Worst Motorcycle Trends of 2017!

As 2017 is winding to a close, it’s time to reflect back at the year that was. We’ll be publishing several articles over the next couple of weeks that outline many of the highlights from the past year, but first is this fun look back at what we think are some of the most annoying motorcycle trends witnessed in 2017, as authored by our inimitable John Burns. We predict a lively comments section… –Ed.

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Best Motorcycles Of 2018: MO Video Roundtable

The new model announcement season is an exciting time for motorcyclists, as it’s when we get our first glance at all the latest motorcycles being released in the upcoming year. While AIMExpo, with its extremely early event date (starting on September 22nd), was short on new models, EICMA blew the doors off of 2018 with no less than 37 different new bikes that we covered here on MO.

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2019 KTM Super Duke GT Updated!

Rumor filtering down through the ranks has it that when the new version of KTM’s not-so-old uber tourer gets here later in the year, it’s going to be sporting a swell TFT display like the one on brother Super Duke R, along with the other Dukes’ promiscuous split LED headlight and a new windscreen.

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Is a Rocket-Powered Bicycle a Motorcycle?

Frenchman Francois Gissy made this record run over three years ago at Circuit Paul Ricard, but it only came to my attention yesterday. Unsure what kind of bicycle wheels don’t fly apart at 207 mph (333 kph), a speed Gissy attained after using up only about 750 meters of the Mistral Straight thanks to hydrogen peroxide boost, but everything did indeed remain intact. The Ferrari running alongside the bicycle, okay starting out alongside it, puts that speed into perspective.

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Take Care of What Takes Care of You

My dad always says, “Take care of what takes care of you.” I think this applies to just about everything in life if you want to get ahead. Whether it be your work, home, tools or relationships – showing a little love goes a long way.

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Marquez and Pedrosa Battle… On Scooters!

UPDATE: Honda has now released a higher-quality video of the race in its entirety. Check it out below.

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Head Shake - Shunning...

I had cause to reflect back on 40-some-odd years of riding and the changes we have witnessed, with an inquiry seeking enlightenment from the MO Think Tank. The query was cause for reflection: “Will I Be Shunned if I Ride an Automatic Motorcycle?”

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Video: The Last Motor Cop You Want To See In Your Mirrors

Riding a motorcycle at its limits requires multiple inputs being made smoothly and simultaneously, and this expertise is on wonderous display in the video below. It shows police officer Quinn Redeker, Jr. ripping up a parking-lot course that was part of a motorcycle skills competition among police motor cops.

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2017 Holiday Gift Guide Part 4: $250 And Up

When I was told I would be tasked with putting together the $250 and up category of our 2017 gift guide, I must admit, I smirked on the inside. What an easy thing to do! Motorcycling can be expensive and the parts we pine after generally are expensive. So here is a list of items in the $250 and up category for that someone speciale in your life. The sky’s the limit!

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What To Do If Your Motorcycle Breaks Down On The Highway

Hopefully, you’ll never experience the sinking feeling of having your motorcycle suddenly sputter and die while you’re in the left hand lane of a crowded highway traveling at 70 mph. Or maybe it’s that mushy wobble of a rear tire that is quickly going flat. Mechanical problems are never fun, but on the interstate, they can be dangerous if you don’t take the proper steps. So, what’s a rider to do?

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Keith Code: the Early Years

Wow, the things you find on the interwebs. Here’s a photo of a young Keith Code aboard his Ducati 200 Supersport, aka Elite, shot at Vineland Raceway in New Jersey, 1962, at a US Motorcycle Club event.

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Whatever: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Everything

I’m a little worried about the valve deal that causes the dishwasher to flood under the sink whenever I use it, but Thanksgiving’s done so that can wait. The Ranger’s AC is out, but now it’s winter (and 72 degrees on my Kalifornia patio). There’s a clunk under the Jaguar that might be a ball joint or something, but no wheels are obviously falling off. My child is having GF problems, but he’s 23 and suddenly self-supporting. I think there are a few other items; luckily I’ve forgotten them.

