Harley-Davidson has released a U.S. owner’s manual for the X 500, indicating the roadster manufactured by China’s Qianjiang Motorcycle will be coming to America for the 2024 model year. The X 500 was announced for the Chinese market in April, and later for Australia and New Zealand, but the newly published owner’s manual also hints at a U.S. launch.
Back in May, Motorcycle.com broke the news that the Honda XL750 Transalp was coming to America for 2024, arriving a year after it’s been available in Europe. While we’re glad to see the middleweight adventure bike will finally arrive stateside, we can unfortunately confirm the U.S.-spec model will produce less power than its European counterpart.
Interesting things appear in the Inbox now and then, and this was one of the more interesting ones. Jeffrey Krause’s dad, Darrel W. Krause, was one of the first people American Kawasaki hired when it came to America, at just about the same time the Mach III 500 made Kawasaki a large blip on our radar screen.
Last month, during EICMA, Kawasaki announced a pair of new retro bikes in the W800 Cafe and W800 Street. At the time, Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. announced the Cafe version would be coming to the States, leaving people to assume the Street version would not be making its way to these shores.
Repsol Honda reigning champion Marc Marquez extended his winning streak in the U.S. to six, taking an easy win at Circuit of the Americas by a country mile over Ducati #1 Andrea Dovizioso who had himself fought off several challenges from Yamaha former world champion Valentino Rossi. Confirming that Losail was an outlier, and tightening the standings at the top of the premier class food chain, COTA was revealing.
Riding across America is the dream of many motorcyclists. The notion of traversing the U.S.A. on two wheels has a certain romantic aspect; 4000 miles unspooling before you like reels of an old, epic film. A lone rider and his/her machine, dusty and stoic, sharing tales of the road with strangers at every stop but never lingering in one place for more than a meal or a night’s sleep.
When I backed into the motojournalism biz all those years ago, I pretty much just wanted to tear around on motorcycles without giving much thought to the hows and whys. Now that I’ve matured, and have had the amazingly good fortune to spend time with the brilliant people who design and build the things (and read a lot of Kevin Cameron columns), the really fascinating part is how organizations of people come together to produce (or not) such complex assemblages. It really does take a village.
In my role as a moto-journo, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to ride all the latest and greatest motorcycles from around the world. It’s a great gig if you can get it, but there’s one tiny caveat: there are plenty of bikes not sold to us Yanks in the U.S. of A. The manufacturers have a number of reasons why they don’t sell certain bikes here, but the end result is, despite the unique position I’m in to ride a variety of motorcycles, there are still some bikes I long to throw a leg over. All because I live in America.
I guess I’m not really a joiner. I’ve certainly been on a million group rides, mostly as a result of my “work,” which on the best days consists of going on new-bike launches with a sometimes international contingent, and “comparison tests” with close compadres, many of whom I have ridden with for years.
It’s the Fourth of July and we’re marking the occasion by taking a look at some very patriotic motorcycles. But we didn’t just pick from a bunch of motorcycles with flashy star-spangled paint jobs like Patriot Edition 1290 Super Duke R (pictured in the image above) KTM revealed earlier this week.