The REV’IT! Offtrack jacket and pants have actually been in the company’s lineup for some time, albeit with a brief hiatus. Now, the combo is back, ready for adventure, and available in three colorways to make sure you look good whilst doing so. The first chance I had to test the Offtrack gear was 1,600-plus miles through England in August. It had been scorching hot the week prior to my arrival and though the temperatures had begun to drop, I still experienced vast temperature swings and plenty of moisture. As it would turn out, the Offtrack jacket and pants were the perfect kit for the trip. How so? Read on.
How much do we like the 2019 KTM 790 Adventure? How about enough to name it Motorcycle.com’s Motorcycle of the Year. That’s high praise. So, when we found video assets from the 790 Adventure’s introduction kicking around the MO Video Archives, we thought that time was right to share Ryan’s firsthand experience with those who don’t like to read. But first a little refresher.
When Dunlop began its presentation of the all-new Trailmax Mission 50/50 adventure tire *insert record scratch*. Wait, what? 50/50? There are no knobs. There are hardly even lugs on this new adventure offering and it has the rounded profile of your typical street tire. What gives? Well, Dunlop says it’s reinventing what it means for a tire to pull double duty both on-road and off.
It’s interesting to me that a Japanese brand like Honda can feel, at times, just as American as apple pie and baseball. The brand has played an integral role in not only motorcycling, but industry in general in America since the `60s. In fact, this year Honda celebrates 60 years since a small storefront in Los Angeles opened its doors in 1959 as the company’s sole U.S. business operation.
It’s not every year a motorcycle hits the scene and redefines the boundaries of its category. The KTM 790 Adventure R has done just that. KTM has taken its decades of off-road championship-winning pedigree and infused it into what we believe is the most capable adventure bike to hit the market in some time. The 790 Adventure R utilizes KTM’s fully-adjustable WP XPLOR suspension front and rear, componentry previously only found on the company’s XC-W, EXC-F, and Enduro R models. The compact 799cc Parallel Twin and low slung gas tank only adds to the maneuverability of the bike, giving it a nice low center of gravity. Whether tiptoeing through a rock garden or blasting through sand washes, the 790 Adventure R handles in a way no other adventure bike does, mostly thanks to keeping its CG as low as possible.
Well yeah, the FTR did not win our little Monster 1200/Yamaha XSR900 comparo, and is currently taking heavy fire in the Comments section from the sportbike purists. But as you know, MOBOs are also selected using other criteria, including historical significance, originality, and the debating skills and/or ability of a given bike’s proponent to wear the other contenders down with BS via Google Hangout.
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.
The Honda Monkey brings nostalgic feel to the already wildly popular Grom platform. Bikes in this category are small in stature but massively fun and rife with potential. Whatever you can dream up, you can do. I’d like to think Troy and I showcased some of the fun that is to be had with small machines in one of our recent adventures.
Who would’ve thought the Scooter category would be the one to tear apart our once happy and cohesive team, leaving it in tattered shreds of its former glory. Sometimes it’s up to the youngest and brightest to stand up to the old guard to bring to light what is honest and true. [Easy there, Sparky. —Ed.] And that, in this case, is bestowing the 2020 Vespa GTS 300 HPE platform with Motorcycle.com’s Scooter of the Year award.
Admit it: hooning around on little motorcycles and scooters is fun. At least Ryan and I think so, anyway. And so it was; the two young pups at MO (well, Ryan anyway) went about dreaming up things to do outside our usual testing regimen. Because, you know, even though we have great jobs, the daily grind gets a little routine at times. After a little internet browsing we discovered the glorious sight of Vespa scooters tackling the Dakar. Yes, that Dakar. Thus, the wheels were set in motion.
With Honda being the first of the Japanese to bring a true performance dual-sport bike back to their line, we sincerely hope the trend continues from the Big Four. Times are good and getting better for the category. After taking a look at the current dual-sport offerings from each manufacturer making them, we as consumers have a pretty nice spread to choose from this year. Since we love writing and publishing Top 10 lists here at Motorcycle.com, I thought I would throw together a list of the top 10 dual-sport motorcycles of 2019, the way I see it.
Sometimes adding new features and software to an existing product works out well; sometimes it doesn’t. Ask Boeing or a Kardashian. Kawasaki’s pre-existing Versys 1000 was a nice-enough but completely nondescript motorcycle until the company decided to throw fresh gadgetry at it for 2019, to the tune of about 50% of the purchase price of the base model. Check the “LT SE+” box, and for $17,999, you’ll be getting: Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS), new ride-by-wire fueling with cruise control and Kawasaki Quick Shifter, new electronics including KCMF and KIBS (that’s Kawi Cornering Management Function and Kawi Integrated Braking System), controlled by the new 6-axis IMU, a new TFT color instrumentation dash like the one on the H2 SX SE, new smartphone connectivity with Kawi Rideology app, sweet new self-healing painted bodywork with LED headlights and cornering lights, heated grips, a centerstand, hard luggage… suddenly the Versys is a contender.
Has it already been two years since I started at MO? Wild. Time flies when you’re having fun, I suppose. One thing I have been asking, begging, hounding even, of my bosses throughout those two years was for more track time. I’ve been able to run through two schools: Superbike Coach and the Rickdiculous program, both of which I am very grateful to have attended, but without having the time to get out and follow up on those skills learned, it’s hard to advance to the next level. There’s really no substitute for seat time.
Not that long ago riders had only one option for a high-performance, 4-stroke 250 and it took the form of a purpose-built motocrosser. And in the beginning, these newcomers were designed as direct replacements for 125cc 2-strokes, which limited their appeal to a fairly narrow spectrum of younger, track-oriented buyers. Fast forward to today, and we have a number of manufacturers extending this platform into a crop of very versatile off-road weapons. These new, competition-oriented 250 thumpers are appealing to riders of all ages, riding styles, and terrain preferences. Progress is good.
During our time in and around Palm Springs, CA, we had the chance to test not only the CBR650R, but also Honda’s new naked, the CB650R. The naked 650R shares many of the same functional components from the fully faired 650, but along with its aluminum handlebar, it has attitude and handling all its own.