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.
Cagiva to make a comeback as an electric off-roader
MV Agusta’s exotic Italian lineage has been through the history’s ups and downs. After being in an acrimonious situation for some time, the Italian brand is finally sailing on safe waters after a Russian investment group-Black Ocean signed an agreement to increase its capital making MV Holding to become the 100% owner of MV Agusta S.p.A.
With this, things have started to ease off, and MV Agusta is now concentrating on working on new machines for 2018 including a new line of four-pot Brutales’. Fresh new information also tells us that the Italian will be resurrecting the Cagiva brand back, but this time as an electric company rather than the sportsbike maker that it was before.
Want to impress your girlfriend? There is a new trick in town
Dragging your elbow down had no real purpose really. It did not give speed nor balance. All it did was to make the rider look good. Achieving insane lean angles of up to 64 degrees, MotoGP riders have made this a phenomenon, and everyone else just loves to show off their newfound skill.
If you are trying yourself to do the same, why not take it a step higher? Here is Jimmy Hill, Andy DiBrino, and Alan Birtwistle going full Hooligan on the all-new electric 2018 Redshift MXR Motocross.
Introducing the all new sensations trick: The Bar down.
OBIBOI plays with JAWA and BSA renderings
While we know that the Indian auto major Mahindra purchased the iconic British biker BSA and rights to the Czech JAWA brand, it would take at the least a couple of years to see their first iterations of what is touted as ‘The grand revival’.
But that has not stopped rendering artists across the globe who have already started letting their imagination run wild. They say that ’Imagination is a place where all the important answers lies’ and I guess we have started to get ours.
An Italian artist who goes by the name Oberdan Bezzi and is also famously called as OBIBOI has sketched some impressive looks of concepts which might be expected from the Mahindra stable in the future. They include desert runners, scramblers and street build concepts. Let’s have a look at these:
2017 Yamaha SCR950
The retro war heats up as more manufacturers jump into the fray, and Yamaha finally took the plunge with its new-in-2017 SCR950 scrambler. Based on the Star Bolt, this bike runs the same proven 942 cc mill with a decidedly classic overall flavor dating back to the original scramblers of the ’60s and ’70s. I must confess that I have an affinity for scramblers, and I already know the Bolt is a heck of a bike, even if it is, shall we say, very ’flattering’ to a certain Sportster currently on the market, so it is with high expectations that I approach The Tuning Fork Company’s new foray into scrambler territory.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha SCR950.
SYM enters the ADV world with the NH-Trazer 200
We know, for one, that manufacturers develop low capacity motorcycles to get new riders into their strides from the very beginning. With manufacturers showing so much love to the adventure category, it’s high time that we get out and do a little exploring for ourselves.
Joining the league of the BMW’s, Kawasaki’s and Suzuki’s, the Taiwanese manufacturer SYM is entering the adventure field with its brand new NH-Trazer 200, and we have no clue what the acronym stands for.
2016 - 2018 BMW R nineT Scrambler
It is a well-known phenomenon that as people get to a certain stage in life, they crave things from their youth. Frequently, this coincides with a certain amount of disposable income to indulge in such nostalgia. Over time, entire industries have sprung from this demand, and even designers among established businesses capitalize on this market. The new-from-2016, R nineT Scrambler from the Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW Motorrad) seems to fall into just this sort of category. 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.
Team Monster Energy Honda’s Dakar bike stolen
The 40th edition of the infamous Dakar Rally is just a month away and almost 150 rally motorcycles will land in Peru, South America, to have a go on some of the most gruesome terrains stretching 5,500 miles in a span of 14 days.
While all teams and bikes have already begun their journey from home, team Monster Energy Honda may have faced a setback as one of their Honda CRF 450 Rally was stolen from Le Havre docs ahead of its scheduled shipment.
