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.
2018 Honda NC750X
Honda looks to solidify its position in the adventure-commuter market with the new-to-the-U.S. 2018 NC750X. Like its predecessor, the new sled is built for comfortable riding with a capacity for touring, but the new engine lends it a sportier attitude with 54 horsepower on tap and a two-level torque control to help you keep it under control. Yeah, that’s an improvement of a mere three ponies over the previous gen, but that’s hardly the end of the yummy-goodness Honda packed away on this standard-on-steroids. It won’t be available in U.S. dealerships until mid Summer, but we can take a closer look and make some educated guesses based on the info so far, ’cause after all, our Euro buddies have had access to this ride for a hot minute now and have plenty to say about it.
Continue reading for my look at the Honda NC750X.
2016 - 2017 Triumph Daytona 675 / Daytona 675 R
Back in the early 2000s, Triumph’s four-cylinder, middleweight sportbikes were taking a beating by the 600 cc bikes from the Big Four in Japan. The solution? Drop a cylinder, boost the cubes and start a nearly complete, ground-up rebuild based off the old Daytona 600 chassis. The result? A decidedly nimble and powerful supersport packed away in a deceptively small package. After a number of changes, and the addition of the Daytona 675 R in 2011 that went on to win the Daytona 200 in ’14, the Daytona family moved into the ’2017 model year with many of the features that made the range a success, and a few new ones too. Join me while I dissect this British Rose and try to discover why its fanbase is so rabid, far beyond the usual national/brand loyalty we see all the time.
Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Daytona 675 and Daytona 675 R.
What if BMW makes a mid-segment supersports?
The current S1000RR held the throne of being the most proficient machine in the liter class superbike segment in terms of technical prowess and the entire package for a long time now. But the German maker hasn’t had any footfall in the mid-segment supersport arena because they pretty much did not give a damn.
But imagining them do it is going to bring a lot of sleepless nights to the Japanese players who have taken the top slots to the throne in the 600 cc segment. There are no official word or snippets from anywhere suggesting this might happen, but this did not stop our friend Nicolas Petit to sketch a few potent machines that can come out of the Beemer factory gates.
JAWA Moto is here with their latest iterations of the 350 and 660 Vintage
Joining the likes of BSA, Ariel, Levis, Brough, Hesketh, Matchless, and Norton, there is another European vintage name coming back from the abyss and relive the glory days of the 20th century. Say hello to Jawa Motorcycles, with love from Prague, Czechoslovakia. (err… or India??)
While we know that it would take at the least a couple of years to see their first iterations of what is touted as ‘The grand revival’, JAWA has gone ahead and launched their brand-new edition of its iconic 350 motorcycles and a 660 Vintage. This time, carrying a four-stroke engine with single overhead camshaft to be able to comply with the Euro - IV emission norms.
The Emflux One is here and talks with tons of promises for all under $10K
This is the Indian startup eco-system’s gift to the world. A motorcycle in the newfound electric business that has being brimmed with bells and whistles not found on any other production bike. Emflux Motors is entering with tall claims of having a 125 mph superbike that runs on electricity for up to 100 miles at full range. And if you go full-blown-track-mode, expect a range of around 50 miles.
Called the "Emflux One", it was unveiled at a recently concluded Indian Auto Expo and is aiming at the premium market that caters to the mid-weight motorcycle segment. The company has been working on their superbike for just over a couple of years, unlike other startups that have taken more than half a decade to develop their products.
2018 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
Royal Enfield hit the 2018 model year running with an all-new, 650 Twin engine that comes with a brand-new Interceptor wrapped around it. All new from the ground up, the Interceptor 650 has improved handling and agility that its single-cylinder predecessors just couldn’t match. It’s a hot-hot release in its homeland, but will the U.S. market receive it with as much enthusiasm?
Continue reading for my first look at the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.
2017 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Street Rod
Traffic-carving performance isn’t the first thing I think of when hearing the name Harley-Davidson, but the MoCo is going about changing that perception with the new-from-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 most decisive push so far into the sport-standard market. A bold move to be sure, and as Harley enters territory traditionally dominated by the Asian and European manufacturers, it won’t enjoy the same name power that it does in the cruising and touring sector. With all that in mind I want to take a look at this ambitious ride today to see what’s new and how well it stacks up to its entrenched competition. I think it’s safe to take it as a given that the MoCo has its work cut out for it, to say the very least, so let’s get started.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Street Rod.
This Chinese Bobber is a cut-price Triumph
A renowned name in the Chinese two-wheeler industry, Chand Jiang motorcycles had been producing military-style sidecar outfits based on WW2-era BMW R75 designs for decades. They are often erroneously referred to as BMW "replicas" when in fact, they are derivatives of the IMZ M-72 Russian motorcycles.
Recently, however, the manufacturer had to cease operations when the brand was making the production of the old 750cc, air-cooled boxer twins due to local emission rules flouting. They had to abruptly stop production since the firm was left without a product.
Harley Davidson enters the Snowquake 2018
What it is, is a Dirt Quake on Ice. As simple as it sounds, the dirt track race bikes challenge each other on Europe’s finest snow and ice race track in the Italian Alps.
For 2018, the event is in its third edition and has managed to grab a few eyeballs already. Including the folks of Harley Davidson, who have committed to giving 8 ice track-spec Street Rod 750s. They have invited journalists along with ex WSBK and MotoGP rider, Ruben Xaus to take their chance at each other on the ice.
Yamaha Yard Build: XS650 & XSR700 by Greg Hageman
Based out of Iowa, custom motorcycle builder Greg Hageman started working on Yamaha motorcycles at the start of this century. His very first one was an XS650 build that basically kicked off his love of vintage Yamahas’. And as they say, the rest is history.
This scent was picked up by the folks at Yamaha Yard Build, guys who ask "talented customizers to provide inspirational ideas on how to transform modern Yamaha models into ’Yard Build’ specials."
2018 Yamaha MT-07
Yamaha finally saw fit to drop its FZ family designator in favor of the MT brand seen by most other markets. The changes aren’t limited the moniker; the MT-07 comes 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. I understand and accept that there are some mighty smart people who decide what names/colors/whatever will sell in any given market, and I know that there are significant cultural differences involved, but I’ve never quite grasped why the MT had to be the FZ here. Looks like someone at Yamaha finally questioned it too.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha MT-07.
2017 - 2018 Suzuki SV650 ABS
Suzuki continued with the evolution of the SV650 line last year with the all-new-for-2017 SV650. Built on the success of the original SV650 that covered 1999 through 2008, and its offspring, the SFV650 “Gladius,” this new ride carries the SV DNA into a new generation. This new ride replaces the Gladius, so SFV fans, if you are looking for anything beyond a 2015 model, abandon hope. Join me while I take a look at what lessons Suzuki has learned over the last 17 years or so of working on this family.
Continue reading for my look at the Suzuki SV650.
A ’turbo-charged’ Suzuki is heading our way
Forced inductions seem to be the flavor of the motorcycle industry right now. The first thing to roll out of a major factory with forced induction since a few ill-fated turbo experiments back in the 1980s is our favorite Kawasaki Ninja H2 which had us all drooling over this ‘world’s only’ supercharged hyper sports motorcycle.
With Kawasaki already ruling the roots with the H2 R and the recently launched H2 SX, there is another Japanese guy who is bringing a seat to the table. Touted to be called the GSX-700T, it will be Suzuki’s entry into the world of forced induction.