The Winner: Honda CB500X
How It Moves The Needle: For $6,000 you get all the bike anyone could ever need. It’s better in the city than any other ADV bike, better in the canyons and just about as comfortable on the highway.
Why We Chose It: It makes bigger ADV bikes look positively silly. None of them are terribly capable off-road and this is one of the few that isn’t just a dressed-up touring bike. It works way better in the real world for most of today’s riders.
ADV Runner-Up: Honda NC700X
How It Moves The Needle: Diesel-like low-down torque and fuel-efficiency combine with an unprecedentedly low center of gravity to create an exceptionally easy riding experience. That makes taking it off-road as easy as riding it around town.
Why It Didn’t Win: The cheaper CB500X lacks the torque, the onboard storage and isn’t quite as frugal, but it’s more fun to ride and $1,500 cheaper.
The Winner: Honda Gold Wing F6B
How It Moves The Needle: Takes the Gold Wing platform and makes it more comfortable, better handling, faster and lighter.
Why We Chose It: We’ve never gotten used to looking through a windscreen and prefer a screen arrangement that directs windblast over our shoulders while leaving the helmet in clean air. That’s what the F6B does best.
Tourer Runner-Up: Suzuki Burgman 650
How It Moves The Needle: 90 percent of the distance ability of a Gold Wing in a lighter, more affordable, much easier to use package.
Why It Didn’t Win: The small wheels and very low center of gravity lead to low-speed awkwardness and, well, it’s a scooter.
RideApart Bike Of The Year
The Winner: 2014 Mission RS
How It Moves The Needle: 2013 will be remembered as the year the motorcycle world changed forever. Why? With the Mission RS, electric power became a superior performance solution to internal combustion engines. It’s not just faster, it delivers much greater feel, more stability and faster steering than any ICE rival, too. Sure, it’s expensive, but progress costs money.
Why We Chose It: Here at RideApart, we like motorcycles because they solve congestion, are cheap to run, put wind in our hair and all that, but mostly we love motorcycles because they go fast. And the Mission RS goes fast better than anything else ever made.
Bike Of The Year Runner-Up: Honda CB500F
How It Moves The Needle: Unrivaled capability at an unmatched price. For just $5,500, the CB500F delivers a bike that’s accessible to new riders, but fun to ride for experienced guys/gals too. It’d make a great first bike, a great budget commuter or just a good all-rounder for anyone on a budget.
Why It Didn’t Win: It’s just not quite fast enough to really capture our enthusiast hearts.
What is your pick for Bike Of The Year?