The motorcycle market has been addicted to the baby boomer since he was able to afford a motorcycle. And the boomer has been addicted to the motorcycle market. It’s been a good relationship. Depending on who you talk to in the motorcycle industry, we have something like 15 to 20 more years of big numbers of boomers peeling large green for the expensive and tech-rich motorcycles.
Harley’s new LiveWire research project proves what many of us have known for years: The Motor Company’s engineers are not thick-necked, knuckle-dragging Luddites but as capable and talented as any in the world. But if you’re already selling everything you make, why tamper with success?
For any retroloving motorcycle enthusiast, the eye glides along the sweet, svelte lines of the 2015 Yamaha SR400 just like it did in 1978— because Yamaha got it right back then and correctly chose not to change much since. But the defining element of the new-again-to-the-US Yamaha single is the kickstarter that folds out on the right-hand side of bike.
Touted as Italy’s first electric superbike, the Energica Ego certainly looks the part, boasting sporty styling cues you might associate with MV Agusta. But I’ve yet to fully embrace the electric motorcycle. Thus far, the price, performance, and practicality all fall significantly short of petrol-powered alternatives.
Major changes have been made to the 2015 Honda CRF250R. Most significant: It now has a 49mm Showa Separate Function Fork, which features a Triple Air Chamber (SFF-Air) air spring in the left fork tube and damping in the right. Besides this highly tunable fork, which weighs 2.8 pounds less than a conventional unit, the Honda MXer also has a front brake rotor that has been enlarged to 260mm (from 240) to provide a stronger yet more progressive feel.
Following a one-year hiatus from the Harley lineup, the Road Glide returns with a host of Project Rushmore and styling updates. Most noticeable is its frame-mount “sharknose” fairing, which is 1.4 inches narrower than the previous design and has a “triple Splitstream vent” designed to improve airflow while reducing buffeting.
The term "lithium-ion battery" includes a wide variety of possible electrode chemistries and electrolytes, and as these types of batteries proliferate, we decided it was time to provide a basic primer on them. One of the most important facts is that lithium reacts vigorously with water or water vapor.
It’s hard to improve upon the KTM 1190 Adventure; after all, it’s such a sweet ride that we named it the Best Adventure Bike of 2014. KTM, though, has managed to up the ante for 2015 with the new 1290 Super Adventure, a sport-touring version of the bike that was revealed to the public September 30 at the Intermot show in Cologne, Germany.
Tires are the single biggest performance enhancement for any ADV motorcycle. By simply throwing on a set of knobby tires, the current breed of 1,000-plus-cc adventuretourers can become surprisingly off-road-capable. But full-on knobbies have a very limited lifespan, so Continental has created a new tire called the TKC 70 that bridges the gap between its more street-oriented Trail Attack2 and the TKC 80 knobby.
Today’s MotoGP riders learned in Moto2 to push to the limit the few variables under their control. You can’t fall if you are already down! In photo 1, you see the front going, and Marquez tries to “dig it in” to keep it gripping. No good. In photo 2, the front’s turned even more.
Proving that vintage revivals are nothing new, we got Kenny Roberts and Bob Hannah aboard classic bikes. The King rode a ’59 Norton Manx, and Hurricane blew through some berms on a '64 Rickman Triumph. “God, I dread riding this bike,” Roberts said before saddling up.
We’ve received quite a few letters asking why Senior Editor Blake Conner is wearing sneakers while riding the electric Harley-Davidson LiveWire on the cover of our September issue. While it’s nice to be cared about, let us explain: The footwear in question is the Sidi Insider, a sneaker-like shoe that has an armored toe box and ankle protection.
Those dark, hidden places can kill your steel. Dirt builds up and traps moisture. Next thing, corrosion starts. S100® Total Cycle Cleaner is the answer. Its creeping power can get to places you can’t reach or even see. Then its penetrating action zaps even the toughest stains.
Sometimes you just don't want to look like a Stormtrooper when arriving at your destination Pagnol’s M1 Jacket ($699) is constructed with tumble-aged cowhide (1.0 to 1.2mm thick) and antique brass hardware. Contoured sleeves and accordion panels in the elbows ensure on-bike comfort. Internal pockets accept optional armor.
Old-school helmets might be hip, but 30-year-old lids are just plain unsafe in terms of protection. The Bell Bullitt ($399.95) is inspired by the original Bell Star and features all the safety, quality, and fit of a modern helmet in a throwback look. Leather trim, metal mesh air vents, and bubble or flat visors highlight the retro theme.
Men’s Coin Wallet
Love Italian craftsmanship and high-tech carbon fiber? The Charles Maier Men’s Coin Wallet ($299) melds motorsport with fashion. Made from hand-stitched lambskin and American-sourced carbon that won’t crack or delaminate, this 4.5 x 4-inch wallet has four credit card slots, a coin pouch, and twin bill compartments.
Sliders 4.0 Jeans
More often than not, motorcyclists wear jeans as their pants of choice. While denim is casual and comfortable, it doesn’t offer good abrasion resistance. So why not step up the protection a notch with a pair of stonewashed, Kevlar-lined Sliders 4.0 Jeans ($84.99). Waist sizes 30 to 44; inseam 30 to 36, Armor inserts are optional.
Klim, maker of high-end adventure riding gear, has launched a line of lifestyle clothing for when the riding stops and the benchracing begins. The Downtime ($74.99) and Fireside ($79.99) shirts are made with breathable stretch fabrics that don't need ironing. High-quality buttons and construction should provide excellent durability.
