The Best Enduro Motorcycles & Dirtbikes For 2021

We, as riders, all have our favorite types of motorcycles to ride. For some, it’s tucked down low over a fuel tank, screaming down the front straight of the local track. For others, it’s the shaking rumble below and in front of them as they devour the miles cruising down the open road. For others, it’s all in the enjoyment of small, nimble motorcycles that can be a great distraction from the stresses of life in an empty parking lot on the weekends.

However, one of the most common types of motorcycles that many riders around the world ride are off-roaders. The types and varieties of off-road bikes are mind-boggling, and range from high-performance motocross and supercross bikes, to mile-munching endurance adventure bikes, to balanced in-between enduro style bikes. What matters, however, is that all of them are ready to get dirty and have some fun in the mud.

For this list, we’re going to be looking at some of the best off-road bikes you can buy, either new models or continuing models, in 2021. A special note here is that while many adventure bikes are road tourers that are touted as being able to handle “light off-road use,” any that we mention below are the ones that have a proven record of being proper off-road bikes.

Best Motocross 2-Stroke: 2021 Husqvarna TC125 MX

2021 Husqvarna TC125 MX

The 125cc two-stroke motocross class is one of, if not the, most popular class in dirt circuit competition. It is only fitting, then, that having a bike designed to tackle pretty much any banked corner, whoop, or tabletop is paramount. Husqvarna (owned by KTM) has the TC125 MX, just such a bike.

A high-revving, low-weight (just 38 lbs!) 125cc single chucks out a hell of a lot of torque and more than decent horsepower. Mounted in a chrome-moly steel frame, with a carbon fiber rear subframe, the entire bike weighs just 192 lbs dry, with an 8L fuel tank. With a Brembo wet multi-disc hydraulic clutch and Brembo brakes both front and rear, with WP competition suspension, and a 38mm flat slide Mikuni TMX carburetor, the TC125 MX doesn’t play around.

This is a serious competition bike, for everything from practicing at the local dirt track, to flying across the finish line at the World Championships, and everything in between.

Best Supercross 4-Stroke: 2021 Kawasaki KX450

2021 Kawasaki KX450

The 2021 Kawasaki KX 450 is pretty much in a league of its own in the world of supercross. Kawasaki has more wins and has had more championship riders on their 450’s than any other manufacturer since the 450SX class was introduced, and if that isn’t telling enough, then the fact that they come pretty much from the factory ready to race is another huge point.

The 449cc four-stroke single is liquid-cooled, and chucks out a beefy 33 lb-ft of torque and about 53 HP, for a bike that weighs 246 lbs wet. A rough and ready 5-speed transmission gets the bike motivated, and the 21-inch front, 18 inch rear wheels ensure performance and handling. As well, being the “non-competition” version of the bike, it has an electric starter. And that, really, is the only difference at first bluish from the actual 450SX bike.

Best Trail: 2021 Yamaha TT-R230

2021 Yamaha TT-R230

For years now, Yamaha has been known as one of the best sportbike makers from Japan. However, they also develop and produce some of the best non-competition off-road bikes specifically designed to make trail riding as enjoyable as possible. The 2021 TT-R230 is just one such bike, sharing a lot of its DNA with its YZ250F competition motocross cousin.

What makes the Yamaha the best is that it has a superb engine derived from the 249cc competition four-stroke in the aforementioned YZ250F. Coming in at 223cc, it has two valves, a single overhead cam, four-strokes, and provides just about 14 lb-ft of very linear torque at any point in the rev range. Basically, it follows the “keep it stupidly simple” philosophy while also touting fuel injection, reliability, and a nearly bulletproof reputation on the track.

Additionally, being only 250 lbs wet, and coming in at less than $5,000 USD, it is extremely easy to ride, will tackle pretty much any trail, and has a large 2.1-gallon fuel tank for all-day fun.

Best Large Displacement Enduro: 2021 Honda CRF450RX

2021 Honda CRF450RX

The 2021 Honda CRF450RX was heavily reworked over the 2020 model, to the point that it can be considered an entirely new evolution. A new frame, moving to a hydraulic clutch, steering and suspension geometry worked on with HRC (Honda Racing Corporation), and a reworked engine management system makes it the superior large displacement enduro for this year.

Part of that engine rework on the 449cc single is a decompression system at very low revs that works to prevent engine stalls when you are rock crawling or using engine braking to assist with a steep downhill. The hydraulic clutch also helps widen the torque and power bands, giving a rider the down low, on-demand torque they want to clear hill lips and larger obstacles.

Best Small Displacement Enduro: 2021 KTM 250 XC-F

2021 KTM 250 XC-F

It is quite well known that KTM is one of the best manufacturers of off-road machinery in general, and the 2021 KTM 250 XC-F upholds that reputation. While not being the biggest enduro, or the most powerful, what it does have going for it is a superb combination of both lightness and maximized power.

With the 249cc four-stroke single, the engine management system allows on-the-fly map switching through a handlebar switch. This allows for multiple maps for different situations to be programmed, for example, a high-torque, low-HP map for hill climbing, and a balanced map for flat surface riding. The fact it also comes with WP shocks, competition brakes, and a Brembo hydraulic clutch attached to a 6-speed transmission only makes the nearly $10,000 USD asking price worthwhile.

As more than one reviewer that has ridden the bike has commented, it has the lightness of a 250 class enduro, with torque and power that feels well beyond its 250cc engine.

Best High Displacement Off-Road ADV: 2021 KTM 890 Adventure

2021 KTM 890 Adventure

KTM, for many years, dominated the off-road-capable ADV world with the 790 Adventure, a bike that had everything you needed, and a few things you didn’t know you needed, to be able to cruise both on and off the road. So what did they do for 2021? Gave it a bigger engine, mostly, giving riders the 2021 KTM 890 Adventure.

