2022 Kawasaki KLX140 R L Review
The universal truth about children is that you feed them, and they grow. So, after an extended time with the Honda CRF125F, my daughter started to look like a giant on the bike and needed to move up. A year prior, she’d tried the Kawasaki KLX140R L and found it intimidating because she couldn’t easily touch the ground when astride it. Well, adolescence took care of that issue, and along with growing, she expanded her riding skills, making her first reaction to throwing a leg over the KLX one of “Wow, it fits!” before heading off to ride in our favorite desert OHV area.
Making A Rider: Teaching Your Kid To Ride
2023 BMW M 1000 R - First Look
BMW did it! It answered the calls for a naked version of its flagship sportbike! No, we don’t mean the S 1000 R, we’re talking about this – the 2023 M 1000 R. Inevitably, whenever a new sportbike is introduced, the people who have no interest in racing clamor for a streetable version with all the power, all the electronics, all the badassery, but just with handlebars. For the longest time manufacturers have responded with dumbed-down versions of said sportbikes. Often the frames, suspensions, and even the electronics will be the same (or similar), but the engines are neutered in the interest of what the OEM thinks makes for a better streetbike.
With the 2023 M 1000 R, BMW has finally taken the kid gloves off and is now offering the people what they want – a M 1000 RR without most of the fairings, and a handlebar. The specs for BMW’s “M R” (yes, there’s a space between the letters), the brand’s second M-branded motorcycle behind the M RR reads eerily similar to the full-fledged superbike. We now get the same 205 hp and 83 lb-ft from the 999cc Inline-Four, as well as the same (or similar) electronics, frame, suspension, brakes, carbon wheels (optional), and much more.
2023 BMW M 1000 RR - First Look
Hot off the heels of the newly updated S 1000 RR, BMW today unveiled the 2023 M 1000 RR – the basis of its racing programs all over the world. With the new M model, focus wasn’t placed on increasing power, but rather on making the most of the aerodynamics to use the existing power as efficiently as possible. As you’ll see in the full press release below, countless hours were spent in the wind tunnel and on the track to take full advantage of the aero package – and improve upon it where necessary. BMW says top speed has gone up to “189+ mph” (the legal department surely stepped in and said the actual number couldn’t be published), and so has total downforce from the wings. This helps keep the bike from doing wheelies when it really should be accelerating, so the traction control doesn’t have to work as hard. It also helps mid-corner to keep weight on the front tire for better mechanical grip through the turn.
That’s not to say the engine hasn’t been left completely untouched. Compared to the S 1000 RR, the M version gets Pankl titanium connecting rods and shorter intake funnels for quicker engine response and improved flow at high engine speeds. Total output hasn’t changed from the previous 205 hp at 13,000 rpm and 83 lb-ft at 11,000 rpm.
Apart from the aero improvements, BMW went crazy with the carbon fiber for the 2023 M 1000 RR. The fairings, wheels, winglets, and various other bits are unabashedly carbon fiber – and BMW wants to make sure everyone knows it by leaving it exposed.
The 2023 M 1000 RR promises to be the most sophisticated version yet, and we can’t wait to ride one. MSRP is set at $32,995 and units are expected to arrive in US dealerships in January 2023. Get the full rundown on the new M 1000 RR, including the different package options, in the press release below.
Begin press release:
BMW Motorrad USA is proud to announce the updated 2023 BMW M 1000 RR, developed to set a new milestone in the field of superbikes homologated for racing. Two colors will be available: The M RR in Light White non-metallic and the M RR M Competition in Blackstorm Metallic.
“We have achieved an engineering masterpiece in the aerodynamic development of the M RR due to our unwavering ambition, total passion and technical finesse. Thanks to countless hours in the wind tunnel as well as in road tests, we were able to considerably increase the top speed with unchanged engine output and at the same time significantly increase the downforce, also when banking in corners. Our development work will be rewarded with racing success.” Christian Gonschor, Project Management M 1000 RR
The highlights of the new BMW M RR and M RR M Competition.
Church of MO: 2012 Suzuki DR-Z400S Review
And speaking of Japanese motorcycles with looooong shelf lives, how about the DR-Z400S? Suzuki sold the first one in 2000 as a serious enduro machine you could ride around on the street, too. And they’ll sell you one today, complete with 36mm Mikuni carburetor, for just $7,099 – which is $1750 more than 22 years ago. That nicely tracks the price of real estate. Wait, that’s not quite accurate… Take it away, Tommy Roderick:
Ask MO Anything: Should I Buy a New 2022 Yamaha MT-10?
Thank God I’m in the enviable position of having a wife that gave me the OK to get whatever bike I want, after selling off all my old ones about seven years ago. So, here’s my parameters: After test riding a ton of stuff, I’ve decided I want a (bigger) naked bike, and in first place is the 2022 Yamaha MT-10. Pity its looks, but it’s got the goods otherwise.
I plan to modestly mod it (some cleanup to its looks, pipe/air filter/ecu, etc, and wouldn’t mind some links/recommendations on that if ya got any?), and I plan to get back into track days – nothing crazy, but I want something that will “keep up” as my skills show up again. Without going crazy on the mods, will this bike do the trick? Street performance is first and foremost, track ability a distant second, but still important.
