With thousands of kilometers of road and a daunting number of potential moto touring routes to choose from, planning your next Ontario motorcycle ride can be a challenge. What will it be, a long-distance epic, beach hopping along the great lakes shoreline or zigzagging between northern lakes and the Canadian Shield? Sure, a visit to the GoTourOntario.ca can assist, but if you happen to be the kind of rider that believes lunch should be as good as the ride, allow us a few suggestions.
I could’ve sworn Honda had discontinued the 600RR years ago, when I bumped into a pretty red, white, and blue 2021 model on the corporate website a few weeks ago. What? Colin Miller, our American Honda media rep, assures me that’s not the case, and that the bike’s been available in the US all along. Hmmm, wonder why I haven’t ridden one in such a long time?
Jim Lindemann was a genius in the suspension business who saw opportunity where others didn’t – by improving upon the suspension a motorcycle came with from the factory. Many moons ago, when Kawasaki Ninja 250s were littering race tracks as a fun and inexpensive way of getting into racing, competitors were replacing their shocks with aftermarket pieces. Lindemann, in keeping with the inexpensive nature of the class, modified a stock shock and gave it adjustable rebound and compression circuits, along with a remote reservoir to house the pressurized fluid, all for less than the aftermarket shocks on the market at the time. The result? I set a lap record around Willow Springs Raceway using that shock on a Ninja 250 (that was beaten a lap later by another racer).
In 1997, Bill Clinton started his second term, nobody was sure if the Titanic had sunk or not as the Leonardo di Caprio film had just debuted – along with the Toyota Prius in Japan. Love was in the air, the median California home price was $186k, and what the hell was Motorcycle Online? What could possibly go wrong?
Kyle Wyman knows a thing or two about superbikes. Having ridden quite a few over the years as a MotoAmerica rider, and having built some himself as a MotoAmerica team owner – including the Ducati Panigale V4R he campaigned most recently – the 2021 MotoAmerica King of the Baggers champion didn’t mince his words when describing the synergy between himself, Harley-Davidson, and the Road Glide he took all the way to the title.
Your new-for-2022 Indian Pursuit unleashes the next generation of American V-Twin touring performance, says Indian. Basically, what’s going on is turning the Challenger bagger into a full-on tourer mit trunk, and adding some new twists like electronic rear-shock preload adjustment and driving light lowers (on the Premium models).
Just two days ago, MO’s own Dennis Chung leaked the collaboration between KTM and the German automotive tuning house (or is that haus?) Brabus and their creation of the 2022 Brabus 1300 R. Today, that collaboration was made official as KTM sent out the below press release detailing all there is to know about the Brabus 1300 R.
Tire manufacturers are getting bold these days, pumping out tires that barely pass the bar for what counts as street legal. Take the Michelin Power Cup 2, for example. If it weren’t for the scant traces of tread marks down the middle, you could easily mistake these tires for a racing slick. And with a 5% void ratio, clearly, that’s the point. Michelin also goes so far as to outright claim the Power Cup 2 as a 90/10 tire – that is, it’s made to spend 90% of its time on track and 10% on the street. The slight tread profile proves just enough for the Department of Transportation to deem it legal for use on public roads. With that endorsement, KTM – you know, being “Ready To Race” and all – have even found it fitting to slap the Power Cup 2 tires on the 890 Duke R – stock!
A few years after the original M900 Monster attacked America circa 1993, Ducati expanded the repertoire with the 1997 M750 Monster – a simple, air-cooled, four-valve V-twin putting out a massive 68 horsepower. What I learned today: “In cold weather conditions you can turn on a petcock found on the oil cooling system and warm up the carburetors quickly using engine oil.” For reals?
There are some famous motorcycle routes all over the country: Mulholland Highway, Beartooth Highway, Blue Ridge Parkway, The Tail of the Dragon, just to name a few. As fun as these roads are, one thing remains true: you’ll always find a local who claims to know much better roads that are far less crowded. That then reignites your wanderlust to visit those roads. Or, if time is limited, you’ll wish you had gone to those roads instead. In the end, local knowledge is invaluable, and we, as motorcyclists, tend to take pride in knowing about “the good roads” nobody else knows about. But the fact of the matter is that you can’t possibly know every winding road throughout this lovely country. So, what do you do?
