Tag Archives: Adventure & Dual-Sport Motorcycles

2023 KTM 390 Adventure | First Look Review

2023 KTM 390 Adventure

KTM has announced details of the 2023 KTM 390 Adventure, which will be available in dealerships in March. The 390 Adventure has been given a new look and increased off-road capability, for a bike that KTM says offers “sheer usability, superb power, and incredibly light handling.”

2023 KTM 390 Adventure

In our review of the 2020 model, our reviewer said the KTM 390 Adventure was “a lot of bike for the money, with an impressive list of standard features that make it a serious threat to value-oriented Japanese competitors like the Honda CB500X and Kawasaki Versys-X 300, as well as BMW’s G 310 GS.”

Related: 2020 KTM 390 Adventure Road Test Review

The 2023 KTM 390 Adventure still features a compact 4-stroke DOHC 373cc Single with four valves, a balancer shaft, a PASC slip/assist clutch, and electronic fuel injection. Two catalytic converters ensure the system breathes within emission targets, and the vapor design of the 3.8-gal fuel tank also contributes to its eco-friendliness.

2023 KTM 390 Adventure

Also returning for the 2023 model and contributing to the bike’s off-road persona is the Offroad ride mode (offering more rear-wheel slip) and linked Offroad ABS (disengaged on the rear, reduced on the front), as well as throttle-by-wire, Motorcycle Traction Control, and cornering ABS. Stopping power comes from Brembo BYBRE brakes (320mm front and 230mm rear discs with a 4-piston calipers on the front and single-piston in the rear), and the bike has adjustable WP APEX suspension.

2023 KTM 390 Adventure

See all of Rider‘s KTM coverage here.

The KTM 390 Adventure also still has 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels shod in Continental TKC70 tires, but for 2023 the wheels are spoked and have black anodized aluminum rims. The bike also comes with a two-tier seat that can be easily removed to reveal storage space or swapped out for other models in the KTM PowerParts collection, LED lights, and a windscreen with two positions. It has a claimed wet weight of 379 lb.

2023 KTM 390 Adventure

KTM says both the lightweight steel trellis chassis and the new 2023 colorway takes design cues from the company’s work at “the sharp end of rally competition.”

MSRP is $7,399. For more information, visit the KTM website.

The post 2023 KTM 390 Adventure | First Look Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2023 KTM 890 Adventure | First Ride Review

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
For 2023, the KTM 890 Adventure gets updated suspension, bodywork, electronics, ergonomics, and more. (Photos by Francesc Montero & Sebas Romero)

To stay current with the latest technology and ahead of the competition, KTM has been on a two-year development cycle with its middleweight Adventure platform. The KTM 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure R were launched for 2019, then they evolved into the KTM 890 Adventure and 890 Adventure R for 2021, and now we have updated versions for 2023. 

KTM unveiled the 2023 version of the more off-road oriented 890 Adventure R at its Adventure Rider Rally in Idaho last September, and the 2023 KTM 890 Adventure was announced two months later. The standard model and the R are mostly the same, differing only in terms of suspension, tires, seats, windscreens, and color/graphics.  

Related: 2021 KTM 890 Adventure R | Long-Term Ride Review

When the platform debuted for 2019, KTM said the 790 Adventure was designed to be the most off-road capable touring bike and the 790 Adventure R was designed to be the most touring-capable off-road bike. They were head and shoulders above anything else in the category, and they shared Rider Magazine’s 2019 Motorcycle of Year award. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
The 2023 KTM 890 Adventure is available in orange and black colorways. These two are shown with some of KTM’s PowerParts accessories, which include slip-on exhausts, luggage, and various orange-anodized bolt-ons.

KTM has continued its two-pronged approach. To handle its more rugged mission, the 890 Adventure R is equipped with higher-spec WP XLPOR suspension, which mostly accounts for its higher price ($15,199 versus $13,949 for the standard model tested here). It also has Mitas Enduro Trail+ tires, a single-piece seat perched 34.6 inches off the ground, a short windscreen, and rally-inspired graphics. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
To make the 2023 KTM 890 Adventure more off-road capable, the suspension settings were softened and knobbier Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR 70/30 tires replaced the previous model’s the 90/10 tires.

At the press launch for the 890 Adventure in Obidos, Portugal, KTM representatives said that many customers end up buying the R over the standard model because they perceive the higher-priced one as being the better of the two. But it really comes down to where and how someone rides. If they spend most of their time on the road with occasional forays in the dirt, if their off-road riding style is more exploratory than aggressive, and if they tour with a passenger, the standard model is a better overall fit. 

Related: 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R | First Look Review

In that vein, KTM made the 890 Adventure more off-road capable without sacrificing its street manners or road-going comfort. New damping settings for its WP APEX suspension are less sporty, geared more toward touring comfort with or without a passenger and compliance on rough off-road terrain. The fully adjustable 43mm inverted fork has an open-cartridge design with compression in the left leg, rebound in the right leg, and new finger-turn adjusters on the fork caps. The Progressive Damping System rear shock is adjustable for rebound and preload, with an adjuster knob for the latter under the left side of the seat. And like the R, the 890 Adventure has 7.9 inches of suspension travel front and rear, 9.2 inches of ground clearance, and 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
The 2023 KTM 890 Adventure has a taller, steeper windscreen with a center cut-out that reduces buffeting.

On the technology front, there’s a new ABS unit that works in conjunction with the 6-axis IMU, and as before, there are two ABS modes: Road (full intervention front and rear, lean-angle sensitive) and Offroad (less intervention at the front, no intervention at the rear, and no compensation for lean angle). Also unchanged are the three standard ride modes (Street, Rain, and Offroad) and an optional Rally mode, all of which adjust throttle response, power, and MTC (Motorcycle Traction Control). 

In the past, a rider had to select ABS mode and ride mode separately. On multiple occasions on previous models, I’ve switched over to an off-road mode, headed down a trail, and only then realized I was still in Road ABS mode. Now, when either Offroad or Rally mode are selected, Offroad ABS is automatically selected, while Road ABS is the default for Street and Rain modes. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
For better road-going comfort, the 2023 KTM 890 Adventure’s seat has 10mm more foam. It can be set at one of two heights: 33.1 or 33.9 inches.

Gear Up:

A new feature on several 2023 KTM models is Demo mode, which allows a new owner to use and evaluate optional electronic upgrades for 1,500 km (932 miles) before paying for them. After the distance limit has been reached and the bike is keyed off, the options are deactivated. The owner then has the option to return to the dealer to pay for them to be reactivated. On the 890 Adventure, those options include Rally mode, Motor Slip Regulation (MSR), Quickshifter+, and cruise control, which can be purchased individually or all together as part of the Tech Pack ($549.99).  

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
2023 KTM 890 Adventure in Black

There’s also an upgraded 5-inch TFT display with new graphics, a more intuitive menu system, and color-coded pictograms of the bike – when ABS is turned off at the rear wheel, for example, it changes from green to red. With the optional Rally mode, there’s a high-contrast, minimalist Rally display that shows the slip-adjust setting, which can be changed on the fly via the up/down arrows on the switchgear. An optional connectivity unit allows the bike to be paired to the KTMconnect app via Bluetooth, which enables Turn-by-Turn+ navigation as well as music and calling functions when connected to a helmet communicator. A new call-out function lets riders create a favorites list of 10 phone numbers for quick access. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
The 2023 KTM 890 Adventure has a 5-inch TFT display with new graphics. The orange-anodized triple tree and brake fluid reservoir cover are PowerParts accessories.

See all of Rider‘s KTM coverage here.

To underscore the 890 Adventure’s newfound off-road worthiness, at the press launch, KTM organized a challenging route near the coast of Portugal. It was a winter day that started off cold, foggy, and damp. Our ride leader was Giacomo Zappoli, KTM’s Product Marketing Manager Offroad & Travel, a young, energetic Italian who has competed in hard enduros and rally raids. After just a few miles of wet pavement, we turned onto a rough gravel road riddled with roots, ruts, and puddles, and before I had even gotten my “dirt legs,” we were throttling our way through deep sand. Alrighty then, game on. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
The KTM 890 Adventure has 7.9 inches of suspension travel front and rear, 9.2 inches of ground clearance, and 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels. 

