– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Which Bike Impressed You the Most?: MD Reader Responses, Part One

On October 18, 2005, Dirck asked the readers to let him know which of the 2006 model year bikes introduced impressed them the most, and why that particular model, in their opinion, may be the most significant new bike for 2006. As always, our readers are more than happy to share their opinions. What follows is the first part of a multi-part series of readers’ responses (unedited):

  • The 675.

  • FJR 1300.

  • Without a doubt the Triumph Daytona 675.


    – A world-class sportbike equal to or better than anything else on the market
    – Non-big-four manufacturer

    – Mould-breaking engine configuration
    – Beautiful, extremely narrow, light design
    – An instant classic
    Triumph has definitely come of age now and will continue to gain importance and popularity by producing its distinctive, character-filled bikes – something desperately needed in today’s market

  • Suzuki DR-Z400SM – It’s the sport bike for the real world. Real streets are rough. They may have pot holes and tar snakes. In the real world speeds over 100mph are almost never usable. Suzuki is the trail blazer. Soon all the Big 4 will be selling street legal versions of their 450MXers.

  • I can’t remember ever being so excited about the introduction of so many new fresh and new models coming out as I am this year.

    In particular, I have 4 that have really caught my attention:

    (1) Suzuki GSX-R 600 and 750
    (2) Triumph 675 Triple
    (3) Yamaha R6 – especially in the yellow and black Anniversary scheme
    (4) Yamaha FZ1

    I will cast my single vote, however, for the ’06 GSX-R750, as it is the one I just may have to plump down my hard-earned dollars for this winter. The styling improvements they’ve made after last year’s GSX-R1000 all seem to work perfectly, and the result is the sexiest sportbike I may have ever seen. No doubt, the improvements made to what was already likely the best real-world sportbike will make the ’06 model an even more ideal choice.

    However, I’m still drawn to that 675… if the early ride reviews say the bike performs half as good as it looks, I may just have to visit the nearest Triumph dealer. What’s fresher than a bike that looks that sexy cool, isn’t your belly-button Japanese 600, and takes a “triple” spin on the 600 class?

    Thanks for your time, and keep up the good work.

  • ’06 R6 – 17,5000 rpm, ‘drive by wire’ throttle, slipper clutch, gp style exhaust, lost weight, simply best looking 600 ever on paper…

  • The bike(s) that really piqued my interest are the new Yamaha R6 and the Triumph Daytona 675. For pure, cutting edge technology and promise, the R6 is hands down the sharpest and most advanced of the upcoming bikes, sportbike or otherwise. I will be really impressed if dyno runs show it can actually rev that high (17500!! Ouch!). I am also interested to find out how different (better?) the fly by wire throttle is.

  • 1. Daytona 675
    2. Kawasaki 650R (Where is the dualsport version?) 3. 2006 zx10r 4. GSXR750 and 600

    Unfortunately, though very cool, these are all bikes that I would likely never own or ride.

    I am 6’3” and 45 years old. I want a bike that is as cool as the above examples but will fit me and work for me.

    So far the closest thing I have found is the Adventure Touring bikes and I ride a souped up Vstrom 1000. Its a great bike but it could be a lot better if it enjoyed even a small percentage of the attention and $ that Suzuki applies the the GSXR line. Wake up Suzuki…..I am not alone out here in the wilderness.

  • Yamaha R6 with 130bhp…very powerful

  • It’s gotta be the new 2006 R6. While everyone has been waiting for Kawasaki & Suszuki to come with a 450 motocrosser they know pretty much what to expect since it’s taken 8 years to catchup with Yamaha in that area. Then, Oh boy! More new cruisers!

    At 40, I’m still looking for the perfect sportbike and the latest tech still turns my crank. The R6 with fly-by-wire throttle, Motogp style exauste with Exup and a definate M1 infuence, you can’t go wrong there.

    Yamaha has done it again with the R6, in a class where the bikes could seem very simular they have set themselves apart from the crowd again. Suzuki’s GSX-R600 should be awsome also but I think the R6 has the most appeal.

    Would’nt it be cool to see Rich Oliver in 600SS on one of these?

  • I am most impressed with the 2006 Husqvarna TE/SMR lineup because they are competition bike models that can be registered as street legal! Bold move. Lets see how the other manufacturers respond. Being street legal without having to hassle with aftermarket kits makes it much easier to connect off road riding areas as well as ending the green/red sticker issue for Californians.

