New Year, New Bikes: Bikes For 2023

Credit: KTM

For the most part, the 2023 model launches are finished. You can always expect a few cruisers to break cover mid-winter (Harley-Davidson is launching its new bikes on January 18, instead of its usual Daytona Bike Week launch). But the Euro bikes and Japanese machines, and even some new machines from China, are mostly here. Here are a few of the new-for-2023 machines that we find particularly interesting.


2023 CFMoto 300NK. Credit: CFMoto
CFMoto NK300

This naked bike from China has a liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine that makes 28 horsepower, with 151 kg wet weight—basically the same numbers as an equivalent Japanese bike, unlike previous made-in-China machines in this class, which were wayyyyy too heavy (the Suzuki GW250 being the prime example)

The NK300 also comes with a five-year warranty, better than any Japanese or Euro competitors, with a $4,699 MSRP. It is the most affordable every-day practical motorcycle that Canada has seen in years, and its dealer network is growing rapidly. While CFMoto soured many Canadian customers with its last abortive entry into our market, it seems it’s here for good this time.

The Blue Core engine returns, with twist-and-go throttle for easy city riding. Credit: Yamaha
Yamaha XMAX

At the other end of the spectrum, we have the XMAX maxi-scooter. Actually, there isn’t a whole lot of “maxi” in this machine, with an engine that is only 292cc. Alas, the days of 500cc+ scooters seem to be long-gone for Canadian customers. The XMAX makes 27 horsepower with a twist-and-go throttle and that’s about as good as it gets these days in our market. Thankfully, that Blue Core-series engine will get excellent fuel economy, and that’s always one of the major selling points for scooters.

Alas, the XMAX is pricey, at $7,599 MSRP, which cuts into your fuel economy savings. However, if you want a reasonably fast scooter, it has more power than almost any other step-through available in Canada right now. The BMW C400GT has more power, but costs you another $3.5k.


This is where the action is these days—manufacturers are focusing on middleweight motorcycles with parallel twin engines, where the OEMs can offer the best bang for the consumer’s buck, while still retaining healthy profit margins.

The 2023 Honda CB750 Hornet, perhaps the company’s most important motorcycle in the past decade. Credit: Honda
Honda CB750 Hornet

Perhaps the biggest machine for Honda since the CB500 platform hit the market. The liquid-cooled 755cc parallel twin makes 90.5 hp at 9,500 rpm, and 55.4 lb-ft of torque at 7,250 rpm, perfect numbers for someone who wants an all-rounder that can commute, handle some sporty touring while not drawing the wrath of insurance companies.

The Hornet’s specs look decent elsewhere, with Showa Big Piston Separate Function fork, five-way preload-adjustable shock, ABS, throttle-by-wire, separate riding modes, slip/assist clutch, and optional quickshifter and luggage.

This is quite possibly the last new middleweight platform that Honda will ever debut, as it has made its plans to shift to alternative energy very public. As governments around the world signal their intentions to ban internal combustion motorcycles in the next decade or so, will Honda want to sink R&D into a new platform after this? Seems unlikely. Buy one while you can!

Or at least, buy one if you can. For now, Honda has not confirmed this bike for our market. However, we imagine the Hornet will be available here at some point in 2023.

The Honda TransAlp is built on the same basic platform as the Hornet. Credit: Honda
Honda TransAlp

This is an adventure bike based around the same platform as the Hornet naked bike. Although it is definitely aimed at the street-friendly side of the street-and-trail equation, the TransAlp does come with a 21-inch front wheel, so it may have more offroad capability than the original Transalp series did.

Showa also provides the suspension for this bike; there is a 16.9L fuel tank that’s supposedly good for as much as 390 km of range, meaning adventure riders with a cautious throttle hand may be able to push this machine far without need for an expensive aftermarket tank.

Like the Hornet, we have no confirmation of the TransAlp for Canada, but we expect it at some point in 2023.

So far, no Canadian MSRP listed. Credit: Suzuki
Suzuki GSX-8S

Suzuki’s latest addition to the GSX naked bike series is brand-new, featuring a liquid-cooled 776 cc DOHC parallel twin engine. Suzuki has been working on this platform for a long time, and like the new 750 from Honda, it’s highly possible this will be the last new middleweight platform from Suzuki. It’s supposed to have 83 hp at 8500 rpm and 57 lb-ft of torque at 6,800 rpm. Of course, slip/assist clutch is standard, and six-speed gearbox, with a ride-by-wire throttle that allows for multiple riding modes. An up/down quickshifter is available, probably as an option.

The bike also gets the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (SIRS), the company’s latest electronics safety package. This offers adjustable traction control and ABS, Low RPM Assist, Easy Start and many other features that don’t require an IMU. In other words: No leaning ABS. Suzuki has to keep the price down somehow.