Throughout the day, we switched frequently between paved and unpaved surfaces. The asphalt ranged from wet to dry, flat to curved, and rural to urban, along with some sketchy roundabouts. The off-road terrain included loamy single-track winding through trees, dodgy farm roads lined with ancient stone walls, packed-down gravel on a 6th-gear ridgeline dotted with wind turbines, and even a shortcut between paved sections that had us roosting our way through a small garbage dump. The variety provided the perfect opportunity to test every ride mode repeatedly in its intended environment, and the automatic selection of the appropriate ABS mode meant there was one less thing to worry about. 

The 890’s softer suspension settings felt spot-on for the variable terrain, and the new Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires, which have a roughly 70/30 on/off-road ratio compared to the 90/10 ADV tires on the previous model, were appreciated. Countless rocks pinged off the beefier aluminum engine protector, which also covers the front and sides of the lower fuel pods on the horseshoe-shaped fuel tank. The tank’s design, introduced on the 790, carries most of the fuel down near the rider’s feet, reducing the bike’s center of gravity for better handling. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
Bird’s eye view shows how narrow the seat is in front, which reduces its effective stand-over height.

Though unchanged for 2023, KTM’s 889cc LC8c parallel-Twin remains a compact, well-balanced, lively engine. When we put a 2021 890 Adventure R on Jett Tuning’s dyno, it made 90 hp at 8,200 rpm and 62 lb-ft of torque at 6,200 rpm at the rear wheel. The ride modes allow the engine’s character to be tailored to conditions, and the Twin’s flexibility, responsiveness, and auditory rumble are well-suited to an adventure bike that will be pressed into different roles and provide enough excitement to keep things interesting. 

Inspired by the KTM 450 Rally – which clinched the top two positions in the 2023 Dakar in the hands of Kevin Benavides and Toby Price – the new bodywork on the 890 Adventure has a more integrated front fairing that includes larger tank and side panels. The connection between the fairing and the frame now uses two forged aluminum components, providing additional strength as well as more load-bearing capacity for large GPS devices (there are USB and 12V outlets on the dash). The new windscreen is taller, has a steeper pitch, and includes a vertical lip at the top, as well as an opening in the center that reduces buffeting at high speed. Wind protection and airflow were noticeably improved, and the taller screen didn’t interfere with terrain reading during tricky off-road sections. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
On the 2023 KTM 890 Adventure, whenever the Offroad or Rally ride mode is selected, the Offroad ABS mode is selected automatically.

Comfort was further enhanced with an extra 0.4 inch of foam in the seat, which increases the height of the dual position seat by the same amount to 33.1/33.9 inches. To compensate for the added height, the seat has been made narrower in the front to make the effective stand-over height roughly the same. Since I have a 34-inch inseam and ample curb weight of my own, I appreciated the seat’s additional support but did not mind the extra height, even in the higher setting with rear preload cranked up a bit. Lower seats and a lowering kit are available as accessories. 

Our test ride on the 890 Adventure certainly lived up to the bike’s name. I made heavy use of the brakes as I adapted to the rapidly changing conditions – both the front lever and rear pedal were easy to modulate – and the ABS intervention did its job without fail. Late in the day, as the hide-and-seek sun had dried out the pavement and we did our best to keep up with Zappoli on a particularly serpentine stretch of road, I gassed it exiting a corner and felt the rear step out. Before I could even think “Oh, sh…!” the TC light flashed and the moment passed. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
The 2023 KTM 890 Adventure has a beefier engine protector that also protects the lower pods on the horseshoe-shaped fuel tank.

Back at the hotel, my fellow North Americans and I went directly to the bar; we did not pass Go and we did not collect $200. We ordered tall glasses of beer, toasted each other, and recounted highlights of the day. We had been out in the elements, challenging ourselves, exploring a new area, and having fun. That’s what adventure is all about. 

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
2023 KTM 890 Adventure in Orange

2023 KTM 890 Adventure Specs

Base Price: $13,949 

Price as Tested: $14,499 (Tech Pack) 

Website: KTM.com 

Warranty: 2 yrs., 24,000 miles 

Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl. 

Displacement: 889cc 

Bore x Stroke: 90.7 x 68.8mm 

Horsepower: 105 @ 8,000 rpm (factory claim) 

Torque: 74 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm (factory claim) 

Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch 

Final Drive: X-ring chain 

Wheelbase: 59.4 in. 

Rake/Trail: 25.9 degrees/4.2 in. 

Seat Height: 33.1/33.9 in. 

Wet Weight: 474 lb (claimed) 

Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gal 

Fuel Consumption: 52.3 mpg (claimed) 

The post 2023 KTM 890 Adventure | First Ride Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 S | First Look Review

2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 S Nebula Black
2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 S in Nebula Black

At a CFMOTO press launch in late June 2022, we got a few laps in with the Ibex 800 T (formerly the 800 ADVentura T). Information on the bike was embargoed until August, at which point we profiled the Ibex 800 T in our September issue and on the website. At that point, there was mention of an Ibex 800 S, but the bike wasn’t available at the Minnesota press launch. However, details have since been made available on the Street version of the bike.

Related: 2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 T | First Ride Review

As mentioned in the recap article of the numerous bikes we tried out at the launch, CFMOTO is perhaps most well-known for ATVs and side-by-sides, which it has been selling in the U.S. since 2002. It set up its American headquarters in Plymouth, Minnesota, in 2007. The company established a partnership with KTM in 2014 and soon after began producing KTM 200/390 Dukes for the Chinese market. After a brief stint importing motorcycles such as its 650NK naked bike and the 650TK sport-tourer to the U.S., CFMOTO pulled back from the market but returned recently with a full lineup for 2022.

Related: 2022 CFMOTO Motorcycle Lineup | First Ride Review

As to the Ibex 800 T we tested, our reviewer said it felt “solid, responsive, and – not surprisingly given the origin of its engine – on par with similar offerings from Europe.”

2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 S

Like its up-spec sibling, the Ibex 800 S is powered by a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8-valve 799cc parallel-Twin borrowed from the previous-generation KTM 790 Adventure making a claimed 94 hp and 57 lb-ft of torque and mated to a 6-speed gearbox and slip-assist clutch. The Ibex 800 is equipped with throttle-by-wire and has two ride modes (Sport and Rain) and cruise control.

2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 S Twilight Blue
2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 S in Twilight Blue
2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 S Nebula Black
2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 S in Nebula Black with optional side and top cases

The Ibex 800 has a chromoly-steel frame, fully adjustable KYB suspension (front/rear travel is 6.3/5.9 inches), 19-inch front and 17-inch rear aluminum alloy wheels, and J. Juan triple-disc brakes (320mm dual discs up front, 260mm single disc in the rear) with cornering ABS. It has full LED lighting, an adjustable windscreen, and a 7-inch TFT display. With a 5-gallon fuel tank, it comes in at curb weight of 509 lb.

Besides the extra bells and whistles on the Ibex 800 T (heated grips, a heated seat, quickshifter, and a USB and 12V port), the main difference in the Ibex 800 S is the aluminum alloy wheels, which are spoked on the 800 T.

2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 S

The 2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 S will come in Nebula Black and Twilight Blue starting at $9,499.

For more information, visit the CFMOTO website.

The post 2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 S | First Look Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low | Tour Test Review

The following review of the 2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low comes from Reg Kittrelle, founder and publisher of Thunder Press and Battle2win magazine and author of the Unrepentant Curmudgeon column at Rider‘s sibling publication, American Rider.


2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low
The Tiger 900 GT Low and I found the largest nest of “tar snakes” I’ve ever seen near Bluff, Utah. Fortunately, the cool weather made them friendly.

“She was tall, beautiful in her own way, and a little intimidating. I knew we’d do things I’d never done before.”

Unrequited love? Nope, not this time. “She” was a new 2007 Ducati Multistrada 1100 S and one of Bologna’s first entries into the growing adventure bike segment. I needed that Ducati. 

BMW is credited with creating the adventure – or ADV – motorcycle with the introduction of the R 80 G/S in 1980. The bike’s success pushed other OEMs into offering their versions. What appealed to me then – and continues to do so today – is the versatility of ADVs. Their motors are usually large, quick, and fast. Their long-travel suspensions nicely gobble up less-than-perfect pavement. They’re entirely unafraid of dirt roads, yet they can deal competently with a track day. They are comfortable and can seemingly carry everything.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Deadwood South Dakota
Creekside Campground near Deadwood, South Dakota. The tepee had a cot and a heater.

Read all of Rider‘s Adventure & Dual-Sport Motorcycle coverage here.