  • Kawasaki ZZ-R 1400 (ZX 14)

    From the Z 1 times on the big Kawasakis have always impressed me (I had two ZZ-R and two ZRX), and so does the new ZZ-R 1400.

    The sport-touring category has not seen significant steps forward in the last years, except the BMW K 1200 S.

    In my opinion the new Kawasaki is a step forward with its FI, catalyst and – above all – ABS. Engine performance and chassis will stand for biking in superior style.

  • 2006 Yamaha R6 with 17,500 rpm !!! Ultimate race track weapon. Yes, I’m a racer. Yes, I want it.

  • the cruisers are ok, but mostly more of the same, roadliens best of that bunch, new off road buell is ok, yamaha R^ is SWEET, she is amazing and needs the le treatement with ohlins !

    yamahas new fz1 may be the best new bike though, 150+ hp tuned for torque. wow, id like the ohlin option on that bike as well……..

    for off road gotta love the new kawasaki motocrossers 250 and 450 4 strokes……..

    and if they qualify as a 2006…….. the new aprillia 550 super motard street legal twin will be a BLAST……

    yamahas paddle shifting fj1300 gets a mention and so does the bmw hp2

  • The new bike that is most impressive to me is the Triumph Daytona 675. To think that Triumph is able to bring a bike like this to the market is a great thing.
    I am very interested in following the Daytona thru road tests and my first chance to ride one.
    I would like to see Triumph and Suzuki come up with an answer to the Yamaha FJR 1300 even though it doesn’t seem likely.

  • Yamaha’s YZF R1 LE would be my choice yet you haven’t said much about it. In the hands of Jason DeSalvo it should take the Superstock Championship next year. It also will set the pace for the increase in bike prices and at $18,000.00 we should see a new breed of Superbikes with super components. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing but it’s significant.

    The new R6 is very nice also. We live in a wonderful time of motorcycle history.

  • Definitely the new Yamaha FZ1. For years I have wanted a bike with the performance of a sport bike but a seating position that didn’t bend me up like a pretzel. Now we finally have something close.

  • The bike that impressed me the most, the one I’ve been waiting for is the Kawasaki Sport Single YOU told us was rumoured. So much for that. Besides that bike, the Euro-spec Yamaha MT-03 is very nice…OH..and the SuperDuke (duh!)…

  • yamaha fz1 fazer 2006. That’s my opinion.

  • 1) Kawasaki ER6N faired version, for targetting shorter riders with a full-feature, great looking, well priced sport bike

    2) Triumph 675 for finding a combination of differnitators that appeal to wide sport rider audience (they have been doing it with retro and cruisers too)

    I am looking forward Kawasaki sport single that you rumored, and looking forward to read the weight/performance specs on the zx-14

    Thanks for the great site

  • In response to “which bike impressed you most”…I need to come right out and say, the new Triumph Daytona 675 is the sexiest sport bike since the 916 Ducati!!! Well, except maybe the un-affordable MvAgusta Tamburnini.

    I believe Triumph has done the right thing by sticking the 3 cylinder mil back in there. 120hp is nothing mind blowing but the way the 3 cylinder makes it’s power should keep things plenty exciting on the street and track.

    Now, speaking of exciting….2nd on my list would be the Kawasaki ZX14. No particular reasons, other than I already own a 2002 Kawasaki ZX12R, and that bike has done over 25,000 miles of everything thrown at it, from touring, commuting,track days, and Sunday rides. It’s done it so well that I figure the new ZX14 should keep up the 12’s repitation as a great do it all bike. (if only pasengers thought the same)

    Number 3 on the list is the Kawasaki ER6. It looks like a nice entry/middle weight bike that will go up against the already GREAT bike from Suzuki, the SV650.

    I like the cruiser segment this year but nothing real eye catching out there. They pretty much all look the same and out of a hundred bikes on the road, 90 of them are cruisers, so I was hoping to see something bold and brave come out like the Triumph Rocket or the Honda Rhune. Also the Yamaha MT01 comes to mind here. Until then…that market looks kind of dull to me.

    Worthy of mentioning here, is the new BMW enduro bike. If they came down a few thousand $$$ in price I would own one to replace or add next to my Suzuki DRZ400S..

  • In response to “which bike impressed you most”…I need to come right out and say, the new Triumph Daytona 675 is the sexiest sport bike since the 916 Ducati!!! Well, except maybe the un-affordable MvAgusta Tamburnini.

    I believe Triumph has done the right thing by sticking the 3 cylinder mil back in there. 120hp is nothing mind blowing but the way the 3 cylinder makes it’s power should keep things plenty exciting on the street and track.

