The top motorcycles of 2017 (CNN)Fans of two-wheeled transportation have had plenty to excite them in 2017 — new models, remakes and radical visions that could shake up the motorcycle industry.
Key trends included the continued popularity of naked or standard bikes, that is, stripped-back versions of superbikes without fairings or windscreens. Yamaha’s MT-10 for instance, offered a modern, aggressive take.
Meanwhile enthusiasm for retro bikes grew, with British brands Triumph and Norton leading a revival of classically styled machines. Triumph’s Bonneville Bobber demonstrates how modern technologies can be both integrated and concealed.
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As well as looking to the past, the motorcycle industry is addressing the need for future vehicles to adopt more efficient propulsion technologies. Italian firm Piaggio announced that it will release an electric version of the iconic Vespa in 2017, while Swiss company Zvexx unveiled a prototype for a hedonistic electric speed machine.
Looking even further ahead, some firms presented progressive concepts that embrace cutting-edge technologies such as 3D printing for lightweight frames (APWorks’ Light Rider) and self-balancing safety assistance systems that prevent crashes (BMW’s Motorrad Vision Next 100).
This selection provides an overview of some of the top rides around this year, along with a few that might take a while to hit the road.
The top motorcycles of 2017
One of the most talked-about concepts of the year was BMW’s Motorrad Vision Next 100, which employs self-balancing technology to prevent crashes and enable the rider to dismount without using a kickstand.
The German firm’s confidence in the ability of advanced assistance systems to prevent the bike from tilting over means that helmets could be replaced by a visor with a display providing data about the ride.
The vehicle’s radical form references the triangular frame of BMW’s first ever motorcycle, but is built around an emissionless electric drive unit. The frame is also flexible and bends as the bike is maneuvered, meaning traditional joints are no longer needed.
As a concept, the Motorrad Vision Next 100 fulfills the brief of presenting an exciting vision of the future. It remains to be seen how many of the innovations it proposes are implementable in real-life scenarios.The top motorcycles of 2017