With 2016 heralding the arrival of 68 new bikes, we’re going to have a roundup of some of the most interesting metal that’s coming our way this year. All the bikes featured will be on display at the Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show in February so make sure you check out all of the latest and best new bikes in the same place at the same time. To find out more about the show and for tickets, click here.
Yamaha MT-10 £9,999(est)
Yamaha claim the new MT-10 is the “most remarkable naked bike to be developed by Yamaha so far”, and we think they might be right. Based heavily on the YZF-R1S – the American-market budget-orientated version of the UK’s fully-blown R1 – the MT gets the same main chassis, suspension, electronics package (minus the IMU), wheels and basic engine architecture – retuned for more mid-range responsiveness.
The 998cc CP4 motor is at the heart of the R1 range, but gets some significant changes for the MT-10 to boost mid-range torque, including: newly designed intake, exhaust and fuelling systems, as well as an optimised crank balance, and the R1S’ steel conrods (instead of titanium). No power figures have been released, but we expect 165-170bhp. It gets rider modes, traction control, cruise control, Yamaha’s Slip & Assist clutch, and a full LCD dash, too.
With the fairings stripped away it takes on a menacing stance, further heightened by the wide bars, mantis-like face, and minimalist new tail unit. Yamaha haven’t confirmed prices yet, but we believe it will land in dealers in April at around £9999. Watch out S1000RR.
Ducati Monster 1200R £15,250
160bhp 97ftlb 207kg
200-section rear tyre
Improved rider ergonomics
The loveable and friendly Ducati Monster now has an R model – one that can easily match the performance of a full-blown superbike from only a few short years ago. The 1200R produces a quoted 160bhp – that’s 10% more power than the current S-model Monster – and a hefty 97ftlb of peak torque.
The tail section is all-new – smaller, thinner and more pleasing to the eye, though pillions may not be too enthusiastic about their reduced seating area – while the exhaust is bigger and beefier. A 200-section rear tyre replaces the 190 on lighter Ducati Panigale-style wheels, and the Monster’s already brilliant clocks now have a gear position indicator, and an Öhlins steering damper is added. Other R-model goodies include an embossed R logo on the seat and radiator side covers.
The handling improvements are instantly noticeable. It turns more easily, with sportsbike accuracy, and holds its line incredibly well, making you inch-perfect on every apex.
Even at a fast track pace the 1200R was accurate and happy to change direction at speed with only the faintest of headshakes. Large-capacity naked bikes can often understeer when accelerating hard with lean, but the new Monster held its line incredibly well, encouraging me to make full use of the track and kerb on the exit.
The new Monster has been designed to be fun on the road, too, and manageable and comfortable in the Monster tradition. Roll back the throttle, change gear less, use the torque and you can ride all day long with no issue, knowing in the back of your mind you have excellent traction control and ABS to save you should you make a silly mistake.
Triumph Speed Triple R £11,500 (S £10,200)
192kg dry (est)
The base Speed Triple is replaced by the ‘S’ for this year. More power, more torque, redesigned bodywork and a host of electronics upgrades headline the changes. Engine capacity remains at 1050cc, but 104 changes result in claimed performance boosts and a 10% increase in fuel efficiency. There’s also a new ‘slip assist’ clutch, and a less restrictive exhaust that boasts a 70% increase in flow rate. A new ECU and ride-by-wire throttle have resulted in five new riding modes, too.
The new R model continues Triumph’s naked tradition of offering a high-spec bruiser for the street rider. The R differs from the S model by virtue of a carbon fibre front mudguard, Öhlins NIX30 fork and beautiful Öhlins TTX36 RSU shock, billet-machined handlebar clamps, risers and rear wheel nut. While the overall stance and style are a very clear evolution of the existing model, the new duo look sleeker and more sophisticated, without losing any of their trademark aggression.
Suzuki SV650 £5199
A naked SV650 re-enters the fray this year claiming 140 component changes, with 60 of those being centered inside the 645cc 90° V-twin, resulting in more power (71bhp), Euro4 compliance, and an impressive (claimed) 73.5mpg. The whole bike has also shed a whopping 8kg over its predecessor, and gets ‘low rpm assist’ to help newbies pull away without stalling. The seat height is an accessible, and narrow, 785mm – while it also gets a neat new all-digital dash.
Ducati Hypermotard 939 (SP) £9995 (red)
You could easily take a quick glance at the new Hypermotard (and SP) and assume nothing’s changed, but while there are no dramatic revolutions, it does boast a few major mods. The big clue is in the name, with the new bike now boasting a Euro4 compliant 937cc V-twin in place of the old 821cc Testastretta. This is more about Euro4 than it is about increasing performance, the capacity hike outsmarting the dulling effects of legislation. Nonetheless, it now kicks out 113bhp, and 10% more torque. The higher spec SP version costs £12,595.