While we were waiting for a V-Four superbike to emerge from across the Pacific, Aprilia launched a sneak attack from across the other pond, in 2009. In 2010 and again in 2012, Max Biaggi and the RSV4 brought World Superbike Championships home to Noale. Ten years ago, as we entered the electronic era, our man Tor Sagen rode the latest and greatest version around Jerez.
When I was 49, it was a very good year for long-legged bikes of independent means who lived under the stairs, with all those perfumed valves. We’d ride through the night, and the tank was green. Now I think of this Guzzi as vintage wine from fine old kegs, from the shaft drive to the dregs. I’m sure it still runs sweet and clear, it was a very good year.
Stelvio, Stelvio, wherefore art thou, Stelvio? Tis but thy name that is my enemy, and what’s in a name? That which we call a big adventure bike by any other name would smell as sweet; so Stelvio would, were he not Stelvio call’d, retain that dear perfection which he owes without that title. Sorry, but Tor riding around in Italy brings out the Shakespeare in us. The Stelvio was ten years, ago: Now there’s a brand new and even more fair Moto Guzzi adv bike, the V85TT. Swoon. Take all myself, and let God sort them out.
It seems like the motorcycle industry is on the verge of changing and Piaggio is at the forefront. Piaggio deserves kudos for trying to lead the way in many new areas in the two wheeled world. Piaggio is trying to make three wheeled motorcycles and large capacity motorcycles with automatic transmissions mainstream – some serious hybrids are on the way too. But is the world ready for the Mana yet?
Could it be that the Yamaha XJ6 and XJ6 Diversion were just slightly ahead of their time? Naked middleweights are making what appears to be a comeback in the form of Yamaha’s FZ-07 and Suzuki’s new SV650, but in this week’s Church feature, we take a look at a bike that could be considered the predecessor to the FZ-07 – the Yamaha XJ6 (and its half-faired sibling, the XJ6 Diversion). Two bikes that never made it to America, assuming you don’t count the XJ6’s slightly different cousin, the FZ6R. Here, our European Correspondent, Tor Sagen, takes the XJ6 for a spin and tells us all about it. As usual, for more pics, be sure to visit the photo gallery.
Earlier this week Triumph announced to the world its three new engines and five new models for the 2016 Bonneville line. Included in those three new models are the 2016 Triumph Street Twin, Triumph Thruxton and Thruxton R, and the new Bonneville T120 and Bonneville T120 Black. That last model in particular, the Bonneville T120, is the inspiration behind this week’s Church feature. Digging through the MO archives led us back to 2007 and a review of the Bonneville T100 from our European correspondent Tor Sagen. As the models that stay the truest to the original Bonneville of old, the T-series Bonnies promise a retro riding experience. Here’s Tor to tell you more about the T100.
Beauty on two wheels is obviously a subjective issue, but I defy anyone to claim the 2008 Bimota DB7 1098 is not a gorgeous motorcycle. So for this week’s Church feature, we turn to our European correspondent, Tor Sagen, for his take on one of the world’s most exclusive motorcycles.
Triumph’s Rocket III is a British interpretation of a classic American mantra: “there’s no replacement for displacement.” It’s huge 2.3 liter inline-Triple was a torque monster and ate up flat roads for breakfast. So for 2008, Triumph decided to civilize the Rocket III a tad by introducing the Rocket III Touring. Fittingly, Triumph chose San Antonio, Texas as the locale to host the international press launch for it, allowing the world’s moto-media to experience the expanse of Texas blacktop. MO’s European Correspondent, Tor Sagen, was at the launch, where he can’t help but compare the Rocket to a Harley big twin. Read his thoughts below and be sure to visit the photo gallery to see more pictures.
The Suzuki Bandit has been a staple in the company’s lineup for some time. From the 600, to the 650, then the 1200 and lastly the 1250, Bandits were unique in that they were surprisingly capable of handling daily commuting duties, yet were remarkably uninspiring overall. Still, if that’s the worst we can say about the Suzuki Bandit 1250 ABS all these years later, then Suzuki succeeded in producing a solid jack-of-all-trades street motorcycle. Here, we visit with MO’s European Correspondent, Tor Sagen, to get his thoughts on the then-new Bandit 1250 ABS for this week’s Church feature. Also, be sure to check the photo gallery for more Bandit 1250 ABS pictures.
The Aprilia Caponord Rally is the most high-tech road motorcycle in Aprilia’s range, a touring flagship fit with everything from active suspension to traction control. What separates the Rally from the standard Caponord is the extra versatility of having standard large and sturdy panniers (33 litres each), spoked wheels enabling off road tires, a taller windscreen, front fairing crash protection and extra LED lights. Still, dynamic damping is the highlight.
There’s an even more pragmatic MV Agusta coming in the Turismo Veloce, and I’ve a feeling we’ll be seeing more versatile models from MV in the future. But for now, the Stradale 800 is the most comfortable, user-friendly motorcycle in the MV range. Who would have thought the bespoke maker of sporting motorcycles would launch a quasi sport-touring bike with bags and a small windscreen?