2015 - 2020 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS
Kawasaki delivered the 2015 Concours 14 ABS with a whole slew of improvements over the prior year — some cosmetic and some for performance — and carried that over to 2020. At the core, the Kawasaki kept the 1,352 cc engine derived from the Ninja® ZX™-14R in a chassis tuned for touring. The sportbike DNA is quite evident in the overall styling, so whether you love it or hate it, you don’t ignore the Concours 14 ABS.
2016 - 2020 Yamaha Bolt
The Yamaha Bolt continues into 2020 with that classic "bobber" style, high tank, and short wheelbase, folks expect to see in old-school styling. Powered by an air-cooled V-twin engine, but with a plenty of technology on board, the Bolt is a good in-between size: not too small that you’ll outgrow it soon and not so big that it is intimidating for new riders. The bobber-style solo seat, easy cruisin’ rider triangle, and naked-bike look make the Bolt a choice little bar hopper or commuter ride.
2017 - 2020 Kawasaki Z125 PRO
“Cheap thrills” takes on a whole new meaning — or maybe just a revitalization of the old meaning — when it comes to the Z125 PRO from Kawasaki. It’s small and relatively fast for the thrills, good fuel economy, and a bargain-basement price. Sure, as a fun bike, it has that hands down. It’s also a commuter if you have to navigate congested thoroughfares because it’s small, lightweight, and narrow so filtering through traffic is a breeze. As a first bike for someone new to two wheels, this is a completely approachable bike, not intimidating at all and without the electronics that frequently get used as a crutch. On this bike, you learn how to ride.
2017 - 2020 Honda Grom
Introduced in 2014, the Grom from Honda is a compact bike with sportbike styling, two-up capabilities if you don’t mind having to Fred-Flintstone the take-off, has amazing fuel economy, and offers a little something more for folks who might consider a scooter in this size-range. Marketed in other countries as the MSX125, the Motrac M3, and the Skyteam M3, the Grom is a spunky little — “little” being the operative word here — motorcycle, good for folks new to two wheels or for anyone else who wants a fun ride. It’s not fast, but that’s not the point.
2015 - 2020 Suzuki Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S.
Introduced as the bad-ass brother of Suzuki’s M109R, the Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S. carries forward into MY20 with its 109 cubic inch (1,783 cc) engine. Yeah, B.O.S.S. stands for ’Blacked Out Special Suzuki’, but I’m gonna call it ’Blacked Out Super Sweet’. It might not be the fastest cruiser on the market, but it is definitely a power-cruiser and it really wants to go when you let out the clutch.
2015 - 2020 Yamaha V Star 250
If you’re a carburetor fan, you’re still in luck for a 250 cc commuter bike with the 2020 V Star 250 from Yamaha. Simple, classic-cruiser good looks and scooter-like fuel economy make the V Star 250 a no-nonsense choice for a budget-minded or entry-level rider.
2016 - 2020 Yamaha Bolt R-Spec / Bolt C-Spec
The Bolt from Yamaha’s Star cruiser line is a cool little bobber-style bike with its high tank, short wheelbase and solo seat. It’s a nice around town bike — lightweight and agile — and naked with real-steel sheet metal, so it just begs you to customize it. What could be better? Enter the Bolt’s siblings, the dressier Bolt R-Spec and the café racer Bolt C-Spec. The Spec duo are every bit as snappy and fun to ride as the Bolt, but with some upgrades, both hardware and cosmetic. Powered by the air-cooled 942 cc V-twin engine, the Specs are in the same size slot as the Bolt: not too small that you’ll outgrow it right away and not so big to be overwhelming for new riders. At just a few bills more than the Bolt, they’re worth a look.
2015 - 2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90T
Cruisers and touring bikes go hand in hand for that relaxed, comfortable ride you get. The Boulevard C90T from Suzuki is the touring version of the C90 that was dropped after the 2013 model year. Leather-look — not real leather, just leather textured — hard saddlebags and an ample windscreen give the C90T that "I’m ready for the road" look along with a 1,462 cc engine and five-speed transmixer.
2015 - 2020 Honda XR650L
Honda carries its venerable XR650L line into 2020, but to be honest, it’s almost completely unchanged from the original version unleashed on the world back in 1993. Before you scoff, I would point out that sharks haven’t changed in millions of years, having evolved long ago into creatures perfectly suited to their environments, and apparently, so it is with the XR650L. The Red Riders got it right out of the gate with this one, and popular support keeps the bike on Honda’s showroom floors even after nearly a quarter-century.
2016 - 2020 Suzuki DR-Z400S / DR-Z400SM
Pitting the fuel-injection fans against the carburetor fans, we score a point for the latter with the DR-Z400S and DR-Z400SM from Suzuki. Fuel injection hasn’t yet made an appearance in Suzuki’s dual-sport lineup, which was a good thing or a bad thing, depending on which side of the fence you’re on. For 2020, the DR-Z siblings haven’t yet been touched by the FI update. Sharing the same engine as the 500EXC from KTM, the DR-Zs come on a different chassis with progressive-link rear suspension. The “SM” — the SuperMoto of the family — and the “S” feature a six-liter air box with quick-release fasteners trouble-free access to the air filter and special low profile mirrors that rotate hoping to avoid damage, both are pluses when you’re playing in the dirt.
2015 - 2019 Suzuki Boulevard M90
Around the turn of the century, the cruiser style had evolved into fat tires, lots of chrome, wide bodies and pegs out front to give you that almost slouched, relaxed riding posture. Since then, cruiser style has cycled back to "old school." They’ve lost some weight and slimmed down, creating a low and lean version of a sport look. If your vision of what a cruiser should be is stuck in the fat tires and wide body — think of it as "old new-school" — Suzuki has the Boulevard M90 that’s right up your alley.
