Tag Archives: Motorcycle Reviews

Indian Introduces Thunder Stroke 116, Roadmaster Dark Horse, Updates for 2020

2020 Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse
2020 Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse

Last week Indian unveiled the limited-edition Scout 100th Anniversary and new Scout Bobber Twenty as part of its mid-sized Scout cruiser lineup for 2020.

Indian’s big bikes take center stage this week, with the
introduction of a larger Thunder Stroke 116 V-twin on select models, a new
Roadmaster Dark Horse, a redesigned Springfield Dark Horse and other
enhancements to the lineup.

Check out Rider’s Guide to New 2020 Street Motorcycles

“These new features and upgrades are a result of our
consistent communication with riders, listening to their feedback and
incorporating it into our ongoing product development efforts,” said Reid
Wilson, Vice President for Indian Motorcycle. “Today’s rider wants more power
and expects cutting-edge technology. That’s exactly what we’re delivering in
2020.”

Read our 2019 Indian FTR 1200 S First Ride Review

Thunder Stroke 116 

2020 Indian Thunder Stroke 116
2020 Indian Thunder Stroke 116

For the first time in the company’s history, Indian
Motorcycle will offer a 116 cubic-inch Thunder Stroke engine in select models.
Straight from the factory, the new 116ci air-cooled V-twin features a new
high-flow cylinder head that delivers a claimed 126 lb-ft of torque. The
Thunder Stroke 116 is now standard on the Springfield Dark Horse, Chieftain,
Chieftain Dark Horse, Chieftain Limited, Chieftain Elite, Roadmaster and
Roadmaster Dark Horse.

The Chief Dark Horse, Chief Vintage, Chieftain Classic and Springfield
are powered by the standard Thunder Stroke 111.

Ride Command with Connected Services

Indian Ride Command
Indian Ride Command

For 2020, Indian Motorcycle introduces updates to its Ride
Command system with Connected Services, a completely redesigned version of its
infotainment system. Still featuring a 7-inch screen with glove-touch
technology, Ride Command now features a new quad-core processor to provide the
fastest infotainment experience available. New connected features include traffic
and weather overlays, so riders can plan their ride to avoid traffic and poor
weather conditions, as well as intuitive destination search capabilities and
improved customizable ride screens.

2020 Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse

2020 Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse
2020 Indian Roadmaster Dark Horse

Drawing inspiration from the Chieftain Dark Horse, the
Roadmaster Dark Horse brings a modern and aggressive attitude to Indian’s
luxury touring motorcycle. With blacked-out finishes and just enough chrome to
stand out from the 2020 lineup, the Roadmaster Dark Horse features a
streamlined fairing, slammed saddlebags, a 19-inch front wheel with an open
fender, an extended-reach rogue gunfighter seat, a blacked-out engine and matte
paint color schemes. It’s powered by the new Thunder Stroke 116, and premium
touring amenities include a touring trunk, fairing lowers, heated grips and a
mid-adjustable windscreen.

Pricing for the 2020 Roadmaster Dark Horse starts at $28,999, and it will be available in Thunder Black Smoke, White Smoke and Ruby Smoke (shown).

2020 Indian Springfield Dark Horse

2020 Indian Springfield Dark Horse
2020 Indian Springfield Dark Horse

Following positive rider feedback from the 2020 Jack
Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Springfield Dark Horse that was launched at
Daytona Bike Week, Indian is now offering a similar design package for the 2020
Springfield Dark Horse. While the Thunder Stroke 116 delivers unrivaled power,
the bike gains an enormous level of attitude with slammed saddlebags, a rogue
seat, 12-inch mini apes and premium blacked-out finishes.

Pricing for the 2020 Springfield Dark Horse starts at $22,499, and it will be available in Thunder Black Smoke (shown), Sagebrush Smoke and White Smoke.

2020 Indian Chieftain Elite

2020 Indian Chieftain Elite
2020 Indian Chieftain Elite

As it has with previous iterations, the Chieftain Elite is
an ultra-premium bagger that combines style, technology and performance. The
2020 Chieftain Elite gets the Thunder Stroke 116 and the PowerBand Audio Plus
system with integrated fairing and saddlebag speakers. The 2020 Chieftain
Elite’s premium styling includes a two-tone Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over
Wildfire Candy paint with matching motor highlights and badging, precision
machined elite wheels, pinnacle mirrors, select rider floorboards and a flare
windshield.

Pricing for the 2020 Chieftain Elite starts at $34,999, and
it will be available in Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Wildfire Red Candy.

Other 2020 Updates & Pricing

Furthermore, the 2020 Thunder Stroke lineup features additional updates. The Chief Dark Horse and Chief Vintage will now share the same chassis as the Springfield and Springfield Dark Horse, delivering improved handling and adjustable rear suspension. The Springfield and Chief Dark Horse will come standard with a 17-inch front wheel for improved stability. And the 2020 Roadmaster receives a lighter weight and redesigned trunk rack for added style.

