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  1. 2022 Triumph Gold Line models. (Triumph/)There’s a term in the motorcycle industry for when manufacturers spin up the new model year’s bikes despite that product seeing little or no functional changes. We call it “bold new graphics.” Well Triumph has found a way to take the underwhelming term and turn it on its head, making this year’s bold new graphics something to actually get excited about. Announced today, eight of Triumph’s modern classic Bonneville line will be released in a one-year-only special-edition Gold Line design. Gold and green badging with hand-painted pinstripes come on the 2022 Bonneville T120. (Triumph/)Each edition of the new Gold Line will feature hand-painted pinstriping from Triumph’s expert paint shop. Many of them will come with unique accessory options to complement the overall design of the special-edition bikes. This gold striping has been a staple of Triumph design for decades. I had a beautiful old 1974 Bonneville T140 and the gold line between the deep maroon paint and the white was an exceptional detail that always caught my eye. Each of the special-edition 2022 models will be marked with this Gold Line insignia. (Triumph/)Details on dealer availability are scarce at the moment, but check out triumphmotorcycles.com or call your local dealership for more information. 2022 Triumph Bonneville T120 Gold Line has a starting MSRP of $13,100. (Triumph/) 2022 Triumph Scrambler XC Gold Line starts at $15,100. (Triumph/) The new Triumph Bobber Gold Line, available only for 2022, starts at $14,200. (Triumph/) The 2022 Triumph Bonneville T120 Black Gold Line starts at $13,100. (Triumph/) 2022 Triumph Speedmaster Gold Line has a starting MSRP of $14,200. (Triumph/) The 2022 Triumph Bonneville T100 Gold Line will hit dealerships with the lowest starting price of the Gold Line, at $11,450. (Triumph/) As the most expensive of the special-edition Gold Line bikes, the 2022 Triumph Scrambler XE starts at $16,500. (Triumph/) The Street Scrambler Gold Line starts at $11,950. (Triumph/)Source
  2. 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan. (Royal Enfield/)Ups Enticing MSRPVersatile and beginner-friendly performanceDowns Dismal braking performanceAdded roll-on power would be welcomedVerdict The Royal Enfield Himalayan is a lightweight dual sport/adventure machine that pairs approachable performance with an enticing $4,999 price tag. 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan. (Royal Enfield/)Overview Since its introduction to the United States market in 2019, the India-built Royal Enfield Himalayan has been a hugely popular lightweight dual sport/adventure machine worthy of competing with Japanese rivals. Unintimidating, yet delightful performance makes it attractive for all levels of riding enthusiasts. Updates for 2021 Royal Enfield updated the Himalayan for 2021 with a switchable ABS system, meaning the rear-wheel ABS can now be deactivated for off-road use. A variety of colorways have also been added. Pricing and Variants The 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan is offered at a relatively low $4,999 MSRP. It is available in six colorways: Snow White, Granite Black, Rock Red, Lake Blue, Gravel Grey, and Sleet Grey. Competition Being a lightweight dual sport machine, the Himlayan could compete with a number of models. The most direct competition would likely include the also-budget-friendly Kawasaki Versys-X 300 and BMW G 310 GS. Other competitors include the Honda CRF300L and Kawasaki KLX300. Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance The 2021 Royal Enfield is powered by a 411cc air-cooled SOHC single-cylinder engine, which was worthy of a modest 21.8 hp and 21 pound-feet of torque on the Cycle World dyno in 2020. With modest power comes modest performance, as Road Test Editor Michael Gilbert noted in his MC Commute Review of the 2020 Himalayan. “The Enfield isn’t the most performance-minded motorcycle on the block. Nor is it meant to be,” Gilbert wrote. “It’s built to get from point A to B, regardless of the terrain in between. In fact, the little Himalayan-that-could recorded a 17.7-second quarter-mile time at 72 mph and only reaches about 85 mph with a downhill tailwind, if you’re lucky. It’s not in a hurry.” That said, it’s an approachable package for any level of rider, offering tractable power delivery and comfortable cruising pace. Added roll-on power and a sixth gear would be welcomed for high-speed riding. 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan. (Robert Martin Jr./)Handling The Himalayan’s handling is highlighted by a positively neutral ride, with easy tip-in effort and a confidence-inspiring midcorner feel despite a relatively heavy Cycle World-measured 441-pound wet weight. Although nonadjustable, the 41mm conventional fork and monoshock find a good balance of big-hit support and small-bump compliance to soak up the road’s imperfections. Even CW contributor Peter Egan bought his own Himalayan, noting the motorcycle’s comfort following a summer of experience aboard it. Brakes The Himalayan is stopped via a single two-piston caliper clamping to a 300mm disc up front and a single-piston caliper and 240mm disc at the rear. The 2021 model incorporates a switchable ABS system for the first time, with the ability to deactivate the rear-wheel ABS for off-road riding. Outright braking performance of the Himalayan is lackluster, to say the least. When we ran the 2020 model at our proving grounds, the Himlayan recorded a 60 to 0 stopping distance in a dismal 176 feet. For reference, similar models stop around the 130-foot mark. To add to it, a numb feeling at the lever robs the understanding of brake pressure being applied. 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan. (Royal Enfield/)Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG Cycle World Road Test Editor Michael Gilbert recorded a 58-mpg average during California testing. Paired with a 4.0-gallon fuel tank, the expectation of 200-mile trips isn’t out of the question. Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility The rider triangle of the Himalayan is relatively relaxed and super comfortable, according to both Road Test Editor Michael Gilbert’s MC Commute Review and Peter Egan’s summerlong experience. The wide, one-piece handlebar only requires a short reach, yet is positioned somewhat high while in a seated position, but offers a good amount of leverage. The claimed 31.5-inch seat height is aided by a narrow shape, making for an easy reach to the ground and confidence when navigating slow-speed scenarios. It also comes with a fixed windscreen for added wind protection. 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan. (Royal Enfield/)Electronics Aside from the ABS system, the Royal Enfield Himalayan is bare-bones in terms of electronic features. It does come with an analog compass, but at least in the case of the 2020 model, we’ve reported being miscalibrated on both our test units. Likewise, an ambient temperature gauge has also proved inaccurate. Warranty and Maintenance Coverage The Himlayan is covered by Royal Enfield’s two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty. Quality Although a rad concept, the Himalayan’s $4,999 MSRP reflects its quality. The kickstand’s functionality is iffy, instrumentation could be improved, and the handlebars could be stronger (don’t ask us how). Still, considering its price tag, the Himalayan is a relative bargain. 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan. (Royal Enfield/)2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan Claimed Specifications MSRP: $4,999 Engine: 411cc, SOHC, air-cooled single, 4 valves Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 86.0mm Transmission/Final Drive: 5-speed/chain Fuel Delivery: Electronic fuel injection w/ 33mm throttle body Clutch: Wet, multiple disc Frame: Half-duplex split cradle Front Suspension: 41mm telescopic fork, nonadjustable; 7.9 in. travel Rear Suspension: Monoshock, nonadjustable; 7.1 in. travel Front Brake: 2-piston caliper, 300mm disc w/ ABS Rear Brake: 1-piston floating caliper, 240mm disc w/ ABS Wheels, Front/Rear: Spoked wheels w/ aluminum rims; 21 in. / 17 in. Tires, Front/Rear: 90/90-21 / 120/90-17 Rake/Trail: 36.0°/4.4 in. Wheelbase: 58.0 in. Ground Clearance: 8.6 in. Seat Height: 31.5 in. Fuel Capacity: 4.0 gal. Wet Weight: 439 lb. Contact: royalenfield.com Cycle World Tested Specifications Seat Height: 29.0 in. Wet Weight: 441 lb. (2020 model) Rear-Wheel Horsepower: 21.81 hp @ 6,260 rpm Rear-Wheel Torque: 20.95 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm 0–60 mph: 9.8 sec. 1/4-mile: 17.67 sec. @ 73.41 mph Braking 30–0 mph: 47.7 ft. Braking 60–0 mph: 175.8 ft. Source
  3. Hot weather riding is an unfortunate reality of our sport. It can be unavoidable. You can strip off layers, but the sun will still beat down on you, sapping your body’s moisture and leaving you dehydrated. Opening up a couple of vents on an insulated jacket can actually cause convection, transferring heat more quickly than direct airflow. Evaporative cooling layers usually only last a short while. Mesh jackets are an excellent option as long as the material is strong enough to be protective, but they tend to be one-trick ponies, either wide open with complete venting or totally suffocating with a rain layer on. However, Aether has found a smart and stylish solution with its Draft mesh jacket. Made primarily of leather and a polyester mesh, the Draft jacket is, classically, available in any color you want so long as it’s black. (Aether Apparel/)The Draft jacket consists of two pieces, a waterproof outer shell and the leather and mesh jacket beneath it. The shell is made of a three-way-stretch nylon, has sealed seams to keep water out, and packs up small enough to fit into the back compartment of the mesh jacket. Zippered openings in the shell let the wearer reach through to access the pockets underneath or get partial venting if desired, but it is clearly not designed for independent use. It connects to the inner jacket with one snap at the end of each sleeve and one at the collar. Reflective sections at the back and on each sleeve help increase visibility, an important feature as you’ll probably only be busting out the shell in poor weather. The mesh jacket is the real star of the show here. Most of the jacket is a mesh polyester that breathes like it’s barely there at all; Aether claims this fabric is “highly abrasion resistant,” though luckily we avoided testing that claim. Thick but soft leather panels on the forearms, collar, and pocket openings add to the jacket’s weight, which is substantial in the best way. Mesh jackets often feel light and flimsy, but the Draft, with D3O armor in the elbows, shoulders, and back, feels ready to do its job should things go sideways. The Draft jacket is available on <a href="https://www.aetherapparel.com/" target="_blank"><strong>aetherapparel.com</strong></a> for $695. (BMW Motorrad/)Most riders want their jackets’ impact padding to be removable. But since this padding is needed on the joints, which are also friction zones, Velcro closures and zippers can be uncomfortable. Aether has figured out a clever solution here, with a second Velcro access point beyond the D3O back pad that reaches the elbow and shoulder pockets. Voila! No more itchy Velcro or zipper pressure point. Branding detail on the collar of the Aether Draft jacket. (Aether Apparel/)As mentioned earlier, there is a large back pocket on the mesh jacket similar to map pockets on adventure jackets. This one, however, is designed to fit the folded wind/rain layer when you’re not using it. This can limit exhaust venting a little bit, but it was hardly noticeable when used to stash the shell except for a little bit of added bulk. I personally preferred to just keep the shell in the saddlebag when I wasn’t using it. The Draft jacket features a zipper-adjustable cuff. (Aether Apparel/)I tend to fit between a L and an XL in most motorcycle jackets, as I have a tall, thin build and tend to need length more than width. In the case of the Draft I went with the XL, which fits my shoulders and sleeves perfectly. The lower hem of the jacket is a little bit low for me, causing a potbelly effect when I’m sitting on a cruiser. On standard or adventure motorcycles requiring a more upright posture, this isn’t really an issue. Many companies use zippers with a second pull to allow unzipping from the bottom, which alleviates this issue and would have been appreciated here. The fasteners are, however, high-quality components; the zippers are chunky and large, and the snaps big and easy to find with your gloves on. In fact, every part of this jacket feels like it was developed, tested, and refined by motorcyclists. True, your kid may have to attend their second choice of college, but you’ll be cool and comfortable. In all seriousness, handsome gear that fits and functions properly and effortlessly is gear you’re more likely to use, which makes it an investment in your well-being.Therefore, Aether’s Draft jacket has the potential to return years of protection and comfort on your warm-weather rides. Front and back of the Draft jacket with its outer shell equipped. (Aether Apparel/)Source
