I HAVE TWO ESSENTIAL MINDS IN LIFE. ONE is Mad Motorcyclist and the other is Firefighter EMT. Sometimes I struggle to know when I should be wearing which helmet. Seven years ago, before joining the fire department as a volunteer, I was blissfully ignorant of the many ways we can get injured in this world—and not just from potential motorcycle crashes.
KTM’s 2014 1190 Adventure joins the luxury travel brigade, with more displacement, power and features
BEGINNING WITH THE 2003 KTM 950 Adventure, Austria’s answer to BMW’s big-bore GS series has been the ADV bike for off-road enthusiasts. Like its Bavarian competition, the 950 was inspired by long-distance off-road-racing machines, namely the LC8 950R that Fabrizio Meoni rode to victory in the 2002 Dakar Rally.
Based on my brief ride at the global press introduction in the Canary Islands, I’d say the KTM 1190’s level of engine performance is in the same league as that of the Ducati Multistrada, the sportiest machine in the big-bore ADV class. As a streetbike, the 1190 is way better than the 990 Adventure it replaces, and its electronics package is intuitive in operation and excellent in function.
The World’s Fastest!” proclaimed our cover, which showcased three bikes: a 143-mph Wood-Rotax SJ600 Single, a 154-mph Ducati 851 eight-valve Twin and a 165-mph Kawasaki Ninja 1000 inline-Four. Ron Wood’s meticulously crafted four-stroke roadracer was a labor of love that attracted the riding talent of some notable professional racers, including Chris Carr and Cycle World tester Doug Toland.
THE NEW CRF450 RALLY IS THE FIRST factory bike to carry the Honda banner into rally competition since 1989. Instead of being a full-on factory works machine, however, the CRF Rally is based upon the production CRF450X. Very loosely based, it seems, according to Team HRC Director and Project Leader Katsumi Yamazaki.
New 6D ATR-1 helmet aims to dramatically reduce concussions
THIS SEASON IN AMA 250cc SUPERCROSS, Eli Tomac and his Team GEICO Honda teammates are wearing a special new helmet designed to reduce concussions. Called the ATR-1 and built by 6D—a company started by Bob Weber and Robert Reisinger in Brea, California—the helmet looks fairly conventional but features a proprietary kinetic-energy management system said to be much more effective than traditional MX lids in absorbing lowthreshold impact energy, the primary cause of concussions in riders.
"Urban Mobility Vehicles" are more than just big scooters
Los ANGELES PROVIDED A picture-perfect backdrop for BMW to introduce its C650GT and C600 Sport “Urban Mobility Vehicles” to the U.S. media. Not only does the sprawling Southland with its 12-million-plus inhabitants qualify as a “megacity,” California is the only state in the union that allows lane-splitting.
The two-wheel world is a richer place with El Solitario’s stuff on the road (“El Solitario,” February). It’s bold, it’s fun and from what I hear, the bikes work. They look hand-built, too, nicely so, ready to use, not to show. The big factories will be watching, then soon copying, albeit in watered-down form.
I DON’T THINK I’M EXAGGERATING MUCH when I say my BSA 441 Victor ran last weekend. Yes, the thing actually carried me up the hill to the nearest stop sign and then roared back down again. Exactly two miles under its own power. It was a little brisk out there—almost too cold for combustion—but I hardly noticed because I was drenched in sweat from kicking for 20 minutes and then physically running the bike up and down the driveway to break the clutch loose and bump-start it.
THIS IS A CLASSIC TALE THAT WILL BE re-enacted until the asteroid comes: For a variety of often very good reasons, motorcycles grow heavier and heavier until they become nonsense. In our own time, we saw the growth of sportbikes push weight to 600 pounds, triggering a “correction” from Suzuki in the form of its 1985 GSX-R750.
BMW’s all-new R1200GS pushes the technology and performance envelopes with careful adherence to history
A GOOD FRIEND ONCE TOLD ME HE LIKED TO HAVE HIS finger hovering over the proverbial eject button in life, even though he never had any intention of using it. The feeling it conveyed to him was that he could chuck it all at any time and somehow live “free.”
For a bit of insight into how Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment works, I sat down with BMW’s head of chassis development, Jörg Ploss. I told him how much we enjoyed the pushbutton ESA II on the K1600GTL long-term bike we’d had and his comment was, “Yes, but this is old!” According to Ploss, 90 percent of BMW’s motorcycle buyers opt for ESA, whereas only 25 percent of BMW car buyers select electronically adjustable suspension from the options sheet.
BMW’s GS has launched a million adventure dreams. This man’s became a 32-year reality.
The GS Spotter’s Guide
It was a rainy day in my hometown of Kristiansand, Norway, when I picked up my first BMW G/S. The year was 1981, and I had decided to leave my photography career for a two-wheel journey to Africa. At the time, the BMW R80G/S was the perfect template for a world traveler taking to the road.
If you had to run to the hills and into unknown territory, which bike would you take? One of these.
THE MAYANS SERIOUSLY SCREWED UP. EITHER that, or we are not very good at reading their hieroglyphs. Most of us woke up last December 22nd and realized that the predicted doomsday hadn’t materialized. But it got the Cycle World staff thinking...
