Tag Archives: Buyer’s Guide

2020 Indian Challenger

2020 Indian Challenger left side2020 Indian ChallengerIndian Motorcycle

With the introduction of the 2020 Challenger, Indian has made no bones about its intended target: Harley-Davidson’s Road Glide. The Challenger enters the arena with an all-new 60-degree V-twin, a six-speed transmission, and a suite of electronic rider aids. On the Cycle World dynamometer, the liquid-cooled, solid-mounted PowerPlus 108 engine cranked out more horsepower and torque than a 114ci Road Glide Special. And on the street, the PowerPlus delivers right-now acceleration with less engine heat funneled to the rider. A snout-nosed fixed fairing is perhaps the Challenger’s defining aesthetic feature, with standard touring goodies—adjustable windshield, locking saddlebags, electronic cruise control, three ride modes—going a long way toward sealing the deal.

2020 Indian Challenger Limited right front2020 Indian Challenger LimitedIndian Motorcycle

Three trim levels are available: Challenger, Challenger Dark Horse, and Challenger Limited. The base model ditches navigation but keeps antilock braking. Dark Horse and Limited bring Indian’s “Smart Lean Technology,” which uses a Bosch IMU to enable cornering ABS and traction control as well as Drag Torque Control. “The Challenger strikes an excellent balance between engine performance and chassis precision,” Andrew Cherney wrote after riding the Challenger Limited, “with the added benefit of well-calibrated electronics capped off with pleasing ergonomics.”

2020 Indian Challenger Dark Horse right side2020 Indian Challenger Dark HorseIndian Motorcycle

2020 Indian Challenger Reviews, Comparisons, And Competition

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $21,999–$27,999
Engine Liquid-cooled SOHC two-cylinder
Displacement 1,768cc
Bore x Stroke 108.0mm x 96.5mm
Horsepower 122.0 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque 128.8 lb.-ft. @ 3,800 rpm
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Belt
Seat Height 26.5 in.
Rake 25.0°
Trail 5.9 in.
Front Suspension 43mm inverted fork, nonadjustable; 5.1-in. travel
Rear Suspension Preload adjustable; 4.5-in. travel
Front Tire 130/60-19
Rear Tire 180/60-16
Wheelbase 65.7 in.
Fuel Capacity 6.0 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight 831 lb.

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height 29.0 in.
Wet Weight 839 lb.
Rear-Wheel Horsepower 103.11 hp @ 5,560 rpm
Rear-Wheel Torque 113.08 lb.-ft. @ 3,330 rpm
0–60 mph 4.1 sec.
1/4-mile 12.72 sec. @ 105.51 mph
Braking 30–0 mph 33.4 ft.
Braking 60–0 mph 127.4 ft.

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin

Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin front right2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa TwinHonda

When the “Africa Twin” graphic reappeared on a Honda motorcycle in 2016 for the first time in more than a decade, the large-bore adventure market got a little bit bigger and a whole lot sweeter. Available in both six-speed manual and dual-clutch-automatic versions, the 998cc CRF1000L was comfortable and capable on and off road. Fast-forward to 2020 and the CRF1100L Africa Twin. That’s right, the engine gets a bump in displacement via a 6.5mm stroke increase, along with IMU-aided electronics that include six ride modes, cornering ABS, wheelie and traction control, plus cruise control and Apple CarPlay compatibility—all trackable on a 6.5-inch TFT display.

Engineers further slimmed down the semi-double-cradle steel frame, lopping off a claimed 4 pounds, and redesigned the now-detachable and manufactured-from-aluminum subframe. The previous model’s tall windshield is replaced by a shorter screen that, Honda says, eases weight transfer when riding aggressively in rough terrain and reduces chest-level high-speed buffeting. If you’re seeking even greater off-road capability, Honda also offers the up-spec Adventure Sports ES models, for which DCT likewise remains an $800 option for those riders who want to leave clutch-work to old-timers.

Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin left side2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa TwinHonda

Cycle World’s Annual Ten Best Bikes

Editorial reception for the 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin was so positive that the brand-new model won Best Adventure Bike honors in its debut year. Thanks to its torquey 998cc parallel twin and balanced chassis—with wheel sizes that accept off-road rubber—the sophisticated machine delivered a rare combination of refinement and versatility.

