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The Worst Motorcycles of 2013

worst motorcycles 2013The Worst Motorcycles of 2013: The Negative Nancy Report

Special post by resident guest blogger Happy Gilmore

Each January you’re filled with a renewed sense of possibility. A new year, a new you. You boast to your friends and co-workers that you’re going to be shaving 20lbs, quit smoking and open that savings account. As January becomes February you can’t stand to face yourself in the mirror each morning as you’ve gained 5lbs, smoke a pack a day and you’ve just received a past-due notice for an unpaid credit card bill. Have a no fear though, you aren’t alone.

Around this same time of year the motorcycle show circuit has been across Canada and all over the United States. 2013 is packed with new entry-level rides, fancy new scooters, shiny new dual purpose motorcycles and so much more. But you’ll probably notice that there are a few bikes that you’ve seen before, and might be looking a little tired. Or you might have noticed one or two bikes that you scratch your head about thinking “What? Who is going to buy that?”

Broken-down by motorcycle category, like a list of unfulfilled resolutions, I have compiled my opinion for the worst motorcycles available this year. Feel free to disagree; in fact, I encourage it.

Worst Sport Bike:
Suzuki Hayabusa
CDN MSRP: $15,399

Let’s get this one out of the way first. Yes it’s still one of the fastest production motorcycles ever built. Yes is has a cult-like following. And yes it’s extremely ugly.

Developed over 10 years ago the Hayabusa was, and still is, the flagship bike for the brand. Someone looking to buy this bike new has two colour options for 2013 and one OEM accessory option. That’s just sad. The Hayabusa’s most direct competition is the Kawasaki ZX-14R which was all-new over a year ago and in this competitive motorcycle industry that is more than enough time to have your multi-million dollar Research and Development team in high-gear, building something new with which to fire back. According to the manufacture’s website this tired beast has been refreshed for 2013 by including Brembo Monobloc high-performance calipers, and nothing else. Why does it need more stopping power if it’s clearly going nowhere fast?


Worst Cruiser:
Honda VT1300CXA Fury
CDN MSRP: $14,499

Remember the Honda Fury? It’s that awesome chopper-thing. Bet you didn’t know Honda still makes it, and I bet you have only seen at best a handful of them on the road. Remember 10 years ago when the OCC came out with a TV show? Well when that came out the Fury wasn’t even a zygote of an idea to Honda’s R&D team.

Since then the Orange Country Choppers crew have become commercialized, allowing cafe racers and crotch rockets to take the place of long, low and sleek copper-fashion.  And, since choppers have fallen out of favor, the good folks over at Honda decided to build and sell chopper-like bikes. It’s moderately expensive, handles poorly and can’t comfortably seat two. Plus, it has a shaft final-drive. Everyone has a preference and an opinion when it comes to final-drives, but can we all agree that the bold American cruiser should be fitted with a belt or chain!

For 2013 the only difference is that the with both colour options the motor comes blacked-out (whereas last year’s two-tone option was the only one for which a black motor was available). Based on the Fury’s continues drab out-dated history I’m sure the 2014 version will be just as exhilarating.

2013 Honda VT1300CXA Fury

Worst Touring Bike:
Victory 15th Anniversary Cross Country Tour Limited Edition
CDN MSRP: $32,699

Not familiar with Victory’s line of motorcycles? Or maybe you haven’t even heard of the standard Victory Cross Country? Well here is a quick rundown of the standard version; 1,731cc, 50 degree V-twin, 2-passenger touring mounts equipped with floor boards, hard bags and a top box. Now the regular one starts at $24,499, so why is this one over $32,000? Here is what you get; red and black paint (that doesn’t look too spectacular, especially compared to any Harley-Davidson paint), special wheels, tacky top box and side bag racks, an improved audio system and a Garmin GPS which seems to be an afterthought as it isn’t built into the bike. But, what you’re really paying for is the exclusivity as Victory will only be producing 150 units.

Overall this isn’t a bad touring bike but I believe that because of its exclusivity people won’t want to actually ride it but, since it is celebrating such an insignificant milestone, this bike won’t actually have the potential to be a collector’s piece. I am by no means a Harley-Davidson die-hard. I appreciate that Polaris (Victory’s parent company) has stepped up to the plate and challenged the giant that is H-D. I have always preached that competition is good, and ultimately the consumer always wins as product quality is improved, costs are reduced or both. However this year marks H-D’s 110th anniversary, which is a serious achievement when you think what the world has seen in that length of time.

