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From Superbikes to Scooters, We Rate the Best Two-Wheelers on the Market

Looking for a new motorcycle? We've done the legwork for you.

2018 Honda Africa Twin Sports Courtesy of Honda

Bikers today have a litany of choices when it comes to a potential new steed. Never have our two-wheelers been more technologically advanced, easy to handle or representative of so many different subcultures of enthusiasts. Here are four brilliant examples—ranked for design and sound on a scale from 1 to 10—from diverse sectors of the market, all devised to get you revved for the road, track or trail.

BMW S 1000 XR

BMW S 1000 XR in black

Arnold Debus

Category: Sport Touring

Design: 8/10 Provides a near-perfect synergy of athleticism and touring prowess. The BMW M5 of motorcycles.

Sound: 7/10 Not as throaty as the S 1000 RR, from which it is derived, but still a powerful four-cylinder roar on acceleration.

Pros: Superbike power plant; comfortable, rangy chassis.

Cons: Buzzy motor leaves hands and feet tingling on long rides.

Base Price: $16,895

Bottom Line: Sport touring with a firm emphasis on “sport”; capable of solid lap times.

Honda Africa Twin Sports

Honda Africa Twin Sports

Courtesy of Honda

Category: Adventure

Design: 9/10 Developed for huge miles and the ability to cross any terrain, the Honda Africa Twin fills the design brief of an adventure motorcycle perfectly.

Sound: 6/10 Parallel-twin motor leaves a little to be desired when it comes to feeling inspired.

Pros: Rock-solid Honda reliability means one less worry when far from home.

Cons: Very few, if any. The value for the money is excellent.

Base Price: $13,599

Bottom Line: It’s in the name. Intracontinental motorcycle travel can be easily undertaken with the Africa Twin.

Vespa Primavera 150

Vespa Primavera 150

Courtesy of Vespa

Category: Scooters

Design: 10/10 Very few 20th-century transportation designs have stood the test of time as well as the 51-year-old Vespa Primavera.

Sound: 4/10 The change from a two-stroke motor to four-stroke a few years ago took away some of the aural flair the Vespa was universally known for.

Pros: Comfort, class, charisma. It’s easy to love a Vespa.

Cons: Highway riding is a distinct no-no.

Base Price: $5,349

Bottom Line: Nothing less than an Italian style icon.

Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition

Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition

Giovanni De Sandre

Category: Superbike

Design: 9/10 The last Ducati superbike with a V-twin motor—the power plant that built the brand. This edition is a superb send-off in appearance and performance.

Sound: 9/10 With the race exhaust, the roar will make the hair on the back of your neck stand at attention.

Pros: The ultimate evolution of the four-valve Desmodromic V-twin and, being the last of its kind, a sound investment.

Cons: You really, really don’t want to drop this gallery-worthy two-wheeler.

Base Price: $39,900

Bottom Line: It’s a rolling work of art and signals the end of an era for Ducati.

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