    Now, speaking of exciting….2nd on my list would be the Kawasaki ZX14. No particular reasons, other than I already own a 2002 Kawasaki ZX12R, and that bike has done over 25,000 miles of everything thrown at it, from touring, commuting,track days, and Sunday rides. It’s done it so well that I figure the new ZX14 should keep up the 12’s repitation as a great do it all bike. (if only pasengers thought the same)

    Number 3 on the list is the Kawasaki ER6. It looks like a nice entry/middle weight bike that will go up against the already GREAT bike from Suzuki, the SV650.

    I like the cruiser segment this year but nothing real eye catching out there. They pretty much all look the same and out of a hundred bikes on the road, 90 of them are cruisers, so I was hoping to see something bold and brave come out like the Triumph Rocket or the Honda Rhune. Also the Yamaha MT01 comes to mind here. Until then…that market looks kind of dull to me.

    Worthy of mentioning here, is the new BMW enduro bike. If they came down a few thousand $$$ in price I would own one to replace or add next to my Suzuki DRZ400S..

  • Yamaha FJR!!

  • 1.)Triumph Daytona 675

    2.) Star Roadliner

  • Ninja 650

  • Without a doubt, it would have to be the Triumph 675. A gutsy and groundbreaking attempt to define it’s own market segment apart from the normal players. If the ergonomics are friendly to those of us on the north end of 40, I might make the jump.

    Least impressive? Every 4 years, there is a murmur among the faithful about what direction Honda will take with the next generation VFR. With visions of 1000cc and possibly V5’s in our heads, we were rewarded with clear turn signals and new colors. The devastation was biblical in scope. The end result is that I have to change the criteria on my “short list” to replace my 1999 VFR to exclude one model and begin searching for alternatives.

  • As They have quoted it the busa killer I think the twelve done that 6 years ago. But this new ZX1400 is going to cruceify the busa cant wait to see the numbers and tests

  • I’ve got a V-Strom so the bike I’m totally crazy about is the Buell Ulysse! I’ve sat on it and god it’s so tall but it look so good. Compared to the Strom, it has a smaller front end, agressive look and belt. Will you test it soon? Read you every day…

  • Without a doubt, the most impressive bike for ’06 is the Triumph Daytona 675. And this from a small company – not one of the big Japanese companies. Now if they just come out with a 675 Tiger next year!!!

  • The revised-I hope-Yamaha FJR 1300….enuff so I ordered one on the first day. My ’03 FJR was pretty good….as long as the temps were 50s-60s! Here’s hoping Yamahas’ claims aren’t simply ad hype.

  • Probably all from Triumph to Kawasaki. Who is so far short of impressing me is Suzuki in replacement for Bandit 12000. It was hinted that replacement is comming, but is so far nowhere.

    Oh yes and Honda is not impressing me with not showing new CBF-1000 in N.A.

  • While most people will gloss over this bike as an afterthought, it is exactly what I’ve been waiting for.

    I’m very impressed with Kawasaki’s latest dual-sport offering. The KLX250S is my idea of a fantastic dualsport. Take a highly competent chassis, with real dirt bike suspension in a lightweight package, toss in a small displacement motor and some lights. For the type of trails in my neck of the woods (Atlantic Canada – rocky, tight and very technical) this is a perfect bike. It’s nice to see that the major manufacturers (most of them anyway) have not completely given up on this genre of bike. For around here, the DRZ400S is the only bike for the masses that seems to work, without having to spend big dollars on a GasGas or KTM and then dual sporting it with a BajaDesigns kit.

    Unfortunately, it’s a 49 state models and I haven’t had official confirmation that it’s coming to Canada. Please Mr. Kawasaki, bring it here!

  • 2006 Yamaha FZ1. Looks like a great bike for older guys not ready for Goldwings but not looking for full on sport bikes. Much improvement, aluminum frame, fuel injection. But best of all, no lower plastic to worry about getting damaged, just a view of liter sized motor.

  • Buell Ulysses.

  • The new Yama 1300 Sports Tourer is breaking new ground in the clutch less shifting department. Probably will be the launching point for a new generation of automatic transmissions that can be manually controlled.

  • Hi Guys, let me share my views from what I see that’s new:

    BMW, Sport Touring, my choice is the R1200RT

    Honda, Touring, wow an air bag on a Gold Wing

    Kawasaki, Sport, ZZR 1400 will set the streets on fire!

    Suzuki, Cruiser, M109 is the most logical direction for today’s cruising.

