Portugal is a great place to visit for a number of reasons, but it’s particularly accommodating for those who do it in the dirt. Compared to the rest of Europe, Portugal’s tolerance of off-road motorcycle riding knows nearly no bounds. It’s an excellent place for dual-sport and adventure motorcycles. Serpentine paved roads connect dozens of dirt paths just waiting to be explored – and I was fortunate enough to do just that on the 2023 KTM 890 Adventure.
Heading into EICMA, we were expecting Bimota to announce a new motorcycle based off an existing Kawasaki model. After all, that has been the pattern since Kawasaki acquired a stake in the Italian brand in 2019. Last year, we saw the debut of the Ninja 1000SX-based Bimota KB4 and KB4RC in Milan, and so this year, we expected another new mode.
When riding off road, you want loose-fitting, breathable outer layers to allow airflow in the heat. However, a loose fit means armor can’t be attached to the outer layer as it would in more snugly-fitting street gear, because it will displace in a mishap and not protect as well. To get around this, riders have strapped armor to their elbows and arms and slipped into breastplates and back armor that look like they are designed for modern-day gladiators. The other option is to wear a lightweight-but-snug armored jacket that offers breathability and impact protection but little abrasion resistance under either a jersey or an abrasion protective shell. The REV’IT! Proteus Armored Jacket falls into the latter category.
Looking out over the Pacific Ocean, six months into a ride across the Americas, I found myself attending The Cold Start, an off-road riding clinic in Ensenada, Mexico. This may seem like an odd way to spend finite travel funds, but the rewards for this type of investment are surprisingly numerous.
The best way to experience the great outdoors and Northern Ontario wilderness is on two wheels! The north is big and full of endless trails and gravel roads to explore, which makes this area one of the best in the world for riders who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban roads and highways. This is a place where you’ll ride to communities where they count moose, cross boundaries where the water runs in a different direction and find historic sites that date back to the original exploration of Canada.
In recent years, motorcycles like the 2021 Kawasaki KLX300 have become increasingly more popular, not only due to its small displacement, but also because it gives riders the versatility of having a mount that’s street legal while being able to handle duties in the dirt without being too intimidating. The KLX update couldn’t come at a better time for folks interested in dual-sport motorcycles. In a world ravaged by COVID-induced change, motorcycling – particularly the off-road segment – has enjoyed a welcome surge of interest for those looking for a new way to fill their time while still maintaining a safe distance from their fellow humans.
Any motorcycle reviewer will tell you it takes a long ride and several miles to really understand how good – or bad – a motorcycle is. This is especially true when the motorcycle in question is a model refresh and not an entirely new machine. But this might be the first time I can remember where just riding from my house to the stop sign at the end of my street left an impression that would last my entire time with the bike. The updated, 2020 Honda Africa Twin is good. Really good.
North of Payson, Arizona and just a few miles past the town of Pine, there’s a steep grade that climbs into the mountain range below the city of Flagstaff. Ahead, an older Chevy truck moves slowly through the trees. The Chevy is one of those faded metallic burgundy ones, the ones where General Motors’ ablative-burgundy topcoat survives only in the shady areas. Lower fenders and door sills, any body shape that falls downward and inward towards the centerline still had a glossy wine red finish. Whatever topside paintwork survived the sunlight consisted of chalky peeled silver. The hood and roof were littered with rust and the cargo bed rode at a 20-degree angle to the rest of the vehicle. Taken in its entirety, the auto-scene reminded me of prehistoric valley rubble deposited by a receding glacier.
Did you know Triumph Motorcycles run a state-of-the-art training and adventure experience center in south Wales? No? That’s the problem. Well, maybe not much of a problem for Triumph since they seem to be running at near capacity out of the space they’re in. Just outside Ystradgynlais (Welsh names and words make me happy this is written and not a video), just northwest of Cardiff, sits an unassuming world class ADV headquarters just a few miles from a rented forest in which Triumph runs its training.
Husqvarna has entered the electric motorcycle market, launching the new EE 5 electric dirt bike as a 2020 model. The 2020 Husqvarna EE 5 is designed for young riders, with an all-new electric powertrain that claims an equivalent performance level to a 50cc gasoline-powered dirt bike.
Just once I’d like to hear a manufacturer come out and say, well, this new one’s a little slower and heavier than the existing model. That never happens. The thoroughly redesigned KX250, Kawi says, is the MOST POWERFUL KX250 TO DATE, in 23-point type! Now it’s packing an even more oversquare and revvier engine with World Superbike-derived finger-type cam followers, housed in a new and improved aluminum frame, suspended by the latest in KYB suspension components. It’s all topped off with Kawi’s excellent Ergo-Fit system of adjustable footpegs and handlebar position, and embellished with fresh new plastic. How much would you expect to pay? $7,799.