The 2022 Kawasaki KLX230S is still a durable, simple dual-sport, but now you don’t have to be a giant to get your boots on the ground.
Designed to appeal to novice riders on a budget or experienced riders looking for a lightweight, dual-sport machine, Kawasaki first released the KLX230 in 2020, and in most aspects, it lived up to its design goals. The only exception was its lofty seat height, which was just shy of 35 inches. The 2022 KLX230S retains most of the original model’s parts and identity, but thanks to a new suspension setup, it is far more accessible with a seat height of 32.7 inches.
The 230’s softly sprung front fork has been shortened by a total of 2.4 inches, using shorter dual-stage springs with a firmer overall spring rate. The shorter fork on the 230S still provides a respectable 6.2 inches of travel and should reduce front-end dive during firm braking. A revised rear shock, also shorter with a stiffer spring rate provides 6.6 (down from 8.8) inches of travel that Kawasaki says improves handling and bump absorption.
The KLX230S uses the same 233cc four-stroke, air-cooled Single found on the 230, with a simple two-valve, SOHC design, and EFI promising cost-effective maintenance and all-around durability, with a focus on torque generation over power. A close-ratio, 6-speed transmission should handle most trails but still enable the 230S to cruise at a reasonable pace on open roads.
Kawasaki designed the high-tensile steel perimeter frame around the engine, which allowed it to be mounted lower in the chassis to deliver a low center-of-gravity, coupled with a short 53.5-inch wheelbase. The KLX230S should be an easy, nimble bike to ride.
Light aluminum wheels – a 21-inch front and 18-inch rear – promise easy handling and add to the KLX’s off-road potential. Single petal disc brakes measure 240mm at the front, gripped by a 2-piston caliper, and 220mm with a 1-piston caliper at the rear. Optional, factory-fitted ABS is tuned for dual-sport riding.
The 2022 Kawasaki KLX230S is fitted with a 1.9-gallon fuel tank and should keep this sipper on the move for as long as you might reasonably expect, although the simple instrument dash also includes a low-fuel warning lamp. The new KLX230S is available in Lime Green with an MSRP of $4,799, while the ABS is available in the Lime and in an Urban Olive Green/Ebony color option, with an MSRP of $5,099.
Replacing the middleweight Multistrada 950 in Ducati’s adventure-bike lineup is the new-for-2022 Multistrada V2. It’s powered by a revised version of the 937cc Testastretta L-Twin, which makes a claimed 113 horsepower and 72 lb-ft of torque at the crank. Pricing for the 2022 Ducati Multistrada V2 starts at $15,295 and for the up-spec 2022 Ducati Multistrada V2 S starts at $17,895.
Engine updates include new connecting rods, a new 8-disc hydraulically actuated slip/assist clutch, and a revised 6-speed transmission that Ducati stays delivers smoother shifting and makes it easier to find neutral. A quickshifter is optional on the Multistrada V2 and standard on the Multistrada V2 S.
Rider-selectable electronics on the Multistrada V2 include four riding modes (Sport, Touring, Urban, and Enduro), the Ducati Safety Pack (Bosch cornering ABS with 3 levels, Ducati Traction C with 8 levels), and Vehicle Hold Control. The Multistrada V2 S adds semi-active electronic suspension with Ducati Skyhook Suspension (DSS) system, Ducati Quick Shift Up & Down (DQS), a full-LED headlight with Ducati Cornering Lights (DCL) system, and cruise control.
The Multistrada V2 has fully (manually) adjustable suspension, with a 48mm inverted KYB fork and a Sachs shock with a remote preload adjuster. Suspension travel is 6.7 inches front and rear on both the V2 and V2 S.
Ducati’s trademark tubular-steel trellis frame holds the Mulistrada V2 together, and it’s paired with a cast aluminum two-sided swingarm. The cast aluminum wheels, with a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear, are derived from the Multistrada V4 save 3.7 pounds of unsprung weight, and they’re shod with Pirelli Scorpion Trail II adventure tires.
