Motorcycle.com's Most Anticipated Bikes Of 2023
Looking ahead to the upcoming model year
Welcome to 2023! The MO offices are full again after our annual weight-gaining extravaganza, and we are ready to hit the ground running into the new model year. That means we’re all about looking ahead, which means we are (mostly) thinking about the 2023 models and what new goodies the manufacturers have in store for motorcyclists. As is our tradition, we put fingers to keyboards and opined on what we, as professional moto-journalists, were most excited about after spending days on the EICMA and other new model announcements. So, what follows is our personal opinions about the bikes we expect to ride for the first time in the upcoming year.
If you noticed the parenthetical weaseling in the previous paragraph, you may have questions, and we did, too, about John Burns choice of a 2022 model as his most anticipated ride of 2023. Well, no staffer has actually ridden this machine, and we expect to pick one up soon for a full test. So, we decided to let it slide since Burns never follows directions, anyway.
The upcoming year looks to be a good one for motorcycling, and we can’t wait to take that ride with you.
Ryan Adams, Managing Editor: 2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE
It seems we’ve all stuck to our preferred genres this year for our most anticipated motorcycles of 2023 which is pretty cool because that means there are exciting bikes to look forward to for everyone. In the ADV scene, things don’t seem to be slowing down either. This year, we had two excellent new Italians join the middleweight field, and looking to 2023, Honda and Suzuki are joining the fray, as well.
An all-new 270-degree crankin’ 776-cubic centimeter havin’ Parallel-Twin powering two new motorcycles from Suzuki is something to be excited about. This engine configuration has proven to be a popular choice these days for both nakeds and adventure machines, thanks to its punchy torque delivery that’s just as fun to screw on out of a hairpin on canyon roads as it is useful for technical off-road riding. The P-Strom 800DE also has a promising chassis with fully adjustable Showa suspension, offering nearly nine inches of travel, and although I’d rather the rear wheel be an inch bigger, at least we have a 21-inch hoop up front to spoon on some serious off-road rubber. With Suzuki’s styling and electronics finally making it into this decade, it’s easier to get excited about the 800DE, too.
Of the two new Japanese contenders stepping into the ring, Suzuki seems to be headed toward a more pointed approach compared to Honda’s more broad one – and that more pointed approach seems to be toward a balance of on and off-road capability. The V-Stroms of yesteryear were always fun mounts, and if Suzuki’s latest models are any indication, the new 800s should be worth looking forward to.
Troy Siahaan, Road Test Editor: 2023 Suzuki GSX-8S
I’m excited to ride a lot of bikes next year – the new Triumph Street Triple 765, Ducati Diavel V4, and the BMW S or M1000 and its various number of Rs come to mind. But one I’m particularly looking forward to riding is Suzuki’s all-new GSX-8S.
Granted, compared to the Triumph, Ducati, and BMW, the Suzuki is far less glamorous than its European counterparts, but c’mon – this is an all-new Suzuki. When was the last time that happened? This is a big deal for Suzuki, and clearly, the company is banking on this new platform pretty heavily.
Looking at the GSX-8S, I’m getting SV650 vibes all over. Both are naked models with minimalist design features, and both have a middleweight twin supplying the horsepower. In the 8s’s case, we know it will have a 776cc Parallel-Twin with two counterbalancers and a 270º firing order. That alone is pretty exciting. But reality is probably going to show us that the bike will be slightly underwhelming to ride in stock form. This isn’t a knock to Suzuki – a lot of motorcycles, especially Japanese ones, usually are tame. What I’m looking forward to is reading between the 8S’s lines after riding it and knowing it will have tons of hidden potential waiting to come out. A certain SV650 had the same effect on many people 20-something years ago, myself included, and look how that turned out. The GSX-8S is going to be a blank canvas for the aftermarket, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with.
Of course, at the time I’m writing this, Yamaha hasn’t announced the R9 yet. And it probably won’t. However, if the chance to ride an R9 pops up in 2023, then I relegate the GSX-8S down the list one spot and choose the R9 instead – for similar reasons.
