2019 Yamaha Niken
Yamaha looks to redefine what we think of when we hear the word “trike” with the all-new Niken (literally: two sword) that brings the leaning trike concept into the realm of full-size bikes. Based on the popular FZ/MT-09, the Niken LMW (Leaning Multi-Wheel) doubles the size (and number) of the front contact patch(es) for greater safety and traction with the proven 847 cc Crossplane Concept engine to drive the thing. With over 100 ponies on tap and its fancy front end with gobs of traction, the Niken seems set to deliver a ride that is limited only by your own skills and testicular fortitude.
Continue reading for my first look at the Yamaha Niken.
Harley-Davidson Expanding into Adventure And Sportbike Segments
New models and whole new segments from Harley-Davidson, this is historical in its scope for the over-a-century-old motorcycle manufacturer. In keeping with the push to attract new riders, Harley has announced, as part of its “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” campaign, plans to expand into adventure-touring and sportbike segments.
Continue reading for more on the Harley-Davidson expansion plans.
2017 - 2018 CCM Spitfire
Reminiscence of the Supermarine Spitfire, a British fighter aircraft from the times of World War II, the CCM Spitfire is the brainchild of a specialist division within the shackles of CCM called ‘the SkunkwerX team’. Launched first in 2017, all 150 of them were sold in the first week itself.
The bike gets a custom hand built chassis setup and a bespoke tank that defined all the models that came later from CCM’s “SkunkwerX” division including the Scrambler, Café Racer, Bobber and the Flat Tracker. They all use the same 600cc single pot mill borrowed from Husqvarna.
2016 - 2018 BMW R nineT Pure
The Bavarian maker must have mastered the art of making peace with 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, Scrambler and the Urban G/S.
Added later to this lineup in 2016 is the R nine T Pure, a roadster model that believes in being reduced to the bare essentials. Coming in as the most accessible one of the R nineT range, the Pure costs the least as well.
2018 Ducati Monster 1200 25° Anniversario
In 1992, Ducati showcased the Ducati Monster 900 prototype at the Cologne Motor Show, and it became an instant icon. With its boundless personality and audacious nudity, it was a motorcycle that had revolutionized the "naked" bike category. Since then, the Monster range sold like hot cakes and played a major role in the expansion of the Ducati family.
Recently, the model celebrated its 25th anniversary since the original Monster 900 MY1993 hit the streets. And to commemorate the occasion, the chaps at the Borgo Panigale factory have produced a limited edition affair of the flagship Monster 1200 and given it a special color scheme, machined components, high-quality finishing, carbon fiber and a lot of technology. The Ducati Monster 1200 25° Anniversario.
2018 MV Agusta F3 675 RC
MV Agusta, as a brand, has mastered the fine art of making the hottest wallpaper machines unlike anyone in the business. And the cream of it belongs to the limited-production RC (Reparto Corse) editions. They are a legitimate celebration of MV Agusta’s superior qualities created by the honchos at the racing department, Jules Cluzel and Lorenzo Zanetti.
This year, the factory racers have touched on the hottest performing middleweight sportbikes in production, the F3 675, which also receives mild updates with its powertrain, electronics, and chassis to keep their mark on the ever-improving sportsbike market.
2018 Aprilia RSV4 RF LE
The world of motorcycles is looking at a future where the air is going to help them win races on the track and off it. Aprilia just gave us the world’s first production superbike with aerodynamic winglets. Underpinned by the legendary RSV4 architecture, the new machine will be a limited edition affair of just 125 units, and all of them are heading to North America.
Called as the Aprilia RSV4 RF LE (RF Limited Edition), the carbon fiber winglets on this will change the way future superbikes will look like. It was launched at the GP of Americas in Austin, Texas a couple of months back, and is here to serve a purpose in its life – help Aprilia get on with the new regulations in the WSBK championships.
2018 Ducati Panigale 959 Corse
Launched back in 2016 as a replacement model of the Euro-III 899 Panigale, the Euro-IV compliant 959 Panigale became the most affordable superbike in the international lineup of Ducati until the brand launched the 939 Supersport last year. It came with a longer stroked 955cc engine, a tweaked chassis and styling, new side-mount exhausts and a weight increase.
With high spec Brembos’, Showas’, a quickshifter, traction control and ABS, the standard 959 was running great. But the folks at the Italian company had a greater vision. For 2018, the 959 just got checked by the folks who run the team’s MotoGP stunts. Better equipped and a fresh new paint job that was seen similarly with the 848 EVO Corse edition in 2013.
Motorcycle Manufacturers Are Scrambling For New Riders
The motorcycle market is shrinking and if left unchecked, could diminish into nothing. Manufacturers are scrambling for new riders and the push is on for attracting young people into a mode of transportation that they previously shunned. Ad campaigns are out there advertising what could be premium-priced bikes for under $12k and the push is on for more new-rider training. Manufacturers are moving away from their traditional looks and styles in an effort to attract new buyers. What spawned this shift? The motorcycle industry — at least in the North American market where motorcycles are considered a luxury, not a necessity — is dying. Yes, the statistics show it is true.
Continue reading for more on the shift in the motorcycle market.
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.
2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure
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 Adventure and it’s flat-twin boxer engine that is undoubtedly the best companion for exploring the unexplored.
For 2018, you can take the 1200 GS Adventure even further to the remotest corners with the facelift measures in the BMW Motorrad program. Starting with the optional TFT instrumentation, Emergency Call, and the new paintjob, the new edition of the Adventure showcases modern tech bits with a reminiscent of the first generation GS moniker.
Why Is A Harley Called A Hog?
William Shakespeare wrote, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” for a little play called Romeo and Juliet, maybe you’ve heard of it, but I would submit that the nicknames earned by motorcycles and manufacturers have much more in the way of a meaningful meaning than the simple labels we use every day. We just can’t help but come up with nicknames, sometimes for the manufacturer, sometimes for the bikes, and sometimes it applies to both. I want to take a look at some of the names that stand out among the detritus of history and try to shed some light on their origins. Just think of it as a bit of a semantic scavenger hunt. Some are pretty obvious to those in the know; this is for everyone else.
Continue reading for my exploration of manufacturers’ nicknames.
2018 MV Agusta Brutale Dragster 800 RR
The trimmed down streetfighter from MV Agusta was first showcased at the 2013 EICMA which were originally based out of the Brutale 800, to begin with. Out of which came the Dragster 800 RR, a stunning piece of entry by the house of Varese for an audience who desire the best of both worlds. Beauty and performance.
Like the updated F3 Reparto Corse line-up for 2018, the Dragster 800 RR also receives a slew of updates for 2018 that include engine, chassis and electronic improvements along with new styling elements to keep things fresh.
2018 Yamaha YZF-R1M
Touted as the sharpest and most track-focused supersport bikes you could get your hands on, Yamaha has updated their mad YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M superbikes with recalibrated equipment and a couple of new features, keeping the competition alive and well.
Taking one step closer to the true-blue racing pedigree of the M1, the 2018 R1 series will enhance rider experience by improving suspension, shifting and fuelling to be the "most sought-after supersport motorcycles designed to deliver the pinnacle of performance on and off the track".
2018 KTM Duke 790
The Austrian manufacturer had a superlative field day at the recently concluded EICMA in Milan, Italy. Taking the covers off its brand new 790cc Duke, KTM shows of having no plans to be dethroned as the brand that gives us outright thrill seeking motorcycles in a compact and functional package.
This is KTM’s entry to the hot naked middleweight market that has been all been currently roped up by the Street Triples and the Monsters. They better get ready for a battle because this Duke is here to stay.