2016 Motorcycle Week in Review - May 27
It’s been a busy week, but the run-up to Memorial Day is always so. This week saw a few bikes in the light of day for the first time, as well as some news that will make Yamaha sportbike fans happy and a charitable gesture by Erik Buell. Join me while I give a brief rundown in TL;DR format.
Continue reading for my look at the week of May 23rd, 2016.
First up is some news that should make Yamaha sportbike fans in the U.S. squeal with joy. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has certified the Yamaha MT-10 for sale in the states under the FZ-10 moniker. Essentially a stripped-down YZF-R1 superbike, the MT-10 made its North American debut in Canada last year, and now American fans can score one in the upcoming 2017 model year. The Tuning Fork Company has yet to announce its intentions, but so far the portents are favorable for a U.S. release, so keep your eyes open, folks.
Next we have a bike at the other end of the spectrum, the little 2016 K-Pipe 125 from KYMCO. This is an adorable little bike that is being promoted as a commuter / trainer bike, but even Ray Charles could see this ride is meant to challenge the Kawi Z125 Pro and Honda Grom for a slice of the pie.
One can’t help but admire the gumption it takes for a small manufacturer to go directly head-to-head with the big boys, and I look forward to seeing how well it performs in the domestic market. It boasts a 125 cc, air-cooled engine with both kick- and electric-start, and a four-speed transmixxer for your riding pleasure — all for (just) under two grand. This places it below its aforementioned competition on the pricing spectrum, and according to my Magic 8-Ball, the outcome looks favorable.
My personal favorite bit of news concerns a bike that isn’t even slated for production...yet. The Motor Company from Milwaukee announced Thursday, May 26th its newest effort to dominate the flat track. Dubbed the XG750R, it runs a modified 750 cc, Revolution X V-Twin developed by Vance & Hines Motorsports within an also-modified Street 750 rolling chassis. Harley tapped up-and-coming racer Davis Fisher to drive alongside veteran rider Brad Baker on the current XR750 flat tracker. This is the first all-new flat-tracker from H-D in over 40 years, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this style, and some of the race technology make its way into production Street 500/750 models. Time will tell.
Limited Edition “1776” EBR 1190RX
Finally, and just in time for Memorial Day, Liquid Asset Partners LLC and Erik Buell Racing announced the charitable auction of the first unit to roll off the line of its brand-new factory, the VIN No.1 2016 Limited Edition “1776” EBR 1190RX. Proceeds will be donated to the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides comfort homes for use by our military families while their uniformed loved one receives treatment and convalesces. This is another patriotic feather in Erik’s cap, as if anyone could doubt the patriotism of a man who actually named a production bike “1776.” If you don’t get the reference, crack a book, or at least Google it.
I want to wrap this up by wishing all of our current- and ex-military members a happy Memorial Day, and extend a personal Thank You from myself and my wife Allyn. And to all; be careful this weekend, don’t overindulge and then hit the roads, and as always keep it dirty-side down.