Long-term test bikes aren’t something we normally do here at Motorcycle.com, but when Yamaha’s PR guy Gerrad Capley said I could take the MT-10 SP home after the press intro, it was an offer that was hard to resist. When I asked him how long I could have it, he basically shrugged his shoulders and winked. “Can I modify it?” I asked. “Only if you give it back to us in stock form,” he said. Just like that, I dashed away with an MT-10 SP for an indefinite amount of time. Nice.
To tell you the truth, in all the excitement, I don’t remember if I ever rode a 2012 BMW G650GS Sertao or not? Most of BMW’s attempts at middleweight adventure have been forgettable that way. But the Sertao actually comes off pretty okay in Pete’s review. And now there’s a gaping hole in BMW’s current line-up between the F750GS (which is 853 cc, don’t ask) and the rank beginner G310 GS. In any case, it sounds like a good day at the RawHyde Academy and another solid day’s work for Kevin Wing.
I’m accustomed to begging scooters from the Big Four, from the companies I know – Kawasaki excluded since they don’t make a scooter – and hanging onto them as long as I can. You’d be surprised. But Honda may be sore after I crashed that last ADV150 while testing its tires over railroad tracks, even though I offered to buy it (at a discount, since it was crashed). Come to think of it, they may even be still sore about the Metropolitan we crashed in our 2002 Scooter Smackdown. Some of these huge corporations have impressively long memories, but atrocious short-term ones. Yamaha has no scooters in the current test fleet (frightening), and Suzuki has no Burgman 200s. Dunno what’s become of Kymco? There’s no love from Vespa.
BMW Motorrad is commemorating its 100th anniversary with the release of Special Heritage editions of the R nineT and R18. BMW will produce 1,923 units of each model, recognizing the debut of the brand’s first motorcycle, the R 32, in September 1923 at the German Motor Show in Berlin.
Entry level dual-sport has for a very long time existed in the void between categories, particularly when you consider folks who are shorter in the inseam. We all need to start somewhere, but for most who did not grow up riding, or maybe started exclusively on street motorcycles, the reality is that the entry-level engine size is often combined with the inability to comfortably touch the ground at a stop. That’s enough to deter all but the most stubborn of vertically challenged riders. Kawasaki is hoping to change this with the 2023 Kawasaki KLX230 S.
Portugal is a great place to visit for a number of reasons, but it’s particularly accommodating for those who do it in the dirt. Compared to the rest of Europe, Portugal’s tolerance of off-road motorcycle riding knows nearly no bounds. It’s an excellent place for dual-sport and adventure motorcycles. Serpentine paved roads connect dozens of dirt paths just waiting to be explored – and I was fortunate enough to do just that on the 2023 KTM 890 Adventure.
It’s been a couple of months since Honda outlined its electric motorcycle plans, which included a mix of mopeds, scooters and three large-sized “Fun EVs” destined for North America by 2024 and 2025. The initial announcement included a teaser image of two motorcycles and a scooter.
Let’s be honest, dual-sport motorcycles aren’t really designed for touring, despite my best efforts ( here and here). The bikes are merely street-legal dirt bikes without much accommodation for creature comfort. So, spending 220-ish miles flat in the saddle from Las Vegas, NV to Palmdale, CA, mostly on Interstate 15, is a platform for cataloging discomforts, and after riding approximately 360 miles, mostly off road over the two previous days, my aches-and-pains were legion. Still, with sore muscles from my arms all the way down to the arches of my feet, why did I spend most of my time grinning as I cranked out the miles? I’d finally participated in the LA-Barstow To Vegas Dual-Sport Ride, an event that had intrigued me for over 25 years, which is 23 years longer than I have been actively riding in the dirt. Achieving life goals is always good, but somehow the physically-challenging ones accomplished after the half-century mark are even sweeter.
Time keeps on tickin’, tickin’, into the future. Twenty years ago, though, a happy harmonic convergence had me and my 8-year old son on the same wavelength when it came to two-wheeled toys. The new Buell XB-9S was at the top of my list; a Razor scooter was at the top of his. Later, we learned what might have been if Erik Buell’s turbocharger plan hadn’t been last-minute aborted by the higher-ups at H-D. But even in its normally aspirated state, I still remember the 9S being a complete hoot. Luckily, Erik Buell is still out there swinging away; it sounds like the Fuell Flow is ready for prime time.
