Ducati has updated its XDiavel range to meet Euro 5, adding two new variants for 2021: XDiavel Dark and XDiavel Black Star (pictured above). The good news: the Euro 5 update adds 8 hp to the XDiavel’s claimed power figures. The bad news: only countries where the emission standard is in place will get the update, meaning countries like the U.S. will not see a performance increase.
Further bad news: the XDiavel Black Star will not be offered in North America.
Dang, it sounds like Honda has given one of my personal favorites a little more of everything that makes it a favorite: More power, more rpm, outstanding fuel efficiency (up to 66 mpg), 13 fewer pounds of weight, a bigger storage compartment, lower seat height, sharper styling, ride modes, a slipper clutch for the 6-speed version – and the automatic Dual Clutch Trans is still an option, which gives the NC really all the best features of a motorcycle and a scooter. Which makes it interesting that Honda categorizes it as an Adventure motorcycle (where the current NC’s price is $8,099 in the US).
Yamaha announced a new SP version of the updated 2021 MT-09 revealed two weeks ago, featuring higher-end suspension and cruise control plus a black and blue color scheme. Joining the MT-09 SP are the MT-10 and MT-03 which return for 2021 with new color options.
Honda has updated the CB1000R for 2021, giving its “Neo Sports Café” flagship a slightly new look, a color TFT display and Euro 5 compliance, as well as a Black Edition variant. As of this writing, the new 2021 Honda CB1000R has only been announced for Europe, but we expect a U.S. announcement to come soon.
When Troy was assigned the 2020 Africa Twin to review, I think we were both a bit perplexed. But I had a packed schedule and Troy is a professional. So, I didn’t spend too much time worrying about it. I did however, pry the AT out of Troy’s normally gauntlet-clad hands as soon as I was able. The V-Strom/Africa Twin comparison was the first time I had the chance to get out from behind the computer for an actual ride up into the mountains to get a little dust on the tires. Not long into that shoot, I knew I would want to get back out as soon as I could to spend some more time on the new AT. Simply put, it’s a lot of fun to explore with.
Ducati officially revealed its new Multistrada V4, which joins the two-cylinder Multistrada 1260 and Multistrada 950 in its adventure-touring lineup. The 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 will be offered in three versions, the base model V4, the V4 S and the V4 S Sport.
An updated 2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and ZX-10RR have been confirmed in vehicle certification data submitted in Australia. The certification documents reveal a new fairing for the Ninjas, plus some engine updates that were likely aimed to meet Euro 5 requirements.
Yamaha revealed an updated MT-07 that… well, let’s just say that if you aren’t a fan of the 2021 MT-09‘s new look, you likely won’t be a fan of this either. Chances are you won’t be a fan of the MT-10‘s next update either if it follows Yamaha’s smaller “Master of Torque” naked MT models.
Twenty years ago, brethren, Kawasaki had already been stamping out EX500s for 13 years, a process it would continue right up until 2009 and the Ninja 650 replacement. For most of those years at the height of the superbike wars, a famed Editor-in-Chief of a Major Motorcycle Magazine, King Arthur of Friedman, was known to proclaim that the EX500 was all the motorcycle any sane street rider could ever need. Luckily for us all, sanity did not rule the day. King Art was crazy, but he may have been right. And he only ever wanted what was best for you kids. A reading from the MOrinthians, with the Apostles Mini and Clavin. Amen.
“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.” – Mark Twain
Harley-Davidson‘s much analyzed “ Rewire” plan may be starting to see some positive results, as the company reported its strongest third quarter since 2015 despite decreasing sales volume. It will take a while longer to see if the plan and its eventual follow-up, the Hardwire plan, will pay off in the long run, but for the short term, the Rewire has succeeded in reducing costs.
Details for the 2021 Yamaha MT-09 have just been released. Notable takeaways for the 2021 model year are an all-new larger capacity engine at 890cc, updated chassis to match, and advanced electronics. While those are certainly the major changes for this new iteration of MT-09, styling has also been tweaked slightly throughout, with the cyclops-esque headlight undoubtedly being the most polarizing change.
