10 Motorcycles you’ve likely forgotten are still on sale

Variety is the spice of life, as they say, but this doesn't always apply to motorcycling as these 2022 models we had to check up on testify to... 

Suzuki Katana 2022

We’re all individuals, we as a capitalist society like choice and we like to think our consumer selections reflect this. 

The same can be said for motorcyclists - after all, who doesn't enjoy shopping around for that next new pride and joy.

And yet, we are as creatures of habit, with many of us heading in a predictable direction when it comes to making a motorcycle purchase.

Models like the BMW R 1250 GS/Adventure, Yamaha MT-07, Triumph Trident and Royal Enfield Meteor 350, they have become familiar sights on the road… but have you ever stopped to wonder 'whatever happened to this or that model?'

You know, the motorcycles launched to great fanfare and boasts, only to be overshadowed and overlooked when it came to money exchanging hands…

Something like these 10 motorcycles, which you might be surprised to learn are actually still available to buy all shiny and new right now…

Honda NC750X

With annual sales of almost 30 million, it’s not often you get a motorcycle from Honda that we can never be entirely certain is still available until we check the website, but the Honda NC750X is one such example.

Categorised as an ‘adventure motorcycle’ by Honda, the fact it instantly looks out of place next to the Africa Twin and even the X-ADV scooter says a lot about the NC750X’s confused positioning in the range.

In reality, the NC750X - the sole remaining NC model after the standard 750 was axed -  is better suited as a ‘Touring’ motorcycle that just happens to get its boots a little muddy once in a while. It’s a handsome looker - more attractive than the Honda NT 1100, anyway - practical and feels solid… but is as unremarkable as most ‘does what it says on the tin’ Hondas.

With the aforementioned launch of the NT already going a long way to rendering the NC750X superfluous, the incoming Transalp ADV - built on an all-new 755cc twin platform - will likely kill the NC750X softly come the turn of the year.

Suzuki Katana

It was one of most eagerly anticipated new motorcycle launches of 2018… but just four years later, you’d be hard pressed to spot the modern day reimagining of the Suzuki Katana out on the roads.

With a look that was considered both futuristic and genre-defining at the time of its launch, the original 1981 Katana has become part of motorcycling folklore. Indeed, while the Katana divided opinion when it was first revealed, today it is remembered as revolutionary, if outlandish.

It’s therefore ironic then that today’s reboot is largely forgotten for the exact opposite by being, well, forgettable.

While many original traits - such as the squared off headlight and nose section, part-fairing - remain intact, the Katana of 1981 was very much a modern-looking motorcycle of its era, whereas the modern version appears dated rather than retro.

If Suzuki had stuck to its guns and produced something similar to the Katana-inspired Stratosphere concept, then we reckon the outcome could have been very different.

BMW R 1250 R

It’s a bit strange to be including Europe’s best-selling motorcycle on a list about forgotten models, but such is the ubiquity of the GS and GS Adventure variants of the immensely popular R 1250 range, it’s easy to forget there are other models in the line-up too.

Together with the RT version, the R 1250 GS appears forever destined to be so associated with these three models, that the other two variants - the RS and R - barely get a look in.

The flagship of BMW’s naked line-up, the R 1250 R sits awkwardly as a superfluous big-engined roadster that neither has the oomph of ‘hyper’ would-be rivals like the KTM 1290 Super Duke R and Kawasaki Z H2, nor leans into tourer because that base is well and truly covered by its siblings.

Chuck in the fact its territory is encroached by the S 1000 R and F 900 R, then the R 1250 R is rather surplus to requirement.

Yamaha Niken GT

Yes, yes, yes… before you say it, we ‘know’ the Yamaha Niken GT muddies the waters when it comes to being classified as a motorcycle, but much like the Jaffa Cake-biscuit debate, it fits the bill here.

There is no faulting Yamaha’s vision with the Niken - a two-front, one-rear trike - filled with clever gyroscopic technology designed for superior comfort and stability, plus the mind-easing notion that you won’t fall off it very easily.

It’s also a pretty decent tourer over a long distance, but there is no disguising the Niken GT is a proper quirky oddball that we couldn’t recommend to anyone at all uneasy at receiving attention everywhere you go from passers-by.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Niken hasn’t won over buyers in the way the nifty Piaggio MP3 has, largely because its unique features - though well judged - aren’t really worth the gawps, its £15,500 asking price and a selection over the accomplished Yamaha Tracer 9.

