2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ Review | First Ride 

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ Action
Suzuki brings us a “sport crossover” in the form of the new GSX-S1000GX+ we tested in Portugal. (Photos by Ula Serra & Amylee Photography)

Suzuki’s new GSX-S1000GX+ is further evidence of the evolution in the sport-touring class. Formerly, the class consisted of big, heavy machines and sportier but less luxurious ones. Then came the influx of adventure bikes, which offered roomier riding positions and have become dominant in the marketplace. 

The marketing materials for ADVs regularly show the bikes being ridden in desolate areas on unpaved terrain, inspiring our sense of adventure. However, ADVs are often used like crossover SUVs, with personas of rugged adventure but most often used on paved roads. So now we have crossovers that have spacious riding positions beyond what’s offered from traditional sport-tourers. Of note are BMW’s powerful S 1000 XR, Kawasaki’s capable Versys 1000 SE LT+, and our 2021 Motorcycle of the Year, Yamaha’s Tracer 9 GT, which was recently updated to the GT+.   

Related: 2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ Review 

Hot on the heels of Suzuki’s GSX-S1000GT+, our 2022 Motorcycle of the Year, is the new GX+ version that has a more open riding position, blending attributes of an ADV with a sport-tourer. Suzuki calls it the “supreme sport crossover.”  

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ beauty
The Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ glows in the shadows.

Related: 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ Review 

GT To GX | 2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ 

Suzuki didn’t have to start from scratch to create the GSX-S1000GX+. In a nutshell, the GX is a GT with a longer-travel suspension that automatically adjusts damping settings based on IMU-informed electronics. It has 1.2 inches more fork travel relative to the GT and 0.8 inches extra shock stroke – both just 0.4 inch less than the V-Strom 1050 adventure bike. Add in some new bodywork and a stronger subframe, and you’ve got the GX.  

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ Nose
Other markets will receive the blue colorway depicted in the action photos, but the U.S. will receive only this Pearl Matte Shadow Green version.

The GT+ is the version of the GSX-S1000GT with hardshell saddlebags ideal for touring. Suzuki will offer a base GX in some markets, but only the GX+ version will be available on our shores. It includes saddlebags and a centerstand as standard equipment.  

The GX further sets itself apart from the GT by the addition of a 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit, which informs all the electronic systems of the bike’s acceleration, braking, and lean angles. The IMU not only allows for cornering ABS and advanced traction control, it’s also the key ingredient in Suzuki Advanced Electronic Suspension, the company’s first semi-active suspension. 

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ front suspension
Suspension damping on the GSX-S1000GX+ is automatically controlled by electronics.

SAES automatically adjusts damping rates depending on road conditions and how aggressively the bike is ridden, and riders can tailor it to their preferences by selecting Hard, Medium, and Soft modes or by customizing settings in a User mode. Moreover, the system also automatically adjusts rear preload via an electric motor to suit various loads of rider and luggage.  

“These technologies,” says Suzuki, “combine to make the GX comfortable and controllable on various road surfaces, ranging from urban asphalt and cobblestones to paved country and twisted winding mountain roads while also providing an engaging and sporty riding experience.”  

Sounds good, right? Not a lot of cobblestones on our shores, so Suzuki sent us off to Portugal for a riveting riding experience on its new GX.

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ action
The Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ is perfectly suited to twisty coastal roads.

Revved Up | 2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ 

The GX’s cockpit is familiar to anyone who has straddled the GT, with the same user-friendly switches that navigate the various electronic settings on the 6.5-inch color TFT instrument panel. Happily, the TFT screen is mounted much higher than it is on the GT, which makes it far easier to see and use. Smartphone connectivity is enabled with Suzuki’s mySPIN app and can display maps, phone calls, and music. 

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ TFT
The vibrant TFT instrument panel is easy to navigate and switches automatically to a dark background in low-light conditions.

The longer travel suspension of the GX bumps the seat height to 33.3 inches, 1.4 inches taller than the GT. However, the seat’s narrow front section gives legs a straight shot to the ground and wasn’t a problem for my 30-inch inseam.  

At the heart of the GX is the revered K5 GSX-R1000 engine that has a bottomless well of power and an arm-ripping 150 hp up top. The 999cc inline-Four originally powered the 2005-2008 Gixxers, and Suzuki says more than 180,000 of the bulletproof K5 mills have been produced in various guises over the years. Suzuki claims 70% of max torque is available from just 3,000 rpm, with peak twist of 78 lb-ft arriving at 9,250 rpm.   

While the K5 has old roots, it remains a stellar powerplant, firing up with a guttural rumble that can willingly shriek to 11,750 rpm when you’re in a hurry. Throttle response is perfectly smooth in the B ride mode but still acceptable in A mode, albeit sharper. Clutch actuation is exceedingly linear, and pulling away from stops is aided by Suzuki’s Low-RPM Assist System that automatically increases engine speed as the clutch lever is released.  

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ Action
With 150 hp on tap, the GSX-S1000GX+ blurs the scenery.

Kudos to Suzuki for producing one of the most seamless transmissions on the market, with a bi-directional quickshifter that fluidly swaps gears up and down without the rider needing to touch the clutch lever. A feint stab on the shifter automatically matches revs to the lower gear with a smoothness few riders can match manually. This updated system can also shift gears without interrupting the cruise-control speed setting.  

The riding position of the GX is quite agreeable, with the handlebar 1.7 inches closer to the rider and 1.5 inches taller than the GT’s sportier crouch. The seat-to-peg distance expands by 0.6 inch, but legroom remains more cramped than most ADVs.  

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ Action
The GX+ has a comfortably upright riding position, but riders with long legs might feel cramped.

Gear Up 

The GX’s seat isn’t as comfortable as we’d expect from a touring bike. The forward section is too narrow for long-range support, so it’s best to sit as far rearward as arms will allow. The solution is the Premium seat from Suzuki’s accessory catalog, which proved to be much more supportive. The $399.95 saddle uses double-layer padding, and its upper section has heat-shedding material to avoid toasted buns after sitting in the sun. It’s not only far more comfortable, its red stitching and tuck-and-roll surface look sharp. And the included passenger section is highlighted by a snazzy GSX-S logo. If you have short legs, opt for the accessory low seat ($175) which is narrower and 0.6 inch closer to the ground.  

The GX exhibits neutral steering, tipping into corners gracefully if not quickly. It’s a lightweight sport-tourer relative to open-class bikes that typically exceed 600 lb, but it’s not light. It scales in at 511 lb with its 5-gallon tank full but without the saddlebags. A half-inch wider handlebar aids leverage, but the relatively flat profile of the 50-series rear tire inhibits the roll rate relative to more modern 55-series rubber.  

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ Action
The GSX-S1000GX+ is fitted with a pair of LED headlights flanked by LED position lamps that resemble eyes.

Grip from the Dunlop Roadsport 2 tires seemed only average on some of the tricky road conditions we encountered on our two-day ride. The IMU-based traction control saved my bacon more than once, mediating at different levels of intervention based on the selected ride mode or by manually adjusting TC via intuitive menus. A light on the TFT illuminates when TC is operating, and the system also controls wheelies to varying levels. 

Active Duty | 2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ 

The balance offered by semi-active suspension deserves high praise. The automatically adjusted damping keeps the GX’s suspension well-controlled at all times. On city streets and boring highways, I set it to Soft mode for a plush ride. When a twisty canyon road presented itself, I toggled to Hard mode for sportbike levels of tautness.  

The adaptability of the suspension is a boon to riders who travel on all types of roads. While we appreciate fully adjustable manual suspensions, their settings are always a compromise. More problematic is that most riders don’t (or don’t know how to) properly adjust them to suit their weights and riding styles. With the GX, rear preload is automatically set without tools, and it can be increased to a stiffer setting if you prefer. Damping settings can also be increased or decreased from the presets to suit preferences, and it can all be done by a few button pushes while riding. Magic!  

