2014 - 2018 Piaggio Fly 50 / Fly 150
On the campus, in the gated community or in an urban area, it’s hard to go wrong with a small-displacement scooter for running errands or generally getting around. Piaggio is happy to accommodate you with its Fly duo. On 12-inch wheels with all the usual storage a scooter can boast, the Fly 50 and Fly 150 carry a petite 1.8-ish gallon fuel tank; but with 100+ mpg in fuel economy, that little tank takes you far.
Continue reading for my review of the Piaggio Fly 50 and Fly 150.
2014 - 2018 Royal Enfield Continental GT
India-based Royal Enfield has been busy expanding its footprint as of late. The newly-minted U.S. dealerships will be scampering for a piece of the action with a bike that is sure to appeal to the increasingly-important Millennial buyers— the cafe’-tastic Continental GT. Built with an unmistakeable retro flavor and powered by a 535 cc, 29.1-horsepower engine, the GT brings a relatively authentic cafe’ experience to the table. Maybe even a little too authentic in some ways, perhaps? We’ll find out. The factory established a foothold on U.S. soil just a few years ago and it has introduced its very first engine to be designed in-house, but the GT is more of a reflection of the company’s deep roots than a product of its more progressive agenda.
Continue reading for my review of the Royal Enfield Continental GT.
2013 - 2018 Honda CB500F
Back in 2012, Honda presented the CB500F to the world at the EICMA Motor Show to bolster its “standard” category for the 2013 model year. This compact streetfighter sported Honda’s then-new 471 cc in a rather naked layout with almost 50-horsepower on tap to push the 414-pound curb weight around, so it’s safe to say that it definitely punches above its weight. This is at least part of the reason for its success and market popularity, and the factory has made tweaks here and there in an attempt to keep it fresh all the way into 2018 in order to maintain that momentum. Now that the family has matured somewhat and settled into its groove if you like, I want to take a look at the range to try and divine the secrets to its success.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CB500F.
2014 - 2018 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.
2014 - 2018 BMW R 1200 RT
The BMW marque has long been associated with top-shelf engineering and luxury, and that reputation is justified once again with the updated-in-2014 R 1200 RT. A true sport-tourer, the RT brings 125 horsepower to the table along with an array of electronic gadets to help manage the power and provide a low-stress riding experience. As a base model, the RT stands head and shoulders above most of the competition, but the available accessories raise the bar even higher. Excited yet? I know I am. This newest iteration also received a facelift that brings the model aesthetics up to date, so even though form follows function (as it should), form was definitely not neglected. Let’s get to it and see what those crazy Bavarians are up to, and what they’ve done to bring the venerable RT up to date.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW R 1200 RT.
2013 - 2018 Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 GT 8V
Moto Guzzi came up with its latest version of the 1200 GT back in ’11, and that design has withstood the test of time as it looks to be a direct carryover into at least the 2018 model year. The factory retains the service of the “four-valve” engine with its 100-plus horsepower and transverse V-twin layout. In keeping with its heritage, the latest Norge falls well within the sport-tour bracket with the protective features and cargo capacity the U.S. market expects of its long-distance bikes. How will it stack up against the American V-twins and the new Gold Wing? We’re going to find out, but first let’s take a deeper look at the current Norge GT.
Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 GT.
2014 - 2017 Ducati Multistrada 1200 / 1200 S
Ducati’s multi-use Multistrada 1200/1200 S continues the family’s Jack-of-All tradition with a host of features both electronic and mechanical to further its adventuresome pursuits. Traction control, rider modes and ABS come bundled with the standard equipment package, but in truth are actually the more mundane of the available gadgetry. The Ducati Wheelie Control and the inertial-measurement device that feeds data to the lean-angle sensitive Bosch ABS are the stars of that show, but Duc packed even more onto its proven chassis to carry it through the ’17 model year. A Testastretta mill with Ducati’s Variable Timing provides up to 125 horsepower with plenty of bottom end to help you come out of the hole for that all-important lead position on the pack of cars clogging the road behind you.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 and 1200 S.
