2020’s new motorcycles: Simple designs and powerful engines

Don't look at the pricetag: The AMB 001 is jointly produced by the motorcycle manufacturer Brough Superior and the car manufacturer Aston Martin and is limited to 100 units.

If you’ve ever thought of getting a motorcycle, this might be the year to finally do it. In 2020, the market is set to be flooded with a huge selection and variety.

According to industry expert Michael Lenzen, manufacturers are competing to offer a model in every segment.

Take Harley Davidson, for example. The brand is now offering an Enduro motorcycle for the first time, the Pan America, moving into territory previously dominated by companies like BMW, Ducati, KTM, Honda and Yamaha.

At the same time, small manufacturers such as Herald Motor Company from England and Brixton Motorcycles, which is part of the Austrian KSR Group, are trying to impress bikers with simpler designs. Their models range from 125 to 500 cubic centimetres (ccm) and are inspired by the classic scrambler or cafe racer look, providing affordable and beautiful alternatives to heavily powered motorcycles.

Especially Brixton’s similar models Crossfire 500 and Crossfire 500 X and their pristine design present a countermovement to the trend to go higher, faster and stronger, Lenzen says. In his view, this development is reflected in models with up to 48 hp like the new Kawasaki W 800, which are great for beginners.

But new models are also about innovations and showcasing what is technically feasible, according to the expert. The 180-hp AMB 001, a joint production of British motorcycle manufacturer Brough Superior and British luxury sports car manufacturer Aston Martin, is one example. The motorcycle was launched as a limited edition of 100 and costs more than 100,000 dollars.

Meanwhile, the new edition of Honda’s supersport classic CBR 1000 RR-R Fireblade should be far less expensive. But the Japanese have not yet given details about the price of this 217-hp machine.

“Honda had fallen somewhat behind in the supersport segment in recent years and had to do something about it,” explains Lenzen, who sees the new model as an attempt to regain pole position.

But not everyone enjoys that much power. According to Lenzen, many manufacturers are once again refocusing on the middle segment and thus reacting to the growing number of beginners and comebacks to the sport.

Italian manufacturer Aprilia, for example, is launching the new RS 660, a lightweight motorcycle with a straight twin engine.

BMW probably also considers the crossover models F 900 R and F 900 XR to be within the mid-range segment, Lenzen suspects. Whether a motorcycle with 900 cc and 105 hp really still belongs in this segment, however, is open to discussion.

“But BMW wants it that way and has created a competitive Touring motorcycle in the two-cylinder range by enhancing its 800 series.”

BMW has also announced the launch of the BMW R18 for 2020, which will be powered by the two-cylinder boxer engine Big Boxer.