Pricing and color options for other 2020 Thunder Stroke
models are as follows:

  • Chief Dark Horse, starting at $18,499: Thunder Black Smoke
  • Chief Vintage, starting at $19,999: Thunder Black; Willow Green over Ivory Cream
  • Springfield, starting at $20,999: Thunder Black; Burgundy Metallic over Titanium Metallic
  • Chieftain, starting at $21,999: Thunder Black; Titanium Smoke
  • Chieftain Classic, starting at $25,499: Thunder Black; Deepwater Metallic over Dirt Track Tan
  • Chieftain Dark Horse, starting at $27,999: Thunder Black Smoke; Ruby Smoke; Titanium Smoke
  • Chieftain Limited, starting at $27,999: Thunder Black Pearl; Radar Blue; Thunder Black Pearl with graphics package
  • Roadmaster, starting at $29,999: Thunder Black; Burgundy Metallic; Pearl White over Titanium Metallic with black pinstripe; Titanium Smoke over Thunder Black Smoke with silver pinstripe

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Indian Adds New Scout Models to its 2020 Lineup

2020 Indian Scout 100th Anniversary and Scout Bobber Twenty
Indian clearly wants to emphasize the new floating solo saddles on its limited-edition Scout 100th Anniversary (left) and new Scout Bobber Twenty (right) models, which join the Scout, Scout Bobber and Scout Sixty in Indian’s 2020 lineup.

The legendary Scout, which rivaled the Chief as Indian’s most important model, was introduced for the 1920 model year. The original Scout was powered by a 600cc (37ci) side-valve 42-degree V-twin good for about 10 horsepower. And before the Roaring Twenties were over, the 101 Scout, a longer, lower version with a 22-horsepower V-twin that became popular among racers for its speed and handling, rolled off the assembly line in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Check out Rider’s Guide to New 2020 Street Motorcycles

In honor of the Scout’s 100th anniversary, for 2020 Indian
is adding two new Scout models to its lineup—the limited-edition Scout 100th
Anniversary (only 750 will be made) and the Scout Bobber Twenty.

Read our 2019 Indian FTR 1200 S First Ride Review

Returning for 2020 are the Scout, Scout Sixty and Scout Bobber, all of which get new floating rotors, calipers and master cylinders for improved braking performance. The 2020 Scout gets a two-up Sport Seat and passenger pegs, and Scout Bobbers roll on new Pirelli MT60RS tires.

New Quick Release Fairing for Indian Scout
New Quick Release Fairing for Indian Scout

Indian has also added new Scout accessories to its catalog,
including a color-matched Quick Release Fairing with a 2-inch windscreen, weather
resistant Semi-Rigid Quick Release Saddlebags, a Stage 1 Shorty Slip-on Muffler
Kit and an all-new 2-into-1 Full Exhaust System.

2020 Indian Scout 100th Anniversary

2020 Indian Scout 100th Anniversary
2020 Indian Scout 100th Anniversary

Taking styling cues from the original Scout, the special anniversary edition is painted Indian Motorcycle Red with Anniversary Gold trim and includes a color-matched Scout 100th Anniversary badge. Finishing touches include a Desert Tan genuine leather floating solo saddle, black wire wheels with gold pinstripes, beach bars, a luggage rack and extra chrome detailing.

Like all Scouts except the Sixty, the 100th Anniversary model is powered by a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valves-per-cylinder, 1,133cc (69ci) 60-degree V-twin rated at 100 horsepower, with a 6-speed transmission. Only 750 units will be built, and pricing starts at $15,999 and includes ABS.

2020 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty

2020 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty
2020 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty

The new Scout Bobber Twenty has old-school bobber styling with what Indian says are improved ergonomics. It has wire wheels, a floating solo saddle, a mix of chrome and blacked-out finishes and 10-inch ape hanger handlebars. Available in three colors—Thunder Black, Sagebrush Smoke and Burnished Metallic—pricing starts at $11,999 for non-ABS (Thunder Black only) and $12,899 for ABS.

2020 Indian Scout

2020 Indian Scout
2020 Indian Scout

The 2020 base-model Scout features upgraded brakes as well as a two-up Sport Seat and passenger pegs. Available in multiple color options—Thunder Black, White Smoke, Deepwater Metallic, Metallic Jade over Thunder Black and Indian Motorcycle Red over Ivory Cream with Gold Pinstripe—pricing starts at $11,499 for non-ABS (Thunder Black only) and $12,399 for ABS.

Read our 2019 Indian Scout Tour Test Review

2020 Indian Scout Bobber

2020 Indian Scout Bobber
2020 Indian Scout Bobber

The 2020 Scout Bobber features upgraded brakes as well as new
Pirelli MT60RS tires. Available in Thunder Black, Thunder Black Smoke,
Deepwater Metallic, Bronze Smoke and White Smoke, pricing starts at $10,999 for
non-ABS (Thunder Black only) and $11,899 for ABS.