By my count, I’ve owned four ADVs, each with a distinct personality. That Multistrada? A pur sang sportbike in an ugly suit. Next was a Buell Ulysses, a fun, torquey brute. Then there was a KTM 990 SM-T, a headstrong beast that did not understand the concept of slow. My current – and favorite – is a 2012 Triumph Tiger 800 XC. Bought new in 2011, it’s the motorcycle I’ve owned the longest. That’s also the year the street-oriented Tiger 800 and off-road-ready Tiger 800 XC shared Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year award.

History aside, what has brought me here is Rider’s offer of a 2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low for a cross-country trip I had planned. Gee, I probably had to think about that for all of 10 seconds.

Too Short for an ADV?

As much as I favor ADVs, they have one significant drawback for us shorter riders. By design, ADVs have tall seats due to their long-travel suspension and 19- or 21-inch front wheels. This presents a problem for me since I’m 5-foot-7 with a 30-inch inseam.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore never fails to awe, no matter how many times you see it.

My 2012 Tiger had a 33-inch seat height, barely allowing me to put one toe on the ground. I needed a more confident feel than that, so I lowered it an inch in the rear via a “dog bone” link on the shock, and I lowered the front end by 1.5 inches by moving the fork tubes higher in the triple clamp. These changes allowed for the tips of both of my big toes to touch down. Additionally, I installed risers that moved the handlebar up and back to put me in a more upright, comfortable position. 

Related: 2023 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Pro | Road Test Review

The 2023 Tiger 900 GT Low

The “Low” version of the Tiger 900 GT puts both my feet flat on the ground. To achieve its lower seat height of 29.9 inches, suspension travel has been reduced 1.6 inches in front and 0.75 inches at the rear compared to the standard Tiger 900 GT, which has a seat height of 31.9 inches in its lowest position. Given that the GT Low is a street-oriented motorcycle, the reduction in travel and ground clearance has a negligible impact.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Flaming Gorge
Utah’s Flaming Gorge was just one of dozens of spectacular views my trip afforded me.

Additionally, the handlebar’s rise and pullback place me where I want to be. Further contributing to the comfort quotient are heated grips and a nicely padded and supportive seat that remained comfortable even after long hours on the road. The Tiger Low fits me as if I were that mythical average rider around which motorcycle ergonomics are designed.

The Tiger was fitted with Triumph’s accessory Expedition panniers: 37-liter top-loaders made from 1.5mm aluminum with polymer reinforcements. I particularly appreciated the six brackets on the lids that made it easy to strap on additional gear. 

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low
The accessory Expedition panniers are cavernous and sturdy.

All of this means that the bike fits my simple definition of an ADV: a motorcycle that can comfortably take me to distant places carrying lots of stuff. 

Related: 2022 Triumph Tiger Sport 660 | Video Review

A Loose Plan

I picked up the Tiger in Southern California, loaded my gear, then headed east. As I would be camping most nights, my cargo included a sleeping bag, a tent, and an air mattress. I usually like to cook my own meals, but on this trip, I opted for restaurants and just a small stove for making coffee.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low St. Joseph Missouri
AOK Campground in St. Joseph, Missouri. It rained that night, so the canopy over the picnic table was welcome. On the back of the bike is SW-Motech’s PRO Rackpack tailbag.

My trip followed a loose plan. There were people and things I wanted to see, but my route was more influenced by whim and weather than design.

With only 210 miles showing on the odo, I treated the first several hundred miles as a break-in ride. By the time I hit Las Vegas, the initial bit of engine roughness smoothed out, and I could begin to enjoy one of the sweetest motors found in a motorcycle frame.

From Vegas, I headed north to Interstate 70 in Utah, then east to Colorado. The interstate in Utah has an 80-mph speed limit, so 90-mph traffic flow is not unusual. At one point, I was passed by a semi-truck doing 90-plus. This velocity investigation on my part showed that the top speed on this ’23 model was noticeably higher than my 2012 Tiger 800 XC while having the same claimed 94 hp, perhaps as a result of the 900 GT weighing 50 lb less and featuring a redesigned Triple.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Monarch Pass Continental Divide Colorado
Colorado’s Monarch pass was the literal high point – 11,312 feet – of my trip. Secured on the Tiger’s tank is a SW-Motech tank ring and PRO City WP tankbag.

Mid- to upper-range acceleration was excellent, but initial grunt – as from a stop – was less than I expected. Not slow, just slower. At any speed, the Tiger was perfectly stable, and the adjustable windscreen eliminated nearly all buffeting. An exception to this was in parts of Kansas where the crosswinds tried their damnedest to unseat me.

Continuing east, the Tiger ate up Kansas and Missouri on the way to the Mississippi River, where I turned north to Dubuque, Iowa. Just east of there, I met up with a group of friends in Galena, Illinois, one of my planned stops for a weekend.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Mississippi River
Dam #7 (imaginative, that) on the upper Mississippi River, with Wisconsin on the right, Minnesota on the left.

Electronic Bits on the 2023 Tiger 900 GT Low  

Monitoring almost every aspect of my trip was a 7-inch TFT display. Easy to read even in direct sunshine, the dash offers almost too many options and controls. After fiddling with various screens, I chose one that kept my speed and mpg numbers forefront.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low
The Triumph’s TFT screen was readable in any light. However, note the poor excuse for a tach below the speed readout.

I was particularly impressed with the fuel consumption. I consistently saw 54-55 mpg at steady interstate speeds, and mileage on backroads and around town was always above 40 mpg. With a 5.3-gallon tank, that translates to 285-290 miles of range on the freeway and 210-plus otherwise.

One feature I learned to love was the Tiger’s ride modes, including Street, Off-Road, Rain, and Sport. I used Rain more than I wanted to but appreciated its softened throttle response on wet and icy roads, reducing possible tire slippage (cornering-optimized ABS and traction control also help). Sport worked the opposite, giving a noticeably sharper throttle response. 

Ambushed by the Weather

Leaving Illinois, I drifted up to Wisconsin and then headed west through Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The weather turned from sunny to cloudy and stormy, but between the rain drops, I was able to get in some great riding in South Dakota’s Black Hills. The worst weather I hit was in Utah between Duchesne and Green River, where rain, hail, ice, and a bit of snow greeted me.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Utah
The lids of the Expedition panniers have useful lash points for securing bulky gear like my tent.

The hailstorm was the most vicious I’ve experienced, with the stones knocking my head around like a cueball. At nearly 10,000 feet elevation, the dash flashed red and displayed an ice alert. That had me questioning just what the hell I was doing! I slowed even slower than the slow I was going and finally made it to Green River only to find that a flash flood had inundated my campground. That night’s motel was a very welcome sight, but to add insult to injury, the restaurant next door had beer but no tequila, my preferred post-ride medicine.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Hoover Dam Lake Mead
Built in 1935, Hoover Dam holds back Lake Mead. Of the many times I’ve been here, this is the lowest water level I’ve seen.

From Green River, the weather improved, and I rode in sunshine south to Quartzite, Arizona, then west to Orange County, California, to return the Triumph. This variety of weather put the Metzeler Tourance Next tires to the test, and I rode confidently on both wet and dry roads. While I did minimal off-pavement riding on this trip, my experience shows they do a decent job on dirt and gravel surfaces.

By the trip’s end, I’d spent 23 days visiting 14 states and logged about 5,500 miles in a full menu of weather, including a couple of flash floods and those ferocious Kansas winds. Temperatures ranged from 31 degrees in Minnesota to a nasty stretch of 106 degrees in Kansas, with altitudes up to 11,312 feet over Colorado’s Monarch Pass. 

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low South Dakota
Dignity of Earth and Sky, a 50-foot stainless-steel sculpture that represents the Native American culture of South Dakota, soars over the Missouri River near Chamberlain. A photograph does not begin to show just how stunning this work of art is.

It’s the Little Things

Not everything about the 2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low was to my liking. The TFT dash screen is a marvel of electronics, but it’s about 2 inches too low, requiring you to look down farther than you should, and the tankbag I used obscured part of the screen. Also, the ignition switch is buried in a hole atop the triple clamp, making it difficult to access with heavy gloves and especially inconvenient with a loaded tankbag.

Triumph persists in fitting DIN-style power outlets. Not many commonly used devices, such as a GPS, heated gear, or phones, come with a DIN plug. One of these outlets is located beneath the dash screen and on the left side just below the saddle. There’s a USB outlet under the seat, but that’s hardly handy.

Tail of the Tape

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low
At least I can tell my wife I tried to buy her some Navajo jewelry.

