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2019 Ural Gear Up

2019 Ural Gear Up

The On-Demand Two-Wheel-Drive Sidecar

Ural Motorcycle — the Russian company built around a captured German machine from WWII — hits 2019 with some fairly major updates that bring the Gear Up into the 21st century. Most of the improvements are “under the hood” as it were, but the factory brushed up the looks and specific equipment for three submodels to make the “GU,” potentially, four rides out of one. Cross-country safety is increased with these models as they’ve been on the receiving end of a universal spare tire that will work in any of the three possible positions. This is the most thorough engine update in quite a while, so let’s check out what those clever Russians have in store for us.

Continue reading for my review of the Ural Gear Up.

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2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 650

2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 650

A Saucy Middleweight Contender

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.

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2019 Suzuki GSX-S750 / GSX-S750Z

2019 Suzuki GSX-S750 / GSX-S750Z

New Fuel-Injected Engine For An Even More Thrilling Ride

Suzuki shuffled its “standard” selections ahead of MY2019 with a new powerplant based on the proven Gixxer mill. The GSX-S750 lineup includes an ABS model and a custom-flavored, “Z” blackout package that the factory hopes will cover all the bases in the mid-size naked-sport sector. Additionally, it rocks a robust electronics suite with engine-control features as well as safety-related goodies. Power and agility (read: fun) come together with Spartan looks and a modicum of comfort on these bikes, so let’s dive right into the details to see what else Suzuki has in store for us.

Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki GSX-S750 ABS and GSX-S750Z.

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2018 - 2019 Suzuki SV650X

2018 - 2019 Suzuki SV650X

Spunky Mid-Displacement Café-Style SV For Your Riding Pleasure

Suzuki expands its SV650 roadster lineup for the 2019 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 was updated 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.

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2016 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan S / S Cafe / S SE

2016 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan S / S Cafe / S SE

Ninja-Derived Power In A Mid-Displacement Cruiser

As the lightest bike in the Kawasaki cruiser lineup, the Vulcan S appeals to a variety of riders with adjustable footpegs and options for seat height and handlebar position. Carrying the same low and lean profile of the bigger Vulcan cruisers, the S stable combines Ninja-derived power and handling with the comfort and personalization capabilities of Kawasaki’s Ergo-Fit components

Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Vulcan S, Vulcan S Café and Vulcan S SE.

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Top 10 Scramblers of 2018

Top 10 Scramblers of 2018

Motorcycles that promise to churn out rugged, stripped down, vintage fun

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.

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Top 10 Sports-Tourers of 2018

Top 10 Sports-Tourers of 2018

Combining the performance of a sport bike with the long-distance capabilities

Call them bikes that perfectly fill the gap between thrilling sportsbike and the gigantic touring machines, sports-tourers are simply long haul motorcycles with sportbike expectations built to get the best out of that long way home. Here is our list of 2018’s top ten machines offering the same capabilities as touring bikes but without sacrificing any of the sporty performance.

They tend to be a bit lighter and corner well but aren’t the most comfortable. The riding position tends to be a bit more relaxed compared to sports machines, there’s better wind protection, much better pillion comforts, transmission with lower gearing and usually a whole quick release pannier system designed in.

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2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-07

2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-07

This Could Be Your "I Just Want To have Fun" Bike

Yamaha finally saw fit to drop its FZ family designator last year in favor of the MT brand seen by most other markets. The changes aren’t limited the moniker; the MT-07 came with a handful of tweaks to include better suspension and updated looks to reflect its aggressive nature. Fans of the”Fuzz” will rejoice to know that it retains its 689 cc, crossplane concept powerplant with its 50 pounds o’ grunt and steering geometry that makes the family so nimble.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha MT-07.

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Top 10 Sportsbike of 2018

Top 10 Sportsbike of 2018

Built for speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering, the competition is hot as ever

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.

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Top 10 Cafe-Racers of 2018

Top 10 Cafe-Racers of 2018

Lightweight, lightly powered motorcycle optimized for speed and handling. And all about the ’70s

Racing on bikes from café to café before a song could finish was the most therapeutic thing to have happened for motorcyclists in the ‘70s. Inspired by this culture, people and manufacturers started building motorcycles with minimal components to take them the distance in the shortest time. It embodied the classic café-racer cues taking us back in time with modern design bits and sophisticated packaging.

Here is our list of the best ten motorcycles of 2018 that remind us of that ‘70s. Round headlights, debonair half-shell fairing, humped seat, rear seat cowl, extended wheelbase, and the low-slung handlebar, it’s all in each one of these machines:

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2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R ABS

2015 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R ABS

A Mid-Displacement Supersport

The Ninja ZX-6R bolsters Kawasaki’s mid-range sportbike presence with much the same race-tastic tendencies as its larger-displacement siblings, just in a smaller package. It goes far beyond the looks; the factory stuffed a four-cylinder plant inside the windtunnel-tested body panels with a full electronics suite to help keep it all under control. However, this doesn’t necessarily make the “6R” suitable for beginners, but rather an appropriate first or second upgrade, or perhaps as a funbike for weekend warriors. Today I want to take an in-depth look at this Ninja and see how it fares against a comparable model from another of the Big Four.

Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R.

