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Border to Border on the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Greg’s BMW taking a dirt nap along the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route. Photos by Greg Drevenstedt.

This story is about a ride that took place in 2013 on the original Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route, which was developed by the Oregon Off-Highway Vehicle Association. The nonprofit Backcountry Discovery Routes organization developed a new ORBDR that was released in 2023. For more information, visit the Backcountry Discovery Routes website. –Ed.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Route 5 of the original ORBDR includes hundreds of miles of gravel roads much like this one, plus a decent helping of dirt, sand, rock gardens, and river crossings.

When your bike topples over in the middle of nowhere, when your bike and its week’s worth of gear weigh more than 600 lb, when you’re hot and sweaty and tired, it’s good to have friends along to lend a hand.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
At the California-Oregon border before venturing off-pavement on the ORBDR.

We were three days and nearly 300 miles into the 750-mile, California-to-Washington Route 5 of the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Routes (ORBDR), a network of off-road routes crisscrossing the state’s vast national forests. While struggling my way up a technical jeep road full of embedded rocks, I high-centered the BMW’s skid plate, dabbed my left foot into a hole, lost my balance, and toppled over in a big, dusty heap.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla

Lead rider Paul was off in the distance, so sweep rider Marten navigated around me, parked his bike on a level spot, and came back to help. Other than some badge-of-honor scratches on the bike, the only damage was to my pride, and I was soon making forward progress again.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Just a few miles into the ORBDR, we took a spur road to the summit of 8,000-foot Crane Mountain, where we enjoyed 360-degree views of California and Oregon.

Backcountry Discovery Routes is a nonprofit organization that establishes and preserves off-highway routes for dual-sport and adventure motorcycles. BDR has mapped and documented north-south routes in most states west of the Rockies as well as mid-Atlantic and Northeast routes and shorter BDR-X routes. Inspiration for these routes came from the ORBDR, which, according to BDR’s website, “was created a few decades ago by Bob and Cheryl Greenstreet as a concept to promote managed travel in the backcountry” and is maintained by the Oregon Off-Highway Vehicle Association.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
The view from Fremont Point on Oregon’s Winter Rim.

Paul, Marten, and I wanted to ride the granddaddy of the Backcountry Discovery Routes, so I bought paper maps for Route 5 from OOHVA and Paul spent two weeks creating GPS tracks for us. (GPS tracks are now available upon request when maps are purchased from OOHVA.) Since most of the ORBDR is at 4,000-8,000 feet of elevation, we planned our trip for August to avoid snowpack.

A long-time adventure-riding and homebrewing buddy of mine, Paul Beck, is a computer guy. Since he created our tracks and led our group (his GPS was the only one that worked reliably), we dubbed him the Navigator. Marten Walkker, another riding buddy, is a master carpenter. He made his own tailbag, auxiliary gas tank, toolbox, and highway pegs for this trip, so we called him the Fabricator. And since I kept a journal, shot photos, and sent daily postcards to my wife, I became the Chronicler.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
The Three Amigos at Fremont Point, 3,000 feet above seasonally dry Summer Lake.

Similar in pace and temperament and always ready for a quick laugh, we were compatible travelers, like the Three Amigos. We were all of German descent and riding BMWs – Paul on an R 1200 GS, Marten on a G 650 Xchallenge, and me on an F 800 GS Adventure – so Drei Freunde is more accurate, but it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
We had to cross the high desert through Christmas Valley to get from the mountains of Fremont National Forest to the mountains of Malheur National Forest.

Departing from Ventura on California’s southern coast, our first 750 miles were on pavement as we made our way up to the northeastern corner of the state. A half-mile before the Oregon border on the afternoon of our second day, we turned from U.S. Route 395 onto the unpaved County Road 2 and entered Modoc National Forest as we climbed into the Warner Mountains. We had to shift our brains from the grip and monotony of wide-open pavement to the delicate balance of riding top-heavy adventure bikes on loose, uneven dirt and gravel. The road leveled out within a few miles, and we turned north, passing through the green meadows of the (not so) Dismal Swamp and crossing into Oregon.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
River crossings are nerve-racking with an audience of forest service workers, but Marten made it through like a pro.

After riding a challenging spur road up to the top of 8,000-foot Crane Mountain for panoramic views and navigating through a herd of cows, we stopped at Willow Creek Campground, which was deserted. We crossed a cattle guard to get into the campground, and even though it was surrounded by a fence, we still had to pick our way through a minefield of cow patties to set up our tents. After bathing and rinsing out our sweaty clothes in the creek (but not drinking the water), we fortified ourselves with backpacker meals and relaxed around the campfire, swapping stories and sipping whiskey.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Cooling off in Delintment Lake in Malheur National Forest.

The OOHVA’s detailed, full-color ORBDR map booklets offer the following words of advice: “Your journey will be one of few contacts with others. One needs to plan for being self-sufficient. Travel with others is highly recommended. If one’s means of transport fails, it can be a really, really long hike, and it could be many days before someone comes along.”

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
The early bird gets to enjoy the sunrise.

Over the course of five days on the ORBDR, we saw only a handful of people – a few ranchers, a couple of 4×4 trucks, and the occasional hunter. We traveled as a group, each of us brought our own food, water, and gear, and we carried a SPOT satellite tracker/communicator. Gas was available every 100 miles or so, often in small towns or at convenience stores near the route, and we filled up our tanks and hydration backpacks at every opportunity.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Lunch stops at local cafes provided welcome relief from the hot, dusty trail.

“Much energy has been spent to provide you with maps that provide the information needed to successfully navigate without on-ground signs,” says the OOHVA. We saw only a few faded, old ORBDR signs over the entire 750-mile route.

See all of Rider‘s Western U.S. motorcycle rides here.

“The development of route was financed by the Oregon ATV Allocation Funds,” said Leonard Kerns, president of the OOHVA, in a blog on Touratech-USA’s website. “On-the-ground signs were placed and the route was dedicated in the summer of 2000. Unfortunately, it did not take long for people opposed to the route to bring legal action. Support from the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management was lost and all remaining funds were used to remove the signs. At that point, OOHVA stepped in and created the maps using GPS to navigate.”

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Breakfast of champions.

The ORBDR is on public land, so anyone can travel the route using a street-legal vehicle, but much of it passes through areas used for grazing and logging. We crossed dozens of cattle guards and stopped often to open and close barbed-wire gates. Forest land in central and eastern Oregon is all but empty, yet it’s crisscrossed with so many access roads that without GPS tracks and paper maps, getting lost is all but assured.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Even with GPS tracks, sometimes we hit dead ends and had to find a way back to the correct trail.
Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
One of several massive fallen trees we had to navigate around since going over wasn’t an option!

The OOHVA’s maps were created in 2002, and in the years since, some roads have been closed and new ones have been cut. Even following the purple line on Paul’s GPS, we still made wrong turns or hit dead-ends and had to figure out how to re-route ourselves. We also encountered the unexpected, such as fallen trees and man-made barricades. Therein lies the adventure. Riding a backcountry route is not like following the Yellow Brick Road; it requires not only preparation and riding skills but also teamwork, patience, and adaptability.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Being far from anywhere, we had campgrounds largely to ourselves and were fortunate to have either a stream or lake nearby.

We quickly established a routine: waking early to heat up water for coffee and oatmeal using portable stoves, breaking camp, riding for several hours, stopping for lunch and gas, riding for several more hours, then stopping early to set up camp and relax. Paul was always in the lead, which meant his gear stayed clean and we had someone to blame for wrong turns. I followed Paul and Marten followed me, and even with space between us the dust filled our noses and covered our gear, making zippers and buckles hard to open and close. We planned to camp every night, but it didn’t work out that way, to our surprise and benefit.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Lead rider Paul stayed clean; sweep rider Marten stayed dirty.

During our five days on the ORBDR, we experienced a steady stream of good luck. We enjoyed mostly warm, dry weather and had no flat tires, breakdowns, or injuries. Rather than eating jerky and energy bars for lunch, we usually found a cafe in a small town where we’d refresh ourselves with air conditioning, limitless iced tea, and other luxuries, and there was always a gas station nearby to fill up and resupply.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
We smelled smoke but had no idea the 1,000-acre Vinegar Fire was burning in the area until we popped out of the trees and came upon this U.S. Forest Service fire security truck. Our route was supposed to go down that gravel road in the distance, but we were re-routed onto pavement to the town of Ukiah.

