Tag Archives: Adventure

Dakar Dream Becomes Custom Reality

Brisbane rider Daniele Milazzo grew up watching the Dakar Rally on SBS TV and always dreamt of owning one of the victorious BMW race bikes.

Dakar Dreams

Instead of trying to find an ex-race bike, Daniele set about totally rebuilding a 1983 BMW R 80 ST and customising it into a G/S version.

Dakar Dreams

“It’s not a full rally replica, but more of a comfort off-road tourer,” Daniele says.

Dakar Dreams

BMW Motorrad built the R 80 G/S from 1980 to 1987 and won the famous Europe-to-Africa Dakar Rally in 1981,1983–1985 with the R 80.

After the rally organisers reduce the engine capacity limits because of the dangers of the powerful high-speed machines, BMW won again in 1999 and 2000 with an F 650 model.

Daniele, a 44-year-old digital designer, has been riding since 2000 on everything from a Vespa to a BMW R 1200 GS.

Dakar Dreams

“I chose this bike because growing up I remember vividly the Sahara Dakars,” he says.

“The adventure you could sense in those early races.”

Dakar Dreams

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So why an R 80 ST?

“One day I met Ron Van de Weil, a very experience mechanic, and after talking to him, we embarked on the journey of improving what is a solid machine and restoring what needs to be fixed.

Dakar Dreams

“The bike has been rebuilt from the ground up. It’s a comfortable adventure bike. Meticulously put together.”

Dakar Dreams

We think it looks pretty cool!

If you have a special custom bike you would like to share with us, click here to send an email.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Royal Enfield Himalayan Switches Off ABS

One of the few changes for the 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan adventure motorcycle is the ability to switch off the ABS.

It may not seem like a big deal, but it is to the adventure rider who wants to be able to lock the wheels under braking to dig into the gravel, dirt, loam or sand surface for extra braking effect.

It’s a shame there isn’t the facility to just switch off the rear.

However, they say they have tweaked the rear brake for better feel and effect.

2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan

The other changes are the addition of three new colours — Lake Blue, Rock Red, and Gravel Grey – making a total of six colour choices. The existing colours are Granite Black, Snow White and Sleet Grey.

The Himalayan also now comes with a redesigned side stand and the engine is Euro5 compliant although they don’t say whether this has affected output.

There is no word on when these will arrive in Australia, price or whether all colours will be available.

Levi’s project

MV Agusta Stunt bikes

Meanwhile, Royal Enfield has joined with iconic American jeans manufacturer Levi’s to launch a range of lifestyle and riding gear, available online and in Royal Enfield and Levi’s stores in India.

Levi's & Royal Enfield

They say it is suitable for riding and daily wear and the Cordura denim includes some abrasion protection and pockets for armour inserts.

Levi's & Royal Enfield

The lifestyle collection includes jeans, jackets and graphic t-shirts designed by rider and artist Toria James.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Watch: “Long Way Up” Trailer

Finally, a preview of the Long Way UP adventure with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on electric Harley-Davidson LIveWire motorcycle in South and North America has been launched.

Watch the trailer below. As usual, it looks like unscripted fun and adventure.

The series will screen on Apple TV+ from 18 September 2020 with three episodes on the first night and one episode each week after that, but they don’t say how many episodes there will be.

If you don’t have Apple TV+ you can wait until the whole series has been aired and then do a one-month free trial. Otherwise, it costs $A7.99 per month.

Small screen adventure

In the third and probably final “Long Way” series, the Brits ride Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire motorcycles from the city of Ushuaia at the tip of South America to LA.

They cover 21,000km over 100 days through 16 border crossings and 13 countries: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and up through Colombia, Central America, and Mexico.

Also joining them are their longtime collaborators, directors David Alexanian and Russ Malkin, driving in electric Rivian utility vehicles.

Unlike their previous adventures on BMW GS machines, this one was on Harley’s new electric LiveWire which is available in Australia this month for a whopping $A49,995 ($NZ53,995).

That’s more than the feature-laden Ultra Limited tourer at $A41,495!

While the specially modified bikes did get the pair to their destination, Ewan admits he ran out of “juice” a couple of times and even had to hitch rides with cars by hanging on to the B pillar.

This is highlighted in the trailer and was also mentioned in an interview on the American Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in February 2020.

In the interview, he explains that they chose electric motorcycles because they “wanted to be part of that new wave of transportation”.

“It proved to be amazing and quite tricky at the same time,” McGregor tells Fallon.

“Charging is the issue. There’s no real infrastructure for charging in Patagonia, for instance.

“We’d just knock on people’s doors and ask if we could plug them in.

“They usually do let us. We’d camp in their garden and we’d plug in.”

However, he said charging two bikes at the same time would sometimes blew the houses’s fuses, so they would charge one at a time.

“People were so generous and lovely about it,” he says.

“We’d ride all morning and then if we stopped to look around the town we’d find somewhere to plug in at a restaurant or a cafe or something.”

According to Harley, LiveWire range is about 150km on the highway and about 235km in the city.

So, what did they do when they ran out of “juice”, Fallon asked?

BMW Motorrad No Maintenance Chain

“Hope for a hill,” McGregor replies.

“I got towed a couple of times. I was the only one that ran out.

“Charley never ran out of juice and he’ll tell you it’s ’cause he’s a better rider than me and it may well be the case.

