Motorcycles

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What you need to know about the new KTM Duke 890 R

What you need to know about the new KTM Duke 890 R

On the surface, it looks like a 790 with a bigger engine, but the truth lies deeper

KTM just released the Duke 890 R – their Super Scalpel – to the North American market. We wanted to know if it is just the Duke 790 with a bigger engine or if it’s really worth all the hype.

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What your motorcycle needs from you during the COVID-19 pandemic

What your motorcycle needs from you during the COVID-19 pandemic

Prep it to ride or prep it for storage; your call

With much of the country shut down because of COVID-19 and most of us homebound, or at least restricted in our movements, we find ourselves with enforced free time on our hands. For some, this is an opportunity for self-improvement — you know, exercise, study, or whatever — but I submit to you, Dear Reader, that for motorheads, this is an excellent time to do that bike maintenance or custom work you’ve been putting off.

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Top Speed 2020 Vespa Buying Guide

Top Speed 2020 Vespa Buying Guide

Vespa’s 2020 lineup explained

Launched, oddly enough, from the aircraft industry, Vespa is the quintessential [scooter->mot. Since 1946, Vespa defined the classic look in reliable, uncomplicated transportation. The Vespa line of scooters ranges from 50 cc to 300 cc, and from youthful exuberance to business-like dignity, all combining iconic designs with modern technology.

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How to keep riding your motorcycle during COVID-19 restrictions

How to keep riding your motorcycle during COVID-19 restrictions

The mandates say essential travel only, so why not use your motorcycle?

“Stay at home, shelter in place, self-quarantine, and practice social distancing.” These are the messages we are receiving from The Powers That Be during this stressful time, but these simple, bottom-line messages don’t tell the whole story. While the details of the public mandates vary from area to area, there is still an emphasis on solo activities and being mindful of mental health. Essential travel only, is the rule, so why not use your motorcycle, weather permitting.

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2020 KTM 890 Duke R

2020 KTM 890 Duke R

KTM unleashes its "Super Scapel" on North America

KTM added to its mid-range naked-sportbike bracket with the 890 Duke R, now available in North America. Essentially, the factory took its proven 790 Duke and buffed it with fully-adjustable suspension, racier ergos, and better anchors. An all-new powerplant gives a boost in power and torque along with a handful of rider aids to add an element of control over the ride characteristics.

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How is COVID-19 affecting the motorcycle industry?

How is COVID-19 affecting the motorcycle industry?

It’s not just dealerships. It goes all the way down the supply chains.

The news is chilling and fears are heightened over the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world, but as we evaluate our individual lives, our thoughts can’t help but turn to how this affects us and our activities. As motorcycle riders, we’re left to wonder, how is this affecting the motorcycle industry?

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1973 Kawasaki Z1

1973 Kawasaki Z1

Japan’s first literbike brought thrilling performance to everyday riders

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. made an indelible mark on the world motorcycle scene back in 1972 with the unveiling of its 1973 Z1 model. The Z1 broke new ground as the first Japanese bike with a transverse-mount four-banger, and it’s widely recognized as the island nation’s first literbike with a 903 cc engine and thrilling performance for everyday riders.

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2020 Vespa Sprint 50 S

2020 Vespa Sprint 50 S

It has the new 4T3V engine, ABS, and a TFT display with connectivity through the Vespa Multimedia Platform.

Piaggio refreshed its Vespa Sprint 50 range for the 2018 model year and added an “S” version as its top-shelf offering within the family that carries over through 2020. This is Vespa’s sportiest line, and it’s made even more so by the new 4T3V powerplant and digital instrumentation package. Of course, that timeless Vespino look shines through all the modern touches to tie in with the factory’s long-running history and deliver an up-to-date riding experience.

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2020 Indian Roadmaster Elite

2020 Indian Roadmaster Elite

Indian’s new flagship tourer caters to the elite of the elite with hand-finished paint and their biggest production engine to date

Indian Motorcycle brings classic and contemporary together for its limited-edition Roadmaster Elite. Powered by the new, 116 cubic-inch Thunder Stroke plant and enhanced with top-shelf infotainment features as well as safety equipment, the Roadmaster Elite serves as Indian’s Flagship entry in the tourbike bracket and looks like it’s set to take on its domestic competition.

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2020 Zero SR/S

2020 Zero SR/S

Upgraded suspension, improved range, and full fairing separate the SR/S from the SR/F

EV bike builder Zero Motorcycles beefs up its street-centric offerings ahead of the 2020 model year with its new SR/S. This ride carries a bit more in the way of bodywork than usual to break new ground for the marque, but the grunt-tastic performance remains in line with its super-naked sibling, the SR/F. As with most of the rest of the on-road lineup, the factory has a full line of accessory goodies that let you mix and match for just the right combination of range and recharge times to suit your riding style.

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2015 - 2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R ABS

2015 - 2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R ABS

This is not the bike for the weak of heart

The Ninja ZX-14R ABS continues to serve as Kawasaki’s non-H2 Ninja flagship as we head into the 2020 model year. Essentially unchanged since this generation hit showroom floors back in ’12, the “14R” brings almost a liter and a half of four-cylinder supersport-goodness to the table along with the ride-quality and safety subsystems you’ll need to keep it under control. Make no mistake; this is a serious ride meant for experienced riders, and not another one of these racebike-looking commuters so popular with the masses right now.

