2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire
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 EICMA “Milan Show” this year 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.
Continue reading for my look at the Harley-Davidson LiveWire.
2019 Kawasaki Ninja 125
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.
My Top Concept Bike Picks From 2018 EICMA
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.
My Top Electric Bike Picks From 2018 EICMA
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.
KTM Heats Up The Off-Road Scene At 2018 EICMA
Kawasaki Unveils New Models at 2018 EICMA
2019 Ural Gear Up
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.
2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 650
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.
2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC
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.
2019 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport
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.
2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro
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.
2019 MV Augusta F4 Claudio
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.
2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE
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.
2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx
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.
2018 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 400
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.
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.
2016 - 2019 Suzuki Hayabusa
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.}
2019 Suzuki GSX-S750 / GSX-S750Z
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.
2018 - 2019 Suzuki SV650X
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.
2017 - 2019 BMW S 1000 R
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.
2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy
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.
2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe
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.
2016 - 2019 Suzuki Boulevard C90 B.O.S.S.
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.
2019 Yamaha YZF-R125
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.
2018 - 2019 Honda Africa Twin
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.
2019 Yamaha YZF-R3
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.
2019 Triumph Street Twin
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.
2019 Triumph Street Scrambler
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.
2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Low Rider
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.
2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT
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.
2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low
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.
2016 - 2019 Yamaha VMAX
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.
2019 Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200 S
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.
2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-09
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.
2019 Indian Chieftain Limited
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.
2019 BMW R 1250 RT
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.
2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-10
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.
2019 BMW R 1250 GS
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.
2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited
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.
2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
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,
Peugeot Motocycles And Honda Hit A Hot Lick At the 2018 Paris Motor Show
My Top Bike Picks Out Of 2018 INTERMOT
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.
2019 Indian Motorcycle FTR 1200
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.
2019 Geniune Scooters Rattler 50
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.
2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-07
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.
2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
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.
2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R ABS
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.
2019 Can-Am F3-S Special Series
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.
Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Dark Horse
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.
2016 - 2019 Indian Chief Vintage
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.
2018 - 2019 Can-Am Spyder F3 / F3-S
Can-Am carries its sport-cruising roadsters, the Spyder F3 and F3-S, into 2019 with the 100-plus horsepower Rotax engine, as always with minimal design features in order to keep weight down and performance up. The spectacular safety package also reprises its role with traction control, stability control, and ABS on board. Spyders are still something of a curiosity and not quite what you would call mainstream just yet, but the Bombardier Recreational Products presses forward with the F3 / F3-S duo as both its entry-level and most sport-tastic rides in the lineup.
Continue reading for my review of the Can-Am Spyder F3 and F3-S.
2017 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Rod
Traffic-carving performance wasn’t the first thing I think of when hearing the name Harley-Davidson, but the MoCo started changing that perception with the new-in-2017 Street Rod 750. While it is, in fact, based on the current Street 750, multiple changes in the setup and equipment turn it into another animal entirely. Shorter steering geometry, a more aggressive rider triangle and a more powerful engine come together in H-D’s decisive push into the sport-standard market.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Street Rod.
2019 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special
Harley-Davidson revamped its Street Glide Special yet again for the 2019 model year in an effort to keep it “special.” First, the factory stuffed the largest non-CVO engine into the frame. Then it boosted the infotainment potential with the new Boom! Box GTS system. Color choices span the spectrum so there should be something for everyone on the palette. What else makes the “Special” so special? Let’s find out.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special.
2017 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low
The new-in-2017 107-inch, Milwaukee-Eight engine from Harley-Davidson delivers nearly 114 pounds o’ grunt along with improved suspension components and other, comfort-related improvements over the MY2016 units. Naturally, this is in addition to all the tour-tastic yummy-goodness that made the Ultra Limited such a touring staple in the first place. Today I’m going to take a look at this pair to see what else is new and exciting, then we are going to see how it measures up against the Indian Roadmaster that I reckon will be its most direct competitor.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited and Ultra Limited Low.
