Aprilia has updated its RS 125 and Tuono 125 for 2021, making them Euro 5-complaint and tweaking the styling of the entry-level street bikes to resemble their respective 660 models. The two 125 models are designed to serve beginners with Europe’s A1 license, which unfortunately also means they are unlikely to be imported to the U.S.
Twenty years ago we didn’t need no stinkin’ TFT displays or active suspension or adaptive cruise control, cause we had paper maps and Walkmans, our butts were tough from all the beatings, and our wrists were well-developed from all the, ah, riding. And we liked it that way. Twenty years ago, Minime and the “MO Staff” escaped to Yosemite for a nice ride aboard a pair of Italians stallions. Why doesn’t Aprilia make a modern Futura? Why?
There’s something about inexpensive twin-cylinder middleweight naked bikes like the Yamaha MT-07 (and former FZ-07) that appeals to us. Their simplicity and practicality, combined with their spirited riding attributes make them hard not to love. Clearly, the riding public feels the same, as other manufacturers are starting to get in on the action, making the choices in this category bigger and bigger. Through it all, the MT-07 has been a mainstay since its introduction in 2015.
Our full-length 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review spanned more than 4,000 words to fully describe Harley’s new adventure bike. That’s a lot of words, but there is a lot to cover with a brand new motorcycle in a hot category like the adventure segment – and even moreso when a manufacturer, whose entire line exists of cruisers, builds a bike outside its wheelhouse.
Laguna Seca’s most prominent feature is the world-famous Corkscrew – the undulating left-right flick that you enter blind, which then proceeds to drop you three stories as you plunge into Rainey Curve. It’s a thrilling piece of asphalt every motorsport enthusiast should experience someday. But one of the more underappreciated sections of the track, especially for motorcyclists, is the hill leading up to the Corkscrew. Tackling it aboard the updated 2021 Aprilia RSV4 really makes you feel alive.
The 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 has undergone a thorough restyling and is said to boast engine changes that deliver more broad range torque in the low- to mid-range where the GSX-S had been criticized in prior tests. These updates also bring the GSX-S up to Euro 5 standards. When we compared the last GSX to its predecessor, it had gained smoothness at the throttle but lost horsepower and torque in the process. Hopefully, this trend hasn’t continued with the 2022 model, but only time will tell.
Harley’s been teasing us with this one since the end of its 2021 model launch presentation and now the dream is real – a limited edition Electra Glide Revival model will be the first in Harley’s new “Icons Collection.” And the Motor Co. says it will build one or two more Icons based on historic models annually in the years to come. The first celebrates the 1969 Electra Glide, which was the first Hog to wear the now iconic batwing fairing. The Electra Glide Revival model will be limited to a one-time build of 1,500 serialized examples, scheduled to reach dealers in late April, and floating an MSRP of $29,199.
Well folks, the latest Harley machine to grace the motorcycle market jumps, slides, and rips with the best of them – “them” of course, being the heavyweight adventure motorcycle class. The entire world had its reservations, some optimistic, and plenty pessimistic. But after cruising for two days on the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special, it’s clear that it’s adept at much more than just that.
Triumph’s Street Scrambler is just what the name implies. If you want to blaze a two-wheeled path to freedom off-road, there are Scrambler 1200s XC and XE. But the more approachable (and affordable) Street Scrambler is for more urbane adventures, with Triumph’s less powerful, 900 cc twin, less suspension travel, and a lower seat height that’s accessible to nearly everybody. For 2022, just like the upscale Scramblers, the SS is now Euro 5 compliant, and along with that come a few subtle yet tasty upgrades.
Jan Brady was a middle sibling in the `70s sit-com The Brady Bunch, who got no respect as a result of her Coke-bottle glasses, lack of acting skills, and that none of the three Brady sisters on the show could hold a candle to the beauty of Alice the housekeeper. Which is kind of the situation the Honda XR250R found itself in 25 years ago – smaller-pistoned and therefore less desirable than the XR400 and XR650. Anyway, all those air-cooled beasts were unkillable when you could get them to (kick)start, and Honda will still sell you a brand-new XR650 if you desire one as Alice desired Sam the butcher.
Motorcycle art. MV Agusta’s tagline for years, if there’s one thing the Italian company is known for, it’s pumping out motorcycles that never fail to grab your attention. And while the Tamburini-designed F4 still ranks as one of the most stunning motorcycles ever made, I’m going to rank this, the MV Agusta Superveloce, as the first MV since the F4 to even come close to capturing hearts the same way.
