Biking personalities reveal the motorcycles they are most looking forward to in 2019
With the year’s trade shows done and dusted and motorcycle launch season well and truly underway, there are a raft of tantalising new machines to look forward to ahead of 2019.
From superbikes, to classy retros and everything in between, riders are simply spoilt for choice when it comes to next year’s new metal, which promise both updates to existing platforms and new ventures by hungry manufacturers looking to branch out into new genres.
Keen to find out what other people are looking forward to in the coming year, MCN have assembled a number of motorcycling celebrities, influencers and columnists to find out their picks of the bunch in the run-up to 2019.
John Reynolds, three-time British Superbike champion
"I’m really looking forward to the new Suzuki Katana. It’s quite an exciting new look and I think it’s going to go well. It’s got a good engine and chassis and I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes when I get a go next year.
"When I was in Germany developing the GSX-R1000, I saw the pre-production version and just marvelled over it. The only Katana I have ridden is the Team Classic Suzuki Katana race bike from this year alongside MCN’s own Michael Neeves.
"That’s an awesome bike and it’s over 30 years old! I’ve enjoyed riding that and that’s why I’m looking forward to riding this new one, too."
James Whitham, former British and world championship motorcycle racer, turned TV pundit
"I have two bikes that I am looking forward to seeing in 2019 and I’m split between them. The first is the new Ducati Panigale V4R. I looked at it at Motorcycle News and it looks amazing and it sounds like it’s going to be so daft that it’s going to be good.
"I also want to see how it’s going to do on the race track, as it’s been built to address some of the issues in championships like British Superbikes.
"The other bike I think is worth a mention is the new Suzuki Katana. Okay, it’s based on another bike, but I think they’ve got the look right. It looks lovely and it’s going to be great to ride, without being stupid. It’ll be able to pick its skirt up without being too aggressive, too.
"I saw it in the papers and the magazines and I thought it looked alright, but then when I saw it in the flesh at the show, I thought it looked great. I thought the same with the Kawasaki Z900RS, too. Everybody wants a retro bike, but no one wants to have to put up with the sh*t we had to put up with on the originals. I think the Katana has got it about right."
Chris Walker, four-time BSB runner-up and WSB race winner
"I’m most looking forward to the latest Kawasaki ZX-10RR and I’ve tried to pull a few strings with friends in high places to get number nine out of 500. I haven’t achieved the heights of the likes of Sykes and Rea, but I did get the first-ever World Superbike win on the ZX-10R for Kawasaki in 2006.
"This is a special thing and I’m having one regardless, but it would be special if I could have number nine."
Dougie Lampkin, 12-times World Trials champion
"After seeing it absolutely storming the NEC Motorcycle Live show, my bike of next year has to be the CCM Spitfire. Our family and the Clews family (who founded CCM) have always been great friends, so there will be a CCM in my garage next year, for sure.
"They’ve done a really nice job of that Foggy Special and CCM used to make a trials bike that my cousin won an international event on. It’s great for British industry."
Allen Millyard, motorcycling mad-cap inventor and engineer
"For 2019, I am really looking forward to riding my Velocette 700cc V-Twin, I’m currently in the process of building. Once done, it will look as it did when delivered to the 1938 Earls Court Motorcycle Show. I’m also looking to take my Honda RC374 six-cylinder and my Viper V10 bikes on a trackday.
"The ultimate aim is for the 'six' to do a lap of the TT, but although I’ve done plenty of start-ups I haven’t actually ridden it very far. It will be exactly 10 years since the team at MCN rode my Viper bike, too."
Richard Cooper, BSB race-winner and former Superstock 1000 champion
"It has to be the new Ducati Panigale V4R. It’s a complete revolution and – despite being a racer for a different manufacturer – you can’t help but think ‘I wouldn’t mind a go on that.’ Looking at all the reports, it is definitely something I would like to have a little ride on.
"That’s a bit unlike me because I don’t really like sportsbikes and on the road I prefer to cruise. Racing is a completely different part of my life. You’ve got to respect what it is though and it’s taking the class to the next level."
