2021 Ducati Panigale V4
Another model-year is upon us, and constant as the North Star, the bikebuilder in Bologna has a fresh update package for its Panigale family with the new-for-2021 Panigale V4. Aesthetically, the body is unchanged, but there are enough tweaks under the hood to qualify the Panigale V4 as a “new” model, at least according to the bikebuilders in Bologna. The V4 powerplant is cleaner this year, so it comports to the EU-5 emissions requirements and rolls with more race-tuned electronic wizardry than ever before.
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.
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.
2017 - 2021 Honda CBR1000RR
Honda carries its CBR1000RR superbike, a.k.a. ’Fireblade’, into 2021 with little in the way of changes. That’s hardly surprising given the scope and scale of the revisions done prior to MY17 that brought us the newest gen of Honda’s Total Control initiative with a host of electronic goodies to help keep the 189-horsepower engine (10 more ponies than the previous gen) under control. It’s Honda’s first inline four-banger to run a throttle-by-wire induction control, and the factory piled on with Riding Modes, Wheelie Control, and more to make the ’Blade serve as a model flagship for the affordable-supersport sector with plenty of influence from the racing department for the ’everyrider’.
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 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.