2019 Kawasaki W800 Café
Classic looks and modern performance come together with a parallel-twin to push this homegrown-looking bike, the new Kawasaki W800 Café. Unveiled at 2018 EICMA, the factory pulled out all the stops to give it a custom, homegrown appeal.
Continue reading for my look at the Kawasaki W800 Café.
2018 - 2019 Suzuki SV650X
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.
2016 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan S / S Cafe / S SE
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.
Top 10 Cafe-Racers of 2018
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:
2017 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Rod
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.
2019 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport
Celebrating 95 years for a company is a big thing and to have survived against all the odds was a mountainous task for Moto Guzzi. Paying tribute to this past effort of custom motorcyclists, MG headed to a major revival plan and launched the new range of V9 platform a couple of years ago that angles towards the cruiser style rather than the V7’s roadster theme.
The first offerings were in the form of the mainstream-custom “Roamer,” and the more sinister “Bobber” that was launched a couple of years ago. For 2019, the Lario eagle moniker is getting a sporty new variant of the Bobber to show its mean and racing side of its character. Called the “V9 Bobber Sport”, is has been inspired from the ‘bobbed’ flat track racers from the ‘50s America.
2018 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900RS CAFE
Kawasaki looks to maintain the momentum it garnered last year by rolling its popular Z900RS CAFE straight over into MY2019. And, why not? It’s hard to argue with success, and the retro-tastic looks and modern performance make excellent bedfellows, especially with the Seventies-fabulous graphics as the icing on the proverbial cake. The “CAFE” falls at the Southern edge of liter-bike territory, which could potentially be dangerous for a new rider, but it carries all the requisite safety equipment needed to keep the noobs dirty-side down. Today I want to get into the nuts-and-bolts of the thing and see what else Kawi has crammed under the hood of this charming little tribute piece.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Z900RS CAFE.
Production ready Harley Davidson LiveWire in the flesh
The Milwaukee brand will enter a new phase in 2019 with its brand new “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth plan through 2022. Harley Davidson has showcased multiple concepts under the LiveWire bandwagon including the 2019 production ready LiveWire motorcycle.
The production-ready model is out and we have the flesh sleaze of images in a bright orange getup. And honestly, this is arguably the most forward-thinking machine to have ever come out of the gates by Harley. A huge leap into the unknown for a brand with 115 years of vintage heritage.
2017 - 2018 BMW R nineT Racer
BMW expanded its Heritage lineup for MY2017 with the R nineT “Racer” variant that it carried over right on into MY2018. The Racer takes Beemer’s popular roadster and gives it a café-tastic bent that, in spite of the fact that it adds more body components, seems to accentuate the essential nature of the model. Power comes from a classic boxer engine, and of course, the factory threw on a handful of extra safety items to help you keep it all under control. I’m already a fan of the line, bigly, with an established appreciation for the café bikes, so it’s with great anticipation that I dive into this fun little sled.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW R nineT Racer.
2016 - 2019 BMW R nineT Scrambler
The new-from-2016, R nineT Scrambler from the Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW Motorrad) rolls into 2019 still based on a general design popular from the ’50s all the way through the ’70s. The Scrambler embodies the form of the original scramblers, while borrowing from the 1951 Beemer R 68. The result is a ride that invokes nostalgia in those old enough to remember the originals and subsequent variants, but also appeals to a younger crowd who appreciates classic looks coupled with updated performance and more reliable technology than its antique predecessors. I say that with confidence since I fall into the latter group, and I am really digging this new-old ride, so join me for a dissection of this scrambler descendant as I try to determine how closely this apple fell to the tree.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW R nineT Scrambler.
2019 Levis Motorcycles V6 Cafe-Racer concept
Levis (Le-Viss not Lee-Vize) was a pre-WWII motorcycle maker (1911–1940) producing both two-stroke and four-stroke machines. With the craze of the British designs and brands taking mainstage in the industry currently, Levis is having a grand comeback in the most modern fashion and will join the likes of Ariel, BSA, Brough, Hesketh, Matchless, and Norton.
