Not every bike has a Ten Best category, but, as ever, there are bikes that just need to be recognized for other outstanding reasons. So here’s the Ten Rest of 2017. BEST FASTEST BIGGEST: SUZUKI GSX-1300R HAYABUSA The 20th anniversary of big 'Busa is coming.
TT TRACKSIDE OPINION You caught the essence and character of what is the most challenging roadrace in the world better than anything I have previously read (Race Watch, Sept.). I experienced the TT as the race mechanic for English rider Rod Gould in the 1968,1969, and 1970 races.
BMW has officially entered the bagger market with its new K1600B. BMW said it prefers the B to be considered on its own merits as a new model, rather than as a reworked K1600GT/GTL. In my estimation this B is exactly like those H models from the seat forward, including everything.
Suzuki introduced its GSX-S750 to the US market in 2015 and although new to our shores the middleweight sport naked had seen no significant change since its 2011 European debut. And while the GSX-S possesses a degree of GSX-R DNA, it is not by any means (or intent) a high-bar GSX-R stripped of plastic.
Building pressure between initial and final throttle
Be smooth. That advice soaks into our heads the moment we think about riding a motorcycle. We sense the inherent stability issues that are magnified by the addition of an engine to the bicycle we are familiar with. Be smooth; got it. At Yamaha Champions Riding School, we refer to smoothness at the contact patch, loading and unloading the tire and suspension in a linear, repeatable way.
Is there a sadder view than a motorcycle without a warm, dry place to spend the night? It’s so sad to see a bike that’s wet, and getting wetter, or a bike that’s a snow-covered, water-stained, rusting orphan alone in the street. Such thoughts bring disgust to the heart and a tear to the eye.
WHY THE SUTER 500 GP REPLICA HAS THROTTLE BODY INJECTION
Thinking about Suter Racing’s MMX500 offering—its $130,000 replica 500 GP two-stroke V-4—I realize why they gave this bike four-stroke-style throttle body fuel injection. They did it because selling the bike with carburetors would have left its buyers helpless in the face of how it used to be done—confronted by main jets, slides, needle jets, pilot jets, needles, air correction jets, and the various heights of jet shrouds.
SEARCHING FOR THE EARTH’S LONELY, RAGGED EDGE ON THE HONDA AFRICA TWIN AND KTM 1090 ADVENTURE R
The road ran us out of Sedona, the sky kettle black and upturned. Rain poured onto that red desert, flooding usually dry washes with a thick slurry of sand and water. We saw it coming, a wall of weather punctuated by jabs of lightning. The temperature tumbled to the low 50s in a blink.
WHY DON’T ADV BIKES AND MOTOCROSSERS USE CAST WHEELS?
WE ARE A NATION DIVIDED. Forget about that red-state/blue-state thing, or which bathroom to use, or burgers or burritos, boxers or briefs. We’re talking about the state of the motorcycling union. Wheels, specifically. Wire or cast? Incendiary rhetoric aside, here’s the real question.
Almost any motorcycle will make the angels sing when you go for a ride. Because two-wheelers are of course perfect transportation and entertainment. And therapy. And exercise. And sport. And a lot more. But the Ten Best Bikess of 2017 bring even more to the road-and to us-than all of that.
If only! True, you can buy this one for about $50K, and it is a killer middleweight, but it’s not a Best Middle-weight Streetbike. Best Standard? Super-bike? Pretty super, but not quite appropriate. Still, this is one of the best-performing, compact, lightweight motorcycles ever made.
When conducting our 2017 superbike comparison (“The Waiting Game,” August) a great deal of consideration went into the selection of bikes to be included. Foremost, only the most recently updated superbikes were pitted against the previous year’s winner.
In the Bonneville Salt Flats you stand on a mirror of pure white that will burn your skin from below while the arc-welder sun burns from above. Dark, jagged mountains surround it. But it’s flat. And big. A place to run for top speed. In August of 1967, one-man R&D team Burt Munro, then 68 years old, streaked across that salt to set a 1,000cc record of 183.586 mph in his homebuilt streamliner.
HEADER DRESS Q: I am wondering if you could help me out with a mind-boggling thingy regarding my exhaust pipes. I have a Moto Guzzi V7 special and I just changed to a set of matte black Mistral mufflers. I was wondering if you suggest that I wrap the pipes since they are in stainless steel, to help match them with the mufflers, or if I should powder enamel coat them in black instead?
YEARS SOLD: 2010-2013 MSRP NEW: $13,998 ('10) to $13,999 ('13) BLUE BOOK RETAIL VALUE: $7985 ('10) to $10,260 ('13) BASIC SPECS: Based on KTM’s 990 SM platform, the SM T (T designation for “traveler”) expands on the liter-class supermoto concept with a few tweaks aimed at improved comfort and convenience.
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