It’s been a few weeks since our test ride on the 2023 Honda SCL500, and we still have a smile on our face. The SCL500 doesn’t make much power (about 46 hp at the rear wheel) and it doesn’t have any fancy features, and that’s what we love about it. Like the ’60s-era Honda scramblers that inspired the SCL500, it’s a basic, cool-looking runabout that is ideal for cruising around town or taking short jaunts on backroads. Its simplicity is its virtue. Just pure, uncomplicated fun.
With its trademark “flying” V-Twin with air-cooled cylinder heads jutting outward from beneath the sculpted fuel tank and its classic styling, the Moto Guzzi V7 has been an iconic Italian motorcycle for nearly six decades.
Paul d’Orléans, founder of The Vintagent and curator of numerous motorcycle exhibits at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, chose a 1975 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport as part of the “Silver Shotgun” exhibit that highlighted Italian motorcycle design in the 1970s.
The latest iteration of this legendary model, the Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Corsa, made a surprise debut during the 2023 Moto Guzzi Open House, captivating thousands of enthusiastic fans who gathered in Mandello del Lario, Italy, for this highly anticipated event, a favorite of Guzzisti worldwide.
The Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Corsa represents a return to the V7’s classic sportiness with modern amenities, marked by its elegant lines that flow from the small fairing to the solo-style saddle (the passenger portion forms the cafe racer “hump”). These design elements evoke the thrilling ambiance of bygone racing eras, which was rekindled in 2019 with the Moto Guzzi Fast Endurance – a single-brand racing series that has allowed many riders to enjoy the thrill of racing on V7 machines.
The V7 Stone Corsa has a vibrant two-tone livery, with a metallic gray color accentuated by a bold red stripe that runs vertically along the top fairing, extending to the lower part of the fuel tank and to the side panels. To complete the racing aesthetic, an optional color-matched cowl is available for the rear portion of the saddle, enhancing the single-seat configuration.
The equipment package further elevates the V7 Stone Corsa’s aesthetics and performance, with bar-end mirrors, a black anodized billet aluminum fuel cap, and a distinctive plate on the handlebar clamp denoting the Corsa’s special status. The fork gaiters found on the standard V7 Stone have been removed to give the V7 Stone Corsa a sleeker appearance.
Powering the V7 Stone Corsa is an air-cooled 853cc 90-degree V-Twin with 2 valves per cylinder that makes a claimed 65 hp at 6,800 rpm and 54 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm, and it has a 6-speed transmission. Suspension consists of a nonadjustable 40mm fork and dual preload-adjustable shocks. It rolls on cast wheels – 18-inch front, 17-inch rear – and has Brembo brakes, with a 4-piston caliper squeezing a 320mm disc in front and a 2-piston caliper squeezing a 260mm disc out back.
Standard features include ABS, traction control, and LED lighting. The V7 Stone Corsa has a 30.7-inch seat height, a 5.5-gallon fuel tank, and a wet weight of 481 lb (tank 90% full).
The 2024 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Corsa will retail for $9,690. Find out more at the Moto Guzzi website.
Scramblers had their heyday during the ’60s, which was before my time, but I’m a big fan of their spirit and style. They embody a carefree attitude and the freedom to go wherever, as well as a simplicity not offered by many modern, hyper-focused bikes. The best word to describe the new 2023 Honda SCL500 is “playful.” It blends cool retro style, a user-friendly engine and chassis, and a budget-friendly price.
Scramblers are perfect for Ventura, California, the coastal surf town that I call home, and that’s exactly where Honda hosted its press launch for the SCL500. A lightweight, no-frills motorcycle is great for bopping around city streets, cruising up the coast, exploring backroads, and even getting a little frisky in the dirt, though the only time we left the pavement during our test ride was to turn around in dirt pull-outs during photo stops.
Inspiration for the SCL500 comes from Honda’s own back catalog, namely the 250cc CL72 from 1962-65 and the 305cc CL77 from 1965-67. Like the SCL500, these early scramblers were based on streetbikes, and all three models share common styling elements: fork gaiters, knee pads on the gas tank, bench seats, high-routed exhausts, and twin rear shocks.
Another thing the SCL500 has in common with those early CLs is a parallel-Twin engine, though the older versions were air-cooled while the modern one has a radiator. The SCL’s 471cc Twin is a versatile mill that’s also found in the CBR500R sportbike, CB500F naked bike, CB500X adventure bike, and Rebel 500 cruiser. (The last time we put any of these bikes on the dyno was 2017. The CB500F made 46 hp and 31 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel, and the Rebel 500 made 41 hp and 30 lb-ft.)
As much as I appreciate high-tech features on many of today’s motorcycles, there’s something to be said for a bike with nothing to figure out. Swing a leg over the SCL500, thumb the starter button, drop it into gear, and then just ride. Throttle response is user-friendly, power delivery is linear, and the slip-assist clutch makes gear changes effortless. The engine is smooth and doesn’t vibrate much, nor does it radiate excess heat. But it doesn’t exude much character either.
A sturdy tubular-steel trellis frame holds everything together, and the bike, which has a narrow 3.2-gal. tank, is slender between the knees. The SCL500’s suspension, a nonadjustable 41mm fork and dual shocks with two-step preload adjustment, has 5.3/5.7 inches of front/rear travel, which is more generous than its adventure-ish CB500X stablemate (4.7/5.5 inches).
