When shopping for a new bike, it’s easy to get caught up in big-name brands like Honda, Harley-Davidson, and BMW. In fact, if you were looking for help from Consumer Reports, you’d find the research team zeroed in on these three motorcycle makers (plus Yamaha and Suzuki) in drawing up the publication’s first guide to reliable bikes on the U.S. market.
Beyond these mainstream stalwarts, lesser known manufacturers continue to raise their profile with bikes that win over critics and riders alike. KTM, the parent comany of Husqvarna and Husaberg, was the fastest growing bike company in the United States last year — yet it’s a name known mostly to enthusiasts. Here are five thrilling bikes from companies like Moto Guzzi and KTM that tend to fly under the radar in the mainstream bike market.
1. 2014 MV Agusta Brutale 675 ($11,988)
Meccanica Verghera (MV) Agusta dates back to 1945 in Milan, yet the manufacturer has been bought and sold by several owners in the last decade. In the Brutale 675, the bike maker presents a 678 cc engine that delivers heart-racing excitement off any stop courtesy of 108.5 horsepower and the total weight of 368 lbs. Top speeds veer toward 140 mph.
On top of the power this agile bike delivers, the Brutale 675 delivers that industrial chic style that turns heads on the road as riders go flying by. This bike has no reason to fly under the radar, but that’s the state of its reputation in many circles.