2017 - 2018 Ducati Scrambler Icon
The Ducati Scrambler family has been rapidly expanding since its inception — in both the displacement ranges and available styles — but the stalwart Icon remains largely the same into the 2018 model year. It brings the same street-wise spice to the table as ever, and it comes paired with the 803 cc L-twin that delivers its 75 ponies in an easy-to-manage powercurve. Ducati also expanded its palette a bit with the addition of the “Silver Ice” hue. Little else is changed for the ’18 season, but why in the world would Ducati change something that seems to be working so well and is of such a recent vintage? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler Icon.
2018 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Suzuki gave its iconic sportbike an overhaul for 2017 with a new liquid-cooled engine, a new frame, new ECM, new ride-by-wire throttle bodies and a host of other goodies to keep this ride current and relevant in its sixth generation. The engineers at the factory show their love for the GSX-R1000 by making it the most powerful and hardest accelerating Gixxer-with-a-single-R to date with a horsepower boost that pushes the claimed figure up to 199 ponies at the shaft. Simultaneously, the engineers made the foundation both lighter and stronger so even more of the available power makes it to pavement. End result; more of what we expect from the Gixxer family.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki GSX-R1000.
2017 - 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 & 1000XT
Suzuki hits MY18 with a shiny new V-Strom 1000 after a one-year hiatus, and it seems the factory spent that time wisely. The range retains the V-Strom 1000 and adds the off-road-tastic 1000XT to the adventure mix for the folks who favor the road (or non-road) traveled by few. Power remains the same at the 100-pony mark, but the mill upped its emissions game to meet the current requirements with a new exhaust system. Electronics received a buff as well with a new Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit that refines the ABS system to include lean-sensitive intervention for an extra layer of protection for those times when the available traction is split between steering and braking forces. Overall, the new V-Stroms look to be a little more capable and user friendly than the previous gen with more top-shelf goodies even if the top-end is currently showing a flat growth curve.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 and 1000XT.
2019 Honda PCX150
Honda’s metro-tastic PCX150 [scooter2256] line gets an upgrade that we’ll get to see on U.S. showrooms come July of 2018. It includes a facelift from stem to stern that further polishes its ’luxe metropolitan looks to bring more of the swank and swagger associated with the marque, and it comes paired with a more voluminous underseat storage area to increase its ’commuterability’. Style and function is a tough combination to beat, so let’s dig a little deeper and see what else the Red Rider engineers have in store for us.
Continue reading for my look at the Honda PCX150.
2019 Honda CB300R
Honda expands its Neo-Sports Cafè lineup with the new-for-2019 CB300R that brings more of the same cafè-tastic vibe that we got with the CB1000R, just in an entry level-size package. This naked little pocket crotch-rocket — or “Sport Naked” as the factory has dubbed the style — looks to pull in younger riders with a user-friendly, 286 cc powerplant and lightweight design. After a race to the bottom of the usable displacement range for the sport and naked genres, Honda is refining its bottom-tier rides, so join me while I take my first look at this all-new machine from the Red Riders and see how it stacks up against some of the other current pocket-rockets.
Continue reading for my look at the Honda CB300R.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx
Triumph gave its venerable Tiger range an update for 2018 and an upgrade with the all-new Tiger 800 XRx and its vertically-challenged sibling, the XRx Low. These two reside on the second tier of the XR range with numerous features that the base model misses out on such as Riding Modes, DRLs and full-color TFT display to name a few. A next-gen engine churns out 94 horsepower and 58 pound-feet of torque for greater performance than its predecessor, with the electronic assistance you need to keep it all under control. Built as a street-centric adventure bike, the XRx siblings can double as outstanding commuters. Join me while I check out the details on this dynamic duo.
Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Tiger 800 XRx.
2017 BMW HP4 Race
Public demand for race-ready road bikes has never been higher, and the folks down at the Bayerische Motoren Werke are trying to take that momentum to the bank with its HP4 Race. Like many of its track-day competitors have recently done, BMW set about the business of mini-mass producing a bike that carries as much of its factory-team race gear as they are comfortable sharing with the world. However, the factory isn’t risking much in this bid for a slice of the hardcore race-fan market with a limited-edition run of 750 hand-built superbike units, so in addition to the obvious attraction of the technology and power we can add ’rarity’ to the curb appeal. Here we have a 215 horsepower engine pushing the world’s first all carbon-fiber frame with a veritable alphabet soup of features that are surely indispensable for racers looking for an edge.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW HP4 Race.
2017 - 2018 Suzuki GSX-R1000R
Coming off a fresh update in 2017, Suzuki carries its GSX-R1000R into MY18 with a new color palette, but little else in the way of changes. The next-gen “Gixxer” 1000 brings an all-new 999.8 cc powerplant to the table with a claimed 199 horsepower at the shaft and a whole passel of electronic goodies to help manage all those ponies. Traction control, lean-sensitive ABS, launch control and more, Suzuki’s flagship literbike delivers a taste of track-day fun with overlapping safety nets to help keep us mortal, non-professional riders dirty-side down as we explore our electronically augmented performance envelope. MotoGP tech influences the design to give the rider a little taste of track-day performance, or at the very least, ’performance light.’