We still love us some pure sportbikes at MO and always will, but the main reason for those hunched-over ergonomics and full fairings is lower lap times via aerodynamics. It’s obvious enough that it barely needs stating, but the less frontal area on a thing hurtling through the atmosphere, the easier it is for that thing to go faster. Shape shifting is the latest must-have in MotoGP, actually lowering the bike on its suspension to reduce drag on the straights. If you’re hurtling for money and fame or to outrun a surface-to-air missile, reducing drag is critical. If you’re hurtling for fun (and true, passing people on the track is brainstem-stimulation of the highest order), your ultimate lap time is less important than stringing apexes together as quickly and smoothly as you can.
Honda Rebel 1100 Touring Variants Confirmed for 2023
Honda is preparing to launch new touring variant for the Rebel 1100 and Rebel 1100 DCT. The proof comes to us via vehicle emissions data from the California Air Resources Board and vehicle certification data from Switzerland.
A CARB executive order certifying the 2023 Rebel 1100 and its DCT variant sees the addition of two more variants, the Rebel 1100T and Rebel 1100T DCT. While the “T” could stand for a number of things, a touring version of the cruiser is the obvious conclusion.
2023 Kawasaki Ninja 650 And Z650 - First Look
Kawasaki is bringing back both the Ninja 650 and Z650 for 2023 with one significant update – traction control. Formerly a rider aid only for the most powerful sportbikes on the planet, the safety benefits of traction control reach far beyond trying to go quickly around a racetrack. The two-step KTRC system does not feature the exotic IMUs that flagship sportbikes use, but a more modest system. In mode 1, KTRC allows the rear tire to slip a little more and doesn’t intervene as early. It’s a sport setting designed to allow the rider maximum drive and acceleration off a corner.
Mode 2 is more conservative, intervening earlier than in mode 1 and is ideal for riding in bad weather or low-grip situations. Then, for riders who insist on being in complete control of their engine’s power, KTRC can be turned off entirely.
Kawasaki EV Prototype Revealed at Intermot
Kawasaki presented an electric prototype at Intermot, providing a glimpse of what an eventual production model may look like. The EV prototype was part of a wide-ranging speech from Masaya Tsuruno, managing director of Kawasaki Motors Europe, discussing the company’s approach to reaching carbon neutrality.
Tsuruno did not provide much technical information about the EV prototype, though he did stress that the prototype will form the basis of a production machine. Kawasaki has already commited to presenting three electric vehicles this year; the first was the Elektrode youth balance bike, and the other two, which we were first to confirm via U.S. VIN filings, are expected to be a sportbike and a standard sharing the same 15 hp motor.
2023 Kawasaki KX450SR Special Racer - First Look
I was all Pavlov dogging when I read that the KX450SR “features elite-level racing components, special tuning and design elements inspired by the Monster Energy Kawasaki race team,” only to suffer slight cotton mouth when I learned that consists of nothing more than new SHOWA suspension components front and rear. I mean, obviously great suspension is critical to motorcycles that leap 40 feet into the air, but I felt like I was led to believe there’d be more. In fact, the rest of the 2022 package was already so blinged out, there wasn’t much more Kawasaki could add. It’s even got push-button starting.
Kawasaki Press Release:
2023 Honda CB750 Hornet - First Look
Honda officially revealed its new CB750 Hornet, a new middleweight naked claiming a class-leading power-to-weight ratio. Unfortunately, the new Hornet has only been confirmed for Europe thus far, with no indication of U.S. availability. Pricing varies from country to country, but they generally hover around US$7,800.
Triumph Celebrates 60 Years Of James Bond With Ultra-Exclusive Speed Triple 1200 RR
In celebration of 60 years of James Bond flicks, Triumph – which was featured in the 2021 hit No Time To Die – has released the ultra-limited edition Speed Triple RR Bond Edition. How limited? Only 60 units will be made, to commemorate the anniversary.
What makes the Bond Edition Street Triple RR special is the obvious (and perhaps tacky?) homage being paid to the world’s most famous spy. A custom 60th-anniversary black paint scheme features all 25 James Bond film titles, official 007 graphics, and hand-painted gold lining. There’s even the iconic Bond gun barrel design on the cockpit fairing and custom bold badging and lettering.
2023 Ducati Multistrada V4 Rally - First Look
Ducati revealed a new Multistrada V4 Rally in the latest episode of its 2023 World Première web series. And while the model name hints at improved off-road capability, the V4 Rally’s feature list leans more for long distance travel and passenger comfort than tackling Dakar.
2023 BMW S1000RR - First Look
Update: Pricing for the various packages is now included below.
With the liter-class superbike category eternally in an arms race for top dog, BMW has today announced a heavily updated S1000RR is making its way here in 2023, bringing with it several changes first seen on the M1000RR, but also a few tweaks of its own. Central to those changes is an updated chassis, suspension, and aerodynamics. Of course, there will also be further revisions to its electronics suite as part of the deal.