However, what an engine it is! 889ccs, four-stroke, 8 valves, parallel-twin. 105 HP and 73 lb-ft of torque. It also has a totally reprofiled crank, different springs, redesigned valves, and a better intake system, allowing for the bump in displacement to be outpaced by the bump in performance the bike gains. As well, the engine is now included in the frame as a stress-bearing member of the bike, giving instant throttle response and linear, but not overpowering, torque on demand.

Best Low Displacement Off-Road ADV: 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan

2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan

As much as they are scoffed at, Royal Enfield has really been turning itself around from being a “built cheap, cheap to buy” brand to “inexpensive and impressively well built.” Nothing really demonstrates that quite as much as the little 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan, a street-smart ADV that will just keep chugging along when the road ends.

Introduced in 2017 to the North American market, demand for the bike made it Royal Enfield’s best-seller year over year. This is keeping in mind that every other Royal Enfield model in the US and Canada are street-only bikes, often with a 500cc or 650cc parallel-twin engine. Yet the Himalayan, with its 411cc, four-stroke, fuel-injected single puts out about 26 HP and just about 26 lb-ft of torque, in a bike that weighs 440 lbs wet. What that little single can do, however, is what sells the bikes.

You will most often hear the Himalayan referred to as “the little tractor,” and it summarizes it in 3 words. It doesn’t give up when going up hills, it can haul an amazing amount of weight in panniers or saddlebags, it has front and rear ABS, and, most importantly for 2021, has a rear-ABS-off switch that doesn’t just disable some functionality. When you hit that switch, the rear ABS is off, which is important when off-road to be able to slide the rear wheel out for tight, technical paths through off-road terrain.

a front right view of spy shots taken of a new KTM machine

Of note, this was an extremely close decision between the Himalayan and the BMW 310 GS. What eventually won was that the Royal Enfield offered similar power and torque numbers, but crucially had the full ABS disable for the rear wheel, as BMW’s “ABS off” still keeps it partially on, making rear-lock slide turns very difficult.

Best Junior Bike: 2021 Kawasaki KLX 110R/110R L

2021 Kawasaki KLX 110R/110R L

What do you get when one of the winningest supercross and motocross manufacturers in history designs an all-around dirt bike, that can also handle a few jumps here and there, for older kids and young teens to learn on? You get the 2021 Kawasaki KLX 110R. 112cc of four-stroke fun gives the young rider 7 HP and 6 lb-ft of torque to play around with, which for a 168 lbs bike with maybe another 100 lbs sitting on the seat is quite a bit of grunt. It’s small, but it’s one of the most formidable machines in the 2021 Kawasaki line-up.

The biggest thing is that there is a lateral model, the 110R L. They share the same frame, engine, throttle, but the 110R has a centrifugal clutch automatic, and the 110R L has a proper, left-hand, hydraulically actuated clutch with a four-speed transmission attached. The clutch on both is a wet clutch as well, giving a lot more leniency in shifting than a dry system, allowing the younger rider to learn the feel of shifting at the right revs, something important when you can’t afford to look down at the bike when you’re leaping tabletops later on in your dirt career.

Best Dual-Sport: 2021 Suzuki DR-Z400S

2021 Suzuki DR-Z400S

When you look up the term “bulletproof” in the dictionary, you will quite possibly find a picture of the 2021 Suzuki DR-ZX400S next to the definition. This is mostly because it has been produced since cavemen grunted at each other about the bike, and its 398cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke single can quite literally be hit with a sledgehammer and will keep running smoothly.

With 39 HP and 29 lb-ft of torque, this venerable beast will get even the tallest and largest of riders moving on the road, and with a foot of ground clearance, will also be able to carry them over obstacles on trails. It’s that suspension that also gives the DR-Z400S its road manners, known quite well among riders as one of the most agile dual-sports ever made.

These road manners are so well known that, in fact, Suzuki also makes a road-only supermoto version of the bike known as the DR-Z400SM. That version comes with stiffer suspension, more aggressive gearing, and 17-inch wheels and tires for sliding the tail around to your heart’s content!

Best Electric: (Tie) 2021 KTM Freeride E-XC & 2021 Zero FX

2021 KTM Freeride E-XC

2021 KTM Freeride E-XC

KTM, as mentioned before in this article, is known as one of the best off-road manufacturers, and they are also quietly pioneering in a few areas. The 2021 KTM Freeride E-XC is the first electric off-road motorcycle specifically developed for competition, either in Rally-E or Motocross-E. The electric motor in the bike is roughly equivalent to a 125cc engine, with a nominal 24 HP at maximum output, and 18 HP as its cruising output.

With a 3.9 kWh lithium-ion battery, enough juice is on board for a good two or so hours of cross-country riding, or about 45 minutes of hard riding, as in motocross or pure hill climbing. Racing suspension, a quick charge system that can use anything from 110 to 240 Volts, and for 2021, Formula brand brakes have been fitted to give the bike even more stopping power.

2021 Zero FX

2021 Zero FX

Zero is one of the few manufacturers that make only electric bikes, instead of producing both electric and gas-powered variants. As such, they focused their specifications for a dual-sport bike that could transition pavement to dirt without needing any changes in settings. The 2021 FX is pretty much the ultimate distillation of what Zero can put into the dual-sport.

The performance of the FX is nothing to scoff at, despite it being the lowest rung on the Zero bikes ladder. It produces 78 lb-ft of torque from 1 RPM upwards and weighs only 247 lbs if you opt for the 3.9 kWh model. If you go with the 7.2 kWh model, you’ll still be riding a bike that only weighs 289 lbs. With a max speed of 85 MPH, and torque absolutely and completely everywhere on the clutchless direct-drive motor with just one speed, this is a dual-sport that you can ride to the trail, thrash the trail, and then ride home with a grin under your mud-caked helmet.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

The Ultraviolette F77 Has Undergone A Facelift

Ultraviolette has been a wee bit mean with their teasing of the F77 over the years. Now, the company is finally preparing to launch its brainchild to the masses.