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Royal Enfield's UK Technology Center Tour

Thomas R. “Big Tom” Callahan, Jr., an auto parts salesman from Sandusky, Ohio, once said, “You can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking your head up a bull’s ass, but wouldn’t you rather take a butcher’s word for it?” When it comes to steak, we at MO would be inclined to heed the butcher’s advice, but when it comes to motorcycles, we’d prefer to take that “deeper” look to see for ourselves…

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Josh Herrin Out For a Little Street Ride

Not sure if Josh Herrin is testing the Yamaha R1’s traction control, lean-sensitive ABS, or both at once. But he’s got the tires howling like a pair of mating orangutans in this sideways video clip our pal Jim found on Alpinestars’ Instagram feed. Our best advice is not to ride like this on the street unless you have an AMA Superbike Championship and a Daytona 200 win on your resume. Also, stay in school so you don’t have to be a videographer. Actually, come to think of it, whoever shot this clip on their phone is the bravest person in the room, or possibly just the least familiar with an important law of physics. Cue disclaimer: Professional rider on closed course. Do not try at home.

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2017 MotoGP Season Review and Recap

The final installment of this year’s diatribe should, one thinks, start with an examination of the season preview from back in February. Heading into Qatar, the conventional thinking was that Maverick Viñales, newly and firmly ensconced on the factory Yamaha, the best bike on earth of late, would challenge triple world champion Marc Marquez and his Repsol Honda – you remember, the one with the acceleration issues – for the world championship.

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Countersteer Veterans Experience

I’ve been to the Cornerspin motorcycle training facility dozens of times over the past decade, but today there is something very different going on. Sure, there are a dozen or so small dirtbikes lined up and a bunch of guys dressed out in riding gear, but nothing about today will be like anything I’ve done before.

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Alan Wilzig's Own Private Ride-aho

I don’t know this guy, but I know people who know this guy – and I’d like to become much better acquainted. My main complaint with the wealthy mostly centers on the ridiculous things they tend to do with their wealth: $450 mil for a DaVinci here, $200 mil for a Van Gogh there, a gold toilet… if all you’re looking for is a place to store your wealth, why not store it in expensive things you can completely destroy in the blink of an eye?

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Skidmarks: New Bike High

I always say shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist.

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2017 Kawasaki Z900 Long-Term Review

Every once in awhile we get opened-end motorcycle loan agreements from manufacturers. What does that mean for you? It means we have a chance to really put a motorcycle through the ringer. We have the time to schedule overnight, long rides. We have the time to schedule track days. We have the time to really live with a motorcycle and give our best interpretation of what it would be like for a potential owner to, well, actually own the thing.

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How Not to Learn to Ride a Motorcycle, Exhibit A

You’ve got a brand new Yamaha R3, and you want to share the excitement by teaching your significant other how to ride too. It’s a small lightweight bike that’s easy to handle, the parking lot is flat and safe – what could go wrong?

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Why Not Buy Tony Elias' Yoshimura Superbike?

Really, $20,000 doesn’t seem at all out of line for the very bike Tony le Tigre won five Superbike races on last season, especially given that a standard GSX-R1000R sells for over $17k. This one makes 221 rear-wheel horses, according to the ad, and weighs 370 pounds. It’s only got 300 miles on it.

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Would You Ride It?

Today’s Butchered Classic, from the Facebook group of the same name, is this ex-Honda CBX1000, thrashed to within an inch of its life by Bad Seeds Motorcycles of Japan. Wait, actually they are in France, which explains a lot. What was once a beautiful motorcycle and the apogee of Honda engineering circa 1980, is now a moldering mess of mismatched appendages that appear to have been rear-ended by a deep-South Senatorial candidate.

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Suzuki Factory Tour Part 2: Takatsuka Engine Manufacturing Plant

The all-new 2017 GSX-R1000 is “a huge impact model for us,” Takeshi Hayasaki, president of Suzuki Motor of America, told us at the Gixxer’s launch earlier this year. As such, part of the new GSX-R’s media launch included tours of Suzuki’s three main facilities in Japan where we could witness the care and precision that goes into each bike’s development and its production.

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Well, What'll It Be? A MO Poll

You know you want a new motorcycle.

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What's The Best Motorcycle For A New Rider?

What’s the best first bike?

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How Much Is An Electric Motorcycle?

Electric motorcycles may be the future, but right now they are far from being price-competitive with their gasoline-powered cousins. But don’t worry! Even though having an electric motorcycle can cost you many thousands of more dollars, you may be able to even out the price difference.

