The Top 10 Streetbikes We Can’t Wait to Ride in 2019. —The 2019 model year promises to be another big one for the world’s top motorcycle manufacturers. While some are viewing the coming 12 months as a bit of an interim before they launch all-new products for 2020 (new Honda CBR1000RR/V4 superbike, anyone?), there are plenty of street bikes coming that’ll make your buying decisions all the harder.
We’ve had a look over our First Looks from the second half of 2018 to come up with the Top 10 street bikes we are absolutely busting to ride in 2019. There’s a few in here that might surprise you.
The Top 10 Street Bikes We Can’t Wait to Ride in 2019
Aprilia RSV4 1100
Judging from the response to this First Look we posted back in November, you guys are stoked on this new superbike, too. The RSV4 has long been one of our favorite superbikes here at Cycle News, but this one’s gonna be a bit special. Aprilia is claiming a rather stout 217 hp from that superlative V4 that’s had its capacity punched from 999cc to 1078cc, giving it a claimed 3 hp more than the 1103cc Ducati Panigale V4S, despite coming the smaller capacity.
The 1100 will get the mechanically-adjusted (not electronic) Ohlins suspension, Brembo Stylema calipers and revised electronics in the Aprilia Performance Ride Control system, which was already one of if not the very best electronics suites on the market for a standard superbike.
All this in a package weighing a claimed 438 lb will make the RSV4 1100 one dynamite sport bike. To read the in-depth First Look on the Aprilia RSV4 1100, click here.
KTM 790 Adventure
When we first heard about the concept of the 790 Adventure, we knew it was going to be good. Chatting with KTM development rider Quinn Cody has only heightened the anticipation of the bike KTM believes will likely become their top-selling ADV weapon, as more riders discover the joy of off-roading without needing a 1090 underneath them to do it.
The 790 Adventure will come in two flavors—the base 790 and the 790 Adventure R, with both powered by the same 799cc parallel-twin with around 95 hp on tap. The two bikes will differ in terms of suspension, with the base model getting WP’s 43mm APEX open cartridge upside down fork and WP APEX shock, while the Adventure R gets beefier WP 48 mm XPLOR upside down forks and the WP XPLOR PDS rear shock.
The mid-size ADV segment is going to be the hottest ticket in town in the coming years, and it looks like KTM’s already in the box seat.
To read the in-depth First Look on the KTM 790 Adventure, click here.
BMW S 1000 RR
Next year will be the first time the S 1000 RR has been completely updated since it debuted way back in 2010. That’s an astonishing nine-year run with the occasional update for a single platform, and an indication of just how good the OG S 1000 RR really was.
For 2019, however, all is brand-spanking-new from BMW. And they mean business. Their new superbike is claimed to deliver 207 hp and 83 lb-ft of torque from a motor using the BMW ShiftCam variable valve timing technology, which varies the valve timings and valve strokes on the intake side. There’s also a completely new chassis and new electronics system, all packaged in a system weighing a claimed 434 lb, ready to ride.
There’s also good news for those wanting to up their S 1000 RR even further, with the 2019 edition becoming the first BMW motorcycle to receive its own M-Sport package in much the same way as the company’s high-end cars like the M3 and M5.
Make no mistake, this is going to be one heck of a superbike. So much so that BMW is coming back to WorldSBK with a fully-fledged factory race team run by Shawn Muir and piloted by former WorldSBK Champion, Tom Sykes and German Superbike Champion Markus Reiterberger. To read the in-depth First Look of the 2019 BMW S 1000 RR, click here.
Indian FTR 1200
Indian’s demolition of the AMA Flat Track Championship over the last two years has been nothing short of astounding. Mees and Co. have simply laid waste to their rivals from Milwaukee, and now it’s our turn to see what all the fuss is about.
Well, not really.
The FTR 1200 is far from Mees’ championship weapon, but it is a stunning tribute to the man and machine who now seem to have a mortgage on the GNC number one plate.
The FTR 1200 is the first Indian I could honestly see myself owning, and that’s before I get the chance to ride it. I am a massive fan of Indian’s Dark Horse, which, is my pick of the bagger/cruisers built in the U.S., but the FTR 1200 is a seriously badass looking motorcycle. It’s the first move towards a more sporting production Indian, and the guys who built it tell me there’s more on the way, which is a good thing indeed.
The FTR 1200 comes in two flavors—the 1200 and 1200 S—with the Racer color scheme (no doubt the one they will sell the most of), costing an extra grand. Trust me, when you see that paint scheme, it’s worth it. I can’t wait to ride this beast…
For the in-depth First Look at the 2019 Indian FTR 1200 and FTR 1200 S, click here.
OK—this is not a 2019 model, but Suzuki says the new Katana will be available by the summer of 2019 as a 2020 model, so that’s good enough for me.
The Katana and I have a little love affair. Back in Australia, I raced one of the original 1100 Katana’s that was bored out to 1170cc with 150 hp at the tire, with modern suspension and 17in. slicks. Needless to say, it was damn awesome. So, I’ve got high hopes for the new Kat. This is one of all time legendary names in sport bikes, and it’ll come to market heavily based off the GSX-S1000, itself based off one of the greatest superbikes Suzuki has ever produced in the 2005 GSX-R1000.
The Katana should be packing around 145 hp with KYB suspension and Brembo brakes, plus styling that gives a solid doff of the cap to the original Katana of the early 1980s.
