2018 - 2019 Yamaha XMAX
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.
2015 - 2019 Honda Ruckus
Bare bones — naked bike, anyone? — and gnarly, the Ruckus looks like it’s right out of Mad Max. Even though it does have a 50 cc engine, no one is going to say, “Awww, isn’t that cute?” when you ride by on a Ruckus. Granted, you won’t be going very fast, so on-lookers will get a good, long look.
2019 Vespa Elettrica
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.
2009 - 2019 Suzuki TU250X
2016 - 2019 Yamaha SMAX
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.
2019 Genuine Motorcycles G400C
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.
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.
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.
2015 - 2019 Yamaha V Star 250
If you’re a carburetor fan, you’re still in luck for a 250 cc commuter bike with the 2019 V Star 250 from Yamaha. Simple, classic cruiser good looks and scooter-like fuel economy make the V Star 250 a no-nonsense choice for a budget-minded or entry-level rider.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha V Star 250.
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.
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.
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.
2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Z125 PRO
“Cheap thrills” takes on a whole new meaning — or maybe just a revitalization of the old meaning — when it comes to the Z125 PRO from Kawasaki. It’s small and relatively fast for the thrills, good fuel economy, and a bargain-basement price. Sure, as a fun bike, it has that hands down. It’s also a commuter if you have to navigate congested traffic because it’s small, lightweight and narrow so filtering through traffic is a breeze. As a first bike for someone new to two wheels, this is a completely approachable bike, not intimidating at all and without the electronics that frequently get used as a crutch. On this bike, you learn how to ride.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Z125 PRO.
2016 - 2019 Yamaha TW200
The Yamaha TW200, brought forward for 2019 with its scrappy little 196 cc engine, is a nice learning bike, fully street legal but with that distinctive motocross-style swale seat that says you’re going off-road. On the move, the bike has nice low-end torque and you’ll feel the front end trying to come up when you get even a little twisty. Dual sport, yes, but so much about this bike just begs to be in the dirt.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha TW200.
Mercedes Finally Shows Us the 2019 AMG A35 in the Metal at the Paris Motor Show
Mercedes-Benz finally showed the AMG A35 in the metal at the Paris Motor Show. Even though the car made an online debut a couple of weeks back, this is the first time we’ve seen it in its physical form. People have been waiting on the ropes for this car to arrive after the A-Class hatchback was launched a few months ago and it was well worth the wait.
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.
2019 Audi A1 Looks Bigger And Better in Paris
The first-gen Audi A1 was launched in 2010. Since then, the car has earned a reputation for getting better with tiny tweaks and additions added every now and then. Eight years later, the Audi A1 is back with an all-new iteration. It has improved in every aspect over the 2010 A1. The next-gen Audi A1 was revealed at the Paris Motor Show.