Commuting Motorcycle reviews

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2022 Honda CB500F

2022 Honda CB500F

Entry-level, sure, but are the improvements enough to appeal to experienced riders?

Honda extends the shelf life of its naked-streetfighter middleweight hitting its CB500F with a battery of new improvements. Powerful new LED lights join with new suspension components and a reworked swingarm assembly. Plus, a handful of weight-saving measures lighten the load and shift the balance point even further forward for sharper handling.

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2021 - 2022 Triumph Bonneville T100

2021 - 2022 Triumph Bonneville T100

A thoroughly modern ride straight out of the history books

Triumph tuned up its Bonneville 900 High Torque plant that powers the modern-classic T100 ahead of MY2021. The new version is both cleaner and stronger with snappier throttle responses than ever before along with a higher red line. New forks float the lighter chassis with new top-shelf Brembo brake components to make the T100 more fun to ride and safer to boot.

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2017 - 2022 Suzuki SV650

2017 - 2022 Suzuki SV650

It’s the new look of the UJM standard

Suzuki continued with the evolution of the SV650 line with the all-new-in-2017 SV650. Built on the success of the original SV650 that covered 1999 through 2008, and its offspring, the SFV650 “Gladius,” the new ride carries the SV DNA into a new generation. With a revamped 645 cc engine, it has more horsepower than ever before.

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2021 - 2022 BMW G 310 R

2021 - 2022 BMW G 310 R

BMW’s plucky little roadster just got hotter

BMW rolled into 2021 with what it calls a soft re-imagination of its plucky little roadster, the G 310 R. Not only did BMW tuneup the looks, but the new G 310 R sports a number of tech upgrades and safety equipment to boot. The engine is a carryover from 2020 even though it, too, hits the showroom floor with buffed engine-control electronics and mechanical features. New paint packages finish out the details that make their model debut in MY2021.

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2016 - 2022 Harley-Davidson Iron 883

2016 - 2022 Harley-Davidson Iron 883

Nothing comes out of the hole like a Sporty

When Harley-Davidson makes changes to the Iron 883, they stay faithful to at least one important aspect – performance. While XL models have never been known as ’fast’ bikes, they certainly have a well-deserved reputation as ’quick’ bikes. Nothing in the Harley world comes out of the hole like a Sporty, or handles the corners like one, and the Iron 883 maintains that tradition with aplomb. Bikes like this show how the XL line has not only survived, but also thrived in the entry-level and sport-minded American markets.

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2016 - 2022 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

2016 - 2022 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight

It’s lean and mean with dark custom attitude

The Forty-Eight from Harley-Davidson’s Sportster stable has that signature bulldog stance with beefy front forks and fat tires on a narrow frame. The 1,202 cc Evo engine comes blacked out with chrome blings, fed by a ’peanut tank’ that appeared on Sporty’s throughout its history. Low, low seat height and Dark Custom attitude give the Forty-Eight that low-slung, lean, mean look.

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2020 - 2022 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty

2020 - 2022 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty

It’s got an old-school bobber look with a modern ride

With its recent success on the Flat Track circuit and burgeoning footprint in the worldwide market, it’s easy to forget that Indian Motorcycle is actually America’s oldest bike manufacturer, and the marque reminds us of its deep roots with the new Scout Bobber Twenty model. This bike takes us right back to the custom bikes of the early 1900s with bobbed sheet metal, blackout treatment, and laced wheels on a modern chassis that mimics the geometry of the old-school hardtail bikes. A modern V-twin delivers 100 ponies for your riding pleasure, and ABS protection is available on all the colorways to deliver some modern safety as well.

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2021 - 2022 Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114

2021 - 2022 Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114

Now quicker with a faster 0-to-60 time

Harley-Davidson ditched the Milwaukee-Eight 107 and repowered its Street Bob platform ahead of MY2021 with the powerful Mil-8 114 to give it a performance boost over its predecessor. This made it the least expensive stoplight burner in the 2021 lineup, as well as the lightest Big-Twin to carry the up-sized Milwaukee engine. The homejob-custom look is a carryover from last year but the graphics package is unique to this year-model setting it apart from its peers.

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2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 / 650 LT

2022 Kawasaki Versys 650 / 650 LT

Updated bodywork and new electronics make for a hot mid-displacement ADV

Kawasaki buffed up the road-adventure chops of its mid-range, base-model Versys 650 ABS platform and its tour-tastic sibling, the 650 LT. New bodywork encapsulates the innards, and protects the new instrumentation along with a new LED headlight arrangement to set this model apart from its forebears. To help you keep it all under control, a new electronic Rider Aid package delivers the goods.

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2022 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS

2022 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS

The new engine has more power for what is a bonofide iconic ride

Honda’s humble little Super Cub maintains its position as the most prolific motorcycle in the world with yet another generation for MY2022. Reduced overall heft makes the new engine even more efficient than before for a net improvement in performance. Classic bodywork keeps it all under wraps while paying the appropriate amount of homage to the original design.

