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)
2012 Victory Cross Country Tour – First Ride Putting the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide on notice: There’s a new touring cruiser in town.
Harley-Davidson has elevated the concept of mix-and-match model making to a high art. Over time, there have been so many variations on so many themes assembled on a few basic foundations it’s a bit hard to keep track. Here’s another: The lightweight touring bike. Actually, Harley’s been down this path before. The idea of a [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
Allowing a journalist to ride a raw and unfinished prototype motorcycle is practically unheard of. Very few companies would risk this early exposure, especially with someone who will publish his opinions. It’s akin to a sculptor showing an art critic a block of marble and saying, “What do you think of my masterpiece so far?” [...]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)
If you’re dead-set on owning a custom-styled Harley-Davidson but the patriot in you demands that it contain only gen-ewe-wine H-D components, you have to decide how to roll. Do you want to “roll” your own by shopping in Harley’s Parts & Accessories catalog or just “roll” one out the door of your local dealership? The [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
When Suzuki returned to the U.S. market in 2011 after a one-year hiatus with a small but strong model line, the V-Strom 650 ABS was once again among its best sellers. So, it’s no surprise that this asphalt-oriented, middleweight V-Twin adventure-tourer has been updated and improved for 2012. Suzuki’s market research shows that 97 percent [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
Over the past 40 years, the Italian motorcycle industry has lived through some wild trends while trying to stay ahead of the feverish moods of the market. Possibly the craziest of all were the sporty 125cc two-strokes that, through the years, escalated to pumping out more than 30 horsepower. A loophole in legislation allowed 16- [...]Read Full Post | Comments(0)
The headline feature for Kawasaki’s new KX450F is Launch Control, but don’t let that one item overshadow the extensive list of changes that transform this green machine into an all-new motorcycle. While Launch Control is cool, a redesigned frame, a heavily revised engine and a new electronics package are the updates that make the 2012 [...]Read Full Post | Comments(1)
Erik Buell Racing 1190RS – Exclusive First Ride Ultra-light EBR 1190RS superbike from Erik Buell Racing.
It’s an old Viking story: A tall, one-eyed man goes into a bar…well, actually, a Viking great hall…in any case, a place where much beer is consumed. He strides toward the tree the hall was built around, pulls a sword from under his cloak and sticks it deeply into the trunk. This sword, he says—now [...]Read Full Post | Comments(1)