(Write Your Own) First Ride Review

Thelush sceneryverdant woodlandsurban bustlecomplete lack of atmosphereofMalibu, CaliforniaCartagena, SpainBogota, Colombiathe Sea of Tranquilitywas the perfect setting forHonda MotorcyclesSuzuki MotorcyclesDucati Motorcyclesour Alien overlordsto introduce the new-for-this-yearredesign of the CBR1000RRBNG edition GSX-R600slightly different Scramblershape-shifting hoverbike. There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding this bike since it was introduced at last year’s Milan show – will it measure up to the hype when we ride it on real roads?

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Motorcycle Thieves Burn Vintage Motorcycle After Demanding 1,000 Ransom

There’s a lot of old and barbaric punishments for certain crimes that most people in our ever-softening current society would consider to be too cruel or unjust by today’s standards. One such practice is cutting off a thief’s hand(s), which I think can be quite appropriate depending on what was stolen.

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It's All About the Aero in MotoGP Testing

The faster you go, the more important slicing through the air becomes – and racers have been working on ways to improve their aero for almost as long as there’s been racing. For 2018, things seem to be reaching critical mass at the next-to-last preseason MotoGP test at Chang International Circuit in Thailand. The final test is March 1-3 in Losail, Qatar – and after that everybody’s bodywork will need to be approved before the first race there March 18.

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World Superbike 2018 Kicks Off Down Undah This Weekend

Round 1 is Phillip Island, Australia, February 23-25, and if preseason testing is any indication, why isn’t Jonathan Rea riding a MotoGP bike? It definitely looks like it’s time for the fastest man in testing to move up a class. Ever since jumping on a Kawasaki ZX-10R for 2015, the 31-year old Rea has been unstoppable, the first ever to win three consecutive WSBK titles. Still, Phillip Island is a nice place to visit from the couch, and spring can’t be far away.

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Higdon in South America VI: Blinded by Beauty

Photos by Robert Higdon

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Trump, Trade, Royal Enfield and Harley-Davidson

The POTUS is angry about unbalanced trade around the world, and his latest target is India via Harley-Davidson.

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Duke's Den – A Farewell

Well, this is awkward, a supposed wordsmith struggling to find adequate words. I hadn’t realized how difficult it would be to say goodbye to the countless readers who have enjoyed my work on the pages of Motorcycle.com for nearly 11 years.

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2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400 First Ride Review

Kawasaki may have just found the sweet spot with its new Ninja 400. At a glance, the new motorcycle has undergone a substantial weight reduction treatment, a displacement boost of 103cc, and a sexy styling redesign – all while remaining at the exact same price point. Non-ABS models start at $4,999 while ABS is an additional $300. Kawasaki was out for blood when it went back to the drawing board for its new entry-level motorcycle.

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Higdon in South America Part V: The Haul of the Mountain King

Photos: Vincent Cummings

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Graves Yamaha Junior Cup R3: It's All for the Children

Lucky us/we/I got the invite up to Buttonwillow Raceway in California to get a look at what Chuck Graves and Yamaha have in store to conquer MotoAmerica’s new Junior Cup series, which replaces last season’s KTM 390 class. KTM s are still welcome, but now they’ll be duking it out with Kawasaki Ninja 300s and 400s, Honda CBR500Rs, Suzuki GSX250Rs – and nine teenagers receiving factory-ish support from Graves Motorsports.

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Record-Breaking Vincent Black Lightning On Its Way Back to Australia

Not only did Jack Ehret’s Vincent Black Lightning break the Australian land speed record in 1953, at 141.5 mph, it also became the most expensive bike sold at auction last month in Las Vegas, when it went for $929,000 at Bonham’s.

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Head Shake - Careening Into the Future!

It’s bad enough our fellow human beings find us seemingly irresistible to run into, and now it appears they may have sent their machines after us too.