It’s no surprise that this newest Tiger 900 is more than a worthy successor to my 2012 model. The changes have been evolutionary, taking the best of the original and honing it to a world-class level. It is narrower, lighter, and more capable and has a host of features unavailable on my bike. The highest compliment I can pay the 2023 Triumph 900 GT Low is that it would be more than welcome to again take my old self to distant places carrying lots of stuff.

See all of Rider‘s Triumph coverage here.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Specs

Base Price: $14,700

Price as Tested: $16,365 (Expedition panniers w/ mounts)

Website: TriumphMotorcycles.com

Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles

Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse in-line Triple, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.

Displacement: 888cc

Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 61.9mm

Horsepower: 94 hp @ 8,750 rpm (factory claim)

Torque: 64 lb-ft @ 7,250 rpm (factory claim)

Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated slip/assist wet clutch

Final Drive: Chain

Wheelbase: 60.8 in.

Rake/Trail: 24.1 degrees/5.1 in. (Low version)

Seat Height: 29.9/30.7 in. (Low version)

Dry Weight: 425 lb

Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gal.

Fuel Consumption: 46.4 mpg

Estimated Range: 246 miles

The post 2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low | Tour Test Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low | Tour Test Review

The following review of the 2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low comes from Reg Kittrelle, founder and publisher of Thunder Press and Battle2win magazine and author of the Unrepentant Curmudgeon column at Rider‘s sibling publication, American Rider.


2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low
The Tiger 900 GT Low and I found the largest nest of “tar snakes” I’ve ever seen near Bluff, Utah. Fortunately, the cool weather made them friendly.

“She was tall, beautiful in her own way, and a little intimidating. I knew we’d do things I’d never done before.”

Unrequited love? Nope, not this time. “She” was a new 2007 Ducati Multistrada 1100 S and one of Bologna’s first entries into the growing adventure bike segment. I needed that Ducati. 

BMW is credited with creating the adventure – or ADV – motorcycle with the introduction of the R 80 G/S in 1980. The bike’s success pushed other OEMs into offering their versions. What appealed to me then – and continues to do so today – is the versatility of ADVs. Their motors are usually large, quick, and fast. Their long-travel suspensions nicely gobble up less-than-perfect pavement. They’re entirely unafraid of dirt roads, yet they can deal competently with a track day. They are comfortable and can seemingly carry everything.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Deadwood South Dakota
Creekside Campground near Deadwood, South Dakota. The tepee had a cot and a heater.

Read all of Rider‘s Adventure & Dual-Sport Motorcycle coverage here.

By my count, I’ve owned four ADVs, each with a distinct personality. That Multistrada? A pur sang sportbike in an ugly suit. Next was a Buell Ulysses, a fun, torquey brute. Then there was a KTM 990 SM-T, a headstrong beast that did not understand the concept of slow. My current – and favorite – is a 2012 Triumph Tiger 800 XC. Bought new in 2011, it’s the motorcycle I’ve owned the longest. That’s also the year the street-oriented Tiger 800 and off-road-ready Tiger 800 XC shared Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year award.

History aside, what has brought me here is Rider’s offer of a 2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low for a cross-country trip I had planned. Gee, I probably had to think about that for all of 10 seconds.

Too Short for an ADV?

As much as I favor ADVs, they have one significant drawback for us shorter riders. By design, ADVs have tall seats due to their long-travel suspension and 19- or 21-inch front wheels. This presents a problem for me since I’m 5-foot-7 with a 30-inch inseam.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore never fails to awe, no matter how many times you see it.

My 2012 Tiger had a 33-inch seat height, barely allowing me to put one toe on the ground. I needed a more confident feel than that, so I lowered it an inch in the rear via a “dog bone” link on the shock, and I lowered the front end by 1.5 inches by moving the fork tubes higher in the triple clamp. These changes allowed for the tips of both of my big toes to touch down. Additionally, I installed risers that moved the handlebar up and back to put me in a more upright, comfortable position. 

Related: 2023 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Pro | Road Test Review

The 2023 Tiger 900 GT Low

The “Low” version of the Tiger 900 GT puts both my feet flat on the ground. To achieve its lower seat height of 29.9 inches, suspension travel has been reduced 1.6 inches in front and 0.75 inches at the rear compared to the standard Tiger 900 GT, which has a seat height of 31.9 inches in its lowest position. Given that the GT Low is a street-oriented motorcycle, the reduction in travel and ground clearance has a negligible impact.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Flaming Gorge
Utah’s Flaming Gorge was just one of dozens of spectacular views my trip afforded me.

Additionally, the handlebar’s rise and pullback place me where I want to be. Further contributing to the comfort quotient are heated grips and a nicely padded and supportive seat that remained comfortable even after long hours on the road. The Tiger Low fits me as if I were that mythical average rider around which motorcycle ergonomics are designed.

The Tiger was fitted with Triumph’s accessory Expedition panniers: 37-liter top-loaders made from 1.5mm aluminum with polymer reinforcements. I particularly appreciated the six brackets on the lids that made it easy to strap on additional gear. 

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low
The accessory Expedition panniers are cavernous and sturdy.

All of this means that the bike fits my simple definition of an ADV: a motorcycle that can comfortably take me to distant places carrying lots of stuff. 

Related: 2022 Triumph Tiger Sport 660 | Video Review

A Loose Plan

I picked up the Tiger in Southern California, loaded my gear, then headed east. As I would be camping most nights, my cargo included a sleeping bag, a tent, and an air mattress. I usually like to cook my own meals, but on this trip, I opted for restaurants and just a small stove for making coffee.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low St. Joseph Missouri
AOK Campground in St. Joseph, Missouri. It rained that night, so the canopy over the picnic table was welcome. On the back of the bike is SW-Motech’s PRO Rackpack tailbag.

My trip followed a loose plan. There were people and things I wanted to see, but my route was more influenced by whim and weather than design.

With only 210 miles showing on the odo, I treated the first several hundred miles as a break-in ride. By the time I hit Las Vegas, the initial bit of engine roughness smoothed out, and I could begin to enjoy one of the sweetest motors found in a motorcycle frame.

From Vegas, I headed north to Interstate 70 in Utah, then east to Colorado. The interstate in Utah has an 80-mph speed limit, so 90-mph traffic flow is not unusual. At one point, I was passed by a semi-truck doing 90-plus. This velocity investigation on my part showed that the top speed on this ’23 model was noticeably higher than my 2012 Tiger 800 XC while having the same claimed 94 hp, perhaps as a result of the 900 GT weighing 50 lb less and featuring a redesigned Triple.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Monarch Pass Continental Divide Colorado
Colorado’s Monarch pass was the literal high point – 11,312 feet – of my trip. Secured on the Tiger’s tank is a SW-Motech tank ring and PRO City WP tankbag.

Mid- to upper-range acceleration was excellent, but initial grunt – as from a stop – was less than I expected. Not slow, just slower. At any speed, the Tiger was perfectly stable, and the adjustable windscreen eliminated nearly all buffeting. An exception to this was in parts of Kansas where the crosswinds tried their damnedest to unseat me.

Continuing east, the Tiger ate up Kansas and Missouri on the way to the Mississippi River, where I turned north to Dubuque, Iowa. Just east of there, I met up with a group of friends in Galena, Illinois, one of my planned stops for a weekend.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Mississippi River
Dam #7 (imaginative, that) on the upper Mississippi River, with Wisconsin on the right, Minnesota on the left.

Electronic Bits on the 2023 Tiger 900 GT Low  

Monitoring almost every aspect of my trip was a 7-inch TFT display. Easy to read even in direct sunshine, the dash offers almost too many options and controls. After fiddling with various screens, I chose one that kept my speed and mpg numbers forefront.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low
The Triumph’s TFT screen was readable in any light. However, note the poor excuse for a tach below the speed readout.

I was particularly impressed with the fuel consumption. I consistently saw 54-55 mpg at steady interstate speeds, and mileage on backroads and around town was always above 40 mpg. With a 5.3-gallon tank, that translates to 285-290 miles of range on the freeway and 210-plus otherwise.

One feature I learned to love was the Tiger’s ride modes, including Street, Off-Road, Rain, and Sport. I used Rain more than I wanted to but appreciated its softened throttle response on wet and icy roads, reducing possible tire slippage (cornering-optimized ABS and traction control also help). Sport worked the opposite, giving a noticeably sharper throttle response. 