    Suzuki, Sport, the GSXR 750 is the true definition of what a sport bike should be.

    Suzuki, Maxi Scooter Commuter/ Touring, there is an urban undercurrent that is slowly but surely growing.

    Yamaha, R6, R1, R1LE, FZ 1, FJR 1300, what a line up. Style and function.

    MV, F4, its just a jewel.

    Enjoy the new model year,

  • Hello I’m Paulo from Portugal and here in Europe yhe most stricking bike is without a doubt the ZZR 1400 or the ZX-14r (in the North America). The New Yamaha FZ1 and Aprilia Tuona are also good bikes!

  • Triumph 675, beautiful, sounds like impressive performance as well.

  • The bike that impressed me the most was the Honda Valkrie Tour. Why Honda did away with that bike or why they didn’t make the model with the 1800cc motor is beyond me. Second bike was the VMax and third was the Honda Pacific Coast.

  • First of all, I want to thank you for a wonderful daily column on the motorcycling industry. It is a regular staple for me and I don’t know what I’d do without that daily fix. I really enjoy reading your articles every day.

    What new 2006 bike impressed me the most? Probably the Triumph 675. It is a cutting edge machine from a relatively small company who has been struggling for the past ten years to carve out a niche for itself in a highly competitive industry. They have succeeded! This is narrower, smaller and more distinctive than anything made by the Big Four and much more affordable than any of the offerings from Ducati. I can’t wait to see one in the paint.

    Thanks for asking.

  • Triumph Scrambler – Name another bike that is like it. Dare to be different!

  • Kawasaki’s ZX-14. To be honest, I’m not as impressed as I am stunned. For a company that’s always seemed to do more with less, a 1352cc engine speaks volumes about how rabid Kawasaki is for 1/4 mile and top speed honors…

  • I am still impressed with Honda RC51 or SP2. I wonder why HONDA and or racing teams ignore RC51 2006. That bike needs higher compression, few changes and could beat all bikes out there,,, including Ducati.

  • FZ1 is my pick. When’s a thorough review going to appear?

  • The new 2006 Harley-Davidson StreetGlide FLHXI impressed me the most. After riding one, I couldn’t believe how easy the clutch was, how easy the transmission shifted, and also the sound and clarity of the new radio. From the low and comfortable seating position to the fairing mounted mirrors, this is one great looking bike. It has all the things that make the Electraglide the most sought after tourer along with styling touches such as the redesigned rear fender that give it that “look at me” boulevard look. This is truly a bike for all. The only thing it needs, and should have come with, is the 95 CI motor. All in all, Harley won’t be able to keep this bike on the showroom floor. Get yours quick. You won’t be disappointed.

  • The Honda Gold Wing with the airbag is the most significant motorcycle introduced this year. There may be more focus on motorcycle safety gear if this option proves to be popular. This could change the design of many motorcycles and Honda did it first. While Honda does not seem to invest in cutting edge style, their engineering is top notch. Of the big four Japanese motorcycle companies, Honda is the most creative.

    From a style perspective Buell is taking the lead. Everyone else seems to be following them.

    It will also be interesting to see where the Big Scooter market goes. I would guess airbags will be placed on them next.

  • I’m sure nobody else will pick this one. I am most impressed that Kawasaki is introducing the KLX250S. This bike was originally sold as an off-road only bike 10 years ago, and is now available in a street legal version. FINALLY, someone at the big 4 is listening to what the trail riders in the East want. I don’t think it will be a big seller on the West Coast, but I predict it will sell well here in the East.

  • Most impressive bike – Kawasaki ZX 14.

  • The R6 and R1 LE are stunning, Triumph may triumph with the real world sport riders, but I like bikes that are a little bit more different. The Kawasaki parallel twin, and the Yamaha MT-03 (Europe only) are the most exciting of 06 for me, so far.

  • Triumph 675. With limited off-road and cruiser experience, I am somewhat biased towards the sporting end of the spectrum. I understand Kawasaki’s new 450 thumper may very well be the motorcrosser to beat this year, however the engineers at Kawasaki have simply bettered an existing field. Triumph, on the other hand, has completely created a new field with the Daytona 675. Not only is this one of the sharpest looking bikes (subject to debate) released this year, it is the ONLY middleweight triple. Based on the specifications given by Triumph, it appears to be the most powerful/streetable middleweight out there. The new R6, with it’s 17,500 rpm redline is quite an achievement and I cannot wait to see what it does in next year’s AMA Supersport and Formula Xtreme classes, however those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to be able to ride Virginia International or Pike’s Peak must rely on city streets and the occasional back-road romping for our riding. Imagine what the local authorities would think of the sound of 17k rpm in between stoplights! I hate to echo what I’ve read in 3 or 4 different publications, but this is what Triumph should have been doing all along.

