed 199 horsepower at the shaft and a whole passel of electronic goodies to help manage all those ponies. Traction control, lean-sensitive ABS, launch control and more, Suzuki’s flagship literbike comes equipped with overlapping safety nets to help keep us mortal, non-professional riders dirty-side down as we explore our electronically augmented performance envelope. MotoGP tech influences the design to give the rider a little taste of track-day performance, or at the very least, ’performance light.’
2014 - 2020 Honda CBR600RR
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.
2021 Damon Hypersport HS
Damon Motorcycles commands some pretty impressive technology, and the factory brings that to bear in the EV bike market with its new Hypersport HS. The bodywork will look familiar to fans of the Big Four, same with the brakes, but it’s the stuff under the hood that really sets this bike apart. Performance- and safety-based electronics combine to deliver a potentially safer riding experience and a more thrilling one at the same time. Could this be the bike to pull in that all-important Millennial buyer base?
EV Motorcycle News: April 2020
The coronavirus shutdown may be in effect, but the electric-vehicle sector chives on with continued development and product releases. I have a whole handful of products to tell you about that range from scooter-like bikes to full-on, Energica-style superbikes with an extra dollop of “super.”
2015 - 2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R ABS
The Ninja ZX-14R ABS continues to serve as Kawasaki’s non-H2 Ninja flagship as we head into the 2020 model year. Essentially unchanged since this generation hit showroom floors back in ’12, the “14R” brings almost a liter and a half of four-cylinder supersport-goodness to the table along with the ride-quality and safety subsystems you’ll need to keep it under control. Make no mistake; this is a serious ride meant for experienced riders, and not another one of these racebike-looking commuters so popular with the masses right now.
Zero Motorcycles enter a new territory with its brand-new SR/S
ZERO Motorcycles has been at the epitome of electrically powered machines on two wheels. Showing the world how to do it right all this while, the folks upped their game for 2020 when they unveiled a brand new streetfighter, the SR/F. The bike features a new “Cypher III” operating system that brings in Bosch Motorcycle Stability Control and a multitude of data onto the TFT dash. USB charging ports, LED lighting, storage space, a fly screen, heated grips, and aluminum bar ends adds to the oomph factor.
Now, the same guys have taken that and slapped aerodynamic fairings, taller handlebar, lower footpegs, and a windscreen to create their exciting new entry into the sports-touring territory. This is the Zero Motorcycles SR/S, unveiled at an event in New York. And honestly, I love how it carries a hint of retro on it.
2019 MV Agusta RVS #1
MV Agusta, the RVS #1 delivers outstanding stoplight-burner performance courtesy of its 140-horsepower engine, and it comes with all the electronic ride-control features you’ll need to keep this beast under control. Unique styling and an air of exclusivity serve as the icing on the visual cake to give the #1 a surplus of curb appeal that’ll make it stand out in any crowd.
2019 - 2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
Kawasaki’s Ninja family has been a household name for over three decades now, and the factory aims to keep it that way with a couple of new-in-2019 models in the liter-bike range: the ZX-10R base model and its KRT variant. Toward that end, Kawi boosted power through a number of individual improvements in the engine. The engineers also added a few items that will certainly endear these siblings to the hearts of the race fans and wannabe knee-draggers out there and the electronics were upgraded with even more fandanglery on the menu.
2020 Aprilia RSV4 FW-GP
Aprilia reinforces its reputation as the Piaggio Group’s racebike division with its RSV4 “Factory Works” family line that delivers out-of-the-box track readiness, and the “GP” version resides at the top of the totem pole. This is Aprilia’s flagship public-sale racebike with all the best of what the Italian marque has to offer, and part of the overall price and delivery process involves factory training so you can get the most out of the machine. Make no mistake, this is a track-only bike with none of the equipment you’d need for safe and legal road operation.
