2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT Review – First Ride
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.
This has always been the essence of sport-touring, and while adventure-touring bikes can get very close to the sensation, something about those big front wheels and long-travel suspension just isn’t the same.
Church of MO: 2002 Moto Guzzi V11 Scura
Normally we’d save this M-G review for next year, when it’ll be a nice, even 20 years old. But since it’s Moto Guzzi’s 100th anniversary this year, and since Yossef’s visit to the Mandello factory/museo to ride this one is as high-quality as MOtojournalism gets, we’re making an exception. Happy anniversary, Moto Guzzi. And happy Guzzi-ing, Yossef.
2022 Kawasaki KLR 650 Review - First Ride
Which side of the fence were you on when you got the hot goss that a new KLR 650 was coming down the pike? The for the love of god don’t change it! troop, or the this thing better be a Twin- cylinder Tenere-killer gang?
The BMW Motorrad Concept CE 02 is an Urban Electric Bike for Gen Z
BMW debuted a new electric two-wheeler concept it hopes to be an urban commuter for today’s youth. Specifically, the BMW Motorrad Concept CE 02 is designed for people 16 and over who are more familiar with smart technology than motorcycles. Think more Instagram than fuel injection and more TikTok than torque curves.
2022 BMW R18B (And R18 Transcontinental) Review - First Ride
As I pull the 2022 BMW R18B out of the underground parking of the hotel where BMW had hosted its new model introduction, I wonder if a 7:30 departure still qualifies as my crack-of-dawn goal. Within a couple of blocks, I’m fully embroiled in the peak Denver commuter bump-and-grind. Still, I settle into an easy rhythm of following the mechanical voice instructions paired with their informative visual counterparts on the massive TFT screen. The saddlebags are packed to the point of bulging, and the overflow gear is rolled up and strapped down on the back. Yes, I’d have more room with the BMW R18 Transcontinental, but I prefer baggers for their cleaner lines and lower weight. Eventually, I head up the entrance ramp that will guide me to I-70 W out of the city. When I roll the throttle open, accelerating up to cruising speed, the beefy Boxer shudders its approval. The mountains and the road west beckon.
All-New Triumph Tiger 1200 Confirmed for 2022
Just more than a week after teasing us with a new Tiger Sport 660 prototype, Triumph sends us photos of another new model, this time a heavily updated Tiger 1200. Along with this showcase of Triumph’s camouflage wrapping, the British manufacturer sent us this brief description:
2022 KTM RC 390 First Look
We already loved the sporty, overachieving little RC 390, but word just in from Austria tells us we’re about to love it even more. Looks aren’t everything, but they’re a lot, and nearly every body panel has been redrawn to better resemble KTM’s MotoGP racer. Weren’t we just wishing for something other than orange the other day? Two new color schemes include a classic KTM blue/orange.
Harley-Davidson Claims Pan America Special is North America's Top Selling Adventure Bike
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.
This isn’t the first time Harley-Davidson has made such a claim. Jochen Zeitz, Harley-Davidson CEO, made a similar statement during the Q2 2021 earnings call on July 21, claiming the Pan America was “the number one selling adventure-touring model in the US in the month of May and June”. Today’s press release would suggest that the Pan America Special’s sales in July and August continued that momentum, with Zeitz claiming to have sold out the entire 2021 allocation.
But is it true? That’s hard to say for certain, but we’ll try our best to find out.
The best source of information that could confirm or disprove Harley’s claim is the Motorcycle Industry Council, a not-for-profit national trade association that represents manufacturers, retailers, distributors and other powersports-related businesses. Most of the major motorcycle manufacturers are members, and several have representatives on the MIC’s board of directors. The MIC compiles sales data from its members, so it would be able to tell if Harley-Davidson’s claims are true.
Unfortunately, though the MIC periodically releases some broad industry sales figures, it keeps more specific data a closely guarded secret. If we were given access to those figures, we’d also be honor-bound not to share it with the public. The MIC can’t help us find out if the Pan America Special really is the top-selling ADV on the continent (and yes, the MIC does only cover the U.S., while Harley-Davidson’s claims include Canada. Harley-Davidson’s Canadian sales represent about 7% of its North American numbers, so for the purpose of this exercise, we’re mainly going to focus on U.S. figures).
2022 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin and Africa Twin Adventure Sports Updates for Europe
Honda Europe announced some small, but useful updates to the Africa Twin and Africa Twin Adventure Sports. At the moment, American Honda has yet to confirm either CRF1100L model for 2022, but we suspect the updated Africa Twins will be announced soon.
The changes are small quality of life improvements that those who were holding off on purchasing a 2021 model will appreciate. At the same time, existing Africa Twin owners shouldn’t have too much regret about missing out on these changes.
