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2-Wheelers Take Manhattan

Notable newbies from the 2012 International Motorcycle Show in New York City.

By Chuck Tannert Jan 23, 2012 10:12AM


The 2012 Progressive International Motorcycle Show rolled into New York City last week, bringing with it some stunning new bikes, classic works of art and slick custom hardware. In fact, 500 or so of the latest model street bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers and ATVs from dozens of manufacturers -- including Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Indian, Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki and more -- were on display. We had a chance to roam the halls of the Javits Center to look at these stunning 2-wheelers. Here are our picks for the most enticing:


Honda NC700

Is it a spirited adventure bike, a comfortable tourer or a convenient, reliable commuter? According to Honda, the NC700 is a little of each -- as well as simple, functional and inexpensive. Powered by a new 670-cc parallel twin engine with electronic fuel injection, the NC700 is aimed at those riders more interested in usability than strict horsepower one-upmanship. With a fuel capacity of 3.7 gallons, the bike will have a range of up to 240 miles and get more than 60 mpg. Unlike most bikes, the gas tank isn’t positioned in front of the rider. Instead, it is concealed beneath the rider and accessed by flipping up the passenger seat. Where the gas tank normally resides is a flip-top storage compartment with 21 liters of space, enough for a helmet. The bike’s upright seating position should make for good visibility. Touring-friendly accessories include a 45-liter top case and 29-liter saddlebags. Also available are crash guards, LED fog lights, heated grips, 12-volt DC socket and center stand.

Price: $6,999 for the standard 6-speed transmission; $7,999 with dual-clutch transmission version with anti-lock braking system.



BMW totally revised the S1000RR for 2012 with an emphasis on improving response, power delivery and handling. The S1000RR is still powered by a 999-cc, water-cooled inline-four engine that pumps out 193 horsepower and 83 lb-ft of torque. Enhancements include a reconfigured throttle for crisper response and an optimized torque curve throughout the four ride modes: Rain, Sport, Race and Slick. In addition, the suspension was tweaked along with the ABS and Dynamic Traction Control. Externally, the 2012 SS1000RR gets an upgraded instrument cluster, revised rear end, redesigned side panels with the addition of two winglets for improved aerodynamics, and a new range of colors.

Price: $15,050.


Husqvarna Baja Concept

Husqvarna is a legendary name in off-road circles, but its new concept bike isn't just about dirt; it's about having a blast getting there. The classic dirt-track styling is accented with a number of forward-thinking and modern touches. The headlight is a spray of LEDs across the front number plate, and although it looks more decorative than functional, it produces plenty of light. An ingenious multifunction instrument display is tightly integrated into the handlebars, providing at a glance all the most important information. All in all, the Husqvarna Baja looks like a great bike to have in the stable, and we hope it makes its way into production. It is equipped with parent company BMW’s 650-cc single-cylinder engine and a steel-tube perimeter frame. For a dual-sport, it has a relatively low seat height and friendly looks.

Price: TBD


2012 Can-Am Roadster Spyder RSS

Changes to this unique 3-wheeler are minimal at best, leaning more toward aesthetics and rider amenities than performance. For 2012, there are two “S” models to choose from: the Can-Am Spyder RS and the Can-Am Spyder RT Roadster. The 2012 RS is the sportier package, aimed more at the solo rider, with a slightly more aggressive riding position and less body work, while the RT is a full-on luxury tourer. Add-ons include an improved sound system with iPod compatibility, AM/FM and (optional) satellite radio; handlebar-mounted push-button controls; adjustable rear air suspension; GPS navigation; and LED lighting. The RS-S model also gets the new LCD display as well as new gas-charged Fox Racing Shox front suspension with adjustable pre-load.

Price: $18,099.


Steve McQueen Edition Triumph Bonneville

Who doesn’t like the classic World War II epic “The Great Escape”? You have Charles Bronson, James Coburn, James Garner and, especially for bikers, Steve McQueen. This motorcycle is a tribute to the Trophy TR6 that McQueen rode in the film. It is a throwback, featuring blacked-out wheels, hubs, handlebars and other parts, along with a cool Wehrmacht-style matte-green paint scheme, a solo seat and a military-style stenciled Triumph logo. To confirm the bike’s provenance, each will be individually numbered with a plaque placed on the handlebar clamp. Collectors will love it. A limited run of just 1,100 is planned, about 300 to 400 of which will be available stateside.

Price: $11,299


Zero S Streetfighter

Zero Motorcycles has completely overhauled every model in its 2012 lineup. The aggressive-looking Zero S models (XF6 and XF9) were developed to take on urban streets while still being able to take occasional adventurous detours. Improvements include new powertrains and upgraded power packs that promise greater longevity, speeds of up to 88 mph and a significantly improved range -- in excess of 100 miles for the XF9. Recharging time for the XF6 is quoted at six hours using a standard outlet, while the XF9 takes nine hours. Quick-charge options can cut recharge times by up to 75 percent.

Price: ZF6, $11,495; XF9, $13,995.