  • It has to be the Triumph 675. Why?

    1. 3 cylinders in this size.

    2. 675cc, light and still torquey

    3. Triumph 3 cylinder tradition

    4. Made in the UK

  • The Star Roadliner Midnight is a bike I could own. It’s been 15 yrs since I owned anything in the cruiser category (’90 FXR-S Conv), and I loved it’s ability to be ridden quickly and have somewhat sporty cabability. The Roadliner is built with weight, handling, braking, engine performance…..and beauty, in mind.

    The R6 impresses with statistics alone. A 17,500 rpm redline and a performance focus that looks to push the envelope. The little things that do it for me though…’s exhaust. Yamaha is bucking the trend for underseats by making a more traditional exhaust location work, and doing it by designing it to fit the bike and keep weight down and low. As with the FZ-1, these exhausts can not be simply replaced by an aftermarket generic tube of metal wrapped around packing wrapped around a perforated core. Aftermarket exhausts will have to have some thought put in them for these bikes….and that’s a good thing. The aftermarket exhaust business has grown stale and lacks innovation – anything that makes them start with a clean sheet can’t be all bad.

    Interesting I’d pick two Yamahas….I’ve gone 25 some odd bikes and since the late ’70’s since I’ve owned one, an XS650D.

  • Triumph Daytona 675

    On paper this bike appears to have it all. The grunt and slim width of a V-twin, the top end of an I4, the all-important undertail exhaust, a trick frame and swingarm, upside down forks, radial brakes, through the frame ram-air, sexy looks, and… it’s made by our brothers in jolly old England. I’m saving up for one right now. But one of the things I like most is that it’s not a “cheater” 600, like the previous version, and like the Kawasaki ZX6R. If 750cc twins compete against 600cc fours, then a triple should be exactly 675cc. Triumph doesn’t have to make any excuses for the displacement.

    I bought my ’89 Honda Hawk 650GT in ’97 as my first bike. Many upgrades later, I’m still riding it. I love it, but I’m ready for something new. I had been fixated on the 600 class, which would get me twice the horsepower in a familiar sized and manageable package. The SV650 is not different enough. The GSXR 750 is a great engine wrapped in a package that just doesn’t “do it” for me. I can’t afford nor justify a 1000 or water cooled Ducatis. So a 600 it was. However the idea of constantly rowing the shifter was a turnoff. Until the Triumph came along, I thought I would just have to put up with that. Now it appears the Triumph will get me everything I want. I applaud Triumph for having the guts to do something original and different.

  • Triumph 675.

  • Triumph 675.An emphasis on real world street performance.We all have benefited from the incredible leaps in race bike design over the last 10 years or so,but realalisticly not many of us compare to Mr. Rossi.Yamaha’s 600 17000+ redline is impressive but I think Triumphs emphasis on torque is a better direction for the street.

    Yamaha FJR 1300. Talk about not resting on your Laurels! The significant upgrades for this proven sport touring really shows Yamaha is listening to there customers. not sure about the electric shift though.

    Honda North America. Why no CBF1000 for us. Sensible ergonomics not a seller in this market? Where is the Varedero? Yes Yes I know we did not understand the Transalp but that was 1988!I still love mine. Have anyone noticed the used values of Transalps?I love my 2002 VFR but I would buy a Varedero in a minute. It’s that ergonomics and useable performance thing again.

  • The Moto Guzzi Griso! i think it’s the perfect blend of roadster and custom.

  • The Yamaha R6 gets my vote for the ‘fly-by-wire’ throttle and 17,500 rpm limit. The slipper clutch, magniseum case covers, titanium valves, new exhaust, and new frame/swingarm/fairing are just bonuses.

  • for me the yamaha come first with the R1 and the R6 second Kawasaki with the zx 14 because my bike is a zx 12 2004 and i will change it for the zx 14! next honda for trying to folow and suzuki i never like it! performance are very good but the look :o(

  • By far, the coolest is the new Triumph Scrambler 900. Sure looks like another thigh burner for the passenger, though.

  • The two most significant bikes of 2006 are the Yamaha FJR1300 w/ manu-matic trans, and the airbag equipped Honda Gold Wing. They are both huge advancements in motorcycle technology. Is a two-wheel drive streetbike around the corner??