Is Ducati Preparing a 659cc Single?
We’re now a couple of episodes into Ducati‘s 2023 World Première launch series, but there are still another five parts to go. Ducati has already started teasing this week’s episode, which we expect will be for a GSA-battling Multistrada V4 variant, with a new Panigale V4 R, a Diavel V4, and a next-generation Scrambler expected in the weeks ahead.
None of these models we expect come as much of a surprise. They are all logical progressions of what Ducati has been offering the last few years, with the Diavel being the latest model to go from a V-Twin to a V-Four.
There may be at least one surprise in store, however, as we’ve found evidence suggesting Ducati will introduce an entirely new engine: a liquid-cooled 659cc four-valve Single.
The proof comes to us via a new vehicle identification number (VIN) decoder Ducati recently submitted to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
2023 Honda Hornet CB750 Details Emerge in Vehicle Certifications
Honda‘s been teasing its new Hornet for several months now, first with a concept at EICMA, some design sketches in June, and more recently, details about its new Parallel-Twin engine. While we wait for Honda to officially reveal the the bike, we’ve managed to get further specifications for the 2023 Honda Hornet, thanks to vehicle certification data from Switzerland.
The Swiss data lines up with what Honda has already revealed about the Hornet, including its 755cc Parallel-Twin Unicam engine and its claimed output of 90.5 hp at 9500 rpm, 55.3 lb-ft. at 7250 rpm. The vehicle certification also confirms the Hornet will bear the model designation CB750A, with an internal model code of RH12.
SSR Sand Viper Ebike Review – First Ride
Like your Eskimos and snow, we here in California have 100 different words for sand. Regular sand. Powder sand, silt, chonky sand, fine sand, &, blowing sand, deep sand, you get the picture. The stuff’s all over the place, which makes sense as it’s a desert. So it’s nice to have a vehicle able to traverse it. Enter the SSR Sand Viper eMTN bike.
BMW M 1000 R and Updated S 1000 RR Coming for 2023
It’s been nearly two years since BMW first debuted the M 1000 RR, its first motorcycle to carry the company’s high-performance M brand. We knew it wouldn’t be the first, though, after we broke the news that BMW had trademarked the name along with “M 1000 XR” and “M 1300 GS.” What we didn’t expect was for the next M-branded motorcycle to be based on the S 1000 R.
That now looks to be the case, as a new M 1000 R model has appeared in vehicle certification documents in Switzerland and Germany. The M 1000 RR isn’t alone, however, as the same documents confirm BMW will also be introducing an updated S 1000 RR with a revised engine.
2023 Zero DSR/X Review - First Ride
The thing about any of the electric motorcycle companies actually taking product development seriously is that, more often than not, each new model they introduce is markedly better than any model before it. Considering the EV market is still in its early stages, you expect a marked advancement with each new model.
2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 Review - First Ride
I’m a big fan of scramblers that can actually Scram, ya dig? When a production scrambler has the chops and capability to do what those customized rigs did back in the good ol’ days, well, that’s the real deal. Isn’t it? Royal Enfield has based this latest machine on its highly popular Himalayan ADV bike so, in theory, the new 411 should be nearly as capable as that machine while being imbued with its own style. A tweak here, some new paint there, a smaller front wheel, viola! Welcome to the Scram 411.
Honda Announces Electric Motorcycle Plans
Honda announced plans for a carbon neutral future and a goal of introducing 10 or more electric motorcycles by 2025 including three mid-range models and a youth model for North America.
Until now, Honda has been very tentative when it comes to electrification, with its main focus being on developing swappable battery packs for electric two-wheelers. Its Japanese counterparts Yamaha and Kawasaki have outlined their own plans, while in North America, Harley-Davidson is days away from finalizing its LiveWire spin-off. Still, we’ve been waiting for the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer to show its hand.
Ask MO Anything: Why Didn't the Ducati Supermono Just Use Normal Counterbalancers?
Following our recent Falloon File about the lovely and talented little Ducati Supermono, Commenter Bob wanted to know: “Why did Bordi use an extra connecting rod instead of the usual balance shafts? BMW had a parallel twin with a third con rod for the same reason. I would be interested in reading a technical analysis of those motors.”
Interesting. At first, I guessed Ducati’s Chief Engineer Massimo Bordi probably decided to use a dummy cylinder because he already had a stack of V-twin engine cases lying around, but that idea is quickly out the window when you remember the super lightweight Supermono in fact got its own cases, made from magnesium even.
2023 Honda Hornet Engine Details Confirmed
Honda provided an update on the development of its new 2023 Hornet streetfighter, releasing test footage and details about its new engine.
2023 Lucky Explorer 9.5 Prototype Test
These days, any manufacturer with pretensions to being a global player at whatever level in the marketplace has to have a dual-purpose Adventure model in its range, and MV Agusta is no exception. Italy’s most historic trophy brand – the so-called Ferrari of motorcycles, with 270 Grand Prix road racing victories and 75 World Championship titles in its locker, including 17 successive 500GP crowns – actually has a notable off-road heritage, too. Company founder Count Domenico Agusta’s dirt demons won successive Italian MX/Enduro titles in the 1950s and ’60s, as well as equipping the Italian team in ISDT events abroad. But after the Castiglioni family acquired MV 30 years ago, their focus for the brand was exclusively on the hard stuff – a focus which the company’s current owner Timur Sardarov is now in the process of changing.
