When it comes to lightweight cruisers, Harley’s 883 Sportster has been the staple of the category. Around, in one form or another, since the 1950s, it has earned the term OG for the class. Fast forward to 2002 and here we have the 883R Sportster going head-to-head with the Honda Shadow Spirit 750. With 50 years to study the venerable Harley-Davidson, Honda’s Shadow presents a bare-bones, lightweight cruiser that isn’t intimidating to the (relatively) new cruiser rider – traits it shares with the Harley. So who does it better? America or Japan? Read on to find out.
Let’s be honest: these Church of MO features have largely become reposts of Gabe Ets-Hokin stories. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; Gabe’s a great guy and an even better writer (it takes talent to make a jacket review hilarious!). As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and so we bring to you today another Gabe story from the MO archives. This one a travel piece in one of the planet’s most lovely places, Tuscany, aboard an ideal travel companion: the 2006 Vespa GTS250ie.
Last week’s Church feature of the 2001 Yamaha Vino was just a tease for this week’s Church edition. Because the MO staff is quite good at taking a perfectly good motorcycle and defiling it, leave it to us to find some hidden speed out of the 2001 Yamaha Vino. Check it out below. Oh, and isn’t that basket cute?
If you read my piece about getting Behind the Scenes at KTM, you might recall how the Austrian manufacturer has really exploded in recent years. So much so that it’s goal is to capture the on-road market like it has the off-road scene. Well, by 2001, KTM was well established in the off-road world, and Mark Kariya’s piece about the 2001 KTM Roll Out highlights everything from the 125SX at the bottom of the range, up to the 520 SX at the top. As impressive as KTM’s lineup was, it would be another 14 years until Team Orange would capture it’s most elusive prize, the 2015 AMA Supercross championship – the crowning jewel on the company trophy shelf.
When I backed into the motojournalism biz all those years ago, I pretty much just wanted to tear around on motorcycles without giving much thought to the hows and whys. Now that I’ve matured, and have had the amazingly good fortune to spend time with the brilliant people who design and build the things (and read a lot of Kevin Cameron columns), the really fascinating part is how organizations of people come together to produce (or not) such complex assemblages. It really does take a village.
Today we’re getting our first crack testing Ducati’s new Scrambler, one of the most talked-about motorcycles of 2015. Some say its all-purpose design perfectly suits their requirements for a retro-themed-but-modern motorcycle, and Ducati tells us initial demand has been huge. Naysayers, however, deride the new Scrambler’s inadequacies for use on dirt trails, asserting that its 800cc V-Twin makes it too heavy when compared to Ducati’s single-cylinder Scramblers from the 1960s and ’70s. So, as we enter a new era of Bologna-built Scramblers, we’re taking a look back at the first-generation models to gain some historical perspective. -Ed.
If you’ve ever read or watched one of our Triumph reviews, you’ve undoubtedly seen us wax poetic about the lovely three-cylinder engines. Triples seem to perfectly blend the torquey nature of V-Twins with the high-revving excitement of four-cylinders, with a wonderful exhaust melody to boot. With MV Agusta entering its own Triples into the market, the available options for three-cylinder fun have only grown larger and we’re all the happier for it.