Everybody wants to win the heritage war, including Royal Enfield, who claim they’re the oldest motorcycle marque out there in continuous production – since 1901. Does it matter that about half those years were in India? I guess it shouldn’t. Do car manufacturers battle it out to be the oldest?
Remember the day you took your first long ride on your very first motorcycle? The weather was TV-commercial sunny as you rolled down the two-lane highway away from home. The wind flowing past your body was filled with excitement as the engine sang beneath your seat. You had the world by the handlebars, and you knew this was the beginning of Great Things, that many Good Times were about to be had – all because you had chosen to take your first steps towards becoming a motorcyclist. For many of us, it was this moment that set the hook, leading to a lifetime of motorcycling, and was less a decision and more of a calling than just about any experience before it. At least that’s how it was for me, and this is the memory I had during the first hour riding the 2021 Moto Guzzi V7.
Rather hard to believe that KTM didn’t build its first street motorcycle until 1996 – the Duke 620. Since then, the Austrians have built so many excellent Dukes, RC sportbikes, and great adventure motorcycles it’s hard to remember the time before. Today we look back 20 years to when the orange brand decided to make a push into the world of motocross. It took them a while to get there, but they did achieve three Supercross titles in a row with Ryan Dungey, 2015 through 2017. An Easter reading from the book of Kato.
It’s all about the SPT says Brandon Kraemer, who’s spent the last three years of his life working on the new 2022 Indian Chiefs as Senior Product Director. People want Style, they want Performance, and they want Technology (even if many of them don’t quite realize they want that last one).
The Aprilia Tuono 660 is a bike that I’ve been eager to ride since I first laid eyes on the pretty production-ready looking concept at EICMA 2019. Even through what was left of my tired red occhi, dried from so many hours of planes, trains, and automobiles (what I would give for that now!), I was digging the “naked” version of the RS660 more than the sportybike itself.
The 2021 Kawasaki KLX300SM might be the best new beginner motorcycle on the market. Did that get you fired up? Lemme ‘splain. It’s obvious that the new KLX300SM can be a lot of fun for riders of all levels, but there are some clear advantages of a supermoto-style motorcycle for the uninitiated.
In recent years, motorcycles like the 2021 Kawasaki KLX300 have become increasingly more popular, not only due to its small displacement, but also because it gives riders the versatility of having a mount that’s street legal while being able to handle duties in the dirt without being too intimidating. The KLX update couldn’t come at a better time for folks interested in dual-sport motorcycles. In a world ravaged by COVID-induced change, motorcycling – particularly the off-road segment – has enjoyed a welcome surge of interest for those looking for a new way to fill their time while still maintaining a safe distance from their fellow humans.
For a helluva lot of American motorcyclists, tradition is important, and a lot of people want something that looks traditional on the outside, even if it’s verging on revolutionary inside. I think that’s kind of what’s going on with Honda’s new Rebel 1100. The profile says cruiser, but a slightly closer look reveals Honda’s done trying to copy Harley with fake cooling fins and plastic chrome gewgaws (though the Fury et al remain in the lineup). The new Rebel wears its liquid-cooled 1084cc Unicam parallel Twin from the Africa Twin right out in the open.
Twenty-five years ago the Aprilia RSV1000 Mille won our Open Twins shootout, the SL1000 Falco was a staff favorite, and the Scarabeo 150 scooter was “practically Italian sex in a practical package.” Wait, what? Anyway, the Futura was and is a great sport-tourer, but maybe not great enough, since Aprilia pulled the plug after 2005. Have they built a sport tourer since? I think not. Shudder to think how good a thing to ride an RSV4 Futura might’ve been.
You have to be careful what you say in meetings. We were yukking it up over unlikely Top 10 ideas the other day, when I threw out “Most Revolutionary Harleys.” A few weeks later, here we are. The joke’s on me. After a little investigation and contemplation, it turns out a bunch of Harleys were pretty revolutionary, in the context of Harley-Davidson at least. And when you start bagging on Harley for being a bit hidebound, you also need to step back and try to remember the last time Honda ventured outside its box? Or Suzuki? The bigger and older the company, the more things stay the same – mostly because that’s how the customer likes it. But not so much these ten things:
The Multistrada has always been an exciting machine. It showcases Ducati’s sporting heritage in an upright touring-focused package that has been an absolute weapon in the canyons for some time thanks to its sporty V-Twin and 17-inch wheel combo. The latter, however, is exactly why the big Ducati could never quite hang with its ADV rivals when the pavement ran out. In addition to the stonking Granturismo V4, which has been specifically designed for adventure touring, the `21 Multi now features a 19/17-inch wheel combo that makes all the difference when the road runs out.
