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.
Already popular in Europe, the Honda VFR1200X receives important updates for 2016 and will now be available to American customers, joining the previously announced 2016 CRF1000L Africa Twin. Honda also announced that the NC700X and CB500X receive aggressive new styling for 2016, and that the U.S. debut for all four 2016 Honda adventure models will be at the November 20–22 International Motorcycle Shows stop in Long Beach, California.
There’s a lot to like about Triumph’s Explorer, including excellent comfort, rugged styling and an amiable three-cylinder engine. However, our recent nine-bike comparison test of adventure bikes revealed the Explorer falls short of competing on level terms with the latest and greatest in this rapidly evolving category.
I’m in trouble. I’m only two turns in at the inaugural UMRA 24-Hour endurance race at the Grange Motor Circuit aboard our Project Honda Grom and I’m already certain the bike is trying to kill me with its unpredictable front end. I’ve tucked the front twice, but somehow didn’t end up on my ass. As I complete the first lap, images of Gob Bluth from Arrested Development are flashing through my mind…
Hang on, I’ll be right back – gotta grab one of those mini Milky Ways I picked up for Halloween before somebody else eats them all. May as well wash these dishes. Looks like my basil on the patio is drying out better give it a drink. Reminds me we are out of olive oil, I’ll need to make a grocery run, but let me make a bathroom stop first … ooooo who left that skidmark? Gimme that brush…
When setting out for a tour, be it extended or just a weekend jaunt, you need to plan for any hurdles you may encounter on the way. The best strategy to increase your odds of being able to continue your ride after a mishap or mechanical issue is to carry a tool kit that includes more than just the basics. While your bike probably came with a factory kit, you’d be foolish to count on it to serve as anything more than a paperweight. Read on to see what tools I think you should carry – at a bare minimum – on your next tour.
Listen, if you think it’s easy to arrange borrowing nine Sports-Adventure-Touring motorcycles from seven manufacturers and clearing a week in nine guys’ schedules, you should apply for work as some kind of General at the Pentagon or someplace. We’re keeping our jobs. We’re not complaining, but it’s not all a bed of roses. Ducati made us wait a long time to get our hands on its new 2015 Multistrada S, and our only slight disappointment is that Yamaha couldn’t come through with a Super Ténéré. It’s doubtful the Yamaha would’ve won in this company, but we could’ve come up with some great headlines if we’d had a nice even 10 bikes.
Hard braking into a corner, rear wheel skipping across the pavement trying to come around one side or the other, release a little brake pressure, tip it in, pass a couple riders before the apex then begin accelerating toward the next corner. I didn’t do this during the press intro for the Honda RC213V-S at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia Spain, but having now piloted a bike similar to the one Marc Marquez rides in the heat of MotoGP combat provides insight into how the two-time Grand Prix champ manages to make the impossible seem like child’s play.
Spy photographers have spotted what appears to be a café racer-styled prototype with what looks like the Single-cylinder engine and frame of the KTM 690 Duke. Now, the test rider’s KTM-branded helmet and jacket may foreshadow an orange-clad future for the finished product, but the H-branded gloves and café racer style suggest the new model will instead wear Husqvarna blue, white and yellow once the camouflage is lifted.
Harley-Davidson has utilized the CVO (Custom Vehicle Operations) line as a way to fly the corporate flag of what is possible with a production Harley and the Motor Company’s Parts and Accessories department. So, except for the CVO-exclusive paint schemes and the new technology that is often debuted in the high-end line, owners have been able to build for themselves the bulk of a CVO with their own bikes.
Eddie Lawson is a four-time 500cc Grand Prix World Champion. In 1983, Eddie became Kenny Roberts’ teammate on Yamaha’s GP team and won his first 500cc title in 1984. Steady Eddie went on to win two more 500cc GP world titles for Yamaha, in 1986 and 1988, and since this interview took place at a Yamaha event, we’ll downplay his ’89 Championship on the Honda. In 1990, he teamed up with Tadahiko Taira to win the Suzuka 8 Hours on a Yamaha FZR750RR OW01. Lawson also won the Daytona 200 in 1986, and came out of retirement to win it again in 1993. He was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.
To date, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R’s perch atop Streetfighter Mountain remains unassailable. Last year’s two-time winner – Bike of the Year and Best Streetighter/Hooligan – returns this year retaining its Best Streetfighter title. From our initial First Ride Review of the SDR to its winning three shootouts last year ( 2014 Super Streetfighter Smackdown + Video, 2014 Super Naked Street Brawl + Video, 2014 Ultimate Streetfighter Finale + Video) the SDR has proven to be the benchmark in the Streetfighter/Hooligan category.
We’ve tested plenty of electric motorcycles over the years here at MO. In the process, we’ve been able to witness firsthand how rapidly e-bikes have evolved. Through it all, however, we get asked the same questions over and over: 1. How far will it go on a charge? and 2. How long will it take to recharge the batteries? There used to be a third question – how fast will it go? – but through our testing and experiences with the greater e-bike community, speed no longer seems to be a concern amongst the critics.