Continue reading for my review of the GSX-R1000R.
2017 - 2018 Ducati Multistrada 950
Since it came out back in ’03, Ducati’s Multistrada family has gotten a lot of love from the riding community. It’s seen a number of upgrades and engine changes over the years, and the new-for-2017 “950” serves as the smallest Multistrada model this year. I wouldn’t call this an entry-level bike by any means, but it is the most accessible of Ducati’s multi-bikes, and thus is likely to help bridge the gap for folks looking to test the adventure-bike waters as it were. A 937 cc Testastretta powerplant drives the ride with 100-plus horsepower on tap and a host of safety-related features bundled in with the Ducati Safety Pack. Today I want to check out this newest bit of Ducatisti bait, and see how the genre has continued to evolve.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Multistrada 950.
2016 - 2018 Ducati Diavel
The Diavel is Ducati’s second venture into the cruiser market — the Indiana being the first — but I’m not sure the designers have the same idea of what a cruiser is as the American motorcycling public thinks about a cruiser. Powered by a 1198 cc engine packing 152 horsepower and 91 pound-feet of torque, the Diavel is more of a power-cruiser-sportbike and might appeal to riders from either market.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Diavel.
2015 - 2018 Ducati Scrambler Classic
Ducati’s Scrambler lineup covers a range of looks and styles, but it’s the Classic that really ties into the original Scrambler circa the 1970s. It comes with Sugar White as one of the available colors — just like the original — and sports a tan finish on the seat for even more dated flavor. Performance is up to modern standards however; with 75 ponies in the paddock and Euro 4 emissions compliance, the Classic delivers contemporary operation to go with its somewhat dated aesthetic influences. The hooliganism and devil-may-care attitude comes as part of the standard equipment package.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler Classis.
2017 - 2018 Ducati SuperSport / SuperSport S
It had been four years in the making, but Ducati finally released the revamped SuperSport family for the 2017 model year. This range brings sportbike handling and performance to the table with its race-inspired “Monster” frame and over 100 ponies on tap, but in a package meant to be less intimidating to prospective ’Ducatisti’ than some of their, shall we say, spicier models. The factory touts the new line as “versatile and accessible,” and while the base SuperSport is meant to appeal to riders who want a sportbike that’s a little light on the “sportier aspects,” the “S” model takes on some of the trappings of a proper racebike for a decidedly more sport-tastic nature. Let’s check out what the bike builders in Bologna have in store for us with this newest effort.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati SuperSport and SuperSport S.
2016 - 2018 Ducati Scrambler Sixty2
The scrambler market is booming, and so far, Ducati is ahead of the curve with a full range of purpose-built Scrambler models. It added to the lineup in 2016 with its Scrambler Sixty2, a model that reflects what the factory calls modern pop culture, with a liberal dose of sixties, mid-size standard cruiser flavor blended in. Powered with a 399 cc L-twin, the Sixty2 isn’t a poser in a scrambler costume; it’s ready to rock and roll.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler Sixty2.
2017 BMW C Evolution
The Bayerische Motoren Werke introduced its original C Evolution electric scooter to the great proving ground that is the European scooter market all the way back in 2012 and it’s finally in the U.S. market. A boosted battery ampacity gives it the increased range needed to handle a long-distance commute, but it’s the electronics suite that really puts the C Evolution in a class of its own. Traction control, torque control and ABS all make an appearance along with the 35-horsepower motor that, according to the factory, has no problem running right up to the 80 mph governor. I had to remind myself more than once that this is still considered just a scooter though it could certainly embarrass many a low- to mid-range ride. Not just other scooters either, but proper motorcycles. Don’t believe it? Read on and I’ll make my case.
Continue reading to see my review of the BMW C Evolution.
2018 Ducati Scrambler Street Classic
After its overseas debut last year in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and elsewhere, Ducati is bringing the Scrambler Street Classic to the U.S. market for the 2018 model year. The Street Classic borrows from the ’70s custom scene for its unique spin on the scrambler platform and an 803 cc L-twin that delivers 73 horsepower to maintain the same level of performance as the rest of the mid-size Scrambler family. ABS provides the only electronic safety equipment, but if you’re looking for techno-gadgetry, then you’re definitely looking at the wrong type of bike, no matter the manufacturer. Ducati continues to morph its Scrambler lineup in an attempt to get as much mileage as possible out of it, and who can blame them. The range has proven itself to be very popular with the masses and a blank canvas for personalization. Are they jumping the shark yet? Let’s find out.
Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler Street Classic.