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2017 - 2018 BMW R nineT

2017 - 2018 BMW R nineT

Top Of The R nineT Range

Heritage sells, and BMW looks to take it to the bank with its R nineT model family that brings classic looks and a timeless engine configuration together. Outward appearances may draw on dated (read: classic) design elements, but performance from the boxer-twin powerplant puts the R nineT in a decidedly modern category that has launched an entire line of sub-models. Today I’m going to dissect the bike that serves as the foundation for the R nineT stable and take a look at how the factory updated it in MY2017.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW R nineT.

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2016 - 2019 BMW S 1000 XR

2016 - 2019 BMW S 1000 XR

When Supersport Meets Adventure

BMW put together the S 1000 XR for the adventuresome sort that prefers to stay on at least moderately civilized routes. Built on the proven S 1000 literbike platform, the XR really puts the “sport” in adventure-sport with a solid, 999 cc powerplant and a claimed top speed that lands upwards of the 125 mph mark. The XR also maintains a sportbike-like panache in spite of its adventuresome qualities, thus avoiding the blunt pragmatism associated with so many adv bikes. Of course, Beemer is a firm believer in better living through technology, and it includes a host of safety gadgets meant to help you keep it dirrty-side-down. Sound good yet? Let’s dig in and see what else the Bayerische has in store for us.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW S 1000 XR.

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2019 Kawasaki Ninja H2 / H2 Carbon

2019 Kawasaki Ninja H2 / H2 Carbon

A massive 230 hp motor, new Stylema calipers, tires, instrumentation and more

When launched three years ago, the H2 was an elegant artwork of supreme violence making 207 hp, more power than any of the superbikes in competition then. Then came the rest of the chaps who caught on with the horsepower war, with the most recent Ducati V4 making 215 hp. But it looks like the Japanese Green team didn’t like losing this race yet.

So for 2019, they have bumped up their 998cc supercharged motor to produce a lathering 230 hp, and the non-street-legal H2R will be making a mind-boggling 300 hp at the crank! It will also come with a self-healing paintjob, new brake calipers, tires, TFT instrumentation and a new Bluetooth connectivity app.

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Triumph's 1200cc Scrambler confirmed with this video

Triumph’s 1200cc Scrambler confirmed with this video

Bigger engine, brakes, suspension and expectations

Rumors of a 1200cc Scrambler from the Hinckley chaps were floating the web for some time now. Triumph has finally confirmed this gossip when they released a teaser video of the “The all-new Scrambler 1200”. This is Triumph’s efforts to prove that they still can rule the popular scrambler category.

The 1200 Scrambler boasts of the new high torque engine used on the Brit’s Bonneville lineup, and to handle all that additional power, this Scrambler gets equipped with bigger wheels, bigger brakes, and bigger suspension.

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2018 Yamaha YZF-R1 / R1M

2018 Yamaha YZF-R1 / R1M

New Quick Shifter and Lift Control for 2018

Yamaha’s R1 family brings genuine racebike fun to the unwashed masses for a price that belies their capabilities. The base-model R1 and its even more race-tastic “M” variant come with MotoGP-level performance, and indeed are actually set up to be quickly converted for track use, so these are no poser bikes, not by a long shot. A powerful liter-sized mill pushes the R1 family well into the stupidfast category with updated electronic subsystems to help you keep it all under control, and of course, the synergy between the components makes the R1 family much greater than the sum of its parts. Let’s dig in and see what else the Tuning Fork Company has going on with this pair.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha YZF-R1 / R1M.

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2019 Yamaha Niken

2019 Yamaha Niken

A First Look At Yamaha’s Leany Delta Trike

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.