The safer you are, the more fun you will have—it’s as simple as that. Nobody likes when crash bars dig into terra firma and saddlebags get ripped off their mounts. Follow these five tips and you’ll do a much better job of keeping your bike and yourself together.
The word “adventure” summons thoughts of the unknown. But knowing where you are and where you are going can be a challenge. Here are five tips to make your trip both more and less adventurous. 1 Never underestimate the power of a good paper map.
In 2002, Cycle World took delivery of the very first KTM 950 Adventure in the U.S. We quickly fell in love with this bike—frame number 100—and we kept it in our long-term fleet for its first 15,000 miles. Then, as CW’s Off-Road Editor at the time, I purchased the 950 because I liked it so much.
World traveler Helge Pedersen shares what he loaded onto his 2012 BMW R1200GS before embarking on his adventure trip from Seattle to Tierra del Fuego 1 The Think Tank Retrospective 30 camera shoulder bag carries all my paperwork, electronics and camera gear.
MY DAD, A MASTER MECHANIC FOR much of his career, lacked the patience to learn how to program a VCR. Makes me wonder how he—or even a guy like the legendary Giacomo Agostini—would adapt to the new MV Agusta F4 with its myriad of complex, menu-driven options.
Aftermarket brakes designed to perform better than new
FAST. HEAVY. THOSE WORDS DESCRIBE Kawasaki’s ZX-14R, and they help explain why the stock front brake rotors on our long-term 2012 model were warped like potato chips after just 8000 miles. Slight vibration while braking became heavy shudder that wasn’t going to disappear on its own.
NOLAN DIDN’T INVENT THE MODULAR helmet, but the Italian company does claim to have “reinvented” the popular flip-up style with its N-104. This DOT-approved design stands out from the crowd of modular helmets because of its unique shape. Slab sides of the polycarbonate shell taper toward a kicked-up, spoiler-like ridge above the rear air-extraction vents.
Whether a plague of locusts rained down from the heavens or a solitary flying creature appeared from nowhere—splat!—the result is the same: Your faceshield is smeared with bug guts. Cycle Wipes are made from “non-woven, dirt-grabbing mesh fabric” and come pre-moistened and neatly folded in a resealable 12-pack ($6.95). According to the manufacturer, one 4 x 8-inch wipe will typically clean a faceshield or goggles and visor, then, when re-folded, also tidy up your bike’s headlight and turnsignals.
Cycle Wipes LLC
Classic Motorcycle Race Engines
If you’re a fan of Kevin Cameron’s technical writing (who among us isn’t?), buy this book. Classic Motorcycle Race Engines (408 pages; $48.95) explores 50 racing engines in great detail, from early Moto Guzzi Singles to the Kawasaki and Yamaha 750cc two-strokes that Cameron spent a decade building and tuning to the latest MotoGP machinery from Ducati, Honda and Yamaha. A snippet: “Much nonsense has been uttered with regard to Honda’s racing engines of the 1960s—that they contained wondrous metals unknown to science, that they could not be successfully made today and so on. Like all of man’s works, the fabulous Honda racers were imperfect.”
Cycle Wipes LLC
Michelin Anakee III
Michelin says its new Anakee III has three distinctive attributes that make it ideal for big, powerful adventure-touring bikes: 1) beveled lateral grooves that shed mud and gravel when riding off-road; 2) indented tread grooves, which provide consistent lateral grip even as the tire wears; and 3) transverse grooves to evacuate water for dependable wet-weather grip. Prices start at $180.95 for fronts and $235.95 for rears.
Cycle Wipes LLC
Bronco Top Zip Crossbody
Travel back in time with Tumi and Ducati. Inspired by the Italian bike maker's historic one-two finish with Paul Smart and Bruno Spaggiari in the 1972 Imola 200, the Retro Collection has four pieces: Bronco Top Zip Crossbody ($425), Evoluzione International Carry-On ($995), Apollo Crossbody ($495) and Scrambler Rucksack ($595). Soft, saddle-colored, full grain leather is used throughout the line.
Q My 2001 Yamaha R1 fails to start if it is cold or left out overnight in the elements. The bike has 20,000 miles on it, but all the required maintenance is current. It has had a valve job, a new starter and a throttle-body adjustment, and I replaced the battery with an upgraded lithium unit, but the engine still fails to start in cold weather or when left outside all night.
Years sold: 1996-present (except 2010) MSRP new: $5199 (1996) to $6399 (2013) Blue Book retail value: $1830 (1996) to $4985 (2012) Basic specs: An air-cooled, 644cc, single-cylinder, 40mm-Mikuni-carbureted dual-sport bike with a 58.7-in.
If you think you’ve seen this tool here before, that’s because you have—sort of. This is Park Tool’s (www.parktool.com) AV-5 Aluminum Vise Insert ($34.95), which is a more-versatile variation of the Park AV-4 that was featured in the February, 2010, Tool Time.
braking and more stable corner entry.” When I asked similar questions of Marinelli, he said the riders still have a bit of chatter with the newly mandated 17-inch wheels, which replace the previous 16.5s. “The stiffness of the chassis changes overall behavior,” said Marinelli.
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