June 21 is celebrated globally as World Motorcycle Day, a day for celebrating motorcycles, motorcycling and everything related to motorcycles. June 21 is also the longest day of the year, known as the Summer Solstice, and what better day to spend outdoors, riding your motorcycle? This year though, going out on a ride may not be as easy or even safe in many parts of the world, given the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic. There will be motorcyclists who can head out in their home country or neighbourhood for sometime to do what they love best, spend some time with their rides, on the road, off-road or just for a wee feel of being out.
If you can’t resist the temptation of heading out for a ride, please take adequate care, carry drinking water, and avoid riding in large groups, however tempting that may seem like. For us, picking a list of favourite bikes is actually one of the most difficult thing to do, and it’s even more difficult than choosing a winner in a comparison review. There are so many motorcycles, of different types, sizes, and engine displacement that make the cut to being memorable motorcycles that a list of top 10 bikes just doesn’t seem to be enough. Nevertheless, here’s a list of 10 memorable bikes that we’ve narrowed down to, from 180 cc commuter bikes, naked sport bikes, adventure bikes and to a full-blown 211 bhp superbike!
1. Honda Hornet 2.0
The Honda Hornet 2.0 gets a new 184.4 cc engine and new chassis, and will also take on 200 cc rivals
The Honda Hornet 2.0 is a commuter motorcycle for all practical purposes. Built for city riding at best, the new Hornet 2.0 gets a slightly bigger 184 cc, than the Honda CB Hornet 160R it replaces.
But we’re happy to report that this is one Honda which has everything going for it, good looks, a smooth and refined engine and very good handling. Those are reasons enough to have the Honda Hornet 2.0 open this list of best bike reviews!
Also Read: Honda Hornet 2.0 Review
2. KTM 250 Adventure
The KTM 250 Adventure has unintimidating performance, but has enough capability to keep you entertained
So, why make a 250 cc adventure bike, when you have the more potent KTM 390 Adventure? The idea is, according to KTM India, offer a bike for the newbie adventure rider, who will not be overwhelmed by the performance of the 390 Adventure, and also offer the ‘adventure flavour’ in a more affordable package. Yes, the KTM 250 Adventure may not thrill you if you’ve got some amount of experience riding off-road, but it can certainly be very enjoyable. And in our books, it ticks all the right boxes of affordability and accessibility for a newbie adventure rider!
Also Read: KTM 250 Adventure Review
3. Royal Enfield Meteor 350
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is the first model in the all-new 350 cc platform from Royal Enfield
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is built on an all-new 350 cc platform, so it gets a brand-new 350 cc engine, the first new 350 cc engine in nearly a decade, with a new double-cradle chassis, and the Meteor 350 is the first motorcycle in that platform.
We have to say we’ve been very impressed with the Meteor 350, which also went on to win the Motorcycle of the Year award at the 2021 carandbike awards. The new 350 cc motorcycle not just comes loaded with new features, like the turn-by-turn navigation with Bluetooth connectivity, but also offers refinement, yet retaining the laid-back character of a quintessential Royal Enfield.
Also Read: Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Review
4. KTM 390 Duke
The KTM 390 Duke offers superb value for money, and offers a perfect blend of performance, handling and affordability
Yes, it’s not a “new” motorcycle, if you’re looking at all-new models in this list. But there’s a very good reason why the KTM 390 Duke holds a position as one of the most well-known entry-level performance motorcycles in India. It’s immediately identified with iconic motorcycles like the Yamaha RD 350, and the made-in-India KTM 390 Duke can easily hold its own as one of the best bang for buck motorcycles, with a superb combination of performance, handling and affordability. The KTM 390 Duke will remain one of the most iconic motorcycles to be launched in the last two decades, and it just has to be mentioned in any motorcycle discussion. Period!
Also Read: 2020 KTM 390 Duke Review
5. Royal Enfield Himalayan
The Royal Enfield Himalayan is happiest cruising at 90-100 kmph on the highway
The Royal Enfield Himalayan broke new ground for Royal Enfield when it was launched first several years ago. It was a clear departure for Royal Enfield to introduce an accessible and affordable adventure bike to take on the rough and tumble of terrain that RE fans were anyway taking their bikes to, high up in the Himalayas.