2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin Reviews, Comparisons, And Competition

Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin right side2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa TwinHonda

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $14,399/$15,199 (DCT)
Engine Liquid-cooled, SOHC, twin-cylinder
Displacement 1,084cc
Bore x Stroke 92.0mm x 81.5mm
Horsepower N/A
Torque N/A
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Seat Height 34.3/33.7 in.
Rake 27.0º
Trail 4.4 in.
Front Suspension 45mm fully adjustable; 9.1-in. travel
Rear Suspension Fully adjustable; 9.4-in. travel
Front Tire 90/90-21
Rear Tire 150/70-18
Wheelbase 62.0 in.
Fuel Capacity 5.0 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight 501/524 lb.

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height N/A
Dry Weight N/A
Rear-Wheel Horsepower N/A
Rear-Wheel Torque N/A
0–60 mph N/A
1/4-mile N/A
Braking 30–0 mph N/A
Braking 60–0 mph N/A

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2020 Yamaha YZF-R3

YZF-R3 Right Front2020 Yamaha YZF-R3Yamaha

Small sportbikes needn’t be restricted to riders with small budgets. In fact, if you gather together a group of motorcycle journalists, many of ’em current or former roadracers, the bikes that they claim excite them most might surprise you. When pure, unadulterated fun is the objective, the folks who ride pretty much everything will more often than not choose a small-displacement machine for burning laps at a trackday. Being so light, the 2020 Yamaha YZF-R3 rewards smooth inputs through the controls. And with less than 40 hp on tap, there is nowhere to hide if you blow an apex or botch a braking marker.

YZF-R3 Right Side2020 Yamaha YZF-R3Yamaha

The R3 was unveiled in 2015 and given a MotoGP-inspired cosmetic makeover in ’19. Keep its revvy, liquid-cooled parallel twin on the boil, and this MotoAmerica Junior Cup-eligible model will make you feel like a hero. Not so many miles under your belt? Still mastering the fundamentals? A short first gear and light-effort clutch ease getaways, and a relatively low seat height inspires feet-flat confidence. An inverted fork, a liquid-crystal display, plus LED head- and taillights further equip the R3 for commuting as well as back-road duties.

2020 Yamaha YZF-R3 Reviews, Comparisons, And Competition

YZF-R3 Left Rear2020 Yamaha YZF-R3Yamaha

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $4,999
Engine Liquid-cooled, DOHC, two-cylinder
Displacement 321cc
Bore x Stroke 68.0mm x 44.1mm
Horsepower N/A
Torque N/A
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Seat Height 30.7 in.
Rake 25.0°
Trail 3.7 in.
Front Suspension 37mm nonadjustable; 5.1-in. travel
Rear Suspension Preload adjustable; 4.9-in. travel
Front Tire 110/70-17
Rear Tire 140/70-17
Wheelbase 54.3 in.
Fuel Capacity 3.7 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight 368 lb.

Cycle World Tested Specifications (2019)

Seat Height 30.8 in.
Wet Weight 379 lb.
Rear-Wheel Horsepower 36.0 hp @ 10,700 rpm
Rear-Wheel Torque 19.8 lb.-ft. @ 9,000 rpm
0–60 mph 5.2 sec.
1/4-mile 14.18 sec. @ 92.78 mph
Braking 30–0 mph 45.0 ft.
Braking 60–0 mph 165.9 ft.

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2020 Yamaha YZ125X

YZ125X Front Right2020 Yamaha YZ125XYamaha

The Yamaha YZ125X is a new addition to the tuning-fork brand’s lineup for 2020. This off-road-only motorcycle shares many of its major components with the YZ125 motocrosser, but features noteworthy changes to the engine and chassis that make it more suitable for cross-country riding. The KYB Speed-Sensitive System (SSS) coil-spring fork and KYB shock, for example, are relatively softly sprung and lightly damped, but they can be easily adjusted to suit a 160-pound intermediate-plus rider.

Tester Allan Brown was thoroughly impressed with the YZ125X as a whole and, in particular, its powerplant. “The engine runs clean and is one of the smoothest 125s I have ever ridden,” he wrote. “It builds power well from the midrange all the way to very high rpm. While it is normal to shift gears more often on a 125cc two-stroke, with this engine and its six-speed close-ratio gearbox, the YZ125X required much less shifting than I expected.”

YZ125X Right Side2020 Yamaha YZ125XYamaha

In fact, with its tried-and-true chassis and responsive engine, the YZ125X is an exceptionally easy bike to ride, and its light weight makes it ridiculously easy to steer around trees and other obstacles on a tight single-track trail.

