No matter how you slice it, 2014 is shaping up as a banner year for motorcyclists, with buyers having a delectable selection of bikes in a wide range of categories. Yeah, I know, as editor of the Cycle World’s 2014 Buyer’s Guide, that’s what I’m supposed to say.
Our current favorites will be tough to beat in 2014
BEST OPEN-CLASS STREETBIKE
BEST MIDDLEWEIGHT STREETBIKE
BEST ADVENTURE BIKE
BEST TOURING BIKE
BEST SPORT-TOURING BIKE
One of the beauties of being a motorcycle enthusiast is that we get to see the genius that human beings are capable of expressing on an annual basis. It's easy to think the world is coming unhinged if you pay attention to current events, and it’s probably easy to think the same thing if you’re one of those guys who believes motorcycle development peaked with the Brough Superior.
EVER SINCE the original 748, Ducati traditionally has I had a middleweight sportbike contender based on its larger-displacement sibling. After the 748 came the 749, 848, and now the new 899, which is based on the same monocoque frame concept that the company uses for the 1199 Panigale.
CHEAP" HAS MANY meanings, sometimes negative, sometimes positive. In the case of the Yamaha FZ-09, "cheap" will forever be a positive. How so? Very few motor cycles deliver the value of the $7,990 FZ-09.
The storied brand returns with all-new motorcycles, including this hard bagger
ALMOST EVERYBODY is aware of the Indian motorcycle name. The company was founded in 1901 and became the major player to take on Harley-Davidson in the formative years of American motorcycling but went out of business in 1953. Following this, Indian went through many attempted revivals, but none succeeded.
The new bike weighs less than an R1200GS, but it's still best suited for asphalt adventures
V-STROM 1000 ABS
WITH THE REDESIGNED 2014 V-Strom 1000, Suzuki seeks to split the difference between big, heavy adventure bikes and the smaller ones its 650 competes with in the US (BMW F800GS, Kawasaki KLR650, Triumph 800). At a claimed 503 pounds gassed up, the new V-Strom is 23 pounds lighter than a BMW R1200GS and 75 pounds lighter than a Yamaha Super Ténéré.
This Italian sport-touring machine is loaded to the gills with the latest electronic rider aids and convenience features. A ride-by-wire throttle system is the basis for the APRC-derived traction control and seamless cruise control, and there’s a trio of throttle response/power delivery maps. The suspension of this big new sport-tourer features semi-active Aprilia Dynamic Damping that continually adjusts the fork and shock calibration in real-time with a comfort-oriented algorithm to suit ever-changing road conditions.
RSV4 Factory APRC ABS
Racers and trackday enthusiasts will appreciate the Factory version of Aprilia’s V-4 superbike. Upgraded features include a fork, shock, and adjustable steering damper all from Öhlins, plus ECU-controlled variable-length intake ducts, an adjustable frame, forged aluminum rims, and other carbon-fiber parts. Advanced electronics include ABS and APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control), a system that features traction control, wheelie control, launch control, and the Aprilia Quick Shift system, all of which can be configured and deactivated individually.
RSV4 R APRC ABS
Whether you’re grinding knee sliders on the racetrack or tearing up your favorite back road, the razor-sharp Aprilia is the right tool for the job. This track-bred racer-replica has an incredibly compact stature, competitive power output, and unmatched liter-class agility, all while possessing Italian style that is candy for the eyes and a V-4 exhaust song that is music to the ears. As with the Factory model, the R edition includes the APRC system and its cutting-edge electronic aids that provide enhanced performance and rider safety.
Tuono V4 R APRC ABS
Based on the championship-winning RSV4 superbike, the Tuono delivers hard-core engine and chassis performance in an ergonomically friendly layout that places its rider in an upright sporting posture. The Tuono is more than a naked superbike, however, as its engine tuning emphasizes increased torque and smoother delivery with greater crankshaft inertia and shortened ratios in the first three gears. As with its V-4 superbike siblings, the Tuono features APRC as well as track-quality suspension, brakes, and tires.
Mana 850 GT ABS
Featuring a GT-style half-fairing with an adjustable windshield, the rider-friendly Mana 850 is a highly versatile machine that’s equally adept at daily use as a commuter or for light touring duty. An illuminated storage compartment sits where you’d normally expect to find the gas tank. Adding to the bike’s convenience and safety is Continental’s latest-generation two-channel ABS and Aprilia’s fully automatic seven-speed SportGear electronically controlled sequential gearshift system. The result is a motorcycle that is certain to appeal to riders of practically all ability levels.
Dorsoduro 750 ABS
While sharing the same basic powertrain, modular frame, and advanced ride-by-wire Tri-Map selectable performance modes of the Shiver 750, the Aprilia Dorsoduro, an early release 2014 model, comes wrapped in aggressive supermoto-inspired trim. Longer-travel suspension, strong ABS brakes, sticky tires, and cutting-edge styling set this Italian apart from the crowd, no matter if this 749cc naked is tackling the twisties in the local mountains or gathering more than its fair share of attention while pounding the chic urban beat. Carbon-fiber hand guards are a pricey $529.95 accessory.
Naked bikes are versatile by nature, and the sporty Shiver shakes up the recipe with a mix of Italian style and broad-range usability. The daily commute just doesn’t get any more enjoyable, while weekend back road work is a bold-faced bullet-point on the Shiver’s résumé. Residing in the engine bay is a liquid-cooled, 749cc, 90-degree V-twin featuring a ride-by-wire throttle that allows a choice of three rider-selectable delivery profiles. The chassis, a tubular-steel trellis arrangement with aluminum pieces, is fitted with a single-shock rear suspension and an inverted fork that carries a pair of powerful radial-mounted brake calipers.
SR 50 Factory
If you’ve attended a World Superbike event in recent years, you’ve surely noticed Max Biaggi and his Aprilia RSV4 on track. Chances are, you may have also spotted the multitime world champion zipping about the paddock aboard an SR 50 in factory livery. Who says scooters have to be economy-minded commuting machines? Well, Max knows they can also be wicked fun. The two-stroke SR 50 breathes clean and green, thanks to fuel injection, and yet it has a sporty feel with its analog tachometer and digital instrument cluster.
SR Motard 50
Looking for economical two-wheel transportation but have most of your monthly budget tied up in rent, tuition, and fast food? The SR Motard 50 gets you mobile for far less than most two-wheel options on the market while offering many of the same qualities found in high-end scooters. Best of all, it’s a lightweight, easy-handling package thanks in part to the confidence-boosting stability provided by its stylish 14-inch cast alloy wheels. A spacious 7.4-gallon top box is available for $149.95. Sure beats riding the bus.
Beta EVO 80 Senior/EVO 80 Junior/Minitrial 75LC/Minitrial E
450 RS/400 RS/520 RS
Exclusive to the US, Beta’s RS models are serious dual-purpose bikes that are street-legal in all 50 states. A chrome-moly double-cradle frame surrounds the 450 RS’s electric-start, cooling-fan-equipped four-stroke engine, which is built in-house in Italy. Despite all of its street-legal equipment, however, the 450 is an exceptionally capable off-roader, thanks in part to its 48mm Sachs fork, fully adjustable Sachs shock, and the rest of its enduro-proven chassis. Also available: The 400 RS and 520 RS are the same machines as the 450 but with different displacements.
450 RR/350 RR/400 RR/498 RR
Beta’s competition-ready enduro lineup was the first to feature the engine designed and built at the company’s factory just outside Florence, Italy. The quieter-running motor has a four-valve head, magnesium engine covers, vibration-reducing counterbalancers, separate oil reservoirs for engine and transmission, and electric starting. The chassis consists of a heavily gusseted steel frame, an aluminum swingarm, a 48mm Sachs fork, an aluminum-body Sachs shock, solid-mounted wave discs, and Nissin calipers. Also available: The 350 RR, 400 RR, and 498 RR are the very same motorcycles except for displacement.
300 RR/250 RR
New last year, Beta’s electric-start two-stroke enduro model now has a 0.5-gallon-larger gas tank for even better range. Designed to balance smooth, low-end power delivery with top speed, the liquid-cooled engine is fitted with an adjustable BPV (Beta Progressive Valve) that opens independently of the main exhaust port to broaden power delivery. The lightweight chrome-moly frame is unique to this model, while the bodywork, disc brakes, swingarm, and wheels are sourced from Beta’s four-stroke enduro range. Also available: The 250 RR is the same machine but with a smaller engine displacement.
EVO 4-Stroke 300/250
One by one, manufacturers of trials bikes have developed four-stroke machines, and Beta’s latest is the EVO 300 4-Stroke. An extremely light and compact, single-overhead-cam, liquid-cooled, four-valve motor powers this highly specialized model. The ultra-light chassis involves a slim hydroformed aluminum frame with a backbone that doubles as a fuel tank. Also available: The EVO 4-Stroke 250 is essentially the very same observed-trials motorcycle but with a 47cc-smaller engine. Amazingly, both the 250 and the 300 four-stroke models are comparable in weight to their EVO two-stroke siblings.
EVO 300/300 SS/250/200/125
As it does with its four-stroke trials models, Beta calls its top-of-the-line two-stroke trialers EVO. Boasting the largest engine displacement of the four models, the EVO 300 (and the 300 SS, with its even smoother power delivery) has a hydroformed, fuel-bearing big-backbone aluminum frame, and the swingarm is strong and light. Now fitted with a more mass-centralized crankshaft, the 300 showcases Beta’s expertise in building high-quality trials machines that have won numerous world championships. Also available: The EVO 250,200, and 125 are virtually identical to the 300 in every way except for displacement.
EVO 80 Senior/EVO 80 Junior/Minitrial 75LC/Minitrial E
Trials riding is a great way to get kids started in motorcycling, as it teaches the fine points of balance and control at low speeds in a managed environment. The EVO 80 Senior is a good learning bike for young folk up to about 150 pounds, ideal for those “tweeners” in the family. It has all the features of the bigger machines, including full-size (21-inch front, 18-inch rear) wheels and disc brakes at both ends. Also available: The EVO 80 Junior, which is slightly smaller than the 80 Senior to better suit 9- to 11-year-olds. The liquid-cooled, disc-brake Minitrial 75LC and all-electric Minitrial E are aimed at 5- to 10-year-olds.
The fully faired, hard-luggage-equipped GTL is clearly designed for long-distance touring. But with its inline-6 producing a claimed 160 hp and a whopping 129 pound-feet of torque, this long-hauler’s get-up-and-go is impressive, too. Standard amenities include a full-coverage windshield, a rear top case, and a sound system with iPod compatibility and Bluetooth interface. Also available: The K1600GTL Exclusive standardizes nearly every imaginable bell and whistle, including Hill Start Control, which takes the worry out of pulling away uphill, even when carrying a passenger and luggage.
This magnificent mile-eater is fitted with the same smooth, forward-angled inline-6 that powers BMW’s K1600GTL luxury-tourer. Antilock brakes are standard, as is a xenon headlight and a ride-by-wire system with three user-selectable throttle-response settings: Rain, Road, and Dynamic. Among available options: ESA II electrically adjustable suspension, GPS, and an HID low-beam headlight, whose servomotor-controlled beam follows curves while the motorcycle is banked over rather than shining blindly into space as with a conventional headlight.
Few motorcycles can go head to head with a Kawasaki ZX-14R or a Suzuki Hayabusa; one exception is the K1300S. This fully faired four-banger puts out a claimed 175 hp and 103 pound-feet of torque, more than enough power to run with the class-leading Japanese bikes. The S model handles well, too, thanks in part to Duolever front suspension and a Paralever rear end that eliminates up-and-down chassis movement during acceleration and deceleration. The optional Dynamic package includes ESA II, HP Gear Shift Assistant, heated handgrips, and other goodies.
Now powered by a new water-cooled boxer engine, the global-assault-ready R1200GS Adventure has a large, adjustable windscreen, long-travel suspension, engine crash guards, wire-spoke wheels shod with your choice of street or knobbed tires, and an enormous 7.9-gallon gas tank that offers a massive range. ABS is standard but can be switched off. Many available options—such as LED auxiliary lights, aluminum side and top cases, and semi-active Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment—allow buyers to set up the Adventure to suit their wildest two-wheel travel dreams.
Looking for a long-haul-friendly, two-up-ready bike powered by a torquey twin and built in Germany? Here’s BMW’s largest and newly water-cooled twin-cylinder sport-tourer, the R1200RT. An adjustable-height windscreen and seat, lockable, color-matched hard saddlebags, ABS, two riding modes, and a luggage rack are among the standard features. If that doesn’t meet your long-distance needs, semi-active electronically adjustable suspension, LED Corona Rings headlights, and Gear Shift Assistant Pro, which allows for clutchless shifting, both up and down, are some of the available options.
BMW’s popular adventure-tourer, the R1200GS, is powered by a wet-clutch opposed twin that uses water—as opposed to the earlier combination of air and oil—to cool elements of the engine that are subject to the greatest thermal stresses. Claimed output of 125 hp and 92 pound-feet of torque is delivered through a left-side-mounted shaft to a 17-inch rear wheel. Smoothly transferring this power to the ground in all types of conditions is Dynamic ESA, semi-active electronic suspension with five modes: Rain, Road, Dynamic, Enduro, and Enduro Pro. Automatic Stability Control and Integral ABS are standard.
While the new R nineT looks a bit like a one-off custom, it is actually a current-year production model. The café-style bike is powered by the air/oil-cooled version of BMW’s 1,170cc boxer engine hung as a stressed member in a new tubular steel chassis and produces a claimed 110 hp and 88 pound-feet of torque. With its stripped good looks, deep, rich textures—including an available brushed-aluminum tailsection—black wheels, and thick catalog of accessories, this retro roadster invites plenty of individual personalization.
At first glance, the R1200R looks like a typical standard bike, but it’s fitted with an air/oil-cooled dohc boxer motor producing a smooth power curve and high rev ceiling, plus ABS and active stability control. Throw in the right accessories and the R can be many things. With the optional electronic suspension adjustment, an onboard computer, sport windshield, and saddle-bags, for example, the R is ready and willing to do whatever you need it to do. Also available: The R1200R DarkWhite and R1200R Classic are the same bikes sprayed with special paint and fitted with unique parts, such as a black-anodized fork and wire-spoke wheels.
$20,835 to $25,305
In BMW-speak, HP stands for “High Performance,” and that’s exactly what you get with the S1000RR-based HP4. This trackday-ready sportbike has many trick features, with Dynamic Damping Control semi-active suspension topping the list. Offered in just one color scheme—Racing Blue Metallic/Light White—the HP4 is available in two trims: Standard or Competition. The latter is the pricier of the two and includes heated grips, folding brake and clutch levers, adjustable rider footpegs, Racing Blue Metallic wheels, a sponsor decal kit, plus carbon-fiber bits and pieces.
Since its introduction three years ago, BMW’s ultra-powerful alternative to the best open-class racer-replicas from Japan and Italy has received some big updates. A new aluminum frame with revised steering geometry and a slightly shorter wheelbase, which, in conjunction with updated fork internals, a more precisely damped shock, and a 10-position steering damper, provided better handling. Already excellent electronics were simplified; engine response in Rain mode became mellower and more direct in Sport, Race, and Slick. Race ABS is standard, and Dynamic Traction Control is an option.
Derived from the award-winning S1000RR, the new S1000R is optimized for street use, with more comfortable, upright ergonomics and additional torque, peaking at claimed 83 pound-feet at 9,250 rpm. Offered in three stunning colors—Racing Red, Frozen Dark Blue Metallic, or Light White— the S1000R comes standard with an eye-catching asymmetrical front headlight treatment, plus Automatic Stability Control, Race ABS, and two riding modes. A Sports Package—with Dynamic Traction Control, two additional riding modes, Gear Shift Assistant, and cruise control—is optional.
A more aggressively styled and off-road-oriented version of BMW’s superb F800GS, the F800GS Adventure is equipped with a range-extending 6.3-gallon fuel tank (2.1 gallons bigger than the standard model’s), a taller windscreen, hand guards, a more comfortable seat, and engine crashbars. With the addition of available Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA), Automatic Stability Control (ASC) with new Enduro mode, and no-extra-charge off-road tires, the F800GS Adventure is a nearly unbeatable middleweight adventure-touring package.
This smaller version of BMW’s big-bore adventure model, the R1200GS, has been a real home run for the Bavarian bike maker. Using the parallel-twin-powered F800 streetbike as a starting point, BMW created a GS for the masses, one that isn’t quite as massive. A tubular steel frame combined with suspension that offers nearly 9 inches of travel at both ends promises the go-anywhere, do-anything capability that GS owners expect. A new optional Dynamic Package includes Electronic Suspension Adjustment and Automatic Stability Control, with an off-road mode for ABS and ASC.
If you’re attracted to the idea of a midsize motorcycle that can cover long distances without tying your torso in knots, look no further than the F800GT. Based on the discontinued F800ST, this sport-touring model has a full-coverage fairing and an upright riding position. Behind the crisply styled bodywork is BMW’s excellent liquid-cooled parallel twin, producing a claimed 90 hp at 8,000 rpm. Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA), an onboard computer, heated grips, and quick-release hard luggage are among the available options.
The F700GS has the same twin-cylinder engine and, inexplicably, displacement as the F800GS, and they even share certain styling cues, but the two bikes differ greatly in their missions. The 800 is more capable off-road, whereas the 700 targets the urban sprawl. To appeal to the widest possible range of riders, the 700 makes a bit less horsepower and torque, has a lower seat height and shorter-travel suspension, and, as a direct result, costs much less. Standard ABS can be disengaged with the push of a button. Options include Comfort and Low Suspension Plus Packages, the latter dropping seat height by 2 inches.
One of the most popular dual-purpose singles in the 250cc-plus displacement category, the G650GS is BMW’s least-expensive model. It was updated a few years ago with a torquier, more-fuel-efficient engine. Current claimed output is 48 hp at 6,500 rpm and 44 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. A compact, flat instrument panel has an analog speedometer and a liquid-crystal display featuring a digital tachometer. Also available: The Sertão is an off-road-oriented version of the G650GS fitted with wire-spoke wheels and longer-travel suspension.
Take on suburbia or escape it altogether. Manage appointments in town or hit the highway Pick up groceries on your way home or load up for a week on the road. You can do it all on BMW’s new twin-cylinder maxi-scooter, the C650GT. This powerful machine comes with many standard features, including ABS, an electrically adjustable windshield, central locking, an auto-deploying parking brake cleverly integrated into the sidestand, and the most storage capacity in its class. Also available: The C600 Sport is a sportier and slightly lighter version based on the same frame.
If you’re the sort who believes bigger is always better, here’s the bike for you: The LS445, a two-wheeled muscle bike powered by a 376ci, 445-hp Chevrolet V-8. Standard features include chromed valve covers, 1-¼-inch handlebars, and triple-disc brakes with stainless-steel lines. Boss Hoss can build a bike to suit with various available paint schemes and accessory options that include saddlebags, luggage racks, a fairing, and even a hotter camshaft. Although Boss Hoss used to sell an LS300—the very same machine with a 293ci V-8— that model has been discontinued.
Gangsta Trike/'32 Low Boy Coupe Trike
$49,000 to $58,000
Boss Hoss also makes three-wheelers, and the Dyersburg, Tennessee, company’s Gangsta Trike continues to be sold as a long, stylish machine with sweeping rear fenders and a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and reverse. The Gangsta is available with either a 293-inch, 295-hp or 376-inch, 445-hp Chevrolet V-8. Also available: The ’32 Low Boy Coupe, which has rear-end styling inspired by a ’32 Ford Deuce Coupe’s. Boss Hoss also sells a pickup version of the trike and one fitted with tail fins like those of a classic ’57 Chevy.
Ready, set, go! Even when sitting still, Brammo’s all-electric Empulse R looks like it’s ready to leap out of a track sprinter’s starting blocks. This plug-in sportbike uses the same liquid-cooled motor and “E-Beam” twin-spar aluminum frame as the Empulse, but it differs from that standard model by the use of carbon fiber rather than plastic for its headlight shroud, taillight housing, and fenders. Also available: The standard Empulse, with a claimed combined city/ highway range of 77 miles, has a specially developed clutch and gearshift that enable the bike to accelerate hard from a dead stop up to its 103-mph top speed.
Because range has been and remains the number-one concern for anyone thinking about buying an electric motorcycle, Brammo created the Enertia Plus. Thanks to its Brammo Power lithium-ion NCM battery, the Plus has a single-charge claimed combined city/highway range of 58 miles—a significant improvement over the original Enertia. Also, a tight turning radius makes the Plus easy to handle in close quarters, and charging with the supplied battery cord is simple. The Enertia Plus comes in five colors: True Blood Red, Peacekeeping Blue, Eclipsed Black, Maillot Jaune Yellow, and Aluminium Silver.
T is for touring: Can-Am’s three RT machines are outfitted for the open road with 41 gallons of cargo space, electrically adjustable windshields, plush touring saddles, even an optional travel trailer—and for 2014, all three of them get a brand-new Rotax 1,330cc ACE triple (and six-speed gearbox) that’s more powerful and efficient than the old twin. The RT-S model ups the comfort ante with air-adjustable rear suspension and rider footboards. The RT Limited is the luxury version, complete with Garmin zumo 660 GPS navigation. All three have stability control and cruise.
Two wheels good; three wheels better? That’s what Bombardier Recreational Products, producer of the Can-Am brand, believes. After riding this three-wheeler, you might agree. A 100-hp Rotax engine makes it fast, while ABS, traction control, and dynamic stability systems make the Spyder almost impossible to crash. The 44-liter trunk up front makes it almost as practical as a car. Also available: The Spyder RS-S has Fox Podium shocks upfront, cool black wheels, and advanced paint/graphics options. Both models can be had with either push-button-electric or manual-shift five-speed gearboxes.