2013 Victory 15th Anniversary Cross Country Tour Limited Edition

Worst Adventure Bike:
Suzuki V-Strom 1000
CDN MSRP: $11,499 – $12,399 (for the 1000SE)

Okay I’ll be honest this bike really isn’t that bad but, compared to its competition, it takes the cake for this category.

The V-Strom is blessed with a great motor, and for the value, this 1,000cc version is a great buy. As you may know the V-Strom is offered as a 650cc mount or this bigger brother. Both power plants are tried and true as they share roots with the highly-successful SV1000, SV650 and SFV 650 Gladius. However, the Gladius is relatively new, the SV1000 has been discontinued, the SV650 now comes with ABS as standard and even the V-Strom 650 was completely redesigned back in 2011. Meanwhile the V-Strom 1000 has been left in the dust.

Thanks to the book/show Long Way Round the adventure motorcycle segment has rocketed, and almost every major motorcycle manufacturer has a 1,000cc+ model to compete for a slice of the pie. Suzuki has sold plenty of both versions of the V-Strom and with Triumph, KTM and BMW offering new or dramatically redesigned big adventure bikes this year Suzuki’s V-Strom just looks pitiful in comparison.

Side Note: In North America this is still the 2013 model, but rumors have been circulating for an all-new version of this L-Twin. A quick Google search will pull up some of the speculated designs. We here at YouMotorcycle will bring you more when we have our first try of the redesigned version. For now though the V-Strom 1000 is simply brutal. 

2013 Suzuki V-Strom 1000

Worst Dual-Sport:
Honda XR650L
CDN MSRP: $8,199

Even the model code ‘XR’ has moved on as they were all superseded by the CRF line found today. Originally released in late 1992 as a 1993 model, this drab Honda has gone unchanged – well, virtually unchanged. This ol’ brute has a nasty looking speedometer, metal gas tank and big awkward hand guards to separate itself from the competition. Virtually the only thing that has changed is the moderately-revised graphics on the gas tank.

Sure it’s air-cooled which improves its ability to survive a fall, but that decrepit RFVC single-cylinder is held aloft by a heavy steel frame and breathes through a carburetor rather than a fuel injector. Don’t forget, this is by the same manufacture who also released the newest 250cc dual sport on the market today, that happens to be liquid cooled and fuel injected – yet this XR is nearly double the price.

2013 Honda XR650L

About Happy Gilmore

Happy Gilmore is a resident guest blogger at YouMotorcycle. He brings years of motorcycle industry experience and a dry sense of humour. Yes, humour, with a "u". Though sometimes known for his eccentricities, he's actually technically sound and knows his away around a motorcycle, inside and out.


  1. Did you ride any of these bikes before you wrote this? What a joke.

    • I’ve had the opportunity to ride the XR and V-Strom 1000 (DL). I’ll put money on the fact that you and I both will never have a chance to ride the Victory. I’d love to ride the Hayabusa and Fury, so if you’ve got either just name the time and place.

      We here at YouMotorcycle don’t dislike/hate these bikes. In today’s highly competitive motorcycle industry manufacturers couldn’t survive if they offered horrible products. This isn’t the ’60’s where Triumph and BSA oil trails can be seen in parking lots and driveways. The technological advancements of most motorcycles today leave some of the bikes I highlighted in the dust. All opinions are valid so if you’d like to dispute my thoughts on the two Hondas and two Suzukis then be my guest.

      As for the Victory I decided to give it the title of ‘Worst Motorcycle Of 2013’ not because it was out of date, but because it is pointless and pathetic. I’ve ridden the Hard Ball, Vegas and Cross Country and enjoyed those models thoroughly. If you’d like to celebrate Victory’s 15th anniversary milestone with 149 other misinformed buyers then go ahead. This isn’t a ‘bad’ bike, but it’s expensive, unattractive and seemingly pointless because of its odd exclusivity.

      It’s unfortunate if you didn’t find this article valuable, but YouMotorcycle has high expectations for motorcycle manufactures so stagnant/strange products will get picked on because we feel that out readers deserve better.

      • Your readers deserve better? Try spell check. “Our readers” I haven’t been exposed to any of these bikes but it sounds like your a Harley Head. It also sounds like your hiding behind “we here at YouMotorcycle”. if there your opinions then have some conviction. I read the article and don’t disagree with you mainly because of a lack of exposure to the bikes your reviewing. I guess there will always be a worst bike of the year which will also insure you always have something to write about. I try to focus an articles that compare motorcycles rather than just crap all over a particular motorcycle without comparison. My goal here is to not be negative for no reason but to offer you some insight as to what this reader would like to see from future articles from YouMotorcycle.