According to a report from Rideapart, the India-based company revealed the elusive F77 electric motorcycle back in 2018.

Of course, since the production and release of the electric motorcycle was delayed until this year (we still don’t quite know why), the company has needed to prioritize keeping the F77 up to spec with the other modern machines tootling about. 

Here’s what we know about the updates included in F77’s ‘facelift’:

Modern TFT

There’s nothing that screams “Look at me!” then a good set of electronic perks in an electric motorbike – and the F77 is no exception. 

Ultraviolette decided it would be a wee bit dangerous to include a touch screen in the display (thank heavens), so the F77 has been gifted with 5-way switchgear set up – the same as what you’d find bolted to a KTM 390 Duke

a side view of a rider testing the soon-to-be-released Ultraviolette F77

Power train

The company has claimed that riders will find the F77’s 27kW electric motor within the same range and power as your standard 300cc combustion engine.

While we’re slightly dubious, the numbers line up: The F77 will be capable of punching out 36 pretty little ponies, getting the beastie from zero to 60 km/h (0-37mph) in 7.7 seconds, getting the F77 90Nm of torque at the motor

the Ultraviolette F77 unveiling

Updated Chassis

This is where Ultreviolette spent a decent amount of time last year.

Not only did the F77 get the chassis tuned to accommodate the different center of gravity of the new battery packs; it also received a tweaked trellis frame, and the geometry of the chassis was adjusted to improve agility and stability.

The motor mount is a bit stiffer, with the suspension adjusted to improve the handling of the bike…and the general happiness of the bum. We approve.

A closeup of the Honda Activated 6G scooter headlight

the Ultraviolette F77 unveiling

Improved Charging system

If you thought the F77 still had a range of 130-150km, look again – Ultraviolette has just confirmed 150km to be the max range of the machine. The F77’s new battery packs are purported to hold torque longer, with a different series of batteries made available later to sustain a higher range. 

The F77 will be manufactured with a starting range of 10,000 units at Ultraviolette’s Bengaluru production facility.

All told, we can’t wait to see when the F77 is released. 

Well, we can…it gives us more time over here to start placing bets on the release date. 

Stay safe, and stay tuned for updates.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Just Announced: 2022 Honda CRF250R

Honda has finally provided us with updates to the 2022 CRF250R and the rest of its off-road line-up for 2022.

Begin Press Release: 


All-New CRF250R is Lighter, Faster, Stronger for 2022

Also announced: 2022 CRF250RX, featuring all-new engine and chassis

2022 Honda CRF250R

The bike raced by Team Honda HRC riders Jett and Hunter Lawrence, the CRF250R has been completely redesigned for 2022, Honda revealed today. The all-new model features a host of engine and chassis changes leading to improved acceleration on corner exits, increased agility, and better endurance over a race distance.

Since its 2004 introduction, the CRF250R has amassed nine Regional AMA 250SX Supercross titles (including the 2019 and ’20 East Region crowns), plus two AMA 250MX Championships. Phoenix Racing has also won the last three AMA Arenacross titles with the CRF250R, with Kyle Peters going undefeated during the 2021 season. With seven of 12 rounds completed, Jett and Hunter Lawrence have both earned 250MX overall wins in the AMA Pro Motocross series, and they sit second and third in the title chase, respectively.

Nonetheless, Honda engineers weren’t interested in letting the model rest on its laurels for 2022, as they introduced a host of updates that raise the bar for usable power, impeccable handling and robust durability, by boosting engine performance, increasing toughness and cutting weight. The redesigned engine produces more low-rpm torque without sacrificing usable top-end power, resulting in a broader powerband.

Chassis updates delivered significant weight savings and improved ergonomics while preserving the model’s renowned handling prowess. A redesigned exhaust system and additional lightened components resulted in a substantial reduction of 8 pounds, for a 229-pound vehicle curb weight. In addition, durability was improved by thoroughly reexamining the engine, its cooling system and the drive components, while notable improvements were also made to the clutch.

2022 Honda CRF250R

“The CRF250R has always been all about racing, and its success record proves that, with top results at the factory level by Jett and Hunter Lawrence, and also in the amateur ranks,” said Brandon Wilson, Sports & Experiential Manager at American Honda. “With reduced weight, increased power where it matters most and improved durability, the all-new 2022 CRF250R is more competitive than ever, and we can’t wait to see what the Lawrence brothers and all Red Riders do with it on motocross tracks across the U.S.”

2022 honda CRF250RX

Each of the CRF250R’s updates is transferred to the 2022 CRF250RX, whose closed-course, off-road realm is the ideal application for the increased low-end power. The CRF250RX also has model-specific features to provide appropriate suspension performance, power delivery, fuel range, hand protection and convenience, making it an appropriate machine for SLR Honda rider Tallon LaFountaine (the reigning AMA NGPC Pro 250 Champion), JCR Honda’s Tarah Gieger and Phoenix Racing Honda GNCC riders Ruy Barbosa and Cody Barnes.

While the focus is on the all-new 2022 CRF250R and CRF250RX, Honda also announced the returning CRF150R and CRF150R Big Wheel, as well as the hugely popular full CRF Trail lineup—the CRF250F, CRF125F and CRF125F Big Wheel, CRF110F and CRF50F—all of which are year-round off-road legal in all 50 states.

