With 2019 drawing to a close and the Southern Hemisphere summer coming into full swing it is a great time to be a motorcyclist. While we will be spending plenty of time out riding over the coming months, the coming year is again set to be chock full of incredible new release motorcycles.
Here is the top 5 we’ll be fantasising about the most over our summer rides.
Aprilia looks set to reignite the 650cc class of sportbikes with their soon to land RS 660.
With an all-new parallel-twin engine based around the forward bank of cylinders from Aprilia’s legendary V4 at its centre and matched to a cutting edge chassis, the RS 660 is poised to inject some serious performance into a segment that has been quite neglected in recent years.
On top of an already impressive power to weight ratio, Aprilia also has packed the RS660 with class-leading electronics to ensure it rides at the pointy end of the field. Equipped with a 6-axis IMU, the RS660 boasts the full shebang of Aprilia riding aids including Aprilia’s Traction Control, Anti Wheelie Control to keep the bike’s performance in check, while practical inclusions range from cruise control to multiple riding maps and a quick shifter.
Seriously, this is going to be an incredibly fun bike to attack both the track and your favourite backroad loop on.
Estimated arrival: November 2020
2020 KTM 890 Duke R
While it was no surprise that KTM would inevitably inject the middleweight Duke with some high-performance R style, the announcement that the 790 was growing into an 890 designation sure was!
Filling in the gaps left on the 790 Duke, the new 890 Duke R gets an LC8c parallel twin with an increase in both bore and stroke to bring capacity up to a true 890cc along with a corresponding boost in power to 121hp and 99Nm of torque.
Another big upgrade is in the suspension department where KTM has finally given riders the fully adjustable suspension they’ve been asking for since the debut of the 790 Duke.
KTM has also tweaked the rider ergonomics to give the bike a racier feel.
Compared to the base 790 Duke, the new 890 Duke R looks set to really live up to KTM's famous "Ready to Race" mantra.
One of the standout bikes we rode in 2019 will finally arrive later this year, and that’s Harley-Davidson’s shockingly good LiveWire.
The World's First mass-market electric motorcycle from a conventional player may come out of the crate with a few built-in drawbacks such as limited range of 235km per charge and a whopping estimated price tag in excess of $40,000 but don't let those put you off. This bike is MEGA.
Mindbogglingly fast, easy to ride, and quiet as the night, the 2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire is a true surprise to ride with even die-hard petrol heads at the world launch in the USA singing its praises.
While Harley-Davidson is on a big push into new markets, the LiveWire is a bold gamble from the Bar and Sheild to capture a share of the cutting edge of motorcycling. We can't wait to try it out in New Zealand conditions when it finally arrives in late 2020.
Estimated arrival: Fourth-quarter 2020
Honda’s Africa Twin nameplate is legendary in Adventure circles, but the last iteration of the famous name was quickly overshadowed by rivals. The new CRF1100L Africa Twin looks set to bring the Africa Twin back to the forefront of the Adventure class with a bigger parallel-twin engine and a host of electronics to help bring the bike up to speed with the rest of the 1000cc adventure class.
While the old Africa Twin had its fair share of electronics for the time, times have changed. With that in mind, Honda hasn’t dropped the ball and have added a six-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) allowing for the addition of new rider aids including wheelie control, cornering ABS, rear-lift control, DCT cornering detection and cornering lights.
Honda is also delivering the Africa Twin in two distinct flavours with a base Africa Twin and a larger more touring focused Adventure Sports variant confirmed for our market.
The standard version has an improved renewed focus in off-road use, with a shorter, fixed windscreen and a 19 Litre fuel tank in addition to its revised styling.
The Adventure Sports offers real long-haul ability and practicality, boasting intelligent Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment suspension (EERA), tubeless wheels, heated grips, accessory socket, larger skid plate, aluminium rear rack and a massive 24.6 Litre tank.
We can't wait to have a go and find out just how the new and improved Africa Twin compares to the rest of the segment.
Suzuki is a brand that thinks long and hard before they throw upgrades at a model. So when the announcement came through at EICMA 2019 that the brand's flagship V-Strom model was set to see a massive upgrade in 2020, well, that's definitely something to get excited for!
The 2020 V-Strom sees a near ground-up refresh of the big V-Strom, with the entire styling direction taking inspiration from the legendary DR-Big and recent Katana refresh as well as a much-needed injection of technologies to bring it up to speed with the rest of the class.
While the engine is largely the same as the current V-twin, Suzuki has further refined it to ensure it passes the latest hurdles thrown up by the strict European emissions rules. With power figures of
While the outgoing model is one of the easiest to live with bikes around, Suzuki has ensured that the 2020 V-Strom charges into the new decade the best that it can be, and we can't wait to ride it to see how much it has improved.