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Higdon in South America, Part 4: On to Medellin

Riding south #4: Por fin (Finally)

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Triumph Announces 2018 Speed Triple S And RS

In the last couple of weeks, MO has covered hints surrounding the 2018 Triumph Speed Triple S and RS no less than three times. While we were able to pull a few smidgens of information about the new models from CARB filings and teaser videos, the time is finally at hand. Triumph has officially released the specifications for the new Speed Triples – and they should make the bikes’ fans happy.

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Will New Tire Rules in MotoGP Make 2018 Less Unpredictable?

Last year, Maverick Viñales won three of the first five MotoGPs and finished second in the 6th. Beginning with the seventh round, though, the wheels almost literally came off for the wonderboy in his first season as Rossi’s teammate on the MoviStar Yamaha. Why? Michelin changed its tire construction, and Viñales never found his happy place for the rest of the season.

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Yes, Harley-Davidson's Electric Motorcycle is On the Way

Harley has already confirmed its e-bike will be built more than once, but yesterday’s further confirmation following H-D’s Q4/2017 results seems to have resparked interest in Project Livewire.

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Higdon in South America, Part 2: First Things First

The Hotel Caribe in Cartagena sits at the western end of a peninsula, a first-class hotel in a first-class city. But there are things that even the finest hotels do not offer, and one of those is a box of Cardboardeaux. At home I prefer the whimsicality of Black Box or Bota. So the other night I decided my first foot expedition would be to celebrate my brush with airline death with una caja de vino, as the locals say.

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Fogarty VS Johnson on the New Triumph Speed Triple RS

Last week we saw a teaser video followed by confirmed CARB filings of a new Triumph Speed Triple RS and R versions. As noted in the CARB filings, the engine will retain its 1050cc capacity, however, the new mill has received a different engine code which suggests changes from the previous model.

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Robert Higdon in South America, Part 1

R. E. Higdon has been a motorcycle pen pal for as long as I can remember, whose best prsose is the fan mail he occasionally sends. But he’s in fact a better writer than most of us. A retired D.C. atttorney, he’s written for all manner of motorcycle publications on the side, most recently for the Iron Butt Association’s magazine. When he let drop he was undertaking a big trip to South America, naturally we asked if we could ride along. 

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Things Are Looking Up. Or So It Seems...

It’s hard to tell, but the outlook appears promising. By now, we’ve all heard that the motorcycle industry has been in somewhat of a stagnant rut over the last 10 years compared to the numbers it was enjoying during the late ‘90s and early 2000s, but I’m not here to beat a dead horse. Things are looking up. Or so it seems.

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Mecum Auction Las Vegas 2018 Is Going On Now

It’s going on as we speak in Sin City through Saturday, and if you wander over to Mecum.com, you can see the results of what’s already sold for how much, along with everything that’s yet to be gavelled off. If you need a 1961 Victoria Model 15 Lot #F69, like the one in the photo, you better hurry. Speaking of sin, would you pay $13,000 for an original Honda GB500?

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2018 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Presentation

The 2018 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team has unveiled its new liveries and motorcycles in Madrid just four days before the first official pre-season test in Sepang. The presentation was hosted in Spain due to the new five-year agreement signed between Yamaha Factory Racing and Telefónica Spain, which will see Movistar as the title sponsor for the duration of the contract.

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Upcoming Motorcycle Events: Jan 23 – Feb 27

Upcoming Motorcycle Events: Jan 23 – Feb 27

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Best Cat Food Commercial Ever

Is there a rule at Isle of Man that says you have to be human? I’m pretty sure jet airplanes are against the rules. Nevertheless, this feline is keeping up a frisky pace…

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Us Motorcyclists And Our Weird Superstitions

Superstitions are a funny thing. Whether they actually have an effect on an outcome or not is still up in the air, but then again there’s no real way to prove or disprove they don’t, so I might as well keep on practicing mine because, well… because. That’s just what I do! Call it what you want to call it, but I like to think superstition works for me, mostly…

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Church of MO: 1998 Best of the Best Part I

And in those days, when men were men (quite literally in one case), they gathered all together with the great motorcycles of the day, in the desert. And there did they smoketh of the tires, and yea verily did they grind of the gears, the greatest men of the day – King Roland of Sands, King Graves of Chuck, along with Brett Landes the dirt tracker, and MO’s founder, King Plummer, and his disciples. For three long days they rode around the Springs of Willow and launched themselves down the dragstrip, in a time that seems far, far more than just 20 years ago. 

