MO Tested: Racer Sprint Gloves

Racer’s newest short-cuff glove is the Racer Sprint, a well-ventilated summer glove that should offer plenty of protection to keep your digits comfortable and safe. We received the Sprint glove mid-September of this year, and they have been my go-to hand protection ever since. Being that California has relatively warm temperatures, I have had no issue using these gloves during press launches, shootouts, and personal rides.

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Top Five Features Of The 2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260

The Ducati Multistrada may look relatively unchanged compared to its outgoing predecessor, but the new 2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 has its own host of upgrades that add to the already versatile package enjoyed by Ducati’s sport-tourer.

After having just recently sampled Ducati’s new Multi in sunny Gran Canaria, here are the top five features of the 2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 as seen and felt through my eyes, ass, and wrist.

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About That Ninja H2 SX First Ride….

About That Ninja H2 SX First Ride Story

As the gears of international relations turn, a golden opportunity occasionally gets ground to bits in the mesh. Such is the story of’s recently departed world exclusive Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX first ride. We were given an opportunity to sample Kawi’s new sport-touring flagship shortly before the bike was announced as a U.S. model, and we published that ride story and video once it was officially announced for our market. Unfortunately for all of us, it seems other markets around the globe did not look so kindly upon the massive lead that MO obtained, so they probably contacted their respective national distributors who in turn probably contacted the mothership in Japan. It wasn’t long before Kawasaki’s U.S. distributor, KMC, started receiving heavy fire from across the oceans and our editorial phone started ringing…. which brings us to this disappointing void. takes our responsibilities to our readership very seriously which is why we always tell it to you straight, including sharing our negative impressions from first rides along with our excitement over the positives. Likewise, we take our responsibility to the motorcycle industry seriously, and as long as they aren’t asking us to cover-up flaws in a product or otherwise distort our honest impressions, we tend to agree to help them when asked. In this instance, they asked, and out of respect for Kawasaki, we have agreed to temporarily remove our coverage for a few weeks until the rest of the world has a chance to sample the bike. In the meantime, we will continue to work on scoops and exclusive first rides whenever and wherever possible, and you can bet your ass we’ll still be the first publication to have a complete ride review live once the first H2 SX press event gets underway over in Europe. Heck, we might even be able to re-shoot that sub-par first-ride video!

Maximum Respect,Sean K. AlexanderPowersports Editorial,,,, PersonalWatercraft.comVerticalScope, Inc.
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First Look: Supercharged 2018 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX

When Kawasaki introduced the Ninja H2 and H2R, it raised the bar for high performance motorcycle exotica with its supercharged 998cc engine. As impressed as we were by the H2, one superlative we would not use to describe it was “practical.” Kawasaki hopes to change that with the 2018 Ninja H2 SX, a supercharged sport-tourer that sacrifices some of the H2’s high performance aspirations for better everyday usability.

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Supercharged Kawasaki Sport-Touring Model to Debut at EICMA

Kawasaki will introduce a new sport-touring model featuring its new balanced supercharger technology next month at EICMA.

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Upcoming Motorcycle Events

Here’s our weekly guide to the upcoming motorcycle events and rides that are happening over the next several weeks.

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Upcoming Motorcycle Events

Here’s our weekly guide to the upcoming motorcycle events and rides that are happening over the next several weeks.

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Upcoming Motorcycle Events

Here’s our weekly guide to the upcoming motorcycle events and rides that are happening over the next several weeks.

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The Ultimate European Motorcycle Trip

Touring Europe on a motorcycle can be a trip of a lifetime, but how do you know where best to go? Well, here’s a thorough and easy to digest European motorcycle trip itinerary that will offer an unforgettable ride through five countries spanning two weeks. Many people wait for the perfect time in their lives to take a life-changing trip like the one below, but sometimes life gets in the way and it never happens. You may not have the time or you may not have the money. In my experience, sometimes you just have to go for it. has compiled the hard part for you, bringing you one step closer to a trip never to be forgotten.

Begin press release…

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Destinations: The Rock Store

Blessed with beautiful weather year round, weekend mornings at the Rock Store of southern California can rival the best bike shows around the globe. Eclectic characters come out of the woodwork every weekend to enjoy riding through some of the tightest, twistiest, off-camber, up- and downhill roads motorcyclists dream of. Their owners are pretty interesting, too. It’s not uncommon to see Jay Leno on one of his bizarre and rare machines or other celebrity motorcyclists such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Matt LeBlanc or Laurence Fishburne.

And while tourists and visitors may be enthralled with the celebrities, to locals there is nothing more enjoyable than an early morning cruise up Pacific Coast Highway, heading into the canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains followed by a hot cup of coffee at one of motorcycling’s most famous locales. That brisk early morning chill while moisture hangs in the air. The sunlight peeking its way through the oak trees as it rises in the east. The way the light hits the Rock Store just perfectly through the trees.

