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.
Norton shows us a peak of the next blockbuster, the Atlas
After setting the stage on fire with their brand new V4 Superbike venture, the British manufacturer shifted their attention to a set of machines that could be deemed as the most critical project for the company’s future.
Working for almost a year, Norton has finally released official sketches of their 650cc in-line twins under a scrambler-esque silhouette. And they are going to call it the Atlas, a modern “Urban-Tracker” and a reminiscent of the brand’s 1963 Atlas 750cc scrambler. The bike is due to be revealed at the NEC bike show in the UK this November, with UK deliveries set for 2019.
2018 MV Agusta F3 675 RC
MV Agusta, as a brand, has mastered the fine art of making the hottest wallpaper machines unlike anyone in the business. And the cream of it belongs to the limited-production RC (Reparto Corse) editions. They are a legitimate celebration of MV Agusta’s superior qualities created by the honchos at the racing department, Jules Cluzel and Lorenzo Zanetti.
This year, the factory racers have touched on the hottest performing middleweight sportbikes in production, the F3 675, which also receives mild updates with its powertrain, electronics, and chassis to keep their mark on the ever-improving sportsbike market.
2017 - 2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Special
Moto Guzzi carries its “Special” into 2018 after the introduction last year of the V7 III family that brought in a new engine and all-new frame. This is the third generation of ’Guzzi’s venerable V7 line, and the Special sports DNA that goes all the way back to the V750 S3 of ’75 in a conspicuous display of its deep roots, but keeps things purely modern where it counts. A new V-twin delivers ample ponies with that distinctive rumble and transverse orientation you’d expect with a traction control feature to help you keep it under control while accelerating. ABS overwatch for safe braking makes the Special suitable for entry-level riders and fun for experienced ones. Today I’m going to dig into this classy little standard that hails from the era of my childhood, and I gotta’ say, I’ve been looking forward to this particular ’Guzzi, so let’s get started.
Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi V7 III Special.
2018 Royal Enfield Contintental GT 650
The self-attested “oldest motorcycle company in continuous production in the world” has been making the right moves to be heard the world over. And their recent project seems to have gained a lot of traction ever since the last EICMA show where they showcased the 650cc retro twins running on brand new twin-cylinder engines.
In a bid to create a niche market for themselves, the Bullet maker decided to step up their game both in the number of cylinders and capacity. Christened as the Continental GT 650, it heralds a new chapter for Royal Enfield, a company that until now made only 350cc-535cc single barrel machines.
2016 - 2018 Honda Integra
Honda improves its Integra lineup yet again ahead of the 2018 model year. The Red Riders added two Special Edition paint schemes for this year, but it’s the Honda Selectable Torque Control that steals the show. Traction control is a rarity amongst scooters, but this isn’t your average scooter; in fact, it’s not even really a scooter in the traditional sense at all. A 745 cc, twin-cylinder engine delivers 40.3 kW — far beyond the vast majority of rides that identify as scooters — and Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission provides the same twist-and-go operation you’d expect from a scooter, but with some very important differences. Yeah, it’s an unusual combination of platform and features to say the least, so let’s dig in and see what all the Integra has going on over there.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Integra.
2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano
’Guzzi expands its almost-new V7 III footprint here in its sophomore year with a trio of new models that double the number of units in the range with the Milano as a sort of classic-custom tribute. The Milano bears some of the same seventies-tastic touches as the V7 III Special, but in a more understated way that clearly has no qualms about adopting modern tech, as evidenced by the cast rims instead of laced. Twin clocks and a faux tuck-and-roll saddle help the Milano visually hit the target era, but the ABS and traction control feature makes the bike perform like a modern ride. Of course, the 744 cc, 52-horsepower engine certainly helps on that front as well, and today I’m going to dig in and see what sets the Milano apart from its brethren.
Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano.