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Where Is It Legal To Lane Split?

Lane Splitting. That’s what motorcyclists and law enforcement call it when you’re riding between two lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. But can you do it without risking a ticket or worse?

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Lane Splitting in Oregon?

Lane Splitting. It’s the practice of riding a motorcycle between rows of stopped or slow-moving traffic. You probably know that it’s been legal in California for many years, but what you may not know is that it’s explicitly or implicitly illegal in every other U.S. state.

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What's the Fine for Lane Splitting?

Lane-splitting, as the practice of riding a motorcycle between lanes of stopped or slow-moving vehicles is called, is either explicitly against the law or is a riding style that will get you written up for violating some other law in every state in the USA except California – and even there, you can’t do it however you want. Ride smart or get a ticket is the rule, but if you get caught, what’s the fine for lane splitting?

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Arch Motorcycles For 2018

We were so busy running around EICMA making silver screen magic with our own videos, we didn’t even have time to stop by actual movie star Keanu Reeves’ Arch Motorcycles display. Which is a damn shame, because you know that’s where all the cool people were and we could’ve maybe discussed our craft. It’s also a shame because Arch had two new models on display.

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For the Man Who Has Everything But a CBX

I don’t know if when Honda puts a motorcycle in a crate it expects it to stay in there for 37 years, but whoever buys this 1980 still-in-the-crate CBX1000 off of Craigslist will pay handsomely to find out how good the state of post-manufacture suspended animation was in 1980.

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Superbike-Coach Cornering School

Entering turn one, the new Dorsoduro 900’s wide handlebar would allow me to easily point the big supermoto toward the apex and then quickly afterward, get it pointed toward the next. Out of the corner of my eye I saw coach Can Akkaya wheelie-ing through the shortcut on the track to make his way in front of me. Can would tap the rear fender of his KTM 450 supermoto shod with race slicks, indicating I should follow his lines closely around the track. As we made our way around the tight little Stockton 99 Kart and Motorcycle track, coach Akkaya would point to each apex and then up to the outside of the track and then back to the next apex while, in between, motioning to keep my eyes up and moving from corner to corner.

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Head Shake - The Burnsafesto Critique

I see Comrade Burns has taken another page from John’s Little Red Book to hold forth yet again on his notion of making the United States a communal roadside bangles and holistic herbal healing stand. From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs or something. In the last episode, we discovered the reason kids aren’t buying bikes is because we don’t live in a worker’s paradise. Well I’d like to take a moment and interrupt John’s embryonic five-year plan to simply say, “Piffle.”

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Michelin Road 5 Announced - Available January 1, 2018

Today, Michelin announced a new sport-touring tire, the Michelin Road 5. Although the Road 5 supersedes the Pilot Road 4, the Pilot has been dropped from the name in an effort to differentiate Michelin’s road-going offerings from the more hard-core sporting Power line. The primary change between the Pilot Road 4 and the Road 5 takes place in the tread’s siping and the incorporation of ACT+ technology seen earlier this year on the Michelin Power RS.

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Of Course Suzuki Will Be At EICMA

We nearly panicked when we noticed Suzuki’s not scheduled for a presentation at the world’s biggest motorcycle show next week, but not to worry. They’ll be at EICMA with all their wares on display, they’re just not putting on the typical dog and pony show. Does that mean there’s nothing new and exciting beyond a new V-Strom 250? Not to worry: “Suzuki will display already announced 2018 models at EICMA in Milan, and may show some additional new product,” says Suzuki’s Avery Innis.

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Whatever: Hello, I Must Be Going

And now for my next complaint. The topic keeps coming up: Why aren’t more people buying motorcycles? When applied to Millennials, we conjectured a few Whatevers ago – after minutes of careful thought and some research including opening our eyeballs – that they’re not buying more motorcycles because they have no money. I’ll add to that today: In addition to not having any money, riders are also not buying more motorcycles because they simply have no damn time to ride them.

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Rallying The Kawasaki Versys-X 300

Kawasaki’s Versys-X 300 impressed us when we first rode it this spring, with John Burns reporting that it would be a good machine to “propagate your bigger adventures.” Then, after some time on it this summer, its versatility and affordability helped us decide to give it accolades as the Honorable Mention in our Best On/Off-Road Adventure motorcycle of 2017. To better put it to test, we assigned our newest editor, Brent Jaswinski, to load up the littlest Versys with camping gear and head out on the road for an adventure of his own. –Ed.