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Live With It: 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS

It was a sad day when I finally returned the 2017 Triumph Street Triple RS that I so fondly grew to love. I begged, pleaded and even threw a candy-aisle temper tantrum, kicking and screaming to no avail. No, not really, but handing the keys back over to Triumph was bittersweet, like dropping family off at the airport. All good things must come to an end, I suppose.

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Classified Moto's Death-Defying Customs

Classified Moto’s slightly customized Speed Triple, Frank, might not be your entirely practical cup of tea, but the Richmond, Virginia-based shop builds plenty of other unique motorcycles that could be. They do lots of interesting things with old Yamaha Viragos.

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2018 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster First Ride Review

The Bonneville family continues to expand with its 2018 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster. The new Speedmaster builds on the Bobber and Bonneville lines to offer a versatile cruiser with a level of refinement and finish that has become synonymous with Triumph’s recent model releases.

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Skidmarks: The Bike for You

But deluded people don’t realize that their own mind is the Buddha. They keep searching outside

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Give A Shift: Trying To Help Save The Motorcycle Industry

Give A Shift is the punny name given to an initiative intended to forward the cause of motorcycling in the U.S. market, which is showing signs of shrinkage due to a variety of reasons: demographic, cultural, and systemic.

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Michelle's Excellent Australia Adventure

Motorcycle.com has been following the riding exploits of Michelle Christine, who is exploring adventures on two wheels in between the stand-up comedy shows she performs around the world.

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Here's What You Can Do To Save The Motorcycle Industry

The motorcycle industry is in trouble and it’s all my fault. When I say “my,” I mean millennials. We get blamed for being lazy and entitled – and now for the decline of the motorcycle industry. Aging motorcyclists are going out faster than newer riders are coming in. Younger folks just don’t seem to be interested in motorcycling, they say. This has caused manufacturers to dump millions into not only marketing, but also research and development to create new motorcycles in order to save the motorcycle industry. They need to find some sort of solution.

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A Ural Gear Up And The Road Ahead

Setting out on a motorcycle trip can change a person – I’m sure some of you probably already know that. Many of us take long trips on our motorcycles for that exact reason. We need to refresh our outlook. To remind ourselves of the simple and beautiful parts of life that all too often get overlooked. When I left my home on a sweltering Tuesday in late October, I knew I wouldn’t be the same upon my return. I welcomed that fact wholeheartedly. With a full tank of gas and a friend by my side, I left the person I was at that moment behind and focused on the road ahead.

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Is Lane-Splitting Finally Coming to Arizona?

Motorcyclists in California have been enjoying the fruits of lane-splitting for decades now. For a long time, lane-splitting (or the more PC and less abrasive sounding, lane-sharing or filtering) was a gray area in California law because it was neither legal nor illegal, so it was permitted, or rather tolerated so long as the practice was done safely. In 2016, however, lane-splitting became 100% legal – not without limitations, but legal nonetheless.

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To Wear a Helmet, or Not to Wear a Helmet?

The idea of not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is one of those things that really makes me scratch my head, which I’m thankful to still have… thanks to, oh I don’t know, a helmet?

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MO Builds Its Own Motorcycle!

Okay, yeah, this isn’t really us. The people who built the Rover Imperial brought way more mechanical skill to the table than most of us MOrons are capable of, and they started doing it in 1902. From sandcasting the cylinders to getting both sick air and sideways on the shake-down run (and annoying pedestrians), it’s all here in this amazing ten-minute vid from the Isle of Man official page – minus the ATGATT, since ATG had not yet been conceived of. Behold also the child labor, and marvel that the production of an entire motorcycle didn’t even require all that many tools. We’ve come a long way. Here’s to the people who built Rover Imperial, not to the mention the videographer who lugged God-only-knows how many pounds of gear around to document it all.

