2017 has some seriously great new motorcycle models on offer: it’s been a great year for the industry, and no matter what style of machine you’re after, there’s something for you. We’ve seen incredible technological advances getting applied to the new lines, we’ve seen long awaited updates finally filter down, and what’s more, we’ve seen a couple of very exciting new models roll into production too. So, if we were given a huge bag of money and had to buy a 2017 motorcycle, here’s what we’d choose. Now, these aren’t ranked in any specific order, and they’re not geared towards one type of rider either. We’re gone for a mixed bag approach, suiting different types of riders, and most importantly, different types of budget. Without further ado, here are our favorite motorcycle models of 2017!
Our Favorite Motorcycle Models On Offer For 2017
#10: The 2017 Kawasaki Z125 Pro (Base Price: $3,000)
Kawasaki’s Z125 Pro is a direct assault on the Honda Grom. It’s small, practical, stylish, fun, and comes with an affordable price tag. While the Grom may be the golden boy in the minibike department, we think it’s about time minibike buyers gave the Kawasaki a chance. It ticks exactly the same boxes as the Honda Grom, but it has a few surprising extras. First, let’s talk about the necessary similarities. Kawasaki were well aware that if they wanted in on the action in the small capacity department that they’d have to take a few cues from the Grom…and they certainly did.
It boasts the small stature of the Grom, the clean and sophisticated bodywork, the sporty suspension, and the accessible saddle height. To make sure they had the edge on the Grom, Kawasaki also factored in an impressive fuel economy that’s somewhere in the region of 100 miles per gallon, they also made the little 125cc a whole 225 lbs lighter than the Grom, and to add insult to injury, Kawasaki are selling it for cheaper than the Honda. You can pick one of these up for around $3,000. It might be a small bike, but it’s a motorcycle you can ride and have fun on 365 days of the year. And that’s worth every dollar.
#09: The 2017 Honda Rebel (Base Price: $4,399)
If you’ve kept half an eye on the motorcycle press over the last few months, you’re going to have noticed the new and improved Honda Rebel. For many people, the Honda Rebel immediately conjures up images of a rather uninspired cruiser model that’s become a staple ride for learners and sensible riders for the past 30-odd years, and that’s exactly what the Rebel was. However, times have changed. It’s 2017 now, and Honda has finally decided to give the Rebel some much needed attention and inject some character into the mix. And Honda succeeded. Whether you like it or not, the 2017 Honda Rebel has become one of the most discussed motorcycle models of the year.
The new Rebel looks nothing like the former iteration that seems to have remained stylistically set in 1984 for the past 32 years – it now moves in a whole new direction. It still ticks a few key cruiser boxes, but the new Rebel is something else completely. Smart, minimalist, clean, and very, very affordable. The 2017 Honda Rebel comes in two flavors: a tidy single-cylinder 300 (268cc) and a more powerful parallel twin 500 (471cc). The smaller Honda Rebel 300 comes with a very appealing price tag of $4,399, while the 500 prices up at $5,999. ABS is also an available extra too, which makes this a cool and affordable bike for beginner riders.
#08: The 2017 BMW G310R (Base Price: $4,750)
It’s a BMW, Jim, but not as we know it. While we love the sheer ferocity of the S1000RR, and we more than approve of the style and finesse of the R nineT, our favorite motorcycle model from BMW this year has to be the small but effective G310R. If you’ve ever wanted something designed and engineered to strict German standards but don’t want to re-mortgage your house in the process, then the G310R is a viable option. Coming in as BMW’s smallest two-wheeler market, this 313cc, liquid cooled single pushes out a respectable 34 hp and weighs in at a paltry 350 lbs. It’s a budget bike, but you wouldn’t know it. It’s the pinnacle of the small-capacity segment, that’s for sure.
It comes with a lot of features that are worthy of praise, such as its innovative engine layout, or the fact that it has ABS as standard, but really, it’s the overall look and feel of the bike that really makes the G310R a standout model. It takes its styling trends directly from the rest of the BMW line, with the classic white, red and blue stripes emblazoned across the sporty bodywork. It’s not a baby S1000RR, but there’s no denying that they’re from the same family. In fact, BMW has shown us a mini racer and tourer based around the G310R, so maybe new owners will be able to get a kit to take their pocket sized BMW in whatever direction they want?
Either way, for the price, it’s still cheaper than many other 300cc models out there, like the Kawasaki Ninja 300, or the Honda CBR300R.
#07: The 2017 Triumph Street Cup (Base Price: $10,500)
Though a little more expensive than the motorcycle models listed above, the Triumph Street Cup is catered towards a different audience. While the above are geared towards learners or stalwart urban commuters, the Triumph Street Cup is aimed at riders who like a healthy mix of classic styling fused with modern performance. Of course, people who like shining up their bike on the weekend also fall into that category too but that’s part of the appeal. What makes this a standout model for us is the fact that it manages to be both classic and modern at the same time without completely bankrupting you at the same time.