2014 - 2016 Kawasaki Z1000
Much like their fanbase, naked bikes are kind of a breed apart— some more than others. Kawasaki’s Z1000 is just such a bike with an almost cult-like following that has propped up the family since ’03 with their enthusiasm for the streetfighter flavor the Z1000 brings to the table. Minimal bodywork (by the factory’s estimation, anyway) and relaxed ergos come bundled with the 126-pony, 1,043 cc mill. The factory saved both weight and money on the electronic fandanglery by leaving it on the shelf for a rather raw ride that many of us still appreciate. Relatively simple and built for performance, the Z1000 served as Kawasaki’s flagship naked standard until it was replaced by the Z900 for MY17.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Z1000.
2014 - 2016 Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom
Yamaha’s V-Star 650 Custom brings a nostalgic panache to the market that is hard to beat if you’re into the classic American cruiser look. A 40 cubic-inch V-twin powers the V-Star with 37.6 pounds o’ grunt on tap and a configuration that accentuates the vibe that the designers were going for. The factory goes for broke with laced wheels and a faux-rigid frame to go with a truly antiquated rear drum brake. There are plenty of these rides out there with the hardtail-look, so let’s take a gander at Yamaha’s little mid-size cruiser.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom.
2014 - 2017 KYMCO People GT 300i
KYMCO’s People GT 300i brings modern scootering capabilities to the market with EFI fuel delivery and 16-inch hoops all around. The mid-size engine churns out just under 30 horsepower and turns in a top speed somewhere around 85 mph depending on conditions, cargo and such. That’s plenty to qualify it to tackle what one might call “regular traffic” with confidence, and the 16-inch hoops help it handle like a larger machine. The factory calls it a GT, but I want to see if "GT" means Grand Touring or Gettn’-around Town.
Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO People GT 300i.
2014 - 2018 Honda CTX700 / CTX700N
Honda’s CTX700 siblings brings flexibility and rider-friendliness to the table with a laid-back cruiser attitude. The 670 cc, parallel-twin engine delivers manageable power, and a choice of transmissions lets you choose how involved you will be in the shifting process, even to the point of full-automatic functionality. This allows the family to cover a range of experience levels from the entry level on up to veteran commuters.
The fairing and optional bags on the CTX700 (non-N) model place it right into the weekender/tour bracket as well. Best of all, Honda priced the bike to be accessible, and this combination has the potential to appeal to folks who may have otherwise passed on the joys of fists in the wind and bugs in their teeth. Today I’m going to take a look at the specifics of the CTX700 and 700N and see what all Honda packed in that makes this bike so popular with its owners.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CTX700 and CTX700N.
Ferrari unveiled the 458 Italia in 2010, then followed that up with the more precise and track-ready 458 Speciale in 2014. As is the tradition with all modern mid-engined Ferraris, Maranello creates a great car, then a year or two later it chops the top off of it to create a roadster version. We knew it was coming, but now the convertible version of the Ferrari 458 Speciale is here, and it’s calling it the “A."
It may be a silly name, but that A stands for Aperta, the Italian word for open. This is also more than a simple roofless version of the 458 Speciale; the Speciale A features the most powerful naturally aspirated V-8 the company has ever used in a spider. Compared to the old 458 Spider, this new machine is faster and more powerful, and Ferrari was even able to keep the weight down. This new car only weighs 50 kg (110 pounds) more than its hard-top sibling.
If you want one, you need to get your order in yesterday. Ferrari is limiting this new car to just 499 units. We don’t know how many of those are slated for U.S. consumption, but rest assured it won’t be a lot. If you are undecided about taking home one of these beauties, hit that jump and read our full overview of this incredible new Italian convertible.
Updated 08/18/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the 2017 Monterey Car Week.
Continue reading to find out more about the Ferrari 458 Speciale A.
BMW Recalls R1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure
Owners have been complaining about it for years. Finally the Powers-That-Be have issued a recall on the 2014 through 2017 R1200 GS and R1200 GS Adventure from BMW for a problem with the upper triple clamp, though several complaints lodged about the bike losing power — both underway and when idling — are still in the wind. First things first, let’s deal with the triple-clamp recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a recall on the GS and GS Adventure for a problem that causes the fork tube to separate from the fork cap. The first symptoms could be oil leaking from the top of the fork. As it continues to wear, the steering would feel sloppy and imprecise. If it gets to the point that the tube actually separates from the cap, you’re going down in no uncertain terms.