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Is a Polaris Slingshot a Good First Motorcycle?

Dear MOby,

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PGM V8: A 1996cc V-8 Sportbike

There appears to be no shortage of audacity in Australia, evidenced by at least three motorcycles from Oz that are powered by V-8 engines. The originator was Ian Drysdale, who first mated a pair of four-cylinder banks to a common crankshaft in the late 1990s. In 2015, we saw the intimidating Aurora Hellfire OZ26, powered by a home-built 2575cc V-8 claimed to produce 417 horsepower.

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Head Shake - A View From The Yurt

When John speaks, I listen…

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Video: Why We Wear Gear

This, boys and girls, is why you should always wear proper riding gear when you’re on a motorcycle. Remember, he wasn’t going terribly fast, and when you see his fingers dangling in the after crash footage, you’ll understand that off-road gloves won’t do you much good on pavement. Now, let’s consider his leg protection – which was nothing more than a smattering of youthful hair. At least he had the good sense to wear a helmet.

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Everything Must Go

From FB friend Lance Lau, we learn that our new BFF, Pete, of Superbikeuniverse.com in Norwalk, Connecticut, is liquidating his rather impressive collection. To go car racing. How sad. And yet, Pete’s demented journey to the dark side can be your gain. He only wants $10,000 for the `86 NS400R with 8 (eight!) miles in the lead photo.

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2018 AMA Supercross Season Preview

The 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship is upon us. In two days, the gates will drop in Anaheim and racers aboard 250cc and 450cc bikes will compete bar-to-bar in an effort to edge each other out for a place on the top step of the podium. With no shortage of drama last year in both the Supercross and Outdoor National series, racing in 2018 should be as competitive as ever across both classes.

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Spending Some Extra Time With Honda's CRF250L Rally

Recently, we published our Lightweight ADV Shootout which involved the CSC RXR, Kawasaki Versys-X 300, and Honda CRF250L Rally. I rode the Honda home and had it in my garage until it needed to be returned to Honda’s headquarters. This gave me a bit more time with the rally-inspired 250 and I found myself reaching for the keys more often than not.

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2018 Dakar Rally Preview

It’s a new year which means it’s time once again for the world’s most grueling off-road endurance race, the Dakar Rally. Celebrating its 40th edition, the 2018 Dakar Rally runs Jan. 6-20, starting in Lima, Peru, crossing into Bolivia with a rest day in La Paz, and then entering Argentina for the finish line at Cordoba.

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The Worst Motorcycles for Beginners

Experienced riders will get asked “what’s the best first bike?” hundreds of times, but probably won’t get asked what the worst first bike is. Good thing, too: you could spend all day listing bikes an inexperienced rider should avoid. Of course, if they want one of the listed examples, they won’t listen to you anyway, but here’s what we think new riders should stay very, very far away from.

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Motorcycle.com's Most Popular Videos From 2017

Motorcycles are the coolest way to transport humans on the ground. The feeling we get bending a bike into a corner and tilting a horizon is so much more flowing and invigorating than driving a car, as is the intensity of acceleration a motorbike can provide. Add in to this stimulation the sound and character of a variety of engine configurations, and it’s easy to see why the sights and sounds of a motorcycle video are highly desired in this digital age.

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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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Whatever: JB Predicts!

Plenty of weird stuff happened in 2017, but no weirder than usual so I really can’t complain. We’ll miss Nicky Hayden, who I remember reading about in Roadracing World when he was 13 years old (how old does that make me?), and has now departed this mortal coil way too early. I won’t miss, they tell me, the corporate tax rate of 35%, which is going down to 20% and will supposedly juice the economy like crazy and lead to a new bull market in motorcycles like the one in the ’Aughts. That’ll make everybody around here happy. All the kids are getting rich on Bitcoin, too, and home equity is on the rise again. We’ve already got granite countertops and big knockers; what does that leave? Motorcycles, that’s what. Basically we’re all set to get on up out this biatch and do some serious WINNING! Here are my predictions for 2018!