Spyder ST/ST-S/ST Limited
How about something in a three-wheeler that splits the difference between the touring RT and the sporty RS? The Can-Am Spyder ST is exactly that. It combines the light chassis and quick handling of the RS with the more comfortable ergonomics and greater wind protection of the RT to produce a three-wheeled sport-tourer. This year’s ST-S model adds cool six-spoke black wheels and cruise control. Can-Am’s ST-S Limited piles on additional saddlebag storage, heated grips, Garmin navigation, and special trim.
Until recently, Christini All Wheel Drive Motorcycles has focused its production on converting select off-road machines into two-wheel-drive bikes, and it will continue to build frame kits for those customers. But its proprietary machines offer its technology at a more affordable price. The AWD 450 features a sohc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected engine with a wide-ratio five-speed transmission, all built specifically for Christini. And as with all the company’s models, the 450’s AWD system can be switched on or off. Also available: The AWD 450 DS dual-sport and AWD 450 SM are essentially the same bikes but in slightly different configurations.
AWD 300/AWD 250
In gnarly terrain, wouldn’t two-wheel drive be better than one? That’s the philosophy behind the Christini. Its patented mechanical all-wheel-drive system uses chains and flexible shafts driven by the transmission countershaft to send power to the front wheel. The front is effectively passive, but when the rear wheel slips, power transfers forward until rear traction is regained. The AWD 300 is powered by a liquid-cooled Gas Gas two-stroke engine and features a twin-spar aluminum frame. Also available: The AWD 250 is the same bike but with a 250CC Gas Gas two-stroke engine.
Cleveland CycleWerks’ newest and largest-displacement model delivers supermoto performance and styling at an affordable price. The Hooligun is based on a liquid-cooled sohc single, essentially a Chinese version of Honda’s CRF450X engine. An aluminum twin-spar frame/subframe is employed, teaming with a 47mm inverted fork (offering adjustable compression and rebound damping), and an alloy swingarm with an adjustable shock. Also available: The Hooligun X, a street-legal dual-sport version equipped with 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels fitted with knobby tires.
Cleveland CycleWerks makes good use of its proven LIFAN Honda-derived 229cc single in a package inspired by the swingin’ 1960s. The Ace Standard, with its wire-spoke wheels (19-inch front/18-inch rear), skinny fork tubes (with optional gaiters), and small front disc brake looks like some sort of throwback scrambler. Also available: The Ace Deluxe, which has an inverted fork, larger brake disc, and 17-inch wheels with dual-purpose tires. This bike harkens back to a motorcycle that perhaps never existed...but maybe should have.
Yes, the Heist is made in China, but it’s designed in Cleveland, Ohio. Power flows from an air-cooled knock-off of the CG125 single Honda began building in the early ’70s. It has grown to 229cc and gained a counterbalancer and an electric starter, and it’s built to keep slogging out a claimed 14.1 hp at 7,000 rpm through thick and thin. That’s not much power, but then 253 claimed pounds dry isn’t much motorcycle. It’s a hardtail, but springs suspending the seat give it a ride that’s more comfortable than you’d expect.
“Tha Misfit” is a café-style bike built to bring home the bacon in a ’60s sort of style. Steel main tube frames mate up to a boxed section that supports the counterbalanced motor, which acts as a stressed member for great rigidity, Cleveland says. An inverted fork, piggyback-reservoir shocks, disc brakes, and a weight of less than 300 pounds should make this bike even more fun than the Heist, which, we have to admit, is pretty fun. And 65 mpg looks very doable on this affordable Chinese-built machine.
Cobra, builder of championship-winning minibikes, remains committed to developing its flagship CX65 motocrosser. The CX’s liquid-cooled, two-stroke engine features the world’s first direct-acting, fully electronic power valve working in concert with its Pro Circuit race-tuned pipe and silencer. A hydraulic clutch mated to a six-speed gearbox gives the rider full authority when trying to put all of the engine’s power to the ground. A CARD Smart-Leg 37mm inverted fork and CARD-shock rear suspension provide enough travel to help the rider maintain control over the biggest jumps and bumps.
The Cobra CX50 Senior (a.k.a. The King) is designed and built to withstand the rigors of serious mini off-road racing. Its liquid-cooled, 50cc, two-stroke engine delivers class-leading performance while the rugged twin-spar frame and 30mm Cobra fork and fully adjustable CARD shock provide ample suspension travel to take on the off-road obstacles. Also available: The CX50 Junior is a smaller, lighter version of the Senior that uses 10-inch-diameter wheels. The Junior also has less suspension travel and a lower seat height.
Alabama-based Confederate builds muscle-cruisers like no other. The X132 Hellcat is about the closest thing you can get to piloting a low-flying hot-rod engine with landing gear deployed! Its massive 132ci, fuel-injected motor is claimed to produce a whopping 150 pound-feet of torque. Top-shelf race-spec suspension, wheels, and brakes ensure that the Hellcat’s fury remains on a proper flight path. Also available: The X132 Hellcat Combat offers more power and a longer wheelbase, but it’s limited to only 36 models. A prepayment of $24,000 is required.
The most audacious expression of Ducati’s desmodromic V-twin yet, the new Superleggera advances the 1199 platform with lightweight components. The result, Ducati says, is the best power-to-weight ratio of any production motorcycle in history, with more than 200 hp on tap and a dry weight of just 342 pounds. The frame and wheels are magnesium, the subframe and fairing carbon fiber, the connecting rods, shock spring, and exhaust titanium, and the list goes on. Ducati says only 500 units will be built, each one including a racing kit that boosts output to over 205 hp.
1199 Panigale R
Using the high-spec Panigale S as a basis, the Panigale R adds lightweight components to further boost performance. These include carbon-fiber bodywork and a claimed 195-hp, 90-degree V-twin with lightweight titanium connecting rods that help the engine rev to 12,000 rpm—500 more than the S model. Otherwise, the Panigale R shares the S model’s aluminum monocoque frame, electronically adjustable Öhlins suspension, three-spoke forged-aluminum Marchesini wheels, and ABS—and the same goes for the magnesium oil pan, clutch, and cylinder-head covers.
1199 Panigale S
The code name for the 1199 Panigale during development was “Extreme.” Well, with the exception of the 1199 R and new Superleggera, there is no more extreme version of Ducati’s halo sportbike than the Panigale S. It is equipped with a high-revving V-twin engine with unique desmodromic valve actuation, super-bright LED headlights, the latest TFT instrumentation, electronically adjustable Öhlins suspension, and selectable Road, Wet, and Race ride modes. Numerous other technologies, including Engine Brake Control, Ducati Quick Shift, Ducati Traction Control, and ABS, add to its track-ready nature.
$17,695 to $20,495
Think of the muscular Diavel as an Italian Yamaha V-max—minus the weight. Styled to look like a track sprinter about to explode from the starting blocks, the Diavel tips the scales at just 463 pounds dry. Yet Ducati claims the Testastretta V-twin engine produces a whopping 162 hp and 94 pound-feet of torque. Also available: The Diavel Dark, a stealth version of the same bike; and the Diavel Carbon, which is fitted with a Marzocchi fork, carbon-fiber bodywork, and forged Marchesini wheels. Lastly, the Strada is a Diavel fitted with saddlebags, a windscreen, and taller bars.
Ducati’s championship-winning performance in the Superbike World Championship paved the way for the 1199 Panigale. This clean-sheet design is powered by a big-bore, short-stroke Superquadro engine that makes a claimed 195 crankshaft horsepower at a stirring 10,750 rpm. “Framing” this performance is a monocoque aluminum steering-head bracket that doubles as an airbox. A single-sided swingarm bolts to the rear of the engines cases. Using lightweight and rigid Brembo monoblock brake calipers, the braking system now features ABS as standard equipment.
The Multistrada 1200 is designed to satisfy a broad range of riders. Its second-generation Testastretta engine is based on the liquid-cooled V-twin in Ducati’s last-generation 1198 superbike, delivering a claimed 150 hp with 10-percent better fuel economy than before. Selectable engine maps let you dial it back to 100 hp. Also available: The 1200 S Touring adds electronically controlled Skyhook suspension, sidebags, heated grips, and a centerstand. The 1200 S Granturismo adds a top case, touring ergonomics, and engine-protection bars. The uniquely painted Pikes Peak model celebrates Ducati’s wins in Colorado.
Monster 1200/1200 S
Replacing the outgoing Monster 1100, Ducati’s new high-performance naked sportbike is bigger and badder than ever as it starts its next generation. Now boasting a 135-hp, liquid-cooled Testastretta engine, the Monster 1200 gets 120cc more displacement, a 2.4-inch-longer wheelbase, a gallon more fuel capacity, and also picks up 28 pounds over the previous version. Features include an abbreviated steel trellis frame, racing-type instrumentation, traction control, and ABS. Also available: The 1200 S boasts Öhlins suspension, better brakes, and 10 extra horsepower.
With the 1199 Panigale qualifying as one of the most delicious superbikes in a generation, adding a middleweight brother was a natural step for Ducati. Here it is. The new 899 Panigale follows in the flagship model’s tire tracks with a 25-percent-smaller Superquadro V-twin, slightly quicker chassis geometry, and a $4,000 lower MSRP There are still plenty of desirable features for the money, including a high-revving short-stroke desmodromic engine, a quick-shift feature, a monocoque aluminum frame, fully adjustable suspension, Brembo monoblock brakes, and sticky Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corso tires.
Who doesn’t love the laser-like handling of a no-holds-barred racer-replica? But man, those bikes can be uncomfortable if you’re not ripping around a racetrack. Based largely on the 848 EVO (predecessor of the new 899 Panigale) the 848 Streetfighter is fitted with a tapered aluminum handlebar and lower footpegs that give long legs a break. Ducati also ash-canned the full-wrap fairing found on the 848 EVO, exposing the steel trellis frame and wet-clutch-equipped, claimed 132-hp V-twin. Traction control is standard on this naked middleweight, which is available this year in Red or Dark Stealth.
As its name and appearance suggest, the Hyperstrada is a sport-touring-oriented offshoot of the Hypermotard. Both models have technically identical chassis and engines, the latter producing a claimed 110 hp and 66 pound-feet of torque, but the ’Strada also includes a small windshield, semi-rigid sidebags boasting a combined total capacity of 50 liters, a wider and more thickly padded passenger seat, two 12-volt power outlets, and a centerstand. Bosch’s latest antilock braking system and eight-level Ducati Traction Control (DTC) are included in the standard Ducati Safety Pack.
The latest generation of Ducati’s original Hypermotard streetfighter uses a liquid-cooled Testastretta V-twin that makes a claimed 110 hp, while a combination of three riding modes, eight-level Ducati Traction Control, and ABS helps riders enjoy all that performance safely. Options include an anti-theft system, heated grips, and satellite navigation. Also available: The Hypermotard SP, which is the same motorcycle but equipped with a fully adjustable 50mm Marzocchi fork, an Öhlins shock, and forged three-spoke Marchesini wheels shod with Pirelli Supercorsa SP tires.
Ducati’s unique spin on the classic less-is-more philosophy is termed “Less is Monster.” Ironically then, building on the entry-level Monster 696, this 803cc version is actually a little taller, a little heavier, and a little more powerful. The Monster 796 wraps a steel trellis frame and minimalist bodywork around an air-cooled 803cc V-twin engine to create a highly responsive and lightweight middleweight naked bike. A relatively feathery 373-pound dry weight makes it a super-responsive ride, and standard antilock brakes add confidence and control in wet conditions.
At its launch six years ago, the Monster 696 represented the beginning of the new Monster line that combined major styling revisions with a technical makeover. The frame is a hybrid cast-aluminum and steel-trellis unit, while power comes from an 80-hp air-cooled V-twin. Although the Monster 696 is the smallest Ducati offered, it still contains plenty of premium features such as desmodromic valve actuation, digital fuel injection, adjustable clutch and brake levers, an integrated stopwatch/lap timer, and ABS—all as standard equipment.
Gas Gas TXT 300 Pro Racing/280 Pro Racing/250 Pro Racing/125 Pro Racing
The new-for-2014 1190RX represents a major step toward the mainstream for EBR. While it is an evolution of the limited-production homologation-special RS of last year, the changes are significant and MSRP is much lower. These Wisconsin-built exotic streetbikes now feature EBR-manufactured engines with a claimed 185 hp and 102 pound-feet of torque. A 21-level traction-control system is standard, and the signature “inside-out” front brake (with eight-piston caliper) and fuel-in-the-frame-spars chassis remain. Of note, the chassis has aggressive steering specs offering 22.4 degrees of rake and just 3.8 inches of trail.
Unlike in motocross, the enduro community continues to embrace two-strokes, and one of Gas Gas’ most popular enduro models is the XC300. It offers the light weight and agility of a 250cc two-stroke combined with almost as much power as an Open-class bike. This makes it a top choice for off-road enthusiasts, especially East Coasters and GNCC competitors who ride in the tight woods. The chassis uses a chrome-moly steel frame and a polymer subframe to reduce weight. Suspension consists of a 48mm Marzocchi fork and a Reiger shock. Also available: The E Start is an electric-start version of the same motorcycle.
Spanish company Gas Gas continues to fine-tune its enduro models, and the XC250 is no exception. The 249cc two-stroke engine is fed by a 38mm Keihin carb, and power is put down through a six-speed transmission with hydraulic clutch control. Suspension up front is a 48mm Marzocchi fork with a fully adjustable Reiger shock out back. The chrome-moly steel frame has been updated for improved strength and reduced weight, and a polymer subframe is lighter, as well. Also available: The XC250 E Start features electric starting, while the XC200 is a similarly equipped bike with a 199cc engine.
TXT 300 Pro Racing/280 Pro Racing/250 Pro Racing/125 Pro Racing
$7200 to $8200
The TXT Pro 300 Racing observed trials bike features a 294cc two-stroke engine with a revised titanium header pipe that is said to improve engine response in the middle to top end of the rev range. Revisions include a new air box and new rear suspension with a Reiger shock. Also available: The TXT 280 Pro Racing, TXT 250 Pro Racing, and TXT 125 Pro Racing are virtually identical to the 300 except for having less displacement. Gas Gas also sells TXT Pro (as opposed to TXT Pro Racing) versions of these bikes, which have silver wheels and no rear sprocket cover.
H-D's ultimate touring rig for 2014 benefits from the big Project Rushmore initiative, in which Harley rushed more upgrades to market to keep everybody happy! That means you get the new Twin-Cooled High Output 103 engine, new Reflex linked brakes with ABS, new Boom! Box 6.5 GT infotainment system, Daymaker headlight, LED rear lighting—the list goes on. New attention has been paid to passenger comfort, so now there's more legroom and more space, and there's also more room for gear in the new One Touch open saddlebags.
FLHTCU Electra Glide Ultra Classic
$23,249 to $24,514
Combining classic H-D style with all the amenities expected on a modern touring machine—including cruise control, vented fairing lowers, and super-comfortable seating—the Ultra eats miles with the best of them. There's plenty of room for your stuff in the new One Touch saddlebags, along with increased comfort for your passenger. A Project Rushmore Twin Cam 103 rated at 104.7 pound-feet of torque, routed through a smooth-shifting six-speed transmission, moves it all down the road. Upgraded lighting better illuminates the road ahead. And Reflex combined brakes with ABS stop it with greatly increased safety.
FLHXS Street Glide/Special
$20,399 to $23,009
H-D's best-selling Big Twins combine everyday competence and comfort with the ability to get away from it all in high style. The Street Glides offer full touring capability with their new Batwing fairings (with Slipstream vent) and new One Touch hard bags. A fortified Rushmore Twin Cam 103 exhaling through a pair of chrome duals is standard issue, as is electronic cruise control. Both bikes get H-D's new infotainment system, but stepping up to the Street Glide Special gets you the bigger 6.5-inch screen and a USB port, along with standard Reflex brakes with ABS.
FLHR Road King
$18,249 to $19,254
The Road King was an instant classic for H-D from the start, and this new Rushmore version is a natural progression. Packing a new air-cooled High Output Twin Cam 103 and Reflex linked brakes with ABS, the Road King also serves up restyled hard saddlebags with one-touch opening. A brighter dual halogen headlamp and halogen fog lamps, new Impeller wheels, and an easier-to-read speedometer are also part of this classic package. Like all the FL touring bikes, air-adjustable rear suspension lets you tune the ride, and a new steering head and stiffer fork make the ride even sweeter.
$18,499 to $19,699
A wide, 240mm rear tire under a chopped rear fender, drag handlebar, shaved tank console, and a seat just 26 inches high before you even sit down... this is a Harley with attitude. Its counterbalanced Twin Cam 103B powertrain and other components are trimmed in gleaming chrome and gloss black paint—the better to show off the Hard Candy Chrome Flake that's one of four paint options. H-D's Softail chassis mimics the clean lines of a vintage hardtail frame, but a pair of horizontally mounted coil-over shock absorbers hidden beneath the bike provides 3.1 inches of rear wheel travel.
FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic
$18,349 to $19,279
For 2012, the FLSTC got the bigger, more powerful Twin Cam 103B in its engine bay (that "B" means "counterbalanced" in H-D parlance, since the engine bolts solidly into the Softail frame). For 2014, it gets standard ABS brakes that up the safety quotient and seven paint options. The Classic's "classic" dresser styling includes a big quick-remove windshield, studded leather saddlebags with matching seat and backrest, and deeply valanced fenders laid over fat, 16-inch wire-spoke wheels (tubeless chromed aluminum ones are optional).
FLSTN Softail Deluxe
$18,099 to $19,299
How can you improve on this beloved Harley? Maybe the best way is not to even try. All The Motor Company did for 2014 was make it available in even cooler paint: Hard Candy Voodoo Purple is one option. Beyond that, this blast from the past gets a super-low seat and a wide handlebar on pullback risers that combine with full-length floorboards to provide an easy-going ride. Wide whitewalls, tombstone taillight, luggage rack, ball headlamp, and horseshoe oil tank all dipped in lustrous chrome carry on the period look.
FLSTFB Fat Boy Lo
$16,799 to $19,499
Standard ABS and new paint options complete the list of updates to the Fat Boy Lo for '14. Harley-Davidson's Twin Cam 103B engine is powdercoated black, and its over/under shotgun exhaust gets flat-black heat shields. Bullet Hole Disc cast wheels feature black centers, and the rear rim wears a fat, 200mm tire. A dished-out seat and lowered suspension give this bike one of the lowest seats in the Harley-Davidson range—just 24.25 inches once you settle onto the bike, Harley says. That's "lo' all right.
FLSTF Fat Boy
$17,699 to $18,429
Fat tires, fat bars, fat fender, and a big Twin Cam 103B engine that's powerful, powdercoated black, and counterbalanced—this must be the Fat Boy. One of the true classics in the Softail lineup, this long-standing model also gets the same seat as the Fat Boy Lo, dropping the rider's posterior to only 27.1 inches off the pavement. Standard ABS joins the 2014 features list, along with mirror polished chrome aluminum bullet-hole disc wheels. The Fat Boy is available in three solid colors and a cool two-tone paint job.
FLS Softail Slim
$15,899 to $16,829
What we have here is a custom-style, back-to-basics Twin Cam 103 stripped to the essentials. From its bobbed fenders to its tall, i6-inch tires to its cross-braced "Hollywood" handlebar to its way low, more comfy-for-'14 solo seat and blacked-out wheels and cylinders, the Slim is about as elemental as a production motorcycle can get. A black "cat's eye" console continues the old-school theme with a retro speedometer face, as do half-moon footboards and a leather strap that covers the seam down the middle of the 5-gallon fuel tank. It's the 1950s all over again but with modern mechanicals.
$16,999 to $17,399
An all-new model for 2012, the Switchback combines the dual-shock Dyna chassis, Twin Cam 103 power, a quick-detach windshield, and hard saddlebags to create an effective touring rig that's around 10 percent lighter than the other FL tourers in H-D's lineup. Pop the bags and shield off (no tools needed) and you're cruising; pop them back on and you're out of town for the weekend or commuting to work in style. A 4.7-gallon Street Bob tank is right in scale with those full fenders, color matched saddlebags, and five-spoke blacked-out wheels. For 2014, ABS is standard.
FXDF Dyna Fat Bob
$15,699 to $16,099
The Fat Bob is a twin-headlight, wide-fork, triple-disc-brake, muscled-up eye-catcher of a boulevard beast packing Twin Cam 103 heat. That's fat, as in a fat, 130mm-wide front tire and a 180mm out back, both mounted on cool, 16-inch slotted cast aluminum wheels that get the black-out treatment for 2014, along with the triple clamps and other trim bits. As is the norm on all Dyna models, the Fat Bob's rear end is suspended by a pair of adjustable shocks that, in this case, offer 2.1 inches of wheel travel beneath a seat hovering a mere 27.2 inches off the pavement.
FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide
$15,799 to $16,529
Leading with its namesake wide fork, the Wide Glide rolls with an authentic old-school flaming chopper vibe. It's long and low, with a raked-out (34 degrees) front end, low seat, internally wired drag-style handlebar, forward foot controls, and, for 2014, standard ABS. The bobbed rear fender gets a "wire" sissy bar, integrated LED taillight/turn signals, and a side-mounted, foldaway license-plate holder. The rubber-mounted, black powdercoated engine exhales through Tommy Gun pipes. Blacked-out 40-spoke laced wheels wear a 180mm-wide tire out back and a 21-inch pizza-cutter up front.
