Offroad Motorcycles

2017 BMW R NineT Urban G/S

2017 BMW R NineT Urban G/S

A sophisticated nostalgia kicking some dust.

Success was not a problem with BMW, especially for their R NineT. It has absolutely been a hit story for the German ever since it launched the R Nine T in 2013. It was so good that BMW struggled initially to keep up with the demand and they released one version after the other in succession to the world stage that includes the Pure (roadster) and Racer (café/endurance-style), as well as the Scrambler. It is a no brainer that BMW Motorrad will see it fitting to extend their range even further.

The GS motorcycles refer to either Gelände/Straße (German: off-road/road) and are distinguished by their long travel suspension, upright riding position and larger front wheels. Taking up the same moniker is the Urban G/S which is a purpose built street-oriented motorcycle that has a charm bound to resonate with onlookers. Based on the ‘Lac Rose’ concept seen at Wheels and Waves earlier last year, the German finally took the wraps off their new 2017 BMW R nineT Urban G/S at the previous EICMA in Milan.

Paying homage to the original 1980 BMW R80G/S, this urban combines the classic motorcycle with modern technology and sophisticated craftsmanship that can transport anyone back to the days when the GS abbreviation meant a sense of freedom and the passion for adventure on two wheels, both on-road and off-road. But this time they’re for looks and not for bashing your way across unpaved expanses of Africa.

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2016 - 2017 Rokon Scout / Rokon Ranger

2016 - 2017 Rokon Scout / Rokon Ranger

I can’t say enough good things about these Rokons, and quite frankly, neither can their owners. They have a frame that can withstand the punishment of wilderness riding and an enormous ground clearance. They’re lightweight, have hydraulic brakes; and they have an engine you can’t kill. They pull, they tow and they climb like a mountain goat. If you have business out in the woods, these babies are your huckleberry.

New in 2016, Rokon introduced the Ranger to add to the stable alongside the Scout and its siblings, the Trail-Breaker and the Rokon for Hunters.

Continue reading for my review of the Rokon Scout and Ranger.

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2016 - 2017 Christini AWD 450 Explorer

2016 - 2017 Christini AWD 450 Explorer

Add the Street Legal package to Christini’s AWD 450 Military Edition bike and you have the AWD 450 Explorer. Based in Philadelphia, Christini has been pursuing AWD for two wheels since 1995. What started as AWD mountain bikes turned to AWD motorcycles in 2002.

It was in 2008 when a Christini-upgraded KTM bike took second place in the inaugural Extreme Enduro Race that AWD was established as competitively viable technology. Considering that folks have raced Christini AWD bikes in every EnduroCross event since 2006 speaks to their capability as competition rides. In fact, Christini bikes are race-tested and proved reliable in World Enduro, GNCC, Endurocross, Red Bull Last Man Standing, and Hare scrambles.

Continue reading for my review of the Christini AWD 450 Explorer.

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2016 - 2017 Christini AWD Military

2016 - 2017 Christini AWD Military

I enjoy writing military hardware pieces, but usually the information is academic because the machines aren’t available to the public. Not so with the Christini AWD 450 Military Edition. Even thought it was designed for military use, Christini decided to make it available to the general public, thus moving it from the realm of wishful thinking into that of possibility. Possible daydreams are my favorite.

Christini partnered up with James King, founder of the Tactical Mobility Training program in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to produce a training regimen for U.S. troops who use the Christini AWD bike. The program was designed to train riders to operate deep within enemy territory, far away from roads or other infrastructure. This ride isn’t just for military applications either – police, park rangers and first responders will find it a useful addition to their motor pools and it can also serve as a viable option to traditional ATV/UTV-type vehicles used in hunting pursuits.

Continue reading for my review of the Christini AWD 450 Military Edition.

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Yamaha T7 Concept

Yamaha T7 Concept

So the 2016 EIMCA season has finally drawn to a close, and now I get to sift through the preponderance of new-and-exciting items, then pick and choose my favorite bits and bobs to come out this year. A concept bike from the Tuning Fork Company floated right to the top with the rest of the cream, though I don’t really consider it a concept since Yamaha actually has a working prototype. Of course, I am referring to the T7, Yammy’s next-generation adventure bike that paradoxically borrows heavily from the simplicity of the popular and venerable XT600Z Ténéré of ’80s and ’90s fame. This is no soccer-mom adventure bike, but a true off-road capable machine that one could expect to find in serious cross-country competitions, such as the Dakar Rally for instance.

Continue reading for more on the Yamaha T7.