2018 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
After a revamp for the 2018 model year, Softail underpinnings are all radically different than the originals, but the overall classic look of the Heritage Classic remains largely unchanged for the requisite historical tie-in. Harley-Davidson put a new emphasis on the Softail lineup with plenty of performance-driven custom designs for the fiery-eyed pegdraggers out there, but for someone looking for an old-school cruiser and tour bike, the Heritage Classic is your Huckleberry.
2016 - 2019 Yamaha Super Ténéré / Super Ténéré ES
The Super Ténéré ES returns for 2019 without its stablemate, the Super Ténéré. The “ES” brings all the adventure capability that gave the Ténéré its name. A compact 1,199 cc parallel-twin engine coupled with the wide-ratio six-speed transmission carries you over hill and dale and back to the pavement with aplomb. Its narrow chassis and low center of gravity make the Super Ténéré easy to handle as well as maneuverable and nimble on twisty roads. Named after the Ténéré desert region in the Sahara, the Super Ténéré and Super Ténéré ES from Yamaha give you on-road and off-road confidence wherever your journey takes you.
Top Speed 2019 KTM Streetbike Buying Guide
The KTM-AG falls under the ownership of the CROSS KraftFahrZeug Holding GmbH and the Bajaj Auto Limited International Holdings B.V. at a rate of 51.28-percent and 47.99-percent, respectively. Based in Mattighofen, Austria, KTM builds streetbikes, racebikes, dirtbikes/enduros and sports cars, but for the purposes of this guide we will stick to the street-friendly, two-wheeled models. Famous for their single-cylinder, thumper-style engines and high performance machines with distinctive orange/white/black livery, KTM has established itself as a marque that doesn’t necessary hold to convention and has a tendency to do things their own way; much to the delight of its fans.
2019 (Vespa 946) RED
A collaborative effort between Piaggio Group and (RED) brings us the (Vespa 946) RED. Previewed at a Global Fund event in 2016, the (Vespa 946) RED is in the final design process for release in Europe, Asia, and North America. Coming to the U.S. with a 155 cc engine and an electronics suite not normally seen on a scooter, this most exclusive Vespa model is the only product in the automotive world to have been chosen by (RED) to contribute funds for the fight against AIDS.
2015 - 2018 Yamaha XT250
It seems like when God said “Let there be light,” Yamaha was already making the XT250. Okay, maybe not that long ago, but it has been since 1980 and I’ll bet a lot of folks reading this weren’t born yet. In 1982, Rambo rode one inFirst Blood. If it was mean enough to carry Sylvester Stallone, you know it was pretty awesome. With a wide-ratio five-speed and an air-cooled 250 cc engine, the XT250 is a proper little dual-sport machine and with a little more attention to two-up riding than you might expect in an off-road-capable bike.
2015 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom
The 1200 Custom in Harley-Davidson’s Sportster line went into 2018 with a new look and hit the streets with the tried and true 1200 Evolution® engine along with the agile chassis that’s secured a place for itself in the lineup for over half a century. Kinda the black sheep of the Sportster stable, the 1200 Custom lives up to its name with a look apart from the rest of its siblings with a beefier front end and more aggressive riding position to put a little more ’sport’ into the ride.
Tragedy At Pike’s Peak Hill Climb: Ducati Racer Carlin Dunne Dead At 36
In an attempt to secure his fifth King Of The Mountain title, Carlin Dunne of the Spider Grips Ducati race team fell yesterday a quarter mile from the finish line and succumbed to his injuries. Dunne was setting records on the Prototype Ducati Streetfighter V4 at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb when he died at age 36.
Voxan Motorcycles Hits The Salt For A New Speed Record
Electric-motorcycle brand Voxan under the Venturi umbrella sets its sights on a world electric-motorcycle speed record in Bolivia. Slated for a run in August 2020 on the Voxan Wattman, world champion motorcycle racer Max Biaggi was in Monaco taking part in ergonomics testing and 3D scans in preparation for what could be a historic milestone for Voxan and electric motorcycles. Biaggi will attempt to best the current record of 203.58 mph.
Top Speed 2019 Aprilia Buying Guide
Aprilia is an Italian manufacturer mainly in top-end racing machines and streetbikes, though it does have limited scooter range to round out its lineup. It falls under the same Piaggio & C. SpA umbrella as does famed builder Moto Guzzi, but unlike it’s sister company, Aprilia completely shuns the standard body-style machines and focuses on performance. In so doing, it serves as the racebike division for the Piaggio conglomerate. The marque is heavily involved in the MotoGP circuit, and at the time of this writing is listed as 6th in the world manufacturer’s standings.
Top Speed 2019 Moto Guzzi Buying Guide
The Piaggio & C.SpA moniker is most often associated with scooters but Moto Guzzi is one motorcycle brand that falls under its umbrella. Based in Mandello del Lario, Italy, Moto Guzzi represents the sporty, grocery-getter market right along with cruising, touring, dual-surface work, and globetrotting; all with it signature, transverse-mount V-twin powerplant on display. Overall, the marque cleaves to classic design elements, with the notable exception of its new adventure bike that, being a purpose-built machine, looks much like the rest of the modern-enduro field.
Top Speed 2019 IMZ-Ural Buying Guide
A true trans-continental marque, the present-day IMZ-Ural is managed by a U.S.-based team in Redmond, Washington, but the factory is in Irbit, Russia. It specializes in heavy, sidecar-equipped motorcycles that bring classic looks to the table alongside real-world off-road capabilities. At the time of this writing, IMZ-Ural is the only major manufacturer of production sidecar models.
Top Speed 2019 Ducati Buying Guide
Ducati is among the top names to come out of Europe’s Boot, and is easily the sexiest marque on the market, inasmuch as a machine can have a sensuous nature. The builders in Bologna are also famous for their signature Desmodromic valvetrain and top-notch ride-quality electronics that deliver high-performance along with the safety systems to help you maintain control over the power. While the company made its name on the street and covers most of the blacktop bases, it dabbles in the dirt with an adventure-bike line and an entire Scrambler sub-division to round out the selection.