2018 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900RS CAFE
Kawasaki looks to maintain the momentum it garnered last year by rolling its popular Z900RS CAFE straight over into MY2019. And, why not? It’s hard to argue with success, and the retro-tastic looks and modern performance make excellent bedfellows, especially with the Seventies-fabulous graphics as the icing on the proverbial cake. The “CAFE” falls at the Southern edge of liter-bike territory, which could potentially be dangerous for a new rider, but it carries all the requisite safety equipment needed to keep the noobs dirty-side down. Today I want to get into the nuts-and-bolts of the thing and see what else Kawi has crammed under the hood of this charming little tribute piece.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Z900RS CAFE.
2017 - 2019 BMW R nineT
Heritage sells, and BMW looks to take it to the bank with its R nineT model family that brings classic looks and a timeless engine configuration together. Outward appearances may draw on dated (read: classic) design elements, but performance from the boxer-twin powerplant puts the R nineT in a decidedly modern category that has launched an entire line of sub-models. Today I’m going to dissect the bike that serves as the foundation for the R nineT stable and take a look at the 2017 update that it carries it into MY2019.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW R nineT.
2019 Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Classic
Indian Motorcycle, under the expansive Polaris umbrella, blessed its Chieftain lineup with a facelift ahead of MY2019, but the Chieftain Classic alone retains its looks to perpetuate the retro-styling that made it a hit in the first place. The “Classic” benefits from the same under-the-hood fandanglery as the rest of the lineup, so while its looks might be a bit dated in the most delightful ways, you can count on modern safety and comfort all the same. Indian is in the midst of its timeless conflict with America’s second-oldest manufacturer, Harley-Davidson, so today I want to take a look at the new Classic and see how it stacks up against the MoCo. Let’s get to it.
Continue reading for my review of the Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Classic.
2019 Can-Am Ryker
Can-Am announced the newest addition to its funny-backwards-trike lineup with the all-new Ryker model that BRP hopes will open up a whole new market for prospective entry-level trike riders. (Trikers?) The Ryker comes with all the electronic fandanglery that you’ll find on its large-displacement siblings, but comes with a choice in powerplants between a mid-size mill and one that falls closer to a liter. An automatic transmission delivers twist-and-go operation for the ultimate in rider friendliness, even for folks who are complete strangers to having their fists in the wind. Could this be BRP’s new big shoo-in? Only time will tell, but meanwhile, we can certainly dissect this most-interesting machine, so let’s get to it.
Continue reading for my review of the Can-Am Ryker.
2019 Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra
Harley-Davidson has released its 2019 lineup, and it looks like the newly revamped TriGlide Ultra is the hot ticket to debut all the new tech to come out of Milwaukee this year. The TriGlide combines the stability of a traditional trike platform with all the same tour-tastic goodies that makes H-D’s two-wheeler tourbikes such a success. New this year, an updated infotainment system gives you better touchscreen performance along with better sound system options, but the real performance boost lies in the engine area as Harley beefed up its already massive mill. Attention was paid to the suspension components as well to make this generation of trike smoother than ever before, so as you can see, the MoCo did its homework and gave the people exactly what they want, and more of it. Or, did they? Let’s find out.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra,
2019 Indian Chieftain
Indian Motorcycle updated its base-model Chieftain ahead of MY2019 along with the rest of its bagger family in order to present a sleeker, more-modern face to the world. Attention was paid to the aesthetics to include changes to the body panels, front and rear, as well as the saddle. New technology also sees the light of day with entertainment power and comfort features that are meant to help America’s oldest motorcycle brand compete with the second-oldest domestic marque. Some of that gadgetry is geared to make the powerful 111 cubic-inch even more user-friendly and attractive in this great arms-race with its traditional foe Harley-Davidson. Today I’m going to take a look at the new Chieftain and see how it stacks up against one of H-D’s baggers.
Continue reading for my review of the Indian Motorcycle Chieftain.