“But I ran out a couple of times, so I’d just hold on to a car.”

He explains how this stunt was performed and we assume it was at slow speed and could have been using one of the back-up vehicles.

“If you open the back windows and the front of the car you could get your arm around a pillar and you just muscle along like that for a while,” he explains.

Ewan says the first time he saw this done was in New York when he was about 21 or 22 riding in a yellow cab.

“A Harley-Davidson guy — a Hells Angels guy — who’d run out of gas or his bike was broken down clattered into the side of the cab, grabbed hold of the pillar and he shouted the address of the Hells Angels clubhouse to the driver who just took him there and didn’t ask any questions; just drove there like that.

“I think the Hells Angels owe me $5.26.”

It’s been a long time between trips for Ewan and Charley.

From 14 April 2004 to 29 July 2004, they rode across Europe and the USA in Long Way Round and from 12 May to 4 August 2007 they rode from the top of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa for Long Way Down.

With Ewan becoming increasingly busy with Hollywood movies, Charley squeezed in the 2006 Dakar rally for his series, Race to Dakar, and has produced several other travel shows.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Is The Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT The Best Sport Tourer Around?

Is the Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT the Goldilocks of sport adventure tourers? You know, not too cold and not too hot, but just right on value, features, performance, handling, and comfort.

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.

While the engine is the same size, they now call it a 1050 and it comes standard in Glass Sparkle Black for $17,990 ride away.

The wire-wheeled flagship 1050 XT (Cross Touring) at $20,990 ride away in Pearl Brilliant White or Glass Blaze Orange (Aussie prices include 12-months registration) adds all the bells and techno whistles.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT

They include cruise, hill hold, slope and load-dependent braking, ride modes, traction control, leaning two-stage ABS and LED lighting.

The only thing missing is self-canceling indicators.

Otherwise, I reckon the flagship XT model is an ideal bike for touring our wide brown land in safety, comfort and style.

In fact, I reckon it’s the most stylish of all the sport adventure tourers, especially in the “Marlboro” colour scheme of my test bike. It looks like a handsome Dakar attacker!

Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT

The smooth ride-by-wire throttle and upgraded Bosch inertial measurement unit (IMU) on the XT allow for the host of hi-tech functions that make sport-touring safer and more effective on just about any road surface.

However, even the first level of ABS and traction control are still a little too interventionist on dirt roads. I’d prefer a bit more brake lock and wheel spin for tighter and more controlled cornering on gravel. It would be also handy to have the ability to switch off the ABS on the back only.

Otherwise, on gravel, it’s probably best to just switch off both traction and ABS.

The front brakes are very effective and responsive but probably with a little too much initial bite for gravel roads, while the rear brake has good feel and effect.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT

The XT’s braking system also features Hill Hold, Slope Dependent, and Load Dependent controls.

Hill hold automatically applies the rear brake when stopped on an upward slope to prevent it from rolling back; Slope Dependent control monitors the angle of the bike on a downhill slope to prevent rear wheel lift; and Load Dependent system automatically compensates for solo riding, two-up and luggage.

Other tech features include Low RPM assist which adds some revs so you don’t snuff it when taking off at the lights and the Easy Start one-button ignition/kill switch.

At the heart of the 1050XT is the creamy mid-torque feel of the 1037cc V-twin engine that now comes with three engine modes to smooth out throttle response for low-traction surfaces.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT

Transmission is like most Japanese gearboxes: silky smooth, faultless, and easy to find neutral.

While the drivetrain won’t set your hair on fire, acceleration is brisk and response is crisp. Goldilocks would find it just right.

So is the handling.

Factory settings closely suit my 75kg frame. I just needed to wind off a bit of rear preload with the convenient knob on the left side of the bike.

Heavier and lighter riders should be able to adjust the rear preload and fiddle with the fully adjustable 43mm KYB inverted front forks to find a setting that would even suit Goldilocks!

Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT

Its long-travel springs provide a plush and comfortable ride across the roughest country roads. Yet it still feels agile and sharp for an adventure tourer with a big 19-inch front wheel.

Suzuki’s big V-Strom feels just right for most roads, inviting you to travel far and wide and to facilitate your travels it arrives with a choice of two luggage accessories kits.

The Voyager pack features aluminium panniers and top box in powder-coated black ($3599) and anodised silver ($3699).

The Trekker Pack ($6199 in black and $6299 in silver) includes Suzuki plug-and-play heated grips, LED fog lamps, and a 4mm aluminium skid plate.

Pillions will enjoy the generous-sized seat and large hand grips.

CFMoto CF1250

Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT

However, some riders might find their seat too short and may even get pinched on the backside by the join with the separate pillion seat.

I found it very comfortable sitting forward on the seat which narrows as it approaches the tank.

This not only makes it ideal when standing for off-road riding, but also easier to get your feet on the ground despite the high 850mm perch. I’m just over 6’ tall and can place both feet flat on the ground with a slight knee bend.

I like the standing position, but I would roll the bars forward just a fraction and I’d prefer the big rubber-covered footpegs a little further forward. The pegs also get in the way when you stop and put your foot down.

The firm vinyl seat feels comfortable at first but it does get tiring toward the end of a long day in the saddle.

While the adjustable windscreen provides plenty of chest protection, it creates a lot of wind turbulence around your head in either the low or high position. I’d either remove it or add a deflector accessory on the top.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT

It’s also annoying that you have to get off the bike to adjust the screen with the handle on the front.

