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.
Some of us were a bit surprised when Yamaha’s newly overhauled 2021 MT-09 snagged first place in last summer’s 900cc(ish) Naked Bike Comparison, against such more-expensive heavy hitters as the new Ducati Monster and KTM Duke 890. And all of us were a little surprised when the XSR900 defeated Indian FTRs 1200 and 1200S, and the now-defunct Monster 1200S, in an only slightly unfair 2019 comparo. (Slightly unfair because our test route was really nothing but tight, twisty roads.) Now, the 2022 XSR900 is newly overhauled just as last year’s MT-09 was, using all the same parts from the waist down, including the new super-sized 890 cc version of that most excellent CP3 three-cylinder and all its electronic controls.
It’s always fun to read the armchair quarterbackings of our beloved MOrons in the Comments whenever a new motorcycle springs into view, and the latest iteration of Suzuki’s naked GSX-S1000, harumph, was no exception. Some hate the angular new styling, some defend it. Some lament the demise of Suzuki in general, some admire the company’s resourcefulness in doing less with more. Repeatedly. And everybody knows how they could do it better.
Best Standard is a crazy class that can and has vectored all over the map. But strangely enough, the last few years have been an all-Triumph affair. Last year we picked the Scrambler XC (and Kawasaki Z900 as runner-up). In 2019, it was the Street Twin eking out the win over the Husqvarna Svartpilen 701. The year before that, it was Triumph’s Street Triple 765 RS doing the deed. Before that is ancient history.
Yamaha Motor Europe announced a new XSR900 model, giving the retro-styled roadster updates similar to the changes received by the MT-09 last year. That includes an 889cc inline Triple and new Deltabox-style frame. As of this writing, the new 2022 Yamaha XSR900 has not been announced for the U.S., but we expect to get news on that front soon.