I think this is the first time I’ve been truly afraid of a motorcycle. And I mean fear. The bike is invaluable and has a lot of important history. Cagiva entered Grand Prix racing in 1990 and had to battle against the ultra-rich Japanese manufacturers with seemingly unlimited budgets, in a day when expenses and rider salaries were peaking. A cheap rider was at least a million bucks, and still the small factory with the big heart pushed on and, eventually, against the odds, rose to the winner’s podium. Had finances not restricted the forward progression, a world title might’ve been possible.
With the AGV AX-8 EVO Naked, the Italian helmet brand is bringing a new look to the street market, one that caters to what it calls “new road-riders generation.” The AX-8 EVO’s shape appears round and featureless, and its ventilation ports are minimal. Its eyeport, however, is huge, and its chinbar tapers sharply from the cheeks to the chin, very similar to a dual-sport or off-road helmet. This isn’t a coincidence; when looking for inspiration for a new sport-touring oriented street helmet, AGV turned to its AX-8 DUAL EVO lid. Essentially, the Naked version strips the visor from the off-road helmet and calls it a day. A simple approach, but the result is this contemporary and modern-looking helmet.
Our 2014 Motorcycle of the Year, KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R, is getting a new stablemate to join the recently added 1290 Super Adventure. The prototype in these photos is a hybrid of the other two KTM Supers, sharing the bones of its brothers like the 1301cc V-Twin engine, steel trellis frame, single-sided swingarm and Brembo M50 monoblock brakes.
If your father’s a motorcycle guy and encouraged you to become one too, he’s already given you a great gift by making it easy for you to buy him cool stuff instead of the usual useless junk most civilian dads get. Here are 10 items to temporarily lighten the paternal frown on the third Sunday in June, the 21st this year.
After the January announcement that Polaris had “ acquired the electronic motorcycle business of Brammo Inc.” many, including us, wondered what the future held for both companies. Polaris has dropped the first clue with its announcement today that Victory will be racing two electric prototypes at the Isle of Man TT Zero race later this year.
An idea struck me after reading Tom’s Top 10 lists about 500cc/MotoGP and World Superbike champions. There are so many great riders who come through both series, and yet, at the end of the year, only one of them can be crowned champion. The rest? They get the unfortunate distinction of bridesmaids (hence the lead photo above from the movie with the same name). It’s often said in professional sports that nobody remembers second place, but in this Top 10 I’m doing just that – paying tribute to the top riders who were never able to bring home a world title.
Sure everybody wants the Open-class bike, the most power, the most expensive, the one with all the electronic stuff, just like everybody wants the trophy mate with the big cylinders. Then after you’ve lived with them for a few years, the maintenance, the narcissism, the psychic wear and tear of constantly stoking the beast’s ego and keeping up with the Joneses can get to be a drag.
The good news is I finally found new digs in beautiful Orange County, California. The bad news is I had to team up with the ex-wife to make it happen financially. Don’t cry for me, Argentina, so far it’s working out better than I could’ve hoped: Ex is the perfect housemate in that she tends to not be around for three or four days at a stretch, and when she does appear, she’s got the Master Boudoir, whose bathroom opens onto the backyard/patio. In exchange, I get the Big Office, which opens onto (now that I punched a hole in the wall) the big old 2-car garage out front. Which is all I really need in a house. We’ve achieved separation of church and state, so to speak, both of us get to live in a much sweller place than either of us could afford alone, and no motorcycle (or resident) should have to sleep under the stars anymore unless it wants to.
For as many benefits as electric motorcycles provide, to date there are still two areas preventing e-bikes from penetrating through to the masses: range and price. There’s not enough of the former, and there’s too much of the latter. Zero Motorcycles’ Senior Battery Specialist, Luke Workman, is dedicated to furthering the performance of battery technology. The results, then, would lead to ever increasing range at a price affordable by the masses.
My wife, Maria, loves going on motorcycle rides. Our second date was a motorcycle ride where she proved herself a fearless, adrenalin junkie. We hadn’t been on a ride together for a while, so last Saturday, we pulled the 2015 FZ-09 outta the garage and went for a spin around SoCal.
Motojournalists lined up to heap praises upon Yamaha’s FZ-09 when it appeared as a new model for 2014, and MO was right there on the bandwagon. There wasn’t anything not to like in the all-new 847cc Triple, with all the modern ride-by-wire trimmings in a designer chassis, for a price substantially less than its Euro-competitors.