The Dainese Expedition Masters is a guided tour that started internally but opened up to consumers in 2019.
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Dainese announces 2023 Expedition Masters project with three new experiences. On March 18, the first journey starts in Patagonia; in late June the adventure continues in the Himalayas; and the last expedition will begin September 29 in West USA.
The Dainese Experience will take riders to some of the most riveting and unexplored countries on the planet for unique adventures. These trips will equip riders with the skills and techniques needed to brave motorcycle exploration confidently and mindfully. Qualified, expert guides lead the expeditions, helping improve riding skills on any terrain. This is a unique opportunity for all motorcycle riders to unleash their boundless passion.
March 18 – 25, 2023
Dainese Expedition Masters | Patagonia – Ushuaia
8 days and 1,600 km starting in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, up toward El Calafate, crossing from Argentina into Chile, through the Patagonian desert: endless prairies, blue lakes, and visiting incredibly fascinating places such as Torres del Paine and the Perito Moreno Glacier. A unique itinerary for adventure lovers, which starts from one of the remotest places in the world. A once-in-a-lifetime journey.
June 24 – Jul 4, 2023
Dainese Expedition Masters | The Himalayas
An adventure on the highest passes of the Himalayas. 11 days, 1,200 km on- and off-road, crossing the most majestic Himalayan passes at over 5,000 meters above sea level, closed due to snow and ice for eight months of the year. Riders will travel through mountains that are unique in the world, visit ancient Buddhist monasteries, and learn about extraordinary people. All this on motorcycles that are environmentally friendly and respectful of these incredible natural surroundings.
September 29 – Oct 29, 2023
Dainese Expedition Masters | West USA
11 days, 1,500 miles (2,500 km), along the most spectacular roads in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah through Death Valley and Monument Valley. To improve riding technique and learn to tackle any type of road on a maxi-enduro.
The first thing you need to know about the Triumph Rocket 3 R is that its inline-Triple displaces 2,458cc (150ci), making it the largest motorcycle production engine by far. Nothing else even comes close.
The Rocket 3 R’s cylinders are like a hippopotamus’ teeth: It doesn’t have many, but the ones it does have are impressive. They have a bore of 4.33 inches – wider than the cylinders in a 707-hp Dodge Hellcat – and a stroke of 3.4 inches. Each one displaces 819.3cc, exceeding the engine capacity of Triumph’s Street Triple 765 sportbike.
Claimed output at the crank is 165 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque. You can buy a sportbike tuned to make more horsepower, but no production motorcycle churns out as much grunt. Again, nothing else comes close.
The second thing you need to know is that, despite having such an enormous engine, the Rocket 3 R is not an overweight, bloated machine. With a claimed dry weight of 641 lb and an estimated curb weight approaching 700 lb, it’s as light or lighter than many cruisers and open-class sport-tourers.
Even taking its engine size and output into account, the Rocket 3 R remains a rare breed: a muscle cruiser that handles well and has sportbike-caliber components and electronics. And its design, from its mix of brushed, matte, and gloss finishes to its single-sided swingarm, exhibits incredible attention to detail and top-notch fit and finish.
My, How You’ve Grown
In the late ’90s and early 2000s, there was a displacement war going on among cruisers, with engine sizes growing from 1,449cc on the Harley-Davidson Twin Cam 88 to 1,510cc on the Victory 92C. Then the Japanese OEMs joined the fray, starting with 1,670cc on the Yamaha Road Star, then 1,795cc on the Honda VTX1800, and finally, breaking the two-liter barrier, 2,053cc on the Kawasaki Vulcan 2000, which debuted for 2004.
The following year, Triumph came along and topped them all with the Rocket III, which got its thrust from a massive 2,294cc inline-Triple, albeit with an extra cylinder compared to the V-Twins listed above. The Rocket III was under development in the early 2000s, and with each new displacement benchmark, Triumph’s engineers ratcheted up the engine’s capacity because the company’s primary goal was to be the biggest.
