Tag Archives: Adventure

Learner adventurer set for Australia

Aprilia’s first learner-approved adventure motorcycle, the Tuareg 660 L, will arrive in Australian showrooms by July in three colour schemes.

It comes a month after the release of the full-powered Tuareg 660 in May/June.

Pricing has yet to be confirmed for either bike.

The output of the full-powered version is 58.8kW (80hp) at 9250rpm with 79Nm of torque at 6500 revs.

To qualify under Australia’s learner-approved motorcycle scheme (LAMS), the 660cc parallel-twin engine has been detuned to 35kW (47.6hp) at 5500rpm and 61Nm of torque at 5000rpm.

All other technical features of the learner adventurer are unchanged and include such features as LED lighting, traction control, four riding modes and even cruise control. A quick shifter is available as an accessory.

These adventure models are part of the new 660 platform following the RS 660 and Tuono 660.

They represent a return to adventure riding after the Caponord was discontinued, but promise to be much more dirt oriented with 21-inch front wheels and tubeless tyres on spoked wheels.

Other adventure characteristics are a light wet weight of 204kg, 18-litre fuel tank and fully adjustable Kayaba suspension.

Tuareg revives a model name Aprilia last used in 1985.

The name is also used by VW for their SUV although it is spelt Touareg. Both names refer to a nomadic Sahara tribe.

Tuareg 660 was designed by the Piaggio Advanced Design Centre in Pasadena, California.

It will arrive in a choice of Acid Gold, Martian Red (black and red) and Indaco Tagelmust inspired by the 1988 Tuareg Wind 600.

Expected to arrive in local showrooms in May/June. Pricing has yet to be confirmed.

Aprilia has developed a range of accessories:

  • Lockable aluminium panniers
  • 33-litre aluminium top box
  • Tubular engine guards
  • Auxiliary LED lights
  • Centre stand
  • Chain guide
  • Touring windscreen: this ensures greater protection for the rider from the air for a more comfortable trip. It is made of 4mm thick metacrylate and is sturdy and durable.
  • Comfort seats
  • Aprilia smartphone multimedia system
  • Electronic anti-theft system

Aprilia will also have a range of adventure helmets, clothing and gloves as seen in the photos on this page.

Aprilia Tuareg 660 – Technical specs

Engine type Aprilia forward-facing twin-cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooled, dual overhead cam (DOHC) with silent chain drive on the right side, four valve per cylinder.
Bore and stroke 81 x 63.93mm
Engine capacity 659cc
Compression ratio 13.5:1
Maximum power at crankshaft 80hp (58.8kW) at 9250rpm

47.6hp (35kW) at 5500rpm (LAMS)

Maximum torque at crankshaft 70Nm (7.13kgm) at 6500rpm

61Nm at 5000rpm (LAMS)

Fuel system Airbox with front air vent. 2 Æ48mm throttle bodies, Ride-by-wire management
Ignition Electric
Lubrication Wet sump
Transmission Six-speed, Aprilia Quick Shift (AQS) System up and down available as accessory
Clutch Multiplate wet clutch with slipper system
Secondary drive Chain, drive ratio 15/42
Electronics APRC Suite that includes ATC (traction control), AEB (engine brake) AEM (engine maps), ACC (cruise control)
Four riding modes (Urban, Explore, Off-road, Individual)
Chassis Frame in steel tubing and built-in subframe screwed aluminium plates connecting the frame to the engine
Front suspension Fully adjustableÆ 43mm upside-down Kayaba fork with counterspring. Wheel travel: 240mm
Rear suspension Aluminium swingarm. Progressive linkage. Fully adjustable Kayaba monoshock. Wheel travel: 240mm
Front brake

Rear brake


300mm double disc
Brembo callipers with 4 horizontally opposed Æ 30/32mm pistons. Axial pump and metal braided brake line
260mm diameter disc; Brembo single piston Æ 34mm floating calliper. Master cylinder with separate reservoir and metal braided hose
Multimap ABS
Wheels spoked with aluminium drop centre Front: 2.15×21-inch, Rear: 4.25×18-inch
Tyres Tubeless, Front: 90/90-21, Rear: 150/70 R 18
Dimensions Wheelbase: 1525mm
Length: 2220mm
Width: 965mm
Saddle height: 860mm
Headstock angle: 26.7 degrees
Trail: 113.3mm
Weight 204kg kerb weight (187kg dry weight)
Emissions compliance Consumption Euro 5
4.0 litres/100 km
CO2 emissions 99g/km
Fuel tank capacity
Colour range
18 litres (3-litre reserve)
Indaco Tagelmust, Martian Red, Acid Gold

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ducati DesertX coming to Aussie deserts

Australia with its 10 deserts and 70% arid landscape must surely be the new homeland for Ducati’s latest new model, the DesertX.

