Pirelli SCORPION Trail III tires are now available at retailers, bringing a new advanced performance option for adventure-touring motorcycles. The third-generation SCORPION Trail is mainly intended for paved roads while also more than capable of tackling dirt routes, able to handle various riding conditions.
Read enough motorcycle reviews and you’ll inevitably hear people like the MO staff talk about two things: Rake and Trail. It’s mentioned so much because rake and trail have a major role to play in the way your motorcycle handles, and the people who design these motorcycles are well aware of this when going from CAD drawing to real-life machine.
If you’re anything like me when it comes to riding in the dirt, you’re willing to sacrifice a little comfort and user-friendliness in favor of higher performance and better handling. This was pretty much always the case for me as I’d ride my CRF450R both at the track and on the trails, or in the desert/woods/mountains/etc. At the motocross track in its intended environment, the CRF450R is a beast; out in the sticks, the R still rules. However, it definitely gives up certain advantages and conveniences to more trail-inspired bikes like the CRF450X. Fortunately, Honda has built a do-it-all bike for riders like us who don’t want to compromise performance and handling at the track for convenience on the trail – the 2019 Honda CRF450RX.
Few other images of motorcycling have captured the psyche of riders and non-riders alike as much as that of a resolute motorcyclist hitting the open road for parts unknown. For Americans, it appeals to the lore of the rugged individuals that conquered the American West. Touring on a motorcycle is about as good as it gets – no matter what type of machinery you ride. Spending days out of the cities on remote rural highways is something every motorcyclist has dreamed about.
As we jump in the vault for this week’s Church feature, we travel back to 1997, a time of change and consternation amongst off-road enthusiasts. Why? Because this was the year California really cracked down on two-stroke off-road motorcycles. A look at showroom floors today reveals (thankfully) that two-strokes haven’t exactly died off, but are far from prominent. Instead, the four-stroke era kicked in, and here we have a test of some modest trail bikes – the 1997 Honda XR400R and Kawasaki KLX300R. Far from speed demons, both bikes are fun on the trials. How fun? Let Len Nelson tell you…
The RMX450Z enduro is back for 2017, rejoining Suzuki‘s lineup for the first time since 2010. The frame, suspension and bodywork are nearly identical to the RM-Z450 motocrosser but Suzuki added electric start, full-function instrumentation, an 18-inch rear wheel and lighting to adapt it for trail riding.
Yamaha’s reverse incline-motored YZ450F is kind of like the legendary rock band Kiss. Just like it took hard rock’s masked marauders five years and four albums to become overnight sensations, the YZ450F finally came Alive! in 2015 by hitting upon the right combination of engine performance, chassis rigidity and suspension compliance to make it a winner.
Good ol’ family fun is the focus behind the CRF line of trail bikes from Honda. From the CRF450X for Dad to the CRF50F for little Junior, Big Red has something for everyone. Now its latest models, the CRF125F ($2799) and CRF125F Big Wheel ($3199), aim to truly fulfill the company’s internal tagline of “having a bike for every butt.”