2015 - 2019 Piaggio BV 350 ABS
The BV 350 from Piaggio, sold as the Beverly Sport Touring in other markets, is win-win as far as scooters go. With a big 16-inch wheel up front, monster-size brakes usually seen on full-size motorcycles, an assortment of tech acronyms, and an ample touring windscreen, the Beverly is a downright proper little touring scooter. As a commuter in the city or suburbs or for your weekend getaway, the BV 350 fits right into the niche that Piaggio intended. With a lively throttle response and plenty of power and torque to back it up, the Beverly puts “sport-touring” into scooter vernacular.
Random Act of Kindness Ends with Nursing Student Getting a Free Car
Let’s start your Mondays off on a good note with a story about a young nurse from California and the generosity of a Scion xB owner. Kayla Cooper walked into an Auto City dealership with the intent of purchasing a vehicle. What she got instead was a free car from Dan Laguardia, who handed her the keys to his Scion xB after learning that Cooper couldn’t close a deal on her car purchase. There’s obviously more to this story — we’ll get to that — but, in a nutshell, it shows the power of kindness and generosity in a world that probably needs more doses of both.
2019 Honda CBR500R
Honda spruced up its CBR500R ahead of MY2018, and in an unusual move, buffed it up yet again for MY2019. The new model dips further into race-tastic territory with aerodynamics and ergonomics as the main front-burner considerations for an effort far beyond the BNL treatment, and the factory also tweaked the drivetrain to give it a bit more go to match the sporty new show.
2018 - 2019 Vespa GTS Super 300 / GTS Super 300 Sport
Piaggio expanded its “Vespino” footprint in 2018 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 to make the line suitable as an entry-level scooter capable of performing within the urban riding environment.
This $5,000 Chinese Mini-Pickup - The 2019 Kaiyun Pickman - To Hit U.S. Shores This Year
Kaiyun Motors was started in 2014 with the goal of taking on the American pickup market with its tiny all-electric model called the Pickman. Now, some five years later, the Chinese startup is set to start shipping these battery powered ponies into the States where their arrival will undoubtedly cause a bit of a stir.
2019 Honda CB500X
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.
2019 Honda CB500F
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.
2017 - 2018 KTM 390 Duke
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.
Etergo Is Here With Its e-Scooter That Can Go As Far As a 2019 Nissan Leaf on a Single Charge
Just like cars and trucks, even scooters are going through an EV-olution. One such rising company is a Dutch electric scooter start-up called Etergo, formerly known as Bolt Mobility, and has just landed a €10 million investment from a German automotive company. Etergo is in the final stages of production preparation and will use the funding for production of their and long-range electric scooters. Believe it or not, these scooters will take you as far on a single charge as a 2019 Nissan Leaf. No Joke.
2018 - 2019 Kawasaki KLX250
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.
2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900
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.
2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Versys-X 300
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.
2019 Kawasaki Z400
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.