HONORABLE MENTIONS: Cycle World Ten Best Bikes of 2014

These five other motorcycles came oh-so-close to winning their respective categories.

Yamaha FZ-07

2014 Yamaha FZ-07 static shot

It's a 2015 model, and we rode it for the first time just after our Ten Best voting had been completed. Nevertheless, we quickly found this new 689cc parallel-twin to be crazy fun at an impossibly low price of $6,990. The FZ-07 is more basic and lighter than the three-cylinder FZ-09 and somehow seems the better for it. Its EFI doesn't have ride-by-wire black magic to get in the way of tapping the broad, instant torque, and engine response does nothing to upset the great-handling chassis. Candidate for Best Standard next year? Definitely.

Aprilia Caponord 1200 ABS Travel Pack

2014 Aprilia Caponord 1200 ABS action shot

The Caponord makes no bones about being a streetbike that can wander down a dirt road. Dakar? No, just look at those 17-inch wheels. But as a swift, asphalt-oriented traveling bike, this spirited V-twin makes an excellent choice. Aprilia Dynamic Damping electronic suspension is superb, providing load compensation, highway compliance, and back-road composure automatically. One of the most comfortable, versatile motorcycles you can buy, at a competitive price of $15,499.

Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS

2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS static shot

Suzuki's wallet-friendly 'Strom packs a whole lotta motorcycle into its $12,699 base price. While this 1,037cc machine doesn't have quite the depth of performance or breadth of electronics its European competition possess, the broad capabilities of the Suzuki make it a great all-around motorcycle. Step up to the $13,999 Adventure model that adds saddlebags and better weather protection. Then seek the horizon.

Yamaha YZ250F

2014 Yamaha YZ250F action shot

A certain green company might have a lock on the 450 class, but Yamaha crushed it with the 2014 YZ250F. It was all new this year, getting a "backward" engine similar to that used in its big brother. But somehow it works a whole lot better here. The EFI is crisp and accurate, and midrange-to-top-end power is fantastic. More than that, though, is the incredible overall package that comes with its stable yet flickable chassis. It's the 250 to have.

EBR 1190RX

2014 EBR 1190RX static shot

Is it possible to feel the tenacity of a motorcycle company's founder in the factory's finished product? After thorough testing of the EBR 1190RX, we have to say yes. Erik Buell is back, and EBR is making world-class superbikes right there in East Troy, Wisconsin. The fundamental mechanical package makes the $18,995 1190RX a racetrack weapon—it's glued to the tarmac, and its killer powerband makes it easy to ride fast.

Yamaha FZ-07 action shot #1

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Aprilia Caponord 1200 ABS action shot #1

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Aprilia Caponord 1200 ABS static shot #1

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Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS action shot #1

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Suzuki-V-Strom-1000-ABS-action-3-HM14a2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS action shot #3

Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS static shot #1

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Yamaha YZ250F action shot #1

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Yamaha YZ250F static shot

EBR 1190RX action shot #1

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