The three-cylinder configuration made sense because the modern incarnation of Triumph, under the direction of John Bloor, had built its reputation and brand image around Triples in bikes like the Trophy, Sprint, and Speed Triple. But the origins of the Triple and the model name came from even further back in Triumph’s history: The 1968 Triumph Trident / BSA Rocket III (the same bike with different badging during a time when both brands were under the same umbrella) was the first three-cylinder motorcycle produced by the British manufacturer. Since the modern Rocket III’s engine would be so large, Triumph arranged its cylinders longitudinally rather than transverse to the direction of travel, as on its other Triples.
It’s been nearly a decade since we tested the Rocket III Touring, which was a conventionally styled cruiser with a single round headlight, driving lights, a buckhorn handlebar, top-loading saddlebags, a passenger backrest, and lots of chrome. At 105 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque, it also had a milder state of tune than the Rocket III Roadster, which made 146 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque at the crank. Both bikes were enormous, scaling in at 906 lb for the Touring and 806 lb for the Roadster.
For the 2020 model year, Triumph hit the reset button. It changed the platform’s name to Rocket 3, favoring the more common and contemporary Arabic numeral to its antiquated Roman counterpart. While that may seem like a quibbling distinction, it represented Triumph’s commitment to building a more modern machine. The engine not only grew from 2,294cc to 2,458cc, it was updated with a new crankcase assembly, balancer shafts, and lubrication system. The Rocket 3 was also equipped with throttle-by-wire, an IMU, ride modes, cornering-optimized ABS and traction control, cruise control, hill-hold control, and keyless ignition.
Compared to the previous platform, the Rocket 3 had gone on a crash diet, shaving off roughly 90 lb. Even though the new engine has more displacement, it is 40 lb lighter than its predecessor. More weight was saved by replacing the steel frame and swingarm with cast-aluminum units, lightening the exhaust system and wheels, and reducing fuel capacity from 6.3 gallons on the RIII Roadster and 5.9 gallons on the RIII Touring to 5 gallons on the Rocket 3.
There are two versions of the Rocket 3: the R roadster tested here, which starts at $23,895, and the GT tourer with a small windscreen, more handlebar pullback, forward foot controls, and a passenger backrest, which starts at $24,595. Triumph also produces some limited-edition versions with special paint, finishes, and details, including the Rocket 3 R 221 Special Edition (which celebrates its 221 Newton-meters of torque), the Rocket 3 R Chrome Edition, and the Rocket 3 GT Chrome Edition.
Even though the old Rocket III made boatloads of torque, its styling was bland. Its mondo engine, enormous radiator, and 240mm rear tire gave it big-boy presence, but little about the Rocket III said, “Hey, look at me!” A cruiser should not only make generous low-end torque, it should also make a statement, and the Rocket 3 R certainly does that.
It’s a muscle bike with a muscular stance, sitting on fat tires – 150/80-17 up front, 240/50-16 out back – and covered in a wide array of metallic surfaces, as if the entire bike were carved from one big block of metal. The effect is even more pronounced with the Matte Silver Ice paint on our test bike (other color options are Sapphire Black, Phantom Black, Korosi Red, or Silver Ice/Cranberry Red). On the right side is a stunning hydroformed triple-exhaust header that ends in short, matte-black silencers with slash-cut chrome end caps – two on the right side and one on the left.
There is nothing clunky or out of place – no unsightly hoses or wires, no half-baked compromises. The “Rocket 3 R” and “2500 cc” badges are engraved; the matching fuel, radiator, and oil filler caps are brushed aluminum; and even the bar-ends have custom detailing. The coolest styling element, and the one I bragged about to everyone that asked about the bike (it’s a lookie-loo magnet), are the double-hinged, fold-away passenger pegs.