Continue reading for more on the BMW recall.
BMW designed the F 800 GT to replace the aging F 800 ST, and improve upon the sport-touring capabilities of the family. The new model brings a sleeker, more modern look to the table along with improved performance out of the repurposed ST mill. In its stock configuration the GT comes with ABS as the only bit of gadgetry, but the list of available options includes Beemer’s Electronic Suspension and Automatic Stability Control to name a few. Sporty looks, updated electronics and enhanced comfort are all part of the package, but is it enough to compete in a market segment with so many tour-tastic sport bikes? Let’s find out.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW F 800 GT.
2015 Mercedes-AMG C63
AMG began meddling with the C-Class in 1995 — one year after the C-Class debuted — when it released the C36 AMG and its 268-horsepower V-6. The 1998 model year brought about the release of the C43 AMG, which featured a larger V-8 engine rated at 302 ponies. AMG then followed that up with the 349-horsepower C32 AMG in 2002, and then with the 362-horsepower C55 AMG in 2005. Finally, in 2008, the C63 AMG sent the sedan into 450-horsepower territory with a huge 6.2-liter V-8 tweaked to generate 451 horses. With the standard 2015 C-Class having arrived in dealerships in early 2014, Mercedes-Benz is rolling out a brand-new iteration of the AMG-prepped C63.This time around dubbed Mercedes-AMG C63, with the Germans dropping the Benz moniker from the official name, the new-generation vehicle marks the beginning of a new era for the sedan.
Much like its predecessor did in 2008, the 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 gets a brand-new engine in the form of a biturbo, 4.0-liter V-8. The unit is identical with the one previously launched in the AMG GT sports car and comes not with just more horsepower, but with improved fuel efficiency as well. Read on for the full details surrounding AMG’s new high-performance compact.
Update 5/26/2017:The Mercedes C-Class is up for a mid-cycle update, and now we’re finally getting the first look at the facelifted version of the C63. The spy shots still show some camo, but give us an idea of what to expect later this year when the updated C-Class makes its debut. Check out the spy shots section below to hear about what we know so far.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63
A Brace Of Woes For Kawasaki Motors Off-Road Division
Kawasaki announces the voluntary recall on a handful of its off-road products for a couple of different reasons. Both of these recalls expose a chink in the anti-terrain armor on almost 59,000 units sold in North America. First up we have approximately 28,000 side-by-side units sold between July 2014 and June 2016 from the 2015 through 2017 YM Mule Pro-FX/FXT and the Mule Pro-DX/DXT families. This bundle of trouble is closely followed by something around 30,094 Teryx and Teryx4 from a spread of years, specifically; 2012-13 Teryx4 750 4x4 units with four seats as well as the two- and four-seat variants of the 2014 through 2016 Teryx 800 4x4 range that were sold between November 2011 and November 2015.
Continue reading for more on the Kawasaki recalls.
MV Agusta brings Granturismo to the table with its trio of sport-tour bikes in the Veloce family. We have the base model Turismo Veloce 800 plus the “Lusso” version that comes complete with panniers and other tour-tastic features. The “Lusso RC” takes it a step further with red, white and green racing livery and even more special features for the true, top-end bike fans out there. As a concept, the word “tour” seems to mean something different once you leave U.S. shores, evidenced by the lack of baggage on the base Veloce. Although the “tour” label is a bit of a stretch, the word “Veloce” means “fast,” and there can be no argument on that point whatsoever. Today I’m going to delve into this trio of Italian Stallions to see what kind of yummy-goodness the Meccanica Verghera Agusta packed in for our riding pleasure.
Continue reading for my review of the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800, Lusso, and RC.
The Kwang Yang Motor Company (KYMCO) continues its push into the maxi-scooter market with its largest current U.S. model, the Xciting 500 Ri ABS. KYMCO markets this machine as a tourer/commuter, and while it is pretty big for a scooter, KYMCO’s discontinued MyRoad 700i was bigger. Still, this beefy, not-so-little scooter is the factory’s plushest item and it comes with everything KYMCO has to offer, taking on some of the other, large-displacement touring scoots out there.
Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO Xciting 500Ri.