FXDC Dyna Super Glide Custom
$13,549 to $14,279
For 2014, this tasty combination platter of traditional H-D building blocks gets spiced up thanks to an upgrade to the Twin Cam 103 engine, now rated at 98.8 pound-feet of torque. A mini-pullback handlebar rests above the classic Fat Bob fuel tank with the speedometer and ignition console perched on top, segueing gracefully into a sleek, low-slung seat for two. Mid-mount foot controls complete the comfortable ergonomic package. A Smart Security System, including a hands-free key fob and ABS, is among the many available options.
FXDB Dyna Street Bob
$13,349 to $14,099
Let your inner ape out. This minimally styled "bobber"/'7os chopper is one of the most affordable Big Twins. You'll fly solo on this one, with neither seat nor pegs for a passenger, sitting way down in a 26.8-inch-high seat and resting your dogs on mid-mount controls. For 2014, you'll also fly faster now that the Twin Cam 103 is standard power Blacked-out triple clamps and powertrain, as well as a chopped rear fender with side-mount license plate and lights, complement the minimalist theme, but for `14 you can also choose to stand out in Hard Candy Voodoo Purple Flake paint.
$10,849 to $11,574
With its 21-inch front wheel, whitewall tires, ape-hanger handlebar, and traditional 2.1-gallon "peanut" gas tank, this sparkling Sportster pays homage to the legendary cruising route in East Los Angeles, Route 72, more commonly known as Whittier Boulevard. For 2014, it gets better brakes with braided steel lines and a host of electrical upgrades, as well as new hand controls. Go loco with your choice of three big flake Hard Candy colors or two solids. Options include ABS and keyless Security System proximity fob.
XL1200X Sportster Forty-Eight
$10,749 to $11,174
The hunkered-down, low-riding Sportster Forty-Eight harkens back to the start of the hot-rod era more than 6o years ago—as in 1948, which is, H-D tells us, the year this bike's "peanut" gas tank debuted. For 2014, you can have that tank done up in three solids or two Hard Candy Flake colors. The solo saddle, bobbed fenders, and fat Michelin Scorcher tires on black-rim wire wheels offer a raw, elemental appearance. Slash-cut "twice pipes" and mirrors hung under the low-rise, drag-style handlebar express your attitude, and upgraded brakes for 2014 give more whoa.
XL1200C Sportster 1200 Custom
$10,649 to $11,184
With its wide front end, fat styling, 4.5-gallon gas tank, and long, low seat, the 1200 Custom can almost pass for a Dyna. For 2014, improved brakes (with optional ABS) join new hand controls as part of a new integrated electrical system. Use the H-D1 customization program to pick your paint, wheels, handlebars, seat, foot controls, security system, and engine finish from a list of available options. Standard equipment includes a pullback handlebar up front and a bright LED taillight out back, along with suspension tuned to work with the Michelin Scorcher tires.
XL883N Sportster Iron 883
$7999 to $8724
For those who like their Sportster straight up, no chaser, the Iron 883 is as elemental as it gets. A low solo saddle, drag handlebar, chopped rear fender, fat tires on black cast wheels, and a blacked-out engine mean this one's more for riding than profiling. At the same time, electronic fuel injection, rubber engine mounting, five speeds in the transmission, and upgraded disc brakes for 2014 mean the Iron starts, stops, and goes like no '60s Harley could dream of. And at for solid colors, it's nearly the most affordable new Harley in the showroom.
XL883L Sportster SuperLow
$8249 to $8774
The SuperLow is billed as the easiest-to-handle, most confidence-inspiring H-D ever. Custom Michelin radial tires and rethought steering geometry give the bike benign handling. A special rear suspension provides more wheel travel than the Iron 883's without causing the bucket-style seat to be any higher. A pullback handlebar and mid-mount foot controls make it easy for beginners to grab the SuperLow by the horns. Beware sharp curves, though: The downside to all that lowness is compromised cornering clearance. For 2014, the SuperLow gets the same brakes and other upgrades as the other Sportsters.
VRSCDX Night Rod Special
$16,249 to $16,574
The raciest bike in the H-D lineup, the Night Rod extracts a claimed 125 hp and 85 pound-feet of torque from its special eight-valve, liquid-cooled V-twin then sends it rearward to a fat, 240-section Michelin Scorcher rear tire. A pullback handlebar meets the rider halfway, the foot controls are likewise closer set, and a low bucket seat keeps the pilot securely in place. There are acres of matte black on the hydroformed frame, raked-out inverted fork, and lightweight wheels that are fitted with triple-disc brakes—now with standard ABS. This is a Harley that will definitely get your blood pumping
VRSCF V-Rod Muscle
$16,249 to $16,574
With this V-Rod's wide stance and angular bodywork, you won't confuse it with any other Harley. A fat, 240mm rear tire sits under a clipped rear fender with LED stop/turn/taillights tucked under the trailing edge. A raked-out inverted fork gives the bike a dragsterish look, and a deeply stepped seat, forward foot controls, and a cast aluminum handlebar plant the rider in a comfortable, laid-back position. A double-overhead-cam liquid-cooled V-twin pumping out 122 eyeopening horsepower makes it go; standard ABS for 2014 helps it stop safely.
$6750 to $7500
Harley's all-new gateway bike will be powered by a liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin, a single-overhead design with four valves per cylinder that traces its roots back to the V-Rod. Capable of 8,000 rpm in either 500 or 750cc sizes, and with a balance shaft to quell unwanted vibrations, it transmits power through a six-speed gearbox and belt drive to the rear wheel. A steel perimeter frame with dual shocks out back and a conventional fork up front give the Street a traditional look. Technically, the Street is a 2015 model that will be available perhaps as early as March.
FLHTKSE CVO Limited
CVO means "Custom Vehicle Operations," which produces hogs for the über-consumer, and this one is about as über as a touring bike can get. With its all-new Twin-Cooled Twin Cam 110 engine rated at 115.1 pound-feet of torque, the FLHTKSE truly does glide the highway, with a redesigned Batwing fairing, custom Tour-Pak, cruise control, Reflex linked brakes with ABS, LED wraparound brake/ taillights, super-comfy dual-control heated seat, and Boom! Box 6.5 infotainment system. And don't forget what the CVOs are really famous for: your choice of three over-the-top paint schemes.
FLSTNSE CVO Softail Deluxe
Maybe the ultimate bagger, this machine stuffs a 110-inch Screamin' Eagle engine into Harley's excellent Softail chassis then adds a quick-detach fairing, leather bags, luggage rack, and sissy bar; it takes only about five minutes to convert this bike from traveler to urban trawler Daymaker headlight, ABS, Garmin zumo GPS, Slipstream package—the list doesn't stop until the thing is festooned with options and covered in opulent paint with airflow graphics and chrome. You can add more from the H-D accessories catalog but not much more. It's also one of the lowest H-Ds in the lineup.
FLHRSE CVO Road King
Here's a Road King that's more like Road Dictator for Life. Powered by a 110-inch Screamin' Eagle engine, this CVO special packs a 118 pound-feet of torque punch beneath your choice of three new custom paint jobs for 2014. The fact that it was new model last year didn't stop Harley-Davidson from packing it with new features for '14, including Reflex linked brakes with ABS, a new seat, new One Touch saddlebags, and a beefier new fork. It also comes with H-D's wind-tunnel-tested Vented Wind Splitter windshield that reduces buffeting for cooler, quieter cruising.
FXSBSE CVO Breakout
Probably the sweetest factory Softail ever, the chopperesque Breakout packs Twin Cam 110B power into a motorcycle that looks like it just crashed through a jewelry store. Everything on the bike is highly detailed and chromed, including the Contrast Chrome Turbine wheels, the rear of which packs a 240mm tire. And the bits not chromed are covered in three of the most amazing paint jobs ever to roll out of any factory. The CVO Breakout comes with the Smart Security System (which includes ABS), a new bomber leather seat, and electronic cruise control.
FLHTCUTG Tri Glide Ultra Classic
$32,549 to $34,299
What you're looking at is an Ultra Classic Electra Glide with a modified rear section incorporating dual rear wheels and a large trunk, with special front-end geometry For 2014, more power flows from a new Twin-Cooled Twin Cam 103 engine. There's a new hydraulic clutch, new linked brakes, a new Jukebox compartment with USB port—not to mention electric reverse, cruise control, and a four-speaker sound system. The Tri Glide—sold and serviced by the Harley-Davidson dealer network—carries a two-year limited warranty
Wrap a superbike-style perimeter frame around a big 1,832cc six-cylinder Gold Wing/F6B engine, add an inverted fork, sinister black finishes, and pro-street styling details, and what do you get? Honda's new 2014 Valkyrie. All amalgam of several disciplines, the Valkyrie blasts its staid Gold Wing roots to smithereens with such features as a single-sided swingarm and a two-piece gunfighter-style seat. Curb weight is pegged at 750 pounds, 154 pounds less than the Gold Wing and 92 pounds less than the F6B. Also available: The Valkyrie ABS is the same bike fitted with antilock brakes.
Gold Wing/Navi XM/Navi XM ABS/Airbag
$23,990 to $29,550
Now approaching its 40th anniversary in the Honda lineup, the luxurious six-cylinder Gold Wing continues to be refined and improved. For 2014, Honda's flagship tourer gets new bodywork that offers improved wind protection, along with additional audio and navigation functions. The optional nav system now offers lane guidance and a handy TripPlanner that lets you import routes from your home computer. Otherwise, its torquey flat-6 engine, aluminum frame and single-sided swingarm remain unchanged. Also available: An ABS version and an airbag-equipped model.
Gold Wing F6B/Deluxe
$19,999 to $20,999
Honda's bad-boy bagger is based on the Ten Best-winning Gold Wing luxury-tourer, with a blacked-out styling treatment applied to the aluminum frame, six-cylinder engine, and wheels. Long, low lines capped with locking saddlebags further enhance the machine's aggressive appearance. A deeply dished seat and surround-sound audio system guarantee both pilot and passenger will enjoy the ride regardless if the destination is across the state or just downtown. Also available: The Deluxe model adds a passenger backrest, heated grips, self-canceling turn signals, and a centerstand.
When it thundered onto the cruiser scene as an early-release 2010 model, the Fury broke new ground, offering buyers chopper styling with the performance, quality and reliability they'd come to expect from Honda. Power is via a liquid-cooled, single-crankpin V-twin. The Fury has a low seat height, shaft drive, and a nearly 6-foot-long wheelbase—the longest of any production Honda motorcycle. For 2014, the Fury is available in two colors: Matte Pearl White/Red or Black. Also available: The Fury ABS is the same bike but with antilock brakes and available only in black.
"Baggers" are popular among cruiser buyers these days for good reason: A windscreen and saddlebags make longer rides more pleasant and offer a secure place to store your essential stuff. Honda recognized the widespread interest in this category and equipped its V-twin Interstate with a large, fork-mounted windscreen and sleek, leather-covered hard bags. A hidden latch system on the bags adds to the bike's uncluttered appearance. Again this year, the Interstate is available in a new Light Silver Metallic color. Also available: The Interstate ABS is the same bike fitted with antilock brakes.
Like big V-twins? Long, sleek, raked-out, and powerful, the Sabre combines eye-catching pro-street styling with strong low-end and midrange torque for responsive acceleration, smooth highway cruising, and great fun in just about any riding environment. Minimalism is the primary theme here, as electrical wires, brake cables, and coolant lines are either hidden completely or routed as cleanly as possible to ensure an attractive, uncluttered appearance, especially in Black. Also available: The Sabre ABS is the very same motorcycle but equipped with antilock brakes.
In simple terms, the Stateline is an Interstate minus the windscreen and saddlebags and with rider foot-pegs instead of footboards. Otherwise, both Honda cruisers are pretty much identical, sharing heavily raked-out front ends, pullback handlebars, chromed tank-top speedometer nacelles, blacked-out engines, curved-downtube frames, one-piece seats with deep rider cutouts, and long, flowing fenders. Where this bike and the Interstate differ the most is in price: The Stateline lists for $1,090 less. Also available: The Stateline ABS is the same bike fitted with antilock brakes and also offered in black.
Described by Honda as "an entirely new motorcycle species," the CTX1300 combines design cues from the entry-level CTX700 tourer with a bigger 1,261cc, 90-degree, V-4 engine, shaft drive, and integrated hard bags. Tuned for low-end and mid-range performance, the CTX1300 is designed to excel in city traffic and on the highway, with LED headlights, adjustable suspension, and traction control further improving its bandwidth. Also available: The CTX1300 Deluxe adds black finishes, antilock brakes, an audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, and self-canceling turn signals.
Honda's VFR series has enjoyed a long and successful run since the mid-1980s, with the big VFR1200F model introduced in 2010. Heart and soul of this ABS-equipped sport-tourer is a robust V-4 engine. Honda Traction Control helps smoothly put that power down by reducing wheelspin in slippery conditions. Improved low-end torque, greater fuel capacity and a more comfortable seat are recent improvements. Also available: The VFR1200F with Dual Clutch Transmission has handlebar-mounted, paddle-style shifters. Shift points are optimized relative to throttle inputs for user-friendly operation.
Introduced for 2013, the CB1100 was the spiritual descendant of Honda's 1969 CB750 Ko superbike. With its air-cooled inline-4, chromed fenders, twin shocks, flat saddle, and 18-inch wheels, the CB1100 captures all the elements that were popular in the 1970S, while fuel injection, triple-disc brakes, and better seat materials advance both performance and comfort. For 2014, the CB1100 gets a useful six-speed transmission and black paint. Also available: The CB1100 ABS, the same bike equipped with antilock brakes, and the new CB1100 Deluxe, which features a 4-into-2 exhaust and a slightly larger tank. Available only in red.
If you have a penchant for trackdays, roadracing, or just want one of the wickedest rides on the street, the new 2014 CBR1000RR SP is for you. Based on the CBR1000RR, this special edition wheelies straight to the top of Honda's supersport lineup with an impressive list of premium features including adjustable Öhlins front and rear suspension, track-ready Pirelli Supercorsa SC rubber, and Brembo front brakes. Additional proprietary SP features include hand-selected internal engine parts for a factory "blueprinted" powertrain, plus a lightweight subframe, new seat cowl, and unique White/Blue/Red paint.
More than 20 years have passed since Honda launched the breakthrough CBR900RR, and as strong and technically advanced as that sportbike was, the latest CBR1000RR is better in every way. Standout components include aerodynamic "layered" bodywork, a 43mm Big Piston fork and "balance-free" shock, multifunction instrumentation, and lightweight 17-inch wheels. New for 2014 are engine tweaks for improved power and torque, a refined ride position and windscreen, and Pearl White paint. Also available: The CBR1000RR C-ABS is the same sportbike but fitted with Honda's antilock braking system.
In essence, the CB1000R is an older version of the CBR1000RR reworked to produce more midrange power from its 998cc DOHC engine and perform comfortably as a sit-up naked bike. A thin-wall, gravity-die-cast mono-backbone aluminum frame is strong yet light, and the bike's distinctive single sided swingarm is controlled by a single shock with spring preload and rebound-damping adjustability. A fully adjustable 43mm inverted cartridge fork carries dual radial-mount 310mm disc brakes. New for the 2014 model year is a stealthy Matte Gray Metallic with gold stripes and gold wheels.
One of the most versatile sportbikes ever, the VFR800F returns for 2014 bristling with new design and engineering features. At its core is a smooth and torquey 90-degree V-4 engine displacing 782cc and equipped with Honda's proprietary VTEC valve train and standard traction control. As well, engineers carved 22 pounds off the new VFR, ensuring responsive and enjoyable handling, while new bodywork adds style and functionality. Comfort and safety features include a height-adjustable seat, self canceling turn signals, and antilock brakes. A quick-shift feature is available as a bolt-on option.
In the cruiser market, it's easy to be overwhelmed with manufacturers that have taken the bigger-is-better concept to extremes. This is why the more moderate size of the Shadow Aero appeals to so many riders. The Aero weighs just 560 pounds with a full tank, has a low seat height, and handles well. The fuel-injected, 745cc V-twin runs smoothly, and its ample cylinder finning hides the fact that it is liquid-cooled. Wire-spoke wheels and fat fenders give a traditional look. Also available: The Shadow Spirit has a street-rod look, while the Phantom is a back-to-basics model with a blacked-out appearance.
Honda got back in the adventure-bike business with the NC700X, a motorcycle that really is more on-road explorer than off-road trekker. It's powered by a mellow 670cc parallel-twin engine and has more suspension travel than your average streetbike. Fuel is carried under the seat, and a watertight, locking storage compartment is located where the gas tank is normally found. Honda rates the NC700X at 64mpg. Also available: The same versatile bike is sold with Honda's automatic Dual Clutch Transmission and combined ABS.
The touring version of Honda's new CTX700 series combines a mildly tuned 670cc parallel-twin engine with laid-back cruiser ergonomics, a full fairing, and contemporary styling. The result is a highly affordable entry-level tourer with pleasant overall performance. A six-speed manual gearbox, integrated storage, and a low seat height improve functionality, while a dedicated line of accessories lets you add backrests, saddlebags, a taller windshield, and other accessories to your preference. Also available: The CTX700 DCT ABS is the same bike with a dual-clutch transmission and antilock brakes.
As a stripped-down version of Honda's new CTX700 tourer, the basic CTX700N offers the same cutting-edge styling—minus the large fairing and passenger grab rails. Along with a low 28.3-inch seat height, the parallel-twin engine's cylinders are inclined 62 degrees forward to help keep the center of gravity low for easy, confident handing— even for smaller riders. As well, an internal engine counterbalancer and rubber-mounted footpegs help reduce vibration. Also available: The CTX700N DCT ABS is the same bike with an electronic dual-clutch transmission and antilock brakes.
Good times for the middleweight sportbike ranks arrive in the form of Honda's all-new CBR650F. The liquid-cooled 649cc inline-4 tuning favors strong low- and midrange torque output, and its cylinders are canted forward 30 degrees to help centralize mass for more responsive handling. Partially hidden behind the fairing, four closely nestled exhaust headers recall Honda's 1974 CB400/4, while somewhat relaxed—though still sporty— ergonomics and a curb weight of 465 pounds suggest good fun. Also available: The ABS model costs only $500 more.
The popular CBR600RR was revised for 2013, and those upgrades—including stronger engine performance, MotoGP-inspired bodywork, and an updated inverted 41mm fork—help keep the bike at or near the top of the middleweight sportbike class again this year. Available colors for the CBR600RR are red, black, or white/blue/red. Also available: The CBR600RR C-ABS is the very same sportbike but fitted with Honda's patented Combined ABS, which delivers the benefits of both the Combined Braking System (CBS) and antilock braking. Available in red only.
If you're in the market for a fully faired Honda sportbike but your pockets aren't deep enough to bankroll the four-cylinder CBR600RR, CBR10000RR, or new CBR650F, you might want to check out the CBR500R. This midsize parallel twin rides on a steel tube frame and is outfitted with a 41mm conventional fork, Honda Pro-Link single-shock rear suspension, and front and rear disc brakes. For 2014, you can choose among three colors including Black, Red, or Pearl White/Blue/ Red. Also available: The CBR500RABS is the same machine equipped with antilock brakes.
"Adventure" styling is hot these days, and Honda has taken advantage of that popularity by adding a sharp, beak-nosed treatment to the rider-friendly CB500X. Despite its upright seating, wide handlebar, and relatively long-travel suspension, this midsize twin is actually better suited to soaking up potholes in an urban setting than bouncing along a trail through the desert or woods. For 2014, the CB500X is offered in Pearl White only. Also available: The CB500XABS is the very same machine equipped with antilock brakes.
Last year Honda introduced three entry-level motorcycles—the CBR500F sportbike, CB500X adventure bike, and this CB500F naked bike—all powered by the same liquid-cooled, 471cc, parallel-twin engine. Notable for its slim profile and comfortable riding position, the CB500F has a stylish bikini fairing and a racy-looking tailsection fitted with a reasonable passenger seat. The CB500F is available in a choice of black or Pearl White for 2014. Also available: The CB500F ABS is the same machine equipped with antilock brakes—and available only in black.
With great looks, gutsy performance, and an attractive MSRP, the CBR250R quickly made friends with newer and/or smaller riders when it made its debut three years ago. Street smart and freeway legal, the littlest CBR shares its liquid-cooled single engine design with the dual-sport CRF250L to yield durable, fuel-efficient fun. While there is technically no 2014 CBR250R model available, Honda will keep selling the 2013 version until it will be replaced by a new CBR300R, likely late in 2014 as a 2015 model. Also available: The CBR250RABS is the same machine fitted with antilock brakes.
New to the sport of motorcycling? Then you're probably too young to recall that in 1985 Honda's best-selling model was the Rebel 250. Well, guess what? Available in black or Candy Red for 2014, the Rebel is virtually the same machine. While this air-cooled, entry-level mini-cruiser has more than doubled in price over the past three decades, it still represents a great new-bike value by today's standards. Classic cruiser styling—pullback handle bar, teardrop gas tank, and lots of chrome—will turn heads around town, and its estimated 84-mpg fuel economy will put a smile on your face at the pump.
Part minibike, part scooter, part naked bike, and all fun, Honda's new Grom offers a nearly irresistible take on affordable urban transportation. A fuel-injected horizontal single hangs beneath a steel chassis, which rolls on compact 12-inch wheels while offering big-bike features such as an inverted fork, a single rear shock, and disc brakes. Electric starting, a modest seat height, and an ultra-light 225-pound curb weight make the Grom an easy choice for beginning street riders, while a four speed gearbox and manual clutch reward serious riders with maximum control.
Go anywhere? You bet. Do anything? Absolutely. Over more than two decades, this big, electric-start dual-sport bike has earned the reputation of being practically unstoppable. Even on the steepest hills, the air-cooled single just chugs right along, cranking out loads of easily controlled torque. And on the road, the counterbalanced engine is reasonably smooth, while the adjustable, long-travel suspension and thickly padded saddle provide the kind of comfort that both commuters and adventurers want Frame-mounted passenger footpegs allow two-up capability, so you can share your adventure with a friend.
