2017 - 2019 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT
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.
2017 - 2019 BMW G 310 R / G 310 GS
BMW’s G 310 R roadster got a brother as it entered 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.
2018 Piaggio MP3 500 HPE Business
Piaggio’s MP3 scooters were a game-changer when they hit the markets back in 2003, and Italy’s premier scooter maker has hit a new pinnacle of refinement with its MP3 Business HPE ABS ASR. That alphabet soup of features adds to the yummy-goodness already under the hood to make this new variant particularly suitable for the office/student commuter, even if they’ve no previous riding experience. New details abound. Of course, the obvious selling point is the two-up-front trike arrangement that grants the MP3 the stability of a trike with the fluidity and sensation of flight normally reserved for two-wheeled machines. Power, performance and safety; what’s not to love?
Continue reading for my review of the Piaggio MP 500 HPE Business.
2017 - 2018 Lance Cali Classic
Lance Powersports takes a stab at the cruiser market with the Cali Classic model range. Produced by the Sanyang Motor Company since 2010 and branded for Lance, the Cali falls into areas already covered by other models in the lineup, but it offers a bit of a more Western flavor in a bid to draw more of the North American market. Neither SYM nor Lance are particularly well-know entities on this side of the pond, but they might be worth a look for someone in the market for a scooter in the 50-to-200 cc range. New last year, the Cali Classic 200i replaced the 150, bringing fuel injection to the table.
Continue reading for my review of the Lance Cali Classic.
2016 - 2018 Honda Integra
Honda improves its Integra lineup yet again ahead of the 2018 model year. The Red Riders added two Special Edition paint schemes for this year, but it’s the Honda Selectable Torque Control that steals the show. Traction control is a rarity amongst scooters, but this isn’t your average scooter; in fact, it’s not even really a scooter in the traditional sense at all. A 745 cc, twin-cylinder engine delivers 40.3 kW — far beyond the vast majority of rides that identify as scooters — and Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission provides the same twist-and-go operation you’d expect from a scooter, but with some very important differences. Yeah, it’s an unusual combination of platform and features to say the least, so let’s dig in and see what all the Integra has going on over there.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Integra.
2018 Tork T6X
A greater deal of thought is gone into using alternative sources to power our vehicles, and one such attempt is made by the Indian start-ups that are striving for a greater cause. There has never been a better time to introduce zero-emission vehicles that cater to a larger mass of bikers and commuters alike. There hasn’t been a lot of success stories on this front, but things have now started to change for good.
India’s first avatar of an indigenously designed and developed electric motorcycle by a Pune based start-up is the first commercial zero-emission motorcycle of the country. Being the biggest two-wheeler market in the world, this was a no-brainer. Specked out with a decent battery-motor combo, the T6X is best suitable for short runs within the urban jungle.
2018 Ather S 340
India is hot on heels to become the leader in electric alternatives for personal transportation with a new one coming up every day. Why not? It is the biggest market of two-wheelers in the world.
A Bangalore-based startup, Ather Energy, has been in this pursuit since their inception in 2013 and are on an epic journey to give the country’s first premium smart electric scooter christened as Ather S340. The company was founded by two IIT-ians who are committed to building smart, connected, uncompromising vehicles and seeks to reimagine urban commute with the help of technology.
Their first offering is the Ather S340, which they are building it from the ground up and promise to change the way we perceive the electric transport till now. The company has received fundings to the tune of $1 million from Flipkart, $11 million from Tiger Global and the very recently $ 30 million from the world’s biggest manufacturer of two-wheelers, Hero MotoCorp. This has allowed Ather to sustain momentum in its journey of building a future-ready product platform and to accelerate the infrastructure and ecosystem development around electric vehicles in the world.
2017 - 2018 Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle
Ducati’s popular Scrambler line saw its footprint expand significantly with the addition of a handful of new models that includes the flat track-tastic Full Throttle. There’s no denying that scrambler-style bikes are enjoying an uptick right along with flat track-style racing, so it makes perfect sense for Duc to bring these two worlds together in a bid to grab its slice of the market pie. Model-specific details are the garnish on the main dish that is the base Scrambler, and of course, the 75-horsepower, Desmodromic L-twin powerplant takes care of business for the “FT,” same as it does for the rest of the line. LED, USB and ABS tech factors into the fandanglery to make this a thoroughly modern ride, so without further ado, let’s dig in and see how Duc sets this ride apart from its brethren.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle.
2017 Aprilia SR 150 RACE
In 2013, Aprilia launched its first mass oriented scooter, the SR Motard 50 under the "supermoto-inspired" range. This was an ‘out-of-the-blues’ decision for a superbike maker like Aprilia, courtesy of its parent company, Piaggio, thus targeting itself towards a niche younger audience. However, with the SR 150, Aprilia has widened its base and has created an all-new segment of performance-oriented scooters for the mass market buyers although it hasn’t come onto US shores yet.
Touted to be the sporty yet fun-to-ride scooter, Aprilia has launched a limited edition version of the scooter titled as SR 150 RACE for its Asian markets, which comes with some cosmetic as well as mechanical changes over its regular version. Here’s is a comprehensive review of the all-new Aprilia SR 150 Race:-
2018 Suzuki GSX-S125
While most eyes are on the battle for supremacy of the upper-displacement brackets, the fight between the flyweights rages on, and Suzuki’s newest weapon is its GSX-S125. Like the rest of the “Gixxess” family, it comes based on the “R” version but is stripped of its body panels to become a proper naked sportbike. The 124 cc powerplant stays within the A1 licensing envelope with 10.8 kW to serve as a true entry-level bike cum indoctrination piece capable of drawing in the very youngest riders, and that’s exactly how it’s set up; to be as rider-friendly as possible with a low curb weight of 133 kg and manageable, 785 mm seat height. Today I’m going to dig in a little deeper to see what all Suzuki has going on with this decidedly important little ride.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki GSX-S125.