BMW R18B: Denver To Los Angeles Tour - The Long Way (Updated)
Despite the best efforts of the Coronavirus Delta Variant, things are slowly starting to return to normal. Naturally, for those of us in the moto-biz, that means the manufacturers are starting to invite us to ride their newest machinery, rather than settling for a videoconference unveiling. Receiving the invitation from BMW to the R18B and R18 Transcontinental launch was enough to get my juices flowing because it’s been more than a decade since the last time I enjoyed Colorado on two wheels. When BMW sent a second email asking if I’d like to ride a bike home, I was stoked to have the opportunity to more fully test the BMW’s long-haul capability. No more work got done that day as I began to construct my route. If everything goes as planned, I’ve got 1,300 miles to build a close relationship with my borrowed steed.
My choice for the ride is the BMW R18B, because I prefer baggers to dressers, and since I’d be flying solo, I don’t need the additional storage capacity. For my color, I requested Galaxy Dust, because, well, who can resist that name? My route would be three days from Denver to Los Angeles. The first two days would be play days, consisting of roughly 500 miles in both Colorado and Utah. Day three will likely be an interstate slog from St. George, UT to LA, CA to get me back for work on Monday. Still, I’m feeling the familiar gravitational pull to extend my ride via a more scenic route on the final day, so who knows what will happen.
Kawasaki Teases New Z650RS Retro Sport Model
Kawasaki has released a video teasing a new retro model across its social media channels. The video shows two riders in open-faced helmets and offers just a glimpse of the bike’s mirror stalks, but we expect the mystery model to be a new Z650RS. As of this writing, the video has been posted to Kawasaki’s European, Australian and Canadian channels, among others, but not yet to its U.S. channels. Nevertheless, we expect the 2022 Kawasaki Z650RS to be coming to America as well.
UPDATED Sept. 10 2021Kawasaki has released a second teaser offering more hints that the mystery model is a Z650RS, with a reveal date of Sept. 27.
Ask MO Anything: Where Can I Get a Replacement Key for a Buell 1125R?
My husband has a 2008 Buell 1125R. He somehow managed to break the key off in the ignition switch. My question is, do y’all know where I can get a replacement key switch for this bike? His birthday is 08/27, and I would love to have it by then. He has title, he owns the bike!
You type like an honest person. It’s nice of you to want to replace the key, but wouldn’t it be easier to replace the whole bike, seeing as it’s now 13 years old and all? The people behind Buell announced earlier this year they’ve reacquired the Buell Motorcycles name, and are taking orders for their new Hammerhead – one of ten new bikes they want to produce (sadly, with no Erik Buell involvement). The Hammerhead looks a lot like the 1190RX that debuted ten years ago, and not completely different from your 2008 1125R, but it might have a new trick or two up its sleeve?
2022 Triumph Tiger Sport 660 Prototype Revealed
We were hoping to learn more about Triumph‘s new Speed Triple 1200 RR after the British brand dropped a teaser for the faired roadster last week. Instead, we’ve received teaser images for a different new Triumph model we’ve been anticipating: the Triumph Tiger Sport 660.
Triumph sent us photos of a prototype Tiger Sport 660, the second model to make use of the platform introduced with the Trident. The Tiger Sport 660 will step into what Triumph calls the “middleweight adventure sports category”, a class that includes the likes of the Kawasaki Versys 650, Suzuki V-Strom 650, or the not-available-in-America Yamaha Tracer 7. Like these competitors, the Tiger Sport 660 is what we’d traditionally call a sport-tourer, but with some ADV influences. The Trident won our recent middleweight nakeds shootout, which means the Tiger Sport 660 may present a big threat to its competition.
Apart from the images and the model’s name, Triumph didn’t provide much information about the Tiger Sport 660, leaving us to closely examine the photographs for details.
Triumph Teases Speed Triple 1200 RR Prototype
Triumph has started teasing a new faired version of the Speed Triple across its social media channels. Details remain scarce, as Triumph seems to have planned a long teaser campaign (and we know how much our readers love those), but we can form some conclusions based on the images we’ve seen, and on the name: the Speed Triple 1200 RR.
2022 Triumph Speed Twin Review
It was just about a year ago when we sampled Triumph’s reborn Speed Twin for the first time on home soil, in a two-bike standoff against a way-more-expensive optioned-out BMW R nineT. At the time, we were slightly underwhelmed and had to rate the new Speed Twin second, by a hair.
Church of MO: Buell XB9R Firebolt First Ride Review
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…
Torrance, California, November 19, 2001 — Ever wonder if that smell is bad meat or good cheese? Buell’s new XB9R Firebolt is a lot like that. After spending part of a day riding the bike at Las Vegas Raceway, we’re not sure if it’s an excellent Buell or just a good sportbike. And then there’s the issue of the name Firebolt. Given Buell’s less than stellar reputation for reliability, we’re not sure naming the bike after fires and hardware was such a brilliant marketing move. Then again, what do we know?What we do know is that Buell isn’t being complacent. The XB9R is a departure from standard Buell motorcycle design, but still maintains the trilogy of design that Erik Buell has insisted on since day one; mass centralization, low unsprung weight and chassis rigidity.