2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114
Harley-Davidson advances its 100-new-bike agenda in 2019 with the new FXDR 114 that turns the nearly-new Softail into a drag race-inspired stoplight burner. The factory went outside the envelope for design inspiration, with some interesting results that head in an unexpected direction to say the least. A 114 cubic-inch engine delivers the goods to make the FXDR the most powerful production Softail up for grabs so far this year, so you can be assured that it’s by no means an all-show/no-go machine. Plus, an effort was made to shed some weight to improve handling- and ride-quality, and that translates into even better acceleration to make this a rather sporty, non-Sportster ride. Let’s dive into the details.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson FXDR 114.
2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Breakout
Once again, Harley-Davidson takes what’s old and makes it new again with its revamped-in-2018 Softail lineup, and the drag-tastic “Breakout” is one of the models that made the jump and carried into 2019. Harley offers this bobber-burner with the 109 pound-foot, Milwaukee-Eight 107 and the Mil-8 114 that boasts a total of 119 pounds o’ twist. The ground-up Softail-family rebuild contains myriad changes from the remarkable to the mundane that go way beyond a handful of re-arranged trim packages. We’re talking about the re-invention of the whole range with capabilities meant to offset the loss of the Dyna family, and technology that is more in line with the current industry standards. We’re talking a renewed focus on the Softails as H-D’s sole (or should it be soul?) cruisers. This is it; the drag-tastic sub-model of the range that Harley hopes will attract the younger buyers.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Breakout.
2017 - 2019 Honda Rebel 300 / Rebel 500
Honda brought one of its most recognized model families into the 21st century with a complete overhaul of the much celebrated Rebel range in 2017. Available as the Rebel 300 and 500, this reworked line features water-cooled mills and fuel-injection induction control to meet modern and near-future emissions standards. A sportier look greets the eye this time around, though the Rebel still targets the same small-[cruiser-mot392], entry-level market.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Rebel 300 and Rebel 500.
2018 - 2019 Indian Motorcycle Scout Bobber
Indian Motorcycle has certainly called some attention to its mid-size bikes this year through its success on the flat track, and the Scout Bobber looks to capitalize on that by garnering some of the factory-custom business. The “Bobber” brings modern performance to the table along with an overall look that is rather unique, yet fits in well with the rest of the made-for-the-US market, foreign and domestic built. An 1,133 cc plant delivers the power, and this year, the Bobber rocks improved electronics plus a USB charging port, regardless of which color you choose. I’ve been a fan of the new Scouts since day one, so let’s dig into the nuts and bolts of the thing and see what all there is to love.
Continue reading for my review of the Indian Motorcycle Scout Bobber.
2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
Harley-Davidson’s Custom Vehicle Operations division is at it again with a revised CVO Street Glide model for 2019. The newest “SG” sports a new Boom! Box infotainment system with some serious speaker packages, and it comes with a choice of three distinct finish categories; bright, dark and really dark. Power comes from the Milwaukee-Eight 117 that makes its sophomore appearance and brings its “guns” to the table with oodles of torque and a new color band as a model-year identifier. There’s plenty more to see, so let’s get into the details of Harley’s top-shelf custom-tour bike.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide.
2019 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler
Harley-Davidson remakes its hot-rod trike, the Freewheeler, ahead of the 2019 model year with a host of improvements that the factory hopes will help it compete against the burgeoning three-wheeler competition. Brand-new-for-2019, traction control and backtorque-defeating measures have been put into place, and they’re buttressed by a new suspension system for an overall increase in safety and stability. That’s not all; the beating heart was upgraded as well with a 114-inch powerplant shoehorned in where a 107 used to reside, so there’s even more of that grunty performance we expect from Harley’s three-wheeled stoplight-burner. This year makes a significant benchmark in H-D’s technology development, so let’s dig in and see how well it stacks up against the competition.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Freewheeler.