The Street Cup comes powered by the recently updated Triumph Bonneville engine in the 900cc configuration. It hasn’t exactly been “performance” tuned but there has been some attention given to the parallel twin lump, and it has been treated to a brand new exhaust system too. So while it may look like a factory bought café racer wannabe, it actually has enough performance to match its vintage aesthetic. On top of the engine mods, it also has a revised chassis for improved handling, a new suspension arrangement, ride-by-wire, and ABS too. Not bad for $10,500.
#06: The 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 (Base Price: $12,199)
Next up, we’ve got one of the most eagerly anticipated motorcycle models for 2017: the all-new Yamaha R6. The excitement leading up to its unveiling last year was palpable, and boy, did Yamaha deliver. Armed with a new engine, update technology, and a stunning look, the Yamaha R6 is definitely our weapon of choice if you’re in the market for a thrilling supersport machine. The fully Euro compliant DOHC, liquid cooled, 599cc inline-four posts a cool 116.7 hp at 14,500 rpm, and 45.5 lb – ft of torque at 10,500 rpm, so that’s one reason to get involved with R6 – but if that’s not enough, there’s more.
Aside from having the most technologically advanced engine yet, the 2017 Yamaha R6 comes equipped with six levels of traction control that you can play with whilst you’re on the go, a single directional quickshifter has also been thrown into the mix, and pretty much every aspect of the motorcycle is customizable through Yamaha’s My Garage App. So, if you feel like adding in a few billet parts here, or a new set of mirrors there, you can organize it all through your phone. One area you wouldn’t want to customize is the bodywork though. The 2017 R6 now falls into line with the R1 and R1M in terms of aesthetics, and with that sharp and sexy bodywork, the R6 in undoubtedly the most attractive 600 on the market.
#05: The 2017 Yamaha FZ-10 (Base Price: $12,999)
The 2017 Yamaha FZ-10 is a sight to behold. Not only does it look the part, it also has the performance to match. There are many people (and we were guilty of this before we took one for a spin) that were quick to simply label the FZ-10 as a naked and de-tuned version of the Yamaha R1. But that’s not a fair assessment. Rather than call it naked, let’s call it hyper naked. And rather than say “detuned,” let’s call it differently tuned – because it’s a different motorcycle with a different appeal. While it comes equipped with the same engine as the R1, the FZ-10 has had its power redistributed for more versatile performance. It now boasts 158 hp at 9000 rpm, and 111 Nm of torque too: more than enough for its purpose – which is a little bit of everything, and it succeeds at whatever it does.
While the engine and aesthetics are probably the most important talking points about the FZ-10, let’s not forget the other features that keep it up there as a range topping naked bike: it comes with the same traction control, cruise control, slipper clutch and dash that you’d find on the R1, as well as the very same swing arm and KYB suspension too. If it’s good enough for a sportsbike, you know it’s going to be great on a more road friendly machine too. Naturally, you can beef up your settings with optional extras like an Akrapovic exhaust system or a quickshifter, but it’s a great ride in its unfettered state. Even better with a price tag of $12,999. Is it the best motorcycle for you money? It’s definitely a contender.
#04: The 2017 Ducati SuperSport (Base Price: $13,000)
The 2017 Ducati SuperSport was designed with a simple goal in mind: “to blend Ducati’s sporting side with road focused performance and accessibility.” And they’ve done a fantastic job doing it. When it was first unveiled, it seemed like the bike was one of the more bi-polar motorcycle models on the scene. Now that we’ve had time to sit back and analyze it properly, we think it’s a great bike to buy. Why? Well, as the SuperSport’s marketing boss Paolo Quattrino explained: “The target customer for the SuperSport bike desires a good looking sportsbike that is fun to ride and can be used every day.” And who doesn’t want that?
Designed as a new model in its own right, the SuperSport isn’t derived from anything in particular. It comes powered by the 113 hp, 939cc Testastretta V-twin that you’d find in the Hypermotard – with some significant differences like an upgraded intake and exhaust system – but it’s no Hypermotard. It’s a SuperSport, goddammit. While it’s not suited to track racing, you’d be able to have a damn good go at it on board one of these, and then take it for a leisurely ride through the countryside on the way home. It’s not as versatile as something like the FZ-10, but it does two jobs, and does them both very well. And for most riders, they only really want something comfortable enough for day to day use that they can really unwind at the weekends too. So, consider those two boxes ticked.
On top of that, it’s a fancy looking Ducati. It’s got the bodywork. It’s got nice technology on-board like traction control and ABS, as well as Marzocchi forks and a Sachs shock. It’s all good. Especially for $13k. Weirdly, Ducati have offered up an “S” model that throws in a quickshifter and premium suspension package…which sort of cheapens the appeal of the SuperSport in some respects. If you want a real sportsbike…just buy a proper sportsbike…but apart from that minor hang up, the SuperSport is a cracking model.
