It’s easy to take for granted the dynamics involved in creating a fairing for a motorcycle. Sure, you could easily mold a piece of plastic or resin and create a shape, but what thought process and research goes into such a mold? We take something like fairings for granted because they’re so commonplace. Big OEMs have the resources to hire big-name designers to create something that’s easy on the eyes, then study the fluid dynamics behind the designer’s sketch to see how different lines bend and shape the wind as it flows through it. Then these big players can utilize finite element analysis to dictate the strength of a part or component and adjust as needed for a given application. But nobody talks about these things anymore because this is simply something we expect. We’re numb to it. But when we stop and think about it, the fit and finish of a motorcycle determines its legitimacy.
Whoever said, “you can buy fashion but you can’t buy style” has obviously never seen or ridden Yamaha’s all new 2018 XSR700 Sport Heritage. While this statement usually pertains to clothes, I don’t think it’s far off the mark when it comes to Yamaha’s new middleweight. The threads you wear and motorcycles you ride don’t have a lot in common, but one thing they do share is that they both allow you to express yourself and make a statement. Just about anything retro is “cool”, or in fashion these days, but what the wearer (or rider in this case) does with it ultimately evokes their style. The XSR700 makes it easy to do so on both fronts. Allow me to explain…
I asked around at the launch of the Dorsoduro (and Shiver) 900, why was this bike named “Dorsoduro”? I know what the Dorsoduro is and have visited the district in the Italian city of Venice on two separate occasions, but I was looking for an answer full of emotion and history which I have come to expect from Italian manufacturers (and their marketing departments). To my surprise, everyone began to tell me what the name was rather than why it was named as such. Well, after having ridden the 2018 Aprilia Dorsoduro 900, it is clear to me why the Italian manufacturer would look to one of Italy’s most iconic cities and why they would choose the sestieri of Dorsoduro as its namesake.
By now you probably know that I really like the 2017 Ducati Supersport and Supersport S. The comfortable sporty-bike that’s equally at home on the racetrack or on a weekend roadtrip, the Supersport combines good looks, sporting chops, and the ergos to stay in the saddle for a while. The best thing about the Supersport is its versatility. Whether it’s playing in the canyons, cutting laps, or simply commuting to and from the office, the Supersport is the kind of bike you might want if you could only have one bike in the garage to do everything.
By now we’ll assume you’ve already read my First Ride Review of the 2017 Yamaha FZ-10, which means you already know I’m a fan of the bike. I give kudos to Yamaha for producing a motorcycle worthy of bringing the fight to the three class leaders of the super streetfighter class: the KTM 1290 Super Duke R, BMW S1000R, and Aprilia Tuono V4 1100.
I’ve already covered the 2017 Suzuki SV650 quite a bit since I rode the new bike in mid May. Of course there was my First Ride Review, where I basically confessed my love for the bike, and in my Top 10 Features of the 2017 Suzuki SV650 I explained specifically which aspects of the bike I like the most.
It’s remarkable to believe it’s been over six years since Honda introduced its somewhat revolutionary dual-clutch transmission in a production motorcycle. A common technology in sports cars, dual-clutch transmission technology hasn’t quite permeated its way into motorcycles. Honda still continues with the DCT today, and it’s a technology that we enjoy sampling, and we can thank the 2010 VFR1200F for bringing the tech to two wheels. Here, we get E-i-C Duke’s take on the bike and the transmission from its launch at the Sugo circuit in Japan. To see more pictures of the VFR1200F, be sure to visit the photo gallery.