Church Of MO: Dynatek Dyna 2000

Normally, Church of MO features are all about motorcycle reviews we've done from a time long, long ago. It's fun to take a trip back in time to see what we thought about yesteryear's motorcycles back when they were new. Today's Church feature is a little different. Today's motorcycles are basically sophisticated computers on two wheels. Making them go faster or perform better is less the result of turning a wrench, and more a product of pushing a button on a laptop. But tuning via computers instead of wrenches isn't a new concept. As proof, we take you back to the year 2000 and this ECU module to improve the performance of... a Harley-Davidson Dyna. Although the Dyna was carbureted, playing with spark and altering when the air/fuel ratio goes pop compared to what the factory says is still a staple of tuning today.

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Church Of MO: 1998 Kawasaki ZX-6R

Last week, we posted about how Kawasaki is set to reveal 16 new models on June 6, including a revamped ZX-6R (and probably a ZX-6RR). That's good news for the ailing middleweight sportbike contingent and a sign that 600s aren't dead – at least not yet. So, to appreciate where the ZX-6R is going, we thought it would be appropriate to take a look back to 1998, and our review of the ZX-6R, to see where the bike has been.

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Church Of MO: First Impression: 1997 Honda Shadow VLX Deluxe

It seems like, if you've been riding long enough, you'll have a Honda Shadow story. These seemingly innocuous cruisers are a good gateway into the world of cruisers if you want to dip your toes but can't get your hands on American iron. But what were these bikes like new? Leave it to Billy Bartels to tell you...back from 1997.

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Church Of MO: First Impression: 1997 Kawasaki ZX-7R

Kawasaki's ZX-7R is a perfect example of motorcycle engineering refinement. In 1993 Kawasaki designed the new generation ZX-7R that has, to this day, remained virtually unchanged. For 1997 Kawasaki continued to refine rather than redesign. It's hard to argue against this approach as it is obviously working on the racetrack. Doug Chandler's performance on the Muzzy Superbike is proof enough that this machine is extremely competent.

The lack of obvious design changes or a new appearance may make it hard for dealership salesmen to make their pitch, but knowledgeable consumers will recognize the ZX-7R as an impeccable package needing no sales hype.

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Church Of MO: 1997 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider -

For those of you who poke fun at Harley-Davidson for not moving forward at the pace of modernity or technology, today's Church of MO will either solidify your beliefs or make you think twice about The Motor Company. Here we have Billy Bartel's review of the 1997 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider.

The Dyna was one of Harley's most popular models, and Billy's primer on Dynas below is still as relevant today as it was back then. Read all about this 26-year-old Dyna, then think about where Harley is today. Tell us what you think about Harley's progress in the comments.

1997 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider -

by Billy Bartels

Let's start another urban myth. A lady named Sheila Boyle once told us a story of her 1975 Super Glide. She said way back in the mid-seventies Willie G. Davidson (H-D's vice-president of styling and member of the royal family) paid a visit to her then-husband's Harley shop, Harley-Davidson West, at that time the world's largest. Allegedly, when Willie G. saw her customized Super Glide with shorter shocks, cut down seat and other custom goodies his jaw dropped. Sure enough, a year or two later the Low Rider was born.

Myth or not, in 1977 Harley-Davidson's Low Rider was introduced at Daytona Bike Week. Dubbed the FXS, it was the first of Harley's "factory customs" that would later include the Bad Boy, Road King, Fat Boy and the epic Heritage Springer. In addition to a low seat height, features on that first Low Rider included raised white lettered tires, drag bars, mag wheels, and an oft-copied two-into-one slash-cut exhaust. The bike was an instant hit, inspiring Willie G. and his staff to create even more custom models - a trend that continues today.

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Church Of MO: First Impression: 1996 Honda Rebel 250

The Honda Rebel 250 is probably the bike many of us rode when we were taking our Basic Rider Course. Even though I didn’t know what I was doing back then, when I rode the bike while trying to get my license, I could still tell it was a bit of a turd. A lack of experience meant I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why, though I chalked it up to being used and abused after having gone through the hands of many new riders.

For this Church feature, we look back at the 1996 version of the Rebel 250 and see if current memories align with what MO testers thought of the bike back in the day. Did a new Rebel provide a little more enjoyment than an old, abused one?

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Church Of MO: First Ride: 1995 Suzuki GSXR1100

Digging deep into our archives, we bring you this First Ride review of a legendary motorcycle: the 1995 Suzuki GSX-R1100. The GSX-R1100 became super popular in drag racing circles and for good reason – that 1074cc four-banger was made to zip you in a straight line quickly. If it was handling and circuit performance you were looking for, the GSX-R750 was the bike to choose. The 1100 was the sport tourer of the time even if it wasn’t supposed to be. At least we’d consider it one now thanks to its smooth, powerful engine, clip-ons above the triple, and comfortable seating position.

Let’s also take a step back and shed a tear for inflation. When it was new, you could walk out with one of these GSX-R1100s for $10,000 and have some cash left in your wallet. In 2023, a motorcycle with relatively similar performance would cost you twice as much! But instead of dwelling on the current, we’ll let you enjoy the past. Happy reminiscing.

