There are a variety of options to choose from when you think of beginner bikes, many of them centered around sport-type models or standards. This is often because manufacturers spend more of their marketing dollars hyping their beginner sportbikes or standards. But fear not, cruiser rider – there are great entry-level models for those craving the feet-forward stance. Here, we’ve gathered eight of those great choices for your viewing pleasure.
The 2018 MotoGP World Championship chase came to a screeching, grinding halt today in a Japanese gravel trap on Lap 23 of the Motul Grand Prix of Japan. It fell to earth in the person of Italian Andrea Dovizioso who, chasing Marc Marquez for the lead, lost the front in Turn 10. Everyone know there was going to be no stopping Marquez this year. Still, the moment the title is decided, weeks too early, is just a big ol’ bummer. But there it is.
And so the 2018 MotoGP season comes down to this, a showdown in The Land of the Rising Sun. Home MotoGP track for Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha; much face at stake. Two samurai riders, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso and Honda’s Marc Marquez, expecting to go one-on-one for a title so close Marquez can smell it. Much too early in the season for all this. Elsewhere, Yamaha will be watched closely for continuing progress from their recent knees-up in Thailand, or will it be back to the drawing board again?
Suzuki showed off a GSX-R150 model at AIMExpo to gauge consumer interest in the small-displacement sportbike. The bike is already being offered in other markets, introduced in Asia earlier this year, and derived from the GSX-R125 that’s being sold in Europe. As it’s competitors push their entry-level sportbikes into larger displacements, Suzuki is considering going smaller and creating its own niche.
We’ve waxed poetic about the Kawasaki Ninja 400 more times than I care to count here at MO. Just check the Best Lightweight/Entry Level category posted a few days earlier to see what we like about the bike. Aside from being a polished, handsome, and fun motorcycle for both new riders and experienced veterans alike, what we didn’t mention in the Lightweight/Entry Level piece was just how affordable the little Ninja is. Ranging in price from $4,999 to $5,499, depending on color choice and ABS, the 400 is easily accessible for students on a budget – we’ve even had readers report dealer markdowns in their area on the Ninja 400.
We here at Motorcycle.com like the Suzuki V-Strom 1000XT. In fact, we named it the value choice of our recent Big-Bore Adventure Touring Shootout ( Part 1, Part 2). So, imagine our surprise when we saw that some of the same accessories installed on our 1000XT for the tour were now standard fare on the 2019 Suzuki V-Strom 1000XT Adventure.
The Suzuki V-Strom 650XT has proven popular with fans of middle-weight adventure touring motorcycles. Couple that with a plethora of accessories available directly from Suzuki and the aftermarket, and you’ve got a flexible mount for either commuting or racking up the miles. Still, some people don’t want to bother with outfitting their bike with accessories, preferring that the essentials be installed directly at the factory. The release of the 2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring should make these people very happy.
The Suzuki SV650X, a retro-ish cafe racer version of the SV650, is coming to the U.S., along with some minor updates to the regular SV. The SV650X has actually been available in other markets as a 2018 model, but the extra wait gives U.S. consumers a new black and white color scheme and upgraded brakes.
In other news, we mostly knew about a couple of weeks ago if not longer, excitement in the Suzuki encampment revolved around the 2020 Suzuki Katana. A design three years in the making by Italian designer Rodolfo Frascoli, the new bike’s cutting-edge bodywork (there was a lot of swordplay and big drums in Suzuki’s hip video) looks like it’s built on top of mostly the preexisting GSX-S1000.
Okay, the days are getting shorter, and the temperatures are staying lower. Perhaps even the leaves have started to turn in your neighborhood. That’s great news! Why? Because the Model Year 2019 show season is kicking off today in Cologne, Germany, at the bi-annual Intermot convention. That’s right, in even-numbered years, we don’t have to wait until the EICMA show in November to begin seeing what all the international motorcycle manufacturers have up their collective sleeves. While your actual riding season may be drawing to a close, we hope to keep you daydreaming about motorcycles with a list of new temptations.
By now, hopefully you’ve already read our street installation of this two-part test. If not, STOP! Please do check it out because it outlines and dissects each and every bike in great detail, and it very well might answer a slew of questions you might have that aren’t addressed here, in the off-road portion of the shootout.
Since Sachsenring, Marc Marquez had grown weary hearing about how great the Ducati is, how great Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo are, how they’ve been making a chump out of him since August. Marc Marquez, despite his calm exterior, is a fiercely competitive young man. Today, with no pressure and no real incentive other than pride, he went out and beat Dovizioso in front of his home fans, assuring them that he may be many things, but one of them is not a chump.
Suzuki has released yet another teaser for what is expected to be a brand new Katana model. This is actually the third video, with the first one released Sept 5 and the second last week. The first two didn’t show much, beside confirm the bike has something to do with a sword, but the latest video offers the first look at the 2019 Suzuki Katana’s fuel tank.