2017 - 2018 Honda X-ADV
Honda blurs the line between the scooter and motorcycle worlds with its genre-bending X-ADV model. The X-ADV brings a scooter-like body together with a proper motorcycle drivetrain that delivers twist-and-forget operation not unlike a CVT-equipped, swingmount scooter. The Red Riders further confuse the issue with dual-purpose tires meant to turn in a decent performance on soft surfaces while maintaining a certain amount of roadworthiness for your urban commute. Chuck in the 745 cc powerplant and you’ve got one confused ride. Perhaps the confusion is all on my end? Let’s dive in and find out.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda X-ADV.
2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Stone
Moto Guzzi’s V7 family expands yet again with the V7 III series that sees the popular “Stone” model carry over from the outgoing V7 II generation. The new Stone carries itself with the same subtle darkness that made its predecessor so popular along with many of the genetic markers normally associated with the Moto Guzzi brand. Foremost among these is the transverse-mount V-twin powerplant that protrudes conspicuously from both sides of the bike, and of course, the 52 ponies that come along with it. The fuel tank strikes a classic shape as well, and the rest of the design falls right into line with plenty of yummy-goodness under the hood in the ABS and traction control features. There’s more to be found, so let’s dig into this little Italian gem with its not-so-polished moniker.
See our review of the Moto Guzzi V7 III Stone.
2018 Suzuki SV650X
Suzuki expands its SV650 roadster lineup for the 2018 model year with its café-tastic SV650X ABS. The “X” sports some subtle changes to the bodywork, plus a not-so-subtle bullet fairing to make that crucial historical connection to the target era sometime back in the seventies. The suspension system saw an update this year for the whole SV650 family across the board, and it brings a spring-preload feature to the front end that will be difficult to match at this price point and genre. Power comes from the same 645 cc twin that pushes the rest of the family with 75 ponies ready to go and a handful of electronic fandangelries to help manage them. What else has Suzuki got in store for us? Let’s dig into this tasty mid-size ride and see.
Continue reading for our review of the Suzuki SV650X.
2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
The Vitpilen 701 joins its diminutive 401 sibling to double the number of Black Arrows on offer this year from Husqvarna. Like its little brother, the 701 packs all of its cubage into a single cylinder to the tune of 692.7 cc with a respectable 75 horsepower on tap and ready to go. Contemporary style and a race-tastic vibe give the 701 even more of what makes the 401 so popular, and it’s clearly targeting mature/experienced buyers while simultaneously trying to appeal to the Millennial buyers who, thus far, have largely shunned the two-wheeled lifestyle but seem to be crazy about the ’Pilen range. I’ve wanted to dive into this ride since I first saw it revealed at Milan, and today I get my chance, so join me whilst I dissect this mid-size ride that’s enjoying so much success in its inaugural year.
Continue reading for my review of the Husqvarna Vitpilen 701.
2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Carbon Dark
Paying tribute to their past, Moto Guzzi headed to a major revival plan and launched the new range of V9 platform and the third iteration of their most celebrated roadster model, the V7 back in 2017.
The V7 is also the first model created by MG and celebrating the 50th year of the first, the brand launched the V7 III with four editions in 2017: Stone, Special, Racer and a celebratory entrant Anniversario. Expanding this footprint for 2018, MG launched the ‘Rough’, ‘Milano’, ‘Stornello’and finally the ‘Carbon Dark’ edition.
All of the ‘V7s have been prepped up for the consciousness of the new generation of motorcycling. The V7 models will be the same breed of bikes that differ slightly to imprint different characters carrying the same soul, and my favorite of them all is the limited-edition ‘Carbon Dark’, which as the name suggests, gets quite a bit of carbon-fiber on it.
Suzuki’s new Katana/Recursion to be Supercharged
Fresh new patents filed by Suzuki that the new forced induction model from the Japanese brand will be a supercharged one rather than a turbo-charged machine like we all thought until now. The brand showcased the Recursion concept back in 2013 that resembles the ‘Katana’ design cues and its bodyworks seen in 2017.
This mid-weight machine will be Suzuki’s entry into the world of forced induction and might as well carry the ‘Katana’ brand with it. Currently, the industry calls it the GSX-700T, with the ‘T’ playing us deceptive with “turbo-charged”. But these patent images tell us a rather supercharged story.