Read our Indian vs Moto Guzzi vs Triumph Bobber Comparison Review

2020 Indian Scout Sixty

2020 Indian Scout Sixty
2020 Indian Scout Sixty

The 2020 Scout Sixty features upgraded brakes. It’s powered
by a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valves-per-cylinder, 999cc (60ci) 60-degree V-twin
rated at 78 horsepower, with a 5-speed transmission. Available in Thunder
Black, Burgundy Metallic and Pearl White over Titanium Metallic, pricing starts
at $8,999 for ABS (Thunder Black only) and $9,799 for ABS.

Read our 2016 Indian Scout Sixty Road Test Review

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Suzuki Announces New and Returning 2020 Motorcycles

2020 Suzuki Katana in Solid Black
2020 Suzuki Katana in Solid Black

Suzuki has announced new and returning models for its 2020 motorcycle lineup. New models include the modern interpretation of the iconic Katana sportbike, which we test rode in Japan and reviewed last spring, and the V-Strom 650XT Adventure.

All other returning models for 2020 are unchanged except for colors and pricing.

Check out Rider‘s 2020 Guide to New Street Motorcycles

2020 Suzuki Katana

2020 Suzuki Katana in Metallic Mystic Silver
2020 Suzuki Katana in Metallic Mystic Silver

Based on the GSX-S1000 naked sportbike and powered by a liquid-cooled,
DOHC, 999cc in-line four that’s a modified, street-tuned version of the
GSX-R1000 K5 (2005-2008) engine, making 147 horsepower at 10,000 rpm and 80
lb-ft of torque at 9,500 rpm (claimed), the new Katana is based on the Katana
3.0 Concept created by Italian designer Rodolfo Frascoli.

Read about the history of the original, Hans Muth-designed 1981 GSX1100S Katana and the evolution of the new model in our First Ride Review. The 2020 Suzuki Katana will be available in Metallic Mystic Silver or Solid Black. Pricing starts at is $13,499 and it will be in dealerships in November.

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Adventure

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Adventure
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Adventure

Replacing the V-Strom 650XT Touring for 2020 is the V-Strom 650XT Adventure, which is equipped with tubeless spoked wheels, aluminum panniers, an accessory bar, a handlebar cross-brace, mirror extensions and a centerstand. Powered by a 645cc 90-degree V-twin, it is mechanically unchanged from the 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT we last tested.

The 2020 Suzuki V-Strom XT Adventure will be available in
Pearl Vigor Blue and base MSRP is $10,399.

The rest are returning models….

2020 Suzuki Burgman 200

2020 Suzuki Burgman 200
2020 Suzuki Burgman 200

For 2020, the Suzuki Burgman 200 scooter is available in
Pearl Brilliant White and base MSRP is $4,999.

2020 Suzuki Boulevard C50

2020 Suzuki Boulevard C50
2020 Suzuki Boulevard C50

For 2020, the Suzuki Boulevard C50 cruiser is available in
Candy Daring Red or Glass Sparkle Black and base MSRP is $8,299.

2020 Suzuki Boulevard C50T

2020 Suzuki Boulevard C50T
2020 Suzuki Boulevard C50T

For 2020, the Suzuki Boulevard C50T touring cruiser is
available in Metallic Oort Gray No. 3 and base MSRP is $9,599.

2020 Suzuki Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S.

2020 Suzuki Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S.
2020 Suzuki Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S.

For 2020, the Suzuki Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S. muscle cruiser
is available in Pearl Glacier White/Glass Sparkle Black or Metallic Oort
Gray/Glass Sparkle Black and base MSRP is $15,199.

2020 Suzuki DR-Z400S

2020 Suzuki DR-Z400S
2020 Suzuki DR-Z400S

For 2020, the Suzuki DR-Z400S dual-sport is available in Solid
Black and base MSRP is $6,799.

2020 Suzuki DR-Z400SM

2020 Suzuki DR-Z400SM
2020 Suzuki DR-Z400SM

For 2020, the Suzuki DR-Z400SM supermoto is available in Solid
Iron Gray or Solid Special White No. 2 and base MSRP is $7,399.

2020 Suzuki DR200S

2020 Suzuki DR200S
2020 Suzuki DR200S

For 2020, the Suzuki DR200S dual-sport is available in Solid
Iron Gray and base MSRP is $4,649.

2020 Suzuki GSX-R600

2020 Suzuki GSX-R600
2020 Suzuki GSX-R600

For 2020, the Suzuki GSX-R600 sportbike is available in Pearl
Glacier White or Glass Sparkle Black and base MSRP is $11,399.

2020 Suzuki GSX-R750

2020 Suzuki GSX-R750
2020 Suzuki GSX-R750

For 2020, the Suzuki GSX-R750 sportbike is available in Pearl
Glacier White/Glass Sparkle Black or Metallic Mat Black No. 2/Glass Sparkle
Black and base MSRP is $12,499.

