EVERY TIME YOU PUT ON YOUR PROTECtive gear, you are quietly accepting the fact that your ride may not end as planned. We accept this risk because of the exceptional rewards offered by riding motorcycles. The more we ride, the more experienced we get and, hopefully, the less likely we are to make an error that may lead to something terrible.
Honda's 2013 CB1100 is a blast from the past, except a whole lot better—and it's finally coming to the U.S.!
THAT PERIOD FROM THE LATE 1960s through the `70s was the golden age of motorcycling in America, an era characterized by simpler bikes and a market far less fragmented and specialized. Modern motorcycles are categorized into so many different niches—and have become so tailored to a singular purpose—that it makes you wonder what happened to the good ol' Universal Japanese Motorcycle, like Honda's CB550-1lOOs of yesteryear.
MINUTES AFTER RETIRED BANKER AND LONG-time motorcycle enthusiast Alan Wilzig won his four-year land-use battle in New York's Columbia County, he called in the paving trucks and began laying asphalt. That was two years ago, and now, his 40-foot-wide, 1.1-mile private circuit— plat de résistance being a 20-degree banked corner—is a smooth, black ribbon of tarmac crisply hemmed at elvery bend in orange and white.
Model names synonymous with modern-day motorcycling popped off this month's cover in big, bold letters: Gold Wing, Ninja, Katana...Nuda? Okay, Suzuki's forward-glimpsing Tokyo Show headliner, with its carbon-fiber monocoque bodywork and dual driven wheels, has never rolled off an assembly line in Hamamatsu.
YAMAHA IS WAKING UP. AT LAST October's Intermot Motorcycle Show in Cologne, Germany, the Japanese bike maker demonstrated modern "teaser marketing" with an enigmatic display of a new inline-three-cylinder engine between two wheels and a telescopic fork, with our imagination of the rest symbolized by a filigree of wires and plexiglass.
Castrol Honda World Superbike rider, Repsol Honda MotoGP substitute rider
My priority is Superbike. I only agreed to replace injured Casey Stoner for two races in MotoGP because I'd lost touch in the championship with Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri. It was a good way for me to get more experience. The Bridgestone tires don't give much feedback.
HOW BADLY DO I WANT IT? THAT'S what racers ask themselves each time they suit up for a race. And when it gets down to one event remaining in a season, and a championship is up for grabs, "How badly do I want it?" can take on an intensity where emotions might rule intellect.
THERE'S A LONG STORY behind Moto Guzzi's "small-block" 90-degree V-Twin, a.k.a. the V7. The engine started life in 1977 in the V35 and V50 with 350 and 500cc displacements. Originally plagued by a number of basic faults, the compact Twin finally reached positive maturity when it was enlarged to 650 and later 750cc.
First, as a longtime Harley rider, I find it a bit funny after 30 years of hearing how H-D is so hopelessly archaic with its undersquare motors that now we get to hear all about the geniuses at Honda bringing out an undersquare motor. That aside, I think this new Honda will be an important motorcycle.
THERE'S AN OLD SAYING, "BE CAREFUL what you wish for, because you just might get it." And this is never truer than when you mention to my friend Mike Mosiman that you're thinking about buying another motorcycle. His computer is on full Internet alert all day long (picture the boiler room of the HMS Royal Oak preparing for the Battle of Jutland), and he's never more than a few key taps away from total knowledge.
WHEN IT COMES TO ENGINE LUBRICAtion, we are thoroughly spoiled. The only action we need ever take is to change oil and filter at the mileage stated in the owner's handbook, and if we are especially fussy, to check oil level from time to time.
The Practical Tactical Inoffensive Small-Bore Adventure One-Bike-Solution
BMW F700GS vs. Honda NC700X DCT ABS vs. Kawasaki Versys vs. Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS
Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS
Honda NC700X DCT ABS
NC700X DCT ABS
V-STROM 650 ABS
NO DOUBT THE ALL-NEW HONDA NC700X IS A GREAT MOTORcycle, but it wasn't long after the moto-press began throwing around terms like "revolutionary" and "game-changer" and "make mine red" before cooler heads (our readers) began to question the bike's claim to unique fame (read this month's Hotshots).
BMW (carefully) liquid-cools the flat-Twin. It only took 90 years...
BMW HAS UNDERGONE A PRO-found transformation since 2004. Before that time, it was a defender of established tradition, manufacturing civilized touring motorcycles. Max Friz's boxer-Twin engine architecture had defined the company since 1923.
I HATE STUNT RIDING. I MIGHT EVEN HATE STUNT RIDERS. THE so-called sport of stunting competition has, since its inception, been populated by uncultured sociopaths intent on destroying our sacred 120-year history of motorcycling. Stunt riders are basically highway criminals who've found a means to monetize their antisocial and illegal behavior.
In its potential as a global motorcycle sport, the XDL is suddenly ahead of the curve. It fits into emerging economies and evolving motorcycle cultures. The growing populations and exploding middle classes in Eastern nations have suddenly put motorcycles into the hands of multitudes who are begging for bike events in countries bereft of funds or real estate for roadracing facilities.
Like your average roadracing motorcycle, a professional stunt bike is a specialized machine that’s highly modified from stock. Some are fitted with full, custom-built steel cages that provide protection against the many low-speed falls that happen when developing tricks, as well as added degrees of steering lock for making the tightest turns possible.
