It’s that time of year again. With all the new models unveiled and manufacturers’ lineups released, we’ve put together our fourth annual roundup of sportbikes. Savvy readers will notice that we’re an issue later than usual; the manufacturers are becoming increasingly cagey with new-model information, releasing little until it’s publicly available. Delaying the guide for a month allows us to include accurate information as far as pricing and specifications for more models.
After a dalliance with electric bikes in last year’s guide, we haven’t included any this year. While the level of technology is increasing at a rapid rate, we still have yet to see—or test—a viable electric sportbike. We do, however, have three new manufacturers included this year: Erik Buell Racing with its stunning 1190RS model, Husqvarna and the Nuda 900, and the Motus MST sport-tourer.
Manufacturers are presented alphabetically, and models within each manufacturer’s section are listed in decreasing order of price. Similar models, such as ABS and non-ABS versions of the same bike, share one capsule in many cases. The price listed represents MSRP for the base model; paint schemes and options sometimes shown in the accompanying picture may add a premium to the base price, although we’ve tried to point this out in the description if that’s the case. Check with the manufacturer (a listing and contact information is at the end of the guide) for up-to-date pricing and options. The specifications list engine type, seat height in inches and wheelbase in inches. The engine spec can be deciphered as follows: listed first is cooling type (L-C is liquid cooled, A-C is air cooled); next is total number of valves in the engine (16V for example), then displacement in cubic centimeters; finally, the layout of the cylinders (Inline-four, V-twin, etc). Following the capsules, you’ll find a list of discontinued models from each manufacturer.