The 2013 Honda CRF450R was hot. Its all-new, fourth-generation design had a fresh new look that was a radical departure from Honda’s norm. New frame geometry, twin mufflers and an air fork were a big step forward. The sleeper motor, though, was a bit of a shortcoming. Although it was [...]Read Full Post | Comments(1)
Latest First Rides
Competition in the four-stroke, 250cc motocross class is fierce. To stay competitive, bikes must be made better each year, improving on the strengths of the outgoing model while expanding the power and handling envelope. Honda knows this well, as proven by the all-new 2014 CRF250R that has been brought in [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
Thousands upon thousands of kids lusted over shiny new Honda Trail 70s during the Seventies, and many of those little folks probably fit the definition of “grom.” I was one of those kids, although since I didn’t grow up surfing, it took until now for me to learn that Honda’s [...]Read Full Post | Comments(37)
A tight economy and rising costs at the pump have spurred increased interest in fuel-efficient, single-cylinder streetbikes. Much is also owed the supermoto movement for lending a cool factor and styling flair to the modern one-lunger. These days, riding a Single doesn’t mean settling for pedestrian performance or bland aesthetics. [...]Read Full Post | Comments(8)
2014 Honda CRF125F and CRF125FB – First Ride Honda’s electric-start replacements for the CRF80F/100F.
Over the years, Honda’s XR75, XR80, XR100 and CRF80/100 models have given countless riders their first taste of dirt. I’d even bet that just as many people got started on an XR (or a CRF80/100) as the often-cited Honda 50. The time-proven formula of a durable air-cooled, two-valve, four-stroke engine [...]Read Full Post | Comments(5)
To say that the 2013 Yamaha YZ250F was badly in need of an update would be an understatement. This motorcycle was not obsolete, but its competitors were leaving it in the dust with regard to innovations. The last bike in its class to retain a carburetor, the 2013 YZ-F had [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
New motorcycle categories emerge with surprising regularity. Here’s one I dreamed up: Mini-Moto SUV. Who is the target buyer? Owners of luxury-tourers, experienced riders who are tired of the size and weight of those massive, over-the-road machines. Restyled this year, the Suzuki Burgman 650 ABS could be categorized as a [...]Read Full Post | Comments(4)
2014 Indian Chief Vintage and Chieftain Bagger – First Ride We get an early ride on the all-new Chief and an inside look at its development.
Indian Motorcycles has taken a tremendous beating in the decades since the 1953 closure of the factory proper, but the nobility of the brand is so deep and the cultural imprint so strong that it has endured. In recent years, Indian was a bit like watching a tough but aging [...]Read Full Post | Comments(91)
When KTM invited Cycle World to the Rattlesnake National Enduro in Cross Creek, Pennsylvania, I had the pleasure of testing most of the Austrian company’s range of serious race-ready trailbikes, both two-strokes and four-strokes. On the tight, technical and rocky trails used by the Brandywine Enduro Riders, where there was [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
2014 KTM 250 XC-W and 300 XC-W – First Ride These two-stroke single-trackers just keep getting more refined.
On the same day I rode KTM’s new four-stroke enduro bikes in Pennsylvania, I got to spend some quality seat time on KTM’s latest two-strokers—the 250 XC-W and the 300 XC-W. Put simply, the new KTM 250 XC-W ($8299) and 300 XC-W ($8499) are the two-stroke power brokers in the [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)