The chance to review an all-new motorcycle prior to the bike’s world launch is about as rare as a Vincent White Shadow, but that’s the opportunity our Australian correspondent, Jeff Ware, received late last November when he got to spin laps aboard Kawasaki’s all-new ZX-10R. Because the new 10R is the most exciting new sportbike of 2016, we jumped at the chance to publish Ware’s review so we could be among the first in the world to share riding impressions of this important new machine. Our review was cleverly titled “First First-Ride Review,” because Motorcycle.com’s official first-ride review was intended to be posted after the bike’s world launch.
In 2009, when it came to burning away mile after mile in long-distance, big displacement touring comfort, certain motorcycles came to mind. Motorcycles like the Honda Gold Wing and Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classic were obvious choices, but another motorcycle deserving inclusion in the conversation was the 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager/Nomad, the topic of this week’s Church of MO feature. Here, MO’s Editor-in-Chief Kevin Duke takes one for a spin, wherein he discovers you really can take this Kawasaki from coast to coast in absolute comfort. The fact it is still in Kawasaki’s product lineup, seven years on, speaks to its capabilities. Read on to get Kevin’s complete thoughts on the bike, and to see more pictures of the Vulcan 1700 Voyager, be sure to check out the photo gallery.
The idea of a Panigale with 330cc less engine initially didn’t seem especially exciting. Like all good Americans, I largely subscribe to the more-is-more theory of excellence. Turns out, though, that riding Ducati’s sleek 959 Panigale at the Ricardo Tormo MotoGP circuit in Valencia, Spain, was considerably more exciting than I had anticipated.
In the presentation for the 959, Ducati described its new bike as having “perfect balance,” which is a descriptor I immediately dismissed as pure PR speak. After all, every OEM would want to say that about one of its new products, but after having spun laps on the latest Panigale at the Ricardo Tormo MotoGP circuit, I’m becoming a believer in this Italian balancing act.
This was my third consecutive year of reporting from the world’s largest motorcycle show, EICMA, held annually in Milan, Italy. It’s a cornucopia of everything related to motorbikes, and it’s the premier event for unveiling all the new machines preparing to be shipped to dealers around the world.
Those who have read my words over the years understand my love for wheelies. I’ve been doing them on a bicycle since I was a kid, and I’ve been pulling them on motorcycles for decades. The physical sensations and the talent challenges of doing wheelies are simply irresistible to me. While impossible to accurately sum, I must be past the 10,000 mark by now.
In April I passed my eighth year working as Ed-in-Chief of the online moto publication you’re perusing, and I’d like to thank you for your attention to the thousands of articles MO has published since then. Lots of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to deliver all the latest news and reviews of motorcycles at a level of quality that puts us ahead of anything that can be found on the web. Hell, with the current roster of amazingly versatile and talented editors, I’d rank us up there with the best moto content to be found anywhere, let alone the internet. I’m blessed with my exceptional crew. So are you.