For a sub-$7,000 bike, the ride is surprisingly plush, though the suspension’s softness leads to some fork dive during braking and seesawing over big bumps. More rebound damping would be nice, at least for a 200-lb galoot like me.
The SCL500 rolls on 19-inch front and 17-inch rear cast wheels shared with the CB500X, and the SCL is shod with Dunlop Mixtour block-tread tires that provide reasonably good grip and handling. ABS is standard, and there are single-disc Nissin brakes front and rear, with a 2-pot caliper pinching a 310mm disc in front and a 1-pot caliper slowing a 240mm disc out back. The brakes don’t offer much power or feel, but they’re perfectly fine for riders who are newer, lighter, or less aggressive than I am.
The SCL500’s chassis geometry favors stability over agility, which further adds to the bike’s approachability. But its lightness (just 419 lb ready to ride), the width of its handlebar, and the narrowness of its tires (110/80-19 front, 150/70-17 rear) mean that the SCL can be tossed around like a ragdoll.
With my 34-inch inseam, I was a little folded up on the SCL500 with its low 31.1-inch seat height and high footpegs. The cleated footpegs have vibration-damping rubber inserts that can be removed to add a skosh more legroom, but the better option for me was the accessory tall seat, which adds another inch of foam for more height and support. At $64.95, it’s reasonably priced, though it only comes in brown.
The SCL500 is the kind of bike that lends itself to customization. In addition to the tall seat, other factory accessories include a headlight visor, a high front fender, handguards, a number plate-style rear side cover, rally footpegs, a center tank pad, a 14-liter left-side soft saddlebag, a rear carrier, a 38-liter top case, heated grips, and a 12V socket. Vance & Hines also offers a high-output slip-on exhaust that is compliant in all 50 states.
Other than limited legroom for my frame, my only real complaint about the SCL500 is its instrumentation. It has a single round instrument panel that’s light-on-black LCD. Available features includes a clock, a gear position indicator, a speedometer, a fuel gauge, and multifunction display that can be scrolled through for different info (odometer, tripmeter A/B, average mpg A/B, instant mpg, and reserve fuel tripmeter). The instrument panel lacks a tachometer, it’s difficult read in bright sunlight, and it’s all but useless when wearing polarized sunglasses. For a retro bike like this, an analog speedometer with an inset multifunction display would be sweet.
After logging just over 100 miles in and around Ventura, mostly on backroads where I did my best to wring the SCL’s neck, the bike’s fuel economy reading was 60.6 mpg. That translates to 194 miles of range, which would be even higher for a typical owner who cruises around or commutes in a less caffeinated, type-A state of mind.
All in all, the Honda SCL500 is a helluva lot of fun, and in Candy Orange, it turns a lot of heads (a more subdued Matte Laurel Green Metallic color option is also available).
American Honda has announced the return of two its popular miniMOTO models for the 2024 model year: the Honda Monkey and Honda Super Cub. The company states it believes the bikes will appeal to both new riders as well as nostalgic fans of these past models, which played important roles in Honda’s history.
2024 Honda Monkey
Originally introduced in the early 1960s for a Honda-owned Japanese amusement park called Tama Tech, the 2024 Honda Monkey remains true to its roots, with attributes that Honda calls “fun yet practical.”
The Monkey features an fuel-injected air-cooled 124cc Single mated to a 5-speed transmission. It has an inverted fork with 4.3 inches of travel and twin rear shocks with 4 inches of travel. When the Monkey needs to stop running, braking comes from a 220mm disc up front with ABS and 190mm disc in the rear.
Honda says the small stature (30.5-inch seat height), light weight (231-lb curb weight), and practical performance combine to deliver “an approachable, enjoyable riding experience for a wide variety of riders.” The Monkey has a 1.5-gallon tank, and the 2023 model reported 169 mpg.
The 2024 Honda Monkey will be available in September in Pearl Nebula Red, as well as a new Pearl Black color, starting at $4,299.
2024 Honda Super Cub C125
With over 100 million units sold worldwide since its introduction in 1958, the Honda Super Cub offers a combination of practical simplicity and retro styling.
Honda says the step-through chassis, clutch-free 4-speed transmission, and lightweight design (238-lb curb weight) “inspire confidence,” while the air-cooled 124cc Single delivers impressive fuel efficiency and plenty of power for zipping around town. The 2024 Super Cub has a telescopic fork with 3.9 inches of travel, twin rear shocks with 3.6 inches of travel, a 220mm front disc brake, and a 110mm rear drum brake. Other features include front-wheel ABS, fuel injection, and an electric starter.
This 2024 motorcycle buyers guide highlights new or significantly updated street-legal models available in the U.S. As with previous buyers guides, we will include 2025 teasers too as soon as manufacturers let us know about them. We will continually update this guide as new models are available, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often.
Organized in alphabetical order by manufacturer, our guide includes photos, pricing, key update info, and links to first looks or – when available – Rider‘s first rides, road tests, and video reviews of the motorcycles.
