Years sold: 2001-2005
MSRP new: $12,999
Blue Book retail value: $4885 (2001) to $6565 (2005)
Basic specs: A 998cc, 60-degree V-Twin pumping out 94 horsepower and 60 ft.-lb. of torque that pushed the fuel-injected, fully faired, 518-pound machine to a 11.48-second/118.08-mph quarter-mile and a top speed of 145 mph.
Why it won: The angularly styled Futura (which, in its matte black version, does a fair imitation of an F-117 stealth fighter) places its major emphasis on the “sport” half of its sport-touring mission. Its engine, based on that of the RSV Mille repli-racer, was retuned for more midrange, but its aluminum chassis is all its own. Its standout features include a single-sided swingarm, an under-tail exhaust, quick-detach hard saddlebags and the most comfortable seat ever bolted onto any motorcycle that had the word “sport” in its description. On the open highway, the Futura is a pleasant ride, even though its semi-sporty riding position is not quite as long-day comfy as that of some other bikes in the category. But on a twisty backroad, it carves up the curves just about as effectively as its racier sibling.
From the 2001 Ten Best story: “The Mille-based V-Twin makes competitive power, and its twin-spar aluminum chassis elevates class standards for handling. And the styling…well, love it or leave it, the Italian designers deserve credit for daring to be different.”
Useful resources: Not many Futuras were sold over the bike’s five-year run in the U.S., so they’re hard to find; but when one is for sale, it usually is quite reasonably priced. If you manage to locate one, you probably can scoop it up for less than half of its original price and end up with an exceptionally capable motorcycle. Due to its rarity, there isn’t a world of information available about them on the Internet; but you will find a few offered for sale, along with some dedicated forums, a number of reviews and a variety of other related tidbits.