I’ll go ahead and start with this: I’ve never been a fan of the Low Rider. Clearly that puts me at odds with tons of Harley-Davidson buyers. The Low Rider has been popular with both customizers and riders who prefer a more compact riding position (read shorter). I am neither. With this in mind, I’ll dive into what my time with the 2018 Harley-Davidson Low Rider was like.
By now, most motorcyclists have learned of the big changes in the Harley-Davidson Softail line, how it has swallowed its Dyna siblings, added the Milwaukee-Eight engine, and been reborn as a modern interpretation of a cruiser. However, perhaps no other manufacturer is more aware of the weight of a marque’s history than Harley. Which explains why the designers at the Motor Company expended so much effort in getting the classic models like the 2018 Harley-Davidson Deluxe right. They knew that if they were able to modernize the more classically styled models, they could take some liberties with the bikes where they wanted to push the envelope. The Deluxe provides a prime example of an updated Softail that carries over the lines of the previous generation while still becoming a thoroughly modern cruiser.
Today MV Agusta announced its 2018 model updates with changes to meet the more stringent Euro 4 environmental certification. The Italian manufacturer has clearly invested a ton of time, effort, and capital into the changes since it claims a 50% reduction in exhaust gas emissions and a 48% reduction in noise compared to the Euro 3 regulations. MV claims that it maintains the performance-oriented character of the models despite the previously mentioned mandated reductions.
Remember back in 2013 when Indian Motorcycle relaunched with just three models? Well, a lot has happened in just a few short years. Today, Indian revealed its 2018 lineup, with the addition of a Roadmaster Elite and a Springfield Dark Horse for 2018. With the Indian Scout Bobber that we recently tested, Indian has 16 models in its latest catalog. The rest of the 2018 Indian model line receives tweaks and updates for the upcoming model year.
Milwaukee NBC affiliate, WTMJ-TV, may have just spoiled Kawasaki‘s surprise for the 2018 model year by filming what appears to be a restyled Ninja 400. The previous generation 400, although not available in the U.S., was a downsized Ninja 650 and styled in the same vein with an under-engine exhaust. The higher-mounted muffler and swoopier bodywork seen here points to this being a stylistically revised model, though the narrowness of the bikes hints at the continued use of a parallel-Twin engine.
The only thing better than producing a hit might be producing one by accident. BMW knew the R nineT was a cool bike they hoped the younger set would like, but they claim to be surprised by just how successful it’s been. They didn’t really corral as many bearded millennials as they’d hoped, since their numbers tell them the average nineT buyer is 49 years old and as wealthy as the typical K1600 buyer. But maybe that’s because that first 2013 R nineT was a $15,000 motorcycle?
Back in March we MOronic soothsayers gazed into our crystal ball and prophesied the coming of a KTM Adventure model powered by the same 373cc Single found in the 390 Duke. With spy photos of a diminutive Adventure-looking model from KTM now in our possession comes confirmation the price of our glass sphere was money well-spent.