  4. In one week we’ll be able to see the entirety of Honda’s upcoming NT1100 model, not just some blurry snippets. (Honda/)We’ve been tracking the tale of Honda’s upcoming NT1100—an Africa Twin-derived sport-tourer—for nearly a year and now Honda has given us the first glimpse of the finished thing, courtesy of a brief teaser video. The first talk of an Africa Twin-based sport-tourer, with its styling and stance borrowed from the CB4X concept revealed in 2019, began in late 2020, following the publication of patents showing the Honda’s 1,084cc parallel-twin engine bolted to a road-oriented chassis. Initial reports referred to the bike as the CB1100X, but trademark applications for the name “NT1100″ began to emerge in early 2021, effectively confirming both its existence and the title the new machine will use. Related: Honda NT1100 Confirmed As 2022 Model The CB4X concept’s design laid the groundwork for the overall size and shape of the new touring model. (Honda/)The teaser video doesn’t give a full shot of the bike, but a collection of close-ups and blurry, distant views allow us to build a fairly comprehensive idea of its styling and features. As expected, the overall shape appears to have its roots in the CB4X, with a half-length fairing and an exposed engine and lower section allied to slightly raised suspension. Following in the footsteps of bikes like Yamaha’s Tracer, BMW’s S 1000 XR and F 900 XR, Ducati’s Multistrada, and Triumph’s Tiger Sport, this is a machine that adds a hint of adventure bike stance to its touring shape. Bar-mounted mirrors instead of fairing-attached versions further add to a visual relationship to adventure bikes. We’ve confirmed there will be two variants: this base NT1100A and the top-case-equipped NT1100D (seen in lead photo). (Honda/)In August, we revealed the first detailed technical specifications of the NT1100, and the new teaser effectively confirms what those details revealed. There are two distinct versions of the bike—the NT1100A and NT1100D—and both are seen in the teaser video. The “A” model is the simpler machine, featuring a normal, manual transmission. Our original specs showed it was lower than the “D” version, with a 53.5-inch height to the top of the screen compared to 60 inches, and the video shows that one of the NT1100s has a significantly shorter screen than the other—although both appear to be electronically height adjustable. While both versions of the bike seen in the teaser have side cases fitted, with a low-slung exhaust end can on the right-hand side to leave plenty of space for them, only the NT1100D version, with the taller screen, has a top case as well, incorporating a passenger backrest. That helps to explain the significant weight difference between the machines—according to our figures, the NT1100A is 524 pounds wet, and the NT1100D is 547 pounds in the same state. Both versions will carry side cases as well as adjustable screens (which is significantly shorter on the base model). The color TFT display is also carried over from the Africa Twin. (Honda/)The weight difference is further explained by the fact that the “D” model uses Honda’s DCT semi-automatic gearbox. This was indicated in the original documents that we saw in August but confirmed in the teaser by the clear lack of a clutch lever on the left-hand bar of the bike with the taller screen. We suggested in August that the NT1100 will use the same instrument pack as the Africa Twin, and the video confirms that’s the case, showing it has the same dual dashboard—a large 6.5-inch color TFT above a smaller LCD panel—as the adventure bike. The higher-spec “D” version is likely to have a dual clutch option and possibly auxiliary lighting as well. (Honda/)The only glimpse we get of the whole bike is at a distance, with headlight glare to further hide its styling details from view, but it shows the higher-spec “D” version and we can clearly see a pair of auxiliary lights mounted low down as well as the twin headlights in the fairing itself. Whether these lights are another component that’s reserved for the dual-clutch model remains to be seen, but it seems likely. The full details will be revealed, at least for the European market, on October 21. Whether the bike makes it unscathed to the USA is yet to be confirmed but it’s hard to imagine Honda opting not to sell the NT1100 as a global model. Source
  5. 2021 Yamaha XSR700. (Yamaha/)Ups Same chassis and engine as previous-generation MT-07Wicked retro stylingFairly comfy ergonomicsDowns Seat foam too softNumb front brake feel$800 more expensive than MT-07Verdict The XSR700 brings retro style along with near-identical performance to the previous generation MT-07 it’s based upon, plus more relaxed ergos. You’ll be paying an $800 premium for it, though. 2021 Yamaha XSR700. (Yamaha/)Overview Like its big brother XSR900, the XSR700 combines retro classic/heritage styling with the excellent performance of its naked bike cousin (in the XSR700′s case, the best-selling MT-07). Unlike the XSR900, however, American enthusiasts had to wait two years before the smaller XSR finally hit US dealerships in 2018. Utilizing the same parallel-twin engine as the previous-generation MT-07 (the 2021 MT-07 has some engine updates) and diamond-type tubular steel frame, the XSR700 has the same twisty-road abilities but with more relaxed ergos courtesy of its taller handlebar and large one-piece seat. Updates for 2021 There are no updates for 2021 to the XSR700. Available colorway is Radical White/Rapid Red. Pricing and Variants The 2021 XSR700 retails for $8,499. Competition The XSR700′s main competitors are the Honda CB650R, Royal Enfield INT650 and Continental GT, Kawasaki W800 and Z650 (plus the new 2022 Z650RS), Suzuki SV650X, and Triumph Trident 660. Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance The XSR uses the exact same 689cc DOHC parallel twin as last year’s last year’s MT-07. When we put a 2018 model XSR700 on the Cycle World dyno (the engine has remained the same since then), we saw 67.91 hp at 8,790 rpm and 47.47 pound-feet of torque at 6,490 rpm. This engine uses a unique 270-degree crankshaft firing order that provides a torquey yet revvy character very unlike most parallel-twin engines. CW’s Michael Gilbert said in his 2018 XSR700 First Ride story: “Pointing the front wheel skyward under hard acceleration is no problem. The XSR really takes off around 5,500 rpm, and the strong delivery only tapers off near redline.” There is no slipper clutch, as noted by Zack Courts in his MC Commute video of the XSR700, so you’ll need to pay attention to your downshifts. 2021 Yamaha XSR700. (Yamaha/)Handling The spring and damping rates in the 41mm conventional KYB fork and single rear shock have been stiffened up slightly over the previous-generation FZ-07 (which became the MT-07 in 2018 with the same stiffer suspension rates), and sport grippy Pirelli Phantom SportComp tires on both ends. The XSR700′s handling has a planted and confidence-inspiring feel, while still remaining light and agile without being nervous. Brakes Four-piston Advics Monoblock calipers biting on 282mm discs up front provide excellent stopping power, although feel at the lever is lacking when braking hard. ABS is standard on the XSR700, and intervention can be felt only when aggressively braking at slow speeds. Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG Yamaha is claiming 53 mpg for the XSR700. Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility The one-piece saddle is much taller than the FZ/MT-07′s separate seat (32.9 inches versus 31.7 inches), along with a taller and wider (3 inches) handlebar, so the riding position is much more relaxed. Unfortunately most of our testers found the seat cushion foam to be too mushy, resulting in discomfort after 30 minutes in the saddle. Passengers will definitely be happier on the XSR700 than the FZ/MT, as there’s much more padding and the seat is far wider. That tall seat height might be a deal breaker for some riders (especially new ones). 2021 Yamaha XSR700. (Yamaha/)Electronics Other than the standard ABS, the XSR700 has no electronic rider aids. The round instrument unit made to look like a classic speedometer is actually a circular LCD panel that provides all pertinent info. Warranty and Maintenance Coverage The Yamaha XSR700 comes with Yamaha’s one-year limited warranty, with extended warranty and benefits available through Yamaha Extended Service. Quality The XSR700′s fit and finish is excellent, and the build quality garners similar praise, especially for a bike in this price range. 2021 Yamaha XSR700. (Yamaha/)2021 Yamaha XSR700 Claimed Specifications MSRP: $8,499 Engine: 689cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled parallel twin; 8 valves Bore x Stroke: 80.0 x 68.6mm Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/chain Fuel Delivery: Electronic fuel injection w/ 38mm throttle bodies Clutch: Wet, multiple disc; cable operation Engine Management/Ignition: Transistorized ignition w/ electronic advance Frame: Diamond-type steel-tube chassis Front Suspension: 41mm KYB conventional fork, nonadjustable; 5.1 in. travel Rear Suspension: KYB shock, spring preload adjustable; 5.1 in. travel Front Brake: 4-piston Advics Monoblock caliper, dual 282mm discs w/ ABS Rear Brake: 1-piston slide-pin caliper, 245mm disc w/ ABS Wheels, Front/Rear: Cast aluminum; 17 x 3.50 in. / 17 x 5.50 in. Tires, Front/Rear: 120/70ZR-17 / 180/55ZR-17 Rake/Trail: 25.0°/3.5 in. Wheelbase: 55.3 in. Ground Clearance: 5.5 in. Seat Height: 32.9 in. Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gal. Wet Weight 410 lb. Contact: yamaha-motor.com Cycle World Tested Specifications Seat Height: N/A Wet Weight: N/A Rear-Wheel Horsepower: 67.91 hp @ 8,790 rpm Rear-Wheel Torque: 47.47 lb.-ft. @ 6,490 rpm 0–60 mph: N/A 1/4-mile: N/A Braking 30–0 mph: N/A Braking 60–0 mph: N/A Source
  6. Jedi Motor’s Vision K750 middleweight may have been presented as a concept, but it looks very close to production ready. (Jinan Jedi/)There’s an understandable reluctance among a substantial segment of the Western motorcycling market to embrace Chinese-made bikes, but the industry over there appears to be undergoing a revolution in terms of technology, styling, and quality. It’s enough to lend credence to the long-running prophecies that Chinese bikes will follow in the footsteps of Japanese machines on the international stage. The recent CIMA show in China underscored that point, as it provided a platform for a series of new launches from brands unfamiliar in this part of the globe, all of them bucking preconceptions that Chinese firms can only make cheap, low-capacity, low-quality models. Among the stars of the show was a concept bike from Jinan Jedi, a company whose previous focus was supplying motorcycles to Chinese police and security services, but which is making moves into the consumer market. Related: China’s Big-Bike Revolution Although it carries a 730cc engine used in the brand’s new production machines, the Vision also piles on wildly stylized details in the bodywork and lighting. (Jinan Jedi/)The brand’s Vision K750 concept wouldn’t look out of place at a Japanese or European brand presentation, and while it’s a concept bike rather than a production model it’s clearly very close to rolling off an assembly line. Under that impressive-looking skin, it’s understood to use the same 730cc parallel-twin engine from the company’s two new production models, the GTR750 sport-tourer, and the JFR750 naked roadster. That means despite its radical, superbike-style looks, the K750 is actually a midsize machine. In its production form, that in-house-made JD283MV DOHC parallel twin designates two cylinders and an 83mm bore—and since known capacity is 730.4cc, we can deduce the stroke is 67.5mm. Its known performance is roughly in line with expectations from a low-cost engine with those specs, with peak power of 68 bhp at 7,500 rpm and max torque of 49.4 pound-feet at 6,500 rpm. Jedi’s GTR750 sport-tourer utilizes a cast aluminum chassis, USD fork, and Brembo brakes, and has been shown as a prototype in the past but is expected to be in production soon. (Jinan Jedi/)In the previously mentioned production models, that engine sits in a cast aluminum chassis that’s reputed to be designed by Suter in Switzerland, which bodes well for its potential. The K750 concept also appears to have a similar design and uses the same upside-down fork and Brembo brakes that the GTR750 and JFR750 feature, so it’s clearly not a completely imaginary machine. Where the concept does start to stretch into show bike territory is with details like the headlight, made up of 76 triangular shards, lit by LEDs, and flanked by boomerang-shaped running lights. The taillamps use the same design, with multiple triangular elements tucked into cowls in the seat unit. The brand’s JFR750 roadster is a new production model that was shown in two forms; this one is the scrambler-styled version. (Jinan Jedi/)Circling back to the production machines, the GTR750 has been shown several times in the past as a prototype, but the JFR750 is a new design, which Jedi revealed in two forms. One version is a scrambler-inspired model, with semi-knobby tires on wire wheels, topped by a circular headlight and relatively high, wide bars. The second version features lower bars, alloy wheels, street tires, and a small nose fairing including a low screen. Both models are expected to be part of Jedi’s production range in the near future, although the company hasn’t announced prices or revealed whether its ambitions extend to offering the bikes on international markets as well as in China. The sportier JFR750 version features lower bars, alloy wheels, and a nose fairing. (Jinan Jedi/)Source