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ Rear suspension
The GX uses the same aluminum frame as the GT but has a longer and more robust steel-trellis subframe. Note the wires leading to the gold-colored semi-active rear shock that features automatic preload adjustment.

Less magical are a few aspects of the GX that come up a little short. The windscreen is adjustable to three positions but not without unbolting four screws, thwarting on-the-fly adaptability. Tool-less systems have been available on other bikes for more than a decade, so its absence here is annoying.  

In the windscreen’s low setting, airflow is smooth up to 70 mph, but higher speeds induce head buffeting. Wind protection improves with the screen in its highest setting, but then it’s stuck there until you bring out the tools again. Digits are sheltered by handguards, but they’re not warmed without ordering heated grips from the accessory catalog. And while I’m feeling disappointed, I’ll note the lack of self-canceling turnsignals.  

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ Action
The layered design of the fairing manages airflow nicely, but we wish it had a hand-adjustable windscreen.

Ride On – And On | 2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ 

The idea of a sport crossover may seem odd, but it comes together nicely in the GSX-S1000GX+, which shines brightest by its capabilities to fulfill many roles. It’s docile and manageable in the city, and it’s reasonably comfortable and can carry a bunch of luggage on the highway. Open roads are quickly eaten up by superbike levels of power, and big speeds are shed by a competent set of Brembo front brakes and the security of cornering ABS. 

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ Action
The Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ is ready for sport-touring anywhere you want to point it.

The GX+ might induce sticker shock. Priced at $18,499, it’s the most expensive Suzuki you can buy. Price creep has affected similar Japanese bikes with IMUs and semi-active suspensions: Kawaski’s 567-lb Versys 1000 SE LT+ retails for $18,899, while Yamaha’s less powerful but lighter 492-lb Tracer 9 GT+ has a $16,499 MSRP.  

Is the Suzuki $2,000 better than the Yamaha? We’ll report back to you in the springtime when the GX arrives in dealers and we can take them both on a tour for a comparison test. Both are likely contenders for our 2024 Motorcycle of the Year crown.   

Check out more new/updated bikes in Rider’s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide   

2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ Specs 

  • Base Price: $18,499 
  • Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles 
  • Website:SuzukiCycles.com 


  • Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse inline-Four, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl. 
  • Displacement: 999cc 
  • Bore x Stroke: 73.4 x 59.0mm 
  • Compression Ratio: 12.2:1 
  • Valve Insp. Interval: 15,000 miles 
  • Fuel Delivery: EFI w/ throttle-by-wire, 40mm throttle bodies x 4 
  • Lubrication System: Wet sump, 3.6 qt. cap. 
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch 
  • Final Drive: Chain 


  • Frame: Twin-spar cast-aluminum frame & swingarm 
  • Wheelbase: 57.9 in. 
  • Rake/Trail: 25.5 degrees/3.8 in. 
  • Seat Height: 33.3 in. 
  • Suspension, Front: 43mm inverted fork, electronically adj., 5.9 in. travel 
  • Rear: Single linkage shock, electronically adj., 5.9 in. travel 
  • Brakes, Front: Dual 310mm floating discs w/ 4-piston radial monoblock calipers & ABS 
  • Rear: Single 240mm disc w/ 1-piston caliper & ABS 
  • Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.5 x 17 in. 
  • Rear: Cast, 6.0 x 17 in. 
  • Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17 
  • Rear: 190/50-ZR17 
  • Wet Weight: 511 lb (factory claim, without saddlebags) 


  • Horsepower: 150 hp @ 11,000 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Torque: 78.2 lb-ft @ 9,250 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Fuel Capacity: 5.0 gal.

The post 2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ Review | First Ride  appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Returning 2024 Suzuki Motorcycles Announced

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles SV650 ABS
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles SV650 ABS

Following Suzuki’s announcements earlier this month of the all-new 2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ crossover sport-tourer and the 2024 Suzuki GSX-8R, the fully-faired and just slightly younger sibling of the GSX-8S, the company has announced more returning 2024 Suzuki motorcycles. Included in the announcement are the returning V-Strom 800DE and 800DE Adventure, SV650 ABS naked bike, GSX-250R ABS sportbike, and Boulevard C50 and M109R cruisers.  

See all of Rider’s Suzuki coverage here. 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles: Adventure 

2024 Suzuki V-Strom 800DE and 800DE Adventure 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles V-Strom 800DE Pearl Tech White
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles V-Strom 800DE in new Pearl Tech White

At the beginning of October, Suzuki announced two new V-Strom 800 models with a more street-oriented focus: the V-Strom 800 and 800 Touring. Returning for 2024, the off-road-ready V-Strom 800DE and 800DE Adventure are powered by the same 776cc parallel-Twin with a 270-degree firing order and Suzuki’s exclusive Cross Balancer system for smooth operation. 

Related: 2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800DE | First Ride Review 

The V-Strom 800DE has a chassis with the most ground clearance and longest suspension travel of any V-Strom, and its suspension is fully adjustable. The 21-inch front and 18-inch rear spoked wheels are shod with the latest Dunlop ADV tires (tubes required). The V-Strom 800DE Adventure comes equipped with quick-release black-anodized aluminum 37-liter side cases, a sturdy accessory bar, and a skid pan to further extend riding adventures. 

The Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S.) includes traction control with a trail-oriented Gravel mode plus rider-adjustable ABS with two levels of sensitivity and the ability to switch off the rear wheel ABS when riding off-road. 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles V-Strom 800DE Champion Yellow #2
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles V-Strom 800DE in Champion Yellow #2

Other features include a bidirectional quickshifter, a full-color TFT instrument panel, and mono-focus LED headlights vertically stacked with a position light below a height-adjustable windscreen. 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles V-Strom 800DE Adventure
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles V-Strom 800DE Adventure

The 2024 Suzuki V-Strom 800DE is available in either Champion Yellow #2 or new Pearl Tech White starting at $11,599. The V-Strom 800DE Adventure comes in new Metallic Matte Steel Green starting at $13,049. 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles: Street 

2024 Suzuki SV650 ABS 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles SV650 ABS
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles SV650 ABS

The middleweight Suzuki SV650 has a liquid-cooled 645cc 90-degree V-Twin with DOHC. Suzuki’s Low RPM Assist feature adjusts engine speed during takeoff and low-speed operation for smoother power delivery and to help reduce the chance of a rider stalling the motorcycle on difficult starts. 

Related: Suzuki SV650 | First Ride Review 

The trellis-style frame is constructed of high-strength steel tubes, contributing to the motorcycle’s low weight and trim chassis, and braking is provided by a pair of Tokico 4-piston front calipers grasping 290mm stainless-steel discs. ABS is standard.   

The 2024 Suzuki SV650 ABS has Glass Sparkle Black bodywork, a gold frame, and matching gold cast-aluminum wheels, and pricing starts at $7,949. 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles: Sportbike 

2024 Suzuki GSX250R ABS 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles GSX250R ABS
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles GSX250R ABS

The fully-faired GSX250R ABS returns with a liquid-cooled 248cc parallel-Twin and offers stellar gas mileage, with a claimed fuel economy of 73.6 mpg. The GSX250R ABS’s slim fuel tank helps riders easily plant their feet on the ground when stopped. It features Nissin petal-style brake rotors with ABS, KYB suspension components, and 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels. The bike has a reverse-lit LCD instrument panel and a bright halogen headlight. The position lamps and taillight use surface-emitting LEDs. 

The 2024 Suzuki GSX250R ABS comes in the two-tone Metallic Diamond Red and Pearl Nebular Black paint scheme starting at $5,099. 

