In a move further supporting my argument that R1s are purpose-built racebikes with lights and mirrors to make them legal on the roads, for 2023 Yamaha is introducing the R1 GYTR – an R1 prepared specifically for track duty, without any of the homologation pieces for roadworthiness (don’t worry, the standard R1 isn’t going anywhere). Yamaha similarly does the same thing with the R6, offering it for sale exclusively as a track-only model.
To celebrate 30 years since Aprilia won its first world championship title, Aprilia (or, more appropriately, the racing division) is introducing this, the RSV4 Xtrenta. Encompassing the same basic profile the RSV4 has carried since its birth over a decade ago, the Xtrenta is defined by the level of aerodynamic work the Noale factory has applied from its MotoGP program.
If there’s one thing KTM knows how to do, it’s how to get dirty. The company obviously has its long history of off-road competition, and victories, to its name, and that success has transferred nicely into the adventure bike market. You can even argue KTM’s adventure bikes (along with the BMW GS family) are responsible for this boom in the ADV market.
Well it’s not always about me. Or is it? One of the first things I remember seeing after I’d finally busted out to California, up there on the beautiful Presidio of Monterey, was my first Ducati. It was January 1981, and a pale baby blue, so it must’ve been one of the very first 500 SL Pantahs. Exotic place (for the Army, anyway), exotic bike. So exciting.
Looking back upon it through 20-year thick vino rosso-colored glasses, I remember really liking the 2002 Ducati 999. Probably because so many others did not; following that 916 shape was never going to be easy. But reading the old road test, the faint praise is palpable. Oh well, at least there’s a gratuitous crash pic of our new intern, Sean Alexander, on some other motorcycle. The look of Terblanche’s design has only grown on me over the years, but that could be because I haven’t seen a 999 in probably a decade. I do still have the t-shirt.
Back in May 2021, MO’s resident sleuth Dennis Chung took a dive into the rumor mill surrounding a possible mini-Africa Twin coming from Honda. Trademark filings for the name Transalp were filed in several markets around the world, including the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
As a kid, I remember my folks would take their shoes to the local shoe repair shop. I take it for granted now since I’ve been working from home long before it was cool, but there was a time when people not only had to go into an office, they also had to wear nice clothes, too! And the bit of that wardrobe that got the most punishment were the shoes. Those business shoes never looked comfortable, with their hard soles and weird patterns on the leather. But they lasted a long time, and if the soles ever wore out – which they did regularly with my folks – the local repair shop (I guess they were called cobblers even further back in time) could just put a new sole on and breathe new life into what would have been (re)tired shoes.
My latest stupid thing is rinsing the engine of my new used car with the hose. Not a pressure wash or even a full blast, I swear! Just a light drizzle to rinse off some degreaser in a couple nooks and crannies the morning after I brought the thing home. Before I did that, my new-to-me 2000 Jaguar XJR had been running like a 4-liter V-eight Jaguar with an Eaton supercharger on top of it. After it, the RESTRICTED PERFORMANCE lamp was lit and it would barely run. Dang. (I hope we can talk about cars here, too, can’t we? I was a car guy before I was a motorcycle guy, and the same concepts apply.)
Wow, 2012 doesn’t seem like such a long time ago, but nearly all the motorcycles we fawned, toadied, and shamelessly groveled all over are nearly all gone or usurped. And not even that missed, thanks to the machines that superseded them. The best of them are still around, though: Honda NC750X and PCX150, BMW K1600, and 1000RR, Tuono… Your best new tech, the Thin Film Transistor display on the new Ducati Diavel, has become ubiquitous. Sadly, the SOLFX Transitions faceshield introduced by Bell helmets, has not. Whirled without end, amen.
Let’s clear the air right off the bat with this one: This is *not* a crash-tested review, though I can understand why you would think so after I wrote about my recent experiences tumbling down the road in the Forcite MK1 helmet and Alpinestars’ own GP Force Chaser entry-level suit. While it’s never a great time to crash a motorcycle, the timing of those experiences brings a great deal of context to the latest in safety innovation by Alpinestars: the Tech-Air 10 airbag system.
