2018 New Bike Guide

Phil West
By Phil West
PhilWestNew Former Editor of Bike, ex-Road Test Editor of MCN, ridden more bikes than he can remember. Likes: GTS, Paso, Mantra. Dislikes: own rust bucket LC and 900 T-Bird daily driver.

 

As we roll towards another bumper year of new metal, we take a look at what is on offer from the brand new models to the minor upgrades, in alphabetical order.

 

 

Aprilia

RSV4 Factory Works Kit

Not so much a bike as a new parts kit that takes the already incredible RSV4 to new heights c/o new cylinder heads, forged pistons, full Akrapovic race exhaust and flashed ECU adding up to 215bhp. You also get a lighter lithium battery, machined-aluminum top yoke, different tank and bodywork plus an array of carbon bits that cut weight by 22lbs.

 

 

BMW


C400X

All-new, mid-capacity offering adds to BMW’s growing scooter family. 350cc single produces 33bhp while premium touches include colour TFT dash, traction control, ABS and LED lights.

 

F850GS

The German firm’s middleweight GSs get complete makeovers for 2018: the parallel twin goes to 853cc/94bhp, there’s a revised chassis, new TFT dash and uprated electronics including optional ESA.

 

F750GS

Junior F-GS is also now 853cc but is detuned to 76bhp and, as before, is more basic, entry-level and manageable with shorter suspension and a smaller front wheel to give a lower seat height

K1600 Grand America

Latest version of BM’s six-cylinder, tech-laden super-tourer is more US-targetted in being a fully-loaded version of 2017’s K1600 Bagger. More laid back and low than the stock K16 it’s still 158bhp fast and fabulously equipped.

 

 

Brough Superior

Pendine Sand Racer

Funkier, more aggressively-styled version of the revived, hand-built, 100bhp SS100 V-twin gets scrambler style, high-rise twin pipes, nose fairing and more.

 

 

Ducati

Panigale V4

All-new GP-inspired V4 superbike family (there’s the V4, V4S and V4 Speciale) boasts 211bhp+, astonishing spec and begins a whole new chapter for the Bologna marque.


Multistrada 1260

High-tech adventure V-twin is boosted to 1262cc/156bhp, gets a longer swing arm and revised geometry and comes in four versions: 1260, 1260S (with Skyhook suspension), 1260S D/Air and 1260S Pikes Peak

Read the review here

 
Scrambler 1100

Bigger brother to popular Scrambler 800/400 retro gets old Monster 1100cc/85bhp engine and comes in three versions: Standard (alloy wheels); Special (with wires, chrome and brown seat) and Sport (Ohlins, machined wheels and more).

959 Panigale Corse

New, top spec ‘junior’ Panigale gets the ‘S’ treatment with full Ohlins suspension and steering damper, Akrapovic shotgun exhausts and one-off livery.


Monster 821

Originally launched in 2014, Ducati’s mid-range Monster roadster gets a significant update for 2018 with revised, slimmer styling and uprated specification including new colour TFT screen.

Read the review here 


 

Energica

Eva EsseEsse9

New super naked electric-powered bike based on Ego sportster finally breaks cover and, though £30K, is pricey and heavy but is the best of this type so far.

 

Harley-Davidson

New Softails

Harley’s big new for 2018 is an all-new, 8 model-strong ‘Softail’ family with new monoshock which also absorbs the old Dyna, twin shock models. Significantly new Low Rider, Street Bob, Fat Bob, Fat Boy, Softail Slim, Heritage, Deluxe and Breakout are the impressive result.

Read the Fat Bob review here

Sport Glide

Surprise, later extra addition to Harley’s new Softail family is a cut down bagger with detachable screen and panniers making it part-Sport, part-Tour, geddit?

 

 

Honda

CB1000R

New sports naked based on the Fireblade replaces the old CB1000, is 12kg lighter, boasts 144bhp and heads new family of ‘Neo Sports’-styled CBs.

CB125R

With similar styling to the new CB1000 this roadster 125, with its usd forks, radial disc and LED lights and LCD dash certainly looks the part. Watch out Duke 125!

CB300R

Again, with similar styling to the new CB 125 and 1000, this A2 roadster, with usd forks, LCD dash and more, certainly looks the part, although with just 31bhp it won’t match the power of some A2 rivals.

Africa Twin Adventure

New ‘Adventure’ version of popular, revived ‘Twin provides extra comfort and long distance ability with a bigger tank, revised ergonomics, longer suspension, taller screen and more.

GL1800 Gold Wing
Eagerly-awaited, all new Gold Wing is surprisingly smaller and lighter than before. But with new 124bhp six, electronic suspension and novel double-wishbone front end, the performance and ride should be transformed.

 

Husqvarna

701/401 Vitpilen

Funky concept roadster single has been doing the show rounds as a concept for a couple of years and finally is here. Powered by either a big, 693cc/74bhp single from the 701 Enduro or in 375cc/44bhp A2 compliant form.

401 Svartpilen

A more ‘scrambler’ styled, high-barred version of the naked, café racer Vitpilen the Svartpilen shares much of its sister bike’s features but is only available in 375cc

 

 

Kawasaki

Ninja H2 SX & SE

Two years on from the amazing, superchanrged Ninja H2 comes this more practical sport-touring version with pillion, taller screen and more – still 207bhp, though. Top spec SE version also gets different paint, cornering lights and posher clocks.

