Best bikes of 2022

Best bikes of 2022

Life picks the top models in eight categories.

Scooter

Yamaha T-Max Tech Max 560 569,800 baht

The Yamaha T-Max is the market's best premium big scooter. It's something special to have a 560cc scooter that can reach speeds of up to 190kph.

This T-max Tech Max is the latest version that comes with a totally new look, more compact size, new sporty design, new full LED design front and rear (that is cleverly done), new chassis and exterior design that work well together to make the bike stable when it comes to controlling in low and high speeds.

New features include a 7-inch TFT screen with Yamaha connected system featuring joint-stick control that creates a new step in riding connectivity with a smartphone, an electric windshield and heated grips. This is an all-in-one scooter that can be used in the city as well as for touring.

Highlights: Small engine, but top speed 190kph

Engine: 562cc liquid cooled, parallel twin cylinder, Euro 5, 4-stroke, 4-valves, DOHC

Power: 47hp, 55Nm

Dry Weight: 217kg

Suspension Front: Telescopic forks, 120mm travel. 

Rear: Swingarm, 117mm travel

Seat height: 800mm


Modern Classic

Triumph Bonneville T120 Chrome Edition 596,000 baht

The Triumph Chrome Collection, which consists of 10 limited edition models, is offered by Triumph Motorcycles for the year-end celebrations.

One of them is the Bonneville T120. In addition to the customary hand-crafted design that reflects the Triumph DNA, it comes with a new Chrome Edition accessory kit. We have included the Triumph Bonneville T120 Chrome edition in our list simply due to the retro looks and how beautifully it is done.

The Triumph team's ability to keep the original design while incorporating contemporary details is fantastic. The iconic Meriden Blue painted tank surround and flawless chrome on this 1200cc Bonneville contrast beautifully with the Jet Black mudguards, headlight bowl and side panels.

The Bonneville T120 offers a comfortable riding position and gives you power whenever you need it.

Highlights: Timeless design, Chrome Edition, Meridian Blue, smooth engine

Engine: 1,200cc, liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270-degree crank angle, parallel twin

Power: 78.9hp, 104Nm

Dry Weight: 217kg

Suspension: 41mm cartridge forks, twin RSUs with pre-load adjustment

Seat height: 790mm


Cruiser

Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114 1.178 million baht

The majority of people will say the best cruiser is a bagger. However, the Fat Boy 240 rear tyre is just too attractive to ignore.

Although the design of Harleys has been improved for ease of use, the legendary Fat Boy still has a vintage appearance and is heavily chromed, which I kind of like.

Even though it is heavy, it's still manageable. The handlebar that pulls in towards your body when you're riding makes it comfortable to control. I may not be a big fan of the look of Harley engines, but the Fat Boy does it right, which is one of the reasons that it was chosen for this list.

To keep it short -- if you want the baddest bike on the road then it's probably the Fat Boy.

Highlight: Old-school look, 245 rear tyre, lots of chromium finish, good CG and more friendly compared to older version

Engine: 1868cc Milwaukee Eight 114, V-Twin, 94hp

Dry weight: 304kg

Suspension Front: Front dual-bending valve 49 mm telescopic with aluminum fork triple clamps; dual rate spring 

Rear: Hidden, free piston, coil-over monoshock 43mm stroke; toolless hydraulic preload adjustment

Seat height: 65.78mm


Superbike

Ducati Panigale V4 1.019-1.66 million baht

We can't deny that the Panigale is one of the best superbikes in the market thanks to the new engine that powers all of the V4 models comprising the V4, V4S and V4 SP2.

This is a line-up of racing-oriented bikes that other brands also have, but clinching double world champion titles (WSBK and MotoGP) in the same year suddenly gave Ducati the spotlight. The double crown gave the Panigale a step above rivals like the RSV4, R1, Ninja, CBR, RC and GSXR.

The Ducati Panigale V4S is the model that we pick, considering the price tag, performance and aggressively beautiful design.

Highlights: WSBK and MotoGP world champions, design, technology

Engine: 1,103cc Desmosedici Stradale (banked 42-degree back from the horizontal), a MotoGP-derived 90-degree V4 with Desmodromic timing, one-of-akind engine featuring a counter-rotating crankshaft and Twin Pulse firing order

Power: 215.5hp, 123Nm

Dry Weight: 174.4kg

Suspension: Ducati Electronic Suspension EVO

Seat height: 865mm


Adventure Touring

BMW R 1250 GS 1.17 million baht

When it comes to the large adventure touring category, GS are always the first letters that pop up. Images of the GS Trophy began to flood our minds as we considered how this bike could traverse many seemingly impossible surfaces. Even though most of us may not have such skills as GS Trophy riders, at least we will be confident the bike is tough and easy to ride, thanks to the boxer flat twin engine offering a low centre of gravity.