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2018 BMW Models Updated With New Color and Equipment Options

BMW announced its initial batch of models returning for 2018 with new colors and optional equipment. We’ve already written about the two most notable changes, a new ex works customization program called BMW Motorrad Spezial for RnineT and touring models, plus a new optional Bluetooth-connected 6.5-inch TFT display for the R1200GS and R1200GS Adventure, called the “Connectivity Option.” Several models also receive Emergency Call feature, though this will only be available in Europe. The rest of the announcement includes cosmetic changes and revisions to BMW’s various optional packages

One word of caution before we go into the details; these are preliminary updates and are not exhaustive. Like all manufacturers, BMW will announce further new models and updates through the year. Heck, last year at around this time, BMW announced the 2017 R1200GS would just get some Euro4-mandated updates and a revised instrument panel, and then went and announced revised fairings and two new Exclusive and Ralleye variants at EICMA. So, if your favorite Beemer got an update (or didn’t) announced, just bide your time.

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Sign-Up For Chance To Win A Set of Dunlop ROADSMART III Tires

With a consistently heavy volume of new stories and news items appearing daily on the homepage, it can become difficult to catch everything you’re interested in. MO‘s newsletter helps to solve that issue by delivering a digest of the latest bike reviews, comparison tests, and motorcycle news straight to your inbox every couple of days.

Dunlop Roadsmart III Performance-Touring Tire Review

In case that isn’t reason enough all by itself to sign-up for our newsletter, Dunlop Tires has stepped up to potentially make it even more worth your while. For a limited time, readers who sign-up to receive MO‘s newsletter will also be entered to win a new set of Dunlop ROADSMART III sport touring tires courtesy of Dunlop. So what are you waiting for? Get on the list and maybe get your baby some new dancing shoes in the process!

Click HERE to sign-up for the MO Newsletter and to be entered to win a new set of Dunlop ROADSMART III tires!

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Father's Day Motorcycle Gift Guide 2017

Father’s Day is looming on the horizon, and those of you who have motorcycle loving fathers are (hopefully) looking for a way to tell Dad how much you appreciate all he’s done for you and the family over the previous year. If he’s like most fathers, dad has probably avoided buying or doing things that he wanted to, just because the needs of the family outweighed his own desires. For families like that, you already know what to get him – just order that thing he decided not to get for himself. However, if Dad’s moto-needs are a mystery to you, take heart. We’ve put together a listing of stuff that’s bound to make your riding father quite happy. The prices range quite a bit here, so you’re sure to find something within the range of greenbacks contained in your wallet.

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2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS Review - First Ride

In an era in which adventure-styled motorcycles seem to be taking over the sport-touring class, the 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS stands out as a great example of a traditional sport-tourer. Kawasaki has taken the heart of a sportbike and wrapped it with a package that can tackle almost any task a rider could want, from commuting to canyon scratching to touring to the occasional track day. Outfit it with the optional $1165 saddlebags, and you’ve got a mount that would be a great multi-state companion for less than $14,000.

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Yamaha Trademarks "Tracer GT" Name

Yamaha has filed a trademark application in Europe for the name “Tracer GT,” suggesting a new touring model is on the way. The application was filed April 19 with the European Union Intellectual Property Office for use of the name for “motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, three-wheeled motorcycles, three-wheeled scooters, three-wheeled mopeds and parts and fittings for all the aforesaid goods.”

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Kawasaki Announces 2017 US Models

EICMA and Intermot have come and gone and the question on most American consumers’ minds is which of the wonderful new models will be making their way to the U.S.? Today, Kawasaki answered their part of the question, confirming the ZX-10RR, Ninja 1000, Ninja 650, Z900, Z650 and the Versys-X 300 for the U.S. market.

We’ve previously written about each of these models during their Intermot or EICMA launches and you can read more detailed information on the links below but here is a brief run-through of each model.

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2017 Ducati Multistrada 950 Preview

If you missed Ducati’s live-streaming event from Milan this morning, you missed a lot. According to CEO Claudio Domenicali, 402,000 Ducati fans saw the new model presentation on Facebook this morning. We expected most of the new models that were introduced; one we didn’t really is the new Multistrada 950.

This one Domenicali described as the Swiss Army Knife Ducati. It uses a 937cc Testastretta 11-degree motor instead of the 1200cc unit in the current Multi. The 937 claims 113 horsepower at 9000 rpm, with a very flat torque curve said to produce 80% of its 71 lb-ft peak all the way from 3500 to 9500 rpm. Valve-check intervals are now scheduled every 18,000 miles.

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2017 BMW S1000R, S1000RR and S1000XR Previews

BMW revealed an updated four-cylinder lineup at Intermot, announcing minor changes for the S1000RR sportbike and adventure-styled S1000XR and some more substantial changes to the S1000R streetfighter. For the most part, the changes were made to comply with Euro 4 regulations but we are glad to see a power increase to the S1000R and S1000XR and some formerly optional equipment become standard issue for 2017.

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Metzeler Roadtec 01 Tire Review

Since 1979 Metzeler has produced only motorcycle tires. This singular focus has yielded significant firsts. In 1978, the company created the first tubeless motorcycle tire. The first tire with transversal grooves rolled out of the Metzeler factory in 1982, and the first mass-production tire with a Kevlar belt came out a year later. The first rear tire with a 0° steel belt came in 1992, and four years later, the first set or radial tires with 0° steel belts was released in the form of the Metzeler ME Z4. The march continued in 2008 with the patent of Interact technology for the Roadtec Z6 Interact. Now, Metzeler has released the heir to the popular Roadtec Z8 Interact throne, the Metzeler Roadtec 01.

