2018 - 2019 BMW K 1600 Grand America
BMW paid close attention to the custom culture surrounding tour bikes as well as the popular factory features from the competition to come up with the K 1600 Grand America. Not only does the bike provide the look and functionality we tend to expect from our touring machines, but it pushes well into the power-tourer bracket with 160 ponies on tap. The factory wraps up the package with an enviable electronics suite further improved upon with a whole host of factory options. Make no mistake; this is one high-caliber weapon of mass seduction, and it’s aimed straight at the Heartland, so let’s see if we can gauge how true Beemer’s aim is with its latest effort to score a slice of the American tour-bike market.
2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire
Electric-powered bikes are at the cutting edge of technology as the world grapples with its fossil-fuel dependency and seeks viable alternatives, and the LiveWire represents the MoCo’s contribution to that effort. Harley-Davidson teased us back in ’14 with the Project Livewire prototype, but at the 2018 EICMA “Milan Show” the production version finally saw the light of day. This machine brings a slew of features to the table that shows that Milwaukee is not as mired in the past as its detractors would like to have you believe with safety and comfort amenities that qualify as top-shelf by anyone’s standards. This is a thoroughly modern ride with up-to-date equipment, and even though it’s operating within a still-niche genre, there’s no problem at all in finding a suitable competitor, so let’s get to it.
2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700
Yamaha’s Ténéré line expands down into the mid-range with the all-new Ténéré 700 (XTZ700). The “700” brings solid dual-sport capability to the adventure-touring range with an off-road bent that definitely favors soft terrain. Yammy’s CP2 engine delivers the goods with a transmission and chassis tuned specifically for trips off the beaten path, much more so than its bigger brothers in the Super Ténéré family. After a race to the top, this model marks a new front in the battle for market supremacy as the factory seeks to fill in under the 1,200 cc units, so let’s see where the balance between price and value lies on this newest and smallest Ténéré.
2019 KYMCO SuperNEX
The electric vehicle arms race has expanded into the two-wheel sector with some predictable big-name players clamoring for their share, but KYMCO — better known for scooters and small-displacement internal-combustion-engine (ICE) bikes — enters the fray with its SuperNEX. This thing seems aptly named with superbike-like body panels and performance to back up the claims implied by such a name. Safe to say that this is new territory on two fronts for the Taiwanese manufacturer; it’s the first truly full-size bike and the first serious foray into the world of electric bikes. Gotta’ say, this thing wasn’t even on my radar until it popped up at the Milan show, so join me and we’ll discover this stunning ride together.
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 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.
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.
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.
This 22 Motors Flow is an electric scooter with Artificial Intelligence
Adding to the onset of electric vehicle’s, 22 Motors from the Indian subcontinent have come up with an electric scooter that was unveiled at the 2018 Indian Auto Expo along with the Emflux One and the Menza Lucat EVs’. All from the budding Indian start-up eco-system.
Called as the’ 22 Motors Flow’, the scooter has various smart Internet of Things (IoT) features seen unlike on any other electric offerings in the recent past. Made for Indian conditions and commuters, the Flow comes with latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence (yes, you read that right), Lithium Ion Storage and advanced Electric Powertrains to be called as “ahead of time”.
Benelli unveils a 302 based tourer in China
The 300cc category has had a condescending effect on the world’s motorcycle industry, and they got in the fresh breed of entry-level performance motorcycles to blaze the much needed thrilling experience to enthusiasts and purists. As was the TNT 300 and the Tornado 302, there is a new 302 Tourer that has begun treads on one automotive’s iconic names, Benelli.
Currently entering the Chinese space, the 302 tourer will be called as the Benelli BJ300GS and will come with upmarket equipment like the segment’s only dual disc brakes up front, USD suspension and a decent engine. Being a tourer, it will also come with both side and top panniers, windshield and more.
2018 Honda NC750X
Honda looks to solidify its position in the adventure-commuter market with the new-to-the-U.S. 2018 NC750X. Like its predecessor, the new sled is built for comfortable riding with a capacity for touring, but the new engine lends it a sportier attitude with 54 horsepower on tap and a two-level torque control to help you keep it under control. Yeah, that’s an improvement of a mere three ponies over the previous gen, but that’s hardly the end of the yummy-goodness Honda packed away on this standard-on-steroids. It won’t be available in U.S. dealerships until mid Summer, but we can take a closer look and make some educated guesses based on the info so far, ’cause after all, our Euro buddies have had access to this ride for a hot minute now and have plenty to say about it.
Continue reading for my look at the Honda NC750X.
2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport
Ducati really made a splash when it reintroduced its Scrambler line back in 2014. The 800 cc model begat the 400 cc model, but the factory didn’t stop there, it also reached up into the higher displacements as well with the Scrambler 1100 series. For 2018, we have the Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport that elevates the family line to a whole new level with some top-shelf suspension components and race-tastic livery meant to appeal primarily to the go-fast crowd. Much is shared with its big-bore siblings; chassis, engine and electronics, but the Sport endeavors to increase the line’s inclusivity by drawing in those fiery-eyed pegdraggers. Is it a bridge too far? That’s doubtful, because as far as I can tell, the factory has yet to hit any natural barriers to the potential of the new Scrambler line.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport.
2018 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
Royal Enfield hit the 2018 model year running with an all-new, 650 Twin engine that comes with a brand-new Interceptor wrapped around it. All new from the ground up, the Interceptor 650 has improved handling and agility that its single-cylinder predecessors just couldn’t match. It’s a hot-hot release in its homeland, but will the U.S. market receive it with as much enthusiasm?
Continue reading for my first look at the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650.