  • Don’t expect anything like concensus on this issue!

    – The Honda Goldwing getting an airbag is significant, but do many people reading really care?

    – The electric-shifting FJR1300 is significant, but only a few will be sold with that feature.

    – The Buell Ulysses is really cool and (for me) lust-worthy, but they won’t sell many of them (compared to other manufacturers – they may sell alot by Buell standards).

    – The new Yamaha R6 raises the rev ceiling to amazing levels, but hardly anyone can use it’s kind of performance on the street.

    – Yamaha creating a whole new line of Star motorcycles is significant, but everyone knows it’s just a name change and a marketing move.

    My prediction for most significant: The impact of the Triumph Daytona
    675 is yet to be seen, but I’m betting it will be huge. I would love to see the Japanese create additional new niches like Triumph has.
    (The RC51 comes to mind, as it blended full-race intentions and a V-twin, as the 675 has added a completely different kind of engine into a 600-class chassis.)

  • I absolutely love the Buell Ulysses. From everything I’ve seen and heard about it, it seems to be a motorcycle built by motorcyclists – not a bike made with stratospheric specs attainable anytime you happen to be running at 15,000 RPM.

    While I haven’t gotten a chance to ride one yet, it sounds versatile, fun, and able to do all the things I expect a motorcycle to do.

    It’s great to finally have an American bike – probably for the first time in my life – that is a world-class bike in departments other than just looks.

  • Which Bike Impressed You the Most? YAMAHA R6 & Star Roadliner.

  • My most impressive bike(s) of 2006: Husqvara TE 250,450 and 510. 50 state legal enduro raceable bikes out of the crate. It seems like someone finally “gets it”.

  • The bikes that I look forward reading more about and maybe try are the Yamaha R6 and the Suzuki M109R.
    I was hoping Honda would of done more with there VFR800 (Like totally redo from ground up).Since it is the bike I’ve been waiting to trade my sport bike in on.
    I don’t know how comfortable the Suzuki will be for long rides or how the motor will stand up to high milage, but right now it could be my next bike.
    Looking forward to your write ups on these and other new 2006’s. Keep up the good work!

  • At one time or another every magazine article I’ve read on the Fz-1 was just
    short of outstanding since the bike was introduced in 2001. Now that is
    has a modern look with a new dash, fuel injection, inverted forks etc, well, would I dare say perfect!

    Thanks for your Web site. I’ve gain helpful knowledge on my quest to find the best bikes for street riding.

  • Good day!

    I picked the new 2006 YAMAHA FZ1. GORGIOUS!!!

    There is also a new naked 2006 HONDA 1000 but it won’t be available in North America!!! (as far as I know)

  • Buell Ulysses is the best bike for 06!




    I liked it so much I bought one!

  • I’d have to say that the new R6 is by far the most impressive. First, just judging the book by it’s cover, I’m immediately impressed. This is certainly one of the sexiest looking sport bikes ever created. Secondly, and probably more important, is that 17,500 RPM redline. I can only imagine how high the horsepower figures are going to climb with 2000 more RPM’s available in the area where peak horsepower is made. The new R6 is going to do just as the very first R1 did back in 1998. It’s going to set radical new standards for all the other manufacturers to follow and perhaps with bikes in classes other than just super-sport.

  • The Triumph Daytona 675! The bike’s specs on paper say sporting all-rounder, it’s riding position says sportbike, (on paper) its chassis numbers say great handling, but it’s looks are the best I’ve seen on a motorcycle in years. Truly brilliant! It’s gorgeous! If what all the motojournals say is true then this is the bike of 2006. I think Triumph has a major hit on their hands.

  • Definitely the R6, with its slipper clutch, up-graded frame/suspension, and “drive-by-wire”. Also a BIG congrats to it NOT falling in line with the ridiculous (on an in-line 4) under-seat exhaust !

  • The bike that made the biggest impression that I found most interesting this fall is Kawasaki’s ZX-14, mostly because it throws down the first serious challenge to the ‘Busa. It’s very difficult to make such a large bike handle well, and if the initial indications are correct, this may be a break through bike for Kawasaki.

  • I voted with my wallet and bought a Ulysses. To me it redefines “sport touring.”
    Like the Multistrada, it has sportbike DNA so it handles great. It’s dirt road capable. You can explore those side roads you always passed by on your sport tourer.
    The seating position eliminates the “tunnel vision” you get with sporty tourers. Instread of just riding thru, you are seeing things you never saw before.
    If you like to take a compantion touring, it’s a great “2 up” bike.

