2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE
Triumph brings classic scrambler looks and modern performance together with its new-for-MY2019 Scrambler 1200 XE. The “XE” carries itself with plenty of the old-school standard DNA on display and an off-road bias that leaves no doubt as to how it’s meant to be used. Proper “any-road” hoops deliver the goods on just about any surface, but it’s the top-shelf safety electronics that really sell this Bonneville-powered ride. Triumph promises a machine with a true dual-identity, so today I want to test that claim and see how it stacks up against one or two prominent competitors.
Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE.
2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro
Ducati refined its dual-surface game ahead of 2019 with a new, larger engine for its largest Multistrada adventure platform. The result is the souped-up 1260 “Enduro” that necessarily brings more power to the table along with an even greater affinity for off-road work to deliver an almost rally-style package. Of course, the factory backs it up with a robust accessories line that lets you gear up according to taste and needs. It isn’t all about the brown; the electronics suite makes sure that the Enduro retains its road-friendly mien so it can continue to serve as Ducati’s primary globetrotter. Today I want to check out the new Enduro to see what all makes it tick, and see how it compares to another proper dual-purpose ride.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro.
2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx
Triumph polished its off-road chops ahead of MY2018 with a new Tiger 1200 XCx that rocks more of what you want and less of what you don’t in an adventure bike. The “XCx” is looking trim at the scale after a Summer at fat-camp, and that trickles down to turn in improved handling and performance from the improved chassis and significantly upgraded powerplant. Adjustable ride-quality controls ride alongside layered electronic safety features to make this XCx quite flexible and capable of fitting a variety of roles and riders. The Tiger moniker has always set a high bar, so today let’s see how Trumpet measures up against its own yardstick and check out the likely competition.
Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx.
2018 - 2019 Honda Africa Twin
Honda gave its CRF1000L “Africa Twin” a complete overhaul for the 2018 model year, a rebuild so complete that the new version shares not a single part with the old, according to the factory. Engine improvements include both hardware and software that starts with a Throttle-by-Wire system that enables even more electronic wizardry under the hood, as it were. The improvements make their way into the gearboxes on both the manual tranny and the optional, auto-shifting DCT. The factory buffed safety as well with a handful of new features such as the Emergency Stop Signal feature that flashes the hazards during hard braking actions. There’s plenty more packed in there, so let’s go ahead and get into the details.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Africa Twin.
2019 BMW R 1250 GS
BMW Motorrad refurbished its signature boxer-twin ahead of MY2019, and used it to drive its new R 1250 GS. This decidedly dual-surface adventurer delivers more of everything you’re looking for in a cross-country machine. More power, more electronic fandanglery and more safety/comfort/curb appeal puts the “GS” into the top tier of adventurous two-wheelers, and though it comes stock with a definite blacktop bias, you have but to chuck on a set of knobbies to do some proper rally-style riding. Don’t believe it? Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of the thing, then see how it stacks up against another proven design from the European theatre whilst I make my case.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW R 1250 GS.
2019 BMW R 1250 GS
The Bavarian motorcycle manufacturer has been the market leader in the adventure scene with their promising GS motorcycles running the show for more than 35 years. Topping this chart is their flagship workhorse, the R 1200 GS series and its flat-twin boxer engine that is undoubtedly the best companion for exploring the unexplored.
Currently, this machine runs on a 1170cc flat-twin boxer engine and is all set to receive some major updates for the 2019 year along with some high-tech features coming in as standard. The new mill is going to make it specked to Euro-V norms and also make more power without losing on any fuel efficiency. What’s the trick? It’s called the BMW ShiftCam technology.
2018 - 2019 BMW F 750 GS / F 850 GS
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 up to 10-percent more horsepower than the previous gen, 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.” 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 new-in-2018 rides.
Continue reading for my look at the BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS.
