Every year Motorcycle.com gets invited to the press introductions for several new motorcycles – it’s the biggest perk of our job, and the reason all of us have stuck around as long as we have! The cycle goes like this: at the end of one year or the beginning of the next, manufacturers talk a big game about a new model launch, and/or the internet goes wild with social media rumors and opinions about a new bike. In turn we, the media, can’t wait to be the first to throw a leg over said bike to see what the fuss is about. Sometimes the motorcycle in question is a dud, other times it exceeds beyond our wildest dreams. Then you get the rare model that didn’t get much fanfare but turns out to be unexpectedly awesome.
Well, it’s that time, again. As the motorcycle industry heads with its collective throttle pinned into the 2019 model year, we here at Motorcycle.com have taken a moment to look back at the previous year. What a year it has been! In case you don’t remember, it began with an amazing 38 bikes announced during EICMA 2017. Since it is our goal to review each and every motorcycle we can throw our legs over, our butt dynos are well calibrated and our typing fingers limber from all the bike tests and shootouts we cranked out for the 2018 model year.
Indian Motorcycle saw a small growth in sales and market share during the first quarter of 2018, according to Polaris Industries’ quarterly financial report. The modest increase was enough to offset a decrease in Slingshot sales and increase Polaris’ motorcycle sales by 9.3% to $131.6 million.
In the last couple of weeks, MO has covered hints surrounding the 2018 Triumph Speed Triple S and RS no less than three times. While we were able to pull a few smidgens of information about the new models from CARB filings and teaser videos, the time is finally at hand. Triumph has officially released the specifications for the new Speed Triples – and they should make the bikes’ fans happy.
From the moment I thumbed the starter button, I knew I was going to like the 2018 Yamaha Star Eluder. The exhaust note just hit me in the right place and made me smile. Now, the Yamaha product development folks would say that it was because the dual mufflers were tuned to slightly different notes so that they would harmonize, creating a more pleasant tone. Whatever, it worked. And then I got to let out the clutch and pull away from the curb.
We can’t say that we blame Aprilia since the RSV4 is, according to the Book of MO, one of the greatest sportbikes – perhaps ever. Need proof? In the last year, the Aprilia RSV4 RR won both the street and the track portions of our superbike shootout on its way to the overall win. Then it notched a MOBO (and not its first, mind you) as Best Sportbike Of 2017. So, like we said, we can’t blame Aprilia for sitting on its laurels a tad when it came to updating the RSV4 for 2018.
How much do we MOrons love the KTM Super Adventure R? Enough to name it the Best On-Off-Road/Adventure Motorcycle of the Year in 2017! So, imagine how excited we were when our super-sleuth, Dennis Chung, uncovered CARB documentation on the Super Adventure S. Now, KTM has made it official, saying that, after previously being available in Europe, the S will hit the North American market in 2018. And a great celebration was held throughout the land!
While we don’t know if either the 2018 Honda CB125R or the 2018 Honda CB300R will make it to the American shores, they were announced today at EICMA in Milan. Sharing a family resemblance with the also-just-introduced 2018 Honda CB1000R, the little CBs are also a product of Honda’s Neo-Sports Café Concept.
Yamaha announced some mild improvements to its FZ-07 middleweight “hyper-naked” motorcycle, including an all-new name. Meet the Yamaha MT-07, restyled and upgraded for 2018. Changes include new bodywork, suspension tweaks, and more. The MT moniker – Masters of Torque, don’t cha know – goes along with Yamaha’s “Dark Side of Japan” marketing campaign to highlight the edgy nature of the 07 and its bigger bros, the MT-09 and MT-10.
A segment of our sport that’s seen plenty of attention recently is the “hyper-naked” segment, standard-styled motorcycles that offer more performance and edgier styling than your run-of-the-mill standard. Yamaha Motors USA made that designation official, giving its FZ-07, FZ-09 and FZ-10 models the “MT” moniker, as well as announcing some updates to its FZ…oops, MT-07 for 2018.
The Honda CB1000R, a legendary model from the company, had its latest iteration, the 2018 Honda CB1000R, unveiled today at EICMA in Milan. To escort the CB1000R onto stage for its debut was none other than five-time world champion Mick Doohan – a Honda legend in his own right.
Well, the rumors were true. Honda has updated the Gold Wing for 2018 – and the makeover is an impressive one! While we’re pretty sure that some of the nuts and bolts used in the previous generation made the transition, the rest of the motorcycle is brand spanking new. Honda’s stated goal for the upgrade was to use the restyle and improved performance to attract more than just the Gold Wing faithful and put to rest the myth that Wings are just for old riders. Well, the styling is certainly more aggressive, and the bike looks decidedly more swoopy. Losing eight inches of front-facing width can do that for a motorcycle. There’s so much that’s changed on the Gold Wing that we thought we should make a cheat sheet for you to peruse.
Not many manufacturers can say they’ve had a model in continuous production for 43 years, but Honda can make that claim with their legendary Gold Wing. Over those model years, Honda has set aside just six versions representing what it calls milestone models – the last of which was produced way back in 2001 with the introduction of the GL1800 Gold Wing. The Wing has been well overdue for an upgrade, and the rumor mill was in full-on salivation mode about the prospects of a ground-up remake for 2018.