Set to be launched later in 2018, the Birmingham company is bringing out its new creation, the Levis V6 Cafe Racer. As you might have already guessed, it will run a V6 configuration with an incredibly narrow 22-degree V-angle, producing a decent 120bhp and 130ftlb of torque.
Levis Motorcycles showcases its V6 Cafe-Racer concept
Levis (Le-Viss not Lee-Vize), the Birmingham company is bringing out its new creation, the Levis V6 Cafe Racer. Showcased as a prototype, the dramatic body of the unconventional café-racer is quite evident. It will run a V6 configuration with an incredibly narrow 22-degree V-angle, producing a decent 120 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque.
The same V6 will also power multiple genres of motorcycles in the future. The concept on display sees an in-house developed gearbox, stainless steel frames, interchangeable stainless panels and CNC machined from solid aluminum billet front forks, yokes, hand controls, wheels, radial calipers and headlamp.
Honda’s dreamy CBX six-cylinder could make a comeback
Manufactured by Honda between 1978 and 1982, the CBX was a production bike that has deceiving bodywork and a massive 1047cc inline, 24-valve, 6-cylinder engine that produced 105 hp. That low-frequency rumble coming out of this at idle and the high pitch tone when revved could make the hair on the back of your neck stand.
Until now, Honda hadn’t shown much interest in recreating that magic, but fresh patent application images show the Japanese intent to bring the beauty of the six cylinders onto a café-racer of the future.
BMW updates its 2019 model line-up
The race to the top is getting more fearsome every passing day, and the manufacturers are pulling out every little trick they have up their sleeves to make their product stand out from the rest.
BMW Motorrad is at the forefront of imagination, innovation, and technology and proof of that is their list of the finest motorcycles that set benchmarks for every other maker to chase it. Keeping the race alive, the German manufacturer has released a host of updates to its 2019 lineup, including its scooters, six-cylinder tourers, R NineT retro models, and the new adventure machines.
Royal Enfield pulls the plug for the Continental GT 535
Royal Enfield has become one of the world’s fastest growing motorcycle brand coming from the subcontinent India. Famously called the “Bullet Maker”, it has made great strides ever since Eicher took over the self-attested “oldest motorcycle company in continuous production in the world” has been making bold moves to be heard the world over.
The most recent one of those is to shelve its first ever Café-Racer model, the Continental GT 535. It was their current flagship model that gave the post-British brand the needed visibility in the markets other than its home, and is soon going to be replaced with the Continental GT 650 twin-cylinder brother.
2018 Norton Commando 961 California
The original Norton Commando first saw the light of day all the way back in 1967. Production spanned ten continuous years, but the model slowly lost its steam. The Commando has since seen a number of attempted revivals, with several entities trying to capture some of the success of the original, with varying degrees of success.
For its 50th anniversary, the British maker has given it an update and launched the 2018 Commando 961 California. ‘The easy riding roadster’. It ditches all the darkness and adorns a timeless classic styling with chrome all-over reminiscent of the ‘70s American motorcycling.
2018 BMW R nineT Racer
BMW Motorrad must have said that they are done with the R nine T family and are moving out of the heritage scene, but it cannot stop people from wanting more out of it. The R nine T has absolutely been a hit story for the German ever since the launch in 2013. It was so good that BMW initially struggled to keep up with the demand and they released one version after the other in succession to the world stage that includes the Pure (roadster), Scrambler and the Urban G/S.
But nothing looked and felt as retro as the R nine T Racer which embodies classic 1970s’ café-racer cues taking us back in time with modern design bits and sophisticated packaging. Released first in 2016, the Racer gave us a chance to relive the era of legendary superbikes, and it does that even today albeit with a modern 1170 cc mil and up-spec chassis elements.