The bike, announced overnight, won’t be available in Australia and New Zealand until the third quarter of 2022, but Ducati Australia has already revealed the pricing.

In Australia, it will cost $A24,200 ride away, while in New Zealand the retail price is $NZ24,995.

We wonder what this will do to sales of the Multistrada 950 ($21,500) and S models ($24,000).

DesertX is powered by the 937cc Testastretta 11° engine from the SuperSport 950, new V2 and Multistrada 950.

Interestingly, Ducati hasn’t down-tuned the engine from its 81kW/92Nm output in the V2 and Multistrada 950, so it should be a lively performer in the toughest of conditions.

This bike is a dedicated off-roader suitable for Australia’s many sand dunes and arid landscapes.

Chief off-road characteristics are the 21” front spoked wheel and 18” rear, Kayaba long-travel suspension, generous ground clearance, Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres and Dakar-style 21-litre fuel tank.

It looks like something you could race in the gruelling Dakar Rally with its big tank and twin headlights.

Perhaps we will see a few of these competing in the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia next month.

Ducati backs the bike with a two-year warranty or four years if your country has Euro5 emissions standards.

It also features generous service intervals of 15,000km (9000 miles) or every two years with expensive valve clearance intervals of 30,000km.

On the downside, fuel economy is a thirsty 5.6 l/100km, possibly because it weighs 223kg when filled with fuel.

The DesertX also features a host of electronic rider aids such as corner traction control, riding and power modes, wheelie control, a two-direction quick shifter and cruise control.

It also has Brembo brakes, LED lights, USB and 12V sockets, self-canceling turn indicators and a steering damper.

The bike is set up to also accommodate their multimedia system, an antitheft system, turn-by-turn navigation app, fog lights and heated grips.

There’s even an auxiliary fuel tank you can add so you can compete in the Dakar Rally … or maybe the Hattah or Finke desert races in Australia.

Ducati DesertX


Ducati Testastretta 11°, L-Twin cylinders, Desmodromic valvetrain, 4 valves per cylinder, liquid cooled



94 x 67.5mm


81kW (110hp) @ 9250rpm

92Nm (68lb-ft, 9.4 kgm) @ 6500rpm


Bosch electronic fuel injection system, 53mm throttle bodies with ride-by-wire system

Stainless steel single muffler, catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes


Straight cut gears, ratio 1.85 : 1

1=38/14, 2=31/17, 28=28/20, 4=26/22, 5=24/23, 6=23/25


Chain, front sprocket Z15, rear sprocket Z49

Slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutch with hydraulic control

Tubular steel trellis frame


KYB Ø 46mm upside-down fork, fully adjustable


230mm (9.06″)


Cross-spoked, tubeless, 2.15’’x21’’


Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR 90/90 – 21 M/C 54V M+S TL (A)


KYB monoshock, fully adjustable, remote preload adjustment, aluminium double-sided swingarm


220mm (8.66″)


Cross-spoked, tubeless, 4.5’’x18’’


The Triumph Tiger line, complete with the GT, GT Explorer, Rally, Rally Explorer, and GT Pro

Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR 150/70 R18 M/C 70V M+S TL


2 x  320mm aluminum flange semi-floating discs, Radial mount Brembo monobloc 4-pistons calipers, Bosch Cornering ABS


265mm disc, Brembo floating 2 pistons caliper, Bosch Cornering ABS


5’’ TFT colour display


202kg (445 lb)


223kg (492 lb)


875mm (34.4 in)


21L (5.54 US gal)



Ducati Safety Pack (Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control)


Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC), Engine Brake Control (EBC), Ducati Quick Shift up/down (DQS), Cruise control, full LED lighting system, DRL, Ducati brake light (DBL), USB power socket, 12V socket, self canceling turn indicators, Steering damper

Ducati Multimedia System (DMS), Antitheft system, Turn by turn navigation via app, fog lights, heated grips, auxiliary fuel tank

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Triumph: Updated 2022 Tiger Range Now Features GT Explorer and Rally Explorer

Triumph has just introduced their newly refreshed Tiger 1200 line – and they’re gunning for the big competition with their all-new 30-liter Explorers. 

Let’s get into it. 

Triumph hasn’t updated their Tiger 1200 in a hot minute – and with big fish like the Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro and the BMW R1250GSA sporting hosts of goods like advanced electronics, ergonomics, and a fantastic fuel capacity, it’s natural for Triumph to want to stir their toes in the pool with the rest of the ADV blokes. 