Affordable. Fun to ride. Easy to maintain. Those are the basic tenets of the street-legal CRF250L trailbike. This small-bore dual-purpose bike borrows its electric-start, liquid-cooled single from Honda's popular entry-level sportbike, the CBR250R. That smooth-running engine is housed in a steel frame with 8.7 inches of front and 9.4 inches of rear suspension travel. Spoked wheels in 21-inch front and 18-inch rear sizes allow fitment of real off-road tires. While the steel gas tank holds just 2 gallons, Honda claims the CRF250L returns up to 73 mpg. Now, that's what we call fuel-efficient adventure!
Silver Wing ABS
The "Wing" name is synonymous with comfort in the Honda lineup. As such, the Silver Wing ABS is targeted at providing the utmost luxury experience available in a scooter. The Silver Wing's fuel-injected, 582cc, parallel-twin engine is big for a scooter, and it cranks out more than enough power to shoot this no-shift machine off the line and out in front of most four-wheeled vehicles—and many a motorcycle, too. There's room for two on the comfortable stepped seat and a generous 55 liters of underseat storage, as well. The Silver Wing even comes standard with antilock brakes.
If you're looking for motorcycle performance but don't necessarily want a motorcycle, Honda's new Forza scooter deserves a look. Its fuel-injected, 279cc, four-stroke single engine is liquid-cooled, fuel injected, and freeway capable. Disc brakes replace the drums found on smaller scooters, and the long wheelbase and 422-pound curb weight make the Forza feel plenty robust. Features include a plush seat, enclosed storage, multifunction instrumentation, an automatic transmission, and a power outlet. Also available: The ForzaABS is the same scooter equipped with an antilock braking system.
If the Metropolitan looks familiar, that's because its design mirrors the classic scooter styling. Powered by a 49cc four-stroke single with modern fuel injection, the Metropolitan can return an estimated 117 mpg; try that in your Prius! Highlights include 22 liters of storage beneath the seat—enough to stow a helmet—while a convenience hook located in front of the rider's knees conveniently holds a bag or purse. The Metropolitan is available in three two-tone color combinations including Pink Metallic/Pearl White, Pearl Blue/Pearl Black, and Candy Orange/Pearl Black.
In all of motorcycling, there is probably no better example of the old saying, "What you see is what you get" than the simple Ruckus. This fun scooter is made of metal tubes and wears its machinery on its sleeve—no superfluous, plastic, wedge-shaped bodywork here. The engine is a low-maintenance, electric-start, 49cc four-stroke single, and there are no gears to select. This renders the Ruckus incredibly easy to ride, just as the low seat height and light weight make it ultra-easy to handle on the road. For 2014, the Ruckus is available in two colors: Black or White/Red.
If you're looking for an excellent, all-around off-road motorcycle, the electric-start CRF450X is one of the best. Power from the titanium-intake-valve-equipped engine is broad and snappy. Built around a twin-spar aluminum frame, the CRF-X is fitted with a 47mm fork and a Pro-Link shock, both of which offer myriad adjustments that allow you to tailor the ride to the conditions. The 450X is also equipped with a compact, lightweight Honda Progressive Steering Damper (HPSD) that's similar in appearance to the one used on the CRF450R motocrosser but tuned for off-road riding.
Among Honda's lineup of CRF trail- and competition bikes, the CRF230F is the largest air-cooled model available. As such, this midsize fun bike gets a 223cc, four-stroke, single with two valves per cylinder, a 26mm carburetor, and electric starting for simple and reliable performance. The conventional suspension is tuned for trail riding and offers adjustable spring preload for the single shock. At 34.1 inches, the seat height is lower than on other off-road bikes of similar displacement, helping to make the CRF230F more welcoming for new riders than taller competition-bred machines.
Playbikes have always been popular, and so Honda, like most other manufacturers, wants every piece of that pie it can get its hands on. Plus, kids and adults come in all sizes and with all skill levels, so it makes sense to build smaller off-roaders in practically every reasonable displacement and seat-height increment. The CRF150F is a fun mount for both kids and adults, because it very well splits the size difference between big and little people. Electric starting greatly broadens the appeal, plus the 150 is CARB-legal, making it public-trail-friendly out West.
With its attractive price point, moderately sized 17-inch front/14-inch rear wheels, electric-start 125cc four-stroke engine, and easygoing nature, Honda's all-new CRF125F is perfectly formulated for casual trail riders. Although it's positioned just above the CRF110F in Honda's trailbike lineup, this newcomer still offers big-bike features such as a four-speed gearbox with manual clutch, single-shock rear suspension, and a hydraulic front disc brake. Also available: The CR125F Big Wheel is the same bike equipped with larger 19-inch front/16-inch rear wheels, added wheel travel, and a 2-inch-higher seat.
Honda's family of fun, low-maintenance, entry-level trailbikes added the exciting new CRF110F last year. The unique advantage is that its 109cc, air-cooled, single engine is still packaged in a 70cc-sized bike, providing more robust performance. The CRF110F also has a low seat height, electric starting with kickstart backup, and a four-speed manual transmission with an automatic clutch. A throttle-limiter screw lets Mom and Dad dial in the power level based on riding experience and skill level. Styling is inspired by the latest CRF450R motocrosser that younger riders may one day grow up to race.
Year after year, Honda's playful little CRF50F has introduced more kids to off-road riding than possibly any other motorcycle. Its biggest secret is a durable 49cc, air-cooled, four-stroke engine coupled to a versatile three-speed transmission with an automatic clutch for ease of use. A low 21.6-inch seat height (thanks in part to the small 10-inch wheels) and a claimed wet weight of just 110 pounds add confidence and control for fledgling riders. Safety features include a removable ignition key, an adjustable throttle limiter, and a well-guarded chain final drive.
The front of a pro motocross pack is an incredibly difficult place to reach, which is why Honda continues to make significant annual revisions to the CRF450R. This premier-class racer got major engine and chassis upgrades last year, including a revolutionary KYB Pneumatic Spring Fork. The tweaks continue for 2014 as well, with improved porting for the 449cc Unicam single engine, revamped fuel injection, and revised muffler internals, all improving engine performance. The clutch also gets improved feel at the lever, while the air fork has improved oil flow for more responsive handling.
Despite winning the Supercross 250 East class last year, Honda completely redesigned the CRF250R for 2014. Revisions include a new aluminum frame and swingarm for a lower center of gravity, along with an updated inverted cartridge fork and shock with a revised linkage ratio. Changes to the 249cc Unicam engine include bumping the compression to 13.5:1, a new cylinder head with revised porting, new fuel-injection timing, a lighter radiator, and the return of Honda’s dual-muffler exhaust to the 250 class. Trick bits include an adjustable steering damper.
For many years, all serious mini-motocross racebikes had been two-strokes. Honda has since led the little-thumper revolution with the CRF150R, a full-spec, knob-shredding, four-stroke racer. As with the bigger CRF-Rs, the 150R has a four-valve Unicam head sitting atop an alloy cylinder. A 32mm Keihin flat-slide carburetor is standard, as is a slipper-type piston and plenty of other big-bike features. Suspension is fully adjustable front and rear, too. Also available: The CRF150R Expert is the same bike but with 19/16-inch wheels replacing the standard model’s 17/14-inch combination.
Now that KTM has acquired Husqvarna, something had to give, and that was the Husaberg brand. But there is still a lot of Husaberg wrapped up in the “new” Huskies. The engine in the FE 501 (the largest four-stroke offering) is virtually identical to the sohc 510cc single that was used in the ’Berg. A steel frame is mated to a polyamide subframe and cast aluminum swingarm. The 48mm WP 4CS fork and linked shock are fully adjustable with provisions for high- and low-speed compression damping. All told, this is an excellent Open-class enduro.
FE 350/FE 250
The popularity of the 350cc four-stroke category is pretty easy to understand. The Husqvarna FE 305’s engine is virtually identical to its smaller 250cc sibling’s in physical size and weight but with the advantage of a claimed 45 hp. Like the 250, the 350 is a dohc design with four titanium valves actuated by finger-followers. Stuffed into a lightweight, 250-sized chassis, the 350 promises more agile handling than its big 501 brother. Also available: Husky’s FE 250 is the same basic motorcycle, but with a 250cc engine.
TE 300/TE 250
Although two-stroke racebikes have all but vanished from top-level motocross competition, they continue to be very popular for off-road competition. Tight and technical trails are the perfect place to ride an ultra-lightweight two-stroke enduro. A typical weight savings of 10 to 15 pounds (when compared to the TE’s four-stroke stablemates) makes negotiating obstacles that much easier. A steel frame, plastic subframe, cast aluminum swingarm, and WP suspension all contribute to make the lightweight TE a good-handling enduro. Also available: The TE 250 is virtually identical except for a smaller-displacement engine.
FC 450/FC 250
Husky dominated motocross early in the sport’s history, but success hasn’t come easy for the brand in the past couple of decades. All of that may now change after a complete overhaul of the range, thanks primarily to new KTM ownership and technology from Husaberg, a brand now defunct. Headlining the four-stroke range is the FC 450. A single overhead cam, four titanium valves, forged-aluminum piston, and Keihin EFI help the counterbalanced engine produce a claimed 60 hp. Also available: The FC 250 is the same basic motorcycle, but with an electric-start-only 250cc engine.
TC 250/TC 125
The sound of two-strokes had all but vanished from motocross tracks as most buyers opted for four-strokes. But higher maintenance costs and more complicated rebuilds have meant that two-strokes are slowly but surely making a comeback. Beyond those advantages, two-strokes are much lighter and offer a lot of performance for their size. Husky’s TC 250 engine is tuned for tractability and can be kitted to displace 300cc via a Husky Power kit. An all-new hybrid steel frame/polymer subframe and WP suspension are designed with performance in mind. Also available: The TC 125 features a similar chassis with a 125cc engine.
There is no better place to hone a young motocrosser’s skills than on an 85cc two-stroke. Budding pros can learn the art of throttle control on a lightweight and powerful machine. Parents will love the fact that this two-stroke requires less maintenance than a four-stroke and can be rebuilt inexpensively and quickly. The TC, which rides on a 17-inch front and a 14-inch rear wheel, has a steel frame but uses an aluminum subframe in place of the bigger bikes’ polymer units. Also available: The TC 85 can be ordered as a big-wheel version with a 19/16 setup.
A lightweight touring cruiser equipped with passenger backrest, saddlebags, and windscreen is about as rare as a happy hen in a fox den. But Hyosung has just such an animal in its ST7 Deluxe, an affordable, classically styled bagger powered by a stroked version of its 647cc, liquid-cooled, 90-degree V-twin. A tank-mounted speedo, slash-cut exhaust and full, swoopy fenders give the ST7 a traditional appearance, while the muscular front end with a four-piston caliper make it look much like a power cruiser. Also available: The ST7 is the same bike without the touring bits and pieces.
Here’s a muscle cruiser that doesn’t require a lot of muscle to manage, thanks to its low saddle, relatively light weight, and plentiful steering leverage through its wide handlebar. The GV650 also leverages a dollar as well as any bargain bike out there by offering premium features such as an adjustable upside-down fork, digital instrumentation, and bright LED taillight. Its maintenance-free belt final drive keeps the rear wheel clean, and the three-spoke cast front wheel carries dual disc brakes that provide the stopping muscle that many bigger cruisers can’t match.
Anyone looking for a simple but competent commuter that can play on the weekends, all without breaking the bank, ought to check out the naked Hyosung’s GT650. Essentially the same motorcycle as its fully faired sibling, the Korean-built GT650 is a dead ringer for Suzuki’s previous-generation naked SV650. Besides its obvious lack of bodywork, this version gets a tubular, upright handlebar, along with a preload-adjustable shock and upside-down fork. Also available: The sporty GT650R version has clip-on bars, adjustable pegs, and a sleek-fairing.
Riders who are about to jump into the wonderful world of motorcycling have plenty to sort out, since there is no shortage of stylish entry-level machines offered in today’s market. But for beginners who have a soft spot for the classic cruiser look, the GV250 could be the ideal place to start looking. The GV’s petite physical dimensions, low-slung saddle, and light weight make it easy to manage while riding or simply wheeling it around the garage. The alloy wheels and two-tone paint are unique for a bike in this price range. Fat tires and full fenders help the GV250 look much bigger than it really is.
The word “bargain” means different things to different people, but it would be difficult to argue that the GT250 V-twin, which is priced well under $4,000, isn’t one of them. Hyosung built this entry-level model in the way that has become very common these days: by starting with a fully faired sportbike—in this case, the GT250R—and stripping it of its bodywork, thereby morphing it into a quarter-liter streetfighter. Also available: The Hyosung GT250R, fitted with clip-on bars, is the sporty version of this affordable little twin.
It’s no understatement to say that American company Polaris rescued the Indian brand. And all you have to do is take one ride on the new-for-2014 Chief Classic to understand how true it is. Its aluminum backbone frame carries excellent suspension and brakes, while a torque-rich, smooth-running engine with loads of personality provides motivation. In fact, the Thunder Stroke 111, which evokes classic Indian powerplants of yore, is one of the finest cruiser engines ever to burn gasoline. Styling speaks for itself. If you’ve ever wanted a skirted-fender motorcycle with the name “Indian” on the tank, your time is now.
The all-new Chief Vintage soft bagger is meant for light touring and general cruising. Its Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin uses EFI and keyless ignition to light the fire that produces 108 pound-feet of torque on the CW dyno. ABS is standard. The aluminum frame’s 29-degree rake and 6.1-inch trail make for stable, relaxed handling (same as the Classic), though there is an impressive degree of cornering clearance. Despite the chrome and valanced fenders, this bike can keep a good back road pace. Seat and quick-release saddlebags are real leather, and a lighted “war bonnet” on the front fender leads the way.
Aimed squarely at Harley-Davidson’s new Rushmore Street Glide, the Chieftain impresses in its first year as a world-class effort powered by a mega-torquey 49-degree V-twin. The aluminum chassis has a corner-friendly (for a tourer) 25 degrees of rake and 5.9 inches of trail, and the rear preload is air-adjustable (not mechanical as on the other Indians). This Indian is happy loping across Kansas in its tall sixth gear, but it’s capable of a good pace in the Rockies, too. The comfortable leather rider and passenger seats ally with a great riding position and electrically adjustable windscreen to create all-day, most-weather comfort.
Full-dress touring rigs need to have it all, and Kawasaki’s flagship Voyager certainly doesn’t leave much in the way of creature comforts back home in the garage. Classic cruiser styling, a 52-degree, liquid-cooled, single-overhead-cam, four-valve-per-cylinder V-twin, frame-mounted fairing and windshield, couch-like seats for rider and passenger, and generous storage capability are long-haul necessities. But there is far more to the Voyager because details like cruise control, an iPod-compatible, XM-ready audio system, and Advanced Coactive Braking Technology (K-ACT II) ABS are standard, too.
Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS/SE
It doesn’t matter if you want to use it as a commuter, a weekend warrior, or a long-distance traveler, the big Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS bagger can pull it off. Fifth and sixth gears in the 52-degree, liquid-cooled V-twin's transmission are overdrives for a relaxed ride and improved fuel economy. Adding to the bike’s versatility are twin 10-gallon-capacity hard cases, a frame-mounted fairing, and shorty windscreen. An iPod-compatible, XM-ready audio system can also be paired with select GPS units. Also available: A Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS SE model features two-tone Candy Burnt Orange paint.
Vulcan 1700 Nomad ABS
Want to travel but don’t want to spend big bucks on a full-dresser? The Nomad nicely fills the gap between Kawasaki’s top-of-the-line luxury liner and its classic cruisers. A handlebar-mounted windscreen, lockable, color-matched hard saddlebags, passenger floorboards, luxury backrest, and cruise control give the Nomad substantial touring potential. The same torque-rich, technology-packed, 1,700CC V-twin engine found in the rest of the Vulcan 1700 range is used here as well. Air shocks with adjustable damping allow the rider to tailor the ride to the load. No wonder this bike is called the Nomad.
All we can say after spending significant time aboard the 14R is: Wow! This monster posted Cycle World’s quickest-ever production-bike E.T. with a 9.47-second/152.83-mph pass. Just 2.6 seconds tick by for 0 to 60, and 100 arrives in just under 5. Not a surprise, really, since the 14R is the most powerful production motorcycle we’ve ever tested, making 192 hp and 113.2 pound-feet of peak torque at the rear wheel. What is a surprise is how good the ZX-14R handles. Traction control and selectable power modes help keep everything in check. Also available: The same bike with ABS.
Concours 14 ABS
Winning Cycle World’s Best Sport-Touring Bike award for three straight years (2008-'10) proves what a great motorcycle the Concours is. Despite facing strong competition, the Kawasaki has only improved as the years have quickly ticked by. Its engine utilizes variable valve timing for broad power, and traction control tames the rear tire when grip is compromised. When you need to shed all that speed, the 14’s ABS gets it done quickly and safely. An electronically adjustable windscreen, heated grips, and a keyless ignition fob are amenities that make the C14 as comfortable and convenient as it is fast.
Kawasaki was the first of the Japanese Big Four to embrace the electronic revolution. Taming the powerful inline-4 is a traction-control system that offers three levels of intervention, and the rider also can select from three power-output modes to suit the riding conditions. A slipper clutch keeps the rear wheel from hopping during downshifts at comer entry. The chassis uses a 43mm Showa Big Piston fork and a lay-down shock, while an Öhlins electronic steering damper communicates with a dedicated ECU for optimal damping. Also available: The ZX-10RABS is the same machine but with antilock braking.
Ninja 1000 ABS
While the racetrack-ripping ZX-10R gets lots of attention, more riders should actually target the Ninja 1000 ABS. Thoroughly reworked for 2014, this liter-class gentleman’s express combines dramatic performance with attractive styling and comfortable seating. Revisions include power upgrades for the 1,043cc inline-4 engine, two selectable engine power maps, three-mode KTRC traction control, and a taller sixth gear for relaxed cruising. Other tweaks include a remote rear spring preload adjuster, monoblock front brake calipers, revised standard ABS, and new instruments. Saddlebags are optional.
Kawasaki’s streetfighter gets a thorough rework for 2014 that makes it even more aggressive. The story begins with radical new styling, together with an upgraded 1,043cc inline-4 with new intake cam timing for better low-to midrange torque and revised engine mapping for sharper throttle response. Chassis upgrades include a lightweight Showa Separate Function Big Piston (SFF-BP) fork with easier adjustability, radial-mount monoblock front brake calipers and a revised standard ABS, and lightweight wheels. Lower final-drive gearing boosts acceleration, while a taller sixth gear relaxes cruising.
Vulcan 900 Classic LT
In cruiser circles, a 903cc engine is now considered a middleweight, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. For one thing, the Kawasaki 900 Classic LT weighs significantly less than its cousins in the 1700 line. It’s powered by a liquid-cooled, rubber-mounted, fuel-injected V-twin with belt final drive. It’s ready to hit the road with its cowhide saddlebags, redesigned seats for two, a padded passenger back-rest, and an adjustable, optically correct acrylic windscreen. The low seat height combined with this Vulcan’s relatively light curb weight makes it a great choice for a wide range of riders.
Vulcan 900 Custom
The styling of the 900 Custom uses proportions that help make the bike look longer and lower than it actually is. A stout rear end is fitted with a fat, 180mm tire, but that image is countered at the front end with a skinny, 21-inch “pizza-cutter” wheel. This middleweight cruiser is quite affordable yet offers a V-twin engine with electronic fuel injection, liquid cooling, and rubber engine mounting for smooth and reliable performance. Twin-piston calipers at both ends clamp on to 300mm front and 270mm rear brake rotors for sure stopping power.
Vulcan 900 Classic
With styling that harkens back to when motorcycles just looked like motorcycles, the 900’s “Classic” moniker is a perfect fit. Powered by a 903CC, single-crankpin V-twin, this most basic version of the Vulcan family is a no-nonsense machine. Rear suspension uses a single shock, conveying the look of a “hardtail,” but don’t think for a second that the 900 is “old-school”; features such as digital fuel injection, four-valve cylinder heads, and liquid cooling mean this bike is thoroughly modern. A new seat offers improved comfort for both the rider and passenger.
If you want a fun and good-performing motorcycle that can fulfill many different riding needs, the Versys is hard to ignore. Powered by the same parallel-twin found in the Ninja 650 sportbike, the Versys has enough thrust for the stoplight-to-stoplight morning commute or apex-to-apex carving on weekends. Long-travel suspension includes an inverted 41mm fork, a gull-wing swingarm, an adjustable shock, and lightweight, Ninja-styled wheels, all of which help give the Versys nimble, easily controlled handling. Newly standard ABS and an adjustable-height windscreen add to the versatility of this asphalt adventurer.
The Ninja 650 is a no-B.S. sportbike but with more-upright seating than a repli-racer and more-comfortable ergonomics. It’s sporty and modern, featuring a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected parallel twin with plenty of usable low-rpm grunt and strong midrange performance, making it a great commuter, twisty-road carver, or whatever you want it to be. A conventional 41mm fork and a preload-adjustable shock provide a sporting yet plush ride. Dual 300mm petal-shaped front brake discs provide good stopping power for spirited riding. Also available: The same bike can be ordered with ABS.
