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.
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.
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.
2016 - 2019 Suzuki DR-Z400S / DR-Z400SM
Pitting the fuel-injection fans against the carburetor fans, we score a point for the latter with the DR-Z400S and DR-Z400SM from Suzuki. Fuel injection hadn’t yet made an appearance in any of Suzuki’s dual-sport lineup, which was a good thing or a bad thing, depending on which side of the fence you’re on. For 2019, the DR-Z siblings haven’t yet been touched by the FI update. Sharing the same engine as the 500EXC from KTM, the DR-Zs come on a different chassis with progressive-link rear suspension. The “SM” — the SuperMoto of the family — and the “S” feature a six-liter air box with quick-release fasteners trouble-free access to the air filter and special low profile mirrors that rotate hoping to avoid damage, both are pluses when you’re playing in the dirt.
Continue reading for more information on the Suzuki DR-Z400S and DR-Z400SM.
2015 - 2019 Suzuki DR200S
Suzuki brings dual-sport capabilities to the entry-level sector with its DR200S. A heavy emphasis on offroad performance defines the overall look of the thing, and a 199 cc engine drives it over hill and dale as well as down the road with all the appropriate lighting for safety and legalities. The end result seems to be a functional, if plain, bike that provides a stable ride and moderate power with a humble overall bearing. A carry-over for the last few years, it hasn’t changed much, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki DR200S.
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.
2019 Audi A1
The second-generation Audi A1 is finally here. Initially launched as a small-sized, three-door, entry-level ‘Sportback’ in 2010, Audi then went on to give it five doors in 2011. The A1 has been a successful product for Audi, and is targeted to customers who prefer an “ideal companion for an urban lifestyle." After six years, the second-gen makes its debut, and it definitely looks fresh and sharper than ever.
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.
2017 - 2019 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT
Nobody blurs the line between scooter and ’proper’ motorcycle better than the engineers at BMW, and the C 650 range is no exception. The C 650 “Sport” and “GT” models have very few changes, but that’s not surprising given how difficult it would be to improve upon the bundle of features already built in. I mean, it’s a scooter with traction control and ABS on board, plus a relatively large and powerful engine with a sophisticated engine management system, so this is ’not’ your grandfather’s scooter. I have a great appreciation for German engineering, so I’m looking to see what all Beemer has tucked away on its not-so-little maxi-scooter.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW C 650 GT and C 650 Sport.
2017 - 2019 BMW G 310 R / G 310 GS
BMW’s G 310 R roadster got a brother as it entered the 2017 model year with the addition of the adventuresome G 310 GS. The “GS” builds on the success of the “R” with a few subtle changes that shift the design toward the adventure bike end of the spectrum. Sharing the same 313 cc engine, the G 310 pair head into the low-displacement market alongside some hot competition.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW G 310 R and G 310 GS.
2019 Suzuki Jimny
Most Americans miss out on some really interesting things. Fine, missing out on Kinder eggs is one thing, but missing out on some amazing cars is where we should draw the line.
Take for example the Suzuki Jimny - a pocket-size off-roader capable of treading where only a few would dare. After three generations and more than 2.25 million units sold since 1970, Suzuki finally revealed the first official photos of the fourth generation Jimny.
And, that only happened after some customers captured photos of the new Jimny at a Suzuki private event and published them online. An official live presentation is scheduled for the 2018 Paris Motor Show in October.
2018 Piaggio Typhoon 50
Piaggio rebuilt its fun-and-young Typhoon 50 ahead of the 2018 model year, and the changes are sufficient to give it an “all-new” tag. New body details modify the looks slightly, but what remains is still recognizable as a Typhoon with plenty of key elements that keep it close to the family tree. Not only is the engine new, it’s a super-clean two-stroke that meets Euro 4 standards due to a number of improvements in induction and emissions control. The factory plans on bringing this little ride to the U.S. for the entry-level/teenager market, so let’s take a look at what the Italian scooter maker has in store for us.
Continue reading for my look at the Piaggio Typhoon 50.
2019 Honda Super Cub C125
After much speculation and anticipation, Honda has finally announced that the all-new Super Cub C125 ABS will be hitting U.S. dealerships in January 2019. This iconic ride brings the same 124.9 cc powerplant that drives the popular Grom coupled with a semi-automatic, clutchless shifter and four-speed gearbox that delivers the same ease of operation that helped to make the original such a hit. A disc front brake and ABS help bring the classic design up to modern standards, but the looks are straight outta’ the ’50s for a genuinely dated vibe that is impossible to imitate. Entry-level pricing provides the icing for this charming little cake in order to endear itself to that critical market segment, but I’d argue that this ride is good for more than just as a trainer. Don’t believe me? Read on.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Super Cub C125.
