facebook twitter pinterest instagram You Tube

Best of the Best 2007: Touring & Adventure

Basem Wasef

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.

Read Next Article >>
Photo by Drew Phillips
With a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.9 second and a top speed beyond 200 mph, the new roadster will...
Photo by Dejan Sokolovski
The S60 Polestar and V60 Polestar were put through their paces by a professional racecar driver…
The upgraded iteration of Bentley’s flagship now carries the carmaker’s most powerful V-8 engine…
Seemingly minor power boosts lend the super-looking models some supercar performance…
918 Spyder Pure. Energy. Some stories are told in just 6 minutes and 57 seconds. For this story,...
Photo by Daimler AG
The gullwing doors are gone, but the German carmaker’s new flagship sports car will fly off the...
Sam Pack’s assemblage of automobiles could fill a municipal garage. But even Dallas collectors have...
The new program puts guests behind the wheels of supercars…
Production versions of this mean machine are scheduled to hit the street…
Photo by Charlie Magee
Created by Jaguar’s director of design, the new car is a reinterpretation of the classic Jaguar...