I knew this day would come eventually. I didn’t expect it to take so long, but I suppose good things like the Aprilia RS660 are worth waiting for. You see, as an owner of a Suzuki SV650 that’s almost of legal drinking age (and a former Kawasaki Versys 650 owner), I have a soft spot for bikes in this middleweight category. They hit that sweet spot between power, performance, and price – there’s just enough power to keep things exciting, moderate performance to emphasize the importance of rider skill, and well…SVs are dirt cheap. After all this time, I still haven’t found a compelling reason to replace my trusty little Suzuki.
Brethren, a reading from the book of Minime: “So imagine when, to my dismay, Calvin and I were running errands and ended up in a Ralphs Supermarket parking lot, and a little hottie in a sports car compliments him by saying, “nice bike,” and giving him that flirtatious smile and wink which are the reasons I bother to eat and breathe. He was on the Screamin’ Beagle while I was atop Philip’s beautiful and classy-looking Fat Boy; that’s the only reason I could think, in my shallow mind, that he got the attention of the opposite sex while I was left standing gape-jawed, thinking about an intervention. But somehow I didn’t think blurting out, “that’s not even his bike,” would have much effect. Both because it was already too late and because neither bike was mine either.”
Ducati announced small updates to its Streetfighter V4 models, making it Euro 5 compliant, and added a new “Dark Stealth” matt black color option for the V4 S. All told, the changes for the 2021 model are pretty subtle, which makes sense for a model introduced just a year ago.
BMW revealed its 2021 R NineT line-up, with an updated engine to meet Euro 5 requirements, a new rear shock and a new range of Option 719 customization components. For 2021, the line will consist of four models: the R NineT, R NineT Pure, R NineT Scrambler and R NineT Urban G/S. As we previously reported, the cafe-styled R NineT Racer has been removed from the lineup.
Honda announced a redesigned Grom for Europe, with a new engine, a five-speed transmission, IMU-based ABS and a new, more utilitarian-looking styling. For those keeping track, this is the second redesign for the Grom since its introduction in the 2014 model year. Does the fact the Honda Grom is already on its third design make anyone feel old? I can’t be the only one, right?
BMW announced it will reveal five new motorcycles on Oct. 22 at noon EST/9 am PST across its social media channels. BMW only offered two clues about the five models: they will all be what BMW calls its “Heritage world”, and at least one will be an R18 model based on the engine photo accompanying the news.
Triumph is set to announce a new sport-touring model to be called the Tiger 850 Sport. The new model will be based on the current Tiger 900 adventure models, with the same 887cc Triple, but we expect it to be purely street-based model without off-road aspirations.
`Twas 2007 when the KTM 530 EXC was deemed legal for street use in these United States, and while Mary probably wouldn’t want to ride an EXC to Bethlehem, it did represent Christmas to many American dirt riders who’d always wanted a serious dual-sport. All these years later, fuel-injected and more sanitary than ever (and now referred to as 500 EXC though the engine’s always been 510 cc), this one still leads the pack.
At long last, Aprilia has finally taken the wraps off the highly-anticipated RS660. The first model on a platform intended to be used for years to come, not unlike the RSV4, the RS660 clearly takes some cues from its superbike sibling. The thing is, in its presentation to the media recently, Aprilia representatives were quick to point out that, unlike the RSV4, the RS660 is not a track-focused weapon but rather a streetable sportbike. This is a motorcycle you can live with on track and on the street, says lead designer Miguel Galluzzi.
All our conjecture was resolved early this morning when Ducati CEO Domenicali unveiled the new V-Four engine that will power the next generation Ducati Multistrada. The biggest surprise is that the new “Granturismo” 1158 engine will not use desmodromic valve actuation, but regular springs. That doesn’t seem like a bad thing in this application, as it gives the engine “record-breaking maintenance intervals”– 60,000 km or just over 37,000 miles. (It’s probably an excellent thing, in fact, since the mystery and expense of having to have one’s desmodromic valves adjusted has always loomed large for the non-wealthy when contemplating Ducati ownership.)
As far as mass-produced, 1000cc Honda sportbikes go, the new Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP is up there among the best the company has ever built (depending on how you want to classify the RC213V-S). With the increasing trend of the liter-class competition going towards track-focused weapons with little regard for streetability, Honda has finally followed suit with the new Triple-R Fireblade SP.