The seat was revised to provide a flat area for easier fore and aft movement while also reducing seat height from 33.1 inches to 32.7 inches. Accessory high (33.5 inches) and low (31.9 inches) seats are available, and the low seat plus accessory low suspension kit reduces seat height to 31.1 inches. New footpegs borrowed from the Multistrada V4 are 10mm lower than those on the Multistrada 950 for extra legroom.
Changes to the engine, front brake discs, mirrors, and wheels on the Multistrada V2 reduce weight by 11 pounds compared to the outgoing Multistrada 950. Claimed wet weight is 489 pounds for the Multistrada V2 and 496 pounds for the Mulistrada V2 S.
The Multistrada V2 has LCD instrumentation while the Multistrada V2 S has a 5-inch TFT color display with a hands-free Bluetooth system. The V2 S also has backlist handlebar switches.
The 2022 Ducati Multistrada V2 is available in Ducati Red with a gloss black frame and black rims, with a base price of $15,295. The 2022 Ducati Multistrada V2 S is available in Ducati Red with a black frame and black wheel rims with red tags, or in Street Grey with a black frame and “GP Red” wheel rims, with a base price of $17,895.
2022 Ducati Multistrada V2 / Multistrada V2 S Specs
Base Price: $15,295 (V2) / $17,895 (V2 S) Website:ducati.com Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 90-degree L-twin, desmodromic DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl. Bore x Stroke: 94.0 x 67.5mm Displacement: 937cc Horsepower: 113 hp @ 9,000 rpm (claimed, at the crank) Torque: 71 lb-ft @ 7,750 rpm (claimed, at the crank) Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet slip/assist clutch Final Drive: O-ring chain Wheelbase: 62.8 in. Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/4.2 in. Seat Height: 32.7 in. Wet Weight: 489 lbs. / 496 lbs. Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gals.
Triumph celebrates the partnership between two British icons with a new limited-edition motorcycle inspired by the Tiger 900 Rally Pro, which features in the forthcoming James Bond movie, No Time To Die.
Triumph provided the James Bond stunt team with Tiger 900’s and Scrambler 1200’s, and they star alongside Bond in some of the key action sequences in the consummate spy’s 25th adventure. The Triumph design workshop team collaborated with the movie’s stunt crew to configure several feature motorcycles, including the preparation of Tiger 900 and Scrambler 1200 models for dynamic action sequences.
“The Tiger 900 is the most confidence-inspiring bike,” said Lee Morrison, stunt coordinator for No Time To Die. “It allows you to really push the ride as far as you want, you can take as many liberties as you want; stand up sideways drifting in third gear, slow wheelie it, slide it supermoto-style. I honestly think it’s one of the best bikes I’ve ever ridden, it’s fantastic.”
The new Bond Edition is limited to just 250 motorcycles globally, and each of these special Tiger 900s features a premium, billet machined handlebar clamp with the bike’s unique number, and come with a signed certificate of authenticity.
The Tiger 900 Bond Edition is finished in a Matte Sapphire Black paint scheme with 007 graphics and includes premium blacked-out detailing throughout. The frame, headlight finishers, side panels, sump guard, pillion footrest hangers, auxiliary lamp shrouds, and engine guards all have a premium, black finish.
Enhancing the Bond Edition theme, the new Bond Tiger also features a bespoke 007 startup screen animation and the heated rider and pillion seats are crafted with unique Bond Edition branding.
Standard on the limited edition are Michelin Anakee Wild dirt-focused tires, and an Arrow Silencer, which features a lightweight brushed stainless-steel body, with a carbon end cap and strap.
The Bond Edition Tiger 900 Rally Pro will be available in dealerships from May/June 2022, with an MSRP of $20,100.
We test the 2022 Kawasaki KLR650, which got only its second major update since the legendary dual-sport was introduced in 1987. After being out of Kawasaki’s lineup for a couple of years, it returns better than ever and is still one of the best deals on two wheels, starting at just $6,699.
