Motorcycle.com's Most Popular Videos From 2017
Motorcycles are the coolest way to transport humans on the ground. The feeling we get bending a bike into a corner and tilting a horizon is so much more flowing and invigorating than driving a car, as is the intensity of acceleration a motorbike can provide. Add in to this stimulation the sound and character of a variety of engine configurations, and it’s easy to see why the sights and sounds of a motorcycle video are highly desired in this digital age.
Motorcycle.com has been feeding the hunger for online video content longer than any other moto publication, and we continue to endeavor to deliver the best and most frequent videos possible.
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First Look: 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe
Hot on the heels of the new Kawasaki Z900RS comes a café racer variant sporting a bikini fairing and drop-style handlebars.
2018 Honda CRF250R First Ride Review
Honda steps up with an all-new, 249.5cc, DOHC engine and a chassis that mimics the superb-handling CRF450R. Does the 2018 CRF250R have the goods to become the 250cc motocross class champion?
2018 Aprilia Dorsoduro & Shiver 900 Video Recap
It’s rare that a manufacturer debuts two new models at the same time unless there are multiple trims such as the Aprilia RSV4 RR and Factory versions. When MO found out we would be riding both Aprilia’s new Dorsoduro and its Shiver 900, I was actually looking forward to the novel opportunity. It would be interesting to see how different the motorcycles would feel while sharing many of the same components, most notably, the same 896cc 90-degree V-Twin engine.
We had a chance to dyno the Shiver 900 and were a little bit underwhelmed by its 81.9 hp and 55 lb-ft of torque at the rear tire. However, the power is easily usable in the lower to mid range of the tach, making it fun to ride around town and in the canyons. It’s the open roads that stretch out with longer straights or fast sweepers where you start to miss the extra horsepower of similar machines in this category such as Kawasaki’s new Z900.
2018 Aprilia Dorsoduro 900 First Ride Review
2018 Aprilia Shiver 900 First Ride Revie
Naked Sports Threeway: Aprilia Shiver 900 Vs. Kawasaki Z900 Vs. Suzuki GSX-S750
Braking is handled by the same dual radially-mounted four-piston calipers in the front and lone single-piston unit at the rear squeezing a pair of 320mm front and single 240mm rotors, respectively. Steel braided brake lines keep braking power consistent and, while the brakes felt strong, initial bite was almost non-existent.Power improved once the pads were fully bedded in, but tapping into the brakes’ full potential required a firm squeeze.
The Dorsoduro felt more lively on tighter roads with its 15-tooth front sprocket as opposed to the Shiver’s 16. I also preferred the Dorso’s stiffer fork but these differences are what make the Shiver a more comfortable all around motorcycle. Without being too extreme in any one direction, the Shiver delivers accessible power around town while the bigger front sprocket and longer gearing make the bike more user-friendly in most circumstances.
Both bikes have their places. The Dorsoduro is a livelier hooligan or supermoto-type motorcycle that is great for jaunts through the canyons and slicing through traffic. The Shiver feels comfortably at home in nearly any scenario without being too extreme to be used as an only child in someone’s garage.
After spending a bit more time on both following the press intro, we put together the following video to give our longer-term perspective on the similarities and differences between these new Aprilia siblings.
BMW HP4 Race First Ride Review
If you’re a fan of high-performance sportbikes, BMW’s new HP4 Race should be at or near the top of your must-ride list. This carbon-framed and -wheeled ultra-sportbike achieves new levels of what’s possible from a production superbike. Imagine about 200 horsepower in a bike weighing less than a Ninja 300!
800cc Euro Triples Streetfighter Faceoff
Year after year, we gush about liter-plus-sized streetfighters that offer ultra-sport performance with agreeable street ergonomics. Our expert riders love Super Dukes and Tuonos, and also appreciate S1000Rs and Ducati’s big Monsters. And yet, even we can agree that machines that pound out 140+ horsepower to a rear tire approach the area of overkill for streetbikes.
So, here’s a pair of European streetfighters that offer loads of style and plenty of performance from athletic 800cc three-cylinder engines. Here we’ve got Italy versus England, Armani versus Savile Row. We also wanted to include a Triples representative from Japan in the form of an XSR900 or the newly updated FZ-09 from Yamaha, but we couldn’t think of a famous Japanese tailor for our analogy. Oh, and Yamaha couldn’t get us one in time for this test.
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$13k Softcore ADV Three-Way!
Not having saddlebags on your ADV bike is good for at least one thing: a good excuse not to camp out – and since these three all clock in at around $13,000, the occasional cheap hotel or Airbnb cabin won’t break the bank. Ducati, in fact, offers a Touring Pack for its new Multistrada 950 that includes (really good) sidebags, Suzuki offers same-key hard bags too on the V-Strom 1000 – but we left them behind because we’re going bare-bones with this little less-is-more test.
2018 Polaris Slingshot SLR Review
Remember when the Slingshot first debuted and motorcyclists poo-poo’d the contraption as a waste of money that nobody would want? Well, it’s three years later and our roads are now spattered with some 20,000 Slingshots being driven by all sorts of people, many of them motorcycle enthusiasts.
2015 Polaris Slingshot Review – First Ride/Drive
As for the Slingshot’s initial designation as a motorcycle because it has fewer than four wheels, some 40 states in the U.S. now deem the trike to be an autocycle, a distinct term that places it in an area somewhere between a motorcycle and a car. The Slingshot looks like a Le Mans prototype race car from the front and, from the rear, like a plastic chairlift with wheel stuck on back.
Less obfuscatory is the Slingshot’s fun-to-drive factor, which is soaringly high when pointed down a twisty road on a sunny day. Polaris rolled out its latest Slingshot range to the media last week and sent us off to Malibu and the sinuous roads that climb into the Santa Monica mountains. Although the Slingshots lean the wrong way in corners and can never be as fun as a motorcycle, they are a LOL hoot when carving up a canyon road.