During the three nights we camped, there was either a cool stream or a lake we could swim in to wash off the dust and relax our creaky joints. On our second day on the ORBDR, after a challenging, tiring section with lots of sand and rocks, we ended up in the town of Christmas Valley, where the Lakeview Terrace motel/restaurant spoiled us with cheeseburgers, fries, cold beers, hot showers, and soft beds.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Antlers Inn in Ukiah has a room-size meat cooler to store your game.

Even when we had to leave the ORBDR to route around the 1,000-acre Vinegar Fire, we got to ride 50 miles on the freshly paved Blue Mountain Scenic Byway and ended up in Ukiah on a damp, foggy night. Instead of pitching tents and eating freeze-dried meals in the rain, we stayed warm and dry at the Antlers Inn and savored burgers and beers at the Thicket Cafe & Bar. We enjoy roughing it, but we’re not too proud to take advantage of good fortune when it lands in our laps.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
Chris ran the Antlers Inn and served us at the Thicket Cafe & Bar, where she recommended an Oregon-distilled whiskey.

Our five days and three nights on the ORBDR provided us with as much adventure as we could hope for. We rode more than 700 miles on dirt and gravel roads through the backcountry of Oregon, through dense forests, across high-desert plains, along mountain ridges, away from cities and people and normal obligations. We rode through rock gardens and sand washes, forded rivers, and navigated over or around countless obstacles, challenging ourselves and having fun. We had campgrounds to ourselves, where we enjoyed star-filled nights and soul-warming campfires, and we stumbled upon cozy motels and restaurants, where we enjoyed creature comforts.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
We were treated to some of the best scenery of the ORBDR, such as wide-ranging views from Kendall Skyline Road in Umatilla National Forest, on the final day.

Paul, Marten, and I – the Navigator, Fabricator, and Chronicler – bonded over the experience. When we reached Walla Walla, Washington, the northern terminus of the ORBDR, having ridden 1,500 miles together, we high-fived and celebrated our shared accomplishment. The next day we headed off in different directions, Paul to Seattle, Marten to Calgary, and me home to Ventura, completing an Iron Butt SaddleSore 1000 in the process, but that’s another story.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route ORBDR The Long Way to Walla Walla
After five days and 750 long-and-dusty, not-so-straight south-to-north miles, we completed Route 5 of the ORBDR and arrived in Walla Walla, Washington.

See all of Rider‘s touring stories here.

Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route Resources

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2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm Video Review

The Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R and GT muscle bikes receive upgrades for 2025, including even more power from their massive 2,458cc inline-Triple, lighter wheels, blacked-out styling, and dark color schemes. New tuning bumps horsepower up 15 from the previous Rocket 3 to a total of 180 hp, and torque is 166 lb-ft.

We headed to France for Triumph’s press launch to find out if these unique motorcycles are worth their $25K MSRP. Once in the saddle, we experienced a ride unlike anything offered by any other production motorcycle.

Read our full review of the 2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm

2024 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm GT

2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R (GT) Specifications 

  • Base Price: $24,995 ($25,795) 
  • Website: TriumphMotorcycles.com   
  • Warranty: 2 yr., unltd. miles   
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, longitudinal inline-Triple, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.   
  • Displacement: 2,458cc   
  • Bore x Stroke: 110.2 x 85.9mm   
  • Horsepower: 180 @ 7,000 rpm (factory claim)   
  • Torque: 166 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm (factory claim)   
  • Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulic-actuated slip/assist wet clutch   
  • Final Drive: Shaft  
  • Wheelbase: 66.0 in.   
  • Rake/Trail: 27.9 degrees/5.3 in.   
  • Seat Height: 30.4 in. (29.5 in.)   
  • Wet Weight: 699 lb (705 lb) (factory claim)   
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.76 gal.  


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Interviews with Tom Hardy, Austin Butler, and Other Stars of “The Bikeriders” Movie

The Bikeriders Movie
Austin Butler is part of the star-studded cast of “The Bikeriders,” which opens on June 21.

The Bikeriders is a film about a midwestern motorcycle club from the 1960s that hits theaters on June 21. The movie was inspired by a book of the same name originally published in 1968, which chronicled the characters and exploits of the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club as it morphs from a friendly association to a biker gang.

The film adaptation is directed by Jeff Nichols (Loving; Midnight Special; Mud), who also wrote the screenplay over a period of several years. The movie stars Austin Butler (Elvis; Dune: Part 2), Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road; The Revenant), Norman Reedus (Walking Dead), and Jodie Comer (Killing Eve; The Last Duel).

Kevin Duke, editor-in-chief of our sibling publication, American Rider, got the opportunity to watch an advanced screening of the movie followed by an opportunity to interview the actors and director.

“I’m always dubious about Hollywood’s portrayal of motorcycling, but after watching an advance screening of this new film, I was really impressed with the production values and the acting,” said Duke. “Terrific performances throughout, especially from Hardy as the club leader ‘Johnny’ and Comer, the love interest of ‘Benny’ played by Butler. The motorcycles are all period-correct 1960s models, and their authentic sounds literally rumble the theater seats.”

Take a look at these interviews to learn about the efforts it took to bring vintage motorcycles to the big screen. And get yourselves to theaters on June 21 to see the film for yourself! Subscribe to our channel to get updates about all new videos.

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 Tire Review

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tire review
We review the new Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tires, which offer improved stability, handling, braking distances, and mileage versus the S22. (Photos courtesy Bridgestone)

When choosing a motorcycle tire, what do you look for? The answer varies from person to person. For my street riding, I prioritize longevity, grip, and price. Due to its versatility and reliability, Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tires have been my trusted companion on the streets, during spirited canyon rides, and even on the racetrack. Given my extensive experience with the S22, I was excited to try the new Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tires.

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tire review
Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tires have updated compounds and a new tread pattern (front tire on left, rear tire on right).

Building on the solid foundation of the S22, Bridgestone’s goals in developing the S23 were “improved handling precision, maximum stability, and incredible grip, even in wet conditions” as well as better mileage. The S23 tires maintain the same shape and MS-Belt construction as the S22 but feature new compounds and a new tread pattern.

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tire review
Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tires on the Buell Hammerhead 1190

The updated compounds offer increased grip thanks to additional carbon and a newly developed “grip improver” that makes it easier for the tire to follow the road surface. The front shoulder and rear edge of the S23 also has optimized resin components for better grip at high lean angles.

Compared to the S22, the new tread pattern has a higher land-sea ratio (more rubber, fewer grooves) and higher pattern stiffness, contributing to improved handling, dry/wet traction, and feedback. Bridgestone’s proprietary Pulse Groove technology was added to the rear tire, improving water drainage and grip in wet conditions.

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tire review
Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tires use the same shape and MS-Belt construction as the S22, but with a new tread pattern and different compounds.

Bridgestone’s testing has shown faster dry and wet lap times, shorter braking distances, and improved mileage for the S23 compared to the S22.

For a real-world test of the new Hypersport S23s, Bridgestone hosted a press launch in Encinitas, California. There was a variety of sporty motorcycles on hand, allowing me to evaluate the tires on several motorcycles, including the Suzuki GSX-S1000, Indian FTR1200, and Buell Hammerhead 1190.

Related: Suzuki GSX-S1000 Road Test Review

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tire review
Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tires on the Suzuki GSX-S1000

Starting our ride on city streets and backroads aboard the S23-shod Suzuki, a sense of familiarity washed over me. The transition from the S22 to its successor felt seamless, like greeting an old friend. As we navigated the initial turns, the inherent stability afforded by the S23 became immediately evident, instilling confidence in every lean and maneuver.

On our way to lunch in the mountain town of Julian, I put the S23s through their paces, eager to gauge their responsiveness and grip. Despite my deliberate attempts to upset the tires, they maintained their hold on the road surface. Even when I pushed the limits, accelerating out of corners a little too fast, the S23s exhibited reassuring grip even as the TC light flashed, indicating some rear wheel slip.

