Aprilia plan to introduce a lower-powered version of its upcoming RS 660 lightweight sports bike so it can be ridden by learners and novices under the European A2 motorcycle licence.
The announcement came in a quirky Instagram post that says “A2 driving license? Aprilia RS 660 95hp version confirmed! Keep updated!”
The A2 licence is a similar system to the Australian and New Zealand Learner Approved Motorcycle System, so there could be scope to also make a LAMS version alongside the fuel-powered version.
This has been done with several other bikes on the market, notably the Yamaha MT-07LA which has reduced capacity (from 689cc to 655cc) and restricted power (from 55kW to 38kW) via 25% throttler restriction, different cams and pistons.
The lithe Aprilia RS 660 weighs in at 169kg dry and fits in the 660cc or below capacity limits of LAMS.
However, they would have to do a fair bit more power restriction on the 95hp (70kW) bike to fit the scheme which also has a power-to-weight formula of 150 kilowatts per tonne or less.
Honda announced at EICMA that their entry level CMX 500 cruiser, also known as the Rebel in some markets, will receive a host of updates for 2020, including updated suspension, full LED lighting, a gear position indicator, slipper clutch and new seat for better comfort.
Honda Australia are yet to confirm the local delivery schedule and any movements in pricing but are expected to do so early next year. The CMX has proved a winner as one of Australia’s most popular cruiser options, claiming the #8 position on the sales charts for the YTD as of Q3 in overall road motorcycles, as well as the #3 position in the cruiser category.
A 2020 ‘S’ model variant will also be available in some markets offering factory-fit accessories – as a styling option, and including a headlight cowl, blacked out fork covers and gaiters, plus a diamond-stitch seat. We’re yet to hear whether the S model will be available in Australia.
The CMX retains the 471cc parallel twin-cylinder engine which is now Euro5 and produces a LAMS approved 34kW at 8500rpm, while peak torque is 43.3Nm reached at 6000rpm.
The CMX actually draws its powerplant from the CBR500R offering generous performance both for the segment and capacity, with PGM-FI fuel injection –further optimised – and valve and ignition timings revised to focus on bottom-end torque.
A six-speed gearbox is also featured, with the new assist and slipper clutch lightening clutch lever operation by 30 per cent, while downshifting aggressively will remain smooth.
Part of Euro5 compliance necessitated a new LAF exhaust sensor, while the exhaust system is a 120mm shotgun-style affair.
The lean Bobber styling of the CMX is retained, but now includes full LED lighting including the indicators, for a premium feel, alongside the existing 11.2L fuel capacity and fat ‘bars.
The CMX has also had the black out treatment, with fork tubes and discs being the main areas not conforming. The taillight is also new and features mini-circular LED indicators, with a compact main light and die-cast aluminium mount.
The headlight is a compact 175mm item, with die-cast aluminium mount, and the LCD display now includes a new gear position indicator and fuel consumption reading. Ignition remains below the tank on the left side of the bike.
The pillion seat and footpegs are also easily removed, with Honda adding to the accessory line-up, as well as offering the S edition in a special Matte Axis Grey Metallic colour, with the accessories mentioned above.
Suspension has seen both shock and 41mm forks revised, with new spring rates in both.
The Showa shock units are also now nitrogen charged, and feature reshaped damper rubbers, with Honda promising a firmer action as a result. The shocks are still five-step preload adjustable.
The 16inch front and rear wheels are retained from 2019, as is the 296mm front rotor and twin-piston caliper setup, with a single-piston rear caliper. Dunlop tyres are fitted in 130/90 -16 and 150/80 – 16 sizes. Two channel ABS is standard fitment.
The 2020 Honda CMX weighs in at 191kg at the kerb, with an ultra-low 690mm seat height and 1490mm wheelbase.
Dale says the GT is a “great bike” with “world-class” fit and finish that makes it well worth the extra money.
“If it had another name on the tank, you could easily believe it came from one of the best manufacturers,” he says.
“The only part of the bike that appears cheap are the switchblocks which need a better choice of symbols and fonts.”
Here is Dale’s assessment of the CFMoto 650GT:
At 100km/h, the engine is running at 4000rpm which is 500rpm less than the MT.
I get about a very reasonable 4.3L/100km from the MT, so the GT’s economy should be a little better.
At highway speed, power delivery is good and it doesn’t feel like it is over-geared.In fact, it feels a little stronger in the mid-range than the MT.
Engine temperature shows it runs cooler than the MT which does tend to run hot in traffic.
It also feels cooler but this can be difficult to quantify as the temperature gauge does not indicate the actual temperature, only an LCD line.
I would rate the GT’s suspension as the best of any CFMoto I’ve ridden.
It handles all manner of road bumps with ease and in general gives no cause for concern.
I would encourage CFMoto to add a preload adjuster cap to the fork, as these not only look good but offer a positive feature at little extra cost.
An Ohlins cap, spacer and spring kit costs the manufacturer very little and a lesser brand cap would add little to the bike’s overall cost, but more to its value.
The rear coloured spring is an attractive feature, but it would be great if it could be adjusted.
I would like to see a pin-type adjuster as used by Ohlins which is easy and simple to use.