2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 Review - First Ride
Coming directly off of a six-bike shootout the previous day of paltry 900cc nekids, I knew I needed to focus on rewiring my brain to handle the beast that is the Aprilia Tuono V4. I’ve been a fan (and owner) of the Aprilia Tuono V4 platform for some time now – and I’m not the only one around here. From earning the editors’ top spot in our 2017 Supernaked Streetfighter Shootout!, to bringing home the people’s choice award in our Writer’s Choice: MO’s WSBK Sport-Touring Showdown in 2019, the Tuono’s list of accolades run deep through the years both at MO and other publications worldwide – and it just keeps getting better. With an ever more hard-edged category though, the Tuono hasn’t won them all.
Church of MO: 2001 Yamaha Fazer 1000
Funny, we just bumped into a travelling nurse riding one of these, with 60,000 miles on it – and still running strong, of course. Not to be outmarketed by the Euros, naturally Yamaha USA had to give the new “R1 for the real world” their own name when it got here. Yamaha Fazer 1000? Isn’t that a little too Trekkie? How about FZ-1? Done!
Can-Am Ryker 900 Sport Certified for 2022
Bombardier Recreational Products is making changes to it’s Can-Am Ryker line-up for 2022, with a new Ryker 900 Sport set to replace the Rally Edition variant.
Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board have approved a 2022 Can-Am Ryker 900 Sport alongside the base model Ryker 900. Not listed for the 2022 model year is the Ryker 900 Rally Edition which had been around since 2019. The EPA has also certified the 600cc version of the Cam-Am Ryker for 2022.
While we know the Ryker 900 Sport exists, the certifications don’t offer any clues about what to expect beyond the engines. As with the previous model years, the 2022 the 2022 Ryker 900 models will be powered by the three-cylinder Rotax 900 ACE engine claiming a peak output of 81.9 hp at 8000 rpm. The continuously variable transmission will also return for 2022.
Church of MO: 1996 Yamaha TRX850
Twenty-five years ago, Yamaha had an 849 cc liquid-cooled 270-degree cranked parallel Twin in a steel birdcage frame, but the TRX850 faded from view before it even made it to America. Today, 270-degree parallel Twins and trellis frames are all the rage. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
2022 BMW R18 Transcontinental and R18 Bagger First Look
BMW added two new models to its “Big Boxer” heritage line with the 2022 R18 B bagger and R18 Transcontinental touring model. They join the R18 and R18 Classic in BMW’s lineup of models powered by the 1802cc Boxer engine. Pricing starts at $21,945 for the R18 B and $24,995 for the R18 Transcontinental
The Transcontinental and B share much in common, including the large handlebar-mounted fairing, 10.25-inch TFT color display, color-matched side cases and a sound system from Marshall Amplification. The R18 B has a short windscreen, a slimmer seat and matt black metallic engine and trim. The Transcontinental comes with a top case/passenger backrest, heated seats, a tall windscreen, fairing lowers, additional lighting, engine guards, chrome trim and a Silver metallic engine.
Zero DSR/X and Redesigned SR Tabbed for 2022 Model Year
Following the introduction of the supermoto-styled FXE earlier this month, Zero Motorcycles is preparing to launch two more new models for 2022: a DSR/X and a redesigned SR.
The information comes to us via a vehicle identification number (VIN) decoder Zero submitted to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The document included VIN information for the FXE but also listed an as-yet-unannounced DSR/X model. The document also listed a new VIN code for a 2022 SR that differs from the existing SR model, suggesting a significant update for the naked bike.
The Ducati Streetfighter V4 is Getting an SP Version for 2022
The Ducati Streetfighter V4 lineup is about to add a new, higher-spec SP model. The confirmation comes to us via the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which listed the Streetfighter V4 SP alongside the Streetfighter V4 and V4S as models certified for 2022.
The certification confirms that the SP’s engine remains the same 1103cc V-Four as the existing Streetfighter models, claiming 208 hp and 90.4 lb-ft. What the certification doesn’t tell us, is what Ducati did to make the new variant worthy to be called an “SP”.
2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S Review - First Ride
I learned about a new-to-me thing this week in a fun Facebook discussion: Oppositional Defiance Disorder. This affects lots of kids who are so fed up and angry about being criticized for a thing, that they keep on doing that thing just to own the criticizer, even though they know the thing they’re doing is wrong and bad for them. Before psychology, ODD was probably best expressed as cutting off your nose to spite your face.