Ducati 1199 Panigale S

Ducati’s new 1199 Panigale S is a race-tuned version of the Italian bike builder’s Panigale series. In addition to shedding 22 pounds from the outgoing 1198, the new Panigale cranks out 20 more horsepower. The Superquadro twin-cylinder engine generates 195 horsepower and 98 lb-ft of torque -- enough power to set anyone’s hair on fire. Traction control is standard equipment, though anti-lock brakes are a stand-alone option. The 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale is also the first superbike to feature an electronically adjustable suspension.

Price: The package will set you back $17,995 for the base model, while S trim nudges the price to $22,995. The top-of-the-line S Tricolore will fetch a heart-stopping $27,995.

i ride a 2011 h/d superglide but have owned many jap bikes. come on guys and gals who cares as long as your on 2 wheels with a gas engine. i like em all. as long as i have the wind in my face.
Jan 29, 2012 4:39AM
After 47years of riding and owning more than 30 different  bikes, I've come to the conclusion that it's not what you ride it's IF you ride. I ride a triumph rocket I wave to to everyone and treat all riders with respect. Life's to short ride safe.....sandman44
Jan 29, 2012 12:23AM
 - Does anyone take seriously all this "my bike is better than your bike" foolishness?

I've been riding since the mid '60s, and back then we called 'em, "Hardly Ablesons", but these days Harley makes decent bikes that appeal to many people. Sure, I prefer Limey bikes, BMWs, Hondas and Ducatis, but that's just my personal taste.

Life's too short to fight over what brand underwear is the coolest.

Keep the rubber side down and watch out for the idiot driving under the influence of a cell phone.

Jan 24, 2012 10:03AM

I have been riding for over 39 years and yes been down once. I have rode everything from a

Honda 50, Honda 360, Honda 750, Honda 750 bored and stroked to an 836, Honda 650 night Hawk, Honda 700 S, Honda 900 Custom and a Honda 1100 F. Kawasaki  750 2 Stroke and a Kawasaki 900 2 Stroke. Suzuki Busa 1300 GSXR lowered, Longer swing arm, wider rear tire,

and a 125 Horse power 2 stage shot of NOS.

Harley FatBoy 2007  and a Harley Ultra Classic 2008.

I will be buying my 3rd Harley Ultra Classic the end of February...


It does not matter what you ride or how you ride as long as you RIDE!

Far as the Helmet,  the way I see it your life your choice.

As long as you have the wind in your face and good company on the ride enjoy, I ride with them all and we help each other when trouble happens.

That is the way it is Suppose to be, here in AMERICA...

Yes that is me in the picture and that is my real name...


I don't have to make Comments and hide who I am. I am proud and I am an AMERICAN BIKER on what ever I wish to ride.

Jan 24, 2012 8:33AM
I ride a 1974 Harley Superglide.  Previously owned Honda and Kawasaki.  One of the best things about the Harley is that I can lay way back, feet up on the foreword controls and take a nap on the highway.  Occasionally the rice burners come blasting past but I always figured their testicals were sore from sitting like that, so they were in a hurry......  :)  I'll stick with the old Harley, thank you.....
Jan 24, 2012 12:05PM

Domestic or import I could not care less, just get out there and ride.  Even though I know the day will come when 2 wheels will not be enough for me, until then give me the feel of a bike that I need to hold up when it is not moving.  Maybe turn off the radio, Ipod and phone also and listen to the song the pipes are singing. 

Jan 24, 2012 9:00PM
With 47 years on two wheels, I ride HD's on the road and have raced everything from Hondas to Maicos. If it has two wheels and a motor you can be in my club.
Jan 29, 2012 8:09AM

I love listening to the guy's with the gixxers...see them all summer long zipping around Hampton Beach, NH...then see the for sale sign on them in the fall because they can't afford them longer than a summer!



I love all bikes!!! Don't care who rides what, where or how fast. It's been my experience that the one talking the loudest is the one who is full of sh%t. I do not  want to ride any where near these idiots.

Most of the time they have too much bike and too little brains!!


I started out on a 2003 Katana 750 and have about 25,000 miles on it.

DEPENDABLE is an understatement. I lived on the bike for 4 yrs riding deep into the New England Fall.

Started every time no matter how cold it was. Not the fastest,lightest, or best looking but got me home every day!


I enjoy riding in Early spring and late fall.

I find the riders on the road are there to enjoy it and not pose with their group of "weekend Warriors"  that ride when it's 80 degrees and above...


Also have a 2007 Triumph Speedmaster that I ride just as often. Sometimes I pull one out for the day, come home and pull the other one out and jump on that for awhile. If somebody had an extra bike for me to ride, I'd jump at the chance. I don't care what it is HD, Ducati, etc....


Just Enjoy the Ride!!!


Jan 24, 2012 11:18AM
After 35 yrs of riding - I currently have a laid back touring bike - the crouch rocket years are behind me.  It doesn't matter what you ride as long as you give the official motorcycle salute as you pass your fellow riders.
Jan 24, 2012 9:39AM
Where are the cruisers?  All I see are crotch rockets and 1 old retro street bike.  It doesn't make any difference who makes them or from what country.  The Rice burners could take some style points from Harley and Harley could take some enginerring points from Japan.  As long as your in the wind in makes no difference.  Right now I ride an Ultra.  Before I rode Honda and Suzuki.
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