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As we look forward to the new biking season, dreaming of the summer sun from the comfort of a warm fireside, our thoughts turn to riding, and maybe we’re thinking about investing in a new bike this year. Here’s a rundown of some of the exciting new models we can look forward to.
Triumph Thruxton Ace
Triumph has had a remarkable resurgence in recent years, consistently producing bikes to fall in love with. The Thruxton model has been around since 2003 and owes its retro styling to the classic Triumphs of old. It’s basically a café racer version of the Bonneville Roadster. Retailing at a little over £8000 it is within most people’s budget. The 850cc motor, putting out 69 bhp, delivers a respectable 45 mpg. The new version has been given louder exhaust pipes, all the better for imagining that blast down the California highways! Although the Thruxton Ace is billed as a limited edition, with extras like a custom seat, Ace Café logos and a limited edition plaque on the handlebar clamp, it is still very basic but will hold its monetary value well.
Kawasaki Versys 1000
For those who lean more towards the adventure bike style Kawasaki have produced an uprated version of its Versys, now with a 1000cc motor to complement its smaller 650cc brother. The new boy comes with Bridgestone sports touring tyres, upright riding position and excellent wind protection from the adjustable screen and new design aerodynamic nose fairing. There’s the option of adding a full luggage system for touring and, as the tank holds enough fuel for 203 miles at 44 mpg, you won’t need to make too many fuel stops. The engine has been tweaked with new parts to increase the power output to 118 bhp. A new slipper clutch and traction control offers greater confidence-inducing control on the road.
BMW’s offering for 2015 appears to take its styling cues from Ducati’s popular Monster Roadster series, with its low seat height, curvy tank and paint accenting the frame. At £10,250 it is pricey but comes with a lot of extras for the money. In line with all modern BMWs it boasts as many electronic rider aids as you want to pay for like heated grips, quickshifter and extra riding modes, though some are standard. This new version has upside-down forks for better cornering response along with ABS and Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment with adjustable preload. The well-established Boxer engine, with its upgraded airbox and exhaust, puts out a respectable 125 bhp and a very smooth power delivery plus 45 mpg, though the tank range is a disappointing 178 miles.
A very stylish example of its type, the Ducati is light with a lowish seat height and 800cc motor with plenty of low to mid-range power for confident off-roading, though of course, as it isn’t a hard-core off-roader it is good-looking enough and comfortable enough to take for a blast on the roads. Just don’t expect shoulder-ripping top end speed. Don’t stray too far into the back of beyond though because it only has a tank range of 154 miles but it will return 52 mpg. At around £6895 this is a very affordable Ducati.
If it’s quirky you’re after then this is it. Yamaha have designed this urban scooter with two wheels at the front for extra stability in slow-moving traffic using its innovative Leaning Multi Wheel technology, which basically means you can lean into corners! It is powered by a nippy and economical 125cc fuel-injected engine and automatic gearbox. Like most other scooters it is lightweight with a good riding position and comes with loads of storage compartments. Retailing at under £3500 this taps nicely into the burgeoning market for urban and city commuters.
With a choice of 650cc or 1000cc engines the new V-Strom ABS Adventure is designed to appeal to a wider audience. The 650ABS comes with new aluminium side cases, engine bars and adjustable screen for practical touring. The v-twin engine is quick-revving yet economical and is equally competent on motorways or off-road.
Harley Davidson is another motorcycle manufacturer who’ve been in the doldrums in recent years but are back with a new line up of models for 2015. Its iconic Road Glide has been upgraded with a more aerodynamic design to reduce wind buffeting. The new model now has reflex linked brakes and ABS and comes with a Boom!Box infotainment system bringing Harley right into the 21st century.
2015 brings us some great bikes, and there’s never been a better time to get out on them. Grab your helmet and get out on the open road.