Harley-Davidson has officially revealed the X 350 for the Chinese market, a small displacement flat track-inspired roadster produced with Qianjiang Motor (QJ Motor). As of this writing, the X 350 is only confirmed for China, though a modified variant known as the X350RA will be used in Harley-Davidson Rider Academy programs in the U.S.
Harley-Davidson held its big 120th anniversary reveal last week, and for the most part, the announcement included the bikes we expected, such as the Nightster Special, and the return of the Breakout with a Milwaukee-Eight 117ci engine. What we also expected to come for 2023 but was not included in the announcement were the X350 and X350RA. Still, despite not being part of the big Jan. 18 announcement, we managed to get our hands on some information confirming more details of the Chinese-built models.
BMW Motorrad is commemorating its 100th anniversary with the release of Special Heritage editions of the R nineT and R18. BMW will produce 1,923 units of each model, recognizing the debut of the brand’s first motorcycle, the R 32, in September 1923 at the German Motor Show in Berlin.
Let the record show that, despite my best efforts, Yamaha’s MT-10 was not included in either the street or track portions of our mega seven-way open-class naked bike shootouts last year. I fought for its inclusion but was ultimately denied by the Bossman who wrote it off by saying our field was big enough and it wasn’t going to win anyway. That and we also knew a new one was already on the way.
Triumph has announced a shakeup to its ever-popular Street Triple range today, introducing not one, but three evolutions to the family, creating what it says is “the most powerful Street Triple range ever.” Building off the success it has forged by being the sole engine supplier for the Moto2 racing category, Triumph now introduces the Street Triple R, Street Triple RS, and the Street Triple 765 Moto2 Edition – the latter of which will be relegated to just 765 units worldwide.
Honda officially revealed its new CB750 Hornet, a new middleweight naked claiming a class-leading power-to-weight ratio. Unfortunately, the new Hornet has only been confirmed for Europe thus far, with no indication of U.S. availability. Pricing varies from country to country, but they generally hover around US$7,800.
Honda‘s been teasing its new Hornet for several months now, first with a concept at EICMA, some design sketches in June, and more recently, details about its new Parallel-Twin engine. While we wait for Honda to officially reveal the the bike, we’ve managed to get further specifications for the 2023 Honda Hornet, thanks to vehicle certification data from Switzerland.
It’s been nearly two years since BMW first debuted the M 1000 RR, its first motorcycle to carry the company’s high-performance M brand. We knew it wouldn’t be the first, though, after we broke the news that BMW had trademarked the name along with “M 1000 XR” and “M 1300 GS.” What we didn’t expect was for the next M-branded motorcycle to be based on the S 1000 R.
Spy photographers have snapped images of two new Suzuki prototypes powered by a new Parallel-Twin engine. The two motorcycles, an adventure bike and a naked model, appear to be the eventual successors to the V-Strom 650 and SV650, and the culmination of a long development path for Suzuki’s new middleweight twin-cylinder engine.
After teasing us in March, Bombardier Recreational Products officially revealed its first two Can-Am electric motorcycles, the Pulse roadster and the Origin dual-sport. Both models were presented as prototypes, meaning they are very close to what will eventually be the final product, which will enter production in the summer of 2024.
Earlier this year, Kawasaki revealed its first electric two-wheeler, but a lot of people were disappointed when they realized it was a kids’ balance bike called the Elektrode. Those hoping for an electric streetbike from Kawasaki won’t have to wait too much longer, as we can confirm two new models will be coming to the U.S. for the 2023 model year.
Many undies were twisted, bunched, and/or soiled after last week’s exciting Review First Ride of the new CFMOTO 700CL-X and 700CL-X Sport, which gave us a chance to discuss not just new motorcycles but also international relations. Always a crowd favorite on MO. That’s because these are completely built in China, a country which is either our mortal enemy or best trading partner depending on who you ask. Here on MO, we provide. You decide. This time we’re going to have a look at the other five bikes CFMOTO’s importing via its Plymouth, Minnesota, US HQ – in addition to all the highly regarded ATVs, UTVs, and side-by-sides they’ve been dealing for decades.
With just about every Chinese motorcycle I can remember riding, there’s nearly always A Problem. Sometimes they look great on paper, and sometimes they even look pretty good in the flesh. But then you hop on and start riding, and are met with a powerband that’s more a powerhole. Or an ADV bike with two inches of rear suspension travel, or cast iron components that weigh 60 pounds more than the competition. If it’s not one glaring thing, there’s usually a combination platter of weirdnesses that make you question whether the monetary savings are worth the sacrifice for any but the cheapest of contrarian skates – even if reliability isn’t much of a concern any more.