2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000

2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000

For 2020, the Suzuki GSX-R1000 sportbike is available in Metallic
Mat Black No. 2/Glass Sparkle Black or Pearl Glacier White/Glass Sparkle Black and
MSRP is $15,599.

Read our 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 First Ride Review

2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000R

2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000R
2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000R

For 2020, the Suzuki GSX-R1000R track-ready sportbike is
available in Metallic Triton Blue or Glass Sparkle Black/Pearl Mira Red and base
MSRP is $17,699.

2020 Suzuki GSX-S750

2020 Suzuki GSX-S750
2020 Suzuki GSX-S750

For 2020, the Suzuki GSX-S750 naked sportbike is available
in Metallic Mat Black No. 2 and base MSRP is $8,499.

Read our 2018 Suzuki GSX-S750 Road Test Review

2020 Suzuki GSX-S750Z ABS

2020 Suzuki GSX-S750Z ABS
2020 Suzuki GSX-S750Z ABS

For 2020, the Suzuki GSX-S750Z ABS naked sportbike is
available in Pearl Glacier White/Glass Sparkle Black with red accents and
wheels and base MSRP is $8,899.

2020 Suzuki GSX250R

2020 Suzuki GSX250R
2020 Suzuki GSX250R

For 2020, the Suzuki GSX250R entry-level sportbike is
available in Metallic Diamond Red or Pearl Glacier White/Pearl Nebular Black
and base MSRP is $4,599.

2020 Suzuki GSX250R ABS

2020 Suzuki GSX250R ABS
2020 Suzuki GSX250R ABS

For 2020, the Suzuki GSX250R ABS entry-level sportbike is
available in Metallic Crystal Blue/Pearl Nebular Black and base MSRP is $4,899.

2020 Suzuki Hayabusa

2020 Suzuki Hayabusa
2020 Suzuki Hayabusa

For 2020, the Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa sportbike is available in Candy Daring Red or Metallic Thunder Gray and base MSRP is $14,799.

2020 Suzuki SV650

2020 Suzuki SV650
2020 Suzuki SV650

For 2020, the Suzuki SV650 standard is available in Metallic
Mystic Silver with blue frame and wheels and base MSRP is $7,099.

Read our 2017 Suzuki SV650 First Ride Review

2020 Suzuki SV650 ABS

2020 Suzuki SV650 ABS
2020 Suzuki SV650 ABS

For 2020, the Suzuki SV650 ABS standard is available in Glass
Sparkle Black and base MSRP is $7,499.

2020 Suzuki SV650X

2020 Suzuki SV650X
2020 Suzuki SV650X

For 2020, the Suzuki SV650X café racer is available in Glass
Sparkle Black and base MSRP is $8,399.

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 650

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 650
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 650

For 2020, the Suzuki V-Strom 650 adventure bike is available
in Solid Iron Gray and base MSRP is $8,799.

Read our 2017 Suzuki V-Strom 650 Road Test Review

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT

For 2020, the Suzuki V-Strom 650 adventure bike is available
in Glass Sparkle Black with gold accents and rims and base MSRP is $9,299.

Read our 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT vs V-Strom 1000XT Comparison Review

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Triumph Daytona Moto2 765 Limited Edition | First Look Review

Triumph Daytona Moto2 765 Limited Edition
The new Triumph Daytona Moto2 765 Limited Edition is the first-ever official Moto2 Dorna Sports-licensed motorcycle. (Photos courtesy of Triumph)

Last month, we posted a sneak peek of the new Triumph Daytona Moto2 765 Limited Edition, an all-new sportbike from the British manufacturer that serves as the exclusive engine supplier to the FIM Moto2 World Championship. The new Daytona was officially unveiled at the GoPro British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit in England.

Triumph Daytona Moto2 765 Limited Edition
Gripping those fetching Öhlins NIX30 fork tubes is a billet aluminum top yoke with a laser-etched limited-edition badge.

With a limited production run of 765 units for the U.S. and Canada, and another 765 for the rest of the world—each individually numbered with a laser-etched badge on the machined-from-billet aluminum top yoke—the Daytona Moto2 765 Limited Edition will be powered by a Moto2-derived 765cc in-line triple with an Arrow titanium race-style exhaust that makes a claimed 128 horsepower at 12,250 rpm and 59 lb-ft of torque at 9,750 rpm, with a 13,250 rpm redline.

Triumph Daytona Moto2 765 Limited Edition
Behind the full carbon fiber bodywork is a Moto2-derived 765cc triple good for 128 horsepower and 59 lb-ft of torque at the crank.

Based on the Street Triple RS engine, the Daytona version features components and performance upgrades derived from the Moto2 engine development program, including titanium inlet valves, stronger pistons and MotoGP-spec DLC-coated wrist pins; new cam profiles and intake trumpets; modified con rods, intake port, crank and barrels; and a higher compression ratio (12.9:1). Equipped with throttle-by-wire, the Daytona offers five riding modes (Rain, Road, Rider Configurable, Sport and Track), all of which adjust the throttle map, traction control and ABS settings. The 6-speed transmission has track-optimized gear ratios and an up/down quickshifter.