2024 BMW M 1000 XR
At the beginning of June, BMW released limited details on the on the newest model in its “M” lineup: the 2024 BMW M 1000 XR. Powered by the 999cc inline-Four engine from the S 1000 RR with BMW ShiftCam technology for varying the timing and valve lift, the M 1000 XR makes a claimed 200 hp and a top speed of around 174 mph. It shares the M brakes of the M 1000 RR and M 1000 R, as well as the M winglets, which create downforce for greater stability and reduced front wheel lift. Further information on the M 1000 XR is expected in the second half of 2023.
The 2024 BMW R 12 nineT is the successor to the R nineT and shares many similarities with the R nineT platform but features updates and a more classic design. The bike has the same air/oil-cooled 2-cylinder 1,170cc boxer engine as the previous R nineT but with a more classic appearance than its predecessor, particularly with the tank shape, seat, and side covers. BMW claims the classic look and modular design also lends more freedom for individualization. The bike will also have a redesigned exhaust system, intake system, and front fender. More details about the BMW R 12 nineT, including price and specifications, are expected in the second half of 2023.
The 2024 BMW R 18 Roctane is the fifth member of the R 18 family. It features the same 1,802cc “Big Boxer” opposed Twin as its siblings as well as the same braking and suspension systems, with 4-piston calipers biting dual 300mm discs up front and a single 300mm disc in the rear and a 49mm telescopic fork and central rear shock with travel-dependent damping, adjustable spring preload, and 4.7/3.5 inches of travel front/rear. The Roctane sets itself apart from the other R 18s with a blacked-out engine and drivetrain, a Dark Chrome exhaust, a black midrise handlebar, the instrument cluster incorporated into the top of the metal headlight nacelle, and a larger 21-inch front wheel, as well as other varying dimensions.
The 2024 BMW R 18 Roctane will come in Black Storm Metallic, Mineral Grey Metallic Matte, and Manhattan Metallic Matte starting at $18,695.
At the annual Club BRP event in August 2022, Can-Am unveiled two all-new, all-electric motorcycles – the Origin dual-sport and the Pulse roadster (below). Detailed specs won’t be provided until mid-2023 (at Can-Am’s 50th anniversary celebration), but both will be powered by BRP’s all-new, proprietary Rotax E-Power technology, said to provide “highway-worthy speeds with plenty of horsepower and torque.”
The Can-Am Origin has rally-style bodywork, fork guards, and spoked wheels, in diameters that appear to be 21 inches in front and 18 inches out back, common sizes for off-road tires. The final drive is enclosed, and Can-Am reps would not reveal whether power is sent to the rear wheel via chain (used on nearly all dual-sports) or belt (used on many production electric bikes).
The Can-Am Pulse has the muscular stance of a streetfighter, with racy-looking cast wheels shod with sportbike rubber and a sculpted “tank” that keeps the bike’s profile in line with conventional gas-powered motorcycles. The Origin dual-sport (above) and Pulse roadster share key design elements: distinctive LED headlights, large TFT displays, edgy white and gray bodywork, a bright yellow panel covering their battery packs, inverted forks, single-sided swingarms, single-disc brakes front and rear, and solo seats. Rear cowls may cover pillion seats; passenger footpegs are not visible on either machine, but production versions will likely have passenger accommodations.
The 2024 Honda ADV160 touts a new, larger-displacement liquid-cooled 157cc single-cylinder engine designed to improve performance and reduce emissions. It has Showa suspension front and back, a front disc brake with ABS, and a rear drum brake. Also incorporated are updates that Honda says are aimed at boosting comfort and convenience. The 2024 Honda ADV160 will be available in July and will come in Red Metallic or Pearl Smoky Gray starting at $4,499.
The 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom still features the liquid-cooled 745cc 52-degree V-Twin, 5-speed transmission, and shaft final drive but sees several updates to styling, both in form and function. A rear disc brake replaces the previous drum brake, front travel has increased from 4.6 inches to 5.1 inches, the seat height dropped slightly, and Honda shaved 6 pounds off the curb weight for a total of 543 lb. There is also a new ABS version of the bike.
The 2024 Honda Shadow Aero shares the same engine, drive train, braking, and rear suspension and travel, with front travel stretched out another four-tenths of an inch, which is also the bump in seat height, as well as a slightly smaller tank and an overall curb weight of 560 lb.
The 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom comes in Deep Pearl Gray Metallic or Orange Metallic starting at $8,399 for the non-ABS version (not available in California) or the $8,699 for the ABS version.
On the 2024 Honda Shadow Aero, Black has replaced the Ultra Blue Metallic colorway, starting at $7,949 for the non-ABS version (not available in California) or $8,249 for the ABS version.
Harkening back to the ZL900 Eliminator introduced in 1985, the 2024 Kawasaki Eliminator returns to its sportbike-powered roots, with a liquid-cooled 451cc parallel-Twin engine adapted from the Ninja 400. A 6.8mm longer stroke helps create strong low-end torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox and a slip/assist clutch. The bike has a 41mm telescopic front fork and dual rear shocks, providing 4.7/3.5 inches of travel front/rear, and stopping power comes from a 2-piston caliper clamping on a 310mm semi-floating petal front brake disc and 220mm petal disc in the rear.
Several aspects of the Eliminator’s styling pay homage to its namesake, including the taillight, a tail cowl with its own added design twist, and a round headlight, now with a modern LED lamp with dual high/low beam chambers and position lamps.
