2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure
BMW->rub175] carries its R 1200 GS Adventure over into the 2018 model year with new tech bundles and color packages, but much the same hardware as the MY2017 units. The “Adventure” builds on the base GS to deliver a more capable machine to its adventure-some buyer base. It comes with a split personality — one for road and another for dirt — to give the bike a bias to match your own. Beemer gives it enough power to qualify as a ’super’-adventure with 100-plus horsepower, and of course, throws in the electronic systems that help you safely use as much of that power as possible? Sound good yet? Let’s get into the details.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure.
2017 - 2018 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S
Many adventure-bike manufacturers try to cover all the bases with a single model, but Austrian bikebuilder KTM splits its efforts to produce the 1290 Super Adventure S. Released for MY2017, KTM built the “S” to deliver long-distance comfort for riders who are looking for more than they can get from one of the Dukes. Wind protection, storage options and electronic safety systems take care of the usual ride-ability concerns, but this is a KTM folks, so you know it’s going to be very well-endowed in the power department as well, to the point of qualifying as a ’super’ adventure. Think I’m overstating the situation? Read on and find out how wrong you are.
Continue reading for my review of the KTM 1290 Super Adventure.
2016 - 2018 Benelli Leoncino
Ever since Benelli started showcasing us products designed by CentroStile Benelli, slowly their reputation seems to have gotten back to its original charm albeit owned by a Chinese firm. The same design house has once again wowed us by showcasing the Leoncino (pronounced Leon-cheeno), meaning the Lion Cub.
This street motorcycle was first showcased at the 2015 EICMA as a concept and people had then put a lot of money on these bikes because of the potential shown. Then the very next year, the production model came out for the European and a few Asian markets, and it had maintained the rugged and beautiful lines.
2017 Lifan S-Ray
Lifan expands its small-displacement vehicle footprint with the S-Ray scooter that rocks sporty looks sure to appeal to a younger buyer base with a 150 cc engine delivering friendly, controllable power appropriate for entry-level riders and sufficient for urban travel. This is definitely one of the lesser-known brands in the U.S. market, so today I’d like to dig a little deeper into this little ride and see how it stacks up against a mainstream marque.
Continue reading for my review of the Lifan S-Ray.
2016 - 2018 BMW R nineT Pure
The Bavarian maker must have mastered the art of making peace with the heritage scene, but it cannot stop people from wanting more out of it. The R nine T has absolutely been a hit story for the German ever since the launch in 2013. It was so good that BMW initially struggled to keep up with the demand and they released one version after the other in succession to the world stage that includes the, Scrambler and the Urban G/S.
Added later to this lineup in 2016 is the R nine T Pure, a roadster model that believes in being reduced to the bare essentials. Coming in as the most accessible one of the R nineT range, the Pure costs the least as well.
2018 Suzuki V-Strom 250
After a race to find the ideal maximum displacement for the adventure-bike genre, Suzuki has now turned its attention toward seeking out the bottom of the effective envelope with the new-in-2017 V-Strom 250. This A2 license-compliant ride is bound for the entry-level market with much the same look as its bigger brothers in spite of its diminutive powerplant and a similar affinity for long-distance trips. The mill is tweaked for the purpose with 25 ponies on tap and a smooth delivery, and of course, the “250” sports plenty of secure storage and storage options for your cargo, so you can actually do some proper touring with it, right off the showroom floor. What else has Suzuki got going on with its mini-adv? Let’s find out.
Continue reading for my look at the Suzuki V-Strom 250.
2017 - 2018 Kawasaki Z 250
After making a sweet spot in the hearts of enthusiasts with its Ninja 300, Kawasaki had struck again with its yet another onslaught in the entry-level performance motoring, Z250. It was first launched in 2013 for the Asian markets post which the Japanese Green team gave the Z300 for Australia and Europe.
Designed and engineered on the lines of the bigger Z’s, the Z250 also promises to give the thrills of the Ninja in a more affordable package. After the Ninja 300, we were speculating that Kawasaki might launch its Z300 on our shores, but that seems out of the question at the moment. Nonetheless, we stay optimistic with this Z250 making rounds of eastern roads. It gets Euro IV compliant engine, new color schemes, and the much needed ABS. Good news is never too late.
