This year, make your summer adventures two wheeled on one (or more) of these enticing rides.
MULTI-SKILLED MUSCLE BIKE
Cruisers are all about leather panniers and living the American dream, but Ducati must have missed a few history lessons. The Diavel combines sportsbike handling with a modern take on the long and low cruiser style, complete with an enormous 240-section rear tire which had to be custom-made by Pirelli to cope with its 162bhp and its ability to corner and brake like a road racer. History is damned.
TAKES THE ROUGH AND THE SMOOTH
KTM 1190 ADVENTURE R
Some ‘adventure’ bikes should never venture beyond a gravel drive, but the 1190 isn’t one of them. KTM dominates bike classes of the Dakar Rally and the V-twin, 1195cc Adventure R growls with the same dirt-loving spirit. And yet, with features such as intelligent traction control and C-ABS also on board, it’s as spirited on a winding road or city street as it is carving through crud.
REAL-LIFE LIGHT CYCLE
The most electronically advanced ride that lots of money can buy, the HP4 is a staggeringly quick sportsbike. The four-cylinder engine produces 193bhp, but an array of aids including traction control, ABS, semi-active suspension and variable power modes do their best to keep it tamed. There’s even built-in launch control for wonderfully exhilarating/ truly terrifying traffic light take-offs.
CAFE RACER EVOLUTION
TRIUMPH STREET TRIPLE R
Middleweight naked bikes such as the Street Triple R are the big-selling hotcakes of the motorbike world, and British-born Triumph is leading the way. The Triple R is a masterclass in light handling and proper sporting performance, but the comfortable straight bars mean there will be no physio trips for aching wrists after your epic Sunday rides either. From £7700 / triumph.co.uk
THE CLEAN CLASSIC
You could buy a classic bike. It’ll probably leak oil all over your drive, eat money and handle like a supermarket trolley. The new CB1100, though, combines reliability and handling with iconic styling wide bars, a big air/oil-cooled engine and swept-up exhausts — to create the perfect bike for the ’60s nostalgist, minus the puddle of oil beneath it. More smiles; less strife and stains.