Adventure bikes weren’t really a thing in 1989, at least not in the United States. Even BMW’s venerable GS was nothing more than a misunderstood, oversized dual-purpose machine with ties to the Paris-Dakar rally, which itself was only a little more than a decade old at the time. At the back of the dealership where I worked in 1991, parked next to the tire rack, languished a 1989 Honda XL600V Transalp. Along with other two-year-only (’89 and ’90) model offerings from Honda, including the GB500 and CB-1, the Transalp was nothing more than a curiosity.
In case you haven't noticed, Royal Enfield is on the up and up. While it might not seem so in the US, globally (and primarily in its home country of India) sales are growing – and growing fast. So much so that the company is making a big push into the US and North American markets. So what better time to take a look back at one of MO's first experiences with a Royal Enfield – the Royal Enfield Continental GT from back in 2014. Astute readers or RE fans will already note that this is an old model, which doesn't share much with the current Continental GT. And that's a good thing, because as Tom Roderick tells us, the 2014 version was a bit rough around the edges.
Unless you’re a world-class rally racer, an afternoon spent riding with Red Bull Factory KTM’s Toby Price aboard his booming 450 isn’t a common experience. Note I said riding with, and not alongside Price. The only time I was alongside the man was when he stopped and I caught up. End the day with a cozy fireside chat including Price, Monster Energy Honda’s Ricky Brabec, and Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Skyler Howes and you’ve the ingredients for memorable uniqueness.
On rare occasions my wife allows me to drive her Mercedes GLE. It’s a treat compared to my aging Tacoma. One of its tastiest bits is the Harman/Kardon sound system. When I saw that Sena’s newest modular helmet featured the same brand name audio engineering, I was quick to call E-i-C Brasfield and coerce him into letting me test one. He did, and I’m here to report that the Impulse is the best-sounding helmet I’ve ever worn.
There’s no shortage of expensive, big-displacement, powerful Adventure-Touring motorcycles. Then there’s the mid-displacement segment that is oftentimes only marginally less expensive. Further down this segment, though, exists a sub-category of lightweight, affordable, small-displacement models that are oftentimes overshadowed by their aforementioned counterparts. It’s here where the 2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan resides along with BMW’s G310GS and CSC’s RX4 Adventure among others.
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.
Not since the heady days of the 600cc sportbike wars have we witnessed competition between manufacturers as fierce as it currently is between Aprilia’s and KTM’s super streetfighters. With the arrival of the Super Duke R in 2014, the monstrously torquey V-Twin-powered hooligan has been in a lock step dogfight with the Tuono and its rip-roaring V-Four. So enamored were we with the SDR it won both Streetfighter and Bike of the Year awards in 2014. For 2015 the SDR retained its streetfighter of the year title over the Tuono, but in 2016 an updated Tuono took away the SDR’s streetfighter crown by virtue of offering a nearly equally equipped but more affordable RR model alongside its top-of-line Factory version. The Tuono duo also claimed honorable mention for motorcycle of the year in 2016.
For those who’ve lapped up every word, expression, and metaphor of the performance novel that was our 2017 Superbike Track Shootout and Superbike Street Shootout, the heir apparent is as obvious as the bike coming in last place. For those still wallowing in anticipation, unable to decipher our MOrse code, you can take a breath because, without further ado, we give you…
It’s been a good run. In early 1990 I began my powersports career selling motorcycles at a small Honda shop on California’s Central Coast. Twenty-seven years later and I’m bidding adieu to full-time motojournalism. The period between beginning and end has been a tragicomedy chain of events, a frayed yarn of two-wheel adventures, and an experience I can’t imagine having lived differently.
The one thing I’ve learned wearing Alpinestars’ GP Plus Leather Suit is trackside photographers have no problem picking me out of a crowded field of leather-clad motorcyclists. Whether I’m at a press launch with a bunch of other journos all outfitted with newish leathers, or at a trackday thick with fellow sportbike junkies in sometimes outlandish attire, the asymmetrical styling of the GP Plus suit is more obvious and attention-grabbing than a naked Margot Robbie (we should probably test that statement for accuracy…).
A few days riding seven of the most powerful sportbikes available on public roadways without incurring a single speeding ticket is next to miraculous. Johnny Law, wildlife, tourists, and sharing hotel rooms with one another are only a few of the occupational hazards we navigated when conducting our 2017 Superbike Street Shootout. The street-centric comparison may be representative of the actual lives most of these motorcycles will lead in the real world, but for us it’s a necessary precursor to where we prefer to be and where these bikes should actually be ridden: the racetrack.
Klim’s a new player in the modular streetbike motorcycle helmet game. With a reputation of constructing technical apparel – oftentimes of the high-end, expensive variety – it should come as no surprise the company managed to create a quality modular lid for a price commensurate with competitors Schuberth and Shoei.
It’s been two years since we summoned together the superpowers of the sportbike world. In that time the Aprilia RSV4 RR, Honda CBR1000RR, Kawasaki ZX-10R, and Suzuki GSX-R1000 have either been heavily revised or completely overhauled. These changes beg a reinspection into the pecking order of world’s premier street-legal superbikes. Can Japan wrest away the literbike crown from the European OEMs, Aprilia and BMW, that have dominated the class since 2010?
Starting from pole position with the fastest time among the fastest riders in the world is certainly a psychological edge, but pole position doesn’t guarantee the winner of a MotoGP race, largely because the span of time separating P1 from P6 is less than a second. If starting from pole position were indicative of a race’s outcome, Valentino Rossi’s win record would nearly be halved because he has almost double the amount of MotoGP/500cc race wins as he does MotoGP/500cc pole positions.