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European Bike Sales Also Down In 2017

Meanwhile in the Old Country, the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) has released its third-quarter numbers. In Europe, they keep track of the bike population by counting new registrations, and for the first nine months of this year, new motorcycle sales were down 5.1%. If you include mopeds, new registrations are down just 1.6%.

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I'd Ride It. You?

Today’s first ever installment of I’d Ride it. You?, which I just invented, is an Ariel Square Four Chopper found on Butcheredclassics.com.

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Bell Helmets DOME R&D Lab Tour

Bell Powersports invited us to tour its American R&D and design facility this week so we could see with our own eyes the care and dedication that goes into the creation and testing of its head-protection efforts. It was enlightening to learn all that goes on behind the scenes at its Scotts Valley, California, location.

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Indian Wars: Who's Winning?

Yesterday we reported Indian made great strides in Q3, with a claimed increase in retail sales of 16% – a day on which mothership Polaris’s stock (PII) jumped the same 16%. In that same third quarter, Indian’s cowboy, Harley-Davidson, saw its sales decline 8.1%. Unlike Indian, H-D actually breaks out numbers: 45,469 units sold domestically in Q3 2016 slid to 41,793 in Q3 2017 – and 161,658 units for the whole year. Domestically.

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Archive: Suzuki XR69

Say, did we miss the Suzuki GSX-R’s 30th birthday party? Sorry about that – but you know how it is when you have so many children running around the house. You lose track. The GSX-R grew so ubiquitous over the years – if you weren’t tripping over one in the garage, you were backing over one in a parking lot or crashing one at Willow Springs. Lately, however, there seems to be a lot of interest in the motorcycle that led Suzuki directly to the GSX-R. That would be the GS1000R, better known now as XR69.

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Electric Motorcycle Under $5,000?

Are we in the future, or what? We can buy groceries from Beijing while we video chat with family in Baltimore, carry supercomputers around in our pockets, and doctors can make new human body parts in a Petri dish. We don’t have jet packs or hoverbikes, but we may have the next best thing: practical electric motorcycles, motorcycles that ranges of 100 miles or more.

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Skidmarks: Choices, Part II

You aren’t sure if you’re making the right decision – about anything, ever. 

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Things to Avoid When Learning to Ride #67

“Whiskey Throttle” happens when the instinct to hang on for dear life overrides the proper control input, which in this case would be to shut off the throttle. It’s hard to roll the throttle closed, however, when you find yourself running along behind the motorcycle.  Learn more in todays’s Video clip of the day, sponsored by Hatch Illustrations.

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Touring New Zealand Two-Up

“I need more time, leave me alone, please!” Mascara runs down her cheek, shoaling in an alluvial, Revlon-delta at the base of her nose. This isn’t any way to start our New Zealand motorcycle tour. High on the twelfth floor of Auckland’s Sky City Grande hotel, my wife, Colleen, is sitting on the bed crying. Eleven suitcases must be condensed to fit inside the cramped storage space of our metallic-burgundy Victory Vision.

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Five 2018 Honda Gold Wing Specs You Need to Know

Our man Evans came back breathless about the new 2018 Honda Gold Wing a couple days ago. With its new ride-by-wire engine, optional electronic suspension, and overhauled electronics and entertainment systems, the long-running, long-distance ’Wing has definitely entered the 21st century. These five specs, though, are the ones that jump off the page as the ones that we expect are going to transform what was a touring bike into a truly sporty touring bike.

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Lesson #72 When You're Learning to Stunt

Stay in your own lane!

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Did Lou Reed and the Honda Elite Lead to the Downfall of Western Civilization?

By now we’re all accustomed to Cadillac using classic Led Zeppelin tunes to hawk its cars, Taco Bell selling chalupas via Guns ‘n Roses, Beatles songs selling Nikes. It’s all fair game if the price is right, but it wasn’t always so. In a new biography called  Lou Reed: A Life, Anthony DeCurtis makes the case that it all began with a commercial Reed made in 1984 to help Honda launch its new line of scooters, the soundtrack being Reed’s greatest hit, “Walk on the Wild Side.”