(A word of warning: When following a truck, the windscreen creates a bit of weave at highway speed.)

Making your touring more comfortable and convenient is the cruise control with the on/off switch next to the throttle and the setting controls on the left switchblock. You can set speeds in fourth gear and above between 50 and 160km/h.

These same controls also allow you to toggle through the reams of information and adjustment on the massive LCD screen.

While the screen is visible in all lighting conditions, some of the information in the bottom right hand corner is small and difficult to read.

Good to see the addition of a USB port to the left of the instruments, making it even more convenient for Goldilock’s next big adventure.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
Price: $20,990 ride away
Engine 1037cc 90° V-twin, liquid-cooled, DOHC
Transmission 6-Speed constant mesh with back-torque-limiting clutch
Suspension (front) 43mm KYB inverted forks with adjustable compression, rebound and spring preload
Suspension (rear) Link type, KYB shock with adjustable rebound damping and spring preload
Brakes (front) Tokico radial-mount, four-piston calipers, 310mm floating discs
Brakes (rear) Nissin single-piston caliper, 260mm disc with ABS
Length 2180mm
Width 930mm
Height 1470mm
Wheelbase 1555mm
Seat 850mm
Fuel 20.0L
Wet weight 233Kg
Warranty 2 Year Unlimited Kilometre

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Royal Enfield Himalayan Motorbike Review

The Royal Enfield Himalayan is an Indian adventure motorbike. It’s a very versatile bike that can be used for different types of terrain.

Before we get deep into this Royal Enfield Himalayan review, let’s take a brief look at the history of this motorbike.

About the Royal Enfield Himalayan

This bike is manufactured in Chennai, a city in south-east India. The motorbike industry in India is one of the largest in the world. The country has a growing population that has already crossed 1.3 billion. Some of the top motorbike manufacturers in the country roll out 1 million motorbikes per month.

Royal Enfield make a range of highly rated motorcycles, including the Continental GT, Thunderbird, Interceptor 650, Bullet, Classic 350 and the Himalayan. The average Indian rider is more interested in fuel efficiency than power or torque, which explains why most motorbikes in the country are less than 150 ccs.

As well as using motorcycling in Indian cities, many people like to ride their motorcycles in tour groups, including Royal Enfield’s own Rides program, to adventurous routes into the Himalayas.

What’s interesting about the Royal Enfield’s Himalayan motorbike is that it was designed for bike users tackling the broken roads of the countryside in India. That was the original target market. It was not meant to be a performance-oriented motorcycle. Instead it was aimed at customers who value affordability.

With that objective in mind, the motorbike was designed to have competent ride and handling, comfort and agility while being reasonably affordable. All those characteristics made it into an adventure bike not just for India, but for the rest of the world.

It is now a popular affordable adventure bike in the United States for use on dirt roads, rough terrain and mountain treks. The tagline for Himalayan is: “Built for all road. Built for no roads”.

Royal Enfield Himalayan BS6 vs. Earlier Models

Royal Enfield Himalayan2016 Royal Enfield Himalayan

The first-generation Himalayan had minor niggles that have been sorted out, and it has now become a great bike to take on a rough road or a long ride. The Royal Enfield Himalayan BS6 has all the features that a motorcycle in this category needs to have, including a switchable ABS (Anti-lock Braking System).

The design of the Himalayan is an embodiment of the Royal Enfield Bike ethos of minimalistic design and strong personality. The BS6 model has a bit more color than previous models, giving it more character.

Engine, Torque and Horsepower

The emission standards have been upgraded with a BS6 engine. The fuel economy is also better with the new version. The 411 CC SOHC fuel injection based single cylinder engine delivers 24.3 bhp and 32 Nm torque at 6500 rpm.

For motorbike enthusiasts, it becomes a matter of intense discussion whether torque is more important or horsepower. It is important to understand the difference between horsepower and torque. The horsepower has the capability of delivering more speed for the motorbike, whereas torque at higher rpm allows for greater horsepower.

So one is not more important than the other, it just depends on the situation. For the motorbike buyer, it is recommended to buy a motorbike with a good balance between torque and horsepower.

With previous Himalayan models, there were some complaints regarding excessive engine vibration. With the new model, there is an improvement in vibration control. The engine can run speeds of up to 100km/h smoothly.

Vibrations do start to become an issue around 125km/h, but that speed won’t be reached very often. This is not a performance-based motorbike. The beauty of the motorbike is in its agility and handling.

Comfort & Riding Experience

Royal Enfield Himalayan Sleet investsRoyal Enfield Himalayan

Riding the motorbike for long hours is not a problem. The bike has a low seat height, ideal for balance and stability.

The suspension is long-travel, which is great for rougher roads as it does not pass the bumps on to the rider. On a highway, it does feel a bit sluggish. The rear suspension could have been made slighter stiffer but no complaints if you are riding the biking on rougher roads.

The Himalayan has front suspension travel of 200 mm and rear suspension travel of 180 mm. Group clearance if 220 mm and 800 mm seat height. The fuel tank has a 15-liter capacity. The chassis feels solid and well built. The size of the motorbike is well-proportioned to its components.

