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KTM's 790 Adventure gets spied testing

KTM’s 790 Adventure gets spied testing

The test mule is in full production clothing

Unveiled to the world along with the production-ready 790 Duke at the 2017 EICMA, KTM gave us goosebumps showing an enduro motorcycle underpinned by the same mechanicals as the Duke. The 790 Adventure R.

It is the lightweight enduro motorcycle the adventure community has been waiting for. Unfortunately, dreams got shattered when we learned that the bike displayed was just a production prototype. But looks like good news is right around the corner. A production-ready bike was snapped by our friends down under at the Motorcycle News Australia undergoing final tests.

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BMW is busy testing their brand-new F850GS for an eminent launch soon

BMW is busy testing their brand-new F850GS for an eminent launch soon

The bike was snapped testing in full production ready outfit

The BMW GS adventure series of motorcycles have become quite a reminiscent name in the segment of premium enduro bikes in the country, and they are the bestselling range of motorcycles for the Bavarian company.

For 2018, BMW will be launching a brand-new GS motorcycle that will replace the F800GS. It will be powered by the Bavarian’s 853cc engine and is set to set new benchmarks in the midweight ADV category. Folks at Morebikes managed to capture the bike undergoing final endurance tests in Greece with the bike in full production form.

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Honda is planning to bring back the 'Dominator' nameplate

Honda is planning to bring back the ’Dominator’ nameplate

Patent drawing has been unearthed showcasing the development of a new small-ADV

Honda is coming back a full circle. It all started with the grand comeback of the CRF 1000L Africa Twin to the ADV world. It is one of the perfectly balanced machines from the Honda stable, a trait that is synonymous with a majority of the brand’s line-up. A lot of time had gone to engineer it and making it work better on multiple riding conditions and so it does effortlessly without any compromise.

It does, however, has a major drawback. Being big, heavy and powerful, it’s perfect for pro-riders, but for folks entering the segment will steer away from it for the same reasons. Thanks to the snoopy guys at Morebikes, a new patent image showcases Honda’s plan to set that right.

With what looks like a smaller version of the Africa Twin, we have reasons to believe that the Japanese Red Winger is setting up the stage to bring back the ‘Dominator’ nameplate to an entry-level/midweight segment of adventure motorcycle.

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2016 - 2017 Honda VFR1200X

2016 - 2017 Honda VFR1200X

A Big Ol’ Street-Oriented Fun Machine

Honda brought its VFR1200X — a.k.a. the ’CrossTourer’ in other markets — to the U.S. back in 2016, and it rolled as a direct carryover into the ’17 model year. Built as an adventure bike with a bias toward the blacktop, the “X” sports a powerful, 129-horsepower engine and a choice between a manual, six-speed gearbox and Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission that provides seamless automatic gear changes sans clutch or toe shifter. The factory also sought to boost its tour-ability with its proprietary Selectable Torque Control, adjustable suspension components and a robust accessories lineup that boasts all manner of gadgets meant to expand capabilities and comfort alike. Around the world, the adventure-bike market is expanding like mad, and Honda is even taking some wind out of the X’s sails with its own Africa Twin model, so today I want to see if it has what it takes to compete in this rapidly evolving and expanding market.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda VFR1200X.

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2015 - 2018 Honda CB500X

2015 - 2018 Honda CB500X

Not A Lot Of Bike, But A Lot Of Bike For The Money

Honda’s CB500X pushes the adventure-bike envelope well into entry-level territory with a mid-displacement engine and low-impact price tag meant to bring more riders into the genre. Let’s face it; the one-liter Africa Twin and larger VFR1200X are a lot of bike for new riders who are not — I repeat: NOT — liable to ever see a trek down the Ivory Coast. Could it be used as a trainer for the larger bikes? Certainly, but its main lot in life will be as an urban commuter with the capacity to handle some poorly-maintained roads and the occasional pothole. If it sounds like I’m downplaying the bike a bit, I would submit that the urban adventure ride is about all most of us manage in a lifetime, thus making it good enough for its designed purpose.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda CB500X.

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2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports

2018 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports

Not A ’Soccer Mom’s SUV’ Equivalent Of An Adventure Bike

Honda’s Africa Twin Adventure Sports makes the jump from concept to production to further expand the CRF1000L lineup. This newest model — dubbed the CRF1000L2 — brings a decidedly more rugged visage to the table along with the same 998 cc powerplant that drives its more street-centric adventure siblings. I submit to you that the importance of this model goes beyond a handful of special features and a clever name; in a way, it fulfills the promise of the capabilities implicit with the “Africa Twin” moniker. The updated engine churns out 94 ponies with street-knobbies to put the power to the pavement and an updated suspension system to keep the rough roads and trails from rattling the fillings out of your head. What else has Honda done to capitalize on the popularity of its original AT models? Plenty, not only on this specific model, but across the whole range.

