HON­OR­ABLE MEN­TIONS

Five more that very nearly made it

Cycle World - - North Rim Adventure -

IN­DIAN SCOUT FTR750

If only! True, you can buy this one for about $50K, and it is a killer mid­dleweight, but it’s not a Best Mid­dleweight Streetbike. Best Stan­dard? Su­per­bike? Pretty su­per, but not quite ap­pro­pri­ate. Still, this is one of the best-per­form­ing, com­pact, light­weight mo­tor­cy­cles ever made. It also dom­i­nated its first sea­son rac­ing in Amer­i­can Flat Track Twins class with a crush­ing cham­pi­onship vic­tory in the ca­pa­ble hands of Jared Mees. In­dian, we and the rest of your fans are dream­ing of lights and a li­cense plate.

KAWASAKI VER­SYS-X 300

A staffer at CW owns a bike with the li­cense plate ADV LITE, so we have se­ri­ous light­weight trav­el­ing bike en­thu­si­asts in our midst. Kawasaki was the first to roll out a truly ca­pa­ble al­laround light ad­ven­ture bike with the Ver­sys-x 300. It is high­way ca­pa­ble, em­i­nently com­fort­able, has ex­cel­lent lug­gage avail­able, and isn’t afraid to get dirty. It’s also an in­di­ca­tion that the ad­ven­ture class will con­tinue to grow.

YAMAHA FZ-10

If not for the red­hot glow of a cer­tain Ital­ian V-4, Yamaha’s sublime FZ-10 might have ruled the Best Stan­dard class. What it gives away in out­right per­for­mance it gains back in af­ford­abil­ity, broad util­ity, and com­fort. We have equipped ours with bags and gone long-dis­tance sport-tour­ing and are still wear­ing out the tires on our daily com­mute. In­cred­i­ble value and flex­i­bil­ity from Yamaha.

SUZUKI GSX-R1000

Af­ter a long wait, Suzuki’s liter­bike is back. We chose the base model here for its amaz­ing low price and very high per­for­mance-per-dol­lar ra­tio. In stock form it put up a good fight with the best in the class, and in full su­per­bike trim it took the Mo­toamer­ica cham­pi­onship with Toni Elias in the saddle, demon­strat­ing great brak­ing sta­bil­ity, killer cor­ner ex­its, and flex­i­bil­ity in cor­ner­ing line that were un­matched at the track.

KTM 1290 SU­PER DUKE GT

For pure, high-level tech­ni­cally su­pe­rior sport-tour­ing, the KTM 1290 Su­per Duke GT re­mains an en­light­ened choice. Last year’s over­all Tour­ing cat­e­gory win­ner rolls down the road with a full com­ple­ment of high-level elec­tronic rider aids as well as elec­tronic sus­pen­sion. The most bru­tally charm­ing el­e­ment is, of course, the 1,301cc V-twin and its an­i­mal torque and knock­out power. It’s a stel­lar way to take the wind­ing road to places afar.

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