John Burns, Senior Editor: 2022 BMW CE 04
It’s hard for most of us to get excited about electric motorcycles, and it’s hard for most of us to get excited about scooters. Naturally, it falls to me to go full contrarian and be most excited about BMW’s new electric scooter.
In fact, as of now, most electric motorcycles, to me, just don’t make much sense. Ideally, motorcycles mean escape from the city, and there just aren’t any motorcycles that offer the range and charge times that make that feasible. Nay, short-range reconnaissance and intra-city commuting have always been the bailiwick of the scooter, and for that reason, an electric scooter makes a helluva lot more sense than an electric motorcycle.
Especially one that scoots. The CE 04, I’ve read, accelerates like a banshee all the way to 75 mph, which is all I need. Well, 85 would be better but 75 will do. (Maybe some tuner will step in?) Just enough for the short freeway hop to the beach in the right lane, where parking will be a snap even in summer – though storage might present a problem, since there’s not that much. Belt drive, we read, means the CE 04 handles more like a motorcycle. It takes time to put miles on a scooter 3 or 4 at a time, so you’ll probably only need to charge this one, with its 70-mile range, once a week at most.
Sometimes, fashion trumps function. On most scooters, as we pointed out in my recent tests of a SYM and a Lance, you look (and feel) like a chiseler, even though both are perfectly nice scooters from Taiwan. But with that BMW roundel and the avant-garde styling on this one, you’re gonna look like a futuristic visionary, an L. Ron Hubbard on an electric low-rider. Both major genders and all subsidiaries will swoon. $12k or whatever is a lot of money I admit, but not at all out of line for a maxi-scooter like a Yamaha TMax or Suzuki Burgman 650 (neither of which are sold in the US anymore). Crucially, I’ll be borrowing, not buying.
I haven’t been this excited since the Tennessee Valley Authority came to town.
Evans Brasfield, Editor-in-Chief: 2023 Triumph Street Triple RS
No one should be surprised by my choice of a steamy upgrade in my favorite class of motorcycle. Middleweights being so well represented in our anticipation list, with two naked bikes and one adventure bike making the cut, says something about the strength of this displacement category and its importance to the manufacturers and buyers. Besides, the 2023 Triumph Street Triple is a great example of what’s great about the class.
For starters, the Street Triple isn’t just a motorcycle, it is a family of them, starting with the base model R and then moving up in features to the RS and, finally, the Moto2 Edition. All three models use the same 765cc Triple – in differing states of tune – that also spawns the spec engine of the Moto2 class and benefits from all of the development associated with the series. Those are some pretty heavy credentials that Triumph leans on. The two road-going variations put out a claimed 118 hp at 11,500 rpm (for the R model), while the RS and Moto2 models bump the peak up to a claimed 128 hp at 12,000 rpm.
Once you move beyond the differing tunes of the power plants, the chassis and suspension variants come into play. The R wears Showa units front and rear, but the RS sports a higher spec Showa, 41mm diameter, USD Big Piston fork and an Öhlins STX40, piggyback reservoir shock. Being the big fish in this pond, the Moto2 Edition adds a fully adjustable Öhlins NIX30 43mm USD front fork. Additionally, the steering geometry for the RS and Moto2 is slightly sharper at 23.2 degrees and trail of 3.8 in. The Moto2 also puts the rider in a more aggressive position with clip-ons replacing the handlebar. Braking also gets model demarcations with the R wearing Brembo M4.32 calipers, while the RS and Moto2 get both Brembo Stylema calipers and MCS master cylinder.
How excited am I about the Street Triple family? When the invitation for the introduction slated for early in the year arrived, I pulled the Editor’s Choice card, snagging this event for myself – much to the chagrin of the rest of the staff. In a couple months, I’ll be able to report on how well all three members of the family behave. So, stay tuned.
Now, it’s your turn. What bikes are you most looking forward to in 2023? And don’t pull a Burns on us. Stick to 2023 models
More by Evans Brasfield