New Bikes From Erik Buell Racing
What they say: "You won’t be disappointed upon setting eyes on our newest creation: The 2014 EBR 1190RX. It has been built from start-to-finish with pride, joy and a relentless passion to bring you another world-class sport bike from the heart of America."
What we say: A triumph of independent engineering, this tiny American company has pulled off the impossible.
Should you buy one? Do you have $18,995? If so, then yes. Support independent American companies.
New Bikes From Honda
What they say: “Take Honda’s legendary 1832cc flat six and build it into the ultimate cruiser—powerful, awe-inspiring and like no other. Now add in great handling and iconic style, and you’ll see why it’s the cruiser that only Honda could build.”
What we say: Look under the skin of a Gold Wing and you see something resembling a large superbike — aluminum beam frame, Pro-Link rear suspension, single-sided swingarm. And, the ‘Wing is a surprisingly solid performer, belying its massive curb weight. So, strip 154 lbs off, add some ground clearance and this should be one hell of a muscle cruiser, likely out-handling the entire class. Shame about the B-King headlight though.
Should you buy it? If you’re shopping for a muscle cruiser, this will be your best choice. One of the most evocative engines in motorcycling now free to show you what it’s got.
What they say: “The all-new CTX1300 expands the innovative concept first introduced with the CTX series—the idea of combining higher levels of comfort and technology to create a riding experience unique to Honda. These bikes place a premium on ease of use and a spacious rider environment with comfortable ergonomics. But now, by extending Honda’s longstanding and successful heritage of V-4 technology, the CTX1300 adds a full load of 1300-class muscle with exhilarating right-now thrust accompanied by a distinctive V-4 engine pulse and exhaust note.”
What we say: That 1,261cc V4 has always been a great motor, but it hasn’t yet had a good home. Hopefully, in the Honda CTX it finds that. Less of a cruiser than the looks suggest, the CTX has a nice, neutral riding position with your legs underneath you, that should equal good comfort and control.
Should you buy it? Want a good performing, characterful bike to do distance on? This will be a good one.
What they say: “For the ultimate in performance, the CBR1000RR SP features fully adjustable Öhlins front and rear suspension, plus Brembo front brakes and Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC premium tires. A special lightweight subframe lowers the center of gravity (CG) and the CBR1000RR SP carries a single-seat cowl that shaves weight. Add high-performance engine parts, including pistons and connecting rods that are hand-picked to match weight and balance, and you have a finely honed instrument that brings the CBR1000RR SP’s performance to a whole new level.”
What we say: Honda has gone much further than they say they have, working with Ohlins and Brembo to engineer bespoke versions of their components specifically to suit the SP. They’ve also altered the swingarm pivot location and “blueprinted” the motor to increase its performance. It’s an OCD, perfectionist approach that should result in one very special motorcycle.
Should you buy it? Know how to ride a fast bike? If you do, the changes made to this SP are going to mean a lot more than things like horsepower and electronics.
What they say: “Its predecessor, the CBR250R provided the perfect entry point into Honda's Super Sport CBR range. Its compact size, involving single-cylinder engine, and looks inspired by bigger CBR machines - plus typically strong Honda build quality - have earned it a key position in Honda's Super Sport line-up. For 2014, Honda's engineers have taken it back to the drawing board; the CBR300R is the next evolution.”
What we say: An additional 4 bhp and 3 lb.-ft. of torque aren’t going to change the world, but they will make the CBR a little bit faster. On-sale date and pricing have not yet been announced for the U.S. If you want a new bike, this one won’t be here before late summer/early fall.
Should you buy it? The CBR250R is the best first bike out there. The 300 will be a little faster and a little more comfortable on the highway.
What they say: “…more power and torque, as well as twin balancer shafts, new exhaust muffler and taller gearing, optional DCT gearbox - plus a host of detail upgrades…”
What we say: That about sums it up. Take one utilitarian motorcycle and add 7 bhp and 6 lb.-ft of torque and you can’t go wrong.
Should you buy it? Like the CBR300R, U.S. availability hasn’t yet been announced. Updates are fairly minimal, so we wouldn’t bother waiting. Maybe use the arrival of the 750 to negotiate a deal on the NC700X.
Continue Reading: 2014 New Motorcycle Primer >>