When it comes to naked inline-Four 600cc streetfighters, Benelli’s TnT600 Tornado is in a class of its own due to an absence of competitors. Similar motorcycles exist in parallel-Twin form from Honda (CB500F $6,099), Kawasaki (Z650 $6,999), Yamaha (FZ-07 $7,199), and a V-Twin from Suzuki (SV650 $6,999), but each of those is two pistons shy of the four-cylinder Benelli. However, just last week Honda announced that its four-cylinder CB650F (a naked middleweight based on the faired CBR650F) will be imported to America beginning this August for the 2018 model year. A price has yet to be announced, but we expect an MSRP around $8k.
If you’re of the opinion the Vanderhall Venice is not a motorcycle and shouldn’t be reviewed by a magazine with the URL Motorcycle.com, don’t read this story and spare us the snide remarks in the comments section. If, on the other hand, you’re open-minded and accepting of the fact the Vanderhall is a reverse trike with bucket seats and a steering wheel, and, by default, a motorcycle as far as the California DMV is concerned, keep reading. Feel free to then leave a comment, snide or otherwise. It’s like voting, if you don’t participate, you have no right to complain.
As far as we here at MO are concerned, 2016 will be remembered as a particularly exceptional vintage for Aprilia. The RSV4 arrived with newfound power and claimed our 2016 Sportbike of the Year award, while the Tuono’s bump in displacement from 999cc to 1077cc was enough to usurp KTM’s Super Duke R, earning the Tuono 1100 the 2016 Streetfighter/Hooligan Win as well as Honorable Mention for Bike of the Year for 2016. Congratulations, Aprilia!
After a half-decade of sitting second chair to BMW’s S1000RR ( Honorable Mention 2010, and again in 2015) Aprilia’s RSV4 finally, deservedly, secured Motorcycle.com’s 2016 Sportbike of the year award. Subjectively, the RSV and its V-Four engine have been a staff favorite every year since its introduction, but where does one go after having ascended the throne? For the 2017 RSV4 RR and RF, the answer is improved electronics.
EagleRider, a purveyor of motorcycle tours and rentals both here and abroad, is successful for good reason – because the cups of their customers runneth over with fun and adventure while riding motorcycles as well as when the bikes are stationary. A recent three-day jaunt with the tour company was but a taste of their longer escapades, and we left hungry for more. Aboard the motorcycles, we twisted our way over mountains and pounded out miles of straight, horizon-reaching desert vastness. When off the bikes we ate and drank with gluttonous zeal, gambled, got massaged, and when the riding continued, it included not just motorcycles but also a boat as well as a helicopter.
Plucked from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), here are the states with the fewest annual motorcycle fatalities in 2015. These figures are fatalities only. There is no consideration given to geographic size, topography, population, population density, annual miles traveled by motorcycle, or any other pertinent information that would better determine the actual safety record of a given state. But maybe, just maybe, the knowledge that you’re riding in a state with very few motorcycle fatalities will provide a positive psychological edge.
It’s not often a reduction in engine displacement results in a superior motorcycle (bigger is better, right?), but that’s the case with KTM’s new 1090 Adventure R. Gone are the 1190 Adventure and Adventure R models and in their stead a new 1050cc R model that’s smaller in both bore and stroke (103mm/63mm vs. 105mm/69mm) equaling a 145cc reduction in displacement. Whatever the 1090 gives up in power production to the 1190 Adventure R it makes up for in lighter weight and better handling.
In the last few weeks we’ve categorized the cheapest motorcycles of 2017, as well as the most expensive motorcycles of 2017. But what about the realistic bikes that offer the best bang for your buck? You know, the motorcycle that’s going to deliver the most of everything you desire for the money spent. In this list you’ll find bikes we consider to be the best value from categories including cruisers, sportbikes, ADV bikes, utilitarian bikes, and play bikes. Depending on your personal proclivities and the size of your bank account, there are probably a few more that can be added to the list. Write your suggestions in the comments section below.
In a world of motorcycle apparel where a single jacket can cost more than $1,700 (Klim Adventure Rally), it’s refreshing to know that basic, reasonably priced moto gear still exists. Of course you have to be willing to forego some niceties, but if you’re requiring shelter from the wet and cold, Firstgear’s Thermosuit literally has you covered.
A week ago Evans Brasfield and I scratched an item from our respective bucket lists when we finished an Iron Butt SaddleSore 1000. Satisfied with our accomplishment (which Evans will be documenting in a soon to be published memoir on MO), curiosity of other motorcycle endurance records had me searching the internet. What I found was a variety of increasingly peculiar endurance records comprising this week’s Top 10.
The last time Triumph conducted a major revamp of its Street Triple family was 2013. At that press launch Triumph didn’t feel it necessary to include any track time because even the uptown R model remained predominantly a street bike. Four years on and Triumph has reshuffled the Street Triple deck and expanded the portfolio to three models (S, R, RS), each with a specific focus including the new performance leader RS model we just finished testing in Spain. While still largely a street bike, the RS features enough go-fast performance Triumph felt compelled to showcase the bike’s wherewithal around one of the most famous Spanish racetracks, Catalunya.
Up until now Kawasaki’s Ninja 650 has been recognized as a genteel gateway drug to the company’s true supersport model, the ZX-6R. For 2017 Kawasaki has further distilled more performance from the beginner-ish Ninja while maintaining the bike’s streetable mannerisms. In other words, the 2017 Ninja 650 is a more potent sportbike capable of shredding a twisty canyon road or closed course race track on the weekends, while performing commuter duty during the weekdays.
Last week came the announcement that Victory Motorcycles was being shut down, but Victory’s death knell actually tolled in early 2011 following the announcement Polaris Industries had acquired Indian. All the good will in the world to keep Victory afloat is no match for bottom-line data, and in just a few short years the Indian brand has eclipsed Victory in growth, profit potential, consumer popularity, and overall coolness.