  7. The Kawasaki Z650RS ABS is Team Green’s latest addition to its retro sport family, pairing modern middleweight performance with timeless styling. (Kawasaki/)Kawasaki’s retro sport lineup, including the Z900RS and Z900RS Café, has been a favorite of the industry’s classic craze, and now Team Green is expanding it further with the addition of the all-new 2022 Z650RS ABS. The new RS combines its proven and versatile 650cc parallel-twin platform with timeless styling harkening back to the old-school Z models of the ‘70s. And it looks rad. The Z650RS ABS shares its basic architecture with the Kawasaki Z650 middleweight naked, including the punchy DOHC 649cc parallel-twin engine. The basic engine platform appears to have remained unchanged in transition to the RS, which has been known by CW testers for its butter-smooth throttle response and flexible power delivery. It is paired with a six-speed gearbox and a slipper/assist slipper clutch for light lever effort. One of the most catching features of the Z650RS are these cast wheels with flat spokes used to resemble wire-spoke wheels. How can you deny these in gold? (Kawasaki/)Kawasaki also utilized the chassis of the Z650, meaning it has the same steel trellis frame, 41mm telescopic fork, and monoshock as the sport naked. It is stopped via a pair of two-piston Nissin calipers clamping to 300mm discs up front, with ABS as standard equipment. Like the Z650, the RS also rides on Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 rubber. Clear at first glance, the Z650RS distinguishes itself with catchy, retro classic styling and obvious influences from ‘70s Z1, especially while dressed in its available Candy Emerald Green colorway. The round LED headlight and teardrop-shaped fuel tank hammer in the classic aesthetic, but the RS is dripping in details. A set of cast wheels use flat spokes to mimic old-school wire-spoke wheels, while the oval-shaped LED taillight is an influence of classic models. Like the Z900RS, the Z650RS shares this dual analog speedometer/tachometer instrument cluster for easy-to-read information and classic styling cues. (Kawasaki/)A dual analog speedometer/tachometer instrument cluster is paired with an LCD to display basic riding information, just like on the Z900RS and RS Café. A seriously cool touch that gives the cockpit a classic feel. Aside from the styling, the Z650RS does vary from the sport naked in terms of ergonomics. The handlebar has been raised by 50mm and pushed toward the rider by 30mm for a more relaxed, comfortable riding position. It is paired with a relatively low 31.5-inch seat height, which should lend itself to approachability for less experienced or smaller stature riders. The Z650RS ABS is available in two colorways, Candy Emerald Green and Metallic Moondust Gray/Ebony, with an MSRP of $8,999. There is no question the 2021 Z650RS pays homage to the legendary Z models of the 1970s, but pairs it with modern performance. (Kawasaki/)Source
  8. Can’t make it to EICMA this year to see the new models? No worries. Ducati can’t make it either. That’s why it is introducing its 2022 lineup online. First at bat: the new Multistrada V2 and Multistrada V2 S. (Ducati/)Ducati has announced it won’t be attending this year’s EICMA show (held in Milan, November 23–28, 2021). It is not alone in this decision: as of press time, several other makes have yet to confirm their attendance, including BMW, Kawasaki, Harley-Davidson, and Indian. Instead, Ducati is unveiling its 2022 models online in a sequence of six “events” between now and December 9, when we shall see what’s behind the announced “Dream Wilder—DesertX.” In this first event, Ducati unveiled the 2022 Multistrada V2, the updated edition of the previous Multistrada 950. The biggest update/upgrade is an evolved electronics suite, primarily a six-axis inertial platform to manage new rider-aid systems focused on providing additional safety and comfort. The newest Multistrada V2 also features state-of-the-art ABS, including a cornering function and eight levels of rider-selectable traction control. The system also provides vehicle hold for starting on hills. Four riding modes are available: Sport, Touring, Urban, and Enduro. For visibility and safety, in the event of an extreme/emergency stop the system activates a flashing function on all lighting equipment to jar narcoleptic drivers out of their slumber. The biggest upgrades to the Multistrada V2 this year come from improved electronics and rider aids. Lighter wheels, a new clutch, and a new seat also keep it fresh. (Ducati/)The Multistrada V2 is available in both standard and S editions. The latter includes an electronics package adding more functions and components, such as a standard cruise control and electronically managed semi-active Skyhook suspension. An LED headlight replaces the standard unit and also offers corner-lighting ability. A 5-inch TFT displays the bike’s instrumentation and acts as an easily accessible connectivity platform. About that Skyhook semi-active electronic suspension: This means the S model uses a 48mm Sachs fork, replacing the standard Kayaba unit. That and lighter cast aluminum wheels are the only chassis differences between models. The Multistrada still features a generous 62.75-inch wheelbase, a 25-degree steering rake, and 4.2 inches of trail, the same as the Multistrada 950. The new V2 rolls on Pirelli Scorpion radials, 120/70-19 front and 170/60-17 rear. The braking system is based on the customary Brembo twin 320mm rotors and four-piston Monoblock calipers. While the V2 S model features Ducati’s Skyhook active suspension and a Sachs fork, both bikes use the same four-piston Monoblock Brembo brake setup, now with cornering ABS. (Ducati/)The V2′s engine also is unchanged from the previous Multistrada 950. That’s not a bad thing, as it has an excellent reputation. Displacing 937cc, the Testastretta engine is an eight-valve desmo twin with a 94mm bore and 67.5mm stroke. It breathes through a pair of 53mm throttle bodies and features a healthy 12.6:1 compression ratio. Claimed horsepower is 113 at 9,000 rpm, with 69 pound-feet of peak torque at 6,750 rpm. The engine is lighter thanks to new connecting rods, a new eight-disc clutch, and related side cover. (Editor’s Note: If you’ve ever wondered, “Testaretta” translates approximately to “narrow head,” an allusion to the bike’s compact included valve angle. The “11″ in the model designation is the engine’s valve overlap expressed in degrees of crankshaft rotation.) There are loads of motorcycles in this class, but the standout point of the Multistrada V2 is the 937cc Testastretta engine. (Ducati/)The Ducati specialists have also fine-tuned the riding position with an eye to improved long-haul comfort and low-speed maneuvering. The seat has a new, more comfortable configuration; seat height is 32.7 inches with a lower option available that drops the seat down to 31.1 inches in combination with a reduced-height suspension. The seat is accurately configured where it meets the tank, making it easier to reach the ground. The top fairing has been partly redesigned to offer better wind protection thanks to the new windscreen, which is easily adjustable on the go. Lastly, the new Multistrada V2 is about 10 pounds lighter than the previous Multistrada 950 and claims a dry weight of 439 pounds. Price in the US is $15,295 for the standard edition and $17,895 for the S edition. Source
  9. The 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 S and the 2008 Ducati Multistrada 1100 S. (DW Burnett/)It’s ironic that the original Ducati Multistrada, a motorcycle named and designed for many roads, was in fact built for a single road. The Futa Pass, a serpentine route connecting Bologna and Florence through the Apennine Mountains, is no major thoroughfare. Yet Ducati looked at it as the strada writ small. In the Futa’s cracked asphalt and hairpin turns it saw the roads of the world. It seems like part of the Italian character to focus on what’s close to home. Yet by concentrating on the local and the specific, it gives itself to the world by making things which are at once both self-assuredly Italian and universally resonant. Consider the delicacies of Ducati’s home region of Emilia-Romagna; the best parmesan in the world is made using milk from the Bianca Modenese cows of the Po River Valley, while prized prosciutto di Parma comes from a single native breed of pig whose authenticity is ensured through rigorous genetic testing. Our 2021 Multistrada V4 S Travel + Radar testbike cost $26,495. It came equipped with the following accessories: Akrapovič slip-on ($1,700), crash guards ($600), skid plate ($330), protective mesh oil cooler guard ($120), and hand guards ($180), for a total price of $29,425. (DW Burnett/)If local flavor is part of the original Multistrada’s renown, what can we make of the latest Multistrada? Because Ducati is quite clear: Merely representing the Futa Pass is not enough for the 2021 Multistrada V4. The new Multi, the company says, is designed “to dominate all roads.” To legitimize this claim, Ducati points out the Multistrada V4 can circumnavigate the globe one and a half times (or 37,300 miles) before needing a major service. However, to achieve this feat, Ducati ditched its signature desmodromic valves for conventional valve springs. This is perhaps the Ducatisti’s equivalent of making carbonara with mere bacon instead of proper pork-jowl guinciale. Related: How Much Power Does the 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 S Make? On the Futa Pass, the Multistrada V4′s adaptive cruise control would be practically useless. Its Enduro mode would be the wrong mode altogether. And its V-4 engine would rarely have the chance to reach the upper limits of its rev range, where it’s most exuberant. By turning its gaze further afield, by adding more tech, more performance, and more capability in its journey from Multistrada to Molto-Multistrada, did Ducati abandon what made the original recipe such a delicacy? The past leading the future. (DW Burnett/)To find out, we got our hands on a 2008 Multistrada 1100 S to test alongside a brand-new V4 S. Yes, the 2003 Multistrada 1000 is the original, but the 1100 is close enough for our purposes, differing only in minor ways such as an 86cc displacement hike and the addition of a wet clutch. Seeing the V4 and the 1100 side by side, it’s easy to recognize the evolution of the adventure-touring motorcycle since 2008. Back then, a full quiver of adjectives was necessary to describe riding a 500-plus-pound motorcycle anywhere near gravel, let alone one quite that red and Italian. The ‘08 Multi is decidedly diminutive next to the hulking V4; but in spite of its larger dimensions and the added weight associated with its far greater complexity and two added cylinders, the claimed dry weight of the V4 S, at 480 pounds, is only 11 pounds more than that of the 1100 S. The ‘08 Multistrada has been a reliable motorcycle since we purchased it several months ago. A weeping clutch slave cylinder is the only issue we’ve experienced. (DW Burnett/)The 1100 is dressed immaculately in sportbike attire, with carbon fiber timing belt covers and fenders, Marchesini five-spoke wheels, and gold-tubed Öhlins suspension. The Multistrada V4, on the other hand, has a Ducati performance catalog’s worth of rugged skid plates and crash bars. Back when the original Multistrada was on the drawing board, Ducati couldn’t have dreamed that the evolution of the adventure-touring segment would morph the bike so far from its sporting heritage. Ducati also couldn’t have foreseen the Multi V4, or perhaps it would have given the original Multi a superbike-derived desmoquattro or Testastretta engine rather than its more conservative desmodue. Brembo, Marchesini, Öhlins. Yup, all the players are here. (DW Burnett/)The desmodue 1100 is an air-cooled SOHC dual-spark two-valve 1,078cc engine. All in all, it isn’t that far removed from Fabio Taglioni’s 1975 500cc Pantah V-twin, the engine that introduced rubber timing belts to the Ducati lexicon. While the crankcases were beefed up over the years and the vertical cylinder head was rotated 180 degrees, the profile is virtually unchanged from Taglioni’s design. As Bruno dePrato points out, “That the engine has more than doubled in size from the original, with great reliability [valve-adjust intervals are at 7,500 miles], is a remarkable achievement.” Equally remarkable is that the venerable desmodue engine is still in production in 2021; it’s currently powering the Scrambler 1100. When the ‘08 Multi was new, Ducati claimed 95 hp at 7,750 rpm and 76 pound-feet of torque at 4,750 rpm. When CW tested it in 2007, it produced 84.1 hp at 7,750 rpm and 66.6 pound-feet at 4,800 rpm. The Multistrada 1100′s cable-operated twistgrip feels direct with a heavyish pull. The clutch and brake levers require some force too. It’s a trait characteristic of the era. There are those among us who prefer the feel to ultralight clutch pull and “attached-to-nothing” ride-by-wire throttles. (DW Burnett/)Opening the throttle feels and sounds like a celebration of Ducati’s heritage. Fuel injection is a bit on/off at first touch, but otherwise fueling and throttle response are nearly flawless. Snappy response from the bottom begins an adamant, though not terribly rapid, climb through the rev range, and though power tapers off at the upper register, there’s still satisfaction in grabbing a gear a little late just to hear the motor at full song. At about 70 mph in sixth gear, the tachometer needle hovers around 4,000 rpm, and thanks to perfect primary balance and those big power pulses, the 1100 lopes along, confident in its own sense of modernity. But then one rides the Multistrada V4, and the 1100 feels its age. It’s no less wonderful. Just kind of, well, slow. The V4 Granturismo engine is at once composed and audacious. On the CW dyno, the 1,158cc engine produces a substantial 143.82 hp at 10,580 rpm and 77.78 pound-feet of torque at 7,410. But because it’s derived from the 200-plus horsepower Desmosedici Stradale engine from the Panigale V4 and Streetfighter V4, those figures come easy, giving the sensation that it’s in a rather conservative state of tune. Even with the throttle pinned it never breaks a sweat, practically yawning as it zips to redline. On the 1100, with the throttle wide open, it feels like it’s working hard to give everything it’s got, two big pistons pounding away. The V4 makes such hard work seem uncouth. Its smaller power pulses make the engine feel impossibly smooth and civilized, at least for a Ducati. The immediate, almost instant throttle response makes it think-and-you’re-there quick. In power delivery and feel, the V4 Granturismo is lightning to the desmodue’s thunder. The V4′s user interface is excellent. The new thumb joystick makes it easy to navigate through the various menu options, though it may take some getting used to in order to not mistake it for the turn signal switch when initiating a turn. (DW Burnett/)Yet just because it accelerates so rapidly with so little fuss doesn’t make it bland. Power wheelies are incredibly frequent, even more frequent than on a Hypermotard 950. Crest a hill in fourth gear—fourth!