They say silence is golden. And it is, but a quick phone call, intercom discussion with another rider/passenger, or music playing in your helmet isn't so bad at times either. The Scala Rider Q3 MultiSet zip-case comes with two complete Q3s that are pre-paired for voice-activated direct communication (if you choose to set it up that way) up to 3,200 feet, and as many as four Q3s can be connected like this.
If you were a medieval instead of a millennial, what would you ride into deadly battle? It wouldn't be Eeyore or some one-eyed Shetland with a hoof abscess. Instead, you’d choose a stallion: strong, fast, smart, and ready to help you survive a vicious joust at a moment’s notice.
Sometimes it's fun to contemplate bumper stickers while idling in traffic. One of my favorites is "Born Okay the First Time," offered as a wry counterpoint to the original “Born Again.” Which, of course, makes me think of Norton Commandos.
When US dirt-track star Brad Baker defeated MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez in the Spanish Superprestigio indoor short-track event last December, people paid attention. Why? First of all, enthusiasts could see the show streamed live on fanschoice.tv, thanks to last-minute arrangements.
TURNING “SOMEDAY” INTO TODAY ON THE BMW R1200GS ADVENTURE AND THE KTM 1190 ADVENTURE R
Riding motorcycles in Baja with a surfboard lashed to the side is an idea that was born to me in my early twenties. Those were the days of first experiencing the magnificent charm of Baja California and all of its rustic beauty. It's a place of rugged, friendly people, seemingly endless dirt roads crisscrossing this sparsely populated peninsula from coast to coast, and lazy beaches where distant swells come to retire, as if they too are unable to resist its charm.
THE 2015 INDIAN SCOUT CHANNELS ITS SPORTY HERITAGE AND TAKES IT ONTO MAIN STREET
A motorcycle is never just a motorcycle, and the all-new 2015 Indian Scout takes that truth to its extreme. The Sturgis Rally started 74 years ago, during the last moments of the original-lineage Indian Scout’s production. This year, after waiting nearly all of those seven decades, the rally was reunited with this sporty old friend.
Indian's new liquid-cooled V-twin gives us what we want
Indian’s new 1,133cc Scout is based upon the concept of the original Scout of 1920, which was an American sporting middleweight. To learn more, I spoke with Product Director Gary Gray and engineers Matt Frank (program lead), Wayne Kolden (development lead), Dean Jagielo (hardware development), and Blaine Kaeser (hardware design).
It's a good time to be shopping for a motorcycle, especially if, like most, your decision requires a bit of thriftiness. The sheer number of machines available for less than $8,500 means there is something for almost everyone's tastes these days.
ROYAL ENFIELD CONTINENTAL GT
HARLEY-DAVIDSON XL883N SPORTSTER IRON 883
KAWASAKI NINJA 300/ABS
KAWASAKI KLR650 NEW EDITION
KAWASAKI NINJA 650
XL883N SPORTSTER IRON 883
Yamaha’s tuning fork must actually be a magic wand because it has figured out how to deliver exceptional fun, value, and high-quality finishes for a ridiculously affordable price, an outcome rarely achieved in motorcycling. The FZ-09 and Star Bolt paved the way, but this FZ-07 takes it to another level.
No s—t, as the fighter jocks say, there I was, astride my Ninja 250R, a bike I bought because it did everything I can ask a motorcycle to do. Red light, and I filtered to the front of the line. Green light, and I performed my usual spirited launch...
It only took one trackday and a few hundred more miles of aggressive back-road charging on the FZ-09 after our last update to convince us we needed to dramatically improve suspension performance. Race Tech reworked the stock fork with a Gold Valve (damping is in the right leg only) and stiffer springs ($449.96).
I've ridden a variety of sportbikes, naked bikes, cruisers, and even some older classics. And now, with our long-term Indian Chieftain, I’ve had the opportunity to spend several thousand miles of quality time on a bagger-style bike. In short, I’m impressed.
Q: I have a 2014 Triumph Scrambler with a 2-into-1 Arrow pipe. My mechanic told me not to remap the injection. The bike goes nice and sounds like a woman in love! Should I remap it? Could I break it? LUCIANO GONZALEZ-LOBO VIA CYCLEWORLD.COM A: If it's not broken, don't fix it.
YEARS SOLD: 2001-2010 BASE MSRP NEW: $17,499 ('01) to $22,899 ('10) BLUE BOOK RETAIL VALUE: $9,890 ('01) to $17,605 ('10) BASIC SPECS: This classic Honda touring machine—the last Gold Wing made in the US—is powered by a silky smooth flat-six, a fuel-injected 1,832cc mill that mounts in a sporty aluminum chassis.
You know that sickening feeling of a fastener or threads yielding from too much torque? There’s almost nothing worse, especially when you’re reassembling your motorcycle and about to taste beautiful freedom once again. Great mechanics develop a feel and judgment for fastener tightness by repetition.
Why is Marc Marquez able to do things others cannot?
At Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Marc Marquez made it 10 wins in a row. After having "some moments" in early laps, he gave early leader Valentino Rossi a try on lap five, but Rossi riposted strongly. Thereafter, Marquez waited for his front tire to become more consistent, repeated his attack on lap 10, and this time got away to win by 1.8 seconds.
Last April at Circuit of The Americas, Colin Edwards announced he will retire from motorcycle racing at the end of this season. Five months later at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Edwards’ final appearance on American soil, the two-time World Superbike champion and 12-time MotoGP podium finisher received a worthy send-off.
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