If there’s one thing that looks a little off to me, it’s the dual round headlights. They’ve been a signature Triumph styling element since the ’90s, most notably on the Speed Triple, and they were on the Rocket III Roadster. But with the more modern look of the Rocket 3 R, just as Triumph did with the Speed Triple about a decade ago, evolving the headlights into a more aggressive shape would make the bike’s overall appearance more cohesive.
Hitting the starter button on the Rocket 3 R elicits an authoritative growl, and blipping the throttle at idle causes the entire bike to twist to the right due to its big, longitudinal crankshaft. Perhaps to make the bike more livable, throttle response is a tad dull below 2,000 rpm, but once the big pistons spin up more, the well of grunt feels bottomless. On Jett Tuning’s dyno, the 2.5-liter beast spun the drum to a peak of 148 lb-ft of rear-wheel torque at 3,900 rpm, with more than 140 lb-ft on tap between 2,500 rpm and 5,300 rpm (redline is 6,500). There’s hardly a ripple in either the torque or horsepower curves, with the latter climbing steadily from 47 hp at 2,000 rpm to a peak of 145 at 6,100 rpm. Power is sent to the rear wheel through an enormous driveshaft.
While the 6-speed transmission with torque-assist clutch shifts cleanly without any big cruiser clunkiness, this is not a bike that requires much rowing through the gearbox. Short shift your way up to top gear, and the big mill spins only about 3,200 rpm at 75 mph. On a twisty backroad, just put it in 3rd and forget about it – there’s always enough grunt to pull you out of corner and catapult you toward the next one. And when a long straight stretch opens up, grab a handful and hang on – it’s an experience you won’t soon forget and will be eager to repeat.
The Rocket 3 R is the physical embodiment of badassery. Until you beep the horn. Then it sounds like a Vespa. Even by motorcycle standards, the horn is wimpy.
The Triumph Rocket 3 Can Bend It Like Beckham
Motorcycles with ultra-wide 240mm rear tires aren’t typically known for their cornering prowess because it takes effort to get the bike over onto the side of the tire. But Triumph worked with Avon to develop the profile of the Rocket 3 R’s Cobra Chrome tires to ensure their profiles resulted in fairly neutral handling. For a big, long bike, the R3R goes around corners remarkably well, requiring less steering effort than one might expect.
Helpful in this respect is adjustable Showa suspension with damping that’s more sporting firm than touring soft. There’s enough suspension travel to absorb the worst of big hits, but ride quality generally favors smooth roads over bumpy ones. Slowing things down is a trio of top-shelf Brembo Stylema 4-piston radial monoblock calipers – two in front pinching 320mm discs and one out back pinching a 300mm disc – with hydraulic fluid pumped through steel-braided lines. They’re serious anchors that offer outstanding stopping power with precise feel at the lever.
When the Rocket 3 R is keyed on, its color TFT display shows the Triumph logo and a message that says, “Welcome Rider.” Always puts a smile on my face.
I parked the Triumph in the garage at LAX airport during a short trip, and when I returned, I pulled the keyless fob out of my backpack and pressed the bike’s power button. A small red light came on, which means the fob isn’t within range or isn’t working. It was 11 p.m. and raining, and I still had an hour’s ride ahead of me. I held the fob close to the bike and pressed the power button again and again, but no luck.
As panic started to set in, I imagined the Rocket 3 R as HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey: “I’m sorry, Greg, but I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
Turns out I’m a moron. What I didn’t know is that, to save its battery, the fob goes to sleep. And to wake it up, you must press a button on the fob. But there’s not an obvious button, just an embossed Triumph logo.
During my Uber ride home, I sent a grumpy email to Adam VanderVeen, Triumph America’s marketing director, asking for help. I’m sure he laughed to himself as he composed a diplomatic reply informing me that, in fact, the logo is the button, and when you press it, a green light comes on to let you know the fob is sending signals to the bike.
