We imagined a smoky room 40 years ago where founding publisher Joe Parkhurst, then-executive editor Allan Girdler, and the rest of the Cycle World crew were hard at work looking for the Next Big Idea and came up with Ten Best Bikes. But under the heading: There are No Truly New Ideas, Girdler says he “borrowed” the 10-best notion from a now defunct car magazine and had applied it with success at his old job with CW’s counterpart car publication, Road & Track. So he and Joe thought they’d try it with motorcycles. And a four-decade tradition of excellence was born!

We are so glad to continue Ten Best in its 40th year because we are honored to honor the finest motorcycles the world has ever seen.

Looking at the vibrancy and diversity of products in 2016, it’s hard not to think we have hit a New Renaissance. The top end of the market is absolutely sizzling with amazing machines and big-dollar bikes that offer electronic everything to control their fantastic power and allow for suspension and other tuning at the push of a few buttons. On the low-cost side, even bikes less than $4,500 often offer ABS. In between is a selection of fun and stylish motorcycles of every type that offer better value than ever. Now, as it was in 1976 and throughout riding history, motorcycle enthusiasts are the luckiest people on earth.

Best Superbike

Read more on the 2016 Yamaha YZF-R1: Best SuperbikeCycle World

Best Open-Class Streetbike

Read more on the 2016 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR: Best Open-Class StreetbikeCycle World

Best Middleweight Streetbike

Read more on the 2016 Yamaha XSR900: Best Middleweight StreetbikeCycle World

Best Lightweight Streetbike

Read more on the 2016 KTM 390 Duke: Best Lightweight StreetbikeCycle World

Best Standard

Read more on the 2016 Triumph Street Twin: Best StandardCycle World

Best Touring Bike

Read more on the 2016 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT: Best Touring BikeCycle World

Best Adventure Bike

Read more on the 2016 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin: Best Adventure BikeCycle World

Best Motocrosser

Read more on the 2016 Kawasaki KX450F: Best MotocrosserCycle World

Best Dual-Sport/Enduro

Read more on the 2016 Yamaha YZ450FX: Best Dual-Sport/EnduroCycle World

Best Cruiser

Read more on the 2016 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S: Best CruiserCycle World