Related: Small Bikes Rule! Honda CRF250L Rally, Suzuki GSX250R and Yamaha TW200 Reviews 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles: Cruisers 

2024 Suzuki Boulevard C50 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles Boulevard C50
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles Boulevard C50

The 2024 Suzuki Boulevard C50 gives its own style to traditional cruisers, featuring a kicked-out front fork, valance-style fenders hovering over 16-inch front and 15-inch rear tires, each mounted on spoke-style chrome wheels, and staggered, chromed dual exhausts. The C50’s liquid-cooled 50ci (805cc) 45-degree V-Twin is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. A hidden, link-style rear shock smooths the ride while giving the bike an old-school, hardtail look, and the bike has wide, buckhorn-style handlebars, forward-mount floorboards, a 27.6-inch seat height. 

The 2024 Suzuki Boulevard C50 comes in Candy Daring Red starting at $9,199. 

2024 Suzuki Boulevard M109R 

2024 Suzuki Motorcycles Boulevard M109R
2024 Suzuki Motorcycles Boulevard M109R

The Boulevard M109R’s liquid-cooled 109ci (1,783cc) 45-degree V-Twin is mated to a 5-speed gearbox and shaft final drive, all wrapped with aggressive styling cues like slash-cut mufflers, drag-style handlebars, a supplied solo seat cowl, a 240mm wide rear tire, and a distinctively shaped headlight nacelle that is uniquely Suzuki.  

Like the brakes from a GSX-R1000R, the M109R’s radial-mounted, dual-front brake calipers deliver ample stopping performance, and suspension comes from a large-diameter inverted fork and a link-style rear shock. 

The 2024 Suzuki Boulevard M109R comes in Glass Sparkle Black starting at $15,699. 

For more information, visit the Suzuki website

Check out more new bikes in Rider‘s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide 

The post Returning 2024 Suzuki Motorcycles Announced appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Riding From Gunnison, Colorado, to Hovenweep National Monument

C. Jane Taylor’s moto memoir Spirit Traffic was published in 2022. That summer, she and her husband embarked on a 97‑­day cross‑­country book tour on their BMW F 650s. She said her book tour was characterized by deeply rewarding and completely exhausting work. It also featured great roads. During her vacation from what some might already consider a vacation, she enjoyed many memorable rides. The leg from Gunnison, Colorado, to Hovenweep National Monument in Utah was a favorite. –Ed.

C. Jane Taylor Gunnison Colorado to Hovenweep National Monument Wolf Creek Pass
My husband, John, and I rode for 97 days – from Maine to California and back to Vermont – on a national book tour in the summer of 2022. We snapped this selfie at 10,856-foot Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado.

West of Gunnison, Colorodo, U.S. Route 50 was closed. We’d seen signs about the closure for at least 100 miles. Those signs were for other people, right? We’d planned to stay on the famous Colorado byway through the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests as long as we could. But as we approached Gunnison, our shoulders slumped with the reality that the signs were for us. We’d have to rethink our whole route. And the weather was starting to look iffy.

C. Jane Taylor Gunnison Colorado to Hovenweep National Monument

Scan QR code above or click here to view the route on REVER

At the Gunnison County Chamber of Commerce, a note taped to the door underscored the closure. We went inside, paper roadmap in hand. At the desk, the clerk proffered her own map, opening it in front of us. She and John pored over it like kids seeking clues to lost treasure.

She confirmed that U.S. 50 was closed and suggested State Route 149 instead. It had less traffic and was more beautiful, she assured us. We compared her map to the Butler map for the region. (Butler Motorcycle Maps highlight the best roads, rating them on twisties, traffic, road surface, etc.) SR‑­149 was G1 (gold), Butler’s highest rating – perfect!

After filling our water bottles, we headed to the gas station. SR‑­149 is quite rural, so we wanted to be prepared. As John filled our tanks and I surveyed the darkening skies, a bolt of lightning ripped through the clouds. Thunder crackled. A guy next to us gassing up his pickup was watching too.

“Hope you’re not going that way,” he said, nodding toward the storm.

“Not anymore,” I said.

We paid for our gas as the storm clouds gathered closer and closer. Thunder rumbled, and lightning struck from cloud to ground in the near distance. We sped back to the park next to the Chamber and ran for the cover of a gazebo. Just as we stepped under, buckets of rain dumped from the sky, and lightning dashed all around us. The thunder was so loud that we ducked our heads each time it clapped.

C. Jane Taylor Gunnison Colorado to Hovenweep National Monument
John snaps another selfie on SR-149 along the Lake Fork River. As two cross-country-and-back trips have taught us, body temperature management in variable conditions demands a good rainsuit – and a good attitude.

Celebrating our excellent timing, we stretched out to nap on top of the picnic tables just as two vans arrived and disgorged two dozen kids. It was the local mountain‑­biking camp escaping the weather. We were instantly surrounded by kids eating popsicles and playing a raucous game of tag. Now each thunderclap was accompanied by the ear‑­piercing screams of prepubescent mountain bikers. One of the camp counselors checked in on our welfare, asked about the bikes, and offered popsicles, which we accepted.

The lightning eventually abated, though the rain drizzled on. The camp counselors packed their charges and drove away. We wrestled into rainsuits and got back on the road.

Related: C. Jane Taylor | Ep. 45 Rider Magazine Insider Podcast

SR‑­149 was as wonderful as described: a narrow, almost abandoned two‑­lane road snaking seductively through the San Juan Mountains and the Rio Grande National Forest. The weather was cold and drizzling, but the road was curvy, and the air smelled like earth and springtime in New England. We were in motorcycle heaven.

Ten miles down the road, oncoming cars flashed their headlights, gesturing to slow down. Thinking they were trying to warn us about a cop, I laughed. It had taken me five years to get up to the speed limit. We continued with caution until a mudslide stopped us in our tracks. If we hadn’t been wearing helmets, we would have scratched our heads in a “Now what?” gesture. Like U.S. 50, it seemed SR‑­149 would soon be closed too, but we gingerly traversed the shallow edge of the slide at the far‑­left side of the road. Alert to the changes in road surface and rambunctious streams in the gullies flanking the road, we pushed forward like children anticipating candy at Halloween.

C. Jane Taylor Gunnison Colorado to Hovenweep National Monument Powderhorn
SR-149 near Powderhorn, Colorado.

Instead of candy, we sought groceries as we rolled into Lake City and its tiny country store whose proprietors seemed to be a badly mismatched couple. The woman in long braids glared at us as if we’d tracked mud onto her freshly mopped floor, while the man – handsome in a Willie Nelson kind of way, if Willie Nelson could be considered handsome – happily greeted us, teasing about our florescent green rainsuits. “We are not men, we are Devo,” he joked in a robotic voice referencing the ’70s New Wave band famous for their quirky spaceman costumes. We bought vegetables, tortillas, and cheese for quesadillas we would cook once we found a campsite for the night.

Lake City is an eye‑­blink of an old mining town with the down‑­at‑­heel aspect of a climate-change ski resort in shoulder season. The cold, damp weather did not bring any charm to the Grizzly Adams cabins lining the road.

I attributed the town’s creepiness to its horror‑­movie sepia tones and bad weather, but I later learned that Lake City gained notoriety in 1875 when Alferd Packer, the “Colorado Cannibal,” was charged with killing and eating the prospectors he’d been hired to guide through the San Juan Mountains after the group had become snowbound. In the spring, five bodies with human teeth marks were found at the foot of Slumgullion Pass. Lake City’s Hinsdale County Museum has an extensive collection of Packer memorabilia, including a skull fragment from one of his victims and several buttons from the clothes of the five men he ate. The area where the bodies were discovered is now known as Cannibal Plateau. Odder still, the area hosts an annual Alferd Packer Jeep Tour and Barbecue.

