2012 was a good year for new bikes. Ducati promised to move the superbike game up a league with the 1199 Panigale and MV Agusta brought out the 675 F3 to compete against the Triumph Daytona 675 and the rest of the supersport class.
Here, a handful of MCN staff detail their favourite bikes of 2012. Let us know your favourite bike of 2012 in the comments below.
Andy Downes, Senior Reporter
BMW didn’t really need to change the S1000RR as it was already an awesome bit of kit but it went ahead and gave it a thorough going over anyway with improved electronics and even better suspension to up-the-ante in the superbike class even more.
Ducati’s technological tour-de-force the 1199 Panigale was soundly beaten by the class leading BMW. Making an even better S1000RR will be a tough job.
Tim Thompson, Senior Editor
Three bikes stand out: the Kawasaki Ninja 300 for being a seriously entertaining first sports bike.
The Speed Triple R for being, among other things, capable of anything — including a 2000 mile holiday to Spain.
And the MV Agusta 675 F3, a flawed but brilliant screamer. It is exactly what a '600' should be: fast, light, taut and bonkers.
Steve Farrell, Senior Reporter
KTM’s Duke 200. It’s the closest thing to a lightweight two-stroke since lightweight two-strokes. Revvy and surprisingly fast with the dimensions of a toy.
Amazingly, it beats Kawasaki’s Ninja 250R to 70mph. It’s also perfectly capable of 80mph motorway cruising.
Phil West, Executive Editor
It may not have dusted all-comers in terms of performance as its hype led us to believe, but as a work of motorcycle art, an exercise in technological genius (everything from the all-new oversquare V-twin, to the monocoque chassis and electronics are a quantum leap forward) and as an object of sheer desire, the 1199 is head and shoulders above everything else.
Bikes as significant as this don't come along very often. We should revel in this while it's still fresh.
Liam Marsden, Web Producer
The KTM 990SMR, without any shadow of a doubt. Before I’d ridden it I didn’t think any bike would get close to my longterm 690 Duke, but the 990SMR is just a Duke on steroids.
The engine is quite frankly ridiculous, the handling assured yet sharp and the brakes eye-poppingly good.
The only downside? I couldn’t get 90 miles without the fuel light coming on. But it’s a price Id willingly pay for so much fun with every twist of the throttle.