2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT | Road Test Review

2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT review
With its front fairing
and headlights shaped like the spread wings of the Gold Wing logo, it’s easy to identify Honda’s flagship
touring bike coming
your way. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

Honda’s first complete motorcycle, the D-Type, was built in 1949, just four years after the end of World War II. The D-Type was also known as the Dream, and although the exact origins of that name are unknown, the new motorcycle was a significant step toward realizing Soichiro Honda’s vision for the company that bore his name.

A former race-car driver and brilliant engineer, Mr. Honda was the charismatic, outspoken leader of Honda Motor Company, Ltd. for decades. From humble beginnings, Honda became the world’s largest engine and motorcycle manufacturer, as well as one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers. The company also makes ATVs, power equipment, aircraft, and robots, and it has competed in and won championships in nearly every form of motorcycle and car racing.

Honda has created many groundbreaking motorcycles in the 72 years since the D-Type first emerged, from the Super Cub C100 – with more than 100 million units built since 1958, it’s the most produced motor vehicle in history – to the CB750 to the Gold Wing.

2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT review
The 2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour is available in Candy Ardent Red (above) and Metallic Black.

A Wing Fit for a King…

As one of Honda’s most long-lived models, the Gold Wing has been critical to the company’s success, particularly in the U.S. Inspired by Honda’s “King of Kings” M1 prototype, the first Gold Wing – the 1975 GL1000 – was the second most powerful production motorcycle at the time, edged out by the Kawasaki Z-1. The GL1000’s flat-Four engine layout and liquid cooling set a precedent for smooth, quiet performance.

The Gold Wing created a new market, meeting pent-up demand for dependable, luxurious long-distance motorcycle touring. Its comfort and reliability made it easy for more people to ride more miles, and Honda’s new touring customers became an integral part of the design and development process. Owners were willing to trade top-end power for better midrange performance, so as the GL evolved, peak torque rpm moved closer to cruising rpm.

2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT review
When Honda’s GL1000 Gold Wing debuted for 1975, it had no bodywork or luggage, weighed 650 pounds, and cost $2,895 ($14,649 in today’s dollars). Our sixth-generation GL1800 test bike, a 2021 GL1800 Gold Wing Tour DCT, has a full fairing, trunk, and integrated saddlebags, weighs 838 pounds, and costs $29,300.

When Honda introduced the GL1100 in 1980, it offered an Interstate version with a fairing, windscreen, saddlebags, a trunk, and a plush king-and-queen seat. Two years later, Honda brought out an even more luxurious version called the Aspencade. You could still buy a naked version of the Gold Wing when the GL1200 was introduced for 1984, but by 1985 the only models available were the Interstate, Aspencade, and Limited Edition. The market had spoken, and from then until now Gold Wings have been outfitted for touring.

As long-time readers know, Rider’s history parallels that of the Gold Wing. Denis Rouse founded Rider in 1974, the same year the GL1000 was introduced (for the 1975 model year). The success of the magazine and the Gold Wing grew in parallel as the touring market grew rapidly in the late ’70s and ’80s. Over the years, we’ve published dozens of tests and features that showcase the Gold Wing. Including this issue, it has been on our cover numerous times, and it won Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year award in 2001 and 2018.

2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT review
This winged Honda badge is reserved for its flagship models, like the Gold Wing and the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.

… And a Queen

Many Gold Wing owners can and do ride solo – in fact, most of the miles I logged for this test were done without a passenger – but the Wing’s true calling is well-appointed two-up travel. In his first ride review, Ken Lee and his wife Katie evaluated the 2021 updates to the Gold Wing Tour, which include better passenger accommodations, a bigger trunk (now 61 liters, with 121 liters of total storage capacity; the standard, non-Tour Gold Wing foregoes the trunk), and improvements to the styling and audio system. Compared to the previous-generation 2008 GL1800 in their garage, Ken and Katie both found the accommodations and ergonomics more to their liking.