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2020 Indian FTR Rally

2020 Indian FTR Rally

Finally, an off-road worthy FTR

Fresh off its European release, the 2020 Indian FTR Rally returns to home turf for a North American launch. The Rally comes set up more as a proper dual-surface scrambler than the street-centric, base-model FTR 1200 and souped-up 1200 S models. Power comes from the same 73 cubic-inch engine as the rest of the range with a set of stealth knobbies to make the connection to terra firma. To further the Rally’s multi-purpose mission, the factory offers a quartet of accessory bundles that add four more potential personalities.

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BMW Motorrad unveils the M performance packages for the S 1000 RR

BMW Motorrad unveils the M performance packages for the S 1000 RR

Making the already potent bike lighter and more comfortable

The new race-tastic S 1000 RR defines engineering limits known to current technology. Launched back in 2019, this current sports machine comes with a spruced-up inline-four plant, a more track-focused chassis architecture, wind-tunnel tested bodywork, and modern equipment lists like LEDs’ and IMU-based electronics. All of which makes this Beemer take on the competition with mighty force.

In its 10th year of production, the folks in Germany decided to equip this machine with the “M Performance Parts,” giving it an even higher level of riding dynamics and adjustments. Similar to the offer available for BMW M automobiles, these specialized functional components come with precision developed alongside the brand’s extensive racing experience.

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2019 - 2020 Vespa GTS 300 HPE

2019 - 2020 Vespa GTS 300 HPE

The GTS gets its second major update in ten years and it’s a doozy

The Vespa division of the Piaggio Group expanded its footprint in 2019 with a brand-new powerplant for the GTS scooter line with the GTS 300 HPE. Fans of the brand rejoiced at the news of the most powerful engine to make it onto a Vespone descendant, and for many, this is the engine they’ve been waiting for. Safety comes standard with a few traction-protection subsystems as part of the stock package, plus it features LED forward lighting to help you see and be seen. Best of all, it remains faithful to the design progression that began right after WWII, so it has that classic look that really seals the deal.

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2020 Cake Kalk INK

2020 Cake Kalk INK

The Swiss maker’s affordable lightweight off-roader with better wheels and suspension than its siblings

Blurring the lines between mountain bikes and motorcycles, the Kalk series of machines from the Swiss made “Cake” intends “to speed up the journey towards a zero-emission society while enhancing excitement and fun.” They are walking the path that will change the future of riding with the focus on off-road performance and innovation in terms of weight and simplicity of riding.

Their newest entry is the Kalk INK. It takes on the KALK OR with the same powerful drivetrain with slightly heavier and stable wheels and a simplified and sturdier suspension derived from motocross machines. This is a black rendition of the KALK OR as a casual offroader for a thrilling backcountry exploration.

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2019 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 150

2019 - 2020 Vespa Sprint 150

Agile and quick, the Sprint 150 is all about fresh style and youthful exuberance

Vespa’s Sprint line has always been distinguished by its modern design and youthful lines, and the newest versions of the colorful 150 cc Chrome Crest and decidedly-dark Notte models carry that appeal into 2020. Built for the younger buyer base with low-emission, high-mileage engine, and compact build, the small-frame Vespino are bestowed with modern electronics and technologies that increase rider safety. Those selling points should appeal both to the rider and the people who love them.

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Confederate Motorcycles touted to release a new Hellcat in 2020

Confederate Motorcycles touted to release a new Hellcat in 2020

And the concept shown sees a Harley-Davidson FXDR custom chopped

After being revived by venture capital fund Ernest Lee Capital, the “Confederate Motorcycles LLC” will be manufacturing high end, extremely high-powered, big V-twin motorcycles in Birmingham, AL, all over again. The firm continues to sell the last remaining Confederate P-51 Combat Fighters and FA-13 Combat Bombers.

New information that first got traction back in 2018 was the production of a brand new Hellcat model. The brains at the Confederate shop were picked on to refurbish the all-new Harley-Davidson FXDR as the basis for the new Hellcat machine. Our friend Wade Thiel had the opportunity to sit across Ernest Lee, of Ernest Lee Capital, to give us the bigger picture.

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2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE

2020 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300 HPE

More power, more torque, traction control, and ABS make the SuperTech one of Vespa’s best performing scooters

Vespa rolls into 2020 with the new GTS SuperTech 300 HPE as its top-shelf entry for the GTS Super line. The SuperTech carries the updated high-performance engine with a handful of electronic safety features to make your rides safe and comfortable. Special paint and trim sets this unit apart visually from the rest of the family and adds an air of exclusivity to the mix.

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2020 Vespa Primavera 50

2020 Vespa Primavera 50

It’s hard to beat a bona fide Italian scooter for classic looks and performance

Vespa’s Primavera line marked its gold anniversary in 2018 with, among other things, a range of refreshed models in its 50 cc range: the Chrome Crest (CC), Yacht Club, and Touring. Each sports its own choice of colors and brings something unique to the table in its design, but the overall panache and proven, 4T3V engine technology are a constant across the board. Also available through the Primavera 50 is the Limited Speed variant that restricts top speed to 30 mph, allowing you to ride with a driver’s license and no motorcycle endorsement.

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2017 - 2020 KYMCO Like 150i

2017 - 2020 KYMCO Like 150i

The Noodoe Smart system adds connectivity you don’t usually see at this price point

The Kwang Yang Motor Company (KYMCO) takes on some pretty heavy hitters in the low-displacement scooter market with its Like 150i. The Like carries itself with an overall modern look that borrows from classic influences with tasteful results. Power comes from a thumper that rocks electronic fuel injection to help the Like meet U.S. emission standards. At a glance, it looks like good basic transportation. Add the Noodoe Smart system for connectivity, and it becomes more than that.

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