2022 Honda CRF250R

CRF250R
In order to achieve the design goals of increased power and improved durability, the CRF250R’s 249cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, double-overhead camshaft four-valve engine is significantly updated, boosting low rpm torque through modification of the air intake, revised valve timing and a straightened exhaust port with single exhaust header and muffler. Together, the changes deliver a 20% increase in power at 6,500 rpm, while strong top-end power is retained. Meanwhile, the chassis—already exemplary on the previous generation—borrows heavily from that of the latest-generation CRF450R, resulting in reduced vehicle weight. The redesigned frame has optimized flex characteristics, while the modern bodywork facilitates rider movement and is more easily removed. The combination results in reliable tracking, precise turning, exemplary straight-line stability and overall rideability, thanks in part to an 8-pound-lighter vehicle weight.

  • MSRP: $8,099
  • Color: Red
  • Info

2022 honda CRF250RX

CRF250RX
For 2022, this bona fide closed-course off-road weapon is all-new, with the same upgrades as the motocross-focused CRF250R. Those changes, which result in reduced weight, more low-end power and improved durability, are particularly well-suited to closed-course off-road series such as NGPC, GNCC and WORCS—the realms of top teams like SLR Honda, JCR Honda and Phoenix Racing Honda. Making the bike even better suited for those applications, the CRF250RX comes standard with model-specific features such as a resin 2.1-gallon fuel tank, dedicated suspension and ECU settings, an 18-inch rear wheel and plastic hand guards.

  • MSRP: $8,499
  • Color: Red
  • Info

2022 honda crf150r

CRF150R
The powersports industry’s most popular mini motocrosser, the CRF150R is offered in both standard and Big Wheel versions, the latter featuring larger wheels, a higher seat and additional rear-suspension travel, making it a great choice for taller riders. Honda’s smallest motocross model boasts Showa® suspension, including a 37 mm inverted fork and a single shock mated to a Pro-Link® rear linkage system, plus a Unicam® four-stroke engine that is unique in the mini MX world, delivering a strong but smooth spread of power across the rev range.

  • MSRP
    • CRF150R: $5,249
    • CRF150R Big Wheel: $5,449
  • Color: Red
  • Info

2022 honda crf250f

CRF250F
Few motorcycles can lay claim to being as versatile as the fun but capable CRF250F—a great choice for appropriately sized riders getting their feet wet off-road, but also very well suited for tackling challenging terrain at the hands of more experienced riders. Featuring Keihin electronically controlled fuel injection, the clean-running, low-maintenance CRF250F is year-round off-road legal in all 50 states. The long-stroke, air-cooled SOHC engine puts out strong-but-manageable acceleration, while the confidence-inspiring Showa suspension delivers a compliant ride in varied terrain. Add it up, and it’s no wonder that the flagship of Honda’s CRF Trail line is the industry’s top-selling full-size dirt bike; after all, it’s like owning multiple dirt bikes for the price of one!

  • MSRP: $4,749
  • Color: Red
  • Info

2022 honda crf125f

CRF125F
Honda’s hugely popular midsize trail bike, the CRF125F is available in both standard and Big Wheel versions, the latter featuring larger wheels, longer-travel suspension and a higher seat that make it an ideal option for taller riders. Both versions make learning to ride a blast, especially since they require minimal maintenance, thanks in part to Keihin electronic fuel injection that delivers year-round 50-state off-road legality. Boasting looks that mimic those of the CRF Performance line, the CRF125F and CRF125F Big Wheel promise years of recreational trail-riding enjoyment.

  • Pricing
    • CRF125F: $3,249
    • CRF125F Big Wheel: $3,649
  • Color: Red
  • Info

2022 honda crf110f

CRF110F
The industry’s top-selling dirt bike, the CRF110F continues Honda’s proud tradition of offering four-stroke trail machines that open the doors to off-road recreation for generations of new riders. Full-featured but sized perfectly for kids, this model has modern, clean-running Keihin fuel injection that makes it 50-state, year-round off-road legal, while the push-button electric start and clutch-less four-speed semi-automatic transmission keep the focus on having fun. Durable and requiring minimal maintenance, the CRF110F delivers smiles long after riding skills develop.

  • Pricing: $2,499
  • Color: Red
  • Info

2022 honda crf50f

CRF50F
Responsible for welcoming legions of enthusiastic youngsters to the world of motorcycle riding, the pocketsize CRF50F is the powersports industry’s most popular 50cc trail bike. Considering its list of features, it’s no wonder: the fun-but-reliable 49cc air-cooled four-stroke engine delivers manageable power, and the bike is off-road-legal year-round in all 50 states. Suspension comprises an inverted fork and single rear shock. The low seat height and automatic clutch help little folks get acquainted to riding, while parents and guardians appreciate the machine’s reliability and low maintenance.

  • Pricing: $1,649
  • Color: Red
  • Info

2022 honda crf50f

2022 honda crf125f
2022 honda crf250f

2022 honda CRF250RX

























































The post Just Announced: 2022 Honda CRF250R appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

Michelin Scorchers For All

Michelin Scorchers, they’re not just for Harleys anymore. 

Begin Press Release: 


Michelin Expands Access to New MICHELIN® Scorcher® Adventure Tire Line Beginning Aug. 1, 2021

  • The MICHELIN Scorcher Adventure is the exclusive original equipment tire for the Harley-Davidson® Pan America motorcycle
  • Motorcycle enthusiasts will have greater access to the new tire line beginning Aug. 1, 2021
  • Tire features exceptional high-speed stability, precise handling, long-lasting performance, tremendous wet grip and uncompromising off-road traction

Greenville, S.C., July 29, 2021 — Michelin will begin distributing its new MICHELIN Scorcher Adventure tire line to all current powersports distributors starting Aug. 1, 2021. Adventure riders will soon have access to the new tire line co-developed and co-branded with Harley-Davidson for the new Harley-Davidson Pan America motorcycle.