Yamaha’s new Tenere 700 ADV machine snapped testing in Europe
Yamaha had showcased its mid-weight adventure concept last year and called it the ‘T7 concept’. It was then we knew that the Japanese guys are coming up with a winner in the adventure class for the next year. Then, the brand showcased the ’Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid’ at last year’s EICMA, but for all our dismay, was still a prototype since they had yet to turn a few knobs more.
Fast forward to today, we have confirmation from the beautiful city of Milan that the 700 Tenere will hit showrooms soon. Heavily camouflaged or rather disguised in full black body panels, the test mule is a million miles away from home to taste the readiness of the bike in the Italian terrains.
2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough
Moto Guzzi expands its V7 III footprint off the black and onto the brown with the new-for-2018 “Rough” variant. As its cleverly-ingenious name implies, this model comes set up to have some definite scramble-tastic tendencies with street-knobbies that perform as well on soft terrain as they do on the pavement. Like the rest of the family, power comes from a 744 cc V-twin that delivers 44 pound-feet of torque for solid holeshots and plenty of hill-conquering grunt. There’s plenty of that characteristic MG style to go around as well, courtesy of the sideways engine mount and fuel tank design. Best of all, the Rough beefs up its entry-level bike claim with ABS and traction control that can be turned off for a raw ride, or enabled for maximum stability. MG snuck some other yummy bits in there, so let’s just go ahead and dig right in.
Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough.
Husqvarna Svartipilen 701 snapped testing in production disguise
Ever since the time Husqvarna showcased its ‘Real Street’ Vitpilen 401 and the Swartipilen 401 concepts at the 2016 EICMA, the industry is abuzz to see some bonkers design unlike anything seen before on the streets. Finally, the Swedish Huskies dropped the Vitplilen 701 followed by the Vitpilen 401, Swartipilen 401.
The Svartiplen 701 was showcased as a concept version at the EICMA last week along with the production model of the Vitpilen 701. Now, our friends from Motorcyclenews have snapped the production version undergoing testing on a damp and dry day. It carries quite a lot of bits from the concept but not as much as we hoped.
2017 - 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 650 / V-Strom 650XT
Adventure bikes are definitely a ’thing.’ They aren’t showing any sign of going away anytime soon, and Suzuki’s V-Strom (Deutsch for ’stream’) is definitely one of the major players advancing the cause, as it were. A few years ago, Suzuki made the decision to drop the V-Strom 650 Adventure, and focus its energies on the base model 650 and 650XT. The result is palpable with a number of improvements made in the 2017 model year that will likely endear these rides to their fans even more. Now we have more power, plus a traction control system to help manage said power as well as some nifty aesthetic tweaks and more.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT.
Husqvarna finally releases their Huskies onto the streets
Since the time Husqvarna showcased its ‘Real Street’ Vitpilen 401 and the Swartipilen 401 concepts at the 2014 EICMA, the industry is abuzz to see some bonkers design unlike anything seen before on the streets. The following year saw the Vitpilen 701 concept showcased at EICMA, and it wasn’t until this year that we get to see the production models for 2018.
Finally, after playing the tease game all this while, the Swedish Huskies have dropped the Vitpilen and the Svartipilen machines on the streets and will come to a showroom near you. This Vitplilen 701 will be the first of the Husqvarna’s ‘Real Street’ motorcycle lineup that is headed to bring in the Swedish company’s name into the world stage followed by the Vitpilen 401, Swartipilen 401 and Swartipilen 701.
2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Carbon Dark
Moto Guzzi expands its third-generation V7 family with the new-for-2018 V7 III Carbon Dark. The “Dark” straddles two worlds with design aspects that hail back to the original V7s while touching on the custom culture as well for an interesting blend of the nostalgic and the new. For power, the factory stuck with “the seven-fifty from Mandello” to drive the Dark with 44 pounds of grunt on tap with a traction-control system and ABS brakes to aid the rider in maintaining control, just the kind of stuff you want for an entry-level ride. Manageable power with a solid pedigree and good looks to boot, the V7 III Carbon Dark seems to have a lot to offer for under 10 grand.
Continue reading for my look at the Moto Guzzi V7 III Carbon Dark.