Best of the Best 2007: Touring & Adventure

<< Back to Robb Report, June 2007

Don’t be deceived by its color-coordinated saddlebags or upright riding position: The $15,599 Yamaha FJR1300AE (www.yamaha-motor.com) is a supersport bike trapped in the sharply styled body of a sport tourer. Yamaha has combined old-fashioned muscle with lightweight chassis construction to create a bike that is exceptionally responsive and begs for spirited riding. Standard antilock brakes ensure skid-free stops, and the cutting-edge Yamaha Chip Controlled Shift feature does away with a clutch lever, allowing carefree gear changes. The FJR offers an uncommonly wide range of seat and handlebar settings, and the windshield raises and lowers automatically. The combination of road-eating power and creature comforts makes the FJR a compelling option for those who want to ride fast and far.

Few motorcycles are as well prepared for the unexpected as the $14,198 KTM 990 Adventure S (www.ktmusa.com). The Austrian manufacturer’s recent dominance of the Dakar Rally has earned it a sterling reputation among hard-core trail riders. The S version of its Adventure model has nearly 300 mm of ground clearance and an impressive 245 mm of terrain-absorbing front and rear suspension travel. It also appeases off-road purists with its lack of antilock brakes. The KTM’s new 999 cc LC8 V-twin powerplant delivers wheel-lifting thrust, and the bike’s Brembo brakes allow for effective deceleration—or, depending on your sensibilities, dirt-spraying tail slides. On challenging terrain, few motorcycles inspire confidence as well as the KTM 990 Adventure S does.

In an amusing display of brand compatriotism, the $24,049 Honda Gold Wing Airbag (www.honda.com) shares more than a few characteristics with its relative, the Honda Accord. The bike is equipped with a powerful 6-cylinder 1,832 cc engine, a computer-controlled adjustable hydraulic rear suspension, an electrically powered reverse gear, and—as the model name indicates—the world’s first motorcycle airbag. When you add the navigation system, five-position heated grips and seats, and a six-speaker, 80-watt-per-channel premium audio system with automatic volume control, you nearly have a two-wheeled living room.

Photo by Patrick Ernzen/RM Sotheby's
RM Sotheby’s has assembled a special sale of approximately 30 postwar sports cars dubbed the...
Photo by Gerald Farber Photography
The pebble beach Concours d’Elegance and the surrounding four days of automotive auctions (...
Photo by Basem Wasef
The new edition features a striking monochromatic color scheme and carbon fiber accents…
A half-century after its historic victory in Europe, Shelby’s iconic racer returns to celebrate…
Today’s german auto museums are much more than vaults filled with old cars: They are structural...
Battery pack improvements give the car the ability to go from zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds…
Classic Ferraris and Porsches will be on display in all of their glory…
In addition to the Ferraris, rare cars from DuPont and Carrozzeria Touring will also be spotlighted…
The Porsche Cayman GTS is a serious sports car with a long, low profile...
Photograph by Charlie Magee
Yacht owners can stow this jet-like joyride for one in its own climate-controlled container…