Time travel has yet to be invented. But when you’re riding Kawasaki’s lightspeed Concours 14, it feels like we’ve gotten a good start! This 1352cc inline-Four makes an incredible amount of smooth power, peaking with 137-hp at 9700 rpm and 92 ft.-lb. of torque at 7300. It launches the 14 with the kind of authority only such a deep well of urge possibly could. But thanks to counter balancers and a variable valve-timing system, it does this with the utmost in civility, allowing you to fly through space in a way that seems to defy explanation. Nice thing is, once you get there, the big, detachable saddlebags mean you’ve got your favorite stuff with you (clean underwear, anyone?), and the comfy riding position means you feel great, too.
CONTENDERS: Mainly the Germans this year, with the K1300GT, a hotted up, larger-displacement version of the K1200GT that won the award in 2007 - proof that we’re getting even closer to actual time travel.