C. Jane Taylor Gunnison Colorado to Hovenweep National Monument Slumgullion Pass
As we approached the peak of Slumgullion Pass near Lake City, Colorado, the rain abated, and the skies cleared.

My unease was supplanted by the fear and exhilaration of climbing out of town along steep, wet switchbacks to Windy Point Observation Site and Slumgullion Pass. As we climbed, I chimed into the headset, “Don’t look right, Johnny.” The narrow two‑­lane highway had no guardrail, and the drop-off induced a vertigo that made me tighten my grip on my handlebar and tank. At Windy Point, we stopped to look back at the long narrow valley thousands of feet below us.

Evening was approaching, and we were still in the middle of a sheer climb on our way to North Clear Creek Campground, a destination we were not sure even existed, but the sky finally opened, and the tight switchbacks loosened as we topped 11,530‑­foot Slumgullion Pass.

The map we consulted – and re‑­consulted – showed the campground within 50 miles. Trying to keep from being swept up in the National Geographic beauty of the broadening landscape, I kept my eyes peeled for a Forest Service campground sign. We were hungry and cold, and it was getting late. We’d passed so little traffic, I was game to pitch the tent at the side of the road, but John persisted.

C. Jane Taylor Gunnison Colorado to Hovenweep National Monument Rio Grande National Forest
North Clear Creek Campground in Colorado’s Rio Grande National Forest was our home for the night after an eventful ride.

We finally turned off SR‑­149 and crossed a cattle guard onto Forest Road 510, which fell away to vertiginous Class‑­IV switchbacks. I groaned but also laughed. It was the “dropping hour.” We have a joke that on extended motorcycle trips, we often face the most challenging miles of the day right before arriving at our destination exhausted and hungry. The road toyed with us. I inched down its sharp gravel turns, determined but cautious given the hour. As I eased down one hill, a young woman on a dirtbike blasted up it. Encouraged that there might be an actual campground ahead and inspired by another woman on a bike, I sped all the way up to 2nd gear!

C. Jane Taylor Gunnison Colorado to Hovenweep National Monument
Pink sunglasses reflect the expansive valley near Creede.

After almost missing the 70‑­degree turn into the campground at the bottom of the hill and duck‑­walking the bikes back over sandy gravel ruts, we casually rolled into the nearly vacant campground and found a suitable spot with a picnic table, breathtaking panoramic views, and a glorious sunset reflected off the peaks of the Rio Grande National Forest.

The next morning was cold and clear. With visions of coffee and pastries dancing in our helmets, we headed toward Creede, home to an underground mining museum, the Mineral County Landfill, a cemetery, a chapel, and an excellent little food truck/coffee shop that appeared to be set up during the pandemic like a one‑­way street, with one entrance and one exit. The pastry case was filled with buttery French confections, the air with the scent of espresso. Bon appétit! We took our pastries to a table outside where we lounged, sipping cappuccinos in the sun.

C. Jane Taylor Gunnison Colorado to Hovenweep National Monument Creede
The population of Creede, Colorado, swells from 300 to 10,000 on July 4th. After a cold, wet, challenging ride the day before, it was an oasis. We found a mobile coffee shop where we enjoyed the company of locals, pain au chocolat, and cappuccinos in the sun.

The road along the Rio Grande – which far downstream serves as the border between Texas and Mexico – was as good as the croissants. At South Fork, we headed south on U.S. Route 160 and climbed to 10,856‑­foot Wolf Creek Pass. It was cold at elevation, and we encountered traffic and threatening weather, but the road was smooth, wide, and curvy through Pagosa Springs and Chimney Rock. We lunched in Durango after a torrential downpour trapped us under a busy highway underpass.

U.S. 160 through the mountains near Hesperus Ski Area was fabulous despite the cold and wet. Things got warmer as we descended out of the mountains, and by the time we got to Mancos, we were sweltering in the heat of the desert. We took off as much as we could and poured cold water down the backs of our armored jackets. Body temperature management was a challenge we had improved at over time.

C. Jane Taylor Gunnison Colorado to Hovenweep National Monument Rio Grande
South of Creede, the Rio Grande snakes along SR-149 on the way to South Fork.

In the blazing heat, we headed west on State Route 184 toward Dolores, then north on U.S. Route 491 past Yellow Jacket and into Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, administered by the Bureau of Land Management and inhabited almost solely by spirits. The road narrowed and then narrowed again. There is something gritty and fundamental about these small roads, something secret and unspoken like the second indents of an outline of one’s life or the dark side of the moon.

The heat kept building. As we crossed into Utah, the landscape gave way to a barren, flat emptiness without trees or buildings. We traveled in silent awe, feeling exposed in the heat but excited about the ruins of Hovenweep National Monument.

C. Jane Taylor Gunnison Colorado to Hovenweep National Monument
Our day took us from cold rain and high passes to sweltering heat and desert valleys. The sunset at Hovenweep was a just reward.

Known for six groups of Ancestral Puebloan villages, Hovenweep contains evidence of occupation by hunter‑­gatherers from 8,000 B.C. until AD 200. We were finally going to visit the spirits we’d been sensing on this hot road.

We turned into what seemed the middle of nowhere, but John assured me this was the way. I saw only shrubs, grasses, and sage until I glimpsed a sign the size of a sheet of paper with an arrow proving him right: Hovenweep National Monument. We traversed a lunar landscape of sand, craters, dead volcanoes, and lava flows until we happened upon a herd of wild horses in the middle of the road. We stopped to gape. Shy and beautiful, they paused in their grazing to examine us. Though I wanted to join these beasts on a romanticized journey out of a dream, we had to keep moving. Standing still in the late afternoon heat was a torture neither of us wanted to endure – magical, wild horses notwithstanding.

C. Jane Taylor Gunnison Colorado to Hovenweep National Monument
Sunset on the ruins at Hovenweep National Monument in Utah.

Reminiscent of Death Valley with its lethal sun, long straightaways, and distant bluffs, Hovenweep Road also reminded me of the song by America “A Horse with No Name.” I started to understand the line “In the desert, you can’t remember your name.” In the heat and arid sameness of the landscape, time seemed to stop. I could tell we were moving, if only for the visual cue of the scenery receding in my mirror. I became flooded with the eerie sensation of being watched. It felt as if the ghosts of millennia were hovering just above the heat waves upwelling from the macadam.

“Hovenweep” is a Paiute/Ute word meaning “deserted valley.” As we rode into the scorched campground, I sensed that the ancestors were still there. A clan of attentive ravens seemed to be protectors – or just eager to see what food they could liberate from us.

C. Jane Taylor Gunnison Colorado to Hovenweep National Monument
Hovenweep is a special place, and we had the distinct feeling that the ancestors were still there.

After pouring rationed water onto our heads and down our backs, we hiked off to see the ruins, following a faint path between rock walls leading to a dry creek bed. Walking fast to beat the setting sun, we climbed down into the creek bed then up the other side until we saw what looked like a crumbling brick silo. Hovenweep at last! As we gazed in silence at the majestic ruins of a once‑­lively community, a rainbow broke through distant storm clouds. Back at our campsite, we cooked dinner in the waning light as a million stars began to wink.

See all of Rider‘s touring stories here.

The post Riding From Gunnison, Colorado, to Hovenweep National Monument appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

NUMBERS GAME: the key figures from this year’s WorldSSP and WorldSSP300 campaigns

The 2023 FIM Supersport World Championship is in the history books, as is the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship. Nicolo Bulega and Jeffrey Buis won the respective Championships in stunning fashion, and both made history in their own right. However, there were other key numbers that came out from the season.

