TJ Hinton

TJ Hinton joined the Topspeed team in 2015 to write for the motorcycle section. His education began in 1990 with community college courses in auto mechanics, but after a while in the field he decided that his true passion was for motorcycles. He attended the Motorcycle Mechanic’s Institute in Orlando, Florida in ’94-’95 and attained his certification to work on the ’Big Five’ with a specialty in Harley-Davidson products. Field experience includes working in an H-D dealership and acting as service manager/mechanic for a custom/aftermarket shop.

His first bike was a 1985 H-D XLX Sportster, and he has also owned a 1987 Honda Rebel 450, 1989 H-D FXRP and is currently riding a 2000 H-D XL883C. He brings over 20 years of riding and mechanical experience to the table.

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2019 Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle

2019 Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle

More Power, More Flat-Track Attitude

Ducati’s Scrambler Full Throttle was among the Scrambler models Ducati brushed up for the 2019 model year, and the revised version brings even more flat-track attitude to the table. The paint was spruced up a bit, along with the saddle to give the “FT” a year-specific finish. It ain’t all about the looks though; new electronics and safety equipment further increases its value right along with its curb appeal.

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2019 Honda CB500X

2019 Honda CB500X

Even More Adventure-Tastic

Honda brushed up its CB500X ahead of MY2019 with a number of improvements that come hot on the heels of the buffs it got just last year. There’s a number of engine tweaks that net a small gain in torque with a larger front wheel to better tackle road bumps and light terrain. The ’stop’ was boosted right along with the ’go’ in the form of a few refinements in the electronics department, as well as the hardware. Improvements in the suspension and rider’s triangle do their bit to increase rideability and comfort too, so without further ado, let’s dig into Honda’s new smallish-displacement adventure bike to see what else the Red Riders have going on over there.

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2019 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled

2019 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled

Its Off-Roadiness Goes Beyond Simple Aesthetics

The Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled saw its first major update ahead of MY2019 after only two years on the market, and the new version has a handful of things to offer over and above the previous gen. It starts with the bones reinforced to better withstand the rigors of off-road riding and rally-style tires that are designed for same. Rideability and comfort was buffed along with the security system, and the electronics suite features an off-road-specific upgrade as well. Those are the broad strokes, but as ever, the devil is in the details, so let’s dive right in and start chasing them down.

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2019 Honda CBR650R

2019 Honda CBR650R

The New Mid-Displacement Kid On The Block

Honda dropped an “F” and added an “R” to its lineup this year with its new CBR650R. The factory gave it a look that’s all its own with new fairings and a trim rear end, and it adds to the R’s race-tastic tendencies with an aggressive rider’s triangle. New Showa stems and powerful brakes add value while the souped-up engine adds compression and power to make the R a thrill to ride, along with new electronic safety features to help you keep it dirty-side down.

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2019 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer

2019 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer

One of Ducati’s Best Mid-Size Rides, Only Better

Ducati refined its Scrambler lineup ahead of MY2019, and the Café Racer was on the receiving end of a number of improvements. Curb appeal was buffed with new graphics, a new seat and old-school laced wheels, but it ain’t all about the vanity. The factory upgraded rideability and safety as well. In other words, Duc took one of its best mid-size rides and made it even better.

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Janus Motorcycles Features Quintessential Vintage Styling in a Trio of 220 cc Bikes

Janus Motorcycles Features Quintessential Vintage Styling in a Trio of 220 cc Bikes

It Turns Out That They ’Do’ Build Them Like They Used To

Janus Motorcycles offers three models in their 250-series line that all come with healthy doses of what is certainly quintessential “vintage” styling. You hear it all the time; “they just don’t build them like they used to.” Usually, that’s a good thing since we’re safer and more comfortable on the road than ever before, but I’d argue that motoring has all but lost one very important quality: charm. That’s right, I said it, and I can back it up.

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Harley-Davidson Announces The Price On Its LiveWire

Harley-Davidson Announces The Price On Its LiveWire

Are They Out Of Their Minds?

Harley-Davidson reveals the price on their new LiveWire electric bike, slated to be the first bike in a portfolio of EV rides, but at $30k, we have to wonder if the folks in the corner office have lost their minds.

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2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950 / 950 SP

2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950 / 950 SP

New Look, Lighter Weight, Improved Technology, More Horsepower

Ducati revamped its Hypermotard range ahead of MY2019 with the 950 and 950 SP to replace its outgoing Hypermotard 939 models. The new 950 borrows from the supermotard world for general design and rocks sharper angles for a more aggressive look. The 950 dropped some weight compared to its predecessor and replaced it with ponies for greater performance across the board, and the “SP” comes with top-shelf suspension and wheels, plus an expanded electronics suite and carbon fiber components to sweeten the deal. The hooligan-bike sector isn’t what you’d call the most populated by any means, but I’ve already got some potential competitors in mind so let’s go ahead and dive right into Ducati’s newest jackass bikes.

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2019 Honda CB500F

2019 Honda CB500F

Not Really Faster Than Last Year, Just Quicker

Honda gives its CB500F the ’BNL-plus’ treatment ahead of MY2019 with a number of aesthetic improvements and a four-percent boost in power over the previous gen. Naked as ever, the “F” brings its usual sense of style and practicality to the table to serve as a lower-midrange “all-rounder,” as the factory succinctly puts it. Today I’d like to take a deeper look at this model and see how it stacks up against an equally-raw domestic competitor.

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2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

More Power With A Wider Powerband

Kawasaki’s Ninja family has been a household name for over three decades now, and the factory aims to keep it that way with a couple of new models in the liter-bike range; the ZX-10R base model and its KRT variant. Toward that end, Kawi boosted power through a number of individual improvements throughout the engine. The engineers also added a few items that will certainly endear these siblings to the hearts of the race fans and wannabe knee-draggers out there, and they set up the head with those folks in mind as well. It doesn’t stop there; the electronics were upgraded with even more fandanglery on the menu, so without further ado, let’s dive into these new Ninjas and see what’s up.

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2017 - 2018 KTM 390 Duke

2017 - 2018 KTM 390 Duke

Smooth Engine, Plush Suspension

The value of indoctrination is not lost on KTM, evidenced by the fact that they’ve updated and generally spruced up their entry-level unit, the 390 Duke in 2017, and those improvements carry straight over into the 2019 season. New upside-down stems float the front end along with larger, more powerful brakes to help manage the energy from the 44-horsepower engine and 328-pound dry weight. Ride-by-wire tech makes an appearance for a bit of tech you normally don’t see at this price point. Add to this a fresh new look and you have a recipe for success, or so KTM hopes. Let’s dive in and see what else the Austrian bike maker has in store for us.

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2016 - 2019 Ducati XDiavel / XDiavel S

2016 - 2019 Ducati XDiavel / XDiavel S

The Sport-Cruiser That Really Is A Cruiser Sportbike

It’s safe to say that “cruiser” isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind when I think of Ducati, or even the third, yet here we are with the XDiavel and its slightly dressier, “S” trim package that carries the brand into uncharted waters. The “X” is meant to signify the cross and blending of the two worlds — cruiser and sport — and the end result is what the factory calls a “Techno-cruiser” due to its melding of Italian performance DNA and a more cruise-tastic rider triangle than you normally see from this brand. Powered by a 1,262 cc Testastretta engine, the XDiavel duo put the “sport” in “sport-cruiser” and opens the performance field to folks that ordinarily wouldn’t have such an option.