Earlier this year, reports emerged that BMW had filed trademark applications for “R12”, with many predicting the name would be used on a new cruiser. The logic made sense, as the naming structure was similar to the R18, and BMW lacked a cruiser model in the 1200-ish range. We were a little less bullish on that theory at the time, and we suspected there was more to the story. And now, new evidence has emerged that may justify our skepticism.
It was the talk of last week’s 2022 EICMA Show: MV Agusta, Italy’s most prestigious and historic manufacturer, winner to date of 270 Grand Prix races, 38 World Riders’ Championships, and 37 World Constructors’ Championships, had supposedly been acquired by KTM. Stefan Pierer, the most powerful man in European motorcycling, had captured his most iconic trophy brand yet, to add to his roster of Euro-marques including KTM, Husqvarna and GasGas. Indeed, according to one supposedly authoritative source, he’d be sealing the takeover deal with MV’s current owner, Russian entrepreneur Timur Sardarov, on the Thursday before the Valencia GP, November 3. This would permit him to announce at the final race of the 2022 season that MV Agusta would be returning to MotoGP racing in 2023 – albeit as a KTM subsidiary.
Let the record show that, despite my best efforts, Yamaha’s MT-10 was not included in either the street or track portions of our mega seven-way open-class naked bike shootouts last year. I fought for its inclusion but was ultimately denied by the Bossman who wrote it off by saying our field was big enough and it wasn’t going to win anyway. That and we also knew a new one was already on the way.
Although the word “iconic” is tossed around in marketing materials far too frequently, very few means of motorized transport find themselves deserving of the term. Vespa is one of those marques. Much like Xerox was, at one point, what all means of photocopying were called, there was an era in which all scooters were generically referred to as Vespas. While the market has advanced beyond that point, Vespa has had the foresight to retain its ties to the machines that first turned the world’s eyes. Case-in-point, the 2023 Vespa GTS 300 has a profile that is immediately recognizable as an heir to the Italian name.
Now it’s the Triumph Street Scrambler, but 10 years ago it was the Triumph only Scrambler, and it was time to open fire with the Steve McQueen marketing machine. Seems to have worked, really, and Triumph has seen fit since then to update the base Scrambler with a bigger new liquid-cooled Twin that still looks vintage. And its pair of bigger Scrambler 1200s, XE and XC, are truly sublime motorcycles we’d ride anywhere. You?
It all began when our old friend Ken Vreeke returned from a six-day ride in Spain, name-dropping and in love with the BMW S1000XR he’d ridden there. Actually, he rented a GS1250, but also got some time on the XR: Problem is with the ADV bikes, Vreeke complains, even with good tires you run off the edges long before you get any real lean angle. My tires on the rented GS were new, and the front was bald on both sides after a week in Spain. Chasing EB, I kept running out of tire at the precise moment he was grabbing a big mittful of gas and launching away. When I finally got on the XR on the last day, I was shocked at how much throttle you could feed in leaned waaaaay over. I’ve only ridden one modern Superbike – that Kawasaki H2 you brought around – so the XR blew my mind. It was soooooo stuck to the road.
OK, even in our hand-laid, calf-leather-clad, carbon fiber chairs, we’re getting pretty punchy here in the EICMA Coverage Center inside the spacious MO Tower on the West Coast VerticalScope Campus. Not even the staff sushi chef and bespoke MO coffee blend can get more than a raised eyebrow from us MOrons at this point, but after two days of sifting through trainloads of press releases for our reader base throughout the solar system, we think we have found a winner! What you have below is a press release that is so horrific that we actually took the time to talk about it. While a couple of Italian releases, with their floral English translations, came close to winning, the ratio of words to actual information of Aston Martin/Brough Superior AMB 001 Pro press release tipped the vacuum-sealed, vibration-isolated, laser-etched titanium scales that we use to consider these awards.
Drawing off a company’s past success is a popular starting point when it comes to future models, and MV Agusta is drawing off its success 50 years ago to guide a new category of motorcycle it hopes to bring to market in the coming years. What you see here is the 921 S concept.
Heading into EICMA, we were expecting Bimota to announce a new motorcycle based off an existing Kawasaki model. After all, that has been the pattern since Kawasaki acquired a stake in the Italian brand in 2019. Last year, we saw the debut of the Ninja 1000SX-based Bimota KB4 and KB4RC in Milan, and so this year, we expected another new mode.
