As we motored slaunchways across Utah, the late daylight stretched our shadows and cast golden hues against the tall canyon walls, further accentuating the contrast between the rust colored ancient seabeds peppered with lush green juniper and muted sage. The lavender sky over Bryce faded as we continued westward on Hwy 12. Refusing to pack a second visor for my Shoei Hornet X2, I lifted the dark smoke shield as I led our crew into the dark dense forest, keeping my line of sight just above the Ténéré’s windscreen in an attempt to protect my peepers from the onslaught of kamikaze insects. In a further showing of stubbornity, I refused to roll back off the throttle while the only bit of light left – aside from what the Ténéré’s quite ample quad headlight offered – was a thick crimson band at the horizon, the bottom punctured by spire-like tree tops.
Here at MO we’ve become fans of the new kid in the action camera room – Insta360. As the brand name implies, its specialty is 360-degree cameras which allow the user to capture all the action surrounding the camera, and decide after the fact which elements of the action they’d like to feature in their video. The beauty of this is that you never miss the action because the camera was mounted or pointed in the wrong direction. We’ve previously tested Insta’s One X, One R Modular 360 camera, and the tiny GO 2 pocket action camera.
We’ve previously reviewed the Insta360 One X action camera. The One X was launched in October 2018 and is capable of shooting 5.7K 30fps 360 video, with features such as Flow-State Stabilization, slow motion at lower frame rates, Bullet-Time video, and more. The camera comes with an easy-to-use and elegantly-designed phone app and desktop app which gives the user absolute control of what portion of a 360 view around the camera they would like to highlight.
You don’t need big bucks or big bikes to have a swell adventure. But it helps. Or, you can have a perfectly fun adventure on either of these cute little Hondas, and still be one of the nicest people at the same time, as you’re getting nearly 100 mpg and treading lightly. These days, you take your adventures where you can get them. Instead of blasting off on a multi-day ride on big gas hogs, we poked around in our own Long Beach back yard.
You all know the saying, “You get what you pay for.” It’s an important life lesson that rings true for many aspects of life. Like cheap tools, the pleasure we get for the minimal cost outlay quickly evaporates as soon as it breaks much sooner than it should. Shoulda bought the good one is what we inevitably say to ourselves every time.
When you’re not scrambling to make ends meet or get ahead, it seems like you’re constantly rallying the troops, possibly ’round the flag but usually just trying to instill pep. It’s always something, and both of those things are so ingrained in my psyche that I barely even miss roosting on the track or burning up the backroads. We were less impressed with the all-new Triumph Speed Twin than we expected to be a couple weeks ago, but when SoCal Motorcycles let us swap it out for a new Scrambler 1200 XC, it was love at first ride. Maybe in the ’60s, scramblin’ meant riding around in the desert with McQueen and those guys, but with the current state of infrastructure, now you can interface gnarly terrain without leaving the city. Scrambling is now something you can do every day.
When Triumph introduced the Daytona 675, it became popular for a number of reasons but primarily because it was different. While the rest of the supersport category relied on four cylinders and 599cc, Triumph ditched a cylinder and made the remaining three spit out 675cc of air. It made a wonderful sound unlike anything else in the class, it was narrow, it handled well, and the power was impressive.
Is Retro still booming? It was when BMW built its first R nineT in 2013, a bike that was so successful they’ve built like five more versions in the ensuing years. In fact, there are so many nineT’s it’s hard to keep them straight. We put the R nineT Pure in last place in 2017, when we shot it out against the now-defunct Honda CB1100EX and Triumph Bonneville T120 Black here. But in 2014, we rated the standard R nineT first, in a comparison involving the also-defunct CB1100 regular and Moto Guzzi Griso 8V.
As the world is flying past at a rapid pace, it’s all I can do to mentally process the rate of acceleration and the sheer speed of the Ducati Superleggera V4. When all 234 horses are unleashed from the mighty Desmosedici Stradale R, forget turn one – all of these thoroughbreds are hell-bent on launching me to the future, completely bending my perceptions of time, speed, and reality. I’m Captain Picard to the Superleggera’s Starship Enterprise, warp drive has just been engaged, and we’re about to leave behind streaks of starlight as we blast off. Doing it again and again is intoxicating, it’s breathtaking, and it’s simply incredible. This is what it’s like when Ducati engineers are allowed to let their imaginations run free and build the baddest machine they can. God bless ’em.
As you no doubt know, Motorcycle.com also produces videos to go along with nearly every motorcycle review we publish. So, when the opportunity came along to get our hands on a 360 camera for the first time, we couldn’t say no. Chances are you’ve already seen some footage with the camera in prior reviews, too. Normally, our video guy Sean Matic doesn’t involve himself with the written word, instead focusing his attention on moving pictures of the questionable MO team. But considering how he’s the one with the most “seat time” with the Insta360 OneX camera, we couldn’t think of anyone better to tell you how it works. Here are his impressions. -TS
Lately, it’s like time travel around here. A couple years ago we put the then-new Kawasaki Z900RS up against the Suzuki GSX-S1000 in a slightly apples-to-oranges comparo, Retro or Not(ro), which the Kawi won by a hair. Now that Suzuki has their own retro based upon the GSX-S in the Katana, we felt like we had to do it again. Our duty.
Triumph has brought out another modern classic motorcycle and, once again, hasn’t skimped on the performance. We liked this trend in the Speed Twin, and we applaud its continuance with the Thruxton RS. You get your vintage style, your upright riding position, and your smile-inducing handling. Then add to that the slight bump in horsepower, but more importantly, internal upgrades and weight savings that results in a claimed 20% reduction in rotational inertia. These updates allow the RS to spin more freely throughout the entire rpm range. Oh, and you get a 500-rpm higher redline. Woohoo!
Part one and two of BMW R NineT Racer were filmed on location at Buttonwillow Raceway in the scorching heat of a summertime Mojave Desert. Now for part three, Boxer Team America heads Northeast to SLC and the high elevation of Utah Motorsports Campus (formerly known as Miller Motorsports Park for those of us that have been around for a while) with two new team members to participate in another AHRMA National.
The Doffo Winery and MotoDoffo Vintage Motorcycle Collection is run and owned by the Doffo family: patriarch Marcelo Doffo, son Damian, and daughters Bridgette and Samantha. The seeds for Doffo Winery were planted in the 1990s inspired by Marcelo’s youth spent growing up on a farm in Pampas, Argentina and a trip in 1994 to Turin, Italy. It matured with the acquisition of an old cattle ranch in Temecula, California.
Part one of BMW R NineT Racer: Getting the Boxer in Shape for Battle focused on assembling a two-rider team made up of retired road racer/team owner and BMW dealership owner Gary Orr. Rider number two was MO videographer/veteran of exactly one road race in 2014 – Your’s Truly. Additional technical, logistical, and financial support was provided from Osh Minelian and Mike Ngo. Osh owns Oshmo Motorworks – a BMW service and hop-up shop. Mike is the man with a dream of reviving a spec Boxer series in America and all around Boxer fanboy.