New Bikes for 2020 – What we know so far…

Posted 16th October 2019

We may only be in October, but it’s been a pretty busy period for new bikes already, as manufacturers gear up to showcase their wares for the 2020 model year. We thought we’d take a look what’s been revealed already and what we expect…

Yamaha, so far, has been one of the busiest, showcasing its 2020 Yamaha R1 and R1M at the Laguna Seca World Superbike round, before launching them to the world’s press just the other week. Both are Euro5 compliant and get some added tech, but the emissions regs mean that, while some engine mods have been made, power remains the same. There have been some new colours for the 2020 R6, R3 and R125 revealed too. The Japanese manufacturer has since followed that news up with the announcement of a new-for-2020 MT03, which gets new forks, swingarm, dash, and new styling. Fans of off-road machinery were pleased to see Yamaha’s announcement of a new 2020 WR250F – their most powerful WR250F enduro to date – with a motocross-derived engine, new chassis and revised suspension.

Sticking with the Japanese marques, Honda has whipped the covers off three Africa Twin 1100s for next year, replacing the two 1000cc models that were available this year. The standout addition is the new EERA version with electronic suspension. But what we’re all waiting for – and are led to believe is coming – is a new Honda Fireblade. True, Fireblade speculation has been rife for years, but this time, it finally feels like we might see Big Red update its venerable superbike.

Suzuki has so far been quiet, showing new colour options only for a handful of models in its 2020 range. However, the rumour mill has still been in motion, and a mock-up of a new big V-Strom has been doing the rounds. Suzuki’s range-topping adventure bike was re-launched in 2013, and updated to squeeze through Euro4 in 2017. But it could be time for a significant overhaul.

Far from quiet, though, is Kawasaki. While nothing has been announced fully, the green corner has been releasing a series of teaser videos which strongly hint at a super-charged Z model is about to land. Capacity is unknown, but our punt would be on a 1000 replacement to decimate the rest of the sector with superior performance. Then who knows, maybe we’ll see an 800 or even 650 parallel twin in the future with the same tech?

From the Europeans, Ducati should show a new V4 Streetfighter, after parading a prototype around earlier this year, and if it looks anything like the concept we want one. Multistrada updates are a potential, but what is looking promising is a new V4 Panigale Superleggera. It’ll be crazy light, crazy fast, and crazy expensive. But we don’t care. We hope it arrives! They’re holding their live premier for 2020 on 23 October, we’ve got it blocked out in our diary!

Triumph has also been busy in the naked class; with a brand-new Street Triple RS being released on Monday 7 October with more power and torque and seriously aggressive styling. The Brits are also rumoured to be launching a new Tiger. General chatter suggests a new 900 could replace the 800, giving it a bit of a boost and dealing with the new Euro regs. And of course, they’ve already shown the new, limited-edition Daytona 765R which we told you about, hot off the press in our weekly round-up…

We’ve heard little from the Bavarians, however, yet speculation suggests BMW could fit their new S1000RR engine, complete with shift-cam, into a new S1000XR chassis, as well as its capable S1000R super-naked. Both sound like excellent use of what is already a cracking engine.

From the US of A, Harley Davidson has already launched its electric Livewire, plus some of its internal combustion-engined offerings: a Low Rider S, which sits alongside the standard Low Rider in the range but gets a slightly bigger lump that puts out 7bhp more. Chrome elements of the base model are blacked out, the bars are different, and it gets a nose fairing, to help differentiate. There’s also a Road Glide Limited to replace the Ultra and CVO Street Glide. Of course, we’re all keenly awaiting the Pan American.

Indian has announced a new Thunderstroke 116 engine, which will appear in a new Roadmaster and Roadmaster Dark Horse in 2020. The brand has also showcased a Scout 100, celebrating (you guessed it) 100 years of Indian Scout. There’s also a Scout Bobber 20 (not 20 years of Scout Bobber). We’re expecting big news at Eicma, too, with a leak doing the rounds earlier in the year suggesting there will be some more new kit from America’s oldest motorcycle brand.

2020 is shaping up to be a good one, with bikes such as the KTM 790 Adventure R, Yamaha Tenere 700, BMW R1250GS, and Suzuki Katana set for their second (and in a lot of cases first full year) in showrooms.

Bring on Eicma!