Kawasaki Europe officially announced full specifications and details about its first electric motorcycles, the Ninja e-1 sportbike and the naked Z e-1. Both models are classified as 125cc-class motorcycles and will be available soon in European markets, but we expect they will be offered in other markets, including Australia, Japan, and America.
Last month, we reported that Zero was revamping its lineup, updating the S, DS, and DSR models with the newer FST platform used by its higher performance models like the SR range and DSR/X adventure model. Our initial report was based on a document Zero submitted to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showing updated gross vehicle weight ratings for the models that were using the older SDS platform.
Bombardier Recreational Products provided a brief update on its upcoming Can-Am electric motorcycles, the Pulse roadster and Origin dual-sport. Both models are still undergoing testing while construction is underway for a new plant in Querétaro, Mexico, which will produce the electric bikes. Can-Am is aiming to launch Origin and Pulse "before the end of 2024", with final specs and pre-orders expected next summer. Until then, here are some fresh new photos of the prototypes.
Frankly the first modern-era Triumph to wear the legendary Speed Twin moniker was a tad disappointing when it rolled down the skids for 2020. All was forgiven, though, when Triumph made it all right with the 2022 version. The weedy suspension components of the first bike (which, in fairness, may have been more period-correct) gave way to a new, 43mm inverted Marzocchi fork brandishing radial-mount Brembo M50 monobloc calipers squeezing bigger, 320mm discs. A pair of “higher-spec” shocks brought up the rear. New lightweight 12-spoke cast wheels rolled onto the scene, shod with Metzeler RR Racetec rubber.
Earlier this year, reports emerged that BMW had filed trademark applications for “R12”, with many predicting the name would be used on a new cruiser. The logic made sense, as the naming structure was similar to the R18, and BMW lacked a cruiser model in the 1200-ish range. We were a little less bullish on that theory at the time, and we suspected there was more to the story. And now, new evidence has emerged that may justify our skepticism.
Honda officially revealed its new CB750 Hornet, a new middleweight naked claiming a class-leading power-to-weight ratio. Unfortunately, the new Hornet has only been confirmed for Europe thus far, with no indication of U.S. availability. Pricing varies from country to country, but they generally hover around US$7,800.
Honda‘s been teasing its new Hornet for several months now, first with a concept at EICMA, some design sketches in June, and more recently, details about its new Parallel-Twin engine. While we wait for Honda to officially reveal the the bike, we’ve managed to get further specifications for the 2023 Honda Hornet, thanks to vehicle certification data from Switzerland.
Heaping praise upon Yamaha’s naked bikes has become all too easy lately. Yes, the MT-07 did get dethroned in last year’s Middleweight Naked comparison, but not by much – and it took brand-new motorcycles from Aprilia and Triumph to do it. When it came time for the 900cc(ish) Nakeds last August, the newly revamped MT-09 surprised a couple people by taking the cake against KTM Duke 890 and five other very nice and mostly more expensive motorcycles. Sadly, when it was time for the Open Class Nakeds shootout last November, the MT-10 got left out. We thought it was too old, and couldn’t win. Plus, we knew the 2022 Yamaha MT-10 was on its way. Possibly to save the day.
After teasing us in March, Bombardier Recreational Products officially revealed its first two Can-Am electric motorcycles, the Pulse roadster and the Origin dual-sport. Both models were presented as prototypes, meaning they are very close to what will eventually be the final product, which will enter production in the summer of 2024.
With just about every Chinese motorcycle I can remember riding, there’s nearly always A Problem. Sometimes they look great on paper, and sometimes they even look pretty good in the flesh. But then you hop on and start riding, and are met with a powerband that’s more a powerhole. Or an ADV bike with two inches of rear suspension travel, or cast iron components that weigh 60 pounds more than the competition. If it’s not one glaring thing, there’s usually a combination platter of weirdnesses that make you question whether the monetary savings are worth the sacrifice for any but the cheapest of contrarian skates – even if reliability isn’t much of a concern any more.