THERE IS THAT MOMENT IN LIFE WHEN the light just switches on. In a flash, there is no doubt that every molecule of your being seeks one thing and one thing only: delicious movement of the kind only delivered by two wheels and an engine. It can happen the first time you see a motorcycle of distinction when you are very young (like it did for me) or it can happen the first time you take, or even get, a ride on a motorcycle.
Honda started this revolution with a blank screen; nothing stored on an existing hard drive was capable of ac-
WHEN THE BIG ECONOMIC CRISIS struck and the going got really tough for the motorcycle industry, the tough kept going. Honda upshifted and responded like the world leader that it is, redefining the sport to attract a new generation of riders and revitalize the battered old legion searching for a new direction after years of "new-and-improved" machines that have steadily grown more potent and, in some cases, less user-friendly.
CELEBRATING THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY of its Attack family of performance radial tires, Bavarian tire-maker Continental treated Cycle World to two days of testing its latest products on and around the Contidrom proving grounds near Hannover, Germany.
FOR 15 YEARS, HONDA HAS DOMINATED THE Class 22 Pro Motorcycle division in SCORE competition on the Baja peninsula. But that streak finally came to an end this past June when the Kawasaki KX450F-mounted THR Motorsports Monster Energy team of Robby Bell, David Pearson and Steve Hengeveld crossed the finish line in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 two minutes and 28 seconds ahead of the JCR Honda team of Colton Udall, David Kamo and Tim Weigand.
If any of our readers were lusting for variety, this issue should have given them terminal goosebumps. In hawking a comparison between three sporty Twins—the Cagiva SS650, Kawasaki EX500 and Moto Guzzi V65 Lario— the cover brazenly asked, "Do you really need 4 cylinders, 100 hp and 160 mph?" Given today's near— 200-hp, 186-mph four-cylinder racebikes thinly disguised as street machines, it's apparent that we did.
Is BMW building a power-cruiser, techno-bobber or neo-retro roadster?
WHEN BMW UNVEILED THE LO RIDER Concept at the Milan motorcycle show in 2008 (Roundup, January, 2009), that design exercise was met with much enthusiasm. The idea was to produce a motorcycle that would not only break away from the company’s conservative image (a goal that the S1000RR has since clearly achieved) but also allow customers to select from a wide range of options.
How does the new Alpinestars Tech Air Race predict you are about to hit the deck and when or even if the suit's dual airbags should deploy? Senior Engineer Colin Ballantyne addresses these and other "active" protection questions.
Pump up the volume
To blow or not to blow
Light is right
Patented dual charge
Same look, better protection
"A shoulder injury is not really critical; you can break your shoulder and easily survive. But, after impacts to the head, it's the most-common roadracing injury and one with which we think riders are very familiar." "Full inflation fakes 45 milliseconds, and we guarantee five seconds of impact performance.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, START YOUR engines! Seriously, get your classic bike ready for the return of the Cycle World Rolling Concours at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Saturday, August 18. We’re firm believers that motorcycles, even rare collector machines, were meant to be ridden.
EVERYTHING MOTORCYCLE IN ONE PLACE AT ONE time every year? That's the aim behind the American International Motorcycle Expo, says Larry Little, former CW publisher who is now vice president and general manager of the Motorcycle Group for the Expo's producer, Marketplace Events.
How long have you been riding? 11 months What was your first motorcycle? Honda SL90 What’s the best thing about riding a motorcycle? The best thing is the great fuel mileage and all the fun adventures you can experience. What's your best advice for new riders?
An all-new, 1215 luxury touring model from Hinckley
TRIUMPH DOESN’T MAKE RIFLES OR other firearms, but the British company nonetheless appears to have BMW squarely in its crosshairs. Triumph recently announced the 2013 Trophy SE, a 1215cc fully loaded touring machine that seems designed to compete with BMW’s sport-oriented tourers—R1200RT and possibly even the K1600GTL and K1600GT—more than with Honda’s superslab-devouring Gold Wing.