Kawasaki is also offering the 2024 Kawasaki Eliminator SE, which adds several features to the standard model, including ABS, a headlight cowl reminiscent of those found on the original Eliminator SE models, a USB-C outlet, and a seat featuring dual-pattern seat leather and stitching along the top edge.
The Eliminator comes in Pearl Robotic White or Pearl Storm Gray for $6,649, and the Eliminator SE ABS comes in Candy Steel Furnace Orange/Ebony for $7,249.
Both the 2024 KawasakiKLX300 dual-sport and the 2024 Kawasaki KLX300SM supermoto are powered by a 292cc DOHC liquid-cooled four-valve fuel-injected Single borrowed from the KLX300R off-road bike.
The KLX300 is the more off-road capable of the two models and features a 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear wheel with Dunlop dual-purpose tires. The bike has 10 inches of travel up front and 9.1 inches in the rear. From a style perspective, the KLX300 gets a newly designed front cowl and front fender, a new LED headlight, and an LED taillight tucked into the rear fender. Kawasaki also gave the KLX300 a two-toned seat cover for 2024.
The road-oriented KLX300SM differs from its stablemate in 17-inch front and rear wheels, a 300mm front brake disc, and a shorter seat height of 33.9 inches, among other features. Updates to the Kawasaki KLX300SM are similar to those of the KLX300, included updated fenders, the compact LED headlight, and a new taillight. The KLX300SM also receives the two-toned seat.
The 2024 Kawasaki KLX300 will be available in Lime Green and Battle Gray for $6,199, and the Cypher Camo Gray colorway will cost $6,399. The 2024 Kawasaki KLX300SM will be available in Battle Gray and Phantom Blue for $6,599.
The 2024 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R supersport has a 636cc liquid-cooled inline 4-cylinder with DOHC with revised cam profiles for better low-rpm performance and cleaner emissions and a reshaped intake funnel for a claimed increase in low-to-mid rpm performance.
Kawasaki also upgraded the dual 310mm front discs and single 220mm rear disc, replacing the previous petal-style rotors with round discs. Also new are the Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV tires. The ABS unit has been updated for better control, and new ride modes have been added, including Sport, Road, and Rain, along with a customizable Rider mode in which each system can be set independently.
The bike also has a new 4.3-inch full-color TFT display with smartphone connectivity, as well as new styling inspired by the Ninja ZX-10R. The Ninja ZX-6R is available in three color schemes – Metallic Flat Spark Black/Ebony, Pearl Robotic White/Metallic Graphite Gray, and the KRT Edition in Lime Green/Ebony – for $11,299 ($12,299 with ABS).
The 2024 SuzukiHayabusa returns with the liquid-cooled 1,340cc transverse inline-Four with DOHC and four valves per cylinder mated to a 6-speed gearbox, ride-by-wire, the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System with electronic rider aids, including cruise control and the three-mode bidirectional quickshifter system, and three preset and three customizable ride modes, among a host of other features. It has KYB suspension and Brembo Stylema and Nissin brake components, and ABS is standard.
Specific to the 25th Anniversary Model are 25th-anniversary emblems and logos and raised Suzuki logos, as well as other styling and design choices specific to this model. The 25th Anniversary Model Hayabusa comes in the Glass Blaze Orange & Glass Sparkle Black color combination reminiscent of one of the most popular Gen II model’s color palettes, also set off with special V-shaped red graphic. The 25th Anniversary Hayabusa will be arriving at dealerships late summer. Pricing has not yet been announced.
The all-new 2024 Triumph Scrambler 400 X will feature Triumph’s new single-cylinder, 4-valve, liquid-cooled engine making a claimed 39.5 hp at 8,000 rpm and 27.7 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm and mated to a 6-speed gearbox, a slip/assist clutch, and chain final drive. The Scrambler 400 X also has throttle-by-wire, switchable traction control, and switchable Bosch dual-channel ABS.
The Scrambler 400 X features a 55.8-inch wheelbase, 5.9 inches of travel suspension front and rear, a 19-inch front wheel, and a wide handlebar to provide greater stability and control when riding on loose surfaces, as well as scrambler-style protection for both the bike and the rider.
The Scrambler 400 X is available in three two-tone color schemes, each featuring Triumph’s distinctive Scrambler tank stripe and triangle badge: Matte Khaki Green and Fusion White, Carnival Red and Phantom Black, and Phantom Black and Silver Ice options. Pricing has not yet been announced.
Similar to its Scrambler 400 X stablemate (above), the 2024 Triumph Speed 400 features the new single-cylinder, 4-valve, liquid-cooled engine making a claimed 39.5 hp at 8,000 rpm and 27.7 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm and mated to a 6-speed gearbox, a slip/assist clutch, and chain final drive. The Speed 400 also has throttle-by-wire, switchable traction control, and Bosch dual-channel ABS (which can be switched off on the Scrambler 400 X).
The Speed 400 has an accessible seat height of 31 inches, a 43mm inverted fork offering 5.5 inches of travel, a monoshock rear suspension unit giving 5.1 inches of travel, and lightweight 17-inch wheels. Stopping power comes from a 4-piston radial front brake caliper with a 300mm front disc and braided lines and a floating caliper and 230mm disc in the rear.
The 2024 Triumph Speed 400 will be offered with three two-tone paint schemes – Carnival Red, Caspian Blue, and Phantom Black – each featuring a prominent Triumph tank graphic. Pricing has not yet been announced.
