A small displacement Harley-Davidson model developed with Chinese manufacturer Qianjiang may finally be nearing production. The prospective 350cc model has been in the works since 2019, and despite design filings of the bike and a look at the Harley-branded engine, we haven’t heard any official statement on when it will go into production.
Honda announced a new 125cc Minimoto for Europe, reviving the Dax model name for a new generation of riders. The name was originally used in Europe in 1969 for Honda’s ST-series in 50 and 70cc models, and last produced from 1995 to 2003 in Japan. The name comes from “Dachshund”, as its distinctive T-shaped frame resembles the weiner dog breed, helping it stand out from Honda’s other minibikes like the Monkey and Cub.
As we had previously reported last month, Ducati is introducing a new Panigale V4 SP2, a numbered series production model it bills as “The Ultimate Racetrack Machine.” Internationally, the SP2 is a 2022 model, but for North America, it will arrive in dealerships in the fourth quarter as a 2023 model.
Yamaha Motor Europe outlined its plans for electric two-wheelers, revealing a range of scooters, bicycles and a moped. The announcement confirmed our report last week that it would include an electric scooter called the “NEO’s”, but the 50cc-equivalent model was only scratching the surface.
In 1997, Bill Clinton started his second term, nobody was sure if the Titanic had sunk or not as the Leonardo di Caprio film had just debuted – along with the Toyota Prius in Japan. Love was in the air, the median California home price was $186k, and what the hell was Motorcycle Online? What could possibly go wrong?
Honda’s first CL72 250 Scrambler was lashed to the bumper of many a Conestoga wagon as it made its way westward, and I’m pretty sure it was a Kawasaki KLX300 that I wheelied over backwards, circa 1997, that really dampened my enthusiasm for stunting. At least Honda’s had the decency to change its nomenclature over the years to give the impression of evolution. Kawasaki is standing pat with the 292 cc Single that’s powered its KLX since 1996, along with its KLX nomenclature.
Kyle Wyman knows a thing or two about superbikes. Having ridden quite a few over the years as a MotoAmerica rider, and having built some himself as a MotoAmerica team owner – including the Ducati Panigale V4R he campaigned most recently – the 2021 MotoAmerica King of the Baggers champion didn’t mince his words when describing the synergy between himself, Harley-Davidson, and the Road Glide he took all the way to the title.
Earlier this year, Harley-Davidson revealed a new Low Rider ST featuring a FXRT-inspired fairing. Initial reaction to the Low Rider ST was very positive, with Jochen Zeitz, Harley-Davidson chief executive officer, claiming in Harley-Davidson’s Q4 earnings call “demand was so high for this bike that we sold out our first consumer allocation in 10 minutes.”
Your new-for-2022 Indian Pursuit unleashes the next generation of American V-Twin touring performance, says Indian. Basically, what’s going on is turning the Challenger bagger into a full-on tourer mit trunk, and adding some new twists like electronic rear-shock preload adjustment and driving light lowers (on the Premium models).
Harley-Davidson has the fortunate position to stand atop the perch that is its popularity and loyal following to see where its customers take their motorcycles. Yes, the folks at Harley hear all the time about the different places their motorcycles have taken them. But Harley designers and engineers also have the advantage of reading the pulse of their customer base by seeing what these people decide to do to customize and modify their bikes. Need I remind anyone of the unfortunate custom chopper craze of not too long ago…?
Ducati revealed a new limited edition XDiavel produced in conjunction with Italian furniture and interior design house Poltrona Frau. The 2022 Ducati XDiavel Nera will be available in a numbered run of 500 units, priced at US$29,795. That’s a hefty $4,200 premium over the XDiavel S.
Yamaha Motor Europe announced the production version of the 2022 Ténéré 700 World Raid, a new Ténéré variant with a larger fuel tank and longer travel suspension. It joins Yamaha’s European lineup alongside the regular Ténéré 700, plus a Rally Edition version which we don’t get in the U.S.
KTM is teasing a collaboration with German tuning house Brabus, with a new naked bike based on the 1290 Super Duke EVO. According to the teasers, 2022 Brabus 1300 R is due to be announced on Feb. 11, but the bike briefly popped up on KTM’s official website. Those pages were quickly taken down, but not before we were able to get our paws on the official details and images.
C’mon, you knew it was going to happen. How could we not put the newcomer to the ADV scene head-to-head with the long standing heavyweight from the Fatherland? Our comparison of the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special and BMW R 1250 GS kicks off a series of monthly two-bike tests for 2022. Look out for a new scorchin’ comparison from MO every month. Spanning the smorgasbord of genres, your favorite kooky MO characters will ride, review, and bicker about some of the spiciest meatballs on the market today. To kick things off though, America versus Germany!