AMERE 15 MONTHS AFTER its European debut, the Dorsoduro 1200 has received its first updates. Nothing radical, mind you, but definitely worth a blast up the fantastic road on Sicily’s 10,000-foot volcano, Mount Etna, for validation.I lucked out. My ride occurred on a perfect day just between two eruptions that coated the road with a thick layer of ash that would have made the road slick and treacherous.
I appreciate the wide variety of bikes you chose for “Characters” (July) and their broad range of appeal. I realized, however, that most any motorcycle can move the soul if you get out and experience it. Neither my Versys 650 nor ZX-10R move much of anything while parked in my garage.
WHEN I HOPPED ON MY BUELL ULYSSES last Tuesday evening to head into our Slimey Crud meeting, the bike fired right up as usual. Or maybe “exploded into action” is a better description. That big Sportster-based motor always starts with the calm precision of a couple of mortar rounds going off and then settles into a pounding and violent, “Hey, lemme outta here!” combustion cycle.
WHAT'S COOL IN ENGINEERING? What's cool is when someone, having wrestled with a problem or a set of problems for some time, and having filled his or her head with relevant information, and having rejected countless solutions, suddenly has an answer.
Ducati Multistrada S Touring vs. Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX vs. Triumph Tiger Explorer vs. Yamaha Super Ténéré
MULTISTRADA 1200 S TOURING
STELVIO 1200 NTX
DO THESE MOTORCYCLES OFFER FALSE PROMISE? ARE THEY merely the SUVs of motorcycling with bold names and no balls? "Ténéré" is a remote part of the Sahara Desert, while "Explorer" implies nomadic intent, "Multistrada" says "I can do it all" and "Stelvio" is perhaps the greatest twisty road on Earth.
The long-running “oil-head” BMWR1200GS has held its own in an evermore-crowded adventure-bike marketplace, but the Germans are hard at work developing and testing its replacement. These recent spy shots show testers shaking down the next-generation GS and confirm the existence of the rumored liquid-cooled R1250GS (Cycle World, Roundup, December, 2011).
A FEW YEARS BACK, WHEN SUVS SUDDENLY SEEMED TO BE TAKING over the world, a friend of mine said. "Why are people buying those big, tall things instead of a normal car?" I thought about it a minute and said, “Maybe they want to carry a canoe on the roof.
The all-new TR650 dual-sport, an upcoming street-legal two-stroke and more 900 Twins aim to get a Husky in your garage
HUSQVARNA HISTORY REACHES BACK 300 YEARS TO A SWEDISH ARSENAL founded in 1689, and it's arguably the oldest motorcycle company-as long as you add the fillip, "in continuous manufacture," as any executive would. After starting production of two-wheelers in 1903, Husky, located in neutral Sweden, didn't let mere World Wars get in the way of building bikes, and there were no terminal bankruptcies and later restarts as with a few other famous brands.
Husky's big Twin is so much fun it's illegal in the U.S. (at least for now)
Somehow, in the process of giving the Husqvarna version of the Rotax/BMW F800 engine an extra 100cc, the engineers responsible did more: They gave it a character transplant. Ride Husky's Nuda and you'd swear it wasn't powered by anything derived from the somewhat staid parallel-Twin of the BMW F800.
When is a Nuda not a Nuda? When the supermoto-style, Europe-only, 898cc Husqvarna parallel-Twin gets a full street-to-dirt facelift to do battle at Austria's Erzberg Rodeo, far and away the toughest off-road challenge on planet Earth, that's when.
A much better, faster and more agile MXer at last year's price
HONDA IS HOT TO REGAIN ITS DOMINANCE IN THE 450CC MOTOcross class. How much so? Well, its 2013 CRF450R is almost completely new from the ground up; that's a pretty good measure of "hot." The people at Honda are so jazzed about the new 450 that they invited us to an early introduction at the Zaca Station MX track in California's Central Coast area.
