Models

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2019 Honda CB500F

2019 Honda CB500F

Not Really Faster Than Last Year, Just Quicker

Honda gives its CB500F the ’BNL-plus’ treatment ahead of MY2019 with a number of aesthetic improvements and a four-percent boost in power over the previous gen. Naked as ever, the “F” brings its usual sense of style and practicality to the table to serve as a lower-midrange “all-rounder,” as the factory succinctly puts it. Today I’d like to take a deeper look at this model and see how it stacks up against an equally-raw domestic competitor.

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2017 - 2018 KTM 390 Duke

2017 - 2018 KTM 390 Duke

Smooth Engine, Plush Suspension

The value of indoctrination is not lost on KTM, evidenced by the fact that they’ve updated and generally spruced up their entry-level unit, the 390 Duke in 2017, and those improvements carry straight over into the 2019 season. New upside-down stems float the front end along with larger, more powerful brakes to help manage the energy from the 44-horsepower engine and 328-pound dry weight. Ride-by-wire tech makes an appearance for a bit of tech you normally don’t see at this price point. Add to this a fresh new look and you have a recipe for success, or so KTM hopes. Let’s dive in and see what else the Austrian bike maker has in store for us.

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2018 - 2019 Triumph Speed Triple S / RS

2018 - 2019 Triumph Speed Triple S / RS

More Power, More Poise, More Control

Triumph refurbished its Speed Triple family ahead of MY2018, and the British giant carries its new-for-’18 Speed Triple S and Speed Triple RS straight over into the 2019 lineup. These two rides epitomize the “performance naked” subgenre with a stripped-down look. They come with an updated powerplant alongside a robust electronics suite on the base model that gets even better on the “RS” variant. Power, poise and control, the new Speed Triples seem to have it all, so today I want to see how well they hold up to closer scrutiny and pit one of ’em against a likely competitor from Japan, or maybe Italy. Let’s get to it.

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2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire

The First In What Will Be A Portfolio Of Electric Bikes

Electric-powered bikes are at the cutting edge of technology as the world grapples with its fossil-fuel dependency and seeks viable alternatives, and the LiveWire represents the MoCo’s contribution to that effort. Harley-Davidson teased us back in ’14 with the Project Livewire prototype, but at the 2018 EICMA “Milan Show” the production version finally saw the light of day. This machine brings a slew of features to the table that shows that Milwaukee is not as mired in the past as its detractors would like to have you believe with safety and comfort amenities that qualify as top-shelf by anyone’s standards. This is a thoroughly modern ride with up-to-date equipment, and even though it’s operating within a still-niche genre, there’s no problem at all in finding a suitable competitor, so let’s get to it.

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2019 Ducati Monster 821 Stealth

2019 Ducati Monster 821 Stealth

A Highly Functional Tribute to the ’93 Monster 900

The Ducati Monster can trace its heritage back to the ’93 Monster 900, and the new “Stealth” variant serves as what you might call a highly-functional tribute piece for that venerated machine. It totes the usual suite of electronic gadgets with Ducati’s Quick Shift feature added to the stock package, and it boasts 100-plus horsepower in a design that is, paradoxically, both sexy and stocky at the same time.

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2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900

2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Z900

This Ain’t No Ordinary First-Gen Naked Bike

Kawasaki steps up its bid to grab a slice of the growing naked-bike market with the Z900 ABS. As demand for the genre increased, so have expectations of performance along with polished looks. Kawi built this ride to replace both the Z800 and Z1000 moving forward into the 2017 model year, so buyers should expect to find plenty of both of those qualities. Aside from the 948 cc engine, what did the factory throw on this all-new bike to make it competitive in a minimalist, sportster/roadster market? Let’s check it out and see.

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2019 Kawasaki Z400

2019 Kawasaki Z400

A ’Z’ On The Outside; A Ninja On The Inside

Kawasaki needed to plug a hole in its super-naked lineup between the Z300 and the Z650, so it cooked up the new Z400 ABS to do the job. Aggressive Kawi styling dominates the look, but not necessarily the attitude, to make the Z400 an excellent commuter/first upgrade from whatever you cut your teeth on. The ergonomics are friendly to shorter inseams and conducive to relaxed riding, so this is a bike that should cover a range of body types. Is it right for you? Let’s find out.

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2019 Ducati Diavel 1260 / 1260 S

2019 Ducati Diavel 1260 / 1260 S

A New Heart For The Devil

Italian powerhouse Ducati hits MY2019 with an all-new pair of Diavel models for the sport-naked sector: the Diavel 1260 and 1260 S. Both toe the family line as far as aesthetics are concerned, and they even run the same exact Testastretta powerplant so the differences between the two essentially come down to the trim package and chassis features. Performance and safety go hand-in-hand with a number of top-shelf electronic goodies to help you keep all that power under control. This bike is truly a rolling tribute to Ducati’s ingenuity, and the best is under the hood hidden away from plain sight, so today I want to delve into this pair and see how it stacks up against some of the likely competition from Japan or maybe elsewhere in Europe.

