Bikes We’d Love To Ride This Year
Launching into a new year is always fun in the motorcycling world, with the advent of new or updated motorcycles coming by the spring. We here at Road Dirt love the early press reveals of upcoming bikes, but we also enjoy reflecting on current, older or lesser known machines that we’d enjoy getting our hands on. We put the question to the Road Dirt crew, “What motorcycles would you love to sample in 2024?” Several of the guys shot back some interesting picks, and we decided to share some of them here with you.
2024 Triumph Daytona 660. Photo by Triumph Motorcycles.
Triumph Daytona 660
My love of Triumph runs deep as the 2004 Daytona 650 is what first got me interested in motorcycles originally. Now having ridden every generation of Daytona since then, including the 765 Moto2 edition, I’m interested to see what this new Daytona 660 is all about. Road Dirt has ridden the other two 660s in the lineup, the Trident 660 and Tiger Sport 660, and found them to be great motorcycles. I know the Daytona 660 won’t necessarily be as much of a full-on sportbike as Daytonas in the past, but I’d love to see how this new iteration compares.
2024 Honda CBR600RR. Photo by Honda.
As a 75 year old man that’s been riding motorcycles most of my life, I would love the chance to ride a really fast, light bike. This may seem hard to believe, but a bike that I would love a chance to ride this year is the 2024 Honda CBR600RR, especially on a closed course like Barber Motorsports Park. I think I’ve still got some thrill riding left in me. This would be a definite thrill.
2023 Harley-Davidson Nightster Special.
H-D Nightster Special
I used to own a 2012 Harley-Davidson Sportster 48, which I loved. I know Rob and several of the guys got to test ride the 2023 Nightster Special for an extended period last year, and I’d be curious to see and feel how it compares to my old 48. I understand some Harley purists aren’t too fond of it, while sport and standard riders seem to really like it. Living up here in Milwaukee, I’m hoping to get a chance to check one out for myself.
2023 Honda Rebel 1100T Bagger. Photo by Killboy.com
Honda Rebel 1100T DCT Bagger
Since I seem to be one of the OLD guys in the bunch, I’d like to ride something that can be a “downsize” bike for older folks who can’t push around a 900 lb. Road Glide anymore, but still have hard bags, ABS, cowl and windshield, cruise control, AND a 6 speed AUTOMATIC. Neale, Ted and Rob all raved about that DCT transmission, and I believe lots of older and/or senior riders with arthritis can benefit from reducing or eliminating “clutch cramps”. It may be something a sport bike guy can live with, and a cruiser rider can still enjoy.
Indian Sport Chief. Photo by Indian Motorcycle.
Indian Sport Chief
Ever since Indian Motorcycle debuted the Sport Chief last year, I’ve salivated over it. I’m not primarily a cruiser rider anymore, but there’s something visceral about that hopped-up Chief with the early 1980s looking squared headlight cowling. I owned a gorgeous 1981 Yamaha Seca 550 with a large old-school headlight cowling, and loved the road racing vibe it gave off, if not much wind protection. I got to ride a standard Chief a couple of years ago at the first (and sadly only) IMS Outdoors, and was impressed with its power, shifting and handling. This Indian Sport Chief just strikes me like my old 550, and I’d love to get my hands on one this year.
2024 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ST, Ducati Diavel V4. Photos by Harley-Davidson & Ducati Motorcycles.
Can I pick two?
Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ST
Since returning to motorcycles in 2017, I’ve wanted to try various forms of racing. I’m a curious and consistent F1 fan and have followed the World Championships for years. I’ve attended various MotoAmerica races with Rob here at Road Dirt, and a few years ago I was finally drawn to motorcycle racing through the “King of Baggers” series. As a Harley owner I was partial to Kyle Wyman and any other riders pushing those custom Road Glide baggers on track. It would be incredible to throw a leg over what The Motor Company engineers and designers interpreted as a CVO off-the-showroom version for the everyday rider. The track modes developed and tuned to Kyle’s style have to be incredible. From what I’ve read/seen in online videos, the track mode isn’t just all speed, it’s been tuned for a race-ready powerband to deal with on-track conditions. I believe I’m ready – just need some leathers.
