New motorcycles to fit all riding styles
Ah, summer. The wide open road, sweet smell of grass, sun on your skin, the arms of someone you love holding on tight.
But not every motorcycle is suited to every rider. The good news is that the offerings this year are as interesting as ever. Here are our favorites:
■Husqvarna Svartpilen 401
The mid-sized, entry-level cafe racer-style Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 is a return to history for the 115-year-old brand. It weighs just 330 pounds and sits 33 inches off the ground at the seat. Seventeen-inch spoked wheels and grippy Pirelli tires complete a stylized look that is minimalist, aggressive and dark without being clunky or morose. The single cylinder, four-stroke 373-cc engine and six easy gears make it great for the urban-focused rider.
■Moto Guzzi V7 III Stone
Its quirky engine design and handling pays homage to the legendary racing exploits of the 1970s-era V7 Sport. Classic styling cues include a low frame and handlebars, rounded front fairing and its dial design and dual-cylinder exhaust. There’s a reason the V7 is Moto Guzzi’s best-seller: This 744-cc bike weighs 416 pounds, gets 52 horsepower and rides like the best of what Italy can offer.
■BMW R nineT Scrambler
At 485 pounds, it’s light, short and narrow. But even more than last year’s R nineT, it combines the free feeling of vintage cafe racing with excellent German engineering. The classic BMW air-cooled, flat-twin, 1,170-cc boxer engine with 110-horsepower and 86 pound-feet of torque can easily hit 125 miles per hour.
As for looks, BMW has made the dual exhaust pipes on its Scrambler sit snug to the frame and raised them higher than those of the R nineT. The pipes also have two vertical rear silencers, but retain the relatively deep rumble that boxer engines such as this one are known to make.
■Indian Scout Bobber
As Indian puts it in the spec materials,“ScoutBobber is all stripped down styling and in-your-face power.” The 100 hp, six-speed motorcycle has a 1,133-cc, V-twin engine and peak torque at 72 pound-feet. It is engineered to feel mean, with a lowered rear suspension, purposeful forward peg position and street-tracker handlebars. The seat height is extremely low, too — 25.6 inches off the ground.
■Ducati xDiavel S
It has the technology and performance capabilities of a Ducati Superbike, but it comes in cruiser packaging fit for two. With 152-horsepower, the xDiavel S one of the fastest, most technologically advanced cruisers in the world. It even has a special Launch mode for the fastest start on a drag strip. Most important, it’s nicely set up for a pair of riders, thanks to four foot-rest positions, five seats, and three handlebar options, with the passenger option a choice between a regular seat and a comfort seat with back-rest, all as standard equipment. The standard Ducati Safety Pack, including Bosch cornering and ABS,cruise control,hands-free,and backlit handlebar switches, make it a very fast and very enjoyable option to ride as a couple.