#03: The 2017 Aprilia Tuono 1100 RR (Base Price: $14,999)
You can never go wrong with an Aprilia, if you wanted my opinion. But since you don’t, I’m going to have to justify why I think the 2017 Aprilia Tuono 1100 RR is a cut above its comparative motorcycle models. For a start, it’s not run of the mill and it’s going to get you noticed. Secondly, it’s not like the other naked versions of sportsbikes on the market. It’s not a “differently” tuned engine jammed into a naked body, oh no. The Tuono actually has the same engine as the RSV4…but it’s been bored out a little bigger. It’s fast, sexy, and very usable on a day to day basis too. Which is kind of frightening.
The Tuono actually comes in two versions, but we’re specifically talking about the “budget” RR version compared to the more expensive RF. Even without the top of the range bells and whistles, the RR comes equipped with everything you’d ever need. The 1077cc V4 engine produces an intimidating 178 hp and is held in place by Aprilia’s classic aluminum delta box frame. To keep things in line, the Tuono has a very sophisticated electronics package that includes traction control, wheelie control, launch control, cruise control and even a pit lane limiter. The Tuono RR also comes with Sachs suspension, Brembo brakes and a Euro4 compliant exhaust. All in all, it’s an exceptional motorcycle. How many naked street bikes require a pit lane limiter? And that’s exactly what makes this Aprilia such an incredible feat of a motorcycle. It’s a little pricier that the competition, but it’s $14,999 well spent if you ask me and one of the best value motorcycle models on offer for 2017.
#02: The 2017 Honda CBR1000RR: (Base Price: $17,000)
Of the three liter class inline-four motorcycle models to come from Honda for 2017, it was pretty easy to overlook the base model CBR1000RR. We were bombarded with information about the special SP1 and SP2 editions to high heaven, so when the actual base model surfaced it felt like a massive anti-climax. But now that some time has passed and we can look at things properly, it seems like the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR should be near the top of your “want” list. It doesn’t have all of the flashy extras of the SP1 and SP2 models….but is actually has most of them.
While Honda has long since been considered an innovator in the sportsbike department, the 2017 CBR is pretty impressive. It follows Honda’s “Total Control” tagline to the T and it’s the perfect celebration of 25 years of sportsbike lineage. Almost 90% of the components of the CBR were revised for 2017, resulting in a 16 kg weight reduction (35 lbs), bringing that overall weight down to a sensational 195 kg (430 lbs). And the power is up too. Not bad considering the recent Euro4 regs that made the industry sweat.
Not content with a weight reduction and power boost, Honda decided to equip the CBR1000RR with a wide range of riding aids such as: a new ABS system, selectable torque control, selectable and programmable engine braking and power selectors, all controlled by Honda’s five axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit). While not considered as flashy as Kawasaki’s ZX-10R or Yamaha’s R1, don’t discount the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR. It’s going to be a model we all look back on with fond memories.
#01: The Suzuki GSX-R1000R (Base Price: $16,999)
Although we said that this list was in no order of preference, we’ve definitely saved out favorite until last. 2017 had some sensational motorcycle models, but one of them really stood out more than the rest, and that’s the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000R. And yeah, we’re talking about the extra “R” version. The base model GSX-R1000 is good but the GSX-R1000R is even better, and still very affordable. What makes the GSX-R1000R such a standout model this year was its clever addition of a purely mechanical Variable Valve Timing system. The VVT essentially works in tandem with new valves and injectors to give the GSX-R1000R an incredible power curve. But that’s not the only thing that’s going for it.
The 2017 model boasts an increased power rating of 199 hp, but all of that’s kept in line with a comprehensive electronics package that includes a ride-by-wire system, three selectable riding modes, ABS, wheelie control, launch control, anti-stall, ten levels of traction control and more. All of this is controlled by Suzuki’s new six axis IMU (one more axis than the Honda) that keeps your wheels moving the right way and forgiving your mistakes without any frightening leaps, pulls or belches of engine strain. It’s definitely aimed towards the track, and with that in mind, it has a very useful function: you can swap your gear shifting from conventional one down, five up to the more track friendly one up, five down – easily adjusted quickly and without a fuss. Naturally, there’s also other goodies like a Brembo braking system, Ohlins suspension, a quickshifter and an autoblipper in the mix too.
All of that wrapped up in such an attractive package? Surely it’s going to be expensive? Actually, no. The flagship sportsbike from Suzuki, the GSX-R1000R, actually undercuts pretty much everything else. Don’t forget, this is the premium model which should be competing against the likes of the Kawasaki ZX-10RR, the Honda SP2, and Yamaha’s R1M. It’s an incredible deal. In fact, the base GSX-R only retails for a paltry $14,599 – so the $16,999 Suzuki GSX-R1000R is a real bargain, and possibly the best motorcycle 2017 has to offer.
Our little list is by no means exhaustive, so we don’t mind if you disagree with our choices. 2017 has been an incredible year with some amazing motorcycles being released, and there was no way we could’ve covered everything without it getting boring. However, honorable mentions must go to the Kawasaki ZX-6R, the KTM Duke 690, and of course, the Ducati Monster 797. Bring on 2018 – that’s all we have to say.