Don’t be confused by the new appellation: The MT-07 is the same Yamaha FZ-07 that’s won every MO middleweight mashup we’ve thrown it in since it was new in 2014, beating up on all sorts of bikes since then, including the KTM Duke 690, all Suzuki SV650 variants, various Kawasaki 650 mutations, Hondas of diverse specification, the H-D Street Rod, et al.
It didn’t take long to find what would appear to be a worthy contender to the KTM 390 Duke. Enter BMW’s new G 310 R. European? Check. Naked? Check. Single cylinder? Check. By golly! I think we should pit these two lil thumpers against each other in a battle to the death! Or at least compare them to help communicate their similarities and differences and perhaps which motorcycle a potential buyer might be more interested in purchasing based on their riding expectations. Nevertheless, let the battle commence!
Following the success of the Grom, Honda has decided to bring the Monkey back to the European market, combining bike’s iconic look with modern technology. The iconic Honda Monkey has remained in serial production for more than 50 years now, but for the last few decades, was mainly offered in Japan. For 2018, the Honda Monkey is coming back to Europe, but unfortunately, minibike fans in North America will have to be left out. For now, at least.
They’re both Open-class Japanese transverse inline four-cylinder standard bikes, a pair of motorcycles that have followed that divinely ordained orthodoxy since Saint Soichiro carried the streetbike tablets down from Mount Fuji nearly 50 years ago. One of them wants to transport you all the way back to relive that era; the other wants to take you back only ten years with its 2005 GSX-R-derived long-stroke engine. Many MO readers (and some MO writers) have already pledged their undying love for the Kawasaki Z900RS, and all of us agree the Suzuki GSX-S1000Z is no slouch. In fact, if horsepower is your measuring stick, the Suzuki buries the retro Kawasaki – but you have to work for it a bit more. Our question becomes, then, just how much performance are you giving up if you go retro, and is it worth it in the real world?
If you’re in the market for a motorcycle like the Honda Grom or Kawasaki Z125 Pro, pump the brakes and take a look at this: the Benelli TnT135. No matter how many times SSR, the US importer and distributor for Benelli, say the 135 isn’t aimed at taking down the Grom and Z, it’s impossible to think otherwise. Priced at $2,499, the TnT undercuts the Kawi by $700 and the Honda by $850 (which jumps to $900 if you’re looking at the 2019 Grom). When you’re talking about price points this low, this is a massive difference.
Haojue, Suzuki‘s Chinese partner, has filed a design patent for a new naked motorcycle to be called the “HJ300“. Considering the fact Haojue manufactures the GW250, GSX-250R and V-Strom 250 for Suzuki, the HJ300 may provide a preview of what a potential GSX-S300 may look like.
It took a while longer than we had hoped, but American Honda has finally announced the new Neo-Sports Café-inspired CB300R is coming to the United States as a 2019 model. At $4,649 for the base model and $4,949 with ABS, the 2019 Honda CB300R is priced $300 higher than the 2018 CB300F which it will replace.
As a lifelong supporter of the underdog and a proponent of keeping things cheap and stupid simple, I was a big fan of the Suzuki GSX-S1000 right from the start. Basically, we’re talking 2005 GSX-R1000 with much improved ergonomics, more supple suspension, EFI, and other conveniences of modern life that make deploying 144 screaming inline-Four horsepower a kinder, gentler and more comfortable experience every time you leave the house.
For a company priding itself on racing and performance, there’s an irony in the fact that, since its introduction in 2014, the Scrambler has been Ducati’s best selling model. Eschewing performance in favor of simplicity and riding enjoyment, the Scrambler charts a different path for Ducati, and the folks in Borgo Panigale have embraced this concept wholeheartedly.
Er, well, BMW’s first made-in-India motorcycle is actually a perfectly nice little piece. Should anybody be surprised? The Bavarians have now beaten the rest of the world (or tied it) in just about every moto category (including bagger with its K1600B); why should inexpensive entry level be any different?
It was a sad day in southern Spain, not to mention a long way to travel, to be peering out from the garage as intensifying rain dashed any hopes of spinning another lap around the Circuito de Almeria. With only a single session under our belts, and that one merely a familiarization one at best, there was nothing left to do except get wet on the ride back to the hotel.
Energica made e-bike waves in 2013 when it let us ride the prototype of its Ego electric superbike that reached production in 2014, the year we tested a production version of the Ego. Boasting 136 hp and 144 lb-ft. of torque with a claimed 150-mph top speed, the Italian-designed Ego was fast and thrilling, to be sure. But its claimed 584-lb weight made it really heavy for a superbike, and its $34,000 MSRP destined it only for spots in the well-stocked garages of well-heeled enthusiasts. It fitted into a niche within a niche.
Somehow I forgot to take this one back to Suzuki after we tested it in late July. Whoops. I bonded with this cute little Suzuki immediately – little being what we’ve come to completely inappropriately think of as a 750cc motorcycle now that we’ve been so spoiled by 1000cc naked bikes.
Honda Canada announced it will offer the new CB300R that recently debuted at EICMA. The CB300R will arrive in Canadian showrooms this spring as an early 2019 model as a replacement for the CB300F. As of this writing, American Honda has yet to confirm whether the CB300R will be coming stateside.
If you were expecting a cosmetic makeover of the Z900, you’d be mistaken like I was. I mean, it’s called Z900RS, but apart from the basic engine, this one’s nearly a completely redesigned animal, designed to bow deeply before Kawasaki’s Holy of holies (when it comes to motorcycles), the 1973 Z1. The steel-tube frame is said to be all-new, the engine’s tuned completely differently, the ergos are totally revised, the suspension is tuned for gentlepeople – and in general Kawasaki says this one’s supposed to be a mellow ride, not a raw high-performance one like the regular Z900.