A NEW POINTS BARRIER MARKED: Bulega creates history

503 – Nicolo Bulega scored a record 503 points, the only rider in WorldSSP history to break the 500-point barrier

21 – Bulega’s tally of 21 podiums in a season is a record, beating Dominique Aegerter’s 2022 total by two

20.96 – The #11’s points per race average of 20.96 was the third-highest in WorldSSP history. Kenan Sofuoglu’s 21.23 from 2007 and Andrea Locatelli’s 22.20 from 2020 are the only records that better Bulega’s

19 – WorldSSP’s Turkish contingent slotted into fourth and fifth in the youngest riders to win list. Can Oncu’s win at Mandalika came when he was 19 years, 7 months, and 10 days old. Bahattin Sofuoglu won in Barcelona when he was 19 years, 8 months, and 19 days old

16/17 – Nicolo Bulega took 16 wins in 2023, only one shy of Dominique Aegerter’s record of 17

14 ­– There were 14 different riders on the podium in 2023. This is the joint-most in a season, tying with 1999

10 – Bulega’s 10 poles for the season equalled Cal Crutchlow and Sebastien Charpentier’s record from 2009 and 2005 respectively

10 – Bulega and Manzi finished 1-2 on 10 occasions in 2023, a new record; the previous was eight with Kenan Sofuoglu-Jules Cluzel and Aegerter-Lorenzo Baldassarri

6 – all six full-time manufacturers recorded at least one podium

5 – five different manufacturers stood on the top step in 2023: Ducati (17 wins), Yamaha (4), Honda, Kawasaki and MV Agusta (all with 1)

0.084 – the closest finish of the year, when Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) beat Bulega in an epic last-lap scrap at Portimao in Race 2

DOUBLE CHAMPION: unprecedented success for Buis

627 – Jeffrey Buis became the second rider to pass 500 career points in WorldSSP300; he now has 627, the most in WorldSSP300 history

226.7 – Dirk Geiger set a new top speed record on his KTM, hitting 226.7km/h at Portimao during Race 2

50 – Loris Veneman’s Aragon win meant he became the 50th rider to stand on the WorldSSP300 rostrum

20 – Champion Buis matched the all-time record for WorldSSP300 podiums at 20, tying with compatriot Scott Deroue

17 –Veneman became the fourth-youngest winner when he won at Aragon in Race 1, at 17 years, 0 months and 14 days old. Aldi Mahendra (17 years, 1 month, 3 days) and Lennox Lehmann (17 years, 8 months, 1 day) also went into the top ten of youngest riders

16 – 16 different riders stood on the podium in 2023, only one behind the all-time record of 17 set in 2021

11 – The #6 broke the record for wins, with the Dutchman now on 11 in WorldSSP300. The next highest competitors are Ana Carrasco and Marc Garcia, with seven

9/3 – there were nine different race winners in 2023. Buis, Mirko Gennai, Bruno Ieraci, Petr Svoboda, Dirk Geiger, Lennox Lehmann, Mahendra, Matteo Vannucci and Veneman all claimed victory (the record is 10, in 2020). Three of these were wildcards – Ieraci’s double at Misano and Mahendra’s Most shock

5 – Kawasaki hit the milestone of five Riders’ Championships in WorldSSP300   

4 – Perez Gonzalez’s four podiums without a win puts him level with Inigo Iglesias and Humberto Maier

2 – Buis became the first rider to win two Riders’ Championships in WorldSSP300, backing up his 2020 success

0.049 – the closest podium of the year, coming at Aragon in Race 1 as Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) beat teammate Jeffrey Buis and Daniel Moegda (Kawasaki GP Project). Three of the top-ten closest podiums came in 2023: Aragon Race 1 (0.049s), Aragon Race 2 (0.097s) and Barcelona Race 1 (0.098s)

Catch up on the best bits from WorldSSP and WorldSSP300 in 2023 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival Announces 2024 Dates

Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival 2024

The Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival will return to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, from May 16-19, 2024. Back for its seventh year, this event will keep attendees entertained with plenty of motorcycle activities, vendors, daily live music, stunt shows, food trucks, and more.

Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival 2024

Loretta Lynn’s spacious 3,500-acre ranch allows plenty of room to roll and romp through the woods and across the hills. Back for 2024, the ADV Experience package was a hit last year and includes three days of trial riding, biker games, morning coffee, skills building, and demo rides on Harley-Davidson Pan Americas, and general admission to the rest of the TMMR activities. The ADV Experience is open to any make or model of adventure bike, and the package costs $149, just $20 more than the price for general admission.

Related: 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special | First Ride Review

Along with the wooded trails on the ranch, there are also fields to camp in, the Fist City Track for bike shows and games, a country store and museum, and three music stages. TMMR boasts its “two-wheeled playground” and invites attendees to enjoy Harley-Davidson demo rides, racing, ADV trail riding, the V-Twin Visionary performance bike show, an all-class bike show, biker games, group motorcycle rides, the BC Moto Invitational bike show, and more.

Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival 2024

The ranch’s location an hour west of Nashville guarantees plenty of musical talent. The 2024 lineup won’t be announced until after the new year, but you can expect to see a schedule packed with several live performances each day including outlaw country, Southern rock, country, bluegrass, and rock ’n’ roll.

Related: Fun Times at the Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival 

Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival 2023
Loretta’s Roadhouse is the main stage for nightly music during TMMR. For the 2023 event, the Loretta Lynn tribute featured Loretta’s granddaughter Tayla (purple dress) introducing guest performers and storytellers, like Tim Watson on the fiddle who performed at Loretta’s funeral.

Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival offers a variety of camping options to suit your needs. Basic tent camping is available onsite, and RV hookup spots are also available. For those looking for a more sophisticated stay, the campground also offers fully furnished glamping tents for rent. Hotels and Airbnbs in the area are also available but fill up fast. Members of the U.S. Special Operations Forces can take advantage of the partnership with Special Ops Xcursions for complimentary tickets and camping.

Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival 2023
The Fist City Track, which hosts racing and biker games during TMMR, also hosts Amateur National Motocross Championships every year.

General admission for the Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival is $129, and VIP upgrades are available. Pricing for tent, glamping, and RV spots on the ranch has not yet been announced. To stay up to date on TMMR news, sign up to join the email list or text “TMMR” to (883) 306-6093. Ticket sales start on December 1, 2023.

Visit the TMMR website for more information.

The post Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival Announces 2024 Dates appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Shinko Off-Road Tires for Intermediate and Hard Terrain | Gear Review

Shinko off-road tires
Shinko off-road tires. From left to right: Shinko 504/505 tires for hard terrain; Shinko 524/525 tires for soft/intermediate terrain

Go to any track day with a sportbike, and it’s all about lap times – and tires. There are supersport tires, racing slicks and race compounds, tire warmers and laboratory-grade pressure gauges, and mandatory tech inspections. Grip means everything – and on asphalt that is better than any public road in the galaxy. Control, control, control.   

So what’s up with us dirt donks? A track day at the local MX park has no tech inspections, but the rough-and-tumble flyboys (and flygirls) go about their berm-slaying and seat-bouncing with equal zest to their roadie counterparts – and typically with less focus on tires. Serious dirt guys and racers keep their rubber fresh, of course, but for us commoners, the adage is, “If the knobs aren’t too worn, they’re good to go.” Just air ‘em up, lube the chain, and hit it, Mitch.   

Shinko off-road tires
From left to right: Shinko 524 tire for soft/intermediate terrain; Shinko 504 tire for hard terrain

Well, I’m here to tell you that tires are just as crucial for dirt work as they are for the street or track. Old knobbies – compromised by time, wear, and exposure to sunlight and ozone – harden, losing their elasticity and ability to conform to the terrain. And with wear, they lose needed tread depth and the sharp edges crucial for gripping the infinitely variable and always changing Mother Earth.  