Kawasaki decided that the supersized-600 formula is too good to leave on the shelf, so the engineers stroked the previous 6R’s 599CC engine to increase displacement to 636cc. They then added the middleweight supersport category’s most-sophisticated electronics package with three traction-control and two power modes. So more torque and power are on tap throughout the rev range, allowing the ZX-6R to be one of the most street-friendly middleweights on the road. And top-shelf chassis components make this the best 6R ever. Also available: The ZX-6RABS is the same bike with antilock brakes.
Ninja 300/SE/ABS SE
Kawasaki’s motto must read, “bigger is better” because Team Green definitely likes to upsize its sportbikes: The Ninja 300 replaces the highly successful Ninja 250. Power is provided by a liquidcooled, 296CC parallel twin that, like its 636CC ZX-6R big brother, gets its displacement increase through a longer stroke. An F.C.C. clutch offers slipper functions while also reducing lever effort. A steel frame, sporty suspension, and powerful brakes provide a chassis that can satisfy riders of all levels. Also available: The Ninja 300 SE features special paint and graphics, while the Ninja 300 ABS SE adds antilock brakes.
For more than a quarter century, the go-anywhere KLR650 dual-sport has provided a great platform for riders who want huge versatility. A bulletproof, 651cc single provides enough user-friendly power to get you through almost any terrain. A 41mm fork with 7.9 inches of travel and a Uni-Trak rear suspension with 7.3 inches on a preload- and rebound-adjustable shock are plush on the road and can tackle all but the gnarliest off-road conditions. A large, protective fairing, a comfortable seat, and a 6.1-gallon fuel tank mean you can take big bites out of the landscape without the need to stop.
This lightweight single-cylinder dual-sport offers plenty of versatility for riders seeking a great commuter that can double as a trailbike or fun canyon-carver. An electric-start, 249cc engine meets California emissions requirements, making it street-legal in all 50 states. The steel perimeter frame is durable and rigid enough for off-road duty. A 43mm inverted cartridge fork provides 10 inches of travel, while a single shock has 9.1 inches of damping- and preload-adjustable travel. Wheel sizes are 21-inch front and 18-inch rear, meaning the KLX250S can be fitted with more-aggressive knobby tires.
Here’s a mini that fills a lot of roles for the family that rides off-road. Its 144cc engine perfectly bridges the gap between the smaller KLX110 and larger playbikes, providing just the right kind of power that new riders and kids—as well as adults who like to act like kids—will enjoy. Electric starting means more time is spent riding than kicking. A clever two-stage clutch engagement feature helps newbies get the hang of starting and shifting. Also available: The KLX140L has a fully adjustable shock, larger wheels, and a taller seat height.
The KLX110 is supposed to be a kid’s bike, so why can’t adults stay off it? Here’s why: It’s fun! No matter the rider’s age, this 111cc four-stroke single delivers user-friendly power that just about anyone can find amusing. Versatile features include electric starting and a four-speed manual transmission. A screw-type adjustable throttle limiter allows parents to control the amount of power that’s available for youngsters while they’re just learning to ride, then gradually back it off as skills improve. Also available: The KLX110L is an identical machine with more suspension travel and a higher seat.
The KX450F continues to win races and championships year after year, in part because Kawasaki continues to refine and update the bike. The engine has a sophisticated EFI system that provides the basis for the bike’s Launch Control Mode and three preprogrammed ignition maps that can be selected with interchangeable couplers. The 48mm KYB Pneumatic Spring Fork (PSF) uses air pressure instead of the main fork springs for greater adjustability and reduced weight. A four-position-adjustable handlebar (now with softer, narrower grips) and two-position footpegs provide almost any rider with an ideal cockpit.
The KX250F gets some serious improvements for 2014, starting with the first launch-control feature in the 250 class. Adopted from the KX450F, Launch Control maximizes available traction for strong starts. In addition, the transmission now features four-dog gears for smoother shifts, while revised shift forks improve shift feel. Other upgrades include thinner front engine-mount plates, a revised counter-shaft retainer, and shorter, softer grips. Carryover technologies include a race-ready 48mm Showa Separate Function Fork (SFF), a dual-injector EFI system with three engine maps, and an available KX FI Calibration Kit.
Although overshadowed by 250cc and 450cc four-strokes, the 100cc two-stroke class still has merit, as bikes like the KX100 slot squarely between minis and the big thumpers in power and performance. For 2014, Kawasaki overhauled the KX100 with engine, body, chassis, and chassis upgrades. New porting, jetting, and a revised KIPS power valve improve output, while an enlarged radiator better maintains cooling. Revised ergonomics include a six-way-adjustable handlebar mounting system. Also available: The KX85 is very similar but with a smaller engine and lower seat.
Although the KX65 is the smallest model in Kawasaki’s five-bike KX motocross family, it serves perfectly as either a step up from the 50cc automatic-transmission minis or else as a mount for a first-time MX racer who already has some good riding experience under his or her belt. Its high-performance liquid-cooled two-stroke engine and six-speed manual gearbox are stuffed into a full-race chassis outfitted with adjustable long-travel suspension and disc brakes. As such, the KX65 is an ideal choice for young racers hoping to emulate their supercross and motocross heroes.
When we heard that KTM was actually going to produce this monster-motor, naked V-twin sportbike, we cheered out loud. KTM took its excellent LC8 engine and upped the ante to 1,301cc and then applied all of its latest electronic trickery, including ride modes, traction control, and advanced ABS. Claimed power at the rear wheel is 180 hp with 106 pound-feet of torque. A huge 48mm WP fork and shock of the same make hang on a steel trellis frame. A single-sided swingarm shows off the beautiful rear wheel, while Brembo radial-mount front brakes ensure quick stops, aided by Bosch’s advanced 9ME ABS.
KTM’s brand-new adventure-touring bike, the 1190 Adventure, is a technological tour de force that promises to take the Austrian company into new territory. At its heart is a version of the 1,195cc RC8 R engine, with claimed output of more than 150 hp. To tame all of that oomph in different conditions, a complex electronics package is used. It has four riding modes, three levels of traction control, and two ABS modes with a full-off setting. Electronically adjustable WP suspension is standard. Also available: The R model features 21-inch front/18-inch rear wheels and revised off-road-centric geometry.
Riders looking for something unique in a superbike might consider the RC8 R, a more potent version of the original RC8 that was powered by an 1,148cc engine. Now the only available KTM superbike model, the R displaces 1,195cc, has a higher, 13.5:1 compression ratio, stronger connecting rods, different pistons, and adjustable camshaft sprockets, all contributing to a claimed 175 hp and 94 pound-feet of torque. At either end of the chrome-moly steel frame hangs fully adjustable WP suspension, while four-piston, radial-mount Brembo monoblocks handle braking up front.
The 690cc single-cylinder Duke proves you don’t need more than one cylinder for sportbike fun. Key to the bike is the updated counterbalanced LC4 engine, which features many improvements over the previous version. Ride-by-wire throttle control ensures good fueling and excellent fuel economy, while a slipper clutch tames the rear wheel during quick downshifts during spirited riding. A chrome-moly steel frame and die-cast aluminum swingarm are teamed with a 43mm inverted WP fork and shock of the same make. Lightweight die-cast aluminum wheels and Brembo brakes with ABS aid handling and provide good stopping power.
690 Enduro R
Big-bore, single-cylinder dual-sport bikes like this one can nicely fill the gap between those large, liter-plus adventure bikes and the smaller, 450-class street-legal enduros. At 690cc, the Enduro R’s engine now has the displacement (formerly just 654cc) indicated in its name, with a claimed output of 67 hp and 49 pound-feet of torque. Engine service intervals have been increased to 6,200 miles. Three mapping settings can be selected for different riding conditions. The 690 boasts new spring rates and damping settings, and seat height has been lowered 0.75 inch to a tick below 36.
500 EXC/350 EXC-F
KTM’s 500 EXC has won back-to-back Ten Best awards from Cycle World. It has a lighter (by 5.5 pounds) counterbalanced engine that helps make the 500 a better-handling motorcycle. The sohc mill is a true brute pumping out serious power from its 510cc. A chrome-moly frame, aluminum swingarm, revised PDS shock, 48mm WP fork, and Giant rims are key chassis features. Refinements include a translucent 2.5-gallon fuel tank, an improved electric starting system (with kickstart backup), and a more durable taillight/license-plate holder. Also available: The 350 is the same bike with a smaller dohc engine.
500 XC-W/450 XC-W
The 500 XC-W is the true off-road version of the 500 EXC. The engine in this competition-quality enduro has been improved with lighter-weight internals and slightly revised tuning, and the engine cases are die-cast for improved strength and reduced weight. A more-powerful stator aids an improved electric-start system (with kickstart backup). A new frame and a one-piece aluminum swingarm highlight chassis updates. Also available: The 450 XC-W is an identical bike with the same updates but with 61cc less displacement.
450 XC-F/350 XC-F
The 450 XC-F features the lighter die-cast aluminum powerplant of the 450 SX-F, which is a full 4.4 pounds lighter than before. Not only is it lighter but it’s stronger, too. The cylinder head features a single overhead cam and four titanium valves that allow it to rev to 11,500 rpm. Fuel injection and electric starting make it reliable and easy to start in any environment, hot or cold. The lightweight chrome-moly steel frame is mated to an aluminum swingarm and a linked WP shock. Up front is a 48mm upside-down WP fork. Also available: The 350 XC-F is a similarly equipped off-road racer but with a dohc 350cc engine.
350 XCF-W/Six Days
KTM’s quest to make an impact in the off-road world with its 350cc formula (just like it did in motocross) hasn’t been that difficult since it released a cross-country race version to compete against the 450s of the world. The winning SX platform was retuned for enduro competition and it was given a wide-ratio six-speed transmission that’s ideal for tight enduro riding. A clutch with a billet-steel basket is used for reliability. The frame is fitted with a one-piece cast aluminum swingarm, a PDS shock, and a 48mm upside-down WP fork. Also available: The Six Days is a special edition with unique graphics and upgraded accessories.
300 XC/300 XC-W/250 XC/250 XC-W
There was little need for KTM to improve the potent engine of this enduro/cross-country racebike, but the company updated the chassis for 2013 with its latest frame and suspension technology. Out back is a one-piece cast aluminum swingarm, while up front is a 48mm WP inverted fork with improved oil and dust seals. Plus, the valving on the fork and the shock was updated for improved handling. Both the XC and wide-ratio W models now come with electric starting. Also available: The 250 XC and 250 XC-W are smaller-bore versions of the same motorcycles.
250 XCF-W/250 XC-F
Take a potent 250cc, fuel-injected, twin-cam engine that has an improved cylinder head, combine it with a wide-ratio transmission, a chassis consisting of a redesigned steel frame mated to a one-piece cast aluminum swingarm, and a PDS shock, and you get the 250 XCF-W. Electric starting (with kickstart backup), a competition headlight and taillight, and a Twin Air air-filter element are key features of this enduro/cross-country racer, which also has Excel AL7 rims with zinc/nickel-coated spokes laced into CNC-machined hubs. Also available: The 250 XC-F is the same bike without the wide-ratio gearbox.
You don’t always need a big motor to conquer off-road challenges, and the 200 XC-W is orange-and-black proof. This capable two-stroke cross-country/enduro bike is so perfectly tuned and balanced that it always seems to have what it takes to cope with even the most difficult of trail obstacles. Its chassis features a rising-rate, linkage-type rear-suspension system with a longer WP shock, and a cast aluminum swingarm for good performance on rough terrain. An upside-down, 48mm WP closed-cartridge fork has Teflon coating on the bushings to aid bump sensitivity.
Teens looking for rocks and roots to conquer (rather than berms and double-jumps) will be happy to know there is an off-road-ready 144cc KTM. Whether it’s desert, cross-country, enduro fun, or even serious competition in one of the many youth classes that accompany national off-road racing series, this bike is built to take the abuse. Like the rest of the XC two-stroke line, the 150 sports a linkage-type, rising-rate rear-suspension with a cast aluminum swingarm. Since this bike was designed for off-road riding, it comes with an 18-inch rear/21-inch front wheel combination.
450 SX-F/Factory Edition
KTM has made an amazing transformation in recent years by securing its first-ever AMA National Motocross championship in the premier class. Part of that success is due to a great team and Ryan Dungey, but much credit should go to KTM’s 450 SX-F. At the bike’s heart is a 449cc engine that features a single cam actuating titanium valves via finger-followers. Broad power is the claimed result. Top-of-the-line WP suspension, including a linked rear shock, enables the chassis to perform as well as the potent engine. Also available: The Factory Edition features a stronger frame and an all-new WP 4CS fork.
350 SX-F/250 SX-F
With multiple world championships to its name, the 350 SX-F can no longer be considered a novelty; it’s a proven formula. The concept is to provide a lighter, better-handling machine that can still hang with the big 450s of motocross. The engine features die-cast cases for less weight and improved durability. A dohc cylinder head has titanium valves, which can withstand the engine’s 13,400-rpm rev limit. Despite monster power, civility comes in the form of electric starting and very refined fuel injection. Also available: The 250 SX-F is basically the same bike with less displacement.
Need proof that there is still a demand for two-stroke motocross bikes? The fact that KTM reworked the chassis on its 250 SX in 2012 should confirm that two-strokes are alive and well. The 250 rides on a chrome-moly frame fitted with a linkage-type, rising-rate suspension that uses a WP shock, and a one-piece cast aluminum swingarm. The two-stroke single is a wickedly powerful and exceptionally lightweight engine that helps keep the bike’s overall weight down to a scant 214 pounds. The airbox provides no-tools access to the high-performance Twin Air filter, which is a convenient feature for between-moto maintenance.
150 SX/125 SX
Falling neatly between 125cc two-strokes and 250cc four-strokes is KTM’s 150 SX, which features an AMA-legal 144cc engine. For the upcoming racer, the 150 is a potent learning tool, with mechanical simplicity and ease of maintenance not commonly associated with modern four-strokes. WP suspension front and rear, Brembo brakes, and a tapered aluminum Renthal handlebar provide the rider with the best means of controlling this ultralightweight racer. Also available: The 125 SX is the very same machine with a 125cc engine.
85 SX/65 SX
There's a reason KTM calls its minis Sportminicycles and not playbikes: These are very serious racetrack weapons, especially the 85 SX. Packing a potent two-stroke engine and six-speed gearbox, this bike is all about teaching young racers the skills they need before moving up the competition ladder. A 43mm inverted fork gives the bike a front end that is very rigid and tracks accurately, and a Brembo four-piston caliper provides awesome stopping power up front. Also available: The 65 SX is a smaller version of essentially the same machine but with smaller wheels, a lower seat height, and a less-powerful 65cc engine.
With the youth motorcycle industry back on its feet, it is fitting that KTM has the Junior Supercross Challenge (KJSC). The motorcycle that those kids participate on is the liquid-cooled 50 SX two-stroke. A centrifugally controlled, multi-plate automatic clutch allows simple operation. Long-travel suspension with an inverted 35mm WP fork, as well as front and rear disc brakes, team to keep the chassis in check. An optional restrictor kit allows parents to tame the engine until your little Dungey gets up to speed. Also available: The 50 SX Mini, the same bike but with smaller wheels, a lower seat, and a milder state of tune.
Unplug the Xbox, strap on your dirt helmet and boots, and go for a ride! Created specifically for teenagers, the all-electric, off-road-only Free-Rider is equipped with long-travel, downhill-mountain-bike-type suspension and 20-inch wheels that are capable of handling moderate motocross-style jump landings. A compact, powerful, lightweight motor delivers strong acceleration and a claimed top speed of 34 mph. According to Kuberg, maximum range for the Free-Rider is 31 miles. A full recharge takes approximately one hour.
No gas, no oil, no hot exhaust pipe, no kickstarter, very little maintenance, and, maybe best of all, no noise. That's a pretty good description of the Cross, Kuberg's midsize all-electric motocross bike. Intended for younger riders who already have a little bit of two-wheel experience under their kidney belts, the Cross delivers instant torque for quick acceleration out of tight corners and up dirt hillsides. Like all of the smaller Kuberg models, the reasonably priced Cross can be picked up by most five-year-olds and carried or transported upside down. All Kubergs are built in the Czech Republic.
Okay, the Trial E is intended for grade-school-age trials riders, but, thanks to its heavy-duty, steel tube frame, this tough little rock-hopper will support adults weighing as much as 220 pounds. That means you, Dad! A 990-watt electric motor delivers smooth, linear torque for snappy acceleration—just what junior needs to tackle steep hillsides and boulder fields. A magnetic kill switch is standard, and a five-step power button modifies the bike’s performance to suit your child’s progress. Also available: The Start, with a seat height of just 16 inches, is ideal for preschoolers learning to ride.
Kymco has entered the rapidly growing large-capacity touring scooter segment with its new Myroad 700i. Melding elegant style with ample performance, the parallel-twin-powered long-wheelbase machine delivers a relaxed and stable ride at highway speeds. Features include a full-size windscreen, distinctive triple headlamp array, spacious underseat and glove box storage, and fold-out passenger footrests that make for one of the more outstanding two-up rides available in the scooter market.
Xciting 500 Ri ABS
Kymco is a Taiwanese company with a full line of scooters in all shapes and sizes. Until this year with the arrival of the new 700i, the company’s flagship has been the Xciting 500 Ri ABS, a full-sized touring scooter that packs as many comfort and convenience features as one is likely to find on a bike of this type. That’s pretty exciting stuff for a rider who likes to travel while pinching petrol costs along the way. The Xciting offers stable handling, fast acceleration, and even an illuminated storage compartment under the seat, complete with a cellphone charging port.
Headed downtown, uptown, or parts in between? Kymco’s Downtown 300i combines the acceleration and convenience of a maxi-scooter with the agility and light weight of a sportbike. The underseat storage area is lighted and large enough to hold two helmets. Up front, a watertight compartment features a 12-volt accessory outlet for charging your phone, iPod, or other electric items. Meanwhile, the dash of the Downtown 300i is equipped with everything but the kitchen sink: speedometer, tachometer, odometer, tripmeter, clock, plus fuel and engine-temperature gauges.
People GT 300i
Kymco’s People scooter is one of its most popular. The People GT models are blessed with clean, modern styling and 16-inch wheels that help provide them with the kind of stability that any rider can appreciate. The GT 300i offers economic and reliable performance with its modern, EFI four-stroke engine and automatic transmission delivering plenty of passing power for both highway cruising and urban errand runs. Besides plenty of underseat storage, the People 300i offers a 12-volt accessory plug and a top case as standard equipment.
Like 200i/Like 200i LX
Following in the wheel tracks of its successful Like 50, Taiwanese scooter-manufacturer Kymco dreamed up the larger-displacement, two-up-capable Like 200i. And, really, what’s not to, um, “like”? This moderately sized, stylish-looking, fuel-sipping four-stroke—available in Blue/Black, Ivory, or Red—rolls on 12-inch wheels and is ideal for around-town commuting and errands. Got stuff? Then you’ll truly appreciate the convenient storage solution offered by the standard color-matched top box. Also available: The Like 200i LX features a two-tone color scheme and chrome trim package.
As a newer addition to Kymco’s broad model line, the Movie 150 looks as tasty as a bucket of buttered popcorn. Even when parked, the stylish 50 will catch your eye with its great lines, but at heart it’s a handy urban commuter for anybody needing economical transportation. The built-in rear luggage rack incorporates passenger grab handles, while underneath the large, well-padded seat is a locking storage compartment. This Movie was a “new release” last year. As such, as with every scooter in Kymco’s line, it comes with a two-year, limited factory warranty that offers peace of mind.
Super 8 150/Super 8 50 2T
While the Super 8 150 has the sportiest styling in Kymco’s lineup, its good handling and stability uphold the bike’s race-inspired theme, thanks to its use of 14-inch wheels and comparatively sticky, low-profile tires. Designed first and foremost as a fun mode of inner-city transport, the 150 has all of the typical scooter convenience features, including an underseat storage compartment big enough to swallow a helmet. Also available: The Super 8 50 2T is sized and styled nearly identically to the Super 8 150 but is powered by a small 49cc two-stroke engine.
Agility 125/Agility 50
Bargain shoppers often begin their search for economical transportation with a 50cc scooter, which is fine, so long as they don't overlook one of the most affordable 125cc two-wheelers on the market. The Agility 125 backs up its sharp modern appearance with a fuel-efficient engine capable of delivering performance you don't often see in its price range. And despite its low price, it even is equipped with a front disc brake and a fuel gauge! Also available: The two-stroke Agility 50 retains the modern styling and features of the 125 but adds a unique passenger seat that flips up and becomes a rider's backrest.
Compagno 110i/Compagno 50i
With its classic European styling, the Compagno 110, which was new last year, makes even diehard Vespa aficionados take a closer look at its fairing-encased, handlebar-mounted headlight. Fuel efficiency and quiet operation are highlights of its air-cooled four-stroke motor, while underseat storage and a glove compartment deliver the sort of versatility that make scooters so ideal for scootin' around town. Also available: The two-stroke Compagno 50i shares the styling and chassis of its larger-displacement sibling but at a meaningful cost savings.
Like 50/Like 50 LX
The Like 50 is a lightweight, two-stroke-powered scooter blessed with classic European-inspired styling. There's much here to like, starting with hardware normally found on much larger scooters. This includes underseat storage, a locking glove box with a 12-volt accessory plug, a deeply padded seat for two, an easy-to-read odometer and fuel gauge, plus a large, color-matched top case. Also available: The Like 50 LX adds a bit of elegance with its two-tone color scheme and chrome trim package, but costs an additional $100.
A most unlikely alliance, which formed back in the mid-1980s between Spain's Montesa off-road bike company and Honda, yields this new Montesa Cota 4RT trials bike. Powered by a Honda 259cc four-stroke Unicam engine, the Cota 4RT features fuel injection and a special decompression system that mimics the two-stroke engine-braking characteristics preferred by top trials riders. Claimed wet weight is a feathery 165 pounds. A five-speed gearbox, Japanese Showa suspension, extra-wide footpegs, and Repsol's characteristic Orange/White/Red graphics complete this limited-edition competition machine.