The riding position is comfortable with a relaxed riding stance assisted with a raised handlebar and neutrally placed foot pegs. The saddle of the Himalayan is most comfortable for motorbikes of its price range.

The length of the side stand is shorter in the new version, allowing for improved stability while parking. This is an important feature when parking on rough terrain. The tall handlebar and scooped seat mean the rider feels comfortable while feeling in control of the bike.

The high instrument cluster adds to the commanding view. The padding in the seat is firm while the fabric used feels durable.

Braking

The braking performance of the Himalayan is excellent. Royal Enfield has recalibrated the ABS taking it to a higher level of refinement. The ABS can be switched on or off on the real wheel. This feature will be most appreciated by off-road riders.

Switching the brakes on or off the rear wheel allows for the motorbike to slide, an important maneuver for adventure seekers. The front wheel has the standard braking mechanism.

The rear disc of the brake seems to have more bite in the new version. The braking does feel a bit spongy but for a 200 kg motorbike, a little softness in the braking is required. The front brakes have a 300 mm disc while the rear brakes have a 240 mm disc.

Tyres

The tyre brand used on the Himalayan is the most trusted brand in India, Ceat Tyres. The motorbike features the Gripp XL tyres. They are known for their block pattern design.

Instrument Cluster

The instrument cluster has been slightly updated from the previous models. The ABS switch on-off button has been added but other than that, the appearance of the instrument cluster remains similar.

There are two trip meters on the panel giving you average speeds, fuel gauge, and the current time. Hazard lamps have been added to the handlebar. There is a rear rack for storage.

Some riders have added accessories such as heated grips for trips to the colder climate and engine guard for protection. Some users are also using a crash bar system that can protect the motorbike from tip-overs. Crash bars are designed to distribute the force of the impact.

Alternatives

Some of the main competitors in this category are the BMW G 310 GS and the KTM Adventure 390.

Royal Enfield Himalayan vs. KTM Adventure 390

The Himalayan has a bigger engine and a more powerful ride compared to the KTM Adventure 390, which has a slightly higher maximum torque. The Himalayan has substantial longer suspension travel is much heavier compared to the KTM. The Himalayan is loaded with more features and offers better value for money compared to the KTM.

Royal Enfield Himalayan vs. BMW G 310 GS

Compared with the BMW G 310 GS, the Himalayan is much cheaper, offering better value for money in terms of the features offered. The Himalayan has a more solid feel to it with more weight and longer overall length.

Unsurprisingly given that the BMW is so much more expensive, it does have some extra features such as a digital instrument panel and indicators. However, for the difference in price, it just doesn’t offer that much more.

For the brand-conscious, BMW will still be ahead in the race but from a value for money, the Himalayan is the winner.

If you get a chance to visit a Royal Enfield dealer, ask to try the Himalayan test bike and you will be able to experience the solid, powerful, and agile ride of the Himalayan motorbike.

Conclusion

Make no mistake, the Himalayan can be a pretty strong city bike. Even with one cylinder, it doesn’t feel slow in an urban setting.

With its superior handling, lane changing and cornering is very smooth. The three-piece crankshaft provides a great balance for a motorbike this size.

However, the beauty of the motorbike is on an off-road adventure. The greatest value proposition is the Himalayan’s strong quality and affordability.

(Contributed post for our North American readers)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Husqvarna confirm Norden 901 adventurer

Husqvarna Australia has confirmed they will import the production version of the Norden 901 Concept model unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan last month.

That was a quick move from concept to production confirmation.

However, Husqvarna Motorcycles say the concept was so well accepted by consumers they took no time in announcing their decision to go ahead.Husqvarna Norden 901 concept (7)

Husqvarna Australia has not yet released a scheduled arrival date or pricing, but we expect it some time in 2020.

Let’s hope they get the pricing right on this after the debacle of the overpricing for the single-cylinder 401 and 701 Svartpilen and Vitpilen street models.

Sales were consequently so slow, they dropped prices between $3000 and a massive $7000 in August.

Norden specsHusqvarna Norden 901 concept (7)

The Norden will be only their second attempt at the street/adventure market since the company became part of the KTM group in 2013.

While specifications have not yet been released, it will be powered by an 889.5cc parallel-twin engine.

Like the 401 and 701 models, it will likely be a reworked KTM engine, possibly the new 799cc motor powering the 790 Duke and Adventure.Husqvarna Norden 901 concept (7)

Also, like the the Husky street models, it will be suspended by premium WP suspension which is also part of the KTM group.

If the concept is anything to go by, it will be shod with a 21-inch front Pirelli Scorpion Really STR front tyre for off-road ability with an 18-inch rear.

We are not sure how much of the attractive concept will make it into production.

However, these images show it will be set up for adventure touring with lots of luggage and protection options.Husqvarna Norden 901 concept (7)

Husky promises the slim and light adventure tourer will have comfortable ergonomics and “confidence inspiring handling”.

If it’s as successful as the KTM 790 Adventure, it will be another great option for adventure riders … so long as they get the pricing right!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Moto Guzzi confirms V85 TT Travel

Moto Guzzi Australia has confirmed we will be getting the new V85 TT Travel unveiled last week at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan.

The V85 Travel simply features formerly optional accessories as standard fittings. They are panniers, extra LED lights, a higher windshield, heated grips and phone connectivity.

It also comes in a unique Sabbia Namib colour and graphics with a grey frame and matte chassis.