The Triumph Tiger line, complete with the GT, GT Explorer, Rally, Rally Explorer, and GT Pro

To that effect, Triumph’s all-new Explorer variants carry a very nice 30-liter fuel capacity, with both machines featuring six Ride Modes: Ride Modes: Road, Rain, Sport, Rider-configurable, Off-Road, and Off-Road Pro. 

When it comes to power, Triumph did the Tiger 1200 range a solid with the new ‘T-plane’ crank design, installed to improve drive pulse better. The inline triple itself also has, according to the press release, undergone a bit of a change, dropping in power from 1215cc to 1160cc; despite that, the 1200 range sports a lovely increase in power from 139bhp to 148bhp, and an increase also in torque from 90lb-ft to 95lb-ft.

How, do you ask? 

A dedicated diet, mostly.

The Triumph Tiger line, complete with the GT, GT Explorer, Rally, Rally Explorer, and GT Pro

The bike’s overall weight, depending on the variant, now registers between 240kg and 261kg, which puts the weight of the beasties around 25kg lighter. 

“Paired with the new engine is a redesigned shaft drive that’s 1.5kg lighter than the old unit,” comments an article from MCN

“The big chunks [of weight difference] have come from the swingarm and frame, which total 5.4kg lighter, in part thanks to a bolt-on aluminum subframe, but generally they’ve just trimmed the fat by ditching items that weren’t in huge demand such as the electrically adjusted screen.”

The new split radiator also helps to balance everything out, pushing the engine further forward in the chassis for better maneuverability.

The Triumph Tiger line, complete with the GT, GT Explorer, Rally, Rally Explorer, and GT Pro

Here’s a list of further perks for the range, according to the press release:

  • New category-leading Brembo Stylema® monobloc brakes, plus optimized cornering ABS with IMU
  • New rider ergonomics “designed for a comfortable and stable ride
  • All-new Triumph Blind Spot Radar System, developed in partnership with Continental
  • All-new keyless system, including ignition, steering lock, and fuel cap
  • Optimized Cornering Traction Control with IMU
  • All-new 7” TFT instruments with integrated ‘My Triumph’ Connectivity System
  • All-new Showa semi-active suspension set-up for dynamic rider control (longer travel)
  • All-new LED lighting with DRL, plus Adaptive Cornering Lights (not available on GT)
  • Hill Hold (not available on GT)
  • New twin radiator design and a minimal new silencer
  • New rider ergonomics with tailored bar and peg positions
  • All-new bodywork
  • Premium detailing and finish
  • New color schemes and graphics for each family
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

The GT Explorer and Rally Explorer also come with a little list of extra (as stated by Triumph’s press release):

  • Six Ride Modes (Road, Rain, Sport, Rider-configurable, Off-Road, and Off-Road Pro)
  • Triumph Shift Assist (standard on all except GT)
  • Heated grips
  • Heated rider and passenger seats
  • Engine protection bars
  • Tyre pressure monitoring
  • Blindspot detection radar (lane change assist incorporated)

The Triumph Tiger line, complete with the GT, GT Explorer, Rally, Rally Explorer, and GT Pro

The 2022 Triumph 1200 Range (Skim-Worthy Edition)

*as per Triumph’s press release*

Tiger 1200 GT

19” front and 18” rear cast-aluminum wheels

20-liter tank

Showa semi-active suspension

Ride Modes: Rain, Road, and Sport

Colors: Snowdonia White

Available from $19,100.00

Tiger 1200 GT Pro

19” front and 18” rear cast-aluminum wheels

Showa semi-active suspension

Ride Modes: Road, Rain, Sport, Rider-configurable, and Off-Road  

Colors: Snowdonia White, Sapphire Black, Lucerne Blue

Available from $21,400.00

Tiger 1200 GT Explorer

19” front and 18” rear cast-aluminum wheels

Heated rider and passenger seats

Engine protection bars

Tyre pressure monitoring

Blindspot detection radar (lane change assist incorporated)

30-liter tank

Ride Modes: Road, Rain, Sport, Rider-configurable, and Off-Road 

Colors: Snowdonia White, Sapphire Black, Lucerne Blue

Available from $23,100.00

Tiger 1200 Rally Pro

21” front and 18” rear tubeless spoked wheels

Ride Modes: Road, Rain, Sport, Rider-configurable, Off-Road, and Off-Road Pro

Colors: Snowdonia White, Sapphire Black, Matt Khaki

Available from $22,500.00

Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer

21” front and 18” rear tubeless spoked wheels

Heated rider and passenger seats

Engine protection bars

Tyre pressure monitoring

Blindspot detection radar (lane change assist incorporated)