KTM Reveals Limited Production RC 8C
KTM has revealed a new limited production track bike with the 890 Duke R engine in a bespoke chassis. The 2022 KTM RC 8C will be available for pre-order starting on July 22 at 10 am EST/7 am PST on KTM’s website for $38,999.
Triumph is Going Motocross and Enduro Racing
Triumph is going off-road racing, confirming development of a line of competition motocross and enduro models. The British brand says it will start a factory race program, committing to top-tier racing in both disciplines.
To that end, Triumph has enlisted the help of two of the best to ever compete: Motocross legend Ricky Carmichael (a.k.a. “The G.O.A.T”), and five-time Enduro World Champion Iván Cervantes. Carmichael and Cervantes will be active partners with Triumph, assisting in both testing and preparing for competition.
“This is an incredible opportunity for me to join this historic brand, and I am honored and humbled to be a part of the development and release of their off-road motorcycles,” says Carmichael. “Building something from the ground up is something that really is intriguing to me at this stage of my career.”
Full details about its motocross and enduro models will be announced in the next few months, but Triumph says we can expect a “comprehensive range” of motorcycles. At the very least, this should mean four-strokes in the 450cc and 250cc classes, but we can’t completely rule out other displacements or two-stroke models.
“Like me, everyone I am working with at Triumph is focused to make the bikes the best they can be,” says Cervantes. “I cannot wait to see the bikes competing at a world level, but I also look forward to when I can stand in a Triumph dealer and know I was part of this very special project.”
Triumph faces a big challenge entering the off-road realm. Producing a whole new motorcycle is a difficult task, let alone a range of models, especially in a whole new segment the company has no prior history in. Nevertheless, Nick Bloor, Triumph chief executive officer, says the company is fully committed to the task.
“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Triumph brand, which everyone at Triumph is incredibly excited to be part of. We are 100% committed to making a long-lasting impact in this highly competitive and demanding world, with a single-minded ambition to deliver a winning motorcycle line-up for a whole new generation of Triumph riders.”
Begin Press Release:
BMW Teases R18 Bagger and Tourer In Announcing Partnership With Marshall
BMW announced a new partnership with renowned audio company Marshall Amplification, and in doing so, teased the impending launch of two new R18 variants: the R18B bagger and R18 Transcontinental tourer.
Marshall is best known for its guitar amplifiers, but in recent years, the company has ventured into producing headphones and home audio speakers. With the new partnership with BMW, it appears Marshall will be producing audio systems for motorcycles.
BMW says: “the legendary Marshall spirit and the development power of BMW Motorrad will in future be reflected in new innovative products for motorcycles and music, especially in the BMW Motorrad Heritage segment.”
That last sentence is the important clue. BMW’s Heritage segment consists of the R18 and the R NineT lines, which currently do not have a model that is set up for an audio system. We have known for a while, however, that the R18 lineup will eventually include bagger and touring variants. BMW originally filed designs for an R18 model with a large batwing fairing and hard panniers back in July 2019, well before the R18 cruiser was officially introduced.
The press release included the image above which shows a Marshall amp superimposed on part of a motorcycle with a tank similar to the R18 models, a chrome fork tube. The fork tubes on the current R18 and R18 Classic are covered in black sheaths, but the designs for the bagger show the top of the fork tubes are exposed, matching the image.
What's Next for the Harley-Davidson Sportster?
With the official launch of the 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S, we now have an understanding of where The Motor Company is taking the Sportster family. Powered by the liquid-cooled Revolution Max 1250T engine, the Sportster S offers a significant step forward, claiming 121 hp, or nearly twice the horsepower of the air-cooled Evolution engine.
2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S First Look
The new 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S that was unveiled this morning looks so much like the earlier prototype we dubbed Custom 1250 and already closely examined, most of the conjecture is already over except for the how much and when. And that’s $14,999 and this fall.
2021 LiveWire ONE Revealed With $21,999 MSRP
Harley-Davidson officially revealed the LiveWire ONE, the first model from its recently-established standalone electric motorcycle brand. Apart from the lack of any Bar-and-Shield branding, the 2021 LiveWire ONE comes with some subtle changes from the original Harley-Davidson LiveWire motorcycle, and one not-so-subtle change: a drop in price from $29,799 to $21,999.
Discuss this story more at our H-D LiveWire Forum
The $7,800 price difference is a significant difference, especially when you consider how little has changed between the LiveWire ONE and the original LiveWire (we’ll refer to that bike as the ELW from here on to avoid confusion). Visually, the ONE and the ELW look similar, apart from the branding. The 2021 ONE will be offered in two color options, Horizon White and Liquid Black, with the headlight cover and the faux fuel tank being the only parts getting different paint.
2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S Details Leak Ahead of Unveiling
Harley-Davidson released information on its first LiveWire-branded model today, but as important as the newly-renamed LiveWire One is, we all know it’s not the most significant model the Motor Company will announce this month.