Equipping the California 1400 cruiser with touring-oriented amenities and creating the all-new Touring model was a natural move for Moto Guzzi last year. The touring treatment includes a posh two-tone saddle that cradles the rider behind a protective “Patrol” windshield. Other hardware includes chrome supplementary lights and engine guards, plus pannier guards. The 9.2-gallon side bags lend the California 1400 the essential storage capacity needed. Also available: The 1400 Custom is the same basic bike without the bags and windscreen.
Norge 1200 GT ABS
Moto Guzzi’s commitment to keeping pace with modern times is clearly evident in the Norge GT. This longitudinal V-twin sport-tourer is the most luxurious motorcycle the legendary Italian company has ever produced, arriving fully equipped with everything the long-distance traveler requires. Plus, you’re not likely to get lost in the Norge experience while trying to find the best back roads where you can put the bike’s highly capable chassis to good use. Why? Because an onboard TomTom GPS receiver is just one of several options.
Stelvio 1200 NTX
As the adventure-touring segment continues soaring to new heights in popularity, the Stelvio 1200 spreads its wings with 30-liter aluminum panniers and a selectable traction-control system as standard features. Its fairing and adjustable windshield provide superb protection from the elements, and its saddle height can be lowered a full inch for added confidence. Perhaps the biggest asset for long-distance travelers is the Stelvio’s 8.5-gallon tank, an industry record for production-bike fuel capacity. The 105-hp, eight-valve V-twin engine and basic chassis have been lifted from the Griso.
Griso 8V SE
The Griso is Moto Guzzi’s take on the popular naked sport-standard theme but livened up with a large dose of classic Italian flair. The SE’s (Special Edition) matte-black/silver paint scheme melds nicely with the black frame, wheels, fork, and saddle. The 108-hp, fuel-injected, eight-valve version of Guzzi’s trademark longitudinal 90-degree V-twin produces bone-stirring torque throughout its rev range. Sporting suspension and powerful brakes allow the Griso rider to exploit the chassis’ solid handling and excellent cornering clearance.
Paying homage to the racing career of Guzzi’s V7 Sport, the V7 Racer captures the spirit of those glory days of four decades past. If its chromed tank (with leather fastener strap along its centerline), suede solo saddle, and various drilled, brushed aluminum brackets and sidecovers were not a enough of a visual cue, then the race number panels integrated into the tail and the headlight fly screen should drive the message home even more clearly. Also available: The Red or Black V7 Special and the V7 Stone, Guzzi’s most affordable model.
We’ve been waiting a long time for the Alabama-built Motus to reach production, and we’re now told this comfortable American sport-tourer, powered by a pushrod V-4 with abundant low-end torque, goes on sale this spring at dealers ranging from Miami to Seattle. The standard MST is far from a base bike, fitted with Öhlins front suspension, a Progressive shock, Brembo brakes, forged OZ wheels, and side cases as standard. Also available: The MST-R is the sportiest Motus, boasting Öhlins suspension front and rear, plus a more aggressive camshaft, better Brembos and carbon-fiber wheels.
One of the preeminent makers of exotic bikes, Italy’s MV Agusta has taken its flagship F4 superbike to a new level of technical sophistication. Since last year, the 195-hp inline-4 has featured Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System (MVICS), an advanced ride-by-wire electronics package. An electronically assisted shifter with an auto-blip function allows clutch-less downshifting. Also available: The up-rated F4 RR version boasts 201 hp, an electronically adjustable Öhlins NIX fork and TTX 36 shock, Brembo M50 calipers, and a lighter frame with an adjustable steering head and swingarm pivot.
Brutale 1090 ABS/RR/Corsa
The Brutale naked bikes have always been long on style and loaded with performance while providing just enough practicality and comfort from their upright ergonomics to make them the “rational” choice in the Italian bike-maker’s line. Still, at the price, it might be best to leave your accountant out of the room when you make the decision! Over the years, the displacement has grown, and the addition of eight-level traction control and ABS has improved rideability. Also available: The logo RRABS and 1090 RR Corsa ABS are sportier models with better suspension, nicer finishes, and different wheels.
F3 800/F3 675
Extremely agile handling defines MV’s super middleweight three-cylinder supersport. Also, added low and midrange torque, together with class-leading top-end power, gives the F3 800 a knockout blow that leaves its peers gasping. Advanced ride-by-wire electronics takes full advantage of MVICS (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) with its multiple power maps, traction control, and EAS (Electronically Assisted Shift). Also available: The F3 675 is the same basic bike with a shortened stroke. ABS versions of both F3 displacements are available.
$12,498 to $14,798
The Brutale 800 is powered by an engine based on the F3 supersport’s, featuring the same advanced ride-by-wire electronics with multiple power maps, traction control, and electronic assisted shift as standard equipment. While the nimble chassis replicates the F3, the absence of bodywork notably reduces the bike’s claimed dry weight. Also available: Besides the 675, a smaller-displacement Brutale, MV Agusta is selling the Dragster 800, a new Brutale with wild, drag-inspired looks and a huge 250/5017 rear tire.
MV Agusta continues to expand its range of model offerings, the latest example being the supermoto-inspired Rivale, which represents the small Italian firm’s latest foray into another sporting niche. The distinction between the Rivale and your typical naked is dirt bike ergonomics and increased suspension travel. While the bike is ideally suited for tackling the roughest back-road tarmac, the urban beat is also perfect for this torque-tuned triple. Also available: The MV Agusta Rivale EAS ABS model adds antilock brakes for an extra $800.
Commando 961 Sport/Café Racer/SF
$17,995 to $21,995
Brit-bike fans have been hoping to see reborn Nortons on American roads since new bikes were promised for the 2011 model year. Now, though, the company tells us the 961 Commando is being delivered early in 2014. Overseas road tests have been positive, building anticipation for these canted-forward, air-cooled, counterbalanced parallel twins. Fuel injection, sportoriented sizes, Brembo brakes, and fully adjustable Öhlins suspension ensure modern performance. Dual-seat versions add $1,000. Also available: The Café Racer has clip-on bars and a fly screen. The SF has black wheels and some carbon-fiber accessories.
If it’s a freeway-legal urban commuter you’re looking for, the BV 350 i.e. meets that criterion with performance headroom to spare. The BV’s liquid-cooled, four-stroke single provides fuel-efficient, low-maintenance power for this Piaggio scooter. The chassis features a beefy 35mm conventional fork and a 16-inch wheel up front matched with a twin-shock rear suspension riding on a 14-inch wheel. A smoked windscreen adds a touch of style and protection from the elements, and a spacious underseat storage compartment is sized to hold a helmet. An optional top case further expands versatility.
Fly 150 3V/Fly 50 4V
Incorporating contemporary Italian design, a fuel-injected three-valve 150cc four-stroke single and a fully automatic transmission, the Fly 150 has great looks and performance to match. With a modest 29.9-inch seat height and weighing just 247 pounds dry, the Fly 150 is also easy to handle, with a front disc brake and meaty 12-inch tubeless tires aiding confidence and control. Meanwhile, a long 6,000-mile service interval reduces cost of ownership. Also available: Similarly styled, the affordable Fly 50 4V has a sophisticated four-valve 50cc four-stroke engine and even easier handling.
Typhoon 125/Typhoon 50 4V
This fuel-efficient, 124cc four-stroke single is an excellent and affordable choice for riders new to two-wheel motorized transportation. The sleek and stylish Typhoon 125 is light, agile, and—perhaps of greatest importance to entry-level riders—has a 30-inch-high step-through saddle that allows easy footing at stops. Whether negotiating inner-city traffic or getting across campus to your next class, the Typhoon provides a fun and easy-to-manage means of scooting to your next destination. Also available: The Typhoon 50 4V, a nearly identical scooter, is powered by a 49cc four-stoke engine for even greater savings.
Royal Enfield calls the new Continental GT its “lightest, fastest, and most powerful model.” While we have no quibbles with that, we prefer to see it simply as a cool new café racer at an affordable price. With a steel frame designed by Harris Performance, beautiful new bodywork courtesy of Xenophya Design (both UK companies), Brembo brakes, Excel rims, Paioli shocks, and 41mm fork tubes, the Continental GT has all the right café racer hardware. An all-new 535cc single, a unit-construction design, powers the CGT, which exudes cool and gets a reported 85 mpg.
Sherco SE 300i/SE 300i Racing/SE 250i/SE 250i Racing
Sherco SE 300/SE 300 Racing/SE 250/SE 250 Racing
Sherco X-Ride 290
Sherco ST 2014 Trials
Royal Enfield Bullet
Royal Enfield Bullet
All these Royal Enfields are essentially the same bike, thoughtfully tailored to satisfy individual tastes. The entry-level bike, the Bullet 500, establishes the Indian marque’s retro look, but the air-cooled 499cc single (an all-new unit-construction design) features fuel injection and an electric starter. What’s more, all these bikes, which share engines and frames, have a disc front brake and a catalyst-equipped exhaust. In essence, all that buyers need to do is choose the style they like best, considering factors such as color of paint (civilian bright or military drab) and style of seat (a solo unit or a classic bench).
Royal Enfield Bullet
SE 300i/SE 300i Racing/SE 250i/SE 250i Racing
Although Sherco’s trials bikes are built in Spain, the company’s enduros come from France. The SE 300i Racing, now sold in the US, is a lightweight, beautifully finished four-stroke single that relishes tight and technical forest trails. The 304cc engine, which mounts in a chrome-moly steel frame, boasts Magneti-Marelli fuel injection and a stainless-steel exhaust with an aluminum muffler. WP suspension hangs at both ends. Also available: The SE 300i has a Sachs fork instead of WP. The 250i Racing and 250i are simply smaller-displacement versions of the same bike.
Royal Enfield Bullet
SE 300/SE 300 Racing/SE 250/SE 250 Racing
With two-stroke competition enduro machines making a strong comeback, the US importer for Sherco has decided to bring the SE 300 Racing to the States. It features two ignition map settings, electric starting, an electronically controlled exhaust valve, VForce reed valves, and a 36mm Keihin carburetor. Chassis highlights include a chrome-moly steel frame, a 48mm open-cartridge WP fork, and WP shock, with Brembo brakes used front and rear. Also available: The 300 SE is the same bike but with a Sachs fork. The 250s are smaller-displacement versions of the same bike, the Racing featuring a WP fork.
Royal Enfield Bullet
Sherco, known for making trials bikes, continues to make the X-Ride 290, a bike that defies categorization. In a sense, it’s a trials bike, thanks to Sherco’s 290cc two-stroke engine and lightweight, agile chassis that can take you just about anywhere. On the other hand, the X-Ride is a far more comfortable machine that can be ridden more like traditional off-road bike, one that’s fitted with a 40mm Marzocchi fork and a Sachs shock. The fuel tank is plastic, and although the X-Ride 290 has a headlight and turn signals, it is not street-legal in the US.
Royal Enfield Bullet
ST 2014 Trials
Sherco's trials bikes are available in the US with two-stroke engines displacing 272, 250, or 125cc. Last year, the powerplants gained a more ergonomic kickstarter, plus a right sidecase and skid plate that have been strengthened to better protect the engines against big impacts. Additionally, Sherco says thermodynamic changes to the cylinder have resulted in improved engine performance in all conditions. Aided by its light and narrow chrome-moly steel chassis, the Sherco ST2014 is ideal for club riders and world-class trials competitors alike.
When it's time to put the hammer down and ripple some pavement, the Boulevard M109R's massive torque output and fat, 240/40R-18 rear tire drive the point home. Despite its brutish, muscle-bound, sleeves-rolled-up appearance, this big V-twin offers a level of refinement and modern technology that lends real civility. Also available: The Boulevard M109R Limited Edition has a unique gray-and-silver paint scheme, black wheels and gear case, and white turn-signal and taillight lenses. Meanwhile, the M109R BOSS—short for Blacked Out Special Suzuki—adds a veritable ocean of black finishes and yellow racing stripes.
Boulevard C90 B.O.S.S.
This year Suzuki's previous four-bike C90 range slims down to a single model—the C90 B.O.S.S. Long, low, dark, and handsome, this big liquid-cooled V-twin boasts a 66.1-inch wheelbase and stretches nearly 8.5 feet long overall. In between, almost every component except for the headlight rim, turn-signal housings, cam covers, and other incidentals get the full blacked-out treatment. The result is a powerful, and powerfully attractive, cruiser. Tidy styling and thin-spoke cast aluminum wheels lend the 758-pound C90 B.O.S.S. an agile appearance. A wide handlebar and seat provide relaxed ergonomics.
If the swooping form of the M109 family of muscle cruisers strikes your fancy but you value the handling traits of a narrower rear tire, the M90 is your ticket. Its 200-series rear radial ensures that no concessions have been made for fashion's sake, and the liquid-cooled, long-stroke V-twin delivers more than enough low-end torque to hold its rightful place on the boulevard. The M90 also features Suzuki's advanced digital fuel-injection and engine-management systems that are designed to increase throttle response while also getting the most out of every drop of fuel.
Hayabusa/50th Anniversary Edition
A genuine performance icon, the Hayabusa melds distinctive aero styling and a supremely powerful engine to produce mind-blowing acceleration. The `Busa has fully adjustable suspension, including an inverted fork and single rear shock. Its ultra-stable chassis demands a sporting posture, but the ergonomics are roomy enough and the ride smooth enough to serve as a grand-touring mount. Also available: The Hayabusa 50th Anniversary Edition is the same bike but with a special red/black color combination. Details include pinstriped wheels, a two-tone seat, and dark gold-anodized components.
With more AMA Superbike championships to its credit than any other motorcycle, the GSX-R1000 is among the most vaunted sportbikes in history. As such, the current GSX-R1000 rightfully presides at the head of Suzuki's Gixxer family for all the right reasons—including huge torque on demand, standout agility, and stability. Also available: The GSX-R1000 SE features special silver bodywork and graphics, a polished and chrome-plated-frame, numerous blue-anodized components, and a special serial number plate on its upper triple clamp. Of the 100 units produced, 50 are slated for the US.
V-Strom 1000 ABS/Adventure
At its launch more than a decade ago, Suzuki's V-Strom 1000 instantly gained a robust following for its blend of power, comfort, and versatility—both on the road and off the beaten track. Now the next-generation V-Strom 1000 aims to further improve with more displacement, less weight, greater stability, better fuel mileage, a new multi-mode traction-control system, and standard ABS. The Adventure flagship features an integrated three-piece luggage system, and a host of factory-designed touring accessories is likewise offered. Also available: The V-Strom 1000 ABS is the same bike without luggage.
The C50T is a touring-oriented cruiser with several features geared for extended riding on the open road. It combines modern engineering such as fuel injection with traditional styling and a tried-and-true equipment list that includes textured leather saddlebags, a height-adjustable windshield, and a broad, low saddle with a pivoting passenger backrest for enhanced comfort. The riding position, handlebar bend, and forward-mount foot controls all help make this touring cruiser an enjoyable ride. Also available: The M50 is the same basic bike but with muscle-cruiser styling and cast wheels.
Boulevard C50 B.O.S.S.
This wicked-looking C50 B.O.S.S. replaces the standard C50 and C50 Limited Edition in Suzuki's cruiser lineup for 2014. The blacked-out B.O.S.S. features the C50's liquid-cooled, 805cc, V-twin engine, a technological marvel with such features as four valves per cylinder, liquid cooling, and dual-throttle-valve electronic fuel injection. But it's the nearly complete suite of dark finishes that really grabs attention, notably the handlebar, exhaust system, wheels, air cleaner, and even mirrors. A kicked-out (33 degrees of rake) front end looks cool and provides good stability on the highway.
GSX-R750/50th Anniversary Edition
The GSX-R750 offers near-literbike punch together with 600cc sportbike agility. Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (S-DMS) provides different engine-control maps via a handlebar switch, while an electronically controlled steering damper, Showa Big Piston Fork (BPF), and Brembo monoblock front calipers help keep this Gixxer ahead of the pack. Also available: The GSX-R750 50th Anniversary Edition honors Suzuki's half century in America. It features Candy Daring Red/Glass Sparkle Black paint, silver front Brembo calipers, a red seat and wheel pinstripes, and various anodized pieces.
Beginners and budget-minded buyers alike will find a lot to like about this classic-looking single. The S40 delivers plenty of style and chrome for its entry-level MSRP and its ultra-low saddle and thoughtful handlebar bend are likewise aimed at increasing rider comfort, confidence, and control for anyone who throws a leg over this versatile little cruiser. Another of the S40's attractive traits is the ease of maintenance offered by the air-cooled, sohc, single-cylinder, electric-start, four-stroke single engine and lube-free belt drive. Light and low, the S40 is a natural first step for beginning cruiser riders.
V-Strom 650 ABS Adventure/650 ABS
Adventure bikes usually are tall, gangly, and heavy but not this one. The middleweight V-Strom offers exceptional versatility that's well suited to a daily commute, a trip to the wilds of Alaska—or anything in between. Its torquey V-twin engine, agile chassis, and roomy ergonomics impart the sort of comfort you normally would get only with a liter-class machine. Plus, the Adventure comes standard with big, top-loading side cases, rugged engine guards and an adjustable windscreen. Also available: The V-Strom 650 ABS is the same machine without the bags, crash guards, or adjustable windscreen.
If the silhouette of this Suzuki naked bike looks somewhat familiar, it should: The SFV650 is the same machine previously known as the Gladius, only with a more menacing streetfighter image than its predecessor. What hasn't changed is the novice-friendly nature of this sporty naked bike, even though seasoned experts also find it a hoot to ride. It has a low 30.9-inch seat height, a reasonable 445-pound curb weight, and nimble chassis geometry for easy handling. Factor in the SFV650's smooth power delivery, and you get a fun ride at a reasonable price.
This middleweight Gixxer has superbike-bred performance and handling DNA in spades. Battle-tested in events like the Daytona 200, the 600 shares its race-quality, fully adjustable 41mm Showa Big Piston Fork with the GSX-R750 and also uses the same Brembo monoblock front brake calipers and eye-catching bodywork. The fuel-injected and liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine is narrow and lightweight, with a stacked transmission layout that shortens the engine front to rear, allowing a longer swingarm that benefits rear-wheel traction and overall handling.
Adventure bikes continue to be popular these days. And while the larger-displacement twins have garnered most of the attention, you shouldn't overlook the attributes of a lower-priced single-cylinder thumper like the DR650SE. This long-running dual-sport model can take on trails and fire roads, while also providing sure-footed stability on the street and highway. Its spacious riding position, comfortable saddle, and fuel-efficient counterbalanced engine effectively extend its range of use. And if you find the DR to be a bit tall, it can be lowered 1.6 inches with dealer-supplied suspension modifications.
Here is an enduro bike fitted with enough DOT-approved equipment to make it street legal in all 50 states. Its high-quality suspension and sharp-handling chassis are more than up to tackling everything from technical trails and flat-out fire roads to bump-strewn back roads and pothole-pitted city streets. The DR-Z400S can even master fast-moving freeways and toll roads with a reasonable degree of civility, further broadening its appeal. Also available: The Supermoto-inspired DR-Z400SM, the same bike but with shorter suspension, has an inverted fork, a larger front brake, and sportbike wheels and tires.
Burgman 650 ABS
Burgman riders get the VIP treatment thanks to this scooter's electronically controlled transmission, newly updated for more efficient operation. The rider may choose from two automatic-shift modes (Drive and Power) or one button-actuated manual mode, while a new Eco Drive indicator encourages efficient riding. A plush seat contributes to the ride experience and opens to reveal a lighted storage area big enough to accept two full-face helmets. Other features include updated ABS, an electrically height-adjustable windscreen, and electronic rearview-mirror retraction for squeezing into tight parking spaces.
Burgman 400 ABS/200 ABS
The Burgman 400 ABS may just be the ultimate commuter scooter, neither too big nor too small. Its stylish good looks, practicality, comfort, performance, and fuel economy offer modern urban travelers a swift, smart mode of transit. The 3.5-gallon fuel tank provides excellent range between visits to the pump. Standard features include a stepped dual seat with an adjustable rider backrest, spacious underseat storage, and three more convenient storage areas located in the front bodywork. Also available: The new Burgman 200 is designed with excellent urban mobility in mind.
The basic lightweight trailbike is a staple around campgrounds, paddocks, and just about any off-road arena where you'll find riders just starting out. The compact, kickstart, four-stroke DR-Z125L is a prime example of this type of bike. Utilizing 19/16-inch wheels helps keep the seat height down to a reasonable 32 inches, while a curb weight of less than 200 pounds makes the DR-Z125L easy to handle. Even though the DR is small in size, it still offers some big-bike features such as a motocross type knobby tires, a front hydraulic disc brake, and RM-Z racing-style graphics.
The RM-Z450 is a proven winner with AMA Super-cross and Outdoor Motocross championships to its credit. Abattery-less electronic fuel-injection system, a twin-spar alloy frame, race-quality Showa suspension (featuring the latest SFF fork), and top-notch brakes are just a few of the key ingredients that work together to make this ripping yellow motocrosser a prime choice for pros and amateurs alike. A revised ECM now provides easier starting, quick-change electronic couplers allow fine-tuning the fuel mixture, and the muffler is now more easily repackable. Mi optional FI indicator tracks engine-operating time.