Continue reading for my look at the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports.

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SYM enters the ADV world with the NH-Trazer 200

SYM enters the ADV world with the NH-Trazer 200

A lightweight ensemble to lure young customers

We know, for one, that manufacturers develop low capacity motorcycles to get new riders into their strides from the very beginning. With manufacturers showing so much love to the adventure category, it’s high time that we get out and do a little exploring for ourselves.

Joining the league of the BMW’s, Kawasaki’s and Suzuki’s, the Taiwanese manufacturer SYM is entering the adventure field with its brand new NH-Trazer 200, and we have no clue what the acronym stands for.

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Honda might be working on a smaller Africa Twin

Honda might be working on a smaller Africa Twin

The little-ADV will cater new riders looking for an easy yet tough machine

What saw as Honda’s grand comeback to the ADV world, the CRF 1000L Africa Twin was one of the perfectly balanced machines from the Honda stable, a trait that is synonymous to a majority of the brand’s line-up. A lot of time had gone to engineer it and making it work better on multiple riding conditions and so it does effortlessly without any compromise.

It does, however, has a major drawback. It’s like a double-edged sword actually. Being big, heavy and powerful, its perfect for pro-riders, but for folks entering the segment will steer away from it for the same reasons.

Luckily Honda knows this and is working on to get a smaller adventure motorcycle that can be more accessible and easier to ride for beginners, and for those who want something more nimble and down to earth.

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2018 BMW F 750 GS / F 850 GS

2018 BMW F 750 GS / F 850 GS

The New Kids On The Block For Adventure Touring

BMW presses on into adventure-bike territory with a new generation of F-GS models, the F 750 GS and F 850 GS. This adventuresome pair follows the same design as it predecessors with the 750 serving as a road tourer and the 850 set up for work in what you might call less-civilized areas be it fire trails, dirt roads or deserts. An all-new powerplant delivers 77 horsepower and 95 horsepower to the 750 and 850 respectively, and each enjoys other features specifically geared to its host’s purpose in life. The newly-redesigned frame and bodywork, in the words of the factory, give the range “a more dynamic and masculine design.” I’m not sure what to do with that since I tend to think of bikes like I think of boats, in the feminine, but I reckon someone at the factory decided to made the range ’identify’ as male this year. Wherever you land on the looks, form follows function on bikes like these (or at least it should) and so it’s the rest of the machine that should matter the most. Let’s dig in and check out the specialized gear and capabilities of these two all-new rides.

Continue reading for my look at the BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS.

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2017 - 2018 BMW G 310 R / G 310 GS

2017 - 2018 BMW G 310 R / G 310 GS

BMW Heats Up The Small-Displacement Market

BMW’s G 310 R roadster got a brother as it moved into 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.

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Is KTM developing more products with its 390 platform?

Is KTM developing more products with its 390 platform?

They may have the Adventure and a scrambler model in the pipeline

We know, for one, that manufacturers develop low capacity motorcycles to get new riders into their strides from the very beginning. With manufacturers showing so much love to the adventure category, it’s high time that we get out and do a little exploring for ourselves.

It looks like KTM is busy preparing the right tools for this job and are onto adding more iterations to the 390cc and spinning new genres of motorcycles.

Spied by our friends at motorradonline somewhere in Europe, these images have surfaced proving the Austrian’s intent of adding an adventure model as well as a scrambler to their 390cc platform.

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2017 - 2018 Kawasaki Versys-X 300

2017 - 2018 Kawasaki Versys-X 300

A Street-Oriented Version Of The KLR

Kawasaki entered the 2017 model year with an eye toward the small-displacement adventure-bike market, and the all-new Versys-X 300 was its weapon of choice for this new front. The “X” joined the rest of the Versys adventure-bike lineup with the characteristic family flylines atop unique features all its own. Most apparent was the 296 cc engine attractive to riders looking to enter the adventure world as well as the young adults emerging as the new generation of pragmatic buyers.

Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Versys X-300.

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Yamaha's T7 concept is now the Ténéré 700 World Raid. But still a concept

Yamaha’s T7 concept is now the Ténéré 700 World Raid. But still a concept

The Japanese Blue team’s middleweight ADV dig

If you think you have a sharp memory (not that we’ll blame you if you don’t), 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.

