Tire manufacturers have a unique challenge when developing tires for sportbikes. Truth is, most sportbikes on the road will hardly, if ever, see a racetrack. Their time will largely be spent cruising around on the street during the week, with an adrenaline-pumping canyon ride or trackday on the weekends. The challenge engineers face is creating a tire with a center that will last, while also giving the rider side grip for navigating the bends, both on the street and the track. The different tire manufacturers have each come up with their own solutions to accommodate these needs, and what we have in this week’s Sport Tire Buyer’s Guide are choices from eight different tire manufacturers. Each tire is meant to live the majority of its life on the street, but is capable for the occasional trackday if needed.
As I slide on my back, the wet Spanish dirt at the outside of Almeria’s Turn 6 rushing up to greet me, I take a moment to ponder the error of my ways. It’s funny how time appears to slow down once one fully accepts that control has been ceded to powers greater than ourselves. Rewinding my current situation to just a fraction of a second earlier, my sin is revealed, standing before me like an old friend, arms open. With my no longer pristine, custom Pilot leathers providing tactile proof through my back protector of why I shouldn’t be allowed to have nice things, I try to ignore the 2015 BMW S1000RR skidding to my left and slightly in front of me. (So much more can happen before it grinds to a halt.) I can’t help but think how this has all happened before. How, once again, a single thought has spelled disaster. In the past, the thoughts were as simple as “I love this track!” or “I’ve finally figured out this corner!” This time, I merely thought, “The Metzeler Sportec M7 RRs have so much grip in the rain. Soon, I’ll be dragging knee!” Instantaneously, I was – only not in the manner I was expecting.
Recently, we here at Motorcycle.com brought you one of our biggest tests to date, in the form of our 2014 Middleweight Mash-Up Six-Way Shootout. In it, we wrangled six bikes with minimal or non-existant fairings, ranging in displacement from 471cc ( Honda CB500F) to 690cc ( KTM 690 Duke) and put them to the test.
It’s always a bit disconcerting when you’re riding along and suddenly spy something flying directly towards you. Whether it’s a piece of litter, an insect, or perhaps a piece of gravel falling off a dump truck, the first instinct is to try to dodge, but if you’re moving too fast, you can only hope it’ll leave nothing but a small smear without scratching the paint.
It goes without saying you need a new motorcycle, a new one to you, anyway. What’s sometimes less obvious is exactly why you need a new motorcycle, especially if you need to justify it to others who contribute to your Gross Family Income. It becomes even more difficult if you don’t have a particular bike in mind. It’s too easy at that point to let it slide, to cruise happily along in your current flip phone, zombie-like state, while you attend to affairs which seem more pressing but really are not. Don’t fall into that trap. At MO, we’re always here to help extricate you from the mundane.
Hello and welcome to yet another installment of the Church of MO. Every Sunday we’ll take a look back in the MO vault for stories, maybe forgotten, deserving of revival. For this, our second week, we pay homage to the 1997 Bimota 500 V Due, one of the last two-stroke production motorcycles to be sold stateside, made even more unique because of the technology it employed and the cult following it still enjoys. Now, here’s Colin MacKellar with the story of one of motorcycling’s more obscure models.