Yossef Schvetz is right in his review of the 2006 Ducati Sport Classic Paul Smart 1000LE – evaluating this bike on purely subjective criteria really isn’t the point. At a time when both the automotive and motorcycle industries were looking towards their pasts to create vehicles for the future, Ducati arguably was the most successful in its execution. At least in my eyes. No, the Sport Classic line didn’t sell in high numbers, but as far as rolling works of art are concerned, Ducati definitely succeeded. Of course, a review needs at least a little subjective judgement, and Schvetz provides that too. Through the lens of his rose-tinted glasses, anyway. Read on to see what he thinks of the Paul Smart tribute bike, and be sure to read to the end to catch his interview with the bike’s namesake. And if you want to see more pictures, be sure to visit the photo gallery.
Cruiser riders can be pretty particular about what they want. Why would cruiser aficionados who have a bit of wanderlust be any different? Indian was aware of this before they even released their first models. Those who are more classically inclined go for the Indian Chief Vintage. The riders for whom maximum mileage is the primary concern can opt for the Chieftain or the Roadmaster. What about the riders who want the classic windshield and hard bags? Until now, they haven’t had any option. The release of the 2016 Indian Springfield changes all that.
The different takes on cruiserdom was in full effect in the early 2000s, with the custom chopper scene getting most of the attention. However, the muscle cruiser crowd was also well represented with seemingly every cruiser manufacturer getting on board the bandwagon, stuffing big V-Twins into whatever they could. Honda’s big Twin was a 1,795cc, liquid-cooled stump puller first found in the VTX 1800 for model year 2000. Five years later we had this, the Honda VTX1800F. Same 1800cc V-Twin, this time wrapped in more muscular gym clothes capped with tribal graphics. You know, to really intimidate those other posers at the coffee shop. Despite its brawny appearance, however, the VTX1800F was actually a softy at heart. Sort of. As Gabe Ets-Hokin describes in his review below, it does all the things you expect from a big cruiser, but it definitely isn’t for the novice rider. For more pics of the 2005 Honda VTX1800F, be sure to click on the photo gallery.
Kymco may be best known for its scooter lineup, but the Taiwanese company has had a small displacement motorcycles come and go from its model choices through the years. One example is this, the 2005 Kymco Venox, as reviewed by former staffer and current MO columnist, Gabe Ets-Hokin. In a beginner motorcycle field littered with sporty bikes, cruisers for the newbie set were hard to come by. Honda’s Rebel, Yamaha’s Virago 250 and Suzuki’s GZ250 were your main options. Then there was Venox. Unlike the Japanese bikes, the Taiwanese beginner cruiser was a better fit for larger riders, or those simply desiring a motorcycle with a bit more heft. As for its actual riding dynamics, here’s Gabe to fill you in. As always, for more pics of the Venox, be sure to visit the photo gallery.
Maybe somebody beat you with a kickstand when you were a child, and you carry an irrational fear of them? Let it go, with the MP3 you can relax, you don’t need one. With a little practice, you can flip the right-thumb button inward just as you’re coming to a stop, which clamps the caliper to the ¼-of a brake-type disc which holds the MP upright. The people in the cars look at you with even greater suspicion. As soon as you twist the throttle to blast off, the lock releases and in town, most of the time, you’d never really know you had two wheels up front. (If you’re rolling backwards, though, the upright lock won’t release until you thumb the lever!) The lock-up mechanism even has its own ECU.
When the hyperbike wars were taking off at the start of the new millennium, Kawasaki was caught with its pants down, so to speak, as Suzuki had lit the field on fire with its Hayabusa. Team Green’s response? No, not the ZX-14R we know today, but the ZX-12R. A fast bike by most measures, when placed against the ‘Busa it simply couldn’t keep up. For this week’s Church feature we have our first ride review of the 2002 Kawasaki ZX-12R, the result of Kawi reimagining the 12R (slightly) for hyperspeed touring duty since it wouldn’t win any drag strip wars.
Let’s be honest – it doesn’t really matter what the words in this week’s Church feature are all about. You came here to look at the pictures. Understandable, considering the Ducati 916 body style is one of the most iconic shapes in motorcycling history. Unfortunately, this review of the 2002 Ducati 998 was filed back when MO was under different ownership and stored under different servers. The original pics have been lost to the internet gods who feast upon early digital photos, hence the small pics we’ve got here. We’re sorry about that, but there’s nothing we can do about it.