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2015 - 2022 Yamaha V Star 250

2015 - 2022 Yamaha V Star 250

You won’t find many V-twin engines in the small-displacement field

If you’re a carburetor fan, you’re still in luck for a 250 cc commuter bike with the V Star 250 from Yamaha. Simple, classic-cruiser good looks and scooter-like fuel economy make the V Star 250 a no-nonsense choice for a budget-minded or entry-level rider.

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2016 - 2022 Yamaha Bolt R-Spec / Bolt C-Spec

2016 - 2022 Yamaha Bolt R-Spec / Bolt C-Spec

The performance bobber with an attitude

The Bolt from Yamaha’s Star cruiser line is a cool little bobber-style bike with its high tank, short wheelbase, and solo seat. It’s a nice around town bike — lightweight and agile — and naked with real-steel sheet metal, so it just begs you to customize it. What could be better? Enter the Bolt’s siblings, the dressier Bolt R-Spec and the café racer Bolt C-Spec. The Spec duo are every bit as snappy and fun to ride as the Bolt, but with some upgrades, both hardware and cosmetic. Powered by the air-cooled 942 cc V-twin engine, the Specs are in the same size slot as the Bolt: not too small that you’ll outgrow it right away and not so big to be overwhelming for new riders. At just a few bills more than the Bolt, they’re worth a look.

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2022 Yamaha Zuma 125

2022 Yamaha Zuma 125

Ample torque low in the rev range and strong power delivery right up to the top end

Yamaha tweaks its Zuma 125 scooter platform ahead of MY2022 with a handful of improvements across the board. Fuel-efficient power comes from a new “Blue Core” engine sporting some pretty fancy fandanglery in the valvetrain. Rugged new bodywork and a re-imagined headlight area seal the deal to further separate this newest-generation adventure scooter from its predecessors and peers.

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2018 - 2022 Yamaha XMAX

2018 - 2022 Yamaha XMAX

It’s quite sophisticated for surprisingly low price

Yamaha brought the XMAX to the U.S. market with a 27.6-horsepower mill that promises enough speed to be safe, even comfortable, at highway velocities, and that’s muy importante in the American market. This performance comes bundled with a decidedly modern and mature look that just screams metro-commuter.

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2021 - 2022 Honda NC750X

2021 - 2022 Honda NC750X

Honda updated their baby Africa Twin to make a capable commuter

Honda’s adventuresome NC750X got a facelift ahead of the 2021 model-year that includes refined front fairings for improved penetration and an enlarged cargo space to contribute to its utility as both an adventure bike and a commuter cycle. The engine also enjoyed a few mechanical tweaks along with an improved electronic-control system, and the lump lost some weight so even more of that power is converted into acceleration. A new slipper-type clutch and re-calibrated transmission completed the MY2021 package with a concurrent gain in safety. Shorter gear-ratios for the first three gears let you come out of the hole like a champ while remaining in the usable powerband.

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2015 - 2022 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero / Vulcan 1700 Voyager

2015 - 2022 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero / Vulcan 1700 Voyager

Each has a muscular V-Twin with plenty of roll-on

Kawasaki’s Vulcan 1700 line is well established with the Vaquero and the Voyager — a bagger and full dresser, respectively — both come with ABS and, as the name suggests, the 1700 cc engine in the V-twin configuration with liquid cooling and a six-speed transmission. Ready for a cruise around town or hitting the open road, the Vulcan 1700s are well fitted and all-around solid.

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2021 Piaggio MP3 300 hpe

2021 Piaggio MP3 300 hpe

Piaggio’s entry-level leaning-trike scooter

Piaggio’s littlest MP3 – the 300 hpe Euro 5 – serves as the entry-level model for its groundbreaking leaning-trike scooter family. Able to be driven with a B license, the “300” brings all of the stability and safety of the larger models to the table in a compact package that’s all about urban mobility. Practical and relatively safe compared to two-wheeled machines, the MP3 carries itself with dignity and grace with a business-like mien that is sure to appeal to urban professionals and students alike.

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Is This The Most Significant Motorcycle of All Time?

Is This The Most Significant Motorcycle of All Time?

The Honda Super Cub

There are many motorcycles that could be called the most significant for a number of reasons. What if I told you, however, that the most significant is also one of the most humble?

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2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street 500 / Street 750

2016 - 2020 Harley-Davidson Street 500 / Street 750

It’s a no-nonsense approach to a bar-hopping café racer

Powered by a Revolution V-twin engine, the Street 500 and 750 are premium Harley-Davidson even though they’re geared toward the budget-minded, entry-level crowd. Just because the price is low doesn’t mean they skimped on quality. The Street siblings come with a steel teardrop tank and fenders covered in the deep, rich color, and flawless finish that long ago made Harley-Davidson the benchmark for premium paint on a motorcycle. The cherry on top is the chrome tank badge — not a decal, as you might expect in an economy-priced bike, but a three-dimensional tank medallion — as Harley’s pledge to you that you are riding a premium quality machine.

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