  • Without question its the Kawasaki ZX-14 (ZZR-1400 elswhere). The bike is not filling a gap in the market. You can buy a used Hayabusa for $6000 and do your 185 mph thing. But in building the bike Kawasaki is saying they like pushing the limits in a big way. Few riders will feel a need for this monster but its nice to know its sitting out there should the need arise (and at a reasonable price). (That new Kawasaki vertical twin may also turn out to be very impressive.)

    While Milwaukee toys with pin stripes and chrome, the Japanese keep proving they can build anything, anytime with good quality at a fair price.

  • Yamahas Roadliner.

  • I think the most important new bike of 2006 will be the Triumph 675 Daytona. It is such a great, clean sheet of paper design.

    With its emphasis on narrowness and lightness, combined with a very street savvy motor this bike will rewrite the entire class. Hopefully it will set a precedent that there is more to motorcycling than absolute top speed and dragstrip bragging rights. Just to talk about the motor once more, triples are fantastic motors and they sound unbelievable.

    I can’t wait.

  • The Triumph 675. The others are interesting, but mostly refinements and upgrades over existing models. The new Trumpet is waaaaay outside the box with a unique powerplant with a different powerband, a radically narrow waistline, top notch equipment, and a price similar to the Japanese 600s. I’ll be stopping by a dealer for a look sometime in 2006, count on it.

  • Three stand out for me. The BMW K1200R, the Buell Ulysses, and the Triumph Daytona 675. If I had to pick just one I’d go with the Triumph – a surprising choice for me since I’m a “cruiser guy”, and none of the new cruisers really rocked my world. The new Kawi 900 is step in the right direction though.

  • I can tell you what hasn’t impressed me. So many 1500cc-2000cc v twin motorcycles. why the hell doe’s some one need 2000cc to go the speed limit I don’t under stand. I think the motorcycle companies that make this stuff are in left field . It’s time for the motorcycle companies to educate the masses that 500 -1000 cc is more than enough. I am talking about advertising. They, the manufactures advertise one needs all this excess horse power. It’s just crazy. I have a 883xl and went for a ride and most of the jerks had Harleys all souped up . k and n crap air filters loud pips etc. Funny thing I was able to keep up with them @ 80 miles an hour…..hope you aren’t a cop. I didn’t have to go too the gas station like the other guys to fill up. I was doing over 55 miles to the gallon. Some of the big boys were lucky to get 40.O well thanks for letting me vent.

  • Moto-Guzzi Griso

    Suzuki Burgman Executive (ABS, electric w/s)

    MG Breva 1100, if it ever gets here!

    And the yet to be announced MG Falcone 1200 GT, though it probably won’t go into production for another three years, if ever!

  • Since you asked I’d have to say the Griso because it’s a Guzzi and the Ninja 650 because it really looks interesting. Motto Guzzi’s attempt at a Naked if that’s what the Griso is looks like it’d be fun to ride. It certainly has all the power I’d need and I’d bet comfort as well. With bags it could probably be used as a sports tourer. I would love to ride one; but there are few dealerships around me and it’s not a likely occurrence. The Ninja 650 on the other hand looks good and the low muffler ala Buell seems like a good idea. It seems like it would be a good beginner, everyday ride with all the support Kawasaki has to offer. I’d love to ride one of these as well. There aren’t too many bikes I wouldn’t like to try. Need an old fart to do ride reports for you?

  • My ideal bike is fuel injected, has a good sized fuel tank (at least 20 litres) aluminium frame, light weight, six speed transmission, has a good fairing and windshield for wind and rain protection, and can be equipped for sport touring, either through OEM or aftermarket racks. A major consideration is also the cost of insurance. Where I live insurance for sports bikes, regardless of rider record, is at least two to three times that ($1,200 -1,600 a year) than for so called standard bikes ($350 to $450). Using these criteria the closest I could get to my ideal is the V-Strom.

    Though the FZ1 appealed to me until this year it was carburetted, and had a steel frame. While the changes made in 06 are fantastic, somehow the designers screwed up and shrank the fuel tank to 18 litres. Duh. I suspect that the FZ1 will be classified as a ‘standard’.

    I had been hoping that Kawasaki might upgrade the ZZR1200 to fuel injection and maybe lose some weight from the bike. Instead they have given us a ZX14 which seems to be billed as a King Kong hyperbike. Though I have seen some shots of a ZZR designation, they have not released any information about baggage or touring options. Here again the folks in their design departments seem to envision a rather narrow interest group.

