Since the development of the motorcycle in the mid-1800s, companies have continually tried to improve their offerings, packing in more features and making them safer and more enjoyable to ride. Here are some of the new motorcycle models gracing our streets in 2020.
BMW has several new models out this year, mainly with incremental updates of previous bikes. These include the F900 R and F900 XR, which have the same engine, frame and electronics, yet differ on several aspects. The R has 135mm suspension on the front and 142 on the back, whereas the XR has 170mm on the front and 172mm on the back. The XR is also designed for longer travel, with better ergonomics and riding position, whereas the R is pitched mainly at those who prefer sport riding on windy roads.
The Ducati Multistrada was first made in 2003, and 2020 sees the introduction of the Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour, designed mainly, as the name suggests, for longer rides. It includes features such as cruise and hill-hold control, heated grips, adjustable seat height, and tyre-pressure monitoring.
2020 sees the 30th anniversary of Harley-Davidson’s iconic Fat Boy, with only 2,500 units made and each featuring its production number on the fuel tank. With a vivid black finish, Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-twin engine, and of course a Softail chassis. If you’re unable to secure one of these limited-edition bikes, the regular Fat Boy will be a more-than-worthy substitution, with satin chrome finishes, solid-disc Lakester wheels, LED lighting, and high-performance front suspension. If you’re a bit game, Harley-Davidson has also introduced their first electric bike, the Livewire, while trying to keep some of their famous styling.
The Honda Rebel line-up has proved to be incredibly popular with new riders, starting with the 250 and then followed by the 300 and 500. They’re seen as being a nice mix of a fun ride with classic styling, and the 2020 models include an assist-slipper clutch to reduce clutch pull effort by 30 per cent, and new forks with stiffer spring rates and oil levels and a new instrument panel and LED lighting.
Indian have a handful of new models in 2020, including the Scout, Scout Bobber, and Scout Bobber Twenty, their lowest-priced bikes, and the Scout 100th Anniversary Edition, painted in luscious red with gold trim, leather saddle, black wire wheels, and chrome detailing. The mid-priced range features the FTR series, including the newly unveiled FTR1200 Rally unveiled in Milan. For some extra cash, you can splash out on the Roadmaster Dark Horse, with a larger engine and improved tech, and the limited-edition Roadmaster Elite, with all the mod cons that you could expect in a touring bike starting at $54,995.
The Kawasaki Ninja is one of the most affordable and popular bikes aimed at new riders who want to gain more experience on the road, enjoy the ride, but don’t have the cash for some of the dearer bikes. The Ninja 400 features a 399cc engine (versus the 296cc engine in the older Ninja 300), a lighter trellis frame, increased disc brake size, and ABS.
The 2020 Suzuki Katana pays homage through its styling to the original 1981 Katana, but features modern tech such as an LCD display, ABS, traction control, a 999cc engine, and available with Metallic Mystic Silver styling as a nod to its forebear. For those with bigger wallets, the Suzuki GSX range of superbikes have all received a refresh for 2020, in Suzuki’s bid to offer the best superbikes on the market.