Motorcycles Motorcycle Models That Will Outlive Us All
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Around this time every year we begin poring over manufacturer websites in search of the latest, coolest hardware or fresh redesigns, and to be fair, most times we’re rewarded with a slick new model or at least some trick tech and maybe a compelling accessory. But there are always a few bikes that seem to return to the line with every turn of the calendar page. Some of these stalwarts are entirely unchanged, some get a fresh coat of paint for the year, while others might retain the name but go through a more serious redesign. These are the bikes that consistently have proven their worth to the manufacturers, in part because they sell, or because the name carries brand recognition, or because the R&D, tooling, and production are all paid for at this point.
MotoGP on TV today – How can I watch qualifying for the Andalusian GP?
Jerez will host the second round of the 2020 MotoGP season under the Andalusian Grand Prix banner on July 24-26. Here's how you can watch the two-part qualifying in your country. © KTM Images Pol Espargaro, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Petronas Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo claimed pole position at Jerez last weekend, leading the works M1 of Maverick Vinales. Marc Marquez prevented an all-Yamaha front row by setting the third fastest time in qualifying, 0.157s off the pace of Quartararo. Francesco Bagnaia was the lead Ducati rider in fourth aboard the Pramac-run Desmosedici GP20.
In fact, some of these long-running bikes may just prompt a quick ride down memory lane.
2020 Honda Super Cub: $3,649
Years in production: 1958-1983 (US); 2019-present
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Sure, the most recent version is a 125cc fuel-injected all-new machine introduced in 2019, but we simply can’t start this list without mentioning the world-record-holding. The original (called Honda 50 in the US) was a 49cc, three-speed machine that essentially created the when it debuted in 1958, and since then, Honda’s built more than 110 million of them in displacements ranging from 50cc up to 125, allowing it to claim the title of best-selling self-propelled vehicle of all time. The Cub’s current 125cc, single-overhead-cam, two-valve engine can also be found in other small Hondas, like the throwback 2021 Monkey and the grin-getting Grom, but the Cub’s step-through design, four-speed sequential transmission, and relatively long 48.9-inch wheelbase make it more accessible, stable, and comfortable. It’s amazingly easy to ride, and the perfect beach or inner-city errand runner, and as Editor Morgan Gales put it in his “With a small and efficient engine, affordable price point…the Honda Super Cub C125 ABS cuts the intimidation factor for new riders.” Although it hadn’t been available in the US for some 40 years before this version, the Honda Motor Company in Japan continued to sell and develop the step-through around the world with massive success.
2021 BMW R 18 First Ride Review
An American-style cruiser done in a very Bavarian wayHow could I not? CW Zon, Revival Cycles, and Roland Sands Design had each molded its own concept and produced an amazing custom machine around this gargantuan 1,802cc flat-twin engine, and now it was my turn to test the final production version—the 2021 BMW R 18 First Edition.
2020 Honda Rebel: $4,499/$6,199
Years in production: 1985-2016; 2017-present
Those who got their endorsement the MSF way might know that the CMX250, or Rebel 250, was a 234ccmade by Honda on and off since 1985. The entry-level bike’s greatest claim to fame was probably its ubiquitous usage in the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s certified rider-training courses (remember?). In that previous life, it used the same 234cc (14.3ci) straight-twin engine as the Honda Nighthawk 250 standard, but these days the Rebel rocks a completely new design with an all-new single-cylinder engine for the 300 model and a new parallel twin for the 500. Because these latest Rebels were introduced in 2017 as all-new models, we can’t really call the Rebel a continuously produced, unchanged model—the 300 and share no parts with the older 250 bike. What they do share though is the same ease of use and accessibility for almost any rider, big or small.
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2020 Yamaha VMax: $17,999
Years in production: 1985-2008; 2009-present
Another iconic name from the 1980s is the VMax, though it too has had to reinvent itself to keep up with the times.hard-charging V-4 musclebike was sold with only minor revisions from the original 1985 model year all the way until 2007 (though it did get a few tweaks in 1993, gaining a larger-diameter fork and four-piston brake calipers among other small upgrades). In 2009, though, we finally saw an all-new version of the VMax, completely redesigned with an all-aluminum frame holding a bigger 1,679cc, liquid-cooled, 65-degree, V-4, DOHC engine used as a stressed member; fully adjustable suspension; antilock brakes; slipper clutch; and even more insane power than on Gen 1. Instead of the V-Boost on the original carbureted V-Max (that opened butterfly valves in the intake manifold to boost power), the newer fuel-injected bike uses YCC-I and YCC-T. That Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I) system is borrowed from the firm’s R1 racebike, so you just know your throttle hand will be happy.
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2020 Royal Enfield Bullet 350/500: NA/$4,999 (US)
Years in production: 1932-2020
Talk about staying power—thehas managed to stay in production for over half a century now. In fact, it’s one of the longest-running motorcycles to be in continuous production, going all the way back to its introduction in 1932. Although its engine has been greatly refined and offered in several displacements through the years (the popular Bullet 500 was discontinued in India this year but is still available here), the foundation has remained relatively consistent throughout that long stretch. No, it doesn’t have the latest tech or most power, but it brings the rider back to an earlier time of motorcycling, when it was pure and simple. From the hand-painted fuel tank to the halogen bulb, or the 499cc single-cylinder engine to the electric/kickstarter, the Bullet has those sought-after intangibles older motorcyclists often mumble about, of “character and soul.” As we have said in past reviews, you can “click into fifth gear on the road and it feels like five decades ago.” Take a new model out for a ride and we guarantee someone will ask you what century it’s from.
