Over the course of the past few months, several new and exciting motorcycles for the 2024 model-year have been unveiled. If we take EICMA 2023 as a springboard for what the 2024 model-year has to offer, it’s clear to see that the motorcycle industry is bustling with technology and innovation. That being said, next year’s bikes aren’t confined merely to EICMA, as there are quite a few that were unveiled outside of the iconic expo.
Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that 2024 will be a stellar year for us two-wheeler aficionados. On the one hand, technological advancements are making bikes safer, faster, and more high-tech. On the other hand, these same technological advancements found on top-tier machines are now making their way to more affordable models catering to newer, younger riders. Indeed, a lot of the new bikes that have been launched recently could set new standards in their respective categories. With all that being said, let’s dive into my top five picks for bikes I’m most excited for in 2024.
Triumph Scrambler 400X
I’m a big fan of small-displacement bikes. At the same time, I’m also a big Triumph fan. As such, it’s natural that a bike like the new Triumph Scrambler 400X would capture my attention. This rugged, retro-inspired scrambler is among the smallest displacement motorcycles in Triumph’s modern-day lineup, alongside its sibling, the Speed 400. The new Triumph Scrambler 400X marks a first, not only for Triumph, but for the entry-level segment as a whole. It’s the first fruit of the partnership between the Hinckley company and Indian brand Bajaj, while at the same time being the most accessible model in Triumph’s model range.
Needless to say, both the Speed 400 and Scrambler 400X will open doors to Triumph ownership to a wider audience, as prior to the launch of these two models, the Triumph Trident 660 was the most affordable model from the British icon. With the Speed and Scrambler commanding half the price of the Trident in some markets, these two models could serve as a major cash cow for Triumph too.
BMW R 1300 GS
This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I was never really a fan of the BMW R 1250 GS. Sure, it’s an excellent bike, and having ridden it extensively across all of its iterations, I have nothing but praises for its performance, capability, and versatility. The reason why I’m not attracted to the bike is a personal one, and it’s because of its styling which, in my opinion, seemed pretty lackluster and dated.
Now, assuming you haven’t clicked away from this article because of my previous statements, I must say that the R 1300 GS has me excited specifically because of its styling. A lot of GS “purists” criticize the 1300 because of its styling, and the way BMW’s designers have departed from the 1250’s now-iconic aesthetic. However, I really like the sharper, more athletic stance of the new GS, not to mention its new LED headlight that really gives the bike a new character. Now that the GS has a sportier, more athletic, and dare I say, more youthful aesthetic, I can say that I’m excited to get to ride this bike once it’s available in my market.
Ducati Hypermotard 698 Mono
Ducati has had a long-standing tradition with its Desmodromic 90-degree V-twin (and more recently, V4) engines. Found on all of their models from its entry-level Scrambler to the top-range Panigale and Multistrada, it came as a surprise to me and many other enthusiasts that Ducati was in fact venturing into the realm of thumpers. The Hypermotard 698 Mono is the embodiment of this, and marks the brand’s sole single-cylinder model in its current range.
Personally, I’m a fan of big thumpers, having owned multiple KTMs in the past. As such, I’m curious to see how Ducati’s engineers have adapted the company’s technology to work with a high-performance single-cylinder engine. Given its displacement of 698 cubes, it’s one of the bigger thumpers on the market, so expect a riot of a ride with a lot of accompanying good vibrations.
Yamaha MT-09 SP
As some of you are probably aware, I’m a big Yamaha MT simp. I’ve owned two MT-07s and an MT-10, and consider the MT-07 to be one my forever bikes. As such, when Yamaha pulled the covers off the 2024 MT-09, in particular the MT-09 SP, you jaw naturally dropped to the floor. Yamaha’s SP range has always been the souped up, high-tech bunch of bikes, and the new MT-09 SP is the true embodiment of this.
For the 2024 model-year, the MT-09 gets a bunch of styling and tech refinements, but retains its tried and true CP3 triple. The SP dials things up a notch with Brembo Stylema brakes and fully adjustable KYB forks up front and a fancy shmancy Öhlins rear shock with a remote preload adjuster. On paper, at least, the 2024 MT-09 SP is the most performance-oriented MT-09 ever made, so I definitely can’t wait to try it out.
Aprilia RS 457
The last bike on my list comes from Italian manufacturer Aprilia, and is the new RS 457 sportbike. I’ve ridden all of Aprilia’s parallel-twin-powered bikes fairly recently, and I must say that the Noale company has a thing for making ultra smooth and linear engines. The RS 457 is said to be a smaller iteration of the RS 660, a bike which I particularly enjoyed.
Small-displacement parallel-twin sportbikes have become quite a thing recently, with the likes of the CFMoto 450SS, and of course, the Ninja 400 and Yamaha YZF-R3 being popular among both beginner riders and track enthusiasts. The RS 457 gets a 270-degree crank similar to that of the CFMoto, so it’ll certainly be interesting to see how the two bikes stack up against each other.