New Bikes

Top 10 bikes we can’t wait to ride in 2019

With the show season mostly behind us, we now have a pretty good idea of what the next 12 months have in store. Here are the bikes we’re itching to swing a leg over in 2019

WITH JUST THE LONDON SHOW still to take place, we have a pretty good idea of the bikes we are set to encounter in 2019. While it’s not a bumper selection to choose from in terms of size, almost all the big manufacturers are represented and the depth and breadth of styles of machines is huge.

It’s worth mentioning that this list is all about the bikes that we know are going to be launched this year, it doesn’t include things like Triumph’s soon-to-be-seen Rocket or Thruxton R TFC we reported before Christmas, or the Arc Vector which we hope will be roadworthy this year.

So, without further ado, here’s the top 10…

10. KTM 790 Adventure R

KTM’s first major foray into the mid-sized adventure bike market comes in the neatly formed package of the 790 Adventure and Adventure R. As the name suggests it’s closely related to the hooligan of the mid-range bike sector the 790 Duke albeit with longer travel suspension, tweaked ergos and a neat, 20l, tear-drop fuel tank that envelops both sides of the bike and should give 220+ miles of range.

Given KTM’s wealth of off-road know-how and the added bonus of inhouse suspension manufacturer WP, it’s safe to say the 790 Adventure is sure to be a hit in the showrooms, up mountain passes and on the trails. We expect the press launch to be around February/March, we’ll be there to bring you all the details from the event.

9. Harley-Davidson Livewire

Okay, so our main reason for wanting a go on this is the fact it’s an electric Harley, and that’s about as normal as salad with your Sunday roast. Harley make no secret of the fact that the Livewire is a huge step for a company that’s rooted deep in the heart of American motorcycling, big capacity v-twins and eagle emblems on leather waistcoats.

But that’s partly why they’ve done it, the ‘Live to ride’ generation of bandana wearing bikers is getting smaller and smaller and with no new blood buying up the heavy and fairly slow cruisers from Milwaukee, the firm is shifting its focus and highlighting a younger, less leathery audience!

The bike is claimed to put out 75bhp and 52lbft (71Nm) of torque, it’ll weigh north of 200kg and is likely to cost between £30 and £35k. No press launch details as yet although it’s likely to be before the summer.

8. Honda CB650R

Honda’s ‘Neo Sports Café’ styling (no, we don’t know what that means either) stole our attention last year in the form of the CB125R, CB300R and CB1000R. And it only seemed fair that the bridge between the A2 bikes and the full-blown thousands got a slice of futuristic cool too. Well now it does in the form of a funky and fun looking naked that borrows the old CB650R’s capable rolling stock and torquey motor.

The 2019 reboot is more than a styling exercise too, with Showa SFF (Separate Function Forks) improving the handling, radially mounted Nissin callipers and updated intake and exhaust ports helping to boost peak power too.

The CB650R launch is at the end of this month with yours truly heading out to Alicante for the launch – where we’ll also be riding the sporty CBR650R – stay tuned for all the updates as they happen.

8. Yamaha YZF-R125

Picking up where the R1 and R6 have left off, the baby of the Yamaha Supersport line-up features a raft of improvements and tweaks over the outgoing model. For a start this is the first 125cc bike that we know of that has Variable Valve Timing (or Actuation as Yamaha call it but it’s basically the same thing!) which is a massive piece of development and tech to drop on a diminutive sports bike that’s likely cost less than £4k.

The bike also features a stiffer chassis, assisted slipper clutch, new swingarm and revised styling that joins up the ‘R’ range of bikes nicely.

The launch for this is next week and Visordown editor and all-round legend Alan Dowds is going to be peddling the metal. As always, we’ll be bringing you all the news, specs and pricing live from the event.

7. Triumph Speed Twin

With a lineage that traces it’s roots back to the 500cc twin cylinder record breaker that raced the salt flats back in the 1930s, the Speed Twin is a retro take on a modern sportsbike. Think along the lines of ‘the love child of a Street Triple and a Bonneville’!

Based around the Thruxton engine, the bike has a claimed 96bhp, 82.6 lb-ft (112 Nm) of torque and should be good for 120mph with chin to tank. Stoppers are top-spec Brembo four pot calipers up front and a twin piston Nissin at the rear. Wheels are cast alloy as opposed to the spokes of the other bikes in the ‘classic’ Triumph range and really help set this bike and its performance credentials apart from the other offerings from Hinckley.

Strangely the bike doesn’t feature the highest spec suspension or braking set up available in the stock cupboard as it has cartridge forks not USDs and normally mounted brakes not radially mounted ones. Although this does leave the door open for the inevitable ‘R’ model further down the line, which could feature such a setup.

The Speed Twin launch is in a fortnight in Spain with Al Dowds again in attendance, he’ll be bringing social updates specs, prices and a full review during the event.

6. Ducati Diavel 1260 & 1260S

Ducati’s new, beefier styled Diavel gets the 1262cc Testastretta unit as seen in the XDiavel and Multistrada 1260 range and meaner styling. And it’s not like the old bike was lacking any brawn in the looks department but the new bike is jaw dropping. We were at the world reveal at EICMA back in November and were struck by how neat and tidy the new bike is, it almost feels smaller than before but shares the same wheelbase, it’s squat and clean thanks to less trellis work in the frame and new structure linking the engine with the steering head.

With 160bhp on tap the Diavel is all about the power and the 2019 update continues that trend superbly, needless to say, we can’t wait to get our paws on the new at some point in the early part of 2019.

Head to page two for the final five bikes...


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