The global motorcycle industry is struggling, yet motorcycles have never been so affordable with so many model choices available to riders, but what will be the best of 2018?
The trend for more models is going to continue in 2018 with some 50-odd models being released in a wide variety of categories.
It is difficult to yet declare what will be the best motorcycles of 2018. In fact, it is impossible.
After all, it is a purely subjective thing.
Ducati Panigale V4 1409
However, even if you don’t like sports bikes, the most anticipated motorcycle of 2018 has to be the Ducati Panigale V4 1409 and Speciale model, due here in March/April.
This is an historic bike for Ducati as their first mass-produced, road-going V4.
It is also possibly an indicator of whether the ailing sports bike category has any staying power.
We haven’t seen it in the flesh/metal yet and it looks a little fat in the photos, but it still won the best bike at the ECMA motorcycle show in Milan.
It certainly won’t be a big seller, but it will be an important bike for the industry.
Our personal best
Z900RS and Cafe Racer
Our personal favourite for next year will be the retro-styled Kawasaki Z900RS and Cafe Racer arriving in February.
Unfortunately, It is a little expensive at $16,459 (+ on-road costs) which is $4000 more than the Z900 it is based on.
But that will not stop many who love its homage to the legendary Z1 and the fact that it will have the three Rs – rideable, retro and reliable!
Calendar of 2018 releases
Here is a list of bikes to be released next year in alphabetical order:
- BMW: C 400 X scooter; F 750 GS and F 850 GS; K 1600 Grand America (TBC)
BMW K 1600 Grand America
- Ducati: Mulistrada 1260, Panigale V4 and V4S (March); Monster 821 and Panigale V4 Speciale (April); Scrambler 1100 and 959 Panigale Corse (May); Scrambler Mach 2.0 (TBC)
- Honda: Goldwing (February); CB1000R (June); updated Africa Twin, African Twin Adventure Sports and CB300R (TBC)
- Husqvarna: Vitpilen 401 and 701, and Svartpilen 401 (April-June)
- KTM: 790 Duke
- Kawasaki: Z900RS and Cafe Racer, and Ninja 400 (February), H2 SX sports tourer (TBC)
- Royal Enfield: Interceptor 650 and Continental GT650 (April-June)
- SWM: SuperDual T and X (January)
- Suzuki: SV650X (April-June), Burgman 400, GSX-R125, GSX-S125 (TBC)
- Triumph: Tiger 800 and 1200, Speedmaster and Bobber Black (TBC)
- Yamaha: MT-09 SP, MT-09 Tracer, MT-09 Tracer GT, MT-07 (TBC)
2018 new model tips
While there is no schedule for their release, we have the following tips for 2018:
- BMW will produce an electric motorcycle to partner their electric scooter.
- BSA will return with a retro model.
- Harley-Davdson is expected to release about 10 new models including an updated lineup of Sportster models and/or something called the Bronx.
- Indian Motorcycle will introduce the FTR1200.
- Yamaha will unveil a Tenere 700 adventure bike and KTM will release its 790 Adventure.