Ambushed by the Weather

Leaving Illinois, I drifted up to Wisconsin and then headed west through Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The weather turned from sunny to cloudy and stormy, but between the rain drops, I was able to get in some great riding in South Dakota’s Black Hills. The worst weather I hit was in Utah between Duchesne and Green River, where rain, hail, ice, and a bit of snow greeted me.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Utah
The lids of the Expedition panniers have useful lash points for securing bulky gear like my tent.

The hailstorm was the most vicious I’ve experienced, with the stones knocking my head around like a cueball. At nearly 10,000 feet elevation, the dash flashed red and displayed an ice alert. That had me questioning just what the hell I was doing! I slowed even slower than the slow I was going and finally made it to Green River only to find that a flash flood had inundated my campground. That night’s motel was a very welcome sight, but to add insult to injury, the restaurant next door had beer but no tequila, my preferred post-ride medicine.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Hoover Dam Lake Mead
Built in 1935, Hoover Dam holds back Lake Mead. Of the many times I’ve been here, this is the lowest water level I’ve seen.

From Green River, the weather improved, and I rode in sunshine south to Quartzite, Arizona, then west to Orange County, California, to return the Triumph. This variety of weather put the Metzeler Tourance Next tires to the test, and I rode confidently on both wet and dry roads. While I did minimal off-pavement riding on this trip, my experience shows they do a decent job on dirt and gravel surfaces.

By the trip’s end, I’d spent 23 days visiting 14 states and logged about 5,500 miles in a full menu of weather, including a couple of flash floods and those ferocious Kansas winds. Temperatures ranged from 31 degrees in Minnesota to a nasty stretch of 106 degrees in Kansas, with altitudes up to 11,312 feet over Colorado’s Monarch Pass. 

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low South Dakota
Dignity of Earth and Sky, a 50-foot stainless-steel sculpture that represents the Native American culture of South Dakota, soars over the Missouri River near Chamberlain. A photograph does not begin to show just how stunning this work of art is.

It’s the Little Things

Not everything about the 2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low was to my liking. The TFT dash screen is a marvel of electronics, but it’s about 2 inches too low, requiring you to look down farther than you should, and the tankbag I used obscured part of the screen. Also, the ignition switch is buried in a hole atop the triple clamp, making it difficult to access with heavy gloves and especially inconvenient with a loaded tankbag.

Triumph persists in fitting DIN-style power outlets. Not many commonly used devices, such as a GPS, heated gear, or phones, come with a DIN plug. One of these outlets is located beneath the dash screen and on the left side just below the saddle. There’s a USB outlet under the seat, but that’s hardly handy.

Tail of the Tape

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low
At least I can tell my wife I tried to buy her some Navajo jewelry.

It’s no surprise that this newest Tiger 900 is more than a worthy successor to my 2012 model. The changes have been evolutionary, taking the best of the original and honing it to a world-class level. It is narrower, lighter, and more capable and has a host of features unavailable on my bike. The highest compliment I can pay the 2023 Triumph 900 GT Low is that it would be more than welcome to again take my old self to distant places carrying lots of stuff.

See all of Rider‘s Triumph coverage here.

2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Specs

Base Price: $14,700

Price as Tested: $16,365 (Expedition panniers w/ mounts)

Website: TriumphMotorcycles.com

Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles

Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse in-line Triple, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.

Displacement: 888cc

Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 61.9mm

Horsepower: 94 hp @ 8,750 rpm (factory claim)

Torque: 64 lb-ft @ 7,250 rpm (factory claim)

Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated slip/assist wet clutch

Final Drive: Chain

Wheelbase: 60.8 in.

Rake/Trail: 24.1 degrees/5.1 in. (Low version)

Seat Height: 29.9/30.7 in. (Low version)

Dry Weight: 425 lb

Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gal.

Fuel Consumption: 46.4 mpg

Estimated Range: 246 miles

The post 2023 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low | Tour Test Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Helibars Tour Performance Handlebar Risers | Gear Review

HeliBars Tour Performance Handlebar Risers

Seeking relief from some of the strains of adventure bike riding, I thought I would test out one of the HeliBars Tour Performance Handlebar Risers. The riser positions the handlebar 2 inches higher and 2 inches closer to the rider, significantly altering the handlebar-seat-footpegs rider triangle.

See all of Rider‘s Parts & Accessories reviews here.

The handlebar position on many adventure bikes is well-placed for both sitting and standing while cruising backroads and maneuvering through technical off-road areas. Even on pavement, I find it helpful to stand up when riding through small towns to give my derriere a chance to get some blood back into it.

On my 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America, with my 31-inch inseam, when standing on the pegs the stock handlebar position requires me to bend my knees slightly or stoop over a bit, which puts strain on my lower back. This riding position can become tiresome and uncomfortable after riding off-road over rough terrain. After an hour or so, my legs get pretty knackered.

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

Enter the the HeliBars Tour Performance Handlebar Riser. Installation of the HeliBars riser is straightforward. Remove the stock handlebar, release some of the tie straps that secure brake lines and wires to the handlebar, reposition the lines behind the handlebar mount, and then install the HeliBars riser atop the stock handlebar mount. After that, simply re-install the stock handlebar on the new riser using bolts provided by HeliBars and torque them to appropriate spec. Nothing needs to be removed from the handlebar, and all stock lines are retained.

HeliBars Tour Performance Handlebar Risers

On a recent ride in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California, I put the riser to the test on the Santa Ana Divide Trail. It was fairly rutted with several rockslides and water crossings that required frequent standing. The HeliBars riser not only provided a more comfortable position but also helped with controlling the Pan Am and its significant heft. While I previously would have preferred to sit down for most of the ride, I found it equally comfortable to stand up for long stretches of deep sand and rutted two-track.

HeliBars Tour Performance Handlebar Risers

During long stints in the saddle, the new riser minimizes tension in my arms and shoulders, reducing fatigue and some of those post-ride aches and pains that are familiar to all of us. One downside to the new handlebar position is that it might block part of your view of the TFT dashboard depending on your height. For example, I now must lean forward a bit to see the clock since it’s located in the lower left corner of the screen.

HeliBars Tour Performance Handlebar Risers

HeliBars Tour Performance Handlebar Risers are machined from a single piece of 6061 T6 aluminum with nice craftsmanship, and their solid design reduces flex. They are functional, stylish, and manufactured on American soil in Cornish, Maine. The riser for the Harley Pan Am is priced at $199 – or $209 with the optional RAM ball mount. HeliBars also makes risers and replacement handlebars for a wide variety of other motorcycles. For more information, visit the HeliBars website.

The post Helibars Tour Performance Handlebar Risers | Gear Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Moto Morini Enters U.S. Market with Headquarters in California

Moto Morini

The Italian motorcycle brand Moto Morini recently announce the company’s entrance into the American market. The addition of the United States increases Moto Morini’s global presence, which already included operations in Italy, India, and Asia.

Founded in 1937 by motorcycle designer Alfonso Morini, Moto Morini has its European headquarters in Milan. Facing various struggles in the 1980s, the company was first sold in 1987 and changed hands numerous times in the subsequent years before most recently being purchased in 2018 by the Zhongneng Vehicle Group.

Moto Morini

According to a press release from Moto Morini, the company “brings decades of master craftsmanship, exceptional Italian design, premium quality and unparalleled performance to the United States with a portfolio of motorcycles to meet and exceed the demands of today’s riders on and off the road.”

Although the press release didn’t specify which motorcycles would be introduced in the U.S. market, a search of the NHTSA manufacturer information database shows two model VINs that would indicate 650cc and 750cc engines. The former would match the current offerings from Moto Morini: the X-Cape adventure motorcycle and the naked Seiemmezzo STR and SCR, all of which have a liquid-cooled 649cc inline-Twin making a claimed 61 hp at 8,250 rpm and 40 lb-ft of torque at 7,000 rpm and which is said to be derived from an engine of the same configuration manufactured by CFMOTO.

See all of Rider‘s CFMOTO coverage here.

Moto Morini

The X-Cape has a 19-inch front wheel shod with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires, 50mm adjustable Marzocci fork, Brembo brakes (dual discs in the front, single in the rear), and switchable ABS. Seat height is adjustable between 32.3 inches and 33 inches, and the bike has an windscreen that is adjustable with one hand. It has a 4.75-gal fuel tank and dry weight of 470 lb.

Moto Morini X-Cape in Red Passion
Moto Morini X-Cape in Red Passion
Moto Morini X-Cape in Smoky Anthracite
Moto Morini X-Cape in Smoky Anthracite

The Seiemmezzo has 18-inch and 17-inch front/rear wheels, also with Pirelli tires (MT60RS on the SCR and Angel GT on the STR), Brembo brakes with ABS, fully adjustable Kayaba suspension, a 31.9-inch seat height, 4.2-gal fuel tank, and dry weight of approximately 441 lb.