The 2024 Triumph Street Triple 765 range includes the Street Triple 765 R, Street Triple 765 RS, and limited-run Moto2 Edition, which Triumph says is “the closest you can get to a Moto2 race bike for the road.”
All three models will still feature a liquid-cooled 765cc inline-Triple, which was bumped up from 675cc with the 2017 Street Triple lineup, but Triumph says engine upgrades derived directly from the Moto2 race engine program have resulted in a significant step up in performance in the range. The engine on the Street Triple R now makes a claimed 118 hp and 59 lb-ft of torque at 9,500 rpm. The Street Triple RS and Moto2 take it up another notch, making 128 hp. Other updates include new technology, high specification components, an updated chassis, and more.
The Street Triple 765 R will start at $9,995 and be available in two colorways: Silver Ice with Storm Grey and Yellow graphics or Crystal White with Storm Grey and Lithium Flame graphics. The Street Triple 765 RS will start at $12,595 and have three schemes: Silver Ice with Baja Orange and Storm Grey graphics, Carnival Red with Carbon Black and Aluminum Silver graphics, or Cosmic Yellow with Carbon Black and Aluminum Silver graphics. Finally, the Moto2 Edition will start at $15,395 and comes in two race-derived liveries: Triumph Racing Yellow with an Aluminum Silver rear sub-frame or Crystal White with Triumph Racing Yellow rear subframe. The official Moto2 branding will appear on the tank, wheel, tail unit, and silencer.
Triumph has announced that two all-new models featuring a single-cylinder, 4-valve, liquid-cooled engine will join the company’s Modern Classics lineup for 2024. The 2024 Triumph Speed 400 joins the larger Speed Twin 900 and Speed Twin 1200, while the 2024 Triumph Scrambler 400 X takes its design cues from the Scrambler 900 and Scrambler 1200, with an off-road pedigree that goes back to the first factory scramblers of the 1950s.
Triumph says the new bikes are designed to deliver a “fun, agile, and confidence-inspiring ride for riders of all ages and experience levels.”
James Wood, Triumph’s global product marketing manager, said when unveiling the Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X that the company’s ambition with creating the small-bore bikes was to give a “whole new generation of riders the opportunity to own a Triumph.”
“This means that the brief we stepped out to deliver on was all about creating a new 400cc capacity choice for our iconic Speed and Scrambler lineups,” he said. “These would, of course, need to be genuine Triumphs but even more accessible.”
The New TR-Series Engine
The new TR-Series engine is a fuel-injected, liquid-cooled 398cc single-cylinder engine making a claimed 39.5 hp at 8,000 rpm and 27.7 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm and mated to a 6-speed gearbox, a slip/assist clutch, and chain final drive.
Wood said the “TR-Series” name was chosen to celebrate Triumph racing singles of the early 20th century: “Six Day Trial-winning machines that went on to inspire the TR-trophy racing bloodline of Singles and Twins that followed.”
Technical highlights include a 4-valve, DOHC cylinder head and a crankshaft that has been weighted and balanced to optimize inertia for low-speed rideability, as well as a finger-follower valvetrain with a low reciprocating mass and DLC coatings that reduce friction.
Triumph says the new engine delivers “responsive, fun, and characterful power delivery along with an evocative, rich, and distinctive exhaust note.”
2024 Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X
Wood said a key part of the company’s planning with the new range was to “really understand what riders want and value in this world.”
“What riders have told us is that style matters a great deal to them, thereby it must be beautiful, but it also must be authentic,” he said. “They want something that’s very easy to maneuver, with a height that they feel comfortable on and in control of, and to have a ride that is unintimidating and fun but that also comes with a responsive, usable plan for power delivery, plus a great sound. On top of all that, they demand a very high level of quality and reliability, preferably from a brand with credibility and desirability, and of course, all for a price that represents genuine value for money.”
Beyond the new TR-Series engine, the Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X share some of the latest rider-focused technology tailored to suit each model, including throttle-by-wire, switchable traction control, and Bosch dual-channel ABS, which can be deactivated on the Scrambler 400 X when riding off-road.
Dual format instruments feature a large analog speedometer and an integrated LCD screen that includes a digital tachometer, fuel range remaining, and a gear indicator. The display is also pre-enabled to show the status of accessory heated grips, if fitted, and there is a USB-C charging port.
Both the Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X benefit from a slim standover with an accessible seat height of 31 inches on the Speed 400 and 32.9 inches on the Scrambler 400 X and low weights of 375 lb and 395 lb, respectively. Both models also have their own model-specific chassis, with a new frame, bolt-on rear subframe, and cast-aluminum swingarm paired with suspension set-ups tailored to each use.
The Speed 400 features a 43mm inverted fork offering 5.5 inches of travel, a monoshock rear suspension unit giving 5.1 inches of travel, lightweight 17-inch wheels, and roadster-specific geometry and wheelbase, all of which Triumph says offer “an engaging and intuitive ride along with a comfortable, neutral riding position that inspires confidence for riders of all sizes and skill levels.” Stopping power comes from a 4-piston radial front brake caliper with a 300mm front disc and braided lines and a floating caliper and 230mm disc in the rear.