Metzeler Roadtec Interact Z8 Tire Review

While the Roadtec Z8 Interact tire was well-received by both riders and the media, the company believed the role sport-touring tires play is changing. The market has grown beyond just traditional sport-touring motorcycles to include both urban naked bikes and larger, more touring-focused rigs. With this change of job description in mind, Metzeler set three design parameters to surpass the Z8 with the creation of its next generation sport-touring tire:

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2016 Yamaha Tracer 700 Announced for Europe

Yamaha announced a new sport-tourer based on its MT-07/FZ-07 platform for the European market. Dubbed the Tracer 700 in Europe, we expect to see it arrive in North America as the FJ-07.

2014 Middleweight Mash-Up Six-Way Shootout!

The Tracer 700 slides into Yamaha’s sport-touring lineup behind the FJR1300 and the FJ-09 (known on the other side of the Atlantic as the MT-09 Tracer, though it appears Yamaha may soon be renaming it the Tracer 900.) But enough with the nomenclature, let’s take a look at what the Tracer 700 offers.

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2016 Yamaha FJR1300A and FJR1300ES Review

Yamaha released the first FJR1300 as a 2003 model and graced it with its most recent major update in 2013.  A year after that overhaul, the FJR1300ES, with its cool electronically adjustable suspension was announced. For 2016 Yamaha has continued its process of refining this popular, established platform with some upgrades to modernize the FJR and address some owner requests.

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World's Smartest Helmet?: The iC-R From Intelligent Cranium Helmets

Intelligent Cranium Helmets is developing a prototype helmet with more electronic functionality than any other smart helmet available or imagined. The iC-R features twin full-color heads-up displays, twin rear-facing cameras, a LiDAR rear collision alert system, an electronically tinting visor, built-in Bluetooth communications, phone connectivity, and a solar panel to help power all this equipment. Can a helmet with this much future tech be realized with current batteries? Get approved by DOT, Snell or ECE? ICH says yes, and that the company can do it for a retail price less than $1,600. According to the most recent update (1/6/2016) on the company’s website, ICH has entered into development agreements with:

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2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT Video Review

If you saw my text review of KTM’s new SD GT, you witnessed an old grown man gush about a new Austrian motorcycle. If I had to choose a bike to ride across this vast country to a trackday, it’d probably be this one.

An evolution of the Super Duke R, our 2014 Motorcycle of the Year, the GT ticks all the boxes on my list of ideal sport-touring qualities: reasonable comfort; high-grade handling; an inexhaustible well of power; automatically adaptable active suspension; world-class brakes; adjustable windshield; top-shelf electronics; 6.0-plus-gallon tank; and standard hard-shell saddlebags. In fact, the 94.5% I scored it is the highest number I’ve ever awarded on our single-bike scorecard.

Downsides are few and minor, assuming a price tag around $20k doesn’t frighten you away from this orange and black gem. I might like it better with flashier color instrumentation, and I’d prefer the electronic rider aids were independently adjustable rather than tied to the bike’s ride modes. And perhaps while traversing Nebraska on the way to Virginia International Raceway I’d wish for a bit more wind protection.

Otherwise, the Super Duke GT is pretty much my conception of the ideal sport-touring rig. I’d happily suffer through lubing the chain every couple of days on my transcontinental slog to VIR. And here’s what I thought about it after a day ripping around Mallorca…

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2016 Triumph Tiger Sport Announced

Triumph announced an updated Tiger Sport featuring the latest iteration of the company’s 1050cc engine and electronics introduced in the Speed Triple R and Speed Triple S. Sadly, however, Triumph’s North American arm has decided not to import it to our shores. Americans last saw this bike in 2012 as the Tiger 1050 but we have been left wanting since the previous update and renaming in 2013.

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2016 Motus MST and MSTR Review

Used to be, there was no such thing as a “sport-tourer.” It’s kind of a silly concept, if you think about it – take the biggest, slowest, worst-handling sort of bike and combine it with the smallest, fastest, best-handling. It’s like crossing an F-18 with the Goodyear Blimp, and nobody will be happy.

Of course, you’re reading this on the Internet, where nobody is happy anyway. Give us power, handling, reliability, locking luggage and price it like it’s on the McDonald’s Value Menu! Give us all the plusses and none of the minuses. Oh, and can you make it in the USA? Cuz ’Murica?

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2016 Yamaha FJR1300A and FJR1300ES First Look

Yamaha is bringing the FJR1300A and FJR1300ES back for 2016, and while the bike might appear virtually identical to the previous model in these photos, there are some choice distinctions between old and new.

First and foremost, Yamaha has listened to the demands of its customers, and (finally) equipped both FJR models with a sixth cog in its transmission. Beyond simply adding a sixth gear, Yamaha revised individual ratios: first and second are slightly taller, while fourth and fifth gears are slightly shorter.