Top 10 Classic Honda Motorcycles
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2020 Triumph Bonneville T100: $10,450
Years in production: 1959-1983; 1985-1988; 2001-present
Bonneville model has existed, in one form or another, for well over 50 years (with a few sizable gaps in production, however), though the latest generation is the one we’re concerned with here. Kudos to the reborn Hinckley-based brand for its relaunch of the iconic model; the new version boasted a completely new design when it debuted in 2001, yet managed to strongly reference the original series, both in styling and performance. In total, the Bonneville was manufactured in three generations over three separate production runs (the first two by now-defunct Triumph Engineering in Meriden, England), and the latest run, which has already had several redesigns, is already going on 20 years. There have been plenty of changes in that period, with fuel injection, restyling, and even a new engine making the scene in both the T100 and the T120 models a couple of years back, but you can draw a pretty straight through line between the current bikes and the iconic 1959 original, with each version sporting spirited performance, comfortable ergos, and classic good looks. In fact, the 2020 T100 is a dead ringer for our personal ’03 model—externally, anyway.
2019 Suzuki Savage, aka Boulevard S40: $8,795
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Years in production: 1986-2019
It’s not available in the 2020 lineup, and presumably won’t be for 2021, but you can still snag aS40 from the firm’s 2019 offerings (it’s right there on the Suzuki website). The Bike Formerly Known as the Savage was manufactured with that name from 1986 to 2004, and then transitioned to the far more sleepy Boulevard S40 moniker for 2005, which it retained until last year. But could that really be its last year of production? The first production chopper-style model from Japan might just make a comeback, given the fact that its air-cooled single-cylinder 647cc engine, low seat height, and 19-inch wheel arrangement lasted for 33 years in Suzuki’s cruiser lineup in the first place, virtually unchanged the whole time. , so if you’re feeling like there’s a bobber project in your future (or you’re just a beginning rider), used ones can probably be found for cheap.
2020 Moto Guzzi V7: $8,490
Years in production: 1971-1973; 2008-present
Choose whichever style floats your boat from Guzzi’s latest V7 series; they’re all the same under the sheet metal (we currently like theor the ). Although Guzzi began making a V7 model way back in 1967, the current bike can trace its form more closely to 1971′s V7 Sport offshoot, which was the first to feature Moto Guzzi’s now-signature transverse V-twin, and was also the brand’s first shaft-driven model. The V7 Sport had a larger 748cc motor with a redesigned frame, larger drum brakes, and a five-speed transmission, but Guzzi discontinued the V7s in 1973, and thought to reintroduce the namesake current generation models only in 2008; the current 744cc V-twin is smaller, but still offers a spirited push in the corners with a light handling nature to keep most pilots well-entertained. The newer bikes still sport basic suspension and single rotor brakes so there are some price point compromises, but the 5.5-gallon tank makes for decent range between fill-ups, plus ABS is standard. Its retro cues make it instantly appealing, and if you’re into cool simplicity with a dash of Italian charm, the V7s will hook you. We hope they stick around.
2020 Harley Sportster 883: $8,999
Years in production: 1957-present
Theis the longest continuously produced motorcycle in the , having made an appearance in Milwaukee’s inventory since 1957, designated in H-D lingo with the code “XL.” We all know the history of this nameplate by now, having seen literally dozens of variations of the bike at this point in its life, but the original Sportster was powered by the overhead-valve Ironhead engine, which was replaced with the Evolution engine (with alloy heads) in 1986 where it soldiers on to this day. The Evo engine could be found in 883cc, 1,100cc, and 1,200cc displacements over the years, though now there are just two variations—883 and 1,200cc—with fuel injection on all models as of 2007. The frame too underwent all kinds of tweaks and refinements and even wholesale redesigns, with rubber mounting coming into play from 2004 on. With a new liquid-cooled, smaller-displacement engine in the works at Harley-Davidson, it begs the question of how much longer the Sportster—at least in its current form—will stay in the lineup. Like the Ford Mustang, we’re betting H-D’s popular two-wheeler also won’t be going away any time soon.
2021 Ural Gear Up: $17,549
Years in production: 1941-present
Choose whichever Ural model you want—they’re all essentially reverse-engineered copies of the WWII-era BMW R71 with a sidecar added. The hacks are even powered by a 749cc OHV air-cooled boxer engine that hasn’t changed all that much in all this time. The Russian-built sidecar models were the result of developments in the Eastern Front between the warring parties during World War II, and the firm’s first bike was made in 1941. Of course there have been plenty of advancements and improvements in the intervening decades, with the Urals getting fuel injection, new brakes, updated suspension and frame designs, new wheels, and updated electronics and the like over the years. The marque has also shuttled in new models, intriguing trims (the Sportsman! The Retro! The Sahara!), and various other add-ons, but beneath all the new paint and fresh accessories you’ll still find pretty much the same rugged foundation for what’s really a pretty cool rig to tool around on. The US market offers two models for 2020, the less-intimidating CT and the higher-end, 2WD Gear Up.
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