What’s going on with the 2022 Indian Scout Rogues is this: blacked-out trim, a quarter fairing, mini ape-hanger handlebars, a “sport-style” seat, and a 19-inch front wheel. We were big fans of the Scout when it got here, enough so that we made it our 2015 Motorcycle of the Year. At the time, we liked the portent Indian had established with a few new bikes in as many years, as well as the Scout being a direct shot across the Sportster’s bow: No doubt the new Sportster competitor was one of the factors that motivated H-D to get off its, ah, laurels.
Twenty-five years ago, “Open Superbikes” meant something entirely different than what it means now. The GSX-R1100 was the most optimized of these for the race track, but one year before the first Yamaha R1, all four leaned more toward high-performance sport-tourer than to anorexic track tool. For most of us, that wasn’t a bad thing at all. As a class of motorcycle, this one doesn’t really exist anymore. Or does it? When the Suzuki Hayabusa arrived in 1999, the other three just faded away. Forgive the tiny photos while you remember this 1997 Open Superbikes epic was originally posted with videos, lost in the mists of time. Download that on your Dell desktop with Linux and smoke it.
I’m a product of rider education. Before I logged my first mile on the street, I spent two weekends on the range, attending an MSF-certified beginning rider’s course in Connecticut. Later, I became a CMSP instructor for the State of California and taught a similar program. Throughout all my years of riding, I’ve attended six different riding schools, some of them multiple times. Additionally, I’ve been fortunate enough to work and ride with some of the most talented motorcyclists around. So, given the folks I ride with, I feel like I am a perpetual student. That’s a good thing. Motorcycling is a sport that offers tremendous rewards to those who pay attention. And you should, because the costs of inattention can be very high.
When you see Yamaha’s MT-09, your gaze doesn’t go away very quickly. You end up staring at it. Granted, there’s not much to look at, but what is there is eye-catching. From the hunched shoulders of the gas tank to the creases and natural lines of the frame, you can’t help but look at it. But what keeps your vision stuck on it is the face you see staring back at you when you look at it head-on.
Reader, as you likely know, we here at Motorcycle.com test a lot of bikes. It’s kind of our job. As such, there’s always a continual rotation of motorbikes coming and going from our respective homes. Naturally, where would you put a motorcycle at your home? In your garage, of course. The cars can live outside, hun. The garage is reserved for motorbikes.
I rode in the desert for the first time in the spring of 1969. I was fourteen, and I owned a 100cc Bridgestone. Although I had spent some time on a friend’s Hodaka and had done some trail riding on a 50cc Suzuki, I wasn’t prepared for the experience. On the wrong bike, with the wrong tires, wearing the wrong gear, I fell and then fell some more, and hurt myself in places where I didn’t even know I had places.
For the track portion of our 2021 Heavyweight Naked Bike Shootout, we tried a little experiment. As if there wasn’t enough going on during our track test with simply riding the bikes (and also trying on a bunch of different helmets), we also fitted a few AiM Solo2 lap timers/data loggers onto the bikes and let the boys rip. The Solo2 is a cool device because, beyond just recording lap times, the internal gyroscopes, accelerometers, and GPS can record speed, acceleration, deceleration, lean angles, and so much more. The goal here was to have a little fun and try our hands at collecting data. By no means am I an expert at reading the data (far from it), but I had assistance from a few friends to help make sense of it all.
You’ve read our weeks long tribute to 2021 in the form of the MO Best Of awards. You’ve had your chance to debate the validity of our selection of the Harley-Davidson Pan America as the Motorcycle of the Year. Now that 2021 is almost completely in our rear view mirrors, it’s time to shift our gaze to the future. As is tradition, the Motorcycle.com staff has put together our list of the bikes that we are most looking forward to testing in the upcoming year. We’ve explained which 2022 models have caught our eye and why. But this doesn’t just have to be about us and our desires. Take a moment and share the bike(s) that you are most excited about for 2022.
If you’re a regular reader of Motorcycle.com, then you’ve probably noticed we’ve done a lot of shootouts this year. First, we put together a few middleweight Twins, then some extra-middleweight Twins, followed by a gang of lightweight twiddlers, then ending at the other end of the spectrum with the gnarly crew of heavyweight nakeds on the street and the track. It’s been quite the year with a lot of riding and testing involved. And just when you thought our shootouts were over…
Ducati today dropped a minor bombshell with the press release below, announcing testing for its prototype MotoE racer had already begun. For those unaware, Ducati is set to become the sole manufacturer for the MotoE World Cup starting in 2023, replacing Energica, whose contract as the sole – and so far only – manufacturer for MotoE expires at the end of the 2022 season.