2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 and V-Strom 1050DE First Look
Suzuki announced updates for the V-Strom 1050, as well as a new off-road oriented version for 2023. The new 2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050DE replaces the 1050XT model, and adds new features to make it a more capable off-road machine such as a 21-inch front wheel, longer-stroke suspension, and a larger aluminum bash plate.
Both models remain powered by a 1037cc V-Twin engine, but for 2023, Suzuki introduced new hollow sodium-filled exhaust valves, claiming reduced temperature in the combustion chamber, and thus improved efficiency and durability.
The six-speed transmission and the bi-drectional quickshifter were also updated for smoother shifting.
Yamaha's Coming Out With a Race-Spec R1 In 2023
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.
Church of MO: 1997 Suzuki XF650 Freewind
What’s that? You want a simple, lightweight adventure bike with LCD instruments and no cruise control that won’t break the bank? Something Japanese, with a huge dealer network so you won’t be afraid to leave the neighborhood? Well you can’t have it now, and you couldn’t have it 25 years ago either, cause I’m pretty sure Suzuki never imported the XF650 Freewind to the US did they? You can probably blame the Freemasons or whoever it was that also quashed the 200-mpg Rochester Quadrajet. But Yossef got to ride it in Europe or somewhere, and five years later the wind theme continued with the first V-Strom.
Aprilia Introduces The Most Extreme RSV4 Yet - The XTrenta
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.
Since aero is the hot topic in MotoGP racing today, let’s start there. The XTrenta sports the huge front wing just below and beside the nose that has become so commonplace lately. Interestingly, Aprilia claims this wing not only creates more downforce for the front wheel but also reduces drag at the same time.
2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini First Look
As we expected earlier this week, Ducati kicked off its 2023 World Première series with a limited edition Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini model. This marks the second tie-in between the two Volkswagen Group brands, following the Diavel Lamborghini model in 2021.
Parallel-Twin Suzuki V-Strom and SV650 Successors Spied
Spy photographers have snapped images of two new Suzuki prototypes powered by a new Parallel-Twin engine. The two motorcycles, an adventure bike and a naked model, appear to be the eventual successors to the V-Strom 650 and SV650, and the culmination of a long development path for Suzuki’s new middleweight twin-cylinder engine.
2023 GasGas RX 450F Replica First Look
As we reported a few weeks ago, GasGas is releasing a new replica based on its 2022 Dakar-winning race bike. The 2023 GasGas RX 450F Replica is a limited-edition model that comes as close as you can get to Sam Sunderland’s and Daniel Sanders’ factory rally-raid bikes.
And just as we expected, the RX 450F Replica is essentially the same bike as the 450 Rally Replica offered by GasGas’ Pierer Mobility stablemate, KTM. Juxtaposing the two bikes, the most visible differences between the two are the colors and the front fender.
2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S – Mini Review
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.
2022 Harley-Davidson Low Rider El Diablo Joins Limited Edition Icons Collection
Harley-Davidson unveiled the latest member of its Icons Collection with a devilish take on the Low Rider ST. Limited to a production run of just 1,500 models, the 2022 Harley-Davidson Low Rider El Diablo introduces a custom red paint job and a factory-installed Rockford Fosgate audio system for a price of $27,999.
The El Diablo joins last year’s Revival in Harley-Davidson’s Icons Collection, a series of limited edition models inspired by key bikes in the company’s past. In the case of the El Diablo, Harley-Davidson turned to the 1983 FXRT Sport Glide that first introduced this style of frame-mounted fairing. As a nod to the Sport Glide while connecting it to the new Low Rider ST, the El Diablo receives the model designation “FXRST”.
2023 Ducati Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini Model to Be Announced Sept. 2
Ducati released a teaser image ahead of its first World Première 2023 episode, with all signs pointing to a new Lamborghini tie-in model based on the Streetfighter V4.
The image shows a green and red piece of carbon bodywork with the “STO” logo that matches that of the Lamborghini Huracán STO. The initials stand for “Super Trofeo Omologata“, indicating the street-legal version of Lamborghini’s Super Trofeo racecar. The color scheme appears to be a match to the STO’s “Verde Citrea” livery.
Church of MO: 2002 Ducati 999 Comes To America
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.
What more is there to say at this point really? By now you’ve read your eyeballs out on the matter of the new 999 — including Yossef’s quite inclusvie road test from Italy — and know everything about it.
Now that we’ve had our actual paws on the bike for the last couple of weeks, and have ridden it at speed at the Willow Springs North American debut and upon actual U.S. soil, we have a few thoughts of our own.