Former EIC Mark Tuttle and his wife Genie did many two-up tests of Gold Wings over the years. As a wet-behind-the-ears staffer with less than a year on the job, I was tasked with testing a 2009 GL1800 for Rider’s 35th-anniversary issue (April 2009). At the time I had just started dating my wife Carrie, and she had never been on a motorcycle before. What better way to welcome her to the joys of two-wheeling than the plush back seat of a Gold Wing? She was immediately hooked. Spoiled right out of the gate, she has measured every other motorcycle she has ridden with me against the gold standard of the Gold Wing.

2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT review
Most of the time our Gold Wing’s 7-speed automatic Dual Clutch Transmission enhanced the touring experience by eliminating the need for clutching and shifting. But on winding back roads, I preferred putting the DCT in manual mode and using the paddle shifters.

For that 2009 road test, photographer Rich Cox – with him riding the magazine’s former photo wagon, a black 2000 25th-anniversary GL1500SE – and I rode up California’s western edge from Ventura to Monterey on Highway 1, which hugs the rugged, dramatic coast for 100 miles from Cambria to Carmel. For this test, photographer Kevin Wing – who was a protégé of Rich’s in the early part of his career – and I followed the same northern route.

Torque and a Fork

With a perfectly balanced, liquid-cooled flat-Six displacing 1,833cc, the Gold Wing’s engine churns out a big dollop of creamy smooth torque whenever you twist the grip. When we dyno’d a 2018 GL1800, the peak rear-wheel torque was 106 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm, and more than 100 lb-ft was available between 2,000 and 5,000 rpm. With no mechanical changes since then, the results should be about the same for our 2021 GL1800.

2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT
Torque is the Gold Wing’s business, and business is good.

With the Gold Wing in Tour mode, throttle response is relaxed, and its optional 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) quickly shifts into higher gears to keep rpm low and fuel efficiency high. (Over the course of 1,300 testing miles, we’ve averaged 40 mpg and 224 miles of range. Admittedly, we’ve ridden the Wing hard and fast, so typical numbers will be higher.) It’s common to be trundling along at a modest pace on a twisty road with the DCT in 6th gear, yet on corner exits the Gold Wing’s torque-rich Six will pull all 838 pounds of bike plus hundreds more pounds of rider, passenger, and gear along without breaking a sweat.

Strangely, for a motorcycle clearly designed for touring, I found Sport mode to be way too abrupt. Rain and Econ modes serve a purpose, but I largely ignored them. When I didn’t want the DCT to upshift too early or fight to find the right gear when transitioning back and forth between corners on curvy roads like Highway 1, I put it into manual mode and used the paddle buttons to quickly shift up or down. With such a broad spread of torque, often I’d leave it in 3rd gear and control revs and speed with the throttle.

2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT review
Big rotors are squeezed by gorilla-grip 6-piston calipers.

The ride mode also affects suspension damping, and when stopped the rider can dig into the menu to set rear preload. When riding solo on the photo-shoot ride with Kevin, I set rear preload to two-up plus luggage, which increased cornering clearance such that I rarely scraped pegs, even when riding at a brisk pace.

What most sets the current-gen GL1800 apart from its predecessors is its double-wishbone front suspension, which separates steering dynamics from suspension action and prevents fork dive under braking, a useful feature on such a heavy bike with strong, responsive brakes. The suspension offers good compliance and isolates the rider and passenger from vibration, but it also isolates the rider from front-end feedback. From the cockpit you can watch the tie-rod ends bounce rapidly up and down over bumps, seams, and ripples, yet the connection with the road often feels vague and distant. A rider can push the current Gold Wing as hard as they want and it will respond dutifully, but it lacks some of the light, intuitive steering response of the previous-generation GL1800.

2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT review
Riding across
Bixby Bridge, an
iconic location on
California’s Highway 1
north of Big Sur. Built
in 1932, at 280 feet, it
was once the highest
single-span arch
bridge in the world.