Enter the Shinko off-road tires for hard and soft terrain. I wanted to ride both formulas back-to-back to learn the real-world differences between the compounds in real time. I selected the hard terrain 504 front ($84) and 505 rear ($115) tires for a late-model Yamaha YZ250F and the soft and intermediate terrain 524 front ($92) and 525 rear ($115) tires for a late-model Yamaha YZ125. The rationale was simple: Making less power, the light YZ125 2-stroke would be easier on soft tires than the heavier and gruntier 4-stroke YZ250F. Sizes were 80/100-21 front and 100/90-19 rear in both cases.  

See all of Rider‘s Shinko coverage here.

Shinko off-road tires
From left to right: Shinko 524 tire for soft/intermediate terrain; Shinko 504 tire for hard terrain
Shinko off-road tires
From left to right: Shinko 524 tire for soft/intermediate terrain; Shinko 504 tire for hard terrain

The Shinko off-road 504/505 tires for hard terrain have a firm rubber compound and sturdy, closely spaced knobs. In contrast, the softer 524/525 pair features much more pliable rubber and slightly smaller knobs, with 28% wider spacing in between. Think of the hard-terrain tire like a running shoe for the Leadville ultramarathon and the soft-terrain tire like a gummy rock-climbing shoe for El Capitan. One shoe is a brute; the other is a technician.  

Acknowledging that the YZ250F and YZ125 are completely different machines with different suspension systems, I evened the playing field as much as possible with stock suspension settings and by airing all tires to a uniform 14psi. My ride day included everything from sand washes to hard pack, from rocks to silt, with endless hill-climbs and an MX track thrown in.  

Shinko off-road tires
From left to right: Shinko 505 tire for hard terrain; Shinko 525 tire for soft/intermediate terrain

The hard Shinko 504/505 is a tough tire; it rides firmly – perhaps even harshly – with no squirrely traits. As expected, the crisp edges of the knobs bite well – and happily, vastly better than the worn OE knobs that I replaced. Importantly, the good grip extends to the side knobs, which helps immensely when cornering, especially on the hard pack characteristic of California. For under $200 per pair, these represent a good value, especially if the MO is to run tires as long as possible.  

The Shinko off-road 524/525 duo for soft/intermediate terrain rides comfy. The markedly softer rubber and breathier spacing between knobs lend a more civilized feel to these units, and the tires’ ability to conform to the conditions I encountered inspired me to dub them the “Cadillac of Shinko knobbies.” They added an extra dose of fun to the ride experience in sand and loam simply due to the pliable carcass and broad knob spacing. But they felt somewhat squirmy on hard pack and rocks.

See all of Rider‘s tire reviews here.  

Shinko off-road tires
Shinko 525 tire for soft/intermediate terrain
Shinko off-road tires
Shinko 505 tire for hard terrain

I would say the Shinko off-road 504/505 is a solid, long-wearing pair that will handle a wide range of conditions and take abuse over a prolonged period. They would not be my first choice for mud or deep sand particularly, but I’d jump on them for rock crawling in the Rockies or scrambling over the Mojave Road. I’d also experiment with lowering pressures to 11-12psi on local rides. Then I’d totally take the 524/525 combo for slogging through deep loam, bogs, and beachheads, where paddle-like grip is key and wear is not a factor.   

And finally, a surprise: At day’s end, the 524/525 pair already displayed noticeable wear on the leading edges of the rear knobs, while the harder 504/505 pair held up better, despite their fitment on a more powerful bike. As such, in my SoCal riding universe, I figure on replacing the 524/525 units well before the 504/505 twins need renewal. But that’s okay – after all the tire swapping for this test, I’m fine-tuned with the tire irons.  

The post Shinko Off-Road Tires for Intermediate and Hard Terrain | Gear Review appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

FEATURE: the back-to-back Champions in WorldSBK and Bautista’s record-setting titles

“Winning a title is difficult but to defend it is even harder” were the wise, winning, World Champion words from Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) as he addressed an enormous Jerez crowd from the Paddock Show on the Saturday of the Prometeon Spanish Round. The Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto hosted an epic final weekend of racing for the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship to go into the off-season in style. However, Bautista’s achievement of successfully defending the crown is not uncommon, although it’s not exactly regular either. So, which exclusive club does he join and who already holds membership?

THE FIRST ONE: Fred Merkel brings false illusions as WorldSBK ignites in 1988

Fred Merkel was the first-ever World Superbike Champion; the American rode for Honda and snatched the title away from Davide Tardozzi and Bimota in New Zealand, 1988, during the final race day of the season. Whilst he’d eventually finish 5.5 points clear of runner-up Fabrizio Pirovano, he’d repeat his success in 1989, again grabbing the Championship lead after Race 1 of the final round, again in New Zealand, this time beating Belgian rider Stephane Mertens and Ducati. Straight off the bat with two titles, this wasn’t a trend that’d continue.

DOUG POLEN’S DOUBLE: 1991 and 1992 for Ducati

Alvaro Bautista is one of just three riders who have won the WorldSBK title in back-to-back seasons for Ducati. Britain’s Carl Fogarty did it twice: the first in 1994 and 1995 before doing it again in 1998 and 1999. However, the first rider to achieve it was American Doug Polen in 1991 and 1992. He absolutely smashed the opposition in 1991, beating outgoing Champion Raymond Roche by 150 points and setting a new record for number of wins in a single season at 17 – only to be beaten by Bautista in 2023 – whilst in 1992, he beat Roche again but only by 35 points this time. Polen was a rarity in the list of Ducati’s back-to-back World Champions; he dominated both seasons and whilst ’92 mathematically went to the last round, it was unlikely he would be beaten. Sound familiar?

KING CARL: two separate occasions cemented history

After his first race win in 1992, Carl ‘Foggy’ Fogarty moved to Ducati in 1993, narrowly missing out on the title to arch-rival Scott Russell. However, 1994 wasn’t going to be a repeat and he wrapped it up at Phillip Island in Australia after Russell seemingly conceded in the final race of the year. With the #1 proudly displayed, ‘Foggy’ romped clear in 1995 with a certain invincibility about him. Crowned Champion in Race 2 at Sugo, Japan, with three rounds to go, he was in a class of his own.

However, breaking up a winning combination is something the Brit has spoken negatively of since, having learnt from a torrid 1996 campaign where he took just four wins and finished fourth overall in the Championship. 1997 was spent getting back up to speed with Ducati before a wide-open 1998 season saw him take just three race wins but surrounded by huge inconsistencies by his rivals. As low as sixth in the standings at one point, Fogarty pulled together after tough love from team boss Davide Tardozzi to take the title in the final race of the season, again at Sugo, becoming the first triple Champion in WorldSBK. In 1999, it was reminiscent of his 1995 campaign as he smoked the opposition, being crowned Champion at Hockenheim, taking his last race win. Four titles in groups of two, ‘Foggy’ would remain the last to do that for a long time.

REA ENDS THE WAIT FOR #1 TO STAY: a new era sweeps in to master the art of defence

Between Fogarty and 2015, four riders took multiple titles: Colin Edwards (2000 and 2002), Troy Bayliss (2001, 2006 and 2008), James Toseland (2004 and 2007) and Max Biaggi (2010 and 2012). Troy Corser also added to his 1996 crown with a title in 2005; the one common them? None could defend it the second season. So, in 2015, when Jonathan Rea signed for Kawasaki – at the time, the best package on the grid – it was hardly surprising that after the first title, he’d defend it successfully; 2016 was tight in the end at Lusail but he got the job done. However, to go on and win the next four season was something quite remarkable. In that time, he’d become the rider with the most wins in all of WorldSBK, win 84 races in his title-winning years alone and achieve 143 podiums in the same period. All with the #1 too; a rare sight to dominate year on year, let alone do it with the pride and confidence of a #1 slapped on the front of the bike. Even though the stats continued climbing from 2021 to 2023 – years he wasn’t Champion – the golden era in green is one of WorldSBK’s most iconic.