2018 First Look: Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or are in denial about your team getting completely owned by Indian Motorcycle’s flat-track racing team, the Wrecking Crew, chances are you’re aware of the recent leap from obscurity to the pinnacle of FT racing prowess under the Polaris umbrella. In honor of this recent success, and in an effort to ride the current wave of popularity and interest in this storied American brand, Indian has put together a street-legal ride fit for the masses; the Scout FTR1200 Custom. As the cleverly-ingenious name suggests, it’s based on the Scout platform, but any resemblance to the actual Scout seems to be solely in name and the general engine layout. In fact, let’s just shine on the whole Scout thing for the moment, and focus on what this bike actually is, shall we?
Continue reading for my look at the Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200 Custom.
2015 - 2017 Yamaha WR250F
First introduced in 2001, the WR250F has seen some changes through the years up to and including 2014 — most notably the alloy frame introduced in 2007, improved suspension and some ergonomic tweaks — but for the most part, it had gradually fallen from being a hot ticket to same-old, same-old mediocrity. That changed in 2015. With updates in technology, including the revolutionary rearward slanted engine, an added sixth gear and wide-ratio transmission, twin-chamber fork and fuel injection, the WR250F is a hot ticket once again in the Enduro world, where Yamaha hopes to revive interest in the 250 cc market that has been waning since they essentially quit updating the WR250F in 2007.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha WR250F.
2015 - 2018 Ural Gear-Up
You know that sad feeling you get when the first chill arrives in the air and it’s time to start thinking about putting your bike into storage for the winter months? What if you didn’t have to do that? The folks at Ural don’t want you to quit riding just because winter arrives. Back in the day, you needed a one-horse open sleigh to go dashing through the snow. Today, you need a Gear-Up — a street legal, four-season adventure bike from Ural. The off-road beast of its brother, the Patrol, the Gear-Up comes standard with on-demand two-wheel drive, a high-intensity spotlight, spare tire, luggage rack and sidecar bumper to carry you through the snow, over rough terrain or anywhere your adventures take you once the pavement ends.
Continue reading for my review of the Ural Gear-Up.
2018 Honda CRF450R
Back in ’17, Honda rebuilt the CRF450R pretty much from the ground up, so I wasn’t expecting much in the way of new stuff and expected to see a straight-up carryover. Boy, was I mistaken. A new, lightweight lithium-ion battery drops enough weight that the factory decided to keep the electric leg and rely on it alone, having offered push-button start as an option last year as a market test. May as well, most of the other big-name MX producers have already done so and it will be expected from now on. Besides, it only adds five pounds to the bike, and that’s only likely to get lighter on subsequent models. Updated suspension settings and a lower center-of-gravity deliver a superior ride as compared to the ’17 model. Plus, tweaks to the engine result in quicker holeshots to help you establish and maintain your lead right out of the gate. All-in-all, a more capable machine meant for competition on the MX course, at least according to the factory prose. Let’s take a look for ourselves, shall we?
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CRF450R.
2015 - 2018 Kawasaki KLR 650
Equipped with a 651 cc thumper and what looks like a beefy front end, the KLR 650 from Kawasaki is a capable middleweight dual-purpose ride. Big enough to be an adventure bike, but not really intended as such, the KLR 650 has an ample-size fuel tank, frame, rims and suspension that show true off-road roots, yet has enough straight-line stability to handle the pavement. If not-quite-adventure, but more than dirtbike is what you need, the KLR 650 might be your Huckleberry.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki KLR 650.
2018 Yamaha WR250F
Yamaha hits the trails with the new-and-improved WR250F. Touted as competition-ready right out of the box, the MY18 ’Wide Ratio’ brings a newly-reworked engine in a new frame with other delightful nuggets like the advanced suspension and optional engine-tuning app that uses your smartphone as an interface for quick and easy ignition/injection mapping. Titanium poppets and electronic fuel injection add even more yummy-goodness to the mix as part of the standard equipment package. Will it be enough for the current market? We’ll see soon enough, but meanwhile we can dissect the thing to see what all makes it tick.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha WR250F.