MV is leaning hard into its heritage with this, the Superveloce 1000 Serie Oro, the latest – and arguably most stunning – addition to the neo-retro family that started with the Superveloce 800. In typical MV fashion, the Superveloce 1000 lives up to the brand’s “Motorcycle Art” mantra, but does so with functional technical and stylistic solutions.
You know who you are: You love the Indian Challenger, but it just quite isn’t enough for you. You want something super exclusive. Well, Indian’s got good news for you. Today, Indian unveiled the 2023 Challenger Elite. The name alone should tell you it’s something special, but as usual, it’s all in the details.
While many riders think of MV Agusta as solely being focused on high performance motorcycles, a quick look through the internet time machine will reveal MV scooters in the 1950s. A closer inspection will reveal a family resemblance to the 2023 MV Agusta Ampelio unveiled today in Milan. Drawing on inspiration from the CGT and Ovunque scooters of the past, MV had Russian designer Maksim Ponomarev interpret the 70 year old models with a modern flair, and once viewed by MV Agusta CEO Timur Sardarov, the project was undertaken.
Honda is one of several manufacturers showing off shiny e-scooters slated for 2023 release, and the 2023 Honda EM1 e: looks pretty nice. Destined for Europe (at least initially, we hope), the EM1 e: is one of the 10 motorcycle models that the manufacturer has pledged to release by 2025, with the company’s other stated goal of being carbon neutral by 2050 hanging in the balance. The e-scooter’s name is derived from Electric Moped, and it is aimed at younger potential riders looking for stylish, fun urban transportation (which explains the Euro release). Perhaps the most notable design point – other than its modern styling – is the use of the Honda Mobile Power Pack e:. This removable power pack allows for easy charging or away from the scooter. Honda claims that the “Mobile Power Pack (MPP) is designed to withstand different temperatures, humidity levels, impacts and vibrations.”
The Suzuki V-Strom line is a storied one that most riders are quite familiar with, but today in Milan, Suzuki opened the next chapter: the 2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800DE. While the entire bike is worthy of attention, the showstopper for the new Storms is the 766cc parallel-Twin engine. The V-Twin that gives the Strom part of its name has been assigned to the history books. So, let’s take a look at what makes this V-Strom a next generation Strom.
At long last, the spiritual successor to Suzuki’s wildly popular SV650 (but not the actual successor, the SV is still staying in the Suzuki lineup) is finally here. Say hello to the GSX-8S, a motorcycle Suzuki says was “engineered from the ground up as an innovative path for future Suzuki sportbikes…”
With its distinctive “faro basso” (low headlight), the Vespa GTV has been turning traditionalist heads since 2006. Today, in Milan, the 2023 Vespa GTV was unveiled. While retaining the profile that put the vintage into the GTV, it has clearly been updated to modern standards.
Bobber fans should take note of the 2023 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Special Edition. For the new model year, Moto Guzzi has decided to dress the popular bike up with some special finishing touches. The most obvious addition is the blacked out look of all of the rolling gear. To that is added a two-tone black/grey paint scheme. The bar-end mirrors add a custom look comes straight from the factory, as do the factory slip-ons.
Urban riders understand the utility of e-scooters, and the Piaggio 1 is a prime example of the genre. Today, Piaggio announced the 2023 Piaggio 1 line of e-scooters, with three members for a variety of uses. The first two, the Piaggio 1 and 1+ are considered mopeds and are speed-limited to 28 mph with a range of 34 miles and 60 miles, respectively. For e-riders who want a more scooterish experience, the Piaggio 1 Active bumps the performance to 37 mph and a range of 53 miles. All of the Piaggio 1 models feature a removable battery for easy charging.
Aprilia is celebrating the success of the RS660 worldwide (and claiming it’s the best-selling sportbike in Europe) with this – the RS660 Extrema, the sportiest version of the RS660 family. The name is modeled after that of the Aprilia 125 Extrema, one of the highest-performing and fastest eighth-liter bikes ever, manufactured from 1992 to 1994.
This supermoto-ish-looking thing is Aprilia‘s “vision of mobility for the youngest riders of the near future.” So, forget Millenials or even Gen Z, this Aprilia ELECTRICa project is aimed at Generation Alpha – a cohort of kids who, at the oldest end of the spectrum, are currently in junior high school.
