This story is part of our year-end This Year in Gear series, bringing together the most notable releases of 2021.
For all the sensations available in this world, there is nothing like the pleasure of riding a motorcycle. You drive a car, but you master a motorcycle – merging with it, your flesh (or, ideally, your riding gear) merging with it, your body moving its body. Its power becomes your power, its speed becomes your speed.
And 2021 has given runners plenty of new machines to make their mouth water. From new electric motorcycles that continue to push the boundaries of motorcycle technology to stellar adventure motorcycles that are helping famous brands redefine themselves, this near-post-pandemic year has given newbies new ways to get down to business. ease behind the handlebars and veterans with new ways to fall back. the love of activity which has long held a special place in their hearts.
Harley-Davidson Pan America
After more than a century of remaining largely on track, Harley-Davidson has decided to turn things around in 2021 by deploying its first adventure motorcycle: the Pan America 1250 Special. As we learned on a ride in the Mojave Desert, this new Harley is incredibly capable of tackling all types of surfaces, from asphalt and dirt to rocks and sand, thanks in no small part to its new Revolution Max 1250 engine. There’s a whole new kind of Harley in town, and it’s moving.
Price: $ 19,999 +
Zero Motorcycles SR
The SR received a notable update for 2021, packing the ZF 75-10 engine spinning up to 75 horsepower and 122 lb-ft of torque and a 14.4 kWh battery – but the biggest news is you can have more with the touch of a button. Thanks to Zero’s new Cyber III + operating system and Cypher Store, you can purchase and download over-the-air updates that provide extra range and extra power, bringing SR closer to SR / F levels. The future is here.
Price: $ 17,995 +
Royal Enfield Meteor 350
If your main concern when choosing a motorcycle is getting what you pay for – or as we said in our review, smiles on the dollar – the new Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is hard to beat. Its 349cc engine might be small, but the 421lb curb weight means that the 20 horsepower and 20 lb-ft of this little cruiser is more than enough for fun in the city or on a country road. .
Price: $ 4,399 +
Ducati Multistrada V4
When you think of Ducatis, you probably think of screaming MotoGP machines, outgoing Streetfighters, or icy Scramblers. But Ducati also plays in the field of adventure motorcycles, and the new Multistrada – available in several forms, including the V4 S we tested – is a high-tech tour de force. Granted, those used to the Na’vi-banshee connection of some other Ducatis may find her a bit more remote, but no one disputes how sexy and accomplished she is.
Price: $ 19,995 +
In honor of the centenary of the Indian chief’s name, the motorcycle maker has launched a series of new models, all of which follow Indian design director Ola Stenegard’s credo, “go back, pull forward”. In other words, they’re a mix of retro – or perhaps more accurately, timeless – design elements and modern tech, like a touchscreen and standard ABS. Of course, with a 1,890cc twin below you in the Chief Dark Horse we tested, there’s a good chance you’ll be thinking more about how fun it is to twist the throttle.
Price: $ 14,449 +
Triumph Bonneville Speed Twin
The name Triumph Speed Twin dates back to the 1930s, and the latest version pays homage to this long and proud history with its design. Of course, it has been completely improved since the days of the Depression: the new bike has LED lights, ABS, improved riding modes and a 1200cc engine which along with the myriad other attributes off the bike, is enough to remind you why you started riding in the first place.
Price: $ 12,500 +
If you like the idea of an electric motorcycle but want something a little better designed for urban commuting in all of its quirks, well, the new FXE is what you’ve been waiting for. Developed in conjunction with famed San Francisco Huge Design, this bike’s light weight of under 300 pounds means its 46 horsepower and 78 lb-ft can move it with ease, while its 7.2 kWh battery delivers 100 miles of city driving and a quick recharge. Also, let’s face it, it seems badassssssss.
Price: $ 11,795
Harley-Davidson Sportster S
Sure, most of Harley’s headlines this year were about its first ADV, but the brand hasn’t given up on the bikes that made it famous. The 2021 Sportster is entirely new, from its 1,500cc twin to its modern technology, but it still retains the Sportster spirit that has enabled this class challenge bike to last for over 60 years.
Price: $ 14,999 +
Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR
There’s a reason “speed” is the middle name of this bike – the Speed Triple 1200 RR is fast as hell, thanks to its 178 horsepower, 92 lb-ft three-cylinder engine. It also looks fast, with its contoured sheet metal and swept-back fairing. A stock Ohlins electronically tuned suspension helps it handle as well as it jumps off the line, while high-performance tires – Pirelli Diablo Supercorsas, to be precise – bring a lot of stick.
Price: $ 20,950 +
Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Challenger Dark Horse
Yes, the name is a mouthful, and this mighty cruiser is probably a bit additional (do kids still say that?) for most of us. But as we found for a while with him across Tennessee, this 800 pound
gorilla the motorcycle’s whiskey-themed assignments only add to the surprising charm of the Challenger, which has enough tech to make a BMW jealous, a ride like a Rolls-Royce, and a delightful power strip.
Price: $ 36,999
Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Revival
The first in the new Harley Icons motorcycle collection designed to pay homage to iconic motorcycles in the company’s history, the Electra Glide Revival is a stunning touring motorcycle. With an appearance inspired by the 1969 Electra Glide – the first Harley to sport the brand’s iconic “batwing” fairing – it’s safe to say this bike will grab attention wherever you go, whether it’s in Sturgis or in Southampton.
Price: $ 29,199 +
Triumph Bonneville Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen Edition
Of course, the King of Cool actually raced a modified 1962 Triumph TR6 during its iconic jump in The Great Escape, but that doesn’t mean we should be offended that the brand is using its name for a special edition Scrambler. This off-road-minded Scrambler XE looks sexy enough that McQueen himself can ride it.
Price: $ 16,400 +
Does the Slingshot really belong to a motorcycle list? Well, you need to have a NYC motorcycle license to drive it, so we’re going to say yes for a technical point. Still, quibble all you want about this class of three-wheeler, but there’s no doubt that this on-road kart offers the kind of thrills more associated with riding a motorcycle than driving, say, of a Camry.
Price: $ 19,999 +
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