2015 - 2018 BMW F 800 GS / F 800 GS Adventure
BMW carries on the F 800 GS and F 800 GS Adventure in 2018 with their 800 cc engine and capable onroad/offroad features. The former is more of a casual commuter / funbike, while the “Adventure” is geared toward touring and long-range work, and naturally, both come with the top-notch engineering one expects from BMW.
Continue reading for my review of the BMW F 800 GS and F 800 GS Adventure.
BMW updates its 2019 model line-up
The race to the top is getting more fearsome every passing day, and the manufacturers are pulling out every little trick they have up their sleeves to make their product stand out from the rest.
BMW Motorrad is at the forefront of imagination, innovation, and technology and proof of that is their list of the finest motorcycles that set benchmarks for every other maker to chase it. Keeping the race alive, the German manufacturer has released a host of updates to its 2019 lineup, including its scooters, six-cylinder tourers, R NineT retro models, and the new adventure machines.
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 - 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 Ducati Multistrada 1260 / S / Pikes Peak
Ducati made a surprising move when it unveiled the Multistrada for the first time in 2010. They were basically introduced to satiate the thirst of those motorcycling aficionados, who love traversing new territories with pace, but naturally, find the supersport motorcycles too hardcore for the job. The Multistrada proved to be a successful amalgamation of the traits of both Superbike and sports tourers, easily giving it the title of the most practical motorcycle Ducati ever made.
Taking that practicality to new levels, Ducati has expanded its Multistrada family with the new Multistrada 1260, Multistrada 1260 S, Multistrada 1260 S D|Air (with airbag system) and Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak. They come equipped with a bigger 1262cc engine, advanced electronic package, new chassis and more touring capability.
2018 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 RC
Until 2014, MV Agusta only built motorcycles that would eat apexes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Machines built to just simply look and go fast and handle like a stealth ninja. Then, the company decided to enter a whole new dimension with the launch of the Turismo Veloce, a touring motorcycle that was NOT made with the inspirations of the marquee’s 75 world titles or racetrack pedigree like the rest of the stablemates.
But that notion too has changed, for since 2018, MV has released a limited-production RC (Reparto Corse) edition of the Turismo. It is a legitimate celebration of this MV Agusta’s superior qualities created by the honchos at the racing department, Jules Cluzel and Lorenzo Zanetti.
For 2018, the bike also receives mild updates with its powertrain, electronics, and chassis to keep their mark on the ever-improving sportsbike market. They also get new colors and graphics to mirror the race bikes running hot on tracks around the world.
KTM testing the Euro V compliant 1290 SuperDuke GT
When the flagship Super Duke was released in 2014, it blew us away and reigned supreme in the super naked market. It received major updates for 2017 showcasing no plans to be dethroned as the brand that gives us outright thrill seeking motorcycles along with being competitive.
Now, KTM is looking out to make use of the same formula on their long-distance V-twin rocket, the 1290 SUPER DUKE GT. The Austrian firm has been caught busy testing their next generation of the touring flagship underpinned by the mechanicals of the new Super Duke that is said to run on Euro V compliant mill. Not only is it a whole different story on the inside, but the exterior is also set to get a chiseled bodywork cued by its naked sibling.
2015 - 2018 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX
Moto Guzzi looks to grab a slice of the adventure-tour market with its Stelvio 1200 NTX. The factory aimed high on this model, with a 1,151 cc, 100-plus horsepower V-twin driving the ride. It followed up with adjustable suspension and electronic,engine-management gadgetry that is comparable to some of the top adventure-tour bikes available on the market today, making this ’Guzzi a serious contender for its share of the market.
Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX.