The Stuff of Dreams

As Ken Lee wrote about in his review, the Gold Wing has been unfairly maligned over the years as an “old man’s bike.” Sure, there are thousands of Gold Wings out there ridden by older couples, sometimes with their bikes adorned with flags, cup holders, and stuffed animals lashed to trunk racks. With the sixth-generation Gold Wing, Honda made the bike lighter and gave it sportier styling and state-of-the-art tech, perhaps to attract younger buyers but also to keep evolving its flagship touring bike.

When the GL1800 replaced the GL1500 for 2001, Wing Nuts decried the loss of storage capacity, particularly the replacement of the cavernous, boxy trunk with a smaller one that looks sleek from the outside but has an oddly shaped interior. For 2021, Honda added storage capacity to the trunk, and it’s easy to load but frustratingly hard to close when full of gear. Nearly every time I closed the trunk, a warning message would appear on the dash that, nope, still not closed all the way. I got into the habit of slamming the trunk shut, which made me cringe.

2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT review
Mission control includes a large, full-color center display
for navigation, audio, and other infotainment functions.
Analog gauges are flanked by smaller LCD displays.

Details matter, and Honda has always sweated the details on the Gold Wing. When you put miles on the new Gold Wing over the course of multiple days, you can’t help but be impressed. Sure, there’s a learning curve with its buttons and menus, but once you get things dialed in, you can mostly set it and forget it. While Kevin trailed me on our KTM 890 Adventure R long-term test bike, I cruised along in the lap of luxury. Temperatures ranged from the low 50s on the coast to 102 degrees inland, and I adjusted the electric windscreen or turned on the heated grips or set the cruise control or changed riding modes as desired. If anything, at times I felt a little too comfortable, especially in the heat of the day after lunch. That’s when I cranked up the heavy metal tunes to ward off the drowsies.

2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT review
Why, yes, the Gold
Wing will cruise
at 75 mph on a
dirt road. With
its electronic
suspension set for
comfort in Tour
mode, it floats
right along.

Thirteen years after our first ride together, with Carrie donning the same riding jacket that we had mothballed in the garage, we took a leisurely cruise on many of the same roads on the new Gold Wing that we had explored on the 2009 model. As Carrie sat comfortably in the passenger seat, hugged securely by the wrap-around backrest and perched high enough to enjoy the view (I’m much taller than she is), we enjoyed a trip down memory lane. During our lunch stop, we reminisced about our early days of dating, the many rides we’ve been on over the years, getting engaged atop Stelvio Pass in Italy, and spending our honeymoon on a Norway tour with Edelweiss Bike Travel.

Motorcycles really are dream machines. We fantasize about the bikes we want, and we use them to fulfill dreams with bucket-list adventures. They bring us together and help us create lasting memories. When Carrie and I returned home from our nostalgic ride, she said, “If we can only own one motorcycle, this has to be it.” As you wish.

2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT review

2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour Specs

Base Price: $28,300
Price as Tested: $29,300 (DCT model)
Warranty: 3 yrs., unltd. miles, transferable
Website: powersports.honda.com

ENGINE
Type: Liquid-cooled, longitudinal opposed flat-Six, Unicam SOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 1,833cc
Bore x Stroke: 73.0 x 73.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Valve Insp. Interval: 24,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: EFI w/ 50mm throttle body
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 3.9 qt. cap
Transmission: 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission automatic (as tested)
Final Drive: Shaft, 1.795:1

CHASSIS
Frame: Aluminum tubular & box-section double cradle w/ single-sided cast aluminum swingarm
Wheelbase: 66.7 in.
Rake/Trail: 30.5 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 29.3 in.
Suspension, Front: Double-wishbone w/ single shock, electronically adj. (as tested), 4.3 in. travel
Rear: Pro-Link w/ single shock, electronically adj. (as tested), 4.1 in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 320mm discs w/ 6-piston opposed calipers & C-ABS
Rear: Single 316mm disc w/ 3-piston floating caliper & C-ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 18 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.00 x 16 in.
Tires, Front: 130/70-R18
Rear: 200/55-R16
Wet Weight: 838 lbs.
Load Capacity: 421 lbs.
GVWR: 1,259 lbs.

