Ten Best Bikes 2012


Ten Best Bikes 2012

It’s easy to get onto the Ten Best Bikes List. All you have to do is build a machine that pushes the limits in its class, or pushes the limits of its class, one that performs better, offers more style and gives us everything we want from a motorcycle. See how easy that is?!

Well, it may not be easy, but the results sure make it fun for all us enthusiasts around the world. The CW crew spent another year in the saddle, riding farther, faster and jumping higher (as the case may be), weighing, measuring, adjusting suspension, dyno and dragstrip testing and generally flogging the scores of machines we put to the test in between every Ten Best.

As the market has evolved in the 37 years we’ve been at this, so have the award categories, and 2012 is one of those years in which we’ve made some changes. As Dual-Sport and Enduro have essentially become one in the marketplace, so has the category been combined in Ten Best. This made room for a new one: Best Adventure Bike. In years past, these do-it-all machines have won in four different categories, and with the proliferation of models and major increase in consumer interest, it was time to give these great bikes a home of their own. We’ve also seen “middleweight” expand ever upward in displacement terms, leading to plenty of great machines in the 600-899cc range, that we felt should qualify under a more broad definition, including this year’s winner.

With that, what follows are the very best bikes on the planet in 2012.

First Up: Best Cruiser

Monday, August 27th

[BEST CRUISER]
Ducati Diavel Carbon
Best Cruiser: Ducati Diavel Carbon
[BEST DUAL-SPORT/ENDURO]
KTM 500 EXC
Best Dual-Sport/Enduro: KTM 500 EXC

Tuesday, August 28th

[BEST STANDARD]
Honda NC700X
Best Standard: Honda NC700X
[BEST OPEN-CLASS STREETBIKE]
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R
Best Open-Class Streetbike: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R

Wednesday, August 29th

[BEST SPORT-TOURING]
BMW K1600GT
Best Sport-Touring: BMW K1600GT
[BEST MOTOCROSSER]
Suzuki RM-Z450
Best Motocrosser: Suzuki RM-Z450

Thursday, August 30th

[BEST TOURING]
BMW K1600GTL
Best Touring Bike: BMW K1600GTL
[BEST MIDDLEWEIGHT]
Ducati Streetfighter 848
Best Middleweight Streetbike: Ducati Streetfighter 848

Friday, August 31st

[BEST SUPERBIKE]
Aprilia Tuono V4 R
Best Superbike: Aprilia Tuono V4 R
[BEST ADVENTURE BIKE]
Yamaha Super Ténéré
Best Adventure Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere

3 thoughts on “Ten Best Bikes 2012

  1. I have always taken Cycle World’s “best of” lists with a grain of salt. Their reviews have always seemed kind of bias towards who ever was buying the most ad space.

  2. It is a slightly unexpected list… have read reviews for nearly all the bikes on the list, I’m not sure I would agree with some of the picks… the K1600GT/GTL being in two categories despite being virtually the same bike +/- a few toys and luggage? The Aprilia is fairly well reviewed but I wouldn’t have seen it as the best superbike against others with consistently better reviews… I can understand the 2012 R1200GS missing out top spot (with the rather smart new 2013 model just around the corner) but would have expected the Triumph Tiger 1200 Explorer to take top spot… sounds like it’s cycle world’s favourite bike list rather than the world’s top 10 in each category. But then who am I but the help as they say…

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