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2019 Zero Motorcycles FX

2019 Zero Motorcycles FX

With Improved Range and Faster Recharge

Range and performance are hot-button topics in the electric bike sector, to be sure, but so is variety, and Zero Motorcycles looks to address that last point with its newly improved, enduro-tastic FX model. Zero combines its powerful drive system with a terrain-loving chassis that lets you take your EV adventures just about anywhere you want. This is no soccer-mom’s SUV either. It brings genuine capability to the table with enough torque to gobble up hills for breakfast, be they paved or not. If that sounds like a lot, I assure you the FX can back up all my talk, so let’s dig into the details on this exciting genre-expanding ride to see what the future looks like, because this is it.

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2018 - 2019 Triumph Speed Triple S / RS

2018 - 2019 Triumph Speed Triple S / RS

More Power, More Poise, More Control

Triumph refurbished its Speed Triple family ahead of MY2018, and the British giant carries its new-for-’18 Speed Triple S and Speed Triple RS straight over into the 2019 lineup. These two rides epitomize the “performance naked” subgenre with a stripped-down look. They come with an updated powerplant alongside a robust electronics suite on the base model that gets even better on the “RS” variant. Power, poise and control, the new Speed Triples seem to have it all, so today I want to see how well they hold up to closer scrutiny and pit one of ’em against a likely competitor from Japan, or maybe Italy. Let’s get to it.

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2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire

The First In What Will Be A Portfolio Of Electric Bikes

Electric-powered bikes are at the cutting edge of technology as the world grapples with its fossil-fuel dependency and seeks viable alternatives, and the LiveWire represents the MoCo’s contribution to that effort. Harley-Davidson teased us back in ’14 with the Project Livewire prototype, but at the 2018 EICMA “Milan Show” the production version finally saw the light of day. This machine brings a slew of features to the table that shows that Milwaukee is not as mired in the past as its detractors would like to have you believe with safety and comfort amenities that qualify as top-shelf by anyone’s standards. This is a thoroughly modern ride with up-to-date equipment, and even though it’s operating within a still-niche genre, there’s no problem at all in finding a suitable competitor, so let’s get to it.

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2019 KTM 790 Adventure / 790 Adventure R

2019 KTM 790 Adventure / 790 Adventure R

Riders Asked For It - KTM Delivers It

KTM hits 2019 with a new platform for adventure fans; the 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure R. The factory credits its own customer base with the design of this new adventuresome duo, as they’re both based on direct feedback from same. As a result, they come off the showroom floor with a definite head start in the comfort and rideability departments; or at least they will after the Spring ’19 U.S. launch, that is. Today I aim to discover what all KTM has in store for us, and to build the anticipation for this long-awaited pair that will cover both the on- and off-road subgenres.

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2019 Ducati Monster 821 Stealth

2019 Ducati Monster 821 Stealth

A Highly Functional Tribute to the ’93 Monster 900

The Ducati Monster can trace its heritage back to the ’93 Monster 900, and the new “Stealth” variant serves as what you might call a highly-functional tribute piece for that venerated machine. It totes the usual suite of electronic gadgets with Ducati’s Quick Shift feature added to the stock package, and it boasts 100-plus horsepower in a design that is, paradoxically, both sexy and stocky at the same time.

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2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R

2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R

Probably The Fastest Bike You’ll Find For Less Than $10k

Kawasaki’s Ninja lineup made a well-deserved impression on the sportbike sector, and the factory elevates its game yet again with the 2019 ZX-6R. This newest mid-size Ninja “636” carries a host of improvements that range from vanity-to-vroom with spruced-up looks, LED lighting and new instrumentation, just to name a few. The electronics were upgraded as well, and the new features stack with the incumbent power modes, traction control, and on the ABS-equipped model, Kawasaki’s own Intelligent Brake System. Them’s (sic) the high points, but there’s a lot more to know about this middle Ninja, so let’s dive right in, shall we?

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2017 - 2018 BMW R nineT Racer

2017 - 2018 BMW R nineT Racer

Retro-Racer Style And Performance

BMW expanded its Heritage lineup for MY2017 with the R nineT “Racer” variant that it carries over right on into 2019. The Racer takes Beemer’s popular roadster and gives it a café-tastic bent that, in spite of the fact that it adds more body components, seems to accentuate the essential nature of the model. Power comes from a classic boxer engine, and of course, the factory threw on a handful of extra safety items to help you keep it all under control.

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2018 - 2019 BMW K 1600 B

2018 - 2019 BMW K 1600 B

Unmistakably "Bagger"

The bagger genre is a uniquely American phenomenon, and as such, it can be difficult to compete against the established domestic brands, but BMW does exactly that with its K 1600 B. At a glance, the “B” hits all the pertinent design high points, and under the hood, the thing is chock full of comfort and safety features to make the “B” capable of pulling double duty as a tour bike. If you’re into inches (no giggity), Beemer accommodates you with over a liter-and-a-half in its six-banger mill to make it capable of standing up to Honda’s Gold Wing — probably. So let’s dig into this Boulevard Bruiser and see how it actually compares to the hard data from Honda’s GW bagger.

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2018 - 2019 Kawasaki KLX250

2018 - 2019 Kawasaki KLX250

Revamped And Reintroduced To The US Market

Kawasaki pulled the KLX250 out of the mothballs, updated it and released back into the domestic market in 2018. That came on the heels of a three-year break, over which the KLX250 became kind of like the Loch Ness Monster, much discussed but rarely seen. Among the improvements are updated looks, revised suspension components and electronic fuel-injection that replaces the old Keihin carb from the previous generation. So, better looks, better ride and better performance in a market that hasn’t been glutted with KLX250 models for a few years.

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2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 800XCx

2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 800XCx

A True ’Adventure’ Adventure Bike

Triumph released a brand-new Tiger 800 XC lineup ahead of MY2018 with over 200 improvements across the board, and the British giant carries it straight over into the 2019 season. Not only does the littlest Tiger come with fresh bodywork, but the engine and electronics were upgraded, as well. Additionally, the factory beefed up the XCx’s off-road chops with some very specific tuning to give this model even more capability when the blacktop turns to brown.

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2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900

2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900

This Ain’t No Ordinary First-Gen Naked Bike

Kawasaki steps up its bid to grab a slice of the growing naked-bike market with the Z900 ABS. As demand for the genre increased, so have expectations of performance along with polished looks. Kawi built this ride to replace both the Z800 and Z1000 moving forward into the 2017 model year, so buyers should expect to find plenty of both of those qualities. Aside from the 948 cc engine, what did the factory throw on this all-new bike to make it competitive in a minimalist, sportster/roadster market? Let’s check it out and see.

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2017 - 2019 Aprilia Dorsoduro 900

2017 - 2019 Aprilia Dorsoduro 900

Aprilia’s "Fun Bike"

Aprilia’s Dorsoduro line added to its stable for MY17 with the all-new Dorsoduro 900. This supermoto-inspired ride serves as the successor to the popular Dorsoduro 750. It brings over 95-horsepower to the table with a ride-by-wire throttle, variable power delivery, traction control and ABS to help riders cope with the extra power. Not only does this show a certain amount of model-maturity, but it promises some security and safety for those who would use it in their day-to-day riding. Officially billed as a sportbike-supermotard hybrid, the factory also refers to it as “the fun bike.”

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2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCa

2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCa

Triumph Just Threw The Whole Electronics Catalog At It

Triumph’s new Tiger 1200 XCa resides comfortably at the top of food chain with all the fandanglery the British marque has to offer and it comes billed as its ultimate adventure bike. That sets a fairly high bar, but at a glance, it seems like the factory is on-point with oodles of goodies to include an off-road specific addition to the riding modes, a clutchless shifter and a keyless ignition to name a few. Today I’m going to dive into this globetrotting machine to see what else Trumpet stuffed in there, so join me while I check out this state-of-the-art adventure bike.

