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Stephanie Falkiewicz – Sales Consultant
With the 2016 motorcycle season creeping up, I think many of us are just itching to get out for some two-wheel therapy. But nothing gets us more excited in these late Winter months than drooling over the new 2016 models at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Chicago this past weekend. And I can honestly say I cannot wait for some of these new exciting models to roll onto our showroom floor. So I spent some time with a few of these new bikes to get an idea of what we can expect this season…
There is no denying that the all new Ducati X Diavel has got everyone’s curiosity peeked. With that said, I made a bee-line for the bike and managed to slide my way through the crowd to swing a leg over the bike. Much to my liking, it felt great! The forward controls really change up the riding position but it is still feels relaxed and aggressive at the same time. A few cosmetic changes really give the X Diavel a dominating presence. I think a test ride is a must just to really grasp the changes in the performance and ergonomics. But so far, I am happy with what the X Diavel has to offer and we should see one arrive to us in March.
Some other exciting new Ducati models include the Monster 1200R, Scrambler Sixty-Two and Multistrada Enduro. All of which we are anxiously waiting to arrive to our dealership.
With all the buzz around Triumph’s launch of the new Bonneville bikes, people gathered to lay eyes and hands on the new Street Twin, T120 and Thruxton. A ton of changes were made to these modern classics for 2016 and I would have to say the changes were received with praise from riders and enthusiasts alike. But if you want to see for yourself, we already have the new Street Twins in our showroom right now. The T120 and Thruxton will arrive to us in the coming months so stay tuned!
Another new bike that Triumph had at their display was the newly re-designed Speed Triple R. Some exciting changes include a slimmer physique in the seat and tank, new engine and a lower profile where the headlight and gauge cluster rest. Overall, this is one bad bike that is on my list of “must ride” for 2016.
The Yamaha section was bustling with people gathered around to see the latest and greatest. This year especially marks Yamaha’s 60th Anniversary and with that, they had a selection of models in the iconic Yellow and Black color scheme. The 60th Anniversary bikes really caught your attention ranging from the R1, Super Tenere, YZ 450F to the all new XSR900 which offers a throwback personality with a modern twist. The XSR900 feels great in the saddle with its neutral riding position accompanied with its stripped down looks and simplified controls and gauge cluster. It is proving to be another exciting addition to an already diverse lineup of street bikes in Yamaha’s roster.
One bike that seemed to finally make the change that was on everyone’s mind is the 2016 FJR1300. Dressed in all blue, this bike is drawing in attention from many sport touring riders now that it went to a 6-Speed transmission which is what many riders agreed was lacking in the bike. The FJR1300 has always been a reliable, thrilling and comfortable ride but we won’t argue that a new transmission, Slip-Assist Clutch and updated instrumentation is going to enhance the riding experience.
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Heading on over to the Kawasaki display, I was immediately drawn towards the new 2016 H2 since I have yet to see one in person. Intimidated is what I felt until I hopped on one and was quite surprised at how forgiving it was in the saddle. Mind you, I am about 5’3” (ish) and sure I was on my tippy-toes but the narrow seat really changed my perspective on the bike that is already large in sheer size. The H2 certainly has a ton of electronics to offer and the controls are neatly positioned for easy navigation. I can only imagine what it feels like when you are riding it…. hang on!!!!
Who all is excited about the new Africa Twin? With the adventure bike market continuously growing and evolving, the Africa Twin brings back the true essence of what it means to “go anywhere”. Honda spared no expense to get the word out and put these new bikes on display and people could not get enough of it. I know a ton of people want to get out and ride it considering it is a new flavor in the already growing segment with so much to choose from.
Reinventing products is necessary in an ever evolving and demanding market especially as technology changes the way we ride and the way we connect with our bike. This fact relates to Suzuki coming into the 2016 season. Recent years have left us questioning the fate of the brand but they are bouncing back and doing it right. The spark of all this hype generates from the new GSX-R 1000 that was unveiled in November of 2015. Revamping their line is going draw a lot of attention and excitement back to the brand.
A small sampling of the Moto Guzzi brand was on display at the show and I was eager to find that the 2016 V7 II Scrambler was there. We are seeing a lot of the manufacturers come out with their version of a modern classic and scrambler so to see a new flavor in the mix with a different personality really changes things up. The V7 line is Moto Guzzi’s best selling bike and the V7 II (introduced in 2015) offers some significant changes that makes it a worthy competitor against some of the other modern classics.