Moto Morini Seiemmezzo STR in Smoky Anthracite
Moto Morini Seiemmezzo STR in Smoky Anthracite
moto morini seiemmezzo SCR in Navy Green
Moto Morini Seiemmezzo SCR in Navy Green

The new Moto Morini American headquarters in Irvine, California, is in the heart of the U.S. motorcycle industry and will service dealers nationwide. Moto Morini is now accepting new dealer application and hiring sales management, dealer development, and product support personnel. Please email [email protected] for more information.

For more information, visit the Moto Morini website.

The post Moto Morini Enters U.S. Market with Headquarters in California first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Honda Announces More 2023 Returning Models

2023 Honda CB1000R non-U.S.
2023 Honda CB1000R in Black (non-U.S. model)

In addition to previous announcements from Honda about new and returning models for 2023, including the all-new 2023 Rebel 1100T DCT “bagger” model, the company recently confirmed the return of eight motorcycle models across the sport, standard, adventure, dual-sport, and cruiser categories.

Related: 2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT and Returning Models | First Look Review

The eight returning models include the CBR650R and CBR500R sportbikes; the CB1000R, CB650R, and CB500F naked bikes; the CB500X adventure bike; the XR650L dual-sport; and the Fury cruiser. Honda says that taken as a whole, the group highlights the diversity of the company’s motorcycle offerings.

2023 Honda CB1000R

2023 Honda CB1000R non-U.S.
2023 Honda CB1000R in Black (non-U.S. model)

Honda says the CB1000R “touts both flair and function.” The bike features a 998cc DOHC four-cylinder engine, throttle-by-wire, three-level adjustable quickshifter, four ride modes (Standard, Rain, Sport, and User), and three levels of Engine Power (P), Engine Brake (EB), and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC).

Related: 2018 Honda CB1000R | Road Test Review

The 2023 Honda CB1000R has a 32.7-inch seat height, adjustable Showa suspension, dual 310mm floating discs and 4-piston calipers up front matched to a 2-piston caliper and 256mm disc in the rear, and two-channel ABS. It has a 4.3-gal fuel tank, and curb weight is a claimed 470 lb. 

The 2023 Honda CB1000R will come in Black and be available in February starting at $12,999.

2023 Honda CBR650R

2023 Honda CBR650R non-U.S.
2023 Honda CBR650R in Grand Prix Red (non-U.S. model)

The 2023 Honda CBR650R sportbike has a 649cc DOHC 16-valve inline-Four that Honda says has been tuned to deliver good power above 10,000 rpm, with peak power arriving at 12,000 rpm and peak torque delivered at 8,500.

The bike has a 6-speed gearbox, slip/assist clutch, and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) that can be turned off should the rider choose. It features a 31.9-inch seat height and adjustable Showa suspension. Four-piston radial-mount front brake calipers work on 310mm floating discs and are paired with a single-piston rear caliper and 240mm discs. Two-channel ABS is standard. It has a 4.1-gal fuel tank and 456-lb curb weight.

The 2023 Honda CBR650 will come in Grand Prix Red and be available in February starting at $9,899.

2023 Honda CB650R

2023 Honda CB650R non-U.S.
2023 Honda CB650R in Matte Gray Metallic (non-U.S. model)

Honda says the 2023 Honda CB650R middleweight naked bike has excellent emissions performance, stylish aesthetics, and comfortable ergonomics, making it “ideally suited for everything from daily commutes to weekend outings on canyon backroads.”

Related: 2019 Honda CB650R vs. Kawasaki W800 Cafe vs. Suzuki SV650X | Comparison Review

Like it’s CBR650R stablemate, the CB650R has a 649cc DOHC 16-valve inline-Four mated to a 6-speed gearbox, slip/assist clutch, and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), as well as the same adjustable Showa suspension and stopping power. It has a 4.1-gal fuel tank and 445-lb claimed curb weight.

From an ergonomic standpoint, a 21.9-inch tapered handlebar is set forward and positioned to offer a “sporty yet comfortable” riding position, as is the foot-peg position. Seat height is 31.9 inches. The 2023 Honda CB650R comes in Matte Gray Metallic starting at $9,399.

2023 Honda CBR500R

2023 Honda CBR500R Grand-Prix-Red non-U.S.
2023 Honda CBR500R in Grand Prix Red (non-U.S. model)

Whether you’re a beginning looking for your first bike or a veteran rider looking for a fun ride, Honda says the 2023 CBR500R, originally launched in 2013, offers “the excitement of a sportbike in a smaller package.”

The light-middleweight sportbike has an 8-valve 471cc parallel-Twin with crankshaft pins phased in at 180 degrees, working together to create what Honda says is good low-to-midrange power and torque in the 3,000 to 7,000 rpm range.

2023 Honda CBR500R Sword-Silver-Metallic non-U.S.
2023 Honda CBR500R in Sword Silver Metallic (non-U.S. model)

The CBR500R features a Showa SFF-BP fork and an adjustable ProLink single-tube shock absorber found on larger-capacity sport bikes. Braking is provided by dual 296mm petal-style discs and radial-mounted Nissin two-piston calipers in the front and a single-piston caliper and 240mm petal-style disc in the rear. It has a 4.5-gal tank and 423-lb curb weight.

The CBR500R has straight, wedge-like feature lines and extended lower fairings, and the rider’s seat pad and seat unit – plus the upper and side fairings – are narrow to improve ergonomics and movement. The 2023 Honda CBR500R comes in Grand Prix Red and Sword Silver Metallic and will be available summer 2023 starting at $7,299.

2023 Honda CB500F

2023 Honda CB500F non-U.S.
2023 Honda CB500F in Matte Gray Metallic (non-U.S. model)

Similar to the CBR500R, the CB500F naked bike was also launched in 2013 and features an 8-valve 471cc parallel-Twin and crankshaft pins firing at 180 degrees. It also shares the suspension and braking power of its stablemate.

However, Honda says the naked form of the CB500F “exudes aggression.”

“Led by the sharply chiseled headlight with extra-powerful LEDs, the machine’s stance is low-set and ready for action,” Honda states, adding that the side shrouds interlock with the fuel tank and “fully emphasize the engine, while the side covers and seat unit continue the theme of muscular angularity.” The compact front fender is drawn directly from the CB650R.

Related: 2017 Honda CB500F | First Ride Review

The 2023 Honda CB500F has a 4.5-gal fuel tank, and the lack of fairings shave the curb weight down to 416 lb. It will be available in February in Matte Gray Metallic starting at $6,799.

2023 Honda CB500X

2023 Honda CB500X non-U.S.
2023 Honda CB500X in Pearl Organic Green (non-U.S. model)

Rounding out Honda’s light-middleweight family featuring the 8-valve 471cc parallel-Twin, the CB500X was also introduced in 2013. A 2016 upgrade included a larger fuel tank and more wind protection via an adjustable screen (56.9 inches and 55.5 inches). The bike also gained LED lighting, a spring preload-adjustable fork and an adjustable brake lever. Another evolution happened in 2019, with a switch to a 19-inch front wheel (from 17 inches) and longer travel suspension. The CB500X received additional improvements for the 2022 model year and is back for 2023.

Related: 2019 Honda CB500X | First Ride Review

Related: National Cycle Extreme Adventure Gear for Honda CB500X

The 2023 Honda CB500X will come in Pearl Organic Green and will be available in February starting at $7,299.

2023 Honda XR650L

2023 Honda XR650L
2023 Honda XR650L in White.

Honda says that with its Baja heritage, the XR650L continues to be a hit with dual-sport customers, as it “opens doors to adventure on single-track trails, dirt roads and backroads, while also delivering capable and affordable transportation in the city.”

The XR650L has a 644cc SOHC four-stroke engine, Radial Four-Valve Combustion Chamber (RFVC), and 42.5mm constant-velocity (CV) carburetor. It has a Pro-Link Showa single-shock in the rear with spring-preload, 20-position compression- and 20-position rebound-damping adjustability, and 11.0-inch travel rear shock, and in the front is a 43mm Showa fork featuring 16-position compression damping adjustability. 

It has a 21-inch front wheel, an 18-inch rear wheel, a 37-inch seat height, and 13 inches of ground clearance. With a topped off 2.8-gal fuel tank, all standard equipment, and fluids, it comes in at a curb weight of 346 lb.