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tire review
The Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 rear tire features Pulse Groove technology for better water dispersion.

After lunch, we descended from the mountains to the desert on the tightly winding roads of Banner Grade (CA Route 78), a perfect playground to test the tires’ responsiveness in the sort of twisties where most riders will put them to use. Negotiating each curve, I found my confidence bolstered by the stability and predictability of the S23s.

The ultimate test awaited us as Keith Culver, an instructor from Yamaha Champions Riding School, led our group down Engineers Road, a narrow, unpainted byway full of abrupt transitions and tight technical corners. Despite the demanding terrain, I was impressed by the front tire’s ability to maintain grip under hard, downhill braking.

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tire review
Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tires on the Indian FTR1200

On the sunny day of our test, we didn’t have an opportunity to evaluate the wet handling characteristics of the S23s. Nor did we evaluate them on a racetrack. For what it’s worth, the Yamaha Champions Riding School runs S23s on its fleet of Yamaha sportbikes.

Related: A Cruiser Guy Goes to Yamaha ChampSchool

After a full day of thrashing three different bikes shod with Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 tires, I can confidently say that they exceed the excellent standards set by the S22s. They offer confident grip, reassuring stability, and outstanding handling on a variety of roads. The ZR17 tires are available in one front (120/70) and five rear (160/60, 180/55, 190/50, 190/55, and 200/55) sizes starting at $249.49.

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

Join Rider Magazine at Americade 2024

Americade Lake George
Views of Lake George and riding in the Adirondacks are highlights of the Americade rally.

Americade, the largest U.S. motorcycle event to welcome all brands of motorcycles and types of riding, returns to Lake George, New York, from May 29 to June 1. The rally starts off with the Rider-sponsored Opening Celebration on May 28 with live music, prizes, and entertainment, followed by four days of nonstop events, shows, demos, activities, and more.

If you’re at Americade, make sure to visit our Bring It Bike Show and consider entering your bike. The show is sponsored by Rider and American Rider and is open daily from Thursday to Saturday. Like the rally, Bring It welcomes all types of interesting bikes, and categories include American Bagger, American Cruiser, European, Japanese, Adventure, and Anything Goes. Daily winners will be invited to the Best of Show judging on Saturday, where the winner will receive $1,000.

Related: 2023 Americade Bring It Motorcycle Show Winners

Americade Bring It Bike Show
Winners of the 2023 Bring It Bike Show at the Best of Show judging event on Saturday night. (Photo by Matt Gustafson)

If you want to get some seat time on new motorcycles, Americade is hosting the most demo rides in the rally’s 41-year history. There will be 17 manufacturers providing demo rides Wednesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., including Aprilia, Beta, BMW, Can-Am, CFMOTO, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, Moto Morini, Piaggio, Rewaco Trikes, Triumph, Vespa, and Yamaha. There will also be displays by Buell, GasGas, and Stark Future.

The Americade Expo offers more than 300,000 square feet of vendors selling motorcycle gear and accessories. Browse the expo to see, touch, and buy thousands of motorcycle items in one place.

Americade Canada Street
There’s always a wide selection of bikes parked on Canada Street during Americade.

There will be plenty more going on throughout the event to keep attendees busy. Events to check out include the Pro Rodeo and BBQ, boat cruises and firework cruises on Lake George, comedy shows featuring Alonzo Bodden, the big Friday Night Spectacular party, Americade block parties, MotoMotion stunt shows, the Ladies Coffee & Motorcycle Club, Ameri-lympics Riding Games, and the Ride For Kids Ride.

Related: Americade 2021 Rally Report

Daily guided and unguided rides will take riders into the surrounding scenic areas. New rides include the Queens Loop around Lake George, the Skyline Ride along a mountain ridge, the Reservoir Ramble of winding waterfront roads, the NY & VT Covered Bridges Ride with at least seven covered bridges, and the Scenic Riding & Fine Dining Ride along the shores of Lake George and Lake Champlain. There will also be the Americade Adventure Rides, which will take ADV riders deep into the Adirondacks.

Early registration is now available at the Americade website. Multiday passes start at $105, or riders can choose to register at the event.

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Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review | First Ride

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review
The 2024 Triumph Daytona 660 sportbike is powered by a 660cc inline-Triple that makes 95 hp and 51 lb-ft of torque. (Photos courtesy Triumph)

In the mid-1990s, when I cut my teeth as a motorcyclist, the Big Four Japanese manufacturers were engaged in a middleweight sportbike arms race. Every other year, each brand unveiled an updated platform, squeezing a few more ponies out of their 599cc inline-Four engine and tweaking frame geometry, suspension systems, and brakes.

As a result of this one-upmanship, middleweight sportbikes went from entry-level all-arounders to racebikes with lights and license plates. Which is great, except for the fact that only a small percentage of riders spend weekends wearing down knee pucks at the track. Add to this that a tricked-out middleweight now costs nearly what a liter-class machine does, and we arrive at something of an evolutionary dead end.

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review
The 2024 Triumph Daytona 660 in Satin Granite/Satin Jet Black, one of three colorways available.

And yet here we are with a new Triumph Daytona 660. The storied British manufacturer enters the highly competitive middleweight class by hitting the reset button, aiming to produce an affordable, attractive sportbike that can handle commuting and light touring, as well as footpeg-scraping backroads and the occasional trackday. To see if they pulled it off, Triumph invited us to Alicante, Spain, for a full day of riding in everything from city traffic to mountain passes.

Inline-Triple | Triumph Daytona 660

The Daytona 660 is powered by an updated version of the engine that powers Triumph’s Trident 660 and Tiger Sport 660, and it’s a callback to the Daytona 675 that Triumph produced from 2006-2018, which was the first inline-Triple in the middleweight sportbike class. The Triple provides the best of both worlds: torque in the lower rev ranges like a Twin and ample mid- and top-end power like a Four.

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review
Peeking out from the bodywork is the Triumph Daytona 660’s inline-Triple.

The Daytona 660’s 3-cylinder mill gets a trio of new 44mm throttle bodies and larger exhaust valves, and its airflow was increased with a front-mounted intake and a larger airbox. A new crankshaft with increased gear width provides smoother revving, the pistons now feature a low-friction coating, and the radiator and fan are both larger and have been repositioned for more efficient cooling. Exhaust gasses flow through a 3-into-1 header and into an underslung silencer that produces a satisfying growl that becomes a bark with a twist of the throttle.

These upgrades result in a claimed 95 hp at 11,250 rpm, a 17% increase over the Trident 660, and the Daytona’s 12,650-rpm redline is 20% higher than the Trident’s too. The engine cranks out 51 lb-ft of torque at 8,250 rpm (9% more than the Trident), with 80% of that power on tap at only 3,125 rpm. Triumph says the Daytona 660 will get you from 0-60 in just 3.6 seconds. 

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review
With the Daytona 660, Triumph offers an affordable, comfortable sportbike for everyday riders.

GEAR UP | Triumph Daytona 660

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review
The Triumph Daytona 660’s sculpted bodywork looks fast even when standing still, and the bike’s design has great attention to detail.

Bespoke details | Triumph Daytona 660

At the tech briefing the night before our test ride, I got my first close look at the Daytona 660 in Satin Granite/Satin Jet Black, a color scheme that, combined with the “660” in neon green on the lower fairing, says “badass” without rubbing your nose in it. (Other colorways include Snowdonia White/Sapphire Black and Carnival Red/Sapphire Black.) The bike’s fit and finish make it look pricier than its $9,195 base price, and its styling is aggressive but exudes a bespoke elegance that stands out from its competition. Take a close look at how the fairing flows into the distinctive molding of the gas tank, or how the silencer nestles near the rear tire, and you’ll see that Triumph’s design team sweated the details. With minimal bodywork highlighting the powerplant and frame, the Daytona 660 looks impressive just leaning on its kickstand. I couldn’t wait to put some miles on it.

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review
From city streets to winding backroads, the Triumph Daytona 660 is easy to handle and fun to ride.