Harley-Davidson delivered its Q4 2021 earnings report this morning, providing a look at how the first year of its Hardwire plan fared. We’ll have more on that in a separate post (spoiler: H-D did very well), but for now, we’ll focus on one interesting portion of the earnings call: an update on the separate LiveWire brand.
When you show up on a CVO, you know you’ve arrived and so do all the peons on lesser machines. “Exclusive and hand-crafted paint and designs are executed to a level of intricate quality that is unmatched in the motorcycle and automotive categories,” says H-D, to “represent the pinnacle of style and design.” For 2022, a new CVO Road Glide Limited replaces the CVO Limited, with CVO Street and CVO Road Glides returning, along with the CVO Tri Glide.
Perhaps no other manufacturer harnesses the power of its history better than Harley-Davidson. But more than being able to tap into the company history, Harley is equally in tune with the custom scene and unique builds its loyal fan base has pumped out over the years. The 2022 Low Rider and Low Rider ST are perfect examples of Harley blending its heritage with the custom scene, all while adding modern twists.
When you see Yamaha’s MT-09, your gaze doesn’t go away very quickly. You end up staring at it. Granted, there’s not much to look at, but what is there is eye-catching. From the hunched shoulders of the gas tank to the creases and natural lines of the frame, you can’t help but look at it. But what keeps your vision stuck on it is the face you see staring back at you when you look at it head-on.
Harley-Davidson is expected to announce more 2022 models on Jan. 26, including its top-of-the-line Custom Vehicle Operations models. While the full list of 2022 CVO models remains to be determined, we expect a new Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Limited will be part of the announcement.
Yamaha has filed designs that reveal what the production version of the Ténéré 700 Raid will look like. The Ténéré 700 Raid was shown at EICMA in prototype form as an even more off-road capable version of the Ténéré 700. While the prototype was essentially a Ténéré 700 modified with Genuine Yamaha Technology Racing (GYTR) performance parts, the designed filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office appears ready for series production.
Last summer, KTM got us excited with a new RC 8C sportbike, but our interest waned when we realized it was a limited production track bike that was not street legal. Still, that didn’t stop interested customers from scooping up all 100 units less than five minutes after the pre-order window opened. Not that we were surprised about the strong demand, as it has been years since KTM produced a large-displacement sportbike.
Last week, Harley-Davidson announced its first batch of 2022 models, listing several models that are returning mostly unchanged, except for new paint and graphic options. A few models were conspicuously absent from the announcement; most of them, like the Iron 1200, were discontinued. The lone exception was the Low Rider S, which we reported would be announced on Jan. 26 with some updates.
Still no score and twenty years ago, yours truly came to work at MO for the first time (where I apparently found it my duty to insert a lot of parentheticals signed Ed). I think the 2002 Triumph Speed Triple was one of the first bikes we reviewed upon my arrival. That’s me resting on the couch after performing the horn mono for Minime’s Kodak Brownie, which took a lot out of me. Calvin “Clavin” Kim moved onward and upward, and now does something important at Porsche North America. Those were the days my friend.
Today, Harley-Davidson announced its first batch of 2022 motorcycles, with models already arriving at dealerships across the U.S. These models return mostly unchanged from 2021, save for updated colors and, for some, new wheel designs. If you’re looking for any new models, CVO models, or motorcycles getting more significant changes, you’ll have to wait until Jan. 26, for Harley-Davidson’s “Further, Faster” world premiere event.
This V4 Pikes Peak version is the sporting Multistrada, says Ducati, getting back to the pavement performance of the original Pikes Peak via a beautiful set of 17-inch forged Marchesini wheels – the rear one spinning on a one-sided swingarm. The Marchesinis, Ducati says, remove fully 8.8 pounds of spinning, unsprung mass compared to the other Multis’ 19-/17-in. wheelsets. Apart from that and a few other electronic and ergonomic differences, the PP is pretty much the same Multistrada V4 as the base and S models. That’s in no way a bad thing, since the Multi V4 S was just named our Best Sport-Touring Motorcycle of 2021.
You’ve read our weeks long tribute to 2021 in the form of the MO Best Of awards. You’ve had your chance to debate the validity of our selection of the Harley-Davidson Pan America as the Motorcycle of the Year. Now that 2021 is almost completely in our rear view mirrors, it’s time to shift our gaze to the future. As is tradition, the Motorcycle.com staff has put together our list of the bikes that we are most looking forward to testing in the upcoming year. We’ve explained which 2022 models have caught our eye and why. But this doesn’t just have to be about us and our desires. Take a moment and share the bike(s) that you are most excited about for 2022.