The 2023 Honda XR650L is now available in White starting at $6,999.

2023 Honda Fury

2023 Honda Fury
2023 Honda Fury in Pearl Yellow.

The 2023 Honda Fury represents Honda’s cruising chopper-style design and features a liquid-cooled 1,312 52-degree V-Twin with a single-pin crankshaft and three-valve dual-plug combustion chamber. It has adjustable front and rear suspension, a 336mm disc with a twin-piston caliper up front, and 296mm disc with single-piston caliper in the rear. ABS is standard. With a 32-degree rake, hard-tail styling, and 26.9-inch seat height, Honda calls the Fury a “rolling work of art.”

Related: Best Motorcycles for Smaller Riders: Seat Heights Under 30 Inches

The 2023 Honda Fury is now available in Pearl Yellow starting at $11,499.

For more information, visit the Honda website.

The post Honda Announces More 2023 Returning Models first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2023 QJ Motor SRT750 | Road Test Review

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
The QJ Motor SRT750 will soon join the Benelli motorcycles offered by SSR Motorsports dealers in the U.S. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

QJ Motor isn’t exactly a household name here in the U.S., but given the Chinese company’s global ambitions, that may soon change, especially with the 2023 QJ Motor SRT750.

QJ Motor is an enormous manufacturer that produces millions of motorcycles, scooters, engines, parts, and more every year, and it exports a fair share of its products from China to 130 countries. Since the motorcycle division’s launch in 1985, QJ Motor (Zhejiang Qianjiang Motorcycle Co. Ltd.) has also partnered behind the scenes with several familiar motorcycle OEMs here and abroad to make some of their engines, key components, and even complete motorcycles.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750

In 2005, QJ Motor acquired the name and assets of the 100-year-old Italian company Benelli, which has helped it grow market share in Europe and America. The company maintains a design center in Italy to give its two-wheelers some European flare, and it has manufactured an extensive line of Italian-designed, Benelli-badged modern motorcycles in China since 2008.

So far, QJ Motor’s only public foray into the U.S. has been with the Benelli lineup, which is sold by Southern California-based importer SSR Motorsports. SSR also offers its own line of dirtbikes and small street and dual-sport machines through its national network of motorcycle dealers.

Having tested the waters in the U.S. with Benelli since 2016, QJ Motor will brave the fickle American market in 2023 with its house brand, once again through its faithful partner SSR. Although the domestic QJ Motor lineup comprises more than two dozen motorcycles, scooters, and electric bikes, the first to make landfall here will be the 2023 QJ Motor SRT750, capitalizing on the current popularity of adventure-styled machines.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750

The Benelli/QJ Motor team in Italy based the SRT750’s overall design on the Benelli TRK502 adventure bike. It blends a classic ADV beak and seemingly giant fuel tank – really just 4.9 gallons – with an open trellis frame, exposed engine, and swoopy tailsection. The SRT750 may be the right bike at the right time given current market conditions – particularly because its $8,499 price tag is quite appealing when compared with similar adventure-styled motorcycles from Japan and Europe.

Related: 2021 Benelli TRK502X | Road Test Review

Tested here in preproduction form, the 2023 SRT750’s final price, specifications, and equipment may change a bit before it hits dealer showrooms this spring. While the bike may eventually be offered in off-road-ready adventure guise as well, the lighter sport version we tested has cast aluminum wheels and Pirelli Angel GT sport-touring tires instead of heavier spoked wheels and dirt-ready buns. While the lack of tubular guards and bash plates certainly saves weight, the SRT750 still tips the scales at a rather heavy 552 lb for a bike in this displacement class.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
Without engine guards and bash plates and wearing sport rubber on 17-inch wheels, this version of the SRT750 works best on the blacktop.

In keeping with the trend in the middleweight adventure class toward compact parallel-Twins that are simpler and cheaper to build than V-Twins, the SRT750 is powered by a 754cc Twin with liquid cooling, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, Bosch EFI, 6 speeds, and chain final drive. Not much to get excited about – until you start it up, at which point the engine’s 270-degree crankshaft creates a growling drumbeat idle reminiscent of a performance-tuned 90-degree V-Twin. Closing my eyes at a stop, I could swear I was sitting on a Ducati.

With better engine balance than a 360-degree crank, less rocking couple than a 180, and the same firing order as a V-Twin, a 270-degree crankshaft offers more character without a large sacrifice in power – hence its use in so many late-model parallel-Twins. In almost all cases, including the SRT750, vibration that would otherwise result from the uneven firing order is kept at bay by a gear-driven counterbalancer shaft.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
Incorporating a 270-degree crankshaft in the SRT750’s parallel-Twin gives the engine a more soulful sound and feel, like a V-Twin.

On Jett Tuning’s rear-wheel dyno, the SRT750 made 70.5 hp at 8,600 rpm and 46.6 lb-ft of torque at 7,800, solid peak numbers that are comparable to, say, the Suzuki V-Strom 650. This gives the bike brisk acceleration that most solo riders will find more than exciting enough in the canyons and on the highway, especially since the power is delivered with an Italian operatic bark and great twin-cylinder feel. As long as you’re not in too big a hurry, the engine provides adequate urge when the bike is fully loaded too.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750 dyno chart

Throttle response is smooth and linear up to the actual rev limit at 9,300 rpm (the tachometer is redlined at 10,000), except just off idle and up to about 3,000 rpm, where the rough power delivery needs some refinement, particularly if the rider wants to tackle any tricky low-speed terrain where smooth throttle modulation is critical. Cruising along at an actual 60 mph (measured with GPS – the bike’s speedometer read 10-12% high, but its tripmeter was accurate), the engine turns over a smooth, leisurely 4,500 rpm. As speed and engine rpm climb above 6,000 rpm or so, a little vibration creeps into the grips, but it’s not bothersome.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
Inspired by the Benelli TRK502 built by QJ Motor in China, the first QJ SRT750 to come to the U.S. wraps a pleasing adventure-bike design around what is essentially a sit-up sportbike.

Like its clean, rugged styling, simplicity is a welcome feature of the SRT750. Other than the 5-inch color TFT display with adjustable day/night modes, gear indicator, and both Bluetooth and TPMS connections (for a future smartphone app and tire pressure sending units, perhaps?), the bike gets by without many bells and whistles. Lighting is all LED, including the bright twin-beam headlight and nicely faired-in front turnsignals with clear lenses, and there’s a USB port right by the ignition switch. Brake and clutch levers are adjustable, aluminum braced handguards are standard, and extra buttons on each switch pod are ready for optional heated grips and fog lights.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
Switchgear is well-conceived and includes buttons for optional heated grips and fog lights. Some buttons are backlit.

QJ Motor says it may also add a centerstand and tubular engine/fairing guards as standard equipment, though personally I would save the latter for the adventure version. Don’t look for riding modes, traction control, or windscreen adjustability, though the SRT750 does include some useful storage under the locking seat, easy battery access, right-angle valve stems, shapely passenger grabrails, and a handy top trunk/luggage rack. If the DOHC valve train inspection every 15,000 miles reveals that the shim-under-bucket lash needs adjustment, the camshafts may need to come out, but there’s nothing unusual about that or the rest of the SRT750’s maintenance needs.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
Though it’s a bit on the heavy side, taut handling and solid midrange power make the SRT750 quite agile in corners.

At 32.9 inches, the SRT750’s nonadjustable seat height is reasonable, though the pillion perch is much higher, so take care not to bash your knee on a passenger grabrail when swinging a leg over. With my 29-inch inseam, I found that, once seated, I could touch my feet down and paddle the bike around easily, and the cleated footpegs with vibration-damping removable rubber inserts are nicely positioned under the rider’s seat. When we first got the SRT750, its wide, tapered tubular handlebar was adjusted well up and forward, like you might position it to accommodate standing while riding off-road.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750

Although the bike’s ergonomics work well sitting or standing, its Pirelli Angel GT sport-touring tires, a 17-inch front wheel, and no tip-over protection indicates that this model is meant for the blacktop. But spoon on some 50/50 tires and you could certainly tackle dirt roads and gentle trails (though its limited suspension travel and ground clearance are unlikely to enhance the experience).