Alas! Our excitement was short lived when they showcased just another concept model at this year’s EICMA and badged it with a new name, ’Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid’. Apparently, they need to further develop the machine by testing it on public roads.

Damn you Yamaha.

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Royal Enfield will bring the Himalayan to North America

Royal Enfield will bring the Himalayan to North America

A 411cc dual-sport enduro machine we all want

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 at the recently concluded EICMA show: The 650cc retro twins running on brand new twin-cylinder engines.

After dominating back home in India, the post-British brand has been relentlessly expanding for half a decade and have increased exports to 93% this year compared to last year. And for 2018, they have no plans for slowing down. Their dual-sport enduro is making its way to our shores.

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Benelli's stand at EICMA was actually Ducati's

Benelli’s stand at EICMA was actually Ducati’s

Making no sense? Read ahead

Benelli was finding it difficult to locate its identity amidst the modern and competitive world, even more after it was acquired by a Chinese firm. But now, it seems like a thing of the past, more of a ‘myth’ one could say.

Benelli is trying to revive its fortunes by showcasing products designed by CentroStile Benelli and slowly helping their reputation get back to their original charm. But that is the problem.

They are not trying to build their own reputation, instead, they seem to take on cues from another Italian maker, Ducati.

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Yamaha updated their sport touring lineup for 2018

Yamaha updated their sport touring lineup for 2018

The FJ-09 is replaced by the Tracer 900 along with a ’GT’ variant

Following suit after the MT hyper nakeds, Yamaha has gone with badging their sub-1000cc sports touring motorcycle as the ‘Tracer 900’ (used for the European market), replacing the ‘FJ-09’ we all were acquainted with up until now. This is part of “Yamaha’s ongoing initiative to unite the global community of Tracer riders who share the “Roads of Life.”

The Tracer 900 receives its first update ever since it was launched back in 2014 as the FJ-09. It gets tweaked to be less of a hassle during those long strides and to make touring even more fun. Then there is a ‘GT’ variant as well that gets pimped with premium equipment to mimic the big-fellas of touring, but with the same 900 underpinnings.

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Gallery: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 - in the details

Gallery: 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 - in the details

High resolution images for your eyes and your wall

Triumph updated its Adventure models for 2018 and showcased them at the 2017 EICMA that was held in Milan last week. Triumph is giving their 2018 Tiger range a host of bells and whistles that will boast of having it ’Transformed,’ with a ’New Tiger Triple Engine’ and ’New Tiger Technology.’ Apart from this, the bodywork also gets mild updates to look fresh for 2018.

If the 1200 got 100 improvements, the 800 gets 200 improvements over the engine and chassis components making it more capable off-road and more comfortable. It shares the new full-color TFT instrumentation, heated seats and grips, all-LED lighting and backlit switchgear seen on the 1200.

The powertrain sees significant improvements in the form of shorter ratio 1st gear for enhanced off-road traction and responsiveness and gets a lighter, free-flowing silencer to create a raw soundtrack.

Electronic rider aids are not as extensive as that of the 1200 but still gets, ABS, traction control, ride-by-wire throttle, cruise control and up to six riding modes including the new “Off-Road Pro” mode (XC models only), which allows the rider to disengage the electronic rider aids.

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Gallery: 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 - in the details

Gallery: 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 - in the details

High resolution images for your eyes and your wall

Triumph updated its Adventure models for 2018 and showcased them at the 2017 EICMA that was held in Milan last week. Triumph is giving their 2018 Tiger range a host of bells and whistles that will boast of having it ’Transformed,’ with a ’New Tiger Triple Engine’ and ’New Tiger Technology.’ Apart from this, the bodywork also gets mild updates to look fresh for 2018.

The 1200 gets new body panels, all LED lighting with cornering lights, TFT instrumentation, backlit switchgear, heated grips and seats, and electrically-adjustable windscreen.

The engine also receives a few updates to provide a stronger low-end torque. Forr 2018, Triumph has added new Triumph Shift Assist for smooth clutchless gear changes and a lightweight Arrow titanium and carbon fiber silencer gives it a better soundtrack.

Rider aids on the 2018 models include an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), integrated braking system (developed with Continental), optimised cornering ABS & traction control, hill hold, ride-by-wire throttle, cruise control. There are up to six riding modes including the new “Off-Road Pro” mode, which allows the rider to disengage the electronic rider aids.

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