Well I’ll be. Triumph doesn’t even make a sport-tourer anymore; they’ve all been phased out in favor of adventure bikes, looks like. The Honda VFR1200F that was supposed to be its competition is also long defunct, and the BMW K1300S has also left the building. What happened to big sport-tourers like the Triumph Sprint GT anyway? We must’ve evolved while nobody was looking.
Moto Guzzi is preparing a new special edition model based on the V7 but with modern styling. Spy photos of a camouflaged test bike were first uncovered by Moto.it in late October, leading to speculation that it would appear at EICMA along with the V100 Mandello. That obviously didn’t happen, but Motorcycle.com can confirm that the bike is on the way, and will be called the Moto Guzzi V850X.
Ducati today dropped a minor bombshell with the press release below, announcing testing for its prototype MotoE racer had already begun. For those unaware, Ducati is set to become the sole manufacturer for the MotoE World Cup starting in 2023, replacing Energica, whose contract as the sole – and so far only – manufacturer for MotoE expires at the end of the 2022 season.
This sweet Honda lost out to the Triumph Speed Triple ten years ago, mostly for a deficit of horsepower. But now that all ten-year old motorcycles are archaic compared to the current crop, we like it even better than we did then. The Honda CBR1000R was light-handling, easy-riding and even nice to look at.
As I observed to my Ducati host just before we started up the mountain toward Idyllwild (elevation 5,800 feet) from Palm Desert, California (220 ft) – this is either going to be one of the greatest rides ever or one of the worst. Pity the poor new model launch planner: If it rains hard more than a few days a year around Palm Springs I’d be surprised. But logistics have to be laid out weeks ahead of time, and as the day for our ride drew nearer, the weather forecast for last Tuesday had evolved from 20% to 40% to 100% rain, to “atmospheric river.”
When I got the call from Motorcycle.com asking if I’d be available to fly over to the Circuito de Jerez in Spain to test the new 2022 Ducati Panigale V4 S, not only did a certain grin return to my face, but also I was especially intrigued by two things: One, I had just finished participating in a seven bike heavyweight naked shootout with MO (see Battle Royale) with the 2021 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S finishing right up near the top of my personal list. But two, I got the opportunity a few years back to evaluate the 2019 Panigale V4 S Corse at both Laguna Seca and Pirelli’s test circuit, the Autodromo di Pergusa in Sicily. To ride Ducati’s latest Panigale V4 flagship once again, but some two and a half years later, might reveal a few of the special ingredients the Bologna factory has unearthed to help explain this seemingly magic formula they’ve cooked up in both MotoGP and World Superbike.
With all due respect to its Multistrada models, Ducati‘s current adventure bike offerings are better suited for paved streets with the occasional sojourn on fire roads. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, we did just pick the Multistrada V4 S as our MOBO winner for the best sport-tourig motorcycle of 2021. If you were looking for a more off-road performance from Ducati, you now have a better option in the new 2022 Ducati DesertX. With long-travel suspension, a 21-inch front wheel and a large fuel tank (plus an optional second tank), the 2022 DesertX is Ducati’s new entry to the highly competitive middleweight adventure bike segment.
Triumph has finally spilled the beans on its thoroughly redesigned Tiger 1200. A substantial reduction in weight and an emphasis on power and handling is the name of the game for 2022. Bringing its big ADV into line with the 900s, the Tiger 1200 will be offered in five trims: GT, GT Pro, GT Explorer, Rally Pro, and Rally Explorer which follow the same naming scheme with the GT trims being more road-focused while the Rally versions offer off-road accoutrement such as larger wheels and more suspension travel. The Explorer models also hold 7.9 gallons of petrol with the other trims utilizing a 5.2 gallon tank.
In Triumph’s modern classic line it has the Thruxton, a contemporary interpretation of the classic cafe racer that mimics styling from the golden era of when those machines were quite literally raced from cafe to cafe in search of “the ton.” For 2020, the British manufacturer took that machine a step further with the Thruxton RS, sprinkling on top-shelf components to give the “modern classic” modern performance.
Ducati revealed new Panigale V4 and V4 S models for 2022, announcing updates to the aerodynamics, ergonomics, chassis, engine and electronics. These evolutionary changes represent the most significant update since the V4’s debut in 2018, and the result of input from Ducati’s racing program.