Top Speed 2019 Triumph Buying Guide
Triumph Motorcycles Limited is currently the U.K.’s largest bikebuilder according to sales numbers. Headquartered in Hinckley, Leicestershire, the British giant competes on the world stage against the top manufacturers out of Europe, Asia, and North America, and it sets the standard for British bikes. Not only does the marque draw on its own deep roots for the looks of its Modern Classic line, but it also shows a willingness to embrace contemporary design elements as well as the performance expectations of the buyer base
Top Speed 2019 Can-Am Buying Guide
The Can-Am marque is a builder of modern, Delta-configured trikes that fall under the expansive Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) umbrella. Currently, the factory produces two distinct vehicle families – the Spyder and the Ryker – to cover the sport segment, the touring section and the just-for-fun group. Stability and safety equipment are constants across the board to make this brand particularly new-rider friendly.
2015 - 2019 Yamaha FJR1300
The biggest sport-tourer in Yamaha’s lineup are better than ever. In 2016, the FJR1300A and its stablemate the FJR1300ES saw some evolutionary changes that brought just enough tweaks to make them smoother, more comfortable rides. Probably the biggest change in that update was in the transmission with the addition of a sixth gear and adding a slipper clutch to reduce hand fatigue at the clutch lever. Both of these tourers run a 1,298 cc liquid-cooled four-banger and come on a sportbike frame for a bit more thrill than just a tourbike.
2015 - 2019 Yamaha WR250R
Essentially a carry-over from 2008 when the WR250R was added as a street-legal offering in the Yamaha WR lineup, the 2019 model carries-on carrying-on dual-sport fun. It’s not really a street-legal version of the WR250F, though the model designation tends to make it seem so. “WR” indicates it’s a wide-ratio gear box, and beyond that, the sky’s the limit. The wide-ratio gives an acceptable balance of highway capability and off-road responsiveness, both desirable in the dual-sport market.
Top Speed 2019 Kawasaki Buying Guide
As an umbrella marque, Kawasaki claims expertise in a number of areas to include industrial engines, heavy industrial equipment, gas turbines, robotics, precision machinery, and of course, motorcycles. Kawi is one of the Japanese Big Four, but it spreads the love around with factories at home, throughout Asia and in the U.S. to place it among the most prolific bike builders in the world. As with the other major sportbike manufacturers, Kawasaki maintains a presence around a variety of racing sports.
2016 - 2019 Moto Guzzi Eldorado
Powered by a 1,380 cc engine that delivers plenty of torque at low-low rpm, the Eldorado from Moto Guzzi is as much classic as it is classy. Living up to its reputation as a heavyweight touring cruiser, the Eldorado carries the elegant look with white-wall tires on spoke wheels, fuel tank with chromium sides, and oversize saddle along with riders modes and adjustable traction control for a bike made for the open road.
2016 - 2019 Honda Metropolitan
Honda revamped its classic-looking Metropolitan – known in other markets as the Giorno – for the 2016 model year. Early models enjoyed a bit of popularity starting back in 2002, but that took a hit with the changes made for the ’13 models up through ’15. The factory proves that it listens to customer feedback and acts on it with a fresh set of changes for the 2016 and 2017 models, tweaks that directly address the concerns coming from the customers. On the top of the list was a new, liquid-cooled engine that ramped up overall performance, as well as relocating the fuel tank for more storage under the seat. What we have for 2019 is a scooter that aims to regain the popularity it once enjoyed with a classic look and a revamped engine.
Top Speed Buying Guide for 2019 Zero Motorcycles
Based in Scotts Valley, California, all-electric bike builder Zero Motorcycles Inc produces seven distinct sub-models on three separate frames to include sportbikes, adventure bikes/dual sports and a supermoto to cover most of the bases. The factory offers a number of accessories that can either expand the bike’s power-storing capacity or supplement its charging system for quicker recharge times. For 2019, Zero Motorcycle enjoys an enviable position as the most diverse EV bike builder to date.
Top Speed Buying Guide to Energica Motorcycles
Energica Motor Company produces EV bikes under the CRP Group umbrella. Based in Modena, Italy, the marque currently produces a trio of models to include a full-on superbike, a somewhat-naked streetfighter and a neo-retro piece that borrows from a number of influences from yesteryear. As for the patron group, it brings a number of useful abilities to the table with aerospace-engineering experience that lends itself well to the EV-bike industry such as CNC milling and laser sintering (metal 3D printing).
Top Speed Buying Guide to the 2019 Honda Lineup
The Honda Motor Company, Ltd is a major producer of powered equipment, motorcycles, outboard motors, automobiles, and aircraft. As one of the “Big Four” in the motorcycle market, Honda faces stiff domestic competition, but since 1959 has maintained its position as the “largest in the world” in both the motorcycle and equipment sectors. Its REPSOL racing team is competitive in both the MotoGP and WSBK circuits, and Honda’s dirt bikes are a common sight in Motocross/Supercross events.
Top Speed Motorcycle Buying Guide for the 2019 Yamaha Lineup
Yamaha Corporation has a hand in a multitude of industries to include musical instruments and mixing equipment, electronics, outboard motors, personal watercraft, off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, and of course, motorcycle production. It is from the former that the marque draws its iconic symbol comprised of a trio of tuning forks, which in turn lends it the nickname “The Tuning Fork Company.” As one of the Japanese “Big Four,” Yamaha is involved in two-wheeled racing, and is competitive within the global motorcycle market.
