Five more that very nearly made it
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.
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.
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.