Though still powered by a liquid-cooled 652cc Single, the KLR finally gets fuel injection, an updated battery and generator, and other upgrades. It also has upgraded brakes with optional ABS, increased load capacity and optional hard saddlebags, adjustable rear suspension, new styling with an adjustable windscreen, a new digital display with a fuel gauge, an accessories bar with power ports, and more.
Triumph has released some teaser photos of the new Tiger 1200 planned for 2022, which they say is lighter and more powerful than the previous model.
The new Tiger 1200 has been under testing, which is now nearing completion and Triumph claims their biggest cat is now significantly lighter than its closest competition. That could be a game-changer for a motorcycle that has, up to now, always been at the heavy end of the ADV weight chart.
Triumph claims the new Tiger 1200 will combine a powerful 3-cylinder engine with a new chassis that will offer class-leading agility, control, and handling. We look forward to testing these claims when we ride the bike.
I just spent the last five days riding over 1,000 miles on Kawasaki’s legendary dual-sport icon, the KLR650, newly updated for 2022. Our on- and off-road journey started at the RFD-TV Ranch, located about 100 miles east of Albuquerque, and spent two days riding through New Mexico’s stunning forests and mountains, including rocky passes, sandy gulches, and a nerve-testing silt track.
No assessment of the KLR would be complete without loading it up with camping gear, as many of its potential owners will do, and heading off into the wilderness. On the morning of the third day, I set my sights west toward Los Angeles, enduring a huge thunderstorm on the Arizona border and 120-degree temperatures in the sprawling Mojave Desert, the details of which will follow in our upcoming road test review. To whet your appetite, I’m sharing the top ten highlights of the 2022 KLR650.
First released in 1987, the KLR was cutting edge for its time. Its single-cylinder engine had four valves. It came fitted with a 5-speed transmission and a front disc brake. The KLR received its only major update in 2008, followed by a minor update in 2014, and was anything but cutting edge, which remains true of the latest model. However, it has received some significant improvements without altering the core attributes that have earned the KLR a reputation for reliable, durable, and cost-effective travel.
1. Electronic Fuel Injection
While some of the KLR’s faithful fans will lament the passing of the Keihin carburetor, even they will appreciate the reliable thump following every push of the starter button. We tested the new KLR at 8,000 feet in New Mexico’s mountains, and at just 400 feet in the searing heat of the Mojave Desert bowl, and the single came to life with ease every time. A cutting-edge fuel atomizer also ensures you get the best bang for the gallon, and Kawasaki claims increased low-end torque.
2. Upgraded Brakes Including ABS
The 2022 KLR650 now includes ABS as a factory-installed option, and at $300, a great many will choose to include it. We tested the KLR with and without the ABS to compare braking in on- and off-road conditions. The setup works very well, and although it was difficult to detect its intervention on the ABS-equipped model, I noticed its absence in the dirt on the non-ABS model. Happily, I was still able to lock up the rear wheel on the dirt when I wanted to. The front disc is now 300mm, 20mm larger than the outgoing model, and provides a much-needed improvement in stopping power. The rear disc is now thicker, and less prone to fading.
3. Increased Load Capacity
By making the subframe an integrated member of the main frame, Kawasaki has increased the KLR’s torsional rigidity and load capacity, which is also managed by a slightly longer swingarm. These updates result in improved stability and make for more predictable handling on loose surfaces, especially when the bike is loaded with gear.
4. Adjustable Rear Suspension
The rear suspension now includes five clicks of adjustable preload and stepless rebound damping, which is adjusted via a screw. On a middleweight adventure bike like the KLR, this is a welcome addition, as many owners will want to take it on serious tours, which require loading a considerable amount of kit. For the two nights I spent camping, I had loaded about 70 pounds on the KLR, keeping the heavier gear in the side bags. After adding a click of preload and a full turn of rebound, the resulting handling felt impressively similar to the unloaded KLR.
