Think of the new Yamaha XSR900 as an FZ-09 that went backstage for a costume change and emerged for act II in disguise. In the process the XSR was also wired to perform some on-stage acrobatics of which the FZ is incapable. Ticket prices went up, but so did the bike’s technological accountability.
It’s the moment of reckoning for the motorcyclist-in-training. The time when clutch plates come together, and balance and forward motion begins. The fear of rocketing out of control and crashing horrendously is palpable. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Cedergrens has removed all the monster-under-the-bed scariness of learning to operate a motorcycle and replaced it with a Skidbike security blanket.
With the International Female Ride Day happening on Saturday, May 7th, followed by Mother’s Day on May 8th it’s a back-to-back weekend of motorcycling estrogen. Bless your lovely madre with a twofer weekend by shouldering all her responsibilities on Saturday, freeing her to partake in International Female Ride Day activities. Follow that up the next day with a lovely gift from the selection we’ve comprised here.
I didn’t pay to watch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice because I’m failing to see the struggle. College Humor best surmises my disposition of the movie. Besides, why go the make-believe DC Comics route when we have a real-world shield and spear paradox between two super-powered nemeses right here before us: Aprilia’s Tuono V4 1100 Factory and KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R.
For 2016, Triumph launched two new Thruxton models, the base model Thruxton ($12,500) and the Thruxton R ($14,500). Both are huge improvements over the outgoing model Thruxton. The new 1200cc liquid-cooled parallel-Twin produces gobs more horsepower and torque, the chassis isn’t the flexi-flyer it used to be, and modern electronics (R-b-W, ride modes, TC, ABS) bring a touch of modernity to a motorcycle steeped in nostalgia. For a complete review of the bike and its performance check out our previously published 2016 Triumph Bonneville Thruxton R First Ride Review.
Look around the liter-class sportbike landscape. The field is littered with some of the most technologically advanced and blindingly fast motorcycles the world has ever seen. Trickle-down technology from the world of MotoGP and World Superbike is making its way to production motorcycles faster than ever before, and it’s hard to deny the sportbike landscape is all the better for it.
From the V-8-powered Boss Hoss to the Sears Allstate “Twingle” (split-single), motorcycle engines have enjoyed a quizzical variety of configurations. In a future Top 10 we’ll countdown the most bizarre motorcycle engines, but for this list let us examine the engines that have come to dominate motorcycle power production.
Last month we brought you the Top 10 Most Anticipated Bikes of 2016. For February, let’s take a look at the most affordable new bikes of 2016, because, well, a lot of the bikes in that other list are pricey: XDiavel, Brutale 800, Super Duke GT … you get the picture. There already exist a lot of motorcycles in the sub-$10k price category, and here’s 10 more new models joining that list. From retro to modernistic, cruiser to sportbike, on-road to off, there’s a little something for everyone in this list.
The best way to demonstrate the features and benefits of Shoei’s raciest new helmet, the X-Fourteen, is at speed on a racetrack. So, while East coast residents were trying to avoid snow-shoveling-induced heart attacks, those of us residing on the West end were enjoying perfect trackday weather at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. There were some rumblings that the long, banked, NASCAR straight at Auto Club Speedway would have been a better venue for high-speed, aerodynamic testing of the X-Fourteen, but besides that long, banked straight, the Fontucky track sucks.
Back in the timeline of my motorcycle sales career, I managed to piss off the Arai rep who serviced the dealership I worked for by ordering an AGV helmet after having already ordered an Arai through him. A young racer named Valentino Rossi was rampaging the 125cc GP class, and his helmet design was one of the coolest I’d ever seen. The AGV didn’t fit as good as the Arai and I had to pay full-pop instead of the bro deal the Arai rep was giving me, but I wanted Rossi’s design that bad. Years later, returning from San Francisco’s Halloween festivities to where my T595
Triumph Daytona was parked on some side street, I arrived to find my beloved Rossi AGV cut from the bike, only a dangling D-ring left to prove it once existed. I still hate whoever that guy was.
It took a while to fully test Held’s Race-Tex gloves because we’ve been waiting for an opportunity to wear them in the rain. When the rain finally arrived, not only did the Race-Tex gloves prove to be impenetrable to falling water from the sky but also, as a follow-up test, to the direct torrent of water from the kitchen faucet. The Gore-Tex lining did its job of maintaining a dry interior while also keeping claminess to a minimum due to its breathability. Sometimes, name brands such as Gore-Tex are worth the extra cost of ownership.
Each year around this time the MO staff gathers to contemplate the new breed of tasty two-wheelers coming our way. This is also when each editor begins positioning himself for a particular press launch. Last year, Preemptive Editor, Troy Siahaan made it abundantly clear that only an act of God would keep him from the R1 launch. This year he’s communicated the same thing about the new Suzuki SV650, a bike that, democratically, didn’t even make this list (Ouch. -TS).
Thanks to daddy-to-be editor, Troy Siahaan, and his 2015 $100-$200 Holiday Gift Guide I managed to score the perfect Christmas gift for my three-year-old nephew, Braxton – the 6V BMW R1200GS by RollPlay at Target for about $100. The BMW S1000RR by Ride-On at Wal-Mart may have been an even cooler toy, but at nearly double the price it surpassed the generosity my meager moto-journalist salary can afford. Besides, Braxton’s three and his understanding of what’s cool is derived from what I tell him is cool. I’m also hopeful the GS will be more durable than the double R when it comes to the type of playing a three-year-old boy meters out.
The 2016 Africa Twin is the first model to feature Honda’s next-gen Dual Clutch Transmission, and the only ADV bike in the world equipped with such technology. This is a significant achievement not for the sake of new technology, but because the technology works pretty well, which is why my initial review – and this video – focuses on the DCT’s use and performance. However, the story was a little light when it comes to other areas of the bike’s performance. So, I wanted to take this opportunity to address a few omissions.
Us MOrons enjoy the luxury of working from home offices, but imagine an alternate world where we actually had an office to go to everyday. Clearly, this scenario won’t be hard for many of you to imagine as it’s your reality. And if you’re also the type to take the long way home after clocking out, followed by a lengthier ride come the weekend, you’re the type of rider Kawasaki and Suzuki are reaching for with the Z800 ABS and GSX-S750 – unless you live in California. Neither bike is currently being offered for sale in the People’s Republic. Intended for the sportbike rider who may be more, ah, mature these days with things adults call, um, responsibilities, the two still offer middleweight performance without the supersport ergonomic commitment. They are also more affordable, at $7,999 for the Suzuki and $8,399 for the Kawi.