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2017 - 2018 BMW R nineT Racer

2017 - 2018 BMW R nineT Racer

Retro-Racer Style And Performance

BMW expanded its Heritage lineup for MY2017 with the R nineT “Racer” variant that it carried over right on into MY2018. The Racer takes Beemer’s popular roadster and gives it a café-tastic bent that, in spite of the fact that it adds more body components, seems to accentuate the essential nature of the model. Power comes from a classic boxer engine, and of course, the factory threw on a handful of extra safety items to help you keep it all under control. I’m already a fan of the line, bigly, with an established appreciation for the café bikes, so it’s with great anticipation that I dive into this fun little sled.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW R nineT Racer.

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2014 - 2018 Suzuki Burgman 200

2014 - 2018 Suzuki Burgman 200

Small Enough To Be Economical, Big Enough To Be A Worthy Commuter

Mature, modern looks greet the eye as Suzuki rolls its business-tastic Burgman 200 over into MY2018. In spite of its diminutive powerplant, the Burgman 200 carries itself with a definite maxi-scoot appeal. Motorcycle-like suspension components and safety equipment boost its commuter capabilities with an increase in overall ride quality over your typical [scooter->mot-type vehicle, so yeah, this ain’t your typical 200. Let’s dig in, shall we, and see what else the littlest Burgman has going on under the hood.

Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Burgman 200.

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2016 - 2019 BMW R nineT Scrambler

2016 - 2019 BMW R nineT Scrambler

The On-Road Bike With Off-Road Attitude

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.

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2015 - 2018 Yamaha YZF-R3

2015 - 2018 Yamaha YZF-R3

Sport Trainer or Fun Commuter?

The Tuning Fork Company makes a solid effort for a slice of the entry-level sportbike market with its YZF-R3. Yamaha had its work cut out for it ’cause this all-important market is hotly contested by nearly every other streetbike manufacturer in the world and the pressure is on to get brand-loyalty instilled in the incoming riders. Engine displacement breaks the 300 cc mark with 40-plus horsepower and 20-plus pounds of torque, and at only 368 pounds wet, this is plenty of power for some cheap thrills on the road. The rest of the bike seems well put together at a glance, but today I am going to dig into the guts of the thing and see what all Yamaha has in store for us and how well it stacks up against similar models on the market right now.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha YZF-R3.

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2016 - 2018 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive

2016 - 2018 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive

The Suit-and-Tie Of Scootering

The Burgman line has always been about classy and comfortable commuting, and the factory seems to have found a sweet spot here with its largest displacement version that brings comfort, convenience and safety to the table. As a “maxi-scoot,” the Executive delivers a motorcycle-like riding experience with amped up scooter features that give it something of an exaggerated look, so clearly, this is a vehicle of extremes. Suzuki carries over its Burgman 650 Executive with a new color for MY2018, so let’s check this ride out and then see how it stacks up against one of the top office-scooters to come out of Europe.

Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive.

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2015 - 2018 BMW F 700 GS

2015 - 2018 BMW F 700 GS

Road-Oriented Adventurer and Capable Commuter

Having gone into MY 2017 with some substantial updates, the 2018 BMW F 700 GS stays competitive in the ever-growing adventure market. Outfitted as the more road-oriented version next to its F 800 GS stablemate, the F 700 GS has a lower seat height, a slightly remapped engine, and chassis components with an eye toward pavement riding.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW F 700 GS.

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2015 - 2018 BMW F 800 GS / F 800 GS Adventure

2015 - 2018 BMW F 800 GS / F 800 GS Adventure

Capable Contenders In The GS Stable

BMW carries on the F 800 GS and F 800 GS Adventure in 2018 with their 800 cc engine and capable onroad/offroad features. The former is more of a casual commuter / funbike, while the “Adventure” is geared toward touring and long-range work, and naturally, both come with the top-notch engineering one expects from BMW.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW F 800 GS and F 800 GS Adventure.

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2017 - 2018 KYMCO Like 150i

2017 - 2018 KYMCO Like 150i

Not A Bad Little Around-Towner

The Kwang Yang Motor Company (KYMCO) takes on some pretty heavy hitters in the low-displacement scooter market with its Like 150i. It 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, but the devil is in the details, so let’s dig in and see how it stacks up against the mainstream.

Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO Like 150i.

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