Honda is adding a new 745cc member to its Forza maxi-scooter lineup in Europe, alongside an updated 125 model and a new 350 model. The new 2021 Honda Forza 750 is essentially an urban GT version of the more adventuresque X-ADV, but also somewhat of a replacement for the NC series Integra. Like its two forebears, unfortunately, we don’t expect Honda to bring the Forza 750 to the U.S.
Kawasaki has announced it will be producing the Versys 1000 S for the European market. Currently, the top trim level available in Europe is the Versys 1000 SE, which includes the KECS – Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension. The new S model will ditch the KECS in favor of traditional 43 mm Showa components at both ends, adjustable only for rebound damping and spring preload. Undoubtedly, this will also bring the price down.
This Sabbath the Wayback Machine (Google) spat up a 20-year old scroll we don’t remember seeing before. We already looked back fondly at the original RC-51 track introduction earlier in Church, but this priceless archive speaks to what’s more important to most of us most of the time. What’s it like to ride every day? Actually, it barely gets around to answering that, but still fun to look back at one of the sweetest sportbikes Honda ever built.
You all know the saying, “You get what you pay for.” It’s an important life lesson that rings true for many aspects of life. Like cheap tools, the pleasure we get for the minimal cost outlay quickly evaporates as soon as it breaks much sooner than it should. Shoulda bought the good one is what we inevitably say to ourselves every time.
KTM announced a new 890 Adventure R and a limited edition 890 Adventure R Rally, introducing a new, Euro 5-complaint follow-up to our reigning Motorcycle of the Year, the 790 Adventure R. The 890 Adventure R will be the standard model, while the Rally model adds a number of race-ready components and will be produced in a limited run of 700 units worldwide (with 200 units destined for the U.S.). KTM hasn’t explicitly said whether the 790 will continue in its lineup alongside the 890, like it’s doing with the Duke line, but from the way KTM describes it, that doesn’t seem likely.
When you’re not scrambling to make ends meet or get ahead, it seems like you’re constantly rallying the troops, possibly ’round the flag but usually just trying to instill pep. It’s always something, and both of those things are so ingrained in my psyche that I barely even miss roosting on the track or burning up the backroads. We were less impressed with the all-new Triumph Speed Twin than we expected to be a couple weeks ago, but when SoCal Motorcycles let us swap it out for a new Scrambler 1200 XC, it was love at first ride. Maybe in the ’60s, scramblin’ meant riding around in the desert with McQueen and those guys, but with the current state of infrastructure, now you can interface gnarly terrain without leaving the city. Scrambling is now something you can do every day.
BMW announced updates to the R1250GS and R1250GS Adventure for 2021, making the boxer models compliant with Euro 5 standards, while also marking the 40th anniversary of the GS line. BMW is calling this a “new” GS, but the changes aren’t as dramatic as that sounds. Even calling it “new-ish” would be a slight exaggeration.
Kawasaki confirmed it will launch six new 2021 models for North America, with an updated Ninja ZX-10R expected to be among them. A timer on Kawasaki U.S.A.’s website ticks down to Nov. 23 at 6 am PST for the big reveal. A teaser video and images show six models under cover, with clues hinting at dual sport models and sportbikes. [UPDATE: Kawasaki Europe says it will also announce new models on Nov. 23, as well as some on Oct. 12. Because of market differences and PR departments running things, it’s possible some of the models from next week’s European announcement may also be part of the later announcement for the U.S.]
Ducati has started teasing a new model reveal for Oct. 15, with all indications suggesting it will be for the new Multistrada V4. Contrary to our initial report, however, it looks like the engine might be going smaller than the Panigale V4’s 1103cc engine and not larger to 1158cc. [UPDATE: Ducati clarified that the Oct. 15 announcement will be for the Multistrada V4’s engine. The bike itself will be revealed Nov. 4.]
We’re fast approaching the season for new motorcycle launches, which usually means its prime time for spy photographs of test bikes dressed in camouflage getting their final shakedowns before being signed off for production. Whether you believe most spy photos are legitimate or carefully orchestrated by manufacturers, Triumph has decided to cut out the middleman and release images of its new Trident roadster undergoing final road tests around its headquarters in Hinckley, U.K.