30-liter tank

Ride Modes: Road, Rain, Sport, Rider-configurable, Off-Road, and Off-Road Pro  

Colors: Snowdonia White, Sapphire Black, Matt Khaki

Available from $24,200.00

The Triumph Tiger line, complete with the GT, GT Explorer, Rally, Rally Explorer, and GT Pro

What do you think? Has Triumph finally created an ADV model to give Ducati’s Multistrada 1260 Enduro and BMW’s R1250GSA a run for their money?  Comment below, letting us know what you think, check out the photo gallery below, and be sure to also check out other Triumph-related news from our archives.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Honda Reveals the NT1100: A Smaller African Twin for the Masses

It’s official – Honda Motor Company Ltd. has just dropped their anticipated adventure bike – and considering we covered the signed European type-approval documents earlier this year (with the official EU press release revealed a scant four hours ago), we’re digging the speed that this beastie was popped out. 

A view of the all-new 2022 Honda NT1100 - a slimmer version of Honda's Africa Twin, with may accessory options.

The Honda NT1100 is a sight bit lighter than we were thinking, but no less the package deal that Honda promised. Posted by both MCN and Honda’s EU Press Release as having a Kerb weight of 238kg (248kg with DCT), the NT1100 is powered by the 1084cc SOHC 8-valve parallel twin-cylinder engine from Honda’s Africa Twin, with the clever addition of intakes and exhaust additions to beef up the mid-range torque and calm down the peak torque.  

A view of the all-new 2022 Honda NT1100 - a slimmer version of Honda's Africa Twin, with may accessory options.

The end result? A beastie that boasts 100.5bhp @ 7250rpm and 75 ft-lbs of torque @ 6250rpm – compared to the 2021 African Twin (which by contrast weighs 227kg and carries 101.0hp @ 7500rpm and 77.0 ft-lbs of torque @ 6250rpm), this machine is slightly heavier with slightly more yoink in the throttle at middling speeds. 

A view of the all-new 2022 Honda NT1100 - a slimmer version of Honda's Africa Twin, with may accessory options.

To complement the power aesthetic, Honda has dressed the NT1100 in a set of panniers – narrow by comparison to the Africa Twin – alongside the potential for different bag setups via Honda’s proffered Urban Pack Voyage Pack and Touring Pack. 

A view of the all-new 2022 Honda NT1100 - a slimmer version of Honda's Africa Twin, with may accessory options.

Other features of the NT1100 include the 20.4L fuel tank capacity, a slightly shorter suspension with 17” wheels lowering the whole bike by over an inch, the potential for a quick shifter/autoblipper, and Honda’s catering to the adventure touring sector via “wind deflecting bodywork with a five-position screen designed to divert air over and around the rider.”

A view of the all-new 2022 Honda NT1100 - a slimmer version of Honda's Africa Twin, with may accessory options.

If you’re still comparing this model to the Africa Twin, expect the same deal in the electronics department, with “ lean-sensitive traction control, cornering ABS and wheel control. There are also three riding modes as standard plus two that offer user-customization…and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for navigation, music, and calls.”

A view of the all-new 2022 Honda NT1100 - a slimmer version of Honda's Africa Twin, with may accessory options.

“At Honda, we have a long tradition of catering for owners who desire a ‘traditional’ touring bike,” says Koji Kiyono, Large Project Leader of the NT1100. 

A side view of the new hybrid motorcycle prototype that Kawasaki has just revealed

“Our previous Pan European and Deauville models have enjoyed a very loyal following for many years. So, when it came time to design a new touring model, we wanted to produce something that would resonate – and appeal broadly – to these traditional touring bike customers. But we also wanted to stoke desire in riders of all ages and tastes who are looking for a genuinely new and versatile fun bike.”

A view of the all-new 2022 Honda NT1100 - a slimmer version of Honda's Africa Twin, with may accessory options.

“That’s why we’ve created our new NT1100, offering thoroughly modern engine performance, a fun-to-handle chassis, a suite of modern technology, and completely fresh, distinctive styling. We sincerely hope that many new owners will try exploring to the maximum all of its many capabilities.”

The NT1100 will be in EU dealerships by January 2022, with the base model hitting the bank at £11,999, and the DCT version chopping a bit higher at £12,999.

A view of the all-new 2022 Honda NT1100 - a slimmer version of Honda's Africa Twin, with may accessory options.

