Honda is preparing to add two dual-sport models to it’s U.S. lineup: a CRF300LS and an XR150L. Both models were listed in the latest vehicle certification data released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, indicating that they will be added to the 2023 lineup.
Ripping a 175 horsepower street bike down the street or around the track is one thing. Setting one up with metal spikes and knobbie dirt tires so it can be ridden off-road is quite another but that’s exactly what these guys did. Would you have the guts to take this crazy Suzuki GSX-R1000 for a ride down the trail?
How many new Triumph Bonnevilles are we up to now anyway? The Street Twin came first, just about a year ago. We liked the sweet little runabout instantly, and it proceeded to come out on top of every comparison test we threw at it, usually by quite a lot. Wait, Maybe it was only this one:
We had to wait a few years for Honda to get on-board with the current Adventure-Touring trend, but when Big Red finally did, it did with the most iconic of Honda off-roaders. The Africa Twin namesake is a lot to live up to, but the latest edition does so, not by being a hardcore Dakar performer, but by being one the most balanced, all-around big-bore ADV bikes on the market.
From the undeniable truth in the blanket statement “Motorcycles Don’t Suck,” one can journey down many a rabbit hole and come to many a contradictory conclusion, depending on what you want from your bike or where you happen to be riding. However, just as much as the answer to ‘Do Choppers Suck?’ tends to be a resounding “Yes!” for most situations, the answer to “Do Adventure Touring Bikes Suck?” almost always tends to be “No!” This is a fact more and more riders are learning first-hand as sales in the category continue to outperform the broader motorcycling landscape. And it’s no mystery why, really, as today’s adventure-touring formula relies on the strengths of several platforms to produce vehicles that can convincingly perform in every non-competition role for which a motorcycle can be used. There be bags, and performance, and comfort, and wind protection and maneuverability, and ground clearance, oh my!
Indian manufacturer Royal Enfield revealed its much-awaited adventure bike, the Himalayan. Powered by a new 411cc Single, the Himalayan was designed to be a lightweight, uncomplicated motorcycle that can go anywhere, including the rugged terrain of its namesake.
I still remember how wide my eyes were the first time I twisted the e-throttle on Zero’s new-for-2014 SR. Any word associations I had prior to “electrics” and “slow” were well and truly shattered. With a claimed 106 lb-ft of torque – more than a Suzuki Hayabusa – available at an instant from its high-output motor and 660-amp motor controller, and no clutch or gears to finesse, there are few things that can beat it in a stoplight-to-stoplight dash.
The Africa Twin is one of the most beloved Hondas to never have been imported to the United States. In 1986, the NXR750 Africa Twin factory racer made its debut at the then Paris-Dakar Rally. The bike was powered by a V-Twin engine, while the rally largely took place on the African continent – hence its Africa Twin namesake.
Last year, it was BMW’s fabulous R1200GS sharing the MOBO in this category with KTM’s brilliant 1190 Adventure, as each excelled in their own particular ways. This year the tie was broken by the stunning new 1290 Super Adventure, an amalgamation of the 1190 and the audacious Super Duke R, our 2014 Best Motorcycle of the Year. Previous KTM Adventure models such as the defunct 950/990 and the concurrently available 1190 Adventure and 1190 Adventure R have always had the upper hand in terms of lighter weight and more serious off-road performance (especially the R model). With the new 1290 Super Adventure, KTM ups the ante in terms of over-the-road performance while maintaining enough off-road chops to allow confident journeys off the beaten path.
Has anybody built a proper “adventure bike” with an inline-Four cylinder before this one? We liked the new Kawasaki Versys 1000 when we compared it with its competition earlier this year, but it’s more sport-tourer than a real sporty adventure bike – mainly because it weighs 565 pounds.
In 1959 we laughed at the small-displacement step-throughs Honda brought to America. It didn’t take Soichiro long, though, to establish Honda as the world leader in motorcycle production. Again we laughed when, in 1992, the Korea-based Kia introduced the Sephia to U.S. consumers, then in 1998 merged with Hyundai. Last year the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group was the 5th-largest auto manufacturer in the world. The moto world has been scoffing at motorcycles from China, Taiwan and other Pacific Rim Asian countries for years now. Maybe it’s time we stopped.