The new model announcement season is an exciting time for motorcyclists, as it’s when we get our first glance at all the latest motorcycles being released in the upcoming year. While AIMExpo, with its extremely early event date (starting on September 22nd), was short on new models, EICMA blew the doors off of 2018 with no less than 37 different new bikes that we covered here on MO.

2017 AIMExpo Show Coverage

2017 EICMA Show Coverage

On our side of the ocean, the Progressive International Motorcycle Show (IMS) included, as usual, Long Beach, California, giving the American motorcycle industry and public its first chance to see, throw a leg over, and, in some cases, take a test ride on one of the new models. If you weren’t able to attend the IMS in Long Beach, never fear, there are four remaining shows between now and the end of February 2018, including Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Chicago, IL; and Washington, D.C.

With so many motorcycles on the menu for next year, we took some time after the Long Beach IMS Media Day to discuss the model year that is just over the horizon. So, strap on your riding gear and get ready for 2018. It looks like it will be a hell of a ride!

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For more information, here’s a list of all the models we’re looking forward to seeing in 2018:

Aprilia: Aprilia RSV4

BMW: BMW F850GS and F750GS, BMW K1600 Grand America, BMW C400X

Ducati: Ducati Panigale V4, Ducati 959 Panigale Corse, Ducati Multistrada 1260, Ducati Scrambler 1100

Harley-Davidson: Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide

Honda: Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports, Honda CB1000R, Honda CB300R and CB125R, Honda CB4 Interceptor Concept, Honda NC750X

Husqvarna: Husqvarna Svartpilen 701, Husqvarna Vitpilen 701

Indian: Indian FTR1200 Concept

Kawasaki: Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX, Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe, Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R SE

KTM: KTM 790 Duke, KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

Lambretta: Lambretta V-Special

Moto Guzzi: Moto Guzzi V7 III Carbon, Rough and Milano, Moto Guzzi V85 Concept

Royal Enfield: Royal Enfield Continental GT 650, Royal Enfield Himalayan, Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Triumph: Triumph Tiger 800, Triumph Tiger 1200

Vespa: Vespa Elettrica

Yamaha: Yamaha FZ Line Renamed as MT Models, Yamaha MT-07, Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M, Yamaha Ténéré 700 Concept, Yamaha Tracer 900 and Tracer 900GT

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  • DickRuble

    With all the interviews and heavy product presentations for Royal Enfield, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Himalaya gets the MO nod for best bike of 2018. Oh wait, just watched the video: K. Duke said that the most interesting bike to him is the Royal Enfield!! You don’t need to read Kafka you haven’t yet, we’re living it.

    • Kevin Duke

      We like what we see from Enfield and are encouraged by its addition of high-raking employees poached from other major manufacturers. Nicely priced, too, which could bring in a lot of newer riders who care more about cool than speed. A ride or two will reveal whether the new Twins are a true step forward for the company.

      • DickRuble

        Last year Victory was all over MO, ad nauseam. We all know how that ended.. Is that what they call karma?

        • Sayyed Bashir

          Victory didn’t control its own destiny. It was a $100 million experiment by Polaris to get into the motorcycle market. And it led them to success with the Indian brand. Because with cruisers, its not the motorcycles but the branding that matters. Royal Enfield controls its own destiny and they are doing very well in India. How their motorcycles fare in the U.S. market which is saturated with competitively priced high quality innovative motorcycles from Japan and Europe is yet to be seen. Low price is not the only factor that sways American buyers. For example I don’t see CSC motorcycles going anywhere, and neither the Southeast Asian brands such as Hyosung and Kymco. Royal Enfield has a leg up on them based on name recognition and association with England, Triumph and Ducati. The new twin models look nice but I am not sure about the Himalayan. It may be a good bike in India with its bad roads and traffic but may not appeal to many riders in the U.S. The KTM 790 Adventure and the Honda baby Africa Twin will conquer that market. It has no chance to be best of anything on MO.