2016 - 2018 Ducati Panigale 959
Back in ’16, Ducati pushed the supersport envelope with its super-middleweight Panigale 959, and since you can’t argue with success, the Italian marque carries that original model straight over into MY2018. The engine clocks in at nearly a liter with all the performance you’d expect, plus some electronic safety equipment to help you keep it under control and make riding the “959” a user-friendly affair. Race fans find plenty to be excited about, as well, since the Panigale rocks some track-tastic features to go with its already-sporty mien for a look that says “serious business” to all who behold it. It seems the Panigale has the look with the appropriate under-the-hood gear, but how does it stack up against the well-populated market segment in which it falls? That’s what I aim to find out today.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Panigale 959.
Harley-Davidson Steps Up Its Electronics Game Ahead Of MY2019
It nearly took two decades to happen, but Harley-Davidson finally joined the 21st century with a host of new electronic gadgets that are meant to increase safety and put the MoCo on a more even footing against the products and systems coming from just about all the other major manufacturers.
Continue reading for more on Harley-Davidson’s new electronic technology.
Harley-Davidson’s Top-Shelf CVO Range Leads The Way Into MY2019
It seems like it’s been an extra-long wait for the new Harley-Davidsons to start rolling out this year, but the floodgates have finally opened and I want to start out by taking a look at the new models coming out of the CVO division. H-D’s Custom Vehicle Operations serves as a proving grounds of sorts, a crucible in which up-and-coming tech is forged, so naturally it gets all the very best toys first. This puts it at the tip of the spear, as it were, and makes the best place to start, so let’s get started.
Continue reading for more on the new CVO line.
2018 - 2019 BMW F 750 GS / F 850 GS
BMW presses on into adventure-bike territory with a new generation of F-GS models, the F 750 GS and F 850 GS. This adventuresome pair follows the same design as it predecessors with the 750 serving as a road tourer and the 850 set up for work in what you might call less-civilized areas, be it fire trails, dirt roads or deserts. An all-new powerplant delivers up to 10-percent more horsepower than the previous gen, and each enjoys other features specifically geared to its host’s purpose in life. The newly-redesigned frame and bodywork, in the words of the factory, give the range “a more dynamic and masculine design.” Wherever you land on the looks, form follows function on bikes like these (or at least it should) and so it’s the rest of the machine that should matter the most. Let’s dig in and check out the specialized gear and capabilities of these two new-in-2018 rides.
Continue reading for my look at the BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS.
2017 - 2019 BMW C Evolution
The Bayerische Motoren Werke introduced its original C Evolution electric scooter to the great proving ground that is the European scooter market all the way back in 2012 and it’s finally in the U.S. market. A boosted battery ampacity gives it the increased range needed to handle a long-distance commute, but it’s the electronics suite that really puts the C Evolution in a class of its own. Traction control, torque control and ABS all make an appearance along with the 35-horsepower motor that, according to the factory, has no problem running right up to the 80 mph governor. I had to remind myself more than once that this is still considered just a scooter, though it could certainly embarrass many a low- to mid-range ride. Not just other scooters either, but proper motorcycles. Don’t believe it? Read on and I’ll make my case.
Continue reading to see my review of the BMW C Evolution.
2015 - 2019 Honda Shadow Aero / Shadow Phantom
Honda made an honest attempt to capture that look and feel of yesteryear with the Shadow duo, the big brothers to the Rebel range. Maybe just a little too honest – is that a mechanical drum brake I see? Still with a 745 cc engine and a wide-ratio transmission, the Shadow Phantom and the Aero fill the "cruiser" slot quite adequately for Honda.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Shadow Phantom and Shadow Aero.
2016 - 2019 Honda Fury / Stateline
The Honda designers targeted the outlaw chopper culture of the ’60s and ’70s, and managed to turn out a fairly faithful interpretation in the Fury, which is carried into 2019 though we lost its stablemate, the Stateline, from the lineup in 2017. The deep saddle and cut-down rear fender combined with the sweep of the fuel tank give it that stretched, custom look. For the American market, the 52-degree V-twin fits right in with a 1,312 cc engine that isn’t so big as to be intimidating. Join me as I critique Honda’s attempt to recapture our glory days.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Stateline and Fury.