I love to cook, and one of my heroes from the international chef’s world is Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy. His restaurant gained 3 Michelin stars in 2012 and since has been named the best in the world. During the first season and episode of Netflix “Chef’s Table” (2015) prior to petting a few milk producing bovines, Massimo rolls up to a parmesan cheese plant on a beautiful motorcycle. Following some online research I discovered he rides a Ducati Diavel. He also drives a Maserati but that’s another story. Then about 4 years after that I saw a Diavel in the wild while at a local event with Rob. I was mesmerized by the lines, the engineering and the raw beauty of her. We’ve drooled and drafted about sultry Italian styling in these pixels a few times already, i.e. EYE CANDY: MV AGUSTA SUPERVELOCE 1000 SERIE ORO, etc… The Diavel’s curves increase my heart rate much like Monica Bellucci (I’m also a Bond fan). The Italians know how to design anything and I’m ready to throw my leg over her in 2024.
Olson Flathead V8. Photos by Bring-A-Trailer.
Olson Flathead V8
When Editor Brooks asked what bike I’d like get on this year, he likely already knew it wasn’t going to be something simple, something a major brand offers, something with bells or whistles or rectangular LED lights or much of anything unneeded for sailing down the superslab. I like choppers; I don’t like fairings or windshields or saddlebags stuffed with stereo speakers or handlebars flying with screens and gadgets and more speakers. I like big, growly motors that want to explode, I like to wake up to a bear in my front yard and an Olson V8 Flathead chained to my porch.
The bike cradles a 136 cubic-inch Ford V8 Flathead mill, popular in the 1930s through the ‘50s and a hot rodder favorite. Still pushing some steel in the ‘60s, the last holdouts gave way to overhead valves and cams and the like, but retro-mod versions are available today.
Olson tweaked and massaged the motor for it’s motorcycle application and linked it to a single-speed transmission. The eight-cylinder, side-valve engine makes around 60 to 65 hp, which may seem a little anemic by modern V8 standards, but it’s torquey (claimed 100 ft.-lbs) power is more than enough to propel this beauty down the road with your eyeballs sinking into your brain. Love that.
I’ve always thought the flathead, with its muscly chrome head bolts and pancake cylinder heads would look great in a bike. And it does. The round lights are old school, with the optional brass finish headlight maybe a little too old school, even for me. All in all, the Olson is hotrod meets vintage. Style with enough performance to outrun the bear. What the hell else do you need?
And last but not least, this gem from Neale Bayly- Ducati Panigale V4 R. Photo by Ducati.
Ducati Panigale V4 R
Dear Uncle Rob,
Could you see your way to helping out your poor, penniless scribbler of a nephew here and pick me up a new Ducati Panigale V4 R please? I’m thinking while you are at it we might as well go with the full Akrapovič exhaust system and special oil to get the full 240 horsepower. I’ve been running a little late for my yoga class some days so every little bit helps. I’ve also been getting my you-know-what handed to me lately at track days, and I’m thinking if it’s good enough to win a couple of World Superbike Championships, back to back, it might just help me get out of the Novice Class. Öhlins suspension, various ride modes, traction control and other electronic wizardry should be a big help.
Also, another small favor while you are there. I think a few sets of yummy, gummy racing slicks would be helpful for all those track days you are going to take me to. After all, there’s nothing better than seeing the smile on your Uncle’s face when he’s taking you to a track day. So, keep me posted. You can bring it to me anytime or have it delivered. Just not before the crack of noon, please. Any color you like as long as it’s red.
Lots of love,
We hope you enjoyed our bucket list bikes for 2024! Some of these we seriously think we have a shot at throttling. Others, we’re not so certain. Either way, we enjoyed brainstorming them, and sharing them with you.
What motorcycles would you like to sample this year? Let us know in the comments below!
Road Dirt Crew