So, let’s just pretend you’ve just won the lottery. You’re gonna buy a few bikes for your collection, right? It’s just this kind of dreaming that got us thinking about what bikes we’d be straight down the dealership to buy after picking up the cheque.
It’s such a tough job. Never mind the classics, we’ve had a struggle deciding which new bikes to stick in the back of the van. So, narrowing it down to just new for 2019 models, we’ve come up with the top five new bikes we’d be adding to our collection. We think there’s a bike for every occasion in here, but don’t be shy to tell us what you think on social media…
This, as always, is a big year for adventure motorbikes with some exciting new models. KTM’s new 790 Adventure gives a hardcore touch to the class in a way that only the Austrians seem capable of doing. Alongside that, Yamaha’s long awaited Tenere 700 finally arrives later this year. Priced at less than £9000, it’s a fair bet that these will be flying out of the showrooms, thanks to a combination of an authentic looking off-road chassis and an engine based on the brilliant MT-07.
But this is about the dream garage, right? That’s why the new BMW R1250GS finds its way into our multibike collection. It’s easy to be sniffy about the ubiquitous GS, but there’s a reason why there are so many of them on the road – they’re just so damned good. Money’s no object here, so we’ve fully specced up and gone for range topping Rally TE version. The GS truly is the Swiss Army knife of the motorcycle world, and with more power and better fuel economy from the latest ‘ShiftCam’ engines, it’s now even better. It’s as happy running down to the shops as it is circumnavigating the globe – and it’ll more than happily boogie with the fast boys on a Sunday ride out too.
Decisions, decisions… We very nearly left the BMW showroom with a 2019 S1000RR on order too. The German company has really gone to town in building an all-new superbike for 2019 but, in the end, we’ve gone for Ducati’s exquisite Panigale V4R as our track day play thing. The stats for the street bike are staggering, with 218bhp and a 16,500rpm red line. It’s packed with the latest electronics to control that power and, if it ever gets too much on track, it can always be displayed as a work of art in the hallway.
The Ducati has been built to win on the race track, and anyone who watched Alvaro Bautista blitz the opposition on the Ducati’s world superbike debut can see just what a weapon it is. Chances are we’ll be doing a few track days on our Panigale, so we’re fitting the optional race kit exhaust, to unlock another 13bhp. And look at it, just look at it. We’re going to stop writing now and just show you a picture!
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All this exotica is well and good, but we ain’t using the V4 to nip down to the shops. That GS is more than capable of being our bike for all occasions, but we’re leaving that parked up in the garage right now, because frankly we can.
A scooter might be nice, a 300 like a Honda Forza or Yamaha XMAX, offers enough poke and plenty of practicality, but they’re hardly the ride of millionaires. Nope, we’re going to look to Triumph to provide us with a stylish retro we can ride every day. The new Scrambler 1200 looks retro but is as modern as it comes. It has some serious adventure bike credentials and real off-road chops, especially in the super tall XE spec, but it remains a bike that can do pretty much everything you ask of it, and still draw a crowd when you park it up. That’ll do for us.
No motorcycle collection can be complete without a dirt bike, and when it comes to enduro and motocross machines, there’s no shortage of choice.
Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha, all make top notch dirt bikes that (unless you’re posting lap times to qualify you for a Grand Prix) are most likely more capable than you are. KTM remains the most popular brand for off-road enthusiasts, but who wants to go with the masses with our multibike collection?
Nope, we’ve chosen a Husqvarna, a Husqvarna FE 350 to be precise. Husky is one of the oldest and most famous off-road brands, being a dominant force in 1960s international motocross (or scrambling, as it was known) and now falls under the KTM umbrella.
The once Swedish brand is a bit more upmarket than the common or garden KTMs and the detail and spec is impressive. We’ve gone for the 350cc four-stroke enduro model, which offers a more manageable power delivery than a savage 450, but more grunt than a ‘mere’ 250. Being an enduro style machine, it’s fitted with lights and a horn to make it road legal, for when you want to go green laning, although having come into our millions recently, we’ve made sure to carve out a proper track in our recently acquired estate. Well you would too, wouldn’t you?
It’s looking like 2019 may well be a watershed year for the electric motorcycle. Ducati has announced that it is developing a new bike that’s powered by protons rather than petrol, and that most traditional of traditional motorcycle brands, Harley-Davidson, is putting its LiveWire electric machine on sale later this year.
We’ll also see the start of the MotoE race series in 2019, using a version of the Energica Evo machine you can buy in the shops, but it’s class veterans Zero that could steal all of their thunder with its new SR/F. The naked streetfighter looks like a real premium motorcycle, and those who have ridden the prototype say that it moves the class onto a whole new level.
Tesla has made EVs cool it might only be a matter of time before electric bikes are hot stuff too. Zero’s SR/F has more electronics than a branch of Curry’s and will undoubtedly provide a very different riding experience to the other four bikes in our dream collection. The American company hasn’t quite addressed the range issue that remains a factor for many traditional bikers, however the charge time has now been cut down drastically, to around an hour, and hey, we’ve got plenty of petrol power in our stable for those days when we want to go on a really long run.
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