No, that distinction belongs to the Revolution Max-powered “High Powered Custom” model which we can now confirm will be called the Sportster S. Certified as a 2021 model, the Harley-Davidson Sportster S will be powered by a modified version of the Pan America’s liquid-cooled DOHC 1252cc engine, with a claimed 121 hp.
2022 BMW CE 04 First Look
BMW officially launched the production version of its CE 04, a futuristic-looking electric scooter that will arrive in U.S. showrooms in Q1 2022 with pricing starting at $11,795.
The 2022 BMW CE 04 isn’t the company’s first electric scooter (that honor belongs to the C Evolution), but it does herald a new chapter in the company’s electric strategy: starting with the CE 04, all BMW two-wheeled urban mobility vehicles will run on electricity.
Brixton Motorcycles' Bonneville Rival Is Getting Closer To Production
It’s understandable if you aren’t familiar with Brixton Motorcycles. An Austrian-owned brand with a British-sounding name and similarly British-looking bikes manufactured in China, Brixton is best known for its 125cc and 250cc bikes currently marketed in Europe and Asia, but as yet, does not much of a presence in North America.
Back in 2019, Brixton presented its initial forays into larger displacements with a pair of 500cc models and a 1200cc concept that looks to be a direct rival to the Triumph Bonneville. At the time, Brixton’s parent company, the KSR Group, said it intended to put the concept into production, but provided no timeline, saying it wants to “take its time in creating a technically mature vehicle that exceeds the high quality standards in these displacement classes.”
Church of MO: 2001 Suzuki Bandit 1200S
In March, 2001, little did we know our pleasant little applecart was about to be rudely upset. That’s right, the www was gaining traction and MO was becoming a going concern. Six months later came the little matter of 911, which upended how we lived, or didn’t anymore, and set the world on fire – literally at first and figuratively later. Of all the air-cooled motorcycles we loved before, when ignorance was bliss and global warming was still theoretical, the big Suzuki Bandit 1200 might be the one we still miss the most. A reading from the Book of Minime and Calvin, photos by the apostle Tom of Velvia.
Spy Shots: 2023 BMW R1300GS Spotted!
Spy photographers have spotted what we assume to be the 2023 BMW R1300GS prototype undergoing testing at a facility that bears a striking resemblance to BMW’s Enduro Park Hechlingen where E-i-C Evans Brasfield attended a riding course, way back in 2013. Since this large training ground offers a wide variety of terrain to challenge a big bike, it would be an ideal facility to inconspicuously put a new adventure bike through its paces away from (most) prying eyes.
The test bike appears to be an early prototype, lacking the level of finish one would expect from a motorcycle that’s closer to production. Much of the engine and areas around the subframe are covered up, but the bodywork, even in this early condition, shows a big departure from the current GS’ styling.
What We Know About the Harley-Davidson High Performance Custom 1250
Earlier this week, Harley-Davidson teased a new Revolution Max-powered model that will be revealed July 13. The announcement called it a new model for the “sport segment,” and included a glimpse of the bike, which bears a striking resemblance to the Custom 1250 concept first shown in 2018.
Here’s the original concept:
2022 Suzuki Hayabusa First Ride Review - Video
Mark Miller is absolutely enamored with the new, 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa. Don’t believe me? Read his First Ride Review here. Only the third iteration of Suzuki’s land-speed rocketship since it was born in 1999, the Hayabusa has developed all kinds of hype for how fast it’ll go – upwards of 200 mph if given the chance to stretch its legs without Big Brother holding it back.
Church of MO: 2011 Ducati Diavel Review
The devil made Ducati do it. The power of MO compelled Pete to take it for a ride, ten years ago.
Harley-Davidson's Next Electric Motorcycle is the LiveWire One
Motorcycle.com can confirm that the first LiveWire-branded electric motorcycle from Harley-Davidson will be called the LiveWire One. The information comes to us via Vehicle Identification Number deciphering information Harley-Davidson submitted to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. We expect the 2021 LiveWire One will be revealed on July 8. [Updated with some clarity about the claimed horsepower output]
Discuss this story more at our H-D LiveWire Forum
The VIN filing confirms that the LiveWire One will claim a peak output of 101 bhp (that’s brake horsepower). By comparison, the 2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire (which we’ll henceforth call by its model code, “ELW”, to avoid confusion) was previously listed in VIN filings at 70 bhp. We believe this was the measured continuous output rather than a peak output, which Harley-Davidson has claimed to be 105 hp. As we previously reported, Australian certification documents suggest the 2021 ELW will see its peak power drop from 105 hp to 101 hp, matching what the VIN filing indicates.