“E” for ETHOS is in the air, people are starting to take action instead of just saying they care about the atmosphere. Purchasing electric cars, reusable grocery bags, cups, paper straws, and the repurposing of man-made matter; recycling is on the rise everywhere. Serial 1 ebike is Harley Davidson’s delve into the e-ssisted bicycle – announced in November of 2020. It’s also a clear connection to the re-cycling of heritage, since Harley’s first motorcycle ever is referred to as Serial 1. Harley-Davidson’s engineering strength, production prowess, and resources reaped from the love of feeling the freedom of two-wheeled mobility inspires the clear connection between Harley-Davidson motorcycles and its brand new bicycle brand. In fact, Serial 1 is now its own Lehi, Utah-based company, with H-D holding a large part of the equity.
The three sacred pillars of its 90%-new Generation 3 MT-09, says Yamaha, are value, torque, and agility. Value-wise, the bottom line has crept up $400 to $9,399, but that’s not bad for a brand new Yamaha with all the gewgaws this one’s got. As for torque, the retuned-for-Euro 5 Triple goes from 847 to 890 cc, gaining 6% more twisting force in the process.
We’ve already expended a ton of pixels talking about the new Harley-Davidson Pan America, most recently here. But Harley put out even more detailed pics and info in this release a few weeks ago about the all-new 1250 Revolution Max, or “Revmax” V-twin engine, that’s going to power it.
While we have previously covered the impending bagger and touring variants of the BMW R18, CARB filings have now confirmed plans to deliver these models to the buying public. As published last year with spy pictures, a touring version of the BMW R18 cruiser had been spotted sporting a fork-mounted windscreen and leather saddlebags. A potential competitor to the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic, this touring model joins the cruiser and fairing-mounted bagger versions we uncovered in design filings in late February 2020.
Different is good. Change is good. Not fitting precisely into a predetermined category is good. That was the take-away from many when the Indian FTR1200 hit the market in 2019. Made in America with naked bike styling, a flat-track-esque wheel combo, and a rowdy performance-focused V-Twin engine, the FTR was unlike anything to come from an American manufacturer for quite some time – and arguably the best culmination of its mass-produced parts ever assembled Stateside.
In between feedings for his newborn child, Motorcycle.com’s sleuth, Dennis Chung, has informed us that certification filings in Australia have given us a little bit more information about the 2021 Harley-Davidson Livewire. The first of the major manufacturers to produce a full-fledged electric motorcycle, the Livewire brings with it some cutting-edge technology and performance. Eventually, though, every motorcycle needs to get updated and the Livewire is no exception.
Remember back in the day of group gatherings how hard it could be to find time in everyone’s busy schedules to congregate? To get together for a week-long ride or some other getaway? Without fail everything would start to slot into place just in time for your best friend to have something come up. You’d try to reschedule and that too would fall apart for one reason or another. The phrase “herding cats” comes to mind. Locking down this group of middleweight adventure bikes was kind of like that. It’s a test we’ve been attempting to schedule for six months. As is always the case, some “friends” are more reliable than others.
The obvious choice to follow-up the RS660 in Aprilia’s lineup, the Noale-based factory has now officially released details on the 2021 Tuono 660. Taking a page from the RSV4/Tuono V4 playbook, the smaller siblings share the same relation, as the Tuono 660 is essentially a “stripped down” version of its RS brother, meant first and foremost to be ridden on the street.Everything You
Triumph Bonneville is one of those iconic motorcycles that even non-riders know the name of, perhaps because their father rode one back in the day. In recent years, the Bonneville has grown into a decent-sized family, and like all families, the Bonnevilles change over time. Today, the 2021 Triumph Bonneville family made their first public appearance, and apparently, they have been taking pretty good care of themselves during the pandemic. While Euro 5 compliance leads the list of changes each Bonnie model underwent, the good folks at Hinckley took the opportunity to grace a handful of key changes on each Bonneville model.