2018 Vespa GTS Super 300 / GTS Super 300 Sport
Piaggio expands its “Vespino” footprint yet again with the GTS Super 300 and Supersport variant. While it can be said of every Vespa that the design roots generally run deep, these two rides make references to some very specific models from history in order to establish its pedigree. Classic Italian looks are always nice, but under the hood the Super packs away 21st century tech to make it a thoroughly modern machine. Safety features were a front-burner issue for Vespa, so the factory blessed the family with a double layer of stability insurance that makes the line suitable as an entry-level scooter that is capable of performing within the urban riding environment. Ready to hunt for some Easter Eggs?
Continue reading for my review of the Vespa GTS Super 300 and GTS Super 300 Sport.
2018 Kawasaki W250
Kawasaki’s “W” family has been on the world stage since 1966, and the legacy continues with the new W250. This cute little “leisure bike” packs classic charm into a small package with dated references and finishes that invoke plenty of nostalgia. Power comes from a 250 cc plant with over 15 ponies on tap and loads of fun for an entry-level rider, or one seeking to move up from small-displacement scooters. As simple as it is attractive, the W250 certainly brings something special to the market, so today I’m going to take a look at Kawi’s little retro-ride to see what makes it tick.
Continue reading for my look at the Kawasaki W250.
2017 - 2018 BMW K 1600 GT
BMW’s K 1600 GT moved into its seventh year of production in 2017 with a fresh rebuild that the Bayerische carries right on into MY2018. A six-cylinder engine puts in the power-tourer category in both the torque and horsepower columns for solid performance even in spite of its not-inconsiderable heft. Built for touring, it strikes a balance between storage and aesthetics for a sort of “Euro-bagger” look that compares well with Honda’s new bagger-tastic Goldwing since both leave off the top case for their fully dressed, top-shelf models. This Bavarian bruiser brings a dark-and-swanky attitude to the table with the performance to back it up and all sorts of yummygoodness under the hood, so let’s dig in and see what else Beemer has for us here.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW K 1600 GT.
2017 - 2018 Kawasaki KX 100
The greats of the motorcycle world have always had in their stride since the very beginning of their life. You look at every legendary figure of the motorsports world, one thing they have in common is their passion for things on two wheels from a very young age, some even when they have just begun to walk and talk. And the easiest access into this life is on the small motocross machines like the Japanese Green Team’s KX100.
The KX100 is a natural progression from the smaller KX65 and KX85 and will continue to widen this segment and get in a much lighter bike with a more sophisticated engine, better suspension and braking units to go the full throttle way for the young stars interested in dirt riding and want to make a career out of it. An ideal learning curve en-route to the bigger KX250. In return, Kawasaki has relied on its aspiring young stars to provide input to help develop winning products.
2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XRt
Triumph Motorcycles has long been a frontrunner in the race to the top within the adventure-bike genre, and the all-new Tiger 1200 XRt is a perfect example of why that is. This is Triumph’s top-shelf ADV model with all the available bells and whistles built right in. That’s on top of an already-extensive rebuild that the factory says brought in over 100 improvements over the outgoing model, so this ride is totally up-to-date with cutting-edge technology of both the comfort and safety variety. Join me while I check out Triumph’s flagship model for the road-centric ADV market and see how it stacks up against some other likely candidates.
Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XRt.
2017 - 2018 Hyosung GD250R
The Korean manufacturer has been really trying hard with having a success in our market for a long time. All their success stories, if any, have been very short-lived, and with ten models in the country, none of them have a great one to share. Blame their marketing department for not creating the hype.
But without giving up on their standing chance, Hyosung has been undergoing a rescue mission and developed a new platform for their smaller capacity motorcycles. And the first iteration from them is the GD250R. It features a single-cylinder motor and is aimed at a full faired sports segment.
We all had seen the GD250R at the EICMA in Milan a couple of years back, but we couldn’t figure out why it could not generate a considerable interest back then. Then, it was on display at the Long Beach IMS, and looking at the motorcycle in its flesh, faith seems to have gotten restored.
2017 - 2019 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT
Nobody blurs the line between scooter and ’proper’ motorcycle better than the engineers at BMW, and the C 650 range is no exception. The C 650 “Sport” and “GT” models have very few changes, but that’s not surprising given how difficult it would be to improve upon the bundle of features already built in. I mean, it’s a scooter with traction control and ABS on board, plus a relatively large and powerful engine with a sophisticated engine management system, so this is ’not’ your grandfather’s scooter. I have a great appreciation for German engineering, so I’m looking to see what all Beemer has tucked away on its not-so-little maxi-scooter.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW C 650 GT and C 650 Sport.
