The year 2020 has been full of challenges, for the global economy, as well as the automotive industry. While the coronavirus pandemic ravaged through the world, it did somehow hamper what we best love doing - riding and reviewing the best motorcycles around the world. Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown, we did manage to ride motorcycles across the spectrum, starting from the latest 160 cc premium commuter bikes to full-blown heavyweight cruisers, although the variety this year has been somewhat limited. Nevertheless, the action in 2020 seems to be in the lower engine displacement segments, more specifically, in the 250-350 cc segment. Here's a look back at some of the most notable bikes we've swung a leg over in 2020 starting from the lowest displacement 160 cc bikes that we've reviewed.
Honda Xtreme 160R Review
Light, nimble and with sorted dynamics, the Hero Xtreme 160R is one of the most agile and likeable 160 cc motorcycles on sale right now. What the earlier Xtreme series models failed to achieve, the new Xtreme 160R is expected to address, and is easily one of the most dynamically sorted motorcycles to be developed and launched by Hero MotoCorp since the company parted ways with Honda more than a decade ago.
Also Read: 2020 Hero Xtreme 160R Review
Honda Hornet 2.0 Review
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) may be known more for its Activa range of scooters and its popular 125 cc motorcycles, but now Honda has unveiled the successor to the 160 cc Honda CB Hornet 160R. With a new 180 cc engine, the Honda Hornet 2.0 climbs a step above in the premium commuter motorcycle segment, and will also compete with 200 cc motorcycles. The new Hornet 2.0 offers good looks, a smooth and refined engine, as well as taut handling to make it an immediately likeable package.
Also Read: Honda Hornet 2.0 Review
Bajaj Dominar 250 Review
The Bajaj Dominar 250 is targeted at young adults looking to upgrade from 125 cc motorcycles into the sport touring side of things. Positioned as a do-it-all motorcycle, the Dominar 250 gets an engine based on the KTM 250 Duke, but with a stronger low- and mid-range. The Dominar 250 is not without its weaknesses, but still offers a versatile package, which can effortlessly do the daily commute, and also take on occasional highway duties.
Also Read: 2020 Bajaj Dominar 250 Review
Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 Review
Swedish motorcycle brand Husqvarna (also owned by KTM, and in turn, by Bajaj Auto) makes its India debut, and the Svartpilen 250 offers an avant garde, modern scrambler option in the 250 cc segment. It shares its engine with the KTM 250 Duke, and offers easygoing performance, and a design which will definitely turn heads on the street. The Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 offers something different, and has all the qualities to make it a winner in its segment, and so gets our vote as a very memorable bike of 2020.
KTM 250 Adventure Review
Oh, the KTM 250 Duke platform had yet another family member in 2020, and it's the KTM 250 Adventure. Designed to make adventure riding easy on the pocket, unintimidating and yet thrilling enough to make it entertaining. While it doesn't have the punch of its bigger sibling, the KTM 390 Adventure, the 250 Adventure has all the qualities to make it a versatile, entry-level adventure bike. And so, it makes it to this coveted list.
Also Read: KTM 250 Adventure Review
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Review
What's a best bike review list without the newest Royal Enfield? Despite the pandemic, Royal Enfield introduced the all-new Royal Enfield Meteor 350, based on a completely new platform, with a new engine and chassis, to replace the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350. With a new single overhead cam, which replaces the traditional pushrod architecture, the new RE Meteor 350 promises levels of refinement not seen on any Royal Enfield single in production so far, and it's just the beginning. 2021 will see more new models based on the same platform, and so, the Meteor 350 makes it to one of the most memorable bikes of 2020.
Also Read: Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Review
Honda H'Ness CB 350 Review
Royal Enfield may be ruling the 350 cc modern classic motorcycle segment, with average monthly sales of over 50,000 bikes, but Honda now wants a slice of the action. So, the Honda H'Ness CB 350 with retro-inspired design from Honda's own 1960s and '70s CB Series roadsters has been introduced. The new H'Ness CB 350 though is a true modern classic, with LED lighting, and segment-first features, like Honda Smartphone Voice Control System, and even traction control system. It has its own trademark thump from the exhaust, and has engine refinement to boot, and therefore makes it to the list of one of the best bikes of 2020.
Also Read: Honda H'Ness CB 350 Review
KTM 390 Adventure Review
The KTM 390 Adventure is the first adventure bike introduced by KTM India, in early 2020. Based on the punchy 373 cc, single-cylinder engine of the KTM 390 Duke, the 390 Adventure offers a superb package at its price point, from a performance, features, adventure capability and electronics point of view. In our book, there's nothing like the KTM 390 Adventure available at its price point yet, and therefore it is superb value for money and makes the cut to the best bikes of 2020 list!
Also Read: KTM 390 First Ride Review
Triumph Tiger 900 Review
The latest generation Triumph Tiger 900 ticks all the right boxes for those looking for a mid-size adventure bike. Packed with features, electronics, and performance, the new Tiger 900 makes for a superb ADV at its price point, in the right hands, and is easily one of the best adventure bikes on sale right now. 2020 may have its challenges, but the new Tiger 900 is a silver lining on an otherwise dull and challenging year.
Also Read: 2020 Triumph Tiger 900 First Ride Review
BMW R 18 Review
Harley-Davidson may have decided to change its business strategy for India, and the iconic American brand seems to have hit new lows when it comes to facing challenges, both in India, and even in its home market. But that hasn't stopped the Germans from exploring the heavyweight cruiser category. The all-new BMW R 18 will take the fight to the likes of American cruiser brands like Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle. With period-correct looks, dollops of chrome, and the biggest boxer engine ever on a motorcycle, the BMW R 18 promises old-school charm with performance and presence that is difficult to resist!
Also Read: BMW R 18 Review