The Scrambler 400 X features a longer wheelbase than the Speed 400 (55.8 inches vs. 54.2 inches), longer travel suspension (5.9 inches front and rear), and a larger 320mm front brake disc. A larger 19-inch front wheel and a wide handlebar provide greater stability and control when riding on loose surfaces. It also has a more upright riding position, and the larger cast steel brake pedal and high-grip footpegs are positioned lower and wider for a more natural standing riding position when riding off-road.
Stuart Wood, Triumph’s chief engineer, said at the unveiling that it was more than just the specifications. “We’ve put our heart and soul into setting these bikes up to give you all the character and performance you expect from us,” he said. “So they’re really fun bikes, really great response, a little bit more power than the others as well. They really are fun to ride.”
However, Triumph says that both bikes are still “instantly recognizable.” Traditional touches, like the distinctive finned cylinder head and traditional exhaust header clamps, combine with contemporary details like the upswept silencer, graphics, and “sensitively incorporated technology,” such as concealed liquid-cooling and a flowing exhaust with a hidden primary silencer. They also feature the trademark black powder-coated engine casings, tough gold anodized forks, and high-quality paint and logo detailing.
The Scrambler 400 X’s all-road attitude is accentuated by protection for the headlight, radiator, and sump, as well as handguards, a handlebar brace with pad, and a longer front fender.
The 2024 Triumph Speed 400 will be offered with three two-tone paint schemes – Carnival Red, Caspian Blue, and Phantom Black – each featuring a prominent Triumph tank graphic.
The Scrambler 400 X is also available in three color schemes, each featuring Triumph’s distinctive Scrambler tank stripe and triangle badge: Matte Khaki Green and Fusion White, Carnival Red and Phantom Black, and Phantom Black and Silver Ice options.
While pricing has not yet been announced, Triumph says both the 2024 Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X will be attractively priced versus the key competitors in each market.
James Wood said the bikes are the result of a “major five-year collaboration” with Bajaj Auto in India.
“Based on Triumph’s concept and design, Bajaj has worked hand-in-hand with our engineering team here in Italy to add that expertise in large-scale efficient and cost-effective manufacturing to our leading engineering and design capabilities.”
Wood added that the bikes will be built by Triumph factories in Thailand and Brazil, as well as Bajaj Auto in India, where both models will launch starting in July 2023. They will be on sale in all other markets in early 2024, when prices for these markets will be announced.
Choices for smaller, affordable motorcycles are growing, and that’s good news for riders looking for a fun bike that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re new to riding and want something easy to handle or an experienced rider looking for a lighter or shorter bike, you have more options now than ever when it comes to finding the best motorcycles for smaller riders!
Below is Rider’s 2023 list of best motorcycles for smaller riders, an update of the popular post from 2019. This list includes motorcycles with seat heights between 31.0 and 31.9 inches with an MSRP of $17,000 or less.
When possible, we’ve included a link to our test ride reviews so you can get a sense of how each bike performs in action. We’ve also included the 2022-2023 model year’s U.S. base MSRP (as of publication), seat height, and claimed wet or dry weight. On models with options to lower the seat height or suspension, we’ve listed the standard and lowered seat heights. You can also click on a model’s name to go to the manufacturer’s webpage for a full list of specifications and details.
The models in this list are arranged by seat height, with the first model having the shortest seat height and the last model having the tallest seat height in the list.
BMW Motorrad has announced a successor to the R nineT for 2024: the BMW R 12 nineT. This new model announcement comes exactly ten years after the launch of the R nineT and is presented in celebration of “100 years of BMW Motorrad.” The R 12 nineT shares many similarities with the R nineT platform but features updates and a more classic design. More details are expected later in the year.
The BMW R nineT was introduced in 2013 with a classic roadster design and a focus on customization options. Since then, BMW has added to spin-off models including the enduro-inspired R nineT Urban G/S, the R nineT Scrambler, and the stripped-down R nineT Pure. BMW says the focus on customization will continue with the new R 12 nineT.
“The R nineT and its customizing concept established the new Heritage experience for BMW Motorrad’s 90th birthday and has become an indispensable cornerstone of our model range,” says Dr. Markus Schramm, head of BMW Motorrad. “The new R 12 nineT continues the successful heritage story surrounding the legendary BMW boxer engines with an even more classic, reduced design language, even greater degrees of freedom when it comes to customizing and, last but not least, new and innovative technology.”
BMW is well-known for its boxer engines. In fact, the very first BMW motorcycle, the R 32, was powered by a flat-Twin boxer. The R 12 nineT continues that legacy with an air/oil-cooled 2-cylinder 1,170cc boxer engine, like the R nineT before it. The addition of the number 12 in the model name reflects the engine’s displacement, a naming technique used for other BMW models.
The design of the R 12 nineT leans into a more classic appearance than its predecessor, particularly with the tank shape, seat, and side covers. BMW claims the classic look and modular design also lends more freedom for individualization.
“The purist design language is dominated by the clear tank/seat/rear line, in the style of the traditional /5 or the legendary R 90 S of the ’70s,” said Edgar Heinrich, head of design. “At first glance, the tank itself is a classic BMW boxer tank, with a typical bend in the lower edge and classic knee contact. The new R 12 NineT also features side covers in the area of the frame triangle in the authentic Roadster look – another reminiscence of BMW motorcycles of the 1970s.”
The BMW R 12 nineT will have a redesigned exhaust system with a double muffler and conical end pieces, as well as a redesigned intake system and front fender. The LED taillight unit is now integrated into the seat.