Why not begin with the beginning then? As luck would have it, Ducati decided to use Pirelli’s excellent Supercorsa tires for the Willow Springs launch, which was wise on their part if the goal was to show what the bike is capable of, I mean of what the bike is capable. The Michelin Pilot Sports the bike will be delivered with
Showdown: 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 Vs. Yamaha Tenere 700
As we motored slaunchways across Utah, the late daylight stretched our shadows and cast golden hues against the tall canyon walls, further accentuating the contrast between the rust colored ancient seabeds peppered with lush green juniper and muted sage. The lavender sky over Bryce faded as we continued westward on Hwy 12. Refusing to pack a second visor for my Shoei Hornet X2, I lifted the dark smoke shield as I led our crew into the dark dense forest, keeping my line of sight just above the Ténéré’s windscreen in an attempt to protect my peepers from the onslaught of kamikaze insects. In a further showing of stubbornity, I refused to roll back off the throttle while the only bit of light left – aside from what the Ténéré’s quite ample quad headlight offered – was a thick crimson band at the horizon, the bottom punctured by spire-like tree tops.
Falloon Files: 1993 Ducati Supermono
Hey! I got to ride one of those once. My old 608cc Yamaha SRX-6 singles racer was built not quite to the hilt and made 52 horsepower. The Ducati Supermono made more like 70 hp from 502cc, and was about a 3/4-scale model of the Yamaha.
Ian Falloon may be the greatest writer of motorcycle books ever. Lately he’s taken to excerpting some of his work on Facebook, which is where we stumbled across this tidbit from his 2014 tome, The Art of the Ducati.
Over Ducati’s history there have been many unfulfilled promises, but none more squandered than the Supermono. Ducati’s tradition was founded on single-cylinder motorcycles, and when the Supermono was conceived it promised to resurrect the concept, forming the foundation of a new family of high technology single-cylinder machines.
Rumor Check: Honda's Mini-Africa Twin Will Be The XL750 Transalp
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.
Considering the success of the Africa Twin, and the history of the Transalp name, it wasn’t completely out of reach to think a mini-Africa Twin was coming. Now Dennis has done it again, as he’s uncovered a trademark application filing from Honda Motor Corporation, dated August 12, 2022, for the name XL750 Transalp. This is the strongest indicator yet that such a model is coming, as the publication of said trademark occurred 10 days later.
Church of MO: 2012 KTM RC8 R And RC8 R Race Spec Review First Ride
Tommyguns Roderick has left the building. Well, not like Elvis; he’s still alive and well. But he’s left the MO building. Not that we have one anymore. Ten years ago, though, TR was at Auto Club Speedway riding a pair of tasty KTM RC8 R sportbikes, which at the time were a small but interesting part of the Austrian lineup. At the time, electronic niceties like traction control and quickshifters were novelties; now they’re ubiquitous, and we’re all the safer for them. Or are we? As the great Donald Canet once observed, “rain tires simply allow you to crash at a higher rate of speed.”
Oh hey, lookit that. There’s a new KTM RC 8C for 2022, and only $38,999!
2023 Ducati DesertX Review - First Ride
When the DesertX prototype hit the scene at EICMA in 2019, it was portrayed as a Dakar-inspired Scrambler variant – that was the initial idea anyway. As you’re likely already aware, the production DesertX is anything but. Powered by the proven 937cc Testastretta 11° Desmo engine, the 2023 Ducati Desert X has been designed from the ground up as a purpose-built adventure machine.
GasGas RX 450F Replica Confirmed in Type Approval Documents
GasGas is preparing to launch a new model called the RX 450F Replica that we believe will be based on the machine Sam Sunderland rode to victory in the 2022 Dakar Rally.
The RX 450F Replica model name appears on a recently updated list of vehicles approved by the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, Germany’s federal motor transport authority. The name is similar, though not a perfect match, for the RC 450F ridden by Sunderland and his teammate Daniel Sanders (who was no slouch himself in winning three stages) in the Dakar Rally.
2022 Yamaha MT-10 Review - First Ride
Heaping praise upon Yamaha’s naked bikes has become all too easy lately. Yes, the MT-07 did get dethroned in last year’s Middleweight Naked comparison, but not by much – and it took brand-new motorcycles from Aprilia and Triumph to do it. When it came time for the 900cc(ish) Nakeds last August, the newly revamped MT-09 surprised a couple people by taking the cake against KTM Duke 890 and five other very nice and mostly more expensive motorcycles. Sadly, when it was time for the Open Class Nakeds shootout last November, the MT-10 got left out. We thought it was too old, and couldn’t win. Plus, we knew the 2022 Yamaha MT-10 was on its way. Possibly to save the day.
2024 Can-Am Origin and Pulse Electric Prototypes – First Look
After teasing us in March, Bombardier Recreational Products officially revealed its first two Can-Am electric motorcycles, the Pulse roadster and the Origin dual-sport. Both models were presented as prototypes, meaning they are very close to what will eventually be the final product, which will enter production in the summer of 2024.
Full specs will be revealed next August, so the focus of this “soft reveal” is purely on the design of the first two-wheeled Can-Am models since 1987. Both models employ what BRP calls the Rotax E-Power powertrain. Specific numbers weren’t given, but BRP says it will yield “highway-worthy speeds with plenty of horsepower and torque.” The Rotax E-Power technology will eventually be employed across BRP product lines, not just motorcycles.