Read all of Rider’s Adventure & Dual-Sport Motorcycle coverage here

Once adjusted back down, I found the reach to the handlebar and grips easy enough but still a little farther away than I like, and the otherwise comfortable seat tended to slide me forward into the tank. Wind protection is just fair since the nonadjustable screen is only mid-sized and positioned well forward, which lets the noisy windblast roll down in front rather than over the rider. The lower body and upper legs are mostly tucked in snugly behind the tank and fairing lowers, and the handguards are quite effective at blocking the cold. The TFT display is bright and easy to read, and all the handlebar switches and buttons – some of which are nicely backlit – come readily to hand.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
A bright 5-inch TFT display offers auto or manual day and night modes, and buried in the menu are Bluetooth and TPMS sensor connections.

Since it’s a preproduction model, I gave the SRT750 a thorough going-over before riding off the first time, particularly the KYB suspension. A 43mm inverted fork with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping does a nice job up front, with its 6.1 inches of travel resisting excessive dive and offering a compliant but sporty feel over bumps and under braking.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750

With no progressive linkage, the rear shock is a disappointment. Even after you make the effort to adjust its unwieldy ring-and-locknut spring preload for the rider’s weight, a bumpy road will quickly overwhelm the shock. The bike’s handling is sensitive to rear spring preload adjustment – too much and it turns in too quickly, too little and it suffers from some squirminess in front. All the more reason it should have a remote spring preload adjuster rather than just a knuckle-busting ring-and-locknut, particularly if your load will change frequently. The slotted clicker rebound damping adjuster is easily accessed and helps fine-tune the ride in back, but if this were my bike, I’d swap out the shock for a higher-quality damper.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
If the SRT750 has a weakness, it’s the rear suspension, which uses a basic semi-laydown rear shock to control the unspecified amount of wheel travel.

With its wide handlebar, compact wheelbase, steep rake angle, 17-inch wheels, and sticky tires, the SRT750 eats winding roads for breakfast, with an assist from its torquey midrange that helps it power out of corners and squirt from turn to turn. Regular and deliberate shifting helps keep the engine in the meat of the powerband and out of the juddery low-rpm zone where the fueling needs some work. But the 6-speed transmission and slip/assist clutch work smoothly, and shift lever throw is moderate. On the highway, it’s a comfortable companion that will cruise along at 75 mph from fill-up to fill-up, with only the noisy windscreen and lack of rear suspension performance over repetitive bumps to detract from the experience.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750

Impressive-looking radial-mounted Brembo 4-piston brake calipers clamp large floating dual front discs and bring the SRT750 to a halt smoothly and quickly, with a Brembo radial-pump master cylinder that gives the front brakes excellent feel at the adjustable lever. Surprisingly, the rear caliper is a nice opposed 2-piston Brembo rather than an economy 1-piston pin-slide unit, and it does a great job as well, with the pedal well-positioned directly below the ball of the foot. Overall, the brakes make for a fairly carefree riding experience, especially since they’re backed up with ABS that works smoothly and reliably when engaged. Unfortunately, the ABS can’t be turned off or adjusted, a consideration if you plan to hustle the bike around off-road.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
Powerful dual-disc brakes with radial Brembo 4-piston calipers are backed by ABS. Wheels are shod with Pirelli Angel GT sport-touring tires.

To build the SRT750, QJ Motor has sourced quality components from around the world and integrated them into a solid package with great fit and finish, designed in Italy and manufactured in a modern, ISO9001-certified factory in China. It’s worth a look for far more than just its lower price – the bike is a blast to ride, and with nearly 400 SSR Motorsports dealers around the U.S., support for the QJ lineup should be adequate.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750

With a better rear shock and a taller aftermarket or accessory windscreen for colder weather, I wouldn’t hesitate to slip some soft luggage on the SRT750 and take off on a cross-country ride, especially since it sips fuel when ridden conservatively. You could also pop on some 50/50 tires, bash bars, and a skid plate for that exposed oil filter and whatnot underneath and knock the rubber inserts out of the footpegs, and it would be ready for light adventure riding. Or just leave it as-is, in sport mode, and wait for an adventure version of the SRT750 to arrive with all of that and a 19-inch front wheel. At this price, many riders would find it easy to own both.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
A comfortable seat, a relaxed riding position, and reasonable wind protection give the SRT750 some long-distance capability. A larger windscreen would help in the cold.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750 Specs

Base Price: $8,499

Warranty: 1 yr., 12,000 miles

Website: Motor.QJMotor.com

2023 QJ Motor SRT750

ENGINE

  • Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
  • Displacement: 754cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 88.0 x 62.0mm
  • Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
  • Valve Insp. Interval: 15,000 miles
  • Fuel Delivery: Bosch EFI
  • Lubrication System: Wet sump, 3.0 qt. cap.
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch
  • Final Drive: Chain

CHASSIS

  • Frame: Tubular-steel trellis w/ engine as stressed member, cast aluminum swingarm
  • Wheelbase: 60.6 in.
  • Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/5.3 in.
  • Seat Height: 32.9 in.
  • Suspension, Front: 43mm inverted fork, adj. for spring preload & rebound damping, 6.1 in. travel
  • Rear: Single shock, adj. for spring preload & rebound damping, 2.0 in. stroke (travel NA)
  • Brakes, Front: Dual 320mm discs w/ opposed 4-piston radial calipers, radial master cylinder & ABS
  • Rear: Single 260mm disc w/ opposed 2-piston caliper & ABS
  • Wheels, Front: Cast aluminum, 3.50 x 17
  • Rear: Cast aluminum, 5.50 x 17
  • Tires, Front: Tubeless radial, 120/70-R17
  • Rear: Tubeless radial, 180/55-R17
  • Wet Weight: 552 lb
  • Claimed Load Capacity: 332 lb
  • GVWR: 884 lb

PERFORMANCE

  • Horsepower: 70.5 @ 8,600 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
  • Torque: 46.6 lb-ft @ 7,800 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.9 gal
  • Fuel Consumption: 36.3 mpg
  • Estimated Range: 178 miles

The post 2023 QJ Motor SRT750 | Road Test Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S | First Look Review

2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S in KTM orange-and-black trim

In addition to the recent announcement of the 2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R, KTM has released details on the 2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S, which will be available this month at authorized KTM dealers. 

Related: 2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R | First Look Review 

For 2023, KTM has taken the base of the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S, which the company says is “engineered to conquer mile after mile on all types of terrain,” and added a fresh sheen as well as several refinements for the benefit of practical adventuring. 

The KTM 1290 Super Adventure S is still powered by the 1,301cc LC8 V-Twin making a claimed 160 hp and 102 lb-ft of torque and mated to a 6-speed Pankl transmission and a PASC slip/assist clutch. 

2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S in graded gray
2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S in Graded Gray

A few years ago, we took the 2018 model on roads ranging from those found in Joshua Tree National Park to clogged Southern California freeways.  

“Regardless of the condition of the pavement or the radius of the curve, the KTM is unflappable,” our reviewer wrote. 

Related: 2018 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S | Road Test Review 

2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S in KTM orange-and-black trim

The 2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S has a 22-lb chromoly stainless-steel frame, vertically stacked LEDs with low beam, high beam, and cornering lights that illuminate sequentially as lean angle increases, a reengineered windscreen and adjuster, a height-adjustable seat (33.4 or 34.2 inches), and a new lightweight aluminum sidestand. 

2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S in KTM orange-and-black trim

The heart of the bike is regulated by a Bosch 6D IMU administering the ride height, ABS, ride modes (Sport, Street, Offroad, Rain, and optional Rally), tire-pressure monitoring, and the WP semi-active suspension damping and anti-dive (WP Suspension Pro is an optional upgrade, as is Quickshifter+). 

For 2023, KTM says that roaming roads everywhere and anywhere is now a lot easier thanks to augmented navigation software. The 7-inch TFT display already gave the rider full control over the ride modes, suspension, ABS settings, and adaptive cruise control, but for 2023, KTM aimed for more utility. The KTMConnect App now boasts Turn-by-Turn+ guidance and waypoint markers while on the go and without having to stop and adjust any mobile device. The same functionality also extends to audio tracks and listing ‘Favorites’ when it comes to phone calls. 

2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S in KTM orange-and-black trim

The KTM PowerParts collection includes additional gear and protection for the 2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R, such as extra protective parts, aesthetic touches through detailing, or travel items like luggage, racks, and bags. 

2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S in KTM orange-and-black trim

The 2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S will come in two new color schemes: the iconic KTM orange-and-black trim or the more neutral hue of KTM’s Graded Gray aesthetic. Pricing starts at $20,299. 

For more information, visit the KTM website.

The post 2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S | First Look Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com