The changes don’t stop there though; both models receive an assist and slipper clutch Yamaha says reduces lever effort by about 20%. From there, both models see updated instrumentation and a completely redesigned “twin-eye” headlight and combination taillight/turn signal assemblies with LEDs.

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2015 EICMA: KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

KTM’s calling the 1290 Super Duke GT its Adrenaline Express. Basically we’re taking MO’s 2014 Motorcycle of the Year 1290 Super Duke and turning it into a very sporty sports tourer, with a 1301cc 75-degree 173-hp V-Twin, hard bags, touring fairing and everything you need to hit the road in a fully fuelled 503-pound (228 kg) package.

For comfort, KTM gave this one not only more relaxed ergonomics – with lower footpegs and a cushier seat – but also made them adjustable to fit a wide range of riders. The handlebar is adjustable over 22 mm and four positions, hand levers are infinitely adjustable, and brake and shift levers are three-position adjustable. A six-gallon fuel tank is carefully sculpted to interface the rider as well.

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2015 EICMA: Ducati Hypermotard, Hypermotard SP and Hyperstrada 939 + Video

Confirming news we first broke in September, Ducati announced an updated Hypermotard lineup featuring a larger 937cc engine. Replacing the previous 821cc line will be the new Hypermotard 939, Hypermotard SP 939 and Hyperstrada 939.

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Brace Yourself for the KTM Super Duke GT

KTM Italy has released information about the new Super Duke 1290 GT, a bike that will show up in its finished form next month at EICMA in Milan. According to our virtual translator, this one’s “dedicated to a sporting public that, while traveling in comfort, wants to be always ‘Ready to Race’!”

Basically, what’s going on here is KTM taking MO’s 2014 Motorcycle of the Year Super Duke R and turning it into a quasi-Sports Tourer in the best possible way.

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Ultimate Sport-Touring Adventure Shootout Prologue

Nine bikes and riders, six days and 2,000 miles are the key ingredients going into our 2015 Ultimate Sport-Touring Adventure Shootout. Sprinkle in some off-road trekking and garnish with a few nights of camping, and our shootout souffle will be complete. Special sauce will be provided by the unforeseen occurrences that accompany any ride of this nature.

The adventure begins Monday, August 31 with a sunrise gathering at the famous Rock Store. From there we travel North to Big Sur, Gualala, Redwood National Park and back. We’re sure you’re aware that California is hot, bone dry and burning down, so our route will be a coastal one in both directions.

We invite you to follow our progress with daily updates on the MO website and our social networks, as well as GPS mapping provided by the SPOT Gen 3 tracking device.

MO’s Ultimate Sport-Touring Adventure – Day 1
MO’s Ultimate Sport-Touring Adventure – Day 2
MO’s Ultimate Sport-Touring Adventure – Day 3
MO’s Ultimate Sport-Touring Adventure – Day 4
MO’s Ultimate Sport-Touring Adventure – Day 5
MO’s Ultimate Sport-Touring Adventure – Day 6

We’ve tested many versions of the bikes involved here in solo reviews or in shootout fashion, pitting two or three against one another, but never before have we gathered nine bikes at one time to determine the king of Sporty Adventure-Tourers.

Look for the story and accompanying video to be published on Thursday, September 17.

Don’t forget to enter our Pick a Winner contest. Just click on this link and tell us who you think will win the shootout. If you’re right, you will be entered into a draw to win a new Arai XD-4 helmet.

Here are our competitors:

Aprilia Caponord Rally
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2015 BMW R1200RS First Ride Review

On Day 2 of our little press junket to Ontario, the sun came out, the birds sang, and we rode the new 160-horsepower BMW S1000XR ’til hell wouldn’t have it anymore. Okay, fine, we rode only ’til cocktail hour. On Day 1, though, it rained all day, the mosquitoes made the air hum at every stop, the roads were treacherous and I was very glad to be on the new R1200RS instead.

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2015 BMW S1000XR First Ride Review

Has anybody built a proper “adventure bike” with an inline-Four cylinder before this one? We liked the new Kawasaki Versys 1000 when we compared it with its competition earlier this year, but it’s more sport-tourer than a real sporty adventure bike – mainly because it weighs 565 pounds.

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Spied! 2016 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

Our 2014 Motorcycle of the Year, KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R, is getting a new stablemate to join the recently added 1290 Super Adventure. The prototype in these photos is a hybrid of the other two KTM Supers, sharing the bones of its brothers like the 1301cc V-Twin engine, steel trellis frame, single-sided swingarm and Brembo M50 monoblock brakes.

2014 Motorcycle of the Year

These photos were shot near KTM’s factory in Austria, and they reveal the GT maintains KTM’s aggressive persona. Considering the increased amount of time spent in the saddle of a GT model, a larger fairing and windscreen will provide better protection from the elements and increase rider comfort. However, both the footpegs and handlebars seem unchanged from the SDR, probably because the SDR is already comfy and lowering the footpegs would decrease cornering clearance. KTM could easily be testing different handlebars to determine the best setup, so what is brought to market could change from what we’re viewing here.