For 2023, Yamaha has gone crazy with the new Tracer 9 GT+ and thrown every bit of technology it could think of at the bike. Now sitting atop Yamaha’s sport-touring mountain as the flagship for the brand – taking the place of the dearly departed FJR1300, which has been out of production for a few years – the Tracer 9 GT+, with its multitude of electronic rider aids, will help make the sport-touring experience as stress-free as possible.
As we reported last month, Honda is introducing a new bagger version of the Rebel 1100. The 2023 Honda Rebel 1100T adds a fork-mounted fairing and color-matched hard panniers. For the U.S., the bagger model will only be offered with DCT, while some markets may offer a manual transmission option.
Ducati revealed its new “Next-Gen” 803cc Scrambler lineup, featuring new styling, a new ride-by-wire throttle, a 4.3-inch TFT display, and an updated chassis. For 2023, Ducati will offer three 803cc Scramblers: the Icon, the Full Throttle, and the Nightshift. The 1100 Scrambler range will also return, unchanged, with three models: the Scrambler 1100 Dark Pro, Tribute Pro, and Sport Pro.
It seems like all the splash lately has been about the ADV category and all the wonderful things they can do and destinations they can reach. We’re not going to deny adventure bikes their time in the sun, either. They’re definitely fun and capable bikes worthy of all the bandwagoning.
Triumph has announced a shakeup to its ever-popular Street Triple range today, introducing not one, but three evolutions to the family, creating what it says is “the most powerful Street Triple range ever.” Building off the success it has forged by being the sole engine supplier for the Moto2 racing category, Triumph now introduces the Street Triple R, Street Triple RS, and the Street Triple 765 Moto2 Edition – the latter of which will be relegated to just 765 units worldwide.
Yamaha Motor Europe announced updates to the Ténéré 700, giving the middleweight ADV bike a TFT display, smartphone connectivity, a new ABS mode and other small updates. As of this writing, the 2023 Ténéré 700 has not been announced for the U.S., though we expect to receive official news soon. The Ténéré 700 Rally Edition variant offered in Europe (pictured below with the Heritage White livery) also received the same updates, but we don’t expect that it will be offered on these shores.
Someone’s not done bitchin’ in the kitchen ’bout Dyna; when H-D dropped the twin-shock classic after 2017, there was more than a little wailing and gnashing of gears. The first Dyna rolled out in 1991 in the form of the FXDB Sturgis, which I think is the one I rode to Sturgis. Ten years ago, Pete and Fonzie rode the FXDC Super Glide. If you want one, expect to pay about the same $12,999 you would’ve in 2012. Which feels like a million years ago.
Ever since we first uncovered evidence of a YZF-R7 based on the MT-07, people started to ask when Yamaha would do the same to the MT-09 and release an YZF-R9 sportbike using the same 890cc Crossplane Triple. The questions picked up a few months later when we dug up trademark filings for a whole range of model names from an R2 to an R9.
KTM announced updates for its RC 8C sportbike, including a reworked, more powerful engine, a new exhaust, updated electronics, and the latest WP suspension. Produced once more with the help of Krämer Motorcycles, the RC 8C will have a limited run of 200 numbered units, with a suggested retail price of US$39,599.
Nobody does modern classics quite like Triumph, and today, the famed British marque is taking full advantage of its position within the modern classic space by unveiling its new, 10-bike strong limited edition Chrome collection of motorcycles. How limited? Each bike will only be available for one year.
In 1973, I was beginning to look at the streetbike magazines as well as the dirtbike ones on the magazine rack at Lyons Drug; there must’ve been 20 or 30 of them, and plenty of time to browse as there was no www, and very little hope of obtaining any motorcycle at all anytime soon. The 1973 BMW R90S was a chunk of pure unobtanium, from a planet far, far away, that knocked my striped tube socks completely off. Ian Falloon wrote an entire 128-page book about it.
When Ducati revealed the 2023 Panigale V4 R last week, we raised an eyebrow when we saw its $44,995 price tag. As we noted in our First Look article, this exceed the price cap to be eligible for World Superbike racing. According to 2022 regulations, sport production machines were capped to a price of €40k, and the previous Panigale V4 R fit snugly below that price cap. The 2023 model, however, comes in at €43,990 in Ducati’s home market, Italy. We figured another shoe had to drop.