If you haven’t heard of the Dutch motorcycle gear company REV’IT!, chances are you live under a rock or in your mom’s basement – not that there’s anything wrong with that. Founded in 1995 by Ivan Vos in the Netherlands, REV’IT! made the hop across the pond to North America in 2002. Since then, the company has grown at an impressive rate, now offering a comprehensive range of motorcycle gear from race suits that can be found protecting MotoGP athletes, to a wide swath of adventure and off-road gear. REV’IT! has also produced licensed products for major brands such as Touratech, Ducati, Husqvarna, Yamaha, and Harley-Davidson, to name a few.
Continental’s Product Manager for motorcycle tires Raphael Michels says he mostly never bothered to warm the Conti RoadAttack 3 rubber on his Husqvarna 450 supermoto racer, and still managed to get right down to dragging peg in the first corner anyway. Of the brand-new Conti RoadAttack 4 just introduced yesterday, he says you really can’t even tell the difference between hot and cold anymore.
When I was a kid I had a neighbor who, every weekend, would roll his dirt bike out from the garage and kick it to life. It usually took two or three kicks before that two-stroke would fire up. Then he’d just let it sit there for a few minutes, blipping the throttle as two-strokers tend to do. Ring-ding-ding. Ring-ding-ding. Ring-ding-ding. Eventually he would lift it up off the milk crate, throw a leg over it, and roar down the block. My neighbors probably hated him for it, but I remember I would stop whatever I was doing and watch that bike go flying by.
I really wish I could blame Covid inactivity or a medication that has weight gain as a side-effect (though both are true), but the responsibility for my physical state rests firmly on me. As a kid, I could eat anything and everything at any time and not gain a pound. For most of my life, I wanted to gain weight, and until my late 40s, I never had to think about my diet. Oh, and I have a relentless sweet tooth. So, as I celebrated my 59th birthday, my bulk had grown by almost 60 pounds during my tenure at Motorcycle.com. Stepping on the scale in mid-May and seeing it register 218 lbs was the last straw.
Twists. Turns. Suspense. Being the track portion of our mega 7-bike Heavyweight Naked Bike Shootout you’d think we’re talking about the sinuous nature of racetrack testing. No, sir. This is the plotline that would come to define this test! After conducting the street portion, some would say the outcome basically worked out as expected. Which would mean the track portion would follow suit, right? Well, as the late, great Nicky Hayden once said, “That’s why we line up on Sunday.”
Well the seat was a little high, at 34.6 inches, but that didn’t stop the Yamaha Ténéré 700 from doing very well in last summer’s blockbuster middleweight ADV comparison. Keeping it simple and keeping the weight down was a great recipe for success, and now Yamaha is fixin’ to take it to the next level with a Ténéré 700 Raid, for which this machine it showed at EICMA serves as prototype.
This news should come as a surprise to nobody, but it’s still equally as exciting to finally get the official confirmation: Yamaha is bringing an updated MT-10 to the US. Maybe more exciting is the announcement that Yamaha is also bringing an MT-10 SP here as well. We reported earlier this month that a new MT-10 was coming, but at the time, the report was only confirmed for Europe. Now the US can rest assured it’s coming here, too.
Welcome to Motorcycle.com’s 2021 Heavyweight Naked bike Shootout. If you haven’t noticed, 2021 has been the year of naked bike shootouts here at MO. We’re dubbing it Motorcycle.com’s Naked Summer, and it has all been building up to this moment – seven of the biggest, baddest naked bikes on the market today. We’ve teased the bikes on our Youtube channel for days now, and we’ll also assume you’ve already seen the specs for these seven monsters in our Spec Sheet Shootout, expertly crafted by Dennis Chung.
You’re reading this because of a simple, almost throwaway, comment a friend made a little over six months ago. Just days after my birthday, they asked if I had anything special planned for my 60th trip around the sun. I’m sure the person who said this doesn’t remember the conversation, and honestly, I’m not 100 percent sure who actually said it to me. The question, however, stuck with me. It nagged at me in a very subtle way, like a tiny splinter in my finger that I couldn’t see to remove but could clearly feel when I slid it across my skin.