—and grab some throttle, and the front air lifts with ease. It’s intoxicating. Its happy place is 7,000 rpm and above. The airbox resonates with a honk that would make a GSX-R or a Yamaha YZF-R1M proud, and the rider’s laughter makes the whole cycle repeat in another gear. Shifting, come to think of it, may be one of the V4 Granturismo’s best attributes. With a light flick of the lever, up or down, at any rpm, the rapid-fire shifts are as near seamless as you’ll get this side of a MotoGP gearbox. Related: Ducati Multistrada 1100 vs. Triumph Tiger 1050 Comparison Test As excellent as the engine is, the V4 lacks presence compared to the Multi 1100′s desmodue. When cruising at 60 mph, turning 4,000 rpm in top gear, the engine all but vanishes from thought. The desmodue makes an impression that never quite leaves the consciousness, being so visceral and engaging that the experience of using it stays with the rider long after hitting the kill switch. The V4 Granturismo is just flat-out exceptional to use, which makes up for its occasional inconspicuous moments. The Multistrada V4 averaged around 37 mpg, which is not exceptional. The performance is worth it, I say. Some will understandably disagree. (DW Burnett/)Long-distance tourers asked for refinement, and got it. They asked for comfy ergos and good wind protection, and got those too. The Multistrada V4′s seat is the most comfortable Ducati saddle ever. The windscreen provides smooth airflow over the rider’s head. Heat from the engine is pretty minimal for a big V-configured engine, thanks to cylinder deactivation at idle and clever aerodynamics that pull heat away while directing cool air onto the rider. It’s all basic but significant stuff, stuff riders still don’t take for granted because memories of poor aero and uncomfortable seats are not too distant. The year 2008 comes to mind. The 1100 is by no means the hottest-running Ducati of all time, but creature comforts are certainly sparse. The rider sits on top of, rather than in, the motorcycle, and the bars are narrower and lower than the V4′s. It’s a nice place to be perched, but the ergonomics go downhill from there. The Ducati Performance “comfort” gel saddle on our testbike was uncomfortable after only a couple of hours. Wind protection is minimal at best. There’s no buffeting at speed, but the short windscreen directs air to the upper chest and shoulders, making wind noise loud and tiring; avoid billed ADV helmets at all costs. Unsurprisingly, the Multi V4 is the obvious choice for long-distance riding. Ducati deserves a gold star for the V4′s amazingly comfortable seat and its easily adjustable windscreen. The outgoing Multistrada 1260′s pinch-to-adjust screen was already great but the new pinchless operation is even better. (DW Burnett/)Not that you won’t second-guess yourself. You see, the 1100 handles so well that you might be willing to overlook some discomfort if your route includes enough twisty roads. In the corners, the Multistrada 1100′s chassis and Öhlins suspension prove the distance from the Futa Pass to Mugello is not too far (it’s actually about 25 kilometers, or 16 miles). The bike feels low and long, not nosey like a sportbike or high up like an ADV bike, and imperturbable through corners. Because of all the feedback through the front end and its prodigious midcorner stability, it begs to be leaned over farther and farther. The suspension is so firm it’s difficult to compress at a standstill, but so compliant that fiddling with the adjusters seems unnecessary. Handling on this 13-year-old Ducati is a revelation. We found our 2008 Multistrada 1100 S on Craigslist and purchased it for $4,500. It has less than 20,000 miles on the odometer and runs like a champ. It included aftermarket mirrors, R&G frame sliders, Oxford heated grips, a rear rack for top box mounting, and a dark windscreen. The S model came with Termignoni silencers that were very quiet. We sourced Staintune silencers from eBay that let the 1100 sound as Taglioni intended. Huge thanks to the author’s friend, Rob Bandler, for purchasing the motorcycle for this story, and for riding it in the photos. (DW Burnett/)The V4 can also hustle through the twisties, but without applying the front brakes during corner entry, the front end feels slightly vague; its 19-inch front tire is almost certainly a contributing factor. At neutral throttle in long sweepers, the front tire doesn’t feel quite stuck in, as though there’s not enough weight on the front. Overall, it’s not an alien experience; it handles like an adventure bike of 2021, whereas the Multistrada 1100 handles more like a sportbike from 2008. On the plus side, jamming on the front binders on the V4 is a delight. Stylema calipers offer great power and feel. If only the same could be said of the 1100, which is rather let down by weakish brakes requiring Popeye forearms to get the shortest stopping distance from the lever. Note the difference in handlebar positions. (DW Burnett/)The V4 may not perform like the 1100 through the twisties, but happily it doesn’t handle like the 1100 off-road either; this may provide some insight into its on-road handling character, if one comes at the expense of the other. While the 1100 handles no better than a Monster when the pavement ends, the V4 is surprisingly adept on fire roads and gravel tracks, especially considering V-4-powered motorcycles don’t make the most natural off-roaders. The biggest surprise is that executing tight turns in gravel reveals a well-balanced and stable chassis that inspires confidence when swinging the wide bars from lock to lock. Dropping the outside knee and shifting body weight to the outside is all it takes for the handlebars to turn nearly of their own accord and for the bike to lean. Unfortunately, off-road performance suffers in other areas. The Multi’s lowest level of traction control offers far too much intervention, cutting in to prevent even modest wheelspin. It’s best to turn TC off altogether and use Enduro mode’s softer throttle response and truncated power output. Locking the rear wheel is also frustrating, as the rear brake is too weak. While serious adventurers have more suitable options for hardcore trail-riding, the V4′s off-road personality is winsome enough that off-road novices will be tempted to get their expensive, shiny motorcycles a little dirty. Unlike some manufacturers that make ride modes “untouchable,” Ducati lets riders adjust individual settings within each mode. Everything is customizable—from suspension to TC to throttle response. (DW Burnett/)As wrong as it may feel to ride such a pricey motorcycle in low-traction, cosmetically hostile environments, it’s equally foreign to turn the adaptive cruise control on and hand over throttle control to the Multistrada. It’s also amazing how quickly one becomes accustomed to trusting one’s life to a computer. To experience what 2021 feels like on two wheels, cruise down the highway with adaptive cruise control and blind spot detection working in the background, on-screen navigation leading the way, heated grips and seat keeping things toasty, all while using the dash and thumb controls to make a phone call. Some riders may be predisposed to dislike such amenities. Others may note that, rather than detracting from the riding experience, they add another dimension by augmenting the ride with technologies unimaginable when the 1100 was new. Adaptive cruise control works incredibly well. The only niggles are when the rider applies the front brakes while the motorcycle is doing the same, the lever feels extra firm and sensitive. Additionally, several times the radar lost sight of the motorcycle I was following, but it found it as soon as I swerved directly behind it. (DW Burnett/)When considering the evolution of a single motorcycle model, it’s difficult to conceive of one more drastically altered over the course of 13 years than the Ducati Multistrada. Back in the early 2000s, when the first Multistrada 1000 DS existed only as a test mule, designer Pierre Terblanche told Cycle World: “This bike will have a big visual impact…as much as the MH900e. It’s a franchise bike.” He was right. The original Multistrada’s unconventional design did indeed make a big impact, though that impact was not always positive. From our vantage point in 2021, its blend of curves and creases looks at once utilitarian and flamboyant, appropriate on a bike made for long rides up the Futa Pass. It’s significant because it represents Terblanche’s attempt to devise the look of a then-new motorcycle category. Pierre Terblanche’s design always looked best in three dimensions, and time has made it more attractive. To each his own, of course. (DW Burnett/)The Futa Pass made the Multistrada 1100 feel uniquely Italian. It’s charismatic, unconventional, and endearing almost in spite of itself. It’s a motorcycle to be cherished as much as the more conventional beauties in Ducati’s history, not simply because the engine is stalwart, the handling sublime, and the bike as a whole fairly practical. But because, interestingly, it’s almost unrecognizable as the thing it would eventually become. In 2003 a motorcycle built for many roads seemed rational. But a motorcycle built for very many roads, some of them leading to the ends of the earth, is what ultimately captured the imaginations of motorcyclists. The Multistrada V4 is Ducati’s response to changing but not fully realized expectations, to a world larger and rougher than the Futa Pass. Old Ducatis representing a certain slice of Italy will always be cherished. They express, perhaps premeditatively, something that’s universal, yet can only be articulated in Italian. But the Multistrada V4 is Ducati fully embracing its customers’ vision of adventure. It’s accessible enough to be ridden around town on a whim, and comfortable and versatile enough to be ridden around a continent. It can be ridden casually or aggressively, in the dirt or on the pavement. It’s both the safest, most refined Multistrada ever and the most rapid-accelerating, wheel-in-the-air, laugh-out-loud Multistrada ever. “Refinement” was once a byword for bland. But the Multistrada V4 redefines refinement for thrill-seeking Ducatisti who want to ride farther, faster, and safer than they could have imagined in 2003. The modern Multi. (DW Burnett/)It may have lost some of its Italian flavor in its journey from Multistrada to Molto-Multistrada, but the 2021 V4 S is an achievement, a technological marvel, and a phenomenally good time. This go-round, rather than seeing the Futa Pass as the strada writ small, Ducati transformed the Multistrada itself into the motorcycle writ large. The wide world shrinks beneath its wheels. Italian adventure separated by more than a decade. (DW Burnett/) On-screen navigation is a game changer in the two-wheeled space. The Multistrada V4 uses the Sygic navigation app and the Ducati Connect app in conjunction with a smartphone. It works but it takes a while for the bike and phone to sync and requires the phone never goes to sleep. At the end of the day, Sygic is not Google maps or Apple maps. The system is good enough to use, but it’s also bad enough that I was angry every time I used it, accustomed as I am to my Volkswagen’s Apple CarPlay. (DW Burnett/) Ducati says it didn’t use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto because they aren’t available worldwide. Yet they are available in the biggest markets and on most continents. It’s a lame excuse. At the very least, Ducati should make CarPlay/Android Auto available as optional extras. It’s a great shame that a motorcycle this expensive and equipped with the technology has to make do with a subpar solution. (DW Burnett/) The $1,700 Akrapovič silencer is Euro 5 compliant and very quiet. (DW Burnett/) The V4 has a handy mode button to switch ride modes on the fly, but rather than simply cycle through them on the main screen, it goes into its own submenu which is a little finicky. I’d say it’s the only UI annoyance, and a very minor one at that. (DW Burnett/) Which one would you buy with your own money? (DW Burnett/) While the V4 makes the 1100 (and just about everything else) feel old-fashioned, it doesn’t make the old Multi feel any less good. The Multistrada 1100 is by and large a great motorcycle even by today’s standards. Get one while they’re still cheap. (DW Burnett/)Gearbag Multistrada V4 S rider: Helmet: AGV AX9 Carbon Jacket: Spidi Mission-T H2Out Pants: Spidi Thunder H2Out Boots: XPD X-Trail OutDry Gloves: Spidi X-Force Multistrada 1100 S rider: Helmet: Arai XD4 Jacket: Klim Carlsbad Pants: Klim Carlsbad Boots: Klim Adventure GTX Gloves: Klim Induction 2008 Ducati Multistrada 1100 S Price and Specifications MSRP $13,995 (2008) ENGINE SOHC, air-cooled, 90-degree V-twin DISPLACEMENT 1,078cc BORE X STROKE 98.0 x 71.5mm COMPRESSION RATIO 10.5:1 TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 95 hp @ 7,750 rpm CLAIMED TORQUE 76 lb.-ft. @ 4,750 rpm FUEL SYSTEM EFI w/ 45mm throttle bodies CLUTCH Wet, multiplate; hydraulic operation FRAME Steel trellis frame FRONT SUSPENSION Fully adjustable Öhlins 43mm inverted; 6.5 in. travel REAR SUSPENSION Fully adjustable Öhlins monoshock; 5.6 in. travel FRONT BRAKE Brembo semi-floating calipers, twin 320mm discs REAR BRAKE Brembo, 245mm disc WHEELS, FRONT/REAR Cast aluminum; 17 x 3.5 in. / 17 x 5.5 in. TIRES, FRONT/REAR 120/70ZR-17 / 180/55ZR-17 RAKE/TRAIL 24.0°/ N/A in. WHEELBASE 57.6 in. SEAT HEIGHT 33.5 in. FUEL CAPACITY 5.3 gal. CLAIMED DRY WEIGHT 432 lb. CONTACT ducati.com 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 S Price and Specifications MSRP $26,495 ENGINE DOHC, liquid-cooled, 90-degree V-4 w/ counter-rotating crankshaft DISPLACEMENT 1,158cc BORE X STROKE 83.0 x 53.5mm COMPRESSION RATIO 14.0:1 TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 170 hp @ 10,500 rpm CLAIMED TORQUE 92 lb.-ft. @ 8,750 rpm FUEL SYSTEM EFI w/ 46mm elliptical throttle bodies; ride-by-wire CLUTCH Wet, multiplate w/ slipper action; hydraulic operation FRAME Aluminum monocoque FRONT SUSPENSION Electronically adjustable 50mm inverted w/ Ducati Skyhook; 6.7 in. travel REAR SUSPENSION Electronically adjustable monoshock w/ Ducati Skyhook; 7.1 in. travel FRONT BRAKE Radially mounted Brembo Stylema Monoblock 4-piston calipers, twin 330mm discs w/ Cornering ABS REAR BRAKE Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, 265mm disc w/ Cornering ABS WHEELS, FRONT/REAR Spoked; 19 x 3 in. / 17 x 4.5 in. TIRES, FRONT/REAR Pirellis Scorpion Trail II; 120/70ZR-19 / 170/60ZR-17 RAKE/TRAIL 24.5°/4.0 in. WHEELBASE 61.7 in. SEAT HEIGHT 33.1–33.9 in. FUEL CAPACITY 5.8 gal. CLAIMED CURB WEIGHT 536 lb. AVAILABILITY Now CONTACT ducati.com Source