After receiving a host of engine and chassis upgrades last year, the RM-Z250 continues its fight for podiums among the best 250cc motocross bikes on the planet. Known for strong, usable power and quick handling, the RM-Z250 gets a revised ECM for 2014, which provides easier starting and improved roll-on performance. What's more, the hike has upgraded engine lubrication and cooling systems, plus a revised frame and seat rail to optimize rigidity. As before, the fuel-injected engine maybe quickly retuned by switching among three included fuel-map couplers. An optional FI indicator tracks engine operation in hours.
It's got the world's biggest production motorcycle engine, so why shouldn't it make 163 pound-feet of torque at a mere 2,750 rpm and 146 hp just 3,000 rpm later? No other production bike comes close! All that power flows smoothly from the 2,294cc longitudinal triple to the Roadster's 240-section rear tire through a five-speed transmission and shaft final drive. This flagship beast also sports a 43mm inverted fork, standard Nissin ABS brakes, and comprehensive I instrumentation. Also available: The Rocket III Touring adds saddlebags, a windscreen, and that same huge triple tuned to crank out 105 hp/150 pound-feet of torque.
The Storm is the "black" sheep of the Thunderbird family, since it only comes in your choice of Blacks: Jet, Matte, or Phantom, with blacked-out engine cases and trim to match. At 1,699cc, it's 102cc bigger than the regular T-Bird, 12 horses stronger and 7 pound-feet torquier. With a flat, drag-style handlebar and a low, 27.5-inch seat, the Storm thunders along on custom Metzeler Marathon tires, five-spoke wheels, a 47mm fork, and five-way preload-adjustable shocks. Along with the bike, Triumph offers more than 80 factory accessories for the big T-Bird.
New for 2014, the Commander is trying hard to take the fight to Harley-Davidson, with a polished top triple clamp and stainless-steel fork shrouds, signature twin headlights, a plethora of Commander badges, and art deco LED taillight and turn signals. Machined cooling fins and chrome covers contrast against black barrels and engine cases, the better to highlight the available Crimson Sunset/Lava Red and Phantom Black/Storm Gray paint schemes. Like the other T-Birds, a 47mm Showa fork and preload-adjustable twin shocks provide a great ride.
Lovers of big twins looking for something different in a cruiser—including one we voted Best Cruiser in our 2009 and 2010 Ten Best balloting—might find exactly what they're after in the Thunderbird. The 1,597cc parallel twin churns out a claimed 85 hp and 108 pound-feet of torque, and that big engine is counterbalanced for smooth running and fuel-injected for precise fueling. Also available: The new Thunderbird LT adds a windshield, auxiliary lights, a touring seat, leather saddlebags, and radial whitewall tires: instant British bagger.
Packing a powerful, ride-by-wire, 1,215cc triple in a tough steel frame, and passing that power to the rear wheel via a single-sided swingarm and shaft drive, the Tiger Explorer is built for long-distance adventure biking. Cruise control, traction control, and switch-offable ABS are all standard equipment. The package bristles with high-tech touches that include a comprehensive onboard computer and a high-output alternator to power all sorts of accessories. Also available: The Explorer XC, with wire-spoke wheels, hand guards, crashbars,fog lights, and Matte Khaki Green paint.
Triumph's new-last-year luxury sport-tourer hangs a roaring, 1,215CC triple from an alloy frame and is equipped with all the things it needs to compete with the class-leading BMW R1200RT—then adds a few more. An electric-adjust windshield, cruise control, optional heated seat and grips, state-of-the-art sound system, hard bags—it's all here. With 6.9-gallon fuel capacity, it's not a small motorcycle, but electronically adjustable suspension and a claimed 89 pound-feet of torque at 6,450 rpm help the Trophy ride like something far smaller and sportier than it actually is.
Simple recipes are best: 133 horses worth of fuel-injected triple stuffed in an aluminum-tube frame with nothing to hide, upright ergonomics, wide-handlebar leverage, and banquet seating for you and a guest. The Speed Triple carries on in the finest bad-boy streetfighter tradition it instigated back in 1994. Standard ABS on its powerful triple-disc brakes adds safety. Also available: The Speed Triple R takes fun to the next level with custom Öhlins suspension front and rear, Brembo monoblock front brake calipers, lightweight PVM wheels, a fly screen, seat cowl, etc.—and the price is down considerably for 20l4.
The Thruxton is a faithful replica of the home-built roadracers that stormed across the English countryside from one café to the next during the '60s. A low handlebar with bar-end mirrors, preload-adjustable front and rear suspension, cut-down fenders, wire-spoke aluminum rims, and a floating front disc brake separate this EFI-equipped parallel twin from the other similarly powered models that Triumph produces. Best of all, the Thruxton runs and rides as good as it looks, producing a claimed 68 easy-to-use horsepower. Yours for 2014 in Phantom Black or Brooklands Green.
If this bike doesn't conjure up images of exploring roads long forgotten by the rest of society or of sneaking out on a starry night just to feel the wind in your face, maybe you should crawl back into bed and dream of the hereafter. Based on the Bonneville, the Scrambler is equipped with a 270-degree crank that produces a V-twin-like cadence through dual high-mount exhausts. Semi-knobby tires further hark back to Triumph's storied desert-racing heritage. The result is a fun streetbike that doesn't mind wandering up a dirt road.
The T100 plays the authentic British twin roadster to the bone, with real 1960s details like peashooter silencers, classic two-tone color schemes with big chromed Triumph badges, and wire-spoke steel wheels. Not to mention rubber fork gaiters, kneepads, and classic handlebar-mounted speedo and rev counter, as well as white piping on that throwback seat. Like all the Bonnevilles, engine capacity is 865cc, and the T100 gets the 360-degree crank for that classic burly exhaust note. Also available: The T100 Black is what the name suggests: black paint, black rims, black fork, black everything.
The Speedmaster is a drag-style take on the classic Triumph chopper of the '60s, distinguishing itself with a 19-inch raked-out front wheel, blacked-out engine cases, and a rumbly, 270-degree-crank-equipped version of Triumph's excellent twin that's rated at 60 hp at 6,800 rpm. Stripped down and ready for action, the Speedmaster has a way low seat height—just 27.1 inches—that makes it accessible to riders of all sizes. And unlike many cruisers, the Speedmaster has a fuel tank that holds a generous 5.1 gallons, meaning you can actually cruise somewhere. Choose Matte Graphite or Jet Black.
This classically styled cruiser gets a 16-/15-inch cast-wheel/fat-tire combo for that long, low look, and its 27.1-inch seat height means you don't have to be NBA material to ride the bike. A pullback handlebar and footpegs not too far forward further the Easy Rider theme, along with a raked-out shrouded fork and straight dual exhausts. An air/oil-cooled, blacked-out fuel-injected parallel twin with a 270-degree crank gives this bike the guttural rumble it deserves. Also available: The America LT adds a quick-detach windshield, leather saddlebags, foot boards, and a backrest/sissy bar.
Which came first, the chicken or the Bonneville? That's a joke. Although it looks like it's been around since the '50s, this incarnation is barely a decade old. Up-to-date technology cleverly concealed gives this "classic" the best of both worlds. Although its air/oil-cooled engine starts and runs instantly thanks to fuel injection, the throttle bodies look just like carburetors. Modem 17-inch tires inhabit those vintage-looking cast wheels, and the fastback-style seat serves up a comfortable, sporting ride thanks to current KYB suspension. Dual megaphone mufflers, chrome-trimmed gauges, and a big chromed headlight complete the picture.
Like all good manufacturers, Triumph recognizes that while adventure riders sometimes want a street-oriented ride, sometimes they want the full Monty, so to speak. Call in the Tiger 800XC. Based on the Tiger 800, the XC features more dirt-oriented tire sizes (21-inch front, 17 rear) with longer-travel suspension (8.7-inch front, 8.5 rear, compared with 7.1/6.7). The XC's three-cylinder engine is identical to the Tiger 800's, including electronic fuel injection and a high-capacity 500-watt generator. ABS is standard equipment, but you can switch it off for goat-track forays.
Tiger 800 ABS
Practicality has many faces, and the Tiger 800 shows at least two. First, the very nature of an adventure bike is as a do-anything, wide-focus machine; the Tiger 800 complies, with a fully upright riding position, an adjustable-height seat (and an optional lower saddle), standard windshield, and practical racks out back. Second, the 800 tosses aside the idea that adventure comes in liter-sized doses only; the liquid-cooled triple provides ample horsepower at 9,300 rpm) without the substantial heft of Triumph's bigger adventure bikes.
Daytona 675 ABS/Daytona 675R
The Daytona 675 got an all-new, higher-revving engine in a redesigned frame last year, along with a raft of other improvements. Triumph claims 126 hp at 12,600 rpm, thanks to a wide, 76mm bore that allows the triple to howl on to 14,400 rpm. Titanium valves (a first for Triumph) shaped for optimum flow aid fueling accuracy and efficiency. A new frame and revised (more upright) ergonomics improved comfort and performance, along with lighter wheels and four-way adjustable suspension. Also available: The Daytona 675R, has Öhlins suspension, Brembo monoblocks, quickshifter, carbon fiber. Brilliant.
Street Triple ABS/Street Triple R
Last year, these fantastic triples received a major overhaul, gaining an all-new aluminum frame, standard ABS brakes, and a 105-hp 675cc triple exhaling through a new low-mount exhaust. A past CW Ten Best winner, these naked Triumphs combine comfortable ergonomics, great suspension, and a torquey, soulful triple in a quick-handling lightweight package that's just plain fun to ride. Also available: For not many dollars more, the Speed Triple R gets you upgraded suspension, Nissin brake calipers, lightweight wheels, and special red trim.
These Russian reproductions of BMW sidecar rigs from WWII are improved for 2014 with fuel injection now replacing the carburetors. Claimed horsepower has risen to 41 (from 40), and peak torque is now listed as 42 pound-feet at 4,300 rpm (up from 38 at 4,600). The air-cooled opposed twin also boasts a revised camshaft and a new front cover with a spin-on oil filter. Other changes include new triple clamps, a rear disc brake, and revised badges. The military-look Gear Up and street-influenced Patrol both have a sidecar wheel that can be engaged to keep the bike moving in muddy conditions.
This military-look sidecar rig pays homage to the M72, a copy of a BMW R71 that Ural first built in 1942. For 2014, the Keihin carburetors used previously have been replaced by throttle-body fuel injection (for improved horsepower and fuel economy), while a rear disc brake replaces last year's drum. The M70 is a two-wheel-drive model designed to carry heavy loads, and it's fitted with a Marzocchi telescopic fork, 18-inch wheels (as opposed to the 19S on the other Urals), and an M72-replica tonneau cover. Other hardware includes a spare tire and a shovel, plus a machine-gun mount.
Looking for a basic sidecar rig without many frills? The Ural T, a one-wheel-drive model available only in black, deserves a look. It's significantly improved for 2014, now boasting fuel injection instead of the previous Keihin carburetors. Claimed power, as well as fuel economy, is said to be improved, while a new rear disc brake replaces last year's drum. Besides new badges and instruments, the T now has a hydraulic steering damper, which is designed to give this air-cooled Russian a much more settled feel on the highway Maximum recommended cruising speed, says Ural, is 70 mph.
For dyed-in-the-wool scooter aficionados, the Vespa GTV 300 is the benchmark of classical style. The modern, GTS-based chassis and fuel-injected four-stroke engine deliver the performance and reliability today's riders absolutely demand, while its Espresso or Siena Ivory paint schemes hark back to the early Vespas. Completing the retro look and timeless functionality are a hand-stitched, two-piece leather saddle, chromed handlebars, front and rear racks, and a low, fender-mounted headlamp like that of the original 1946 Vespas. Who says you can't go home again?
GTS 300/Super/Super Sport SE
Although the GTS 300's outer appearance projects an unmistakable retro style, beneath that classic skin resides a thoroughly modern powertrain based upon a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected fourstroke engine that is quite capable of propelling this scooter to more than 80 mph. Also available: The GTS Super, which has a few added styling touches such as black alloy wheels, a red front-suspension spring, and a black sport saddle that opens to reveal a spacious storage bin. The GTS 300 Super Sport SE is finished in matte-black paint, has white piping around the seat, and "Super" graphics on the rear cowling.
A stark departure from its classic wasp body styling, Vespa's new 946 offers up-to-the-minute yet classic lines and a modern electronics package that includes ABS and traction control. Light and nimble, the 946 has a 125cc three-valve four-stroke engine that raises the bar for fuel efficiency and low emissions. There is one very important tradeoff: Although the 946, with its aluminum-intensive chassis, looks ultra sleek, it lacks the spacious underseat storage you typically find in traditional scooters. And although the 946 is quite expensive, can't you just envision a modern-day Sophia Loren riding one?
LX 150 i.e./LXV 150 i.e./LX 50 4V
Vespa's LX (the Roman numeral for 60) models date back to 2006, the year the Italian scooter builder celebrated its 60th year in business. Eight years later, the festivities continue to roll as the wasp-shaped two-wheelers still provide an economical mode of transportation that is rich in both heritage and style. The LX models have fuel injection, and the LX 150 will nudge 60 mph and should deliver 72 mpg when ridden with a frugal throttle hand. Also available: A vintage-look LXV version of the 150 can be had for $1,000 more; the LX 50 is fundamentally the same scooter but powered by a 49cc engine and is $1,200 less expensive.
Primavera 150 i.e. 3v/Primavera 50
The new-for-2014 Primavera represents a radical return to Vespa's traditional, all-sheet-metal construction. The stamped monocoque chassis is assembled and welded on a fully robotized line that ensures trueness unit after unit. This is an adult-size machine offering a more comfortable riding position and far superior stability due to a wheelbase that's more than 2 inches longer than the LX's. Also available: The Primavera 50 is a more affordable smaller-displacement version sharing the same basic chassis package.
S 150/S 150 Sport SE/S 50 4V/S 50 Sport SE
Yell "Vespa" near an Italian schoolyard and kids will likely scatter in fear of getting stung. "Vespa" means "wasp" in Italian, and the distinctive shape these scooters share is all that's needed to understand the origin of their name. On the flip side, park a modern Vespa in front of a coffee house, and a few caffeinated cats are certain to swarm, drawn in by the Vespa's legendary status and nostalgic appeal. Also available: The S 150 Sport SE, S 50 4V, and S 50 Sport SE are all basically the same Vespa scooter but with sporty graphics and/or a 49cc four-stroke engine.
Victory 15th Anniversary Cross Country Tour Limited Edition
Victory Vision Tour
Victory Cross Country Tour
Victory Ness Cross Country Limited Edition
Victory Cross Roads Classic
Victory Cross Country/Factory Custom Paint
Victory Cross Country 8-Ball
Victory Cross Roads 8-Ball
Victory Hammer 8-Ball
Victory Vegas 8-Ball
15th Anniversary Cross Country Tour Limited Edition
Victory's top-line touring bike gets a bunch of exclusive features to celebrate 15 years in business, including special badging and a Sunset Red/Gloss Black paint job. Victory claims the Cross Country Tour has the most storage capacity (41.1 gallons) of any motorcycle, along with all the other equipment you need to transport two people and their gear over vast distances in comfort—a powerful 106-inch V-twin, a batwing fairing, cruise control, and an iPod-ready sound system. This special numbered version also comes with GPS and XM radio capability standard saddlebag liners—pretty much everything you expect when you're atop the food chain.
Victory's futuristic over-the-road touring rig seemed way ahead of its time in 2007. Are we finally ready for the aluminum monocoque yet? Victory says its eight-valve, 106-inch engine cranks out 108 pound-feet of torque and that its full-coverage fairing, modern suspension (3.7 inches of travel in the rear), and long floorboards give it the best touring ride on the road. The windshield adjusts electrically, there's of course cruise control, heated grips, and dual-zone seat and grips, 29 gallons of room for your gear, linked brakes with ABS, a sound system... It's a lot of motorcycle for the money.
Cross Country Tour
Victory's base-model touring bike packs all the right stuff onto an advanced cast aluminum chassis, including a big fairing, large weather-proof bags and trunk, a crazy sound/communications system, a comfort control venting system, heated seats for rider and passenger, three 12-volt power outlets—and a plush ride with 4.7 inches of air-adjustable rear-wheel travel. The Freedom 106 provides 106 pound-feet of torque says Victory, counterbalanced and fuel-injected for your smooth projection, and a six-speed overdrive gearbox provides a relaxing ride. Sonic Blue and Silver looks nice for 2014, or you can get Goldrush/Black.
Ness Cross Country Limited Edition
Take one Cross Country aluminum frame and one 106 Freedom V-twin, and let the bike ferment in the shop of Arlen Ness and his offspring while sparing no expense. And this is what you wind up with: Ness Legacy paint and a low boomerang windshield, diamond-cut cooling fins, a premium-stitched leather seat—and they don't spare the creature comforts either: Cruise control, sound system, and ABS are part of the deal. Not to mention an autographed photo of the Nesses, numbered to match the one stamped on your bike.
Cross Roads Classic
Victory's classic bagger looks like it'll take you on a ride back in time, with Burgundy/Khaki paint on the big tank and steel fenders, 17.4 gallons of leather saddlebag storage, chromed 60-spoke laced wheels, and a plethora of chrome trim. But the Classic's inverted fork, ABS-equipped triple-disc brakes, and plenty of room for two are also part of the package, along with a completely modern, fuel-injected, eight-valve engine hooked to an overdrive six-speed transmission with helical-cut gears and low-maintenance belt final drive.
Cross Country/Factory Custom Paint
Victory's take on the classic American bagger wears a batwing fairing and saddlebags—good for 21 gallons of gear—and the optional Lock and Ride trunk if needed. The trunk locks into place in seconds and comes with a backrest and a pair of speakers. An MP3-compatible stereo system sits in the fairing, and the bike rolls out of the dealer with ABS. A 97-hp Freedom V-twin working through a six-speed overdrive gearbox keeps things relaxed, while air-adjustable rear suspension with 4.7 inches of wheel travel cushions the blows. Also available: The Factory Custom Paint is offered with three two-tone color combinations.
Cross Country 8-Ball
New for 2014, the 8-Ball version of the Cross Country dispatches with almost all the extraneous tidbits to get you back to a pure, basic-black riding experience and lowers the price in the process. You do get locking hard saddlebags, a batwing fairing with speakers that'll play your MP3 songs, and a low, comfortable seat for two suspended above 4.7 inches of rear-wheel travel for a really nice ride. And if you get tired of being Batman after a while, there's a ton of potential in the Victory Accessories department.
Cross Roads 8-Ball
The other new Victory for 2014 is for those riders who want the pure wind-in-the-hair experience. The Cross Roads 8-Ball comes with the same excellent easy-opening saddlebags as the other Victorys but dispenses with pretty much everything else except for black paint. No music, no ABS, no cruise control—some would say no B.S. You do get the same powerful 106 Freedom V-twin and six-speed gearbox as all the other Victorys, though, and the same great chassis complete with long-travel air-adjust rear shock and an inverted fork up front.
If your goal was to save a buck, you really have hit the Jackpot—now starting at $15,999 for 2014. Victory's upscale cruiser gets new two-tone red and black paint for 2014 covering everything including the double-downtube steel frame. Custom billet wheels mounting a 250mm-wide 18-inch tire out back and a skinny 21-incher up front on a raked-out fork give it that cocky cruiser swagger, while a 25.7-inch-high seat makes everybody look like a big player. And tough as it looks, there are 3 inches of rear-wheel travel tucked under that low seat.
For 2014, the Boardwalk gets a sweet new Sunset Red/Gloss Black paint job. Wide whitewall tires, a swept-back beach handlebar and relaxed, laid-back riding position hark back to the post-WWII glory days, while the wraparound fenders, 60-spoke chromed laced wheels, bullet-shaped headlight and acres of chrome say "custom" loud and clear. And driving it all down the road—and keeping it there—is a collection of modern technology that includes a fuel-injected, 106-inch V-twin engine rated by Victory at 110 pound-feet of torque and a well-damped suspension.
The Hammer 8-Ball gets right down to business. It's turned out in basic gloss black and packing 106ci of V-twin that exhales through a blacked-out 2-into-2 exhaust system and "Hammers" out 97 horses and 110 pound-feet of torque. The double-downtube, single-shock steel frame gets an inverted fork up front and a fat, 250-section radial tire out back. Meanwhile, a single disc brake per wheel keeps the price down, while a super-low seat keeps your rear end down to a mere 26 inches from the pavement.
The Judge is back for 2014, reinvigorated with a pullback handlebar that brings the grips 3.75 inches closer and the footpegs 4 inches more forward, together with a new seat and restyled side panels. The Judge (not coincidentally also the name of a special 1969 Pontiac GTO) captures the spirit of the times with its muscle-car-inspired styling, the most noticeable items being the cast 16-inch wheels and fat, raised-white-letter tires. For 2014, get the bike in Gloss Black or Havasu Red. Muscle? The 106-inch engine thunders out 113 pound-feet of V-twin torque that easily answers the question.
The High-Ball is on fire for 2014, with a new flame paint job option (in addition to Suede Black). This distinctive Victory makes a statement with its gymnastic-style handlebar, low solo seat, and 16-inch whitewalls on chromed spoked wheels—a proclamation its fuel-injected, 106-inch V-twin is happy to back up. And if you like the bike but aren't so crazy about the height of the bars, you can fold them down closer to your body. Alternative bars also are available, along with a plethora of pipes, mirrors, and bags. Because one size does not fit all.
The Gunner, an early release 2015 model, is Victory's basic bobber, a bike based on a stripped-down version of the excellent Victory cruiser platform. Its 106ci V-twin and six-speed transmission deliver excellent performance, particularly with the mechanical refinements executed over the years such as a quieter primary drive and improved shifting There's also a generous 110 pound-feet of claimed torque. As a bobber, the Gunner's solo seat is standard, and much has been stripped off the bike to give it a spare look. Notable points relative to its competitors are the MSRP, low 25.0-inch seat height, and good fuel capacity.
