This weekend, the Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council (MMIC) runs its Toronto Motorcycle Show at the Enercare Centre. If you want to see all the new-for-2018 motorcycles in place, this is where you want to be. Here are our suggestions for a few bikes you’ll definitely want to check out at the show this weekend.
Kawasaki H2 SX
The Kawasaki H2 SX (pictured above) takes Team Green’s supercharged H2 platform and adds a sport touring package.
It looks a lot like the hyperbike it’s based on, and the rear subframe has been beefed up to handle the weight of an extra passenger, as well as luggage, but there’s still 200 hp on tap, and rocketship acceleration to boot.
Of course, there’s cruise control, leaning ABS and stability control; Givi panniers are optional. Read the initial CMG write-up here and find it here in the CMG Buyer’s Guide. See it for yourself at the Toronto Motorcycle Show.
The Suzuki SV650X is a repackaging of a classic Suzuki V-twin platform with the neo-retro styling that has swept the industry this year; it’s built from a concept bike that initially appeared last year, and was confirmed at EICMA. There’s no onboard electronic trickery like some of the competition in this class; front forks are adjustable for preload, and that’s about it. However, the pricing is very reasonable ($8,299) and for now, the SV650X comes with a five-year warranty, providing many kilometres of worry-free riding. Find it here in the CMG Buyer’s Guide.
Honda Gold Wing
The new Honda Gold Wing debuted last fall, with a drastically revised six-cylinder engine (with four-valve heads), a Hossack-style front suspension, and an all-new chassis. The windshield is electronically adjustable, as is the suspension. There’s a 7-inch TFT display combined with Bluetooth connectivity and Apple CarPlay. There’s adjustable traction control, and for the first time, an automatic DCT gearbox is available. This model truly moves the Gold Wing into the next generation of motorcycling, and if you want a new touring bike, you’ll want to check it out. See our reports on the bike here, and find it here in the Buyer’s Guide.
Yamaha Star Eluder
Yamaha steps into the luxury V-twin bagger market with the Star Eluder. There’s 67 litres of luggage capacity (step into the Star Venture model if that isn’t enough), along with traction control, a slipper clutch, cruise control, heated seats and a 7-inch infotainment screen. It’s a big, heavy bike, but the air-cooled 1854 cc engine makes 126 lb-ft of torque, so there’s no shortage of muscle to move it along. See the initial write-up here; it’s in the Buyer’s Guide here.
BMW G310 GS
A budget Beemer adventure bike? Sounds crazy, but it’s here. And initial reports on the G310 GS were very positive—read the first CMG review here. At its heart, this machine is built around BMW’s made-in-India single-cylinder 310 cc engine, and it’s suitable for not just beginners, but also people who what an ADV steed, but don’t want to wrestle around a full-sized GS. That doesn’t mean it’s a svelte dirt bike; it’s still street-friendly. But it’s a different direction for BMW, and so far, we’ve heard good things. See the Buyers Guide listing here.
Harley-Davidson Fat Bob
The Harley-Davidson Fat Bob might be the most exciting model in the updated Harley-Davidson lineup. While it’s no sport bike, it’s fun to ride at a brisk pace in the twisties, thanks to a wide, straight handlebar, dual disc brakes and inverted fork. Of course, it’s built around the new Softail platform, with the Milwaukee Eight engine, so it’s lighter and more powerful than the Big Twins of old. Find the full spec sheet here in the Buyer’s Guide.
The cruiser market has changed significantly in recent years. Instead of just cranking out faux Americana, many manufacturers are going their own way and introducing bikes following their own styling cues — and many of these cruisers tend to go a little faster than the ones inspired by a 1950s Elvis aesthetic.
But the updated Speedmaster isn’t a slick modern sport cruiser; sure, there’s liquid cooling, but most of the bike is still a throwback, with hand-painted pinstriping, fork gaiters, and a general attitude that harks back to the days of classic British all-rounders. Costa’s review of the Speedmaster is here, and it’s here in the Buyer’s Guide.
Ducati Panigale V4
All that money Ducati spent on MotoGP is finally paying off, with the release of the new Panigale V4. It’s a big change for the Italian manufacturer, moving away from decades of L-twin superbike engines. But along with the hot new motor, Ducati’s latest Panigale has fully-adjustable suspension, and a set of electronic rider aids (launch control, wheelie control, traction control, engine brake control) that seems to have impressed all the riders who’ve been aboard the bike so far. Ducati included an up-down quickshifter as standard equipment, along with Sachs steering damper and 5-inch TFT dash. Here’s what we wrote when it appeared at EICMA, and here’s the Buyer’s Guide entry.
KTM 1290 Super Adventure S
The KTM 1290 Super Adventure S first showed up at the 2016 EICMA show, but it’s taken a while to come to Canada. Now, it’s here, rolling on 19-inch front tire and 17-inch rear, with cast rims — it’s definitely street-friendly, not for heavy off-road use, but with 158 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque on tap, there’s lots of muscle on tap. LED cornering lights, semi-active WP suspension, leaning ABS, traction control, riding modes, launch assist and cruise control all work together to keep the rubber side down. It’s here in the Buyer’s Guide.