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2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Versys-X 300

2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Versys-X 300

A Street-Oriented Version Of The KLR

Kawasaki entered the 2017 model year with an eye toward the small-displacement adventure-bike market, and the all-new Versys-X 300 was its weapon of choice for this new front. The “X” joined the rest of the Versys adventure-bike lineup with the characteristic family flylines atop unique features all its own. Most apparent was the 296 cc engine attractive to riders looking to enter the adventure world as well as the young adults emerging as the new generation of pragmatic buyers.

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2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+

2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+

The Flagship Of The Versys Line

Kawasaki raised the bar for its Versys adventure-bike range with the new-for-2019 1000 SE LT+. The Special Edition rocks a host of new comfort- and safety-related features to put it on Kawi’s top shelf and make it the flagship of the Versys family. If that sounds like high praise, just read on and I assure you, I’ll prove it. It may be set up as an uber adventure-tourer, but the factory added a full electronics suite to include items usually reserved for proper race-style bikes, so this thing really is a Cadillac on two wheels. I’ve looked forward to delving into this machine, so without further ado, let’s check it out, then see if I can find a suitable competitor. I’m thinking a Brit or an Italian at this point; let’s see how it shakes out.

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2017 - 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 650 / V-Strom 650XT

2017 - 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 650 / V-Strom 650XT

The 2017 Update Made It A Contender

Adventure bikes are definitely a ’thing;’ they aren’t showing any sign of going away anytime soon, and Suzuki’s V-Strom is definitely one of the major players advancing the cause, as it were. A few years ago, Suzuki made the decision to drop the V-Strom 650 Adventure, and focus its energies on the base model 650 and 650XT. The result is palpable with a number of improvements made in the 2017 model year that will likely endear these rides to their fans even more. Now we have more power, plus a traction control system to help manage said power as well as some nifty aesthetic tweaks and more.

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2019 Energica Ego

2019 Energica Ego

It’s All About Performance

Italian EV-bike builder Energica buffed up its Ego superbike for MY2019 with a number of comfort- and control-centric features intended to increase its appeal and viability as an alternative to internal combustion bikes. Not only does the factory show due concern for performance, but it goes farther than most to retain the smoker-bike look that lets the Ego blend right in with a crowd of the usual super/street suspects. Electric bikes are still fighting to expand the toehold it has in the market, and it’s bikes like this that the still-burgeoning genre needs to continue to grow. Think I’m overselling it? Just wait till you see what all the Ego has going on under the hood before you make that call.

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2019 Kawasaki Z400

2019 Kawasaki Z400

A ’Z’ On The Outside; A Ninja On The Inside

Kawasaki needed to plug a hole in its super-naked lineup between the Z300 and the Z650, so it cooked up the new Z400 ABS to do the job. Aggressive Kawi styling dominates the look, but not necessarily the attitude, to make the Z400 an excellent commuter/first upgrade from whatever you cut your teeth on. The ergonomics are friendly to shorter inseams and conducive to relaxed riding, so this is a bike that should cover a range of body types. Is it right for you? Let’s find out.

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2019 Ducati Diavel 1260 / 1260 S

2019 Ducati Diavel 1260 / 1260 S

A New Heart For The Devil

Italian powerhouse Ducati hits MY2019 with an all-new pair of Diavel models for the sport-naked sector: the Diavel 1260 and 1260 S. Both toe the family line as far as aesthetics are concerned, and they even run the same exact Testastretta powerplant so the differences between the two essentially come down to the trim package and chassis features. Performance and safety go hand-in-hand with a number of top-shelf electronic goodies to help you keep all that power under control. This bike is truly a rolling tribute to Ducati’s ingenuity, and the best is under the hood hidden away from plain sight, so today I want to delve into this pair and see how it stacks up against some of the likely competition from Japan or maybe elsewhere in Europe.

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2019 Triumph Speed Twin

2019 Triumph Speed Twin

A Modern Version Of Triumph’s Most Iconic Bike

Triumph expanded its “Modern Classics” lineup ahead of MY2019 with the new-for-’19 Speed Twin as a tribute piece that pays visual homage with all the modern yummy-goodness you’d expect tucked away under the hood and out of sight. The result; a clean-looking classic with gobs of retro appeal, and that’s an important detail because the newest generation of riders has shown themselves to have an interest in the old-school looks, much to their credit. So let’s take a closer look at Trumpet’s newest Speed Twin; not the first of its name.

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2019 Triumph Bonneville T120 ACE

2019 Triumph Bonneville T120 ACE

Paying Tribute To London’s Ace Cafe And The Original Café Racers

Triumph enjoys some of the deepest roots around, and it takes advantage of them with the new Bonneville T120 ACE. The “Ace” comes loaded with retro styling and old-school custom flavor for a double-whammy of dated British style. Under the hood, the Ace is a thoroughly modern ride with a robust electronics suite and powerful engine to go with contemporary comforts and convenience.

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2019 Zero Motorcycles DS / DSR

2019 Zero Motorcycles DS / DSR

More Horsepower, More Torque, Faster Charging and Greater Range

For years now, Zero Motorcycles has pushed the EV-bike envelope in an attempt to show how viable/flexible battery-bikes can actually be, and the factory just took another important developmental step with a fresh set of updates for its DS and DSR. These dual-sport rides toe the genre line with their overall design, but of course, the real magic is under the hood with an all-electric drivetrain the factory graced with both a power boost and a range increase in an effort to expand the factory’s footprint within this rapidly burgeoning market segment. Street-electrics generally stay in relatively civilized areas, but dual-sport rides are just as happy off the beaten path and that brings its own set of variables and issues to be resolved, so today I want to take a look at this pair to see what all the factory has done to address those concerns.

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2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700

2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700

We’re Still Waiting; Is It Worth The Hype?

Yamaha’s Ténéré line expands down into the mid-range with the all-new Ténéré 700 (XTZ700). The “700” brings solid dual-sport capability to the adventure-touring range with an off-road bent that definitely favors soft terrain. Yammy’s CP2 engine delivers the goods with a transmission and chassis tuned specifically for trips off the beaten path, much more so than its bigger brothers in the Super Ténéré family. After a race to the top, this model marks a new front in the battle for market supremacy as the factory seeks to fill in under the 1,200 cc units, so let’s see where the balance between price and value lies on this newest and smallest Ténéré.

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2018 - 2019 Yamaha XMAX

2018 - 2019 Yamaha XMAX

Quite Sophisticated For Surprisingly Low Price

Yamaha brought the XMAX to the U.S. market last year after testing it in Europe for a bit. It’s a shame that it took this long ’cause the 300 cc class makes a lot of sense on our side of the Pacific Rim/Pond. A 27.6-horsepower mill promises enough speed to be safe, even comfortable, at highway velocities, and that’s ’muy importante’ in the American market. This performance comes bundled with a decidedly modern and mature look that just screams metro-commuter to me, and not necessarily for the younger set, either.

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2019 Ural M70

2019 Ural M70

The End Of The Road For An Iconic Bike With Roots Well-Entrenched In History

Ural offers the M70 for the rider base who lacks the adventuresome spirit to ride on the old-school IMZ front end prevalent throughout the rest of the range. It hits all the other major Ural high points with a look that’s straight out of Germany circa 1930s-ish with the classic boxer engine, and of course, a sidecar. This ride is definitely the most modern machine Ural brings to the table, in spite of its looks and this is the last year it is offered, so let’s dive into this rolling paradox to see what else our crazy Russian buddies have going on over there.

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2019 KYMCO SuperNEX

2019 KYMCO SuperNEX

Zero-to-60 in 2.9 Seconds. Wait! What?