Along with SIRS, the GSX-8S also gets all-round LED lights and a 5-inch TFT screen. The suspension appears fairly basic, sourced from Kayaba.

The GSX-8S is confirmed for Canada for 2023, but we do not have the price or availability yet.

The next installment in a line of long-popular adventure bikes, the V-Strom 800DE. Credit: Suzuki
Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE

Built around the same engine as the GSX-8S, so 83 hp at 8500 rpm and 57 lb-ft of torque, and supposedly 53 mpg. It comes with a 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear wheel, a 20-liter fuel tank, and long-stroke suspension. While it comes with a similar electronics package to the GSX-8S, the new Strom comes with an offroad ABS mode, which allows you to lock up the rear wheel in the dirt.

The original V-Strom 650 and 1000 models have been incredibly popular for Suzuki over the past two decades, so a lot of riders are looking forward to seeing how well the 800 works out. Will the 800 parallel twin be as enjoyable as the V-twins previously used in the Strom line? Suzuki says it has a new Cross Balancer design: “The first biaxial primary balancer on a production motorcycle to position its two balancers at 90° to the crankshaft, this patented mechanism suppresses vibration to contribute to smooth operation, while its design also helps realize a lighter powerplant that is more compact from front to rear.” Interesting, and we look forward to seeing how it works out in the real world.

Like the GSX-8S, this new Strom is coming to Canada; we just don’t know the price.

The 2023 KTM 790 Duke. Credit: KTM
KTM 790 Duke

The Duke is back! Canadians are familiar with this bike, but it disappeared from our market for a few years and has now come back with a few small updates, and one big update: The new bike is made in China, not Austria. KTM says: “We’ve used our global production partners to produce the 790 Duke, and this includes CFMoto in China. This is a KTM motorcycle, built to our design and production standards.”

This should, in theory, keep the price down. KTM still offers cornering-sensitive traction control and ABS (with supermoto mode), all-LED lighting, a 5-inch TFT screen, and optional quickshifter. It’s a modern naked bike, it’s just not made in Europe or Japan. And it is coming to Canada soon, with a $10,199 MSRP plus taxes and fees.


We’re expecting a big crop of full-sized machines next fall, but there were a few interesting big-bore bikes launched over the 2023 show season.

Small bags, a small fairing, a small bagger. But with a price that beats pretty much everything else in this class. Credit: Honda
Honda Rebel 1100 Touring

Harley-Davidson just canceled the Evo Sportster line, so where will riders turn, if they want a lightweight cruiser? Honda hopes more of them will ride the Rebel 1100, and for 2023, we get a bagger version.

It’s the same bike as the Rebel 1100 (liquid-cooled 1084cc engine, with optional DCT), just with a fairing and small saddlebags bolted on. Honda lists Canadian MSRP at $15,879. Despite the limited colour options, this is likely to be a sold-out model in 2023.

2023 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT. Looks like the hard bags aren’t standard, alas! Credit: KTM
KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

The GT hasn’t been available in Canada for a few years, and while it was introduced for Euro customers last summer, it hasn’t been available here until now.

This isn’t actually a sportbike, but it’s probably the most aggressive sport-tourer on the market, with 175ish horsepower on tap and WP Apex Pro semi-active suspension (with anti-dive function and pre-set selectable preloads for separate rider, passenger and luggage loadouts). It gets the same lightweight wheels as the Super Duke R, too. KTM’s latest electro-trickery comes fitted as standard, inluding IMU-enabled leaning-sensitive ABS and traction control. It also has KTM’s latest Turn-by-turn PLUS GPS navigation system, powered by Sygic technology.

Canadian MSRP starts at $20,799 plus taxes, fees and shipping. It’s not cheap, but it will be the sportiest touring bike available here in 2023.

The Multistrada V4 Rally comes packed with the latest-gen tech, but the price tag is sky-high. Credit: Ducati
Ducati MultiStrada V4 Rally

This V4 Multi has been beefed up for off-road use. With tons of power (170 hp from its 1158cc V4 Granturismo engine), latest-gen electronics (Off-Road/Enduro, Sport, Touring, and Urban ride modes, along with leaning-sensitive ABS and TC), and self-lowering suspension, this is the most advanced adventure bike Ducati has ever made—maybe the most advanced adventure bike in the world. It even has multiple levels of radar-powered cruise control available.

However, while it runs on spoked wheels, it’s still a 19-17 wheelset, which means it’s not going to roll over obstacles as easily as a machine with 21-inch front, 18-inch rear. A 30-liter fuel tank comes standard, and the accessory catalog is loaded with hard bags and other useful add-ons. MSRP in Canada starts at $33,995, which is a lot of cash, but if you’ve got the green to make the scene, this is two-wheeled rocket has any techno-gadget you could ask for.


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