The long wait is over, and the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America, first sleuthed out on MO in 2017 and announced in 2018, is finally here. Despite the “we’re not late to the adventure market; we invented it way back in the early 1900s” tone of the announcement video, the Pan America looks to be an exciting adventure bike. Still, the fact remains that the Motor Company is a late entry into the well-established, ridiculously-competitive adventure market. (Let’s not forget that much of the adventure segment’s growth is now in the ultra-hot middleweight class, not the heavyweights.) The Pan America is the most important new motorcycle Harley has announced in years, and it has a lot riding on it. After all, the latest quarterly report showed some rather large red numbers ($96 million in 2020’s fourth fiscal quarter). Regardless, we are always interested in what Harley has to offer as it makes another foray outside of the heavyweight cruiser/tourer market that it almost exclusively inhabits.
I’ve been fortunate enough to attend the last two Ducati Multistrada press launches for MO. In late 2017, I was in Gran Canaria putting the then-new Multistrada 1260 through an endless series of switchbacks up the side of a volcano. I came away thoroughly impressed with the chassis and quickness of that big adventure/sport/touring bike. In addition to the motorcycle’s natural ability, the electronics suite allowed the ride to be tailored to fit a large swath of rider preferences. From the throttle response to the suspension – all was easily adjusted with the handlebar’s switchgear. It was the swiss army knife of motorcycles, I thought.
Twenty-five years ago the literbike balanced above a sharp precipice: On one side was the light new Honda CBR900RR Fireblade, and on the other were older, bigger bikes like the Yamaha FZR1000 and Kawasaki ZX-9R that you could actually go places on. Not knowing what to call the new bike they’d just built to bridge the gap to the new YZF-R1 that would be sprung two years later, Yamaha came up with Thunderace, nicely in keeping with the 600 cc Thundercat. Why not? In those days, MO was an international affair. Take it away, Colin, Ken, and Nigel. Check’s in the mail.
One hundred years ago, in 1921, Indian Motorcycle launched the Indian Chief. At the time, nobody could have imagined what a cultural – and motoring – icon that bike would turn out to be. A century on and a lot has changed since then, including the rise and fall and rise again of the Indian Motorcycle company. But today marks an important day, as Indian celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Chief with a complete revamp and three new models: the Chief, Chief Bobber, and the Super Chief.
I get it. I understand all of us don’t want to be seen in public, especially in certain publics, on a Honda NC750X virtue signalling our tiny, 745cc 60-mpg carbon footprint. Nor does everybody want to assert their elite adventurousness aboard an Africa Twin in $2000 worth of Gore-Tex® regalia if they’re not all that interested in striking off into the hinterlands – especially if they already live there. You might get away with those things in California, but everybody doesn’t live in Lala-land. Only 12% of Americans. And plenty of them aren’t interested in being Power Rangers either.
Back in December, I included the KTM 890 Adventure R in our selection of most anticipated motorcycles of 2021. This was a list of the staff’s most anticipated bikes, mind you. As I mentioned there, the bike was hot on my mind because I knew I would have the chance to swing a leg over it soon. I mean, how could I not be excited about a motorcycle that is capable of long days of travel while simultaneously being able to tackle the toughest terrain you’re willing to take it over. Folks the likes of Chris Birch and Quinn Cody have shown that the KTM isn’t likely to be the limiting factor. If you have the talent, the Adventure R will get it done.
For a segment of motorcycling as technologically-driven as sportbikes, 14 years is an eternity – even more so for a category that Suzuki calls the Ultimate Sportbike – but that’s how long it’s been for the Hayabusa. While there was an incremental update in 2013 that brought ABS to the table, until today, the Hayabusa, a motorcycle that, on its inception way back in 1999 had claimed the title of “world’s fastest production motorcycle,” had only undergone two generational updates: the original release and the 2008 revamp. However, today’s announcement of the 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa adds another chapter to this earth-bound missile.
Harley-Davidson laid out the details for The Hardwire, the company’s new strategic plan for the next five years. Highlights of The Hardwire include investing in the touring and heavyweight cruiser segment, expanding into new segments and creating a new division dedicated to electric motorcycles.
Following the reveal of the 2021 Triumph Speed Triple RS last week, we couldn’t help but notice that Triumph’s 2021 model lineup looked a little sparse. We’ve now entered the second month of the year, and Triumph still has yet to announce the Bonneville or any of its “Modern Classics” for the 2021 model year.