More details about the BMW R 12 nineT, including price and specifications, are expected in the second half of 2023. Visit BMW Motorrad’s website for more information.
The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 is an urban prowler, designed to explore the concrete jungle with grace and agility. We tested this new roadster in and around San Diego to see if it truly excels in the city as intended and if it has enough mojo to keep pace out of town as well.
Royal Enfield has been in continuous production since 1901, and the brand excels in the small- to mid-sized motorcycle segment. It also excels in honoring its British heritage with a classic-meets-modern aesthetic, making for motorcycles that catch your eye and take you back to simpler times.
While Royal Enfields are plentiful in India, where the bikes are produced and smaller-displacement bikes are the norm rather than the exception, the brand has been making strong headway in North America the past few years as well. Ron Luttrell, VP of sales and dealer development, reported that Royal Enfield has seen a 317% growth in U.S. sales since 2019 and that they’ve recently reached their goal of 10,000 units sold in North America. Not too shabby. With the introduction of the Hunter 350, it’s clear Royal Enfield is looking to hold onto that forward momentum.
Royal Enfield’s Hunter 350 shares the same 349cc J-series Single as the Classic 350 and Meteor 350. When we tested the 2021 Meteor 350, the engine put out 18 hp and 18 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel on Jett Tuning’s dyno. While the engine has been tuned for relaxed urban riding, what truly makes the Hunter 350 stand apart from its stablemates is its chassis geometry. With a shorter wheelbase and a steeper rake, as well as a lower curb weight, the Hunter provides a more accessible, nimble riding experience than what you might find on the Classic or the Meteor. That, coupled with an attractive and youthful styling, will allow the Hunter 350 to attract and fill the needs of a different rider demographic.
At the U.S. press launch in San Diego, the Hunter’s MSRP, which had been kept hush-hush until that moment, was revealed. The bike will start at $3,999, with some color options adding $200. When the price went up on the big screen, the journalists expressed their surprise, followed by applause. This low price, coupled with the bike’s youthful style and smaller size, is sure to bring in new and young riders.
The number of color options is also sure to please riders on the hunt for a motorcycle that fits their style. The Dapper White, Dapper Ash, and Dapper Grey will be priced at the lower $3,999, while the two-toned Rebel Black, Rebel Blue, and Rebel Red colorways retail for $4,199. All six color options were available for our test ride, and I immediately claimed the Rebel Red before anyone else could take it.
Swinging a leg over the bike in the hotel parking lot, I immediately felt at ease. The upright seating position was comfy, and the contoured seat was plush but supportive. With a 31.1-inch seat height, the Hunter 350 had me tip-toeing, but I was the only journalist at the launch who couldn’t flat-foot on it (I’m 5-foot-1). Even with my short legs, I had no trouble reaching everything I needed to reach.
The uncluttered and simple design added to the at-ease feel of the motorcycle. A single round digital and analog instrument display was easy to read and didn’t offer too many options or information to distract me from the simple joy of riding. There’s something to be said for having a customizable display with all the bells and whistles, but sometimes those things get in the way of a pure motorcycling experience.
After getting acquainted with our mounts, we rolled out onto the street, and that’s when the real fun began.
We started the first half of the day riding through San Diego, from neighborhoods to downtown, including shop-lined streets and beach-side roads. I have never ridden a motorcycle that feels so at home in the city. This motorcycle made me feel like I was much better at slow-speed turns than I am. It’s small enough to squeeze into tight spaces and wheel around without trouble.
The maneuverability of this bike is mostly due to its chassis geometry, something Royal Enfield said it put a lot of effort into getting just right for this type of riding environment. The Hunter has a 25-degree rake and a wheelbase of just 53.9 inches using 17-inch front and rear wheels. It’s lighter than the other Royal Enfield models with the 350 engine, with a claimed curb weight of 400 lb (the Meteor 350 and Classic 350 have curb weights of 421 lb and 430 lb, respectively). All of these characteristics give the Hunter an agility that took stress out of riding through busy city streets.
The Hunter’s styling certainly belongs in the retro-inspired Royal Enfield family, but it looks like the cool teenage cousin who just flew in from the city for a family holiday, the one all the other kids are jealous of. The bike has a youthful character, in both riding experience and personality, that will make anyone feel young again.
For braking, the Hunter 350 comes with a 300mm disc with a twin piston ByBre caliper up front, a 270mm disc with a single piston ByBre caliper in the rear, and ABS. I found braking power to be dialed in well for the sudden and frequent stopping of city riding. The suspension consists of a nonadjustable 41mm fork with 5.1 inches of travel and dual rear shocks with six-step adjustable preload and 4.8 inches of travel. The suspension also felt well-suited for its intended purpose. None of these components are state-of-the-art, but they did their job well for a bike with a price tag of about $4K, which is all I could ask of them.
Far and Wide
After experiencing how well-suited the Hunter 350 is to an urban environment, I was curious to find out if it could hold its own outside of town. Would that slow-speed agility affect the bike’s stability at higher speeds? To my delight, there was no compromise to be found. On the twisty roads up Otay Mountain, we pushed the Hunter 350 to its limit.