  10. Yamaha’s all-new 2021 Tracer 9 GT is an evolution of its successful sport-touring model, now dressed in top-spec components. (Joseph Agustin/)Yamaha’s reputable Tracer 9 GT has enjoyed a long run of success as a bang-for-the-buck sport-tourer since its inception back in 2015. The Tracer is the direct descendant of the Tracer 900 GT, and the FJ-09 before that, and it has always packed a versatile punch. It’s a street-focused machine, good for racking up triple-digit backroad miles, braving monotonous urban commutes, or enduring interstate long hauls, a true sport-touring specialist. With all that capability on tap at a relative bargain, why raise the cost of entry? Yet that’s exactly what Yamaha has done. To be fair, it has also extended the all-new 2021 Tracer 9 GT’s potential, with a larger-displacement and more flexible CP3 engine package, a chassis shared with the new and improved 2021 MT-09, the very latest IMU-based electronic rider-aid suite, top-shelf components including semi-active suspension, and flashier styling. However, the third-generation Tracer’s up-spec overhaul substantially increases its price to $14,899, which is perhaps not drastic but still $1,800 more than the outgoing model. It’s fair to suspect that the MSRP increase might take the Tracer out of consideration for more budget-conscious riders, and the wallet hit will likely wipe out a portion of its trusted following. Still, considering the premium improvements, the all-new Tracer 9 GT continues to represent a remarkable value when compared to similarly spec’d competition. Considering that the 2021 Tracer 9 GT has received a serious overhaul and is fitted with rather expensive technology, the $1,800 MSRP increase to $14,899 is feasible. (Joseph Agustin/)We recently spent a day putting the Tracer 9 GT through its paces as part of Yamaha’s official press introduction of the sport-tourer. Our 170-mile Southern California testing route took us along meandering sections of Angeles Crest Highway to the small ski-resort town of Wrightwood. While deviations were required due to national forest closures, the inconsistent tarmac, long stretches of highway, mountainous backroads, and scenic landscapes made for prime testing conditions. In every scenario, the Tracer 9 GT’s all-new 890cc liquid-cooled DOHC inline-triple CP3 engine package, which we covered extensively in our first ride review of the 2021 Yamaha MT-09, was a highlight of the package. Yamaha has finally achieved a natural feel and silky-smooth initial fueling of the Accelerator Position Sensor Grip (APSG) Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) ride-by-wire system, curing the 9 GT of the abrupt lurch found on previous Tracer and MT models. This throttle is precise, with the maps delivering admirably broad and linear power delivery. Yamaha claims the updated CP3 delivers 6 percent more torque, which adds a bit to its flexibility and fun factor, but there’s no denying that it has always been a torque monster; yank the throttle in any of the lower three gears and lift the front tire skyward to the accompaniment of that legendary triple exhaust note. The next-generation 890ccc CP3 engine package is delightful to ride at any speed. Settling into a 75 mph cruising pace, the engine glides along at a comfortable, relatively vibration-free 5,500 rpm. (Joseph Agustin/)Yamaha has leveraged and adapted the six-axis IMU electronic rider-aid suite from Yamaha’s YZF-R1 superbike to tame the Tracer, giving riders four throttle response settings they can select on the fly. Each mapping tailors power delivery at full throttle, with the fourth noticeably reducing outright performance, most likely for use in treacherous road conditions. Various levels of traction control (TCS), slide control (SCS), and wheelie control (LIF) are lumped together in two preset selectable settings while a manual setting is fully customizable to rider preferences. The system works well to extract performance with almost seamless intervention, but also provides peace of mind when your adventure gives you unexpected tarmac conditions. Add to that a new clutchless bidirectional quickshifter to ease the process of ripping through its well-spaced six-speed gearbox, and the Tracer fully meets all premium expectations. The twin 3.5-inch TFT displays are an eye-catcher, quite literally. Each displays its own useful information, as seen here. The left display features four customizable quadrants to display the information you feel is important. The only gripe? Poor brightness makes it difficult to read in hard light. (Joseph Agustin/)The rider-aid system is accessed via a dual 3.5-inch TFT display cluster in front of the Tracer’s one-piece handlebar. The left display is home to basic riding information: tachometer, speedometer, trip readings, and selected motorcycle settings; on the right, the second display features four customizable quadrants to show the bike’s running orders. It’s a modern setup that further elevates the Tracer’s premium feel. If it weren’t for a dim display that struggles in direct sunlight even on its brightest setting, it might be the best dashboard on the market. The Tracer’s chassis also gets that high-end feel along with more performance. Like the MT-09 on which the Tracer is based, there’s an all-new die-cast aluminum chassis with optimized geometry and rigidity in a lighter package. Distinct to the 9 GT, however, is a swingarm 60mm longer than the MT’s and a designated steel subframe for increased payload capacity. Midcorner chassis feel and stability is vastly improved without losing any steering sharpness. Overall, it’s better balanced in every area and inspires confidence where the on-edge outgoing Tracer model didn’t. The Tracer 9 GT’s updated chassis and Bridgestone Battlax T32 GT tires lend themselves to a newfound sure-footed feel at maximum lean angle, even when the road conditions are less than ideal. (Joseph Agustin/)Even better is the semi-active KYB suspension, which Yamaha calls the KYB Actimatic Damping System (KADS). This uses information gathered from a dedicated Suspension Control Unit (SCU) to electronically adjust damping characteristics in near-real time; only compression at the fork, but both compression and rebound at the shock. There are two selectable baseline settings (SUS-Mode): A-1 is the stiffer, sport-minded option, and A-2 the softer, more comfortable setup for rougher roads, but these offer no further adjustment other than manually adjustable spring preload fore and aft. The simplicity of the system is noteworthy, but the lack of adjustment may be disappointing to those fond of tinkering in search of the magical setting. KYB’s semi-active fork and shock, or the KYB Actimatic Damping System (KADS), are tasked with handling the Tracer 9 GT’s damping duties. While compression and rebound damping are electronically adjusted, spring preload is manually adjustable front and rear. (Joseph Agustin/)Still, Yamaha and KYB crushed the calibration. For 90 percent of testing, the bike was set on the soft suspension compliance of A-2. The softer setting helped maintain chassis composure in offering big-hit support, but better coped with the road’s imperfections and chatter bumps for more comfort. Should you be blessed with endless glassy tarmac, ripping sweepers, and no speed limits, the stiffer A-1 setting is ready and waiting for you. Also worth noting is the way in which the system delivers seamless, almost unnoticeable changes to damping characteristics, instilling confidence and helping with corner-to-corner consistency even when the Tracer is ridden aggressively. A set of 30-liter saddlebags are standard with the Tracer. The best part? They have an option to leave them unlocked but latched, so it isn’t a pain to open every time you stop. (Joseph Agustin/)The intelligence built into the new Tracer doesn’t stop, unless you count the four-piston calipers and Nissin radial master cylinder up front and single two-piston caliper at the rear. These are paired with Yamaha’s new Brake Control (BC) system, simply called cornering ABS. Two settings offer selectable levels of ABS sensitivity: Mode 1 is a traditional fixed antilock setting, while Mode 2 adjusts ABS sensitivity with information from the motorcycle’s IMU, front and rear wheel speed sensors, and brake pressure. In testing, even applying serious brake pressure with a notable amount of lean angle in Mode 2 didn’t cause front-wheel lockup or tuck, but rather immediate, usable stopping power. The Tracer 9 GT features full-LED lighting, including lean-angle-sensitive cornering lights for improved illumination at night. Other creature comforts include a cruise control function and 10-stage heated grips. All standard. (Joseph Agustin/)During our touring stint, the Tracer proved to be impressively comfortable right through to the ride’s end. Credit goes to the Tracer’s supportive saddle and relaxed upright ergos, as well as improved aerodynamics from redesigned fairings and adjustable, though somewhat minimal, windscreen. The Tracer offers three-point ergonomic adjustability through the seat, footpegs, and handlebar for a high degree of personalized comfort. Notably, the standard seat height is 31.9 inches, which fits my 5-foot-7-inch stature well; this can quickly adjust to 32.5 inches with no tools required. The 2021 Tracer 9 GT is available now in dealerships in two colors—Liquid Metal and Redline. (Joseph Agustin/)There’s no question that the Tracer 9 GT provides refined power delivery, improved handling in any conditions, premium componentry, and several creature comforts that make its ride that much more satisfying. The only remaining question is whether buyers will accept the higher MSRP for those improvements. 2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT Specs MSRP: $14,899 Engine: DOHC, liquid-cooled inline 3-cylinder; 4 valves/ cyl. Displacement: 890cc Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 62.1mm Compression Ratio: 11.5:1 Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/chain Fuel System: Fuel injection w/ YCC-T ride-by-wire Clutch: Wet, multiplate slipper/assist Engine Management/Ignition: TCI (Transistor Controlled Ignition) Frame: Cast aluminum Front Suspension: KYB 41mm fork, adjustable spring preload, electronically adjustable compression and rebound damping; 5.1 in. travel Rear Suspension: KYB shock, adjustable spring preload, electronically adjustable rebound damping; 5.4 in. travel Front Brake: Advics 4-piston calipers, dual 298mm discs w/ cornering ABS Rear Brake: 1-piston caliper, 245mm disc w/ ABS Wheels, Front/Rear: Tires, Front/Rear: Bridgestone Battlax T32 GT; 120/70-17 / 180/55-17 Rake/Trail: 25.0°/4.3 in. Wheelbase: 59.1 in. Ground Clearance: 5.3 in. Seat Height: 31.9 in./32.5 in. Fuel Capacity: 5.0 gal. Claimed Wet Weight: 485 lb. Availability: Now Contact: yamahamotorsports.com Source
  11. Babes Ride Out attendees and contributing artist Nicole Andrijauskas taking in the jaw-dropping view along California’s central coast. (Tamara Raye Wilson/)It’s a rare event that encourages attendees to take the longest possible route there and leave nearly immediately upon arrival. You might expect to see a natural ebb and flow of riders at a typical motorcycle weekender, but here female-identifying motorcyclists swirl around in a constant state of activity. If you’re looking to get lost in order to find a good time with great humans, Babes Ride Out (BRO) may be your ticket. For eight years, the guiding principle of this good-times-only event has simply been “no dudes, no ‘tudes.” Since its inception, Babes Ride Out has maintained a grassroots feel hearkening back to its meager beginnings in Borrego Springs circa 2013. That first year nearly 50 women met up for a short ride to a very primitive, slightly illegal camp on a dry lake bed in the heart of the Anza-Borrego Desert in southern California. The bonds formed by that inaugural group, which now refers to the event as a family reunion, can still be seen and felt here in the Los Padres National Forest. A separate peace with a few friends far away from the main camp area. (Tamara Raye Wilson/)That brings us to the present day where I, one of the aforementioned Original 50, have embarked on my annual pilgrimage to the event via the most indirect and scenic route known to Google Maps. Limited to tarmac by the recent national forest fire-safety closures, I planned a path to BRO 8 that changed a mundane 45-minute ride up the coast into a four-hour sojourn down some of California’s premier motorcycling roads. As my riding companion and I set out from Ventura, the greatest surprise came in the most unexpected way; Highway 33 had been freshly repaved. Now you know. Thank me later. After whizzing through three other counties, we made our way into Santa Barbara County by way of highways 33 and 166 and the ultratechnical turns of Tepusquet Canyon. Our arrival at the event space was perfectly timed as the sun dipped behind the ridge and its twilight rays illuminated the grounds through a magical orange haze. With approximately 900 attendees, there seemed to be movement everywhere with no particular gathering point. This weekend’s weapon of choice: the author’s 2003 Triumph Bonneville, affectionately dubbed “El Trineo,” Spanish for “The Sled,” in homage to its dirt-bound predecessors. (Tamara Raye Wilson/) Bagged and tagged. Attendees check into the VIP motorcycle camping area at BRO 8. (Tamara Raye Wilson/)Simultaneous offerings like the Real Deal Bike Show, self-defense demos, and an 805 happy hour kept crowds to a responsible COVID-conscious minimum. Porsche Taylor, the founder of Black Girls Ride magazine, held a Long Distance Riding workshop where she advocated that “preparation alleviates anxiety.” After nightfall, familiar faces began to emerge from the glimmering moonshine as small groups of friends sat together to talk story, retracing their rides over cold cocktails. With a fire ban in full effect, the air was crisp as the camp became quiet fairly early in anticipation of Saturday’s ride. “Frida Bike 2021” painted