But the first-generation Himalayan was plagued with problems, and while Royal Enfield slowly and quietly fixed issues with the bike, in 2021, the company made even more improvements, mostly cosmetic, but the BS6 engine and gearbox also feel smoother and much more refined than the first-generation Himalayan. Yes, it still has its limitations, but it will sail over broken roads, and no roads without a whimper and still take you over hundreds of kilometres in a day without any effort, as long as you’re not in a tearing hurry to get anywhere!
Also Read: 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan Review
6. Triumph Trident 660
The Triumph Trident 660 offers a superb package, and terrific value; it offers the best of both worlds – easy rideability and entertaining personality
This Triumph is the latest model from the British brand, and the Triumph Trident 660 may be the most affordable Triumph on sale right now. Built to a cost, it doesn’t boast of adjustable suspension like the Street Triple RS, or of back-slapping performance. But it’s not always about the kit, or the figures that make a great motorcycle. Eventually, it’s also about the seat of the pants feeling, and to that effect, the Trident 660 is one of the most likeable mid-size roadsters that we’ve swung a leg over in a long, long time, so it makes it to this list!
Also Read: Triumph Trident 660 Review
7. Triumph Street Triple RS
The 2020 Triumph Street Triple RS retains its playful personality. Its highly entertaining and is perfectly at home on the racetrack
But there’s one more Triumph roadster which cannot be ignored from pure entertainment and thrill. The Triumph Street Triple RS may be a middleweight naked, but it’s definitely one of the most entertaining naked sport bikes available in the market right now. A superb 765 cc in-line triple engine which has been updated and tuned by Triumph’s Moto2 engineering team (Triumph also supplies the Moto2 class 765 cc engine), a taut chassis that complements the triple’s high-revving performance of the Street Triple RS .
8. BMW R 1250 GS
The BMW R 1250 GS has all-round capability and versatility
On to the big ADVs then! The world’s most popular adventure motorcycle got a bigger engine with more power in 2019, and more technology. A heavyweight, full-size adventure bike weighing 250 kg may seen like a daunting prospect, particularly for riders looking for some off-road action. But, the big GS comes with superb weight distribution, low centre of gravity, and a torque-y boxer twin engine with 1,254 cc displacement and a whole range of hi-tech electronic rider aids which make it sliding around in the dirt as easy as it looks. And it’s a superb touring machine, with plush suspension and an engine which is tailor-made for covering hundreds of kilometres in a day. With 134 bhp of power, 143 Nm of torque, a long list of riding modes, dynamic traction control, quickshifter and more, it’s not easy to understand why the BMW R 1250 GS is so popular. With no budget constraints, it’s easily one of the best-equipped and off-road capable full-sized adventure bikes available on sale.
Also Read: BMW R 1250 GS Review
9. Ducati Panigale V4
The Ducati Panigale V4 is the first production Ducati with a four-cylinder engine, and it’s not just any engine! The 1,103 cc V4 is derived from the Ducati MotoGP Desmosedici engine, and it puts out 211 bhp of maximum power at 13,000 rpm and 124 Nm of peak torque at 10,000 rpm. When it was launched, in 2018, it was the most powerful road-legal superbike on sale. But what is also comes with is a comprehensive set of electronic nannies to hold your hand and steady you on a racetrack. So, it may be manic fast, but it’s got a near foolproof safety net of electronic rider aids. It’s the first superbike that I’ve had the pleasure of scraping the knee pucks on both sides, and needless to day, the Panigale V4 will remain a very very special bike!
Also Read: Ducati Panigale V4S First Ride Review
The Panigale V4 is a very fast superbike, and you will run out of tarmac, and courage before you explore its true potential
10. Triumph Tiger 900
There’s a reason behind the popularity of the middleweight Triumph Tiger range. It’s a very well-rounded, almost perfect, do-it-all motorcycle, with all-round capability and a superb in-line triple engine which has a sporty character, and the performance and kit to make it a superb touring and off-road capable ADV. The new Tiger 900 takes those qualities several notches higher, with better weight distribution, better power delivery, and a long list of features to make it a completely modern adventure touring motorcycle! And needless to say, it makes the cut as one of the favourite bikes that we have reviewed in the recent past.
Also Read: 2020 Triumph Tiger 900 First Ride Review
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