Motorcycle.com's Most Popular Videos From 2017
From the freshest previews to the fastest superbikes to cool roadsters to TT racing, our videos pull in millions of eyeballs
Motorcycles are the coolest way to transport humans on the ground. The feeling we get bending a bike into a corner and tilting a horizon is so much more flowing and invigorating than driving a car, as is the intensity of acceleration a motorbike can provide. Add in to this stimulation the sound and character of a variety of engine configurations, and it’s easy to see why the sights and sounds of a motorcycle video are highly desired in this digital age.
Motorcycle.com has been feeding the hunger for online video content longer than any other moto publication, and we continue to endeavor to deliver the best and most frequent videos possible.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
We’re happy to report that our videos have accumulated tens of millions of views. We now have 25 videos that have received more than 700,000 views, and seven vids that have logged more than one million views.
As 2017 is winding down, we’ve decided to look back at which videos we’ve produced during the past year that have received the most traffic. Of course, any video we posted a few weeks ago hasn’t had the opportunity to rack up views over the span of several months like a vid posted early in the year, so we’ve done some calculations to divide the traffic stats based upon how much time they’ve had to accumulate views.
Since videos spike in traffic soon after they’re posted, we’ve left out any vid posted within the past four weeks. This excluded two strong challengers, our Best Motorcycles Of 2018 Roundtable piece and our recent shootout of Lightweight ADVs, which are on pace to to contend for a high view ranking. What we’ve done by extrapolating views isn’t entirely scientific, but it’s in the ballpark.
So, here they are, our Top 10 Most Popular Videos From 2017.
Isle of Man TT Video Highlights
1,779,000 views over 25 weeks = 3,700,000
The Isle of Man is a very special chip off the olde British block. The Isle is located in the Irish Sea east of England, and it’s a self-governing British Crown Dependency, meaning it makes up its own laws. In addition to having its own currency, the IoM has its own traffic laws, resulting in public roads outside of town having no speed limits. It also hosts a highlight of the motorcycle season each spring, the IoM TT, which is an absolutely thrilling spectacle nearly unique in contemporary times. The Isle welcomes in riders from around Europe and the globe who come to see riders screaming around a 37.7-mile course along public roads at speeds upwards of 200 mph. Having experienced the fascinating speed extravaganza myself once, I’ll add my vote to the chorus of others who place the TT near the top of a motorcyclist’s bucket list.
Credit for several years of IoM coverage on Motorcycle.com goes to our good buddy, Andrew Capone, who has been attending the TT for years and providing marshalling duties at several. His knowledge of the TT and its major players are invaluable to our coverage, and Capone deserves extra special thanks for cutting together our Isle of Man TT videos. It simply doesn’t get higher than #1. Thanks a million, Andrew! Or three million…
Honda Gold Wing Revealed
368,00 views over 8 weeks = 2,392,000
When a veritable motorcycle legend is overhauled from the ground up for the first time in 17 years, people naturally have a pent-up desire to find out what the new state of the art looks like. And so it is with Honda’s iconic Gold Wing, which for 2018 has been reborn into a lighter, techier and sportier platform. Everything on it is new, including a redone flat-Six engine with four valves per cylinder, a modernist single-shock front suspension, and a raft of luxury items like TFT instrumentation and electronic suspension.
Most notable is the slashing of weight by nearly 90 pounds and a less-bulky design, which promises sportier handling and the outreach to riders who previously haven’t been enticed to pilot the Winnebago of motorcycles. It’s available in a baggerish version without a top box or the trunked Tour model. Although this video doesn’t include a riding impression, its quick delivery after the Wing was revealed obviously added to its attraction, making us want to continue burning the midnight oil to bring you the freshest content in motorcycling!
2017 Honda Rebel 500 Review
637,000 views over 34 weeks = 974,000
The Honda Rebel 500 might not invigorate experienced riders, but it certainly has much appeal for newer ones. The reborn Rebel, in single-cylinder 300 form or this parallel-Twin 500 version, harnesses post-industrial fashion to bring a new form to entry-level cruisers. It looks hip, has a low seat height, and has enough power from its CB500-based engine to extend its appeal beyond newbie riders, making it a relevant motorbike in contemporary times.
Adding to the appeal of this video is the perspective of our guest rider, Ryan Burns, who, in his early 20s, is in an ideal demographic for a bike like the Rebel 500. Young Mr. Burns proves to be endowed with the humor and creativity of our own motojourno legend, John Burns, making this first-ride review something a bit special.
2018 Ducati Panigale V4 At The 2017 EICMA Show
101,000 views over 6 weeks = 875,000
Ducati stunned us when rumors of a new V-4 superbike replacing the marque’s iconic V-Twin started surfacing last summer. The buzz flowed during the lead-up to the big EICMA moto show in November, whetting our appetites for a new-generation superbike from the Italians.
Needless to say, the unveiling of the Panigale V4 garnered much enthusiasm from sportbike aficionados, and seeing it in the flesh further inflamed our desires. It’s a technological tour de force from Ducati that looks ready to take on all comers in the battle for street-legal superbike supremacy.
2018 Kawasaki Z900RS and Z900RS Cafe First Look
75,000 over 5 weeks = 780,000
This one proves the powerful pull of nostalgia, as here’s another popular video that is merely a preview of the new Kawi, not an actual ride report. One glance at the Z900RS is all it takes to reminisce about the glory days of motorcycling in the 1970s when technology and power was advancing by leaps every few years. When the Kawasaki Z1 debuted in 1973, its 903cc four-cylinder motor leap-frogged the venerable Honda CB750 as the new king of superbikes.