After bumming a ride back to LAX the next day, I pressed the logo-button-thingy, and the Rocket 3 R powered right up. I was relieved that the start-up message did not say, “Welcome Dum Dum.”
Like other Triumphs we’ve tested in recent years, the Rocket 3 R’s electronics package is comprehensive and easy to use, aided by a TFT display with intuitive graphics. Select from one of the three standard ride modes (Sport, Road, Rain) or customize your own (Rider – there it is again, if only they used the Rider logo!), and rest assured that the ABS and TC are lean-angle sensitive, just in case.
As the saying goes, we buy on emotion and justify with logic. The Triumph Rocket 3 R is all about heart-pumping stimulation. It’s the sort of bike you lie awake at night and think about, triangulating a plan to get one into your garage. Just as Sméagol was corrupted by the Ring, the Rocket 3 will take over your thoughts and make you do naughty things. If you want to be King of the Road, there’s nothing else like it.
The highly-anticipated Multistrada V4 Rally is one step closer to making it to your local dealer.
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Production of the Multistrada V4 Rally, the Ducati designed for long-distance journeys, already featured in the third episode of the 2023 World Premiere, has begun at the Borgo Panigale factory. The new bike completes Ducati’s most robust touring range which was born exactly 20 years ago with the first revolutionary Multistrada 1000 that marked the opening of Ducati towards the world of travel.
Twenty years during which Multistrada has been able to evolve and renew itself through the 1100, 1200, and 1260 models, arriving at its fourth generation powered by the new, revolutionary V4 Grandturismo. The Multistrada V4 embodies the concept of the Grand Tourer according to the values of Style, Sophistication, and Performance that are intrinsic to Ducati’s DNA.
Multistrada introduced several innovations to the Ducati range, such as the Riding Modes and DVT variable valve timing. Still, it was also the first bike worldwide equipped with technological innovations such as the semi-active Skyhook suspension. More recently, it is the first to market both front and rear radar to support Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection systems and extended engine deactivation.
With the “Rally” Ducati takes the globetrotter spirit of the Multistrada V4 to an even higher level, thanks to more comfort for rider and passenger, greater range and a more pronounced off-road aptitude without sacrificing performance (170 hp), reliability and running costs, with maintenance intervals every 37,000 mi and Oil Service every 9,000 mi/24 months thanks to the 1,158 cc V4 Granturismo engine.
To tackle unpaved roads even better, this Multistrada can count on semi-active suspension with increased travel of 7.9 in (200 mm), lightened spoked rims, reinforced engine guards, an Enduro Riding Mode with brand new Power Mode dedicated to off-road use, wider rider foot-pegs and an even more precise and efficient Skyhook DSS EVO control strategy aided by a new sensor in the fork which instantly measures more accurately the suspension stroke.
Comfort improves with particular attention to two-seater use: the windshield has been redesigned (height increased by 1.6 in and width by .8 in), the tail has been lengthened and the top case attachment is moved back to offer more leg area to the passenger, who can also count on footrests with larger rubber inserts to reduce vibration levels. Furthermore, with the seats of different heights for both rider and passenger and the lowered suspension kit, the Multistrada V4 Rally can be customized to suit any rider and passenger configuration. The Multistrada V4 Rally also features a minimum preload function of the suspension which will lower the motorcycle facilitating the rider in touching the ground with their boots when coming to a stop. To further improve thermal comfort, the air vents in the leg area can now be divided to retain the heat released by the engine in the cold seasons.
The Multistrada V4 Rally also integrates Cornering ABS, which allows you to harness the braking power of its system even when cornering, the Ducati Cornering Lights (DCL), which improve night-time visibility by illuminating the inside of the turn, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) and Ducati Traction Control (DTC). These systems use the inertial platform (IMU) to optimize intervention based on the lean and pitch angle of the motorcycle.