The electric vehicle arms race has expanded into the two-wheel sector with some predictable big-name players clamoring for their share, but KYMCO — better known for scooters and small-displacement internal-combustion-engine (ICE) bikes — enters the fray with its SuperNEX. This thing seems aptly named with superbike-like body panels and performance to back up the claims implied by such a name. Safe to say that this is new territory on two fronts for the Taiwanese manufacturer; it’s the first truly full-size bike and the first serious foray into the world of electric bikes. Gotta’ say, this thing wasn’t even on my radar until it popped up at the Milan show, so join me and we’ll discover this stunning ride together.

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2016 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Roadster

2016 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Roadster

Maybe Not Fast, But Certainly Quick

A little sparse, a little spare, and an exercise in understatement describes the new-in-2016 Harley-Davidson Roadster, at least in appearance. Performance-wise, it’s agile with a greater lean angle than the Sportster stable is used to having. Not just a cut-down Sportster, the Roadster features a different frame and enhanced suspension along with the tried-and-true air-cooled Evolution engine.

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2019 Vespa Elettrica

2019 Vespa Elettrica

Sophisticated Electronics In A Classic-Styled EV Package

As far as I’m concerned, the only thing better than new technology like all-electric drivetrains is when such fandanglery makes a classic presentation, and Vespa’s Elettrica hits both of those high notes. The timeless Italian design looks much like the rest of its current lineup, but under the skin, the battery and electric motor deliver the goods and push EV scooters into the realm of viability. Think I’m overstating things? Just read on and let me make my case.

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2016 - 2019 Yamaha SMAX

2016 - 2019 Yamaha SMAX

A Minimal-Displacement Highway-Legal Sport Scooter

Yamaha’s new-in-2016 SMAX scooter features a 155 cc engine, which knocks it off the usual tier-license tables, but brings us a minimal-displacement highway commuter option for the U.S. market. The unusual engine size puts the displacement just over the line making it legal to hit the interstate and second now in size to the XMAX in the Yamaha scooter stable for 2019.

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2019 Ural CT

2019 Ural CT

With All Of The Storage, It’s Like A 750 cc Shopping Cart

Ural revised its lineup ahead of MY2019 with a host of improvements to the drivetrain, and the CT is one of the units buffed to carry the marque into the 21st century. As with all of Ural’s products, the CT mounts an old-fashioned sidecar that, in turn, acts as a platform for a number of stock accessories. This is a more urban-centric of Ural’s products and not the terrain-tackling Gear Up model meant for use off the beaten path, so its best for folks who plan on staying on relatively civilized roads. It’s also the cleanest base model that Ural has to offer, so let’s check out this “entry-level” sidecar and see how it stacks up against some of the others in the three-wheeled field.

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2019 Yamaha Niken GT

2019 Yamaha Niken GT

The New Leaning Multi-Wheel Transcontinental Tourer

It became apparent very quickly that Yamaha had a hit on its hands with its Leaning Multi-Wheel Niken, so the Tuning Fork Company looks to keep the momentum going with a tour-tastic, Gran Turismo variant. The “GT” brings that LMW stability and performance to the table along with a number of comfort-related upgrades and storage features that are meant to help you expand your horizons right off the showroom floor. We’re talking about features that would set you back several grand if you were to try to build one out of an accessories catalog. This is an exciting development for trike fans, so today I want to take a look at the new GT and see how it stacks up against some of the likely competitors.

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2019 Genuine Motorcycles G400C

2019 Genuine Motorcycles G400C

A Long-Running Classic Style

Domestic importer Genuine Scooters steps away from its self-proclaimed territory with a jaunt into proper motorcycle country. The “new” G400C is the flagship for this venture under the Genuine Motorcycles banner with some deep design roots that span decades and brands to bring a genuine classic to the table, if you’ll forgive the pun.

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2019 Zero Motorcycles S / SR

2019 Zero Motorcycles S / SR

More Range, More Torque, Faster Charging, More Fun

The electric-bike market becomes more viable almost daily it seems, and Zero is at the cutting edge with a number of improvements for its naked-sportbike series — the “S” and “SR” models – going into 2019. We’re talking about more power with a higher top-end kind of improvements, and that’s on top of faster recharge times and a lighter curb weight; in other words, just about every important metric was buffed for MY19. Even the electronics are smarter this year to complete the package. This might be the hottest thing going in the EV bike sector at this point, so today I want to see what’s under the hood and how it stacks up against some of the likely competition.

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2016 - 2019 Suzuki Boulevard S40

2016 - 2019 Suzuki Boulevard S40

If You Wait Long Enough, Everything Comes Back In Style

Suzuki pushes the venerable Boulevard S40 line into the 2019 model year with naught but a few extra touches to the paint. In fact, little has really changed with this ride since it came out in 1988 under the LS650 “Savage” moniker, and that honest simplicity is one of the main draws for this compact sled. Unfortunately, therein lies one of its biggest flaws as well. Air-cooled and carbureted, I imagine its low 652 cc displacement is the only reason it is able to meet emissions, and I fully expect tightening regulations to eventually strangle this line. At the very least, said laws may force it into the 21st century with fuel injection and a water jacket and radiator, but that’s speculation. Today, I’m going to delve into what we know to be true and take a look at the brushed-up S40 as it sits for MY19.

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2019 BMW C 400 GT

2019 BMW C 400 GT

Surprisingly Sophisticated Electronics For Its Class

BMW Motorrad expands its C 400 range with a Gran Turismo version designed to bring some long-distance capabilities to the table. This mid-size scooter features comfort amenities alongside safety features that deliver peace of mind, and let’s face it, peace of mind has a comfort factor all its own. Cutting-edge electronics and multimedia connectivity come standard, and I gotta’ say the electronics suite is vastly superior to a good number of “proper” motorcycles on the market today. Think I’m overstating it? Hold that thought for just a few minutes and I’ll make a believer of you.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW C 400 GT.

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2019 Kawasaki W800 Café

2019 Kawasaki W800 Café

One Of The More Authentic Tribute Bikes

Classic looks and modern performance come together with a parallel-twin to push this homegrown-looking bike, the new Kawasaki W800 Café. Unveiled at 2018 EICMA, the factory pulled out all the stops to give it a custom, homegrown appeal.

Continue reading for my look at the Kawasaki W800 Café.

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2015 - 2019 Suzuki Boulevard C50 / Boulevard C50T

2015 - 2019 Suzuki Boulevard C50 / Boulevard C50T

Middleweight Cruiser and Tourer

Suzuki unveiled the Boulevard C50 back in 2005 after renaming its “Volusia” bike of prior model years. The C50 and C50Ts carry straight into 2019 with a mid-displacement engine to serve as Suzuki’s mid-size cruiser and weekend tour bike. Smooth acceleration and comfortable seating combine with laced wheels and classic styling to keep the C50s on the list of middleweight contenders in the two-wheeled market.

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2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Z650 ABS

2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Z650 ABS

Hot New Contender In The Middleweight Streetfighter Market

Kawasaki makes inroads into the naked streetfighter market with the new-in 2017 Z650. Drawing from the popular Ninja line, the factory gave the Z650 that 649 cc parallel twin and put it in a new, lighter weight frame for improved handling and a exponentially greater fun factor.

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2017 - 2019 Triumph Street Cup

2017 - 2019 Triumph Street Cup

Everything You’d Expect From A Contemporary Café Racer

Triumph expanded its Bonneville Street Twin family a bit to include the new-in-2017 Street Cup. The SC brings the café-tastic vibe of the Thruxton to a smaller engine bracket with a 900 cc mill, thus opening up the club-racing world to entry-level riders and offering experienced riders the option of downsizing for convenience without giving up too much in the way of fun. Sporty and quick, this ride seems to be everything one would expect from a contemporary café racer.