There is no word yet on arrival or pricing, but expect to pay more than the V85 TT at $18,890 (plus on-road costs).

Travel accessories

2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
Moto Guzzi unveil the new Touring V85 TT at 2019 EICMA

The screen has a 60% larger surface protection area than the standard screen.

The lightweight plastic panniers with alloy inserts have 37-litre capacity on the right to hold a full-face helmet and 27.5 litres on a the left as it sits over the high exhaust pipe.

Pannier locks use the same key. They come with discrete frame mounts to retain the bike’s lines.

The heated hand grips and additional LED lights are controlled by buttons on the left switchblock.

V85 Travel also comes with the Moto Guzzi multimedia platform that allows riders to connect their phone and extend functions of the instrument cluster.

The V85 Travel is powered by the 853cc air-cooled, OHV, transverse 90° V-twin and is shod with Michelin Anakee Adventure tyres.

2020 Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel

Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel

ENGINE

Type

Transverse 90° V twin, two valves per cylinder (titanium intake).

Cooling

Air

Engine capacity

853 cm³

Bore and stroke

84 x 77 mm

Compression ratio

10.5: 1

Maximum power

80 HP (59 kW) at 7,750 rpm

Torque

80 Nm at 5,000 rpm

Fuel system

Electronic injection; Ø 52 mm single throttle body, Ride-by-Wire

Fuel tank capacity

23 litres (including 5 litre reserve)

Emissions compliance

Euro 4

Consumption (WMTC cycle)

4.9 l/100 km

CO2 Emissions (WMTC cycle)

118 g/km

TRANSMISSION

Clutch

Dry single disc

Transmission

6 gears

Gear ratio values

1st 16/39 = 1: 2.437

2nd 18/32 = 1: 1.778

3rd 21/28 = 1: 1.333

4th 24/26 = 1: 1.083

5th 25/24 = 1: 0.960

6th 27/24 = 1: 0.889

CHASSIS

Frame

High strength steel tubular frame

Front suspension

41 mm hydraulic telescopic USD fork, with adjustable spring preload and hydraulic rebound

Front wheel travel

170 mm

Rear suspension

Double-sided swingarm in box-type aluminium with a single shock on the right side, with adjustable spring preload and hydraulic rebound

Rear wheel travel

170 mm

Front brake

Double 320 mm stainless steel floating discs, Brembo radial-mounted callipers with 4 opposed pistons

Rear brake

Ø 260 mm stainless steel disc, floating calliper with 2 pistons

Wheels

Spoked

Front wheel rim

2.50″ x 19″

Rear wheel rim

4.25″ x 17″

Front tyre

With air chamber 110/80 – R19″

Rear tyre

With air chamber 150/70 – R17″

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

A/C generator

430 W

System voltage

12 V

Battery

12V – 12 Ah

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Suzuki’s 2020 Dr Big V-Strom 1050

As expected, Suzuki has upgraded its V-Strom range with a 1050 flagship in honour of their legendary DR-BIG.

Not only is the flagship V-Strom bigger with 5kW more power to 79kW at 8500 revs, but it is also more techno.

Some of the hi-tech features include cruise, hill hold, slope and load dependent controls, ride modes and LED lighting.

It will come in two models, standard and XT for touring.

Suzuki Australia says V-Strom 1050 and XT are expected to arrive in the middle of 2020 with final specifications, colours and pricing confirmed closer to launch.

Here is the full V-Strom 1050 press release from Suzuki AustraliaSuzuki V-Strom 1050 Dr Big

Powered by Suzuki’s highly acclaimed 1037cc, 90° V-twin, DOHC engine which has further evolved for MY20, boasting increased top-end power whilst also conforming to Euro 5 emissions standards. Thanks to new camshaft profiles and timing, peak horsepower has increased considerably from 74kW / 8,000rpm to 79kW / 8,500rpm (106hp). The highly refined engine begins with a deep rumble low in the rpm range, then progresses through the mid-range along a strong and linear torque curve then keeps building through the high rpm range in a smooth yet enjoyable manner.Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Dr Big

The distinctive new styling incorporates elements of both Suzuki’s legendary DR-Z desert racer and the large off-road model DR-BIG. The distinguishing beak design first adopted by Suzuki stays true to Suzuki’s heritage while also modernising the design to be more aggressive and bolder for the new generation V-STROM.

The most technologically advanced production Suzuki motorcycle in company history, the latest generation V-STROM is the first to boast Suzuki’s new Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S). Combining an array of electronic aids and controls as well as several unique features only available on XT, further enhancing rider useability and convenience like never before.    

An advanced cruise control system works in conjunction with the new ride-by-wire throttle system to maintain the set vehicle speed without the rider needing to operate the throttle, a welcomed feature for long-distance touring that assists in reducing rider fatigue. Cruising speed can be set from approximately 50km/h to 160km/h at fourth gear or above. A switch on the right handlebar can be pressed to put cruise control into standby, and the selector switch (up/down) on the left handlebars allows the rider to adjust the speed up and down accordingly.

Suzuki’s famous Drive Mode Selector (SDMS) is now available on a V-STROM for the very first time, offering riders the choice of three difference output characteristic modes. A-mode provides the sharpest throttle response, B-mode provides a slightly softer throttle response and C-mode provides the softest response of the three modes.

