It’s good to be the king. At least, that’s what it feels like to anyone racing a Kawasaki Ninja 400. When it comes to small-bore track or race bikes, what is a field of several – Yamaha R3, Honda CBR500, and KTM RC390 included – has been whittled down to a field of one: the Ninja 400. Virtually anywhere in the world that has a class for little bikes of this size will see a field dominated by the little green machines. Heck, we called it the winner back in 2018 during our Lightweight Sportbike Shootout, too.
Jim Lindemann was a genius in the suspension business who saw opportunity where others didn’t – by improving upon the suspension a motorcycle came with from the factory. Many moons ago, when Kawasaki Ninja 250s were littering race tracks as a fun and inexpensive way of getting into racing, competitors were replacing their shocks with aftermarket pieces. Lindemann, in keeping with the inexpensive nature of the class, modified a stock shock and gave it adjustable rebound and compression circuits, along with a remote reservoir to house the pressurized fluid, all for less than the aftermarket shocks on the market at the time. The result? I set a lap record around Willow Springs Raceway using that shock on a Ninja 250 (that was beaten a lap later by another racer).
Congratulations. You’ve made the decision to go to a trackday (or even a race). We think that’s one of the best decisions you can make with your motorcycle. Not only is track riding fun and addictive, but it’s also a great environment to improve your skills. But there’s a lot to do to get ready, like getting all your gear in order. Most important, of course, is your helmet.
Earlier this year, we broke news of the existence of the new Yamaha R7, and a couple of weeks later, that Yamaha has plans for more R models to come, with trademark applications in Japan for a number of names from R1 through R9, plus R15, R20 and R25. Thanks to a number of new trademark applications in multiple markets, we believe the next models to follow after the R7 will be the R9 and R2.
The internet might have leaked photos of the new 2022 Yamaha YZF-R7 last week, but we now have official information regarding Yamaha’s new successor to the beloved YZF-R6. As the photos gave away, the YZF-R7 is basically an MT-07 with clothes – but is that such a bad thing?
Earlier this month, we uncovered proof that Yamaha was planning a new YZF-R7 model for 2022. The new R7 was certified with the California Air Resources Board with a 689cc engine, likely the same CP2 engine powering the MT-07, leading to some debate whether a new Twin-cylinder bike would be worthy of the YZF-R7 name, or even as as a potential replacement for the now discontinued R6. The news also led some to wonder whether an R9 is in the works, using the MT-09‘s 890cc Triple.
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.
Don’t you ever get tired of reading track comparisons from guys that are riding at international race-winning levels? From guys who have been racing their entire lives and who drag elbow like it’s their job (literally)? Me neither, but the guys here at MO and I thought there might be someone out there who could appreciate insight from what a novice track rider might experience when comparing some of the latest 600-class supersports. The two most recently updated of which happen to be the Yamaha R6 and Kawasaki ZX-6R.
If you’re like me, you love ripping around at trackdays, going as fast as you want without the fear of cops or opposing traffic waiting to ruin your day. That feeling you get when you know your tires are nice and hot and can do no wrong is simply magical and adds to the allure of motorcycling you simply can’t explain to your non-riding buddies. But if you’re also like me, then you’re lazy and too much of a cheapskate to bother buying tire warmers and a generator to operate them. So what’s one to do if excellent grip is the goal, but putting those pigs in a blanket just ain’t gonna happen?
The 2020 BMW S1000RR is what happens when government regulations ruin what is otherwise a good motorcycle. If you’ve been paying attention to the S 1000 RR (Yes, that’s its technical name, with spaces between letters and numbers. I’m scrunching them all together from here on out.), you’re already aware it’s been available in Europe for some time as a 2019 model year – and the reviews are raving. But now it’s slowly trickling into US dealers as a 2020 model, and this review won’t be quite as amazing – and it’s not entirely BMW’s fault. I wasn’t sure why there was a discrepancy, but after talking with some other journos who have ridden the European version, I think I know why. More on that later.
Here at MO, comparos and shootouts are what we do. We strive to give our readers the most informative bike-to-bike comparisons. Whether it be two class-leading models brought toe-to-toe to duke it out, or bringing in every bike in a particular category, we’re here to bring you the knock-down, drag-out deathmatches MO-style.
Riding the Ducati Panigale V4 S is quite a trip, as the experience is nothing short of relentless. There’s power everywhere, and if ever there was a machine to remind us that we, the riders, are the limiting factors in performance, this is it. By now there has been quite a lot written about the Ducati Panigale V4 S on the digital pages of Motorcycle.com. From our First Look of the bike a year ago, to Kevin Duke’s subsequent First Ride Review, we’ve then gone on to put it on the dyno against its natural rival, the Aprilia RSV4 RF, followed by a full-on showdown between the two Italians on both the street and the track. Hell, despite some of its shortcomings, we even gave the Panigale V4 S our 2018 Motorcycle of the Year award!