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2019 Kawasaki Ninja 125

2019 Kawasaki Ninja 125

A Balance Of Limited Performance And Fun Ride

Indoctrination is best started young, and Kawasaki shows that it agrees with that assertion with its new-for-2019 Ninja 125 targeting the youngest riders within the tiered licensing system favored by much of the EU and UK. The A1 bracket’s restrictions are fairly severe, and it takes a special machine to balance the limited performance requirements against what it takes to make something actually fun to ride. Kawi’s littlest Ninja brings the right blend of small-bike power and big-bike handling to the table to fit that bill, so today I want to check out this exciting new ride and see how it stacks up against the competition from some of the other big four.

Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Ninja 125.

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My Top Concept Bike Picks From 2018 EICMA

My Top Concept Bike Picks From 2018 EICMA

Concept To Prototype: Some May Actually See The Light Of Day

As much fun as it is to see all the new bikes that are already slated for production and release, it’s the [concept bikes-<mot297] that really do it for me. The EICMA show presents a number of such items, so join me while I give a run-down of some of my favorites.

Continue reading for a look at my favorite concept bikes from 2018 EICMA.

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My Top Electric Bike Picks From 2018 EICMA

My Top Electric Bike Picks From 2018 EICMA

We’re Talking Some Space-Age Stuff Here

The EICMA bike show is in full swing, and so far, fans of the burgeoning EV sector have a lot to be excited about. Besides its limited range, one of the biggest challenges for the EV bike builders is the lack of diversity, but this year at the Milan show, it’s clear that issue has been addressed. I’ve picked out six interesting models that cover three genres, so let’s get to it.

Continue reading for my picks among the electric bikes at 2018 EICMA.

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KTM Heats Up The Off-Road Scene At 2018 EICMA

KTM Heats Up The Off-Road Scene At 2018 EICMA

New Adventure and Enduro Bikes For The 2019 Lineup

Oh boy sports fans, the new show season is in full swing and KTM is taking advantage of the 2018 EICMA show in Milan to gain some exposure for some exciting new stuff that’s headed down the pipe.

Continue reading for more on the new KTM models.

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Kawasaki Unveils New Models at 2018 EICMA

Kawasaki Unveils New Models at 2018 EICMA

Four New Models Headed For Our Shores

Kawasaki has been busy ahead of MY19, and it hit the 2018 EICMA show in Milan with a handful of exciting new machines that are headed for our shores sooner rather than later.

Continue reading for more on Kawasaki at EICMA.

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2019 Ural Gear Up

2019 Ural Gear Up

The On-Demand Two-Wheel-Drive Sidecar

Ural Motorcycle — the Russian company built around a captured German machine from WWII — hits 2019 with some fairly major updates that bring the Gear Up into the 21st century. Most of the improvements are “under the hood” as it were, but the factory brushed up the looks and specific equipment for three submodels to make the “GU,” potentially, four rides out of one. Cross-country safety is increased with these models as they’ve been on the receiving end of a universal spare tire that will work in any of the three possible positions. This is the most thorough engine update in quite a while, so let’s check out what those clever Russians have in store for us.

Continue reading for my review of the Ural Gear Up.

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2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 650

2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 650

A Saucy Middleweight Contender

Coming off an update in MY2017, the Kawasaki Ninja 650 remains a very capable sportbike as we move into 2019. The Ninja is powered by a 649 cc, water-cooled engine with all the wizardry needed to earn it a place in the iconic Ninja lineup.

Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Ninja 650.

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2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC

Not Just A Name, It’s An Actual Scrambler

Triumph Motorcycles bills its new Scrambler 1200 XC as an “all-road” machine that’s got what it takes to tackle everything you throw at it. Not quite as off-road-tastic as its sibling, the 1200 XE, it nevertheless delivers top-shelf performance by anyone’s standards. Adjustable, long-stroke suspension components join a “scrambler-tuned” engine and wire wheels for the brown-top work, and for the blacktop, there’s a whole slew of electronic safety goodies that give the “XC” its split-personality. Bonneville power and classic looks come together in the XC, so today I want to dive into the details of this Gemini ride.

Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC.

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2019 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport

2019 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport

The V9 Bobber’s Smokin’-Hot Cousin

Moto Guzzi modified its already-sporty V9 Bobber with even more race-tastic yummy-goodness to produce its new-for-2019 V9 Bobber Sport. The “Sport” pays homage to the post-WWII flat dirt track racers of the late forties and fifties with beefy tires, liberal blackout treatment and fork boots. Aesthetics may be intentionally dated, but performance from the 850 twin is entirely modern with a double dose of electronic safety gear to boot. A special, two-tone palette wraps the package up and identifies it at a glance, and of course, the racing bits make a slightly more subtle impact that further sets it apart from the base V9 Bobber.

Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport.

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2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro

2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro

Built For The Kind Of Race That Is Measured In Days, Countries, Or Continents

Ducati refined its dual-surface game ahead of 2019 with a new, larger engine for its largest Multistrada adventure platform. The result is the souped-up 1260 “Enduro” that necessarily brings more power to the table along with an even greater affinity for off-road work to deliver an almost rally-style package. Of course, the factory backs it up with a robust accessories line that lets you gear up according to taste and needs. It isn’t all about the brown; the electronics suite makes sure that the Enduro retains its road-friendly mien so it can continue to serve as Ducati’s primary globetrotter. Today I want to check out the new Enduro to see what all makes it tick, and see how it compares to another proper dual-purpose ride.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro.

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2019 MV Augusta F4 Claudio

2019 MV Augusta F4 Claudio

A Superbike Tribute To "The World’s Best-Looking Bike"

Tribute pieces frequently pay homage to a particular year-model or perhaps a certain race, but MV Agusta’s F4 “Claudio” is a piece of art that doubles as a mobile shrine to its designer; Claudio Castiglioni. The factory used the F4 as a platform for a whole host of ’luxe aesthetics that brush up the looks; no mean feat for a bike called “the world’s best-looking bike” back in ’97. This machine is far from all-show/no-go. It comes with track-capable power and the electronics you’ll need to keep it all under control. It’s truly a spectacular specimen, but don’t take my word for it, read on and let me convince you.

Continue reading for my review of the MV Agusta F4 Claudio.

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2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE

Tough Enough For The Baja 1000 Endurance Race

Triumph brings classic scrambler looks and modern performance together with its new-for-MY2019 Scrambler 1200 XE. The “XE” carries itself with plenty of the old-school standard DNA on display and an off-road bias that leaves no doubt as to how it’s meant to be used. Proper “any-road” hoops deliver the goods on just about any surface, but it’s the top-shelf safety electronics that really sell this Bonneville-powered ride. Triumph promises a machine with a true dual-identity, so today I want to test that claim and see how it stacks up against one or two prominent competitors.

Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE.

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2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx

2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx

Absolutely Laden With Upscale Electronics

Triumph polished its off-road chops ahead of MY2018 with a new Tiger 1200 XCx that rocks more of what you want and less of what you don’t in an adventure bike. The “XCx” is looking trim at the scale after a Summer at fat-camp, and that trickles down to turn in improved handling and performance from the improved chassis and significantly upgraded powerplant. Adjustable ride-quality controls ride alongside layered electronic safety features to make this XCx quite flexible and capable of fitting a variety of roles and riders. The Tiger moniker has always set a high bar, so today let’s see how Trumpet measures up against its own yardstick and check out the likely competition.

Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx.

