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Here Are 10 New Motorcycles That We're Looking Forward To In 2023

TopSpeed logo TopSpeed 12/1/2022 Harry Fisher
© Provided by TopSpeed

At first glance, 2023 might not look as if it's going to be a vintage year for brand-new models from the world’s motorcycle manufacturers. Many existing models are halfway through their life span, and as such, aren’t due for replacement for another couple of years, at least. But, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty to look forward to and the recent EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, gave us a taste of what we can anticipate in 2023.

Research

Honda Transalp

Honda made a big splash with the 1100cc Africa Twin but, up to now, there was a big gap between that and the CB500X, which, in reality, is more road-biased with a modicum of off-road ability. For 2023, Honda is resurrecting a famous name from the past, the Transalp, to plug that gap. The original Transalp was produced from 1987 through to the late 2000s and was powered by a V-Twin, liquid-cooled engine of between 583 and 755cc. The new Transalp will be powered by a 755cc parallel twin, developing 91 horsepower and 55 pound-feet of torque, and Honda has worked hard to strike the right balance between urban agility, long-distance, on-road touring comfort, and off-road ability. A 21-inch front wheel declares its off-road pretensions and the new Transalp will play in an increasingly congested market, with models from Suzuki, Yamaha, Aprilia, BMW, KTM, and Triumph. As is normal, the electronics package is comprehensive, with ride-by-wire throttle, preset power modes, adjustable traction control, ABS, and engine braking. A Showa suspension (non-adjustable) is fitted and there’s 8.3 inches of ground clearance. The seat height is 33.5 inches.

Suzuki GSX-8S

Parallel twin engines are all the rage at the moment, and Suzuki has seen fit to jump on the bandwagon with such an engine, replacing not only the venerable V-Twin that has seen service in the SV650 and V-Strom 650 but also the 750cc inline-four that was used on the GSX-S750 naked roadster. The SV650 will continue for a while yet but expect it to be phased out. We’ll get to the new V-Strom 800 in a moment but just as noteworthy is the new GSX-8S, a middleweight naked roadster companion to the GSX-S1000S. The 776cc parallel-twin engine is brand new and features 270° firing order to give it the characteristics of a V-twin, but in a more compact package that will also be cheaper to manufacture and maintain. The steel trellis frame and swing arm are also completely new. It promises to be an affordable entry into the middleweight sporting naked bike class, with non-adjustable KYB suspension, Nissin brakes and non-IMU ABS and traction control. Suzuki has an enviable reputation for solid engineering and there is no reason to doubt that the GSX-8S will be any different.

Related: 10 Greatest Norton Motorcycles Ever Built

Triumph Street Triple 765 R, RS, and Moto2

Long acknowledged as one of the best chassis in motorcycling today, Triumph’s junior naked sports bike just keeps getting better and better. 118 (‘R’) or 128 (‘RS’ and Moto2) horsepower, 59 pound-feet of torque, and a screaming 12,000rpm redline, with a broad spread of power from the inline triple-cylinder engine. Shortened gear ratios give stunning acceleration and the bi-directional quick-shifter allows you to wring every last ounce of performance out of it. Matches the Speed Triple 1200RS in the electronics department and the chassis and suspension geometry gives super-sharp handling. Three versions are available: ‘R’, ‘RS’, and range-topping Moto2 Edition, which boasts top-shelf Öhlins suspension and a much racier riding position thanks to the clip-on handlebars. Styling getting more angular every year but it’s still good-looking.

Ducati Scrambler 800

Not a new model but updated sufficiently to warrant inclusion here. The original Scrambler appeared in the 1960s and the concept was re-imagined for 2015, with a V-Twin engine in place of the original’s single-cylinder unit. It quickly became Ducati’s best-selling model, propelling the company into the top ten in the European sales charts for the first time. Outwardly, the 2023 Scrambler looks the same but a lot has changed. There’s a new and nine-pound-lighter trellis frame, swing arm, and subframe. The engine is still the Desmodue, 73-horsepower, air-cooled V-Twin. Ride-by-wire throttle allows traction control and both TC and ABS are lean-sensitive. Three models are available: Icon, Full Throttle, and Nightshift, which are essentially just cosmetic differences.

