The launch of the all-new GSX-R1000 is critical to Suzuki, as the GSX-R line has been emblematic of the engineering might at the Japanese company since the game-changing original GSX-R750 in 1985 – and more than 1 million GSX-Rs have been produced since. So, prior to us sampling the wicked new Gixxer Thou in Australia, Suzuki flew us to Japan to give us insight into the facilities and processes required to develop a production superbike competitive with the best in the world.
It’s been eight long years since Suzuki last updated its GSX-R1000, and the time they spent creating the new one has been well worth it. Everything from the engine to the frame to the electronics and suspension has been given a ground-up redo, creating the best Gixxer Thou ever. Now boasting as much power as BMW’s ferocious S1000RR, Suzuki is ready to take the fight to the top rivals in the class.
Ah, the legendary Phillip Island circuit, the scene of many epic battles among two-wheel gladiators like Gardner, Rainey, Schwantz, Corser, Stoner, Rossi and Iannone, which has long been on my bucket list of racetracks to ride before I die. With significant elevation changes along 2.76 miles of twisting tarmac on the shores of the Indian Ocean and an average GP speed of more than 110 mph, it would be a challenge to learn on any bike, let alone on Suzuki’s most powerful literbike ever.
The original Royal Star in 1996 heralded Yamaha’s use of labeling its cruisers as Stars, followed by other Star models. With considerable Star power in its lineup, Yamaha launched the Star Motorcycles brand in 2006, a cruiser-oriented marque used in North America to bring Yamaha’s cruiser line under its own tent apart from Yamaha’s other lines.
Humans are odd animals. Generally speaking, they don’t like to stray far from the herd to avoid the anxiety that comes from being recognizably different than their peers. And yet there exists a potent part of society which thrives on being unconventional. As motorcycle enthusiasts, we obligate ourselves to a distinctiveness that clearly stands apart from cagers.
Some sportbike riders look down their noses at Harley riders for their perceived emphasis on cruising rather than performance. Well, some of those Ricky Racer wannabees might want to steer clear of the Harley pilot in this video shot on Mulholland Drive’s famous Snake section.
Anyone out there who likes motorcycles – especially dirtbikes – will surely enjoy the video below. And this is true especially if you are or know someone middle-aged. 50 Years Of Kicks is a documentary about off-road riders Paul Rodden and Larry Murray, both of whom were successful racers at various stages of their riding careers.
In the eyes of motorcycle enthusiasts, the lives of motojournalists may appear to be wholly enviable. Perhaps one day in a future Duke’s Den I’ll submit a cranky soliloquy about the ways the job is taxing, but that’s not how I’m currently feeling. After all, how down on your luck could you feel after riding a scintillating Italian naked sportbike in the south of France?
Ducati’s Monster is the O.G. of naked sportbikes, first bursting on the moto scene back in 1993 with an air-cooled 904cc V-Twin engine. The liquid-cooled 1200 Monster debuted in 2014, and already it has received several worthy updates to make it more appealing to riders looking for svelter Italian style mixed in with extra power and state-of-the-art technology.
The principality of Monaco is an imbecilic location for a motorcycle ride. After all, the independent microstate on the French Riviera isn’t even twice as big as the Dodger Stadium grounds, and its teeny little streets are crammed almost solid with a cornucopia of vehicles from two-stroke scooters to the apparently riotously amusing Renault Twizys to exotic McLarens to horrifyingly huge Rollers.