THE HISTORY BAUTISTA CAN MAKE IN 2024: could it be a third of many firsts?

So, after #TheReturn in 2022 and #TheDefence in 2023, what could 2024’s theme be? Well, whilst we wait for whatever concept it is, the 39-year-old stares down the barrel of making history. No Ducati rider has ever won three World Championships in consecutive years. In fact, the last time they won three titles in a row was in 1994, 1995 and 1996 but that was with two riders: Carl Fogarty and Troy Corser. As for Champions who have won three straight titles, Jonathan Rea is the only one – and he won six consecutively, which is a long way away from being beaten, of course all with the #1 too. Bautista became the first Spaniard to defend the title, thus eyes up history to become the first rider to make it three on the bounce. So, whether he becomes #TheMagician, #TheHeavyweight or the obscurely named #TheGrandfa from his MotoGP™ wildcard at Sepang, if he goes on to make it three on the spin, his place in history is secured.

Get your essential, must-have tool for all things WorldSBK related with the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

WorldSBK’s 2023 IN NUMBERS: jaw-dropping records smashed throughout the season

In the record books, the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship celebrated 35 wonderful years of racing in style as records were smashed round upon round. Whilst Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) may have headlined throughout, plenty more were headlining as WorldSBK’s numbers were overhauled throughout the season. We put the biggest landmarks below.

6000 – After a third place in Race 2 at Imola, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) became the first rider ever to rack-up 6000 points in his WorldSBK career. His total amount at the end of the season was 6172.5, of which 4593 were achieved with Kawasaki.

400 – Ducati took a 400th WorldSBK win at Assen in Race 2 with Alvaro Bautista; their tally at the end of 2023 was 420.

100 – With second in Race 1 at Imola, Toprak Razgatlioglu took his 100th WorldSBK podium. He goes into 2024 with 115 to his name

59 – Alvaro Bautista finished the season by taking a 59th career win, all of which are with Ducati. This means he was won more races for Ducati than anybody else – including in the MotoGP™ paddock.

27 – A new record for wins in one season for Bautista, with 27. A total of 31 podiums means that he only stood on the podium four other times if he didn’t win.

27 – 27 laps led in his WorldSBK career for Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) but still no win. 13 of those laps were led in 2023, the most he’s led in a season. The record for laps led without a win is 45, held by Davide Giugliano.

23/9 – Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) took a ninth podium of 2023 at Portimao in Race 2 with P3, the most he’s had in a single season. It was his 23rd, equalling Akira Yanagawa.

20 – Like Bautista with wins, Razgatlioglu set a new record for P2s in a single season: 20.

19 – Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was a substitute rider in the factory BMW team at Imola and scored points in Race 1, giving him the biggest interval from his first points-scoring race in WorldSBK to his most recent: 19 years, 11 months and 18 days from Brands Hatch Race 2, 2003 and Imola Race 1 2023.

17 – 17 riders achieved a top six finish in 2023, surpassing 2019’s tally by one and thus setting a new record of top six finishers since the three-race format was introduced. This was last achieved in 2016, whilst the outright record for top six finishers in a single season is 1991 with 31.

16 – 16 riders were covered by less than a second in Superpole on two occasions in 2023, a joint-record. Assen saw the top 16 covered by 0.946s and Portimao welcomed the top 16 covered by 0.974s. 2023 is the only season where 16 riders were covered by less than a second in Superpole on two occasions, a new record in WorldSBK.

15 – 15 crashes for Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in 2023, more than anyone else in WorldSBK.

14 – Jonathan Rea’s winning career extended this year to 14 years, one month and eight days, the longest of all-time in WorldSBK. A win at Donington Park or later in 2024 will see him become the first rider in WorldSBK to have a winning career of over 15 years in World Superbike.

12 – After a 12-year wait, America returned to pole position at Magny-Cours, courtesy of Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW), who took his and the team’s first pole. The last occasion before Gerloff was John Hopkins in 2011 at Silverstone. Gerloff would go on to finish top BMW in his debut season with the manufacturer.

12 – Another 12-year Superpole stat: for the first time in over 12 years, when Troy Corser was fourth at Monza in 2011, an Australian was on the front row after Superpole with Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) taking P2 at Most.

8 – Eight podiums for Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) in 2023, four-times his tally from 2022 and double his 2021 rookie season tally. Scoring 327 points and finishing fourth, it was his best WorldSBK season to-date.

7 – Seven wins across his last two years for Kawasaki, Rea’s win tally in 2022 and 2023 is just fractionally better than his last two years with Honda, with five in total in 2013 and 2014. For the last quarter of 2013, he was out injured.

3 – Three new podium finishers in WorldSBK in 2023: Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) with P3 at Mandalika in Race 2, Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) with P3 in Donington Park’s Race 2 and Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) with P2 in the Superpole Race at Jerez. Aegerter became the 130th in WorldSBK history and after Race 2, the 105th to achieve more than one.

2 – For just the second season in his full-time WorldSBK career, Jonathan Rea won just one race. The other season was in 2013. His sole win then came at Silverstone, this year it was at Most; both served as his first wins at each track.

1 – Aegerter’s two podiums on the final race day of 2023 at Jerez saw him become the first Swiss rider to achieve a podium in WorldSBK.

Get your essential, must-have tool for all things WorldSBK related with the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

The Craziest Dirt Bike Racing Weekend – Day in the Dirt 2023

The 26th annual Red Bull Day in the Dirt took place this past Thanksgiving weekend at Glen Helen Raceway in Southern California.

The 26th annual Red Bull Day in the Dirt took place this past Thanksgiving weekend at Glen Helen Raceway in Southern California. (Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool/)

The 26th annual Red Bull Day in the Dirt Motocross Grand Prix kicked off this past Thanksgiving weekend at Southern California’s Glen Helen Raceway. Known for its unique and festive atmosphere, combining the excitement of longer, grand prix-style off-road racing with a laid-back and enjoyable weekend for racers and families of all ages. Here’s a look at some of the riding action from this year’s event. Also take a peek at past events during the Red Bull Day In The Dirt Motocross Grand Prix 2019 In Photos and Red Bull Day In The Dirt 2018 In Photos galleries.

The Day in the Dirt grand prix is a run-what-ya-brung style competition with classes for virtually any type of off-road motorcycle.

The Day in the Dirt grand prix is a run-what-ya-brung style competition with classes for virtually any type of off-road motorcycle. (Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool/)

Hundreds of racers, of all age groups, participated in this year’s event.

Hundreds of racers, of all age groups, participated in this year’s event. (Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool/)

Newly signed GasGas Supercross racer Ryder DiFrancesco competed Saturday on his MC 250F.

Newly signed GasGas Supercross racer Ryder DiFrancesco competed Saturday on his MC 250F. (Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool/)

Glen Helen Raceway’s banked “Talladega” style turn 1 is one of the fastest and most exhilarating in motocross racing.

Glen Helen Raceway’s banked “Talladega” style turn 1 is one of the fastest and most exhilarating in motocross racing. (Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool/)

As usual the two-person Moto-A-GoGo team race is always a hit. Two-person teams trade off with one another lap after lap for bragging rights in the 75-minute race.

As usual the two-person Moto-A-GoGo team race is always a hit. Two-person teams trade off with one another lap after lap for bragging rights in the 75-minute race. (Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool/)

Compared to a typical motocross race, the Day in the Dirt grand prix features longer lap times with a few obstacles thrown in for good measure.

Compared to a typical motocross race, the Day in the Dirt grand prix features longer lap times with a few obstacles thrown in for good measure. (Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool/)

Sunday’s final Coup De Grace Survival Race features a Le Mans–style start with an unknown finish time.