Greg D. from Rider magazine and Ron Lieback from Cycle World had been beating me up all day around the cute little test track at CFMOTO’s coming-out party for its seven new motorcycles last month. Even when I was on my favorite 2022 CFs – the 700CL-X and ADVentura 650 – those guys were still leaving me in the dust on what should’ve been slower motorcycles, dammit. But I think I’ve written entire columns about how it’s better to never have been really good at any particular sport, as it makes it way easier to accept defeat. Serious competitors get their psyches all bruised and bent out of shape; I retreat to the food truck for more bbq and beverages… Also, the damp patches and tar snakes were things everybody had to deal with, but the older you get the more you prefer to not fall off the motorcycle.
Back in May, Harley-Davidson announced it would temporarily halt motorcycle production due to a “regulatory compliance matter” regarding an unspecified part from a third-party supplier. Harley-Davidson initially estimated the stoppage would last two weeks but it eventually lasted 19 days before production resumed on June 6.
According to Siri, the most read page on the internet regarding Ontario motorcycling is the Complete list of motorcycle events page. Not a surprise, as we can’t see a better way to combine our passion for the ride with like-minded people, often for a good cause. So while any event on the list is a worthy choice, the below-listed offer a bit extra for your time by making getting there and back among some of Ontario’s finest moto roads half the fun. Time waits for no one; by the time you read this, some of these might have already come and gone. Luckily they are annual happenings; no need to fret; miss it this season, start planning for next year,
Today a Motorcycle.com photo shoot is at least a half-day affair involving thousands of dollars worth of Canon’s finest gear and millions of pixels. Twenty years ago, it was a 10-minute errand on the way to lunch at the FlatCat on Normandie, with Clavin’s clapped-out Olympus and half a roll of film. And let’s not forget to stock up on Sparks on the way back to the office. I had completely forgotten about the Triumph Bonneville America, but it feels like we liked it.
CFMOTO was founded in 1989 and has been a significant presence in China’s domestic market ever since – producing government vehicles for police, fire departments, etc. In that time, it’s also been developing a name for itself as a feature-rich and reliable manufacturer of engines, parts, ATVs, side-by-sides, scooters, and motorcycles worldwide.
After months of preparation, MO’s biggest Showdown of the year is taking place right now, and you can follow it. We have secured an Aprilia Tuareg 660 and a Yamaha Ténéré 700, had them transported to the Get On! ADV Fest, flew out to Sturgis, SD, and are riding the two bikes back on an epic 1,800-mile street and off-road route planned by master of the long-haul journey, Ryan Adams. Accompanying him will be EiC Evans Brasfield for riding and photo duty (bets are currently being taken over how many times he’ll crash in the dirt) and MO Video Producer, Sean Matic.
Maybe I’ve been hanging out with Managing Editor Ryan Adams too much. After more than 30 years of riding almost exclusively on the street, I’ve been bitten by the off-road bug. (Having a 14 year-old daughter who asked me to teach her to ride dirt bikes played a big part, too.) However, I don’t want to just drive to the desert, do daylong dirt rides, load the bikes in the truck, and drive home. I want to travel, too. Adventure touring has tickled my fancy.
This isn’t quite Part 2 of the Earl Roloff saga, which we haven’t quite got around to yet. But it is an important digression – the story of the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 that won the first Formula USA championship in 1986, and still glowers at intruders from its glass enclosure at the Willow Springs International Raceway office. As told by Earl, Jr., himself. – John Burns
[Friend-of-MO, Neale Bayly sends us this dispatch from the beginning of his journey through Ukraine. As he does with most of his humanitarian travels, Bayly seeks to raise awareness about – and money to help address – the plight of the people he encounters along the way. – EB]
Reviewing a crash-tested piece of gear is up there on our least favorite things to do on this job, and when said piece of gear is a helmet, we’re especially annoyed – and that’s putting it mildly. However, the fact I’m here and able to write a review about a crashed helmet at all is a good sign, especially when the helmet comes from an up-and-coming company in the smart helmet space.
Welcome to the weekend, that magical collection of time where so much is possible, particularly if your favorite time indulging activity is exploring Ontario from your motorcycle seat. That said, Ontario is a big place and narrowing down all the weekend-worthy moto adventures is easier said than done. Well, you’re in luck; here are five routes worthy of your weekend, and all you have to do is get on your bike and ride.
