The 2018 bikes we're most looking forward to
Nobody was a fan of the new Euro4 regulations, but it meant we got a huge flood of new bikes this year as manufacturers had to keep up with the legislation. 2017 was always going to be a tough act to follow, but all the manufacturers have done it again, unveiling some absolutely stunning machines ready for next year.
These are the bikes we're most looking forward to in 2018.
Michael Neeves, Chief Road Tester
Ducati Panigale V4
New sportsbikes will be thin on the ground for 2018, but Ducati should more than make up for it with its new Panigale V4. I’ve ridden all the V-twin Panigales on track, including the special ones and put simply only race bikes handle better and can lap faster. The thought of a Panigale with a calmer, longer-revving, but still brutally powerful V4 engine is an exciting prospect. I’d be surprised if any of its rivals will get close, road or track.
Kawasaki H2 SX
Kawasaki’s new H2 SX should be a game-changer, too. In the spirit of the old ZZ-Rs it promises to be the ultimate hyper-speed tourer, with its supercharged motor swallowing up small countries in the blink of an eye. Add to that a comfy riding position, lots of wind protection and a whole host of electronic refinements and it promises to be one of the bikes of next year.
Honda Gold Wing
Honda’s new Gold Wing is getting me strangely excited. It’s not my cup of tea and the old one has been around since the Old Testament, but it’s made us smile every time we’ve ridden it and I’ve always been full of admiration. It won’t devour continents with the speed of the H2 SX, but it will get you there in absolute luxury.
Dan Sutherland, Acting Consumer Editor
Kawasaki Z900RS Café Racer
"I’m really looking forward to seeing the Kawasaki Z900RS Café Racer. I have never fully bought into the whole retro scene, however there is something different about the Kawasaki that really appeals to me. The small fly screen and green paint look fantastic and the white stripe really finishes it off well. There’s also more than enough poke for B-road blasts, a sporty hunched over position and plenty of stopping power from those radial-mounted calipers. Yes please."
Chief Road Tester Michael Neeves has already ridden the standard Z900RS, without the fairing, and he was impressed.
Liam Marsden, Former Web Producer
KTM 790 Duke
"The parallel-twin KTM is without doubt the most exciting bike of 2018 for me. I ran a 690 Duke as a long term test bike in 2012 and fell in love with the combination of light weight and a punchy engine. I expect the 790 will be even better, and even moe practical thanks to the bigger engine."
James Archibald, Junior Web Producer
"I’m literally frothing for this bike. In 2016, the F800GS completely changed my perspective on motorcycling - for the better I must add - and now I can’t wait to swing my leg over this bike. The new F850GS is a completely new machine for 2018 and shares only its off-road intent with the 21-inch front wheel and GS name with the old model. The improved riding modes, TFT screen, suspension, chassis and engine promise more fun both on the asphalt and also when things get dirty. I also think the Rallye version looks totally badass. BMW, take my money."
Simon Patterson, MotoGP reporter
"Without a doubt, it’s the Yamaha Niken – I can’t wait to hear what the feedback is from the launch. I’ve ridden similar three wheelers before but never with an engine as powerful as Yamaha’s 900cc triple, and with the added confidence that it gives to less experienced riders like me (especially on wet and greasy winter roads) then the Japanese manufacturer could well be onto a great idea.
"I’m well aware that it’s a radical departure from the usual and that it will undoubtedly have its detractors – but if it encourages more people onto bikes and lets them do it while staying safer, then it could be a very important motorbike for all of us (even if you do hate it!)."
Jordan Gibbons, Reporter
Honda Gold Wing
"For me, 2018 is all about the new Wing. I’ve always fancied the idea of a big tourer and having a Harley-Davidson Street Glide as a long termer this year confirmed to me that I love ‘em. When I first read about the specs of the Wing on paper, I wasn’t exactly blown away but once I saw it in the flesh, I knew it was something a bit special."
KTM 790 Adventure
"Yeah yeah, I know it’s not a production bike for the time being but it’s coming and I’m fizzing with excitement about it. From the moment I saw the first spy shots to the prototype at EICMA, no bike has captured the essence of BRAAAP better."
Tim Thompson, Head of Content
Ducati 959 Panigale Corse
"Despite the excitement surrounding the new V4 Panigale, this might be the most delicious, perfectly blended and balanced new Ducati of them all. It’s a tough old job but I’m going to volunteer to find out."