    So at the end of the day, hopes were high, but the big manufacturers seem to imagine that we all want to ride cruisers or flash down the street quicker than the speed of light. The idea that some of us do sports touring, or long distance touring, and commuting to work seems largely to have escaped their attention. They also seem oblivious of the fact that sports bikes are becoming prohibitively expensive to insure.

  • Finally we are going into the right direction…a motorcycle for regular people!
    I am tired of race replicas, they look beautiful in pictures but when you have to ride them for more than 15 minutes it becomes a nuisance.
    Is great to see that manufacturers started to see the importance of making useful motorcycles… the type you can use to commute and also have fun on a Sunday morning through the canyons.

  • Triumph Daytona 675, hands down. The 675 has some true innovations and takes a totally different approach to solving the age old problem of combining low end grunt and top end power.

  • I would have to say that I am most impressed by the Buell Ulysses XB12X. This bike came totally out of the blue. Whoever would have thought of an adventure tourer being even remotely associated with Harley? It’s a great idea, and I really hope it takes off. In a few years, I’m really going to be looking over the used market for one.

  • I would have to say that the HP2 is the best for 06. It’s a remarkable turnaround for BMW. Having owned a 04 R1150GS Adventure. I can say that the HP2 almost comes from a different planet. Even though BMW markets the Adventure as a go anywhere bike. And shift is what I think is so big. For the past number of years auto makers have taken our off road vehicles and turned them in to high-end items. BMW is almost famous for marketing their bikes using the go anywhere theme. Even though these bikes are high end road bikes. Now the HP2 is a truly go anywhere bike.

  • I like the YZF-R1 LE. I hope this direction of offering high grade suspension components becomes a little more attainable rather than just 500 copies per year that were apparently snapped up before the Joe six pack even gets a crack at it. Many street riders are aware of how much better they can make their bikes with high grade suspension (as opposed to an annoyingly loud pipe). I think Yamaha is on to something here and I hope this results in buyers being able to check option boxes (as car buyers do) to upgrade suspension or whatever. Since Yamaha successfully markets the FJR 1300 on an order only basis, why not combine this order process with the ability to upgrade components. Then each buyer will be able to order and receive a machine with all of his favorite details in place.

    I also think the electric shift FJR 1300 in very interesting but I really have no idea how functional or fun that system will be until I read about it or try it. It seems to have a bunch of potential pluses and minuses.

  • being an older guy i am not looking for a crotch rocket, but i still like the twisties. so my choice as the bike i am mosy anxious to see is the Buell Ulysses. i have a triumph tiger now.

  • Kawasaki KX250F and KX450F. Why? First off the 250f looks like it will lead the pack this year and secondly, how was Kawasaki able to ‘Hondasize’ those frames? They look almost interchangeable with the Honda CRF250/450. Haven’t heard any kind of infringement issues like Suzuki had with Honda either. That’s impressive.

  • Well, can I use two sentences?

    1. The Victory Arlen Ness Signature Series Vegas Jackpot would be my very first choice.

    2. But it’s not really a bike for mass consumption and it’s a particular series of a model that is very expensive so the Yamaha Stratoliner S – though, technically, also a particular series of a model, but one commonly available -so I’d just say the Stratoliner.

    3. THere is also the Victory Vegas Crapshot that is about to be announced shortly and should be included in the consideration. Here is a photo attachment of that bike.

    THanks for your site.

  • My fav’s would have to be the Yamaha MT-01, and the Guzzi Griso. They have different virtues to be sure but are each, singularly, new machines that I would, if pressed, relinquish my coveted 2001Kawasaki W650. There is an animal magnetism, an indefinable draw to each of these machines that caused my immeadiate sense of desire and conniving to own them, no matter what.

  • Street bike….2006 Kawasaki ZX-14…if all we read is true it might well dethrone the Hayabusa which has remained unchallenged for 6 years,can you think of any performance oriented street bike that has been able to accomplish that in recent times.

  • The ZX14 blew me away; it has more than enough torque at all revs to keep me happy, that’s my kind of bike. It also is nicely equipped with things I like: a hydraulic clutch, optional center stand, gear position indicator, fuel injection, etc. Neither the ZZR1200 or ZX12R appealed to me enough to buy any of them. Now, the ZX14 (ZZR1400) it is a totally different story!!! (I’m still amazed that Kawasaki has built a bike with this big an engine, but I’m also very happy they did do it).
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