10 Best Summer Travel Options on Two Wheels

NEW YORK MainStreet -- Hear that roaring and buzzing outside your window? That's every scooter and motorcycle in a five-mile radius telling you summer's here.

Gas prices have dropped below $3.90 a gallon and are down from this time last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Even if you could get a gallon of gas with pocket change, though, rising temperatures would put two-wheelers on the road.

That said, there are some cycles and scooters out there that are clearly ahead of the pack. We took a look at the best the market has to offer and found 10 motorcycles and scooters that cut through beach and mountain traffic more capably than the competition. What we didn't find, however, was a Harley Davidson (HOG) or Vespa that could make the cut:

BMW K1600GT
Starting price: $20,900

The last six-cylinder motorcycle engine in production boasts 1649ccs and 160 horsepower, but it's the little toys that help this big touring bike earn its price. An adaptive headlight that can peek around corners, electronic suspension adjustment, GPS, Sirius-XM(SIRI) satellite radio and electronic adjustable windshield and multiple controllers on the handlebars make the K1600 a luxe dream.

Ducati Diavel
Starting price: $17,495

The brand of choice for those who lust after a sexy European sport bike, Ducati is unafraid to trim the weight of its standard Diavel below 500 pounds, crank the horsepower up to 162 and take its bike from zero-to-60 in less than three seconds. That fat 240-millimeter rear tire just pushed Ducati out of crotch-rocket superbike territory and into the loving embrace of recreational riders and retirees with a need for more speed than a hog can provide.

Suzuki GSX-R750
Starting price: $12,200

This has all the looks of an A1A South Florida street bike, but 121 horsepower that would be just as much at home on the track. Not the bike you want to try to beat off the line when the light goes green.

Honda(HMC) CB1000R

This nearly 1000cc standard isn't the most powerful bike in its class or the flashiest, but it's a workhorse with a lot of torque and a really comfortable ride. It's not going to win you an interstate shootout, but it'll get you from Point A to Point B on a sunny summer day in style.

Triumph Thunderbird Storm
Starting price: $14,800

It turns out the Brits know more than a little about building a highway beast of their own. With 1700ccs, 97 horsepower and a giant steel-horse frame that eschews chrome for a matte black finish, the Thunderbird Storm looks like it could handle a rally in Sturgis just as easily as a summer in Brighton.

Kawasaki Ninja 1000
Starting price: $11,199

At one time, "Ninja bike" was the genericized trademark for any speedy, candy-painted race bike that buzzed by. The Ninja's grown up a bit since and now lures the more mature rider with its 500-pound frame, 130 horsepower and optional hard saddlebags, top box and heated grips.