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2018 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 400

2018 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 400

The New Big Small-Displacement Ninja

Kawasaki took the next step in the struggle to find that perfect balance between displacement, performance and affordability with the new-in-2018 Ninja 400. This ride delivers the aggressive styling that you expect from the Ninja family with a host of improvements over the previous generation. More power, less weight and a mature presentation should hold the new Ninja in good stead in the highly-competitive small-displacement sportbike market that serves as the main battlefield in the contest to instill some brand loyalty in the increasingly important Millennial buyer base.

Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Ninja 400.

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2014 - 2019 Honda CBR125R

2014 - 2019 Honda CBR125R

Honda produced its CBR125R for one reason, and one reason only; as a trainer bike for new riders who are into, or who want to be into, supersport motorcycles. It’s built to deliver the same eager and agile handling as its larger-displacement siblings, just with a powerplant that meets A1 license requirements. Big-bike style and feel helps train the next generation of would-be fiery-eyed pegdraggers, whether they be destined for that actual “Track Life,” or just want to look like they are. The 125 cc bracket may be the lowest meaningful classification, but it’s also one of the most important as it targets the entry-level market and represents the first real opportunity to instill some brand loyalty. Let’s check out Honda’s littlest CBR today and see what all the Red Riders have going on over there, then we’ll see how it stacks up against one of its domestic competitors.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda CBR125R.

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2016 - 2019 Suzuki Hayabusa

2016 - 2019 Suzuki Hayabusa

It’ll Scare The Crap Out Of Someone Who Loves You

It’s a Hayabusa. Is there really anything more to be said? It’s Suzuki’s Gixxer 1,340 cc monster speed machine back again for 2019. The ’Busa is one of the biggest sportbikes out there, so yeah, big and heavy; you don’t want to go slow very long. Once at speed, the bike is in its element. If you look up ’Stupidfast’ in the dictionary and you’ll find a picture of a Hayabusa.

(Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Hayabusa.}

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2019 Suzuki GSX-S750 / GSX-S750Z

2019 Suzuki GSX-S750 / GSX-S750Z

New Fuel-Injected Engine For An Even More Thrilling Ride

Suzuki shuffled its “standard” selections ahead of MY2019 with a new powerplant based on the proven Gixxer mill. The GSX-S750 lineup includes an ABS model and a custom-flavored, “Z” blackout package that the factory hopes will cover all the bases in the mid-size naked-sport sector. Additionally, it rocks a robust electronics suite with engine-control features as well as safety-related goodies. Power and agility (read: fun) come together with Spartan looks and a modicum of comfort on these bikes, so let’s dive right into the details to see what else Suzuki has in store for us.

Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki GSX-S750 ABS and GSX-S750Z.

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2018 - 2019 Suzuki SV650X

2018 - 2019 Suzuki SV650X

Spunky Mid-Displacement Café-Style SV For Your Riding Pleasure

Suzuki expands its SV650 roadster lineup for the 2019 model year with its café-tastic SV650X ABS. The “X” sports some subtle changes to the bodywork, plus a not-so-subtle bullet fairing to make that crucial historical connection to the target era sometime back in the seventies. The suspension system was updated for the whole SV650 family across the board, and it brings a spring-preload feature to the front end that will be difficult to match at this price point and genre. Power comes from the same 645 cc twin that pushes the rest of the family with 75 ponies ready to go and a handful of electronic fandangelries to help manage them. What else has Suzuki got in store for us? Let’s dig into this tasty mid-size ride and see.

Continue reading for our review of the Suzuki SV650X.

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2017 - 2019 BMW S 1000 R

2017 - 2019 BMW S 1000 R

This Ain’t Your Granddad’s Roadster

The BMW S 1000 R was on the receiving end of a facelift ahead of the 2017 model year, and it carries that enhanced package right on into MY2019. BMW’s liter-sized naked roadster rolls with a new frame, increased engine output and Euro 4 emissions compliance. That comes on top of the already impressive electronics package that includes Beemer’s Automatic Stability Control, Ride Modes and a Race ABS feature.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW S 1000 R.

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2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

Low Seat Height, Butt-Friendly Saddle, And A Smooth Ride

Harley-Davidson’s Fat Boy survived the Great Purge of 2017 that saw so many models eliminated from the Softail and Dyna lineups as the former absorbed the latter. The FLSTF joins the rest of the all-new-in-2018 Softail range with a completely reworked frame and a choice between the 107-inch and 114-inch Milwaukee-Eight powerplant. New design features add to the aesthetics and clearly mark these Fat Boys as members of the New Guard.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.

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2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe

Ride It Again For The First Time

With the Softail Deluxe, Harley-Davidson brings a strong dose of nostalgia and antique design and with it comes H-D’s Big-Twin powerplant — the Milwaukee-Eight 107 — and its 109 pound-feet of stump-pulling torque that turned in a stronger top-gear roll-on than any previous engine family before it with the same 45-degree V-Twin. The charm and engine lope that even the oldest fans of the brand would recognize wasn’t lost and ABS, security and oodles of laid-back, classic vibes are included in the standard equipment package, so this is truly a melding of two technologically-distinct eras.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe.

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2016 - 2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90 B.O.S.S.

2016 - 2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90 B.O.S.S.

Blacked-Out Boulevard Bruiser

There can be no doubt that the American cruiser market is heating up, and Suzuki looks to capitalize on that class popularity with its Boulevard C90 Blacked-Out Special Suzuki (B.O.S.S.) model. Powered by a 1,462 cc V-twin engine, the C90 B.O.S.S. lives up to its name with black-out styling and agile handling for that sinister boulevard-bruiser look and feel. Let’s take a look at what Suzuki is doing to maintain a foothold with buyers in the U.S. cruiser market.

Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Boulevard C90 B.O.S.S.

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2019 Yamaha YZF-R125

2019 Yamaha YZF-R125

Enjoy The Thrill Of Riding Balls-To-The-Wall

Yamaha takes early indoctrination to a whole new level with its YZF-R125 meant to scoop up riders who live in areas that use the tiered-license system. That’s right, it’s an R-series model specifically built for A-1 license holders in Europe and the U.K. The trackside DNA is evident in the overall look that borrows heavily from its larger-displacement siblings in keeping with it intended use as an entry-level trainer. Supersport looks and handling meet license restrictions to make this a proper first-timer’s bike, so today, I’d like to take a look at the details and see what it will likely face in the contest to rope in riders and instill brand loyalty at the earliest possible.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha YZF-R125.

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2018 - 2019 Honda Africa Twin

2018 - 2019 Honda Africa Twin

After A Trip To Fat Camp, The Africa Twin Is Badder Than Ever

Honda gave its CRF1000L “Africa Twin” a complete overhaul for the 2018 model year, a rebuild so complete that the new version shares not a single part with the old, according to the factory. Engine improvements include both hardware and software that starts with a Throttle-by-Wire system that enables even more electronic wizardry under the hood, as it were. The improvements make their way into the gearboxes on both the manual tranny and the optional, auto-shifting DCT. The factory buffed safety as well with a handful of new features such as the Emergency Stop Signal feature that flashes the hazards during hard braking actions. There’s plenty more packed in there, so let’s go ahead and get into the details.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda Africa Twin.

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2019 Yamaha YZF-R3

2019 Yamaha YZF-R3

Sport Trainer? Fun Commuter? Either Or Both!

Done properly, brand indoctrination starts early, and the newly updated [YZF-R3 is Yamaha’s primary bid for the supersport larvae it needs to support the rest of the range. The”R3” presents a race-tastic face to the world with design elements borrowed from its big brothers, the YZF-R6 and R1. It sports lower-drag bodywork and the same powerplant as the ’18 model for a net performance gain, however slim, and maintains its agile nature/fun factor for experienced pilots. Yamaha set the bar for the YZF family pretty high already, so let’s dive right in and see what else the Tuning Fork Company has in store for us on its next-to-littlest supersport.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha YZF-R3.