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Church Of MO: 2006 KTM 950 Supermoto Quick Ride

Because supermoto stories are always a lot of fun, this week we bring you our pal Gabe’s story on taking his 2006 KTM 950 Supermoto out for a spin in the California Bay Area. If you know Gabe, then you’re familiar with his excellent storytelling. If you don’t, well let this piece introduce you to the wonderful mind of one of MO’s alumni. Of course, a great story deserves a great subject, and the 950 Supermoto was all about hooliganism before that was really even a thing. We’ll let Gabe take it from here.

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Church Of MO: Honda VTR1000F Super Hawk

Remember when Honda built a 1000cc V-Twin and put it in something sporty to go against Ducati and the 916? Then do you remember how Honda only half-committed to building a Ducati beater and the bike really wasn’t a match for the 916 at all? If you do, then you remember the VTR1000F Super Hawk, also lovingly known as the Super Chicken. Before Honda got serious and built the RC51 (or the RVT1000R or VTR1000 SP1 in other parts of the world), it built this.

The Super Hawk had some similarities with the RC, like the V-Twin engine and side-mount radiators, but when it came to the performance metrics that really matter, the Super Hawk was no match for its Italian rival. Still, for those folks who like the thought of a more comfortable RC51-esque Honda V-Twin from the late 90s, the Super Hawks are fun bikes that can be found for cheap these days. Here’s our review of the bike from its introduction in 1998.

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Church Of MO: 2005 Suzuki DRZ 400 SM

News flash: Suzuki is still selling the DR-Z400SM. Can you believe it? One of the early adopters of the street-legal supermoto craze, Suzuki had a lot of people excited with this bike. Unlike former MOron Sean Alexander in his ride story below, I was less than thrilled with the bike. Anemic and heavy, it dulled the sensation of how cool a supermoto for the street (or just supermotos in general) could be. In fact, I still feel this way, and Suzuki isn’t doing itself any favors by keeping the bike exactly the same over the course of nearly two decades while KTM has gone and made some insanely fun street-legal SuMos.

Enjoy the read and tell us what you think about the DRZ down below.

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Church Of MO: Road Test: 1995 BMW R1100RS

I’ll be honest; the reason you’re seeing this 1995 road test of the BMW R1100RS is largely because I’m surprised our servers haven’t lost this story from MO’s very early days. was only a year old when this test debuted. It’s fun reading through these irreverent days of the site combined with the motorcycles of the era. It’s interesting to note how the OG’s of MO were dealing with some of the same issues we deal with today: accepting emissions compromises while equally bemoaning how much they sap performance. Then there are the usual BMW quirks which seemingly haven’t changed. Speaking of not changing, check out that Aerostich suit!

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Church Of MO: 2009 Victory Vegas 8-Ball Review

Victory had enough staying power that I actually thought it was going to give The Motor Company something to worry about. With the might of Polaris behind it, that theory actually had a little weight to it. We all know how that turned out, though one can make the argument that the challenge is stronger than ever with Polaris resurrecting Indian.

Nevertheless, nipping at the heels of the Harley Softail in 2009 was the Victory Vegas 8-Ball. Coming at Harley with a cheaper price tag, its 100 cubic-inch V-Twin (of which the aesthetics I have always liked), and its stealth black treatment, the Vegas 8-Ball got a host of updates for 2009. Here, former E-i-C Kevin Duke takes one for a spin in and around the beaches of Daytona and tells us what it’s like to ride.

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Church Of MO: First Ride: 2002 Triumph Speed Triple

It’s pretty simple. If I find a vintage Speed Triple story, I’m going to republish it. Now, 20 years later – 20 years! – we bring back to you MO’s First Ride aboard the 2002 Triumph Speed Triple. So many people have memories with this bike. A lot of them are good, but these early years of the Speed Triple also brought with it a few reliability problems. Let’s not focus too much on that for now and instead appreciate Triumph’s beloved three-cylinder naked bike that basically ushered in the category of naked sportbike.

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Church Of MO: 2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout Review

Harley-Davidson knows how to make a cruiser with attitude, and the 2013 FXSB Breakout is yet another example. Long, low, and powered by 103 cubic inches of American V-Twin muscle, it’s remarkable to think it’s 10 years old now. It’s also remarkable to think that Jon Langston’s writing hasn’t graced the digital pages of in a decade. Here, riding a Harley, Jonny is in his element. Enjoy going back in time with this review.

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Church of MO: 2009 Buell 1125R Daytona SportBike Review

It feels weird being back at the Church desk after some time away. John did such a masterful job reviving stories and bikes from the past. This particular Church feature is especially weird on several fronts. First is the fact that it’s a Buell. But it’s not just any Buell, it’s an 1125R. And not just any 1125R – it’s an 1125R race bike that campaigned in the Daytona Sportbike series, otherwise known as the Supersport category when DMG was running “professional” motorcycle racing in America before MotoAmerica took over. This particular bike, seen here piloted by former E-i-C Kevin Duke, was piloted by Michael Barnes. Its sister bike, in the hands of Danny Eslick, would go on to win the championship that year. 

Republishing test also brings back some memories because I was there, riding with Kevin, when I was employed at a rival publication. Anyway, here’s Kevin telling his story of what it was like to twist the grip on this unusual race bike.

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