2019 BMW C 400 GT
BMW Motorrad expands its C 400 range with a Gran Turismo version designed to bring some long-distance capabilities to the table. This mid-size scooter features comfort amenities alongside safety features that deliver peace of mind, and let’s face it, peace of mind has a comfort factor all its own. Cutting-edge electronics and multimedia connectivity come standard, and I gotta’ say the electronics suite is vastly superior to a good number of “proper” motorcycles on the market today. Think I’m overstating it? Hold that thought for just a few minutes and I’ll make a believer of you.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW C 400 GT.
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.
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.
Top 10 Classics/Standards of 2018
Timeless designs that take you back to the pre-’60s era, heightened feeling of riding free-spirited machines and the sense of freedom. This is what a modern-day classic motorcycle offers without that knuckle bending fixes and ghastly scenes of oil dripping everywhere. Here are our top ten standard/classic motorcycles of 2018 that take us back to the time from the ’60s.
Recalling the past glories, these neo-classic motorcycles have still managed to retain the charm and posterity of minimalistic elegance along with providing modern day mechanicals and the bits. They run on efficient high output engines that are both reliable and powerful and are equipped with state of the art suspension and brake setups that will bring the bike to a halt not far from their point of application unlike the yesteryears.
Top 10 Scramblers of 2018
Reinforced for off-road duty, Scramblers of today hark back at the South-West California and the Mexico’s Baja scenes in the ’60s and ’70s. They were fitted with engines displacing upwards of 500cc and stripped off anything that is nonsensical to run on roads or no roads. Featured on these were off-road tires, wheels, and spokes and were given modified suspension systems and engine skid plates; a trademark indispensable in shielding the bike from rocks, stones, and the unforgiving desert terrain.
Here is our list of Scrambleresque motorcycles of 2018 that promise to churn out rugged, stripped down, vintage fun resurrected from its heyday during the 1960’s and earlier. Aiding it will be a torquey motor with high mounted exhaust pipes and knobby tires to take it on terrains otherwise not possible.
Top 10 Sportsbike of 2018
In a world where outright horsepower and straight-line speed hold center stage, these machines have blazed the streets and have swept us off our feet in the most fashionable ways possible. Built for speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering, they come equipped with components from the industry’s best names to achieve a little more speed every single time they get on the paved asphalt.
With the emphasis of a sport bike being on performance, there are certain design elements that most motorcycles of this type will share. Rider ergonomics favor function. Apart form the high performing engines, they are built to cut through the air as smoothly as possible. High tech and expensive materials are often used on sport bikes to reduce weight.
Top 10 Street Motorcycles of 2018
Although not an official segment of motorcycles, our lifestyle for daily transportation in urban communities have given rise to street motorcycles that are lightweight and nimble for the concrete jungle. Being an agile handler while looking the part is how we need our commute through the asphalt.
This is our list of the machines we think can handle those demands better than any other. A motorcycle with an upright riding position, lacking plastic fairings for that narrow lane splitting ability and a lightweight construction for the ease of flickability is what we are looking for, and here are our top ten:
Royal Enfield salutes the armed forces with this special "Signals" edition of the Classic 350
Conceived as a tribute to the birth of the Royal Enfield WD/RE series of motorcycles and Royal Enfield’s military heritage, Royal Enfield launched a special limited run version of the Classic 500 called the “Pegasus” edition back in August this year. Not even a month later, the Indian brand launched another machine highlighting its association with the military.
Called the “Classic Signals”, this special edition motorcycles is based on the brand’s Classic 350 and pays homage to its close association and partnership with the Indian Armed Forces. It gets new colors and cosmetic updates and is also Royal Enfield’s first offering to get ABS in the Indian market where the Signals edition will be launched for.
Is this the BMW G310RR? The German’s new secret mini weapon?
Back in 2013, BMW teamed up with TVS Motors in a Euro 20 million partnership to support them with the manufacturing and distribution of smaller capacity motorcycles, starting with the G 310R. TVS also launched the Apache RR 310 that was nothing but a full faired G310R for the Indian markets.
Now though, the Germans have perfected that sportsbike and have slapped their badge on what we believe is the potent new mini-superbike, the BMW G310RR Supersport. Snapped by our friends at Oliepeil, this BMW G310RR was on display at the BMW Motorrad Days in Japan and has its dad, S 1000 RR, written all over it.
Kawasaki to introduce the naked Z400 as the 2019 model
The Kawasaki Z400 is not a badge you’ll see for the first time on a Kawasaki machine. The Japanese used to make the ‘KZ400/Z400’ between 1974 and 1984 for Asian and American markets. The KZ400 even outsold Honda in the 400 cc twins market through the 1970s. But was culled from the showroom floors after a decade from its launch.
Now though, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) documents published indicate that the 399cc Kawasaki naked motorcycle will be coming back to the US shores after the launch of the full faired Ninja 400 last year and will look much similar to the Z300 it will replace but run on a brand new engine borrowed from the Ninja.
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.
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 - 2018 Kawasaki KX 250F
It is hands down is the single-most dominant motocross bike of the last decade. But for some time now, the Blue Crew has grabbed some of the limelight. STYLING
Let’s face it, nobody buys a motocross motorbike for the way it looks or for the way it is shaped and contoured. But, not many people realize that these design elements and minimalistic bodywork keep the motorcycle at the top of its game.
The 2017 onwards model features slimmer shrouds as a result of revised radiators and their new (...)
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.