Harley-Davidson will reportedly stop offering its Sportster and Street models in Europe, thanks to the Euro 5 emissions standards that will come into effect by the end of the year. The Sportsters and Street models will continue to be sold in North America and other markets that aren’t subject to Euro 5 or equivalent standards, but for Europe, Harley-Davidson will discontinue its smallest and most affordable models. The news comes days after Harley-Davidson announced the end of operations in India.
Verily, there is one of these for sale in Michigan for 6000 ducats, and I would be on the plane tomorrow if my dwelling did not already overfloweth with OPM (Other Peoples’ Motorcycles). “Pete suggests that it looks like a custom bagger, and the public agrees, tossing thumbs skyward from passing automobiles on a daily basis.” Surely coolness and shiny blackosity shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the 24.5-inch bucket seat of the Lowered forever. Amen me!
Let’s be real for a second here: Honda’s always taken the über conservative route with what we now know as the CBR1000RR, and this dates all the way back to the CBR’s origins with the CBR900RR. When compared against its peers, the consensus usually goes “The Honda is a really good bike, but it’s not great.” The reason is because Honda’s tried to toe the line between racetrack performance and streetable useability because these are road-legal motorcycles after all. And as much as any investor will tell you how important it is to diversify, in the sportbike world, this simply isn’t the case anymore.
Earlier this year, we revealed design filings for the Chinese motorcycle that was supposed to share a platform with a new small-displacement Harley-Davidson model. That design, filed in China and marketed by Qianjiang as the QJ350, but we noted the parallel-Twin’s engine casing was stamped with the Harley-Davidson name.
In a form 8-K report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, Harley-Davidson disclosed its intention to discontinue sales and manufacturing operations in India. In 2007, according to Wiki, Harley-Davidson motorcycles were first allowed access to the Indian market in exchange for the export of Indian mangoes – which one Indian commentator called “mango diplomacy.” In 2009, Harley-Davidson India (a wholly owned subsidiary) opened its first plant, and was originally building 11 models on six platforms: Sportster, Dyna, Softail, V-Rod, Touring, and Street. Harley has at least 29 dealers in the Republic of India, which is the second-most populous country in the world (1.353 billion people), the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. There’s also a booming HOG and an annual Harley Rock Riders music tour.
Ducati is set to introduce a new member of the Multistrada family, powered by a 1158cc version of the Stradale V4 engine. The new model, which we’ll call the Multistrada V4 for lack of a better name, will join the 2021 Ducati lineup alongside the twin-cylinder 1260 and 950 Multistradas.
BMW officially announced its first two-wheeled M model with the new M1000RR. Based on the S1000RR, no slouch on its own, the M1000RR offers a higher level of performance, adding aerodynamic wings and bumping the power output up to a claimed 212 hp while reducing the claimed curb weight to 423 pounds.
When Triumph introduced the Daytona 675, it became popular for a number of reasons but primarily because it was different. While the rest of the supersport category relied on four cylinders and 599cc, Triumph ditched a cylinder and made the remaining three spit out 675cc of air. It made a wonderful sound unlike anything else in the class, it was narrow, it handled well, and the power was impressive.
And in those days, ten years ago, there was a pestilence upon the land in the form of the custom chopper. That pestilence was exterminated by the implosion of the Housing Bubble and the sudden drought of Home Equity, but Honda’s new custom chopper was already years in the making by then, and what’re ya gonna do? Not a huge hit for Honda, the Fury is still scattered thin upon the land – maybe because few chopper enthusiasts thought “Honda” when shopping for a new motorcycle. And that is a shame, brethren, because like all Hondas the Fury was in fact a perfectly pleasant and reliable conveyance. Radical though it may have appeared, a trail figure of 3.6 inches meant this raked-out chopper handled perfectly normally, and a curb weight of 663 pounds isn’t bad at all when your hindquarters are just 26.9 inches from the earth. Yea verily, Honda will sell you a brand new 2020 Fury, in Pearl Hawkseye Blue, for $10,599. That’s $2400 less than the original, and probably about what you’d pay for a used Craigslist chopper with “over $60k invested.” Crazy, goofy world without end, amen.
