Braving the weather in rough conditions is standard biker procedure, but it’s always more fun when the weather is fine – and with spring on the way, we don’t have too long to wait. But before you renew your motorbike insurance and get back in the saddle, sit your ass back down and check out these beauties that’ll hit the streets this year. Or should we say beasts?
1. Aprilia Caponord 1200
This fierce adventurer-tourer is a versatile machine – fun to ride in the city and big enough to take two to the country. It’s got plenty of tech for a good riding experience, including a ride-by-wire system with three different maps, traction control and semi-active suspension. It boasts excellent wind protection and solid panniers for those long, gruelling (and incredibly satisfying) days on the road.
2. BMW R1200GS
Another rock solid adventurer-tourer, the R1200GS is an iconic bike. It offers a fantastic user experience with five different ride modes, Automatic Stability Control and cruise control, and the 2013 model has engine and suspension upgrades to boot. It’s a winner both on and off road, perfect for satiating your adventurous spirit.
3. Ducati Hypermotard 821
With this nippy adventurer-tourer model, you either go hard or go home. The Hypermotard 821 is for extreme riders who want the highest performance. It’s small and light, giving it brilliant acceleration and super speed – perfect for the tracks. Combine that with its street bike comfort levels, and you won’t be able to stay off it.
4. Harley-Davidson XL1200V Seventy-Two
This is a tough, no-nonsense Sportster (aren’t they all?) that wouldn’t look out of place in the 70s. Its raw edge combined with the bright and bold finish of Hard Candy Custom paint smacks of the rebel styling of 70s bikes. It’s among the most agile and responsive of Harleys, and you’ll always feel ready for action with this beauty between your legs.
5. KTM 1290 Super Duke R
Now this is what we’re talkin’ about. Agile and aggressive, this Super Duke will tear up twisting roads in style. Its ABS and traction control can be disengaged, leaving plenty of room for stoppies and wheelies. Because otherwise, what’s the point? If this muscular beast doesn’t ignite a fire in you, we don’t know what will.
6. Moto Guzzi California 1400
Sleek and smooth, you’ll ride comfortably all day on this cruiser. It’s got power, style and superb handling – throw in switchable ride modes, cruise control and traction control, and the California 1400 will leave you wondering where the day went as you watch the sun drop behind a mountain.
7. MV Agusta Rivale 800
There’s a certain purity that comes with a naked bike such as this, although it has some surprisingly beautiful detail work – just check out its tank, seat and mirrors if you don’t believe us. With its beefed up engine and a dry weight of 375lbs this machine will practically fly.
8. Triumph Daytona 675R
A sports bike with attitude, the stability and agility behind the Daytona 675R will see you taking sharp corners like a bat out of hell. Its low mounted exhaust centres mass and shifts weight forward, so you won’t be thinking of anything but the speed and the road. Fantastic handling, a sensational ride. ‘Nuff said.
9. Victory Cross Country Tour
This is a fine specimen and you’ll struggle to find a touring bike with better storage. Talk about long range – you’ll never want to part with the Cross Country Tour, with its heated seat and grips and it’s solid protection against the wind. This is a strong bike with even breaking power, and now it comes in yellow. Wait, did we say yellow? We meant gold mist. Who says style and comfort don’t mix?
10. Honda Goldwing F6B
Part touring bike and part cruiser, the Goldwing F6B’s shortened windshield and lack of top case give it a futuristic, menacing appeal. It may be a controversial choice, but it’s the closest thing we’ve found to Judge Dredd’s bike, so it’s on the list. Whack some machine guns on and it’s basically the same, right?
Phwoar. Okay, you’re free to go now. Just don’t blame us if your trusty old bike doesn’t feel the same any more – we cannot be held responsible for any feelings of inadequacy. So, which one do you like best? I’m a chopper fan myself, but that Daytona looks just too delicious!
This is a guest post by Karen Marston