Almost everybody wants to ride or be associated with motorcycles. After decades,American culture has finally come around to understanding the wonder and awesomeness of riding. Or so I thought. When I first started riding a streetbike in 1986, walking into a restaurant holding my Freddie Spencer-replica Arai and clomping in wearing motorcycle boots often resulted in the jukebox stopping with that record-scratch sound and the place going quiet.
The H2 has been described as another high-tech answer (for a question that was not asked) for those with a lot of disposable income. How ’bout an H1, with a direct-injected, water-cooled, two-stroke triple with an off-the-shelf chassis for the masses?
New electronics make Triumph’s middleweight ADVs much better in the dirt
TIGER 800 XC
It's amazing that more companies aren't building middleweight ADV machines. Currently, only Triumph and BMW (F800GS) have completely modern versions in their lineups. Bigger is not always better, especially off the beaten path. Triumph’s Tiger 800 XC has impressed us over the years, particularly with its street chops, one of the main things that helped it win a Ten Best award in 2011.
If hitting the highway is more your style than venturing onto the dirt, the XRx ($12,499)/XR ($11,399) is likely a better choice than the more adventurous and $1,000 more expensive XCx/XC models. Key differences on the XR include Showa suspension (compared to the XC’s WP) front and rear, with just under 1.5 inches less travel, at 7 inches.
We are big dual-sport fans and have had an ongoing love affair with KTM's enduro-ready 500 EXC. But other than a few offerings from tiny Beta, it's pretty much been a one-bike class for a long time. Which is why we're stoked to see the new Husqvarna FE 501 S and its 350cc sibling.
With bags and windscreen, this KTM would make a great ADV
690 ENDURO R
Even if you've been hiding in a cave for the past five years, you couldn't have missed the fact that ADV bikes are grabbing headlines. And as this segment sorts itself out, it seems that most manufacturers are biasing the machines' capabilities more toward asphalt than dirt.
Meet the Tech-Air Street, a compact, self-contained airbag intended for use on or off road with any type of motorcycle. When inflated, the lightweight, reusable bag covers most of the upper body, cushioning it from impacts. Aside from charging the battery, no setup or service is required unless the bag is activated.
The day after the 2014 MotoGP finale, Alex Marquez-Marc’s younger brother-was given 12 laps on his brother’s Honda as a reward for winning the Moto3 title. As the Marquez brothers lapped Valencia, Valentino Rossi had some fun by splitting the brothers and creating this Rossi sandwich.
If you like Cycle World's past as much as we do, now you can get online access to every single issue we’ve published. For subscription information, hit c2c.cycleworld.com, A great search engine makes it easy to find any article, test, review, or feature that we’ve published in the last 52 years.
The VX800 might have been on our February cover, but the Suzuki that arguably had a more lasting impact was the new DR350. In “The Return of the Mini Thumper,” we praised Suzuki for building this new DR, which proved to be far more agile than a big-bore four-stroke and a much better machine than the earlier Honda XR350 and Yamaha TT350 models.
Timeless styling meets long-lasting durability in this 100-percent-horse-hide limited-edition Bell Helmets jacket ($900) made by Schott N.Y.C. (think Brando, James Dean, etc.). This classic racer jacket has rally stripes and Bell logos on the shoulders. Side buckles optimize fit, while cuff zippers make getting on/off easy. Includes a zip-out liner.
BMW's R nineT roadster has been a smashing success, with demand outpacing production. But if you really want to hear the boxer twin’s glorious music, uncork it with Yoshimura R&D’s RS-3 slip-on exhaust ($379). The aluminum canister, with a turn-down tip made of machined aluminum, includes a low-volume insert.
Recently announced by Bluetooth specialist Sena Technologies, the 10C ($399) is a new action camera/communication system combo unit allowing real-time recording of narration to complement 1080p video. The four-way communicator, which uses voice prompts, has a 900-meter range, music sharing, and an FM radio.
Italian helmet maker AGV has just released a new lid called the K3 SV (starting at $199.95), designed utilizing the company's Extreme Standards build-quality guidelines. Features include an internal sun visor, a thermoplastic shell, and four intake and two exhaust vents. The K3 SV is DOT/ECE certified and available in sizes XS to XXL.
portable golf clubs/bag
$499.95 to $899.95
Don’t miss that tee time because you don’t have a car; just throw DV8 Sports’ portable golf clubs/bag ($499.95 to $899.95) on your back and ride to the links. DV8’s patented, tool-free coupler allows club heads to be interchanged on one or two custom shafts (stiff, regular, or ladies/senior). The entire set weighs less than 15 pounds.