It’s all about the batteries, and Zero says its new tech makes a 20% increase in capacity possible, setting a new high-water mark for onboard battery capacity and delivering an industry-leading 227 miles of city range/ 113 miles at 70 mph. ZERO’s latest Cypher III+ operating system comes standard on 2022 SR/F, SR/S and the all-new 2022 SR models, and will allow owners of those bikes to access a bunch of range, performance, and feature upgrades with the tap of a finger on the app or at www.zeromotorcycles.com/cypherstore. Faster Charging, extended range, speed and performance boost, park mode (reverse!), heated grips, and on-dash navigation are all optional for 2022 SR/S, SR/F, and SRs, with more features and expanded model compatibility to come.
And so it came to pass, ten years ago, that Trizzle, Pete and Duke did verily pilgrimage to Buttonwillow. And so we give a shoutout to the shootout of the most exciting new 2011 ZX-10R against the most exciting superbike of the year before, the BMW S1000RR… you know the drill.
At the beginning of this month, Kawasaki Heavy Industries officially spun off its motorcycle and engine business into a separate company. The move was supposed to give the newly formed Kawasaki Motors, Ltd., greater autonomy and flexibility in decision making. Well, it didn’t take long to demonstrate those benefits, as Kawasaki Motors held a presentation on the company’s future, including an ambitious plan to become carbon neutral, with a slate of new electric, hybrid and even hydrogen-powered models in the works.
I think it started when I picked up a test scooter from Honda two years ago. I read the last PCX150 MO had “tested” before the 2019 topped out at 63 mph, so I wanted to ride the new one back home to the OC from Honda’s Torrance, California, HQ without getting on I-405. The 405 is the easiest and most direct route, but also with the greatest chance of being rear-ended if you can’t do 80 mph. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been up and down I-405 and I-5 and whatever, you wouldn’t be reading this because I’d be retired. I know those freeways the way Mark Twain knew the Mississippi River. I never really saw myself living near the epicenter of a major megalopolis, but here I am 30-some years later. I must like it?
Twenty-five years ago, MO spoke in an ancient, now unintelligible language: Fuel delivery is handled via a Keihin PWK 38 carby, stock jetted with a 180 main, 48 pilot, #6 slide, and N85C needle with the needle clip in the #4 position (4th notch from the bottom)… We moved the needle clip to the middle #3 position and turned in the air screw for better punch off idle in cooler (30-50 degrees F) temperatures. These jetting changes and a fresh rear meat turned starts into virtual missile launches, and throughout all testing the bike ran cleanly, with nary a fouled plug.
The Buell Motorcycle Co.’s comeback is ready to begin, with the revived brand announcing production of the new 2022 Hammerhead 1190 superbike set to begin on Nov. 1. Based on the EBR 1190RX, the Hammerhead will be produced in Grand Rapids, Mich., and offered through an online reservation and delivery system called “Buellvana”, which the company will detail further on Oct. 21.
Pirelli recently introduced the Diablo Rosso IV, the fourth generation of the popular tire intended for spirited road riders who also may find themselves attending the odd trackday here or there. By now, sport riders all over the world are likely familiar with the name Diablo – and they are certainly familiar with the name Pirelli – but that all had to start somewhere.
MotoGP fans are passionate. It’s a great time to mix it up with other fans, some of whom may be buddies you haven’t seen for years. So grab some friends and head to the MotoGP race at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), as it is an amazing venue to watch racing. Plus, there’s plenty of room to spread out.
I actually didn’t mind being seen on this “custom cruiser” ten years ago. Yamaha’s answer to the Honda Fury had the chopper look and sound, but offset triple clamps and a revvable, oversquare 1312cc V-twin with four-valve heads made it also a functional, fun-to-ride motorcycle. America must’ve agreed; a quick run through Cycle Trader finds prices about twice what I would’ve expected for a ten-year old Japanese cruiser. Or maybe Yamaha’s marketing ploy worked? It’s a STAR, man!
Motorcycle.com’s Naked Summer continues in 2021 with our third naked bike test of the year. We started things off with the Middleweight Nakedbike Shootout, and followed that with the not-quite-heavyweight set of nakeds. But instead of moving up in size to the big boys in the field, we’ve decided to pivot in the opposite direction and bring you a matchup of the little naked bikes in the category – and by “matchup” we mean a comparison of each bike’s specs.
If you’re curious what technology you might expect to see on motorcycles of the future, look no further than the cars of today. From anti-lock braking systems to traction control and variable valve timing, nearly all the tech we’re ogling over on today’s motorcycles originated on cars 20 years ago. Or more. By now the trickle-down effect of that technology is such that even your basic commuter car already incorporates it.