PERFORMANCE
Horsepower: 101 @ 5,500 rpm (2018 model, rear-wheel dyno)
Torque: 106 @ 4,500 rpm (2018 model, rear-wheel dyno)
Fuel Capacity: 5.6 gals.
Fuel Consumption: 40 mpg
Estimated Range: 224 miles

The post 2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT | Road Test Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Aussie Quad Lock speeds up new products

Smart phones have been making navigation easier and safer for riders and keeping them in contact and entertained with the help of handlebar mounts such as the Aussie Quad Lock.

Now the Sydney-based company is keeping pace with the rapid development of smartphones by 3D printing their cases and mounting systems.

This means they will quickly release suitable products for the new era of foldable phones unfolds (lame pun intended).

It’s good news for tech-savvy early-adopter riders (read BMW owners).

Quad Lock has joined forces with Singapore 3D printing company Ultimaker to speed up the development of new mounts such as their award-winning Quad Lock Vibration Dampener.

Quad lock
Quad Lock with vibration dampener

This device is important to protect your phone as the vibration can affect its camera’s ability to autofocus.

Imaginables, partner of Ultimaker in Australia, served as a support partner to Quad Lock delivering various types of Ultimaker 3D printers.

Together they Lock developed a flexible research, design and development process that gathered lab and field test feedback almost as quickly as they could design and print the new part. 

Various types of Ultimaker printers were used to print prototypes strong enough to withstand hours of testing on a vibration test rig, from which the team gathered valuable feedback and data. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

After the last few races, on new circuits for us, I am really excited to got to Magny Cours. It is a circuit where I have a lot …

After the last few races, on new circuits for us, I am really excited to got to Magny Cours. It is a circuit where I have a lot of special memories, where we have been many times in the past, so we have a lot of data. Thankfully we had a full day of really nice weather at a Portimao test last week to keep working with the set-up of our Ninja ZX-10RR. I felt very good there and the condition fo the bike was very good. The bike set-up for Magny Cours is very similar to Portimao. It has a lot of heavy braking area but also changes of direction which really suit our bike. Now, with six rounds remaining in the championship we are past the halfway point and the next races will come along in very quick succession. The target is of course to win and to build some positive momentum into the last part of the year, which is going to be very intense. But I am excited, very motivated and can’t wait to get to France


Source: Jonathan Rea On Facebook

Rare Kannenberg Collection To Go To Auction This September

We’ve just had word that an iconic collection is going to auction from the 10th to the 11th of September at the Worldwide Auctioneers podium in Indiana – and who else would be getting this much coverage but a gorgeous collection from the legend himself, Denny “Kannonball” Kannenberg?

Denny Kannenberg with reality star Richard Rawlings
Denny Kannenberg with reality star Richard Rawlings

Known for his prolific racing career (specifically in the area of drag racing) from 1956 to 1973, Kannenberg’s collection of classic and vintage machines is considered one of the most prolific motorcycle auction contributions to date – especially when factoring in the model range of the series.

“Trying to choose even a couple of favorite motorcycles from this unbelievable selection is impossible,” says Worldwide Auctioneers’ principal and auctioneer, John Kruse.

John Kruse, Worldwide principal Auctioneer, speaking with a client
John Kruse, Worldwide principal Auctioneer

“We’re honored to have been entrusted with the sale of this historic collection and look forward to bringing it to a global audience of collectors and enthusiasts.”

The collection boasts 162 motorcycles, with 30 vehicles and various other tokens of memorabilia – all set for the podium this September 10-11.