2021 MO Middleweight Naked Bike Shootout - Six Bikes!
We last performed this public service in 2017, when your Yamaha FZ-07 prevailed over the Kawasaki Z650, Suzuki SV650, the new Harley-Davidson Street Rod, and the new and indeterminate Benelli TnT 600, in that order. The FZ-07 has since morphed into the MT-07 amidst a host of well thought-out upgrades in 2018, and then again for 2021. The Z650 got a modern instrument pod in 2020 with a few other tasteful refinements, and the SV650 hasn’t changed a bit (God bless it). The Benelli is still around but didn’t get the call this time, and the H-D Street Rod has been withdrawn from the market under a hail of ridicule. Sad.
Battle Royale: 7-Way Heavyweight Naked Bike Shootout – Street
2021 Six-Way, 900(Ish)Cc Naked Bike Shootout!
2021 Lightweight Naked Bike Shootout Smackdown Comparo Review
Luckily for us all, two brand-new motorcycles have dropped into our laps for 2021 to challenge the status quo: the Aprilia Tuono 660 and the Triumph Trident 660. I mean three. Let’s not forget the easily forgettable Honda CB650R.
Church of MO: 2011 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC SE Review
While we were waiting for a V-Four superbike to emerge from across the Pacific, Aprilia launched a sneak attack from across the other pond, in 2009. In 2010 and again in 2012, Max Biaggi and the RSV4 brought World Superbike Championships home to Noale. Ten years ago, as we entered the electronic era, our man Tor Sagen rode the latest and greatest version around Jerez.
2022 Suzuki Hayabusa Review - First Ride
With all of our staff editors busy working on the upcoming middleweight naked bike shootout, we found ourselves in a difficult position. Thankfully, we have Mark Miller in our quiver of freelancers. Who else but someone who has raced in some of the most challenging motorcycle races around the world could be trusted to crank the throttle of a Hayabusa wide open down the long front straight of the Utah Motorsports Campus? (Note: if you’re looking for information on the technical changes to the Hayabusa, skip over to our First Look beforehand.) —Ed.
In 1988, I graduated from high school at 17 years old and three weeks later moved out of my mother’s house. Two weeks after that I bought my first motorcycle, a 1981 Suzuki GS1100E, the fastest production motorcycle to date, when it was new.
2022 Suzuki Hayabusa First Look
I had been asking my parents for a minibike every year since I was six. At every Christmas and every birthday I pleaded with them, “I don’t want a motorcycle, I need a motorcycle. Don’t you understand?” I never got one.
2022 Honda Grom Review – First Ride
If you believe the conventional wisdom of our forum moto-trolls, a motorcycle must be full-sized, fast AF, have the range of a WWII Dornier 217 medium bomber and price tag of a 1980 Suzuki GS850 to have any hope of success, much less being a sales leader. Based on that, what model do you think Öhlins suspension, the high-end, race-focused Swedish company, likely sell the most cartridge kits and shocks for? The GSX-R? Ninjas? Ducati Superbikes?
2021 Middleweight Naked Spec Sheet Shootout
With the Aprilia Tuono 660 and Triumph Trident 660, we’ve got two brand new middleweight nakeds on the market this year, entering what was already a pretty good field with the Honda CB650R, Kawasaki Z650, Suzuki SV650, and the Yamaha MT-07. Obviously, this calls for us to put all six motorcycles together in a shootout.
John, Troy and Ryan have been putting these middleweight naked bikes to the test, with Evans taking photos and Sean shooting video in preparing this six-model comparo. Of course, with me more than 2,000 miles away up in Toronto, I get the much less exciting task of comparing these middleweights on the spec sheet. I’m not bitter. At least I have the Stanley Cup playoffs to look forward to… dammit.
All right, let’s get this over with (still not bitter).
What to Expect From LiveWire, Harley-Davidson's Electric Motorcycle Brand
Last month, Harley-Davidson announced it was launching LiveWire as a separate brand dedicated to electric motorcycles, with the first LiveWire-branded model to be revealed July 8. Now that we’re about halfway there, we thought we’d take a look at recent developments from the LiveWire brand, and what we can expect at next month’s launch.
Discuss this story more at our H-D LiveWire Forum
First, a recap on what Harley-Davidson says LiveWire, the brand, will be. In Jochen Zeitz, chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson’s own words: “by launching LiveWire as an all-electric brand, we are seizing the opportunity to lead and define the market in EV. With the mission to be the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world, LiveWire will pioneer the future of motorcycling, for the pursuit of urban adventure and beyond. LiveWire also plans to innovate and develop technology that will be applicable to Harley-Davidson electric motorcycles in the future.”
LiveWire will operate primarily out of two different hubs, in Harley’s home base of Milwaukee, Wisc., and in Silicon Valley, Calif., at a center called “LiveWire Labs.” The new brand will work with participating dealers from Harley-Davidson’s extensive dealer network, but will also open its own dedicated EV showrooms.