Triumph Daytona Moto2 765 Limited Edition
This Triumph gets the goodies, including Öhlins suspension, Brembo brakes with Stylema front calipers and lightweight wheels with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP track-ready tires.

The new Daytona shares the same cast-aluminum frame and swingarm as the Moto2 engine development prototype and the British Superbike Championship-winning, multi-time Isle of Man TT Supersport race-winning Daytona R. Of course, components attached to the chassis are top-of-the-line, including Brembo Stylema monoblock front calipers, a Brembo rear caliper, fully adjustable Öhlins suspension (a 43mm NIX30 USD fork and TTX36 rear shock) and lightweight cast aluminum wheels shod with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP go-fast tires.

Triumph Daytona Moto2 765 Limited Edition
Arrow titanium race-style exhaust, chassis from the championship-winning Daytona R, premium components, carbon fiber everywhere. Premi-YUM!

In the cockpit
there’s a full-color TFT display with a Moto2 Triumph co-branded start-up
graphic and lap timer. The new Daytona also has multifunction ergonomically
optimized switch cubes with five-way joystick control. On the outside is
lightweight carbon fiber bodywork, including a single-piece cockpit, full
fairing, tail section, front and rear fenders, upper chain guard and race-spec
lower chain guard. Inspired by the Union Jack livery of the Moto2 engine
development bike, the Daytona features official Moto2 branding and a unique
paint scheme in Carbon Black, Graphite Grey and Aluminum Silver, punctuated
with an exposed carbon fiber effect.

Triumph Daytona Moto2 765 Limited Edition
Full-color TFT display looks similar to what’s used on many of Triumph’s recent, high-end models.

The Triumph Daytona Moto2 765 Limited Edition will be available in March 2020. Pricing is TBD.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

New Harley-Davidson Models for 2020

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire
New or updated Harley-Davidson models for 2020 include the LiveWire electric bike (above), Low Rider S, Road Glide Limited, a restyled Heritage Classic and three CVO models. (Photos courtesy of Harley-Davidson)

The biggest news to come out of Milwaukee for the 2020 model year is the all-new LiveWire electric motorcycle, which we’ve already ridden and reviewed. Harley-Davidson has announced the wider availability of technological features that debuted on the LiveWire, as well as several new or updated models, including the Low Rider S, Road Glide Limited, Heritage Classic and three CVO models.

H-D Connect

H-D Connect
H-D Connect sends vehicle information and security alerts to your smartphone through the Harley-Davidson app.

First seen on the LiveWire, H-D Connect is a subscription-based
cellular service that allows riders to connect with their motorcycle using
their smartphone and the Harley-Davidson app. H-D Connect provides key vehicle information
(e.g., battery voltage, fuel level, available range, riding statistics and
more) as well as remote security monitoring, including tamper alerts and stolen
vehicle assistance. H-D Connect is a standard feature on 2020 Touring (except
Road King/S and Electra Glide Standard models), Tri Glide Ultra, CVO models and
LiveWire, and it includes free service for one year.

Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS)

Also seen on the LiveWire, Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS) is a suite of electronic riding assistance features, including cornering enhanced linked braking, ABS, traction control and drag-torque slip control; hill hold control; and tire-pressure monitoring. All RDRS features are standard on CVO models (though on the CVO Tri Glide, nothing is “cornering enhanced”), and they are available as options on all Touring models except the Electra Glide Standard.

2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S
2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

Chopper-style Low Rider models have been in Harley-Davidson’s lineup almost continuously since 1977. When Dyna models were rolled into the Softail family for 2018, the Low Rider got a new chassis and a Milwaukee-Eight 107ci V-twin. The last Low Rider S model, which we reviewed in 2016, was built around a 110-cubic-inch Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam V-twin. For 2020, the Softail-based Low Rider S flexes its muscles with a Milwaukee-Eight 114 that churns out 119 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm (claimed).

2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S
2020 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

Radiate cast wheels (19-inch front, 16-inch rear) finished in Matte Dark Bronze, a 1-inch-diameter motocross-style handlebar on 4-inch straight risers, a color-matched mini-fairing, a high-back solo seat and black finishes on the powertrain and mufflers add plenty of attitude.

The Low Rider S also gets premium suspension components (including a 43mm USD fork) and triple-disc brakes with standard ABS. It’s available in Vivid Black and Barracuda Silver (shown above), and pricing starts at $17,999.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited
2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited

Replacing the Road Glide Ultra model for 2020 is the new Road Glide Limited, which offers premium luxury-touring features, including painted pin striping, a gloss-finish inner fairing, heated grips, Slicer II Contrast Bright wheels and new tank, front and rear fender medallions. The Road Glide’s distinctive shark-nose fairing has triple split stream vents that improve airflow and reduce buffeting.

