Photography by Kinney Jones Here’s the problem with entry-level sport motorcycles. While the best ones have the right combination of performance and capability to go with their low acquisition cost and benign manners, they’re just not cool. How many beginning riders do you know that have tapped their college tuition for a 600cc Supersport while [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650 – First Ride The middleweight-Twin Ninja drops the R. Now “rollicking” and “real good deal” are simply implied.
2012 BMW G650GS Sertao – First Ride Adventure bike gets change of name and return to form for a familiar BMW thumper.
Photography by Kevin Wing BMW has a word game for you. Where you might think Dakar, now say Sertao, referring to the vast badlands of northeastern Brazil. Why? Because the 2012 G650GS Sertao is nothing less than a reactivation of the popular F650GS Dakar. Turns out that BMW’s desire to take its entry-level machines upmarket—confusingly [...]Read Full Post | Comments(2)
Braappp! Some people say two-strokes are making a resurgence. But for KTM, they never went away. That, in part, is one reason its SX models still feel competitive compared to the market-dominating four-strokes. Three of the SX two-strokes have been updated for 2012 (125, 150 and 250), and we spent the better part of a [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
Compact, lightweight and powerful describe Piaggio’s new 350 scooter engine more precisely than you might think. In fact, this little Single proved so incredibly efficient during my recent test ride that it became the “main character” of the event, making the Beverly Sport Touring model that it powers secondary to the story. This new engine [...]Read Full Post | Comments(2)
The only bike capable of topping the 2011 BMW S1000RR? The 2012 S1000RR. In its 2009 debut, the bike crushed its competitors, offering unprecedented power and sophisticated electronics carried in an excellent-handling and lightweight package. It was more than the competition could handle, and will remain so until another manufacturer steps up its game to [...]Read Full Post | Comments(2)
Just weeks after Ducati released photos of the brand-new 848-based machine, I found myself on an airplane to Italy to ride the new entry in the Streetfighter family. The 2012 Ducati 848 Streetfighter is everything that I wanted it to be and more. And what I wanted it to be was a lighter, better-handling version [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
Kawasaki isn’t afraid to grab existing technology from other market segments and throw it at its dirtbikes, even when that may mean being a class pioneer. The most recent example of this methodology was Launch Control on the 2012 KX450F. Now, Kawasaki has introduced dual fuel injectors on its latest KX250F. Additionally, the Lites-class KX [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
Talk about an unexpected thriller. The 2012 Honda CRF450R has only five minor updates and no real headline changes, so I was surprised and impressed by the positive impact these tweaks made to the new bike’s performance. It only took a few laps around Racetown 395 in Adelanto, California, at the bike’s press introduction to [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
2012 Victory Cross Country Tour – First Ride Putting the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide on notice: There’s a new touring cruiser in town.
When you take a gamble on unusual styling, you also risk obscuring a machine’s goodness with its presentation. Entered into evidence is the Victory Vision Tour, a fine motorcycle with a polarizing appearance. Are there touring riders who never gave it a chance because of its over-the-top bodywork? Almost certainly. Having learned from that exercise, [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
In an economy no one has the audacity to call “upwardly mobile,” you might assume that sales of premium-price Harley-Davidson models would have felt the pinch. Not so. In fact, the limited-edition CVO (Custom Vehicle Operations) line has done very well for The Motor Company, providing both a recognizably aspirational step up for loyal customers [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)