Another Suzuki first is the Hill Hold, Slope Dependent and Load Dependent control systems available on XT. Hill hold control automatically applies the rear brake when the motorcycle is stopped on an upward slope to prevent rollback when the brakes and clutch are released. Slope Dependent control constantly monitors posture and if required controls brake pressure to prevent rear wheel lift during downhill braking.

Load Dependent system supports optimal braking by compensating for varying load conditions such as the difference between riding solo or with a pillion and loaded luggage vs unloaded.     

An updated traction control system now features three modes of control (previously two) inspiring greater confidence in diverse riding conditions. Mode 1 is for spirited riding with minimal level of intervention. Mode 2 is ideal for commuting and regular riding conditions and Mode 3 is best suited for poorer riding conditions such as wet or cold roads as it offers the highest level of intervention.

An upgraded Bosch inertial measurement unit (IMU) equipped on the XT model now works on 6-directions along 3-axis rather than the 5-axis of the previous system. This allows it to detect pitch, roll, and yaw movements based on the angular rate and acceleration. This new high-performance 6-direction IMU combines a 3-axis angular rate sensor (gyrometer) and a 3-axis acceleration sensor in a single compact unit.

The motion track brake system exclusive to XT combines information on the posture of the vehicle from the new IMU with the front and rear wheel speeds. This allows the ABS to activate not only in a straight line but also when the vehicle is leaning. When the brake lever or pedal is operated, this system instantly assesses the need of ABS operation by calculating the posture of the vehicle and front and rear wheel speeds. When judging the need of operation, ABS unit decreases braking pressure, and continues to control the increase/decrease of the pressure according to the traction available.Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Dr Big

This latest ABS system allows the rider to select from 2-levels of intervention. Mode 1 provides minimal intervention and is suitable for flat dirt roads, whilst Mode 2’s intervention timing is earlier than Mode 1 and is ideal for normal tarmac roads.

A newly added Combined Brake System automatically applies pressure to the rear brake to help stablise the motorcycle when the front brake pressure rises to a certain degree.

An updated windscreen design compliments the new exterior design. Developed utilising wind-tunnel testing, the new screen can be finely adjusted without tools to one of 11 positions across a 50mm vertical range.

The instrument panel presents all required information on a full LCD screen using a clean and intuitive layout with information displayed in order of priority. Included in the display are the speedometer, tachometer (full pixel digital display), gear position indicator, odometer, trip meter (A, B), instantaneous fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, driving range, fuel level indicator, engine coolant temperature indicator, ambient air temperature indicator, clock, voltage meter, service reminder, SDMS mode, traction control mode, cruise control indicator, ABS mode, hill hold indicator, engine rpm indicator light, frost indicator light, turn signal indicator light, high beam indicator light, traction control indicator light, ABS indicator light, and neutral indicator light.

A USB port is located left side of the instrument panel. It can be used as a power source for charging a smartphone, navigation system, or other similar device.Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Dr Big

The lightweight and compact chassis is the core factor in achieving the V-STROM’s comfortable and enjoyable character. The narrow width of its V-twin engine allows the motorcycle to maintain a slim body shape even with a 20L fuel tank present, allowing the rider to easily reach the ground with their feet.

Utilising a cast aluminium twin-spar frame featuring the optimal rigidity balance for exceptional stability and handling performance. The frame supports everything a rider requires to embark on their next big adventure from straight line stability to smooth and natural cornering with high levels of traction.

The 43mm KYB inverted front fork features adjustable compression damping, rebound damping and spring preload and can be tailored based on rider preference and usage.

The V-STROM 1050XT also sports a completely new seat design that allows the seat height to be adjusted an additional 20mm higher than the standard position. The KYB rear shock features adjustable spring preload via an external hand dial to easily facilitate adjustments between riding solo, with pillion or fully loaded with luggage.

TOKICO Monobloc radial mounted front brake calipers handle stopping duties matched with dual 310mm floating discs provide strong braking performance with remarkable feel. 

The footrests are constructed of tough steel and have been redesigned to make it easier for the rider to stand on flat dirt, and are also wider than the previous version.

Protection and convenience on the XT is taken to the next level with an aluminium under cowling and accessory bar guarding underneath and side of the engine whilst stronger hand guards have been employed to protect rider’s hands from wind, rain and flying stones. The lightweight centre stand is well balanced and is useful when performing maintenance tasks and loading luggage. Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Dr Big

Wire-spoked aluminium rims are fitted as standard on the XT model offering improved road absorption whilst the standard model is equipped with 10-spoke cast aluminium wheels. Both variants are shod with Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A41 tyres.

A vertically stacked LED headlight and LED rear combination light deliver excellent visibility and stylish looks, the XT also features LED indicators as standard equipment. 

Other niceties include Suzuki’s Low RPM assist system which monitors and automatically raises the idle speed when taking off from a stop or when riding slowly through traffic and 

Suzuki’s Easy Start System which provides ultra-convenient one-touch engine starting.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Top Off Road Models Of 2019

(Sponsored post from Peter Stevens)

For avid outdoor explorers, off-road bikes are a serious consideration or temptation. If you have never purchased an off-road bike, you may have a lot of questions as which bike is best for your adventurous lifestyle. Today we’ll highlight five of the top off-road bike models of 2019.