Top Speed Buyer’s Guide to the 2019 Indian Motorcycle Lineup
The Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company LLC is currently one of two American-style heavyweights currently in operation in North America. It mainly offers mid-size/heavy cruisers and large baggers/tourbikes, but the success of its flat-track racing team launched a small but very race-tastic FTR line to round out the bottom of its range. In addition to its dominant FTR750 race-team bike, Indian currently puts out the third-largest production V-twin engine with its 111 cubic-inch (1,819 cc) Thunder Stroke and more or less matches its longtime domestic foe H-D in every important category.
Top Speed Guide To The 2019 Suzuki Cycles Lineup
One of the Big Four motorcycle manufacturers, Suzuki is a powerhouse in on-road and off-road motorcycles as well as in motorcycle racing. Offering up a full line of sportbikes, heritage rides, and scooters, Suzuki holds a commanding share of the North American market.
BMW Motorrad Guide To The 2019 Lineup
BMW is widely regarded as a leader in the motorcycle/scooter field for its pragmatic design elements with cutting-edge performance, but doesn’t neglect the creature comforts and luxury items today’s riders expect and demand. It’s an effective combination holding the marque in good stead on the world stage, both in the motorcycle realm and the automotive sector. The factory covers nearly all the bases from entry-level scooters all the way up to racing superbikes, including adventure bikes and historical tribute pieces, along with forward-looking electric and hybrid-drive rides.
Is The Suzuki DR Big Making a Comeback?
The motorcycle interwebz are buzzing with the latest rumor that Suzuki is bringing back the DR Big. Spanish trailridersmag.com started the buzz with the report that Suzuki is basing the DR Big, to be released as a 2020, on the V-Strom 1000. Is it insider knowledge or wishful thinking in an attempt to speak it into being?
2017 - 2019 Suzuki VanVan 200
The VanVan from Suzuki comes equipped with a 200 cc engine, which is an upgrade from the old 125 cc model still available in other markets. In typical scrambler fashion, the VanVan 200 is the dirt-road/gravel-road/loose-dirt ride that qualifies it as a “sandbike” because of the fat rear tire to keep you going. Better than an ATV in some situations, the Vanvan is lightweight and capable, perfect for a jaunt around the ranch, a quick run up the trapline or an excursion on the beach, anywhere the ground is loose and four wheels just won’t do.
2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Road King / Road King Special
Harley-Davidson made some fairly major changes for MY2018, but the Road King stands firmly unchanged as a link to the past with a heritage that arguably started in 1958 with the Duo-Glide. The base-model comes equipped the 107 cubic-inch Milwaukee-Eight, though for 2019, the factory graced the Road King Special with the Milwaukee-Eight 114. Engine output places them well within the power-tourer bracket with a whopping 111 pound-feet of torque on tap (123 pound-feet for the Special) to push its curb weight that you may as well call it half-a-ton with a rider plus whatever is in your bags and on the pillion.
Fuell Unveils Its First Electric Bikes
There’s a new name in the world of urban mobility and electric bikes and it’s hitting the interwebs. Fuell unveils its first products for the EV market in Flow, an electric motorcycle, and Fluid, an electric bicycle. Co-founded by big names in motorcycle and racing technology circles, Fuell looks to redefine urban mobility giving us a peek at the pair in New York City before the end of March, 2019 and a full reveal on April 23, 2019.
2015 - 2019 Piaggio BV 350 ABS
The BV 350 from Piaggio, sold as the Beverly Sport Touring in other markets, is win-win as far as scooters go. With a big 16-inch wheel up front, monster-size brakes usually seen on full-size motorcycles, an assortment of tech acronyms, and an ample touring windscreen, the Beverly is a downright proper little touring scooter. As a commuter in the city or suburbs or for your weekend getaway, the BV 350 fits right into the niche that Piaggio intended. With a lively throttle response and plenty of power and torque to back it up, the Beverly puts “sport-touring” into scooter vernacular.
Harley-Davidson Brings Two Electric Concepts To 2019 X-Games
No doubt about it, electric bikes are becoming more viable all the time, and even the Harley-Davidson Motor Company is getting in on the action. Milwaukee has teased us, literally for years, with tantalizing tidbits from its Project: LiveWire initiative. It finally announced a 2020 release for its streetwise spark-o-matic not long ago, and immediately went about the business of teasing us with two more EV bikes. Well, now we have the skinny on them. The MoCo was at the 2019 X-Games in Aspen, Colorado, and it brought the two new rides for the crowd’s consumption. They’re still in the concept phase, and as such are not necessarily what the production models will look like, but ya’ gotta’ start somewhere.
Triumph Unveils New TFC Custom Models
Ducati Diavel 1260 S - Media reveal
2018 - 2019 BMW R nineT Urban GS
BMW expanded its R nineT lineup ahead of the 2017 model year with the Urban G/S that brings old school adventure bike looks to the table along with the same modern performance as the rest of the line. Power comes from an 1,170 cc flat-twin engine that adds character and historical panache at the same time to make the “GS” something of a rolling tribute piece. Although the “GS” sports some special gear that sets it apart from the rest of the range, it’s still just a platform that can be shifted between the stock road-running setup and a more off-road friendly build for what is, essentially, two bikes in one. Rider safety is also available in varying levels, so I would argue that this ride is probably appropriate for riders that land near the bottom of the experience scale along with riders who are looking to cross between the black and the brown.
2015 - 2019 Honda Ruckus
Bare bones — naked bike, anyone? — and gnarly, the Ruckus looks like it’s right out of Mad Max. Even though it does have a 50 cc engine, no one is going to say, “Awww, isn’t that cute?” when you ride by on a Ruckus. Granted, you won’t be going very fast, so on-lookers will get a good, long look.