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2019 Zero Motorcycles S / SR

2019 Zero Motorcycles S / SR

More Range, More Torque, Faster Charging, More Fun

The electric-bike market becomes more viable almost daily it seems, and Zero is at the cutting edge with a number of improvements for its naked-sportbike series — the “S” and “SR” models – going into 2019. We’re talking about more power with a higher top-end kind of improvements, and that’s on top of faster recharge times and a lighter curb weight; in other words, just about every important metric was buffed for MY19. Even the electronics are smarter this year to complete the package. This might be the hottest thing going in the EV bike sector at this point, so today I want to see what’s under the hood and how it stacks up against some of the likely competition.

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2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Z650 ABS

2017 - 2019 Kawasaki Z650 ABS

Hot New Contender In The Middleweight Streetfighter Market

Kawasaki makes inroads into the naked streetfighter market with the new-in 2017 Z650. Drawing from the popular Ninja line, the factory gave the Z650 that 649 cc parallel twin and put it in a new, lighter weight frame for improved handling and a exponentially greater fun factor.

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2017 - 2019 BMW S 1000 R

2017 - 2019 BMW S 1000 R

This Ain’t Your Granddad’s Roadster

The BMW S 1000 R was on the receiving end of a facelift ahead of the 2017 model year, and it carries that enhanced package right on into MY2019. BMW’s liter-sized naked roadster rolls with a new frame, increased engine output and Euro 4 emissions compliance. That comes on top of the already impressive electronics package that includes Beemer’s Automatic Stability Control, Ride Modes and a Race ABS feature.

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

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2016 - 2019 Yamaha VMAX

2016 - 2019 Yamaha VMAX

Not For The Faint Of Heart

The 1,679 cc engine in the Yamaha VMAX houses mad performance with more than adequate power and torque to give the VMAX plenty of ’go’ and the big, dual six-piston calipers up front give it plenty of ’stop.’ The 2019 VMAX comes dressed to impress, so let’s take a look at what the Tuning-Fork company has in store for us this year.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha VMAX.

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2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-09

2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-09

It Gives You Everything It’s Got

A lot of words come to mind when someone mentions the Yamaha MT-09: powerful, sporty, agile, and aggressive are a few of them. Packed with the 847 cc CP3® engine, the MT-09 combines aggressive styling and impressive performance with a host of electronics – including traction control, ABS and improved throttle curves – to make it a contender in the naked sportbike field.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha MT-09.

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2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-10

2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-10

If Stupidfast Is Your Thing, You Gotta Check This Out

Yamaha’s Hyper-Naked literbike features a 998 cc plant that delivers 160 ponies for a brutally powerful ride. The factory tweaked its D-Mode engine mapping feature to help the rider manage said power and (hopefully) keep the power delivery synched with the rider’s skill level. Also new from 2018 is the Quick Shift System that helps you run through the gears even faster so you can get the most out of whichever mode you prefer. TC, RbW and ABS all make an appearance in the electronics suite, and the suspension comes with an array of adjustments to make this an all-around, top-shelf bike.

Continue reading for my look at the Yamaha MT-10.

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2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-07

2018 - 2019 Yamaha MT-07

This Could Be Your "I Just Want To have Fun" Bike

Yamaha finally saw fit to drop its FZ family designator last year in favor of the MT brand seen by most other markets. The changes aren’t limited the moniker; the MT-07 came with a handful of tweaks to include better suspension and updated looks to reflect its aggressive nature. Fans of the”Fuzz” will rejoice to know that it retains its 689 cc, crossplane concept powerplant with its 50 pounds o’ grunt and steering geometry that makes the family so nimble.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha MT-07.

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2016 - 2019 Yamaha XSR900

2016 - 2019 Yamaha XSR900

A Mix Of Retro Looks and Modern Tech

Influenced by the classic “XS” series from the ’70s and ’80s, the XSR900 from Yamaha shows its roots with retro styling and stepped seating combined with just enough modern tech that you know you’re in the 21st century. At first glance, it looks like a nice little bike: compact and sporty. On second glance...and third...it looks like a whole lot of bike for an affordable price.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha XSR900.

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Top 10 Street Motorcycles of 2018

Top 10 Street Motorcycles of 2018

Naked, lightweight and narrow. The perfect combination for the urban jungle

Although not an official segment of motorcycles, our lifestyle for daily transportation in urban communities have given rise to street motorcycles that are lightweight and nimble for the concrete jungle. Being an agile handler while looking the part is how we need our commute through the asphalt.