2018 BMW R nineT Urban GS
BMW expanded its R nineT lineup ahead of the ’17 model year with the Urban G/S that brings old school adventure bike looks to the table along with the same modern performance as the rest of the line. Power comes from an 1,170 cc flat-twin engine that adds character and historical panache at the same time to make the “GS” something of a rolling tribute piece. Although the “GS” sports some special gear that sets it apart from the rest of the range, it’s still just a platform that can be shifted between the stock road-running setup and a more offroad friendly build for what is, essentially, two bikes in one. Rider safety is also available in varying levels, so I would argue that this ride is probably appropriate for riders that land near the bottom of the experience scale along with riders who are looking to cross between the black and the brown.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW R nineT Urban GS.
2016 - 2019 BMW S 1000 XR
BMW put together the S 1000 XR for the adventuresome sort that prefers to stay on at least moderately civilized routes. Built on the proven S 1000 literbike platform, the XR really puts the “sport” in adventure-sport with a solid, 999 cc powerplant and a claimed top speed that lands upwards of the 125 mph mark. The XR also maintains a sportbike-like panache in spite of its adventuresome qualities, thus avoiding the blunt pragmatism associated with so many adv bikes. Of course, Beemer is a firm believer in better living through technology, and it includes a host of safety gadgets meant to help you keep it dirrty-side-down. Sound good yet? Let’s dig in and see what else the Bayerische has in store for us.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW S 1000 XR.
2015 - 2018 BMW F 700 GS
Having gone into MY 2017 with some substantial updates, the 2018 BMW F 700 GS stays competitive in the ever-growing adventure market. Outfitted as the more road-oriented version next to its F 800 GS stablemate, the F 700 GS has a lower seat height, a slightly remapped engine, and chassis components with an eye toward pavement riding.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW F 700 GS.
2015 - 2018 BMW F 800 GS / F 800 GS Adventure
BMW carries on the F 800 GS and F 800 GS Adventure in 2018 with their 800 cc engine and capable onroad/offroad features. The former is more of a casual commuter / funbike, while the “Adventure” is geared toward touring and long-range work, and naturally, both come with the top-notch engineering one expects from BMW.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW F 800 GS and F 800 GS Adventure.
2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S / S D-air
Ducati pushes the envelope for its large-displacement adventure machines with the Multistrada 1260 S. This machines roll with top-shelf features such as Riding Modes, Power Modes and all sorts of yummy-goodness bundled together under the Ducati Safety Pack umbrella. A powerful twin-cylinder plant pushes the “S” well into power-adventure territory with upwards of 150 ponies packed away within. The “S,” and the airbag-jacket equipped “S D|air,” build on the base 1260 to deliver something to compete with the other top models on the world stage, so let’s get into the details and see how well they did.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Multistrada 1260 S and S D|air.
2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure
BMW carries its R 1200 GS Adventure over into the 2018 model year with new tech bundles and color packages, but much the same hardware as the MY2017 units. The “Adventure” builds on the base GS to deliver a more capable machine to its adventure-some buyer base. It comes with a split personality — one for road and another for dirt — to give the bike a bias to match your own. Beemer gives it enough power to qualify as a ’super’-adventure with 100-plus horsepower, and of course, throws in the electronic systems that help you safely use as much of that power as possible? Sound good yet? Let’s get into the details.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure.
2017 - 2018 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S
Many adventure-bike manufacturers try to cover all the bases with a single model, but Austrian bikebuilder KTM splits its efforts to produce the 1290 Super Adventure S. Released for MY2017, KTM built the “S” to deliver long-distance comfort for riders who are looking for more than they can get from one of the Dukes. Wind protection, storage options and electronic safety systems take care of the usual ride-ability concerns, but this is a KTM folks, so you know it’s going to be very well-endowed in the power department as well, to the point of qualifying as a ’super’ adventure. Think I’m overstating the situation? Read on and find out how wrong you are.
Continue reading for my review of the KTM 1290 Super Adventure.
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.