Benelli TRK 502

To be honest, we could have slotted any member of Benelli’s current UK motorcycle line-up such is the historic Italian firm’s tiny status in the UK.

It isn’t alone as a brand limited by its sparse distribution network, but Benelli’s bit-part player status gets more surprising when you consider it has become something of a soaring star in the global rankings, one that now outsells the likes of Triumph and Ducati comfortably.

Substantial investment from Qianjiang Motors has seen Benelli’s range and footprint grow exponentially across Asia, where it is now a popular choice. 

However, the effect has been felt in Europe too with the Benelli TRK 502 now the best-selling motorcycle in Italy by a country mile, thanks in part to the mid-capacity soft-roader/tourer having few obvious rivals.

Low prices, practicality and good kit levels make it attractive for a UK buyer… you just have to find one first.


Triumph Tiger 850 Sport

Something of a sore thumb in Triumph’s range, the Triumph Tiger 850 Sport is supposed to fulfil the brief as a more tourer focused model… except, Triumph said something similar about the larger, more powerful and more capable Tiger 900 GT launched just a few weeks earlier.

Essentially a successor to the previous generation Tiger in standard trim, the Tiger Sport lacks some of the clever tech, maturity and grunt of the 900, but retains that usual triple character.

Equipped with the same engine as the Tiger 900, it has been detuned to a smaller capacity and power, hence the 850 suffix, while the price also reflects the cuts with the Sport a full £2k cheaper at £9,495.

And yet, we can’t help but feel that just as we look at 99p as favourably better value than £1, we wouldn’t be able to resist forking out for the 900 GT over the 850 Sport on brag value alone…

CFMoto 650 NK

CFMoto is steadily gaining more of a foothold in the UK and Europe with models as the 700CL-X and 800MT, but the Chinese firm has a range of motorcycles that is larger and available here for longer than you might have realised.

Formerly known as WK Bikes (White Knuckle, FYI…), the current range is now aligned with the primary CFMoto branding and offers larger capacity models than most that make the trip over from China.

Among these is its well-proven but very, very dated 649cc platform which is offered in MT soft-roader, GT sports tourer and NK.

Standing for ‘naked’, the NK650 - which looks like a cross between a KTM 790 Duke and Suzuki SV650 - is very easily forgotten amid accomplished rivals thanks in part to inoffensive styling and mechanicals cashing in their pensions. 

CFMoto might have more lucky just slapping its eye-catching £5,799 price on the fairing as a paint job option.

MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800

The purveyors of ‘Motorcycle Art’, thanks to model like the F4, F3 and Brutale, for sure MV Agusta has it nailed when it comes to curating some stunning looking models.

Such a signature exotic image, however, isn’t quite so easy to translate on something more upright and function-focused as a Sports Tourer, where style ranks far lower on the order of importance.

Nevertheless, the Varese marque has given it a good go with the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800, which definitely cuts more of a dash than its main rivals, especially in race RC trim. With its tuneful - if ageing - 800cc triple-cylinder engine encouraging a spirited riding experience, the Turismo Veloce makes a decent case… if you lived outside of the UK.

A sparse dealer network has always been a bugbear for MV Agusta’s British fortunes, while the Turismo Veloce plays on its premium image by wearing a hefty £13,950 price tag…

In short, if you’re going to go to the effort of buying an MV imported then you’d get a Brutale... and if you want a Sports Tourer you’d get something cheaper, more effective and not be a source of migraines when it goes wrong.

Ducati SuperSport 950

The fact the Ducati SuperSport 950 is regarded as the tourer in the Italian firm’s range tells you everything you need to know about the Panigale-not-Panigale SuperSport 950.

In fact, pop onto Ducati’s website, show the drop-down of all the models in small thumbnail size alongside one another and the SuperSport 950 from a distance bears all the hallmarks of sportsbike brother.

Except, this is where the similarities end, the SuperSport 950 persevering with the firm’s twin-cylinder architecture, unlike it’s cousins now wearing the latest V4 and V2 trends.

For a ‘Tourer’, the SuperSport is a surprisingly track day hustler, but generally this model suffers for being too much tourer when it could be sportsbike, or too sportsbike when you want a tourer. After all, why buy a curdling semi-skimmed SuperSport 950 when you could have a fresh full fat Panigale?