2014 - 2019 Honda CBR600RR
Honda’s latest generation of 600 cc, CBR supersports toes the family line with its race-winning blend of power and maneuverability all packed onto a MotoGP-inspired chassis. Much like the original CBR600RR that hit the streets back in ’03 and was built as a racebike replica, the current model features a strong engine along with a front suspension featuring Honda’s 41mm Big Piston Fork for superb handling and snappy action, plus MotoGP-inspired bodywork in a race-tested aerodynamic supersport design.
Continue reading for more my review of the Honda CBR600RR.
2017 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic
The Electra Glide Ultra Classic serves as Harley Davidson’s entry-level model for its full-dresser lineup. Updated in 2017, it sports improved suspension while reducing the heat felt by rider and passenger for greater all-around comfort. Not only that, but the all-new Milwaukee-Eight engine made its way onto this ride for greater performance than ever before with 111.4 pound-feet of torque and six-speed transmission that comes geared for highway riding at a reasonable rpm. H-D’s Infotainment system made an appearance as well, so the phrase “entry level” is obviously a relative statement. Let’s check out this updated classic to see where the balance was struck.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic.
2018 - 2019 Honda Gold Wing / Gold Wing Tour
Lighter weight, new engine, and updated looks feature prominently in the Honda Gold Wing rolled out in 2018. Looking to appeal to a younger buyer, the factory brought performance back to the top of the list of priorities for its flagship tourer, as well. The all-new engine comes in the typical flat-six configuration and 1,833 cc displacement with 120+ ponies just waiting to be called upon. What else has Honda done to try to make the ’Wing something other than “my grandfather’s bike” to the younger buyers?
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Gold Wing and Honda Gold Wing Tour.
2016 - 2019 BMW S 1000 XR
BMW put together the S 1000 XR for the adventuresome sort that prefers to stay on at least moderately civilized routes. Built on the proven S 1000 literbike platform, the XR really puts the “sport” in adventure-sport with a solid, 999 cc powerplant and a claimed top speed that lands upwards of the 125 mph mark. The XR also maintains a sportbike-like panache in spite of its adventuresome qualities, thus avoiding the blunt pragmatism associated with so many adv bikes. Of course, Beemer is a firm believer in better living through technology, and it includes a host of safety gadgets meant to help you keep it dirrty-side-down. Sound good yet? Let’s dig in and see what else the Bayerische has in store for us.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW S 1000 XR.
2018 - 2019 Yamaha YZF-R1 / R1M
Yamaha’s R1 family brings genuine racebike fun to the unwashed masses for a price that belies their capabilities. The base-model R1 and its even more race-tastic “M” variant come with MotoGP-level performance, and indeed are actually set up to be quickly converted for track use, so these are no poser bikes, not by a long shot. A powerful liter-sized mill pushes the R1 family well into the stupidfast category with updated electronic subsystems to help you keep it all under control, and of course, the synergy between the components makes the R1 family much greater than the sum of its parts. Let’s dig in and see what else the Tuning Fork Company has going on with this pair.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha YZF-R1 / R1M.
2019 Yamaha Niken
Yamaha looks to redefine what we think of when we hear the word “trike” with the all-new Niken (literally: two sword) that brings the leaning trike concept into the realm of full-size bikes. Based on the popular FZ/MT-09, the Niken LMW (Leaning Multi-Wheel) doubles the size (and number) of the front contact patch(es) for greater safety and traction with the proven 847 cc Crossplane Concept engine to drive the thing. With over 100 ponies on tap and its fancy front end with gobs of traction, the Niken seems set to deliver a ride that is limited only by your own skills and testicular fortitude.
Continue reading for my first look at the Yamaha Niken.
2017 - 2018 BMW R nineT Racer
BMW expanded its Heritage lineup for MY2017 with the R nineT “Racer” variant that it carried over right on into MY2018. 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. I’m already a fan of the line, bigly, with an established appreciation for the café bikes, so it’s with great anticipation that I dive into this fun little sled.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW R nineT Racer.