Rav Wilding, television presenter
"I actually got an invitation to the pre-launch event of the Triumph Scrambler 1200 and was given a ride off-road, before it was released and I absolutely loved it. One of the things I really liked was its physical size.
"It’s a larger bike than others and because I’m fairly tall I usually find myself quite squashed on a bike, but not this one. It was perfect and I think it looks so cool. It’s also one of those bikes that has plenty of opportunities for upgrades and I think there are lots of people looking forward to that next year."
Alastair Fagan, Editor at 44Teeth and MCN columnist
"I’d say the new BMW S1000RR is the bike I am looking forward to the most next year. The way it was received on the interwebs makes me think that people have only looked at the spec, rather than the full overhaul it’s had.
"There’s lots of other superbikes out there that are more standout, but for me the BMW has probably had one of the most significant updates in superbike history. There are lots of things that BMW didn’t initially reveal about the bike, like the shift-cam technology, and I’m looking forward to riding it."
Gethin Jones, television presenter
"The bike I’m most looking forward to next year is the Triumph Thruxton 1200R. A 1200 is probably a bit more than I need, if I’m being honest, but I’ve had a go on a standard one and enjoyed a few sits on them and I just love it!
"It’s like they read my mind - I love retro-looking bikes, but don’t really have time to take proper care of a genuine old machine at the moment. This ticks all the boxes for me."
Amy Williams, Olympic gold medalist and television presenter
"I like the classic dual shock look of a retro bike and as I’ve only just passed my test, I want something manageable to gain some experience on. I like the look of the new Triumph Speed Twin, which will be available early 2019, but if I was to go for a modern looking bike it would be the concept MV Agusta Superveloce 800.
"Hopefully they’ll release it (or something similar) in late 2019. I feel a little more experience is required before jumping on something like that, though."
Lamb Chop Rides, YouTuber, vlogger and Performance Bikes contributor
"This is a bit of a predictable one, but it’s got to be the new BMW S1000RR. When the bike first came out, it was the benchmark for sportsbikes and this new one looks like it’s moved the game on again.
"I can’t believe I’m talking about sportsbikes again, when I said I had finished with them! A very close second to the BMW would be the new KTM 790 Adventure, which has the potential to be a really good bike. It could also make a really good supermoto."
Ron Haslam, former British champion, TT winner and Grand Prix 500 rider, now running his own race school
"The bike I am most looking forward to in 2019 is the new Honda CBR650R, which will replace the now discontinued CBR600RR at our Ron Haslamm Race School next year. I tried the CBR650F earlier this year, but now there’s a new version and I am really looking forward to trying that.
"It’s got quite a few bits on it and although I saw it at Motorcycle Live, I haven’t got to ride it yet. The seating position is quite a bit lower that the CBR600RR and it’s more of a comfortable road riding position, than a supersports position.
"That’s really good for school training, as it shouldn’t matter what size you are, you should be fine to ride it on the day."
Royal Jordanian, YouTuber and vlogger
"I’ve been waiting to see what it’s like and if it’s as I expect it to be, it will be replacing my existing S1000R.
"I’ve always been tempted by an MV Agusta, but my problem with MVs is I can’t trust a single dealership - especially in London. If I could find a reliable dealer, then I’d most probably have an MV in my garage."
David Flatman, rugby pundit and commentator
Rufus Hound, comedian
"Most of my riding is in city traffic and I learned how to whip in and out of cars on a Suzuki Van Van. Whilst the new Street Twin is a fair bit heavier than those (it is around six times as powerful, too) I find those bikes so well balanced and agile. The Speed Twin looks like a heap of fun, too but with the city miles I do, I'm just burning fuel at 1200cc.
"Truth is, the only thing that's really going to get me overwhelmingly jazzed is when electric bikes hit their stride. We cannot keep burning fossil fuels at the rate we are, and even though bikes are, in many ways, better than cars environmentally, electric bikes are undoubtedly the future."