Cycle World - - News - By Mark Hoyer

Not ev­ery bike has a Ten Best cat­e­gory, but, as ever, there are bikes that just need to be rec­og­nized for other out­stand­ing rea­sons. So here’s the Ten Rest of 2017. BEST FASTEST BIGGEST: SUZUKI GSX-1300R HAYABUSA The 20th an­niver­sary of big ’Busa is com­ing. The 1998 press event for this ’99 model is leg­endary for a day spent shred­ding Cir­cuit de Catalunya in Spain, fol­lowed by a day of “street tour­ing” on high­ways… at 185-plus mph! One of the great­est bikes of all time. BEST BIKES WE CAN’T COM­PARE: DUCATIS Du­cati USA de­cided this year it wouldn’t sup­ply test­bikes for use in com­par­a­tive eval­u­a­tion, so when we asked for the sublime Scram­bler Desert Sled or Mon­ster 1200 S, for ex­am­ple, the com­pany de­clined. We help read­ers un­der­stand rel­a­tive mer­its of mo­tor­cy­cles pri­mar­ily through com­par­isons, so if you don’t show up for Ten Best test­ing, you can’t win a Ten Best award. BEST ABUSED CLUTCH: YAMAHA YZ250FX A lev­i­ta­tion-ca­pa­ble chas­sis mates with an en­gine that feels like you put a han­dle on dy­na­mite. So fun, ag­ile, and ex­plo­sive, yet to­tally con­trol­lable. Ge­nius on knob­bies. BEST “VIN­TAGE” SPORT­BIKE: TRI­UMPH THRUXTON R There’s a lot more café than racer in this seg­ment. The Tri­umph Thruxton R is an ex­cep­tion. It’s a fully sorted sport­bike with a retro look and vin­tage feel but with high per­for­mance and fine com­po­nents. BEST RE­ALLY NOT A MID­DLEWEIGHT: KAWASAKI Z900 The Z900 shined in test­ing, top­ping other bikes in the af­ford­able naked class. Its 948cc in­line-four is too big even for our “big” Best Mid­dleweight cat­e­gory (limit is 899cc). As a sporty daily rider, it’s a joy. BEST WORST WAY TO TRAVEL FOR 32 HOURS NON­STOP: URAL GEAR-UP “The Un­nec­es­sary Ex­press” was truly one of the great trav­el­ing ex­pe­ri­ences of my life— and I did it driv­ing a van. You see, side­cars are so much fun you don’t even have to be rid­ing one to have a great time. BEST NOT-A-SIDE­CAR TO DRIVE FOR 32 HOURS: MERCEDES SPRINTER VAN Range, com­fort, good han­dling, and enough space for lots of peo­ple and even more gear, the Sprinter van we used to chase the Ural men­tioned above was vir­tu­ally flaw­less. All this and 26 mpg over a 1,400-mile trip. BEST CHEAP AD­VEN­TURER: SUZUKI V-STROM 650 There are bar­gains in the ad­ven­ture bike class, and the V-strom 650 is one of the sweet­est. In fact, we’re cur­rently out­fit­ting one with a few choice ac­ces­sories and head­ing for Death Val­ley and Panamint to ex­plore. BEST SMALL RALLY BIKE: HONDA CRF250L RALLY Okay, so you won’t be dom­i­nat­ing the Dakar Rally, but Honda’s CRF250L Rally adds func­tional body­work with a tall wind­screen and longer-travel sus­pen­sion to its stan­dard 250 and hits a chord. BEST WAY TO GET A CHARGE OUT OF RID­ING: ALTA REDSHIFT MX You wouldn’t ex­pect a San Fran­cisco startup to build the best elec­tric moto bike you can buy. And you wouldn’t ex­pect it to com­pete with gaso­line 250s. But this is a fully le­git dirt bike that hap­pens to be elec­tric.

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