Honda CRF450Ldirt bike Honda CRF450L

The Honda CRF450L is a street legal dirtbike that has the best features that Honda has to offer, packed in a lightweight and easy to manoeuvre package. A true trail-to-trail bike, it features a powerful 449cc Unicam engine, twin-spar aluminum CRF chassis, six-speed transmission, and premium suspension.

This bike has an electric start and an all led-light package. It features a lithium-ion battery that is lighter than conventional batteries so you won’t have to worry about it weighing the bike down. The Honda CRF450L also has a number of features to make riding the bike a comfortable experience. These include a gear-driven counterbalancer that reduces vibrations and drives the water pump and a side stand that is now located higher on the bike than previous models. Additionally, the bike is equipped with a fuel mileage meter that shows current fuel mileage, your average fuel mileage, and how much gas you have used.

Kawasaki KLX450R2019 Kawasaki KLX450R dirt

The Kawasaki KLX450R is another street legal dirtbike that is packed with cool features that newbies or experienced riders can appreciate. Some of these features include a high-performance 4-stroke engine that will provide you with all the power you need for your outdoor adventures. The bike features electric start and digital instrumentation which allows the rider to easily see what is happening in real time.

This bike also has smooth suspension so that you can stay as comfortable as possible whilst tackling the bumpiest of terrain. It is also equipped with powerful brakes that enhance the reliability this bike offers in challenging terrain. Lastly, this bike features a wide ratio 5-speed transition that was selected specifically for off-road riding. The design of the gear sets and center cases are compact which allows the bike’s frame to be narrower around the area where the riders’ ankles would rest.

Suzuki DR650SSuzuki DR650S dirt

The Suzuki DR650S is a motorcycle that can excel on the street or dirt paths. This bike definitely has the appearance of a typical motorcycle instead of a traditional racing dirt bike. It features a reliable, 644cc, oil-cooled, four-stroke, single engine carried in strong steel, and semi-double-cradle frame.

A cool feature of this bike is that the seat height can be reduced so a variety of riders can comfortably take it out for a spin. It features an electric start for a fast and easy way to get your trip started. This bike is also built for passengers. It features a long comfortable seat along with aluminium foot pegs and grab handles, all of which make riding it more comfortable to ride with a passenger.

Yamaha WR450F2019 Yamaha WR450F dirt

The Yamaha WR450F is known for its potent fuel-injected engine and class-leading suspension. The potent fuel-injected engine includes a host of features that work together to give riders usable thrust and extended high rpm power. Yamaha utilizes KYB® spring-type forks of the WR450F to provide the bike which gives the rider easy tuneability in a wide range of conditions. Some new upgrades to the Yamaha WR450F from the previous model include a fuel level warning indicator and an aluminum folding kickstand that is mounted higher than before to allow for more ground clearance. Additionally, the Yamaha WR450F has now embedded Yamaha graphics so you won’t have to worry about them peeling or getting damaged.

KTM 500 EXC-FKTM 5000EXC dirt

The KTM 500 EXC-F is a bike designed for competition. All of its features are packed in a small package which means improved control for the rider even on the roughest terrain. This bike features a six-speed transmission. When you combine an engine that has the best of power and torque and cooling features, this bike is a notch above the rest. The bike is equipped with durable wheels that can hold up to any terrain that you feel the need to explore. The brakes on the bike are designed to hold up to quick decisions to stop or reduce your speed. The gas tank is designed to hold 2.5 gallons of gas at a time. Thanks to the see-through plastic tank, you’ll always be able to see how much time you have before your next fill up. KTM paid special attention to the details on this bike. Even the handlebars were specifically designed to give the rider customisable control. Another custom element to this bike is that you can pick decals to fit your unique style!

Overall, these are our five picks for the best off-road bikes on the market in 2019. They stand out from the rest due to their premium builds, flexibility and comfort. Whether you are looking for an off-road bike that has the appearance of a traditional dirt bike or a premium motorcycle, there is a bike on this list for you.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

The Alley Sweeper Motorcycle Rally In Portland, Oregon – 2019

The world is changing—and fast. The rise of social media has placed us just a few clicks away from sharing any harebrained thought with the collective hive mind. This newfound power can be a honed, double-edged sword if you’re hoping to get your kicks in the murky gray areas of legality, ideally without falling under the ever-watchful eye of Johnny Law. Such was the ballad of the Alley Sweeper Urban Enduro.


Related: Motorcyclist Alley Rally Video 2019


This moto rally can be traced back to its 2009 inception by the hands of Portland, Oregon’s Sang-Froid Riding Club, after club member Zac Christensen got the notion that an urban enduro through the city’s less-affluent neighborhoods and sprawling network of derelict alleys might be a good idea. Where some might see a troubling disparity in public maintenance allocation between these areas and Portland’s wealthier districts, Sang-Froid saw an opportunity for adventure in the long-forgotten back passages that fell through the cracks.

And they weren’t the only ones. Word spread through all channels of social media like wildfire, as subsequent years saw the annual run’s attendance balloon to more than 400 riders. The alleys choked to a standstill as hordes of would-be scofflaws all dove in for a piece of the action, and it became clear a tactical correction needed to be made. So in 2015, the event was “officially” shut down. Clever. Its leadership became decentralized and eventually morphed into the clandestine Alley Liberation Front. The tide receded and the hysteria fell back into obscurity as only a handful of the most dedicated miscreants set to work planning future years quietly among themselves.