When I’m looking for an all-purpose motorcycle boot, I have a few key requirements. First, it needs armor to protect my feet in a tumble or slide. Second, since my travels take me through temperatures from the low 40s to over 100 F, they should be three-season comfortable – breathability is important here. Waterproofness for rain/shine riding is a must, too. Finally, a general-purpose motorcycle boot should be nondescript, making it just as appropriate off the bike as on while blending in with any style street motorcycle. The TCX Touring Classic / AirTech EVO Gore-Tex boot achieves all of these requirements, making them part of my regular riding gear.
In 2009, when it came to burning away mile after mile in long-distance, big displacement touring comfort, certain motorcycles came to mind. Motorcycles like the Honda Gold Wing and Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classic were obvious choices, but another motorcycle deserving inclusion in the conversation was the 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager/Nomad, the topic of this week’s Church of MO feature. Here, MO’s Editor-in-Chief Kevin Duke takes one for a spin, wherein he discovers you really can take this Kawasaki from coast to coast in absolute comfort. The fact it is still in Kawasaki’s product lineup, seven years on, speaks to its capabilities. Read on to get Kevin’s complete thoughts on the bike, and to see more pictures of the Vulcan 1700 Voyager, be sure to check out the photo gallery.
For this week’s Church feature, we’re continuing the Suzuki two-stroke dirtbike theme. Last week we featured the 2001 Suzuki RM250. This week, it’s Mark Kariya’s review of the 250’s little brother, the 2001 Suzuki RM125. Incorporating many of the improvements seen on the RM250, here, Kariya tries his best to impersonate Travis Pastrana. In case you’re of the generation who only knows Pastrana for his backflips and four-wheel rally exploits, Travis also has a 125cc championship to his name as well. And he did it aboard a Suzuki RM125. Read on to see Kariya’s impressions of the bike.
In racing lightness is everything, and that was the main objective when designing the 2001 Suzuki RM250 motocrosser, the subject of this week’s Church feature, the first one of 2016. Yep, we’re going back 15 years and checking out what MX’ers were looking as the hot ticket. Every facet of the RM250 was approached with optimum racing performance in mind, and according to author Mark Kariya, the Suzuki two-stroke didn’t disappoint. Read on to see what the RM250 was all about.
With the holidays around the way, thoughts are floating about what Santa would choose to ride, should he want to give Rudolph and his pals a day off. The answer, of course, is the La-Z-Boy on two wheels, Harley-Davidson’s Electra Glide Ultra Limited. This week we take a look back to the 2010 Electra Glide Ultra Limited, as experienced by E-i-C Kevin Duke.
Our Australian correspondent, Jeff Ware, was blessed with the jackpot of motojournalist opportunities: testing an important new superbike-class contender ahead of its official world launch event. Ware, author of our recent 1980s Turbo Bike Shootout and the test of a Cagiva 500cc Grand Prix racer, is one of just five journalists to have spun laps of Oz’s Wakefield Park circuit on Kawasaki’s latest ZX-10R, the most exciting new regular-production sportbike of 2016. Ware says he expected improvements, but what he experienced was stunning. —Kevin Duke
We’re going back six years for this year’s Church feature, to the 2009 Triumph Sprint ST. Right around this time Sport-Touring rigs were starting to usher in the electronic age, with bikes like the 2010 Kawasaki Concours getting traction control and ABS. Meanwhile, the Sprint ST was trudging along, relatively archaic in its tech features. But does that necessarily make it a bad motorcycle? Not according to Pete Brissette. Here he is, explaining the virtues of Triumph’s aging – but still relevant – Sport Tourer.
Victory, and parent company Polaris, know how to throw a birthday party. Take for example Alfonse Palaima’s thinly veiled attempt at a motorcycle review, seen below in this week’s Church feature. The bike is the 2009 Victory Vision Tour 10th Anniversary Edition, named such in honor of Victory’s 10th model year. Only 100 were made, and AP was lucky enough to throw a leg over one for a ride. Equally as important was the opportunity to join 98 other Victory owners for a chance to chew the fat, rub elbows and drink beer with Victory/Polaris execs. The Fonz was sure not to drink and ride, of course, and returned with an entertaining and informative review. Check out the whole story below, and to see more pics of the the Vision, be sure to visit the photo gallery.