Only three motorcycle manufacturers in the world can claim to have been in continuous production for more than 100 years, and Moto Guzzi is one of them. When it comes time to make a historic transformation to the brand, that change carries a lot of weight on its shoulders. With the Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello, the manufacturer alludes – twice – to that long history in the name alone. First, the V100 honors the century of production and maintains form with past naming conventions, while the last part of the name refers to Mandello del Lario, where all Moto Guzzi motorcycles have been made since 1921. When looking at the V100 for the first time, the Moto Guzzi lineage is unmistakable. So, where’s the risk?
Did we really need the Ducati Streetfighter V4 to be even trickier and more refined than the one that won last year’s Open Nakeds Shootout with ease? The one that out-horsepowered even the mighty Kawasaki Z H2 – 177 rear-wheel horses to 163? Actually there was room for improvement, as the mighty V4 S finished third in the Track portion of that seven-bike slugfest. But hey, if it’s a track bike you want, maybe you should just go ahead and get the Panigale. Nay, the Streetfighter is the stripped-down street version, and as such we were all bowled over by not just its scintillating performance, but maybe even more by its unexpected boulevard civility. Like having your cake and riding it too.
Earlier this year, we wrote about how signs of a Pan America 975 were mistakenly mentioned in an official Harley-Davidson web page for an accessory locking fuel cap. Up until shortly after our article went live, the page listed the fuel cap as being compatible with the RA1250 (Pan America 1250) and RA1250S (Pan America 1250 Special) as well as two unannounced models: the RA975 and RA965S, which we assumed to be Pan America models powered by the 975cc version of the Revolution Max engine, like the one equipped on the Nightster.
Ten years ago, Tommy, Trizzle, and the Duke were feeling their oats as they manned about town on a trio of naked torpedoes. “When it came to forming a mental picture of riding one or the other, we also agreed the sexy Speed Triple will pick up more chicks than the Aprilia. The Tuono’s manufacturer claimed it was for “the rider who, given the chance, would use a race bike just to go for a coffee.” Meanwhile, the MV Agusta’s combination of short wheelbase and mid-range torque keeps the Brutale’s front wheel in the air, aided by the shortest overall ratios in the first two gears. `It leaps off the line like a hot poker was stuck up its gorgeous pipes,’ raves Duke… “for those who appreciate its tight tolerances, beauty of design, historical namesake and can disregard the practicality of purchasing the other bikes, the Brutale remains an appealing and exotic Italian option.” Picking a winner was, as always, a fight to the end.
After a one week delay due to “organizational reasons,” Ducati released the fourth part of its 2023 World Première series, “This is Racing”. To the surprise of absolutely no one, the subject of the episode is the new 2023 Ducati Panigale V4 R. We knew the V4 R would represent the pinnacle of Ducati’s racing development, so we eagerly awaited the official details.
The universal truth about children is that you feed them, and they grow. So, after an extended time with the Honda CRF125F, my daughter started to look like a giant on the bike and needed to move up. A year prior, she’d tried the Kawasaki KLX140R L and found it intimidating because she couldn’t easily touch the ground when astride it. Well, adolescence took care of that issue, and along with growing, she expanded her riding skills, making her first reaction to throwing a leg over the KLX one of “Wow, it fits!” before heading off to ride in our favorite desert OHV area.
BMW did it! It answered the calls for a naked version of its flagship sportbike! No, we don’t mean the S 1000 R, we’re talking about this – the 2023 M 1000 R. Inevitably, whenever a new sportbike is introduced, the people who have no interest in racing clamor for a streetable version with all the power, all the electronics, all the badassery, but just with handlebars. For the longest time manufacturers have responded with dumbed-down versions of said sportbikes. Often the frames, suspensions, and even the electronics will be the same (or similar), but the engines are neutered in the interest of what the OEM thinks makes for a better streetbike.
Hot off the heels of the newly updated S 1000 RR, BMW today unveiled the 2023 M 1000 RR – the basis of its racing programs all over the world. With the new M model, focus wasn’t placed on increasing power, but rather on making the most of the aerodynamics to use the existing power as efficiently as possible. As you’ll see in the full press release below, countless hours were spent in the wind tunnel and on the track to take full advantage of the aero package – and improve upon it where necessary. BMW says top speed has gone up to “189+ mph” (the legal department surely stepped in and said the actual number couldn’t be published), and so has total downforce from the wings. This helps keep the bike from doing wheelies when it really should be accelerating, so the traction control doesn’t have to work as hard. It also helps mid-corner to keep weight on the front tire for better mechanical grip through the turn.