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So, Father’s Day is here, again, and when I complained to my wife about how I’d made a list of my ideas for motorcycle-related gifts only to discover that it almost exactly mimicked last year’s list, she said, 'Remember, you’re providing a service. As a non-rider, I have no idea what to give you for Father’s Day.' My response to her was a simple, 'You’re willing to spend more than $100 on me for Father’s Day!' Clearly, this buyer’s guide just became much more important.
So, what follows in an attempt to address – in alphabetical order – the varied needs of male motorcyclists with offspring – though they really apply to all riders, regardless of which bathroom they choose to relieve themselves in or whether they’ve successfully combined chromosomes with another human. Yes, there will be some overlap with previous lists of this type. Motorcyclists have simple needs…
If your occupation is testing motorcycles there’s a certain measure of accepted risk that comes with the job. When cornering ABS (C-ABS) arrived a couple years ago, the general consensus among the motojournos was, Hey that’s awesome, we’ll take your word for it working as described, because no matter how professional we try to be, grabbing a fistful of front brake mid-corner to evaluate this new technology is a line few were willing to cross. Just thinking of the action conjures images of impacting asphalt at a rate approaching lightspeed.
Attending the International Driver & Rider Training Symposium provided Kevin Duke and I the opportunity to safely explore C-ABS and all the mid-corner braking performance the technology promises to deliver. The result? Confirmation that we were not being lied to, and an elevated respect for the engineers and test riders who perfect this technology prior to making it available to OEMs for inclusion on the latest and greatest two-wheelers.
With a KTM 1190 Adventure outfitted with Cedergrens’ Skidbike contraption, Duke and I set to the task of crashing. Repeatedly, we failed. Grabbing a fistful of brakes while leaned over with the C-ABS functioning resulted with a rapidly decelerating motorcycle, and – once the initial I-shouldn’t-be-doing-this gag reflex was muted – no drama. Switching off C-ABS and replicating the act resulted as you’d expect, with the front wheel washing away, but minus the crash due to Skidbike’s outriggers catching our falls.
In terms of value, these are some of the best motorcycles money can buy. Each one possesses the power and performance to put a smile on the mug of any motorcyclist for a price or monthly payment that doesn’t break the bank. The list encompasses a variety of models including sportbikes (of course), adventurers, and cruisers, so there’s something here for almost anyone.
Note the bikes listed here are placed in descending order of MSRP, not according to our personal favorites. Were that the case, #10 and #1 would most likely swap positions.