Wheels, tyres and brakes
The German Metzeler tyres are a noticeable improvement over the Chinese CST Adrenos fitted to the MT.
They add stability under braking, cornering integrity, they cope better with bumps and undulations and they have better grip. I would imagine they would have superior wet too, but it hasn’t rained here for a while!
The 160 section rear sat on the 4.5-inch rim better than the MT, as well.
Braking power started out a bit poor but began to offer good bite and progression after about 800km.
If they have used the same compounds as the MT, it will be best around 2000km.
The riding position on the 650GT is good and suits a wider range of people with a lower seat than the MT.
I note that some effort has been used to weight the footpegs and rubber mount them.
The left footpeg was in the way most times when I put the side stand down.
By the way, as a tourer, it needs a centre stand, especially with the left-hand side chain run, making chain lubing more difficult on the side stand alone.
The 650GT windscreen is perfect and the type of adjustment should be employed on the MT as it is more effective. Perhaps the robust MT system works better on rougher roads.
The fuel filler cap is much better than the MT as it stays in place during filling.
Mirrors are not as good as the MT as they vibrate. They need better weighting to reduce harmonics. Field of view is poor and there is not enough adjustment available.
Digital instrumentation are what you would expect on a more expensive bike with two layouts. I also love the way they change to night settings and are dimmable.
There is also a USB for charging your phone or GPS, which is essential for a tourer.
My only complaints are minor:
Like the MT, it needs a helmet lock;
It is difficult to tell the fuel and temperature gauges apart;
It was too easy to confuse the horn with the change button for the maps/dash layout; and
The rear axle nut is probably the biggest in the business and could do with at least 1cm shaved off.
This is a recommended option for anyone looking for a good-value, midsize road bike.
They should fit these with panniers from standard not only to fill in the rear aesthetically, but to truly live up to the “Grand Tourer” moniker.
CFMoto 650GT tech specs
Two cylinder, inline 4-stroke, 8-valve, DOHC with counter balance
Bore & Stroke:
83mm x 60mm
Max Power Output:
41.5 kW @ 9,500rpm (LAMS Restricted)
62 NM @ 7,000rpm
Tubular steel diamond frame employing engine as fully-stressed member
We tested the bike and found it a willing partner around town and even out on the highway.
The CFMoto 300NK is powered by a new 300cc water-cooled, single-single engine with 25kW of power in its lithe 151kg frame.
It’s an extremely flexible little engine with capable power delivery around town and passable passing abilities on the highway where it revs at 5700rpm in sixth.
The only time it starts to run out of puff is up steep hills.
With a 12.5L tank and excellent fuel economy, you could ride this bike much more than 300km on one fill.
The EFI engine has a balance shaft and a sixth gear to reduce vibration at highway speed.
We found that after a long ride, there was only a slight tingle in the fingers and none in the toes thanks to the rubber-topped footpegs.
There was also little vibration through the mirrors which are big and wide for plenty of good rear vision. They are no wider than the reasonably wide bars, so lane filtering is fine on this narrow bike.
The whole bike feels very narrow including the 795mm seat which makes it easy for most riders to get a foot on the ground.
The 300NK pillion seat is removable with a key and there is little space underneath. The rider seat is removable with a spanner.
This is a highly manoeuvrable motorcycle in traffic and tight spaces thanks to its smooth fuelling, light weight and narrow frame.
The six-speed transmission is slick and faultless with no false neutrals and neutral easy to select when stopped.
Braking is handled by Spanish J Juan brake callipers and a Continental Dual Channel ABS controller.
They are strong and willing with reasonable feel in both the lever and pedal, but the front fades off under heavy braking.
Suspension may be rudimentary, but it is quite capable as the bike is so light.
Heavier riders may have trouble and the forks gets jittery over high-frequency bumps.
I’m 183mm tall and found the riding position quite neutral, except the pegs are fairly high which cramped my legs. They could easily drop them down a bit as it has plenty of cornering clearance.
Modern features on the 300NK include a full-colour TFT instrumentation panel with convenient gearshift indicator, LED headlight, lockable fuel cap and daytime running lights.
The 300NK instruments are easy to read in most lighting conditions although they can reflect the sun’s glare at certain angles.
They are also light sensitive and change colour in a tunnel or at night.
You can also choose between a traditional analogue-style display or digital representation.
Interestingly, they include “Sport” and “Rain” engine modes, but they are not active … yet! We are told that may come in future models.
The backlit controls are basic and a bit cheap, but tactile and function fine.
We like the modern, angular styling of CFMoto’s range which has been outsourced to Kiska, the Austrian design house which is also responsible for many KTM models.
(Sponsored post for students in the North America)
Motorcycles are a fun and exciting way to commute, travel, and the adventurous nature of riding a bike fits young college students perfectly. Finding the appropriate motorcycle depends on the habits where you live and what you plan to do with it. When trying to find the best beginner motorcycle, it’s not the same if you want a bike for the open road, or if you plan to ride around the town mostly.
You could consider buying a used motorcycle to fit student budget, but there are also some excellent choices for new and affordable motorcycles for students. Most young people love to travel, and the bike is an exciting way to go around.