Read our Comparison Review: Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra
vs Indian Roadmaster vs Yamaha Star Venture TC

The Road Glide Limited is powered by the Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight
114, and features premium suspension, Reflex linked Brembo brakes with ABS, a Boom!
Box GTS infotainment system with color touchscreen, H-D Connect and dual
Daymaker LED headlamps.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited
2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited

A new Black Finish Option (shown in the photos above), which is also available for the 2020 Ultra Limited, includes Slicer II cast wheels finished in Gloss Black; fuel tank, front and rear fender medallions with a Gloss Black fill surrounded by a Charcoal border; Gloss Black powdercoat powertrain, covers and exhaust; black Tour-Pak luggage carrier hinges, latches and rack, console, footboards, handlebar, gauge trim rings, hand control levers, mirrors and foot controls; black LED Daymaker headlamp, trim ring and LED fog lamps (Ultra Limited only); and black fork lowers, fork covers, engine guard and saddlebag guards.

Pricing for the 2020 Road Glide Limited starts at $28,299.

2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic
2020 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic

The Softail-chassis Heritage Classic has been re-styled for 2020, swapping the previous model’s blacked-out look for a generous helping of chrome. (The Heritage Classic 114 model powered by the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine will retain the model’s original, blacked-out look.) The updated Heritage Classic has a bright powertrain with chrome air cleaner and covers; chrome steel laced wheels; chrome headlamp bucket and auxiliary light buckets, bright fork legs and chrome fork covers and nacelle; chrome rear fender struts and side covers; a chrome console; a polished stainless steel handlebar with a chrome riser and top clamp; and a full clear windscreen with chrome support hardware.

Read our 2018 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic Road Test Review

The Heritage Classic is powered by the Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-twin and is mechanically identical to the 2019 model. This touring-ready Softail features lockable hard saddlebags, a detachable windscreen, a two-piece skirted seat and pillion with black studs, and standard cruise control and ABS. Color options include: Vivid Black, Billiard Burgundy, two-tone Silver Pine/Spruce and Billiard Red/Vivid Black. Pricing starts at $18,999.

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

Returning for 2020 with a new look and new premium features, the CVO Street Glide is one of Harley-Davidson’s most popular limited-edition Custom Vehicle Operations models. Powered by the Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-Twin with red rocker covers, it gets premium custom paint, premium Talon wheels, custom controls and an all-new BOOM! Box GTS infotainment system with three separate amplifiers, 75 watts per channel and 900 watts of audio performance. It also includes the Reflex Defensive Rider Systems (RDRS), smartphone-linked H-D Connect and a wireless Bluetooth headset interface.

Pricing for the 2020 CVO Street Glide starts at $40,539.

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited
2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited

For the ultimate in two-up V-twin touring, the 2020 CVO Limited offers the rider and passenger plenty of comfort, luggage capacity, style and performance. Its Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 117 grunts out 125 lb-ft of torque. Premium suspension, premium paint and finishes, premium audio, RDRS, H-D Connect, wireless Bluetooth—the CVO Limited gets it all.

Read our 2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited First Ride Review

Pricing for the 2020 CVO Limited starts at $44,039.

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide

Said to be the most-requested CVO model, a new addition to
the lineup for 2020 is the CVO Tri Glide, the ultimate Milwaukee-built trike.
Like its Custom Vehicle Operations stable mates, the CVO Tri Glide gets big
power from a Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-twin, big sound from the BOOM! Box GTS
infotainment system and big style courtesy of premium paint and finishes and
the Kahuna collection of grips, levers, pegs and floorboards, and Tomahawk
contrast-cut wheels. RDRS, H-D Connect, wireless Bluetooth, Daymaker LED
headlamps and the choice of two custom paint finishes round out the wish list.

Pricing for the 2020 CVO Tri Glide starts at $48,999.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Tour Test Review | 2019 Indian Scout

Nipton California Indian Scout
Exploring the tiny community of Nipton, California, will uncover quirky secrets, like this old Chevy-turned-art installation. Photos by the author.

I knew I’d stumbled onto someplace…different…when I pulled into the packed dirt parking lot of the Nipton Trading Post, and it wasn’t just the huge glass octopus sculpture wriggling next to the highway. I rolled to a stop next to the five-room adobe hotel, which was built in 1910, almost startled by the silence after switching off the rumbling Indian Scout.

I could smell the hot, dusty leather of my saddlebags, and was very much aware of the crunching of sand and rock beneath my boots as I stood and swung a leg, stiff from hours of slogging across the desert, over my luggage roll and backrest. My skin tingled – someone was watching me.

For a few fleeting moments I was in another time, a wandering cowgirl who just rode into an unfamiliar – and dangerously quiet – town. A tumbleweed staggered across the empty dirt street to the theme from “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”…OK, maybe that last bit was just in my head. I doffed my hat – er, helmet – squinting in the harsh desert light, and turned to see that I was far from alone, and yes, I had definitely attracted some attention.