There’s something exciting about experiencing the full range of a motorcycle’s capabilities, from a slow roll around traffic to a full-out dash through the hills. Royal Enfield hit the sweet spot between granting the Hunter enough power to keep up with highway speeds while maintaining the bike’s tight stance and agility.
That being said, if you’re commuting on the interstate every day, this might not be the ideal ride for you. With a top speed of about 75 mph, we were riding full-out on the freeway to get back to the hotel. The Hunter 350 held that speed smoothly and comfortably, but it would be preferable to have a little power on reserve in case I need to dart away from a dangerous situation, and the Hunter 350 didn’t have that. But I appreciated how steadily it could hold its top speed without feeling too stressed or overworked.
All Good Things…
All too soon, our riding day had come to an end. A testament to the Hunter 350 is that, after a full day of riding on a variety of roads, I was ready to keep going. Taller riders might feel fatigued more quickly by the Hunter’s smaller stature, but this model fit me so well and was so stress-free to ride that I saw no reason to get off it. If it weren’t for my rumbling stomach calling for the taco bar and the fact that I’d be completely lost in San Diego without a guide, I’d have been tempted to roll right on past the hotel’s parking lot and keep going.
This proabably isn’t the motorcycle that your Harley-or-nothing leather-clad uncle is going to buy, but for riders looking for a fun, agile, and affordable option, the Hunter 350 hits the nail on the head. I love to see more affordable motorcycles entering the market, and I believe this is an option that will make owning a motorcycle and experiencing the rides we all love a little more attainable for a new generation of motorcyclists.
American Honda has confirmed the return of a handful more of their two-wheel products for the 2023 and 2024 model years. Honda says a diverse range of categories is represented in the announcement, highlighting the company’s commitment to producing “high-quality machines for casual riders, nostalgia-driven customers and niche-focused enthusiasts.” Among the products announced are an upgraded retro-inspired Trail 125 miniMOTO, returning Ruckus and Metropolitan scooters, and two returning Montesa Cota 4RT trials bikes.
“Each of these models has a rich history and a loyal following, so we’re pleased to continue offering them for our customers,” said Brandon Wilson, American Honda Manager of Sports & Experiential. “From the affordable and user-friendly Trail 125, Ruckus, and Metropolitan to the highly specialized Montesa Cota 4RT models, Honda takes great pride in serving all types of two-wheel enthusiasts, regardless of how they choose to pursue their particular adventure.”
2023 Honda Trail 125
Inspired by the original Honda CT models of the 1960s, the Trail125 has what Honda says is “an authentic, vintage look, evoking the ‘You Meet the Nicest People On a Honda’ ethos for which the brand has always been known.”
The 2023 Trail 125 has a new bore and stroke, contributing to a bigger air-cooled 125cc 4-stroke SOHC Single with a 4-speed no-clutch semi-automatic transmission. It has a 27mm telescopic front fork with 4.3 inches of travel and twin shocks in the rear with 3.4 inches of travel. Braking comes from single hydraulic discs front and back (220mm/190mm front/rear) and front-wheel ABS. The Trail 125 comes standard with a luggage rack, a 1.4-gal. fuel tank, and has a curb weight of 256 lb.
For off-road exploring purposes, the 2023 Trail 125 has three additional teeth on the rear sprocket over the Honda Cub for better hill-climbing ability, upswept intake and exhaust (with a heat shield on the exhaust), 6.5 inches of clearance, a skid plate, and a pair of front brush-guard tubes.
The 2023 Honda Trail 125 comes in a new Pearl Organic Green color and starts at $3,999.
2024 Honda Ruckus
The Honda Ruckus, a scooter that Honda says many riders choose to customize to their desired look and application, returns for 2024 with new colors. The scooter still has a liquid-cooled 49cc 4-stroke Single with a carburetor and 1-speed automatic transmission.
The scooter’s exposed frame with plenty of storage space, dual round headlights, and fat tires (120/90-10 front, 130/90-10 rear) give the Ruckus a unique look, and it gets a claimed 114 mpg fuel economy.
The 2024 Honda Ruckus comes in Black and Beige, starting at $2,899.
2024 Honda Metropolitan
The Honda Metropolitan also returns for 2024. The European-inspired scooter has sleek, rounded bodywork but also comes with utility-focused features such as 22 liters of underseat storage, as well as in-dash storage and a hook for securing a bag.
The Metropolitan has a fuel-injected, liquid-cooled 49cc Single with 1-speed automatic transmission. The scooter has cable-actuated drum brakes front and back and a combined braking system that adds front braking when the rear brake is activated.
The 2024 Honda Metropolitan will be available in May in Matte Armored Green Metallic or Blue Metallic starting at $2,649.
2023 Honda Montesa Cota
Following up on the last season of FIM World Trials competition in which Repsol Honda’s Toni Bou captured his record 32nd world title (16 indoor, 16 outdoor), Honda announced the return of the Montesa Cota 4RT260R (259cc) and the standard 4RT301 and race replica 4RT301RR (298cc), for which Bou reportedly played a significant role in developing.
Designed, developed and produced in Barcelona, Spain — the unofficial capital of trials, and the home of the factory for Montesa (a subsidiary of Honda) — the Cota models offer options for both casual trials riders and those looking to take it to the next level.
The 2023 Montesa Cota 4RT260R has a liquid-cooled 259cc mated to a close-ratio 5-speed transmission and chain final drive.