Top 10 Hottest Bikes of 2012
These 10 motorcycles are sure to make waves in 2012
MV Agusta F3
Introduced at the 2010 EICMA show and our choice as one of last year’s hottest new bikes, the MV Agusta F3 is only now making its way to European dealers, with its U.S. debut expected later this year.
The 675cc, 3-cylinder counterpart to the in-line Four 998cc F4, the stunningly gorgeous F3 is recognizably MV Agusta. A choice of two, the $13,500 standard F3 will be joined by a limited edition Serie Oro for $27,900 of which only 200 examples will be made.
Boasting a dry weight of 381 pounds and producing a claimed 126 crank horsepower, the F3 is already setting new standards for middleweight sportbike performance. And then there’s its electronics package that incorporates adjustable traction control. If desired, a person can purchase other modules such as launch control, anti-wheelie and electronically assisted shift programing.
The Serie Oro features a host of unique upgrades including fully adjustable Öhlins inverted fork, TTX shock and steering damper, plus Brembo brakes with radial-mounted Monobloc calipers gripping racing discs. The front and rear mudguards, dashboard cover, air box side and intake covers, fairing inserts, both upper and lower chain guards, swingarm protector cover, sprocket cover, fairing lower, and stacked exhaust outlets are all manufactured from carbon fiber. The Serie Oro is distinguished by its menagerie of gold-painted and polished bits and pieces, not to mention a triple-clamp-mounted number plate.
Norton Commando 961
For the last year Norton Motorcycles USA has been working through the red tape of bringing its revitalised 961 Commando model to U.S. shores. According to Norton USA president, Dan Van Epps, the new Commando will soon have its EPA certification with deliveries of the iconic motorcycle scheduled for early spring.
In production for the last couple years and available in a growing number of foreign markets, the 961 Commando comes in three iterations: SE, Cafe Racer and Sport. The three models share the same basic platform but differ from one another in the components with which they’ve been outfitted, such as the inverted Öhlins forks on the Cafe Racer or the BST carbon fiber wheels on the SE.
According to Van Epps, an initial 50 dealers will be concentrated in the most populated U.S. cities, with about 500 bikes being imported for the first year. By year five Van Epps forecasts approximately 2,000 Nortons coming to America. MSRPs should begin at $16,000 for a base model Commando to upwards of $20,000 for the SE.