by Nicole Andrijauskas (@chicken_in_a_biscuit) and entered into the Real Deal Bike Show at BRO. (Tamara Raye Wilson/)When there’s a two-wheeled fun machine parked 3 feet from your tent, no alarm clock or wake-up call is needed. First light was greeted with a deafening roar of tent and sleeping bag zippers ripping open as campers raced to gear up and ride out. Inside my tent, I reviewed a meandering figure-eight route through the central coast backcountry while coffee began to boil on a small camp stove outside. There has never been anything more perfect than that exact moment. Coffee and gasoline, proper ways to start any morning. (Tamara Raye Wilson/) The marine layer sat thick above the Los Padres mountains in the early morning as campers began readying their machines for the day ahead. (Tamara Raye Wilson/)As I meandered around the grounds and the chilly morning fog burned off, the true nature of the main camp area was revealed. Each site was its own ecosystem, a microcosm of tents with similar bikes circled around each other. Choppers grouped with choppers, baggers grouped with baggers, modern classics with modern classics; you get the point. Naturally there was a strong Harley-Davidson presence, due to its partnership with BRO. There was, however, one noteworthy outlier stashed way off in the back forty: a lovely BMW R80 G/S Paris Dakar. I slow-clapped for the gal who rode in on that magnificent machine. It’s increasingly rare to see vintage motorcycles at this event. But regardless of who rode what, the ambiance was nothing but smiles and caffeinated giggles. Tell me you’re at Babes Ride Out without telling me you’re at Babes Ride Out. (Tamara Raye Wilson/) Harley-Davidson is a key sponsor of Babes Ride Out, which is no surprise for the many, many years the Motor Company has supported women in riding. (Tamara Raye Wilson/) Although most riders arrive on modern machines, this prime example of a BMW R80 G/S Paris Dakar stole the show. (Tamara Raye Wilson/)For those who are newcomers or otherwise unfamiliar with the area, Babes Ride Out provides a bevy of maps. In past years, routes have been printed on cardstock for distribution at the event only. Thanks to technology and the altruistic nature of founders Anya Violet and Ashmore Ellis, these routes are now available to all on the Babes Ride Out blog. The central coast has anything a rider could possibly ask for, from sea to sky and everything in between, including a pit stop at an ostrich farm. As previously mentioned, the bulk of the time at BRO is spent with your knees in the breeze out there on the open road. Avoiding most people as I often do, I coerced two fast girls to ride with me on a route of my own design, meandering down the coast to a somewhat undiscovered out-and-back stunner of a beach called Jalama, snaking around wine country and zipping through tree tunnels for a few hundred miles before ending up at an ice cream shop in the small Dutch town of Solvang. Is there any better way to end a ride than enjoying a sweet treat under a large windmill? The author with a scoop of a very appropriate ice cream called “Motor Oil.” (Tamara Raye Wilson/)We returned to camp just in time to catch a small group gathering around the stage as Anya and Ashmore presented the Dunlop Furthest Ride Award. Several girls had rolled into the event with upward of 3,000 hard miles under their belts just so they could join a two-day campout. The winners, a group from the Florida Keys, took the win with a one-way total of more than 4,000 miles. Now that is dedication. The evening culminated with DJ’s Porsche Taylor and Ry Toast taking the stage for some late-night dance party vibes. Anya Violet and Ashmore Ellis, the event’s founders, as they present the Dunlop Furthest Ride Award. (Tamara Raye Wilson/)High on good vibes and female empowerment, I packed up my gear and decided to make the winding trek down the 154 in the cover of darkness on Saturday night. The quiet, contemplative night ride through Santa Barbara and down the Pacific Coast Highway let me reflect and gain perspective on what I’d witnessed over the last few days. It’s truly remarkable how this event has progressed over the years. Yet Babes Ride Out retains the ability to profoundly inspire riders of all different backgrounds, ages, identities, and experiences to do the one thing that brought us all together in the first place: Just get out there and ride. “El Trineo,” the author’s modern classic Triumph, at Jalama Beach. (Tamara Raye Wilson/)Source
  12. 2021 Kawasaki Z900RS. (Kawasaki/)Ups Classic replica styling of the original Z1Modern chassis, suspension, brakes, wheelsDowns Under 100 hp fromSuspension a bit softVerdict Retro classic fever caught on big with the motorcycle industry in the latter half of the past decade, but no one has done it better than Kawasaki with its Z900RS and Z900 RSCafé models. It’s the best combination of old-school design and modern tech, with good, usable, everyday performance coupled with great styling that closely replicates the original ‘70s Z1. And it’s even the least expensive bike in its class… What’s not to like? 2021 Kawasaki Z900RS. (Kawasaki/)Overview The Kawasaki Z900RS and Café have been one of the best retro classic motorcycles in the market since debuting in 2018, and the 2021 models continue that tradition. Based upon the Z900, the Z900RS recalls the styling cues of the original ‘70s Z1, while the Z900RS Café harkens back to the original ‘82–’83 KZ1000 Eddie Lawson Replica. There were some updates in 2020 that included a TFT dash display with Bluetooth connectivity for the Z900RS (the Café model retains the round analog tach and speedometer in keeping with the old-school styling), along with variations on Kawasaki’s classic lime green paint schemes. Updates for 2021 There are no updates for 2021 for either the Z900RS or the Z900RS Café. Available colorways are Candytone Green for the Z900RS, and Pearl Storm Gray for the Café model. Pricing and Variants The 2021 Kawasaki Z900RS retails for $11,299. The 2021 Kawasaki Z900RS Café dressed in its half fairing has an MSRP of $11,899. Competition This category is chock-full of throwback models, including the Honda CB650R, Triumph Bonneville T100 and T120, Yamaha XSR900, Ducati Scrambler Café Racer, Royal Enfield Continental GT, Suzuki Katana, BMW R nineT Racer, and even Kawasaki’s own W800 Café. The Kawasaki Z900 RS Café even became Cycle World’s pick in this comparison with the Yamaha XSR900 and Honda CB1000R. Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance Using the same basic liquid-cooled DOHC 948cc inline-four engine from the Z900 but retuned for low-end and midrange power, the Z900RS Café punched out 94.65 hp at 8,590 rpm and 63.51 pound-feet of torque at 6,040 rpm when CW ran the 2020 model on the dyno. Morgan Gales complained about a “twitchy throttle response” on the first version of the Z900RS that he rode in 2018, but Kawasaki apparently has tuned that issue out of the later versions. There’s plenty of good acceleration for any situation in the city and highway, but if you’re looking to really play hard in the canyons, the flaccid top-end power will disappoint. 2021 Kawasaki Z900RS Café. (Kawasaki/)Handling The Z900RS comes with older-generation Dunlop GPR-300 tires that provide quick and responsive handling with adequate grip, and the somewhat soft suspension rates (the front fork is fully adjustable for spring preload, rebound, and compression damping, while the rear shock is spring preload and rebound-damping adjustable) absorb most of the pavement imperfections you’ll encounter while keeping the chassis balanced and planted Brakes Radial-mount four-piston Monoblock calipers biting on 300mm petal-style discs up front provide excellent stopping power with a communicative feel, according to the Cycle World UJM comparison test including the Kawasaki Z900RS Café. ABS comes standard on both models. 2021 Kawasaki Z900RS Café. (Kawasaki/)Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG There is no current fuel economy for the Z900RS models. Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility Keeping in line with its original Z1 retro styling, both the Z900RS’ and the Café's ergos are in the normal upright standard vein. A wide, flat seat and rubber-mounted handlebar and footpegs keep everything comfy and vibe-free, and the passenger accommodations are decent as well. 2021 Kawasaki Z900RS. (Kawasaki/)Electronics Both models come standard with ABS. Kawasaki’s three-step adjustable KTRC traction control is also standard on both machines. The Z900RS has a full color TFT display equipped with Bluetooth connectivity via the Rideology app. Warranty and Maintenance Coverage The Z900RS and Kawasaki Z900RS Café comes with Kawasaki’s usual 12-month limited warranty. Extended warranty options available for 12, 24, 36 and 48 months. Quality The paint on both models is superb, with a deep, metal flake finish that is a cut above most production bikes. The Café model’s chrome bezels on its round and legible analog tachometer and speedometer are a nice touch, and Z900RS’ full-color TFT dash display is bright and easy to read. 2021 Kawasaki Z900RS Café. (Kawasaki/)2021 Kawasaki Z900RS/Café Claimed Specifications MSRP: $11,299/$11,899 Engine: 948cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled inline-four; 16 valves Bore x Stroke: 73.4 x 56.0mm Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/chain Fuel Delivery: Electronic fuel injection w/ 36mm throttle body Clutch: Wet, multiple disc; cable operation Engine Management/Ignition: TCBI w/ electronic advance Frame: Steel trellis chassis Front Suspension: 41mm KYB inverted fork, fully adjustable; 4.7 in. travel Rear Suspension: KYB shock, spring preload, rebound damping adjustable; 5.5 in. travel Front Brake: Radial-mount Monoblock 4-piston caliper, dual 300mm petal-style discs w/ ABS Rear Brake: 2-piston caliper, single 250mm disc w/ ABS Wheels, Front/Rear: Cast aluminum; 17 x 3.50 in. / 17 x 5.50 in. Tires, Front/Rear: 120/70ZR-17 / 180/55ZR-17 Rake/Trail: 25.0°/3.9 in. Wheelbase: 57.9 in. Ground Clearance: 5.1 in. Seat Height: 32.9 in./32.3 in. Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gal. Wet Weight: 474 lb./476 lb. Contact: kawasaki.com Cycle World Kawasaki Z900RS Café Tested Specifications Seat Height: 32.4 in. Wet Weight: 479 lb. Rear-Wheel Horsepower: 94.65 hp @ 8,590 rpm Rear-Wheel Torque: 63.51 lb.-ft. @ 6,040 rpm 0–60 mph: 3.50 sec. 1/4-mile: 11.85 sec. @ 116.54 mph Braking 30–0 mph: 34.55 ft. Braking 60–0 mph: 132.11 ft. Source
  13. The throttle was pinned as I raced down Venice Boulevard with my chest on the gas tank and my chin jutting forward. With this purposeful, steely-eyed commitment to total performance, it took the length of seven blocks for the 2022 Honda Grom to reach 59 mph. As I cross Los Angeles on this brilliant yellow pill of a motorcycle, launching from green lights and filtering at red lights, I experience a pure and simple joy. The Grom has been popular since its 2014 introduction, thanks to its easy handling, low price tag, and jaunty—one might even say welcoming—design. Now Honda has updated it in all the right ways, focusing on engine power, fuel efficiency, home maintenance, and ease of customization. The 2022 Grom suffers no increase to its $3,399 price tag, yet enjoys a great improvement to overall function and design. The 2022 Grom remains the same beacon of good times that we fell in love with years ago, but now more capable than ever. (Jeff Allen/)Ergonomics At 6-foot-4, I never expected to fit on a Grom. Anyone who happens to catch a glimpse of me on the thing is practically obligated to toss off a Grape Ape or Shriners joke. But the freshly redone ergonomics make the little bike a joy to ride. The new seat is longer, more cushioned, and totally flat, still providing room for a passenger but allowing a solo rider to slide back on the seat more easily. The new seat sits atop a new subframe, one slightly smaller than before and now removable. Small jaunts around town and one-hour-long rides across Los Angeles were both surprisingly comfortable and easy. Despite, or perhaps because of, its small size, the Grom is incredibly well suited for city riding and congested environments. (Jeff Allen/)Approachability For some reason, people wave and throw me a thumbs-up a lot more often when I’m on the $3,400 Grom than when I’m on a $21,000 Harley. It’s bright. It’s small. It would scream “Wheeeee!” from its exhaust pipe if it could. It’s unpretentious, and therefore by the transitive principle its rider is as well, authentic and approachable. You’re not trying to be a calloused biker on this machine, that’s its strength. You’re a rider who has left their ego and Buck knife at home in lieu of good times and bright colors. If you see someone riding a Grom, say hi; after all, you meet the nicest people on a Honda. In the crowded side streets of Venice Beach, the Grom is the perfect tool for the job. (Jeff Allen/)Engine Updates And this year, it’s a slightly faster little Honda. In updating the engine, Honda wanted to make it more fuel efficient and more easily maintained at home. It achieves this, partially, with a removable oil filter, compared to past models where owners would just clean the oil spinner and screen. A larger airbox also increases intervals between maintenance, as Honda claims it will only need to be changed every 10,000 miles in “normal riding conditions.” The engine now features a slightly longer stroke and smaller bore, as well as a compression ratio bump from 9.3:1 to 10.0:1, a recipe for torque and engine response. That comes despite a claim of lower fuel consumption on average and some pretty significant changes to the bike’s gearing. The 2022 Grom now has a gear position indicator in the top right corner of its digital gauge. (Jeff Allen/)Updated Gearbox The Grom’s gearbox and final drive have been reworked with longer range in mind, adding a fifth gear and increasing the rear sprocket sizing from 34 to 38 teeth (the front remains unchanged at 15T). With newly adjusted sprocket gearing ratio the Honda feels quicker off the line, but the added fifth gear and the new wider spread of ratios in the gearbox