Custom Bike of the Day: Who Says Small Can’t Be Beautiful?
Is No Branch Of Motorcycling Safe From Electricity?
Yamaha Aiming For Dirt Glory With New Ténéré 700 Raid Prototype
2015 - 2021 Honda XR650L
Honda carries its venerable XR650L line into 2021, but to be honest, it’s almost completely unchanged from the original version unleashed on the world back in 1993. Before you scoff, I would point out that sharks haven’t changed in millions of years, having evolved long ago into creatures perfectly suited to their environments, and apparently, so it is with the XR650L. The Red Riders got it right out of the gate with this one, and popular support keeps the bike on Honda’s showroom floors even after nearly a quarter-century.
2021 - 2022 Kawasaki KLX300
Kawasaki put together its KLX300 model with dual-sport riders in mind and a definite bias for the off-road work. Suspension stroke and ground clearance point to a capacity for fairly rugged terrain, while the mirrors and full all-around lighting make it street legal. Whether you plan on proper adventure riding, or just want to forego the trailer action every time you want to hit your favorite trails, the KLX300 has you covered.
2021 Husqvarna 701 Enduro
Swedish giant Husqvarna rolls into MY2021 with boosted performance, new electronics, and a spanky new Euro-5 emissions compliance rating on the 701 Enduro. The factory also gave it a bit of a facelift with a new headlight housing, new instrumentation, and tuned up bodywork that benefits from Husqvarna’s extensive off-road racing experience. New brake hardware and switchable ABS rounds out the safety package.
2016 - 2019 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.
2021 KTM 450 SMR
MY2021 brought with it the return of the KTM 450 SuperMoto to the paddock after a seven-year hiatus, and it looks like just what the doctor ordered if power-drifting, racing, and stunt riding – or any combination thereof – is your thing. It sports the proven 450 engine that comes with a smattering of rider-aid electronics so you can dial in the bike’s personality as you like. Additionally, the frame is adjustable, and the suspension comes off the top shelf to finish off the package.
2016 - 2021 Yamaha TW200
The Yamaha TW200, brought forward for 2021 with its scrappy little 196 cc engine, is a nice learning bike, fully street legal but with that distinctive motocross-style swale seat that says you’re going off-road. On the move, the bike has nice low-end torque and you’ll feel the front end trying to come up when you get even a little twisty. Dual sport, yes, but so much about this bike just begs to be in the dirt.
Zero and Polaris Join Forces for New Off-Road Electric Bikes
That’s right sports fans. This may be the most significant relationship thus far in the race to make electric propulsion a viable alternative to the current internal-combustion engines, specifically within the off-road and non-road sectors. Polaris Inc. and Zero Motorcycles launch a decade-long partnership as a major pillar of the “rEV’d up” campaign, and the first efforts are to produce battery-powered off-road vehicles and snowmobiles.
2015 - 2020 Suzuki DR200S
Suzuki brings dual-sport capabilities to the entry-level sector with its DR200S. A heavy emphasis on off-road performance defines the overall look; and a 199 cc engine drives it over hill and dale, as well as down the road with all the appropriate lighting for safety and legalities. The end result is a functional, if plain, bike that provides a stable ride and moderate power with a humble overall bearing. A carry-over for the last few years, it hasn’t changed much, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.