Their strategy apparently worked, as the good word of the Alley Sweeper never came to me by any cliché Instagram post or wide-reaching Facebook promotion. Oh, no, my call to the Urban Enduro was conceived by a hushed whisper over a jar of moonshine, in the back of a short bus loaded to the gills with 200cc minibikes. You see, when Speedfreak Speed Shop gets together with the Gambler 500, we just can’t seem to help ourselves. “Let’s do the thing on minibikes,” Gambler Godfather Andy Munson cracked with a firewater grin. Some friend—surely the traffic courts already had a price on my head, yet he knew it wouldn’t take much more than the promise of senseless adventure to sucker me in.

So it was written, so it was done. A few weeks later I found myself on hallowed ground outside FoPo Tavern, the rally’s decade-old traditional starting point. Alongside me was a haphazardly assembled squad of guerilla fun-havers, our arguably illegal Coleman minibikes hastily camouflaged with homemade “49cc” decals and $13 bicycle safety flashers. Thrifty Southeast Asian riders would’ve stared in wonderment.

And, indeed, so did a few bystanders as I walked through the field of oil-burning dreams; a sea of dual-sport enduros of every make under the sun, easily matched by a population of either unplated or suspiciously plated dirt bikes. Not to be left out of the scramble, and true to “keep Portland weird” form, a subset of vintage bikes, mopeds, and a Ural sidecar also littered the scene. All told there were about a couple hundred participants. Eventually we made our way to the only real evidence of organization, a lone folding table with a stack of “course” maps, stickers, and event T-shirts. We were just in time, as the event unceremoniously kicked off and groups began sporadically blasting away down the street.

Further inspection of our map revealed less of a defined course, and more a vague suggestion of highlighted neighborhoods whose alleys needed liberating. Good enough for us; we ripped our pull-starts and unleashed our miniature machines on the nearest four-lane public thoroughfare.

The previously gloomy sky now pierced with daggers of morning sunlight, we joined another cluster of bikes as they veered off down a nearby side street. Surprisingly, after all the talk of irritated homeowners coming out to protest the mob of hooligans invading their neighborhoods, we were instead greeted by families either lining the sidewalks or perched over their backyard fences, happily cheering us on as we launched into the first set of alleys.

Smiles widened and cheers broke out when I picked the front wheel up past a group of kids, and into a jungle of overgrown bushes, blackberry vines, and knee-high weeds. Instantly the draw of this urban enduro made itself clear as we ripped through the undergrowth, vines and branches clawing at us like antibodies fighting off foreign intruders.

Eventually the tangle would recede, and our little 200cc motors could sing up to their de-governed, 30-whatever-mph top speed as we hilariously picked our way through a flotsam of refuse. It was a symphony of chaos. Intoxicated with glory, we dodged random cinder blocks, grimy couches, and abandoned shopping carts through the lingering curtain of two-stroke haze. Truly, this was the most sublime form of anarchy.

Soon enough though, the neighborhood fun-police got wise to the incoming waves of two-wheeled delinquents and made their opposition known. We passed a disgruntled homeowner standing in the alley in nothing but his morning bathrobe, scrutinizing us with a look of simultaneous awe and irritation. There were warnings of a guy throwing steel chairs at riders a couple of blocks away. And when we stopped on an inconspicuous side street for some minor bike repairs, we were kindly confronted by a lady who made herself known as “the one who went on the news last year to speak out against all this.” Her biggest complaints were a few minutes of noise, and some mud being splattered across the pristine gravel surface of the public right-of-way behind her home. Insistent though she was, I wasn’t hearing anything worth ceasing my onslaught of alley recreation.

So we carried on, as the day passed in a frenzy of adventure. We’d find ourselves lost in the labyrinth of overgrown passages, but it never took long to spot another band of roaming marauders to link up with. The rally, in truth, was a free-for-all perfected, and somehow all the chaos still led us to the aptly chosen finish line at the Alley Way Bar.

There awaited the final challenge for anyone all but completely lacking in self-preservation: a crudely constructed plywood jump that, to anyone on a suspensionless death machine, was more of a joke than any serious suggestion of flight without consequence. But ho! The siren song sings its promises of glory, and the call to Valhalla proved irresistible to our Speedfreak comrade and resident luck-pusher, Tyler Reitzer. Prior to that moment, I’d always wondered when we would meet an altitude that was beyond our skill level. Turns out, it’s somewhere around five and a half feet. The alley accepted its offering of broken man and machine, and glory was granted as Tyler sank into a handily presented wheelchair to the sound of onlookers’ thunderous applause. He thumbed his nose at death, and raised a final thumbs-up of defiance before being wheeled into the bar for a victory drink.

Even with his freshly scalped knees, our wounded friend was in agreement; it had been the perfect day. The smiles and thumbs-up had made up for the occasional chair-throwing protester, and the laughably senseless thrills easily compensated for any injuries sustained. This was the kind of fun that some would argue should be illegal. The kind that would’ve been quickly extinguished, had it continued above ground, a monster built of its own success and social-media hype. But thankfully the Alley Liberation Front had the foresight to know better, and take this last bastion of legally ambiguous depravity back under the radar. So, for now at least, it still lives there, safe from the outside world and ready to bestow foolish thrills upon any hooligan worth his weight in bad decisions—as long as you know where to look.

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com