2018 Vespa GTS 300 / GTS 300 Touring
Vespa carries its GTS 300 scooter into 2018, and it adds a new variant dubbed the “Touring” for the rider who is looking for some stock cargo capacity and touring capabilities. As usual, Vespa maintains the classic looks and features long associated with the brand, but it has added some decidedly modern gadgetry to the mix that brings the machine right up to date. Traction control and anti-lock brakes add safety and value to help move this family up to make a bid for top-shelf status within its displacement. It will have some stiff competition from the Japanese sector, so today I want to dissect the GTS to see how it stacks up.
See my review of the Vespa GTS 300 and GTS 300 Touring.
2018 - 2019 BMW C 400 X
BMW Motorrad turned us on to its newest mid-size scooter, the C 400 X, at the 2017 EICMA with an amply-powered thumper that handles highway speeds and turns in a very respectable 0-60 mph time; not bad at all for a genre made up mainly of rides more appropriate for putting around campus or retirement communities.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW C 400 X.
2017 - 2019 BMW G 310 R / G 310 GS
BMW’s G 310 R roadster got a brother as it entered the 2017 model year with the addition of the adventuresome G 310 GS. The “GS” builds on the success of the “R” with a few subtle changes that shift the design toward the adventure bike end of the spectrum. Sharing the same 313 cc engine, the G 310 pair head into the low-displacement market alongside some hot competition.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW G 310 R and G 310 GS.
2018 Piaggio MP3 500 HPE Business
Piaggio’s MP3 scooters were a game-changer when they hit the markets back in 2003, and Italy’s premier scooter maker has hit a new pinnacle of refinement with its MP3 Business HPE ABS ASR. That alphabet soup of features adds to the yummy-goodness already under the hood to make this new variant particularly suitable for the office/student commuter, even if they’ve no previous riding experience. New details abound. Of course, the obvious selling point is the two-up-front trike arrangement that grants the MP3 the stability of a trike with the fluidity and sensation of flight normally reserved for two-wheeled machines. Power, performance and safety; what’s not to love?
Continue reading for my review of the Piaggio MP 500 HPE Business.
2018 Ducati Monster 1200 25° Anniversario
In 1992, Ducati showcased the Ducati Monster 900 prototype at the Cologne Motor Show, and it became an instant icon. With its boundless personality and audacious nudity, it was a motorcycle that had revolutionized the "naked" bike category. Since then, the Monster range sold like hot cakes and played a major role in the expansion of the Ducati family.
Recently, the model celebrated its 25th anniversary since the original Monster 900 MY1993 hit the streets. And to commemorate the occasion, the chaps at the Borgo Panigale factory have produced a limited edition affair of the flagship Monster 1200 and given it a special color scheme, machined components, high-quality finishing, carbon fiber and a lot of technology. The Ducati Monster 1200 25° Anniversario.
2018 Norton 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 the model slowly lost its steam. The Commando has since 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.
2018 KYMCO AK550
KYMCO takes the next step in its quest for a slice of the maxi-scooter market with the new AK550. This newest addition takes the company into some hotly contested territory with its business-class looks and motorcycle-like engine displacement that is sure to reach a more demanding customer base. Comfort and weather protection were front-burner topics for the designers, as were safety considerations, evidenced by the riding modes feature and ABS. What else does KYMCO’s top-shelf commuter/tourer have in store? Let’s find out.
Continue reading for my look at the KYMCO AK550.
2016 - 2018 (Vespa 946) RED
Founded in 2006, (RED) has managed to raise an impressive $475 million with the help of kind partners. This organization has since touched over 90 million souls and assisted them in their battle against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Being the first automotive brand to collaborate with the organization, the Piaggio Group has created the stunning (Vespa 946) RED for markets in Europe, the Pacific Area and the United States.
2017 - 2018 BMW R 1200 GS
BMW gave its R 1200 GS a series of tweaks over the past couple of years to deliver a more polished product than ever before. A 1,170 cc boxer delivers well over 100 horsepower, and arguably more-importantly, almost triple-digit pounds o’ grunt that’ll be of utmost concern for riders that opt for the off-road-tastic “Rallye” package and its riding style. The overall looks were updated ahead of MY2017 with a few tweaks to the body panels, and the electronic safety fandanglery such as the traction control, Hill Start control, and more are now bundled into new packages to spread some of the love toward the bottom-tier buyers, relatively speaking of course. Beemer throws on plenty of yummy-goodness here, so even though the R 1200 GS is a platform for more advanced/expensive models, it’s a capable machine in its own right. Don’t believe it? Stay tuned and I’ll prove it.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW R 1200 GS.