2018 Can-Am Spyder F3-T / F3-T Limited
Can-Am’s Spyder F3-T and F3 Limited bridges the gap between the sport-tastic F3/F3-S and the tour-tacular RT lineup. Saddlebag storage comes stock across the board for some touring capacity right off the showroom floor with a short windshield for some weather protection to boot. Speaking of boots, the F3-T/Limited sports the same VW Beetle up-front trunk for even more dry storage/grocery-getting capacity. Power comes from a Rotax 1330 ACE triple that delivers 115 horsepower and 96 pound-feet of torque to put the “sport” in sport-tourer, and BRP provides all the electronic fandanglery you could possibly need to help keep everything under control.
Continue reading for my review of the Can-Am Spyder F3-T and F3-T Limited.
Yamaha FJR1300P: The new American police story
Our police story is changing for good. Days of our cops roamed the streets in their shiny Harley or Indian cruisers are going to be a thing of the past. They were huge and bulky and weren’t much practical for police duties. A few Japanese models and Beemers were incorporated by few of the departments in different states now, and the trend seems to be catching on hard.
Introducing the Yamaha FJR1300P, America’s newest cop bike. Taking a fresh take on a century-old concept, this new police bike is coming to change the picture from broad and bulky to a new, stylish sleeker image. This bike already taken on police duty for many European and Australian forces, and is now jumping the pond to this side.
2016 - 2018 Indian Springfield / Springfield Dark Horse
Though the new-in-2016 Indian Springfield is called a “bagger” by the Indian marketing folks, it is much closer to the truth to call it a tour bike. Before you start shaking your head, I would point out that big touring fairings are a relatively recent feature, and that back in the day, ’this’ is what American touring models looked like. Powered by the awesome Thunder Stroke® 111 engine, Indian worked in plenty of nostalgic touches here and there on the Springfield while it tackled the more pragmatic issues with an eye to modern performance. This ride is meant to serve as a tribute to the original Indian factory in Springfield, Massachusetts, and was joined by the Springfield Dark Horse, a black-out sinister version of itself.
Continue reading my review of the Indian Springfield.
2016 - 2018 Indian Roadmaster
The base-model luxury tourer in Indian Motorcycle’s lineup, the Roadmaster comes equipped with the awesome Thunder Stroke® 111 engine for stellar performance and gobs of torque early on in the powerband. With standard features such as a premium 200W stereo, cruise control, ABS, power windshield, keyless ignition, remote locking storage, tire pressure monitoring, Pathfinder LED lights, heated seats and grips, and that gorgeous desert tan leather, the Roadmaster puts the "LT" in “luxury tourer.”
Continue reading for my review of the Indian Roadmaster.
2018 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX / H2 SX SE
Kawasaki’s Ninja H2 made a splash when it hit the market last year, and if you missed the window-of-opportunity to score one of the first-run models — or perhaps it was priced a tad out of your range — then I have some good news for you. Introducing the Ninja H2 SX and H2 SX “Special Edition.” Brand new for 2018, the H2 SX line presents itself as a sort of hypersport-next-door with large-ish windshield and relaxed rider’s triangle as part of the comfort-oriented features package. This new line adds a dose of “super” to the sport-touring genre with its supercharged four-banger that cranks out a generous 101 pounds o’ grunt with enough electronic fandanglery to help you tame the beast, or at least protect you from yourself somewhat. Commuter or ’really’ fast tourbike, the SX siblings cover a lot of everyday-riding ground for riders who are looking for more than run-of-the-mill performance. Is it too much? Let’s dig in and find out.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki H2 SX and H2 SX SE.
2015 - 2018 Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring
Moto Guzzi presents its California 1400 Touring model as one of its ambassadors to the motorcycle world. This is not a statement to be taken lightly given the long-standing history — since 1921 — and unmistakable passion of the designers at the factory in Como, Italy. The handcrafted California possesses the same classic style and grace of previous California models, with modern, cutting-edge technology that would make the previous models positively die from envy. The factory touts this bike as the flagship of Gran Turismo, and backs it up with plenty of innovations and features that place it squarely in the luxury tour-bike category.
Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring.