Despite having an almost serial obsession for old motorbikes, I will readily admit: Some of them are death traps ready to reap. They have lousy suspension and worse tires and brakes. Their lights are dimmer than Scrooge's candle. They're often deficient in acceleration and cornering, and the controls work slower than a congressional caucus.
VENTURE HEAT GRAND TOURING COLLECTION ELECTRIC CLOTHING
Get warmly wired from head to toe
When I left Abilene, Texas, the thermometer hadn't broken 40 degrees, and the windchill from the 35-mph breeze put temps slightly below freezing. I was headed north from the COTA MotoGP race, directly into the wind, and had a long ride ahead of me.
Changes in tires are not only driven by changes in rubber and construction technology but also by what riders need and want from tires. Back in 2002 at the beginning of MotoGP, Valentino Rossi said this about two-/four-stroke differences relating to tires: “With the four-strokes, there is a close relationship between the throttle and the back tire, so when we accelerate a little we are already giving power to the rear rubber.
Times have been hard for motorcycle manufacturers and, up until recently, new models scarce. Now it's time to begin again, and Yamaha is doing it in a big way with a revolutionary new YZF-R1 and limited-production YZF-R1M. The first wave of motorcycle electronics came from Europe, but the second wave—this Yamaha with its MotoGP-inspired suite of lean-angle-sensing Traction Control, Wheelie Control, ABS plus linked braking, and Slide Control—is profoundly greater.
DVT AND IMPROVED ELECTRONICS UP THE MULTISTRADA’S GAME
The new Multistrada revealed at the EICMA show in Milan might be the most sophisticated and advanced bike in Ducati’s lineup. Styling has been revised with new graphics, but that pales in comparison to the significant evolutionary changes that have taken place with its Testastretta engine.
BMW traditionalists, rejoice: The RS powered by the boxer twin is back! By today's standards, it is not as breathtaking as the R100RS from the mid-1970s, but this new R1200RS still represents the rational rebirth of that bike, a fantastic sport-tourer that was replaced by the heavier and bulkier R1200RT.
FIVE NEW 2015 BIKES THAT WILL INSPIRE YOU. AND HER.
Gender neutrality has not been a familiar concept in the motorcycle industry. Until maybe now. As the demographic of motorcyclists becomes more and more diverse and the gender gap narrows, manufacturers seem to be steering clear of a his-and-hers mentality and focusing instead on, um, affirmative traction.
ONE OF THE FABLED NAMES IN BRITISH MOTORCYCLING IS BACK IN THE BIKE BUSINESS AFTER MORE THAN 40 YEARS
The roller doors are up and through the openings, in adjacent, purpose-built industrial units sit a dozen Ariel Atoms, the Honda-powered, British-built pocket rocket that rewrote the rule book on a street-legal car's power-to-weight ratio.
The Kawasaki Concours 14 is a world-class sport-tourer, while the track-focused ZX-10R wears the world superbike crown. Filling a middle ground between these mission-specific models, the Ninja 1000 offers real-world sporting prowess and excellent light sport-touring capability.
STUTTERING KAW Q: I own a 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS with about 5K miles on it. Great bike. I am having a strange problem within a specific rpm range. When in top gear on the highway and between 3,800 and 4,200 rpm, at about 80 to 85 mph, the bike stutters when steady throttle is being applied.
BASIC SPECS: Some 60,000 twin-carburetor Bonnevilles and single-carb Tiger 750s (and other variants) were produced. The classic air-cooled, parallel-twin displaced 724cc on early bikes but after mid-73 was bumped to 744cc. Early five-speed gear-boxes shifted on the right; 1975 and later were left-hand shift.
Any serious off-roader knows that carrying at least basic tools can be the difference between spending the night in the woods or repairing a broken machine and getting back on the trail. CruzTools (cruztools.com) has assembled a new kit called the Speedkit DMX ($39.95) designed specifically for off-road motorcycles and ATV/UTVs.
AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship power couple
When it comes to race paddocks, amateur or professional, the scene playing out today is not unusual. It's a couple of weeks since the previous race, so wives and girlfriends are standing in groups of three and four making small talk before the action starts.
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