Ten Best Bikes 2012

Ten Best Bikes 2012
Ten Best Bikes 2012Cycle World

It’s easy to get onto the Ten Best Bikes List. All you have to do is build a machine that pushes the limits in its class, or pushes the limits of its class, one that performs better, offers more style and gives us everything we want from a motorcycle. See how easy that is?!

Well, it may not be easy, but the results sure make it fun for all us enthusiasts around the world. The CW crew spent another year in the saddle, riding farther, faster and jumping higher (as the case may be), weighing, measuring, adjusting suspension, dyno and dragstrip testing and generally flogging the scores of machines we put to the test in between every Ten Best.

As the market has evolved in the 37 years we’ve been at this, so have the award categories, and 2012 is one of those years in which we’ve made some changes. As Dual-Sport and Enduro have essentially become one in the marketplace, so has the category been combined in Ten Best. This made room for a new one: Best Adventure Bike. In years past, these do-it-all machines have won in four different categories, and with the proliferation of models and major increase in consumer interest, it was time to give these great bikes a home of their own. We’ve also seen “middleweight” expand ever upward in displacement terms, leading to plenty of great machines in the 600-899cc range, that we felt should qualify under a more broad definition, including this year’s winner.

With that, what follows are the very best bikes on the planet in 2012.

Best Motorcycle Cruiser: Ducati Diavel Carbon

Best Cruiser: Ducati Diavel Carbon
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Best Dual-Sport/Enduro: KTM 500 EXC

Best Dual-Sport/Enduro: KTM 500 EXC
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Best Standard Motorcycle: Honda NC700X

Best Standard: Honda NC700X
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Best Open-Class Streetbike Motorcycle: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R

Best Open-Class Streetbike: Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R
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Best Sport-Touring Motorcycle: BMW K1600GT

Best Sport-Touring: BMW K1600GT
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Best Motocrosser: Suzuki RM-Z450

Best Motocrosser: Suzuki RM-Z450
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Best Touring Motorcycle: BMW K1600GTL

Best Touring Bike: BMW K1600GTL
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Best Middleweight Streetbike: Ducati Streetfighter 848

Best Middleweight Streetbike: Ducati Streetfighter 848
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Best Superbike: Aprilia Tuono V4 R

Best Superbike: Aprilia Tuono V4 R
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Best Adventure Bike: Yamaha Super Ténéré

Best Adventure Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
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