          • DickRuble

            I don’t think they (RE) will have any success in the US. The way I see it, a medium sized bike needs to be able to sustain highway speeds easily. Meaning it needs to occasionally push at least 85mph, to pass traffic. My first big trip on a bike was on a Honda Shadow 600. It could do 80mph. But that was about it. Problem was the speed limit in TX was 70mph and eighteen wheelers were doing over 80mph. Being passed by eighteen wheelers on a highway is no experience you want to have, especially if you’re a beginner. The draft of the cabin was pulling me between the trailer axles. After a couple dozen passes, I left the highway and finished my trip on back roads. My current bike, old and all of its 660cc, can do 100 mph on a good day, and can accelerate easily from 65mph. That’s the minimum I’d take on a highway. You don’t have that, you don’t have a product. 500cc, 500lbs and 25hp? Fawgetaboutit. Not to mention all the rest.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            That doesn’t account for the success of the near iconic KLR 650 in the U.S. which only goes to 70 mph. On the other hand, I don’t see too many of them on the interstates. They mainly keep to the state highways. The new Enfield twins are also 650s. The Himalayan is only 411cc, that’s why I am not sure it will get any traction (pun intended) in the U.S.

          • Starmag

            “which only goes to 70 mph”. I have one, It’s capable of near 100mph. 412lbs 35rwhp. It’s fine and vibe free on the freeway and has passing power.

          • DickRuble

            Do you think it’s a more practical choice than a DRZ 400SM? If I were to go off the beaten path across the US, which should I choose: DRZ 400SM (with proper tires), DR 650, or KLR 650? Or maybe a Mastiff 660?

          • Starmag

            The DRZ won’t be very good off road with a 17″ front tire. Peter Egan claims it’s a bit busy on the highway. The DR is a good, reliable, simple choice( aircooled ). I got the KLR beause my wife likes to ride with me at times and it has more room than the DR. The KLR on the freeway doesn’t like more than 70mph with stock gearing. It will run all day at 80mph but it gets vibey and you soon find yourself back at 70mph. This can be fixed with a cheap gearing change, but that comprimises the dirt/hill abilities. Not sure about the DR in this respect.

          • DickRuble

            At 400cc I would expect the DRZ to be buzzy on the highway, but I wouldn’t take it there. The 400S has 18″ rear, 21″ front. I could use the same on the 400SM, which has better suspension, though gearing might be different (?).

          • Campi the Bat

            In my experience, DR650s are everything KLR acolytes claim their bikes to be, and the Suzuki won’t need a grimy milk crate of spare parts bungee’d to the rear rack at all times.

          • hipsabad

            i have a DR650 and a DRZ400SM. Both have carb mods, aftermarket exhausts, saddle and gearing changes. The DR will definitely cruise at 80, 85 and top out well past 100, so if ya have lotsa high-speed freeway miles it’s more at ease. For the curvy back road stuff, i find the DRZ way more fun. I’ve ridden KLRs and prefer the lighter DR. YMMV

          • Travis Stanley

            Agreed. The MIGHTY DR can cruise at 80mph all day long thanks to just 35 horses.
            The Himalayan is just 26hp or so and is kind of tubby. So she will compete more with the three bikes that MO did last week.
            X 300, and
            Zhongshen 250.
            and of course the G310GS.

          • Travis Stanley

            Here we go again. Someone complaining about not being able pass traffic at 85mph in a strong head wind.

            The Himalayan will be fine in North America. She is just $4,499. The Aussies have been enjoying the BS3, the BS4 is even better.

    • Travis Stanley

      If the Himalayan does really well, honors for best value. Currently the KTM 390 Duke holds the title.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        The Himalayan is a adventure bike. The KTM Duke 390 is a naked sport bike. Apples and Oranges (literally 🙂 Value is not just the lowest price but what you get for your money. I don’t think the Himalayan will get any award. Best value could be the CSC RX3 (since you get a free Baja trip with it).

        • Travis Stanley

          I doubt the Himalayan will get an award. No chance for ADV BIKE.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Kevin gave it a 10/10 because it is called a Duke.

  • James D. Becker

    While all the bikes you covered are fantastic, there is an issue underlying that is not good. The rising costs of motorcycles is shrinking the market. Only Royal Enfield is addressing this issue, according to your show. Of course, you don’t cover the Chinese market. Kinda like when the English ignored the Japanese manufactures. Smaller, reasonably priced motorcycles are the real key to the motorcycle market growth.