“Our custom-designed MICHELIN Scorcher Adventure tire gives riders added confidence and stability on roads and trails in a variety of weather conditions,” said Nick Portela, key account manager for Harley-Davidson for Michelin North America, Inc. “Trusted by Harley-Davidson as the exclusive original equipment provider for the Pan America, the new tire line will now be even more accessible for motorcycle enthusiasts across North America.”

The new tire line was designed to provide exceptional high-speed stability through the integration of MICHELIN Bridge Block Technology™ and Michelin 2CT+ Technology™ in the rear tire. Michelin’s innovative Dual Compound Technology (2CT and 2CT+) combined with a new tread pattern and an optimized profile provides precise handling and performance mile after mile.

New silica tread compounds provide phenomenal wet grip for added confidence on slippery wet roads. A fully grooved geometric tread pattern delivers confidence inspiring traction off-road.

Description
MSRP U.S.
MSRP CANADA
120/70 R 19 60V Scorcher Adventure Front TL
$224.95
$336.95
170/60 R 17 72V Scorcher Adventure Rear TR
$282.95
$411.95

Michelin also produces MICHELIN® Anakee® Wild tires, an approved fitment for advanced off-road use with the Harley-Davidson Pan America.

hd pan america

About Michelin

Michelin, the leading mobility company, is dedicated to enhancing its customers’ mobility, and sustainably; designing and distributing the most innovative tires, services and solutions for its customers’ needs; providing digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences; and developing high-technology materials that serve a variety of industries. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Michelin North America has approximately 23,000 employees and operates 34 production facilities in the United States and Canada. (michelinman.com)

The post Michelin Scorchers For All appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

BMW doubles R 18 cruiser models

The BMW R 18 family this month doubles with the addition of two new models.

Their R 18 and R 18 Classic cruisers (from $29,155 ride-away) will be joined by two touring or bagger models.

They arrive in Australia in August with the R 18 B Deluxe featuring a handlebar-mounted “batwing-style” fairing and hard saddlebags from $39,310 while the full-dresser R 18 Transcontinental Deluxe with a top box is $41,675.

BMW R 18 range
BMW R 18 range

For the Australian market they have been fitted with a lot of the optional extras.

They include four analogue instruments and high definition 10.25-inch TFT colour display to keep turning riders entertained and informed.

Both also arrive in Australia with Active Cruise Control that regulates the distance from the vehicle in front without the rider having to adjust their speed.

It uses radar sensors in the front fairing. Interestingly, it will automatically reduce the speed in a corner to keep the rider safe.

They come with three riding modes (Rain, Roll and Rock), Automatic Stability Control, engine torque control, reverse gear and Hill Start Control as standard.

BMW R 18 Transcontinental Deluxe
Marshall sound

Marshall amps were good enough for Jimi Hendrix and the Marshall Gold Series Stage 1 and 2 sound systems fitted to these bikes are good enough for BMW riders, too.

The systems feature speakers with black cover grilles and classic white Marshall lettering with up to 280 watts of total output.

Both bikes will be available in exclusive First Edition variants that combine the R 18 look with iconic and classic BMW black paintwork with white double-lining.

Additional highlights include specially designed surfaces (Chrome Package), high-grade stitching on the seat and “First Edition” badging.

R 18 B Deluxe

BMW R 18 B Deluxe
BMW R 18 B Deluxe

Price: $39,310

Engine: 1,802cc 2-cylinder boxer engine, air/oil cooled, 9.6:1 compression, EU5, 67kW (91 hp) @ 4,750 rpm, 158Nm at 3,000rpm

Wayne Rainey Portrait

Features

  • Low windshield, slimmer seat and a matt black metallic engine among other elements;
  • Seat heating.
  • Automatic Stability Control (ASC), ABS
  • 3 riding modes (Rock, Roll, Rain)
  • Keyless Ride
  • Spoke wheels
  • Twin disc front brake
  • Spring Strut Auto Load Levelling Dampers
  • Telescopic forks with covers
  • LED headlight, taillight, brake light and indicator lights
  • 12V socket
  • MSR (Dynamic engine brake control)
  • Adjustable hand levers
  • 4 Analogue instruments with 10.25″ colour TFT Display
  • Active Cruise Control
  • 24 litre fuel tank
  • Lockable fuel cap
  • Hill Start Control
  • Headlight Pro (inc. Adaptive Headlight and Daytime Riding Light)
  • Floorboards
  • Tyre Pressure Monitor
  • Central Locking
  • Heated seat
  • Marshall Gold Series Stage 1 sound system
  • Heated Grips
  • Reverse Gear
  • Active Cruise Control
  • Anti-theft alarm system
  • Seat height: Standard 720mm (Comfort Seat High 740mm, Option 719 Seat Bench 720mm)

Options

  • First Edition package (inc. Black Storm Metallic with Design Option Chrome and pinstriping, contrast cut wheels, First Edition badging and First Edition key): $3,750
  • Comfort seat high: $590
  • Design option chrome: $2,260
  • Option 719 Design Package Aero: $1,550

Colour options

  • Manhattan Metallic: No cost option
  • Black Storm Metallic: No cost option
  • Option 719 Galaxy Dust metallic/Titan Silver 2 metallic and Option 719 seat bench: $4,170

R 18 Transcontinental Deluxe

BMW R 18 Transcontinental Deluxe
BMW R 18 Transcontinental Deluxe

Price: $41,675

Includes all standard specification from the R 18 B and adds the following:

  • Top case
  • Straight exhaust pipes
  • Highway bars
  • Wind deflectors
  • Marshall Gold Series Stage 2 sound system