2018 - 2019 Suzuki Burgman 400
2009 - 2019 Suzuki TU250X
2016 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic / 900 Classic LT / 900 Custom
Kawasaki created its Vulcan line back in 1984 in an attempt to capture a slice of the American cruiser market, and it is still alive and kicking in 2019. The family includes a trio of models from the boulevard bruiser “900 Classic” to the heritage-style “900 Classic LT” and the home-cooked “900 Custom.” A 900 cc, V-twin mill and 600-plus pound curb weight put the range firmly in the mid-size cruiser category and give it the mass one expects to find an American cruiser.
2015 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero / Vulcan 1700 Voyager
Kawasaki’s Vulcan 1700 line is well established with the Vaquero and the Voyager — a bagger and full dresser, respectively — both come with ABS and, as the name suggests, the 1700 cc engine in the V-twin configuration with liquid cooling and a six-speed transmission. Ready for a cruise around town or hitting the open road, the Vulcan 1700s are well fitted and all-around solid.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero and Vulcan 1700 Voyager.
2016 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan S / S Cafe / S SE
As the lightest bike in the Kawasaki cruiser lineup, the Vulcan S appeals to a variety of riders with adjustable footpegs and options for seat height and handlebar position. Carrying the same low and lean profile of the bigger Vulcan cruisers, the S stable combines Ninja-derived power and handling with the comfort and personalization capabilities of Kawasaki’s Ergo-Fit components
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Vulcan S, Vulcan S Café and Vulcan S SE.
2016 - 2019 Yamaha TW200
The Yamaha TW200, brought forward for 2019 with its scrappy little 196 cc engine, is a nice learning bike, fully street legal but with that distinctive motocross-style swale seat that says you’re going off-road. On the move, the bike has nice low-end torque and you’ll feel the front end trying to come up when you get even a little twisty. Dual sport, yes, but so much about this bike just begs to be in the dirt.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha TW200.
Indian Unveils Its Flat-Track-Inspired Street Bike At INTERMOT
Taking design elements from both the the championship-winning FTR750 race bike that took the flat-track world by storm at the hands of Indian’s Wrecking Crew and the Scout FTR 1200 Custom unveiled last year, the FTR 1200 and FTR 1200 S feature nimble handling with a new 1,203 cc V-twin engine in what Indian hopes will put their mark on the global stage and appeal to new riders.
Continue for more on the FTR 1200 and FTR 1200 S announcement.
2016 - 2019 Indian Motorcycle Roadmaster
The luxury tourer in Indian Motorcycle’s lineup, the Roadmaster comes equipped with the awesome Thunder Stroke® 111 engine for stellar performance and gobs of torque early on in the powerband. With standard features such as a premium 200W stereo, cruise control, ABS, power windshield, keyless ignition, remote locking storage, tire pressure monitoring, Pathfinder LED lights, heated seats and grips, and that gorgeous desert tan leather, the Roadmaster puts the "LT" in “luxury tourer.”
Continue reading for my review of the Indian Motorcycle Roadmaster.
2016 - 2019 Yamaha XSR900
Influenced by the classic “XS” series from the ’70s and ’80s, the XSR900 from Yamaha shows its roots with retro styling and stepped seating combined with just enough modern tech that you know you’re in the 21st century. At first glance, it looks like a nice little bike: compact and sporty. On second glance...and third...it looks like a whole lot of bike for an affordable price.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha XSR900.
Suzuki Will Pay You To Bring Your GSX-R In For A Recall
New 2019 Chieftain Lineup From Indian Motorcycle
Indian Motorcycle announces the new 2019 Chieftain family with a host of new features for the Chieftain, Chieftain Classic, Chieftain Limited, and the Chieftain Dark Horse in both appearance and electronics.
Continue reading for more on the new Chieftain lineup.
What Was the Top-Selling European Motorcycle Brand In The US for July?
2015 - 2018 BMW F 800 GS / F 800 GS Adventure
BMW carries on the F 800 GS and F 800 GS Adventure in 2018 with their 800 cc engine and capable onroad/offroad features. The former is more of a casual commuter / funbike, while the “Adventure” is geared toward touring and long-range work, and naturally, both come with the top-notch engineering one expects from BMW.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW F 800 GS and F 800 GS Adventure.
Harley-Davidson Expanding into Adventure And Sportbike Segments
New models and whole new segments from Harley-Davidson, this is historical in its scope for the over-a-century-old motorcycle manufacturer. In keeping with the push to attract new riders, Harley has announced, as part of its “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” campaign, plans to expand into adventure-touring and sportbike segments.
Continue reading for more on the Harley-Davidson expansion plans.
2015 - 2019 Suzuki DR200S
Suzuki brings dual-sport capabilities to the entry-level sector with its DR200S. A heavy emphasis on offroad performance defines the overall look of the thing, and a 199 cc engine drives it over hill and dale as well as down the road with all the appropriate lighting for safety and legalities. The end result seems to be a functional, if plain, bike that provides a stable ride and moderate power with a humble overall bearing. A carry-over for the last few years, it hasn’t changed much, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki DR200S.
2016 - 2019 Indian Motorcycle Scout / Scout Sixty
2015 - 2019 Suzuki DR650S
It’s not the most attractive bike in the dual sport stable, though it’s small and scrappy with its 644 cc engine and so much fun to ride. With a glance at the DR650S from Suzuki and you might just dismiss it as an enduro bike. That would be doing it an injustice. It’s really a basic adventure bike that will get you off the pavement and into the woods with perhaps more gumption than a real adventure bike. Priced affordably, it isn’t a tragic to drop it as it would be otherwise and it is lightweight enough that you can pick it up and keep going.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki DR650S.
2017 - 2019 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT
Nobody blurs the line between scooter and ’proper’ motorcycle better than the engineers at BMW, and the C 650 range is no exception. The C 650 “Sport” and “GT” models have very few changes, but that’s not surprising given how difficult it would be to improve upon the bundle of features already built in. I mean, it’s a scooter with traction control and ABS on board, plus a relatively large and powerful engine with a sophisticated engine management system, so this is ’not’ your grandfather’s scooter. I have a great appreciation for German engineering, so I’m looking to see what all Beemer has tucked away on its not-so-little maxi-scooter.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW C 650 GT and C 650 Sport.