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Three-Cylinder Sport-Adventure Comparison: Moderation in All Adventurers
Photos by: Evans Brasfield

In January, we deduced that the BMW R1200GS Adventure is the best big expensive adventure bike on the market. It seems like only yesterday that we concluded that the new Kawasaki Versys 650 is the best small, (less) expensive one, in our Urbane Adventurers comparison. And just before that, the new-for-2015 Yamaha FJ-09 came out on top of an adventurous pile that included a pair of bigger, more expensive motorcycles. The truth, as they say, is always somewhere in the middle, and if the FJ-09 and its 847cc Triple aren’t right on the epicenter of adventure-bike truth, they’re very close – even if the FJ does roll slightly closer to the streety side of adventuresomeness.

Battle Of The Adventures: BMW Vs. KTM + Video

How convenient, then, that Triumph has just launched its Tiger 800 XRx as a new 2015 model, a bike aimed at the streetier side of life. Triumph’s 800cc Triple-powered adventure bike has been around since its launch in 2011, and it has received a comprehensive overhaul for 2015.

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2015 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 First Ride Review + Video

Full Disclosure: I already loved this bike before I ever even laid eyes on it. MV’s stunning Rivale got my heart racing and when I first heard they were considering a long-legged sport-tourer with an 800cc-Triple, I didn’t even need to hear its sublime “Turismo Veloce” naming before I knew I wanted one. Then came the aggressively voluptuous visuals followed by a long wait between the time  we shot a video of the bike’s unveiling in late 2013 and this actual first ride in spring of 2015. Many of us began to wonder if the bike had been stillborn, the victim of some budget cut or other ignoble fate. Alas, our fears were simply due to our own high expectations and MV deciding to really take their time nailing their first ever touring motorcycle. Now it’s time to see if that wait has paid off.

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2015 Aprilia Caponord Rally First Ride Review

The Aprilia Caponord Rally is the most high-tech road motorcycle in Aprilia’s range, a touring flagship fit with everything from active suspension to traction control. What separates the Rally from the standard Caponord is the extra versatility of having standard large and sturdy panniers (33 litres each), spoked wheels enabling off road tires, a taller windscreen, front fairing crash protection and extra LED lights. Still, dynamic damping is the highlight.

Riding for more than 200 miles in the past could make your bum and back shiver in fear of any speed bump or pothole in the road. Active suspension has all but solved this problem, or at least extended the range before such fatigue becomes a problem. The Aprilia Dynamic Damping system is one of the most advanced systems in existence and is, for now, only available on the Caponord.

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2015 Aprilia Caponord Rally First Impressions

The 2015 Aprilia Caponord Rally sails through as the Noale firm’s flagship touring and adventure bike. The Rally is high-tech where the absolute highlight is the ADD (Aprilia Dynamic Damping), which makes any ride, fast or slow, comfortable and safe. Traction control, sophisticated ABS brakes and smoother ride-by-wire throttle response are other highlights which make the Caponord Rally a treat to ride.

This new Rally version gets a pair of 33-liter hard panniers, a taller windscreen, engine and upper fairing protection and additional LED lights at the front as standard. Back in 2001, the ETV 1000 Caponord was launched with Aprilia’s in-house patented spoked wheels. This patent has, in 2015, received a new life with the Rally model. The main feature which makes the wheels special are their lightness – Aprilia claims they are the lightest in its class. The rims can take narrower proper off-road tires, but the standard rubber are Metzeler Tourance road tires. Tire sizes are 120/70-19 front and 170/60-17 rear, but a 110 front and 150 rear can also be fitted.

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2015 KTM 1290 Super Adventure First Ride Review

One year and a handful of months ago I was returning from Spain with the knowledge that KTM had constructed something special; the 1290 Super Duke R. The SDR went on to claim MO’s 2014 Bike of the Year award, as well as similar accolades from competing publications. If you read my First Ride Review of the SDR, this story will sound familiar. In what seems like déjà vu, I’m returning from Spain with the knowledge that KTM has constructed something special; the 2015 1290 Super Adventure.

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2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT Video Review recently got the chance to ride the new 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT at its world launch in Sicily, it’s a motorcycle that’s being offered in the U.S. for the first time. With aggressive styling that mimics Kawasaki’s Ninja model line, coupled with roomy, upright ergonomics and an extremely comfortable and effective handlebar bend, this is a machine which is well-positioned for entry into the rapidly growing Sport/Adventure Touring category, priced nicely at $12,799. This video gives a glimpse into our time with the new machine and sheds a little insight into how it lives up to the outstanding reputation of its smaller Versys sibling.

2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT First Ride Review

For additional details and our complete thoughts on the new 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT, please read the full review on

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2015 Yamaha FJ-09 First Ride Review

Almost exactly 14 months ago Yamaha jetted Motorcycle Courier Editor, Troy Siahaan, to San Francisco to sample the 2014 FZ-09, and he came back impressed. Just a little over two months later, MO gathered together four Triples to see how the new kid stacked up against the rest of the three-cylinder class. The results were quite favorable with the FZ-09 finishing second overall and being the editors’ choice if cost were the deciding factor. If it hadn’t been for its little sister, the FZ-07, claiming the Best Value Bike Of 2014, the FZ-09 would have been in a hard-fought battle for the number-one position in that category. That’s how much we love the FZ-09.

