Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Depending who you ask, motorcycles are either an awesome thrill, or terrible and dangerous. Love them or hate them, they keep getting faster and lighter, and seem to be growing in popularity, including among women!  2012 offers some of the best motorcycles ever, and we’ve picked a few highlights!

With better motorcycles reaching the market than have ever been seen before, motorcycle insurance is now also better than ever. If you’re looking to invest in one of these 2012 motorcycles, be sure to also invest in a good insurance policy for it. Start by finding the right coverage with our FREE ZIP code search!

Liability insurance should be at least three times the minimum in your state. Collision coverage will only include your bike’s factory parts, so if you make any additions, be sure to get them specifically covered. Choosing solid insurance providers will make sure that you are covered no matter what happens. Get started today with our FREE quote comparison tool!

See below for what we think will be the best motorcycles of 2012:

2012’s Best Motorcycles

Here are the best motorcycles of 2012. Included in this are not just the speed bikes, but also off-road monsters, powerful cruisers, and even a few cheaper models that were just too amazing to exclude.

  • Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R
  • 2012 Yamaha YZ450F
  • 2012 Honda CBR1000RR
  • Ducati 1199 Panigale
  • BMW G650GS Sertao
  • Ducati Monster 696
  • Star Stryker
  • Triumph Bonneville

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Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R

MSRP: $14,899

Displacement: 1,441cc

The new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R is the second generation of this powerful, legendary bike. First released in 2006, the ZX-14R quickly made history on the Las Vegas Speedway, as many biking enthusiasts will recall.

This time around, the bike’s torque has been upped by nearly 100cc. This puts the Ninja way out in front of its competitors as far as torque is concerned.

The Ninja comes with a three-mode, thumb-controlled traction-control system in order to help keep some of this bike’s power in check.

The first mode helps to optimize acceleration. The second mode is named Wheelie Control. Need we say more? The third mode is specifically crafted to keep you on the road during low-traction conditions.

2012 Ninja ZX-14R

2012 Yamaha YZ450F

MSRP: $8,350

Displacement 449cc

2012’s Yamaha YZ450F has enough power to make it the envy of professional bikers yet also enough reliability to keep amateurs on the road. The YZ450F is a lightweight bike with an engine that both revs quickly and accelerates smoothly.

The YZ450F has excellent handling thanks to the nimble tires and the backward-facing engine that seems to help smooth out gear transitions and centralize the bike’s mass.

2012 Yamaha YZ450F

This bike was built for rugged competition and can easily handle any off-road trek whether on the trail in the backyard or in the world-class motocross and supercross championships.

This Yamaha is both a technological marvel and a great dirt bike.

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2012 Honda CBR1000RR

MSRP: $13,800

Displacement: 999cc

This year’s updated Honda CBR1000RR now comes with an LCD dashboard and a brand new C-ABS system.

The CBR1000RR also features a new Balance Free Shock system that gives it better traction and more bump compliance than ever.

The bike’s fuel injection settings have been tweaked to give the CBR1000RR an even more precise throttle response especially when driving at low RPM rates.

The CBR1000RR specializes in turns with a firmly-planted chassis that allows the driver to focus on driving. The seat is comfortable and there are very few vibrations for such a powerful beast.

2012-Honda-CBR1000RR

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Ducati 1199 Panigale

MSRP: $17,995

Displacement: 1,198cc

The Ducati 1199 Panigale has set a new precedent for twin-cylinder motorbikes with a lightweight body and an immense amount of power that will have you wondering where it all comes from. In fact, the weight-to-power ratio of this bike is one of the best of any bike in the world.

The Panigale has three riding modes, Sport, Race, and Rain, each of which is pretty self-explanatory. Each mode can, however, be adjusted to give you the exact riding experience that you desire.

The traction control settings, the engine braking controls, the ABS system, and the suspension can all be adjusted according to your specifications.

2012 Ducati-Panigale

BMW G650GS Sertao

MSRP: $8,650

Displacement: 652cc

Although the Sertao is a pretty heavy bike, weighing in at nearly 430 pounds, it has an engine that revs with determination, giving the bike a huge helping of strength and stability.

The Sertao is slightly taller and wider than most bikes, and if you have a small build, you will probably notice the difference.

This BMW is a single-cylinder powerhouse built for going on adventures.

Because the ground clearance is high, this bike can go almost anywhere. You will also be pleasantly surprised by the sturdy suspension and the well-armored engine.

2012-BMW-G650GSSertao

Ducati Monster 696

MSRP: $8,795

Displacement: 696cc

The Ducati Monster proves that a bike doesn’t have to be expensive or top-of-the-line to be great. With an extremely low price tag, this Ducati has a beautiful engine, a top quality braking system, and Marzocchi forks.

The Monster 696 is best known as a nimble bike, well able to navigate tough terrain or complicated traffic situations.

The engine comes with a unique naked styling and 80 horsepower, which can easily get you where you need to go.

This bike is also highly upgradable with a list of optional accessories that will make any bike lover blush.

2012 Ducati 696

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Star Stryker

MSRP: $11,340

Displacement: 1304cc

The Star Stryker is a low, long chopper-style cruiser that comes with a basement bargain price tag that steeply undercuts its amazing quality and style.

With a massive torque measuring as much as 1304cc and a V-twin engine that is liquid cooled, the Stryker can easily compete with the best of the choppers.

This beautiful and tough cruiser connects brilliantly with the road, but don’t expect a smooth ride.

The Stryker was built for power not pleasure, and the low suspension will allow you to feel every inch of road. Still, the Stryker is a mean bike with a lot of kick.

2012 Star Stryker

Triumph Bonneville

MSRP: $7,699

Displacement: 865cc

This classic British motorbike looks like something out of a 1960s British war movie. The Triumph Bonneville has a very retro feel to it that comes without the expense that you would normally expect from such a beauty.

With 865cc of torque and a pretty little 67 horsepower, this bike was built for relaxing rides down long stretches of highway rather than speed, power, or off-road ability.

On the plus side, the suspension has a sparkling bounce to it that will make even the roughest road a pleasure to cruise. The seat is also quite plush and comfortable.

Although there are slightly fewer new models than in preceding years, this year has seen a stunning level of diversity in the new models that have come out that simply puts previous years to shame. Very few bike manufacturers are still actually sticking to the well-established motorcycle categories that have boxed them in for years.

2012_Triumph_Bonneville_Base

We are seeing a degree of fracturing, crossing over, and blending that has become so widespread that now it almost seems like the norm. The 2012 model year has seen variety in motorcycles that is unparalleled by almost any other model year to date. Get FREE quotes for the motorcycle insurance you need with our ZIP code search tool!