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Top 10 Street Motorcycles of 2018

Top 10 Street Motorcycles of 2018

Naked, lightweight and narrow. The perfect combination for the urban jungle

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:

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2017 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Rod

2017 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Rod

Harley’s Hot Little Urban Commuter

Traffic-carving performance wasn’t the first thing I think of when hearing the name Harley-Davidson, but the MoCo started changing that perception with the new-in-2017 Street Rod 750. While it is, in fact, based on the current Street 750, multiple changes in the setup and equipment turn it into another animal entirely. Shorter steering geometry, a more aggressive rider triangle and a more powerful engine come together in H-D’s decisive push into the sport-standard market.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Street Rod.

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Royal Enfield shattered a land speed record on the Continental GT 650

Royal Enfield shattered a land speed record on the Continental GT 650

Ridden by an 18-year-old, backed by Harris Performance and S&S

Entering the 650cc twins into the market, Royal Enfield has fulfilled a long-standing purpose of enchanting world customers with its cafe-racer Continental GT 650 and the classic-retro Interceptor which were launched at the 2017 EICMA.

Although late to the party, the bikes are yet to reach showroom floors and will be happening after the EICMA show of Milan in November. After having gathered many eye-balls, Royal Enfield has given us yet another convincing with its stunt of registering a land speed record with the Continental GT ridden by an 18-year-old pretty face during the Bonneville Speed Week.

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2015 - 2019 Honda Shadow Aero / Shadow Phantom

2015 - 2019 Honda Shadow Aero / Shadow Phantom

Vintage American Cruiser Style

Honda made an honest attempt to capture that look and feel of yesteryear with the Shadow duo, the big brothers to the Rebel range. Maybe just a little too honest – is that a mechanical drum brake I see? Still with a 745 cc engine and a wide-ratio transmission, the Shadow Phantom and the Aero fill the "cruiser" slot quite adequately for Honda.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda Shadow Phantom and Shadow Aero.

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2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Limited

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Limited

500 units of Chrome, aluminum and Carbon-fiber

The V7 is the first model created by Moto Guzzi, 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’, ‘Carbon Dark’ and finally this ‘Limited’ edition.

The Limited is what ’bringing of two worlds’ mean. Blending classic, elegant chrome with futuristic carbon-fiber and aluminum materials, this V7 is an eclectic and modern look that reiterates how well the V7 III lends itself to customization. It is an exclusive limited edition version in just 500 numbered units.

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2015 - 2019 Honda XR650L

2015 - 2019 Honda XR650L

It’s The "I Wanna Have Fun" Bike You’ll Hang On To

Honda carries its venerable XR650L line into 2019, but to be honest, it’s almost completely unchanged from the original version unleashed on the world back in 1993. Before you scoff, I would point out that sharks haven’t changed in millions of years, having evolved long ago into creatures perfectly suited to their environments, and apparently, so it is with the XR650L. The Red Riders got it right out of the gate with this one, and popular support keeps the bike on Honda’s showroom floors even after nearly a quarter-century. I want to see what Honda has going on over there that gives this bike such longevity.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda XR650L.

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2016 - 2018 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive

2016 - 2018 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive

The Suit-and-Tie Of Scootering

The Burgman line has always been about classy and comfortable commuting, and the factory seems to have found a sweet spot here with its largest displacement version that brings comfort, convenience and safety to the table. As a “maxi-scoot,” the Executive delivers a motorcycle-like riding experience with amped up scooter features that give it something of an exaggerated look, so clearly, this is a vehicle of extremes. Suzuki carries over its Burgman 650 Executive with a new color for MY2018, so let’s check this ride out and then see how it stacks up against one of the top office-scooters to come out of Europe.

Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive.

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The Royal Enfield 650 gets a Street Tracker rendering

The Royal Enfield 650 gets a Street Tracker rendering

Classic, yet find their home in the dirt

Entering the 650cc twins into the market, Royal Enfield has fulfilled a long-standing purpose of enchanting world customers with its cafe-racer Continental GT 650 and the classic-retro Interceptor which were launched at the 2017 EICMA.

The bikes are yet to reach showroom floors and people have already started imagining them in a different genre. An Italian artist who goes by the name Oberdan Bezzi, also famously called as OBIBOI, has sketched an impressive looking concept which might be expected from the Royal Enfield stable in the future. And it’s got a fancy name to it - Royal Enfield Fury 650.

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Honda has two new 650cc machines in the pipeline

Honda has two new 650cc machines in the pipeline

One will be an exclusively new model, while one will be catering mainstream

The Honda CB600F (known as the Hornet in Europe and Brazil) was undoubtedly one of the most influential middleweight naked motorcycles. Originally launched in 1998, it had close ties to the race-winning CBR600RR but had always presented its own unique package of sporty performance and light, user-friendly handling.

In 2014 the model received a major update and got a displacement increase of 49 cc, the new model is called CB650F, which is currently sold in the US for $ 8,249. And according to Fabrice Recoque, director of the motorcycle division of Honda France, the world is getting TWO new 650cc naked motorcycles.

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2015 - 2019 Suzuki DR650S

2015 - 2019 Suzuki DR650S

A Hot Dual-Sport? Or Entry Adventure Bike?

It’s not the most attractive bike in the dual sport stable, though it’s small and scrappy with its 644 cc engine and so much fun to ride. With a glance at the DR650S from Suzuki and you might just dismiss it as an enduro bike. That would be doing it an injustice. It’s really a basic adventure bike that will get you off the pavement and into the woods with perhaps more gumption than a real adventure bike. Priced affordably, it isn’t a tragic to drop it as it would be otherwise and it is lightweight enough that you can pick it up and keep going.

Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki DR650S.

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2017 - 2019 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT

2017 - 2019 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT

The Maxi-Scooter Almost Too Beefy To Be A Mere Scooter

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.

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