Work Begins on "Ducati World" at Mirabilandia Park
As manufacturers scramble for new riders, Ducati is going for the youngest of the young to start brand loyalty at an early age as it opens the very first motorcycle-brand themed area in an amusement park. The first stone for “Ducati World” was laid today at Mirabilandia Park in Ravenna, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy in the heart of what is Ducati’s homeland.
Continue reading for more on “Ducati World.”
2017 - 2019 BMW G 310 R / G 310 GS
BMW’s G 310 R roadster got a brother as it entered the 2017 model year with the addition of the adventuresome G 310 GS. The “GS” builds on the success of the “R” with a few subtle changes that shift the design toward the adventure bike end of the spectrum. Sharing the same 313 cc engine, the G 310 pair head into the low-displacement market alongside some hot competition.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW G 310 R and G 310 GS.
Trump Denies He’s To Blame For Harley-Davidson’s Decision
President Trump tweeted that Harley-Davidson’s decision to move the Kansas City plant operations to Thailand is not the result of his tariffs, and he is correct on that point. The real bottom line is that the operations aren’t moving to Thailand.
Continue reading for more on the Thailand plant and the tariff war.
BMW Motorrad Takes Touring To A New Level With Digital Accessories
Accurate tour planning and reliable navigation are only the beginning. BMW’s digital accessories include improved communication with your passenger, seamless telephone use, and better entertainment enjoyment while traveling by motorcycle.
Continue reading for more in BMW’s digital accessories.
Vespa Showcases 2019 SE Models at Amerivespa
Vespa unveiled the new special edition models of some of their most popular scooters last week at the annual Amerivespa rally held this year in Richmond, Virginia. These 2019 models are slated for release at U.S. dealers over the next few months.
Continue reading for more on the new Vespa SE models.
Ducati App Links Your Bike To Your Smartphone
The relationship between rider and machine gets a little tighter with the new Ducati Link App that connects to the bike while riding and allows the rider to make a complete travel record that is shareable, as well as allowing the rider to configure the bike’s performance parameters.
Continue reading for more on the Ducati Link App.
’Honda Adventure Roads’ Brings Africa Twin to South Africa
Honda Motor Europe offers 40 riders the opportunity to ride the CRF1000L Africa Twin, and its new-for-2018 “Adventure Sports” variant, on a road trip to the southern tip of the African continent in March 2019.
Continue reading for more on the Adventure Roads trip.
BMW Unveils Mid-Displacement Adventure Tourer Concept
At this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, BMW Motorrad unveiled its concept model of the 9cento (pronounced ’nova chen-toe’) adventure-sport motorcycle. Something totally new from BMW, the 9cento endeavors to bring together sport, adventure, and touring in one package.
Continue reading for more on the BMW 9cento Concept.
Harley-Davidson Returns To AIMExpo, Las Vegas, For 2018
Harley-Davidson returns to the AIMExpo in 2018 for its second appearance at the Nationwide event with all-new 2019 models. What better place to demo Harley’s new lineup than in Las Vegas, Nevada, in one of the most scenic and expansive riding areas in the country?
Continue reading for more on Harley-Davidson’s appearance at the 2018 AIMExpo.
Vespa World Days 2018 Wraps Up In Belfast
Over 3,000 Vespa scooters from 37 countries descended on Belfast, Northern Ireland, over the weekend for one of the most important gatherings of Vespa enthusiasts around the world: Vespa World Days. The annual event is a celebration of the Vespa legend, a scooter born in 1946 to become a true global icon that transcends generations, languages, and cultures.
Continue reading for more on 2018 Vespa World Days.
Honda Bringing Monkey and Super Cub C125 to the U.S.
Just announced, Honda is bringing their iconic Monkey and Super Cub C125 to the U.S. market for the 2019 model year. Both bikes have deep roots in Honda history and both were unveiled as concept models at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.
Continue reading for more on the Monkey and Super Cub.
Why Is A Harley Called A Hog?
William Shakespeare wrote, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” for a little play called Romeo and Juliet, maybe you’ve heard of it, but I would submit that the nicknames earned by motorcycles and manufacturers have much more in the way of a meaningful meaning than the simple labels we use every day. We just can’t help but come up with nicknames, sometimes for the manufacturer, sometimes for the bikes, and sometimes it applies to both. I want to take a look at some of the names that stand out among the detritus of history and try to shed some light on their origins. Just think of it as a bit of a semantic scavenger hunt. Some are pretty obvious to those in the know; this is for everyone else.
Continue reading for my exploration of manufacturers’ nicknames.
KTM Reveals Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Detection
Though still in development, KTM revealed its newest safety innovations in the form of Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Detection. The prototype systems installed on a 1290 Super Adventure S were demonstrated in Austria with the hopes of taking motorcycle safety to the next level.
Continue reading for more on KTM’s newest safety technologies.
2017 - 2018 Lance Cali Classic
Lance Powersports takes a stab at the cruiser market with the Cali Classic model range. Produced by the Sanyang Motor Company since 2010 and branded for Lance, the Cali falls into areas already covered by other models in the lineup, but it offers a bit of a more Western flavor in a bid to draw more of the North American market. Neither SYM nor Lance are particularly well-know entities on this side of the pond, but they might be worth a look for someone in the market for a scooter in the 50-to-200 cc range. New last year, the Cali Classic 200i replaced the 150, bringing fuel injection to the table.
Continue reading for my review of the Lance Cali Classic.
Harley Closes One Of Its Main Factories; What Does It Mean?