Capable commuter? | Triumph Daytona 660

We started our ride in morning traffic, threading through congested urban roundabouts – the first test of Triumph’s middleweight reset. Is the Daytona 660 a comfortable, capable, and intuitive commuter? It only took a few minutes on Spanish city streets to make me appreciate the availability of useful torque from low revs. Urban stop-and-go traffic is easier to navigate on a machine with a wide powerband, so you can squirt between vehicles without fiddling with the gearbox.

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review
A comfortable rider triangle makes the Triumph Daytona 660 a bike you can ride all day, and it would be a great sport-tourer with some accessory luggage.

At low city speeds, even after shifting into a higher gear than necessary, the Daytona’s engine delivered smooth, confidence-inspiring power without the need to wind up to high rpm. The 6-speed gearbox, which has updated input/output shafts and revised gear ratios, is well-sorted. There are no annoying searches for neutral, each shift accompanied by a satisfying “snick,” and the slip/assist clutch feels light at the lever (Triumph offers an optional quickshifter for those who want to bypass the clutch).

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review
The Triumph Daytona 660 has an understated white-on-black instrument panel that combines LCD and TFT displays.

The cockpit design is well-suited for city riding. The instrument panel, which is a hybrid LCD/TFT display, was easy to see through my tinted visor, even in bright light, and the tachometer, fuel gauge, gear indicator, and digital speedometer are clustered thoughtfully, giving me a lot of information with a quick glance down. The clip-on bars were easy on my wrists and didn’t force me to reach or crouch. Footpeg positioning was comfortable for my 6-foot frame. Likewise, the stock seat height of 31.9 inches was in the Goldilocks zone (Triumph offers a lower seat option that drops the saddle about an inch).

The Daytona 660’s engine, drivetrain, and ergonomics come together in an impressively intuitive commuter that I felt confident flinging around unfamiliar city streets on our way to the mountains to see if Triumph kept the “sport” in their new sportbike.

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review
We tested the Triumph Daytona 660 on twisty roads in the mountains above Alicante, Spain.

Into the mountains | Triumph Daytona 660

It was no accident that we were invited to ride the Daytona 660 through the mountains outside of Alicante. As we gained elevation, the beautifully engineered Spanish roads became downright exciting, with hairpins, sweepers, and significant elevation changes that put the bike’s chassis to the test. The radial 4-piston calipers, twin 310mm discs, and braided lines provided progressive, powerful braking without fading, even after miles of serpentine road.

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review
The Triumph Daytona 660 is equipped with competent brakes, grippy tires, and both ABS and TC.

Response from the throttle-by-wire throttle was precise and predictable. The three riding modes – Sport, Road, and Rain – each offer a different throttle response and level of traction control. Traction control can also be shut off, and a few of my fellow riders who did so had their rear tires step out on them under hard acceleration out of turns on dusty sections of road. I kept it engaged and didn’t have any such issues. In addition to traction control, the Daytona 660 is equipped with ABS, which adds to peace of mind when pushing the bike hard in the bends.

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review
With sporty steering geometry and a low weight of about 445 lb with a full tank of gas, the Triumph Daytona 660 carves through tight corners with ease.

The Daytona 660’s steering geometry and stock Michelin Power 6 tires made it easy to flick through chicane-like mountain sections, and the Showa suspension – a nonadjustable 41mm inverted fork and a single rear shock with preload adjustability – kept things composed on hard braking into turns and over less-than-perfect bits of tarmac. The suspension package is not top-shelf, but it is up to the task for what most riders will ask the Daytona 660 to do: keep a big grin plastered on your face as you carve up your favorite backroads.

A great first impression | Triumph Daytona 660

The Daytona 660 won me over almost immediately. The folks at Triumph clearly spent a lot of time refining this machine, as it felt sorted out in a way that not all first-generation models do. And, as I spent more time on the bike and got a chance to uncork it on beautiful mountain roads, things just got better.

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review
Priced at $9,195, the Triumph Daytona 660 delivers good value and should fit just about any rider’s budget.

This is a powerful, agile, attractive motorcycle that ticks most of the important boxes for less than $10,000. Although our test ride kept me in the saddle for nearly eight hours, I was comfortable enough on the Daytona that I would readily sign up for touring duty, especially considering optional upgrades such as a tankbag and tailbag, heated grips, tire pressure monitoring, and the My Triumph Connectivity System that adds navigation as well as phone and music interactivity.

The Daytona 660 accomplishes what Triumph set out to do: reset the middleweight sportbike segment by offering a versatile, exciting motorcycle that is affordable enough for entry-level riders but capable enough for those with more experience and buying power. And, regardless of your moto skillset, this is a beautiful machine that outclasses the competition with design details usually reserved for pricier bikes. While this may not be the bike for riders who spend lots of time at their local track, that isn’t Triumph’s target audience. I hope Rider gets a Daytona 660 for a longer-term test, because the taste of this bike that I got in Spain left me wanting more.

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

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review
2024 Triumph Daytona 660 in Carnival Red/Sapphire Black

2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Specs

  • Base Price: $9,195
  • Website: TriumphMotorcycles.com
  • Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse inline-Triple, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
  • Displacement: 660cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 74.0 x 51.1mm
  • Horsepower: 94 hp @ 11,250 rpm (factory claim)
  • Torque: 51 lb-ft @ 8,250 rpm (factory claim)
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch
  • Final Drive: Chain
  • Wheelbase: 56.1 in.
  • Rake/Trail: 23.8 degrees/3.2 in.
  • Seat Height: 31.9 in.
  • Wet Weight: 443 lb (factory claim, 90% fuel)
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gal.
  • Fuel Consumption: 57.6 mph (factory claim)

The post 2024 Triumph Daytona 660 Review | First Ride appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 BMW M 1000 XR Review | First Ride

2024 BMW M 1000 XR action
The BMW M 1000 XR blends elite levels of sportbike performance with a relatively comfortable riding position suitable for sport-touring duties.

BMW’s lineup of streetbikes is amazingly diverse, from single-cylinder roadsters all the way up to the supersized R 18 series, so there’s a Beemer for almost anyone. BMW’s all-conquering GS series attracts most of the headlines, but there’s another gem often hidden in the shadows.  

2024 BMW M 1000 XR
BMW has packed 201 hp into this sub-500-lb package.

The S 1000 XR was one of the first sporty adventure-tourers on the market, eschewing off-road capability for street performance but with a longer-travel suspension than typical sportbikes. Introduced in 2015, the partially faired XR was based on the S 1000 R roadster using the mighty 999cc inline-Four from the S 1000 RR superbike.  

Related: 2020 BMW S 1000 XR | Tour Test Review

Related: 2023 BMW S 1000 RR and M 1000 R | First Ride Review

2024 BMW M 1000 XR action
The addition of winglets to the fairing provides reassuring downforce at high velocities.

BMW described the XR as an “Adventure Sport Bike,” while we see it as a high-performance sport-touring bike. Whatever term you prefer, the XR has been an outrageously fast way to carve up interstate maps with squiggly lines.  

2024 BMW M 1000 XR front wheel
Monoblock brake calipers from Nissin provide impeccable braking feedback and power. Lightweight carbon fiber is used throughout the M 1000 XR when equipped with the M Competition package, including its fenders and wheels.

But when it comes to performance, there’s always a slice of the market that desires the utmost in speed, which is where this new M 1000 XR comes in. Boasting a seriously stout 201 hp, the M version of the XR takes the adventure sportbike theme to a stratospheric level.  

2024 BMW M 1000 XR dash
A 6.5-inch TFT instrument panel supplies a variety of displays, including this Race view that shows traction control interventions and real-time lean angles.

“It’s like a racebike with benefits of a crossover,” BMW proclaimed at the M 1000 XR’s recent launch in Spain. Motorrad reps say it’s the lightest and most powerful crossover bike on the market, intended to rule the roost of bikes designed for long-distance high-performance. 

2024 BMW M 1000 XR left controls
Instruments are easily navigated by BMW’s Multi-Controller wheel next to the handgrip. Cruise control is standard equipment.

The S 1000 XR was also updated for 2024, gaining 5 hp to 170 ponies and now retailing for $18,190. But our focus was on the M version, the third M model from BMW Motorrad following the M 1000 RR superbike and the M 1000 R roadster. The S 1000 XR has a curb weight of 500 lb, 8 lb more than the M-XR.  

