It’s one thing to win the game; it’s something else altogether to change the rules. But that’s what BMW’s new K1600GTL has done to the world of two-wheel touring. It’s no small feat to trump the revered Gold Wing in this category; but with its 11.2-second quarter-mile zip, near-sportbike-quality handling, electronically adjustable suspension and windshield, [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
In normal times, our Best Superbike would be the amazing BMW S1000RR again—the bike Wagner envisioned the Valkyries riding in his opera after he’d had a few absinthes. But these are not normal times, and we’re suckers for American-built V-Twins that make an EPA-ready 160 horses, weigh 384 pounds, are covered in dark carbon-fiber and [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
On Track Again – Racing Kenny Roberts is reunited with his championship-winning Yamaha YZR500 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
In grand style, Kenny Roberts kicked off Yamaha’s 50th anniversary in racing this past July at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The two-time AMA and three-time world champion lapped the 2.238-mile circuit on three different Yamahas: a modified YZF-R1 streetbike; a YZR-M1 factory racer complete with custom “KR” numberplate graphics; and, minutes before Sunday’s MotoGP race, [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
BMW has brought an end to three years of crushing dominance by Kawasaki’s Concours 14. The Bavarian Motor Works last earned the honor of Best Sport-Touring Bike in 2006-07 with its K1200GT and stepped up in a big way this year with its all-new K1600GT. Sure, it’s way more expensive than the C-14, but the [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
Best Motocrosser: Suzuki RM-Z450 – Ten Best Bikes 2011 Suzuki’s MX/SX title winner gets another trophy.
After Yamaha’s YZ450F toppled the Honda CRF450R last year, all bets were off. Now, it’s anyone’s game at the starting gate. This year, Suzuki put all the pieces together to make the RM-Z450 the most-well-rounded MXer of 2011. Previous RM-Zs steered beautifully, but their less-than-perfect suspension action held them back. For 2011, Suzuki not only [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
Best Middleweight Streetbike: Kawasaki ZX-6R – Ten Best Bikes 2011 Team Green’s middleweight monster.
For a third year running, Team Green has been the envy of its class. It can be argued that Kawasaki retained the Best Middleweight crown last year by default due to an uncharacteristic void of new challengers, but 2011 witnessed Suzuki stepping up with its all-new GSX-R600. Although the latest Gixxer has closed the gap, [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
Best trend in dirtbikes at the moment? Race-ready enduro motorcycles made to squeak through federal road-legal regs so that the knobby-shredding fun never has to end. No “enduro” this year epitomized the racebike-with-lights ethic better than Husaberg’s FE570S. Not only can the FE take to asphalt legally whenever necessary, this 565cc fuel-injected beast also has [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
Former racer Dave Ijams phoned me the other day and told me a story of what he says is the best motorcycle racing quote ever. “Novices quaked at the thought that one day, if they became good enough, they’d have to race the mile,” he began. “The mile was big stuff, almost of religious significance. [...]Read Full Post | Comments(4)
Best Open Streetbike: Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Sport – Ten Best Bikes 2011 Do-anything, desmo adventurer.
For the second year running, Ducati’s Multistrada 1200 S Sport has proven that its do-anything design, awesome on- and off-road performance and category-leading features deserve recognition. Powered by a Testastretta “11-degree” engine—a torque-pumped direct descendant of the 1198 superbike’s powerplant—the Multistrada delivers an exhilarating ride. Its tall adventure-bike stature puts its pilot in a comfortable [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)