Recently, Klim invited eight European journalists to the company’s Idaho-based HQ for a bit of local touring to showcase the usefulness and practicality of its products. “Welcome to one of the most scenic test and development laboratories on earth, right here in our own backyard,” said Klim representatives. Thankfully, someone must’ve felt adding a few real-life Americans to the pot would really kick up the Americana experience a notch for our visitors, and yours truly got the invite.
Hmmmmm, I remember really liking the 848 Streetfighter for an everyday Ducati ten years ago, but Tommy “Guns” Roderick was less than complimentary when he rode the thing around Italy at its introduction. High strung, nervous, and “a testicle-harrowing experience” thanks to a forward-sloping seat, TR concluded the 848 was a motorcycle he wouldn’t want to spend more than an afternoon on. Ouch.
At first blush, creating an electric touring bike appears to be a bold move. And it is. If you were to ask anyone familiar with EV motorcycles what a green tourer would need over other electric models, they would probably list the following: increased range, faster charging capabilities, usable real world power, and no increase in weight while achieving the above goals. As I sit here writing this review with the press kit information in hand, the Energica Experia appears to have developed with those specific goals in mind. Fortunately, I got to have a quick sample of the Experia’s capabilities in the challenging environment of Italy’s Dolomites, a scenic, twisty, and very popular European touring destination.
Ducati has finally released details about its much-anticipated electric race bike, known internally as the “V21L” prototype. The V21L is important for several reasons. Not only is it the platform with which Ducati will tackle the MotoE championship, starting in 2023 as the sole supplier, but it can also give us some clues as to some of the solutions Ducati are experimenting with in regards to a future production-based electric motorcycle available to all.
A few years ago, I took a break from my lovely MO family and decided to get a real job, complete with an actual commute. Without the pick of the litter to choose from anymore, I had to actually buy a bike to get to work on. The pick? A Kawasaki Versys – anecdotally, the number one motorcycle actually owned by motorcycle journalists (or former ones, in this case). When asked, Brad Puetz (pronounced like the Fight Club actor but not nearly as famous), Kawi’s PR guy, spouted off a series of names of folks in this job who own the VERsatile SYStem.
When a manufacturer stumbles upon a winning formula, it tends to milk it for all it’s worth. A perfect example can be found under the Ducati umbrella. The Panigale V4S has been one of the company’s best-selling models, and when Ducati decided to give it the SP treatment and fit it with carbon fiber wheels, a dry clutch, and some other premium parts, all of them sold out within a week.
The first time I made it out to Willow Springs International Raceway out there in the Mojave desert was frightening enough. The desert inhabitants were an unfamiliar breed, I wondered how long Cycle magazine would take to comprehend that I was vastly unqualified for my new job, and the Fastest Road in the West was intimidating just on the face of it. Scared enough at the prospect of riding on a real racetrack for the first time, when I stepped out of the hot sun and into the dark track office, there sat in a Lexan case a truly frightening motorcycle, a menacing black mid-’80s Kawasaki ZX1000R that had been stripped for battle, ridden to the 1986 Formula USA Championship (the first one), and named “The Terminator.”
With two years of racing canceled due to COVID, the lead up to the 2022 Isle of Man TT was fraught with concern over… well, everything. The Isle of Man is a speck of a country in the middle of the Irish Sea, with only 88,000 residents, that somehow girds up and welcomes 40,000 visitors, 13,000 bikes and an army of riders, teams, volunteer Marshals and support personnel for a two-week festival around the incredible Mountain Course.
Due to the popularity of Harley-Davidson’s open-class adventure bike, the Pan America, it was only a matter of time before we’d start seeing the aftermarket bursting with all sorts of choice upgrades to enhance the stock machine. Among those companies is, of course, Akrapovič. The company already produces aftermarket exhaust components for the majority of the adventure motorcycling segment, and now you can get a high quality titanium and carbon fiber slip-on for your Harley-Davidson, too (an optional link pipe is also available if emissions compliance is not necessary for your application).
Our Indian spokesperson says she’s excited to share that Indian Motorcycle is unveiling two new limited-edition baggers within its premier “Elite” class, and that makes us excited. “With limited availability, and an exclusive, custom-inspired design, the 2022 Indian Challenger Elite and 2022 Chieftain Elite deliver the ultimate in style and exclusivity,” we’re told. The Challenger of course rolls with Indian’s latest 108-inch PowerPlus liquid-cooled V-twin that we love, the Chieftain with the more traditional air-cooled Thunderstroke 116 motor, complete with pushrod tubes. Horses for courses. Either way, these bodacious high-tech, high-end baggers will definitely flip some wigs and/or furrow some brows straight off the factory floor.