2020 MV Agusta Rush 1000
MV Agusta built the Rush 1000 with a single purpose in mind: drag strip domination. The factory took its 200-plus horsepower Brutale engine and mounted it in a bike that, in true dragster tradition, carries only what is needed to function. No weight is wasted on superfluous equipment or body panels to convert as many of those ponies as possible into brute acceleration. Those weight-savings measures extend to the engine and include the use of titanium to reduce the reciprocating mass of the mill and deliver faster revs. The electronics suite is all about that drag-tastic life to deliver the safety and control you’ll need to manage the power and keep the thing rubber-side down.
2019 - 2020 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 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR
Aprilia rolls into the new decade with its racebike-inspired Tuono V4 1100 RR. The factory drew on its own not-inconsiderable WSBK experience to turn out this track-capable ride, and the targeted demographic would be those riders who actually aspire to hit a closed-circuit or road course. A 175-horsepower V4 plant delivers the goods with a full array of revamped, race-centric, ride-quality electronics and corner-sensing technology to complete the package. Essentially, what we have here is a liter-sized superbike with some of the bodywork stripped down to produce a very capable naked streetfighter.
2020 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory
Aprilia created the 2020 Tuono V4 1100 Factory to deliver real racebike experience in a naked-sport package for riders who may actually get beyond the parking lot at the local track. Since Aprilia acts as the racebike division of Piaggio & C. SpA, it brings considerable trackside expertise to the end product for a genuine racebike experience no matter where you ride. V4 power drives an aluminum chassis with robust ride-control electronics with a definite bias for track use, and it comes adorned with weight-saving carbon-fiber bits and bobs to minimize mass. This is a serious bike for serious riders. Don’t be fooled by the relatively low price that slides in just below the $19k mark. That accessibility doesn’t fully express its overall worth as you shall soon see.
2020 Aprilia RS 660
Aprilia, the racebike-building division under the Piaggio & C. SpA umbrella, treated us to a glimpse at the future during 2019 EICMA with the unveiling of its new RS 660. The RS 660 rolls with windtunnel-tested bodywork that aids comfort and stability over a new, parallel-twin powerplant. A robust electronics package comes standard, so you can count on top-shelf safety and ride-quality gadgets to help you keep it between the lines.
Top 5 new Sports-Tourers coming in 2020
Call them bikes that perfectly fill the gap between thrilling sportsbike and the gigantic touring machines, sports-tourers are naturally long haul motorcycles with sportbike expectations built to get the best out of that long way home. Here is our list of 2020’s top five machines offering the same capabilities as touring bikes but without sacrificing any of the sporty performance.
They tend to be a bit lighter and corner well but aren’t the most comfortable. The riding position tends to be a bit more relaxed compared to sports machines, and there’s better wind protection, much better pillion comforts, transmission with lower gearing, and usually a whole quick-release pannier system designed.
2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Suzuki improved its GSX-R1000 ahead of MY2020 in a bid to “reclaim the King of Sportbikes crown” as the factory so succinctly puts it. This rebuild comes close on the heels of the last revamp that landed just a couple short years ago, but it adds some significant features, most of which can be found “under the hood” or in the electronics suite. A couple of tweaks to the frame tune handling characteristics while the cornering ABS feature and variable valve-timing engine carries over from the previous generation. All in all, Suzuki turns in a very streetworthy racebike that’s nothing short of a technological showcase on two wheels.
2021 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP
Honda spruced up its CBR1000RR-R SP superbike and plans to release it summer of 2020 as a 2021 model. The long-rumored updates will finally hit the road in the foreseeable future, and the factory even relented in its long-standing practice by actually using the “Fireblade” moniker in the U.S. market. The factory stuffed in its most powerful four-banger with over 200 ponies on tap and followed up with top-shelf electronics to turn out a machine that, in its own words, is “born to race.”
2020 Ducati Panigale V4
The MY19 Panigale V4 was Ducati’s best-selling bike worldwide, and the factory looks to build on that success through a host of improvements ahead of the 2020 season. Ducati’s engineers struck a balance by increasing rideability and potentially laptimes to deliver more of what made the previous generation such a hit. Top-shelf electronics and a 200-plus horsepower engine complete the package, and it all comes wrapped in low-drag, windtunnel-tested bodywork for both performance and curb appeal.
2020 Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX
Kawasaki steps 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 in an effort 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.