Yamaha‘s MT-09 is getting a larger engine for 2021, as part of an update to allow the “Master of Torque” Triple to meet Euro 5 standards. The new engine will increase from the current 847cc to close to 890cc and increase its maximum power by 4 hp to a claimed 118 hp while reducing its emission output. At the moment, we can only confirm the MT-09 will receive the updated engine, but we expect other Yamaha models that share the three-cylinder engine, such as the Tracer 900, XSR900 and Niken to receive the new powerplant as well.
BMW has been teasing us for quite a while, and now that we have it in our hands, the 2021 BMW R18 truly is a thing of beauty. Rolling motorcycle art, if you will. Just walking around the bike slowly taking in the detail work that this embodiment of BMW’s past heritage wrapped in modern technology is a visual feast. From the exposed shaft drive to the polarizing fishtail exhaust to the chromed-out master cylinders of the First Edition trim to the modern headlight in a vintage shell, the R18 exudes quality. Starting the 1802cc oil/air-cooled boxer Twin sets the whole bike rocking side-to-side at the 950 rpm idle speed, pulsing like it’s alive.
Is Retro still booming? It was when BMW built its first R nineT in 2013, a bike that was so successful they’ve built like five more versions in the ensuing years. In fact, there are so many nineT’s it’s hard to keep them straight. We put the R nineT Pure in last place in 2017, when we shot it out against the now-defunct Honda CB1100EX and Triumph Bonneville T120 Black here. But in 2014, we rated the standard R nineT first, in a comparison involving the also-defunct CB1100 regular and Moto Guzzi Griso 8V.
Traveling the wide-open highways with a big V-Twin thundering away between your knees, there is something quintessentially American about touring on a Harley-Davidson. While only a fantasy for non-riders, it can easily be a dream come true for any licensed motorcycle rider, thanks to motorcycle rental companies. We are lucky to live in a time in which multiple viable options exist for Harley-Davidson rentals. From big rental companies ( Eagle Rider and Hertz) to little mom-and-pop operations that cater to a specific region to the burgeoning rider share companies ( Riders Share or Twisted Road), never have we had better opportunities to see this huge country from the seat of a rented motorcycle.
Indian announced it initial batch of 2021 models including its touring, bagger and Scout models. Along with new color options for several motorcycles, the 2021 model year includes a new Roadmaster Limited, a new Vintage Dark Horse and a restyled Roadmaster Dark Horse. Not included in the announcement were the FTR 1200 and the Chief cruiser, but we expect further news from Indian in the weeks ahead.
Has anyone seen a new Kymco lately? The giant Taiwanese manufacturer claimed to be the world’s largest scooter manufacturer once upon a time. Maybe it still is. But it’s crickets from our U.S. importer. Rumors have swirled, involving corporate intrigue, strained international relations – and was the naming of the 2010 sportbike “Quannon 150″ just a coincidence, or that the 2010 introduction took place at the elite Biltmore Estate? We think not. Ten years on, we need answers. And soon!
I must preface this review with the disclaimer that this is the first Beta I’ve ever ridden. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time on various other two strokes in this genre, but the 2021 Beta 300 RR is the first from the Italian brand that I’ve had a chance to get out and ride. So don’t expect a thorough year-to-year comparison. I just can’t do it, captain!
And Jesus and Tor sailed to the country of the Sardines which is opposite Galilee, and when He had come out onto the land He was met by a certain man from the city who was possessed with demons, who hadn’t put on any clothing for a long time. Seeing Jesus he cried out and fell before him and said in a loud voice, ‘What have I to do with You, Jesus Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.’ For He had been commanding the unclean spirit to come out of the man for it had seized him many times and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, yet he would burst his fetters and be driven by the demon into the desert. Jesus asked him, ‘What’s your name?’ And he said, ‘Legion,’ for many demons had entered him. They were entreating Him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons entreated Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. And the demons came out of the man, entered the swine and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned, much like Tor’s demons being exfoliated on the Hypermotard. What? Just give me an “Amen” and try to stop over-analyzing everything.