Top 10 Motorcycles We’re Looking Forward to in 2014
Regarding new motorcycles, 2013 more than impressed. The year was a culmination of technological advances and a mashing of styling that began at the turn of the century.
Ducati and BMW took race-ready to new levels with the HP4 and Panigale R, respectively. Kawasaki increased technology in the supersport class with the return of the 636cc Ninja ZX-6R, and replaced its iconic Ninja 250 with the more powerful Ninja 300.
In adventure, BMW released the semi-water cooled boxer in its R1200GS – a motorcycle that received few negative complaints across the industry, and received nothing but praise from new owners.
The cruiser market was filled with many bikes that would quickly become our favorites. These include the Harley-Davidson Breakout (standard), which brought some handling to the OEM chopper market, and Moto Guzzi, which offered an impressively fast mid-size cruiser with the California 1400 Custom.
With a crop of cycles such as these, OEMs have to continually keep the designs fresh and technology flowing when moving forward. And from the look at what’s arriving in 2014, the OEMs are doing just that.
Following are the Top 10 model-year 2014 motorcycles that we are looking forward to, the bikes we know will be our future favorites. Each one represents the determination of OEMs to remain competitive in a market that will settle for very few carry-over models.
10. 2014 BMW S 1000 R
As the name implies, the S 1000 R is a unclothed version of BMW’s popular sportbike, the S 1000 RR. The new S 1000 R roadster uses the same technology as the Bavarian manufacturer’s S 1000 RR sportbike, including the 999cc inline four powerplant.
But the engine was revamped and detuned for more low-end power and torque, the S 1000 R producing 160 horsepower, down 33 from the S 1000 RR sportbike. And just like the S 1000 RR, the engine utilizes a six-speed transmission and utilizes an programmable quick shifter.
The S 1000 R also arrives with superbike-savvy electronics, including Race ABS, ASC traction control, and two riding modes. All of this is offered in a 456-lb. package.
9. 2014 Honda Valkyrie
After taking a break from the Honda lineup, the six-cylinder Valkyrie is back (the name debuted 18 years earlier), and the Gold-Wing based 2014 Honda Valkyrie has been re-imagined as a modern power cruiser. Displacing 1832cc and producing maximum torque at 4000 rpm, the new Valkyrie weighs 154 lbs less than a fully dressed Gold Wing, yet puts out all the power of the luxury tourer.
While the basic aluminum-frame chassis is the same as the Gold Wing and Gold Wing F6B, the Valkyrie has a few new wrinkles. The 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheel gives the 2014 Valkyrie a bit more cornering clearance, and the 130mm front tire is designed to improve turn-in, as is the conservative 180mm rear.
The 45mm cartridge-damping front fork has been lengthened and revalved, lifting the front of the Valkyrie up a bit.
At the launch of the Valkerie, Honda Powersports Press Manager Bill Savino summed up the new machine: “Today a motorcycling icon returns in all-new form. The Valkyrie is back, but this isn’t a motorcycle that celebrates the past. This is a cruiser unlike any other for people who want to seize the future, who appreciate distinctive style, who want the kind of performance no cruiser can match. The Valkyrie redefines the term ‘muscle cruiser.’”
8. 2014 Yamaha FJR1300ES
For 2013, Yamaha seriously upgraded its FJR1300 sport tourer, adding many electronically updates - ride-by-wire, traction control, two power modes and updated cruise control.
Besides those enhancements, the FJR also received updates to the suspension, new liner-free cylinders in its powerplant, different exhaust-pipe lengths for more optimal power, and a redesigned fairing, to name a few.
The shaft-drive FJR impressed Yamaha’s sport-touring crowd, but for 2014, there’s even more to impress with the all-new FJR1300ES, which features electronically adjustable suspension.
The standard FJR1300A is still available for $15,890, but many will likely spend the extra $1,000 for the ES version. The suspension features four preload and nine damping options. Also, the 2014 FJR1300ES borrowed some technology from Yamaha’s flagship sportbike, the YZF-R1 – a compression damper in one leg and a rebound damper in the other for precise and easy adjustments.
7. 2014 Ducati Superleggra
Following a few weeks of teasing “Project 1201″ on its YouTube Channel, Ducati unveiled the motorcycle that will rival the exclusivity of the Desmosedici RR – the 1199 Superleggera.
The 1199 Superleggera is exactly what its name translates to in English – Super Light. The Italian motorcycle manufacturer continued its performance recipe of lightweight and more power, and designed a machine that creates over 200 horsepower and has a claimed dry weight of just 341.7 lbs.
With 90-percent fuel and all liquids, the Superleggera weighs in at 390.2 lbs.
Yes, you read that correctly – 341.7 lbs. With these types of numbers, the 2014 Ducati 1199 Superleggera has the highest power-to-weight ratio of any production motorcycle.
Exciting? We think so…
6. 2014 MV Agusta Rivale
The Rivale 800 takes a clear aim at one competitor – the Ducati Hypermotard. The styling attributes of the Rivale 800 display this; the front appears like Ducati’s Hypermotorad. But what’s also interesting is the rear tail section – it takes styling from Ducati’s Diavel.
The Rivale 800 builds on MVA’s line of inline three motorcycles, joining the F3 675, the Bruatle 675 and the all-new Brutale 800. These bikes are all younger siblings of MV’s F4 and the new Brutale 1090.
The new 800′s engine is basically a bored-out version of the 675. The 800 pushes 125 horsepower at 11,600 rpm, which is 12 ponies more than the 675, and 60 ft. lb. of torque at 8600 rpm. The engine features the counter-rotating crankshaft, something once only used in MotoGP. The design reduces inertia while changing direction, helping the bike’s overall balance.