The R 1250 GS has a powerful engine and is packed with cutting-edge technology. Lots of equipment is useless if the ride isn't magical -- and the R 1250 GS is indeed magical. There's a variety of riding positions that can accommodate both short and tall riders, and it is easy to lift the bike, which weighs nearly 300kg with bags and fuel, and push it around while attempting to park.

On the road, the GS provides a lovely, stress-free driving experience thanks to all of the safety features offered.

Highlights: Most friendly in class, boxer twin engine, GS Trophy family

Engine: 1,254cc, 4-stroke flat twin

Power: 136hp, 143Nm

Dry Weight: 216kg

Suspension: BMW Motorrad Telelever 37mm, central spring strut

Seat height: 850/870mm


Offroad Adventure Touring

Ducati Desert X 639,000 baht

This is a tough decision to make even though there are only a few key players. While the KTM 790 Adventure and BMW F850 GS Adventure are awesome bikes that come full of off-road technology to help riders, particularly in during the rainy season, it's the Ducati Desert X that emerges as the winner.

The 21in front and 18in rear wheel layout in the Desert X is a first from Ducati. The 937cc, Desmodromic 11-degree Testastretta engine matched with a lightweight body creates more than enough power with six riding modes. There are three different seat height adjustments (863mm, 873mm and 893mm). Lowered suspension (10mm) is also offered as an option for shorter riders.

Ducati nailed it with the Desert X which comes with a fantastic design, combining the heritage of Dakar racers with modern elements. The Desert X is a beautiful off-road adventure bike that is ready to get dirty and comes at a reasonable price.

Highlights: Design, 21in front wheel, 250mm ground clearance

Engine: 937cc, Desmodromic, Testastretta

Power: 110hp, 92Nm

Dry Weight: 202kg

Suspension Front: Kayaba 46mm upside down, 230mm travel. 

Rear: Kayaba Monoshock 220mm travel

Seat height: 875mm (845-890mm seat accessory and suspension kit available)


Enduro

KTM 350 EXC-F Six Days 539,800 baht

KTM's 350 EXC-F, a true one-size-fits-all machine, blew the doors off the enduro world 10 years ago. And KTM finally made it available in Thailand 10 years later.

The International Six Days Enduro, formerly known as the International Six Days Trial, is the oldest "off-road" motorcycle event on the FIM calendar, and it is still going on today. The Six Days event is commonly referred to as the "Olympics of Motorcycling" with trophies for best four-rider national teams.

The 350 EXC-F comes with full enduro technology with a lightweight design and high ground clearance. The WP suspension package is the best factory setup from KTM and this bike is basically race-ready, with financing being offered for the first time.

There's nothing much to say about this bike -- you won't be disappointed.

Highlights: Light weight, best factory suspension, finance available

Engine: 350cc air-liquid cooled, single cylinder, 4-stroke

Power: 45hp

Dry Weight: 104.3kg

Suspension Front: WP XPLOR-USD 48mm, 300mm travel 

Rear: WP Xplor PDS shock absorber, 310mm travel

Seat height: 960mm


New Entry

Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Dapper 129,000-132,900 baht

The Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Dapper series was introduced in Bangkok earlier this year. The single-cylinder 350cc engine has been well-developed, and the long-stroke operation is smooth with pure feelings and a nice roaring sound.

The Hunter offers a totally new design with an entry price comparable to automatic scooters. Because it is 18kg lighter than the Classic, it's easier to control in city traffic. The Hunter 350 is perfect for city driving, but its power may not be sufficient to pass other vehicles on the highway with much confidence.

With a good design and frame, smooth engine, involving ride, cheap spare parts and affordable pricing, the Hunter is a great bike for novice riders to start with.

Highlights: Design, best handling for city, friendly, best for beginner, price

Engine: 349cc, air-oil cooled, single cylinder, 4-stroke

Power: 20.2hp, 26Nm

Dry Weight: 177kg

Suspension Front: Telescopic 41mm forks, 130mm travel 

Rear: Twin tube with 6-step adjustable preload, 102mm travel

Seat height: 790mm

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