Options

  • First Edition package (inc. Black Storm Metallic with Design Option Chrome and pinstriping, contrast cut wheels, First Edition badging and First Edition key): $3,750
  • Comfort seat high: $590
  • Design option chrome: $2,260
  • Option 719 Design Package Aero: $1,550
  • Manhattan Metallic: No cost option
  • Black Storm Metallic: No cost option
  • Option 719 Galaxy Dust metallic/Titan Silver 2 metallic and Option 719 seat bench: $4,170

Colour options

  • Manhattan Metallic: No cost option
  • Black Storm Metallic: No cost optionOption 719 Galaxy Dust metallic/Titan Silver 2 metallic and Option 719 seat bench: $4,170

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Full Access to Franky Morbidellis Cave

Has it been a longer MotoGP summer break than usual? You know how the Europeans are. That just makes it a good time to go back and watch Dainese’s series of Franky Morbidelli videos, including this new episode which just dropped. No worries if you don’t comprende the Italiano, just hit the CC button down there to get the closed captions. Franco’s not having a great 2021 season so far, but you know the kid from Rome and Valentino Rossi wingman, will be looking to bounce back in Austria next weekend.

The post Full Access to Franky Morbidelli’s Cave appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

10 Motorcycles Perfect For Beginners

“A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step,” is quite a famous saying. Considering the appropriate learning curve of a new rider, we say that getting a motorcycle is probably around step 3, after step 1, taking a training course, and step 2, getting all your personal protective equipment. But, you may be asking, what motorcycle should I get?

This is one of the most asked questions in the world of new riders, by a large margin. The short answer is “Whatever you want,” but that leaves out a few very important factors that a new rider should be aware of. A supersport is not a great first bike. A 1,700 cc v-twin muscle cruiser is not a friendly bike to learn on. Even a 900cc motorcycle can be bad to learn on, especially if it’s meant to be a dual-sport adventure bike.

It is for this reason that we have put together a list of the 10 best motorcycles for beginners, broken down by category. All of the bikes listed below are perfect places to start your motorcycling career, with friendly handling characteristics, approachable power, and forgiving frames and suspension so you can learn the ins and outs of daily riding!

Honda Rebel Range (300, 500)

2021 Honda Rebel 500

Not one, but two, sport cruisers! While the 2021 Honda Rebel range welcomed the 1100 this year, the 300 and 500 series of the Rebel are still what would be considered the better beginner bikes. This is because the new 1100 uses the same engine that is in the 2021 Africa Twin, only slightly detuned, but well above what would be considered beginner-friendly power.

What makes the Honda Rebel one of the best bikes to start with if you’re wanting a cruiser is its simplicity. You don’t have 17 different riding modes to fiddle around with, the engine and transmission are proven, strong, reliable units, and the riding position (if you’re 5’11” or shorter) is very comfortable. It will also lean well into corners, has extremely forgiving suspension, and has enough get up and go to be exciting, but not dangerous.

Being a Honda, it is also very wallet-friendly. If you want to buy new, you will come in well under $7,000 for a 500, and buying used, it is fairly common to find either model in excellent condition for $4,000 or less.

Kawasaki Z400 & Z650

2021 Kawasaki Z650

Yes, we smashed together two naked bikes into one post! Both the Kawasaki Z400 and Z650 are considered some of the best nakeds on the market, and despite some pretty fierce looks, are quite easy to ride. Both are powered by bulletproof Kawasaki parallel twins, one with 399cc and 45 HP, the other with 649cc and 67 HP.

The reason these get the nod for the naked sector is that Kawasaki jams as much technology and rideability into the lower end of the Z family. Standard features are dual-zone ABS (something every beginner bike should have, honestly), an assist-and-slipper clutch to help you learn the perfect friction point without tearing your bike to pieces, a linear and controllable power curve, and supportive suspension that talks to you about what the road is doing, without trying to shatter your spine at the same time.

Both bikes are also ridiculously priced, in the best sense of the word. You are getting bikes that are quite able to be sold confidently at $7,000+ and $9,000+ each new, but the 2021 Z400 starts at $5000, and the 2021 Z650 is only $7,800! There is no knocking Kawasaki off the value-for-money throne, and if you buy used, you’ll find them even lower down on the pricing range.

Suzuki SV650A

2021 Suzuki SV650A

Anyone that knows anything about starter bikes, or has read any recommended beginner bike list on pretty much any website, ever, was expecting this one. Ever since emerging in 1999, the Suzuki SV650, including the Gladius years, has been the absolute darling of the new rider segment.

Is it the 645cc v-twin that puts out 75 HP but has a smooth, easy to control, and linear torque curve? Is it the bulletproof transmission that works without issue even if you physically throw it off a cliff? Is it the suspension that from day one was adjusted and engineered by Suzuki’s racing division, to give a supple ride with agility? In a word: Yes.

The SV650 is the kind of bike that is all things to all people. In stock trim, it is a sports naked. If you want to get a bit sportier, there is the SV650X, a cafe-racer styled naked. There is the SV650A, a partially faired sportbike with a small windscreen. Whatever path you choose, the V-twin is invincible with proper maintenance, the bike will last you well beyond your beginner seasons, and it’s also really inexpensive to maintain as well, with an extensive first- and third-party parts network that is nigh-on global in reach.

Kawasaki KLX250/KLX300

2021 Kawasaki KLX300

While 2021 has seen the removal of the venerable KLX250, to be replaced with the KLX300, both are still amazingly competent beginner dual-sport motorcycles. With the newer KLX300 being powered by a  292cc liquid-cooled four-stroke single that thumps out just about 33 HP, it is more than powerful enough to commute on most city roads, yet will also happily tear up a gravel or dirt trail on the weekends.

