2018 Honda CB1000R Neo-Sports Café
Honda revamped its naked CB1000R for the 2018 model year, but rather than dressing it up, the Red Riders actually dressed it down even further with a retro cafe’-racer kick. The CB1000R replaced the CB600F Hornet back in ’08 and its naked streetfighter presentation and performance envelope was an instant hit all across Europe. Fast forward to ’18 and we find it still going strong with the same 998 cc mill and a brand new handle as the Neo-Sports Café’. Subtle refinements give the NSC a new look that takes inspiration from the past without becoming enslaved to it, and the result is fresh, modern and appropriately aggressive. Today I’m going to take a look at this decade old model to see what else Honda has done to keep it relevant and competitive in today’s market.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CB1000R.
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.
CCM Spitfire Bobber to be unveiled next week
When Clews Competition Machines unveiled their Spitfire model last February, it made headlines all over the internet and received an insane amount of response from the riding folks. So much so that all the limited 150 models were sold within a span of one week. “It was a combination of the promise of pure riding pleasure and a timeless design that set hearts a fluttering at the show.”
CCM’s “SkunkweX” division is now about to unveil a new Bobber variant of their new Spitfire range at the 2018 MCN London Motorcycle Show. The bike will use the same 600cc single pot mill that does the job on all the Spitfire models including the Scrambler, Café Racer, and the Flat Tracker.
Triumph unboxed their brand new Speed Triple S and RS
Finally, the big boy has arrived. For 2018, the legendary British manufacturer is spinning a new edition of their iconic Speed Triple motorcycle that has had its glory days starting way back with the ’94 Speed Triple T309. The original ‘factory streetfighter’.
Like old wine in a new bottle, the new Speed Triple is a 24-year-old model. It has already been updated half a dozen times with the last one being in 2016. But with the competition spearing ahead, Triumph decided to refresh the Speed Triple with a few of its latest gimmicks and is giving us the sophisticated hooligans, the ‘2018 Speed Triple S & RS’.
Unveiled at the exclusive factory launch yesterday, the new Speed Triple S & RS are the most powerful, smartest and best-handling Speed Triples... ever.
Triumph teases the new Speed Triple, again
Last week, the legendary British manufacturer teased their brand new project, the Speed Triple. The video features seven-time world champion Carl Fogarty and two time Isle of Man TT winner Gary Johnson trying to prove the “Ultimate Hooligan”.
Triumph has now launched another video showcasing the top sped Speed Triple RS battling it out under the helm of the same two chaps. We get to see more of the new Speed Triple in its highest specification with the Ohlins and Arrow cans while the pair speeds off into a hooligan lap of an abandoned airfield.
Could this be the new Speed Triple?
Gone are the days when the word “Triumph” gave us the sexy vintage feels. Now, the brand has evolved big time into making machines that still keeps the sexiness alive but has turned into a whole new stigma. You’ll know what I mean when you see the Bonneville Bobbers’, the Tigers’, Speedmasters’ and the Street Triples’.
They are the new breadwinners and are so good that they are minting money for the iconic British brand. Their Bonneville range is selling as fast as they can make them and the Street Triples have become favorites for naked lovers.
Adding to the list will be the all-new Speed Triple naked roadster. The “Hooligan” of bikes. Triumph just teased the bike in a new video that gives us a launch date of January 29th.
Chassis manufacturer Kalex begins testing for Moto2 with their first Triumph 765 mill
Founded in 2008, Kalex Engineering is a German specialty engineering company that designs, manufactures and sells high-performance parts for motorcycles. But they are famous for their Moto2 class stunt where they provide chassis structures to the Moto2 teams. What began with one team, Kalex is now the preferred chassis manufacturer for most of the teams in the current Moto2 season.
Being the preferred chassis manufacturer, Kalex is the first amongst the other makers (KTM, Speed-up, Tech3, Suter, and NTS) to receive the brand new Triumph 765cc motor developed for Moto2. Kalex is undergoing the first full series of tests at the Bavarian city of Bobingen, Kalex’s headquarters.
And we have the first images, thanks to Speedweek.
Kawasaki is planning to get back the four cylinder quarter-liter
TMC blog, an Indonesian automotive portal has published excerpts from an interview with Mr. Michael Tanadhi, Deputy Head of Sales and Promotion PT Kawasaki Motor Indonesia. There he confirmed that the Japanese brand is currently scouring for opportunities to develop a new four-cylinder quarter-liter, and we believe it will be a fully faired sportbike category.
