Top 10 Hottest Bikes of 2012
These 10 motorcycles are sure to make waves in 2012
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.
U.S. pricing has yet to be determined, but we’ll guess it will list for less than $14K.
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.
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.