Six bikes to check out at the Toronto Motorcycle Show

The 2017 Toronto Motorcycle Show kicks off tomorrow, at Toronto’s Enercare Centre. So, what bikes should you check out while you’re there?

Here are a few of the more interesting new-for-2017 models, ranging from slick superbikes to fun scramblers, that we think you might be interested in seeing in the flesh, so to speak.

Admission for the show is $19 for adults ($15+), $14 for seniors (65+), $11 for juniors (6-14), and children under 6 get in for free. More details on admission and an exhibitor list are available at the show’s website here

Honda CBR1000RR: Honda’s finally updated its litrebike, with a bit more horsepower than the outgoing model, upgraded Showa suspension, and an electronics package with such treats as nine-level traction control, wheelie control, leaning ABS, and more. You can see our review of the bike here, and you can check it out in the flesh at the Toronto show.

KTM 1290 Super Adventure R: Now with 160 hp and 103 ft-lb of torque, the 1290 Super Adventure is truly an impressive ADV machine. It’s also not cheap, at $22,499. But maybe, that’s the price of fun? A 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear wheel mean it should be good in the dirt, but it’s not as street-oriented as the S model.

Versys-X 300
Kawasaki’s Versys-X 300 is perhaps the most interesting of the current crop of mini-ADV bikes.

Kawasaki Versys-X 300: For years, people have said Kawasaki needed to put its parallel twin from the Baby Ninja into an adventure bike chassis. Now, we see the result; Kawasaki’s Versys-X 300 isn’t really mini-KLR many people claimed to want, but it is pretty true to the current design principles of adventure bikes. It’s aimed at gravel road and pavement use, not hard-core off-roading, although some suspension upgrades might make it a bit more dirt-worthy.

Suzuki VanVan 200
It was surprising to see Suzuki bring the VanVan 200 to North America, but it’s here, at a relatively reasonable price.

Suzuki Van Van:  This funky little runabout makes its North American debut this year. The 125 cc version was a long-running standard in Japanese and Euro markets, and this version made its debut at EICMA in 2015. It’s not high-powered — the engine is the same basic air-cooled single that’s worked in the DR200 duallie since the ’80s, but with EFI and an oil cooler. And of course, it has those big balloon tires. Base price is $4,599, meaning it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to bomb around in retro style.

While other OEMs seem happy to let the 600 class die on the vine, Yamaha updated the R6 with improved suspension and electronic rider aids this year.

Yamaha YZF-R6: Are supersport 600s dead? Not according to Yamaha, who released the new R6 this year, with six-level traction control,  and other electronic trickery, along with KYB suspension and optional quickshifter. Bodywork is very similar to its big brother, the R1.

BMW R NineT Racer: BMW has taken its R NineT platform (powered by an air/oil-cooled 1170 cc flat twin) and used it to build a rather fetching cafe racer. It has conventional telescopic forks, which keeps the price down a bit (a reasonable $14,150). Like the other R nineT models, it has a modular steel frame, designed for easy customization. ABS is standard, traction control is optional.

3 thoughts on “Six bikes to check out at the Toronto Motorcycle Show”

  1. Mrs and myself went this year. There were a few bikes she liked (Indian Scout, Honda CB500 series) she didn’t much like the Versys 650 which is what I’m looking at. Felt big & tall for her.

    Our Harley riding friend exhorted her to check out the Street 750. She hopped on, said “feels cheap” and hopped off.

    We were done in 1.5 hours, avoided the very minimal beef jerky etc display area. Hadn’t been in about 5 years, more models are being made these days that we’d actually consider so that’s progress.

    1. DougD – we stood in the Harley display talking to a friend for a good 15 minutes.
      NO ONE came up and looked/sat on the Street 750.
      Methinks its been a bit of a North American marketing disaster.
      I’m curious to find out what Vance & Hines had to do polishing up this t*rd to make it into a flat tracker.

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