5. Adjustable Windscreen
The new windscreen is 2 inches taller than the old model and is now adjustable. The standard low position provides good wind deflection, even for loftier riders. For longer tours, to reduce fatigue or combat cold conditions, the windscreen can be adjusted by removing the four attaching screws and remounting it another inch higher. Nonetheless, it is still a sport-sized windscreen and it offered little respite from a drenching thunderstorm I encountered in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico.
6. Battery and Generator
The new KLR has an upgraded battery that’s fully sealed, low maintenance, and smaller and lighter than the old one. To complement the battery, and to power a new line of accessories and charging ports, the KLR has also been equipped with a new 28-amp generator.
7. Accessories Bar and Electrical Ports
It may seem like a minor item to include in the top-ten list, but we think the nifty accessories bar that Kawasaki has included on the new KLR is a great addition and should be a standard on adventure bikes. Rather than load up your handlebars with phone, GPS, and camera mounts, and all the associated wiring, these can be easily mounted on the accessories bar, and powered via the available USB or standard DC 12-volt power socket.
8. Stronger Load-Bearing Points
The key points supporting the KLR’s suspended weight have all been strengthened. Both front- and rear-wheel axle diameters have been increased, now 2mm and 3mm thicker, respectively. The rear swingarm pivot has also received a 2mm upgrade and adds to the KLR’s long-term dependability and ability to handle the increased load capacity and overall weight.
9. Bodywork and Styling
All new cowling and more aggressive styling subtly improve the new KLR’s overall appearance. The 2022 model retains the old shape, but is a little more angular, and looks somewhat taller. The base model is complemented by a Traveler and Adventure model, and the latter comes equipped with engine guards and cowling guards, adding to its rugged, off-road credentials. The base and Traveler model is available in Pearl Lava Orange or Pearl Sand Khaki colorways, and the Adventure comes in Cypher Camo Gray.
10. Digital Display
The 2022 KLR has a new all-digital LCD. Now larger and backlit, the new instrument is easier to read and works well in all lighting conditions. The information is still limited to the basics, but that is what the KLR is all about. A digital speedometer, odometer, dual trip meters, clock, and finally, a proper fuel gauge.
Manufacturers sometimes make peculiar choices when naming motorcycles. Despite its name, the new-for-2021 Triumph Tiger 850 Sport has the same engine size (888cc) as the Tiger 900 GT and Tiger 900 Rally. And even though it has “Sport” in the name, the 850 actually makes less horsepower. On Jett Tuning’s dyno, the Tiger 850 made 82.1 horsepower and 58 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel, which is 7.6 horsepower and 1.4 lb-ft of torque less than the Tiger 900 Rally Pro we tested last year.
Designed to be the most accessible Tiger in terms of power, torque, specification, and price, simply calling it the Tiger 900 probably makes more sense. With a base price of $11,995, the Tiger 850 Sport costs $2,705 less than the Tiger 900 GT and $3,405 less than the Tiger 900 Rally. Its main competitors are street-oriented adventure bikes like the BMW F 750 GS (which is actually an 850; base price, $10,995), the BMW F 900 XR ($11,695), and the KTM 890 Adventure ($13,099).
Triumph detuned the Tiger 850’s engine to comply with A2 licensing requirements in Europe. It was able to hit a lower price point by foregoing an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and multi-mode cornering-optimized ABS and traction control in favor of a more conventional non-switchable ABS and switchable traction control setup. The Tiger 850 Sport has fewer riding modes (only Road and Rain) and the Marzocchi suspension adjustability is limited to rear preload. Other nips and tucks include a 5-inch TFT display instead of the 7-inch TFT the Tiger 900s, and there’s no cruise control, quickshifter, self-canceling turnsignals, or centerstand.
The Tiger 850 Sport is hardly a bargain-bin special. It’s equipped with premium Brembo Stylema monoblock front calipers, a radial front brake master cylinder, a slip/assist clutch, a dual-height seat (31.9/32.7 inches), a hand-adjustable windscreen, full LED lighting, a 12-volt power outlet, and a luggage rack. Its curb weight is a manageable 474 pounds, and we averaged 219 miles of range from the 5.3-gallon tank.