You see, here’s the thing about the Isle of Man TT. It shouldn’t be thought of as a “bucket list” event. The TT is The Bucket. The 115 year old vessel which holds the best of motorcycle racing history, technology, competition, camaraderie, and culture. It is surrounded by the places and the people and the spirits that form a shared experience unrivaled in motorsports. And once you indulge, you will know that once is not enough. This is trip number thirteen for me. And as in years past, rather than just report on the results of the TT Races, I’ll give Motorcycle.com readers a sense of what goes on throughout the fortnight, out and about on The Isle of Man.
Looking out over the Pacific Ocean, six months into a ride across the Americas, I found myself attending The Cold Start, an off-road riding clinic in Ensenada, Mexico. This may seem like an odd way to spend finite travel funds, but the rewards for this type of investment are surprisingly numerous.
Harley-Davidson announced it is pausing assembly and shipments of all motorcycles for a two-week period due to a problem with a component from a third-party supplier. Production halted as of May 18, the day after Harley-Davidson was notified about the problem by the supplier.
This is going to be awkward. You see, you’re about to read a piece about Ducati’s most focused Streetfighter V4 yet. You’re going to expect it to be a highly refined and special machine, worthy of the Sport Production suffix. And you know what – you’re right. It’s good. It’s very good.
Twenty-five years ago, the 1997 Kawasaki ZX-6 had not yet grown an “R.” It came with a centerstand, dual exhausts, and weighed 430 pounds full of 4.8 gallons of unleaded fuel. The leaded stuff hadn’t been phased out until one year earlier, which may explain a lot about the mental condition of many of us Boomers. It was a great, inexpensive, do-anything motorcycle in other words. I haven’t seen one in years, you? Take it away, Billy B.
I guess manufacturers know that you’re going to swap on aftermarket parts from the get go, but it doesn’t make it any less annoying that machines like KTM’s 500 EXC-F, which retails for $12,549, don’t come with even the most basic engine protection. In the rocky terrain I find myself riding in the western U.S., a skid plate is an essential worker. But that’s not the only bit of protection I like to get my machines outfitted with before hitting the trail. We already mentioned the purchase price of a new pumpkin, so spending a few more dollars to protect components before they have the chance to get smashed seems like a worthwhile investment.
Motorcyclists come in all shapes, sizes and tribes, but if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that we hate paying a lot for motorcycle insurance. Sure, we grudgingly accept that it’s important to be properly insured, but the less we have to pay, the better.
In 1997, Harley-Davidson owned 49% of Buell Motorcycles and a lien on Erik Buell’s house; outwardly, the relationship appeared to be somewhat symbiotic. The M2 Cyclone was almost the last of the tube-framed Buells, while the first turbocharged XB fuel-in-aluminum-frame bike was on the drawing board. It was close, but sadly, none of it quite went according to plan…
Triumph is preparing to give the Street Twin and Street Scrambler new names, continuing its recent trend of giving its models new monikers. The changes may happen soon, as Triumph has filed certification documents in Australia, renaming the Street Twin as the Speed Twin 900, and similarly, changing the Street Scrambler to the Scrambler 900.
Although I was born and raised in Virginia and North Carolina, I’ve done relatively little riding in the two states. When I got my first motorcycle license, I literally packed my belongings on my bike and set out for California the next day for a three-month, 11,000-mile tour. So, when I received the invitation to my 40th high school reunion (OK, 41st. Thanks, Covid.), thoughts of spending some quality, two-wheeled time in the mountains of my home states immediately came to mind.
The Triumph Trident 660 isn’t the first middleweight naked I would consider taking to the racetrack. Then again, sometimes I forget that some people only own one motorcycle that they use for everything. But, that didn’t stop Akrapovič from developing and manufacturing a closed-course only race-line full-system exhaust for it. I suppose if someone had to do it, it may as well be the Slovenians with their in-house titanium foundry and metallurgical laboratory.