Ninja 400

All-new, A2-licence compliant learner sportster is the successor to the popular Ninja 300 twin. Bigger engine produces 44bhp plus there’s uprated suspension, a slipper assist clutch, LED lights and updated styling.

ZX-10R SE

New special edition’ version of reigning WSB-winning superbike sits between base R and homologation RR with all-new electronic suspension, quickshifter, Marchesini forged wheels and more.

Z900RS & Café Racer

Kawasaki’s retro-styled version of its Z900 four-cylinder naked has been gaining rave reviews for its performance, mock Z1 style (including ‘duck bill’ tail) and thorough detailing. Extra Café Racer version with headlamp cowl, KR250 paint and racier ergos due later this year.

 

 

KTM

790 Duke

First smaller Duke with a twin not single-cylinder engine gets an all-new, 103bhp parallel twin which, along with compact proportions, decent electronics and touches such as TFT dash and LED lights promises to give the Street Triple a run for its money.

Freeride 250 EXC-F

Updated version of the Austrian firm’s fun, rather than competition, off-roader is still an enduro/trials hybrid but now gains a new clutch, frame and suspension

Read the review here 

Freeride EX-C

Novel, electric-powered, fun off-roader gets better yet with new chassis, improved suspension, and engine uprated to 24bhp with 50% more life too.

 

 

Moto Morini

Milano

A new retro-roadster inspired by the style of the classic 1970s Morini 3 ½ yet based on current 1200cc V-twin platform from the revived Italian marque and with top spec components including a TFT screen and single-sided swing arm.

 

 

 

MV Agusta

F4 RC

The Varese-based Italian exotica specialists have gone even more exclusive and extravagant for 2018 with new, limited edition, ultra high spec ‘RC’ (for ‘Reparto Corsa’ or Racing Division) versions of its machines – first of its 998cc four-cylinder superbike, which goes up to 202.5bhp…

F3 800/675 RC

…But also of it’s three-cylinder middleweight sportsters, which also both get revised engines, new gearboxes and race kits taking power to 153 and 1133bhp respectively.

Dragster RC

… While the naked, supermoto-style roadster also gets the RC treatment including uprated engine, electronics and more upping peak power to 138bhp.

 

 

Norton

Commando 961 California

Based on the existing, pushrod, 961 retro roadster Commando, the new limited edition California is more US-style for the first time with bright paint, Ape hanger bars and lashings of polished billet, chrome and carbon.

 

 

Piaggio

MP3 350/500

Novel, class-leading, leaning three-wheeled scooter gets a complete overhaul for 2018 with improved brakes, equipment and more across a variety of models in both ‘Sport’ and ‘Business’ forms.

 

 

Suzuki

SV650X

Restyled version of last year’s uprated SV650 V-twin casts a nod at café racer fashion with a nose fairing, side panels and revised seat and is Suzuki’s only significant new model this year.

 

 

Triumph

Tiger 1200

First part of Triumph’s 2018 news is a major overhaul to its Tiger Explorer 1200. Now simply the ‘Tiger 1200’ and coming in four different ‘XR’ road-orientated versions and three different off road-orientated ‘XC’ versions it’s 10kg lighter, has tweaked styling and gets improved engines and extra spec including a new TFT dash.

Tiger 800

The smaller 800 Tiger also receives a host of updates for 2018 and similarly comes in an assortment of ‘XR’ and ‘XC’ variants. Power is up to 94bhp, styling and ergos are tweaked and there’s now a TFT dash and more.

Bobber Black

2017’s Bobber, a Bonneville-based cruiser, has proved a huge success, leading to this new spin-off which gets added bobber black or matt black style plus a whole new front end with fatter forks, and 16in front wheel plus twin discs instead of the previous single.

Speedmaster 

Another Bobber spin-off – this time a more practical, chromy version with twin seats, beach bars, a larger 12-litre tank, and optional screen and panniers.

 

 

Vespa

Vespa Elettrica is set to be an all-electric powered version of the classic Vespa scooter and as such the first to blend classic scooter style with modern emission-free power.

 

 

Yamaha

MT-07

Yamaha’s lightweight, fun and value-packed roadster twin gets a facelift for 2018 on similar lines to that of its three-cylinder MT-09 bigger brother – plus overdue uprated suspension.

MT-09 SP

The already sprightly 113bhp roadster triple gets the SP treatment for 2018 and gains new, fully-adjustable forks along with updated, blacked-out cosmetics.

Tracer 900 + GT

Sport-tourer version of the MT-09 has been one of Yamaha’s best sellers for the two years and gets a deserved update via a larger screen and improved ergonomics while the new GT version also gets a TFT dash, panniers and adjustable suspension.

Niken

Oddball, MP3-style leaning three-wheeler based on MT-09 surprisingly makes it into production after two years as a show bike. Extra grip is promised – not to mention a unique road presence.

Super Tenere Raid Edition

Essentially an accessorised version of the now aging but worthy XT1200Z gets aluminium cases, tall screen, sump guard, riding lights and more.

 

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