        • Hey Mac,

          If we’re going to play my-spell-check-is-better-than-your-spell-check game with my contributing writers, I should point out that you miswrote you’re as “your”, twice, didn’t capitalize the I on “if”, and more. What’s that saying about if you live in a glass house?

          As for the review… if you knew Happy you’d laugh at someone calling him a Harley guy. The point being made about the 15th anniversary edition Cross Country Tour is that it offers poor value when compared to its own base model. The manufacturer is irrelevant.

          I’ll try to keep your suggestion in mind. I think an honest comparison demands the rider having access to the vehicles at the same time, so they can be tested consecutively in the same conditions. Often manufacturers only allow pickup and drop off during business hours, and we all have full time jobs and live in different cities.

          That being said, if you’re looking for direct comparisons, this probably isn’t the right website for you, but if you’re looking for honest, no non-sense reviews, by real motorcyclists saying exactly how they feel and not worrying about hurting some feelings on the internet or pissing off manufacturers a little, welcome!

          • I don’t have readers so I’m not really concerned about my spelling or grammar. I mean it’s not my job and the irony struck me. I will spell check my work should I ever find myself fortunate enough to have readers. I am however looking for honest opinions so thank you for the welcome. I think not knowing Happy kind of drives my point. Comparing one motorcycle to another is the only real level medium we can hope for. I will never know most of the writers online so their opinions however valid will be somewhat flat without ever knowing the person. I am a motorcyclist and my feelings are not hurt and I will keep an eye out for future reviews. I am currently thinking of purchasing a Suzuki M109 or something comparable. I have a classic Vstar 1100 right now and I am mainly looking for some perspective. I read these reviews to see what negative remarks you had about the Victory. Thanks for replying.

      • I.feel the same way the guy that wrote this might not even ride! I’ve had motorcycles of all kinds all my life and I have a 2013 650 VStrom and love the ride and , it’s not a BMW or KTM it’s a great ride and more reliable .than almost any bike I’ve had! The price isn’t a pile of money! But it will go anywhere the others will.

  2. If they are going to let the bikes stagnate without any updates, at least have the marketing awareness to have the price advantage…

    The ZX14 is faster and easier to ride than the Hyabusa but the ‘Busa is $2600 cheaper to buy. I still like the looks of the Suzi, so I’m not totally in agreement here.

    The Fury…well it just isn’t my type of bike…but I would purchase the Sabre long before this thing…same drivetrain & similar style with a larger fuel tank…

    The Victory is how much? That’s more than the Vision…umm, no. But I do love the standard Cross Country. Excellent ergonomics, great engine and a nice sized fuel tank for touring!

    The V-Strom DL1000-I agree, waaaaay overdue for a styling update. Why it didn’t get done at the same time as the DL650…but dollars to donuts the V-Strom is the value leader…the only think close in price is the Versys 1000 which is $3200 more…the Triumph Tiger 800 is a close match, but $2000 more and a smaller engine (and it’s uglier?!?)…the Tiger 800XC is $2600 more, but better styling (the beak really makes a styling difference to me)

    As for the Honda XR650…highest price (way to go Honda) for one of the oldest models out there…Suzuki DR650LE $6299, KLR650 $6899…so, yeah…totally agree here!

    You left out a few donkey bikes…

    Suzuki TU250X $5299…wow, they must like having them in their warehouses?

    Zero MX Z2.8 $9495…30-70 mins of trail riding, then you have to charge again…I guess you plug into a tree? or bring a generator, but doesn’t that defeat the environmental image of the electric bike?

    Just my opinion of course…

    Great topic though!


  3. I agree with the VStrom being ugly, I had a 2004 DL1000 that I absolutely loved to ride to the tune of 160K. I agree that it needs an update and am looking forward to what the ’14 model will look like. You may have classed it the worst bike but for value and sure enjoyment I disagree. That is all.

  4. I would not say “compared to any Harley-Davidson paint”. Some of Harley’s colour schemes are also not too spectacular.

  5. I think it is refreshing to hear some critical reviews of motorcycles, especially style/price ones. Most motorcycle publications tread lightly to avoid irritating advertisers. I thought Happy was pretty even handed and to the point. Jeez, I hope my spell checker worked on this comment.

  6. AbusedSuzukiEmployee

    I worked for Suzuki Corporate after the bankruptcy. I agree with this list, although the worst dual sport should have been the DR650, worst cruiser Boulevard c50, They have not updated a bike since 2009. All their bikes are at least 10 years behind every other manufacturer….Id be surprised is Suzuki is still in the US in 10 years.

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