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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.

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Motorcycle.com's Best Shootouts of 2017

We continue our look back through the past 12 months and reminisce about some of our favorite bike comparisons of 2017.

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GM Cruise Autonomous Car and Motorcycle Collide in San Francisco

General Motors acquired Cruise, an autonomous car start-up, last year, and has been testing its cars ever since in San Francisco and other places. Why not? “Our vehicles encounter challenging (and often absurd) situations up to 46 times more often than other places self-driving cars are tested,” according to Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt in this article at arstechnica.com.

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Enduro Training the Army Way

Oh my goodness… “in every squad of troops, whether they’re learning to stick bayonets in other troops, to peel potatoes or merely to ride motorbikes, there’s always at least one whose special role is to be picked, whose special skill is to get things wrong. Here there are two: number 23 and number 5.

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Motorcycle Licensing In The UK: Update and Stats

Motorcycle licensing in the United Kingdom is a convoluted process that requires several steps to be taken before riders qualify for riding bigger and more powerful bikes. It’s a tiered process dependent on age and riding experience that begins with the AM Mopeds (less than 50cc) stage, then to the A1 Light Motorcycle (120cc to 125cc, less than 14.8 hp) and then the A2 Motorcycle (at least 395cc and between 26.8 and 46.9 hp).

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Motorcycle.com's Best First Rides of 2017

Here we are with another year coming to an end. It was another great year in motorcycling for 2017. Yes, even with all the doom and gloom from “industry insiders” tirelessly trying to understand why don’t millennials like motorcycles, and low sales numbers from some of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world, it was still a great time to be a motorcyclist.

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Watch Jonathan Rea Documentary on the BBC: 3 in a Row

Jonathan Rea didn’t win BBC Sport’s Sports Personality of the Year 2017 award, but he did finish second, and that’s pretty dang good for a Superbike racer from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Four-time Olympic champion long-distance runner Mo Farah was the winner, with 83,524 votes to JR’s 80,567 – but the main take-away is that Rea badly beat F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, who finished sixth with 60,627 votes.

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Most Popular Articles Of 2017 On Motorcycle.com

Here at Motorcycle.com, we try to cover the breadth of motorcycling. Every day, we strive to find and deliver the very best that the world of motorcycles has to offer. In the spirit of that endeavor, we look forward to the end of the year as an opportunity to gaze back over the past 12 months to see where we were successful. We’ve found the best way to gauge how well we have achieved our goal is to look at what articles our readers have been clicking on as they visited our site or queried search engines.

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2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black First Ride Review

As technology races towards the future, style is moving the opposite direction, regressing to the past. Fortunately for us motorcyclists, the two aren’t mutually exclusive, which means we can have it both ways. Take the 2018 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black, for instance – it’s a juxtaposition between modern technology and post-WWII style. The bobber style, for those of you who aren’t familiar, harkens back to the 1940s when American riders would get rid of anything they could to shed weight by cutting and removing bodywork and ‘bobbing’ the fenders. The desired effect was to be able to keep up with the lighter, faster British and Japanese bikes that began to flood American shores.

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From CSC to Shining Baja!

While everybody talks about how to get more people onto motorcycles, CSC Motorcycles is busy doing about 75% of the things that need to be done. CSC’s cute little RXR didn’t win last week’s 2017 Lightweight ADV Shootout, but it did surprisingly well against a couple of bikes that cost a bunch more money: $3,495 is almost cheap enough for even me to be able to afford one, but wait, there’s more. Included in the price of this ADV bike is an actual ADV. (Actually you’ll have to spend $400 more for the RX3, which comes with locking luggage and other accessories to make it tour-worthy.)

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Duke's Den: Yamaha RZ500 Two-Stroke Flashback!

Of the things we love most, we often think about things we grew to love in our formative years. This is often true for music, vacation destinations, loves, and, yes, motorcycles.

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