    • DickRuble

      There’s more to it than price. In the USA price amounts to maybe 30% of the reasons motorcycling is slowing down. In the USA it simply does not make sense to own a motorcycle. In India and other countries of South-East Asia, people buy motorcycles because they can’t afford cars. Motorcycles are means of locomotion. In the USA bikes are 90% lifestyle accessories or pastime toys. And for good reasons. Cars are more practical, easier and more economical to operate. The overabundance of cars, the lack of driver education (not to mention those who drive without a license), lack of insurance (ever heard of the un-insured motorist elective on your insurance), make riding bikes an unreasonable risk. When those things change, bikes will take off. No new model is likely to solve the problem. Good, lightly used bikes are cheap and abundant. Nobody wants them.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        I think if people are introduced to motorcycles at an early age, they are more likely to become motorcyclists. During their 30s and 40s they may set aside the hobby in favor of raising a family but come back to it later. If people have no exposure to motorcycling, they are not likely to take it up at any time. It is like an unnatural thing for them to do. The normal thing for them is to drive cars and SUVs. That’s what all their friends do, except the crazy ones. Even if bikes were cheaper, it won’t entice more people to get into motorcycling. One thing that is close to motorcycling is the new pedal assisted electric mountain bikes. I rode a Fantic last weekend and it takes you quite fast down the street or up a hill, on or off-road. It was $5500. You could get a pretty decent motorcycle for that price.

        • DickRuble

          A motorcycle is harder to ride than a Fantic, is far more consuming, from all points of view.

      • Goose

        See Dick, I knew we would agree on something, eventually. US motorcycling is dying of their own navel staring stupidity. This video is almost painful to watch, there isn’t one damn new idea in any of the “great” “new” bikes. Motorcycling matches Hollywood in a near total lack of creativity.

        Where is the bike that will ease fears of the danger of motorcycling? Where is the bike that will address the ridiculous maintenance costs of motorcycles? The environments and economic costs of motorcycles? These bikes don’t just think inside the box, they think in the center of the box.

        My car uses less fuel (and makes less greenhouse gasses) than most modern bikes. It also emits fewer other pollutants. My car has a first valve adjustment due at over 100,000 miles, not 12 to 25K miles and it doesn’t take a tech 2 hours (and $200) to get to the valves. I saw a bike with a full roll cage around the rider nearly 30 years ago but only real safety improvement with motorcycles since then is ABS-traction control. Hell, many motorcyclists still think ABS is a bad thing.

        • Travis Stanley

          If I can’t sell you on how practical the NC750X is, I’ll never reach you.
          The valve adjustments are under 10,000 miles, but they are easy to get to and adjust. That 745cc P. Twin would last 200,000 miles, no worries. A rear tyre every 8,000 miles or more.

          That’s a pretty good bike for the masses. Problem is, gas is so cheap in the USA, and you can’t lane split, so it’s kind of a wash when you consider the comfort and extra protection of a cage. You have to like riding to buy the Honda. It’s mostly a California bike due to high prices at the pump and lane Splitting.

          • Goose

            And most NC750 owners will be paying another several hundred dollars for a valve inspection with every 8K tire change. How does $400 to $500 every 8K miles compair with a car? What about the chain? I don’t have to get on my hands and knees every few hundred miles with my car to lube the chain while pushing the bike in a circle because it doesn’t come with a center stand or pay a fair pile of cash every 10 to 15K for a new chain and sprockets. I’ve got 10K miles on my car and my maintenance cost have $0 because they throw in the first oil change/ inspection when you buy the car. It’s almost like Honda WANTED me to buy my car and really put some effort into making ownership a pleasant thing. I see a lot less of that thinking with the NC, made by the same company.

            And the NC does nothing about the big problem, it provides the same amount of crash protection as a $20K Ducati V-4 Ducati superbike, zero.

            Funny you pick the NC, I really like the bike and rented an NC700 a few years ago. I got 72 MPG and had a great time. However, at best the NC snuggles up to the edge of the box, close but no cigar.

          • Travis Stanley

            Nice response.
            The NCX was the best I could do.

            Happy Holidays.