The Multistrada V4 Rally is the first to introduce a new extended deactivation strategy of the rear bank. This feature allows rear bank deactivation even with low engine speeds and torque requests from the throttle to benefit fuel consumption and emissions.
The 6.5-inch color TFT dashboard offers map navigation functions thanks to the Ducati Connect application. It supports the use of the telephone, now housed in a ventilated compartment, to answer calls or listen to music while using a helmet equipped with an intercom system.
The Ducati Multistrada V4 Rally will arrive in dealerships Spring 2023 in the two colors of Ducati Red and Brushed Aluminium & Matte Black, the latter with a visible brushed aluminum tank. The new Ducati Multistrada V4 Rally will be offered in one version for North America: Adventure Travel & Radar, equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Detection, aluminum side cases, heated grips and heated seats.
Visit the Ducati website and contact your nearest dealer for more information about the new Multistrada V4 Rally.
The presentation video of the new Multistrada V4 Rally, shot in the landscapes of the Kenyan savannah, can be viewed on the Ducati YouTube channel.
Dedicated to the Year of the Rabbit, the 946 Bunny Edition is the first of a series that will encompass 12 years.
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The beginning of a new lunar year brings us not only the enthusiasm of rebirth and the joy of spring, but also the iconography of a new animal for the horoscope to reference. January 22nd, 2023 welcomes the year of the rabbit, a symbol and omen of peacefulness, well-being and respect for the past.
To coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Vespa 946 this “bunny” edition is dedicated to the year of the rabbit, and will be issued in a limited and numbered series of 1,000. This will be only the first stage of an important project that will span the next 12 years, which will see the introduction of an annual edition, inspired by the lunar horoscope animal of that year.
Since its debut in 2013, the Vespa 946 has established itself as the archetype of the Vespa of tomorrow, which interprets the values that have made Vespa a global icon while injecting it with a contemporary spirit and a forward-facing attitude. It is an Italian-made masterpiece, which has now become a real collector’s item, taking shape in a dedicated production line that is more like a haute couture atelier than anything else. This special version is issued in a reworking of the classic Vespa green, to symbolize the love of fun, light-heartedness, and nature typical of those born under this sign. The stylized silhouette of a rabbit peeps out on the body.
All the details of the Vespa 946 10° Anniversario are made in a refined burnished finish with warm reflections, while the double-upholstered saddle is black with burnished stitching and is sewn by hand with needle and thread, as are the handgrips.
Further details will be available on www.vespa.com starting from 22 January 2023.
Now’s a great time to get the little ones started on two wheels.
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Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. is thrilled to announce the Kawasaki Elektrode Experience will be stopping at several Monster Energy Supercross FanFests this year, resuming in San Diego, California on January 21, 2023. The Elektrode Experience will take place in multiple major markets throughout the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship season.
“After several successful product demo experiences over the last few years at Monster Energy Supercross Fan Fests, we decided to turn our focus to our first electric bike. The Elektrode Experience gives some of the youngest supercross fans an opportunity to experience the fun-packed Elektrode electric balance bike first-hand in a safe, controlled and fun environment,” said Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. Director of Marketing, Bob O’Brien.
The tour already checked off its inaugural event at the opening round of Monster Energy Supercross at Angel Stadium of Anaheim and looks to keep the good times rolling well into the 2023 season. The schedule will continue with seven more stops planned before the end of the supercross season, including demo opportunities in Arizona, Texas, Utah, and more.
The Elektrode Experience will run through the end of the Monster Energy Supercross season, concluding at the final round in Salt Lake City, UT. Demos will be held on a first come, first served basis between 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Participants must be between the ages of 3 to 8 years old and 100lbs or less to be eligible to participate. Riders must be accompanied by a legal guardian and will be required to wear closed toe shoes. For full demo requirements, upcoming dates, and locations, please visit: https://www.kawasaki.com/Experience/Events.
Private Parties Join Dealers on the Go-To Online Marketplace for Used H-D Bikes.