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2017 KTM 1090 Adventure R / 1290 Super Adventure R / 1290 Super Adventure T

2017 KTM 1090 Adventure R / 1290 Super Adventure R / 1290 Super Adventure T

KTM continues to expand and refine its adventure bike line with its 2017 1090 Adventure R and the 1290 duo, the Super Adventure R and Super Adventure T. Revealed to the world at the 2016 INTERMOT show in Cologne, Germany, these bikes benefit from KTM’s not-inconsiderable experience with off-road bikes and its more recent foray into the world of naked street/superbikes. The engines punch above their weight, and the electronic magic really shows the genius of Austrian engineering, which is a lot like German engineering. (...just with a sense of humor?).

Continue reading for my review of the KTM 1090 Adventure R, 1290 Super Adventure R and 1290 Super Adventure T.

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2017 Rokon Ranger / Trail-Breaker / Rokon For Hunters

2017 Rokon Ranger / Trail-Breaker / Rokon For Hunters

Rokon expands a little bit out of its pure off-road niche with the Ranger model that brings the traditional look and function associated with the Rokon brand to the street-legal, dual-sport sector. As with the rest of the Rokon inventory, a small Kohler engine powers a hydraulic system that enables the full time, front- and rear-wheel drive. Yeah, these bikes don’t exactly fit anyone else’s mold, but they aren’t meant to be, and they are very good at what they are built for. Today I’m going to check out the lineup, and see what Rokon has done with its newest addition to the family, the Mototractor.

Continue reading my review for the Rokon Ranger, Trail-Breaker, and Rokon for Hunters.

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2016 Tempus CR-T1

2016 Tempus CR-T1

Tempus Electric Bikes based out of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, really brings the green with its CR-T1 electric-assist bicycle. This ride combines pedal power with a battery-powered electric motor that provides a sweat-free ride on demand. Owned by a couple of ambitious, young entrepreneurs, TEB is a burgeoning company in its infancy, and for all intents and purposes qualifies as a startup. Production is to commence in 2017, but the pre-production model is complete and is interesting to say the least. So without further ado, lets take a look at what these students of engineering and business have come up with, and see what sets it apart from the growing electric-bike field.

Continue reading for my review of the Tempus CR-T1.

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2015 - 2016 Honda CRF250L

2015 - 2016 Honda CRF250L

Released in 2012 as a 2013 model, the 2016 CRF250L is basically a carry-over from that first launch. Wearing its motocross heritage proudly, the CRF250L brings a street-legal choice to Honda’s CRF stable, joining the XR650L in the dual-sport category.

It’s spunky and fun to ride, but how does it stack up when put through its paces? Overall, fairy well and when you look at the price, it’s not a bad bike for what you get.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda CRF250L.

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2015 - 2016 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS / V-Strom 1000 ABS Adventure

2015 - 2016 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS / V-Strom 1000 ABS Adventure

Suzuki continues strong in the adventure market for 2016 with the V Strom family. The 1000 and 1000 Adventure share the stable with their 650 cc counterparts for fun on-road and off-road in grand touring style.

If you’re looking at an adventure bike for the first time, understand that this isn’t a sport bike with off-road capabilities. Don’t look at that 1000 cc engine and get a chubby like you would with a crotch rocket. These V Strom 1000s are adventure bikes – tall seat, tall tank and suspension squishier than a street bike, but not as much travel as a proper off-road bike. Is that a bad thing? No, as long as you know what you’re looking at.

Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki V Strom 1000 and V Strom 1000 Adventure.

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2016 Scorpa Twenty 125/250/300

2016 Scorpa Twenty 125/250/300

Revealed at the 2014 EICMA show in Milan, the Twenty family — named so to commemorate Scorpa’s 20-year anniversary — includes three models: the 125, 250 and 300. For 2016, we see major changes and new features — many of which are brought about through data gathered at the World Trials Championship — to launch the second generation of the Twenty line.

If you looked at Scorpa before, look again. The Twenty trials bikes are more competitive than before, even for such a young lineup. They’re not just a dressed up SR model.

Continue reading for my review of the Scorpa Twenty 125, 250 and 300.

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2016 Zero FX / FXS

2016 Zero FX / FXS

This year, Zero Motorcycles showed that it isn’t resting on its laurels with the addition of two new models, both of which are submodels of existing bikes. Today, I would like to focus on the FX line, and its new-for-2016 member, the FXS Supermoto.

While the base model FX Stealthfighter did get a new powerpack and better ergonomics in the rider triangle, the real story is with the FXS and its attempt to bring supermoto-style street, dirt and flat-track performance to the electric bike sector. I’ve never made a secret of my love for this company and its products, or how much I support green transportation, so I’m stoked about Zero expanding its footprint. Join me while I look at these two multi-surface funbikes.

Continue reading for my review of the Zero FX and FXS.

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