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My stoke is hard for only a few bikes going into 2018. Sure, there are a number of concept bikes that were unveiled at EICMA this past year, and while they looked amazing and I believe some motorcycle manufacturers are going in the right direction, we will not be able to ride them in 2018.
However, the ones below are coming in 2018 and we want to ride them. We need to ride them.
The Vitpilen 701 is right at the top of my list. I've been following this bike since its debut at EICMA as a concept bike. Husqvarna said it would make it if it got enough feedback. Shortly thereafter, the internet broke. People could not contain themselves. “Make it! Make it! Make it! Take my money!”
Over and over again.
Husqvarna stepped back into the spotlight and said, "Ok. We’ll make it."
Fast forward four years and we are on the precipice of getting our hands on this bike. This past November at EICMA it showed us “the pretty absolute almost final production model.”
It is a remarkably stunning machine. Blending Tron-like futurism with semi-retro inspiration yielding a harmonic symbiosis between past and future.
At its heart beats one of the most fun and torquey engines the company produces, the 690cc single found in the 701 Supermoto and 701 Enduro.
The Vitpilen will be a performance thumper dressed up in a suit. Yeah, there’s much more to like but I’m just kicking back and waiting to see what comes.
Husqvarna will also be releasing a 401 model which will be perfect for entry level riders and based on the engine currently found in the KTM 390 Duke. When it hits showroom floors, I’m betting it will be the best looking small bike on the market.
Second on my list is the KTM 790. This bike is going to be precise, agile and, devastating. It will be an extension of your own body and for that reason, KTM has dubbed it "The Scalpel."
The Triumph Street Triple R is and has been my favorite middleweight naked sportbike for a long time now. But 2018 might be the year where my obsession for the British naked middleweight will be dethroned.
Featuring a slew of rider aids and technologies the KTM 790 might become the perfect bike for the city and the canyons. If the video below doesn’t get you excited then I don’t know what does. I foresee any morning commute being spirited and filled with wheelies and backing it in just because I can.
The Ducati Panigale V4 was unveiled at EICMA this past November and will continue the Panigale line by replacing the outgoing 1299. This will be my first time experiencing a Ducati with four-cylinders and I’m excited. Every Ducati I’ve ever ridden has been a twin. I'm most looking forward to how the Italians produce this V4 and if it will retain that unique Ducati feel I’ve grown so accustomed to over the past couple years.
I am a little bummed because my EIC requested I attend the launch in his place because he would be unable to make it but the launch happens to fall on the weekend of my Bachelor party. Sorry, Ducati. You lost me on this one. We hope to have someone there. However, when one becomes available stateside I look forward to a track day on what will be the most powerful, tech-loaded, and beautiful superbike on the market.