Honda CRF450R Vs. Husqvarna FC450 Vs. Kawasaki KX450F Vs. KTM 450 SX-F Vs. Suzuki RM-Z450 Vs. Yamaha YZ450F
The race to deliver the best 450cc motocross bike on the planet grabbed another gear in 2017 when Honda released its all-new 2017 CRF450R to challenge the recent dominance of Yamaha’s YZ450F and the never-ending onslaught from the aggressive European companies, namely the KTM 450 SX-F and its fully revived sister, the Husqvarna FC 450.
Ah, the legendary Phillip Island circuit, the scene of many epic battles among two-wheel gladiators like Gardner, Rainey, Schwantz, Corser, Stoner, Rossi and Iannone, which has long been on my bucket list of racetracks to ride before I die. With significant elevation changes along 2.76 miles of twisting tarmac on the shores of the Indian Ocean and an average GP speed of more than 110 mph, it would be a challenge to learn on any bike, let alone on Suzuki’s most powerful literbike ever.
In a few day’s time you’ll get to read all about the brand new 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000, Suzuki’s most advanced GSX-R to date. Penning the story will be none other than MO‘s E-i-C Kevin Duke, who did his best to tame the beast around one of the most loved racetracks in the world: Phillip Island in Australia. But before we talk about the new bike, let’s go back to the GSX-R1000’s roots; 2000 in this case. For this week’s Church feature we’re bringing you the First Ride review of the 2001 Suzuki GSX-R1000 – Suzuki’s answer to the liter-class sportbike wars started by Yamaha’s YZF-R1 a couple years prior.
In our last Top 10 list of 2016, we, the MO staff, mentioned how much we’re looking forward to flogging the crop of mini-adventure bikes that’ll be coming this way in 2017. In case you forgot, those bikes include the BMW G310GS, Honda CRF250L (and its higher-spec sibling, the CRF250L Rally), Kawasaki Versys-X 300, and Suzuki V-Strom 250. All of those bikes promise big fun in little packages for those who like to veer off the beaten path every now and then. So now we pose the question to you:
This week’s Top 10 comes to us courtesy of Miguel Galluzzi. Mr. G is best known for designing Ducati’s original Monster and starting the modern naked-bike movement, but before that he also penned Ducati’s early ’90s 900 Supersports. He’s been a busy man ever since, and is currently director for PADC (Piaggio Advanced Design Center), in Pasadena, CA, where he – together with another design team in Noale, Italy – cooks up new Moto Guzzis, Aprilias and other Italian delicacies. —John Burns
Were he still alive, Barry Sheene would turn 67 in 2017. A British racing icon, he remained the last grand prix world champion until Danny Kent won the Moto3 title in 2015. Known for his bravado and hard-charging style, Sheene won over fans from around the world. Including France, where this story originates.
It’s that time of year again: New Bike Season. We’ve already gotten a taste of what’s to come in 2017 thanks to the Intermot show in Cologne, Germany, and AIMExpo in Orlando last month, but when we really want to drool over what awaits us in 2017, EICMA is the show to pay attention to. No less than 30 companies will be making big announcements over the course of the three days that span Nov. 7-9, and our man Evans Brasfield will be on the ground in Milan covering the action as it happens. He’ll even be shooting some video footage we’ll post right here on these pages.
2016 MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez, he of the “win or bin” countenance, crashed out of the lead in Australia on Lap 10, his testing session cut short by a crash he later graciously conceded as being completely his fault. In the process he handed a big win to Brit Cal Crutchlow, providing yet another example, as if we need it, that in order to finish first one must first finish. Round 17, the Malaysian Grand Prix, offers fans another opportunity to see Marquez climb aboard a $1 million motorcycle on Sunday afternoon and say, “WTF?”
Sunday’s Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix was about what one would expect from a great track after the championship had been decided. Anointed champion Marc Marquez, on the factory Honda, having given a clinic on Saturday to take pole, obliterated the field early, apparently on his way to an easy win. Until Lap 10, when he apparently lost focus, pushing harder than necessary, folded the front in Turn 4 and handed the win to the ascendant Cal Crutchlow.
For the third time in four seasons, Repsol Honda supernova Marc Marquez claimed the MotoGP world championship. He did it by winning the Japanese Grand Prix while the Bruise Brothers of the factory Yamaha team – Jorge Lorenzo and the legend Valentino Rossi – choked on their own bile, both riders crashing out of a race in which neither could afford the slightest error. This unlikely confluence of events is responsible for, among other things, the very pedestrian championship celebration prior to the podium. Nothing like the Bushido spectacle we watched in 2014.