Greg’s Gear Helmet:Fly Racing Sentinel Mesh Jacket: Fly Racing Butane Gloves: Fly Racing FL-2 Pants: Scorpion Covert Pro Jeans Boots:Sidi Gavia Gore-Tex
Inline Triples are a signature feature on Triumphs as diverse as Tiger adventure bikes, the Speed Triple naked sportbike, and the Rocket 3 muscle cruiser. The Tiger 850 has what Triumph calls a T-Plane crankshaft with a 1-3-2 firing order. After cylinder 1 fires, the crank turns 180 degrees, cylinder 3 fires, the crank turns 270 degrees, cylinder 2 fires, the crank turns 270 degrees, and so on. The irregular firing sequence gives the engine the feel of a Twin down low and the character of a Triple from the midrange on up.
Power increases linearly to 7,000 rpm then plateaus at around 80 horsepower until the 10,000-rpm redline. There’s a broad spread of torque, with 80% or more of peak torque available between 2,400 and 9,100 rpm. A balancer shaft quells most of the engine’s vibrations, but overall it feels more coarse than some of Triumph’s other Triples. Rain mode dulls throttle response, but in Road mode the right grip delivers precise throttle inputs with no stutters or hiccups. Other than a fair amount of heat felt on the left side, there’s little to complain about with the Tiger’s engine.
As I’ve written in previous reviews, Triumph’s design and engineering philosophy imbues its motorcycles with a user-friendliness that makes its bikes – even those I’ve never ridden before – feel familiar and intuitive. The Tiger 850 Sport is no exception. Its ergonomics are comfortable, its fit and finish are at a high level, and its handling strikes a good balance between agility and stability. Response and feel at the front brake lever are excellent, the slip/assist clutch is light and smooth, and the transmission shifts with minimal effort. The fork dives under hard braking, but generous suspension travel and comfort-oriented damping settings provide good ride quality in a range of riding conditions.
The Tiger’s 19-inch front wheel, Michelin Anakee Adventure 90/10 tires, and decent ground clearance allow for some light-duty off-roading, but the ABS doesn’t have an off-road mode nor can it be turned off at the rear wheel. What makes the Tiger 850 Sport most appealing is its versatility as a streetbike, serving as an able commuter or errand-runner during the week, a canyon carver on the weekend, and a comfortable tourer for as many days as you can take off from the grind. Given its budget-friendly MSRP, buyers should have some money left over to tailor the bike to their needs. Triumph offers various luggage options and other accessories such as heated grips, handguards, a centerstand, crash protection, comfort seats, a low seat (31.1/31.9 inches), and more.
Its name may be a bit misleading, but the Tiger 850 Sport is a great value for an impressively versatile European motorcycle.
The Petersen Automotive Museum and Motorcycle Arts Foundation have launched a new exhibit titled ADV:Overland, which celebrates the spirit of adventure through off-road and off-world motorcycles and related vehicles. With support from Harley-Davidson, the exhibit features 23 adventure-touring motorcycles and race vehicles from 1930 to the present, as well as sci-fi and NASA off-world exploration vehicles, to tell a comprehensive story about adventuring on two wheels, on Earth and beyond.
Motorcycles and off-road racing vehicles on display include an example of the 1903 California that was the first motorized vehicle to travel coast to coast; a 1912 Henderson Four as used in the first motorcycle trip around the world; a 1915 Harley-Davidson 11-F with sidecar, as used by Effie and Avis Hotchkiss when they became the first women to drive across the United States; the 1932 Douglas “Mastiff” which inspired Robert Edison Fulton Jr.’s novel “One Man Caravan”; the 1933 Puch 250SL that was the first motor vehicle to overland from Europe to India; a 1964 Honda CL72 Baja Scrambler homage to Dave Ekins’ first timed run down Baja; a 1974 BMW R60/6 which inspired the book “Lone Rider” by Elspeth Beard; a 1906/2019 Contal Mototri veteran of the Peking to Paris rally; and many more, including an example of the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America.
