Last month, we reported that Zero was revamping its lineup, updating the S, DS, and DSR models with the newer FST platform used by its higher performance models like the SR range and DSR/X adventure model. Our initial report was based on a document Zero submitted to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showing updated gross vehicle weight ratings for the models that were using the older SDS platform.
Bombardier Recreational Products provided a brief update on its upcoming Can-Am electric motorcycles, the Pulse roadster and Origin dual-sport. Both models are still undergoing testing while construction is underway for a new plant in Querétaro, Mexico, which will produce the electric bikes. Can-Am is aiming to launch Origin and Pulse "before the end of 2024", with final specs and pre-orders expected next summer. Until then, here are some fresh new photos of the prototypes.
The Honda XR150 has been in production since 2003, though up until recently it wasn’t available in the US market. Selling most of the units in Asia or Latin America, the XR150 platform is one of the most popular entry-level dual-sports, and its introduction to the US comes with some welcome perks; time tested engine and components plus a 20-year history of available parts – both OEM and aftermarket. Honda’s reliability is legendary, and this little XR150L is likely no exception.
The adventure-touring market is red hot, and if you have any doubts, consider that the middleweight adventure class (between 600cc and 1000cc) in the United States has no less than 11 models available. Another sign of the ascendency of the adventure market is the burgeoning collection of adventure-focused rallies. Some, like the Overland Expo have been around for a while but have been, until recently, primarily four-wheel focused. Nevertheless, we’ve noticed an increase in event PR making its way into our inboxes, and naturally, we decided to investigate.
Last month, we reported that Honda was preparing to bringing the XR150L dual sport to the U.S. market, introducing an air-cooled carbureted model marketed internationally as an agricultural vehicle to America. While we’re still waiting for a formal announcement form American Honda, it’s Canadian counterparts confirmed the XR150L will be arriving to North America.
Honda is preparing to add two dual-sport models to it’s U.S. lineup: a CRF300LS and an XR150L. Both models were listed in the latest vehicle certification data released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, indicating that they will be added to the 2023 lineup.
Entry level dual-sport has for a very long time existed in the void between categories, particularly when you consider folks who are shorter in the inseam. We all need to start somewhere, but for most who did not grow up riding, or maybe started exclusively on street motorcycles, the reality is that the entry-level engine size is often combined with the inability to comfortably touch the ground at a stop. That’s enough to deter all but the most stubborn of vertically challenged riders. Kawasaki is hoping to change this with the 2023 Kawasaki KLX230 S.
Let’s be honest, dual-sport motorcycles aren’t really designed for touring, despite my best efforts ( here and here). The bikes are merely street-legal dirt bikes without much accommodation for creature comfort. So, spending 220-ish miles flat in the saddle from Las Vegas, NV to Palmdale, CA, mostly on Interstate 15, is a platform for cataloging discomforts, and after riding approximately 360 miles, mostly off road over the two previous days, my aches-and-pains were legion. Still, with sore muscles from my arms all the way down to the arches of my feet, why did I spend most of my time grinning as I cranked out the miles? I’d finally participated in the LA-Barstow To Vegas Dual-Sport Ride, an event that had intrigued me for over 25 years, which is 23 years longer than I have been actively riding in the dirt. Achieving life goals is always good, but somehow the physically-challenging ones accomplished after the half-century mark are even sweeter.
After teasing us in March, Bombardier Recreational Products officially revealed its first two Can-Am electric motorcycles, the Pulse roadster and the Origin dual-sport. Both models were presented as prototypes, meaning they are very close to what will eventually be the final product, which will enter production in the summer of 2024.
Looking out over the Pacific Ocean, six months into a ride across the Americas, I found myself attending The Cold Start, an off-road riding clinic in Ensenada, Mexico. This may seem like an odd way to spend finite travel funds, but the rewards for this type of investment are surprisingly numerous.