Soon, our motorcycles will be so advanced they’ll be able to go for a ride while we stay on the couch, like the autonomous GS BMW showed in Las Vegas a couple months ago. I should probably call this one the “Hi-Tech Modern Motorcycle Quiz”, because you know somebody’s standing by to point out the Scott Flying Squirrel had all these features in 1929. Listen, we’re more like the NPR quiz show where the questions have been carefully researched but the answers have not. The research department is 90% me, and I haven’t got days, alright? Give it a shot and complain when it’s over, why don’t you? For at least one of these questions, there are at least two correct answers. As always, the images may be there to help or deceive. Work that brain! Ward off dementia! Okay, go.
Whether you knew it or not, October is Lightweight Motorcycle Month here at MO, and what kind of month would it be without a Quiz? In order to be able to keep the questions down to ten or so, I’ve carefully left out about 8,000 motorcycles, and limited the the ones I did include to street-legal models that were available in the US, 400cc or less. If you don’t like it, feel free to make up your own quiz at Playbuzz and send it over. Let’s do this. If you don’t get at least 8 right, ahhh, let’s not judge. Deep breaths. Relax. Go.
That’s right, to kick off Maintenance Month here at MO I’ve carefully devised this ingenious quiz to test your skillz. To limber up, what kind of motorcycle is that in our lead photo? Correct! That’s not a motorcycle at all, but an airplane. Very good. Thank God we’re not working on it. Your motorcycle can’t fall out of the sky, at least, but it certainly can jack you up if you don’t take proper care of it.
In fact you can tour on any motorcycle, and you can find round-the-world chronicles dating back almost to the invention of the first motorbike. Being the creature-comfort craving creatures that we humans are, though, it wasn’t long before we were cramming our bikes with everything from side-mounted chiffarobes to heated seats to cruise control to Infotainment systems. Why not? Surprisingly, no one has yet added the kitchen sink, AFAIK. Maybe it all began in earnest when Honda became the first manufacturer to start down that road circa 1980. Now, personally, we wouldn’t have it any other way. How well have you been paying attention since that first Goldwing? Bear in mind once again, the photos may be there to help you or not…
It was 20 years ago when Yamaha decided the Honda CBR900RR was just too fat and slow, and that while they were at decapitating it, they’d just go ahead and spring upon unsuspecting us the lightest, most powerful, full-liter sportbike anybody had ever built. And it was good. From that day forward, if you don’t have at least 1000 cubic centimeters, well, you can go racing but you can’t go top-level racing. Actually, it might be time to start thinking about right-sizing again, but it was really the 1998 R1 that started the modern era of excess. If you can’t get at least 8 of these 10 questions, okay 9, we may cancel your subscription, so give it your best shot. No cheating. Dick Ruble, close that Google window!
Right now the new Yamaha Niken is in the news, or it will be Monday when our review goes up. But there’s really nothing new under the sun or over the Grossglockner, is there? So we put together this little quiz to see how much LMWs, (Leaning Multi Wheel vehicles) have stuck in your brain over the last few decades.
With all the recent hoopsteria and commentary re: Kawasaki’s remaking of the original Z1 in the form of the new Z900RS, it feels like a good time to stroll a bit farther down memory lane. Does anybody need to go to the bathroom before we start, because you won’t be allowed to open any new browser windows once the test begins. Spit out that gum Starmag! OK, then, keep your eyes on your own screen, remember that the photos may be there to fool or help you, and Laissez le bon questions rouler! Anybody who doesn’t get at least 8 of these needs to see Mr. Alexander after class.
There are many motorcycle gear brands out there on the market these days. Some big, some small. Something to remember though, every brand has a story and an origin. Stories that might surprise you if you took the time to learn them. All too often we forget that behind each company, no matter the size, there were real people who worked hard to found them. More often than not, there are interesting bits of information to learn about the process and ideas that unfolded from these entrepreneur’s creative minds.
Just like dinosaurs, two-stroke motorcycles once ruled the earth but are now mostly a thing of the past (save for alligators and crocodiles, you can’t tell me those things aren’t dinosaurs.) Over the past 20 years or so, two-strokes have practically vanished from the streets due to the obvious environmental consequences and strict government emissions regulations. They have been replaced by cleaner, more reliable four-strokes however many people miss the sound, smell and sensation of a two-stroke hitting its power band… what a rush! We are left to nostalgically reminisce about a simpler time when you had to mix oil with your gas and keep a spare spark plug handy. Test your knowledge and see how well you remember the good ol’ days by identifying these two-smokers!
I popped into Chris Redpath’s shop (MotoGP Werks) yesterday just as he was rolling a customer’s brand-spanking Ducati Superleggera down from the Sprinter van. I may have grown a tad jaded over the years, but what an eyeball-popping motorcycle. This latest Superleggera, as you’ll recall, uses carbon fiber for its not-really-a-frame. All the bodywork is c-f, the wheels are c-f… basically I think everything’s that’s not metal is c-f, and everything that’s metal is titanium or magnesium or something exotic, all in an effort to keep it as superleggera as possible – superlight. Official MO scales say they only lied a little – 370 pounds, but that’s with the 4.5-gallon tank only half full and the full Akrapovic race system, which came in a separate box, bolted up. It’s frighteningly loud, it barks like an underfed Cerberus guarding the gates of Hell. It’s a beautiful, stupid-expensive thing nobody needs but everybody wants. Heck, it scared Don Canet when he rode one around Mugello.
It is always exciting to see what our favorite MotoGP athletes come up with for their helmet design. Whether normal race season, winter test, or home race, There is always something new and exciting. Can you identify whose MotoGP helmet belongs to who with only the clips below?
Motorcycles are more than the sum of their parts, but some parts are more important than others. Wheels are an essential part of the identity of many motorcycles. So, to test your moto-mettle, we’ve gathered a dozen different models for you to match with their wheels.
It’s easy to be a car designer. You’ve got square yards of sheet metal to mold into your own image. Making a motorcycle recognizable is a tougher job. For unfaired models, you’ve got to condense your whole brand identity into a thing that holds four or five gallons of gas. Some manufacturers are fortunate enough to skate with one iconic tank for decades. Others seem to be on a never-ending quest to reinvent themselves with every new model. How well is the brand recognition coming across? Take this enticing MO Quiz to find out…