Make sure to come back for updates, and check out other adventure bikes by Honda (or just take a gander at the photo gallery we’ve tossed in for you below).

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Near-Production 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Seen Testing

Triumph seems to have had a rather busy September, teasing us with two updates for the Tiger line that are set to unveil very soon. Just a few days ago, the British manufacturer teased the arrival of the new Tiger Sport 660, which is set to happen later this week on October 5. A couple of days later, the team at RideApart got their hands on some images of a prototype of the upcoming Tiger 1200, and it looks very nearly ready for production.


The images are of a test mule that isn’t clad in camouflage, giving us a fair idea of what the adventure motorcycle will look like. RideApart also reports that the new Triumph Tiger 1200 will be powered by essentially the same 1,160cc inline-triple on the 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS. However, considering the Tiger’s drastically different nature, it’s likely that it will be tuned to aid its off-road intentions better. On the Speed Triple RS, this engine makes a whopping 178hp – we can all agree that’s more than required for an ADV – and the Tiger is expected to make much less.

The 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 will also feature the same T-Plane crankshaft from the Tiger 900, translating to better bottom-end performance. We can also see the addition of a redesigned tubular frame and a dual-sided swingarm in place of the single-sided unit that the previous generation featured. Triumph has also emphasized that the Tiger 1200 will weigh notably less than the model it’s replacing, and we’re keen to see how it’s managed this. 

As with every Triumph Tiger, we expect to see multiple variants of the Tiger 1200. With the Tiger 900, the manufacturer ditched their somewhat complex naming structure and simplified it to just GT and Rally – one road-biased and the other with more off-road-ready hardware. We could see it do the same with the Tiger 1200, as well.

Triumph is tight-lipped on when the new Tiger 1200 will go on sale, but RideApart reports that we could see it debut sometime in November, around EICMA. 


Image source: RideApart

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Multistrada V2 models touring Down Under

The Ducati Multistrada 950 has become the V2 and will arrive in Australia early next year with more technology, engine upgrades and longer service intervals.

Ducati Australia says the starting price of the Multistrada V2 will be $22,539.00 ride away compared with the 950 at $21,500 while the Multistrada V2 S with semi-active suspension will start from $25,190, previously $24,000.

In the transition from a Multistrada 950 to a V2, as opposed to the flagship V4, the bike has been upgraded in several areas and weight decreased by 5kg.

The 937 cc Testastretta 11° engine is now claimed to be more “consistent and robust” with extended maintenance intervals of 15,000km oil changes and 30,000km desmodromic valve clearance checks.

Transmission has also been updated with a new eight-disc hydraulic clutch for “greater fluidity and precision in shifting” and an easier-to-find neutral.

2022 Ducati Multistrada V2S
2022 Ducati Multistrada V2S

Ducati says they have made the Multistrada V2 more suitable for a wider range of rider sizes with a lower seat height down 10mm to 830mm.

It has also been shaped narrower so you can get your feet on the ground more easily.

If it’s still too high, you can buy an accessory lower seat and lowered suspension kit to drop the saddle height to 790mm.

Riders will also feel less cramped wth the footpegs lowered by 10mm.

Both models come in classic Ducati red with black rims while the Multistrada V2 S is also available in a new “Street Grey” livery with black frame and “GP Red” rims.

There are also two trim levels that can be ordered from the factory. Essential trim is available for both Multistrada V2 and Multistrada V2 S, while the Travel trim, with side bags, heated grips and central stand, can only be ordered for the S version.

2022 Ducati Multistrada V2S
2022 Ducati Multistrada V2S in Travel trim

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Big Suzuki V-Strom set for long voyage

Suzuki’s big adventure-touring V-Strom 1050XT is now set for even bigger treks with the addition of a free Voyager luggage kit.

I think the bike is one of the best tools available for exploring Australia’s vast and angry terrain.

It’s been around since 2002 as the DL1000 and now the proven and bulletproof engine has been upgraded to Euro 5 spec with fly-by-wire throttle, more power, and more techno.Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT

For Aussies looking to go even further it now comes standard with a Voyager luggage aluminium kit, valued at $2599, but included in the ride-away price of $21,490 with 12 months registration.

The luggage consists of a tough 38L top box made from 1.5mm aluminium, further strengthened with lid and side-wall ribbed contours. The lid also features four large tie-down points integrated into the design so you can tie down your swag or tent on top.

It sits on a rear rack which comes with the kit.

The two 37L side panniers fit to discrete mounts that are built into the bike, so they are quick to fit and remove and when they are off the bike, it doesn’t have ugly framework.