2020 Yamaha YZ125X Reviews, Comparisons, And Competition

YZ125X Rear Left2020 Yamaha YZ125XYamaha

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $6,699
Engine Liquid-cooled, two-stroke, single-cylinder
Displacement 125cc
Bore x Stroke 54.0mm x 54.5mm
Horsepower N/A
Torque N/A
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Seat Height 37.6 in.
Rake 26.8°
Trail 4.6 in.
Front Suspension 48mm fully adjustable; 11.8-in. travel
Rear Suspension Fully adjustable; 12.4-in. travel
Front Tire 90/90-21
Rear Tire 110/90-18
Wheelbase 57.3 in.
Fuel Capacity 2.1 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight 209 lb.

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height N/A
Dry Weight N/A
Rear-Wheel Horsepower N/A
Rear-Wheel Torque N/A
0–60 mph N/A
1/4-mile N/A
Braking 30–0 mph N/A
Braking 60–0 mph N/A

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2020 Yamaha YZF-R6

YZF-R6 front right2020 Yamaha YZF-R6Yamaha

Some say the 600cc supersport class is dead, that it has left the station never to return. Detractors argue modern-day motorcyclists don’t want racy ergonomics, a top-end-focused powerband, or anything less than 150 hp measured at the rear wheel. Well, perhaps they should ride the latest-generation Yamaha YZF-R6 to remember why middleweight sportbikes were—and remain—so special. And why the R6 owns a big chunk of the trackday pie.

Unlike many smaller-displacement sportbikes that have an air of soft-edge civility, the R6 is pure race replica with trick bits to match. The engine boasts titanium valves, ceramic-composite-plated cylinder bores, and magnesium cases. With a 16,500-rpm redline, the R6’s key components need to be strong, slippery, and light. There is, as a matter of fact, a replacement for displacement: light weight.

YZF-R6 right side2020 Yamaha YZF-R6Yamaha

To that end, the R6 also has a magnesium subframe, a titanium muffler, and an aluminum fuel tank. The electronics package features six-level traction control, including “off,” and three-way-adjustable throttle response. A slipper clutch and variable-length intakes further evince the single-minded pursuit of middleweight performance. The Yamaha YZF-R6, significantly updated three years ago, is a quintessential example of the breed.

2020 Yamaha YZF-R6 Reviews, Comparisons, And Competition

YZF-R6 rear left2020 Yamaha YZF-R6Yamaha

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $12,199
Engine Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-cylinder
Displacement 599cc
Bore x Stroke 67.0mm x 42.5mm
Horsepower N/A
Torque N/A
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Seat Height 33.5 in.
Rake 24.0°
Trail 3.8 in.
Front Suspension 43mm fully adjustable; 4.7-in. travel
Rear Suspension Fully adjustable; 4.7-in. travel
Front Tire 120/70-17
Rear Tire 180/55-17
Wheelbase 54.1 in.
Fuel Capacity 4.6 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight 419 lb.

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height N/A
Dry Weight N/A
Rear-Wheel Horsepower N/A
Rear-Wheel Torque N/A
0–60 mph N/A
1/4-mile N/A
Braking 30–0 mph N/A
Braking 60–0 mph N/A

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2020 Suzuki Katana

Silver 2020 Suzuki Katana2020 Suzuki KatanaSuzuki

Putting aside for a moment the GSX-F range produced from the late-1980s to the mid-2000s, the 2020 Suzuki Katana is a four-cylinder Metallic Mystic Silver (Solid Black is also available) tribute to its namesake drawn some 40 years ago by ex-BMW stylist Hans Muth. While that sleek, bikini-faired machine still knocks motorcyclists of a certain age on their heels, the current version is a thoroughly modern sporting standard powered by an earlier-generation GSX-R1000 engine with chassis underpinnings served up by the GSX-S1000. Translation? Smooth, traction-controlled liter-class acceleration and an aluminum frame and swingarm complemented by adjustable Kayaba suspension and antilock-equipped triple-disc Brembo/Nissin brakes.

Thanks to the relatively upright rider triangle afforded by a wide handlebar and moderately rearset footpegs, this is a motorcycle you could ride all day—or night, thanks to full LED lighting—on all types of tarmac if it weren’t for the near-complete absence of protection from the elements and smallish fuel tank. Those realities, however, won’t dissuade fans of the Japanese brand from swooning over the traditional bright red block lettering on said tank or grinning with the speed and ease with which the Katana covers ground.

