There is a reason 36 year-old Valentino Rossi is still the most revered motorcycle racer on the planet. In his 313th grand prix start, Rossi, on the factory Yamaha, delivered a dazzling performance in the 2015 season opener, going hammer and tongs with factory Ducati #1 Andrea “DesmoDovi” Dovizioso all night before punking his compatriot by 17/100ths of a second to take the lead in the title chase for the first time since 2010.
The original plan was Top 10 James Bond Motorcycle Chase Scenes. Sadly, it seems like there are only about five or six good ones, which surprises me since James has been fleeing bad guys or in hot pursuit of them ever since Dr. No in 1962, in everything from submarine Lotuses to jetpacks to forklifts. One of the best things about old Bond films now is checking out the period vehicles. Why not begin, then, with Thunderball, from 1965.
Spring is here. The sun is slowly warming the earth and the snow is melting fast. It’s time to get your ride out of storage, tuned up and on the road, and grab some refresher lessons. Great riders never stop learning. But maybe you don’t have your license yet, and you’re not sure if this is the year you take the plunge. Maybe you’re content to sit on the sidelines and watch your friends head out on their bikes for heaps of adventure and thrill seeking, always putting it off until next season because…what’s the point? You can’t get your license and go on the epic trips with them in one season anyway – or can you?
Freedom is likely the most oft-used word to describe the feeling of riding a motorcycle. For most, the first real taste of that sense of freedom was experienced while riding a bicycle, which, almost universally, was as a child. I loved the feeling of taking off on my bicycle to see and experience new things as I explored the exciting sensations of freedom on two wheels.
Seems like only yesterday Ducati summoned us to Spain to ride its new 2013 Multistrada 1200 with 11-degree Testastretta engine and Skyhook active suspension. So advanced. A scant two years later, that bike is so two years ago. The new Multistrada is completely overhauled, with nary a part carried over from the old one save the four sparkplugs.
Rafal Pasierbek (a.k.a. Stunter13) has been stunt riding for a decade now, winning a Polish freestyle championship in his first try in 2005. Things can go wrong for even the most seasoned stunt riders, but Stunter13’s experience and agility helped him make this save after his bike got away from him.
The rendering above comes courtesy of www.IndianCarsBikes.in which illustrates its ideas for what the upcoming Royal Enfield Himalayan might look like. We think it probably overestimates the amount of suspension travel and windscreen height. The exhaust design also seems unlikely, with low routing that would be damaged in off-road riding and a muffler that is way too small to adequately quiet a biggish Single.
While all of us at MO clearly like to wrangle the latest and greatest motorcycles, you might be surprised to learn that a larger percentage of our time is spent in a chair (or standing desk in my case), staring intently at a computer screen, typing away as quickly as our little fingers will go. It’s not glamorous, nor is it nearly as much fun as riding, but hey, the site doesn’t run itself.
It’s that time of year again. There is ice, and snow, and muck outside and the wife is making noises about, “tidying up” the basement. In the absence of a garage the basement is, in large part anyway, my domain. Nothing strikes fear in my heart like hearing her utter that phrase, “tidying up.” Tidying up in her parlance means disappeared, like the Bermuda Triangle, never to be seen again.
I should know better than to say yes when Brad says let’s go on an off-road adventure, but that weekend it was either Death Valley or start deconstructing 18 years worth of worldly possessions for an impending housing relocation. I still had the KTM 1190 Adventure in my garage, and how many times would those two things align? Also, Brad’s rides are less death-defying now that he’s paraplegic. How he rides his DR350, I know not. Nor how he walks, but he does both amazingly well, looking only a little like Mr. Natural sometimes if he’s had a cocktail.
I find myself sitting up at 2:30 in the morning sipping a cup a coffee and just letting my mind wander. This has become a pretty common occurrence here lately. I lost somebody I was very close to over the holidays, and it really put a damper on the, “Ho, ho, ho” aspect of the holiday season. And so I sip coffee at o’dark-thirty in a quiet house, on a quiet bay, and let my mind wander, looking for good and some sense of order in the dark.
In his 2013 review of the MV Agusta Brutale 800, E-i-C Kevin Duke starts off with, “I have a long history of saying that pretty much every engine could be improved by adding 10% more power.” The B800 delivered, pumping out a healthy 125 hp (117.0 hp at the wheel) compared to the Brutale 675 before it. With the introduction of the up-spec Brutale 800 RR, maybe Duke has had a bigger influence on the folks at Varese than we thought? Armed with a claimed 140 hp (at the crank), the B800 RR boasts a 12% boost in power relative to the standard Brutale 800 – without resorting to a bigger engine. This should make Kevin very happy.
One year and a handful of months ago I was returning from Spain with the knowledge that KTM had constructed something special; the 1290 Super Duke R. The SDR went on to claim MO’s 2014 Bike of the Year award, as well as similar accolades from competing publications. If you read my First Ride Review of the SDR, this story will sound familiar. In what seems like déjà vu, I’m returning from Spain with the knowledge that KTM has constructed something special; the 2015 1290 Super Adventure.