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2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 First Impressions’s European correspondent, Tor Sagen, has just completed riding the 2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 in Southern Spain, where he provides these first impressions. As mentioned in our preview of the Stradale 800 from EICMA 2014, this is MV Agusta’s attempt at tapping into the lightweight touring market. Whereas the Turismo Veloce has a more substantial half fairing and windscreen, the Stradale takes a more minimal approach, essentially slapping bags and an adjustable windscreen onto a Rivale.

To recap the Stradale’s vital stats, it’s powered by the same 798cc Inline-Triple as the Rivale, with counter-rotating crankshaft to minimize inertia during side-to-side transitions. The Electronic MVICS suite is back, which includes four different power modes, ABS with rear-wheel lift mitigation and quickshifter for full-throttle clutchless upshifts. Crucially, the Stradale gets a 4.2-gallon fuel tank, 1 gallon larger than the Rivale for more touring range. Stay tuned, as Tor will return soon with a more substantial Stradale First Ride review. -TS

The 2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 is the first MV Agusta I’ve ridden with saddlebags. The Stradale is not exactly a touring bike, but it’s as close as MV’s ever been. The Tourismo Veloce, MV’s other new touring rig, will arrive early in 2015, but it’s unlikely the Stradale 800, with its Rivale-inspired tilt to touring, will steal any of its thunder.

At first glance, the Stradale looks like the Rivale, and it’s mainly because most of the design features are borrowed from the Rivale. In the engine bay, we find an 800cc Triple with 115 horsepower and a torque curve optimized for everyday riding. The swingarm is longer and the suspension softer (than the Rivale), which makes the Stradale the very best everyday MV Agusta to date, in my opinion.

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2015 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS - First Ride Review

Back in July, MO took its show on the road to Yosemite National Park to compare the latest crop of sport touring motorcycles, and the result wasn’t that good for the 2014 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS. Not that it’s a bad bike. Quite the opposite. The Connie is as good as it ever was, but the sport-touring class has advanced to include niceties such as cruise control, quick shifters, and electronically adjustable suspension. So, we have a great motorcycle, powered by an ass-kicking engine derived from the ZX–14R, that is languishing in the eyes of motojournalists who are always looking for what is shiny and new in a technologically evolving class. Meanwhile, Concours fans continue to be as rabid as they ever were about the bike.

Kawasaki’s EICMA 2015 Model Year announcements let it be known that the Concours received exactly zero of the items we deemed necessary to improve its class standing. Clearly the engineers are not listening to us. Still, that snub aside, we were happy to receive an invite to the 2015 model introduction in Carlsbad, CA and were curious to sample how the 2015 Connie would compare to last year’s model.

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2014 EICMA: 2015 Kawasaki Concours14 ABS Preview

The 2015 Kawasaki Concours14 ABS boasts a litany of improvements including a new electrically adjustable windshield, revised linked braking settings, a revised first gear ratio, lighter steering at low speed, stiffer rear suspension and a new rear luggage rack.

In our  2014 Heavyweight Sport-Touring Shootout from just a few months we jokingly labeled the Concours the “most not improved” bike of the quartet of models tested. That’s certainly changed now (which means another sport-touring shootout), specifically with the news Kawasaki has changed the linked braking – something we’ve complained about on numerous occasions.

According to Kawasaki the Second Generation K-ACT ABS features two braking modes. The linked effect from front brake lever actuation is largely the same in both modes, but the linked effect when actuating the rear brake pedal is quite different. In Standard Mode, the linked effect is reduced at initial pedal stroke for a natural sensation when sport riding. In High Combined Mode, there’s a more pronounced linked effect from the beginning of the pedal stroke. The Concours is also endowed with new brake master cylinders.

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2014 EICMA: 2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 Preview

Looking to tap into the lightweight touring segment, MV Agusta unveiled the Stradale 800 this week at EICMA. Resembling the sporty and athletic Rivale, the Stradale 800 takes that platform and modifies it for a slightly more touring-oriented ride.

For starters, the Stradale gets a mini windscreen that MV says is adjustable with just one hand. If you’ve ever ridden the Rivale, you’ll appreciate how important the addition of a windscreen, even a small one like this, really is. From there, seat height is reduced 10mm to 870mm, or 34.2 inches. It’s still quite tall, but the narrow seat/fuel tank juncture should help riders touch the ground easier. Front and rear suspension units offer 5.9 inches of travel and are fully adjustable. Combined with the 30mm longer wheelbase, measuring 57.4 inches (1460mm), and subsequently longer single-sided swingarm, the Stradale has the ingredients for a stable ride in the twisty stuff. At least compared to the twitchy Rivale.

If you remember from our previous test of the Rivale, fuel capacity and range were serious limiting factors. MV has addressed this by adding four liters extra capacity (1 gallon), for a total of 16 liters (4.2 gallons). While still on the smaller side for a touring rig, the additional tank space certainly is a welcome addition. Then of course the most obvious change to the Stradale over the Rivale is the saddlebags on each side, which integrate the turn indicators.