2018 - 2019 Honda Monkey
Honda puts out a lot of fun products, it’s true, but few machines can match the level of whimsy one gets from the Honda Monkey. That’s right folks, the iconic “Monkey Bike” that served as a mini self-Uber in Japanese amusement parks back in the ’60s is back with a new look and powerplant for what the factory surely hopes is a new era of monkey madness. The 2019 version of this little pocket bike bears the genetic markers of the original without being a slave to it with a 9.25-horsepower modern powerplant, larger wheels (thank goodness) and disc brakes. Join me whilst I take a trip down memory lane and take a look at this pint-sized icon destined to hit showroom floors this year.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Monkey.
2017 - 2018 Lance Cali Classic
Lance Powersports takes a stab at the cruiser market with the Cali Classic model range. Produced by the Sanyang Motor Company since 2010 and branded for Lance, the Cali falls into areas already covered by other models in the lineup, but it offers a bit of a more Western flavor in a bid to draw more of the North American market. Neither SYM nor Lance are particularly well-know entities on this side of the pond, but they might be worth a look for someone in the market for a scooter in the 50-to-200 cc range. New last year, the Cali Classic 200i replaced the 150, bringing fuel injection to the table.
Continue reading for my review of the Lance Cali Classic.
2018 Tork T6X
A greater deal of thought is gone into using alternative sources to power our vehicles, and one such attempt is made by the Indian start-ups that are striving for a greater cause. There has never been a better time to introduce zero-emission vehicles that cater to a larger mass of bikers and commuters alike. There hasn’t been a lot of success stories on this front, but things have now started to change for good.
India’s first avatar of an indigenously designed and developed electric motorcycle by a Pune based start-up is the first commercial zero-emission motorcycle of the country. Being the biggest two-wheeler market in the world, this was a no-brainer. Specked out with a decent battery-motor combo, the T6X is best suitable for short runs within the urban jungle.
Scoop: All We Know About The Kia Telluride
Kia is on a roll these days, running high on the success of its recent launches. From the Stinger sedan, to the luxurious K900, to the Niro EV, Kia is delivering powerful performances in all the segments. The latest scoop suggests that the Kia Telluride is about ready for production and will debut by the end of this year.
2017 - 2018 KTM 125 Duke
The battle of the flyweights rages on as KTM stays in the fray with its race-tastic 125 Duke. KTM takes much the same tack as the competition and builds its entry-level ride to resemble the machines it has to offer further up the licensing chain. The angular Duke bodywork and exposed Trellis frame set the stage for the key player, the 11 kW powerplant that keeps the 125 Duke within the A1 performance envelope and turns it into a weapon in the fight for the zenith of the nadir, ie, the entry-level masses yearning to breathe free. KTM has established quite a name for itself as the King of Thumpers with a proven off-road record, but today I’m going to take a look and see how the littlest Duke stacks up against the rest of the 125 cc streetbike field.
Continue reading for my review of the KTM 125 Duke.
2018 Suzuki GSX-S125
While most eyes are on the battle for supremacy of the upper-displacement brackets, the fight between the flyweights rages on, and Suzuki’s newest weapon is its GSX-S125. Like the rest of the “Gixxess” family, it comes based on the “R” version but is stripped of its body panels to become a proper naked sportbike. The 124 cc powerplant stays within the A1 licensing envelope with 10.8 kW to serve as a true entry-level bike cum indoctrination piece capable of drawing in the very youngest riders, and that’s exactly how it’s set up; to be as rider-friendly as possible with a low curb weight of 133 kg and manageable, 785 mm seat height. Today I’m going to dig in a little deeper to see what all Suzuki has going on with this decidedly important little ride.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki GSX-S125.
2018 Vespa Primavera 150
After a fairly major update in 2015, Vespa’s Primavera 150 scooter gets brushed up yet again ahead of the 2018 model year. This newest iteration brings a number of improvements to the table to include larger hoops, all-around LED technology with some aesthetic improvements to boot. In addition to the 150 cc base model, the factory is also releasing the Primavera S that bestows never-before-seen levels of technology on the classic design such as TFT instrumentation and a multimedia system, as well as a cargo-friendly Touring model that positively bristles with luggage racks. It must be quite the undertaking to try and keep a model family as long in the tooth as the Primavera relevant, but Vespa doggedly stays the course and treats us to yet another handful of successors here half-a-century after the release of the original.
Continue reading for my review of the Vespa Primavera 150, 150S and 150 Touring.