In case you haven't noticed, Royal Enfield is on the up and up. While it might not seem so in the US, globally (and primarily in its home country of India) sales are growing – and growing fast. So much so that the company is making a big push into the US and North American markets. So what better time to take a look back at one of MO's first experiences with a Royal Enfield – the Royal Enfield Continental GT from back in 2014. Astute readers or RE fans will already note that this is an old model, which doesn't share much with the current Continental GT. And that's a good thing, because as Tom Roderick tells us, the 2014 version was a bit rough around the edges.
This weekend, at the 2022 Osaka Motorcycle Show, Honda revealed the new Hawk 11, a new café racer based on the Africa Twin and NT1100 sport-tourer platform. And while Honda released several details about the Hawk 11, there is still a lot of vital information that has not been provided.
Just as Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini started doing in Rimini in 1973, Bimota is still cranking out exotic motorcycles to make us swoon, clutch our pearls, and check our 401k balances. If it starts with “K,” then this one must contain an inline Kawasaki engine, and that the KB4 does. This 77 x 56mm, 1043 cc Four is lifted from the current Ninja 1000 SX, which churned out 124 rear-wheel ponies and 75 lb-ft of torque when we had the pleasure of testing one last year. These two, really, since, there’s a standard KB4 and a “Vintage-Inspired” KB4-RC (RaceCafe’).
Harley-Davidson has filed designs with the European Union Intellectual Property Office for two more models using the liquid-cooled Revolution Max engine powering the Pan America and Bronx. The two new designs, one a cafe racer and the other a flat track-inspired model, further add to the modular concept promised with the new engine platform.
The Thruxton namesake is one that has described Triumph’s racing efforts throughout the middle of the past century. Now, the name designates a model that harkens back to those days that’s thoroughly modern while being meticulously designed to look the part of cafe racers from the 1960s. This new Thruxton RS continues to refine and develop Triumph’s factory cafe racer into a machine that will properly haul the mail and look smashing while doing so.
Oh dear, it’s kind of like one of those deals where you nag a person to do a thing for years, then they do the thing, and you sort of wished you hadn’t encouraged them. Suggesting someone take accordion lessons. Encouraging your wife to take up the krav maga. We always asked Kawasaki why they weren’t cashing in on the “classic bike” market along with the other OEMs, given that they’ve been selling the W800 in other markets since its 2011 upgrade from W650. But now that the W800 is here I kind of agree with their decision not to import it. The W800 is a perfectly nice retro motorcycle, but it’s retro in a way things like Triumph’s “Classics” and some others aren’t: The Kawasaki feels kind of old instead of just looking that way. [Updated with video.]
We probably didn’t really need to compare the Honda CB1000R and Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe since they’re polarized enough in the looks department to make it appear that potential consumers will be drawn to one or the other – and their performance and mission statements both are close enough on paper to make them more or less interchangeable, aren’t they? I think we really just wanted an excuse to ride both of them again, they’re both such charismatic motorcycles. Everybody wants to hang out with them. What is a café racer? One that flits from Starbucks to Starbucks? Close enough for us.
On the heels of the Z900RS and Z900RS Cafe introduced last year comes yet another retro roadster from Kawasaki. The air-cooled 2019 Kawasaki W800 hearkens back to 1966, when Kawasaki introduced the W1. In the U.S., we’ll see the W800 CAFE while other markets will also get the W800 Street sans fairing.
Four years ago, said Claudio Domenicali the CEO, Ducati launched its first Scrambler at Intermot here in Koln, which was really like starting a new brand for Ducati. A brand to make Ducati more accessible, and a really successful one so they say, with more than 55,000 units sold since 2015.
It’s finally here, folks. The 2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701. Since its concept was unveiled at EICMA in 2015, the 701 has been a highly anticipated model throughout the world. From the farthest stretches of the internet, comments have asked when, if, and where the Vitpilen 701 would be available – with some giving up hope as to whether it was ever going to be produced at all. MO is happy to announce that we have had the chance to get the Vitpilen 701 in our garage and to test on our home roads. Although our time with the Vitpilen 701 was brief, we made good use of it.
When Husqvarna introduced the production models of the Svartpilen 401 street-scrambler and Vitpilen 401 café racer last November, which are based on KTM’s 390 powertrain, we figured it was only a matter of time before we saw larger versions using Husky’s 701 engine. Husqvarna had already presented a Vitpilen 701 in concept form a year earlier, so we were not entirely shocked when we received spy photos of a near-production version (above right) alongside its sibling, a Svartpilen 701.
Were he still alive, Barry Sheene would turn 67 in 2017. A British racing icon, he remained the last grand prix world champion until Danny Kent won the Moto3 title in 2015. Known for his bravado and hard-charging style, Sheene won over fans from around the world. Including France, where this story originates.