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The Gateway: Learning To Ride With Coach2Ride

My first crash on a motorcycle was a highside. I knew not as to why I had flung over the handlebars like a circus acrobat. I had never ridden a bike before, so my skills on one were very subpar. That was until I went to Coach2Ride, the school that gave me my first step into exercising my passion to become a proficient motorcyclist.

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Triumph the Art of the Motorcycle Book Review

Triumph the Art of the Motorcycle

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2018 Zero Motorcycles Lineup Announced

Today, Zero Motorcycles announced its 2018 model line, and while the lineup remains unchanged from a model name standpoint, that doesn’t mean the electric motorcycle company has been sitting still.

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Slow Adults MMC (Mini Motorcycle Club) On Honda Mini Trails

Have you ever dreamt of being able to ride your motorcycle anywhere and everywhere? Of course you have, as that’s probably one of the main reasons why you bought one in the first place – to adventure with! Motorcycles, simply put, are adventure machines. They’re obviously designed to take you places, however, motorcycles each have their own capabilities and limitations on where they can go and what they can do. For instance, you wouldn’t take your R1 or Gixxer down a long, rutted, dirt road or trail would you? Well, maybe you might, but it wouldn’t be ideal. A dual-sport or adventure bike would be much better suited for such a task. But even these bikes have their limits. However, one type of bike can do all the above while not only putting a giant smile on your face, but also on any onlookers who happen to see you too! I’m talking about minibikes here, people.

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Riding the Indian Scout FTR750!

The clop, clop, clop of my steel shoe resonating through my helmet as I walked through the uncomfortable October heat at Perris Auto Speedway in my trusty NJK leathers as I headed toward the snarling motorcycle that was waiting for me.

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Head Shake - The Art of the Standard

I am a product of the 1970s, the decade of the UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle), what’s become known as the “standard” motorcycle. I come from a generation that gazed at Bol d’Or or Suzuka specials on magazine covers and drooled. I was a “standard” guy by any measure, and my meager means at the time made it so. Much as I once drooled over a new Ducati 900SS sitting in a shop next to an equally alluring Darmah, I could no more afford those bikes at the time, much less the upkeep, than I could an Ivy League education. The beauty of those bikes though was evident right down to the attention to detail and artistry of the controls and rear-sets. But I was a rubber footpegs kind of guy; I was woefully standard.

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2018 Aprilia Dorsoduro 900 First Ride Review

I asked around at the launch of the Dorsoduro (and Shiver) 900, why was this bike named “Dorsoduro”? I know what the Dorsoduro is and have visited the district in the Italian city of Venice on two separate occasions, but I was looking for an answer full of emotion and history which I have come to expect from Italian manufacturers (and their marketing departments). To my surprise, everyone began to tell me what the name was rather than why it was named as such. Well, after having ridden the 2018 Aprilia Dorsoduro 900, it is clear to me why the Italian manufacturer would look to one of Italy’s most iconic cities and why they would choose the sestieri of Dorsoduro as its namesake.

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Support Your Local Racetracks

For a lot of us motorcycle enthusiasts, our obsession with motorcycles or even motorsports in general began sometime during our youth. I don’t know exactly what it was about motorcycles that sparked my fascination. Was it the fact that they’re loud and menacingly fast or was it because my middle name is Danger and I have an audacious propensity to make my mom nervous? All I knew was that I was hooked and nothing was going to change that. Sorry, Mom…

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Take the Official MO GSX-R "How Squidly Are Ye?" Quiz
2018 Aprilia Shiver 900 First Ride Review

When Aprilia invited Motorcycle.com to the press introduction for the 2018 Shiver 900 first ride, I thought, hadn’t that model been announced at EICMA 2016 as an upcoming 2017 model? If so, the model had been selling for a while already, right? It had. But as is typical, those lucky Europeans got it first and we had to wait. After the bikes made their journey across the ocean, braving Hurricane Harvey, and worse yet, meeting homologation, the new 900s arrived state-side. A few weeks later, the introduction of the new 2018 Aprilia Shiver 900 would commence.

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Ask MO Anything: Why is My Clutch Slipping, Ma?

Dear MOby,

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