Related: 2023 BMW S 1000 RR and M 1000 R | First Ride Review

2024 BMW M 1000 XR tank
The XR has this handy storage compartment built into its fuel tank, perfect for carrying the keyless-ignition fob and other small items while out on a ride.

Design | BMW M 1000 XR 

The XR still has a vestigial beak at its nose like ADVs do, but that’s as close to an adventure bike as the XR gets. Instead of a big schnoz masquerading as a front fender, the M 1000 XR has MotoGP-like winglets along the sides of its fairing.  

BMW says the wings generate 41 lb of downforce at the M-XR’s 171-mph top speed, dropping to 25 lb at 137 mph. Probably a negligible amount at highway speeds, but the wings could be helpful at trackdays, which are part of the XR’s design brief.  

2024 BMW M 1000 XR footpeg
A trick set of billet aluminum foot controls is part of the M Competition package, which are adjustable for angles and toe lengths.

The bike’s twin-beam aluminum frame remains unchanged, but the powerplant bolted to it has undergone serious hot-rodding based on the M 1000 RR’s mill. BMW’s ShiftCam technology accomplishes the magical feat of maintaining optimal power at lower engine speeds while significantly boosting top-end output.  

Below 9,000 rpm, the motor is directed by camshaft lobes optimized for operating at lower revs. At higher revs, two electromechanical actuators switch the intake valves over to a hotter cam lobe (more lift and different timing) in just 10 milliseconds. The result is favorable torque in low- and medium-speed ranges along with significant gains in peak power.  

2024 BMW M 1000 XR action
The M 1000 XR is the fastest comfy sportbike on the market.

Further aiding engine output are a set of variable-length intake ducts stolen from the M 1000 RR and M 1000 R, which switch to shorter ducts above 11,000 rpm. The redline takes a leap from the S 1000 XR’s 12,000 rpm to 14,600 rpm, a seriously high engine speed that is aided by lightweight titanium valves. 

Of course, there is no such thing as an inexpensive 200-hp motorcycle. The M 1000 XR has a base price of $24,295, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Preface: Carbon-fiber wheels for a Ferrari 296GTB are a $33,748 option.  

2024 BMW M 1000 XR action
The M Competition colorway is a sure sign that this isn’t a tame adventure-tourer.

Ordering the M Competition package amps up the bike’s racy nature with a slathering of carbon-fiber trim, from a carbon ignition lock cover and cockpit trim to fenders, bodywork, and even a chain guard. The most expensive bits are the M Carbon wheels, which trim unsprung and inertial mass from the place where it makes the most difference on a motorcycle.  

If you love carbon fiber (or buy Ferraris), the package’s $5,495 price might seem reasonable, and it also includes special billet footpegs, axle protectors, and a lap-timing GPS trigger. Curb weight gets shaved from 492 lb to 485. 

2024 BMW M 1000 XR Akrapovic
The exhaust system ends in a titanium Akrapovic muffler, but most of the silencing is accomplished in chambers below the engine.

Comfortably Fast | BMW M 1000 XR 

In front of our hotel in Spain was a lineup of M 1000 XRs in M Competition livery, a sinister black base peppered with blue and black accents. The overall look is visually arresting, even if it falls short of achieving pure aesthetic beauty.  

Throwing over a leg, I was greeted by a relaxed riding position considering this bike’s performance potential. Despite its race-bred DNA, the M 1000 XR doesn’t compromise on rider comfort.  The handlebar is within easy reach, and the M-branded seat feels plush. Front and center is a clearly readable 6.5-inch TFT display that can be connected to smartphones. The system’s complex capabilities are navigated by BMW’s innovative Multi-Controller wheel inboard of the left handgrip.  

2024 BMW M 1000 XR action


Firing up the XR, ears are greeted with a snarling exhaust note emitted by the tidy titanium Akrapovic muffler with a carbon cap. Most of the muffling takes place in a convoluted system of pipework placed under the engine. A quick blip of the throttle immediately sends revs soaring, a portent of fun times to follow.  

Clutch pull is modest, and it barely needs to be bothered with thanks to a highly effective quickshifter that swaps cogs seamlessly. Despite the XR’s high-strung potential, it does a fine job of wading through city streets on the way out of town. Power is omnipresent no matter the engine speed, and the bike is easy to manage in tight spaces.  

2024 BMW M 1000 XR action
The M 1000 XR proved to be delightful when unwinding twisty roads, with a wonderful blend of agility and composure. And when the roads open up, 200 ponies will make other traffic disappear in its mirrors.

Next up was a highway stint that highlighted the XR’s comfort. The two-position windscreen is adjustable on the fly, and there’s a generous amount of space between the seat and the bars. The seat is fairly tall at 33.5 inches, which allows adequate legroom despite the high-set footpegs that enable dizzying lean angles without touching down. The M Competition foot controls also allow adjustments to fine-tune their fit for different riders.  

In this environment, the “Road” ride mode delivers smooth throttle responses and a smooth ride from the semi-active suspension that has 5.4 inches of travel at both ends. Engine vibration is present but isn’t aggravating. Cruise control is standard equipment, and it operates flawlessly and can be set in 1-mph increments.  

2024 BMW M 1000 XR action

Ultimate Streetbike Performance | BMW M 1000 XR 

After arriving in a rural area, the hilly, twisty roads ahead called for a different ride mode. I toggled to Dynamic, which sharpens the throttle responses and firms up suspension damping. Other modes available are Rain, Race, and three levels of Race Pro. I sampled the Race mode but eventually switched back to Dynamic, which suited me perfectly.  

2024 BMW M 1000 XR action

It was finally time to experience the power on tap from the M 1000 XR. Holy crap, this thing is fast! BMW says it can accelerate to 124 mph in just 7.4 seconds – that’s 1.3 seconds quicker than the S 1000 XR, partly due to the M’s shorter gearing. And if you’re brave enough to keep the throttle twisted past that speed, the acceleration forces barely diminish.  

Fully up to the task of shedding big speeds are the M-XR’s brakes. I was initially disappointed to not see Brembo’s Stylema calipers, which are often found on premium bikes and are the best clampers I’ve tested. However, the XR’s monoblock Nissin calipers developed with BMW feel just as good as the vaunted Stylemas, with a firm lever and precise feedback. Very impressive!  

The Dynamic Damping Control system transforms the suspension from touring-plush to sportbike-firm at the touch of a button. It takes cues from a 6-axis IMU to keep the bike settled regardless of how aggressively it’s ridden.  

2024 BMW M 1000 XR action
A high and wide handlebar and an adjustable windscreen (seen here in its lower position) provide more comfort than expected for a machine with this much performance.

And the M 1000 XR thrives when ridden aggressively. Its relatively high and wide handlebar encourages quick steering transitions, which are certainly aided by the ultra-lightweight carbon wheels. Its agility is exceptional, and once levered over, the sportbike-derived chassis remains steadfast while the suspension’s DDC continually adjusts and adapts to every situation.  

Indelible | BMW M 1000 XR 

On the way back to the hotel, I reflected on a particular section of our ride. We were untangling a seemingly endless series of twists and turns interjected with occasional straight sections that enabled room to rev out the engine and seamlessly bang a few shifts. I was having so much fun that I was literally grinning and giggling in my helmet.  

The M 1000 XR’s extreme performance and unflappable composure made me think I was on one of the best bikes in the world for twisty roads. Its glorious motor provides acceleration that will take your breath away, and you’d think it was terrific even if you never revved it above 9,000 rpm. The M-XR has agility that will shame many sportbikes, and it has race-level braking power backed by cornering ABS. 

2024 BMW M 1000 XR action

And when it’s time to leave the canyons, the M-XR transforms into a relatively comfy touring bike. Riders are coddled with decent wind protection, a plush suspension, and amenities like heated grips and cruise control.  

Whether unraveling twisty mountain roads or devouring miles on the open highway, the M 1000 XR offers an unrivaled combination of performance, luxury, technological sophistication, and immaculate attention to detail. Now I just gotta remember where I stashed that $30K wad I was setting aside for something special… 

2024 BMW M 1000 XR
Pricing for the M 1000 XR starts at $24,990, but the desirable M Competition package ups the MSRP to $30,485.

