Forget-me-not | 10 forgotten motorcycles that are actually still with us

Variety may be the spice of life, as they say, but this doesn't always apply to motorcycling as these oft forgotten motorcycles testify to

MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800

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

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£7,849745cc58bhp69Nm @4750rpm214kg800mm14 L

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.

Visordown Review | Honda NC750X [2022] - Everything you need to know

Suzuki Katana

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£12,299999cc150bhp106Nm @9250rpm215kg825mm12 L

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.

Visordown Review | Suzuki Katana [2019]

BMW R 1250 R

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap
£12,3301254cc136bhp143Nm @6250rpm239kg820mm18 L

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 seems rather surplus to requirement. 

Even so, that hasn't stopped BMW giving it a refresh for 2023 with added tech and some new colours to choose from... though it does without the forthcoming 1300cc ShiftCam engine set to adorn the incoming GS and GS Adventure.

Yamaha Niken GT

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£16,210890cc113bhp91Nm @7000rpm270kg825mm18 L

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 £16,210 asking price and a selection over the accomplished Yamaha Tracer 9.

Still, if you consider 'alternative' a quality trait then Yamaha is standing by the Niken GT having given it a refresh for 2023 with a host of electronic upgrades, heated grips, improved ergonomics and a new 7" TFT dash.

Visordown Review | Yamaha Niken GT [2019]


Moto Guzzi V85 TT

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£10,800853cc79bhp82Nm @5000rpm229kg830mm23 L

If you think Moto Guzzi, you'd be forgiven for not conjuring the V85 TT.

An evocative Italian manuafcturer famed for its modern classics and retro sportsters, Moto Guzzi isn't your average motorcycle firm. And yet it does now and again surprise with a model that aims right for the every day punter, much like it has with the Moto Guzzi V85 TT.

True, this is a model that doesn't know what it wants to be when it grows up, blending themes that include Sports Tourer, Adventure and Scrambler. Truthfully, it performs to each category with aplomb proving a comfortable long distance ride, capable enough off-road and fun enough to hustle through Sicily's winding coastal roads.

It looks good too and it'll stand out from the crowd, so if you can accept it for being the 'Scrambler Tourer' answer to a question nobody asked, then you'll have heaps of fun on the V85 TT

Visordown Review | Moto Guzzi V85 TT [2021]

Triumph Tiger 850 Sport

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£10,095888cc84bhp82Nm @6500rpm210kg820mm20 L

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…

Visordown Review | Triumph Tiger 850 Sport


Moto Morini X-Cape 650

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£6,999649cc59bhp56Nm @7000rpm227kg820mm18 L

It was a close run thing for a time but Moto Morini is still with us and, better still, it is fighting fit as it looks to perform a Benelli-esque transformation with the help of investment from new Chinese owners, ZNEN.

The first model to come under new management is the Moto Morini X-Cape 650, a dual-sport touring soft-roader pitched into the same market as the Kawasaki Versys 650.

While the fairly ordinary looks won't get pulses racing, the X-Cape 650 is a solid performer on and off road, is practical and - best of all - at a starting price of £6,999 it's excellent value.

So while there is no ignoring its whiff of it being something of 'white goods' motorcycle, at £2,000 cheaper than the Triumph Tiger 660 Sport, it's a worthwhile no-frills, good value multi-tasker

MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£13,930798cc110bhp80Nm @7100rpm208kg830mm21.5 L

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

PriceEngineBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightFuel Cap.
£14,095937cc110bhp93Nm @6500rpm197kg810mm16 L

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?

Visordown Review | Ducati SuperSport 950 [2021]

LiveWire ONE

PriceBatteryBHPTorqueWeightSeat HeightRange
£22,99015.4kWh100bhp114Nm255kg762mm95 miles

Given the fanfare and fevered anticipation surrounding its arrival back in 2019, it's perhaps surprising to consider the LiveWire ONE (nee Harley-Davidson LiveWire) somewhat forgotten, but judging by its paltry sales figures it appears many of you are indeed steering clear.

It goes some way to explaining why Harley-Davidson has opted to siphon the divisive electric model from its range and create the LiveWire brand, which has just landed in the UK.

For now, only the LiveWire ONE is available - which is just the H-D LiveWire with a rejigged name - but it will be joined by a fresh generation of more accessible electric motorcycles from the American firm in the near future.

It may have a new name, but the LiveWire ONE remains unchanged, which means it still looks fairly bland and is compromised by being no more interesting to ride than a Yamaha MT-09. On the plus side, Harley-Davidson has seen sense in its erstwhile senseless price tag, which has been slashed to a more palatable (albeit still lofty) £22,990.

Visordown Review | Harley-Davidson LiveWire [2020]