The California is back, and Moto Guzzi with it. When I first saw the new California 1400 in photos, I thought the bike was competently styled. When I saw it in person at the Milan motorcycle show, I found that Miguel Galluzzi’s styling is absolutely beautiful. Riding the California in [...]
Latest First Rides
2013 Honda CB1100 – First Ride A blast from the past, except a whole lot better—and it’s finally coming to the U.S.!
That period from the late 1960s through the ’70s was the golden age of motorcycling in America, an era characterized by simpler bikes and a market far less fragmented and specialized. Modern motorcycles are categorized into so many different niches—and have become so tailored to a singular purpose—that it makes [...]
2013 Triumph Street Triple R – First Ride How does Triumph overhaul its best-selling bike? Very carefully...
Almería, Spain–Leaving the hotel parking lot at walking speed, I stalled the Street Triple R and tumped it over on its right side, possibly a new record but at least a good way to end the suspense early. Not to worry; my lovely Dainese gear broke the bike’s fall nicely, [...]
When the new Crocker motorcycle was unveiled at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering last May, Michael Schacht, who owns the Crocker name and built that first prototype, told me I could have a test ride next time I was in L.A. That would mean I’d be the only person besides Schacht [...]
2013 Kawasaki Ninja 636 – First Ride New middleweight ZX-6R has a bigger, more powerful engine and handles better than ever.
Bigger is definitely better when it comes to engine displacement in the middleweight supersport class. Kawasaki is once again convinced that formula is the ticket to sales success in a market segment in which only European manufacturers Ducati (848 EVO), MV Agusta (F3 675) and Triumph (Daytona 675) have recently [...]
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Special – First Ride Big improvements come to the V7 Stone, V7 Special and V7 Racer.
The Moto Guzzi “small block” 90-degree V-Twin, a.k.a. the V7, has a long story behind it. The engine started life in 1977 in the V35 and V50, with 350 and 500cc displacements. Plagued by a number of basic faults forced into the project by then-Moto Guzzi and Benelli chieftain Alejandro [...]
During his presentation about the new Brutale 675 middleweight naked bike, MV Agusta CEO Massimo Bordi laid down a sequence of charts in an attempt to prove that these tough economic times offer a great opportunity for a competitively priced, three-cylinder roadster to be successful. Charts? Statistics? Can any of [...]
The rate of progress at Zero Motorcycles has accelerated for 2013. A new motor offers twice as much power as last year’s Zeros, and new battery packs boost range at highway speeds by more than 25 percent. If things continue at this rate, the company will be offering electric motorcycles [...]
2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring – First Ride Ducati’s all-road touring adventure bike gets serious upgrades.
Ducati made a bunch of significant upgrades to its best-selling (in Europe) Multistrada line for 2013, and invited the moto press to Bilbao, Spain, to sample its wares—specifically, the 1200 S Touring. But all four Multis (1200, 1200 S Touring, the new Granturismo, and Pikes Peak Edition) get a new, [...]
Kawasaki picked a prime location for a revved-up and ready-to-ride motopress to get its first hands-on assessment of the 2013 Ninja 300: Skaggs Springs Road. This flowing ribbon of blacktop flanking Lake Sonoma provides a scenic route through the coastal mountains between U.S. 101 and Pacific Coast Highway north of [...]