2024 BMW M 1000 XR Specs 

  • Base Price:  $24,295 
  • Price As Tested: $30,485 (M Competition package) 
  • Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles  
  • Website: BMWmotorcycles.com 


  • Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse inline-Four, DOHC w/ variable valve timing, 4 valves per cyl.  
  • Displacement: 999cc  
  • Bore x Stroke: 80.0 x 49.7.0mm  
  • Horsepower: 201 @ 12,750 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Torque: 83 lb-ft @ 11,000 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Compression Ratio: 13.3:1  
  • Valve Insp. Interval: 18,000 miles  
  • Fuel Delivery: EFI w/ throttle-by-wire, 48mm throttle bodies  
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch  
  • Final Drive: Chain  


  • Frame: Twin-beam aluminum, cast aluminum swingarm  
  • Wheelbase: 60.9 in.  
  • Rake/Trail: 25.1 degrees/4.6 in.  
  • Seat Height: 33.5 in.  
  • Suspension, Front: 45mm inverted fork, semi-active, 5.4 in. travel 
  • Rear: Single linkage shock, adj. semi-active, 5.4 in. travel  
  • Brakes, Front: Dual 320mm discs w/ 4-piston radial calipers & cornering ABS  
  • Rear: Single 265mm disc w/ 1-piston caliper & cornering ABS  
  • Wheels, Front: Carbon fiber, 3.5 x 17 (as tested) 
  • Rear: Carbon fiber, 6.0 x 17 (as tested) 
  • Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17 
  • Rear: 200/55-ZR17   
  • Wet Weight: 492 lb (as tested, factory claim) 
  • Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gal.  

The post 2024 BMW M 1000 XR Review | First Ride appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R/GT Review | First Look 

2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R Carnival Red
2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R in Carnival Red with Sapphire Black

To celebrate 20 years of the Rocket 3, a muscle bike with the largest engine in a production motorcycle, Triumph has unveiled the 2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R and Rocket 3 Storm GT. Their 2,458cc in-line Triple cranks out even more power – up 15 ponies to a massive 180 hp and 166 lb-ft of torque (up 3). They also feature lighter wheels, blacked-out styling, and dark color schemes. 

2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R Engine

When we tested a 2023 Triumph Rocket 3 R, we said it is “all about heart-pumping stimulation. It’s the sort of bike you lie awake at night and think about, triangulating a plan to get one into your garage. Just as Sméagol was corrupted by the Ring, the Rocket 3 will take over your thoughts and make you do naughty things. If you want to be King of the Road, there’s nothing else like it.”  

Related: 2023 Triumph Rocket 3 R Review | Road Test 

2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm GT Pacific Blue
2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm GT in Satin Pacific Blue with Matte Sapphire Black

The two versions of the Rocket 3 Storm, R and GT, share many similarities, with most differences between the two lying in the ergonomics and paint. The R is the roadster option with a seat height of 30.4 inches and mid-position foot controls with two settings that offer 0.6 inch of vertical adjustment.  

2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R GT

The GT version is more touring-focused with the handlebar grips 5 inches back compared to the R, a more upright riding position, a sculpted touring rider seat set at 29.5 inches and a more generously padded passenger seat compared to the R’s, with an adjustable passenger backrest. The GT also features forward foot controls with 2 inches of adjustment over three horizontal settings. 

2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm GT Passenger Seat

The Rocket 3’s 16-inch rear and 17-inch front wheels have been updated with a 10-spoke cast-aluminum design to reduce unsprung mass for better steering response. These two models keep their lightweight aluminum frame that uses cast and forged elements. The bikes have 4.75-gallon fuel tanks (now with the Storm name on it), and they weigh in at 705 lb for the Rocket 3 Storm R and 699 lb for the Rocket 3 Storm GT. 

2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R Granite
2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R in Sapphire Black with Granite

Slowing down these massively powered motorcycles are Brembo Stylema calipers biting two 320mm discs up front and a Brembo M4.32 4-piston radial monoblock rear caliper pinching a 300mm disc in the rear. Suspension comes from a Showa monoshock with piggyback reservoir that’s fully adjustable and 47mm Showa forks that are adjustable for rebound and compression damping. 

2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm GT Carnival Red
2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm GT in Carnival Red with Sapphire Black

Completing the package is a suite of rider aids and technology as standard. The Rocket 3 Storm R and GT come with lean-sensitive cornering ABS, traction control, Ride-by-Wire, a Torque Assist clutch, Hill Hold, four ride modes (Road, Rain, Sport, Rider-configurable), cruise control, a keyless ignition and steering lock, and a USB charging socket. Instrumentation comes in the form of a color TFT operated by a five-way back-lit joystick and with two information layout design themes. 

2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm GT Dash

Riders can choose to outfit their Rocket 3 Storm R or GT with the optional Quickshifter or any of the 50 Genuine Triumph Accessories, including foot controls, seats, plug-and-play tech, styling parts, and others. 

The 2025 Rocket 3 Storm R will be available in Carnival Red with Sapphire Black, Satin Pacific Blue with Matte Sapphire Black, or Sapphire Black with Granite for $24,995. The 2025 Rocket 3 Storm GT will be available in the same colors but with the color split of the tank reversed, retailing for $29,795. 

Visit the Triumph website for more information. 

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

The post 2025 Triumph Rocket 3 Storm R/GT Review | First Look  appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 Indian Roadmaster Elite Review | First Look 

2024 Indian Roadmaster Elite

Indian Motorcycle has added to its high-end Elite lineup with the 2024 Roadmaster Elite. Like other models in this Elite program, the Indian Roadmaster Elite includes premium features and a custom paint scheme, and it’s limited to only 350 units worldwide. 

2024 Indian Roadmaster Elite

The Indian Roadmaster Elite first draws the eye with its dazzling tri-tone Indian Motorcycle Red paint scheme. This paint scheme honors the Indian Motorcycle Red paint first seen in 1904. For 2024, Indian Motorcycle partnered with paint shops Gunslinger Custom Paint in Colorado and Custom Painted Vehicles in Wisconsin to ensure the highest-quality finishes. Each motorcycle will also include an exclusive Elite badging with an individually numbered center console and a silhouette of a 1904 Indian Camelback, the bike that first received the Indian Motorcycle Red paint.  

Related: 2024 Indian Lineup and Brand Collaboration Announced 

“Our Elite models take the incredibly high bar we set for all of our products, and raise it even higher, offering something more exclusive for the rider who wants to make sure their bike is a cut above anything else on the road,” said Aaron Jax, vice president for Indian Motorcycle. “What I love about the new Roadmaster Elite is how we’ve taken the historic Indian Motorcycle Red and given it a tougher, meaner attitude with blacked-out styling.” 

2024 Indian Roadmaster Elite

The tri-tone paint includes Indian Motorcycle Red Candy, Dark Indian Motorcycle Red Candy, and Black Candy, along with handpainted Championship Gold pinstripes, and each bike takes more than 24 hours to complete. 

2024 Indian Roadmaster Elite

“Our design team is always thrilled to work on the Elite models, because we’re essentially given the keys to design our very own custom bike, but instead of just one, hundreds will be available around the world,” said Ola Stenegard, director of product design for Indian Motorcycle. “With each new Elite model, we pull through custom bike trends to create something that’s not only current and relevant, but authentically aligns with the Indian Motorcycle brand and complements each model’s inherent DNA.” 

See all of Rider‘s Indian coverage here.

2024 Indian Roadmaster Elite

Aside from top-notch paint jobs, Indian’s Elite collection also includes premium features and components from the brand. The 2024 Indian Roadmaster Elite will include PowerBand Audio with Bass Boost & UnderGlow, which was introduced in 2023 and delivers 50% louder audio through 12 speakers in the front fairing, saddlebags, and touring trunk. Also included is the Pathfinder Adaptive LED Headlight, which improves visibility by adjusting illumination based on the bike’s lean angle. Pathfinder LED lights can also be found in the bike’s saddlebags to provide better visibility of the bike to other motorists. 