let the Grom reach a higher top speed without over-revving the engine. In real-world testing, the new fifth gear served as more of an overdrive. Fourth gear is needed for any real acceleration, but once the bike gets up to speed, fifth gear is there to reduce the engine’s speed while cruising. Still, run upon a steep hill and it’s back down to fourth gear, maybe even third, to make sure you don’t slow down too much. On level ground, with my admittedly above-average frame tucked in as much as I could, I was unable to reach 60 mph. The most notable updates for the 2022 Grom happen inside the engine, with higher compression, new bore and stroke dimensions, and the addition of a fifth gear. (Jeff Allen/)Suspension At low and mid speeds, say up to about 45 mph, the suspension is perfectly adequate. But as you get toward the bike’s top speed it runs out of stroke much more quickly, transferring bigger bumps to the rider. Approaching any obstacles or potholes, I found myself standing, almost trying to bunny hop the bike to avoid them, as they were likely to overwhelm the soft suspension. There was no notable weight transfer on acceleration, but hard braking led to notable fork dive; moving back on the seat helped significantly. Suspension components tend to be one of our first complaints on any budget-minded motorcycle, and they certainly were on previous Grom models. The simple fact is that good suspension is expensive. By leaving the same nonadjustable 31mm cartridge fork and a monoshock with preload adjustment only, Honda has left room for customers to improve these components in their own time and on their own dime. This keeps the price where it was and, as a side benefit, encourages the aftermarket that’s such a big part of Grom ownership. Suspension and braking components on the Grom remained unchanged, keeping the MSRP the same as last year and leaving room for the aftermarket. (Jeff Allen/)Braking As with the suspension, the braking components remain unchanged on this third generation of Grom. The bike is of course light, so its dual-piston caliper grips the front 220mm rotor with plenty of strength and good feel at the lever. The rear single-piston caliper and 190mm rotor work just fine as well, easily bringing the Grom’s 228 pounds (weight measured full of gas, ready to ride) to a halt. Models equipped with ABS now come with an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and linked braking; our test unit was the $200-cheaper base model. Ergonomic revisions to the Grom include a more cushioned seat that replaces the earlier contoured shape with a long, flat one. (Jeff Allen/)Fuel Economy In two weeks of testing I used the Grom almost daily, and I was about as heavy-handed with the throttle as possible. In that time I averaged just over 103 mpg, not quite the 155 mpg that Honda estimated. But seriously, with a near-200-pound rider wringing this little bike’s neck all day, 103 is nothing to sneeze at. To more easily accommodate aftermarket mufflers, the Grom’s exhaust system is now two pieces. (Jeff Allen/)Easier Customization Honda designed the Grom’s four bodywork panels to unbolt quickly and easily for modification. Lay down some newspaper, spray ‘em with that easy-peel rubberized paint, and you can change the whole look of your bike in a couple of hours. The low overall price tag, plastic panels, and ease in swapping those panels takes the intimidation out of modification. And if you mess something up, it’s not the end of the world; the panels are much cheaper than a whole metal gas tank. I want to paint it pink and have the seat upholstered in a Hawaiian shirt pattern, but that’s just me. Things that would seem reckless on a larger motorcycle are just playful fun on the Grom. (Jeff Allen/)Fun Machine When assaulting the narrow alleys and one-way streets of Venice Beach, the Grom proved to be the perfect tool for the job. It’s lightweight, it’s nimble, and its size has more to offer than easy handling. Navigating through and around traffic, even hopping the occasional curb if the situation calls for it, the Grom’s playful nature shaves the edges off of things that might seem reckless on a larger motorcycle. There’s a reason so many people learn to stunt on these wicked little machines. And so the Grom continues to improve, staying at the top of its class despite competitive offerings from Kymco, Kawasaki, Benelli, and others. It’s more fun for less money than just about any other major production motorcycle, and it’s been improved in all the right ways. Approachable pricing remains, ergonomics are improved, changes in sprocket sizing and gearbox spacing help with acceleration and fuel economy, and home customization is now easier than ever. Honda has once again demonstrated its ability to recognize and meet customer needs without losing sight of what’s made us love the Grom since its inception. 2022 Honda Grom Specifications MSRP: $3,399 (base) Engine: SOHC, air-cooled single; 2 valves/cyl. Displacement: 124cc Bore x Stroke: 50.0 x 63.1mm Compression Ratio: 10.0:1 Transmission/Final Drive: 5-speed/chain Claimed Horsepower: 9.7 hp @ 7,000 rpm Claimed Torque: 7.7 lb.-ft. @ 5,500 rpm Fuel System: PGM-FI Clutch: Wet Engine Management/Ignition: Electronic Frame: Steel mono-backbone Front Suspension: 31mm telescopic fork; 3.9 in. travel Rear Suspension: Single shock; 4.1 in. travel Front Brake: 2-piston caliper, 220mm disc Rear Brake: 1-piston caliper, 190mm disc Wheels, Front/Rear: 10-spoke cast wheels; 12 in. Tires, Front/Rear: 120/70-12 / 130/70-12 Rake/Trail: 25.0°/3.3 in. Wheelbase: 47.2 in. Ground Clearance: 7.0 in. Seat Height: 30.0 in. Fuel Capacity: 1.6 gal. Measured Wet Weight: 228 lb. (non-ABS) Availability: Now Contact: powersports.honda.com Source
  14. Honda’s beloved middleweight is probably best known in its original 600cc form, but it may be coming back as a 750cc machine. (Honda/)We’re hearing fresh rumors from Japan that Honda is finally preparing to launch a replacement for the much-missed Transalp, which would finally give the firm a sub-Africa Twin adventure bike with genuine off-road ability. The word is that the bike will use a newly developed 755cc parallel twin, and the same motor will simultaneously appear in a street-oriented roadster, dubbed CB750S, which may revive the Hornet name tag. Although there are no photos to back up the rumors yet, there’s evidence for them in the form of Honda’s trademark activity, with new paperwork for both the Transalp and Hornet names being submitted all over the world this year to make sure Honda still has the rights to use them. The Transalp was last seen in 700cc guise before disappearing altogether in 2011. (Honda/)Honda applied for the Transalp trademark in the USA, Japan, Uruguay, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines in February and March 2021, as well as Brazil, China, Colombia, Indonesia, India, Korea, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vietnam. It’s already got the name registered in the European Union and the UK until 2026, so most key markets around the world have been covered. And it’s a similar story with the Hornet trademark. Honda has made new applications for its use, specifically on motorcycles, in Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Brazil, Korea, Russia, and Thailand, and still bears the rights to the name in other areas including the UK and European Union. Although there hasn’t been an attempt to register the Hornet name in the USA, the previous four-cylinder CB600F and part faired CB600S models that bore the title elsewhere weren’t called Hornet in the States, either. The “CB750” title is far more evocative, particularly in the USA, should Honda opt to take that route instead. Related: 1989 Honda Transalp...Big Red’s Original ADV Bike for American Riders A 400cc version also appeared in several regional markets to meet licensing regulations. (Honda/)While the 755cc parallel twin isn’t far from the existing NC750′s 745cc unit in terms of capacity and layout, it’s expected to be a different engine, tuned for significantly more performance. As such, there’s a chance it will share design cues with the Africa Twin’s 1,084cc twin. Similarly, the Transalp—which is expected to carry the official title “XL750L”—is sure to take its styling inspiration from the Africa Twin. Although the Transalp name is a familiar one, the new bike is going to be a different proposition to the previous machines that carried the title. The original and most enduring Transalp was the 1987–1999 XL600V, with a 50 hp, 583cc three-valve-per-cylinder V-twin. In 2000 a new version appeared, using the 647cc V-twin from the NT650, and finally in 2008 it became the XL700V, with the new four-valve twin from the NT700V Deauville, before disappearing from the range a decade ago in 2011. In Japan, 400cc versions were offered as well to meet local license rules. The new model, in contrast, will have a parallel-twin arrangement, which is cheaper to make than a V-twin, has fewer components, and is easier to package in a bike as the exhausts and air intakes are easier to route. At 755cc it’s set to be a clear rival to Yamaha’s Ténéré 700 and Aprilia’s Tuareg 660, which both also follow the parallel-twin route. The direction that the expected CB750S will take is less certain, particularly in terms of styling. Although the “CB750” name evokes the four-cylinder bike that carried the title from 1969, the “S” portion suggests a part fairing, and the spate of Hornet trademark applications hints that it won’t be an out-and-out retro. With Honda due to launch the Africa Twin-based NT1100 as a part-faired, sport-touring streetbike later this year, the CB750S might well follow similar lines. Whether the two parallel twins will be ready for the 2022 model year or held back until 2023 remains to be seen. The timing of the trademark applications—coming at around the same time that Honda applied for rights to the NT1100 name—could indicate that the models are on a similar launch schedule. The NT1100 has now been awarded vehicle type approval in Europe, confirming that it will definitely be one of Honda’s launches at this autumn’s bike shows, so we might not have to wait too long to hear more about the rumoured Transalp and CB750S. Source
  15. The 2022 BMW R 18 B in Option 719 Galaxy Dust. The B has an MSRP of $21,945, but costs $29,515 as tested. (Kevin Wing/)There’s a saying in Colorado: “If you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes.” Today I do like the weather. It’s dry. Thunderclouds are forming quickly overhead as we gear up and I mount the Galaxy Dust R 18 B that will be my steed for the first half of the day. This 877-pound behemoth is half of BMW’s second play at the American cruiser and touring market following the initial launch of the base model R 18 and the subsequent R 18 Classic. The B and its counterpart, the 942-pound Transcontinental, are big, heavy, and look about as American as a Kraftwerk album. In the Colorado Rockies, we are about to find out how BMW does grand American touring. We meander slowly through Denver’s dense traffic. It’s overcast, muggy. We’re in a hurry to outrun impending weather, but the city isn’t letting us out just yet. Along stop-and-go six-lane highways and zipping down open side streets, the B’s handling is surprisingly neutral; the bike is easy to ride. Despite weighing 116 pounds more than the 761-pound R 18 (claimed weights), low-speed handling is much improved on this model. The chassis, updated from the R 18 model, has a reinforced backbone and steeper rake, moving from 32.7 degrees to 27.3. (Kevin Wing/)This improvement is credited to the modified touring chassis, which received two major changes. A thicker double-steel backbone accommodates the added weight and larger gas tank, and rake angle has steepened from 32.7 degrees to 27.3. This not only reduces the bike’s trail and wheelbase, but because the front suspension components are identical to those on the R 18, the bike’s ride height and available lean angle have increased. As we putt from stop sign to stop sign in the low revs, power is readily available and the weight of the bike is easily forgotten, for a while. We turn on to Highway 6 at just the right time. Dark clouds stay behind us as we roll toward Golden. It’s 85 degrees with a cool wind, and the world’s problems disappear. The seat is comfortable, ergonomics are surprisingly perfect for my 6-foot-4 build, and at 75 mph in the Rock (most aggressive) power mode, the engine pulses pleasantly while effortlessly turning 2,650 rpm. The all-new fairing for the R 18 B and Transcontinental features radars for Active Cruise Control and a fixed windshield. (Kevin Wing/)I hit the button for Active Cruise Control and another to set my top optimal speed. It works flawlessly in both Dynamic and Comfortable modes, adjusting the bike’s rate of acceleration back to optimal after sensing that slower automobiles in front of you have moved. The system allows you to pull in the clutch and even shift without disengaging as long as you don’t drop below 20 mph, at which point it will automatically return control to the rider. At our pre-ride meeting the group was discouraged from pairing our phones with the bike, so navigation and music through Bluetooth are unavailable for the time being. I scroll over to satellite radio and Missy Elliot comes on. Is it worth it? Let me work it. I crank up the volume as we continue down the straight. It feels appropriate. The four Marshall Series I speakers installed in the fairing as part of BMW’s Premium Package ($2,800 for the B) deliver excellent sound. Crisp highs and deep lows are clearly audible, even with my helmet’s visor up at highway speeds. The eight Series II speakers on the Transcontinental are even more impressive, with their surround sound capabilities. Unfortunately, getting your personal music to play through the speakers proves to be more difficult than pairing and hitting play. The R 18 touring platform features a 10.25-inch display screen, four analog gauges, and fairing-mounted speakers. (Kevin Wing/)The 10.25-inch screen sits below four analog gauges in an attempt to balance out the modern feel with a dose of classic aesthetic. It