This matching luggage system features stainless steel latches, glass-fibre reinforced plastic corner covers, integrated tie-down points and are claimed to be waterproof.

Combined, the luggage set offers users 112 litres of usable storage. All three pieces and mounting points are lockable with the same key.

2022 Ducati Multistrada V2S

It comes in black or aluminium.

The V-Strom 1050XT is powered by a 1037cc, 90° V-twin, DOHC V-Twin engine, delivering 79kW (106hp) at 8500rpm and 100Nm of torque at 6000rpm.

There is also a host of electronic rider aids such as cruise control, hill hold, slope and load-dependent braking, three ride modes, traction control, leaning two-stage ABS and LED lighting.

It is available now in three variants:

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Triumph Tiger Sport 660 to Debut on October 5

The new Triumph Tiger Sport 660 will make its global debut just a week later, on October 5, 2021. Once it’s launched, this new addition to the Triumph Tiger line-up will replace the Tiger 850 Sport as the British manufacturer’s entry-level adventure-tourer.

Earlier this year, Triumph released several images of the Tiger Sport 660 prototype, clad in camouflage, giving us a glimpse of what the bike would look like. This not-so-little entry-level model features a big fuel tank, substantial radiator shrouds, and a reasonably large windscreen. The prototype also featured a single-seat design and a tall and wide handlebar, suggesting an upright riding triangle.

Triumph 2022-Tiger-Sport-660-Debut-on-October-5-2

We expect the Tiger Sport 660 to be powered by the same 660cc inline-triple from the Triumph Trident 660. On the Trident, this engine produces 80bhp at 10,250rpm and 47.2ft-lb of peak torque at 6,250rpm. While Triumph hasn’t revealed if the engine will be in the same state of tune on the Tiger Sport, we’ll likely see similar performance levels. 

Triumph’s images also revealed that the Tiger Sport 660 featured a similar-looking Showa USD fork as the Trident 660. However, considering its more adventure-oriented intentions, the Tiger will probably offer more suspension travel and, perhaps, a higher level of adjustability. The prototype also featured the same 17-inch wheels at either end, clad in Michelin Road 5 tires. 

Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, And Vespa Will Be At EICMA 2021

The Tiger Sport 660 will likely cost a bit more than its street-naked counterpart and will take on the likes of the Kawasaki Versys 650 and the Suzuki V-Strom 650 once it’s launched.

Triumph 2022-Tiger-Sport-660-Debut-on-October-5-3

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Review: Harley-Davidson Pan America Special

I’m thinking of writing a letter to Harley-Davidson boss Jochen Zeitz asking him to rename their new adventure bike the Pan Australia, rather than the Pan America.

There is no more suitable country than Australia for such a bike where half of the gazetted roads are dirt and the other half riddled with potholes and corrugations; where the dual-cab ute and SUV have taken over as the family vehicle; and where it’s a couple of packed lunches between servo stops.

Here the unaptly named Pan America stands proud as a conveyor of riders across everything from single track to freeways and even the daily commute.

Based on price, performance and efficiency, it sits toward the top of the growing heap of popular litre-plus behemoth adventure bikes.

Harley-Davidson’s first adventure motorcycle comes in two models overseas, but in Australia and New Zealand arrives in the up-spec Special model only, priced at $A31,995 ride away ($NZ33,995).Harley-Davidson Pan America Special

That’s fairly competitive when compared with Euro rivals from BMW, Ducati, KTM and Triumph.

The base model has mag wheels and is more road oriented, while the Special is an adventure tourer with electronically adjustable semi-active suspension, tyre pressure monitors, centre stand, multi-position rear brake pedal, hand guards, aluminium skid plate, Daymaker headlight, heated hand grips, cruise control and steering damper.

Harley-Davidson Pan America Special
Tubeless spoked wheels

Options include tubeless spoked wheels like BMW’s GS and adaptive ride height which were fitted to my test bike at a package cost of $1485.

Over the course of two weeks, I took it on pretty much every type of gazetted road in Australia from sandy single track, through some mud, B grade potholed country roads, suburban commuting and highways.

The big Harley may look like a big, black, plastic wheelie bin, but it certainly is a practical and accomplished all-roader. Harley-Davidson Pan America Special

What it isn’t, is a Harley; or at least it does not look, feel, sound nor perform like any of the hundred-plus Harleys I’ve ridden in the past couple of decades.

In fact, one of the world’s most recognised brand names is only discretely displayed on the wheels and rocker covers, with blank bar-and-shield logos on the tank.