Remember sport-touring motorcycles? Maybe you don’t, thanks to the rise of adventure-touring bikes cross-pollinating the genre. Well, before the craze of wanting to explore both the paved and unpaved paths of the world, there was a subset of motorcyclists who felt the call for exploration without the need to play in the dirt. Asphalt touring was one ingredient necessary to satiate the exploration hunger, but being able to get from Point A to Point B via the longest, curviest path possible was the other. Having the ability to pack a co-pilot on the back and/or assorted gear in saddlebags was further accoutrement to make the dish even sweeter.
Harley-Davidson sent out a press release making the bold claim that the Pan America 1250 Special is the best-selling adventure-touring motorcycle in North America. Unfortunately, the press release (included in full below) doesn’t provide any specific data to back up the claim.
As motorcyclists, we are well aware of how important tires are. Our ride – even our survival – depends on just a few square inches of rubber. So, why is it that rarely does a week go by in which we don’t see a motorcycle out on the road with visibly under-inflated tires? These are tires that are way past the point of affecting handling and into the zone of being dangerous. Perhaps it’s because tire technology has advanced so much in recent decades that we take them for granted. It used to be that one of the easiest upgrades you could make to your bike – particularly for sport-focused riders – was getting rid of the OEM tires and spooning on some aftermarket rubber. Now, street tires can offer grip that would surprise racers from a decade ago while still delivering reasonable mileage. Additionally, less performance-oriented tires are now capable of considerably more wet-weather grip and durability, a real boon to commuters and touring riders.
We don’t force you to read like those other print-only publications. Here at MO, we let you choose. We offer up our opinions both here and on the Youtubes. In the case of the 2021 Aprilia Tuono V4, I was able to score the Factory model for some extra testing which allowed more time to use the bike around town and the opportunity to weigh and dyno the machine before shooting the video below.
While not as controversial a topic as “ What oil should I put in my bike?” the question of what brake pads to use will still draw up tons of varying opinions from every corner of the internet. Yes, we know we’re another corner of the internet, but this post isn’t here to tell you which pads to put in your motorcycle. Instead, we’re here to inform you about the different options you have and why they are the way they are. Knowledge is power, and if you’re informed on your options, then you can make the right choice for your needs.
Few readers know that MO’s own Troy “Trizzle” Siahaan began his motorcycle career as a hard-core cruiser guy/’do-rag model before forming a successful boy band, then later becoming MO’s superbike specialist. Maybe even fewer remember Triumph’s foray into the big-inch cruiser market ten years ago. The Thunderbird and the Thunderbird Storm have left the building, but you never know when they might be back.
I know we’re supposed to remain neutral as motojournalists, but we’re people too, and when it comes to protective gear that could potentially save life or limb, when you find something you really like it’s hard to let it go. Such is my case with roadracing boots. I’ve tried a lot, and there are many good ones, but the boot I always come back to is the Supertech R from Alpinestars. When I’m wearing them it feels like I’m wearing my favorite pair of sneakers – that also happens to be able to protect my feet and ankles if I were to get separated from a motorcycle at ridiculous speeds.
Years later, we learned that the 984 cc Sportster-based engine in the Buell XB9R was supposed to have been turbocharged to the tune of 150 horsepower. A last-minute Harley-Davidson-induced change of plan scuttled that, but if the turbo had happened, the whole arc of Buell would’ve bent much more toward justice. As she stood, the 9R never quite caught on. But we’d still give our left ventricle for a clean XB9S, preferably with blue translucent gas tank cover…
Don’t look now, but the field of naked bikes slotting in just below the 1000cc mark is starting to rise – and we’re all the better for it. Maybe the OEMs have figured out that those big beasts in the upper echelons of naked bike performance are just too much for the more sensible among us. They’re too big, too fast, too powerful, with too much electronics, and too much of a price tag. For those of us still with a desire for naked bike fun, but at a slightly more moderate pace, we bring you the assembly of motorcycling you see before you.
When Ashmore Ellis and Anya Violet realized they were some of the only women constantly running into each other at different motorcycle events, they decided it was time for a much-needed change. They wanted to make more connections with like-minded ladies in the two-wheel world who shared their love of riding, so with a flyer shared to their Instagram accounts, and a lot of unexpected reposts, they found themselves greeted at a Temecula gas station by 50 other excited women on street bikes (they expected 15) ready to ride…without any idea of where they were going.