A view of the Kannenberg Collection Auction logo

Let’s take a look at a few of the bikes in question.

Up right in line with the best of them is a stunning 1969 Kawasaki MACH-III 500 – the ancestor of today’s Ninja H2, and a bike responsible for the nickname ‘widowmaker’ – a unique, record-setting model for its time.

A view of a Kawasaki MACH-III 500

We also have a gorgeous 1982 Honda CX500TC – a bike that was originally given brand-new to Don “Big Daddy” Garlits, an ongoing whiz in the drag racing industry.

A view of the 1982 Honda CX500TC in Don Garlits's possession

After a few years of riding the thing (very clearly delineated on the odometer), Garlits signed the front fairing and handed the machine over to what is now the Kannenberg Collection.A view of the Kannenberg Collection Auction

Regardless of which bike piques your interest, you’ll want to be a part of what is, truly, a monumental piece of motorcycle history.

A view of the Kannenberg Collection Auction logo

To register to bid (and take a better look at the available bikes), make sure to attend the Worldwide Auctioneers’ website – and hey. Even if you don’t end up with a prize, enjoy the bidding electricity!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S | First Ride Review

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S review
Big wheels keep on turning. The new Harley-Davidson Sportster S rolls on a fat 160/70-17 front tire, which is wider than the rear tire on the Street Bob 114. (Photos by Brian J. Nelson and Kevin Wing)

After being roundly criticized for keeping faithful to its roots at the expense of modernization for too long, Harley-Davidson strikes back with the Sportster S, powered by a version of the liquid-cooled 1,252cc V-Twin in the thoroughly modern and warmly received Pan America adventure bike.

It’s a bold new era for the Sportster, and this all-new S version signals the demise for air-cooled Sportys. Bold, too, is this new bike’s chunky styling, with an ultra-fat front tire leading the way. The high-mount shotgun exhaust is another bold styling element, capped by a tailsection inspired by Harley’s XR750 dirt-trackers.

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S review
The liquid-cooled Revolution Max motor in the Sportster S is tightly packaged as a structural member of the chassis. The high-mount exhaust system is cladded with shielding to keep excess heat from riders.

The key element of the Sportster S is its Revolution Max 1250T motor, which is used as a structural element rather than a lump to be placed in an external frame. A steel-trellis steering head section combines with an aluminum mid-frame, which helps enable the new bike to weigh about 60 pounds less than the Sportster Forty-Eight. H-D says the S scales in at 502 pounds with its 3.1-gallon tank filled.

Gone is the beloved Harley potato-potato exhaust note from a 45-degree V-Twin, replaced by a steadier thrum from the new 60-degree V-Twin. Misgivings about the engine sound are forgotten once the 121-horsepower RevMax is unleashed. This is undoubtedly the fastest Sportster ever.

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S review
The Sportster S takes H-D’s long-running Sportster platform to higher sporty levels. Note the standard footpeg position above and compare to the mid-mount controls below.

We were initially disappointed the new Sporty doesn’t come with the 150-horse motor from the Pan America, but there’s more than enough power here to vault near the apex of muscle cruisers. The mill’s variable valve timing ensures there’s plenty of steam on tap no matter the rpm, hitting harder than the Pan Am down low. Hydraulic valve-lash adjustment reduces maintenance costs.

The seat height, at 29.6 inches, is tall for a Harley but still quite low. Footpegs are set moderately forward to yield adequate legroom. Mid-mount foot controls are available, but they’ll set you back another $659 on top of the bike’s $14,999 base price. They’re a smart option for shorter-legged riders who are unaccustomed to cruiser-style peg placements.

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S review
With 121 horsepower pushing 502 pounds, the new Harley-Davidson Sportster S has the highest power-to-weight ratio of any Sportster to come out of Milwaukee.