2020 Suzuki Katana Reviews, Comparisons, And Competition

Black 2020 Suzuki Katana2020 Suzuki KatanaSuzuki

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $13,499
Engine Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-cylinder
Displacement 999cc
Bore x Stroke 73.4mm x 59.0mm
Horsepower 150.0 hp @ 10,000 rpm
Torque 80.0 lb.-ft. @ 9,500 rpm
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Seat Height 32.5 in.
Rake 25.0°
Trail 3.9 in.
Front Suspension 43mm fully adjustable; 4.7-in. travel
Rear Suspension Preload/rebound-damping adjustable; 5.1-in. travel
Front Tire 120/70-17
Rear Tire 180/50-17
Wheelbase 57.6 in.
Fuel Capacity 3.2 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight 474 lb.

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height 33.2 in.
Wet Weight 475 lb.
Rear-Wheel Horsepower 139.6 hp @ 10,100 rpm
Rear-Wheel Torque 76.3 lb.-ft. @ 9,220 rpm
0–60 mph 3.2 sec.
1/4-mile 10.86 sec. @ 133.28 mph
Braking 30–0 mph 33.7 ft.
Braking 60–0 mph 133.9 ft.

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2020 KTM 350 SX-F

KTM 350 SX-F right side2020 KTM 350 SX-FKTM

The KTM 350 SX-F has been a popular choice among the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer’s dirt-riding clientele since the midsize motocrosser was introduced in 2011. The electric-start engine has respectable bottom-end, good midrange, and seemingly never-ending top-end. No internal engine changes were made to 350 SX-F for 2020, but the new vented airbox cover is a simple and effective addition, and it is included with the purchase of the bike.

“It’s like going from pump gas to high-end race fuel,” test rider Allan Brown said after installing the optional cover. “It adds power across the entire rpm range and makes the engine feel like it wants to rev to the moon. I tried to find the rev limiter a few times but, assuming I came out of most corners in the correct gear, it was almost impossible to reach.”

What’s more, revised settings for the WP Xact air fork and shock have resulted in increased plushness at both ends of the motorcycle. So if you’re an all-round rider or racer who likes to dabble here and there—motocross, off-road, and trails—seriously consider the 350 SX-F when making your next dirt-bike buying decision.

KTM 350 SX-F Rear right2020 KTM 350 SX-FKTM

2020 KTM 350 SX-F Reviews, Comparisons, And Competition

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $9,799
Engine Liquid-cooled, DOHC, single-cylinder
Displacement 350cc
Bore x Stroke 88.0mm x 57.5mm
Horsepower N/A
Torque N/A
Transmission 5-speed
Final Drive Chain
Seat Height 37.4 in.
Rake 26.1°
Trail N/A
Front Suspension 48mm fully adjustable; 12.2-in. travel
Rear Suspension Fully adjustable; 11.8-in. travel
Front Tire 80/100-21
Rear Tire 110/90-19
Wheelbase 58.5 in.
Fuel Capacity 1.9 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight 219 lb.

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height N/A
Dry Weight N/A
Rear-Wheel Horsepower N/A
Rear-Wheel Torque N/A
0–60 mph N/A
1/4-mile N/A
Braking 30–0 mph N/A
Braking 60–0 mph N/A

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2020 Yamaha YZF-R1

Yamaha YZF-R12020 Yamaha YZF-R1Yamaha

When the first Yamaha YZF-R1 fell from the heavens in 1998, that stunning sportbike was a proverbial game changer. Twenty-two years later, the R1 and its up-spec brother, the R1M, remain the Iwata factory’s brand-defining machines. To remain on par with the always-moving yardstick of superbike performance, Yamaha has further developed the new-from-the-ground-up package introduced in 2015, which went on to become a Cycle World Ten Best Winner, not to mention a four-time MotoAmerica Superbike champion. For 2020, Yamaha revised the cylinder head, intake layout, fuel injection, airbox, and valve train for improved efficiency. Updated electronics include a new ride-by-wire system that uses magnetic throttle-position sensors at the handgrip instead of wires.

