In light of our upcoming First Ride review of the 2024 Kawasaki ZX-6R, we thought it would be a good time to revisit one of the first sportbikes to shake up the establishment – the original 2003 ZX-6R, powered by a 636cc engine. At the time, the supersport wars were starting to heat up and each of the Big Four Japanese manufacturers were trying to out-do the other. The 636 turned heads because of the bigger displacement compared to the competition (a standard 599cc version was also made to appease the racing rule-makers).
Hello. Is it safe to stick my head up out here yet? Yes, it’s true. Big Dirty Sean Alexander and Kevin Duke have Left the Building (not that MO actually has a building) – also our compadre Scott Rousseau from sistership Dirtbikes.com. As the wise man once told me on my way out the door, don’t think of this as a door closing, but as another one opening. Ahh… why not? The bad news is we don’t get to work with those guys anymore. The good news is they’ll be fine; Duke’s already slogging away making videos for a large marketing company with oceanfront offices – his strong suit, really. The other good news is that my direct deposit is still depositing. C’mon, that’s a joke. I’m gonna miss those big lugs.
The MO journey to bring you this review of the 2018 Honda Gold Wing Tour has turned into the story of two very different trips gone awry for two very different reasons. However, despite the hiccups along the way, we end up with a comprehensive look at Honda’s touring flagship under a variety of riding conditions, and despite the frustrations of our respective challenges, our impressions of the Gold Wing Tour stand out as remarkably positive.
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.
Bologna, is the world’s gateway to the picturesque Emilia Romagna region of Italy’s east coast. Quite recently I flew-in a day prior to boarding a bus to Rimini for the international press ride of Ducati’s new 2018 Monster 821.
In the fall of 1992 Ducati introduced its first ever Monster, the M900. It was a bike aimed outside of the company’s typical sportbike targets, a simple roadster that blended the frame from an 851 superbike with the air-cooled 904cc motor from the Super Sport series.
The “Best” bike in this category could be quite an elusive target. Who is asking? Is “best” the best bike in hardcore eastern Enduro settings? The best two-up on the interstate? Best at hitting some sweet jumps? Best at attacking a twisty mountain road? You see, every observer is going to mix their pavement and dirt a little differently, so no single on-off-road capable bike could really be the best for everyone. Understanding that, the ultimate “BEST!” On-Off-Road/Adventure motorcycle available in 2017 is unquestionably the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R! (Your mileage may vary, void where inhabited by short people, consult a Dr. for erections lasting more than five or six years.)
If the vast open road is calling, many bikes are well suited to take you to destinations far away. One of the bikes well suited to this task, but maybe lost in the sea of touring bikes is the V-Max-powered 2005 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe – the subject of this week’s Church of MO feature. Yamaha clearly knew it had something special in the V-Max, but it would be a shame to keep that engine from those seeking something other than a maniacal boulevard bruiser. Some people prefer the cruising lifestyle, but want the braun to let out their inner hooligan every now and again. As our own Sean Alexander discovered in 2005, the RSTD is capable of combining both worlds. Read on to see what Sean thought of the Royal Star Tour Deluxe, and don’t forget to visit the photo gallery for even more pictures.
The theme of ridiculous cruisers continues for this week’s Church feature. Last week we brought you the mildly outlandish, but wonderfully brutish Kawasaki Vulcan 2000. Its ridiculousness lie in its monstrous V-Twin engine. This time, we bring you the 2004 Big Dog Ridgeback, which is a reminder to the crazy (and concurrent with the big-engine fad at the time) trend of utterly impractical, yet wildly designed choppers of a decade ago. What did the 2004 MO crew think about it? Considering Sean thinks you’re an idiot if you fell for the chopper fad, that should set the tone for this story.
When MO’s Managing Editor and enthusiastic sparring partner, Tom Roderick, flew to Spain back in October for the intro of BMW’s heavily upgraded S1000RR, he discovered a motorcycle that’s been comprehensively honed to advance its tech cred and lower its lap times.