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2019 Triumph Street Twin

2019 Triumph Street Twin

Big Update = Even More Fun

Triumph Motorcycles reprises its Street Twin model ahead of MY2019 in a bid to maintain the momentum it garnered in ’18 with updated looks and performance to match. This is Trumpet’s most popular unit within its modern-classic lineup, so the pressure is on to give everyone more of what they want. New, first-in-class technology works under the hood to make your rides safer, and improvements to the engine boost the fun-factor by something in the neighborhood of 18-percent for a difference that will definitely register on the old heinie-dyno. I’m curious to see how it hold up to closer scrutiny as well as how it holds up against a likely opponent, so let’s get to it.

Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Street Twin.

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2019 Triumph Street Scrambler

2019 Triumph Street Scrambler

Significant Upgrades Including More Power & More Torque

Triumph’s Street Scrambler made a splash when it hit the market a couple of years ago, and the factory rolls out a fresh, new generation for the 2019 model year. That’s right; the “SS” brings more yummy-goodness to the table with an updated look to go with a whole passel of improved electronic features that turn this classic into a thoroughly modern ride. It isn’t all about the visuals and hang-on gear either, the powerplant generates 18% more fun (or power, if you insist) for your riding enjoyment. Really, it would almost be easier to tell you what isn’t new, but that’s not why they feed me, so let’s dig into this new Trumpet and see if we can find a suitable competitor for it.

Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Street Scrambler.

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2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Low Rider

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Low Rider

One Of The Softail Initiates From The Dyna Family

Powered by the Milwaukee-Eight engine with a total of 110 pound-feet of torque, the agile Softail frame brings heretofore unseen performance to the Low Rider. Harley-Davidson is digging deep to give us better handling and more power and the Low Rider is a prime example.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Low Rider.

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2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

Wherever Your Journey Takes You, Make Sure The Road Is Twisty

KTM has proven itself capable of producing competitive dirtbikes and popular streetbikes, and 2019 sees a next-gen Gran Turismo that targets the sport-tour genre for domination. Sure, the previous model set a pretty high standard, especially if you like your sport-tour machines heavy on the sport, but our Austrian friends managed to raise the bar even more with a handful of improvements this year in the 1290 Super Duke GT. Comfort and convenience were buffed along with the instrumentation, all with even more race-tacular tendencies due to the revised V-Twin powerplant and improved electronic aids. It’s a hotly-contested market that the “GT” looks to compete within, so today, I’m going to dissect this “spawn-of-Beast” and see how it stacks up.

Continue reading for my review of the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT.

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2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low

2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low

The Pinnacle Of The Non-CVO Tourbikes

Lots of Harley-Davidson’s lineup hit the cutting room floor this year, but the top-shelf Ultra Limited and Ultra Limited Low remains a constant, at least through the 2019 model year. This pair represents the pinnacle of the MoCo’s standard, non-CVO tourbike development, and they come with all the bells and whistles you’d expect on top of the largest, most powerful Big Twin powerplant ever to see the full-dresser lineup. As its ingeniously clever name suggests, the “Low” comes slammed to the max, and that opens it up for use by inseams that are a skosh short for the regular “Ultra.” I expect a full spectrum of comfort-related geegaws on these bikes, and it seems as though Milwaukee, once again, does not disappoint.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited and Ultra Limited Low.

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2016 - 2019 Yamaha VMAX

2016 - 2019 Yamaha VMAX

Not For The Faint Of Heart

The 1,679 cc engine in the Yamaha VMAX houses mad performance with more than adequate power and torque to give the VMAX plenty of ’go’ and the big, dual six-piston calipers up front give it plenty of ’stop.’ The 2019 VMAX comes dressed to impress, so let’s take a look at what the Tuning-Fork company has in store for us this year.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha VMAX.

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2019 Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200 S

2019 Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200 S

Born In Dirt; Built For Pavement

Indian Motorcycle, under the Polaris umbrella (ella, ella), looks to capitalize on its success (nay...domination) of the American Flat Track circuit last year with the race-bike inspired FTR 1200 S. The “S” builds on the vanilla FTR 1200 base model with a number of race-tastic features that elevate it to a higher shelf/bracket/whatever, to include upgraded suspension components, better safety equipment and advanced engine-control electronics. All of that is on top of the all-new, punched-out engine and inherent curb appeal. If you’re into the flat-track thing, or just fancy yourself a fiery-eyed pegdragger, this may be the American-style racer you’ve been looking for. Let’s find out.

Continue reading for my review of the Indian FTR 1200 S.

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2019 Indian Chieftain Limited

2019 Indian Chieftain Limited

Modern Twist On A Classic Style

Indian Motorcycle brushed up its baggers ahead of the 2019 model year, and the Chieftain Limited is one of the models that benefits from the revamp. It’s a multi-pronged effort that starts with a sleek new look meant to convey the impression of great performance. Custom touches lend it something of a homegrown air with plenty of classic references that show off the marque’s deep roots, but the factory gives due consideration to progression with some new ride-quality electronics. The infotainment system is upgraded, as well, with increased audial performance and a few adjustments to improve sound quality along with the volume. This is as good as it gets in Indian’s bagger lineup, and should make a dandy competitor for Harley-Davidson’s own Street Glide Special, so let’s go ahead and delve right into this special ride and see how Indian is coming along under the Polaris umbrella.

Continue reading for my review of the Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Limited.

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2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-09

2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-09

It Gives You Everything It’s Got

A lot of words come to mind when someone mentions the Yamaha MT-09: powerful, sporty, agile, and aggressive are a few of them. Packed with the 847 cc CP3® engine, the MT-09 combines aggressive styling and impressive performance with a host of electronics – including traction control, ABS and improved throttle curves – to make it a contender in the naked sportbike field.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha MT-09.

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2019 BMW R 1250 RT

2019 BMW R 1250 RT

More Torque, More Horsepower, More Touring

BMW Motorrad hits MY2019 with the R 1250 RT as its spanky new super-tour bike. Why “super?” Well, it carries a newly refined boxer-twin that brings more mechanical yummy-goodness to the table, to include variable cam timing and staggered intake timing meant to broaden the powerband; and a combined engine/transmission case that eliminates some unnecessary weight from the assembly. As you’d expect, the electronics suite is pulled from the top shelf for the stock package, and unsurprisingly, the factory has optional packages available that introduce even more fandanglery to the situation and make the “RT” a proper technological marvel. It all comes together on an undeniably progressive machine with clear Euro-sport roots. Interest piqued yet? Mine too, so let’s get to it.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW R 1250 RT.

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2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-10

2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-10

If Stupidfast Is Your Thing, You Gotta Check This Out

Yamaha’s Hyper-Naked literbike features a 998 cc plant that delivers 160 ponies for a brutally powerful ride. The factory tweaked its D-Mode engine mapping feature to help the rider manage said power and (hopefully) keep the power delivery synched with the rider’s skill level. Also new from 2018 is the Quick Shift System that helps you run through the gears even faster so you can get the most out of whichever mode you prefer. TC, RbW and ABS all make an appearance in the electronics suite, and the suspension comes with an array of adjustments to make this an all-around, top-shelf bike.

Continue reading for my look at the Yamaha MT-10.

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2019 BMW R 1250 GS

2019 BMW R 1250 GS

This Is The Adventure Bike To Beat

BMW Motorrad refurbished its signature boxer-twin ahead of MY2019, and used it to drive its new R 1250 GS. This decidedly dual-surface adventurer delivers more of everything you’re looking for in a cross-country machine. More power, more electronic fandanglery and more safety/comfort/curb appeal puts the “GS” into the top tier of adventurous two-wheelers, and though it comes stock with a definite blacktop bias, you have but to chuck on a set of knobbies to do some proper rally-style riding. Don’t believe it? Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of the thing, then see how it stacks up against another proven design from the European theatre whilst I make my case.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW R 1250 GS.