The low and muscular stance of this new Sportster forces a few dynamic compromises. H-D has spec’d premium Showa suspension that’s fully adjustable at both ends, but wheel travel is meager, particularly at the rear where bumps larger than 2 inches have nowhere else to go but to the chassis and rider. The 43mm inverted fork has 3.6 inches of travel to work with, which is enough to perform competently.

The front end of the S has sparked controversy. Surely that wildly fat 160/70-17 tire would make the bike steer like a truck, right? Not really. The triangular-ish profile allows it to lean over in a surprisingly neutral manner, even if steering effort is higher than it would be with skinnier rubber. The wide handlebar provides meaningful leverage on the way to skimming pegs at 34 degrees of lean angle. Some riders will find that insufficient, but let’s put it into context: H-D’s Sportster Forty-Eight touches its pegs at just 27 degrees.

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S review
The Sportster S allows 34 degrees of lean angle before peg feelers start to scrape.

The Sporty can actually rail pretty nicely around mountain roads, as it has a solid and confidence-inspiring chassis, but its limited suspension travel keeps a rider wary of encountering mid-corner bumps that would be swallowed up with longer suspension.

Sportbike riders turn up their noses at single-disc front brakes, but the Brembo package on the S provides good feel and plenty of power. A solid two-finger squeeze can get the fat front tire chirping, while IMU-informed ABS keeps the tires from locking even when leaned over. The IMU also corresponds with traction control linked to the customizable ride modes. A 4-inch color TFT screen provides instrumentation, including tire-pressure monitoring. Cruise control is also standard.

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S review
The 4-inch TFT instrument panel under non-reflective glass displays ride modes and tire pressures among the typical info.

The high-mount exhaust system looks like a leg roaster, but heat from the pipes is remarkably subdued. The main source of heat reaching a rider comes from the engine’s rear cylinder, which can get quite toasty when sitting in traffic, despite a rear-cylinder deactivation system when idling. Not a deal breaker unless you insist on riding in short pants.

While the Sportster falls a little flat when ridden like a sportbike, that’s because it’s not designed to be one. It’s a cruiser that can really hustle. For further context, consider that Indian’s affable Scout Bobber has the same amount of rear suspension travel, weighs 50 pounds more, and has 20 fewer horsepower. The Sportster, however, costs $4,000 extra.

Other variants of this exciting new platform are in the pipeline and still to be announced. The Sportster S is so good that we’re salivating over what might come next.

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S review
The 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S is available in Midnight Crimson (left, add $350), Stone Washed White Pearl (right, add $350), and Vivid Black.

2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S Specs

Base Price: $14,999
Website: harley-davidson.com
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 60-degree V-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 1,252cc
Bore x Stroke: 105 x 72mm
Horsepower: 121 @ 7,500 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Torque: 94 lb-ft @ 6,000 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Transmission: 6-speed
Final Drive: Belt
Wheelbase: 59.8 in.
Rake/Trail: 30 degrees/5.8 in.
Seat Height: 29.6 in.
Wet Weight: 503 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 3.1 gals.

The post 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S | First Ride Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2022 Kawasaki KLR650 | Top 10 Review

2022 Kawasaki KLR650
Riding the new Kawasaki KLR650 Adventure in New Mexico. (Photos by Drew Ruiz)

I just spent the last five days riding over 1,000 miles on Kawasaki’s legendary dual-sport icon, the KLR650, newly updated for 2022. Our on- and off-road journey started at the RFD-TV Ranch, located about 100 miles east of Albuquerque, and spent two days riding through New Mexico’s stunning forests and mountains, including rocky passes, sandy gulches, and a nerve-testing silt track. 

No assessment of the KLR would be complete without loading it up with camping gear, as many of its potential owners will do, and heading off into the wilderness. On the morning of the third day, I set my sights west toward Los Angeles, enduring a huge thunderstorm on the Arizona border and 120-degree temperatures in the sprawling Mojave Desert, the details of which will follow in our upcoming road test review. To whet your appetite, I’m sharing the top ten highlights of the 2022 KLR650.