Retro Roadsters Revisited: BMW R NineT Pure Vs Honda CB1100EX Vs Triumph Bonneville T120 Black
When last we visited this class three years ago, it wasn’t exactly this class but it was close. Triumph’s new Bonnevilles hadn’t been born yet, so a Moto Guzzi Griso 8V completed the threesome, along with the then-new Honda CB1100 and the original BMW R nineT.
In that comparo, the BMW narrowly carried the day over the Guzzi (79.2 to 78.7%), with the Honda bringing up the rear with a 72.2% Scorecard rating. The BMW would go on to become our Best Standard of 2014. The Griso is still as greasy good as ever, but we threw it over this time for the new Triumph Bonneville T120 Black, which slots nicely into the $12k nostalgia-bikes-for-old guys-which-actually-perform category.
In fact, the Bonnie really completes the old-guy trifecta. These three are modern interpretations of what the ’60s were all about and long before that, really. BMW built its first Boxer (which was its first motorcycle) in 1923. Triumph built its first Speed Twin, the Bonneville’s granddad, in 1938. And Honda’s first CB750 of 1969 laid down the pattern for so many more thousands of Japanese bikes to come.
2017 KTM 1090 Adventure R Vs. KTM 1190 Adventure R
There comes a time in our lives when we find ourselves looking to purchase a new motorcycle, whether new to us or brand-spanking new from the showroom. But, wait, is that model due for an update? Should you wait for the new one or buy an older model to save some cash?
2017 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Review: First Ride
When KTM rolled out its lineup of V-Twin Adventure models for 2017, we were surprised the excellent 1190 models were dropped in favor of a 1290 R and the touring-oriented 1290 T, along with the new (to our market) 1090 R, which retails for $14,699. That left the $16,799 1190 R, the winner of our epic Wire-Wheel Adventure Shootout, out of KTM’s 2017 lineup.
MotoAmerica Dunlop Tire Test, Circuit of the Americas +Video
Yo, I made a video! Actually Matt Francis made the video while I walked around with a microphone and interrupted people, since I was already in Texas for the introduction of Dunlop’s new Q3+ Sportmax tire anyway. The MO wheel grinds slow but fine; this took place in April, before the MotoAmerica race season even got started. But I guess you could already sort of tell how things were going to go – much the way they’ve been going since Monster Yamaha and Yoshimura Suzuki became the only serious factory teams. Still fun to watch.
2017 Superbike Track Shootout
A few days riding seven of the most powerful sportbikes available on public roadways without incurring a single speeding ticket is next to miraculous. Johnny Law, wildlife, tourists, and sharing hotel rooms with one another are only a few of the occupational hazards we navigated when conducting our 2017 Superbike Street Shootout. The street-centric comparison may be representative of the actual lives most of these motorcycles will lead in the real world, but for us it’s a necessary precursor to where we prefer to be and where these bikes should actually be ridden: the racetrack.
“If you own one of these and don’t take it to the track, then you’re simply not getting your money’s worth,” says our Editor-in-Cheese, Kevin Duke. “If you want a high-performance streetbike and have no plans to bring it to a racetrack, you’d be better off with a Tuono or FZ-10 or 1190SX or Super Duke.”
2017 Isle of Man TT Highlight Video
The 2017 Isle of Man TT did not disappoint the legion of fans who trek across the Irish Sea to witness the world’s greatest motorcycle races, or the millions who watch on worldwide TV. While the weather didn’t always cooperate, the fortnight brought intense racing, and the emergence of a new generation of brave men who will embrace the challenge of the iconic 37.75-mile Mountain Course for years to come. New legends will follow Hailwood, Agostini, Dunlop, McGuinness and the other greats into the history books.
While I’m already counting down to TT 2018, here’s the annual video highlighting some of the unforgettable riders and scenes from the 2017 race meeting. See you next year!
2017 Superbike Street Shootout
It’s been two years since we summoned together the superpowers of the sportbike world. In that time the Aprilia RSV4 RR, Honda CBR1000RR, Kawasaki ZX-10R, and Suzuki GSX-R1000 have either been heavily revised or completely overhauled. These changes beg a reinspection into the pecking order of world’s premier street-legal superbikes. Can Japan wrest away the literbike crown from the European OEMs, Aprilia and BMW, that have dominated the class since 2010?
2015 Six-Way Superbike Track Shootout
2015 Six-Way Superbike Street Shootout
The last time a Japanese motorcycle won a MO superbike shootout was 2009 ( 2009 Literbike Shootout), with Honda’s CBR1000RR coming out on top. The next year BMW introduced the S1000RR and changed the landscape of top-class sportbikes, winning every shootout it’s been involved until the Aprilia RSV4 seized the crown in 2015. Chief superbike flogger Kevin Duke clarifies the Beemer’s impact in his Best Of 2010 Awards.
2017 Superbike Spec Chart Shootout
“After years of incremental increases in performance among sportbikes, along comes a fresh player to shake things up in the literbike world in a way we haven’t seen for more than a decade when the first-gen R1 debuted,” said Duke.
Harley-Davidson Fairing Comparison: Ultra Touring Glide-Off
Typically, when we perform a comparison test, we select bikes in the same category to see which one works best. This time, however, we’re approaching this comparison with a few long-lingering questions in mind: How does having a fork-mounted fairing or a frame-mounted fairing affect the dynamics of a motorcycle? Does having the weight of the fairing on the fork make it floppy at low speeds? Do fork-mounted fairings interact with prevailing wind or turbulence coming off of vehicles? How noticeable is the improved wind protection on the frame-mounted fairing – particularly during cold-weather riding?