2018 Ducati Scrambler Hashtag
If you think that Ducati made the Scramblers for entertaining the youth, you are absolutely right. But if you believe the Italians cannot entice them more than this, oh boy you are so wrong. Ducati has finally bowed down to the millennials who love doing everything through a screen. Planned out by the millennial interns at the Ducati offices, the firm has launched the most affordable Scrambler model adding to the already strong line-up of six models.
And it’s aptly called the Scrambler Hashtag. Yes, the #. What is even more brain tickling is the fact that Ducati is going to sell these bikes exclusively through a screen rather than on a showroom floor. But it isn’t as straightforward as your Amazon deliveries are and is currently made available only to the European streets.
2017 - 2018 Zero Motorcycles S / SR
Riding the tailwinds of waxing public interest and expanding infrastructure, Zero Motorcycles advanced ’The Cause’ with new improvements and adjustments to its street-centric “S” and “SR” models last year. Part of that was the addition of a more powerful motor that generates increased torque and horsepower as well as a smaller battery pack for short urban trips; all good stuff for increased fun and flexibility, necessary factors if the company wants to further its push into the mainstream. For 2018, Zero adds more range and quicker charging times.
Continue reading for my review of the Zero S and SR.
2017 - 2018 KTM 390 Duke
The value of indoctrination is not lost on KTM, evidenced by the fact that they’ve updated and generally spruced up their entry-level unit, the 390 Duke for 2017, and those improvements carry straight over into the 2018 season. New upside-down stems float the front end along with larger, more powerful brakes to help manage the energy from the 44-horsepower engine and 328-pound dry weight. Ride-by-wire tech makes an appearance for a bit of tech you normally don’t see at this price point. Add to this a fresh new look and you have a recipe for success, or so KTM hopes. Let’s dive in and see what else the Austrian bike maker has in store for us.
Continue reading for my review of the KTM 390 Duke.
2017 - 2018 Zero Motorcycles DS / DSR
While most EV manufacturers push either off-road or streetbike products to the exclusion of everything else, Zero Motorcycles boldly expands on both of those fronts plus something in-between with the improved-in-2017 DS and DSR models. These two are built to fill the dual-sport niche with off-road suspension and dual-surface tires under a sporty chassis that naturally runs the company’s all-electric drive system. This represents a success for both the electric sector as well as the dual-sport/adventure sector, both of which are still burgeoning under increasing public interest and steady technological advancements. Today I’m going to take a look at these bikes made unique by the pairing of electrics with the on/off-road riding style associated with dual-sport machines.
Continue reading for my review of the Zero DS and DSR.
2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401
Husqvarna is known for a lot of things — dirtbikes, chainsaws and such — but the marque looks to add “entry-level streetbikes” to the list this year with the Vitpilen 401. The so-called ’White Arrow’ brings a unique interpretation of the classic café racer look to the table in an effort to draw in the newest generation of riders without actually being a café at all; more of a roadster, really. A 375 cc thumper packs 43 ponies with a user-friendly delivery that should fit well and feel fairly non-threatening to the apparently bike-shy Millennials with a catalyst in the exhaust to make the bike meet the emissions expectations of same. Exciting, fresh and new, the Vitpilen range (and its sibling the Svartpilen) looks to be coming out of the hole strong in an otherwise sluggish market, evidenced by the fact that they’re already oversold in the U.S. market before they even hit our shores. I’m itching to find out what other see in it, so join me while I dig into this interesting little machine.
Continue reading for my look at the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401.
Honda has resurrected the Monkey Bike with a fresh new appeal
Honda had plans of sacking the original Z50 monkey bike last year with its completion of serving millions of customers for a good whole 50 years. But keeping that honor alive, the Japanese brand surprised all of us at the 45th International Tokyo Show when it rebooted the model albeit with a 125cc horizontal, single-cylinder engine that replaces the 4.5 hp 50cc mill.
Keeping up with the trend, the new Monkey 125 adopts features like the LED lights and digital instrumentation in a hope to keep the appeal alive and fresh. After what we thought of the-would be final-limited run of Monkey 50th Anniversary Special white and red model, this news of the 2018 model kindles all kinds of emotions attached to this iconic motorcycle.
2017 - 2018 Ducati Scrambler Icon
The Ducati Scrambler family has been rapidly expanding since its inception — in both the displacement ranges and available styles — but the stalwart Icon remains largely the same into the 2018 model year. It brings the same street-wise spice to the table as ever, and it comes paired with the 803 cc L-twin that delivers its 75 ponies in an easy-to-manage powercurve. Ducati also expanded its palette a bit with the addition of the “Silver Ice” hue. Little else is changed for the ’18 season, but why in the world would Ducati change something that seems to be working so well and is of such a recent vintage? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler Icon.
2018 KYMCO Xciting 400i
The Kwang Yang Motor Company doggedly pursues its share of the rather limited American scooter market with its new-for-2018 XCiting 400i ABS that replaced the 500 from 2017. Sporty looks and cornering performance are the hallmarks of the XCiting family — possibly from whence the rather uninspired name springs — and the factory continues that legacy with this newest model. A 42-degree lean angle and 35-horsepower mill point to great potential for shenaniganery, or at the very least, a non-boring commute. Sleek and slim, the new 400i most definitely departs from the dated “classic” scooter design, and is a thoroughly modern ride.
Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO XCiting 400i.