The only thing unpredictable about that announcement is that there’s no word on the Z900RS Cafe. Oh well. The Z900RS has drawn tons of interest ever since its leakage right before the big EICMA show last month, and now it’ll be North American buyers’ chance to put their money where their retro-loving mouths are – on the order of $10,999.
Whoever said, “you can buy fashion but you can’t buy style” has obviously never seen or ridden Yamaha’s all new 2018 XSR700 Sport Heritage. While this statement usually pertains to clothes, I don’t think it’s far off the mark when it comes to Yamaha’s new middleweight. The threads you wear and motorcycles you ride don’t have a lot in common, but one thing they do share is that they both allow you to express yourself and make a statement. Just about anything retro is “cool”, or in fashion these days, but what the wearer (or rider in this case) does with it ultimately evokes their style. The XSR700 makes it easy to do so on both fronts. Allow me to explain…
Moto Guzzi expanded its entry-level lineup with three new variants of the V7 III: the Milano, Carbon and Rough. The new models offer more choices to account for personal style, with the same practical, fun and friendly character of the other V7’s, the basic Stone, swanky Special and café-styled Racer. Think of the V7 line as Barbies (or GI Joes if you have inflexible gender roles) that you can use to dress up according to your mood.
Husqvarna presented the production version of its Vitpilen 701 at EICMA alongside a concept version of its sibling, the Svartpilen 701. We’ll have more on the flat track-inspired Svartpilen 701 in a separate post, but here’s what we know about the “White Arrow” Vitpilen.
In the fall of 1992 Ducati introduced its first ever Monster, the M900. It was a bike aimed outside of the company’s typical sportbike targets, a simple roadster that blended the frame from an 851 superbike with the air-cooled 904cc motor from the Super Sport series.
Ducati announced an update to the Monster 821, making it look more like the Monster 1200, including the larger model’s TFT screen. The model refresh comes on the 25th anniversary of the Ducati Monster family, and will be the first of five new or updated motorcycles Ducati will showcase in a couple of weeks at EICMA.
I am a product of the 1970s, the decade of the UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle), what’s become known as the “standard” motorcycle. I come from a generation that gazed at Bol d’Or or Suzuka specials on magazine covers and drooled. I was a “standard” guy by any measure, and my meager means at the time made it so. Much as I once drooled over a new Ducati 900SS sitting in a shop next to an equally alluring Darmah, I could no more afford those bikes at the time, much less the upkeep, than I could an Ivy League education. The beauty of those bikes though was evident right down to the attention to detail and artistry of the controls and rear-sets. But I was a rubber footpegs kind of guy; I was woefully standard.
Suzuki will present a SV650X next month at the Tokyo Motor Show, showcasing a “neo-retro” version of its naked V-Twin. Though it looks to be production ready, Suzuki says the SV650X is only a concept, and the company says it hopes to gauge consumer reaction before deciding whether to put it into production (which seems like a familiar theme for Suzuki this year.)
We were intrigued when Honda introduced its Grom for the 2014 model year, as the little 125cc street-legal playbike looked to be a fun and accessible way to ride a motorbike around town. It proved to be one of Honda’s best-sellers in its street lineup. It was lightly updated for 2016, which inspired a ridiculously fun shootout between new competitors from Kawasaki (Z125), Kymco (K-Pipe 125), and the SSR Razkull.
Kawasaki has an impressive stable of naked Z bikes (including our MOBO Best Standard winner, the Z900) but not everyone’s a fan of the line’s aesthetic. Sure, some people might like the Michael Bay Transformers look, but some people want their Bumblebee to look more like a classic VW Beetle than a modern Camaro.
After 50 years of production, an Italian classic much like Joe Pesci and Spaghetti O’s, the Moto Guzzi V7 Stone is now onto its third iteration of Guzzi’s most popular bike. Doses of change have come alongside the new roman numeral for this entry-level classic that remains a quality and affordable standard.
Being the international man of mystery that you are, you must be in need of an exquisitely designed and meticulously crafted melding of leather and metal that transcends transportation to get you from that hilltop villa overlooking the French Riviera, to your luxury yacht waiting below to take you and your supermodel “friends” out to sail the Côte d’Azur.