Photo: Giedrius Jakulevičius
Oh, EICMA – you have ruined my productivity for the week. I can’t stop watching your Twitter feed and I’m already counting my ducats (yes, ducats, not Ducatis) trying to determine how to best allocate my meager resources for next riding season. There are some exciting releases for 2016 and I’m going to give my two-cents (because that’s all I have in my checking account at the moment) on five new rides on which I would consider spending serious money. *Please note that the views expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Worse for Wear as a company, especially Laura who is a huge fan of flat twin engines.
2016 Yamaha XSR900
When I saw the news about the release of the XSR700 I was super excited. Then I found out it was only for Europe and I got the sads. It just looked like a really fun bike. Then I see the announcement of the 900 and I had a, “Fuck Yessss!” moment.
On paper, this bike sounds awesome. All the right specs are there: 900cc, 6-speed, disc brakes with ABS, wet clutch and fuel injection. It’s nice and compact at 430 lbs. wet. Great for the city or the highway. My big problem with the specs is that 32.7″ seat height. Seriously? I mean you can shave the seat but that is on par with a dual-sport bike, a style I don’t ride often because I’m only 5’5.” Shorter riders (I’m looking at some of you, ladies) are definitely not going to be thrilled with this.
Which brings me to design – at first glance I was incredibly psyched about the appearance. However, the longer I looked at it, the less I liked the so-called aesthetics. I realize that this is a naked bike, but it’s extremely naked. The front and back view are sleek and modern. The side view just isn’t very appealing. Without putting money into design modifications, the stock version of the bike looks overexposed. All I see is a small gas tank on top of a ton of metal. For those who like the naked look then this bike is definitely for you. In my opinion, it’s lacking something in terms of design.
Verdict: I would have sex with this bike, but only after some serious charm and persuasion from Yamaha.
2016 BMW R nineT Scrambler
Well, hello there, beautiful! This is the kind of bike that you just stare at from across the room and you eye-fuck it until things get weird.
I loved the R nineT when it first came out. I wanted that bike so badly, but I couldn’t warrant the $15k price tag. This bike just looks classy as hell and with German engineering how can you go wrong? To me, the Scrambler design is an improvement over the regular R nineT. The high-positioned pipes look sleek and sportier. The small details such as the analog tachometer and retro seat really give it personality.
My dislikes on this are that damn flat twin engine. I just cannot get into that design. I realize that this in BMW’s thing and I need to get over my weird issues with it. The design just makes the bike look non-compact and clunky. If for any reason I happened to drop the bike I’d be pretty scared of doing serious damage to the cylinders. Not to mention the placement of the exhaust pipes leaves them vulnerable to damage if you get into a bad situation. BMW hasn’t released the price on this thing yet (and the BMW website says it won’t be available until Q3 next year), but it’s obvious they are trying to compete with Ducati’s own Scrambler. If BMW wants to do that, they need to price this at $10k.
Verdict: I would definitely have sex with this bike, but it would be on a booty-call basis. Because it’s a really ridiculously good-looking machine and while I wouldn’t feel comfortable committing to a relationship, I’d definitely keep it around as eye-candy.
2016 Triumph Thruxton R
FINALLY! People have been waiting for an updated Thruxton for what seems like forever and it’s finally been revealed and oh man, is it worth the wait!
The Thruxton has been long overdue for an upgrade and with the 1200cc engine, standard ABS and 6-speed engine, Triumph’s engineers have finally caught up with the 21st century. The Thruxton R has more accessory options than your Barbie collection, so if you’re willing to invest the money in add-ons, you can ride with some awesome customizations. The design is practically perfect, highlighting its heritage while simultaneously keeping the look modern. The technology looks interesting, particularly the implementation of engine response tuning (for rain, normal and sport), with which I’m not totally familiar but would happily get more acquainted.
I was, however, informed that the seat height was over 32″. I have no idea why and I can’t imagine this type of bike with that seat height. If I’m going to invest the time and effort into the new Thruxton R I’d like my feet to be able to touch the ground. Looks like I’ll immediately be investing in a thinner seat if I decide to purchase.
Prices have not been released yet, but I’ve heard rumblings of a $14k tag on the Thruxton R. Certainly not cheap, but you are getting a lot for your money.
Verdict: Definitely long-term relationship material. But, like any relationship, you have to be willing to invest money in it (and time and effort and all that stuff). The Thruxton may very well be worth the investment.
2016 Ducati XDiavel
This bike reminds me of Batman. Strong, powerful, mysterious and I imagine it can be used to fight crime.
I am drooling over this bike on so many levels. Looks good on paper and the design looks futuristic as hell. 1262cc engine with 156hp @ 9500rpm and 95 lb of torque at 5,000 rpm. Ducati built this as a cruiser that you want to ride like a sport bike, which is pretty much what I’ve been searching for as long as I’ve been riding. You get a 40 degree lean angle, which is impressive for a cruiser.
There are two big selling points for me: 1) ergonomic adjustments and 2) belt drive. Ducati advertised this bike as having forward controls, which are very comfortable for longer distances, but suck when you are under 5’7″. Supposedly the footpegs and seat can be adjusted according to your riding style. If you want to be in a more aggressive riding position, you can spend more money on a “central rearward (say wut?) footpeg” kit as an optional extra. This is also the first bike that Ducati is manufacturing that has belt drive. I’m excited because this is so much easier to maintain than a chain and something that BMW has been doing for years (and something I wish more motorcycle manufacturers would invest in).
Ducati hasn’t released pricing information but I’m sure this bike will cost you your salary, pension, soul and first born, much like most Ducati-related purchases.
Verdict: Like Batman, I feel like this bike may be better left as a mystery. Don’t get me wrong, I would have ALL of the sex with the XDiavel. I just don’t think I could ever put a ring on it because after purchasing this bike I wouldn’t have enough money to buy the ring.
Indian Scout Sixty
I want to fall in love with this bike so badly, but there are glaring issues with it that are making me second guess my love for it.
The design looks fantastic. Nice and sleek, and for a manufacturer of large cruisers, it manages to look compact and nimble. Indian has the right idea to expand their market by creating a smaller version of the Scout at a lower cost. But, as they say, you get what you pay for.
For $2,000 less than the regular Scout you get 999cc, 5-speed engine and no ABS. For that price, I can pick up a used Bonneville and get almost the same effect. A lot of people think I’m overreacting for being so adamant about having ABS on my bikes. I’ve ridden plenty of bikes without that system installed and you know what? I’d rather spend the money on having the extra safety feature instead of cringing every time I lock up my rear brake.
Verdict: This is one of those situations where I totally would have had sex with this bike within the first 5 minutes of meeting it, but then the bike said something really stupid and I proceeded to hop on the Nope Train to Fuckthatville.