AMERICA IS A DIVERSE MARKET, YET HARLEY-DAVIDSON SALES TELL US WE ARE A CRUISER NATION.
Harley-Davidson is right. All you have to do is cruise (sorry) the sales numbers to see that America's focus is on traditional American-style riding, and nobody does that kind of ride, that kind of lifestyle, better than The Motor Company.
Loved “Classic Rematch” (Jan./Feb.)! These are two bikes that I lusted after while growing up. The Norton dream was never fulfilled, but my brother and I together did end up buying a 1977 R100RS with a Motorsport paint job and an S fairing. Later, it became a Reg Pridmore project with too much stuff to name, but I never could get it to ride like my Italian motorcycles.
Kawasaki has earned the right to milk a championship hangover with two WSBK titles to its credit in the past three seasons. But Team Green isn’t falling into any such slumber, as the Ninja ZX-10R has undergone a major generational update for 2016.
You have to hand it to Triumph for staying true to its soul with the Speed Triple. Triumph has always had a certain sense of attitude and allure surrounding it. Bonnevilles and Tridents ruled back in the day, but neoclassics like the Speed Triple carry on its personality in the John Bloor era.
BMW brings information to eye level in prototype HUD helmet
It’s almost shocking that head-up displays (HUD) in motorcycle helmets aren’t common by now. The technology to project vital data up into the pilot or driver’s field of view has existed for decades in both the aviation and automotive industries.
THROTTLE LOCK Give your right wrist a rest with the Kaoko Throttle Stabilizer ($99.99—$229.99) designed as a bar-end weight replacement with a variable-friction throttle lock. Its intuitive twist on/off operation serves as a damper for reducing throttle sensitivity, slop, or as cruise control. There are more than 160 models to match OEM bar-end weight and styles. → (855) 255-5550 twistedthrottle.com
Ram Mount Tough Claw with X-Grip
PHONE STAY Smartphones offer many uses, such as GPS navigation and music playback, that the modern motorcyclist may find beneficial mid-ride. The Ram Mount Tough Claw with X-Grip ($51.99) secures your device to the bars and offers convenient ball-pivot adjustment. Optional mounts abound, including a suction-cup and GoPro attachment. → (206)763-8361 rammount.com
ABUS Granit Detecto X-Plus
MOTO MOTION SECURITY The ABUS Granit Detecto X-Plus 8077 ($179.99) is made of special temper hardened steel and incorporates 3-D alarm sensor technology. Once armed and on the brake disc it will detect any motion, emitting a warning sound before the 100-decibel alarm fully triggers—a perfect reminder if you forget the lock is on your bike. → (623) 516-9933 abus.com
HelmetLok and T Bar
THEFT-DETERRING HELMET HANGER Tired of toting your helmet around? The HelmetLok and T Bar ($32.50) is a carabiner-style lock with a programmable combo. The locking arm pivots outward, easing the task of clipping onto a handle-bar or frame tube. The included T Bar accessory is useful for attaching helmets with ratchet-strap mechanisms. → rockycreekdesigns.com
A fundamental for safe and fun motor-cycling is having a clear view of the road ahead. Even if you’re not an open-face helmet wearer, the right pair of prescription shades can make a big difference in how well you see the line threading a fast curve.
"She's mighty-mighty just lettin' it all hang out." Funny, but for years I thought that 1977 Commodores song was about a brick house. Well, think again because the curb weight of a Gold Wing has swelled from 626 pounds in 1977 to 904 for ’16, while the latest Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra weighs in at a hefty 916 pounds.
It’s a dangerous job, that of a motorcycle journalist. Dangerous from both behind the handlebars and in front of the keyboard. And I’m not just talking about forgetting to turn off the blinker or mixing metaphors. The biggest risk a motojournalist faces is in being evaluated for how he or she evaluates.