Twists. Turns. Suspense. Being the track portion of our mega 7-bike Heavyweight Naked Bike Shootout you’d think we’re talking about the sinuous nature of racetrack testing. No, sir. This is the plotline that would come to define this test! After conducting the street portion, some would say the outcome basically worked out as expected. Which would mean the track portion would follow suit, right? Well, as the late, great Nicky Hayden once said, “That’s why we line up on Sunday.”
Just as Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini started doing in Rimini in 1973, Bimota is still cranking out exotic motorcycles to make us swoon, clutch our pearls, and check our 401k balances. If it starts with “K,” then this one must contain an inline Kawasaki engine, and that the KB4 does. This 77 x 56mm, 1043 cc Four is lifted from the current Ninja 1000 SX, which churned out 124 rear-wheel ponies and 75 lb-ft of torque when we had the pleasure of testing one last year. These two, really, since, there’s a standard KB4 and a “Vintage-Inspired” KB4-RC (RaceCafe’).
The timing couldn’t have been better with the 2022 Ducati Streetfighter V2 introduction. As frequent Motorcycle.com readers know, we’ve just spent the last five months testing every class of the ultra-hot naked motorcycle market. What we’ve learned from those shootouts is that, no matter the displacement, naked bikes are more fun than humans should be allowed. However, for this tester, nothing compares to the combination of practicality and fun of the bikes in the 900(ish) cc category. With the torque to easily handle the everyday urban bump-and-grind, these bikes also have the power and handling to peg the Fun O Meter when the going gets twisty – on both the street and the track. And now Ducati has stepped in to reshuffle the class with a motorcycle that allows the Ducati Monster to be the roadster it always wanted to be, by giving it a sibling that takes a more bare-knuckled approach to the category thanks to the company’s “fight formula” first revealed with the Streetfighter V4.
Fans of Moto Guzzi V85 TT who want to ride something special should take a look at the Moto Guzzi V85 TT Guardia d’Onore. Produced to honor the 75 year collaboration between Moto Guzzi and the Cuirassiers’ Regiment, the special Carabinieri unit responsible for the honor guard and security of the President of the Italian Republic, have worked together, the limited and numbered edition will be produced in a limited number of only 1,946 units. Although the modifications of this limited edition are small in number, they are distinctive. The black paint receives a decorative white stripe running from the front fender and across the tank to the side panel. The oversized touring windscreen also receives this striping – and an Italian flag displayed front and center. Other niceties include a center stand, engine guards, and auxiliary LED lights. Matching saddlebags are also available.
Fans of Royal Enfield’s Continental GT and Interceptor 650 owe it to themselves to take a long look at the SG650 Concept. This neoretro interpretation of the platform sure turned our heads. [UPDATE: Eicher Motors, which owns RE, had previously filed trademark applications in multiple markets for the name “Royal Enfield Shotgun”. We can surmise that may end up being the production name for the SG650 concept.]
Well the seat was a little high, at 34.6 inches, but that didn’t stop the Yamaha Ténéré 700 from doing very well in last summer’s blockbuster middleweight ADV comparison. Keeping it simple and keeping the weight down was a great recipe for success, and now Yamaha is fixin’ to take it to the next level with a Ténéré 700 Raid, for which this machine it showed at EICMA serves as prototype.
You already know Kawasaki’s lovable and affordable KLX230 dualsport/playbike. For 2022, the KLX230 SE – as in Special Edition – packs on popular accessories at the factory, saving you the heartache and trauma of having to deal with dangerous hand tools yourself. It also comes in non-green colors, and best of all the price barely budges: The 2022 KLX230 SE is available in Oriental Blue and Firecracker Red with an MSRP of $4,999. The 2022 KLX230 is available in Lime Green, with an MSRP of $4,799.
Anybody who’s not playing in the ADV sandbox isn’t really playing in 2022, and that’s why MV Agusta is now dipping an exploratory toe. Two toes: Lucky Explorer 5.5 and Lucky Explorer 9.5. The 5.5, which at some point may inherit the Elefant monicker, is to be powered by a 554 cc DOHC parallel Twin to come from MV’s Chinese partner, QJ. “Despite being a mid-sized bike,” says MV, “its appearance is that of a higher displacement travel-oriented motorcycle, capable of seducing European riders looking for a sturdy and unstoppable companion.”
MV Agusta revealed two new adventure bike “projects” at EICMA, the Lucky Explorer Project 9.5 shown here, and the smaller Lucky Explorer Project 5.5. Both models appear ready for production, but the “Project” in the name implies they are still prototypes, and it’s unclear whether they will eventually be sold with the Lucky Explorer name, or if they’ll actually be named for the bike that influenced their design: the Cagiva Elefant.