What’s that? You want a simple, lightweight adventure bike with LCD instruments and no cruise control that won’t break the bank? Something Japanese, with a huge dealer network so you won’t be afraid to leave the neighborhood? Well you can’t have it now, and you couldn’t have it 25 years ago either, cause I’m pretty sure Suzuki never imported the XF650 Freewind to the US did they? You can probably blame the Freemasons or whoever it was that also quashed the 200-mpg Rochester Quadrajet. But Yossef got to ride it in Europe or somewhere, and five years later the wind theme continued with the first V-Strom.
Pardon us for being a year early with this only-24-years ago piece by Mr. Schvetz. But when in Rome, as we are for an exciting press event, do as the Romans and bend the rules a little. Not just a review of Vespa’s new 1997 Vespa 125cc ET4 four-stroke, this was also the 50th birthday party of Italy’s own Model T, and therefore a good excuse for a quick stroll down Vespa history lane. Take it away, Yossef.
And in those years of 15 ago, MO’s Eurospondent Yossef Schvetz was having all the great adventures. In this chapter, he travels to the foreign land of Monza to ride a rare bike that we barely knew existed, yea verily, until we saw our first one a couple months ago at Iconic Motorcycles here in the Land of LaLa. Honda doesn’t lend its engines to boutique manufacturers, but this time it did, and the reason why is all in this gospel according to Yossef, who probably wishes he got residuals. Amen.
Fifteen years ago, brothers and sisters, Ducati inverted the number of the beast and loosed upon us the 999, and its latest superbike got very little love. It was a style thing, really. You either loved its Raymond Loewy-inspired design, like me and a few other highly evolved aesthetes, or hated it. And so we must ask, Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in the 999’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly that the 999 is swell AF. And the price is right, now, too.
Keeping with the 650-ish psuedo Adventure/Enduro bike theme started last week with the 1997 Suzuki XF650 Freewind, this week brings us the 2003 BMW F650CS Scarver. At the time few would call the Scarver a good-looking motorcycle, and unfortunately, the same is true today. We can thank American David Robb, former head of design for BMW Motorrad. Nonetheless, the F650CS Scarver was a new bike for 2003, shedding much of the off-road capabilities of its F650GS cousin with its 17-inch cast wheels, though the engine remains. How does it stack up? Here’s Yossef Schvetz to tell you…
I’ll be honest: I’d never heard of the Suzuki XF650 Freewind before. But as I was digging through the archives, looking for this week’s post, when I came across this beauty I knew it was the one. A Suzuki V-Strom before there ever was one, the 1997 Suzuki XF650 Freewind could easily make the case as being the V-Strom’s predecessor. Off-road-ish styling, psuedo knobby tires, street and dirt intentions – all of those are traits the V-Strom carries. Heck, both even have 650(ish)cc engines! How is it like to ride? Here’s our man Yossef Schvetz with the answer.
I remember riding the Piaggio MP3 when it was introduced in America. A scooter lover at heart, underneath my sportbike-loving exterior, I wasn’t sure what to make of the MP3 and its three wheels. My opinion of it was solidified when I leaned the scooter/trike over through a turn and felt the outside front tire skipping. What would have likely resulted in a lowside on a two-wheeler ended up being a case of massive understeer, without ever separating myself from the scoot in a crash. From that point on I’ve always had a soft spot for all the Piaggio MP3 variants. In this week’s Church feature, Yossef Schvetz takes a spin on the MP3 at its European intro. His opinion? Awfully similar to mine.
This week’s Church feature is an interesting look back at the 2008 Vectrix Electric Scooter. It’s interesting because electric vehicle technology has come a long way since Yossef Schvetz rode the Vectrix. For one, NiMH batteries have given way to lithium-ion. What hasn’t changed is the reaction first-timers like Schvetz get when they turn the e-throttle for an electric for the first time. Instant, massive acceleration blows people away each time. Read on to see the rest of Yossef’s thoughts about what is becoming the propulsion method of the future.
In our Top 10 Disappointing Motorcycles list, Tom nominated the Ducati Multistrada 1100 because he, like many (most?) despised its styling. But none of us could deny that, looks aside, it was a fine motorcycle. So for this week’s Church feature, our pal Yossef Schvetz takes the updated Multistrada 1100 of 2007 vintage for a spin and reminds us that, despite her, well, ugly appearance, the first-gen Multi has a heart of gold. For more photos of the Multi 1100, be sure to visit the photo gallery.
I’ll admit, I didn’t know Moto Morini was still in business. However, after a quick Google search, the company has a website that appears to be up-to-date, with five models. Unfortunately, none of them are coming to the U.S. Hence why I forgot about the marque. In 2008, though, contributor Yossef Schvetz hopped aboard the Moto Morini Corsari, in a review for the then-revived company. With a 1200cc V-Twin stuffed into a naked bike chassis, it appears that maybe MM should reconsider its decision not to bring bikes to America. This category seems to be all the rage these days (and the topic of a MO six bike shootout to come in a few days…). Read on to find out more about the Corsaro and Moto Morini. -TS
If you ask me, there’s no faster way to get your license revoked than to get a supermoto. Why? Because riding one instantly makes you turn into the hooligan you never thought you could be. Take Yossef Schvetz, for instance. The good-mannered moto-journalist he is (was?), even he couldn’t resist acting like a fool once he threw a leg over a SuMo. Of course, when that motard happens to be a 2004 Husqvarna SM450R, it’s easy to see how Yossef would let his inner teenager loose. So let’s turn back the clock to late 2003 to get Schvetz’ take on the SuMo scene of the day and where the Husqvarna stacks up. And for more pics of the SM450R, be sure to visit the photo gallery.
Yossef Schvetz is right in his review of the 2006 Ducati Sport Classic Paul Smart 1000LE – evaluating this bike on purely subjective criteria really isn’t the point. At a time when both the automotive and motorcycle industries were looking towards their pasts to create vehicles for the future, Ducati arguably was the most successful in its execution. At least in my eyes. No, the Sport Classic line didn’t sell in high numbers, but as far as rolling works of art are concerned, Ducati definitely succeeded. Of course, a review needs at least a little subjective judgement, and Schvetz provides that too. Through the lens of his rose-tinted glasses, anyway. Read on to see what he thinks of the Paul Smart tribute bike, and be sure to read to the end to catch his interview with the bike’s namesake. And if you want to see more pictures, be sure to visit the photo gallery.
A little touch of Italian exotica we never saw in this country, the Derbi Mulhacen is likely a bike many American readers have never heard of. Italian styling mixed with a Yamaha Single, the on/off road piece of art gives our European Correspondent, Yossef Schvetz some apprehension. Would the bike be a beauty piece that doesn’t perform? How would the XT660 mate with the rest of the components? What if Yossef ends up hating the thing? All those answers and more are found below in this week’s Church feature. And for more pictures of the Derbi Mulhacen, check out the photo gallery here.