Top 5 bikes for students
Other things to consider beside buying a motorcycle is the strength, insurance, additional equipment for safety, and travel. For safety reasons ‘don’t cut costs with features like ABS. You should think about getting a motorcycle license, insurance, and registration costs. Besides the bike itself, a motorcycle helmet is an essential part of the equipment.
Whit all that in mind, you will still have to think about the motorcycle, and here is our list of Top 5 bikes for students.
Honda Rebel 300
Lightweight bike ideal for beginners, Honda Rebel 300 has value price, and it comes with enough power packed in sporty aesthetics. The fuel-injected single-cylinder motor has midrange power and torque performance, and it is known for reliability. Beginners will appreciate the widened front wheel that creates an excellent opportunity for learning how to drive a motorcycle and gain valuable experience. Honda Rebel 300 is suitable for cruising and everyday commute and this model is very popular in Australia.
SV650 combines old-school with modern design. Suzuki builds in 645cc V-twin engine with low emissions and fuel-efficiency. The frame is lightweight, and easy to handle even on more demanding terrain. Suzuki SV650 is bike from the low-price range category, and offer great value for what it gives you.
KTM 390 Duke
The single-cylinder engine in KTM 390 Duke has excellent performance and reliability. The motor provides low to medium torque, which makes him an excellent choice for beginners. The high and curved seat provides stability and superior control. Although it is affordable, it has features from pricier bikes. KTM used sporty geometric design, and the bike has an entire steel frame.
For offroad lovers, Yamaha made XT 250, a bike with a dual-sport motorcycle, equally efficient both on the streets and off-road. The first generation was released back in 1980, and it was featured in Rambo movie. The XT250 stands out with dual-sport purpose and distinctive style. Students get carried away when riding a bike. A little guilty pleasure is fine, and if you ‘haven’t be able to finish academic obligations due to your cruising around the country. You might need essay service help with writing or correcting your works if you suddenly fell into a trap called open road motorcycle virus.
Kawasaki Ninja 400
Kawasaki Ninja 400 has a robust sports motor, and with only 172 kg, it is crazy easy to ride and handle. The bike has a sports design predominantly, and it’s been around for ages. The model 400 has a new engine, and the design has sports written all over it. Another great thing about Ninja 400 is the price.
For our top student motorcycles, we tried to satisfy all use cases from off-road, through sports bike to the open road and city dwellers. Bikes for beginners have a lower price, some features that can help you learn how to drive and with low to medium torque ‘it’s clear these are the best choices for safety. Another great thing about these bikes is the price range and affordability. Beginners will be satisfied with the performance, and when they learn all the tips&tricks and how to handle a powerful machine beneath you, you can think about the next step. Until then, choose the right bike for your college days and enjoy the ride.
Benelli 502C fits into a category of bike roughly referred to as an urban cruiser suitable for learner and novice riders.
It arrives in Australian showrooms at $9790 ride away with a two-year unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside assistance in gloss black, “Coniac Red” or matte black.
If you think we have invented the term “LAMS urban cruiser” check out these competitors:
It’s a popular class and the best seller is the Honda, followed by the Harley and the Kawasaki.
The first of these urban cruisers was the Yamaha Bolt C which is probably also the most stylish … until now.
Benelli’s Italian-designed and Chinese-made model is beautiful.
After all, it seems to be designed along the lines of a small-capacity Ducati Diavel with a similar trellis-style frame, floating seat, remote rear fender, bellypan and stubby twin single-sided mufflers.
It features forward foot controls which are adjustable like the Vulcan S, wide handlebars, moderate-height 750mm seat and distinctive LED headlights.
The Benelli 502C is powered by their in-line 500cc liquid-cooled twin with 35kW Of power at 8500 revs and 45Nm of midrange torque. The engine is mated to six-speed gearbox.
The generous 21-litre tank should allow these urban cruisers to stray far from their urban environs.
Honda’s popular CBR500R has been updated for 2019 with more mid-range grunt and improved ergonomics. The latest generation of the machines have just hit Honda dealers across Australia at $7,999.
The rider’s seat pad and seat unit – plus the upper and side fairings – have been narrowed to improve ergonomics. Seat height remains low at 785mm, making the CBR500R very easy to manage, while its riding position comfortably accommodates riders of any height.
The development target for the CBR500Rs engine for 2019 was focused on faster acceleration through a boost in low-to-mid-range power and torque in the 3-7,000rpm range. This 4% improvement comes via altered valve timing – with ‘close’ timing accelerated by 5° – and lift increased 0.3mm to 7.8mm.
Feeding the PGM-FI fuel injection is now a more-or-less straight shot of airflow through the airbox and throttle bodies. A six-speed gearbox mirrors that of its CBR1000RR cousin and uses the same gear change arm structure and link mechanism. The new addition of an assist/slipper clutch enables lighter upshifts and smooths out any hard downshifts.
New LCD instruments feature a Shift Up and Gear Position function and the indicators are now LED, to match the rest of the lighting. The new 2019 CBR500R will be available in three colour options: Matte Axis Grey Metallic, Grand Prix Red and Pearl Metalloid White.