Old West map Nevada
Nipton sits just over the border from the Nevada, on the edge of the Mojave National Preserve, making it a convenient launch point for Las Vegas, Lake Mead and other desert attractions.

Two middle-aged guys got out of a fire engine red ’65 Mustang convertible and were walking toward me, clearly curious about my equally iconic motorcycle. Past them, clustered around the railroad tracks, was a team – posse? – of photographers and assistants, all focused on a blonde woman in a gauzy dress, prancing up and down on the tracks. Based on the tour bus parked in the shade I deduced this was an album cover photo shoot.

I stood for a moment, taking in the rest of the tiny settlement of Nipton: the aforementioned hotel, a restaurant called the Whistle Stop Café, a trading post, a historical marker and a few houses. Farther out in the scrubby desert, past the hotel, I glimpsed a scattering of white teepees, along with a brightly painted old car and what appeared to be metal sculptures. Yep, this is the place.

Trading Post in Nipton
The Trading Post in Nipton offers basic groceries and assorted Southwestern-themed art and jewelry.

Nipton, California, current population somewhere between 15 and 20 souls, was founded in 1905 as a stop on the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad, which merged with the Union Pacific Railroad in 1910. It feels very much in the middle of nowhere, despite being just 12 miles southeast of the bright casinos of Primm, Nevada, but positioned as it is on a lonely two-lane state highway in the Mojave Desert, it’s definitely off the beaten path.

I was heading to Las Vegas for a karate tournament on a 2019 Indian Scout that we’d outfitted with some touring accessories, and rather than just slab it the whole way I’d booked a night in Nipton. This put me in an ideal position for a nice ride up to the Hoover Dam and then north into Valley of Fire State Park, before dropping into Sin City to get my butt kicked at the tournament.

Nipton California metal sculptures
Metal sculptures are scattered throughout Nipton. This one does double-duty with a swinging chair suspended beneath.

Nipton’s location is convenient for a journey into the desert, be it the nearby Mojave National Preserve, Lake Mead or Lake Havasu, or the motorcycle destination of Laughlin. And its quirkiness appealed: accommodations include the old hotel, little “ecocabins” or, my choice, teepees. The ecocabins and teepees are solar-powered, just enough to run the interior lights and to charge your phone, but there are no TVs. The cabins are heated in the winter with woodstoves and the teepees have little propane heaters, but the weather during my visit in late April was warm enough that the provided blankets were plenty comfortable.

Nipton California teepee
I chose to stay in one of Nipton’s teepees, which are nicely furnished with a comfortable bed, LED lighting, chairs/tables and a small propane heater for chilly desert nights.

I was up with the sun the next morning, wanting to get to Boulder City, the gateway to Lake Mead and the awe-inspiring Hoover Dam, for breakfast. I’d already put 263 mostly freeway miles behind me the day before, and was settling into familiarity with the Scout, which we accessorized with Indian’s 19-inch Quick Release Windshield, sumptuous Desert Tan leather saddlebags and a matching rider backrest. My karate gear took up one whole saddlebag, my street clothes and toiletries the other, so I strapped a duffel across the back to hold my camera gear.

Indian’s Scout (read our full review here) is a Goldilocks weekend tourer for someone my size traveling one-up, with an easy-to-handle wet weight of 591 lbs. (as tested), plenty of cruising and passing power, adjustable ergonomics for reduced or extended reach and a smoothly loping cadence from the liquid-cooled 69ci (1,133cc) 60-degree V-twin that produced little in the way of nuisance vibration.

2019 Indian Scout
We added Indian’s accessory Desert Tan saddlebags and backrest to our 2019 Scout, making it a nice lightweight touring machine.
Indian Scout engine
Liquid-cooled 69ci (1,133cc) 60-degree V-twin is smooth and powerful with no annoying vibes.
Indian Scout Desert Tan saddlebags
Sumptuous Desert Lan saddlebags are genuine leather, with a hard plastic inner liner to help them keep their shape. They’re rather small inside, so I strapped a duffel across the back.

That is, as long as you don’t mind stopping often for fuel; I averaged 46.6 mpg from the 3.3-gallon tank, meaning 154 miles was my limit. In the lonely desert, that translates to “fill up whenever you can,” especially since the analog/LCD instrument lacks both a fuel gauge and fuel consumption data. Otherwise, the windshield causes the fat front tire to wander a bit at times, progressing from a minor annoyance to more a disconcerting experience in a stiff crosswind, but overall I was enjoying my ride on the Scout.

It’s also undeniably pretty, especially in the Indian Red/Thunder Black livery with gold pinstriping and feathered headdress Indian graphics that accentuate the Desert Tan seat, backrest and saddlebags. As I snapped roadside photos at the Hoover Dam, the new Mike O’Callaghan/Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge arcing overhead, many a passing driver’s head swiveled at the bike in appreciation. Completed in 1936, the dam still produces power for California, Nevada and Arizona, although falling water levels in Lake Mead have affected how much it can output. 