So much history was created by so few Indian motorcycles, in a sport that was then such a tiny part of the American scene. In its greatest years, Indian was a major innovator, pioneering all-chain drive and a two-speed transmission at a time when belt drive and “light pedal assist” were so common that Isle of Man TT race authorities banned pedaling in 1911.
VICTORY'S NEW 1,200cc CRUISER GETS INDIAN SCOUT BONES AND A SPORTING TWIST
For those of you who haven’t noticed, Polaris, the parent company of Victory and Indian motor-cycles, has been on fire. Having pushed past tough competitors such as Honda and Yamaha, it dominates the North American market for off-road four-wheelers (from ATVs to UTVs and side-by-sides), contends for the top of the snowmobile market with Bombardier, and has seen its earnings and stock rise in reward.
MIKE SONG had a problem. As one of the senior members of Polaris’30-man Industrial Design team, he was expected to compete on new projects if he wanted to work on them, and he wanted the next one: Victory’s midsize cruiser. He had already designed the extremely well-received Victory “CORE” showbike.
From Hetteen Hoist to the Victory Octane, a brief history
While almost every American motorcyclist knows about Harley-Davidson’s history, reaching back to 1903, most are likely less familiar with the corporate background of Polaris Industries, America’s other large motorcycle company, represented by the Indian and Victory brands.
SADDLE UP FOR A NO-FRILLS CRUISE DOWN NOSTALGIA LANE
SOFTAIL SLIM S
Unless you’ve been collecting Social Security longer than you care to admit, you have no personal recollection of the late 1940s. That, obviously, is because you either weren’t around back then or were way too young to remember. But images of that nostalgic era are precisely what the three American-made cruisers seen here are intended to project.
As I rolled out of bed lethargically, it was clear a bit of a pick-me-up was in order. This trio of hip café-inspired cruisers percolating in the Cycle World garage suggested we turn up the heat and hit the road in search of a good cup of joe. Cruising has always been about style, so it’s no surprise that a resurgent café racer culture should influence motorcycles in this otherwise distinctly American space.
THE DIAVEL'S NEW X FACTOR, WHICH IS MORE OF A CRUISER YET NOT
WHEN THE ORIGINAL DIAVEL ROLLED OUT AT the 2010 Milan motorcycle show, it was considered by some to be a broken promise from this brand known for exotic and beautiful superbikes and other sporting creatures with athletic DNA. After one ride, we were not among the doubters.
S&S BUILD A 160-HP "SPORT" BAGGER. AND A HARLEY-DAVIDSON ROAD GLID HAS NEVER BEEN MORE ULTRA.
The temperature was chilly with a chance of low-side. A crisp Wisconsin morning that Tumblr fanatics dream about, with curving roads, dense foliage, and a sheen of frost. And here I was standing in front of a 167-rear-wheel-horsepower bagger that was shivering with fury.
Q: I noticed that the crank in a recent article comparing flat-plane to crossplane designs showed a crossplane crank where the two pistons on the left would be on the way up, while the other two were on the way down, hinting that they may fire an even 360 degrees apart (half the 720-degree cycle).
A dead motorcycle battery has stranded us all, right? Luckily, most of the time a dead battery is discovered in the comfort of our own garage—due to maintenance neglect—and really isn't a huge inconvenience. But then there are the times when you really are in a pickle.
YEARS SOLD: 1986—2003 MSRP NEW: $3995 (’86 XLH) to $9595 (’03 1200C) BLUE BOOK RETAIL VALUE: $2975 (’86) to $3940 (’03) BASIC SPECS: Begin with the best of both worlds. The ridged-mount Evo Sportster was lighter, faster, and more reliable than the very first XLs, the iron-top version.
Sampling a Spondon Yamaha TZ750 roadracer at speed
"I high-sided the TZ750 more than any other bike I’ve ridden.” Dead silence from me. I was four days away from racing Russ Bigley’s Yamaha TZ750. Kenny Roberts continued: “The thing was just so much better than the tires we could get. I’d get it in there and want to pick up the throttle and get going...
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