2014 - 2018 Suzuki Burgman 200
Mature, modern looks greet the eye as Suzuki rolls its business-tastic Burgman 200 over into MY2018. In spite of its diminutive powerplant, the Burgman 200 carries itself with a definite maxi-scoot appeal. Motorcycle-like suspension components and safety equipment boost its commuter capabilities with an increase in overall ride quality over your typical [scooter->mot-type vehicle, so yeah, this ain’t your typical 200. Let’s dig in, shall we, and see what else the littlest Burgman has going on under the hood.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Burgman 200.
2016 - 2019 BMW R nineT Scrambler
The new-from-2016, R nineT Scrambler from the Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW Motorrad) rolls into 2019 still based on a general design popular from the ’50s all the way through the ’70s. The Scrambler embodies the form of the original scramblers, while borrowing from the 1951 Beemer R 68. The result is a ride that invokes nostalgia in those old enough to remember the originals and subsequent variants, but also appeals to a younger crowd who appreciates classic looks coupled with updated performance and more reliable technology than its antique predecessors. I say that with confidence since I fall into the latter group, and I am really digging this new-old ride, so join me for a dissection of this scrambler descendant as I try to determine how closely this apple fell to the tree.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW R nineT Scrambler.
2015 - 2018 Yamaha YZF-R3
The Tuning Fork Company makes a solid effort for a slice of the entry-level sportbike market with its YZF-R3. Yamaha had its work cut out for it ’cause this all-important market is hotly contested by nearly every other streetbike manufacturer in the world and the pressure is on to get brand-loyalty instilled in the incoming riders. Engine displacement breaks the 300 cc mark with 40-plus horsepower and 20-plus pounds of torque, and at only 368 pounds wet, this is plenty of power for some cheap thrills on the road. The rest of the bike seems well put together at a glance, but today I am going to dig into the guts of the thing and see what all Yamaha has in store for us and how well it stacks up against similar models on the market right now.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha YZF-R3.
2016 - 2018 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive
The Burgman line has always been about classy and comfortable commuting, and the factory seems to have found a sweet spot here with its largest displacement version that brings comfort, convenience and safety to the table. As a “maxi-scoot,” the Executive delivers a motorcycle-like riding experience with amped up scooter features that give it something of an exaggerated look, so clearly, this is a vehicle of extremes. Suzuki carries over its Burgman 650 Executive with a new color for MY2018, so let’s check this ride out and then see how it stacks up against one of the top office-scooters to come out of Europe.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive.
2015 - 2018 BMW F 700 GS
Having gone into MY 2017 with some substantial updates, the 2018 BMW F 700 GS stays competitive in the ever-growing adventure market. Outfitted as the more road-oriented version next to its F 800 GS stablemate, the F 700 GS has a lower seat height, a slightly remapped engine, and chassis components with an eye toward pavement riding.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW F 700 GS.
2017 - 2018 KYMCO Like 150i
The Kwang Yang Motor Company (KYMCO) takes on some pretty heavy hitters in the low-displacement scooter market with its Like 150i. It carries itself with an overall modern look that borrows from classic influences with tasteful results. Power comes from a thumper that rocks electronic fuel injection to help the Like meet U.S. emission standards. At a glance, it looks like good basic transportation, but the devil is in the details, so let’s dig in and see how it stacks up against the mainstream.
Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO Like 150i.
2018 Yamaha R1S
Yamaha’s YZF-R1S expands the R1 range down into a slightly younger demographic with the “S” variant that sheds some of its fancy metallurgy in favor of slightly less-noble metals with a concurrent decrease in the sticker shock. The “S” delivers the same thrilling performance as the rest of the line as well, so this isn’t just a detuned or repowered look-a-like, its a bona fide R1 that drops a few race-day features to make a bike that is not only less expensive, but more pragmatic for a daily rider. Now you can get that same feel and performance even if the parking lot is the closest it will ever get to a track. Today, I’m going to see what all the buzz surrounding this bike is about, and see how it compares to other lower-top-shelf models currently on the market.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha YZF-R1S.