The engine may be a V-twin like all other Harleys, but the new liquid-cooled Revolution Max 1250 feels, sounds and performs more like a parallel twin.

There is none of the thump and big-bottomed torque of Harley’s big V-twins. Instead, it is a refined engine with variable valve timing and a good spread of power.Harley-Davidson Pan America Special

With 112kW of power, it’s only beaten by Ducati’s Multistrada, while the torque monster BMW at 142Nm is the only big adventurer with more grunt than PanAm’s 127Nm.

However, maximum power and torque do require many more revs than other Harleys or the BMW GS juggernauts.

And it doesn’t have that iconic potato-potato sound that Harley famously and unsuccessfully once applied to trademark.

The engine is married to an un-Harley-like slick transmission where neutral is easy to find and the gears mesh so nicely you can cluthlessly shift up and down through most cogs.

At 100km/h in sixth, it is spinning at 3800rpm which is about 1200 revs higher than most Harley engines.

The spread of ratios allows low gearing for technical terrain as well as a reasonably vibe-free smooth run on the highway.

Here you can flick on the cruise control and be assured that you won’t cop a ticket for inadvertent speeding since it doesn’t pick up pace going downhill.Harley-Davidson Pan America Special

While other brands may be introducing adaptive cruise control that regulates the speed according to the vehicle in front, at least Harley’s cruise will protect your licence, albeit with a strange surging feel as it tries to stick to your selected speed.

Like most big adventurers, it stands tall with high bars, footpegs, windscreen and tank.

Yet the adjustable seat height is relatively moderate for adventurers at 850mm with an optional suspension dropping it to 830mm, so it should a wide range of riders.

Ergonomics are comfortable with a commanding riding position, plenty of leg room, a generous reach to the bars and a big, plush saddle for both rider and pillion who also gets massive hand grips that double as discrete mounts for panniers.

It’s accommodation that will convey rider and pillion hundreds of kilometres in comfort and with plenty of protection from the windscreen with three-level adjustment.

Harley-Davidson Pan America Special
Adjustable windscreen lever

You can adjust the screen via a lever on the left so you can keep your right hand on the throttle. However, I found it a bit awkward to adjust on the fly, so I suggest pulling over to change the screen height. 

On rough terrain, the standing position on generously sized footpegs with pop-out rubber inserts is also congenial without the need for bar risers.

Surprisingly, the company that previously boasted it made “heavy motorcycles” is not the heaviest of the adventurers at 253kg, which is 15kg less than the market-leading BMW R 1250 GS.

While no behemoth adventure bike feels at home on single track, the top-heavy Harley does not feel too awkward.

Despite the V-twin confirmation placing a lot of weight high in the chassis, it feels well balanced and not overly hefty.Harley-Davidson Pan America Special

However, in the standing position, you can’t see the front tyre which makes it difficult to precisely place the front wheel in or out of ruts.

All big adventure bikes are now marvels of technology and the PanAm is no different with a massive 6.8 inch TFT display showing speedometer, gear, odometer, fuel level, clock, trip, ambient temp, low temp alert, side stand down alert, tip-over alert, cruise, range and tacho.

All that info is available on the home screen, but the type on some info is small and difficult to read.

However, you can scroll through various screens where the information is tailored with larger and easier-to-read letters and numbers.

It comes with four preset riding modes (highway, rain, sport and enduro) that adjust throttle sensitivity, ABS, power output, traction control and suspension damping, plus a customisable mode that you can tailor to suit your needs and riding style.

You can also pair your phone to the bike and access phone calls, music and navigation through the H-D app.

Harley-Davidson Pan America Special
USB accessories charger

All controls are easily reachable on the plethora of switches and buttons on the two big switch blocks.

Harley has long had sidestands that lock so they won’t roll forward and fall over. The PanAm continues that sensible tradition, but it’s a bit short and too far forward for my liking, making it difficult to deploy on flat ground or where there is a slight uphill on the left.

The massive centre stand is welcome, but difficult to deploy without assistance from a pillion or riding buddy.

You can dress up the PanAm with a wide range of Harley accessories, including three durable luggage systems, as well as adventure riding gear for men and women developed in collaboration with respected European motorcycle apparel specialist, REV’IT!.