Bike companies don’t resurrect their famous machines often. Suzuki knows it’s got a big responsibility with the new Katana. Let’s hope they live up to it.
For the in-depth First Look at the Suzuki Katana, click here.
Moto Guzzi V85 TT
The first time I saw the V85 TT, I thought MG had lost their minds. But then I remembered the Stelvio (remember that beast?), and suddenly the V85 TT didn’t seem so crazy.
Then I saw one while at Piaggio’s Costa Mesa HQ last week.
The V85 is one of the most perplexing motorcycles I’ve seen for a long time. It’s ugly, yet good looking. Boring, yet with the personality that lights up a room. I can’t figure it out.
Yet the more I look at it, the more I like it. Originally, I thought the yellow paint was a yuk, but in the metal, it looks fantastic when offset with the red tubular steel chassis. Plus, it’s got that great, hulking, 850cc V-twin sticking out either side of your knees, a massive 5.5-gallon tank, and those headlights that look like they’ve been swiped off a Baja racebike.
This is a bike that grown on me, daily. The one thing this V85 TT has over anything else in the ADV segment is uniqueness. Nothing else has a motor like this, nothing else has bodywork like this, and nothing else has a personality like this. The proof will be in the ride. Fingers crossed it’s a good one.
For the in-depth First Look at the Moto Guzzi V85 TT, click here.
Ducati Diavel 1260
This is, without doubt, the most unconventional, the most un-Ducati Ducati, Ducati currently builds.
I remember when it first came out in 2011. It was a revelation. No bike I’d ever ridden with a 240-section rear tire handled this well, nor did any of them go as well as the Diavel did. The main issue with the Diavel is it didn’t know who its customer was. It’s far more sport bike than cruiser and more cruiser than sport bike. Still, there’s no denying the Diavel has a place in the Ducati line-up, so for 2019, the Bologna boys have granted their beefiest bruiser the same motor as the Multistrada in the 1262cc Testastretta DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing) engine, with horsepower and torque at 159 hp at 9500 rpm and 95 ft-lb at 7500 rpm, respectively.
Those are pretty serious numbers for any production motorcycle, let alone one that’s aimed at cruising.
The Diavel will get mid-package Brembo brakes, a quick shifter, LED lights front and back and the same Bosch IMU/electronics suite you’ll see on the Panigale (albeit with different algorithms), so it packs as much tech as it does power. It’s not a complete departure from the old model, which itself has remained largely untouched since its debut, but I don’t care. This thing is gnarly so it’s good to see Ducati breathe a touch of life back into its angry gym junkie of a cruiser.
For the in-depth First Look of the 2019 Ducati Diavel 1260, click here.
I love the Kawasaki Ninja 400. But I love nakedbikes more (I own a 2015 KTM Super Duke, after all). So, it was a good day when Kawasaki answered the worldwide cries of a little nakedbike based off their Ninja 400 sport bike.
The Ninja 400 has been such a roaring success because it’s a bike anyone can ride and have fun on. The Z400 aims to make that fun a touch more accessible on a day-to-day basis, even though the Ninja is probably the most comfortable of any sub-600cc sport bike on the market today.
The nakedbike game is getting better every year. In 2018, KTM crushed it by bringing the stonking 790 Duke to the market, and even though I do not expect the Z400 to have that kind of effect, there should be no underestimating how many of these things Kawasaki is guaranteed to sell based off the fact the Ninja 400 is such a brilliant bike and the Z400 is just that bike, but more comfortable.
And the best part? The Z400 will have an MSRP of $4799. Not bad for a brand new bike as cool as this. That motor is strong as an ox, the styling is sharp and street presence is right there. This will be a great bike for those looking at getting naked in 2019.
For the in-depth look at the 2019 Kawasaki Z400, click here.
Sounds odd, I know, but I’m really keen to ride the new CB500X.
Simply put, the 500X is not that far off being a proper, light weigh ADV machine. The motor is a lovely little 471cc parallel-twin, and the bike gets a 19-inch front wheel and relatively good road tires that’ll go somewhat off-road and decent suspension travel of 5.3 inches up front and 5.9 at the rear, so getting to places that otherwise would seem out of the question suddenly becomes a little more realistic.
No one is kidding themselves and thinking this CB500X is going to win any ADV shootouts next year, but that’s not the point. The 500X represents a gateway into soft ADV riding that will hopefully entice riders who were either on the fence about trying it or people who never thought this type of riding would fit them.
Honda over-engineers their motorcycles, which, for a bike at riders with a little less experience than most, is a great thing. I think this 500X may surprise a few people next year.
For the in-depth First Look at the Honda CB500X, click here.
Yamaha chose not to go down the route many had hoped and punched the capacity of the 321cc YZF-R3 out to a Kawasaki Ninja 400-challenging 399cc, but that doesn’t mean the new bike shouldn’t be something cool to sample.
Yamaha’s given the new R3 a facelift for 2019, and there’s new suspension in the 37mm KYB fork and triple clamp, a new gas tank and reshaped rider position with a new tank and handlebars. New LED lights, dash, and Dunlop rubber complete the picture.
What Yamaha has done with the R3 is make a bike that looks pretty darn close to the R6 and R1, which breeds that all-important brand loyalty the manufacturers crave. The R1 is more than a bike, it’s a brand, so to see the family linked so well for 2019 is something Yamaha should be congratulated on.
I sense a little bike shootout in 2019…
For the in-depth First Look at the 2019 Yamaha YZF-R3, click here.