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2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited

Top-Of-The-Line Touring

Harley-Davidson’s “Limited” has always been a top-shelf machine, so how do you improve on something that already comes with all the bells and whistles? Why, you turn it over to the Custom Vehicle Operations division, of course. The CVO Limited represents the pinnacle of Harley’s tourbike development with all the gadgets and gizmoes of the Ultra Limited, plus the pure-D awesome-sauce that comes with “CVO-ification”. An updated infotainment system joins the brushed-up, year-model specific design details to boost curb appeal, and the MoCo shoehorns in the largest production mill it has ever built to drive it all. Like the rest of the CVO line, the Limited comes with three distinct paint packages with varied levels of bling, so without further ado, let’s dive into Harley’s premium two-wheeled performance tourbike.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson CVO Limited.

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2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Glide

2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Glide

The New Generation Of Hot-Rod Baggers

Harley-Davidson rolled out the newest generation of its hot-rod bagger, the Street Glide, last year when it shoehorned one of its brand-new 107 cubic-inch Milwaukee-Eight engines into the frame, and that more or less carries straight over into MY2019. Updated suspension components join the new powerplant and recently-revised bodywork to make this latest boulevard bruiser one of the most popular models to come out of Milwaukee right now. Today I’m going to dive into this newest version and see what other yummy-goodness the MoCo has in store for us.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Street Glide,

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Peugeot Motocycles And Honda Hit A Hot Lick At the 2018 Paris Motor Show

Peugeot Motocycles And Honda Hit A Hot Lick At the 2018 Paris Motor Show

New And Much Anticipated New Models

Peugeot Motocycles and Honda hit the 2018 Paris Motor Show with new models from France’s premier scooter manufacturer and a much anticipated CB for the Red Riders.

Continue reading for more on the show.

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My Top Bike Picks Out Of 2018 INTERMOT

My Top Bike Picks Out Of 2018 INTERMOT

So Much To Choose From

The 2018 calendar year may have a bit yet to go before its last gasp, but the 2019 model year is in full bloom with the beginning of the show season and the INTERMOT show in Cologne, Germany. So far, we’ve seen the genuine article for a number of previously-teased machines, as well as a few pleasant surprises from unexpected sources along with some much-needed updates. Today I want to take a look at this show, so buckle up as we head across the pond and check out some of my favorites.

Continue reading for more of my look at 2018 INTERMOT.

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2019 Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200

2019 Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200

Flat-Track Performance For The Street

Indian Motorcycle was obliged to release a “civilian version” of its FTR 750 in order to qualify to race in the Flat Track circuit, but the factory is unleashing a new branch on that family tree this year with the all-new FTR 1200. That’s right sports fans, you can own a piece of history with the second race-inspired performance machine to come from Indian since it was acquired by Polaris, and though it’s not liable to see an official closed-circuit course, it’s built to feel as though it could do so. It rocks a much larger powerplant with looks that clearly channel its podium-sweeping smaller sibling, and it all comes in a street-friendly package that should make it accessible to the riding public in general. The FTR 1200 opens an exciting new chapter in domestic bike production, so let’s take a look at this spunky little sled while it’s still hot off the press.

Continue reading for my review of the Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200.

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2019 Geniune Scooters Rattler 50

2019 Geniune Scooters Rattler 50

A Rugged Look With Sporty Performance

The Genuine Scooter Company filled its Rattler range back out ahead of MY2019 by resurrecting its Rattler 50. The Rattler carries itself with a youthful exuberance that clearly targets the entry-level market, and this newest iteration boasts a handful of improvements over the previous generation. It rocks the same look and feel as its big brother, the Buck Ten (110), just with a smaller engine to keep the price low and power/displacement manageable for newest/lowest-tier license holders.

Continue reading for my review of the Genuine Scooters Rattler.

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2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-07

2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-07

This Could Be Your "I Just Want To have Fun" Bike

Yamaha finally saw fit to drop its FZ family designator last year in favor of the MT brand seen by most other markets. The changes aren’t limited the moniker; the MT-07 came with a handful of tweaks to include better suspension and updated looks to reflect its aggressive nature. Fans of the”Fuzz” will rejoice to know that it retains its 689 cc, crossplane concept powerplant with its 50 pounds o’ grunt and steering geometry that makes the family so nimble.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha MT-07.

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2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

The Benchmark For Luxury

Harley-Davidson’s Custom Vehicle Operations division always turns out the best toys, and this year is no exception as it sees a number of improvements and new options for its fixed-fairing boulevard bruiser; the CVO Road Glide. The “CVORG” features new body panels with model-year specific paint details and paint packages that present you with a choice between three levels of brightness (or the lackthereof). On top of all that, the MY2019 CVORG boasts the largest displacement (and most powerful) production engine currently made by the MoCo, and Harley’s latest Infotainment system spreads some power to the audio system as well. Since the CVO range serves as H-D’s top-shelf product line, it’s safe to expect the best Milwaukee has to offer. Let’s see how they did.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide.

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2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R ABS

2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R ABS

A Mid-Displacement Supersport

The Ninja ZX-6R bolsters Kawasaki’s mid-range sportbike presence with much the same race-tastic tendencies as its larger-displacement siblings, just in a smaller package. It goes far beyond the looks; the factory stuffed a four-cylinder plant inside the windtunnel-tested body panels with a full electronics suite to help keep it all under control. However, this doesn’t necessarily make the “6R” suitable for beginners, but rather an appropriate first or second upgrade, or perhaps as a funbike for weekend warriors. Today I want to take an in-depth look at this Ninja and see how it fares against a comparable model from another of the Big Four.

Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R.

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2019 Can-Am F3-S Special Series

2019 Can-Am F3-S Special Series

More Horsepower Means More Fun

The Spyder F3 and F3-S have always been all about that sport-rider life, and Can-Am takes it up a notch again this year with its newest iteration of the F3-S Special Series. Y-frame construction delivers the stability that trike users are looking for while a souped-up engine provides the fun-factor for the fiery-eyed pegdraggers among us. With great power comes great responsibility, so the “SS” comes with a robust electronics suite geared toward helping you keep it dirty-side down and between the lines. BRP is in a great position to shape the Delta-trike market, so let’s take a look at the details and see what kind of competition this special Spyder can expect.

Continue reading for my review of the Can-Am Spyder F3-S Special Series.

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Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Dark Horse

Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Dark Horse

New Styling, New Tech, New Experience

Indian revamped its Chieftain lineup ahead of the 2019 model year, and that includes an extensive rebuild of the Chieftain Dark Horse. Sleeker components meet the eye in a clear bid to lend the “CDH” a performance-minded look to match its potential, and the factory added to the paint packages for a total of three colorways from which to choose. The factory enhanced comfort- and safety-related equipment this year — as well as the infotainment system — to make this newest iteration an almost all-new machine. As always, it comes down to the details as much as the broad strokes, so let’s dive right in and see what else Polaris has going on over there.

Continue reading for my review of the Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Dark Horse.

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2016 - 2019 Indian Chief Vintage

2016 - 2019 Indian Chief Vintage

Now With Ride Modes And Rear Cylinder Deactivation

Indian Motorcycle, under Polaris Industries Inc., keeps a long tradition alive with its 2019 Chief Vintage powered by the Thunder Stroke® 111 engine. The designers build upon 95 years of Chief tradition with this ride, and while all Indians show their historical roots in varying degrees, none is quite as overt as the aptly named ’Vintage’.

Continue reading for my review of the Indian Chief Vintage.

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