Real and science fiction space vehicles are also on display and include a 2021 Tardigrade concept electric Lunar motorcycle; a replica of the 1965 chariot from the “Lost in Space” television series; as well as another from the 2018 remake; a model of the Opportunity MER-1 rover, the robotic spacecraft that holds the long-distance record in off-world overlanding; and a model of the 1996 Sojourner rover.
“We are proud to partner with Motorcycle Arts Foundation to gather this impressive display of vehicles in the spirit of adventure,” said Petersen Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Coming on the heels of a global pandemic, ADV:Overland is an important retrospective of the freedom of exploration, to go where no one has ever gone and accomplish things that no one has ever accomplished. This visionary spirit drives innovation in transportation and has inspired this exhibit.”
Exhibit curator Paul d’Orléans explains, “This exciting, first-ever collection of Round-the-World, overland racing, and off-world overland vehicles is the perfect pandemic escape hatch. Most of these extraordinary machines have never been publicly displayed, and absolutely radiate the spirit of adventure: some even retain their original accessories, 90 years later. These are must-see vehicles, on display in the best motoring museum on the planet.”
“ADV:Overland” opened on July 3, 2021, at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The exhibit is produced by Motorcycle Arts Foundation (MAF) and Sasha Tcherevkoff with support from Harley-Davidson. Guests who would like to visit the museum must purchase tickets in advance on the Petersen’s website. Health and safety guidelines are being followed: face coverings are required for all guests (single-use face masks will be provided to those who do not have one).For more information visit: petersen.org/overland.com.
In July 2018, Harley-Davidson announced a five-year growth strategy called “More Roads to Harley-Davidson,” a plan to add new products, provide broader access, strengthen its dealer network and amplify the brand. Expansion beyond Harley’s typical cruiser, bagger and touring models would include the LiveWire electric motorcycle, which debuted for 2020, and “middleweight adventure touring, streetfighter and high-performance custom models.”
The “More Roads” strategy offered the first look at the Pan America adventure tourer, with few details beyond its displacement and what could be gleaned from a photo of the prototype. At the 2019 EICMA show in Milan, Harley unveiled the Pan America and the Bronx streetfighter, both to be powered by a liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin engine platform called the Revolution Max — 1,250cc in the Pan America and 975cc in the Bronx — and launched in 2020.
In February 2020, amid financial troubles, Harley-Davidson announced a revised five-year strategy called “Hardwire” that would, among other changes, “selectively focus on opportunities in profitable segments.” Plans to expand the company’s product portfolio were scaled back. The Pan America made the cut, the Bronx did not. Then the pandemic hit, which pushed the Pan America’s launch from late 2020 to early 2021. Details about the Pan America 1250 and up-spec Pan America 1250 Special were finally announced last February, and we got an opportunity to test ride the Special over two days in April.
Revolution Max 1250
According to Harley, its all-new, modular Revolution Max engine will be offered in four displacements ranging from 500cc to 1,250cc. In addition to powering the Pan America, it will likely replace the aging, air-cooled mill in the Sportster and may replace the liquid-cooled Revolution X in whatever entry-level models fill the gap for the discontinued Street 500 and Street 750.
In the Pan America 1250, the Revolution Max displaces 1,252cc, has a 13.0:1 compression ratio and makes a claimed 150 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 94 lb-ft of torque at 6,750 rpm. Like the Revolution V-twin that powered the V-Rod and the Revolution X that powered the Street models, the Max’s cylinders have a 60-degree included angle. The two crankshaft connecting rod journals are offset by 30 degrees, resulting in a 90-degree firing order for smooth power delivery. Dual overhead cams use roller-finger followers to actuate four valves per cylinder and hydraulic lash adjusters eliminate periodic maintenance. Computer-controlled variable valve timing (VVT) independently advances or retards intake and exhaust timing through a potential range of 40 degrees of crankshaft rotation, with the goal of broadening the powerband to deliver ample low-end torque as well as high-rpm horsepower. Dual spark plugs optimize ignition and a robust, dry-sump oiling system is designed to withstand the demands of adventure riding.