          • therr850

            If you’re so against motorcycles why are you on this site? I’m 70, been riding since 1972. In our area of the world there are too many unlicensed drivers, many stopped at least three previous times, driving under the influence hitting another vehicle or pedestrian, usually killing someone, or texters causing carnage, or elderly drivers hitting the gas instead of the brakes but, I gotta ride. Regularly, daily, often and far. Lube the chain every 400 miles, have 23000 miles on the current chain. Check the valve clearance every two years myself, take a couple days if needed. No hurry. Change the oil once per year, synthetic oil and filter, and tires every two or two and one half years. It is the therapy of the ride that makes it all worth the risk. A bad day becomes not so bad after a twenty or thirty mile ride, alone with my concentration on survival and my thoughts. Very therapeutic.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Good answer! If you love riding, you will do whatever it takes. You are not going to compare it to driving a car. There is no comparison.

        • lennon2017

          The motorcycle market in the US will always be dwarfed by cars, but it’s not because of maintenance intervals, and if it is partly that, it’s a mechanical inevitability, a paradox. Civics don’t rev to or past 10k. For cars, the powerplant and its constituency are shrouded in a convenient epidermis. I think one of the biggest hindrances is the special licensing hoop for the M endorsement, but how is that fixed, or minimized/diminished to the point where people do spring for the extra letter? Perhaps it’d have to be something akin to the tax break/rebate systems attached to electric and some hybrid vehicles. Start yer lobbying. By the bye, not all motorcycles have such annoying service schedules. Many Harleys have auto-adjusting valves, and rather resilient and easily cleaned belt drives. And if you do have to remove those cylinder heads, so what. As with many things, if one knew how managable the work is, looking past the initial fear factor of effing it up irreparably to slide some shims here and there and undoing/redoing a bolt or two, and springing for a new gasket as a matter of course, it would likely make many riders all the more satisfied with their choice in method of transport given its proven mental and spiritual benefits. Discrepancies in tire life, however, now that’s some BS!! 🙂

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Getting the M endorsement is as simple as taking a MSF course and taking a riding test at the DMV. Harleys are maintenance free except for oil and tire changes. Valve checks are at 18,600 miles for a KTM 1190 Adventure R, but I haven’t had mine checked so far at 26,000 miles. Usually they never need adjustment. KTM dirt bikes like the 500 EXC-F need more regular maintenance but they are a lot of fun!

          • lennon2017

            I’m aghast. As simple as taking an MSF course? I don’t for a second question your awareness of the time suck that that entails, so why use the word simple? Pain the A, is the phrase. And I spoke to the advantages of Harleys but they most certainly are not maintenance free beyond oil and tires. My point was things go wrong with everything, and sadly, with motorcycles more frequently than econoboxes, but boxes are for the most part boring, so it is the lifestyle of a motorcyclist that is the real boon.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            I have never taken a MSF course so what do I know, but I do see lots of motorcyclists at the local college every weekend going around the parking lot. It wouldn’t make sense to put people out on the road without giving them some sort of training. It is still a lot less complicated than the licensing requirements in Europe.

        • Douglas

          Then maybe you should stick w/cars….? Most folks buy MC’s (and even scooters) because they want one. There may also be a practical or utilitarian side to the yen, but mostly it’s just want, be it for the fun way of getting around, or, in the case of “a certain brand”, to get attention, to “belong” or attain “status”. But the itch to have one seems to be just that…..the itch. I’ve had it since March of ’69.

    • Travis Stanley

      China and India will really help with competition and bring down the MSRP.
      The Loncin DS8 should be a great bike.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Not if you want a high end European or Japanese bike.

        • Travis Stanley

          True. If you only want $10,000+ MC, then bikes that cost half that mean nothing to you.

  • Starmag

    Really good video. I’m sure you had those shirts made to present a unified presence at the show but you’re teasing us now. I’m sure there are many who would pay to advertise the best motorcycle site known to man. I promise to wear mine often on my new Monkey. Feel free to use my “where to go if you want to know” tagline if you like.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      You have to work for MO to get one of those shirts.

  • Old MOron

    I might have to get a Monkey, too. I like the Husky arrows, but they’re so expensive. I don’t know, since I already have a great allrounder, any additional bike I get will probably have some off-road chops. Kevin’s coverage of the KLX250 has been in the back of my mind. Makes me wish I had a Silverado Canyon by my place.

  • Travis Stanley

    I really like the CB300R.

  • hipsabad

    Calling the Honda CB1000R “super practical” hurts language; either “super” is the wrong choice or “practical”. Perhaps ‘super new’ or ‘somewhat practical’ would be apt