We’ve all seen the news. Harley-Davidson, the iconic American motorcycle manufacturer, has announced plans to close its Kansas City, Missouri, plant next summer and move operations to its York, Pennsylvania, plant. The Harley-haters are having tailgate parties and lots of folks are wringing their hands and quoting numbers and statistics over what could be spun into a story about a failing business. But is it really? What is really going on at MoCo headquarters?
Continue reading for my take on the plant closing and what it means.
2018 KYMCO Xciting 400i
The Kwang Yang Motor Company doggedly pursues its share of the rather limited American scooter market with its new-for-2018 XCiting 400i ABS that replaced the 500 from 2017. Sporty looks and cornering performance are the hallmarks of the XCiting family — possibly from whence the rather uninspired name springs — and the factory continues that legacy with this newest model. A 42-degree lean angle and 35-horsepower mill point to great potential for shenaniganery, or at the very least, a non-boring commute. Sleek and slim, the new 400i most definitely departs from the dated “classic” scooter design, and is a thoroughly modern ride.
Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO XCiting 400i.
My Top Five Bike Picks For Women Who Don’t Want A Cruiser
Is being a woman and wanting to ride a motorcycle a big deal nowadays? It isn’t as much a ’big deal’ now as it was a few decades ago. Our culture is more open to folks of the female gender doing anything and everything we want to do, but there is still a certain barrier when it comes to riding a motorcycle. Why? Because traditionally, bikes were designed with men in mind, at least 5’ 8” tall and with enough upper body strength to wrestle the weight and pick one up if it ended up on its side. Women were generally relegated to cruisers because we are typically shorter than men and cruisers have the low seat heights. That is changing as more manufacturers recognize that there is a whole customer base out here with money to spend. So what shall we spend our money on if we don’t want a plain ol’ cruiser?
Continue reading for my top 5 motorcycle picks that aren’t cruisers.
Ducati Aims To Bring Front and Rear Radar To The Market
Ducati is ticking off the boxes in a list of “first in safety” when it comes to technology. They’re the first motorcycle manufacturer in the world to have a vehicle interact with the jacket-integrated D|air system, and they’re the first to equip a classic model with the ground-breaking ABS Cornering system. So where do they go from here in their bid to introduce new safety systems and technologies? How about front and rear radar? How about front and rear radar that is already slated for 2020 release on one of its models?
Continue reading for more on Ducati’s safety innovations.
2014 - 2018 KYMCO Like 200i
Retro designs that hail back to the ’60s and ’70s are all the rage right now, and the Kwang Yang Motor Company out of Taiwan is trying to capitalize on that phenomenon with the Like 200i. KYMCO brings retro design and contemporary performance together on this ride with a 163 cc power plant and disc brakes under a body that rocks an appealing, dated look.
Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO Like 200i.
2014 - 2018 KYMCO Compagno 110i
The Kwang Yang Motor Company brings classic, Italian scooter style and modern performance together on the retro-flavored Compagno. This Taiwan-made ride sports a 112 cc mill that cranks out just shy of 10 ponies, and boasts electronic fuel injection with a quad-valve head.
Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO Compagno 110i.
2016 - 2018 Ducati Diavel
The Diavel is Ducati’s second venture into the cruiser market — the Indiana being the first — but I’m not sure the designers have the same idea of what a cruiser is as the American motorcycling public thinks about a cruiser. Powered by a 1198 cc engine packing 152 horsepower and 91 pound-feet of torque, the Diavel is more of a power-cruiser-sportbike and might appeal to riders from either market.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Diavel.
2015 - 2018 SYM Fiddle III 200i
Equipped with a new 169 cc fuel injected engine, the Fiddle III 200i from SYM is rated for 89 mpg, making it attractive as a commuter or an around-town errand runner. New bodywork gives the Fiddle a retro look and new seating provides more comfort for on-the-road travel. As one of SYM’s mid-range scooters, you get modern performance with an accessible price tag.
Continue reading for my review of the SYM Fiddle III 200i.
2018 Benelli Zafferano 250EFI
SSR Motorsports brings Benelli’s Zafferano 250EFI to the U.S. market as an alternative to the big-name, high-dollar marques. A metro-commuter visage greets the eye with sweepy, modern looks and a healthy dose of sporty sass. A 20-pony plant pushes the Zafferano, so the sporty looks are not just for show. All-around disc brakes and a CVT gearbox round out the modernized features.
Continue reading for my look at the Benelli Zafferano 250EFI.
Technology abounds with a plethora of alphabet-soup acronyms that boil down to a lot of electronic controls that bridle the scary power of the F4 RR from MV Agusta. (You may not be scared, but someone who loves you will be terrified.) Among them are eight-level traction control, electronically-assisted shift and ABS along with ride-by-wire and four engine maps that control throttle sensitivity, torque, braking, the rev limiter and engine response so you can dial in the controls specifically to suit you and your riding conditions.
Continue reading for my review of the MV Agusta F4 RR.
2013 - 2018 KYMCO K-PIPE 125
The mini-streetbike market heats up with new competition to go head-to-head with the long-standing K-Pipe 125 from Kwang Yang Motor Co, Ltd — better known to us as the Taiwanese manufacturer, KYMCO — introduced not long ago to the U.S. market. Intended to be lightweight and fuel-efficient, the K-Pipe gives the pocket bike class — long dominated by Honda with the Grom and now with the Z125 PRO from Kawasaki — a viable, less expensive option. Entry level? Yes. Commuter? Sure. Fun? Definitely.
Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO K-Pipe 125.
2017 - 2018 SSR Motorsports Razkull 125
“Pit bike,” “monkey bike,” and even “ankle-biter” has been used to describe the Razkull 125 from SSR Motorsports. I suppose arguments could be made for and against any and all of these monikers, but no matter what you call it, the Razkull is a fun little ride that is inexpensive, and easy to own and operate. Compact and powered by a 125 cc thumper, the Razkull demonstrates why going fast on a slow bike is a whole lot more fun than going slow on a fast bike.