First released in 1987, the KLR was cutting edge for its time. Its single-cylinder engine had four valves. It came fitted with a 5-speed transmission and a front disc brake. The KLR received its only major update in 2008, followed by a minor update in 2014, and was anything but cutting edge, which remains true of the latest model. However, it has received some significant improvements without altering the core attributes that have earned the KLR a reputation for reliable, durable, and cost-effective travel.

1. Electronic Fuel Injection

While some of the KLR’s faithful fans will lament the passing of the Keihin carburetor, even they will appreciate the reliable thump following every push of the starter button. We tested the new KLR at 8,000 feet in New Mexico’s mountains, and at just 400 feet in the searing heat of the Mojave Desert bowl, and the single came to life with ease every time. A cutting-edge fuel atomizer also ensures you get the best bang for the gallon, and Kawasaki claims increased low-end torque. 

2022 Kawasaki KLR650
The single cylinder engine is now equipped with EFI.

2. Upgraded Brakes Including ABS 

The 2022 KLR650 now includes ABS as a factory-installed option, and at $300, a great many will choose to include it. We tested the KLR with and without the ABS to compare braking in on- and off-road conditions. The setup works very well, and although it was difficult to detect its intervention on the ABS-equipped model, I noticed its absence in the dirt on the non-ABS model. Happily, I was still able to lock up the rear wheel on the dirt when I wanted to. The front disc is now 300mm, 20mm larger than the outgoing model, and provides a much-needed improvement in stopping power. The rear disc is now thicker, and less prone to fading.  

2022 Kawasaki KLR650
The front disc is 20mm larger.
2022 Kawasaki KLR650
The rear disc is thicker and less prone to fade.

3. Increased Load Capacity 

By making the subframe an integrated member of the main frame, Kawasaki has increased the KLR’s torsional rigidity and load capacity, which is also managed by a slightly longer swingarm. These updates result in improved stability and make for more predictable handling on loose surfaces, especially when the bike is loaded with gear.  

2022 Kawasaki KLR650
The subframe is now integrated with the main frame for increased stability and load capacity. (Photo by the author)

4. Adjustable Rear Suspension 

The rear suspension now includes five clicks of adjustable preload and stepless rebound damping, which is adjusted via a screw. On a middleweight adventure bike like the KLR, this is a welcome addition, as many owners will want to take it on serious tours, which require loading a considerable amount of kit. For the two nights I spent camping, I had loaded about 70 pounds on the KLR, keeping the heavier gear in the side bags. After adding a click of preload and a full turn of rebound, the resulting handling felt impressively similar to the unloaded KLR. 

2022 Kawasaki KLR650
Adjustable damping and preload for the rear suspension is a welcome addition.

5. Adjustable Windscreen 

The new windscreen is 2 inches taller than the old model and is now adjustable. The standard low position provides good wind deflection, even for loftier riders. For longer tours, to reduce fatigue or combat cold conditions, the windscreen can be adjusted by removing the four attaching screws and remounting it another inch higher. Nonetheless, it is still a sport-sized windscreen and it offered little respite from a drenching thunderstorm I encountered in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico.

2022 Kawasaki KLR 650 | Top 10 Review2022 Kawasaki KLR 650 | Top 10 Review
The new windscreen is taller, and can also be adjusted (shown here on the Adventure model, which is also equipped with auxiliary lights).

6. Battery and Generator 

The new KLR has an upgraded battery that’s fully sealed, low maintenance, and smaller and lighter than the old one. To complement the battery, and to power a new line of accessories and charging ports, the KLR has also been equipped with a new 28-amp generator.