2024 Indian Roadmaster Elite

Other premium details on the 2024 Indian Roadmaster Elite include a gloss black painted dash, polished driver and passenger Indian headdress floorboards, a color-matched stitched heated and cooled seat, a tinted flare windshield, passenger arm rests, backlit switch cubes, and 10-spoke precision machined wheels. 

2024 Indian Roadmaster Elite

The 2024 Indian Roadmaster Elite will have an MSRP of $41,999 and will begin arriving in dealerships this spring. Find more information at the Indian Motorcycle website

2024 Indian Roadmaster Elite

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

The post 2024 Indian Roadmaster Elite Review | First Look  appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Review | First Ride 

2024 Triumph GT Pro cornering
Triumph’s Tiger 900 lineup has been revamped for 2024, now with a more potent three-cylinder engine. (Photos courtesy Triumph Motorcycles)

Middleweight adventure bikes are perhaps the hottest segment in motorcycling – even if the definition of “middleweight” keeps creeping upward. It’s why Triumph has given its lauded Tiger 900 a revamp just four years after its introduction, gaining a 13% boost in power from its inline-Triple, plus new TFT instrumentation, sharper styling, and updated electronics. The pursuit of perfection at Triumph continues. 

The Tiger 900 slots into a market full of a highly diverse crop of ADVs, and Triumph is cleverly aiming for two types of customers with the Tiger 900s. The GT and GT Pro versions skew toward the sport-touring market – let’s call it the sport-adventure category. Bikes in this class typically use cast-aluminum wheels with 19-inch fronts. Unchanged for 2024 but still in the lineup is the road-biased Tiger 850 Sport. 

Related: Triumph Tiger 850 Sport Road Test

The Tiger 900 Rally Pro is intended for tackling off-road terrain, using a 21-inch front tire and riding on wire-spoke wheels. It will do battle with bikes like the Ducati Desert-X and the Austrian stablemates of KTMs and Husqvarnas in their various middleweight guises.

Related: 2020 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro and Rally Pro First Ride Review

All Tiger 900s come equipped with cruise control, heated grips, machined adventure footpegs cushioned by removable rubber inserts, and four ride modes: Rain, Road, Sport, and Off-Road, the latter switching off rear ABS. Pro models get a customizable Rider mode and enjoy clutchless up- and downshifts with a quickshifter, as well as a centerstand and tire-pressure monitoring. Triumph no longer offers the Rally in a non-Pro variant nor the GT Low.  

Related: Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low Tour Test Review

2024 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro and Rally Pro
Triumph offers two appealing forms middleweight ADVs. The Tiger 900 GT Pro (left) is road-biased, while the Rally Pro (right) is fully equipped for off-roading. Note the substantial aluminum skidplate and protective bars over the engine.

The existing Tiger 900s were already admirable machines that are capable, versatile, and stylish – more than 45,000 have been sold. At the new bikes’ presentation, Triumph boiled down the new Tigers’ key points: more performance, capability, comfort, and attitude.  

To give us a chance to put the Tigers through their paces, Triumph invited us to southern Spain for two days of riding. The first day would be entirely on asphalt in the hills north of Málaga, while the second day was spent almost entirely off-road on some amazingly twisty and scenic trails in El Torcal de Antequera nature preserve.  

Warm-Up | Triumph Tiger 900 

Triumph treats its 900 Pro buyers to heated seats and grips as standard equipment, both godsends when it’s chilly like it was when we set off shortly after dawn. Fingers were kept cozy on heating elements behind the standard handguards, while my buns got so toasty I shut down the seat heat after only an hour. Surely I would’ve survived without the extra heat, but a comfy rider is a happy rider.  

Another aspect that makes a happy rider is more power – I’ve never met an engine that wouldn’t be better with a bump in ponies, assuming low-end grunt isn’t marginalized. Kudos to Triumph for redesigning its 888cc engine just four years after it debuted, giving it 13 extra horsies for a peak of 107 hp – two higher than KTM’s venerable 890. This will surely please my friend Glenn, who bought a GT Pro on my recommendation a few years ago. His only complaint is that he wished it had more oomph when he was two-up with his wife. 

Engineers made several major tweaks to unleash more power, including a new cylinder head with larger inlet ports and optimized oval exhaust ports working in partnership with higher-lift camshafts. New pistons bump the compression ratio to 13:1. Harvesting additional low-end power are 15mm longer intake trumpets. Peak torque is up 2.2 lb-ft to 66.4 at 6,850 rpm.  

2024 Triumph GT Pro cornering
The Triumph GT Pro makes for a compelling sport-touring rig, now with a more thrilling T-plane Triple providing 107 hp.

From behind the bars and if you’re not in much of a hurry, Triumph’s unique T-plane Triple doesn’t feel much different. A dyno chart reveals the old engine has an imperceptible edge in grunt until 4,500 rpm before the new engine boasts clear superiority the rest of the way to redline, especially around 7,500 rpm when the previous motor begins to peter out and the new one continues surging to its 9,500-rpm peak. There was nothing wrong with the previous powerplant, but this new one is clearly superior and adds a compelling upper-rev swell the old mill lacked. 

Adding to the impression of speed is the pleasantly authoritative bark from a lighter and freer-flowing exhaust system, which somehow gets by with the loss of its second catalyzer near the rider’s foot, helping to lighten the system. Incredibly, Triumph claims the more powerful motor has 9% better emissions and fuel economy, netting a 264-mile range from the 5.3-gallon fuel tank. 

More good engine news: Valve inspection intervals have been extended from 12,000 miles to 18,000, which will reduce long-term maintenance costs.  

Meanwhile, the cockpit has been upgraded to include the Tiger 1200’s 7-inch TFT with Bluetooth connectivity, along with its more user-friendly interface. The My Triumph Connectivity System enables liaising with navigation, phone calls, and music. Device charging is handled by a USB-C cockpit charger, a 12V socket next to the seat-release keyhole, and a USB-A charger under the seat.  

2024 Triumph Tiger 900 TFT instruments
New for 2024 is this attractive 7-inch TFT instrument panel borrowed from the Tiger 1200.

GT vs. Rally | Triumph Tiger 900 

Wind protection from the hand-adjustable windscreen was quite good despite its narrow profile. It has a 2-inch range over five settings. The lowest position allowed my short body to clearly look over the screen and provided smooth airflow over my helmet. When riding the GT Pro, I preferred the seat in its higher position, adding 0.8 inch extra legroom and placing the seat at a still-reasonable 33.1 inches.  

Both GT models use a fully adjustable Marzocchi 45mm fork with 7.1 inches of travel. The Marzocchi shock yields 6.7 inches and has adjustable preload and rebound damping, but the Pro model features an electronically adjustable shock that can be toggled to four load positions with their damping settings automatically adjusted as appropriate for the set preload.  

2024 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro scenic
The Tiger 900 GT Pro reigns in Spain.

The dirt-ready Rally Pro goes up a level with 9.4 inches of travel from its fully adjustable Showa fork, while the Showa shock has 9.1 inches of travel and a full range of manual adjustability. The seat height of the Rally begins at 33.9 inches and can be extended to 34.6. Both the GT and Rally models can be fitted with an accessory seat that brings down heights by 0.8 inch. 

The seats are “enhanced” with thicker and flatter foam. Tellingly, I didn’t think about seat comfort even once during my days on the new 900s. Further comfort enhancement is provided by a new rubber-mounting system for the handlebar to quell vibration, said to be carefully tuned to avoid a rubbery steering feel. No complaints from me.  

When our cadre of test riders were faced with endless twisty sections of pavement, the GT Pro displayed a more direct connection with the road surfaces, especially at the front end where its 100/90-19 Metzeler Tourance Next tire provided clearer feedback when leaned over in corners.  

The Rally Pro feels more gangly when unwinding twisty roads, but it performs better than expected for a bike with an adventure-ready 90/90-21 front tire, a Bridgestone Battlax Adventure, backed up by a 150/70-17 rear. Happily, the wheel design allows the use of tubeless rubber that is easier to fix while on the road than tubes.  