Church of MO: 2002 Yamaha FJR1300
All we learn from history, goes the current cynical wisdom, is that we learn nothing from history. Then again, maybe we do? For instance, I just learned this morning that Yamaha is still stamping out the FJR1300ES 20 years after the original 2002 FJR1300 hit our shores. Well, they’re still selling them anyway. I remember FJ1100 very fondly, FJ1200 was the tool for inhaling great draughts of western landscape at ludicrous speed… all before this first liquid-cooled FJR blew our moldy sport-touring socks off. (Note Minime’s acting out by spelling three of four names wrong in only the first 2.5 lines of copy. Is there an Editor in the house?)
Ducati World Premire 2023 to Include Monster SP, New Scrambler, Panigale V4 R, and More
Last week, Ducati announced it would once again present its new product announcements in a series of online presentations. Just like in 2020 and 2021, the Ducati World Première 2023 series will take place over multiple episodes, with each part featuring a different product line.
For 2023, the series will span seven episodes, starting Sept. 2, ahead of the MotoGP round in San Marino, and running until Nov. 7, just ahead of EICMA. As has become custom, Ducati has given each episode a cryptic title offering a clue to the presentation’s topic. The episodes are:
2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4R Confirmed in VIN Submissions
A new Vehicle Identification Number decoder released by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirms that Kawasaki will be introducing a 399cc Inline-Four Ninja ZX-4R model for 2023. While the VIN decoder does not provide any clue to what the ZX-4R will look like, we expect it will be styled similar to the 249cc Ninja ZX-25R (pictured above) currently offered in Japan and other Asian markets.
We previously wrote about the existence of a ZX-4R a year ago, when we uncovered a Kawasaki patent for the fairing design that was adopted for the ZX-25R. The patent described how intakes built into the fairing would divert air towards the engine for additional cooling. While the design was used on the ZX-25R, the patent describes the invention as being “more preferably applied to a vehicle having four-cylinder 400 cc engine.”
Two Electric Kawasaki Streetbikes Coming for 2023
Earlier this year, Kawasaki revealed its first electric two-wheeler, but a lot of people were disappointed when they realized it was a kids’ balance bike called the Elektrode. Those hoping for an electric streetbike from Kawasaki won’t have to wait too much longer, as we can confirm two new models will be coming to the U.S. for the 2023 model year.
Kawasaki has made no secret of its plans for electric and hybrid two-wheelers, previously stating a goal of at least 10 models by 2025. The Elektrode was the first, but it will soon be joined by a sportbike and a naked model. The proof comes from an updated vehicle identification number (VIN) decoder for 2023 Kawasaki models that was released by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The VIN decoder lists two models going by the unfamiliar code names NX011AP and NR011AP. The NX model is listed as a “Super Sports,” while the NR model is listed as a “Sports” model. For Kawasaki, this usually indicates a sportbike and a naked model, respectively. The Ninja 400, for example, is considered a “Super Sports” model while Kawasaki calls the Z400 a “Sports” model. The Ninja 400 has the model code EX400 while the Z400 is the ER400, so we can deduce the the NX is a sportbike and the NR is a naked model.
2022 CFMOTO 800 Adventura Review - First Ride
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.
Church of MO: 2002 Suzuki SV-1000S
Oh, look what turned up in this morning’s search through the archives: a 2002 Suzuki SV-1000S review/Spanish travelogue by our dearly departed friend/former fearless leader Sean Alexander. Well, I mean, he’s not departed departed; he’s only moved to Hawaii with his lovely wife Natalie to live the good life – while we who must remain go on living just the same. We miss you buddy. Good times…
Harley-Davidson's Production Stoppage Was Caused by Non-compliant Brake Lines
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.
The actual cause for the delay remained unclear some speculating the issue was related to the powertrains, as the stoppage only affected Harley-Davidson’s gas engine-powered motorcycles and not the electric LiveWires. We thought that was unlikely at the time, as our sense was the powertrain production was also halted just to prevent a backlog of engines sitting idle awaiting installation onto motorcycles.
Harley-Davidson finally cleared things up today during its second quarter 2022 report. Jochen Zeitz, Harley-Davidson chief executive officer and board chair, kicked off his portion of the investor conference call by explaining the production shut-down was caused by non-compliant brake lines.
“The decision we took to temporarily close our production facilities and suspend vehicle shipments was taken out of an abundance of caution and related to a regulatory compliance issue with the brake hoses provided by a Tier 2 to our Tier 1 suppliers,” says Zeitz.
Insider Stories From The Ducati Museum
As a general rule, I tend to listen to museum curators once they start talking. Having someone at your disposal who is so deeply vested, and intimately knowledgeable, in the subject matter is a treasure worth hanging on to.