Unlike its new 2021 KLX300 SuperMoto brother, the KLX300 and the older KLX250 are both tuned to have usable power at almost any revs and to be predictable and controllable in its delivery. While dual-sports are famous for having the ability to lift the front wheel when suddenly fed power, Kawasaki tames that with good torque, but not too much, at lower revs, only really coming into the full powerband once you’re actually moving.

That said, by being so lightweight at just over 300 lbs soaking wet with a cinder block tied to the seat, the bike is excellent for the beginner looking to feel what a bike can do in terms of handling and cornering. This little dual-sport loves to transition from upright to a lean with vigor. As well, if you do mess up riding this little beast, and need to use the shoulder or end up on a grassy bit, as it’s a dual-sport, apply your progressive braking technique while riding upright and you’ll come to a stop without dropping the bike.

Yamaha YZF-R3

2021 Yamaha YZF-R3

Being completely serious for a moment, the Yamaha YZF-R3, much like its similar R brethren over the years, is not a bike to be taken lightly. It is, for all intents and purposes, a mini-supersport, and can demonstrate within seconds of being in the saddle why it’s quite often the bike that many start out their track day careers with. This is not to say it is overly scary, just that it is less forgiving in terms of major mistakes than many of the other bikes on this list.

From a 320cc parallel-twin, Yamaha has managed, somehow, to get it to give up 50 HP, which is almost double what any other bike in the 300cc sports segment produces. Thankfully, the R3, at least in the modern era, comes with full dual-zone ABS. Just be aware that this is a lightweight, agile, and “can get you to illegal speeds” capable bike.

As well, if you are going to pursue riding supersports as your hobby, we highly recommend checking out our Best Full-Face Helmets For Under $500 list (our own sport riders highly recommend the Shoei RF1400 or Arai Regent-X if your budget can stretch) to get an appropriate helmet, and our other gear guides to find sport riding protection to keep you safe!

Suzuki DR-Z400S/DR-Z400SM

2021 Suzuki DR-Z400SM

Suzuki, much like how Kawasaki did with their Z bikes, splits their legendary dual-sport into two important categories. The first, the DR-Z400S, is one of the longest continually produced dual-sports on the market and has earned its status as a starter bike because it is just so damned friendly to ride. If you’re looking for a bit more of a hooligan as your first bike, the DR-Z400SM is the same basic shape as the dual-sport, but the different suspension, engine tuning, and wheels and tires turn it into a supermoto that is as comfortable commuting as it is sliding out its rear tire.

Suzuki’s near-mythical 398cc liquid-cooled four-stroke single thunders out 39 HP for both bikes, but does so across a wide rev range, although there is a mid-range point that can potentially catch riders out, especially those who over-rev and accidentally dump the clutch. However, that exact same mid-range powerpoint is what makes this the perfect beginner bike. What really counts on the commute is the power to pull yourself out of a developing situation, or out of harm’s way.

By giving you a bike with enough civility at low revs to practice around a parking lot, as well as with enough grunt to get you out of dangerous situations, both the dual-sport and supermoto versions of the DR-Z are more than enough to give you years upon years of enjoyment. Many intermediate and advanced riders will hang onto their DR-Z’s because they are just that much fun to ride.

Honda CB500X

2021 Honda CB500X

To be honest, for our adventure touring recommendation, it was so close between the Honda CB500X and the Suzuki V-Strom 650 that it was almost impossible to call. What got the Honda the nod is that it delivers is power just a tiny bit more smoothly, and is more accessible to more riders because of it being a tiny bit shorter in the seat. It also has a bulletproof version of the CB500 engine range of Honda bikes, a 471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin with 50 HP and 32 lb-ft of torque.

A closeup of the Honda Activated 6G scooter headlight

Some adventure bikes, like those from KTM, are more geared towards getting off the asphalt and onto the dirty stuff for some fun. Others, like the CB500X, are more about being comfortable for long-distance road adventuring, without being cruisers. What makes this bike a great beginner adventure bike is the fact that it has all the get-up and go of a sportbike, the engine-sharing CBR500R, but a dead-set standard riding posture, with comfortable ergonomics and a great feel from all contact points.

The only area that ADV bikes, by their nature, have issues with is putting a foot down a stop. You might have to lean the bike a little to get the ball of your foot down properly for balance, with your right foot holding the rear brake to steady the bike, depending on how long your inseam is. Other than that, you get Honda reliability, a fun bike that can handle dirt roads around your area, and a city adventurer that can also do intercity riding without being pushed too hard.

Indian Scout Sixty

2021 Indian Scout Sixty

Despite the recommendation that American power cruisers are not great starter bikes, there is a segment of the new rider population that will not go with anything but an American cruiser. For those that are able to be mature enough to learn the ins and outs of the bike, the Indian Scout Sixty is not a bad place to start. And although it’s more of an introductory bike to Indian than a true beginner bike, approaching it with a light throttle hand and a big bucket of respect will get you on a “big burly cruiser” that is, once you’ve learned it, actually quite friendly.

While much smaller than its other Scout-model brethren, the Scout Sixty is nothing to be scoffed at. You are put low and back from the big 999cc liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin that rumbles out the soundtrack of the U.S. of freakin’ A. The v-twin gives you 78 HP and 65 lb-ft of torque, in a middleweight cruiser that weighs just north of 550 lbs.

If that seems like a lot of power, it is. This is why the light throttle hand and respect are needed. If you crank the throttle to full right away, you’ll more than likely break traction on the rear, and either end up flat on your ass, or, if moving, in a death wobble. Respect the throttle, use it progressively, and appreciate the huge torque curve, and you’ll have a motorcycle that will respect you back, giving you hours of comfortable riding.

