2022 Motorcycle of the Year

Each year, we gather as a staff for the task of choosing Motorcycle.com’s Motorcycle of the Year (MOTY). Sometimes the debate can be heated – and lengthy. This year, we reached consensus on the top two choices relatively easily. What caused the debate was the ranking of the two, but we were able to come to an agreement (some possibly reluctantly) as to their final standing. Remember, the MOTY is not about choosing the absolute best motorcycle of 2022. While the bike needs to be one of the best by winning one of our MO Best Of categories (MOBO), the bike needs to be something more; it needs to say something about the current state of motorcycling. The 2022 MOTY is no different. In fact, it was alone in winning two MOBO categories. When you combine the two, the motorcycle says a lot about its current class of motorcycles, in this case adventure-touring and value motorcycles. The 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 illustrates the continuing advancement and the maturity of the adventure-touring market.

2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 Review – First Ride

Showdown: 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 vs. Yamaha Ténéré 700

Best Adventure Motorcycle of 2022: Aprilia Tuareg 660

Best Value Motorcycle of 2022: Aprilia Tuareg 660

The Aprilia Tuareg 660 represents the growing importance of the middleweight adventure market. Not only does it come in on the smaller end of the displacement scale, removing some of the barriers to entry to newer ADV riders, but also it comes with features that used to only be the province of heavyweight adventure machinery. Where the Tuareg really makes a statement, though, is how it provides these features for thousands of dollars less than its competitors. So, what we end up with is a lighter, less intimidating, and more flexible platform at a reasonable price. And that’s before we consider how it stacked up in MO’s tests this year.

How does Aprilia pull off this feat? First, the engine, with just minor retuning, is used across three different motorcycle models, helping to keep prices down while showing the versatility of the 660 Parallel-Twin. By virtue of having 75% of its 44.3 lb-ft of torque available at 3,000 for good off-road grunt yet still delivering an exciting top end when revved out, the Tuareg excels in the two most important areas for an ADV bike: crawling around in the dirt and cruising the highways to get there.

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Best Sport-Touring Motorcycle of 2022

From a pure performance standpoint, the Ducati in the runner-up position would wipe the floor with the Suzuki here. But every year it’s worth reminding readers that these awards are about more than just outright performance. We also factor in the intangible factors, like what a certain model means for the brand or for the category, and the GT+ is a sign that the traditional, non-adventure-based, sport-tourers are still alive and kicking. There’s also just the shock and awe factor. As in, we expected Suzuki’s GSX-S1000GT+ to be a nice motorcycle – but we didn’t expect it to be this nice.

The first new platform for Suzuki in some time (which it shares with the GSX-S1000 naked bike), on paper you wouldn’t think there’s much to write home about. Once again, Suzuki has repurposed its K5 GSX-R1000 engine, wrapped some funky bodywork around it and put on saddlebags. But once again, Suzuki has been the model example for the saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In its new role as a sport-touring engine, Suzuki has thoroughly massaged the K5 engine to give a broad spread of usable power right from the bottom – and yet, somehow, it still gives a massive rush up top, too. The engine truly is a sweetheart, but it’s paired with a bi-directional quickshifter/autoblipper that is simply sublime. I said it in my First Ride review of the bike, and we said it again when we tested the GT+ against the Ninja 1000 SX, but it’s remarkable how much a little device like an autoblipper, when done right, can transform the riding experience. It’s done that here.

2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ Review – First Ride

Showdown: Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX Vs Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+

It truly is surprising because the handling and braking characteristics of the GT+ are on par with the rest of the class, and of course, having saddlebags and cruise control are must-haves in this category. They’re all great, easy to use, and make sport-touring a breeze.

But we just love that engine and autoblipper combination. So much so we’re naming the Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ Motorcycle.com’s Sport-Touring bike of 2022.

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2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ First Ride – Video

In my opinion, Suzuki hit a home run with its new for 2022 GSX-S1000GT and GT+. Seeing a market that was slowly shifting towards adventure bikes pulling double duty as tourers, Suzuki sought to revitalize the sport-touring segment for those who prefer 17-inch wheels and strafing twisties. The result is what you’d expect from the company some tout as building the first “real” sportbike in the GSX-R750. 

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2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ Review - First Ride

Naturally, I reached for my Aerostich. The sport-tourer’s uniform of choice, it seemed like the right thing to wear when the invite to test Suzuki’s newest sport-tourer – the 2022 GSX-S1000GT+ – popped up in my inbox. It offers full-body protection from both the ground and the elements, is easy to take on and off, has loads of pockets, and has room underneath for layers (including an airbag, in my case). I felt like I made the right decision when I hopped on the bike. 

In hindsight, maybe I should have grabbed my leathers. 

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2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT First Look

When Suzuki introduced its new GSX-S1000 earlier this year, we figured it was a matter of time before we saw a faired version to replace the GSX-S1000F. Well, Suzuki didn’t disappoint us, announcing a new 2022 GSX-S1000GT sport-tourer.

The GT will be a welcome option for those looking for a sport-touring motorcycle that looks like a sportbike instead of the recent trend of pseudo-adventure bike styling. The GSX-S1000GT’s closest competitor would probably be the Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX. U.S. pricing remains to be determined, but in the U.K., Suzuki priced the GSX-S1000GT at £11,599, which is close to the Ninja’s £11,299 price (£11,499 for the premium paint options). That means we should expect something close to the Ninja 1000SX’s $12,599 price tag, or a bit more if you opt for the GSX-S1000GT+ version that comes with color-matched luggage.

(UPDATE: Suzuki has announced an MSRP of $13,149 for the GSX-S1000GT and $13,799 for the GSX-S1000GT+.)

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