This is Victory's lowest-priced model, but it brings a lot to the table anyway, including the stout, 106-inch, 50-degree V-twin engine the company says produces 97 hp and 113 pound-feet of torque. With its way-low solo seat and pullback handlebars, the gloss-black 8-Ball has a comfortable riding position and an easy reach to the ground, even for the inseam-challenged. The black Stingray wheels make their own statement, especially the 21-inch front; the rear is an 18-incher. Options include heated grips and electronic cruise control.
Yamaha's FJR has been a key fixture in the sport-touring segment for ages, but that doesn't mean it hasn't evolved with technology This big 1,300cc, inline-4-powered machine not only packs a lot of features for covering long distances quickly and in comfort, but it also has switchable D-mode maps, traction control, cruise control, and antilock brakes, making it more user-friendly than ever. The key difference between the standard model and the ES is electronically adjustable suspension. Also available: The l300A forgoes the adjustable suspension but does have cruise and two throttle maps: Touring and Sport.
The Super Ténéré tackles the BMW Rl200GS and KTM 1190 Adventure head-on with an 1199cc parallel-twin engine featuring throttle by wire, a two-position "D-Mode" engine-response selector, and traction control. Using a dry-sump design to reduce engine height, the twin has a 270-degree crank for improved traction and balance shafts for smooth running. Linked brakes and ABS are standard, and the street-biased tires ride on 19-inch front and 17-inch rear hoops. Fans of the tuning fork have for years been asking for a serious, big-inch adventure tourer, and Yamaha delivers with the Super T.
Thanks to its crossplane-crankshaft technology, the R1 already has one of the smoothest power deliveries of all the one-liter sportbikes. But a traction-control system with seven levels of intervention should allow controlled acceleration anytime, anywhere. Variable-length intake funnels and a ride-by-wire throttle system combine with new ECU settings for improved delivery in the lower and middle rpm ranges. The aluminum chassis uses a fully adjustable fork and shock and an electronic steering damper. The R1 is available in Team Yamaha Blue/ White, Matte Gray, or Rapid Red/Raven.
We call street standards with sportbike roots street-fighters, and Yamaha has been brawling with its FZ1 in one form or another for a long time. Its engine is from an older-generation YZF-R1—no slouch, in other words, with a claimed 150 hp on tap and updated injection mapping for improved throttle response. But FZ1s have always been about more than just speed. The bike has a genuine tubular handlebar that puts the grips in a rational position, and the other two parts of the ergonomic trilogy—seat and footpeg location—are situated with comfort in mind. Its half-fairing provides good wind protection.
Yamaha has taken an entirely new path with the introduction of its FZ-09. This bike is powered by an 847cc inline-triple, which is naturally a crossplane crankshaft design. Three D-mode maps offer different engine response options for various road conditions. This fun new triple not only offers usable and sporty power, but it’s housed in a chassis that features far nicer components and high-quality materials than the bike’s relatively bargain pricing would suggest. Overall, the FZ09 shines as one of the best bang-for-the-buck sportbikes in recent memory.
Achieving sportbike spec at the budget end of the spectrum is a difficult compromise, but the FZ6R balances the books well. A 600cc inline-4 based on a previous generation of the vaunted YZF-R6’s engine resides in a steel-tube frame with near-sportbike-caliber geometry. But what’s more important in this category is value (check), utility (full fairing, other amenities; check) and performance (double check!). The FZ6R’s suspension and brakes are close enough to the latest items to delight most buyers, especially the new riders that Yamaha is clearly targeting.
Yamaha's legendary YZF-R6 is one of the most potent sportbikes on or off the racetrack, never mind that it's a 600. Its high-revving inline-4 enjoys ride-by-wire throttle, variable-length velocity stacks and engineering measures to reduce internal friction—and that's horsepower in your back pocket. A slipper clutch and close-ratio six-speed gearbox get that power to the ground efficiently. High-quality suspension is fully adjustable. It may be a hard-edged track-focused machine, but this Yamaha makes a great streetbike, too.
The lightweight dual-sport market offers a lot of versatility at a reasonable price, and Yamaha’s WR250R is no exception. Not only is it at home in the dirt, but it’s a great suburban runabout, too. The electric-start-only, dohc single uses titanium intake valves and electronic fuel injection. Further back is an EXUP exhaust valve for a broader powerband. True to its off-road pretensions, the WR250R has a 21/18-inch front/rear wheel combination so you can spoon on your favorite pure-dirt tires and tackle some seriously hairy terrain.
Those looking for a less expensive Yamaha dual-sport in the 250cc class than, say, the trick WR250R, should take a hard look at the XT. This mild-spec, budget-friendly dual-purpose bike is clearly up to the task, thanks in no small part to its peppy 249cc engine and wide-ratio five-speed transmission. Rims that will accept real dirt-oriented tires make the XT worthy of more than a campground buzz, too; with its reasonable suspension travel and dual disc brakes, the XT has the goods to be a fine entry-level dirt trainer as well as a useful, street-legal runabout.
Iconoclasts are everywhere, and sooner or later, you’ll probably see one riding a TW200. This fattired wonder has been the darling of campgrounds from Bar Harbor to Pismo Beach. Few street-legal dual-purpose machines are as easy to manage in sand as the TW, yet it remains a fine, versatile streetbike as long as you don’t envision a lot of highway miles or triple-digit speeds (downhill, with a tailwind, maybe...). The built-in luggage rack is handy, the headlight shroud actually deflects some wind at speed and the TW can boast some terrific fuel mileage in everyday riding.
Several years back, a 250 was as big a scooter as you could buy. But like everything else in America, we’ve super-sized the concept, leading to 400 and even 650CC models. Makes sense: the convenience of a scooter, the power of a motorcycle, able to leave city limits, and even tour two-up. The Majesty is powered by a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, four-valve single that spins to 8,000 rpm and is smooth in the process, thanks to a counterbalancer. And frat rats take note: Under Her Majesty’s flip-up seat is 16 gallons of storage space, almost exactly a keg’s worth! Not that we’d recommend this...
Imagine a Baja Bug on two wheels, a free-spirited, small, and slightly wild-looking scooter that purportedly gets 89 mpg and (unlike the Baja Bug) comes fully assembled. You’ve just described the Zuma 125. Its 124CC four-stroke single features fuel injection and electric starting, four valves per cylinder, and a V-belt automatic transmission. The Zuma 125 is light enough that you might just be able to sling it over your shoulder, yet it seats two with a modicum of under-cushion storage. Shouldn’t every garage have one?
Zuma 50FX/Zuma 50F
For those who like the idea of having a practical and fun 50CC scooter for knocking around town or playing around the campsite, the Zuma has always been a great choice. Now this machine is powered by a liquid-cooled, three-valve, fuel-injected, electric-start engine that Yamaha says is capable of achieving up to 132 mpg. With 23 liters of underseat storage, the Zuma makes a great campus commuter. The FX version features sporty styling and a single headlight. Also available: The Zuma 50F is identical in specification but features the classic twin-bug-eye headlight.
Like the look of the classic scooter silhouette in a pint-sized package? Yamaha brings back its interpretation of the concept in the Vino, which is powered by a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected engine with electric starting and a kickstart backup. Power is transferred to the rear tire by a fully automatic V-belt transmission for simple operation; just twist and go. Its light weight makes it very maneuverable on campus, around town, or wherever a short-hop vehicle prowls. Because it features an engine identical to the Zuma 50F's, the Vino should have fuel economy well over 100 mpg!
Here's an off-road hot rod that's up for almost any kind of dirt work—enduro, cross-country or just good ol' fun play riding. The WR450 is fuel-injected, which promises to deliver smooth, stumble-free throttle response at any altitude or temperature. Electric starting simplifies refiring the motor when you are literally stalled between a rock and a hard place. The chassis is now based on that of the YZ250F motocrosser, providing light, agile handling. Suspension consists of a 48mm fork and fully adjustable shock, both by KYB; tool-less airbox access, Excel rims, and a ProTaper handlebar are bonuses.
Looking for a serious playbike and not an off-road racer? The 230 might just be a perfect fit. It's got an electric starter for the beginners (and the lazy experts) but also has considerable suspension travel and a foot of ground clearance (for the not-so-lazy experts). Yamaha describes the 230's dohc, four-valve single as "super reliable" with "widespread power," both desirable traits for the nascent dirt donk. The generously padded seat doesn't hurt long-range capabilities, either. Winning enduros isn't in the TT-R's bag of tricks, but just about everything else is.
The TT-R125 can be a lot of things to almost everyone in the family. At least that's the mission of the TT-R125LE, a crossover trailbike. Yamaha sized the TT-R to fit in between full-maturity enduro/trail models and small-tire minis. With a 19/16-inch wheel combination and a modest 31.7-inch seat height, the TT-R is manageable for the startup riders but won't make dad look like he's riding a Dartmoor pony. A 1.6-gallon fuel tank keeps the fun going for hours on end. Our advice: Earn a buck and buy your own.
Yamaha's TT-R110E is your basic tweener—a muscle mini with enough 00mph never to be tail-end Charlie but small and light enough to give youthful confidence a much-needed boost after moving up from a 50cc bike. The 110 features styling inspired by the famous YZ line—right down to the Team Yamaha Blue/White color scheme. It's also easy to manage, weighing less than 160 pounds even though equipped with an electric starter and an automatic clutch between the four-speed transmission and the air-cooled single. A low, 26.4-inch seat is allied with 7.1 inches of ground clearance. Go get 'em, boy!
This fun little machine is powered by a 49CC four-stroke engine with a three-speed transmission and an automatic clutch. Electric starting means your young one will be able to spend more productive time riding the bike instead of wasting time trying to kickstart it. Although the inverted fork and single shock don’t provide a huge amount of travel, they can tackle the bumps very well for a bike of this size, while drum brakes front and rear get the TT-R50E stopped. The low seat height invites young riders of all sizes to jump on and start having fun.
The PW50 makes learning to ride a motorcycle about as easy as possible, which is why we’d be willing to bet that more kids got their start riding one than just about any other machine. It’s got a fully automatic transmission, no shifting required; just twist and go. Final drive is by shaft, so no chain adjustment or messy lubing is necessary. Seat height is less than 20 inches, so even if they’re short for their age, kids fit and their boots will touch the ground at stops. It’s even got a centerstand so that at night, your little guy or gal can sneak out into the garage and sit on the PW, feet up, and make vroom-vroom sounds.
Yamaha turned motocross design orthodoxy around with the YZ450F. For 2014, the unusual engine, which continues with a reversed cylinder head, has been updated with a new top end, plus a new piston, intake, and exhaust valves. There’s also a totally revised ECU and fuel-injection settings. An aluminum Bilateral Beam frame with revised geometry works with updated KYB suspension featuring an air/oil-separate fork and shock with new spring specifications. Revisions to the fuel tank (more capacity) and airbox improve access to the filter and reduce steps to servicing the air filter.
Yamaha is convinced that its reversed-cylinder-head concept is the key to good mass centralization and therefore better handling. So it’s no surprise the company has now applied the technology to its 250CC class four-stroke MXer. The fuel-injected engine now features the intake at the front of the engine and the exhaust manifold on the backside of the rear-inclined cylinder. Of course, the chassis had to be thoroughly updated to accommodate the new layout. A Bilateral Beam frame, KYB air/oil-separate fork, new shock, and the same simplified air-filter access as on the 450 make this all-new machine ready for combat.
Yamaha’s winning four-stroke motocrossers might receive the company’s latest engineering, but there are still great options for two-stroke fanatics, including the YZ250. A reed-valve smoker, the YZ250 benefits from Yamaha’s YPVS exhaust power valve and carbon-fiber reed valves to produce a remarkably broad spread of power. The frame and swingarm are aluminum structures fitted with long-travel KYB suspension. A gripper seat cover and an adjustable-mount ProTaper aluminum handlebar keep the rider in control. Titanium footpegs are a nice touch, too.
Maybe you thought that 250CC four-stroke motocrossers would render the 125 two-strokes extinct? Don’t get ahead of yourself, Darwin. As a natural stepping-stone from the 85CC class to the big leagues, the YZ125 is a valuable teaching tool. It combines low weight and a potent two-stroke, reed-valve single with an aluminum frame for incredible agility and impressive acceleration—yet it’s not such a handful that moving-up riders will feel intimidated. Fully adjustable suspension (of course) is allied with YZ250F-spec brakes, all for a price tag that neatly undercuts the YZ250 and the four-strokes.
The day your offspring finishes the chores early and looks at you with that “Gee, can I have a...” stare is the day you start shopping 85CC motocross bikes. And here’s a good one. Yamaha’s mini-moto fits comfortably between small-wheeled minibikes (and the sort) and full-fledged, adult-sized motocrossers. Its 85CC, liquid-cooled, reed-valve, two-stroke single is tuned for “hard-hitting, moto-winning power,” yet the bike’s compact dimensions and low weight give developing riders a shot of confidence. It also features a fully adjustable, long-travel Kayaba inverted fork and a link-type shock.
Yamaha has jumped into the factory custom arena with the Raider SCL, the first model of what the company calls the Star Custom Line. Only 500 of these special editions will be produced for 2014. The Raider SCL stands out from the crowd with Matte Iron and Matte Raven paint and blacked-out five-spoke custom wheels. The two-tone leather seat is a work of art in itself. Beyond all the flashy paint and chrome is the same powerful, 48-degree V-twin and smart-handling chassis found in the other Raider models.
If you want the ultimate interpretation of the Metric Bagger, it’s hard to argue against Star’s Stratoliner Deluxe. Not only does the Stratoliner use the largest engine in Star’s lineup, but also this version has all the bells and whistles that any touring rider wants. Included is the Garmin zumo 665 GPS, with Sirius/XM satellite radio capability, integrated speakers, and iPod/iPhone connectivity, color-matched hard side cases, and a deep sculpted seat for long days in the saddle. A huge selection of accessories is available from Star to further satisfy a variety of tastes and needs.
Here’s a classically styled, art-deco-inspired cruiser fitted with a copbike windshield, leather-covered locking hard saddlebags, and a removable passenger backrest. A 48-degree, air-cooled, pushrod V-twin engine with electronic fuel injection sends power through a belt drive to the rear wheel. Its aluminum frame is light and stiff, which helps provide great handling for such a large motorcycle. Even better is the fact that it’s a convertible: The windshield and bags detach quickly and easily when touring isn’t on the agenda.
This former winner of Cycle World’s Best Cruiser award is a classic with all the bells and whistles. Its 48-degree, four-valve-per-cylinder, pushrod V-twin engine provides exceptional power and torque, and its electronic fuel injection is efficient and responsive in any riding situation. A good-handling chassis is anchored by an aluminum frame at its core. Art-deco styling, what seems like acres of chrome, and its Deep Blue paint make it a feast for the eyes. An extensive Star accessory catalog gives the owner almost endless possibilities for personalizing the machine.
Cruisers continue to push to the extreme ends of the genre, and that’s why there’s a Raider. It takes the Star line across the tracks to the chopper side of town, and it has the stuff to back up the visual swagger. Beefy 46mm fork tubes raked to 40 degrees, turned-down exhaust pipes, and some out-there angular styling all add up to a distinctive ride. Power comes via the same excellent 1,854CC ohv V-twin used in the Roadliner. A 210/40-18 rear tire completes the custom look. Also available: The Raider S is basically the same bike but with added chrome.
Back in 1985, the original V-Max created a new category, although no one knew it at the time the muscle cruiser was born. A lot more muscle has been added since the Max was brought to life almost 30 years ago. This iteration is built around a 65-degree, 1,679cc V-4 that blasts out a claimed 199 hp. Electronic intake control and ride-by-wire e-throttles deliver smooth response and a stout, linear power curve. A fully modern chassis with a 52mm fork and a beefy single shock keep all that power under control on the street or strip.
Road Star Silverado S/Road Star S
In Yamaha-speak, Silverado means touring, as in leather saddlebags, a handlebar-mounted windshield, and a backrest/sissy bar applied to an otherwise naked cruiser. And in this instance, the Road Star Silverado S uses a 102-inch V-twin powerplant and belt final drive. Cast wheels shod with 16-inch tires are at the ends of a bridge-like, 66.5-inch wheelbase. It’s long, low, and handsome, and ready to hit the road. Also available: The Road Star S is the same motorcycle minus the saddlebags, windshield, and passenger backrest.
V Star 1300 Deluxe
An engine displacing more than 1.3 liters might not sound midsize, but in the cruiser world, where “bigger is better” has become the mantra, it’s just that. Star’s V Star Deluxe proves you don’t have to be big to be a badass bagger. Power comes from a liquid-cooled, sohc, 60-degree V-twin with four valves per cylinder and EFI. Features like the standard Garmin zumo 665 GPS and iPodcompatible stereo system give the classically streamlined bike plenty of modern conveniences. Hard, lockable sidebags provide a combined 15.2 gallons of storage.
V Star 1300 Tourer
A touring cruiser doesn’t necessarily have to displace almost 2 liters to get the job done. Example: the capable, comfortable V Star 1300 Tourer. Don’t let the cylinder finning fool you, either: This 60-degree V-twin is liquid-cooled, its radiator tucked almost out of sight between the front downtubes. It has the usual over-the-road accoutrements—windshield, backrest, and usefully sized leather-wrapped hard saddlebags. Its headlight shell and belt guards are finished in sparkling chrome that contrasts with the gloss-black, steel-tube frame. This is a full-size, capable tourer at an excellent price.
V Star 1300
If you’re in the market for a straight-up, basic, cruiser-style motorcycle, the V Star 1300 is just that. Don’t let the classic stance fool you, however; it features a liquid-cooled, sohc, 60-degree V-twin with four valves per cylinder and EFI. Power is sent to the rear wheel via a virtually maintenance-free belt drive. A steel frame anchors the preload-adjustable shock and 41mm fork. A deep-dished seat ensures that you’ll be comfy whether you’re just commuting or on a multiday tour.
Choppers are hot. Sinister paint schemes are hot. But beneath the hyperbole, there’s an excellent motorcycle. Using a version of the V Star 1300’s liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, 60-degree V-twin, the Stryker is built on a steel-tube frame that combines a radical, 40-degree fork rake with a more-rational 36-degree steering-head angle. The result is chopper looks with no bar-flop. And both fenders are no-kidding steel. All for just a bit more than 11 thou. Yep, that’s hot. Available in Matte Gray, Candy Red, or Impact Blue.
V Star 950/Tourer
It’s difficult to build a middleweight cruiser with breakout styling, exemplary fit and finish, and a high degree of what you might call “moto tech”—and to have a low sticker price at the end. Yamaha manages this trapeze act brilliantly with the V Star 950, which looks every bit the part of a long, menacing über-custom and backs it with the performance of a 942cc V-twin. Despite one front disc and non-adjustable suspension, this rider won’t notice anything missing. Also available: The 950 Tourer, with windscreen and saddlebags, has the dipped-in-chrome appearance of its larger, more expensive brethren.
It takes a lot of guts to go directly after one of the most iconic motorcycles ever built, the Harley Sportster, around since 1957. But that is exactly what Star did with its über-hip Bolt. Power is from a 942cc, air-cooled, 60-degree V-twin with forged aluminum pistons and roller-type rocker arms. Induction is via EFI with 3-D mapping for optimal delivery and response. The double-cradle frame is topped by a low and friendly 27.2-inch-high saddle, while cast aluminum wheels in 19 inches front and 16 inches rear sizes are covered by real steel fenders. Also available: The Bolt R-Spec, shown, enjoys upgraded shocks and different color options.
V Star Custom
Are you intimidated by the myriad of larger offerings in the Star lineup? At the same time, do you want more 00mph than the V Star 250 offers? If so, consider the 650 Custom. It’s a lightweight cruiser with a low seat, manageable weight, and a torquey 649CC V-twin engine. What’s more, Yamaha estimates 49 mpg, which means you won’t be filling up that frequently. A kicked-out front end, wire-spoke wheels, dual exhausts, and forward foot controls provide a custom-cruiser wrapper over a practical and affordable machine.
V Star 250
Don’t get offended when that cute coed admires your V Star 250 and blurts out, “Oh, it’s sooo cute!” This is not a jab; it’s a compliment. Really Yamaha’s smallest cruiser has for years been the bike of choice for the beginning rider and the frugal commuter alike. The carbureted, 249cc V-twin looks the part and provides ample thrust to keep you ahead of traffic. But the heart of the matter is three items on the spec sheet—a seat height of 27 inches, a wet weight of 326 pounds, and a hang-tag with a mere $4,390 printed on it. Now you can use the money you didn’t spend to take that coed to a movie.
Zero continues to improve its all-electric motorcycles. The new top-line SR gets a 660-amp direct-drive brushless motor that delivers a claimed 67 hp and 106 pound-feet of torque. Suspension and brakes on all models were upgraded this year. Range is up, too, especially on the 11.4 kWh version with Power Tank accessory pack that adds 2.8 kWh, giving an EPA city rating of 171 miles. You can connect via Bluetooth to the bike with your smartphone to monitor battery power and customize power delivery. Also available: The S and dual-sport DS models, powered by 54-hp motors.
$9,495 to $11,990
Compared to the SR, S, and DS models, the street-legal FX is a lighter, shorter-range electric bike that delivers 27 hp with the 2.8 kWh battery pack or 44 hp with the 5.7 pack. Even better? Both models crank out a thrilling 70 pound-feet of torque from their Z-Force brushless motors, which, combined with their light weights, translates to great performance (even wheelies!). Suspension is upgraded this year with a 43mm inverted fork at the front, and brakes are improved. Think of the Zero FX as a lightweight, hot-rod urban dual-sport.