Like their sportbike cousins, middleweight cruisers provide nearly as much pleasure as their big-displacement counterparts, but have the benefit of lighter weight and better maneuverability. Two middleweight cruisers that are reliable as a rock, though perhaps a little bland, the Honda Shadow ACE and Yamaha V-Star 1100 are solid mid-displacement cruisers that are just as fine today as they were back in 2004, when we pit the two against each other. On the surface they may look fairly similar, but dig deeper and the two go about cruising in notably different ways. Here’s the MO crew of 2004 to tell you more.
You’ll remember we, okay I, first rode Indian’s new Scout Sixty last November, where we laid out the differences between it and the regular Scout. Besides a substantial reduction in price to $8,999 and the doing-away with of fifth gear, the Sixty gets, “a simple sleeving down of the bike’s excellent liquid-cooled 60-degree V-Twin, from 1133cc to 999cc (69 to 61 cubic inches)… accomplished with 6mm slimmer bores, down from 99 to 93mm diameter. Stroke remains 73.6mm, meaning this is still an oversquare Twin that doesn’t mind using its 4-valve DOHC heads to rev smack into the 8200-rpm limiter now and then if you so desire. Compression ratio for the smaller engine is a bit higher; up to 11:1 from the 10.7:1 of the 1133cc version.”
I didn’t pay to watch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice because I’m failing to see the struggle. College Humor best surmises my disposition of the movie. Besides, why go the make-believe DC Comics route when we have a real-world shield and spear paradox between two super-powered nemeses right here before us: Aprilia’s Tuono V4 1100 Factory and KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R.
As the pinnacles of technology and performance in their respective fields, you can’t get any more advanced than MotoGP and Formula 1 in the motorcycle and automotive worlds, respectively. And when pitted against each other, a Formula 1 car will smoke a MotoGP machine. Interestingly, there are only two circuits that play host to both series – the Sepang circuit in Malaysia and the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Information provided by Brembo – brake provider for both MotoGP and Formula 1 – gives us some interesting insights into the dynamics at play during a lap of COTA for both machines.
With BMW’s announcement that it will be producing a small-displacement, single-cylinder motorcycle – the G310R – aimed at newer riders and available come the latter stages of 2016, the German marque has signaled to everyone that it’s aiming at world domination. And if you’re familiar with South Park or internet memes, I’m imagining the plan goes a little something like this:
There’s an old saying that we’ve said many times on the pages of MO: It’s more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow. Never has that adage held more truth than during this, our comparison of the Moriwaki MD250H and Aprilia RS125 in 2010. One (Moriwaki) was designed to be a purebred track machine, while the other (Apriila) distilled the company’s long-standing history of 125cc two-stroke racing into a street-legal model. Considering the difference in performance between the two machines, it was a no-brainer the Moriwaki would be the superior machine around the Streets of Willow Springs racetrack, but it isn’t every day that two small-displacement motorcycles as unique as these two come around our direction, and the opportunity to pit the two of them together proved too much to resist. For more photos of both bikes ripping around the track, be sure to visit the photo gallery.
Things don’t change very often in 250cc cruiser land, but that doesn’t make the players any less important for a newer rider looking for something other than a 250cc sporty-type bike. And so, we decided to conduct a MO shootout. While we attempted to gather all three of the models currently in production, the Honda Rebel wasn’t available. When a bike has been unchanged for as many years as the Rebel, there’s no incentive for a manufacturer to incur the expense of putting one in the media pool. So, despite their best efforts to scare one up from other departments within American Honda, it wasn’t possible. Without the 250cc parallel-Twin, this shootout became a battle of the quarter-liter V-Twins. That’s okay. The Hyosung GV250 Aquila ($3,999) and the Star V Star 250 ($4,340) both have enough to offer to make this an interesting experience.
The Ducati Monster 1200S didn’t do so great against most of the other players in last year’s Super Naked Street Brawl, but mostly because two of the other four were our Motorcycle of the Year KTM Super Duke R and the BMW S1000R, which came within a whisker of overcoming the incredible SDR. The Monster suffered more in the track portion of that test than on the street, though, mainly let down by a lack of ground clearance when leaned into Chuckwalla’s endless high speed turns – a non-issue on the road. Back on the street, il Mostro was a highly pleasant thing to ride – as nearly all motorcycles are that deliver 84 pound-feet of torque. The 132 horses up top are like having your burrito wet.
From the unchained environment of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where performance is the sole consideration for victory in our 2015 Six-Way Superbike Track Shootout, we move to the confines of public roadways to determine which superbike renders the best street-legal exhibition. As tight as our track test results were, the street shootout was just as close with a half-percent separating second from first place. If the MO offices were located in Florida, I’d demand a recount.
Over 12 years ago, John Simpson penned this piece for us, comparing and contrasting his own personal Yamaha Royal Star and Excelsior-Henderson. One is a Japanese take on an all-American motorcycling category, while the other comes with the name of a storied American company, trying to resurrect itself from the ashes (they ultimately failed). For this week’s Church feature, let Simpson tell you what it’s like to own a Royal Star and Excelsior. Included are snippets from Eric Bass and MO’s current Editorial Director, Sean Alexander.
The Lightweight Nakeds Comparo we did last September was such a hoot we decided to do it again on a few more little thumper/screamers. Flying around sunny SoCal’s freeways and mountain roads like little white blood cells fighting pathogens and boredom in your cardiovascular system is what we do best, flitting from Starbucks to Starbucks, letting the lattes fall where they may.
Technically, and by that I mean according to the way in which the vehicles here are registered through the DMV (except Texas, but more on that later), each of these three-wheelers qualifies as a motorcycle. In California, at least, a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license to legally operate them is not required, and the two with seatbelts eschew the state’s helmet law. Still, without a more explicit category available and the law being what it is, “motorcycle” becomes the default label for this trio.
Well, ahh, basically we were just looking for an excuse to tool around on H-D’s swell new FSXB Breakout for a while, and decided to bring one of our favorite cruisers, the Victory Gunner, along for the ride to see how things stack up between these American cruisers. In the powertrain departments, at least, both big V-Twins are representative of their makers’ current offerings.
In case you haven’t heard, we here at Motorcycle.com really like the KTM 1290 Super Duke R. I mean, we really like it. Its 1301cc V-Twin is beyond brutish, with a chassis more than capable of supporting that engine both in the canyons and the track. What’s more, its relatively upright ergos are plenty comfy for the daily commute to/from work, school, or a leisurely weekend cruise. So far, it has proved itself as king of the hill in the stacked Super Streetfighter category, as it beat out the BMW S1000R, Ducati Monster 1200S, Kawasaki Z1000 ABS and MV Agusta Brutale in part one of our Streetfighter Shootout. It backed its victory with another win, this time topping the S1000R (again) and nudging the Aprilia Tuono V4R APRC ABS off the top of the Streetfighter hill in part two of our Streetfighter Shootout. The bike’s so good, we named it our 2014 Motorcycle of the year.