Harley-Davidson Iron 883

2021 Harley-Davidson Iron 883

Since we have to mention the other American brand, it only seems fitting to include the main American brand, at least according to Americans. The Iron 883 is your gateway to all things Harley-Davidson, by being one of the most pared-down, simplified riding experiences from the Milwaukee brand. You get an introductory level engine in the 883cc v-twin (dubbed the Evolution Engine) that gives you 50 HP and 54 lb-ft of torque.

Harley-Davidson, after many years, realized that all of their bikes were either full-on muscle cruisers, continental cruisers, or Sportsters with too much power for a real beginner to appreciate. This is what brought about the Iron 883, and by making it pretty much an engine with controls, mid-forward pegs, and a fat rear tire, you get all the classic Harley looks, but with an engine that won’t bite your head off.

The dragster-style handlebars and controls are positioned to give you a slightly forward-leaning posture, which gives you more control of the lean and control of the bike with your legs and upper body. It also has a very forgiving transmission, allowing for good, progressive clutch friction without burning out the clutch plates, and the first two gears are long, giving you more of the rev range to build up to cruise speed. And, best of all, if you want to buy one new, it’s pretty much the only Harley model you can get for under $10,000!

Honda CRF250L/CRF300L (and Rally models)

2021 Honda CRF300L

If a dual-sport is too “dirt bike looking,” and an adventure bike is a bit too talk, say hello to the middle ground. The CRF300L Rally, as well as its non-rally counterpart, and the previous generation CRF250L and CRF250L Rally, are all great “adventure-enduro” style dual-sport bikes. These are bikes that are aimed at the fan of the Dakar Rally, who also wants to be able to ride comfortably during the week and go plowing over sand dunes on the weekends.

The CRF300L Rally comes with a new, Euro5 compliant 286cc four-stroke single that gives a decent 27 HP and 19 lb-ft of torque. That may not sound like much, but remember, this bike, even with the big 21-inch front wheel, weighs a sneeze over 300 lbs. You’d be surprised at just how spritely it will get up and go from a stop, sometimes feeling more like a sport-tourer than a dual-sport enduro.

The Rally is the more premium of the CRF300L bikes, as it comes with a decent adventure windshield, handguards, a larger fuel tank than the base model, and rubber inserts for the engine mounts to reduce vibrations while commuting. The biggest difference between the CRF300L Rally and the Kawasaki KLX300 recommended earlier is that the Honda is much more aimed at distance endurance, while the KLX300 is more of a street-going trail bike. Both are excellent choices, but if we were to head out for a day of riding in the desert, we’d take the Honda.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Honda x Motul Celebrate Successes Across The Track

Honda had a bit of fun a few weekends back – and since we love all things two-wheeled here at MotorBikeWriter, let’s take a look at the stats. 

The July 17-18 weekend showcased Honda racing teams speeding to success, thanks to a long-standing collaboration with French oil manufacturer Motul

Here’s a breakdown of how everyone is doing so far:

F.C.C. TSR Honda France racer on a bike, turning in to the track's twisties
F.C.C. TSR Honda France

FCC (Fuji Clutch Co.) TSR (Technical Sports Racing) Honda France snagged a win at the Cicuito do Estoril on the Portuguese Riviera. This was the team’s first victory for the FIM Endurance World Championship 2021 and one that showcased their partnership with Motul to a tee.

A racer from Team HRC racing down a dirt hill at the MXGP Championship
Team HRC extend their lead in the MXGP championship

Team HRC also beat the heat and took advantage of the partnership with Motul by prettying up their CRF450RW with the Motul 300V Factory Line Off Road 5W-40 4T. Results were a success, with team HRC taking first place at MXGP of The Netherlands.

National Motos put up a great fight to carve their way into the podium places
National Motos racing team carves their way into the podium

Honda’s National Motos (also supported by Motul) burned up the superstock class with a podium finish, awarding the team with the Dunlop Independent Trophy (Twice the charm!)

Tim Gasjer from Team HRC takes the overall win at the MXGP in Netherlands
Tim Gasjer from Team HRC takes the overall win at the MXGP in the Netherlands.

Thanks to Motul’s joint partnership with Honda, the Motul 300V Factory Line Racing Kit Oil 2376H 0W-30 ESTER Core®  was created with the FCC TSR Honda France racing team in mind, with the oil engineered specifically for their CBR1000RR engine.

The results are nothing short of fantastic, providing the CBR1000RR with superior power output yet maintaining the full reliability of the machine. 

Because of this excellent compatibility between bike and oil, Honda’s CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP remained reliable for over 400 laps.

A member of The EWC Honda team

Here are the more detailed specs on all of Honda’s racing team results:

FIM EWC QUALIFYING RESULTS

#5 F.C.C TSR Honda France CBR1000RR 

The Team: Josh Hook | Yuki Takahashi | Mike Di Meglio

The Results: P3 in EWC class, P3 Overall (1:39.309)

#55 National Motos CBR1000RR

The Team: Stéphane Egea | Guillaume Antiga | Enzo Boulom

The Results: P4 in Superstock class, P13 Overall (1:41.233)

FIM EWC RACE RESULTS

#5 F.C.C TSR Honda France CBR1000RR

The Team: Josh Hook | Yuki Takahashi | Mike Di Megli

The Results: P1 in EWC class, P1 Overall (417 laps completed, Fastest Lap – 1:39.801)

#55 National Motos CBR1000RR

The Team: Stéphane Egea | Guillaume Antiga | Enzo Boulom

The Results: P2 in Superstock class, P9 Overall (407 laps completed, Fastest Lap – 1:41.171)

FIM MXGP RACE RESULTS

#243 Team HRC CRF450RW

The Team: Tim Gajser | Mitch Evans

The Results: P3 in Grand Prix Race 1 (20 Points), P2 in Grand Prix Race 2 (22 Points), P1 Overall (42 Points)

Our hats off to the young racers – looking forward to seeing what Motul and Honda give us next!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com