At 375 lbs., this bike will impress the hooligan in all of us. And the looks – from the steel-trellis frame to the single-sided swingarm – are some of the sexiest around.
5. 2014 BMW R1200RT
When BMW upgraded its R 1200 GS with the new semi-water cooled boxer, it was only a matter of time before the engine was offered in another model.
Speculation pointed towards the R 1200 RT, which lost some popularity when BMW introduced the K 1600 tourers in 2011. And during the opening day at EICMA (Milan Motorcycle Show), this speculation became truth.
At EICMA, BMW unveiled the 2014 R 1200 RT, which features the new 125-horsepower, semi-water cooled boxer twin. The R 1200 RT, which enters its 35th year in 2014, is also loaded with the latest in technology, including ASC traction control, two riding modes, ABS, and something new to the world of touring motorcycles – an optional BMW Gear Shift Assistant Pro.
4. 2014 Harley-Davidson Street 750/500
In 2014, Harley-Davidson will release two entry-level motorcycles – the Street 750 and the Street 500.
These two motorcycles were originally set for foreign markets such as those in India and China, but Harley is now going to sell them in the United States. The Street bikes will be built at the Harley-Davidson plant in Kansas City, according to insiders at Harley-Davidson.
The machines are built on the new “Revolution X” platform, which is the first all-new platform of Harley-Davidson motorcycles since the introduction of VRSC (V-Twin Racing Street Custom) lineup 2001 (V-Rod, Night-Rod, Street-Rod).
The Street 750 and Street 500 feature the liquid-cooled, fuel-injected “Revolution X” powertrains. The Street 750 features a 60-degree, four-valve-per cylinder 749cc engine, and the Street 500 a 494cc engine; both versions arrive with a six-speed transmission.
With the entry-level market on every OEM’s radar, Harley had to offer more than the 883cc cruiser. And the Street 750 and Street 500 were the answer.
3. 2014 Ducati Monster 1200
Though turning a young 21 in 2014, the Ducati Monster has more than proved itself. The naked motorcycle out of Bologna not only broke styling boundaries when released back in 1993, but also saved Ducati from financial turmoil.
And to celebrate its 21st year in existence, the Monster lineup has been revamped for 2014. Alongside the Monster 696 and 796 models that return as carry overs, Ducati will offer the new Monster 1200 in two versions – the base and the one that will bring back memories of the S4R and S4RS – the 1200 S.
The new 1200 models, which replace the Monster 1100 EVO, arrive with the second-generation Testastretta 11-degree Dual Spark (DS) engine, the same powerplant offered in the Multistrada and Diavel.
You can’t mess with an icon – the Ducati Monster is the one that brought about the naked-bike frenzy that continues to grow stronger every year. And, as the new Monster 1200 shows, more powerful.
2. Suzuki V-Strom 1000
Besides a few minor updates in 2007, the Suzuki V-Strom DL1000 “sport enduro touring” motorcycle remained unchanged since its introduction in 2002.
But this all changes for the 2014 V-Strom 1000 (DL was dropped from the name in 2012). The bike was completely redesigned from bottom up, receiving a larger 1037cc engine, ABS, fully-adjustable 43mm KYB inverted forks, and Traction Control – a first for any Suzuki motorcycle.
To offer increased torque at a lower rpm, and amp up the horsepower of the liquid-cooled, DOHC 90-degree V-twin, Suzuki increased the piston bore from 98mm to 100mm, which increased the displacement from 996 to 1037cc. This helped increase horsepower to 99.2 at 8000 rpm, and torque to 76 ft. lb. at 4000 rpm.
We have beaten our 2002 DL1000 daily for the past few years, and though it has over 70,000 miles, the bike never fails us. But the bike had many downfalls that we had to address, from suspension to weight. The 2014 V-Strom 1000 seems to address all of these issues, and we will report on the outcome once we get some miles on the new Strom.
1. 2014 EBR 1190 RX
This brings us down to our number-one most anticipated bike of 2014 – the EBR 1190 RX.
This bike was without a doubt one of the highlights of the inaugural American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) held in Orlando this past October.
The EBR 1190 RX is driven by basic philosophies of high-performance – less weight and more power.
How much power? The EV-V2 1190cc V-Twin produces 185 horsepower at 10,600 rpm, and, more importantly, 102 ft. lbs. of torque at 8200 rpm. This torque is spread out on a long and linear curve, which allows the 2014 EBR 1190 RX to produce optimal power in every gear.
Regardless of high horsepower, EBR, which will enter World Superbike in 2014, reports that the 1190 RX gets 52 mpg; with the 4.5-gallon tank, the new sportbike can get 234 miles per tank.
This power/mpg combo is possible due to a redesigned combustion chamber that features Controlled Swirl Induction – something not found on EBR last generation sportbike, the 1190 RS. This design, along with electronic fuel injection system that features two port injectors and two showerhead injectors, allows the 1190 V-Twin to optimally burn fuel.
The 1190 RX reportedly weighs 419 lb. wet, which will make it one of the lightest literbikes available. It arrives with many parts to enhance its superbike sweetness, including Showa suspension, 21 levels of traction control, a single-perimeter 386mm brake rotor up front, and style typical of Erik Buell.
EBR has offered many desirable superbikes in the past, but none that were truly affordable to real-world riders. This all changes with the 1190 RX, and this is why it’s the number-one motorcycle we’re looking forward to experiencing in 2014.