BMW released initial details on its 2023 model lineup, including new colors and minor updates. BMW also announced the base MSRP for most of its models, though that information is rather moot, as it also announced additional packages which will automatically be added on to all models in the U.S.
LiveWire officially revealed its new S2 Del Mar, the brand’s second electric motorcycle and the first to use its new S2 Arrow architecture. Pre-orders for the Launch Edition model are now open, with an MSRP of $17,699 with deliveries to begin in Spring 2023. A full production run will also begin in 2023, with LiveWire targeting an MSRP of $15,000. (UPDATE: Reservations for all 100 units of the Launch Edition got scooped up within 18 minutes of the pre-order window opening.)
Things move at their own pace in the South. When it’s not stifling, the warm, humid breeze gently blowing through the Spanish moss-strewn southern live oaks relaxes in a way that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. It puts you in a southern state of mind – one where slowing down and living in the moment just feels like the thing to do. Royal Enfield’s new Classic 350 is the perfect pairing for such a place. A historic setting for a historic machine.
It’s always fun to read the armchair quarterbackings of our beloved MOrons in the Comments whenever a new motorcycle springs into view, and the latest iteration of Suzuki’s naked GSX-S1000, harumph, was no exception. Some hate the angular new styling, some defend it. Some lament the demise of Suzuki in general, some admire the company’s resourcefulness in doing less with more. Repeatedly. And everybody knows how they could do it better.
Bombardier Recreational Products announced Can-Am is returning to the motorcycle business with a new range of electric two-wheelers. A teaser video suggests at least four different models are in the works, with BRP expecting to reveal the full lineup in mid-2024.
This weekend, at the 2022 Osaka Motorcycle Show, Honda revealed the new Hawk 11, a new café racer based on the Africa Twin and NT1100 sport-tourer platform. And while Honda released several details about the Hawk 11, there is still a lot of vital information that has not been provided.
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.
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.
Yamaha Motor Europe announced a new XSR900 model, giving the retro-styled roadster updates similar to the changes received by the MT-09 last year. That includes an 889cc inline Triple and new Deltabox-style frame. As of this writing, the new 2022 Yamaha XSR900 has not been announced for the U.S., but we expect to get news on that front soon.
I know I’ve written many times that the advancement in motorcycle tire technology in the past decade is staggering, but the statement is – and continues to be – quite true. Case-in-point, I’ve spent the last couple of months putting about 2,500 miles on my 2019 KTM 790 Duke shod with a set of Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV tires. In those miles I’ve used the bike as I normally would: short urban rides, occasional freeway jaunts, frequent weekend canyon rides, and even a track day. As such, I feel I can now adequately address the characteristics, usability, and longevity of these tires. Essentially, I used these tires for the tasks for which they were designed. (Unfortunately, as is typical in Southern California during the summer, I did not get to conduct any wet weather testing.)
Kawasaki has released a video teasing a new retro model across its social media channels. The video shows two riders in open-faced helmets and offers just a glimpse of the bike’s mirror stalks, but we expect the mystery model to be a new Z650RS. As of this writing, the video has been posted to Kawasaki’s European, Australian and Canadian channels, among others, but not yet to its U.S. channels. Nevertheless, we expect the 2022 Kawasaki Z650RS to be coming to America as well.
It was just about a year ago when we sampled Triumph’s reborn Speed Twin for the first time on home soil, in a two-bike standoff against a way-more-expensive optioned-out BMW R nineT. At the time, we were slightly underwhelmed and had to rate the new Speed Twin second, by a hair.
Harley-Davidson officially revealed the LiveWire ONE, the first model from its recently-established standalone electric motorcycle brand. Apart from the lack of any Bar-and-Shield branding, the 2021 LiveWire ONE comes with some subtle changes from the original Harley-Davidson LiveWire motorcycle, and one not-so-subtle change: a drop in price from $29,799 to $21,999.
In March, 2001, little did we know our pleasant little applecart was about to be rudely upset. That’s right, the www was gaining traction and MO was becoming a going concern. Six months later came the little matter of 911, which upended how we lived, or didn’t anymore, and set the world on fire – literally at first and figuratively later. Of all the air-cooled motorcycles we loved before, when ignorance was bliss and global warming was still theoretical, the big Suzuki Bandit 1200 might be the one we still miss the most. A reading from the Book of Minime and Calvin, photos by the apostle Tom of Velvia.
Has it really been six years since the Shoei GT-Air helmet was released? Well, it has, and that means the lid was due for an update – even though, when Troy tested it back in 2017, he said, “[T]he Shoei GT-Air really impresses when it comes to all-day touring comfort. It’s got all the features you’d want from a helmet, with the fit to match.” Using the previous generation as the starting point, Shoei’s designers set out to improve on the already top-notch lid. The result is the brand new Shoei GT-Air II, which ups the ante when it comes to premium touring/sport-touring helmet comfort and utility. To make the helmet even more enticing, Shoei partnered with Sena, as with the Shoei Neotec II, to create a fully-integrated Bluetooth communication system, the Sena SRL2.