Sunday’s final Coup De Grace Survival Race features a Le Mans–style start with an unknown finish time. (Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool/)

Saturday evening, the Hell on Wheels crew put its fun, quirky, and run-what-ya-brung style racing to Glen Helen’s smaller REM track.

Saturday evening, the Hell on Wheels crew put its fun, quirky, and run-what-ya-brung style racing to Glen Helen’s smaller REM track. (Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool/)

RJ Wageman (center) won Sunday’s final Coup De Grace Survival Race that lasted well over one hour. Jason Fichera (left) and Blayne Thompson (right) finished second and third, respectively.

RJ Wageman (center) won Sunday’s final Coup De Grace Survival Race that lasted well over one hour. Jason Fichera (left) and Blayne Thompson (right) finished second and third, respectively. (Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool/)

Red Bull freestyle rider Tyler Bereman races vintage during Saturday’s Hell on Wheels scrambler races.

Red Bull freestyle rider Tyler Bereman races vintage during Saturday’s Hell on Wheels scrambler races. (Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool/)

Good times and roost is what the annual Red Bull Day in the Dirt motocross grand prix is about.

Good times and roost is what the annual Red Bull Day in the Dirt motocross grand prix is about.

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2024 Triumph TF 250-X Review | First Look 

2024 Triumph TF 250-X
The 2024 Triumph TF 250-X motocross bike comes in the Triumph Racing Yellow and Black graphics scheme.

Triumph Motorcycles has launched the new 2024 Triumph TF 250-X motocross bike. Recognizing that the 250cc motocross market is highly competitive, Triumph said it worked in close collaboration with racing champions Ricky Carmichael and Iván Cervantes to develop the 4-stroke competition model from the ground up, including a new engine, chassis, and electronics. 

2024 Triumph TF 250-X

A network of Triumph dealers will offer sales, service, parts, and a new dedicated range of apparel, and the network will be backed by a mobile-optimized 24/7 online parts supply system, so owners can order for express delivery, straight from the track. Additionally, Triumph says that with the development of the bike, it is well-placed to begin its motocross racing program in 2024.  

“The launch of the TF 250-X is the culmination of a significant commitment and investment from Triumph, to not just bring a totally new bike to the motocross world, but to deliver a winning performance,” said Steve Sargent, Triumph’s chief product manager.

“To achieve this,” he continued, “we are focused on delivering the most complete package for any riding level, from champion to amateur.” 

2024 Triumph TF 250-X

As part of the Triumph TF 250-X development, the company developed an all-new performance racing powertrain. The new competition Single with DOHC is compact and lightweight, with a forged aluminum piston and titanium valves, and is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The engine also has DLC low-friction coatings, lightweight magnesium covers, and an Exedy Belleville clutch.  

2024 Triumph TF 250-X

Advanced engine management and tunability is complemented by the optional accessory MX Tune Pro app, enabling riders to use real-time user-selectable mapping, a real-time engine sensor dashboard, and live diagnostic functionality through a controlled and programmable engine management system.   

The aluminum chassis has a lightweight, high-strength spine frame with twin cradles, designed for a balance of performance, mass, and flexibility. Triumph says the total weight of the bike, with a claimed curb weight of 229 lb, will see the TF 250-X set a new benchmark for the best ‘power-to-weight’ ratio in the category. It also delivers a high level of tunability to suit different riders and styles.  

2024 Triumph TF 250-X

For suspension, the bike has KYB components, with a 48mm AOS coil fork adjustable for compression and rebound, forged and machined 7075-T6 aluminum triple clamps, and a three-way piggyback coil rear shock adjustable for rebound and both high- and low-speed compression. Travel is 12.2 inches in the front and 12.0 inches in the rear. 

For stopping power, the bike features a Brembo 2-piston front caliper with a Galfer 260mm disc and a 1-piston rear caliper with a 220mm disc. DirtStar 7000 Series aluminum rims and machined aluminum hubs are fitted with Pirelli Scorpion MX32 mid-soft tires (21-inch front, 19-inch rear). Finally, Pro-Taper ACF carbon core bars and ODI half-waffle lock on grips complete the set up.  

2024 Triumph TF 250-X

In addition to the specifications already included as standard, Triumph has worked with premium brands to create a dedicated range of competition accessories to further enhance performance and capability, including the following:  

  • Akrapovič full titanium exhaust system 
  • XTrig hole shot device 
  • Athena LC-GPA launch control module with rider-selectable enhanced traction control and launch control settings and LED engine speed indicator 
  • MX Tune Pro wi-fi module 
  • Performance gripper seat and seat cover 
  • Bodywork replacement kit 
2024 Triumph TF 250-X

Starting in spring 2024, specialist Triumph Off-Road/Dual Sport dealers will begin carrying the new TF 250-X. These dealers will be fully trained to provide a comprehensive sales, service, parts, clothing, and race support experience that meets the needs and expectations of off-road riders. 

This network will be backed up with a unique 24/7 parts and accessories supply system. Riders can select what they need, check availability and price, and place an order for express delivery, standard delivery, or click and collect from their local Triumph off-road dealer.   

The 2024 Triumph TF 250-X will start at $9,995 in the Triumph Racing Yellow and Black graphics scheme, and orders can be placed now at Triumph’s new motocross dealers. For more information or to find your local dealer visit the Triumph Motorcycles website.  

Check out more new/updated bikes in Rider’s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide 

Racing Pedigree Behind Triumph TF 250-X 

Some of Triumph’s racing achievements include the Moto2 championship where Triumph engines have helped to transform the class, setting new Moto2 lap and speed records at tracks around the world. From factory World Supersport racing to multiple Supersport wins at the Isle of Man TT and the Daytona 200, the Triumph teams are focused on success.  

2024 Triumph TF 250-X

Ricky Carmichael, one the greatest MX rider of all time, worked with the Triumph chassis and engine teams across the journey of scoping, prototyping, testing, and development.  

“This is the bike that we set out to build,” Carmichael said of the TF 250-X. “When you talk about the chassis, the powertrain, the components – it’s the best of everything you could ever want. And whether you’re a professional rider or an amateur rider, you will not be disappointed.”  

Iván Cervantes, five-time enduro world champion, five-time Spanish MX champion, and Dakar Rally finisher has also worked across the project with Triumph’s in-house teams to bring his experience to the Triumph bike development and prototyping. 

2024 Triumph TF 250-X

Triumph Racing will be entering the prestigious FIM Motocross World Championship for 2024, competing with a factory supported program set-up in partnership with Thierry Chizat-Suzzoni, one of the sport’s most experienced and successful team owners. Thierry will start his campaign with two of Triumph’s TF 250-X bikes in the MX2 class, supported by Monster Energy. The team will be managed by Vincent Bereni. Chizat-Suzzoni’s and Bereni’s past racing records include over 80 MXGP World Championship victories.  

Clément Desalle, who joined the TF 250-X team as test rider, is a very experienced racer, competing at the highest level in the MXGP World Championship for 15 years. As one of the most consistent racers in the series, he claimed three Vice Champion finishes, was third in the World Championship three times and twice finished fourth. Finishing on the top step of the podium 23 times in his career, he was also crowned the Pro Open Belgian champion.  

2024 Triumph TF 250-X

Triumph Racing’s U.S. SuperMotocross World Championship Team is headed up by Bobby Hewitt and team manager Steve ‘Scuba’ Westfall. They brought in a team that includes Dave Arnold, an industry AMA Hall of Fame legend for chassis development, and Dudley Cramond, who has over 25 years of experience building race-winning engines. The team will field the all-new TF 250-X motorcycles in the 2024 World Championship. 

See all of Rider’s Triumph coverage here. 

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Source: RiderMagazine.com