Kawasaki has done a stellar job transforming the edgy Z900 into the retro-inspired Z900RS, cribbing many of the Z1’s styling cues and even the 1970s colors in the Candy-tone Brown flavor. While some may decry that its engine output has been nipped from the Z900’s, the retuned 948cc mill would easily run away and hide from a once-mighty Zed-One. The only misstep from Kawasaki’s USA arm is not yet including the fashionable Z900RS Cafe version, but perhaps we’ll see it imported here later in 2018.
2017 Honda CBR1000RR And CBR1000RR SP First Ride Review
647,000 views over 47 weeks = 717,000
The rebirth of a new CBR1000RR in 2017 was momentous, as it had been several years since Honda released its last full re-do in 2008. The emergence of a new RR was long-overdue, so it’s not surprising that our first-ride report video earned hundreds of thousands of views. Sounds kinda familiar to the Gold Wing…
The new CBR1000RR wins favor for its significantly lighter weight and up-to-date electronics, including a ride-by-wire throttle, Bosch IMU, TFT instrumentation, and traction control. It most impresses for its remarkably agile chassis, as it did a few months later during our Superbike Shootout.
2017 Superbike Street Shootout
321,000 views over 26 weeks = 642,000
While the debate about which is the best bagger or scrambler or retro is largely dependent on individual riders’ tastes, the honors for best street superbike is more clearly defined. The classes of sportbikes might not enjoy huge sales, but the superbike segment is as much a technological halo exercise as it is about OEM profits. With all-new or heavily revised challengers from Aprilia, Honda, Kawi and Suzuki since our last big literbike shootout in 2015, it was time to re-rack the leading contenders for a rematch in a seven-bike mega shootout. Sadly, Ducati declined to put its 1299 Panigale into the mix, and MV Agusta couldn’t provide us an F4 in time for our comparison.
No matter, as there was an epic battle among seven stellar sport motorcycles. The Honda stood out for its nimbleness and lightest weight, while the Suzuki’s low- to mid-range power gave it an advantage over the other four-cylinder bikes despite its lowest MSRP. Except nobody told the still-incredible BMW S1000RR, which somehow offers equal low-end grunt to the Gixxer while enjoying a 16-horsepower advantage up top. But it was the wonderfully intoxicating Aprilia RSV4 that won our hearts and our scorecards, thanks to its mellifluous and 180-horse V-4 motor, sublime chassis communication, color TFT instruments, and even cruise control. We can’t wait to find out how its RF version will match up with Ducati’s new Panigale V4!
2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 First Ride Review
437,000 views over 37 weeks = 614,000
The 600cc supersport class is slowly withering away in favor of larger and more powerful literbikes, but you wouldn’t know it by the amount of attention this video has been drawing. It’s even more of an accomplishment when you consider this revamp of the R6 consisted mostly of just bodywork, fork and brake components borrowed from its R1 big brother bolted on to the existing R6’s frame and engine.
Some of the credit to the amount of views this video logged must go to the fact that we invested the expense to bring along a videographer to this launch. Additionally, it’s nice to see our former staffer Troy Siahaan score two entries in this list, as this R6 video joins his CBR1000RR piece. We miss you Trizzle!
Retro Roadsters Revisited Shootout
198,000 over 17 weeks = 606,000
Nostalgia was again pulling traffic strings here, with a similar but diverse trio of $12k retro standards offering up distinctive character to appeal to individual tastes. Honda’s CB1100EX brings incredible refinement with a tinge of disenchanting tameness to the party, which was offset by the sporty but relatively harder-edged BMW R-nineT. Meanwhile, Triumph’s Bonneville T120 Black hung in with the others despite its horsepower deficiency.
The results of our subjective scorecards proved interesting, with Brasfield and I ranking the trio within 1% of each other. John Burns expressed varied scores, giving the Honda top marks while subjecting the BMW to a clear last-place ranking. When all the scores were added up, it was a neck-to-neck finish, with the CB1100 edging the Bonneville by just 0.5%, and the nineT just 0.5% further in arrears. There’s plenty to love in all three of these attractive and usable motorcycles.
2017 Middleweight Naked Bike Shootout
239,000 views over 21 weeks = 592,000
The popularity of this comparison of mid-size sporty standards is emblematic of the gradual shift away from sportbikes to more versatile machines. Bikes like the lovable Yamaha FZ-07, refined Suzuki SV650 and playful Kawasaki Z650 are really all most any rider needs from a streetbike. A little extra flavor was injected into this comparison with the inclusion of Harley’s new Street Rod and Benelli’s TnT600.
Along with the appealing quintet of capable and affordable roadsters, this comparison test is highlighted by beautiful and inspiring drone shots from along Glendora Ridge Road in 4K resolution. Additionally, we brought along a pair of fun guest testers, the cool and lovely Tamara Wilson representing female riders (and bass player in Wargirl) and the quirky humor of our riding buddy, Thai Long-Ly, who can always be counted on to provide some memorable quotes each time he comes along for a ride.
So, that’s our list of most popular videos of 2017. We hope you enjoyed coming along for the ride. If you did, please press the Like button and make sure you subscribe to our channel so you won’t miss any motorcycle news in 2018. It’s going to be a fun one!