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H-D1 Marketplace, the largest online marketplace for pre-owned Harley-Davidson listings, is taking the exciting step to connect a wider range of riders to their next bikes by accepting private-party listings of pre-owned Harley-Davidson motorcycles. This will be the first time that individual customers will be able to list their motorcycle for sale on H-D1 Marketplace. All motorcycles listed for sale may be viewed by the thousands of customers visiting the H-D1 Marketplace website. Customers who are interested in purchasing a bike from the H-D1 Marketplace can either contact the private party seller or the dealer directly through the site. Rider-to-Rider financing options are available to customers purchasing from a private party, in addition to in-dealership financing.
“H-D1 Marketplace has redefined online marketplace for pre-owned Harley-Davidson motorcycles,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, CEO and President, Harley-Davidson. “This new private-party feature will bring together even more buyers and sellers of Harley bikes. This is our next step in building the ultimate online home for the sale and purchase of pre-owned Harley-Davidson motorcycles.”
Private-party listings on H-D1 Marketplace will be limited to Harley-Davidson models located in the United States. Each listing will include photos and details about the motorcycle. All bikes will also be validated by VIN and go through a review-and-approval process before the listing is launched.
About H-D1 Marketplace
H-D1 Marketplace was created in July 2021 to provide consumers with the most-comprehensive opportunity to search, experience, sell, customize and purchase used H-D motorcycles from the inventories of participating authorized Harley-Davidson dealers. Today H-D1 Marketplace offers the largest selection of dealer pre-owned H-D motorcycles in the United States, with more than 34,000 listings by 540 participating U.S. Harley-Davidson Dealers.
Currently focused on the USA, H-D1 Marketplace showcases the entire selection of pre-owned Harley-Davidson motorcycles from participating dealers, and now also those offered by private parties. H-D1 Marketplace is the only place to easily search for H-D Certified motorcycles, the ultimate in pre-owned Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Through the “Sell My Bike” feature, customers are able to sell their motorcycles directly into the Harley-Davidson dealer network. Supported by Harley-Davidson Financial Services, H-D1 Marketplace customers have access to innovative, industry-leading financing solutions, to make purchasing even easier. For complete details on making a private-party listing, go to H-D1 Marketplace.
“Kokubu-san [Shinichi Kokubu, HRC’s Technical Director, pictured above to the right of Kawauchi] has proven he can build a good bike. He was in that same position when I was there and, in 2012 for example when we moved to 1000cc, they built a strong bike so Casey [Stoner], Dani [Pedrosa], Cal [Crutchlow] were all fast. During that time, Nakamoto-san [Shuhei Nakamoto, HRC’s former Vice President] was there and he was vital in keeping everyone in the same direction. I hope, as a friend of both Ken and Kokubu, they can rescue this boat that is right now in a storm, in a very difficult moment.”
It’s set to make for unmissable viewing, so make sure you block off the calendar and get the popcorn ready! In the meantime, if you are looking for your fix of MotoGP™ action, then make sure you check out There Can Be Only One, a four-part docuseries detailing the highs and lows of the 2022 Championship, which sees the first episode released on Friday, January 27th! For more info, click HERE.
This new collaboration between the VisionTrack ETC team and the Road to MotoGP™ creates a clear path for BTC riders on the Road to MotoGP™ and ensures Garness, who is not yet eligible to race in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and will attempt to defend the BTC crown, can continue his learning and progress. His ETC teammate will be Casey O’Gorman, the 2021 BTC Champion, who was already promoted into the 2022 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup as a Dorna-selected rider.
The full 2023 Entry List for the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup can now be revealed, with a 20-strong grid ready to take on a new-look calendar this season. Nine riders return to the ATC, seven from the class of 2022 and two from 2021, and they’re joined by 11 newcomers chosen at the Selection Event at Sepang International Circuit last October. There are seven countries represented in 2023: Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Qatar and Thailand.