Livio Lodi is just such a person. As the curator of the Ducati museum in the company HQ in Borgo Panigale, Loi is more than just a Ducatista. Born and raised in Bologna, he’s lived and breathed Ducati for as long as he’s been alive. After joining the company in the 1980s, working in the factory on the production line for the Ducati Paso 750, he transitioned into a role as an accountant for the company. Away from work, his passion for history and his ability to speak fluently in multiple languages (English being the most relevant here) made him an obvious choice when then-CEO Fabrizio Minoli came looking for a museum curator. The rest, as they say, is history.
Have You Seen the 2022 CFMOTO Motorcycle Lineup?
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.
In 2002, CFMOTO brought its ATVs and side-by-sides to the US, and began offering select scooters and motorcycles here shortly after. 2007 marked the establishment of CFMOTO USA’s headquarters in Plymouth, MN, and since then CFMOTO USA has worked alongside the corporate headquarters in China to develop and improve its offroad line of SXSs, UTVs, and ATVs for the American market. Today, CFMOTO has established itself as a competitive force in the US offroad market, with over 550 offroad dealers.
In April of 2022, CFMOTO USA launched a line of seven motorcycles to the US market. Though brand new to the US, these bikes have been sold, alongside other models, in Europe and Asia over the past decade (more info on the global line of CFMOTO motorcycles can be found at https://global.cfmoto.com/). Since the launch in April, CFMOTO is closing in on 200 dealerships.
Currently all CFMOTO models are manufactured and assembled in China (alongside other major global motorcycle and motorsports names), though they all undergo final assembly and checks in the US. Currently CFMOTO and KTM have a joint venture in China, which includes manufacturing and development of the 800 ADVentura (known to the rest of the world as the 800MT). That bike is slated to be launched in the US later this summer/fall.
Next week, we’re off for a first-hand eyeball and ride of a couple of these. For now, let’s have a look at the line-up why not? Especially if you read to the end, you’ll be nicely surprised at some of the features on these seven sub-$7,000 motorcycles. Beginning from smallest to largest…
MO Touring: Building A Lightweight Adventure Bike
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.
I started backpacking when I was a kid, spending time on the Appalachian Trail, the Sierra Crest, and even a trip horse packing in Montana. In my 20s, I took an Outward Bound course in North Carolina and, a few years later, packed my belongings on my first motorcycle for a three-month, 11,000 mile trip across the country. Except for the occasional car-camping weekend, most of that stuff stopped during the childrearing years. And now, I find myself up late at night looking at maps of Backcountry Discovery Routes, thinking that maybe I’m not too old to pursue solitude in the mountains even though my knees, after decades of running, are dropping hints that my dreams of hiking portions of the Pacific Crest Trail after I retire may be out of reach.
Lightning Motorcycles Files Designs for an Electric Adventure Bike
Lightning Motorcycles has filed designs for an electric adventure bike. The designs, filed with China’s intellectual property office, reveal a motorcycle with the typical ADV accoutrements, and an electric motor and swingarm design that look similar to those of Lightning’s Strike sportbike.
The design was filed Feb. 11, 2022, with the China National Intellectual Property Administration by Lightning, with its founder and Chief Executive Officer Richard Hatfield listed as the sole designer. Lightning has a factory in China, so it’s not entirely surprising the American company would register the design in that country’s IP office.
The filing included text (translated from Chinese) saying the design as being for an “off-road motorcycle”, along with “Dakar” written in English. Whether that’s what Lightning intends to call it, or if it was just a descriptor, is unclear. It’s highly unlikely the motorcycle is a full-on Dakar Rally racer (even before accounting for its potential range), but in the past, Lightning hasn’t shied away from headline-grabbing efforts like racing at Pikes Peak or attempting to set land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
CFMOTO's Other Motos: Papio, 300NK, 300SS, 650NK and ADVentura 650
Many undies were twisted, bunched, and/or soiled after last week’s exciting Review First Ride of the new CFMOTO 700CL-X and 700CL-X Sport, which gave us a chance to discuss not just new motorcycles but also international relations. Always a crowd favorite on MO. That’s because these are completely built in China, a country which is either our mortal enemy or best trading partner depending on who you ask. Here on MO, we provide. You decide. This time we’re going to have a look at the other five bikes CFMOTO’s importing via its Plymouth, Minnesota, US HQ – in addition to all the highly regarded ATVs, UTVs, and side-by-sides they’ve been dealing for decades.
2022 CFMOTO 700CL-X / 700CL-X Sport Review – First Ride
Like we pointed out last time, though these motorcycles are new to the US, they’ve been for sale for a while in other parts of the world, and each one comes with a two-year warranty.
Kawasaki to Release New KLR650S Variant for 2023 (UPDATED)
Kawasaki surprised us all a year ago when it brought back the KLR650, resurrecting the venerable adventure bike with fuel injection, updated styling, and a new one-piece frame.
For the U.S., the third-generation KLR650 was available in a few different flavors, the base model, the Traveler model with a top case and the Adventure model with side cases, auxiliary lighting and engine guards, not to mention ABS versions of the base and Adventure models.