This is our list of the machines we think can handle those demands better than any other. A motorcycle with an upright riding position, lacking plastic fairings for that narrow lane splitting ability and a lightweight construction for the ease of flickability is what we are looking for, and here are our top ten:

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MV Agusta is making a limited run Dragster 800 RR PIRELLI

MV Agusta is making a limited run Dragster 800 RR PIRELLI

Celebrating their second year of collaboration with Pirelli as their sole tire supplier

Two Italian brands, MV Agusta and Pirelli have become permanent partners where the latter was selected as the sole tire supplier for the Schiranna brand a year ago, and to celebrate this agreement, MV Agusta had made a limited edition version of the Brutale 800 RR called the “Brutale 800 RR PIRELLI”.

Now, the same two companies have released another limited edition collaboration, but this time, it will be the newly updated Dragster 800 RR that will receive the Pirelli touch. In a pure exclusive visual treat by the folks who make “Motorcycle Art”, the Dragster 800 RR PIRELLI gets new paint schemes that showcase the partnership with the decals and new wheels that stick to new tires.

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Kawasaki is out with its new 125cc Ninja and Z babies

Kawasaki is out with its new 125cc Ninja and Z babies

Final showcase to happen at the upcoming EICMA show

The Japanese Green Team have officially released images and introductory videos of their new babies of both their sports and naked categories, finally after a couple of years of speculation ever since the 2017 EICMA. It is the Ninja 125 and Z125 that will be revealed at the upcoming EICMA in Milan.

Although we already have the naked Z125 in our markets, it will be replaced with a newer, more advanced update along with its sportier Ninja sibling. While doing so, Kawasaki will finally have a product to cater to the basic A1 license that has so far limited them to the use of mopeds.

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Kawasaki to add a Z125 and a Ninja125 to their 2019 lineup

Kawasaki to add a Z125 and a Ninja125 to their 2019 lineup

To finally cater the A licence millennial riders

For 2019, the Japanese green team is bringing in smaller babies of both their sports and naked categories to our markets finally after a couple of years of speculation ever since the 2017 EICMA. It is the Ninja 125 and Z125 that will be revealed at the upcoming EICMA in Milan.

Although we already have the naked Z125 in our markets, it will be replaced with a newer, more advanced update along with its sportier Ninja sibling. While doing so, Kawasaki will finally have a product to cater to the basic A1 license that has so far limited them to the use of mopeds.

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Kawasaki to introduce the naked Z400 as the 2019 model

Kawasaki to introduce the naked Z400 as the 2019 model

CARB documents brings out confirmation for the same

The Kawasaki Z400 is not a badge you’ll see for the first time on a Kawasaki machine. The Japanese used to make the ‘KZ400/Z400’ between 1974 and 1984 for Asian and American markets. The KZ400 even outsold Honda in the 400 cc twins market through the 1970s. But was culled from the showroom floors after a decade from its launch.

Now though, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) documents published indicate that the 399cc Kawasaki naked motorcycle will be coming back to the US shores after the launch of the full faired Ninja 400 last year and will look much similar to the Z300 it will replace but run on a brand new engine borrowed from the Ninja.

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2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Limited

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Limited

500 units of Chrome, aluminum and Carbon-fiber

The V7 is the first model created by Moto Guzzi, and celebrating the 50th year of the first, the brand launched the V7 III with four editions in 2017: Stone, Special, Racer and a celebratory entrant Anniversario. Expanding this footprint for 2018, MG launched the ‘Rough’, ‘Milano’, ‘Stornello’, ‘Carbon Dark’ and finally this ‘Limited’ edition.

The Limited is what ’bringing of two worlds’ mean. Blending classic, elegant chrome with futuristic carbon-fiber and aluminum materials, this V7 is an eclectic and modern look that reiterates how well the V7 III lends itself to customization. It is an exclusive limited edition version in just 500 numbered units.

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Harley Davidson is making this 975cc Streetfighter

Harley Davidson is making this 975cc Streetfighter

in a hope to attract new riders from new markets across the globe

There is a saying that goes - “There’s only one way to really understand Harley Davidson. Ride one.” All this while, this statement made complete sense of a brute machine that lets you cruise around in the brawniest fashion. But now, Harley is taking a whole new approach with the LiveWire electric motorcycles and a brand new segment – the naked streetfighter.

Yes, the Milwaukee brand is expanding its line of middleweight models with its first-ever streetfighter motorcycle that is planned for the 2020 year. This news comes along with the showcasing of its first-ever adventure bike, Pan-America, in a bid to bring new people to the brand from new markets across the world.

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