Levis is resurrecting with a V6 Cafe-Racer
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 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 130bhp and 140ftlb of torque.
Chinese CF Moto looks at entering the big game
CFMoto officially arrived in the American market in 2010 boasting a truly unique and innovative product range including rugged ATVs, sporty motorcycles, and stylish scooters. The most recent addition to their onslaught are the sharply-styled 650NK roadster and 650MT adventure tourer that was co-designed by ’Kiska Design’, the same chaps that also draw the KTM machines.
Now, the Chinese are upping their game to the next level. Showcased at an event in China, the new V.02-NK concept is its answer to challenge the world’s top dogs in the naked segment. This is a huge leap forward for CFMoto and makes use of a V-twin motor that has ’greater displacement’ than anything else in the model line-up.
2018 BMW K 1600 Grand America
Touring bikes are big in the U.S., both literally and figuratively, and the Bayerische Motoren Werke AG looks to take our enthusiasm for touring to the bank, also literally. Beemer paid close attention to the custom culture surrounding such 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 that can be 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.
Continue reading for my look at the BMW K 1600 Grand America.
2016 - 2018 BMW R nineT Scrambler
It is a well-known phenomenon that as people get to a certain stage in life, they crave things from their youth. Frequently, this coincides with a certain amount of disposable income to indulge in such nostalgia. Over time, entire industries have sprung from this demand, and even designers among established businesses capitalize on this market. The new-from-2016, R nineT Scrambler from the Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW Motorrad) seems to fall into just this sort of category. 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.
2018 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 77 horsepower and 95 horsepower to the 750 and 850 respectively, 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.” I’m not sure what to do with that since I tend to think of bikes like I think of boats, in the feminine, but I reckon someone at the factory decided to made the range ’identify’ as male this year. 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 all-new rides.
Continue reading for my look at the BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS.
Is KTM developing more products with its 390 platform?
We know, for one, that manufacturers develop low capacity motorcycles to get new riders into their strides from the very beginning. With manufacturers showing so much love to the adventure category, it’s high time that we get out and do a little exploring for ourselves.
It looks like KTM is busy preparing the right tools for this job and are onto adding more iterations to the 390cc and spinning new genres of motorcycles.
Spied by our friends at motorradonline somewhere in Europe, these images have surfaced proving the Austrian’s intent of adding an adventure model as well as a scrambler to their 390cc platform.
Yamaha’s T7 concept is now the Ténéré 700 World Raid. But still a concept
If you think you have a sharp memory (not that we’ll blame you if you don’t), Yamaha had showcased its mid-weight adventure concept last year and called it the ‘T7 concept’. It was then we knew that the Japanese guys are coming up with a winner in the adventure class for the next year.
Alas! Our excitement was short lived when they showcased just another concept model at this year’s EICMA and badged it with a new name, ’Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid’. Apparently, they need to further develop the machine by testing it on public roads.
Damn you Yamaha.
Husqvarna has a darker nemesis called the Svartipilen 701
2018 First Look: Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or are in denial about your team getting completely owned by Indian Motorcycle’s flat-track racing team, the Wrecking Crew, chances are you’re aware of the recent leap from obscurity to the pinnacle of FT racing prowess under the Polaris umbrella. In honor of this recent success, and in an effort to ride the current wave of popularity and interest in this storied American brand, Indian has put together a street-legal ride fit for the masses; the Scout FTR1200 Custom. As the cleverly-ingenious name suggests, it’s based on the Scout platform, but any resemblance to the actual Scout seems to be solely in name and the general engine layout. In fact, let’s just shine on the whole Scout thing for the moment, and focus on what this bike actually is, shall we?
Continue reading for my look at the Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200 Custom.
2019 Yamaha Niken
Yamaha looks to redefine what we think of when we hear the word “trike.” We had a taste with Piaggio’s MP3 scooter that used a clever parallelogram to articulate the front end so it can lean into the turns like a two-wheeler. Now we have 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. The Tuning Fork Company has teased us with hints and nuggets over the last year and more, and finally we get to take a good long look at this new way to build a trike. Hopefully the liars, er, lawyers will stay out of it this time.
Continue reading for my first look at the Yamaha Niken.
Norton launched the new 2018 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 slowly lost its steam. The Commando has 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.