2014 - 2018 MV Agusta F3 800
MV Agusta launched the F3 800 way back in ’13 for the ’14 model year, and apparently is happy with the result since it carries over straight into MY2018. The F3 800 stands with a foot in two worlds — literbikes and mid-displacement sportbikes— and at a glance it seems safe to say “mission accomplie.” A powerful triple delivers the goods with power figures that land near the top of the range for what is appropriate for “civilized” road use. The electronics suite is even more impressive than its hardware, and the whole package comes together to deliver the goods in a manageable manner with plenty to offer riders looking for a thrill but not wanting a full-on race machine or the leather-bound payment book that comes with one.
Continue reading for my review of the MV Agusta F3 800.
2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S / S D-air
Ducati pushes the envelope for its large-displacement adventure machines with the Multistrada 1260 S. This machines roll with top-shelf features such as Riding Modes, Power Modes and all sorts of yummy-goodness bundled together under the Ducati Safety Pack umbrella. A powerful twin-cylinder plant pushes the “S” well into power-adventure territory with upwards of 150 ponies packed away within. The “S,” and the airbag-jacket equipped “S D|air,” build on the base 1260 to deliver something to compete with the other top models on the world stage, so let’s get into the details and see how well they did.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Multistrada 1260 S and S D|air.
2015 - 2018 BMW F 800 R
BMW Motorrad carries its essential little F 800 R into the 2018 model year with the same essential design and, according to the factory, a noob-friendly demeanor. Meant to serve as a sort of Jack-of-all-Trades, it sports Riding Mode technology with ABS to bring a measure of flexibility and safety to the table. Delivering more power after the 2015 update, it comes from a proven, parallel-twin plant nestled away in a lightweight aluminum frame that is set up to have an appropriately nimble nature to keep things exciting for the more-experienced riders out there. Is this the mid-displacement, arguably entry-level roadster you’ve been looking for? Let’s find out.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW F 800 R.
2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure
BMW carries its R 1200 GS Adventure over into the 2018 model year with new tech bundles and color packages, but much the same hardware as the MY2017 units. The “Adventure” builds on the base GS to deliver a more capable machine to its adventure-some buyer base. It comes with a split personality — one for road and another for dirt — to give the bike a bias to match your own. Beemer gives it enough power to qualify as a ’super’-adventure with 100-plus horsepower, and of course, throws in the electronic systems that help you safely use as much of that power as possible? Sound good yet? Let’s get into the details.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure.
2017 - 2018 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S
Many adventure-bike manufacturers try to cover all the bases with a single model, but Austrian bikebuilder KTM splits its efforts to produce the 1290 Super Adventure S. Released for MY2017, KTM built the “S” to deliver long-distance comfort for riders who are looking for more than they can get from one of the Dukes. Wind protection, storage options and electronic safety systems take care of the usual ride-ability concerns, but this is a KTM folks, so you know it’s going to be very well-endowed in the power department as well, to the point of qualifying as a ’super’ adventure. Think I’m overstating the situation? Read on and find out how wrong you are.
Continue reading for my review of the KTM 1290 Super Adventure.
2017 Lifan S-Ray
Lifan expands its small-displacement vehicle footprint with the S-Ray scooter that rocks sporty looks sure to appeal to a younger buyer base with a 150 cc engine delivering friendly, controllable power appropriate for entry-level riders and sufficient for urban travel. This is definitely one of the lesser-known brands in the U.S. market, so today I’d like to dig a little deeper into this little ride and see how it stacks up against a mainstream marque.
Continue reading for my review of the Lifan S-Ray.