2021 Kawasaki ZX-10R Review - First Ride
What Johnny Rea wants, Johnny Rea gets. That’s the kind of pull you have when you become the most dominant rider in World Superbike history and help Kawasaki become the dominant manufacturer from the moment you join the team. It’s also the short history behind the latest incarnation of the Kawasaki ZX-10R for 2021. It’s not a new motorcycle from the ground up, but comes with some significant revisions over the previous model to help Johnny keep one step ahead of the chasing pack.
2022 Triumph Speed Twin - First Look
Triumph continues trickling out new models with its latest announcement, the 2022 Triumph Speed Twin. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the engine upgrades added peak power, 3hp to be exact, but the bottom end also got some love. The midrange reaches 83 lb-ft of torque lower in the rev-range at 4,250 rpm. Additionally, the engine will now spin up quicker, thanks to a 17% reduction in inertia. To match the improved engine output, the Speed Twin’s electronics also received an upgrade in the form of improved riding modes.
2021 MV Agusta F3 Rosso First Look
MV Agusta announced a new F3 Rosso model, an entry-level sportsbike with an inertial measurement unit and a Euro 5-compliant version of the company’s 798cc three-cylinder engine. Internationally, the F3 Rosso is considered a 2021 model, but we suspect it’ll come to the U.S. as a 2022 model as MV Agusta has only just recently relaunched in North America.
As part of its more affordable “Rosso” lineup, MV Agusta is positioning the F3 Rosso as its entry-level model, replacing the discontinued F3 675. Of course, this would imply that a higher-end model is forthcoming for more experienced riders. We’ll touch on that below, but first, let’s take a look at the F3 Rosso.
2022 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS Review - First Ride
Barreling down the back straight at triple digit speeds on the 2022 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS feels surprisingly comfortable. It could be the reminiscent nostalgic comfort in having owned two of this machine’s predecessors – one of which, the Speed Triple 955i, was my first street bike. Or perhaps it’s the fact the Speed Triple has always been an upright street bike first with its performance refined and enhanced over the decades (nearly three, at this point). Or maybe still, it’s the high-level componentry working in harmony with the 2022 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS keeping the chassis composed as I’m hard on the brakes, trailing off as I dip into the second gear left-hander.
2021 Triumph Trident Review - First Ride
Another cool deal about getting old is you’re allowed to forget things, which can be really convenient. In the present case, I knew there was a new Triumph Trident for 2021, but I didn’t really remember any of the details when I hopped on it in Ryan Adams’ driveway one morning. Immediately, it felt really light and small, a lot like the Ducati Monster we just reviewed last month. And what size is the 3-cylinder engine in this one? It definitely feels revvier than the one in the Tiger 850 GT we rode a couple months ago, but not much slower at all…
2022 Yamaha YZF-R7 Review - First Ride
I get it. You’re upset. How could Yamaha possibly perform something as sacrilegious as this? The name YZF-R7 belongs to one of the most iconic motorcycles in Yamaha’s history. A 750cc screaming inline-Four that was basically purpose-built for racing, with looks that have stood the test of time, the original R7 is a legend. To put it on this – on this – is simply unforgivable.
Church of MO: 2001 H-D FXSTD Deuce Vs. BMW R1200 C Phoenix
Twenty years ago, MO sometimes read more like Calvin & Hobbes as it attempted to find its way in the print-dominated moto-media world, except it was often Calvin (Kim) & Minime (Brent Avis): Two lads with various friends, real and imagined, wandering around the LA landscape on motorcycles, attempting to make sense of the world with very little in the way of adult supervision, and even less in the way of budget. It wasn’t a bad way to go there for a while. Then again, a lot of it wouldn’t fly in the modern world. This week’s Church of MO: Softail Deuce vs. BMW R1200C Phoenix.
Rumor Check: Kawasaki Is Developing a Ninja ZX-4R, and We've Got Proof
The motorcycle rumor making the rounds this week is that Kawasaki is working on a Ninja ZX-4R, a 400cc four-cylinder sportbike based on the ZX-25R currently offered in Asian markets.
The ZX-25R was revealed almost a year and a half ago, though like all things, it certainly feels longer thanks to the pandemic. The quarter-liter Ninja was created for markets like Indonesia and Japan, where insurance and licensing class structures create a demand for 250cc sportbikes. With most bikes in the class powered by Singles and Twins, the four-cylinder ZX-25R immediately stands out.
In other markets, however, the ZX-25R made little sense as it would be seen as being two small, and likely too expensive for its size. A 400cc version, however, would be a better fit, and could be sold at a price point that would meet market expectations. That’s what makes this week’s rumor of a ZX-4R version of the ZX-25R so appealing.