Some suggested Triumph’s shot at a four-cylinder 600 sportbike should’ve been included in last week’s “Ten Worst Motorcycles of the Modern Era.” I think that’s way too harsh an assessment, but in any case, Triumph’s 2001 TT600 and the various inline Fours that followed it never quite got traction in the marketplace, and left the building after the 2006 Speed Four. Which wasn’t really a bad thing, as its demise led to the rise of the Daytona 675 and Street Triples shortly thereafter.
Suzuki is teasing a new model launch for Feb. 5, and all clues point towards it being for a new Hayabusa. The Hayabusa remained a part of Suzuki’s U.S. lineup in 2020, but in Europe, the GSX1300R was dropped in 2018 when Euro 4 standards were introduced. Rumors of a new Hayabusa have been trickling around ever since, and it looks like Suzuki is ready to launch a new model.
Harley-Davidson announced the bulk of its 2021 lineup in a virtual launch event last week, highlighting the updates to its Softail, touring and CVO models. The launch was different for Harley-Davidson in two ways. For one, it was held completely virtually in a 40-minute video, a necessity during a global pandemic. It was also unusual in that it was held in the middle of January instead of the traditional September. As outlined in Harley-Davidson’s Rewire plan, this looks to be a permanent change moving forward, positioning the new model launch closer to the start of the riding season.
The FTR seems to be one of those love-it or hate-it polarizing kinds of motorcycles. With this trio of 2022 Indian FTR1200s, Polaris wants more love and less hate. When loosed upon the public in 2019, a large part of the confusion had to do with its 19-/18-inch wheel combo, complete with flat-track inspired Dunlop tires. What is this thing anyway? A sportbike? An ADV bike? A Ducati Monster wannabe? The only thing certain was that it wasn’t much like anything we’d seen before from a (major) American motorcycle manufacturer, or any manufacturer for that matter. The answer, of course, was that the FTR was a little of all those: a 120-horsepower liquid-cooled V-twin naked sportbike that was happy to blast down dirt roads too. Indian went so far as to hold the bike’s press launch in Baja, on a ride that included 40 miles of sandy dirt road. On the other hand, you could also just cruise, in the time-honored American idiom, thanks to the nice upright ergos and standard cruise control.
The OG naked/ hooligan/streetfighter has received a ground up redesign for the 2021 model year. Triumph tells us it has left no stone unturned with every single component new from tip to top. From the chassis to the new 1160 cc Triple, the latest Speed Triple RS is said to be the, “Fastest accelerating, most powerful, highest torque Speed Triple ever with a hair-raising new sound.”
Much like the Holy Trinity, the Motorcycle Online Staff in those days, 20 years ago, was able to coalesce as One, to write road tests in the first person singular from anywhere in the world. Kawasaki’s new ZRX1200 would go on to achieve cult status, though I, the MO Staff, don’t believe the “S” model tested here ever made it to the New World. It barely matters, since the photos are barely discernible anyway (and our slightly better lead image looks like it came from the press kit). The “S” had a slightly larger fairing than the ZX1200R, which appeared in America later in 2001. Let us all observe a moment of silence in honor of bandwidth.
What Tiger 850? When I went to St. Louis to learn all about the new Triumph 900 family way back in December 2019, there were five Tiger 900s – two 900 GTs, two Rallys, and a base model Tiger 900. Sometime between then and now, Triumph decided to distinguish the base model by calling it Tiger 850 Sport, but in fact, it has the same 888 cc Triple as the other four bikes, supposedly slightly detuned.
For a couple of years there’ve been rumors suggesting there’s a new Hayabusa on the way, and with that old warhorse currently MIA from Suzuki’s list of returning 2021 models, the buzz has grown a bit louder that Suzuki’s fixing to spring a new World’s Fastest Production Motorcycle on the world. This time we’ll be a bit less unsuspecting than we were in 1999, and this time, it won’t be so easy a feat for Suzuki to pull off, given the existence of the Kawasaki H2 Carbon, which made an honest 206-rear-wheel horsepower on our dyno last November.
The Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations lineup returns four models for 2021, offering the most exclusive components and styling the company has to offer. The four CVO models are the same as last year, consisting of the CVO Limited, CVO Street Glide, CVO Road Glide, and the CVO Tri Glide threewheeler.