2015 - 2018 Suzuki Boulevard C50 / Boulevard C50T
Suzuki unveiled its Boulevard C50 back in 2005 after renaming its “Volusia” bike of prior model years. The C50 and C50Ts carry straight into 2018, with a mid-displacement engine to serve as Suzuki’s mid-size cruiser and weekend tour bike. Smooth acceleration and comfortable seating combine with laced wheels and classic styling to keep the C50s on the list of middleweight contenders in the two-wheeled market.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Boulevard C50 and Boulevard C50T.
2016 - 2018 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic / 900 Classic LT / 900 Custom
Kawasaki created its Vulcan line back in 1984 in an attempt to capture a slice of the American cruiser market, and it is still alive and kicking in 2018. The family includes a trio of models from the boulevard bruiser “900 Classic” to the heritage-style “900 Classic LT” and the home-cooked “900 Custom.” A 900 cc, V-twin mill and 600-plus pound curb weight put the range firmly in the mid-size cruiser category and give it the mass one expects to find an American cruiser.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic, Vulcan 900 Classic LT and Vulcan 900 Custom.
2015 - 2018 Indian Chief Classic
The base model cruiser in the Indian Motorcycle lineup, the Chief Classic carries the vintage badging and iconic lighted War Bonnet that is still the hallmark of the brand even through the fits, starts and financial turmoil of various owners during the post-WWII years, right up to the turn of the century. Since Polaris acquired it in 2011, Indian has become its top-selling motorcycle brand. Carried forward for 2018 and powered by the Thunder Stroke® 111 engine, the Chief Classic has the styling and valenced fenders that identify it as classic Indian with rider amenities and features such as ABS, cruise control, keyless starting, electronic fuel injection and a manually-adjustable single-shock swingarm.
Continue reading for my review of the Indian Chief Classic.
Yamaha has been busy shaking things up as of late. The FJ sport-tourer family went the way of the FZ lineup with a brand-new name and refurbished looks, and it will hit U.S. showrooms sometime in November as the Tracer 900 along with a slightly more tour-tastic version, the Tracer 900 GT. Fans of the FJ models — and indeed the FZ/MT-09 range — will recognize the 115-horsepower, 847 cc triple and adventuresome flavor of this new sport-touring lineup that will be replacing the FJs. The base model lands somewhere near the “sport” end of the sport-tour spectrum, but the GT model is a bit more balanced with a set of hard-side panniers that provides some secure dry storage and a host of features that long-distance riders will certainly appreciate. Join me while I take a first look at this new pair that gives us a glimpse into Yamaha’s 2019 lineup.
See my first look at the Yamaha Tracer 900 and the Tracer 900 GT.
2016 - 2018 Indian Chief Vintage
The word “vintage” gets tossed around a lot, but when a company with a history as long as Indian Motorcycles uses it, you can believe they mean it. Though the company has changed hands many times, the Chief model family, in one form or another, has been part of the Indian lineup since its inception in 1922. Indian Motorcycles, under Polaris Industries Inc., keeps that tradition alive with its 2018 Chief Vintage powered by the Thunder Stroke® 111 engine. The designers build upon 95 years of Chief tradition with this ride, and while all Indians show their historical roots in varying degrees, none is quite as overt as the aptly named ’Vintage’.
Continue reading for my review of the Indian Chief Vintage.
2017 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra
Harley-Davidson’s three-wheeled Tri Glide Ultra moved into the 2017 model year with a handful of improvements and a brand-spanking new engine. The factory powers it with its powerful Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine introduced last year that cranks out over 100 pounds o’ grunt to place it well into the power-cruiser category, even though H-D markets it as a tour bike. Exhaust components rerouting addressed heat problems from prior model-years, and the King of Paint added a couple of new, two-tone paint schemes to the palette for 2017, as well as a 115th Anniversary model for 2018. Harley’s target market for this beast mainly consists of persons who are unwilling or unable to manage one of their admittedly top-heavy, two-wheeled tourers for one reason or another, and I’ve always considered it to be a very laudable thing to try and make sure that anyone who wants bugs in their teeth can have it.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra.