Somewhere between the dirt bike and the full-size motorcycle lies the Honda Grom ($3,000 and up). Fun for experienced riders but small enough to be handled by first-timers, the Grom features a 125cc fuel-injected engine paired to a four-speed transmission, a low 29.7-inch seat, a curb weight of just 225 pounds, 12-inch 10-spoke wheels, hydrailic disc brakes, and an LED taillight and projector-style headlamp. It's not going to win any races (against other bikes, at least), but it'll get you where you need to go, let you have some fun while you're en route, and virtually guarantees a parking spot once you get there. What's not to like about that? [Scouted by Jon]
There's no denying that riding bikes is a blast, but there's also no arguing against the fact that they're about as dangerous as a vehicle can be. The Chak Molot Motorcycle ($75,000) (based on a 2013 Honda CBR 1000RR ABS with some pretty heavy modifications) takes huge strides to make riding much safer. The improvements start with the lights — replacing ordinary incandescents with brighter and more responsive LEDs that make you much more visible. Predictive emergency braking technology combined with ABS allows the bike to alert the rider to potential hazards, stop automatically if necessary, all without losing control. Additionally, it features blind spot monitoring, a gyroscope-controlled engine cut-off system, and lighter, stronger construction for improved responsiveness and durability in a crash.
Not every custom bike has to be glitzy or overly rugged. The Bandit9 Hephaestus Motorcycle (RMB 85,000; roughly $13,700) makes its mark by being simple yet sleek. Sitting on standard tires and alloy rims, Hephaestus features a custom handcrafted stainless steel tank, cowl and fender, a custom gas cap, upgraded front and rear disc brakes and suspension, a custom hand-stitched leather seat, custom side covers, a custom exhaust and muffler, and custom turn signals. All the rest of it is a stock Honda Bros 400 — although admittedly, that's not very much.
What do you get when you pair up a company known for its rugged motorcycles with one that builds armored riding apparel and helmets? Something like the Quartermaster Motorcycle ($TBA). A collaborative project from Ural Motorcycles and Icon, the bike is based on the former's Solo sT, inspired by Soviet Naval ships, and is designed for End of Days use. Features include an oversized main spar and high-clearance sub-frame, an oversized fuel tank, hand-formed fenders, Enduro bars and controls, a full skid plate, Supertrapp exhausts, and knobbed Continental tires.