We’ve picked everything from the Suzuki DR-Z400SM to the Triumph Tiger 1050 for this category in the last five years, so don’t even try to talk us down from this year’s winner, Honda’s new-world NC700X. Even if our highly experienced Eurospondent, Bruno dePrato, hadn’t given the NC a rave review, this interesting, original, approachable and affordable machine takes us back to a time when those qualities helped Honda take the world by storm. What’s not to like about scooter-style storage and great gas mileage in an adventurous-looking package that goes and handles, if not like a sportbike, at least like a sporty bike? For a starting price of $6999 or $8999 with auto-shift DCT and ABS? Maybe austerity won’t be so bad.