2022 CFMOTO 700CL-X / 700CL-X Sport Review - First Ride
With just about every Chinese motorcycle I can remember riding, there’s nearly always A Problem. Sometimes they look great on paper, and sometimes they even look pretty good in the flesh. But then you hop on and start riding, and are met with a powerband that’s more a powerhole. Or an ADV bike with two inches of rear suspension travel, or cast iron components that weigh 60 pounds more than the competition. If it’s not one glaring thing, there’s usually a combination platter of weirdnesses that make you question whether the monetary savings are worth the sacrifice for any but the cheapest of contrarian skates – even if reliability isn’t much of a concern any more.
2023 Triumph Modern Classics Range Get New Colors, New Names
Triumph announced updated color options for its Bonneville “Modern Classics” range, as well as new names for the Street Scrambler and Street Twin.
The 2023 paint schemes are generally more vibrant than the 2022 colors, a change brought about in part from the popularity of last year’s Gold Line edition models.
Confirming the news we first reported in May, the Street Scrambler has been renamed the Scrambler 900, while the Street Twin will now be called the Speed Twin. Apart from the two new names and the colors, the entire range is otherwise unchanged from 2022.
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Evidence Suggests New Kawasaki Ninja 650 and Z650 for 2023
With the calendar flipping over to July, we are now officially in the second half of 2022. That also means motorcycle manufacturers are starting to make their model announcements for 2023. Around this time of year, we typically hear about updated models returning with the always-popular “Bold New Graphics,” such as last week’s news of 2023 BMW paint options.
Of course, what we’re more interested in are models that are brand new, and existing models that are being updated. As always, Motorcycle.com‘s got our feelers out for clues about what to expect. To that end, MO has uncovered evidence that Kawasaki will be updating the Ninja 650 and Z650 for 2023.
Unlike the 1098, however, the Ducati 848 features a wet clutch, which is very untraditional for Ducati. Dry clutches, and the noise they emanate, are a synonymous characteristic of Ducati superbikes. The Italian manufacturer, holding performance above all other concerns, had historically constructed the street-going versions of its superbikes with the race-oriented dry clutch found in its competition machines. Ducati claims the 848’s wet clutch is lighter, reduces noise and extends service intervals compared to the dry clutch version. The Ducati 848 and its wet clutch also represent a change in Ducati philosophy wherein the company is constructing each bike for its realistic/intended environment (in this case street riding) and not as if every bike they produce is being raced on closed course circuit.
Following the Ducati 848’s release, Ducati sold more than 1,200 units in its first six months of availability, making the Ducati 848 the fastest selling motorcycle in Ducati’s history (beating the previous recording holder, the 1098, by 200 units) and representing 20% of Ducati’s overall sales for North America.
Actually displacing 849cc, Ducati claims the 848 produces 134 horsepower and 70 lb.-ft. of torque. With a claimed dry weight of 370 lbs., the Ducati 848 weighs 11 lbs. less than its 1098 counterpart. From 2008 through 2010, the Ducati 848 remained unchanged, then Ducati updated the model and in 2011 introduced the Ducati 848EVO.
The 2011 Ducati 848EVO featured the Testastretta Evoluzione engine. With new cylinder heads, pistons, throttle bodies, camshafts and a higher compression ratio, the redesigned engine increased horsepower to a claimed 140 at 10,500 rpm and torque to a claimed 72 lb.-ft. at 9750 rpm. The new Ducati 848EVO also boasted upgraded braking components, and the steering damper was relocated to same position as on the 1098/1198.
The new Brembo monobloc brakes were single-piece calipers machined from solid alloy and matched the Ducati 1098/1198 brakes. This set-up replaced the previous braking components that also utilized Brembo four-pistons calipers, but the calipers were cast in two pieces rather than machined from one piece. The Ducati 848EVO was also the first Ducati superbike to feature die-cast crankcases formed using Vacural technology, which is a process that increases strength and reduces the weight of the crankcases by maintaining a consistent wall thickness.
In 2011 the Ducati 848EVO, competing against 600cc inline four-cylinder Japanese sportbikes in the Daytona Sportbike class, won the Daytona 200. Piloted by privateer racer, Jason DiSalvo, the Daytona 200 was the first win for the 848EVO competing in its first road race and the first win ever by Ducati in the Daytona 200.
Showdown: 2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster Vs Indian Scout Rogue
The Harley vs Indian rivalry is up there with some of the biggest rivalries in modern pop culture. Think Coke vs Pepsi, Mac vs PC, Army vs Navy, Edison vs Tesla. Then there’s Harley vs Indian. These two titans of motorcycling built a rivalry that lasted for decades, and despite the fact Indian dropped from the scene for 60 years, ever since its resurgence in 2013, it’s as though the rivalry picked right back up where it left off. And we’re all better for it.
American motorcycling is known for big touring bikes, and the recent Showdown between the Harley Road Glide Limited and Indian Pursuit Limited Premium was as Americana as they come. However, cruisers are also a staple of the American riding experience. Chief among them (Indian pun not intended) the Harley Sportster and Indian Scout. These two lightweights of cruiserdom are anything but light but have historically been the bikes to reach for if simplicity and bare-bones cruising were what you were craving. Low and slow, as they say.