When Yamaha made new-model announcements at its big EICMA show shindig last fall, MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo rode onto the stage on the MT-10, an ultra-modern, anime-influenced streetfighter based on the seductive R1 supersport introduced the year prior. In the meantime, Yamaha has introduced the MT-10 to global markets while we have been left sitting on our hands waiting for the day when the American arm of the tuning-fork brand announces it will come to our shores.
Going into it we surmised the little Duke was going to be the sportier ride and the Honda the more practical one. Guess what, that’s how it shakes out. Having said that, though, the practical Honda is really pretty damn sporty and the sporty little cheap KTM is practical enough to be your commuter – if you’re not much taller than 5’10, anyway. It’s way more compact than the CB500F.
When last we left the CB500F, we were all not exactly amazed but at least pleasantly surprised at what a very nice little inexpensive motorcycle Honda had sprung from its new Thailand factory. When it was new in 2013, the 471cc parallel-Twin CB won MO’s coveted Best Value Motorcycle for that year.
“Nasty, brutish and short” is the famous phrase used to describe the life of the typical medieval peasant (or MO editor), but it could almost describe some of MV Agusta’s earlier Brutales. With this latest electronically enhanced iteration, MV has brought the bike all the way into modernity and then some. The goal, according to MV, was to make the new bike more customer-oriented and easier to ride, with a focus on both reduced fuel consumption and a more friendly user interface. To find out, one of us had to go ride it.
Motorcycle shootouts are a relentless procession of putting the screws to a couple or numerous models selected for similarities in performance, style, purpose, price and, of course, engine displacement. Two of our most recent shootouts, the Gentleman’s Hooligan Comparo and Japanese Mega Standards Shootout, pit four excruciatingly similar models from Kawasaki and Suzuki against one another in two separate competitions. At 999cc and 1043cc the GSX-S1000 ABS and Kawasaki Z1000 ABS were the Goliaths, while the 749cc and 806cc displacements of the Suzuki GSX-S750 and Kawasaki Z800 ABS were the Davids. Is it possible for David to defeat Goliath? Which motorcycle is the true king of Israel?
Us MOrons enjoy the luxury of working from home offices, but imagine an alternate world where we actually had an office to go to everyday. Clearly, this scenario won’t be hard for many of you to imagine as it’s your reality. And if you’re also the type to take the long way home after clocking out, followed by a lengthier ride come the weekend, you’re the type of rider Kawasaki and Suzuki are reaching for with the Z800 ABS and GSX-S750 – unless you live in California. Neither bike is currently being offered for sale in the People’s Republic. Intended for the sportbike rider who may be more, ah, mature these days with things adults call, um, responsibilities, the two still offer middleweight performance without the supersport ergonomic commitment. They are also more affordable, at $7,999 for the Suzuki and $8,399 for the Kawi.
KTM finds itself in the enviable position of having created a popular brand-within-a-brand with its Duke line of motorcycles. Don’t believe me? Take a look at KTM’s 2016 Duke line-up. Consisting of six different models (some of which, unfortunately, don’t make it to the American side of the Atlantic), the Duke line starts with the 125 Duke and tops out with the 1290 Super Duke R – yet still has room for a pair of Dukes in the displacement range that started the line in the form of the 609cc 620 Duke I. Before we go any further, we need to step back from the current KTM image to remember that, way back prior to 1994, KTM only manufactured dirt-focused motorcycles. The Duke was the company’s first street bike, and the meaty center of the 2016 Duke line is filled with that first Duke’s direct descendants, the 690 Duke and 690 Duke R.
It’s no secret we here at MO are huge fans of the Aprilia Tuono. We’ve declared our love for the bike so much now that we’re starting to sound like a broken record. And if you’re tired of us blabbering on and on about one of Italy’s finest motorcycles, there’s bad news: Aprilia has gone and made the Tuono even better with the Tuono V4 1100 series, the $14,799 RR and the $16,999 Factory. Head Honcho Kevin Duke got to spend time aboard the RR version at the bike’s launch, which you can read about here. The up-spec Factory version, with Öhlins suspension and steering damper, aluminum (rather than the RR’s steel) front brake rotor flanges, a wider 200/55-17 rear tire and red wheels, wasn’t available for Duke to ride, but we have one now. So how does it stack up? First a little back story.
A little more than a month after showing a stunt-influenced concept, BMW revealed the full production version of its entry-level G310R roadster. Produced with help from India’s TVS Motor Company, the G310R is BMW’s lowest displacement motorcycle and its first roadster under 500cc.
Triumph announced new updates to its Speed Triple line for 2016. The base model will now go by the designation Speed Triple S and come with new Ride-by-Wire power modes and traction control. It’ll be joined by the Speed Triple R which adds higher-spec Öhlins suspension, carbon fiber components and other premium features.
The Ducati Monster 1200S didn’t do so great against most of the other players in last year’s Super Naked Street Brawl, but mostly because two of the other four were our Motorcycle of the Year KTM Super Duke R and the BMW S1000R, which came within a whisker of overcoming the incredible SDR. The Monster suffered more in the track portion of that test than on the street, though, mainly let down by a lack of ground clearance when leaned into Chuckwalla’s endless high speed turns – a non-issue on the road. Back on the street, il Mostro was a highly pleasant thing to ride – as nearly all motorcycles are that deliver 84 pound-feet of torque. The 132 horses up top are like having your burrito wet.
Suppose you wanted a nice new orthopedically correct naked bike, but you didn’t want all the latest fly-by-wire techno-gadgetry that accompanies the best of them along with the $15,000-plus price tag. Well, you’re still out of luck, really, because Suzuki’s all-new GSX-S1000 does use the traction-control system (first seen on its latest V-Strom 1000) to tame its mighty GSX-R1000 Four-cylinder. And ABS is a $500 option.
Flame on me all you want for the click-baity title, but hear me out. Earlier this week I saw a rider coming in my direction from the opposite side of traffic. As he passed, I noticed he was aboard a brand new Yamaha R1. He seemed content as he went by, but I couldn’t help but wonder if he made the right choice for his needs. As it turned out, I saw him again the following day, turning right onto another street, twisting the grip and letting the crossplane crank sing a little before shifting. While I didn’t see his face, I’m sure he cracked at least a passing grin afterward.