Motorcycle.com’s Best Of (MOBO) award season is finally here again! As has been our recent tradition, we use the MOBOs to begin our December wrap-up of the 2022 model year before we jump into the new model introduction season. Although EICMA was only a couple of weeks ago, and the bulk of the 2022 motorcycle models have been announced, the 2022 model year isn’t officially over until we wrap up our awards!
Motorcycle.com’s Best Of (MOBO) award season has finally rolled around again! While we typically roll out each year’s MOBOs before EICMA, this year we were so busy with the Heavyweight Naked Shootout that we decided to delay the MOBOs. Although the bulk of the 2022 motorcycle models have been announced, the 2021 model year isn’t officially over until all the accolades have been handed out. So, let’s get started!
If there’s one thing that motorcyclists look forward to almost as much as the beginning of riding season, it has to be new model season – when all of next year’s updates are announced. It’s a bench-racer’s heaven. However, in a longstanding MO tradition, we like to pause before the rush of the new to look back at what the previous year offered the world of motorcycling.
The Lightweight category of motorcycling is growing like a wildfire, with tons of cool bikes that offer style and performance that’s readily accessible for a new or inexperienced rider. But to us, the motorcycle topping the list of all those competent performers is the Kawasaki Ninja 400. Some May claim that the “small-displacement” moniker no longer applies, but to get hung up on 100cc is a waste of time for what’s otherwise an excellent motorcycle. The increase in size from the previous Ninja 300 brings with it a modest bump in power suitable for newbies, but also entertaining for experienced riders. Combine that with styling inspired by its bigger Ninja siblings, and new riders no longer have to feel self conscious about their beginner bike looking dated and ugly. This, in turn, helps keep riders from graduating to bigger, sexier machinery they may not be ready for.
Have you ever had something unexpected happen in front of you while you glanced down at your speedometer or GPS? If you have, you understand that the fraction of a second you look away from the road can have dramatic negative consequences, and as a direct result, you also understand that shortening the time away from looking ahead at the road would be a good thing. This is the beauty of head-up displays (HUD) which are, in their most basic sense, a translucent display which allows the rider to view information without needing to look away from the road. The NUVIZ head-up display (HUD), the first HUD built specifically for motorcycling and is our choice for Best Motorcycle Product of 2017.
With August just around the corner, we’re cutting to the apex as we prepare to launch our annual selections for what are the best in motorcycling. MO’s Best Of awards, or MOBOs, begin unveiling the first of August, which is typically the closest the moto industry gets to a bit of a lull period in new motorcycle product launches.
Historically, our choice of Best Product is a consumer-based item such as 2015’s Winner: Sena 10C camera, and Honorable Mention: Healtech Quick Shifter. For 2016 we’ve chosen a commercial product that has remarkable potential for expanding the reach of motorcycling. Based on Cedergrens’ Skidcar concept, Skidbike removes the trepidation during the initial stage of a new rider learning to balance a motorcycle while concurrently coordinating controls by eliminating the chance of crashing. The device also allows experienced riders to venture beyond their normal comfort levels to better understand the functionality of modern electronics, or explore the amount of brake pressure that can be applied before the front tire washes out (which is much more than you think).
The evolution of motorcycles continues its relentless pace in 2014, with new offerings in every segment that advance the state of the art. The list of nominations for our prestigious Motorcycle of the Year award stretched across many categories and a diverse range of prices. After much debate among our editors, we’ve whittled down the best of the best to determine which two motorcycles are most deserving of our honors. And the winners are…
The hallmark of a good sporting motorcycle is one that instills supreme confidence in its rider to comfortably push their abilities. And if the motorcycle also is able to turn heads in the process, then all the better. Of all the new sportbikes we’ve ridden in the past year, none have felt as sure-footed and confidence-inspiring as the Ducati 899 Panigale, Motorcycle.com’s Sportbike of the Year. It doesn’t hurt that the 899 is a sexy object of desire, to boot.
In a class where keeping up with the latest technology can mean the difference between being on the podium and being left at the starting gate, Yamaha’s YZ250F was waaayy loooong overdue for an update in 2014. The Blu Cru’s quarter-liter four-stroke could do little more than hold its own against its rivals, suffering a power deficit and lacking a more precise and easier to tune fuel-injection system. If only Yamaha could come up with something more competitive while retaining the 250F’s excellent handling character…