2018 Suzuki V-Strom 250
After a race to find the ideal maximum displacement for the adventure-bike genre, Suzuki has now turned its attention toward seeking out the bottom of the effective envelope with the new-in-2017 V-Strom 250. This A2 license-compliant ride is bound for the entry-level market with much the same look as its bigger brothers in spite of its diminutive powerplant and a similar affinity for long-distance trips. The mill is tweaked for the purpose with 25 ponies on tap and a smooth delivery, and of course, the “250” sports plenty of secure storage and storage options for your cargo, so you can actually do some proper touring with it, right off the showroom floor. What else has Suzuki got going on with its mini-adv? Let’s find out.
Continue reading for my look at the Suzuki V-Strom 250.
2018 Vespa GTS Super 300 / GTS Super 300 Sport
Piaggio expands its “Vespino” footprint yet again with the GTS Super 300 and Supersport variant. While it can be said of every Vespa that the design roots generally run deep, these two rides make references to some very specific models from history in order to establish its pedigree. Classic Italian looks are always nice, but under the hood the Super packs away 21st century tech to make it a thoroughly modern machine. Safety features were a front-burner issue for Vespa, so the factory blessed the family with a double layer of stability insurance that makes the line suitable as an entry-level scooter that is capable of performing within the urban riding environment. Ready to hunt for some Easter Eggs?
Continue reading for my review of the Vespa GTS Super 300 and GTS Super 300 Sport.
2018 Kawasaki W250
Kawasaki’s “W” family has been on the world stage since 1966, and the legacy continues with the new W250. This cute little “leisure bike” packs classic charm into a small package with dated references and finishes that invoke plenty of nostalgia. Power comes from a 250 cc plant with over 15 ponies on tap and loads of fun for an entry-level rider, or one seeking to move up from small-displacement scooters. As simple as it is attractive, the W250 certainly brings something special to the market, so today I’m going to take a look at Kawi’s little retro-ride to see what makes it tick.
Continue reading for my look at the Kawasaki W250.
2017 - 2018 BMW K 1600 GT
BMW’s K 1600 GT moved into its seventh year of production in 2017 with a fresh rebuild that the Bayerische carries right on into MY2018. A six-cylinder engine puts in the power-tourer category in both the torque and horsepower columns for solid performance even in spite of its not-inconsiderable heft. Built for touring, it strikes a balance between storage and aesthetics for a sort of “Euro-bagger” look that compares well with Honda’s new bagger-tastic Goldwing since both leave off the top case for their fully dressed, top-shelf models. This Bavarian bruiser brings a dark-and-swanky attitude to the table with the performance to back it up and all sorts of yummygoodness under the hood, so let’s dig in and see what else Beemer has for us here.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW K 1600 GT.
2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XRt
Triumph Motorcycles has long been a frontrunner in the race to the top within the adventure-bike genre, and the all-new Tiger 1200 XRt is a perfect example of why that is. This is Triumph’s top-shelf ADV model with all the available bells and whistles built right in. That’s on top of an already-extensive rebuild that the factory says brought in over 100 improvements over the outgoing model, so this ride is totally up-to-date with cutting-edge technology of both the comfort and safety variety. Join me while I check out Triumph’s flagship model for the road-centric ADV market and see how it stacks up against some other likely candidates.
Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XRt.
2018 Vespa GTS 300 / GTS 300 Touring
Vespa carries its GTS 300 scooter into 2018, and it adds a new variant dubbed the “Touring” for the rider who is looking for some stock cargo capacity and touring capabilities. As usual, Vespa maintains the classic looks and features long associated with the brand, but it has added some decidedly modern gadgetry to the mix that brings the machine right up to date. Traction control and anti-lock brakes add safety and value to help move this family up to make a bid for top-shelf status within its displacement. It will have some stiff competition from the Japanese sector, so today I want to dissect the GTS to see how it stacks up.
See my review of the Vespa GTS 300 and GTS 300 Touring.
2018 - 2019 BMW C 400 X
BMW Motorrad turned us on to its newest mid-size scooter, the C 400 X, at the 2017 EICMA with an amply-powered thumper that handles highway speeds and turns in a very respectable 0-60 mph time; not bad at all for a genre made up mainly of rides more appropriate for putting around campus or retirement communities.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW C 400 X.