Related: 10 Fun Facts About Harley-Davidson

Suzuki V-Strom 800DE

Suzuki has always had a much lower profile for its adventure bikes than the likes of KTM and BMW which is a pity as, in terms of real-world ability, the Suzuki V-Strom, in either 650cc or 1000cc guise, has always been a decent adventure bike, if lacking in the extreme electronic sophistication of its rivals. For 2023, Suzuki is sadly moving away from the brilliant little 650c V-Twin engine as found in the V-Strom 650 and SV650. In its place is coming the new 776cc parallel twin as described above for the Suzuki GSX-8S. The V-Strom 800DE is a new bike from the ground up, with a steel backbone frame and detachable subframe, which is essential to curb crash damage costs. With the new model, Suzuki is taking direct aim at the Yamaha Ténéré 700, which is a tall order but, on paper at least, it looks as if Suzuki has it covered. Fully adjustable Showa suspension has 8.7 inches of travel, giving the same amount of ground clearance. Weight is 507 pounds with all fluids and a full tank of gas. Wheel sizes are 21-inch front and 17-inch rear, ABS and traction control are multi-faceted and can both be turned off (rear only for the ABS). A quick shifter and Suzuki’s anti-stall mechanism round off the electronics, all of which are controlled via a full-color TFT dash.

Triumph Chrome Editions

Okay, not new models per se but still worthy of inclusion in this list. There was a time when chrome was an important element of gas tank design, especially for British motorcycle manufacturers. Beautifully pinstriped in gold, silver, blue or black, the chrome brought a welcome touch of glitter to drab pre-war color schemes. With improvements in paint technology, chrome disappeared from gas tanks from the 1970s onwards. Still, Triumph has decided to invoke the glory days of the British motorcycle industry with a range of chrome tanks fitted to its modern classic range of Bonnevilles and derivatives and also the Rocket 3. To say they look spectacular would be an understatement. Available for one year only.

Related: 10 Best Suzuki Motorcycles Ever Built

BMW M1000RR

BMW’s flagship superbike, the M1000RR, gets a raft of updates for 2023, as if you could make the bike any more insane than it already is! Bodywork has new aerodynamic winglets producing even more downforce, even when leaned over in a corner, without an increase in drag. Aerodynamics now extend to the front wheel and fender, directing cooling air onto the brake calipers. Dripping in carbon fiber, this is as thinly disguised a race bike as you could possibly want. BMW’s sights are firmly set on World Superbike racing success, which was the reason for the original S1000RR’s existence in the first place. 205 horsepower, 189mph, and up to $40,000 if you tick all the option boxes. Extreme, but brilliant. Also available is the naked M1000R, which is exactly the same as the RR in terms of specification.

Honda Hornet CB750

Honda is re-establishing itself as a manufacturer of practical, beautifully built but perhaps slightly staid motorcycles. In its own words, “Honda’s design philosophy is to create something pure and functional in an uncomplicated way—models which are both beautifully simple and emotionally appealing.” The parallel-twin engine is the new buzzword in motorcycling and Honda is no different from any other manufacturer. The new Hornet revives a much-loved name from Honda’s past, this time with a 91 horsepower, 55 pound-feet parallel twin engine, with a 270° crankshaft to give the feel of a V-Twin. The top speed is a claimed 127mph. Small, light, and compact with a reasonable seat height, the Hornet CB750 will be a perfect stepping stone from beginner to experienced. Extensive but sensible electronics package with the now-ubiquitous TFT dash. The Hornet joins a long list of middleweight naked sporty bikes from Japanese manufacturers so will have its work cut out to make an impact.

Related: 10 Best Modern Classic Motorcycles Under 1000cc

Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650

Royal Enfield is really stepping up its bid for worldwide sales success with its range of parallel twin-engined Meteor models, first seen in 2018. For 2023, the company has added the Super Meteor ‘cruiser’ and touring models, undoubtedly aimed squarely at the American market. 47 horsepower and 39 pound-feet of torque and a curb weight of 531 pounds will make for leisurely performance, but the engine has proven itself to be smooth and reliable, while the chassis, designed by specialists Harris in the UK, means it will have excellent road manners should you want to push on a bit away from the highways. No U.S. prices have been announced but expect it to be among the cheapest cruisers on the market without sacrificing quality.

Norton V4SV

Something super-exotic to finish off with. After the recent financial problems, Norton seems to be on a more secure path after Indian concern TVS took control. The V4SV started life under the old regime but will finally appear for good in 2023. It won’t be cheap - at GBP 44,000 it is £10,000 more expensive than the Ducati Panigale V4 SP2, but what price exclusivity? The Norton-built V4 engine pushes out 185 horsepower and 92 pound-feet of torque. It is housed in an aluminum-tube perimeter frame and chock-full of high-end components from the likes of Öhlins, Brembo, and BST carbon or OZ forged wheels. Fast, utterly beautiful, exclusive, and the start of something great for the revitalized Norton brand. Long may it continue.

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