Hey Canucks! Our 2024 riding season is just about here, and the selling season is well underway. Here’s a lineup of several machines to watch for this year, if you’re thinking about buying a new bike—from India, Japan or Europe. Keep an eye out at the shows, you just might get to throw a leg over one and start building some of that moto-lust yourself…
Royal Enfield Himalayan 450
Adventure bikes are the hottest category in motorcycling right now, and while big-bore bikes get a lot of hype, there is rapidly-growing interest in smaller machines that are accessible to young riders who are low on riding experience or money, as well as older riders who are looking to scale down their machine. The Himalayan 450 fits both these categories.
Although we haven’t had a chance to ride it yet, we’ve talked to those who have, and they sound like this new liquid-cooled machine is a big step forward from the old air-cooled Himi—but it doesn’t sound like the 450 delivers the same sort of torque that the 650 dual sport class is known for. That might make it tough to poach riders away from the KLR or DR650.
BMW R1300 GS
On the other end of the spectrum, we see BMW’s new big-bore ADV. This is a bit tricky, because BMW also overhauled its parallel twin series, and many riders would prefer the F900 GS, particularly as it’s available in Adventure trim, while the 1300 isn’t. The 1300 is the flagship model, though, and actually lost weight for the 2024 model even though the engine got bigger and more powerful.
Does this mean some of the parallel-twin-preferring crowd might be tempted back towards the flat twin lineup? Perhaps, but the R1300 GS comes at a $5,000ish premium over the $17,295 F900 GS Adventure.
Kawasaki Ninja 500
Adventure bikes, schmadventure bikes. Some people still want crotch rockets, and Kawasaki is happy to sell them. While some riders might be tempted towards the four-cylinder ZX-4R, that’s a discerning rider’s machine. The new-for-2024 Ninja 500 is a continuation of the twin-cylinder formula that’s worked so well for Kawi forever, and has a lot in common with the old EX500 models that Kawi made a bajillion dollars on through the 1990s and 2000s.
The Ninja 500 will sell at a $7,099 MSRP in Canada for 2024, $200 less than the 400 model. That sort of deal is pretty rare, and if you’re looking for an affordable streetbike, this is going to be a solid bet.
KTM 1390 Super Duke R EVO
Some people don’t want a budget-friendly bike. They want the meanest, nastiest street bike that money can buy. And if you don’t want a full-fairing machine, then the Super Duke R EVO could fit that bill for you.
This bike updates KTM’s big-bore V-twin with a cam-shift design that allows for variable valve timing. In turn, that means better tuning through the rev range and more power at the top end (190 hp at the crank, with 107 lb-ft of torque). Add in WP’s latest-generation semi-active suspension and an electronics package that can be set up for aggressive trackday riding, and you’ve got a bike that is a legitimate weapon—as long as you can find a riding area to take advantage of all the power.
Suzuki V-Strom 800
The Suzuki V-Strom 800DE is a surprisingly competent bike off-road, but what if you really only want street capability? With cast rims and slightly dumbed-down suspension, this is the base model of the new 800 Strom series.
The MSRP drops to $12,249 on this machine, and that makes it a very practical buy when compared to the GSX-S1000GX. Both bikes do roughly the same thing, but the GX’s highly expensive tech and more powerful engine add more than $8,000 to the price.
Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+
Speaking of expensive tech: Yamaha’s three-cylinder 900-class bike takes a turn towards the world of luxury here, with radar-linked adaptive cruise control, KYB semi-active suspension and a lot of other techno-wizardry. Is this machine going to replace the FJR1300? At $20,699, its MSRP is only $300 less than the expensive FJR, and for that money, you’re getting a lot more tech… but you aren’t getting a shaft drive or the FJR’s decades-long reputation for mile-eating reliability.
People want Honda’s reliability and build quality, but they’re always happy to save a buck. The Transalp comes in around $13,500, depending where you live in Canada, and that’s about $500 less than an Africa Twin. Yeah, it doesn’t have the power or the same features as the AT, but most riders are going to be just fine with standard non-leaning-sensitive ABS and traction control, and they can live without cruise control too.
You would think there would be considerable demand for the CB750 Hornet as well, but… no announcement of that bike for Canada has crossed our desk yet.
Triumph Scrambler 400X
It’s hard to say which will sell better, this or the Speed 400. The street-friendly Speed model carries a ridiculously low $5,795 MSRP for 2024, while the more gravel-friendly Scrambler has a $6,795 MSRP. Still, under $7k for a flashy-looking scrambler is still pretty affordable, and riders are really digging the dual sport/adventure/scrambler genres these days.
These bikes are built in India, but Triumph says they’ll be made to the same standard and fit-and-finish as their other models, which should be no real difficulty. Hinckley’s other bikes are mostly made in Thailand these days, and if they can figure out to excel at production in one Asian country, they’ll figure it out in another. With enough power for lots of back-road fun and enough to get on the highway to go from city to city, these machines will spearpoint Triumph’s entry into the world of affordability.