2018 Yamaha YZ450F
Yamaha’s once-popular YZ450F has been slipping in the polls of late, a situation the factory seems bound to rectify with this newest version that should propel it back into the top tier in the motocross world along with Honda, KTM, and Husqvarna. The 2018 YZ450F sports updated looks to go with its updated features such as the new engine, wireless engine tuning and improved suspension just to name a few. A teeny-tiny battery and lightweight starter system eliminates the old kicker (and the peasants rejoice!) with a new push-button cold-start feature that helps with starts and warmups. For all intents and purposes, this should be considered an all-new machine, so let’s check out what Yammy has going on over there and see how it stacks up against the other big boys.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha YZ450F.
2016 - 2017 Yamaha YZ450F
When Yamaha redesigned the YZ450F engine back in 2010, it really struck a balance between power and control. The 2015 version carried top-shelf racers such as Weston Peick and Justin Barcia to podium finishes, so there is no denying that the largest of the YZ family is already an accomplished model. Not content to rest on its laurels, the factory introduced a number of improvements for the 2016 model year that carried over into 2017. How does one improve upon success? Let’s take a look and find out.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha YZ450F.
2015 - 2018 Yamaha WR250R
Essentially a carry-over from 2008 when the WR250R added a street-legal stablemate to the Yamaha WR lineup, the 2018 model carries-on carrying-on dual-sport fun. It’s not really a street-legal version of the WR250F, though the model designation tends to make it seem so. “WR” indicates it’s a wide-ratio gear box, and beyond that, the sky’s the limit. The wide-ratio gives an acceptable balance of highway capability and off-road responsiveness, desirable in the dual-sport market.
Continue reading for more information on the Yamaha WR250R.
2015 - 2018 Honda XR650L
Honda carries its venerable XR650L line into 2018, 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. I want to see what Honda has going on over there that gives this bike such longevity.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda XR650L.
2016 - 2018 Suzuki DR-Z400S / DR-Z400SM
Pitting the fuel-injection fans against the carburetor fans, we score a point for the latter with the DR-Z400S and DR-Z400SM from Suzuki. Fuel injection hadn’t yet made an appearance in any of Suzuki’s 2017 dual-sport lineup, which was a good thing or a bad thing, depending on which side of the fence you’re on. For 2018, the DR-Z siblings haven’t yet been touched by the FI update. Sharing the same engine as the 500EXC from KTM, the DR-Zs come on a different chassis with progressive-link rear suspension. The “SM” — the SuperMoto of the family — and the “S” feature a six-liter air box with quick-release fasteners trouble-free access to the air filter and special low profile mirrors that rotate hoping to avoid damage, both are pluses when you’re playing in the dirt.
Continue reading for more information on the Suzuki DR-Z400S and DR-Z400SM.
2015 - 2018 Suzuki DR650S
With a glance at the DR650S from Suzuki and you might just dismiss it as an enduro bike. That would be doing it an injustice. It’s really a basic adventure bike that will get you off the pavement and into the woods with perhaps more gumption than a real adventure bike. It’s not the most attractive bike in the stable, though it’s small and scrappy with its 644 cc engine and so much fun to ride. Priced affordably, it isn’t a tragic to drop it as it would be otherwise and it is lightweight enough that you can pick it up and keep going.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki DR650S.
2018 AJP Motorcycles PR7
Portugese off-road heavyweight AJP is looking to expand its influence in the U.S. market with a street-legal version of its popular PR7 adventure bike for 2018. The factory is keeping power figures close to the vest for the time being, but it’s fairly forthcoming with all the other metrics, and I know the 600 cc SWM engine that powers it puts out something in the neighborhood of 50 horsepower. That said, I’d like to take a look at this latest and final version of the PR7, but first I’d like to take a look at the builder.
Continue reading for my first look at the AJP Motorcycles PR7.