sort of works. With an analog speedometer, tachometer, and fuel gauge, I wanted to use the screen for navigation and entertainment, which requires pairing your phone with the BMW Connected app open. Later, after repeatedly pairing my phone, then unpairing and re-pairing my phone, and then having my playlist stop after every song, I understood why this was discouraged. If you owned this bike and rode it day after day, I imagine you’d figure out the kinks and this process would smooth out. But now, compared to competitive models with similar systems, the app adds an unnecessary and complex step to the user experience. And what if your phone dies? The phone storage compartment is located below the gas cap on the R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental. (Kevin Wing/)With the owner’s phone being such a key part of this riding experience, it’s only natural that BMW places a phone storage compartment within reach. Indian and Harley-Davidson do this on the Chieftain and Street Glide’s fairings; BMW does it below the gas cap. The compartment is sealed, has a USB-C port, and includes an internal fan to help control temperature. It is small and flat with a few pieces of plastic to hold your phone in place, making it tough to use a normal charging cord; if your cord doesn’t attach to your phone’s base at a 90-degree angle, you have to flip your device upside down to make it work. This would have been a perfect application for wireless charging, but instead you get a crammed little compartment that offers barely enough room, creating more questions than it answers. I give up on Bluetooth music and navigation for the time being as we continue from Golden to Boulder, where we stop for a coffee at Full Cycle Bikes, a large bicycle shop with a friendly vibe and well-stocked cafe. With almost 30 baggers lined up, the parking lot looks more like a local Bike Night than a local bicycle shop. The Galaxy Dust paint ($2,400) has a June bug-like iridescent effect, changing from green to purple depending on light and the angle. It’s something you wouldn’t expect to see on a BMW, which is sort of the point: It’s far out. It isn’t garish, just different in the best way. The bike’s lines are clean and attractive, its black engine finish downplaying the size of its massive 244-pound engine. The R 18 B’s First Edition package ($2,400), pictured here, includes a chrome accessory kit, double white pinstriping, and Black Storm Metallic paint. (Kevin Wing/)The all-new fairing, like many aspects of these new touring models, seems caught between two worlds. The exposed bolts and rubber bushings on the fixed windshield look and feel like a Vetter fairing from the ‘70s, yet they sit right above the radar for Active Cruise Control. The B’s lower windshield created buffeting right at my nose level, and the taller Transcontinental shield fell right in that inconvenient zone above the horizon where my eyes tend to be while riding long distances. BMW has other models with electronically adjustable windscreens, but this is one area where it unfortunately decided to lean into the design ethos of classic cruiser models. This is an area where BMW should do BMW. Now refreshed and with no thunderheads in sight, we remount the bikes and point them toward the Rocky Mountains, specifically the town of Estes Park. Perfect asphalt weaves between the mountains, but patches of dirt mean you have to be aware of your line. The B holds its intended path perfectly while dodging debris at speed, never losing composure or coming unglued.The 49mm fork and shock that were so plush on the highway are just as comfortable here in the twisties. The rear suspension on both models automatically adjusts preload using load sensor, ride-height sensor, and a small servo motor on the spring. Neither front nor rear suspension is manually adjustable by the rider in any way, but the system performed well in our testing, never feeling as if it required human adjustment intervention. The R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental have a ride height of 6.3 inches and a lean angle of 35 degrees, compared to the R 18’s 6.0-inch ride height and 32-degree claimed lean angle. (Kevin Wing/)Feel at the front brake lever is adequate, taking a significant squeeze to get a strong reaction, but providing good stopping power with the right input. With BMW’s fully integrated ABS, braking is linked. So while the toe of my right boot has to touch the cylinder to wedge in between it and the brake pedal, I can also avoid that by primarily using the lever if I so desire. I was expecting this canyon portion of the ride to be painfully limited by available lean angle, as the R 18 had been. But as we hit the first turn, I’m pleasantly surprised to find substantial improvement. The new front end geometry provides more stability and responsiveness at higher speeds. And the increased rear suspension travel, from 3.0 to 4.7 inches, improves lean angle from a claimed 32 degrees on the R 18 to 35 on the touring models. You’ll still see some sparks on a spirited canyon run, but those three degrees make a significant difference in the bike’s capability and fun factor on mountain roads. Floorboards are featured on the R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental with independently adjustable heel-toe shifters and a further adjustable knob on the toe. (Kevin Wing/)It is here, however, that I start to notice a big problem. Attempting to accelerate out of an uphill turn in third gear, I notice the revs climbing indepently of my bike’s acceleration. As the ride continued, so did this issue. I would shift and let out the clutch only to watch the revs climb while the bike coasted; then the engine speed would drop as the clutch engaged and the bike picked up speed. Clutch slippage was an issue in early R 18 models, and BMW alleviated it by retuning throttle maps. As the touring models were designed at the same time as the initial R 18, faults and criticisms of that model, including this major issue, have not been addressed. Even on the Transcontinental, which adds 183 pounds to the R 18′s identical Big Boxer engine, there have been no mechanical changes to the clutch. In time we come around the road’s final bend and into the town of Estes Park, known for the Stanley Hotel, made famous as the hotel in The Shining, today’s lunch spot. Cars slow as we pass a family of elk, who couldn’t be less bothered by our exhaust rumble. The Stanley’s iconic carpet patterns are immediately recognizable. Access to the movie’s iconic Room 217 is blocked off. A hedge maze has been constructed outside of the hotel to further evoke images of the famous garden scene, but it’s dry and some parts only stand a couple feet high. This place plays the “Redrum” card to the hilt. The R 18 Transcontinental has a starting MSRP of $24,995 but costs $31,965 as tested. (Kevin Wing/)After lunch, the R 18 Transcontinental in First Edition trim waits to take me back to Denver, where the storm is now in full effect. Approaching the bike, I notice the passenger floorboard was folded up and covering the chrome R 18 badge. I throw a leg over the bike to sit down and the seat rocks beneath me, so I hop off to investigate. The Transcontinental has a larger and more padded seat than the B, though both have built-in heating. Both seats attach at only two points (front and rear) but the edges of the Transcontinental seat can rock up and down with roughly 2 inches of freeplay. With the kickstand down I sit on the back seat to see if it may feel better while laden. It does not. The seat rocks and the seat pan flexes while I shift my weight side to side. As I point the bike at the thunderclouds, I accept that the more enjoyable part of the day’s testing could be behind me. The ride back down the mountain on Highway 34 is relaxed and enjoyable. The radar’s scan is not wide enough to pick up the motorcycle in front of me, so I manage my own throttle; just imagine that. The 65 extra pounds over the B model are essentially just the top case and its mounting system, and the high placement of that weight means it’s impossible to ignore as we carve down a mountain. Some of the improved handling qualities present on the B remain, but the larger bike takes more muscling through the turns. The wide seat of the Transcontinental extends past the edges of the rear fender, making it feel unstable while the passenger’s weight shifts. (Kevin Wing/)The added storage on the Transcontinental is a great bonus. Two full-face helmets easily fit in the top case, a handy thing indeed; but most people would choose this bike over the B for its passenger amenities. BMW has added passenger controls for heating on the seat, though one suspects the lack of stability will overwhelm any passenger impressions before they get a chance to look for the switch. While shifting is smooth, clutch feel on both bikes is lacking, and quickly shifting this torque-rich Big Boxer in canyons or traffic will inevitably lead to jerking your passenger around a bit. It’s a wonder why BMW wouldn’t make its Shift Assist Pro an option here. Although passenger floorboards are a welcome amenity, they cover the handsome R 18 badge when folded up. (Kevin Wing/)The road back to Denver is long, and the bikes begin to heat up as traffic slows down. Temperatures are in the low 80s when the rider next to me approaches and points to his TFT screen with a grimace. A large orange alert covers almost the whole screen, reading “Engine too hot! Continue driving at low speeds to cool engine.” This comes as sort of a shock on a contemporary bike, even though I can feel my own engine’s heat on my toes beneath those iconic protruding cylinders. The Big Boxer engine has seen no changes for this application. As dyno-tested in the R 18, the engine put out less horsepower and torque than a Milwaukee-Eight 114. The clutch has clear and obvious failures; today, in warm weather and moderate traffic, it is unable to cool itself efficiently. That thunderstorm is moving the same direction we are, but now we’re hoping for the rain. When we pull up to the hotel, it seems every rider is 5 feet from their bike by the time I can get my helmet off. I know the feeling. Despite the added weight, the R 18 Transcontinental’s improved lean angle has measurable benefits. (Kevin Wing/)BMW has leaned into certain things that previously defined the American touring experience: sound, size, feel of the engine. But some critical elements of BMW’s brand identity have been left out, elements that would have elevated the bike to the level expected of the “Berlin Built” badge. Fit and finish on the initial R 18 were praised, but the Transcontinental takes a hit with floorboards that cover the badge and an unforgivable passenger seat. BMW went modern with some aspects and classic with others, but understanding the logic behind its choices in this area is as much of a challenge as picking up one of these bikes if it were to tip over. The R 18 B feels like the best and most suited usage of the Big Boxer yet. It sounds great, it looks good, and the updates to the chassis geometry yield great results. But the lingering clutch issue should have been fixed with more than a retune in the year between the R 18 and the B’s launch. The Transcontinental feels more like an accessory package than a thoroughly developed model with its own identity. With these models, BMW is entering a market that’s been dominated by Harley-Davidson since the debut of the 1969 FLH with its fairing and hard bags. The bar was set high then, and it’s only been raised over time. Had BMW retained more of its own brand identity in key parts of the machine, the results would have been a more refined motorcycle, and the company would have found greater success based on engineering merits. But if it is going to play the emotion game against Harley-Davidson, it’s up against a hell of a home-field advantage. Gearbox: Helmet: Arai Signet-X Jacket: Aether Draft Mesh Pants: Tobacco Archetype Riding Jeans Gloves: Spidi X-Knit Boots: RSD x White’s Boots Foreman For more detailed photos of the 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental, check out our First Look here! Specifications: 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental 2022 BMW R 18 B MSRP(base/as tested): $24,995/$31,965 $21,945/$29,515 Engine: Air/oil-cooled, horizontally opposed twin; 2 valves/cyl. Air/oil-cooled, horizontally opposed twin; 2 valves/cyl. Displacement: 1,802cc 1,802cc Bore x Stroke: 107.1 x 100.0mm 107.1 x 100.0mm Compression Ratio: 9.6:1 9.6:1 Transmission/Final Drive: In-unit 6-speed/exposed shaft In-unit 6-speed/exposed shaft Claimed Horsepower: 91 hp @ 4,750 rpm 91 hp @ 4,750 rpm Claimed Torque: 116 lb.-ft. @ 3,000 rpm 116 lb.-ft. @ 3,000 rpm Fuel System: Electronic fuel injection w/ 48mm throttle bodies Electronic fuel injection w/ 48mm throttle bodies Clutch: Dry, single disc Dry, single disc Engine Management/Ignition: BMS-K+ electronic engine management w/ overrun cutoff and twin-spark ignition BMS-K+ electronic engine management w/ overrun cutoff and twin-spark ignition Frame: Double-cradle tubular steel Double-cradle tubular steel Front Suspension: 49mm telescopic fork; 4.7 in. travel 49mm telescopic fork; 4.7 in. travel Rear Suspension: Steel swingarm w/ central shock strut; automatic preload adjustment w/ load and ride-height sensors; 4.7 in. travel Steel swingarm w/ central shock strut; automatic preload adjustment w/ load and ride-height sensors; 4.7 in. travel Front Brake: 4-piston fixed calipers, twin 300mm discs w/ linked ABS 4-piston fixed calipers, twin 300mm discs w/ linked ABS Rear Brake: 4-piston fixed caliper, 300mm disc w/ linked ABS 4-piston fixed caliper, 300mm disc w/ linked ABS Wheels, Front/Rear: Cast aluminum; 19 x 3.5 in. / 16 x 5.0 in. Cast aluminum; 19 x 3.5 in. / 16 x 5.0 in. Tires, Front/Rear: 120/70R-19 / 180/65B-16 120/70R-19 / 180/65B-16 Rake: 27.3° 27.3° Wheelbase: 66.7 in. 66.7 in. Seat Height: 29.1 in. (at curb weight) 28.4 in. (at curb weight) Fuel Capacity: 6.3 gal. 6.3 gal. Claimed Wet Weight: 942 lb. 877 lb. Availability: Now Now Contact: bmwmotorcycles.com bmwmotorcycles.com Source
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