Cycle World Ten Best Bikes 2015

A celebration of excellence.

There are about 450 different motorcycle models at your pleasure in dealerships right now, in a variety of styles and at a level of excellence that makes it pretty easy to be a new-bike owner if you can afford the price of a couple fancy cups of coffee a day. In 2015, we witnessed the continuation of the trend that sees a splitting of the market between high-end, high-featured machines that dazzle us with amazing performance and those of very low cost and ease of use. While we have always strived to recognize the great motorcycles regardless of capacity or price, we took it a step further this year with a new category: Best Lightweight Streetbike. For the past several years, we found ourselves looking for ways to honor the great bikes of less than 500cc. And now we have it. To make room, since there can be only Ten, we consolidated Sport and Touring into one category to take all bikes with hard bags standard. Our results, after polling the staff, might surprise you. But one thing is for certain: Each of our 2015 Ten Best Bikes is a worthy substitute for caffeine.

Best Standard: Yamaha FZ-09

A broad category that includes sit-up motor­cycles—usually with a tubular handlebar—meant to serve many purposes. Read MoreJeff Allen

Best Motocrosser: Yamaha YZ250F

The absolute best knobby-shredding moto bike on the planet, regardless of displacement. After the gate drops, the only truth is the checkered flag. Read MoreCycle World

Best Lightweight Streetbike: KTM 390 Duke

A new category that honors a motorcycle in the increasingly popular sub-500cc segment, which is often a great place for beginners. The motorcycle can be a sportbike, a standard, a naked, a whatever; the winner simply must be a great bike of less than 500cc. Read MoreCycle World

Best Middleweight Streetbike: Ducati Scrambler

An exciting, expanding segment, "middleweight" means more than ever. Which is why we bumped the displacement limit to 899cc to keep up with the times in this sporty class. Read MoreCycle World

Best Open-Class Streetbike: Yamaha YZF-R1M

Pick your purpose, but as long as the engine is bigger than 1,000cc, the machine is a candidate. Read MoreCycle World

Best Cruiser: Indian Chief Classic

Not always American but certainly inspired by the country where "laid back," "long and low," and "bottom-end torque" were invented. Read MoreJeff Allen

Best Adventure Bike: KTM 1290 Super Adventure

Long-distance, earth-conquering traveler, capable on pavement, dirt, gravel, and mud. Great every day too. Read MoreCycle World

Best Touring Bike: Ducati Multistrada 1200 S

Built for comfort, built for speed, a Touring Bike needs to have standard saddlebags and a swift soul. It's where performance meets technology meets safety meets more luggage space than some cars. A thousand miles in a day? No problem. Read MoreCycle World

Best Dual-Sport/Enduro: Husqvarna FE 501 S

Can be street-legal or a pure off-road-only dirt bike. The harder the terrain, the bigger your smile should be when you overcome it. Read MoreCycle World

Best Superbike: Kawasaki Ninja H2R

The ultimate, uncompromised racing-inspired performance motorcycle for the street that's equally at home shredding apexes at the racetrack. Read More Cycle World