WHEN IT COMES TO RACEBIKES, FASTER almost always is better, and that’s especially true with 250cc motocrossers. Since they don’t have nearly the sheer power of the big 450s, Lites-class machines can gain some serious advantages with even small improvements in engine performance.
Wild boars, disintegrating tires and the 3000-mile left turn
CW's 1985 24-Hour World Speed Record
SHEER INSANITY, THAT'S WHAT IT WAS. I mean, how else would you describe riding a powerful sportbike flat-out all day and all night with wild boars wandering in your path, rear tires slinging off chunks of tread rubber,holy s**t tank-slappers trying to pitch you off at close to 150 mph and sweating away 10 pounds of body weight in triple-digit temperatures dressed in roadrace leath ers for 24 straight hours?
Typical aftermarket slip-on exhaust systems are usually lighter than standard pipes, have a bit more growl and, hopefully, are styled to get your attention. As far as big performance gains go, well, don't get your hopes up. But there's nothing "typical" about Akrapoviá's Slip-On Line. In fact, the dual carbon-fiber mufflers developed for the 2011-12 Triumph Speed Triple (shown, $1453.95) and its even-racier brother, the Speed Triple R, are said to boost both horsepower (another 5.5 at 8650 rpm) and torque (3.4 more foot-pounds at 5650 rpm) using stock fuel-injection map ping. Plus, they weigh nearly 10 pounds less than stock. A 2-into-1 stainless-steel link pipe and retaining springs, carbon fiber mounting brackets and a header clamp are inclncluded.
AkrapoviČ America LLC
Risk Racing Carbide Motocross Gloves
If a top motocrosser were asked to build the perfect riding glove, what would be the end result? According to Risk Racing, you're looking at it: the all-new Carbide ($29.99; S-XXL). Developed with help from established glove-maker Novik, the lightweight, durable Carbide with its pre-curved fingers, reinforced thumb and single-layer palm is claimed to offer "superior movement, maximum breathability, best-possible gripping potential and increased flexibility."
AkrapoviČ America LLC
ElementCase Vapor Dock
The Bimota of iPhone docks? Gotta be the Element Case Vapor Dock (silver or black; $119.95). Like many parts on Bimotas, this charge/synch device is machined from billet aluminum; it also has a satin-like FLUX surface finish that is "soft" to the touch. Turn the dock over and you'll find smart details that include non-slip base pads and a large cable-management pocket that keeps your desktop clear. A cleverly engineered collet locks the 30-pin connector firmly in place. Finally, machined holes in the front of the dock work in conjunction with tuned air chambers to passively amplify sound from the phone's tiny external speakers.
AkrapoviČ America LLC
GUNK Chlorinated Brake Parts Cleaner
Quickly cut through brake fluid, dust build-up, grease and oil on brake pads, discs, drums and clutches with GUNK Chlorinated Brake Parts Cleaner ($4.18, 19 ounces). This new, more-powerful formula is also said to provide faster drying times and leave behind no residue, yet it remains non-flammable. A non chlorinated, 14-ounce formula is also available for $4.84.
AkrapoviČ America LLC
Sidi Apex Boots
Got good genes? The Apex (European sizes 41-48; $250) does. This sporty half-boot gets its patented Achilles tendon-protecting Vertebra System, replaceable shock-absorbing heel cup, dual-compound sole and bolt-on toe slider, among other protective features, from Sidi's MotoGP-winning roadracing boots. Pull the Apex on or off in seconds using its Velcro-tabbed, full-length zippered entry, and beat the heat on the boulevard with the perforated liner and closeable air vent.