Naturally, I reached for my Aerostich. The sport-tourer’s uniform of choice, it seemed like the right thing to wear when the invite to test Suzuki’s newest sport-tourer – the 2022 GSX-S1000GT+ – popped up in my inbox. It offers full-body protection from both the ground and the elements, is easy to take on and off, has loads of pockets, and has room underneath for layers (including an airbag, in my case). I felt like I made the right decision when I hopped on the bike.
Cardo Systems has been a leading manufacturer of motorcycle communicators since 2004 when it introduced the first Bluetooth headsets designed for riders. The latest from Cardo is the Packtalk Edge, a new flagship product offering faster connectivity, improved sound quality, and a more compact chassis.
One day is good, but more is better. Words to live by if you appreciate consecutive long days of motorcycle touring. With thousands of kilometers of roads spider-webbing across Ontario, Canada, putting a memorable multi-day tour together is time-consuming. Lucky for us, the GoTourOntario.ca website can get you started but allow us to make it even easier with this collection of five Ontario motorcycle routes you don’t want to miss.
It’s happened. When I got into this business 30-some years ago, those who came before me were going on about Norton Commandos and BSA Gold Stars. I tried to fake it, but could form no mental picture of what they were even referring to? Are you sure you don’t have an earlybird special to get to or a nap to take? This year, the Honda CBR600 is 35 years old, and here am I to tell you all about probably the greatest motorcycle ever made. Strap in.
With its innovative cutting edge NDM technology, Swedish brand USWE has revolutionized the back satchel game. Whoa. Bold statement, aye? I get a kick out of the phrase “NDM technology” since NDM stands for No Dancing Monkey. But, opinions of the brand’s marketing choices aside, it’s kind of true. Having used the USWE (pronounced: yoo-swee) Raw 8 and the Core 25, I’m sold on the usefulness of the brand’s bounce-free backpacks.
Having your motorcycle stolen somehow feels like more of a personal attack than theft. In many cases, we are more attached to our two-wheeled friends than the four-wheeled ones. Unfortunately, motorcycles are also easier to steal, making them targets for purloiners.
The best way to experience the great outdoors and Northern Ontario wilderness is on two wheels! The north is big and full of endless trails and gravel roads to explore, which makes this area one of the best in the world for riders who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban roads and highways. This is a place where you’ll ride to communities where they count moose, cross boundaries where the water runs in a different direction and find historic sites that date back to the original exploration of Canada.
Ah, Los Angeles. The city of angels and Dodger dogs, beaches and mountains. It’s the land where everyone is famous – or trying to be. People from all over call LA home, and the result is a really amazing place, steeped with rich traditions and cultures from all over the world.
If you didn’t know, we’re big fans of Racer gloves around here, having tested no less than five different models throughout the years. First, there was the Warm Up gloves, then the High Speed, the Stratos Goretex II, Sprint, the High Racer, and finally the Multitop 2. As you can see, we’ve gone through a few Racer gloves over the years, and for the most part, we’ve come away really happy with them. Though the name might say Racer, the Austrian company makes gloves for all different kinds of riding – and you certainly don’t need to be a racer to wear them.
Our new friend Christian Brix, whose excellent book about a solo trek through Africa we reviewed here last July, has decided he’s now a rallyist, or whatever you call masochists who ride things like the Gibraltar Race, 2021. After completing that one, Christian had some thoughts (and some photos) to share with us. He’s pretty fun reading, no?
Triumph’s open-class ADV bike, the Tiger 1200 (or Tiger Explorer depending on what era we’re talking about), had begun to get a little long in the tooth. The big cat hadn’t received a major overhaul since its introduction in 2012 – only receiving incremental upgrades to keep the machine relevant over the past 10 years. The Brits did give the bike some refreshes and new tech over that time, but nothing compared to the latest iteration that I was lucky enough to get a proper two-day test of around the backroads and trails of the Iberian Peninsula.
Our favorite high-tech Slovenian pipe benders are at it again, now with a new slip-on system for Yamaha’s super-gnar 2022 MT-10 naked bike. Designed with a not-accidental resemblance to the Akrapovič exhaust for the Yamaha R1 Superbike, this new version of the EC/ECE type-approved Slip-On Line system is constructed using high-grade lightweight titanium in the link pipe, end cap, and muffler outer sleeve – which is sandblasted for an enhanced, satiny appearance.