2021 Aprilia RS660 Vs. Ducati Supersport 950S
There’s a certain romance in having a sporty motorcycle comfortable enough to ride the long way to a racetrack, participate in a trackday, then bee-line back home on after (or continue taking the long way, if you’re hardy). In reality, true sportbikes are terrible streetbikes – and even worse touring bikes. Conversely, a sport-touring bike is great at taking the long way to the track – and some are even respectable on said track – but ultimately leave something to be desired when the pace wicks up.
2022 Yamaha Zuma 125 First Look
Yamaha announced a redesigned Zuma 125 scooter for 2022, offering a new, more rugged appearance and variable valve actuation (VVA) technology. Yamaha has used VVA for a number of models over the last few years, mostly on scooters but also on the R15 sportbike for Asian markets. The 2022 Zuma 125 will be the first model with VVA Yamaha will bring over to America.
Visually, the 2022 Zuma 125 (also known in other markets such as Canada as the BWs 125) has a more utilitarian, off-road look than the previous design. The beak fender is larger and more angular, while the front shield has a blockier shape. The tires are the same size as the 2021 model, but the 2022 Zuma comes with new DURO tubeless fat tire with a more aggressive block pattern.
The Wraps Are Off: Yamaha Unveils The New 2022 YZF-R7
The internet might have leaked photos of the new 2022 Yamaha YZF-R7 last week, but we now have official information regarding Yamaha’s new successor to the beloved YZF-R6. As the photos gave away, the YZF-R7 is basically an MT-07 with clothes – but is that such a bad thing?
The departure of the R6 from Yamaha’s lineup has left a huge hole between the R3 and R1, and with the state of supersport sales basically tanking, developing a true 600cc R6 successor really doesn’t make much business sense. Especially not when Yamaha’s own 689cc CP2 parallel-Twin fills the middleweight gap nicely and has been a popular engine since its inception in the FZ/MT-07. Better still, using an existing platform means Yamaha can keep costs down.
2021 Honda CRF300L & Rally Review - First Ride
Ever since the, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” campaign, Big Red has been positioning itself as an ambassador for motorcycling. Not only by offering a range of motorcycles to attract new riders throughout the years, but also by promoting responsible recreation. Since the early 1970’s, Honda has been producing dual-sport motorcycles. Through the years, the popular XL line was offered in a wide range of displacements – many of which stayed in production into the late ‘80s.
The CRF250L was the latest iteration of quarter-liter dual-sport motorcycles to come from Honda. Released in 2012 as a 2013 model, Honda has since sold more than 35,000 units – including the Rally model, which was released in 2016 for the 2017 model year. The rising popularity in off-road and dual-sport motorcycles – combined with the recent COVID-induced shot in the arm – has made finding certain models all but impossible on dealership floors. This was, of course, exacerbated by production and shipping delays that industries the world over have experienced as of late. Honda had hopes of the CRF300 models landing Stateside much earlier this year, but fate had other plans. What matters though is that it’s here now and should be hitting your local dealerships any day. So, let’s have a look at the 2021 Honda CRF300L & Rally.
Harley-Davidson Spins Off LiveWire As Its Own Electric Motorcycle Brand
Harley-Davidson announced it is launching LiveWire as its own brand dedicated to electric motorcycles. Moving forward, LiveWire won’t just be the name of Harley-Davidson’s first EV, but a brand to itself covering a number of models. The first LiveWire branded model will be launched July 8 ahead of a public debut the next day at the International Motorcycle Show in Irvine, Calif.
Discuss this story more at our H-D LiveWire Forum
Spinning off a dedicated electric motorcycle brand was one of the tenets of Harley-Davidson’s Hardwire plan. As a separate division, LiveWire will have full autonomy over EV development separate from Harley-Davidson’s internal combustion engine models.
Church of MO: 2001 Suzuki DR-Z250
Did September 11, 2001, change the world? Seems like it did, beyond the destroyers of the World Trade Center’s wildest dreams. Before that, there was Minime and Calvin off for a ride on a spring day on a new Suzuki DR-Z250. After that, things got somber: You had to take off your shoes to fly, and deal daily with a whole new level of amorphous paranoia. Oh well. Suzuki sold the DR-Z250 in the US right up until 2019. Most of them are still blatting along on a trail near you – just the antidote you need to tune out the cray-cray.
2021 Ducati Monster Review – First Ride
Ok, I’m old, so what? When I was young, the first Monster M900 (1994) spoke to me. A basic, naked, standard Ducati that was perfect for rumbling round the urban maze back when we all had a downtown office to go to… a svelte Italian Sportster that bounced its mating call off the concrete canyons all the way to 9000 rpm. It really was a radical departure since, before then, Ducati had only built fully-faired assume-the-position sportbikes, and not many of them. They were great on the Futa Pass and Angeles Crest but not so much anywhere else. Later, when we grew power-hungry in the ’oughts, there came the 996-powered S4R, then the Monster 1200s…