Could it be that the Yamaha XJ6 and XJ6 Diversion were just slightly ahead of their time? Naked middleweights are making what appears to be a comeback in the form of Yamaha’s FZ-07 and Suzuki’s new SV650, but in this week’s Church feature, we take a look at a bike that could be considered the predecessor to the FZ-07 – the Yamaha XJ6 (and its half-faired sibling, the XJ6 Diversion). Two bikes that never made it to America, assuming you don’t count the XJ6’s slightly different cousin, the FZ6R. Here, our European Correspondent, Tor Sagen, takes the XJ6 for a spin and tells us all about it. As usual, for more pics, be sure to visit the photo gallery.
This week’s Church feature brings you a review of the 2004 Yamaha RoadStar. More than that, however, this week’s Church feature brings you an example of Eric Bass truly soaking up a motorcycle press intro, complete with photos of the hotel room, EB making a duck face for the camera, posing in a bathrobe, talking to Brad Banister in said bathrobe, and lastly, sunbathing on top of the RoadStar. Oh, and there’s a motorcycle review in there somewhere, too. For more pics of E-Bass, be sure to check out the photo gallery. Enjoy!
I’ve already covered the 2017 Suzuki SV650 quite a bit since I rode the new bike in mid May. Of course there was my First Ride Review, where I basically confessed my love for the bike, and in my Top 10 Features of the 2017 Suzuki SV650 I explained specifically which aspects of the bike I like the most.
What do you think of when you hear “Chinese motorcycle?” Cheap, ugly, and under-performing? Those observations would be largely correct, as the majority of Chinese motorcycles to come to these shores (that’s the United States, for our international readers) were exactly that. Let’s face it: the words “Made In China” aren’t held in high regard.
Kawasaki’s KLX110 has long been a great little dirtbike for the munchkins, and with the addition of the KLX110L, even the bigger kids (aka, parents) can join in on the fun. Both models are still in Kawasaki’s lineup, only $200 more than they were in 2010, when MO’s Alfonse Palaima got to ride them at Fox’s backyard dirt track. How did a grown child like Fonsie take to the little Kawi? Read on to find out. And for more pics, be sure to click the photo gallery.
Ostensibly, this is a review of the 2004 Kawasaki KX250F. But read a little more into the story and you start to see this is just the old-school MO crew having fun on a new dirtbike, getting themselves wholly out of their comfort zone and being genuine MOrons the entire time. This was MO‘s humble beginnings, folks – Ride bikes, make mistakes and bad decisions, then write about it in a fun and irreverent manner. I mean, check out that lead image above. I didn’t add those effects. That’s just the goofy MOron crew at work. Anyway, enjoy the “review” and see the rest of the pics in the photo gallery.
Off-road worthy motorcycles from MO’s past seem to be pretty popular Church items lately, so we’ll continue the theme again this week with a dirtbike from BMW. No, not the R1200GS, but a real dirtbike, the 2009 BMW G450X. In a time when BMW was trying to reinvent itself to attract new riders, the G450X presented something radically different than the comfy touring bikes many younger riders pictured their parents – or even grandparents – riding. Ultimately, the G450X had a short shelf life, but the guts to continually reinvent itself and enter new motorcycling categories has resulted in products like the RnineT and the S1000 lineup. For that we partially have the G450X to thank. Here’s contributor Jeff Buchanan with his take on BMW’s dirtbike.
Who crams a V-Twin into a dirtbike frame, anyway?! Aprilia, that’s who, and in 2005 it just happened to cram a highly oversquare 77-degree V-Twin into not one, but two(!) different models: the SXV supermoto, and the RXV enduro model. As if that wasn’t audacious enough, Aprilia even made each bike in two engine sizes: 450 and 550. Personally, I remember lusting after the SXV when it launched, dreams of sliding back tires happily floating through my mind. As the years wore on that lust slowly faded as I learned that the bike needed constant attention and upkeep wasn’t cheap. Still, I’d love to flog one around for a day… and then give it back to someone else. Here, let’s jump back in time and let then Senior Editor and current MO contributor Gabe Ets-Hokin, and MO’s beloved former staff photog, Alfonse Palaima, tell you how both bikes perform. Of course, there are tons more pics. Visit the photo gallery to see them.
If you ask me, there’s no faster way to get your license revoked than to get a supermoto. Why? Because riding one instantly makes you turn into the hooligan you never thought you could be. Take Yossef Schvetz, for instance. The good-mannered moto-journalist he is (was?), even he couldn’t resist acting like a fool once he threw a leg over a SuMo. Of course, when that motard happens to be a 2004 Husqvarna SM450R, it’s easy to see how Yossef would let his inner teenager loose. So let’s turn back the clock to late 2003 to get Schvetz’ take on the SuMo scene of the day and where the Husqvarna stacks up. And for more pics of the SM450R, be sure to visit the photo gallery.
When it comes to liter-class sportbikes, technology has become the name of the game. There’s an alphabet soup of acronyms out there to describe the many number of ways you, the rider, can lap a racetrack as fast as you can with far fewer consequences for a mistake than ever before. Yamaha, Ducati, Kawasaki, BMW, Aprilia are just a few of the manufacturers offering top-level sportbikes with sophisticated levels of electronics.
As part of my job, I wear tons of motorcycle boots both on bikes and walking around at events or on daylong photo shoots. These Rev’It Regent H2O are the first boots in my 20 years of testing gear that have made the transition to becoming part of my everyday streetwear – boots that I choose to put on even when I’m not planning on riding.
We’ve been following the creation of the Victory version of a bike with the Indian Scout engine with great interest. Well, it’s arrived in the form of the 2017 Victory Octane and not without a little controversy from our readers. Whether or not the Octane is the motorcycle you wanted Victory to build with its engine, we think the Octane is a very good motorcycle.
When it comes to one-piece riding suits for the streets, Aerostich has been the benchmark others have strived to equal. Anecdotally speaking, I see more Aerostich suits on the road than I do any other brand. Ironically, I never quite meshed with the ‘Stich suit I had in the past as it restricted my leg movement while riding. Shame, since I really wanted to like the suit as the concept behind it is solid.
This week MO has published a comparison test between two $17K superbikes, Honda’s middleweight sportbike, and a retro-cool Triumph cafe racer. So for this week’s Church feature, let’s slow things down a bit and reflect on the 2001 Yamaha Vino scooter. A far cry from the four machines mentioned earlier, in cities like San Francisco you’re bound to see as many Vinos floating around as you are anything else. Why? Because it’s a perfect little errand runner. See what the 2001 MO staff had to say about it below.
At the pace the 1000cc literbike field is advancing, it’s easy to overlook the middleweight 600cc sportbike class. For instance, few might have even noticed it’s been three years since Honda gave its CBR600RR a slight refresh. Tom Roderick rode the bike both on the street and the track, where he came back impressed but not overly enthusiastic about Honda’s middleweight supersport. With the march of time giving way to technologies like traction control, cornering ABS, inertial measurement units and apps that can adjust the bike’s attitude at the push of a button, we thought it was time to revisit the CBR600RR to see if time has given us a new appreciation for the simpler things in life.