Yamaha YZF-R1M right frontYamaha YZF-R1MYamaha

Speaking of electronics, the current suite has improved slide and wheelie control, as well as advanced engine-brake management, all to keep rider aids at the pointy end of technological advancement. Other changes include more aerodynamically efficient bodywork and reworked suspension internals to improve feel. The carbon-fiber-clad R1M also gets an Öhlins semi-active gas-charged fork, the first of its kind on a production superbike. No question, this latest iteration offers performance worthy of the R1’s legacy of road-and-racetrack greatness.

Cycle World’s Annual Ten Best Bikes

In 2015 and, again, two years later, Cycle World named the YZF-R1 its Best Open-Class Streetbike. Between those successes, the R1 was named 2016’s Best Superbike, with editors describing the combination of manufacturer’s suggested retail price and competition-derived technology as “the art and science of MotoGP brought to the people.”

2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 Reviews, Comparisons, And Competition

Yamaha YZF-R1 left rearYamaha YZF-R1Yamaha

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $17,399/$26,099
Engine Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-cylinder
Displacement 998cc
Bore x Stroke 79.0mm x 50.9mm
Horsepower N/A
Torque N/A
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Seat Height 33.7/33.9 in.
Rake 24.0°
Trail 4.0 in.
Front Suspension 43mm fully adjustable; 4.7-inch travel
Rear Suspension Fully adjustable; 4.7-inch travel
Front Tire 120/70-17
Rear Tire 190/55-17/200/55-17
Wheelbase 55.3 in.
Fuel Capacity 4.5 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight 448/450 lb.

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height N/A
Dry Weight N/A
Rear-Wheel Horsepower N/A
Rear-Wheel Torque N/A
0–60 mph N/A
1/4-mile N/A
Braking 30–0 mph N/A
Braking 60–0 mph N/A

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2020 Yamaha Tracer 900 GT

The 2020 Yamaha Tracer 900 GT combines naked-bike attitude, adventure-bike ergonomics, and sportbike-like specifications with standard touring amenities: manually adjustable windscreen, half-fairing, centerstand, and locking hard saddlebags. Sounds pretty good, right? Based on Yamaha’s MT-09, the Tracer 900 GT—previously known as the FJ-09 in the US—has the same exuberant 847cc crossplane three-cylinder engine and telepathic handling characteristics of its donor bike. Indeed, the Tracer GT gives the impression that someone back in Iwata was riding an MT-09 and thought, “Hmm, this three-cylinder platform of ours is so fun I never want to get off it. With a bit of wind protection and the addition of luggage, the result would be all I need in a lightweight touring bike.”

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2020 Honda CBR600RR

Honda CBR600RR right side2020 Honda CBR600RRHonda

Honda’s CBR600RR is long overdue for an update, but fully faired sportbikes aren’t selling as well as they once did. That helps explain why seven years have passed since this AMA Supersport championship-winning middleweight was fitted with more aerodynamically efficient bodywork and a fully adjustable 41mm Showa Big Piston Fork. “Excellent fuel mapping and throttle response work in concert with a broad spread of power,” Senior Editor Blake Conner wrote after riding the 2013 model. “The clutch and transmission are incredibly slick and provide very light shift action. The BPF provides a taut and responsive ride for carving apexes but never feels harsh droning on the freeway.”

Years of use in domestic and international roadracing competition means many aftermarket components and loads of technical data exist for those who want to squeeze even more performance from a Honda CBR600RR. For 2020, Matte Black Metallic is once again the only available color, and antilock brakes carry a $1,000 premium as well as a 24-pound weight gain. But if you’re looking for a racetrack-bred sportbike that will still run circles around most late-model motorcycles, this four-cylinder machine is an excellent choice.

2020 Honda CBR600RR Reviews, Comparisons, And Competition

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $11,799/$12,799
Engine Liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-cylinder
Displacement 599cc
Bore x Stroke 67.0mm x 42.5mm
Horsepower N/A
Torque N/A
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Seat Height 32.3 in.
Rake 23.9°
Trail 3.8 in.
Front Suspension 41mm fully adjustable; 4.3-in. travel
Rear Suspension Fully adjustable; 5.1-in. travel
Front Tire 120/70-17
Rear Tire 180/55-17
Wheelbase 53.9 in.
Fuel Capacity 4.8 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight 410/434 lb.

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height N/A
Dry Weight N/A
Rear-Wheel Horsepower N/A
Rear-Wheel Torque N/A
0–60 mph N/A
1/4-mile N/A
Braking 30–0 mph N/A
Braking 60–0 mph N/A

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com