AkrapoviČ America LLC
LS2 FF385 CR1 Helmet
Jiangmen Pengcheng Helmets, Ltd. may be the largest helmet maker you've never heard of. The Chinese company produces more than 2 million helmets each year, many of which are sold in the U.S. under other names. LS2 is JPH's own brand, and the ECE/DOT-approved FF385 CR1 ($169.95, XS-XXL) is its top-of-the-line full-face offering. Kevlar, carbon fiber and fiberglass are mixed to create a tricomposite shell, which is fitted with an anti-fog/scratch shield, a removable, washable laser-cut interior and a fit-enhancing internal air pump. Open-face and motocross helmets are available, too. Allwin Powersports Corp., 2255 White Oak Cir., Aurora, IL 60502; 630/236-2366; www.ls2helmets.us
AkrapoviČ America LLC
Zerust Motorcycle Covers
Riding season soon coming to a close? Keep your motorcycle in showroom condition during the winter months with a Zerust cover. Unlike conventional dust covers, Zerust is fitted with an Xfilm liner, which the manufacturer claims guards against corrosion by releasing an invisible, non-toxic, non-reactive and odorless vapor that protects aluminum, brass, copper, iron, nickel, steel and silver for up to five years. Zerust covers also resist water and are mold proof. Prices start at $94.99.
AkrapoviČ America LLC
Streetmaster In-Frame Oil Cooler
Modern Triumph Bonneville and Thruxton parallel-Twins are cooled by both air and oil. As such, they are fitted at the factory with a supplemental oil radiator of, ahem, questionable appearance. Here's a more-attractive, less-complex and an even-better-functioning option: the In-Frame Oil Cooler ($849; $749 with core exchange). Oil circulates through a replacement 4130-chromoly subframe, which, due to its larger surface area coupled with an increase in oil capacity of nearly 1 liter, reduced oil temperature in manufacturer testing by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The kit includes the powdercoated subframe assembly, fittings and oil lines, and is said to install in less than an hour using standard hand tools with no other modifications required.
Typical aftermarket slip-on exhaust systems are usually lighter than standard pipes, have a bit more growl and, hopefully, are styled to get your attention. As far as big performance gains go, well, don't get your hopes up.
WHEN DESCRIBING HOW TO PLAN A trip by motorcycle, CW Editor-at-Large Peter Egan once advised, "Take riding gear that doubles as rain gear." Well, that’s what we have here, and then some, with the "Twin Shell" Macna Chameleon jacket. Why Twin Shell or, as Macna calls the Chameleon, "two jackets in one"?
Q A few months ago, I purchased an exceptionally nice 2005 Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster that only had 2300 miles on it. I really like the bike and am happy with it, but the one thing I want to change is the exhaust sound. My favorite bikes for sound are Ducatis, and because they are V-Twins like my Sportster, I’ve tried to get the same sound by using three different exhausts, but I haven’t had any success.
I can envision it all now—the angry e-mails, the threatening phone calls, the snail hate mail, all of it accusing me of being firmly ensconced in the pocket of one tool provider: Motion Pro. It has happened before, and after this, it probably will happen again.
Best Standard Bike, 2003 (SV650) & 2004 (SV650S) Ten Best Awards Years sold: 1999-2009 MSRP new: $5699 (1999 SV650) to $7499 (2009 SV650S w/ABS) Blue Book retail value: $1700 (1999 SV650) to $5545 (2009 SV650S w/ABS) Basic specs: A 645cc, dohc, 90-degree V-Twin that made 71.7 hp at 9250 rpm and 46.2 ft-lb.
I personally want to thank you for your forthright explanation of countersteering (“Unintentional steering lock,” June) and your subsequent “end of discussion” follow-up to Mr. Sam Adair (July “Feedback Loop”), who strongly disagreed and called your description of countersteering “nonsense.” I enjoyed every word of your responses.
Twenty-five years of full grids, close racing and value for all involved
WE GO TO THE RACES BECAUSE THAT’S where the information is. Isn’t there information at new-model introductions? Yes, but it’s different: rehearsed, polished, edited for effect. At the races, the people who are making the future of the motorcycle are confronting real problems, right in plain sight.
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