Because the Revolution Max is a stressed member of the Pan America’s chassis, it needed to be strong and light. Harley used finite element analysis and optimization techniques to reduce material mass in cast and molded components. Complex casting techniques allowed oil and coolant passages to be integrated into the engine in such a way that minimized wall thicknesses. Single-piece aluminum cylinders have nickel silicon carbide-surface galvanic coating, pistons are made of forged aluminum and the rocker, camshaft and primary covers are made of magnesium. An engine that vibrates less endures less stress over its life cycle, allowing components to be made lighter. A spiral-shaped, chain-driven balancer in the crankcase minimizes primary vibration, while a small balancer located in front of the cylinder head between the camshafts minimizes secondary vibration.
Revolution Max engines are built in Harley’s Pilgrim Road facility near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and complete Pan Americas are assembled in York, Pennsylvania.
Adaptive Ride Height
To be competitive in the adventure touring segment, the Pan America 1250 and Pan America 1250 Special are equipped with state-of-the-art electronics like riding modes and Harley’s RDRS Safety Enhancements. The Special is equipped with added features, including Showa semi-active suspension that adjusts damping rates on the selected ride mode and automatically adjusts spring preload to provide 30% sag regardless of the load.
But the real innovation is the Adaptive Ride Height (ARH), a factory option available only on the Special. Using an array of sensors and algorithms, ARH automatically lowers the motorcycle’s ride height by 1 to 2 inches when the motorcycle comes to a stop (the amount of ride height adjustment depends on preload). Lowering the ride height lowers the rider’s seat, which accommodates a wider range of riders and adapts to a wider range of conditions than other full-sized adventure bikes, even those with semi-active suspension.
In standard ride modes, the default setting for ARH is Auto, but in custom ride modes ARH can be turned off or set to Auto with Short Delay or Auto with Long Delay, and those settings will be retained in that mode after the ignition is turned off. In Auto mode, ARH will not lower the motorcycle in an condition where speed is greater than 15.5 mph, but lowering could begin to occur at 15.5 mph if the rider is braking very hard. Speed, brake lever pressure and deceleration rate are all used to determine when to lower the motorcycle. ARH targets the bike to be lowered when the rider would typically be moving their feet off the pegs to put them on the ground, which typically happens at speeds much slower than 15.5 mph under casual braking.
In technical off-road conditions at low speeds, especially if there is a lot of stopping and starting involved, it may not be optimal to have the motorcycle repeatedly lower and raise itself. In Short Delay mode ARH will not lower the ride height at all until 0.5 second after the motorcycle comes to a stop. Long Delay mode waits until 2 seconds after coming to a stop before lowering the bike.
Since ARH is a factory-installed option, it cannot be added to a Pan America 1250 Special after purchase. The beauty of ARH is that it offers a lower seat height without reducing suspension travel or otherwise compromising the motorcycle’s performance or capabilities.
In 2020, Guy Pickrell won the Moto Guzzi “Spirit of the Eagle Rideaway” competition. He dreamed up an epic 2,600-mile, 8-day, 7-state, 6-national-park adventure route.
Moto Guzzi gave Guy and his buddy Kit Klein use of two Moto Guzzi V85 TT adventure bikes and a $2,500 travel budget. They packed their gear, had Michelin Anakee Wild tires mounted on the bikes, and they hit the road.
Starting in Seattle, they rode east to Glacier National Park, south to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Flaming Gorge, Capitol Reef, and Grand Staircase-Escalante, and they finished in Las Vegas. Their route included paved sections like Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana and unpaved tracks like Skyline Drive Scenic Backway in Utah.
Two buddies, two bikes, one big adventure. This is their story.