We’ve conducted 12 shootouts so far this year and we’re working on number 13 – a six-way literbike extravaganza which will soon be streaming your way. So, not including that one, which is assuredly the most important shootout this year, here are the winners of our most popular shootouts at the halfway point of 2015.
This is a difficult position to be in for both me and Honda. We’ve a superbike shootout pitting the CBR1000RR SP against the likes of newer, technological-laden weapons from Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Kawasaki and Yamaha, where the CBR is predisposed not to win that competition. But yet I’m about to give the bike a fairly glowing review with an individual score that may be higher than its shootout score.
It’s kinda funny when I look back on it. Swanky downtown Los Angeles location, circa June 2013. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are served. Then someone finally pulls the wraps off the guest of honor: the early-release 2014 Star Bolt. Star employees beam with shameless pride about the new model bike that seems little more than a ripoff of the long-existing Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster.
In April I passed my eighth year working as Ed-in-Chief of the online moto publication you’re perusing, and I’d like to thank you for your attention to the thousands of articles MO has published since then. Lots of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to deliver all the latest news and reviews of motorcycles at a level of quality that puts us ahead of anything that can be found on the web. Hell, with the current roster of amazingly versatile and talented editors, I’d rank us up there with the best moto content to be found anywhere, let alone the internet. I’m blessed with my exceptional crew. So are you.
When it comes to Speed and Strength’s Fame and Fortune jacket, I, in the immortal words of Wayne Campbell, am not worthy. Although my ownership of a ’75 Honda CB400F predates the hipster/cafe racer movement, a hipster I’m not. Wearing this jacket, though, gets me about as close as I’ll ever be.
“Chock full of bland mediocrity” was the original subhead for my second ride review of the 2015 Suzuki GSX-S750. It was a subhead EiC, Kevin Duke, rightly removed. I was a little harsh on the new Gixxus, and now in a group of its peers, the naked bike from Suzuki has proven itself to be quite the contender. Out of the three testers involved in this shootout, John “run-on sentence” Burns and Troy “I’ve ridden the new R1 more than you” Siahaan, it is I who is championing the GSX-S.
The month of National Motorcycle Safety Awareness got underway last Friday, and according to a quick internet search, we’re off to an abjectly horrible start to the riding season. After typing “motorcycle crash May 2015” into Google, my browser looked like this:
Blessed is the helmet manufacturer with various interior shapes. Blessed was the old Signet model from Arai, and blessed is the new Signet-Q. If you’ve a Long Oval noggin and have had your skull compressed front to rear inside a helmet with a very round interior, you’ll never realize what a mere 5mm of stretch provides in terms of comfort until you own a Signet-Q.
My wife, Maria, loves going on motorcycle rides. Our second date was a motorcycle ride where she proved herself a fearless, adrenalin junkie. We hadn’t been on a ride together for a while, so last Saturday, we pulled the 2015 FZ-09 outta the garage and went for a spin around SoCal.
Back in October, Evans Brasfield penned a preview of Suzuki’s then forthcoming GSX-S750. “The middleweight Naked class just got a lot more interesting,” read his kindly subheading. At the beginning of this month (March) Suzuki hosted a press ride of the GXS-S750 in some very non-optimal weather conditions in Austin, Texas. With the first-ride review a literal washout, we withheld reporting our typical evaluation of, and Scorecard for, the Gixxus until we could perform an honest shakedown. Well, that day has arrived, and we can honestly report that Suzuki’s new naked performs almost flawlessly in the most underwhelming way possible.
What’s a scrambler? In decades past, a scrambler was a street motorcycle stripped down and optimized for off-road use by way of swapping-in high-pipes, wider handlebars, semi-knobby tires, and differently styled fenders, seat and tank. Sometimes, it was an unmodified street model given a scrambler or street scrambler designation. In essence, it’s a cool name meant to convey agile sportability regardless of the bike’s dirt or street intentions.
Want to make your old bike feel new again? Install new tires. Your current rubber hoops may have mileage left in them, but switching to new tires is an easy and affordable way to elevate the handling composure of a motorcycle. Fresh rubber not only increases both on- and off-road grip, but the manicured profile of new tires also smooths turn-in and transitioning, bettering your sense of control and feedback from the road.