2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro cornering
The Rally Pro is surprisingly adept on twisty roads for a bike that does so well off-road.

All Tiger 900s continue to employ Brembo’s stellar Stylema brake calipers on the front end, and the radial-mount 4-piston monoblock pinchers are generally regarded as the best in the business. Allied with a radial-pump master cylinder and 320mm rotors, they are potent and faultless.  

Braking upgrades come in the form of Continental’s new MIB Evo controller, which sriumph says optimizes the cornering ABS function allied with the six-axis IMU.  

Also new is the “Emergency Declaration Warning,” which flashes the taillight and rear turnsignals when the bike decelerates at a rapid rate, alerting any following riders/drivers of potential danger. There were a few times during our rides when a rider in front of me overcooked their speed into a corner and had to jam on the brakes, and the warning lights that flashed before me were impossible to ignore. Rear-end collisions are on the rise and can be lethal to riders, so this is truly a safety advancement.  

Dipping too aggressively into the front brake lever causes the Tiger’s front end to dive, especially on the taller Rally. This reveals the one modern motorcycle feature not available on this bike: semi-active suspension. Such electronically controlled suspensions dramatically limit chassis pitching, particularly during braking. Triumph uses it on its Tiger 1200 but not here. The GT Pro’s electronic shock isn’t active – its settings are fixed. 

Related: 2023 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Pro Road Test Review

Getting Dirty  

The GT is capable of mild off-roading on fire roads and the like, but it’s the Rally Pro that you’ll want for tackling rough terrain. Its long-travel suspension and higher ground clearance enable traversing topography you might not think possible on an adventure-tourer of this size.  

2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro trail
Trails like this are an ideal playground for the Tiger 900 Rally Pro.

In addition to its longer legs, the Rally Pro adds compression adjustment to its shock and an Off-Road Pro ride mode that disables traction control and ABS at both ends for maximal rider control. The Rally also gets a handlebar positioned 0.6 inch closer to the rider to provide better ergonomics when riding in a standing position. The rear brake lever’s foot nub can be rotated to supply a lower position that works well when standing.  

More grip is always welcome in the dirt, so we were grateful to see Michelin Anakee Wild 50/50 on/off-road rubber spooned on for our off-road day. They have full-knobby tread blocks and provided excellent traction on the trails. Just as impressive, they also performed suprisingly well on the few bits of twisty tarmac on our route, exhibiting a neutral steering feel. They didn’t have as much grip on asphalt, of course, but that enabled some thrilling powerslides on the pavement!  

2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro left side
ADVs are excellent sport-tourers that give riders confidence to head for interesting unpaved roads.

As some of us are painfully aware, riding on tenuous grip situations off-road can result in the dreaded fall-down-go-boom. One journo suffered a 35-mph lowside when the front end of his Tiger lost traction, but the bike was ridden away from the crash thanks to the Rally’s stainless-steel crash bars surrounding the engine. Protective bars for the fuel tank can be sourced from Triumph’s accessory catalog.  

My talents off-road are mediocre, but I felt mildly heroic blasting around some fairly technical terrain on this substantial but manageable 503-lb Triumph. The motor is amazingly flexible, causing me to reevaluate using 1st gear in most conditions, which resulted in excessive chassis pitching from too much engine braking. Instead, I plopped it into 2nd to let the willing engine tractor away from as low as just 2,000 rpm. Perhaps not notable from a 1,200cc Twin, but very impressive for an 888cc Triple.  

Our ride culminated at Spain’s Triumph Adventure Riding Experience site where we were able to play around on natural obstacles and hills. It was there that I first heard the ugly scraping sound of metal on rocks under the bike, and I was glad Triumph has fitted a more substantial aluminum sump guard to the Rally Pro. It looks to be a nicely engineered piece that will slide over rocks and protect vital engine parts.  

2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro slide
The Rally Pro is equipped with an Off-Road Pro mode that switches off ABS and traction control, giving riders supreme authority over the bike.

Perhaps the only caveat to lauding the Rally Pro is that it might not be as agile in technical terrain as the KTM 890 Adventure, Husqvarna Norden 901, or some smaller-displacement bikes like Yamaha’s Ténéré 700 or Suzuki’s V-Strom 800DE. But the Tiger has an edge as a streetbike, especially with its comfort and convenience features. 

Related: 2023 KTM 890 Adventure First Ride Review

We were also treated to a performance by Triumph’s factory racer Iván Cervantes. The Spaniard’s brilliance on a large ADV was mind-blowing, riding it around as if it was just a big dirtbike. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as Cervantes has ridden Tiger 900s to victories in the 2022 Baja Aragón Rally Trail Class, the Hard-Trail class in the 1000 Dunas Raid, and the Maxi-Trail class in the Bassella Enduro. His talent on a motorbike is exceptional and inspiring – and humbling.  

Ivan Cervantes action roost
Factory racer Ivan Cervantes demonstrating his championship-winning skills on a Tiger 900 Rally Pro.

Dusting Off 

It’s a little anticlimatic to review a bike I already liked after it’s been improved, but that’s the case with the Tiger 900 family. It was previously a platform worth parking in your garage, and now it’s even better.  

The new TFT instrumentation pleases eyes and is easy to navigate, the ergonomic triangle with comfier seats allows for long days on the road, and heated touchpoints keep riders warm even if ambient temperatures would indicate otherwise.  

2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro right side
The revamped Tiger 900 motor retains its ability to tractor out of corners at low revs.

Most impressive is the invigorated character of the Tiger’s T-plane engine. It growls with a guttural bark rather than singing like its Triple-powered stablemates, and its newfound top-end lunge is delightful. A smoothly operating up/down quickshifter keeps the motor on the boil and ready for action.  

The only caveat to a full-throated endorsement of the Triumph Tiger 900 is the bounty of appealing competitors in the class. Along with the aforementioned KTMs and Huskys are Ducati’s Desert-X and Suzuki’s V-Strom 1050, plus Honda’s amiable Africa Twin and the new Transalp. In terms of value, it’s tough to beat Yamaha’s recently upgraded T7, and BMW will soon give us a ride on its overhauled F 900 GS. 

Riders looking for a soft-roader ADV can get the base GT for a reasonable $14,995 or take a jump to $16,895 for the fully featured GT Pro. The Rally Pro has an MSRP of $17,395. Shoppers for middleweight adventure bikes are truly spoiled for choice these days. 

2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro hill climb
Some say 500-lb ADVs aren’t any fun to ride off-road. We disagree.

2024 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Specs (Rally Pro) 


  • Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse in-line Triple, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl. 
  • Displacement: 888cc 
  • Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 61.9mm 
  • Compression Ratio: 13.0:1 
  • Valve Insp. Interval: 18,000 miles 
  • Fuel Delivery: EFI w/ throttle-by-wire, 44mm throttle bodies x 4 
  • Lubrication System: Wet sump, 3.9 qt. cap. 
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch 
  • Final Drive: Chain 


  • Frame: Tubular-steel trellis frame, aluminum subframe & swingarm 
  • Wheelbase: 61.3 in. (61.1) 
  • Rake/Trail: 24.6 degrees/4.0 in. (24.4/4.6) 
  • Seat Height: 32.3-33.1 in. (33.9-34.6) 
  • Suspension, Front: 45mm inverted fork, fully adj., 7.1 in. travel (9.4)  
  • Rear: Single linkage shock, w/ spring preload and reb. adj., 6.7 in. travel (fully adj., 9.1)  
  • Brakes, Front: Dual 320mm floating discs w/ 4-piston radial monoblock calipers & cornering ABS 
  • Rear: Single 255mm disc w/ 1-piston caliper & cornering ABS 
  • Wheels, Front: Cast, 2.5 x 19 in. (Spoked, 2.15 x 21) 
  • Rear: Cast, 4.25 x 17 in. (Spoked, 4.25 x 17) 
  • Tires, Front: 100/90-19 (90/90-21) 
  • Rear: 150/70-17  
  • Wet Weight: 483-489 lb (503) 


  • Horsepower: 106.5 hp @ 9,500 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Torque: 66.4 lb-ft @ 6,850 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gals. 

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Source: RiderMagazine.com