Pan America Special tech specsHarley-Davidson Pan America Special

  • Price: from $31,995 ride away (test bike included tubeless spoked wheels and adaptive ride height at $1485).
  • Warranty: 2 years/unlimited km.
  • Engine: liquid-cooled, VVT, Revolution Max 1250cc V-twin.
  • Power: 112kW @ 9000rpm.
  • Torque: 127Nm @ 6750rpm.
  • Gearbox: 6-speed, chain drive.
  • Weight: 253kg.
  • Suspension front/rear: 47mm inverted fork with electronically adjustable semi-active damping control. aluminium fork triple clamps / Linkage-mounted monoshock with automatic electronic preload control and semi-active compression & rebound damping.
  • Brakes front/rear: 4-piston radial monoblock caliper, 320mm discs / single-piston floating caliper, 280mm disc, ABS.
  • Dimensions: 2265mm (L); 965mm (W); 1510mm (H); 1580mm (WB); 850mm (S)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Europe: An October Release for the Moto Morini X-Cape

The Italian-designed, Chinese-made Moto Morini X-Cape 650 will soon be in Europe – and bargain pricing promises to follow hard on the heels of the October release date. 

A view of a rider trying out the all-new Moto Morini X-Cape adventure motorbike on rugged terrain, with a gorgeous tropical view.

According to a report from RideApart, the adventure bike first turned heads at the Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori (EICMA), or the Milan Motorcycle Show, in 2019. 

Moto Morini has been making cars in Italy for over a hundred years, with the brand experiencing a rebirth after the company was purchased by Zhongneng Motors.

A front view of the Moto Morini X-Cape, soon to be released to Europe

This bike still showcases elements of the Moto Morini brand, the most notable being the rather sharp features of the X-Cape’s head, similar to that of the eagle present on Moto Morini’s crest. 

A view of the full-color TFT display on the 2021 Moto Morini X-Cape Adventure Motorbike

The middleweight bike features a 649cc parallel-twin engine sporting a sparse 60 horsepower – hardly anything special, especially considering that the engine itself is being considered ‘the budget approach for the company’, being Zhejiang Chunfeng-sourced and sporting a Bosch EFI system.

A view of the torso of the all-new 2021 X-Cape adventure motorbike

Pair that with Euro 5 compliancy, and we’ve got a package similar to what we find in the Kawasaki Versys 650…not the hyped-up niceties of its more mature (and admittedly more fun) competition, the Yamaha Ténéré 700.

A side view of the Moto Morini X-Cape, soon to be released to Europe
2021 Moto Morini X-Cape Adventure Motorbike in Smoky Anthracite

Other perks of the X-Cape include a full-color TFT display, the ability to connect via Bluetooth, and a built-in pressure monitoring system for the bespoked tyres, as well as three color options: Red Passion, Smoky Anthracite, and Carrara White.

A side view of the Moto Morini X-Cape, soon to be released to Europe
2021 Moto Morini X-Cape Adventure Motorbike in Carrara White

Here’s a more detailed list of the specs available in today’s model:


Length x width x height: 2190x905x1390 Wheelbase: 1470 mm

Dry weight: 213 kg

Seat height: 820mm/845mm

Fuel tank: 18L

Ground clearance: 175mm

A view of a rider trying out the all-new Moto Morini X-Cape adventure motorbike on rugged terrain, with a gorgeous tropical view.


Steel: trellis

Swingarm: alluminium

A view of the Moto Morini crest on the all-new 2021 X-Cape adventure motorbike


Front brake: 298mm double discs, floating caliper, 2 pistons

Rear brake: 255mm single disc, 2 pistons

ABS: BOSCH ABS 9.1 Mb (switchable ABS)

A view of a rider trying out the all-new Moto Morini X-Cape adventure motorbike on rugged terrain, with a gorgeous tropical view.


Tubeless Spoked rims


Front tyre: 110/80-19M/C

Rear tyre: 150/70-17M/C

a view of the accessories that go into creating a Moto Morini X-Cape adventure motorbike


Engine type: L 2, 4 Strokes

Engine capacity: 649 cc

Bore x stroke: 83mm x 60mm

Compression: 11.3:1

Max torque: 56Nm/7000rpm

Max power: 44kW/60CV/8250rpm

Injection system: BOSCH EFI injection system Max speed: 175 Km/h

Cooling system: liquid

Fuel distribution: DOHC twin-cylinders 8 valves Emission: euro 5

A view of a rider trying out the all-new Moto Morini X-Cape adventure motorbike on rugged terrain, with a gorgeous tropical view.

The Standard model of the Moto Morini X-Cape will hit European showroom floors for the pretty sum of 7,290, or around $8,600 USD. The Italian company will also have ready a restricted variant, available to A2 license holders.

Sticking to the asphalt and want a better bang for buck? No problem – there will be a street-focused variant, complete with alloy wheels for just over 7,000, or $8,366 USD. 

Stay tuned for updates – and a good ride today!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

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