Top 10 Hottest Bikes of 2012

These 10 motorcycles are sure to make waves in 2012

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Triumph Speed Triple R

One of the more controversial picks on our list, you might be wondering what the Speed Triple R is doing here. If you’ve ridden the standard Speed Triple then this wouldn’t be much of a surprise. It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the bug-eyed wheelie machine from Hinckley. Its combination of sporty yet comfortable ergonomics, impressive handling and an intoxicating 1050cc inline-Triple engine has us fighting for the keys whenever one makes it into our fleet of test bikes.

This year Triumph has upped the ante even further with the R version of the ST. Like the Daytona 675R introduced last year, the uprated Speed Triple will receive an Ohlins NIX30 43mm fork and TTX36 shock, calibrated specifically for the ST-R. Combine that with four-piston, monobloc Brembo calipers, Pirelli Supercorsa SP tires, optional ABS and a redesigned gearbox, and the ST-R is sure to elevate a bike we already love to another level.

2012 Triumph Speed Triple R

U.S. pricing has yet to be determined, but we’ll guess it will list for less than $14K.

Related Reading
2012 Triumph Speed Triple R Unveiled at EICMA
2011 Triumph Speed Triple 1050 Review
2010 Streetfighter Shootout: Kawasaki Z1000 vs. Triumph Speed Triple

Triumph Tiger Explorer

Triumph tripled its Tiger line-up in 2011 with the introduction of the Tiger 800 and Tiger 800XC. The new Tiger Explorer model makes a quartet of Tigers for 2012.

The 1215cc, in-line 3-cylinder Tiger is a big adventure-touring bike meant to go head-to-head with Yamaha’s Super Ténéré and the archetypal BMW R1200GS. The Tiger Explorer’s MSRP has yet to be announced, but outfitted with a comparable electronics package – including ride-by-wire throttle, switchable ABS, cruise control and traction control – to the $13,900 Yamaha and $18,600 BMW, expect the Explorer to carry a price somewhere between those two.

2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer right

Triumph claims the Explorer’s new triple produces 135 crank horsepower and 89 ft-lbs of torque which wallops the 108.5 hp of the Ténéré’s parallel-Twin and 110 hp of the GS’s apposed twin. With a curb weight of 575 lbs, the new Tiger is only five pounds less than the Yamaha but carries nearly a gallon less fuel.

Considering the successful design of last year’s 800 Tiger models, Triumph will likely have another winner for 2012.

2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer action

Related Reading
2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer Unveiled at EICMA
2011 Adventure-Touring Shootout: Triumph Tiger 800XC vs. BMW F800GS [Video]
2011 Triumph Tiger 800 & 800XC Review [Video]

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