Continue reading for my review of the SSR Motorsports Razkull 125.
2016 - 2018 SSR Motorsports’ Doohan iTank
SSR Motorsports has dipped a toe in the EV market with a handful of products, but the iTank scooter by Doohan takes the cake. Marketed under various names in different markets, the iTank rocks a Delta-trike configuration with a moderate range and plug-and-play, easy to use drivetrain. A leaning front end provides extra traction without sacrificing the sensation of flight, and the factory offers bags and a top case to convert it to a nice little campus commuter.
Continue reading to see our look at the Doohan iTank at SSR Motorsports.
2014 - 2018 Piaggio Fly 50 / Fly 150
On the campus, in the gated community or in an urban area, it’s hard to go wrong with a small-displacement scooter for running errands or generally getting around. Piaggio is happy to accommodate you with its Fly duo. On 12-inch wheels with all the usual storage a scooter can boast, the Fly 50 and Fly 150 carry a petite 1.8-ish gallon fuel tank; but with 100+ mpg in fuel economy, that little tank takes you far.
Continue reading for my review of the Piaggio Fly 50 and Fly 150.
2015 - 2018 Indian Chieftain / Chieftain Dark Horse
The Chieftain has all the classic elements that identify it as part of the Indian Motorcycle heritage, including classic badging and iconic War Bonnet mounted on the front fender, much like the figurehead on a wooden sailing ship leading the way into the wind. Carried forward into 2018, the Chieftain — powered by the triple-cam, V-twin Thunderstroke 111 engine — wears the same valenced fenders and vintage styling, leaving no question that it has a prominent place in the lineup of this historic brand.
Continue reading for my review of the Indian Chieftain and Chieftain Dark Horse.
2018 Wolf Jet Classic II
Wolf Brand Scooters brings its Jet Classic II forward into the 2018 model year as the big brother to the 50 cc Wolf Jet Classic. It sports the same retro-tastic look as its smaller-displacement sibling, but packs away a 150 cc plant that drives it to speeds up to 56 mph. Unique looks and generous chrome touches give the Jet II an attitude that you just don’t see very often on rides of the scooter persuasion, but one that I find appealing all the same. Let’s take a look at this little import and see how it stacks up against the competition.
See my review of the Wolf Jet Classic II.
2015 - 2018 Indian Chief Classic
The base model cruiser in the Indian Motorcycle lineup, the Chief Classic carries the vintage badging and iconic lighted War Bonnet that is still the hallmark of the brand even through the fits, starts and financial turmoil of various owners during the post-WWII years, right up to the turn of the century. Since Polaris acquired it in 2011, Indian has become its top-selling motorcycle brand. Carried forward for 2018 and powered by the Thunder Stroke® 111 engine, the Chief Classic has the styling and valenced fenders that identify it as classic Indian with rider amenities and features such as ABS, cruise control, keyless starting, electronic fuel injection and a manually-adjustable single-shock swingarm.
Continue reading for my review of the Indian Chief Classic.
2017 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra
Harley-Davidson’s three-wheeled Tri Glide Ultra moved into the 2017 model year with a handful of improvements and a brand-spanking new engine. The factory powers it with its powerful Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine introduced last year that cranks out over 100 pounds o’ grunt to place it well into the power-cruiser category, even though H-D markets it as a tour bike. Exhaust components rerouting addressed heat problems from prior model-years, and the King of Paint added a couple of new, two-tone paint schemes to the palette for 2017, as well as a 115th Anniversary model for 2018. Harley’s target market for this beast mainly consists of persons who are unwilling or unable to manage one of their admittedly top-heavy, two-wheeled tourers for one reason or another, and I’ve always considered it to be a very laudable thing to try and make sure that anyone who wants bugs in their teeth can have it.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra.
2016 - 2018 SYM Wolf Classic 150
We usually think of the Sanyang Motor Co., Ltd — better known to us as SYM — as a scooter company, so when looking at their little Wolf Classic 150, I expected ...well, I expected less than what I saw. Unlike the Wolf 125 and 250 released in Asian markets that had a definite sport-bike look, the Wolf Classic has a UJM styling reminiscent of the imports back in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Does it look like the old Hondas? It should. SYM made the Honda 125s for a few decades back so they are well acquainted with the style.
Continue reading for my review of the SYM Wolf Classic 150.
2017 - 2018 Lance Havana Classic
When it comes to building a retro-looking scooter, it’s hard to beat the classic Italian design, a fact not lost on Lance evidenced by its Havana Classic scooter family. The range covers the 50 cc, 125 cc, and the new-in-2017 200 cc brackets, which is a huge footprint in terms of price ranges and possible uses. There’s everything here from a campus runabout to a highway-capable commuter if you have the nerves for it, and all of it bears that timeless design that seems to have reached perfection in, oh, about 1959. I always love rides with this look and this little import sports plenty of that retro vibe that seems to appeal to the hipster crowd especially.
Continue reading for my review of the Lance Havana Classic 50, 125, and 200i.
2015 - 2018 Moto Guzzi Audace / Audace Carbon
“Audace” translates to audacious, daring or innovative— a fitting moniker for Moto Guzzi’s heavyweight cruiser Audace, and its carbon-fiber sibling, the Audace Carbon unveiled at the 2016 INTERMOT. These rides sport the typical, transverse-mount V-twin that gives MG products away at a glance, with 80-plus cubic-inches and almost 90 pound-feet of fun... er, I mean torque, on tap. Though it technically falls just shy of full-on, power-cruiser status, it’s close enough for government work and will likely appeal to the same sort of rider. So how does it stacks up in the U.S. market?
Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi Audace and Audace Carbon.