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2014 EICMA: 2015 KTM 1050 Adventure Preview

KTM follows up introducing the 1290 Super Adventure R at Intermot last month with the launch of the 1050 Adventure at EICMA this month. Including the 1190 Adventure and 1190 Adventure R, the 2015 1050 Adventure brings KTM’s big-bore, street legal Adventure model count to four.

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2014 EICMA: 2015 BMW S1000XR Preview

If a trifecta of Inline-Four-powered sporting motorcycles from  BMW aren’t enough for you, how about bringing the total to match the number of cylinders? Today in Milan, BMW announced the BMW S1000XR, an adventure sport designed to bring a little attitude to the segment.

BMW leaned heavily on the BMW S1000R’s DNA to create the XR’s engine. The mid-range-focused power delivery still manages to crank out a claimed 160 hp at 11,000 rpm and 83 lb-ft at 9,250. The “usable rev range that spans over 10,000 rpm” will be perfect for exploring newly discovered backroads. Dual riding modes, “Rain“ and “Road”, will tailor the power to road conditions while BMW’s Automatic Stability Control (ASC) manage the traction. Pro riding modes are available as an option, adding “Dynamic” and “Dynamic Pro” to the palette – in addition to Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) and ABS Pro.

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2014 EICMA: 2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Preview

Introducing the 2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200; a redesigned Multi featuring an engine with Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT), cornering ABS, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), and a fresh yet familiar look. Everything on the new Multistrada 1200 has been designed for practicality and effectiveness.

The Testastretta DVT engine independently varies the timing of the camshaft that controls the intake valves and the camshaft that controls the exhaust valves. At high rpm, the system increases the amount of valve overlap, maximizing performance. At lower engine speeds, the overlap is minimized for smoother, more fluid power delivery. Ducati says DVT optimizes engine performance throughout the power range in all riding conditions.

The DVT engine uses two spark plugs per cylinder and each spark plug has independent ignitions. There’s also an anti-knock sensor for lower-octane fuels, high altitudes, etc.

Ducati claims the new Testastretta DVT puts out 160 hp at 9500 rpm and 100 lb-ft of torque at 7500 rpm. That’s up 10 claimed hp (150 @ 9250 rpm) and eight claimed lb-ft (91.8 @ 7500 rpm) compared to the outgoing Multi engine. “Yet the DVT system, despite the increase in power, also decreases fuel consumption, which drops by an average of 8% over the riding cycle,” claims the press release.

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2014 Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V Review

The last time we spoke of the Moto Guzzi Norge GT 8V was three years ago, in 2011, during our then-annual trek to Laguna Seca for the MotoGP races. We had seasoned touring rider, and friend of MO’s, Glenn Giardinelli, take the controls to offer an opinion that possibly varied from the similar voices of the usual MO staff. What we learned was essentially what we already knew: the Norge is quirky yet capable, slightly outdated, and it endears itself to all who ride it if given enough time.

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Intermot 2014: 2015 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R blew us away this year, beating all rivals in an exhaustive bout of Streetfighter competition because of its blend of incredible power and accommodating ergonomics. Its exceptional performance and versatility earned it our Motorcycle of the Year award.

2014 Motorcycle of the Year

Now KTM has transplanted the SDR’s supernaturally strong 1301cc V-Twin into its Adventure series to create the 1290 Super Adventure R. The engine’s transition from SDR to SAR includes new cylinder heads, revised camshafts and a crankshaft that adds some flywheel mass to create a more tractable motor. But don’t get the wrong impression the 75° V-Twin has been neutered. KTM claims a maximum of 160 hp and 110.6 lb-ft of torque.

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Intermot 2014: Suzuki V-Strom 650XT

UPDATE: Suzuki Motor of America has confirmed the V-Strom 650XT is coming to the U.S.A. American MSRP: $10,399.

Suzuki puts a little more adventure into its very popular mid-sizeadventure bike, with the V-Strom 650XT, adding wire-spoke wheels sourced from DID (in the same 19- and 17-inch sizes as before), mounting tubeless Bridgestone Trail Wing radial tires. The V-Strom 650XT‘s Spoke wheels are less likely to get bent when rolling over BFRs and other off-road obstacles, and tubeless tires are of course much easier to patch and less prone to sudden blow-outs. Win win.

New cam profiles, single valve springs and iridium spark plugs are all supposed to boost low- and mid-range power, while Suzuki’s Dual Throttle Valve system keeps delivery smooth. Ten-hole injectors and an O2 sensor make it Euro 3 compliant.

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Intermot 2014: Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS

Dirty Sean’s favorite motorcycle of them all was introduced to Europe in 2007 and made its way to the U.S. in 2008 by popular demand. It was upgraded in 2010, and now the Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS gets a major makeover.  Pricing and full details will be released at the AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida,  in mid-October, where the new Versys and  its big bro Versys 1000 will be on display.