The do-it-all Duc gets a little more of all the things that make it a great motorcycle
AFTER MAKING A BUNCH OF SIGNIFICANT UPGRADES TO ITS BEST-SELLING (in Europe) Multistrada line for 2013, Ducati invited the moto press to Bilbao, Spain, to sample its new wares—specifically, the 1200 S Touring. All four Multis (1200, 1200 S Touring, the new Granturismo and the Pikes Peak Edition) get a new, second-gen 11-degree DS Testastretta V-Twin claimed to make 5 percent more torque than before.
IF THERE EVER HAS BEEN A MOTORCYCLE COMPANY ACCUSED OF SERVING UP AN extra helping of high-performance sportbike goodness, Kawasaki is guilty as charged. After all, more is more. And once again, Kawasaki is convinced that bigger-is-better formula is the ticket to sales success in a market segment in which only European manufacturers Ducati (848 EVO), MV Agusta (F3 675) and Triumph (Daytona 675) have recently been willing to take risks.
When times are hard, manufacturers know they must keep interest high even if they can't do the same for sales. But new products cost money—money for engineering, for testing, for new tooling. That money just doesn't exist! Where is the new pizzazz to come from?
Headed to parts unknown? Or just over the hill and through the woods? No matter where or how far your route may take you, Klim’s newly upgraded, premium-quality Adventure Rally jacket ($1499.99; sizes S-3XL) and pant ($899.99; even waist sizes 30-42) are designed to protect your body against the elements as well as unexpected encounters with Mother Earth. Jacket and pant pull together top-shelf Gore-Tex Pro Shell Armacor, Superfabric “slide zones” and CE-approved D3O Xergo armor at the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. A D3O Viper Pro Level 2 back protector is standard. Additiona features include arm-, backand chest-ventilation ports, built-in waist support and space for a hydration pack.
If you’re in the market for a GPS receiver, you might want to take a close look at the Garmin zūmo 350LM. This lightweight, waterproof navigator has a glove-friendly, Bluetooth-compatible interface and is jam-packed with features that will help you get where you want to go on a bike or in a car. In addition to search, turn-by-turn navigation and traffic avoidance, plus new programs like Service History Log, lane assist with junction view and TrackBack, there’s BaseCamp, a free software program from Garmin that “allows users to create routes, waypoints and tracks from their computer and transfer them to the zūmo.” Lifetime map updates are included in the $699.99 MSRP.
How To Ride Off-Road Motorcycles
Contrary to its title, “How To Ride Off-Road Motorcycles,” Gary LaPlante’s full-color, 176-page instructional guide isn’t just for the dirt set. In fact, when LaPlante, a lifelong rider who has competed in nearly every two-wheel motorized discipline, realized there was a need for “higher-quality, more practical, real-world motorcycle training,” he “began developing his own curriculum and started writing this book.” The resulting 21 chapters are chock-full of on-bike exercises, advice from industry leaders, “Tales from the Trail” and insights gleaned from five decades of riding experience. The $27.99 paperback is food for thought for anyone, regardless of age or on/off-road experience, who would like to become a better motorcyclist. Who among us doesn’t have that on the top of his or her to-do list?
CamSure Tie-Down Straps
Bike loaded in your truck, van or trailer and ready to roll? Are you sure? Black+G ray’s CamSure Tie-Down Straps ($48.95) incorporate a unique clamping knob to “provide the security of a ratchet strap without complex mechanisms that eventually fail.” Manufactured in the U.S., the powdercoated gated latch hooks and 1.5-inchwide x 5.5-feet-long nylon straps are tested and load-rated at both 45-and 180-degree angles.
HOW DO YOU BUILD A SPORT GLOVE WITH great feel and keep it waterproof? Previous generations of Gore-Tex gloves got the waterproof construction right but, essentially, you had to wear two gloves: an outer leather shell and a fabric glove inside it that had the waterproof laminate.
Q I come from a sport-touring background, so owning a cruiser-style bike is quite a change for me. One thing I’m having trouble with is the low-speed handling characteristics, specifically parking-lot speeds. The 2006 Yamaha Venture Royale my wife fell in love with (that passenger seat!) handles okay once it gets going, but before that, it’s a top-heavy, wobbly, handful of a bike that I’m uncomfortable with.
Do you like riding vintage bikes but get completely tired of the bull$#!t? Yeah, me, too. That’s why I bought back my 1974 Norton 850 Commando Roadster (he says without irony). After I sold this very Commando about 10 years ago, I’d done a couple of Velocettes (one of which I still own and love, even though it hurts me so) and enjoyed my now-sold ’58 Triumph Trophy, but between the more aged performance (or lack thereof) and lighting/reliability issues, I thought I’d step a bit forward in time and bought the Norton back.
Years sold: 2002-2008 MSRP new: $10,999 (2002) to $11,299 (2008) Blue Book retail value: $4195 (2002) to $6500 (2008) Basic specs: A sohc, fuel-injected, 50-degree V-Twin cruiser that displaced 1470cc in 2002 and 2003, then was pumped up to 1552cc via a bore increase from 2004 until it went out of production at the end of the 2008 model year.
From Austria to Argentina, the motorcycle racing world has never seen anyone quite like Poland’s wild-and-crazy off-road extremist, Taddy Blazusiak
ENDUROCROSS, HARD ENDURO AND WORLD RALLY: Taddy Blazusiak does it all. Unquestionably among the world’s best off-road motorcyclists, he’s a technically brilliant fireball who has expertly merged his world-class trials-riding finesse with blazing motocross speed and, in the process, rewritten the racer’s playbook for extreme off-road competitions.
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