Bell Helmets is a name I have known and thought fondly of since I was but a wee child, riding my bicycle from dawn to dusk every day. I’m not saying that I ever wore a Bell bicycle helmet as child but I remember seeing them in different shops. Later in life, when I became interested in motorcycles, I would start seeing the brand popping up more often.
It would seem as though I had brought some of the lovely weather I had endured while in Spain back with me as we geared up to ride the 2018 BMW G 310 GS. More rain, you’re welcome Southern California. Thankfully, this time around it would only last for the first half of the day, although that was where the good stuff was in regard to our route. Nonetheless, the mixture of weather during our introductory ride of BMW’s lil GS gives us an opportunity to deliver an all-weather review of this new motorcycle.
As the rain made its way between my mismatched waterproof motorcycle gear and we climbed in elevation through southern Spain’s pristine backroads, I thought to myself, there still isn’t anywhere I would rather be at this moment than atop the 2018 Yamaha MT-07 in the Spanish countryside.
Kawasaki may have just found the sweet spot with its new Ninja 400. At a glance, the new motorcycle has undergone a substantial weight reduction treatment, a displacement boost of 103cc, and a sexy styling redesign – all while remaining at the exact same price point. Non-ABS models start at $4,999 while ABS is an additional $300. Kawasaki was out for blood when it went back to the drawing board for its new entry-level motorcycle.
The Bonneville family continues to expand with its 2018 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster. The new Speedmaster builds on the Bobber and Bonneville lines to offer a versatile cruiser with a level of refinement and finish that has become synonymous with Triumph’s recent model releases.
Setting out on a motorcycle trip can change a person – I’m sure some of you probably already know that. Many of us take long trips on our motorcycles for that exact reason. We need to refresh our outlook. To remind ourselves of the simple and beautiful parts of life that all too often get overlooked. When I left my home on a sweltering Tuesday in late October, I knew I wouldn’t be the same upon my return. I welcomed that fact wholeheartedly. With a full tank of gas and a friend by my side, I left the person I was at that moment behind and focused on the road ahead.
Recently, we published our Lightweight ADV Shootout which involved the CSC RXR, Kawasaki Versys-X 300, and Honda CRF250L Rally. I rode the Honda home and had it in my garage until it needed to be returned to Honda’s headquarters. This gave me a bit more time with the rally-inspired 250 and I found myself reaching for the keys more often than not.
Racer’s newest short-cuff glove is the Racer Sprint, a well-ventilated summer glove that should offer plenty of protection to keep your digits comfortable and safe. We received the Sprint glove mid-September of this year, and they have been my go-to hand protection ever since. Being that California has relatively warm temperatures, I have had no issue using these gloves during press launches, shootouts, and personal rides.
This list could be much longer than only 10 reasons to start riding dual-sport, but we will stop it there. First off, let me be clear about what I mean when I say dual-sport: I am talking dirtbikes with turn signals. I am not talking about big, 1200cc adventure-touring motorcycles or scramblers with TKC80s and skidplates. I am referring to anything from the Kawasaki KLX250S end of the spectrum all the way to a KTM 500 EXC.
Klim has long been known in the adventure and snow segments as premium technical riding gear, and it has been the choice of moto-adventurers the world over. For 2018 it’s great to see Klim continuing to advance the functionality and technicality of its garments. Klim’s flagship model, the Badlands jacket and pant, has now been revised and revamped with even more real-world usability, upgraded armor developed with D3O, and higher-strength materials. Also, new going into 2018 is the women’s Artemis jacket which has been purpose-built with women in mind.
Here we are with another year coming to an end. It was another great year in motorcycling for 2017. Yes, even with all the doom and gloom from “industry insiders” tirelessly trying to understand why don’t millennials like motorcycles, and low sales numbers from some of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world, it was still a great time to be a motorcyclist.
I can feel the hair raise on the back of my neck as a smile stretches across my face. The beautiful cacophonous uproar of 20 Ducati Multistradas sitting, waiting to dance their way up the ancient volcano we are standing on. Here we are on Gran Canaria for the introduction of the 2018 Ducati Multistrada and, to be honest, I don’t think the smile has left my face since.
What does adventure mean to you? Wait, let me narrow that down: What does adventure motorcycling mean to you? Maybe your idea of adventure on a motorcycle is setting out, destination unknown with nothing but a paper map and the Blue Highways to guide you. Or maybe, to you, adventure means setting out across the American southwest with a few friends in tow, using trails and highways to connect yourself to our vast array of spectacular national parks. Perhaps your sense of adventure riding involves knobby tires, an ever-changing trail system of sand washes and fish tacos as you make your way down the Baja peninsula.