For the track portion of our 2021 Heavyweight Naked Bike Shootout, we tried a little experiment. As if there wasn’t enough going on during our track test with simply riding the bikes (and also trying on a bunch of different helmets), we also fitted a few AiM Solo2 lap timers/data loggers onto the bikes and let the boys rip. The Solo2 is a cool device because, beyond just recording lap times, the internal gyroscopes, accelerometers, and GPS can record speed, acceleration, deceleration, lean angles, and so much more. The goal here was to have a little fun and try our hands at collecting data. By no means am I an expert at reading the data (far from it), but I had assistance from a few friends to help make sense of it all.
When I got the call from Motorcycle.com asking if I’d be available to fly over to the Circuito de Jerez in Spain to test the new 2022 Ducati Panigale V4 S, not only did a certain grin return to my face, but also I was especially intrigued by two things: One, I had just finished participating in a seven bike heavyweight naked shootout with MO (see Battle Royale) with the 2021 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S finishing right up near the top of my personal list. But two, I got the opportunity a few years back to evaluate the 2019 Panigale V4 S Corse at both Laguna Seca and Pirelli’s test circuit, the Autodromo di Pergusa in Sicily. To ride Ducati’s latest Panigale V4 flagship once again, but some two and a half years later, might reveal a few of the special ingredients the Bologna factory has unearthed to help explain this seemingly magic formula they’ve cooked up in both MotoGP and World Superbike.
Twists. Turns. Suspense. Being the track portion of our mega 7-bike Heavyweight Naked Bike Shootout you’d think we’re talking about the sinuous nature of racetrack testing. No, sir. This is the plotline that would come to define this test! After conducting the street portion, some would say the outcome basically worked out as expected. Which would mean the track portion would follow suit, right? Well, as the late, great Nicky Hayden once said, “That’s why we line up on Sunday.”
Mark Miller is absolutely enamored with the new, 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa. Don’t believe me? Read his First Ride Review here. Only the third iteration of Suzuki’s land-speed rocketship since it was born in 1999, the Hayabusa has developed all kinds of hype for how fast it’ll go – upwards of 200 mph if given the chance to stretch its legs without Big Brother holding it back.
With all of our staff editors busy working on the upcoming middleweight naked bike shootout, we found ourselves in a difficult position. Thankfully, we have Mark Miller in our quiver of freelancers. Who else but someone who has raced in some of the most challenging motorcycle races around the world could be trusted to crank the throttle of a Hayabusa wide open down the long front straight of the Utah Motorsports Campus? (Note: if you’re looking for information on the technical changes to the Hayabusa, skip over to our First Look beforehand.) —Ed.
Race bikes evolve constantly, so the tire manufacturers must race to catch up. Race tires evolve further, passing the race bikes, but eventually allow them to catch up and get back on track. And this motorcycle of life, goes around and around and around, like a dropped forged wheel.
When MO received a last minute invitation to ride all of the liter bikes in one day at a track in Sicily, we initially thought that we’d have to decline this superbike comparison since MO Hot Shoe, Troy Siahaan, was committed elsewhere. Then Burns reminded us of the great story that Mark Miller wrote for us a while back. Given Mark’s racing history (former AMA class champion, 50 Isle of Man starts and current fast-lap-by-an-American record holder, 17 Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix entries, etc.), we knew that he had exactly what we were looking for in a hired MOron. Read on and enjoy. It’s a long one. —Evans
Render unto Miller what is Miller’s, and to MO what is MO’s. Yea, though that recently retired roadracing Long Beachian was much more at home on a sportbike, in those days we got him to review a Yamaha V-Star 650 – a bike that’s also only recently retired. Why not? There is nothing new under the sun, what goes around comes around; twenty years later, Miller wrote one of the most epic MO features in recent memory.
My ‘office’ on the Isle of Man today is the Creg-ny-Baa pub, one of the best vantage points for race watching on the TT Course. Up here you can see the race bikes come straight down from Kate’s Cottage for over ½ mile, reaching 180 mph, braking hard, then banking over and pinning it again down to Brandish. They’re already 34 miles into a lap, and from the balcony of the Creg, you can see and appreciate the bike’s suspension and motor working in harmony with the brain chemistry of the rider to achieve unthinkable speeds and the smooth, consistent riding required to succeed at the TT.
The 2014 Isle of Man TT fortnight concluded on a beautiful, sunny Friday afternoon, with Michael Dunlop propelling himself into history by winning the big one, the PokerStars Senior TT race. This was the second-consecutive year that Dunlop has won four races in a week, giving him, at only 25 years of age, 11 career TT race wins. His uncle, the late, great Joey Dunlop, eventually went on to win a record 26 TTs.
Cruisers don’t always get the attention they deserve here at MO. Part of the reason is the racing background of most of the staff here. So when we sent Mark Miller, professional AMA Formula X-Treme racer, and current Isle of Man TT competitor to evaluate a cruiser — the 1998 Yamaha V-Star 650 Classic — we knew he’d come back with something out of the ordinary. Miller was used to getting his knee down at triple digit speeds aboard his YZF-R1, but while reviewing the 650 Classic he also saw some parallels between the two. Sounds crazy, but considering the breadth of motorcycles, cruisers included, Miller has ridden, the idea didn’t seem so far fetched after all. In this Church of MO edition, let’s take a look at how the 16 year-old V-Star and R1 worlds collide.