If you believe the conventional wisdom of our forum moto-trolls, a motorcycle must be full-sized, fast AF, have the range of a WWII Dornier 217 medium bomber and price tag of a 1980 Suzuki GS850 to have any hope of success, much less being a sales leader. Based on that, what model do you think Öhlins suspension, the high-end, race-focused Swedish company, likely sell the most cartridge kits and shocks for? The GSX-R? Ninjas? Ducati Superbikes?
Triumph continues trickling out new models with its latest announcement, the 2022 Triumph Speed Twin. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the engine upgrades added peak power, 3hp to be exact, but the bottom end also got some love. The midrange reaches 83 lb-ft of torque lower in the rev-range at 4,250 rpm. Additionally, the engine will now spin up quicker, thanks to a 17% reduction in inertia. To match the improved engine output, the Speed Twin’s electronics also received an upgrade in the form of improved riding modes.
Barreling down the back straight at triple digit speeds on the 2022 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS feels surprisingly comfortable. It could be the reminiscent nostalgic comfort in having owned two of this machine’s predecessors – one of which, the Speed Triple 955i, was my first street bike. Or perhaps it’s the fact the Speed Triple has always been an upright street bike first with its performance refined and enhanced over the decades (nearly three, at this point). Or maybe still, it’s the high-level componentry working in harmony with the 2022 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS keeping the chassis composed as I’m hard on the brakes, trailing off as I dip into the second gear left-hander.
Another cool deal about getting old is you’re allowed to forget things, which can be really convenient. In the present case, I knew there was a new Triumph Trident for 2021, but I didn’t really remember any of the details when I hopped on it in Ryan Adams’ driveway one morning. Immediately, it felt really light and small, a lot like the Ducati Monster we just reviewed last month. And what size is the 3-cylinder engine in this one? It definitely feels revvier than the one in the Tiger 850 GT we rode a couple months ago, but not much slower at all…
Ok, I’m old, so what? When I was young, the first Monster M900 (1994) spoke to me. A basic, naked, standard Ducati that was perfect for rumbling round the urban maze back when we all had a downtown office to go to… a svelte Italian Sportster that bounced its mating call off the concrete canyons all the way to 9000 rpm. It really was a radical departure since, before then, Ducati had only built fully-faired assume-the-position sportbikes, and not many of them. They were great on the Futa Pass and Angeles Crest but not so much anywhere else. Later, when we grew power-hungry in the ’oughts, there came the 996-powered S4R, then the Monster 1200s…
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.
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.
MT-07, and its spunky 689 twin-cylinder motor, has always been a crowd favorite at MO. MT-10 was an immediate hit with its crazy crossplane 999 cc R1 motor… MT-03 is fine for getting your feet wet… but MT- (nee FZ)-09 has never seemed to quite exactly hit the mark, even though it was close enough to win MO’s coveted Best Value award in 2015.
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.
German vehicle emissions documentation confirms that a new KTM 1290 Super Duke RR is on the way, adding a higher-end variant to join the already-impressive Super Duke R. (UPDATE Feb. 1, 2021: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also certified the Super Duke RR, confirming the same state of tune as the Super Duke R.)
The grass, brethren, is always greener on the other side of the pond. And on the other side of it a decade ago, we’d been peeping lasciviously at the Italian-designed CB1000R’s nude form since 2008. Hubba. At a time when Americans mostly rejected nudity, American Honda played coy as to whether they’d import the R or not. Honda Canada, meanwhile, brought in a few forbidden fruits for its journalists to debrief/debauch at Roebling Road. A reading from the book of Costa.
Last week, I decided the supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon is my favorite motorcycle of all time. This week, that could change with the introduction of Kawasaki’s new sit-up straight naked Special Edition Z H2. If this new Z SE doesn’t have quite the top end horsepower of the full-monte H2 (206 rear-wheel hp on the dyno), it still has plenty, and it also has many other tidbits going for it that might very well make up the difference, including the aforementioned upright naked-bike ergonomics. “A relaxed riding position has been created by a combination of an upright handlebar shape and a seat with an optimized base plate and cushion thickness,” says Kawasaki. “This design provides a high degree of freedom for riding posture and low vibration, allowing for a pleasant and comfortable ride.”
Lest we forget, chilluns, the new Trident on the way from Triumph is not the first time they’ve resurrected that famed monicker from the swingin’ Sixties. Here’s hoping Poseidon’s new weapon will be pointier than the last one 25 years ago, which left Brent – the rock upon which MO was built – pining for a Sportster. OMG.