The most noticeble change is the horizontal dual headlights replacing the previous model’s stacked lights. Kawasaki reshaped the upper and side bodywork and added a chin spoiler below the twin headlights to reduce air resistance while improving wind protection and comfort. The new fuel tank now holds 5.5 gallons, a half gallon larger than on the previous model.

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Intermot 2014: BMW R1200RS

The 1976 R 100 RS was the first mass-produced motorcycle in the world to come with a full frame-mounted fairing, a bike that immediately put BMW on the map as a maker of truly sporty tourers, and reinforced its boxer twin as the company’s signature motor. The all-new R1200RS is a continuation of that tradition, powered by the same DOHC boxer that powers the R1200GS, R1200RT and the new R1200R.

BMW claims 125 horsepower at 7750 rpm and 92 lb‑ft. of torque at 6500 rpm. Compared to the GS and RT engines, torque has increased slightly at low revs. The exhaust gases are routed through a two-into-one exhaust system. A modified airbox, newly shaped air intake snorkels and a centrally positioned radiator are designed to produce a slender, sporty and dynamic-looking front silhouette.

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2015 Kawasakis Not Yet Announced

When Kawasaki announced its 2015 lineup last week, it outlined its existing models which are returning largely unchanged from their 2014 versions. However, there were a couple of desirable models that were conspicuous by their absence.

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2015 Honda NM4 Review

Man, I want so badly to like this thing, given that it seems to be my mission in life to embrace the Weird. But this Honda isn’t even all that weird, not when you compare it to blue-sky shots like the old Pacific Coast (which has achieved cult status) or the outlandish Rune, or even the Fury chopper – which is a thing I never thought I’d see Honda build. Then again, it’s pretty out there: No bike I’ve ridden before lights up the wild-eyed street people of the OC quite like this one.

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2015 BMW S1000XR Spied!

BMW’s new entry into the sport-adventure-touring sub-class has been caught while undergoing final testing in Europe. The S1000XR is loosely based on the thrilling and versatile S1000R, one of our favorite motorcycles of 2014, but with many changes to compete with sporty ADVs like Ducati’s Multistrada and Aprilia’s Caponord.

BMW Trademarks S1000XR

It’s not without some irony that BMW, the company that basically invented the large-displacement dual-sport/adventure category, is chasing its Euro rivals in this niche which favors performance over off-roadability. Visible in the photo is its longer-travel suspension, taller one-piece handlebar, and a larger-volume muffler to reduce the size of the under-engine collector for additional ground clearance. The windscreen is adjustable, sliding upward and rearward from its low position, seen here raised to one of its high positions.

It’s interesting to note the XR’s identically sized twin headlights, which eschew BMW’s controversial asymmetric designs of recent years. This may portend a change in design philosophy for the German company.

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2014 BMW K1600GTL Exclusive Review – First Ride

I was on the glorious Pacific Coast Highway aboard the new K1600GTL Exclusive when I had a thought that might be controversial. I imagined that Soichiro Honda, if given the choice, would prefer to be riding BMW’s new flagship rather than his eponymously named company’s iconic Gold Wing.

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2014 Yamaha Super Tenere ES Review + Video

Yamaha‘s Super Ténéré barged into the big-bore adventure-touring market in 2012, gunning for the A-T juggernaut that is BMW‘s R1200GS. Its 1199cc parallel-Twin motor was a good match for BMW’s air/oil-cooled GS, using a unique 270-degree crank-pin offset to deliver traction-enhancing output in the dirt. The Super Ten’s off-road capability was on par with the GS, and its on-road comfort was far superior to KTM’s dirt-focused 990 Adventure.

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2015 Aprilia Caponord 1200 ABS Travel Pack Review + Video

Aprilia has been missing from the Adventure-Touring landscape for some time. With focus placed on its two-time World Superbike Championship-winning RSV4 Superbike, now that the racing landscape has been conquered, the Noale marque is carrying that success in other directions with the Caponord 1200 ABS Travel Pack. With four patents to its name, Aprilia is entering the ultra-competitive Adventure-Touring market with guns a-blazing.

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2014 Yamaha FJR1300ES Review + Video

The first time you roll on the FJR1300ES’s throttle with a stretch of open road in front of you, you realize why it’s so popular with the long-distance riding set. The previous generations of the big Yamaha gobbled up pavement like a coed facing a tube of cookie dough just hours after a difficult breakup. Simply put, the FJR consumes both asphalt and gasoline, not stopping until you run out of one of them and then impatiently waits while you remedy the situation. Perhaps this is why Yamaha has left the FJR1300 largely unchanged over its lifespan, despite recent inroads into its market from other manufacturers. Whether you spell Supersport Touring with two or three words, the class is highly competitive where more than just having the highest horsepower or sharpest handling determines the victor.

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2014 Honda CTX1300 Review - First Ride + Video

Dare we say Honda’s been bingeing on Street Glide-style models? Some may consider it blasphemous to include the CTX in the same sentence with Street Glide, but when it comes to motorcycles sporting fairings with low-cut windscreens and hard luggage, Honda boasts five new ones: CTX1300/Deluxe, CTX700 and Gold Wing F6B/Deluxe.

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