The International Motorcycle Show once again came to the Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan and brought a slew of awesome machines. The Heavy crew managed to sneak in a few hours before it opened to the public and scoped out what the big names had to offer this year. There were lots of cool bikes, a few duds and even a semi-erotic fashion show at the Ducati exhibit. We ran around the floor, talked to people, drooled over the bikes, and even swung a test ride through NYC. It wasn’t easy, but here are Heavy’s picks for the Top 10 Bikes of the 2012 NY Motorcycle Show.
My attention was immediately grabbed by the slick Moto Guzzi V7 Racer. Cafe style bikes are all the rage, and for good reason, they’re just plain cool. A few companies are attempting to cash in on their legacy, notably Triumph with their Thruxton 900 and Norton with their new Commando. The V7 Racer pays homage to the classic V7 Sport and the overall package is striking. Some details give it a toyish, exaggerated feel, but with slight tweaking you can have yourself a really cool moto with a great heritage.
Of all of Harley’s offerings at the show, people were paying particular attention to the Switchback. The Harley-Davidson Switchback is part of the Dyna family of bikes that stay true to the classic cruiser style with some really nice retro touches, but the big hook is its ability to change from a cruiser to a touring bike in a few minutes without tools. The saddlebags and full windshield are equipped with quick releases, allowing you to quickly tailor the bike for the long haul or a cruise around town.
Is anyone more synonymous with cool than Steve McQueen? Triumph decided to pay tribute to one of the most famous motorcycle enthusiasts with the new Steve McQueen Special Edition Bonneville T100. Based on the Trophy TR6 he rode in The Great Escape, this bike is a throwback to the classic stylings of his day, featuring a matte Khaki Green paint scheme, solo seat and a military style stencilled Triumph logo. A limited run of just 1,100 is planned, about 300 of which will be available Stateside. We’re guessing these individually numbered bikes will be highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts when they’re released later this year.
Everyone is talking about the new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R, so we’d be remiss not to mention it here. Squeezing over 200 horsepower out of its 1,441cc inline, four-cylinder engine, this thing is an absolute rocketship. Thankfully, it sports a new traction control system that helps keep all that power, and your front wheel, on the road. The size can be intimidating at first, but the weight is relatively low and the riding position is surprisingly comfortable. That’s not to say this thing is for beginners, but with a little practice, you too can join the space program.
Husqvarna is a legendary name in off-road, but their 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, 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, multi-function instrument display is tightly integrated into the handlebars, providing the most important information at a glance. 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.