2022 Kawasaki KLR 650
The Adventure model we tested comes with factory installed auxiliary lights.

7. Accessories Bar and Electrical Ports

It may seem like a minor item to include in the top-ten list, but we think the nifty accessories bar that Kawasaki has included on the new KLR is a great addition and should be a standard on adventure bikes. Rather than load up your handlebars with phone, GPS, and camera mounts, and all the associated wiring, these can be easily mounted on the accessories bar, and powered via the available USB or standard DC 12-volt power socket. 

2022 Kawasaki KLR 650 | Top 10 Review
An accessories bar adds practicality.
2022 Kawasaki KLR 650 | Top 10 Review
A 12V DC socket is now standard.
2022 Kawasaki KLR 650 | Top 10 Review
A USB socket has also been fitted.

8. Stronger Load-Bearing Points 

The key points supporting the KLR’s suspended weight have all been strengthened. Both front- and rear-wheel axle diameters have been increased, now 2mm and 3mm thicker, respectively. The rear swingarm pivot has also received a 2mm upgrade and adds to the KLR’s long-term dependability and ability to handle the increased load capacity and overall weight. 

2022 Kawasaki KLR 650 | Top 10 Review
The base model, shown here in Pearl Khaki.

9. Bodywork and Styling 

All new cowling and more aggressive styling subtly improve the new KLR’s overall appearance. The 2022 model retains the old shape, but is a little more angular, and looks somewhat taller. The base model is complemented by a Traveler and Adventure model, and the latter comes equipped with engine guards and cowling guards, adding to its rugged, off-road credentials. The base and Traveler model is available in Pearl Lava Orange or Pearl Sand Khaki colorways, and the Adventure comes in Cypher Camo Gray. 

2022 Kawasaki KLR650
The Traveler model in Pearl Lava Orange.

10. Digital Display 

The 2022 KLR has a new all-digital LCD. Now larger and backlit, the new instrument is easier to read and works well in all lighting conditions. The information is still limited to the basics, but that is what the KLR is all about. A digital speedometer, odometer, dual trip meters, clock, and finally, a proper fuel gauge. 

2022 Kawasaki KLR650
The new LCD instrument panel is larger and includes a proper fuel gauge.

The post 2022 Kawasaki KLR650 | Top 10 Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

World’s first stand-alone 5G network introduced in MotoGP™

Vislink is a global technology business specializing in the collection, delivery, and management of high quality, live video and associated data from the scene of the action to the viewing screen. For the broadcast markets, Vislink provides solutions for the collection of live news, sports, and entertainment events. Vislink also furnishes the surveillance and defense markets with real-time video intelligence solutions using a variety of tailored transmission products. Through its recent acquisition of Mobile Viewpoint, Vislink also provides solutions for live streaming over 4G and 5G, as well as AI-driven solutions for automated news and sports productions.

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

MotoGP™ to remain exclusively on CANAL+ until 2029

Since its arrival on CANAL+ in 2019, MotoGP™ has seen audience numbers grow exponentially, with a million people watching the Spanish Grand Prix in May 2021. Spectacular races, breath-taking competition and the incredible success of MotoGP™ World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), as well as compatriot and two-time World Champion Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing), are keeping French fans glued to their seats.

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

Photo gallery: Viñales tests Aprilia alongside rivals

Maverick Viñales’ new chapter has officially begun as the Spaniard gets to grips with Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s RS-GP for the first time at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Viñales has been testing on track alongside some of his premier class rivals – such as Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) and Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) – who are riding Superbikes, while also lapping with test riders Dani Pedrosa (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Michele Pirro (Ducati Lenovo Team). 

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

Six factories in the top six: “It’s fantastic. It’s crazy!”

But something else significant happened. For the first time since the 1972 Yugoslavian GP, six manufacturers finished in the top six positions of a premier class race. It was MV Agusta, Yamaha, Koenig, Suzuki, Husqvarna and Kawasaki who occupied the top six 48 years ago, while at Silverstone it was Yamaha, Suzuki, Aprilia, Ducati, Honda and KTM.

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here