Hoover Dam
The Hoover Dam provides power to parts of California, Nevada and Arizona. It’s still possible to drive across, after paying a fee and proceeding through a security checkpoint.

From there I cruised north through the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and then into Valley of Fire State Park. Valley of Fire, as its name suggests, is full of interesting and beautiful red rock formations, and there are plenty of pullouts with picnic tables and hiking trails where you can stop and stretch your legs. I turned north at the Visitor Center for a ride into the heart of the park, the road dipping, climbing and weaving through a Technicolor landscape of eroded sandstone that’s more than 150 million years old.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
The road through Lake Mead National Recreation Area is smooth and flowing, with vistas ranging from wide-open desert to red rock cliffs to low mountains.
Valley of Fire State Park Indian Scout
Red rock formations in Valley of Fire State Park are an impressive backdrop for the red, black and gold Indian.

Tourist traffic can be heavy, especially through this section, and there are several blind, off-camber turns that can catch you off-guard, so I was happy to putt along and enjoy the scenery, my dance with the Scout a gentle sway. At 5 feet, 9 inches, I found the standard riding position to be comfortably feet-forward; shorter and taller riders may opt for the reduced or extended reach ergo kits to tailor the bike to their needs.

In fact, I was enjoying myself so much that when Scout and I returned to I-15 on the west side of the park, for a moment I wished I could turn north and continue exploring the desert’s hidden secrets, perhaps discovering more gems like Nipton. But I had made a commitment, so south to Las Vegas it was. Still, there are more roads and more secrets to uncover…where should I point my front wheel next?

Nipton UFO
More Nipton discoveries: a grounded “UFO” flies a tattered Stars and Stripes. The sculpture in the background is made of old shopping carts.

2019 Indian Scout Specs

Base Price: $11,999
Price as Tested: $15,804 (paint, windshield, backrest and saddlebags)
Website: indianmotorcycle.com
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 60-degree V-twin, DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 69 ci (1,133cc)
Bore x Stroke: 99.0 x 73.6mm
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: Belt
Wheelbase: 61.5 in.
Rake/Trail: 29 degrees/4.7 in.
Seat Height: 26.5 in.
Wet Weight: 591 lbs. (as tested)
Fuel Capacity: 3.3 gals., last 0.5 gal. warning light on
MPG: 91 AKI min. (low/avg/high) 41.4/46.6/54.4

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Retrospective: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

1983 Suzuki XN85D Turbo
1983 Suzuki XN85D Turbo. Owner: Cliff Schoening, Bremerton, Washington.

It would be entertaining to find out how much this little turbo cost Suzuki, as in development and manufacturing expenses versus sales. Probably it was a heckuva lot. In the very early 1980s turbo-mania was in the air, and Honda and Yamaha were the first out, with the four Japanese manufacturers prone to following one another.

Remember the Universal Japanese Motorcycle? Four cylinders in line, preferably with an overhead camshaft or two. Well, this was the turbo version, and while Honda used the OHV V-twin CX500 for its turbo, the rest were UJMs. In 1981 Suzuki came out with two 650cc UJMs, the chain-driven sporty E and the shaft-drive commuter G. Similar, but different. And Suzuki realized that this two-valve (per cylinder) motor was rapidly becoming obsolete, replaced by the four-valver. So how could it get a little more use from the powerplant? Put it in the Turbo!

1983 Suzuki XN85D Turbo

For the Turbo the engineers took the G’s one-piece forged crankshaft running on plain bearings, instead of the E’s roller bearings. Apparently plain bearings are smoother running. But the three 650s all had those two-valve heads, and twin overhead camshafts, that are the pretty much the same. However, everything on the Turbo’s engine, from connecting rods to cylinder studs, was strengthened.

Amusingly, when looking at the magazine spec sheets for all three bikes one notes that they all have a bore and stroke of 65 x 55.8, but the E and G are said to have 674cc capacity, while the Turbo is 673cc. The wonders of finite numbers. And copy editing.

After Honda and Yamaha began working on their turbos, probably a little corporate spying was going on. I can see the Suzuki marketing types charging into the CEO’s office and demanding that a turbo be built. Maybe somebody ran it past the financial department, maybe not. The XN85 appeared less than a year after the others, but more work had gone into the project, as it was truly a semi-new machine, excepting the reworked motor.

1983 Suzuki XN85D Turbo

As anybody who wrote a Ph.D. thesis on Japanese turbocharged motorcycles knows, that funny XN85 alpha-numeration came from Suzuki’s claim that the turbo 673cc put out 85 horsepower – which it might have, at the crankshaft. Fair enough, but the real world was more interested in what happened at the rear wheel, where a dyno measured 71 horses at 8,000 rpm. And close to 50 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm. Which was quite respectable, and a lightweight rider might sneak into the 11s in the popular quarter-mile drags. The flow of air and a big oil cooler, with more than three quarts of oil in the system, kept the engine heat under control. A new aspect of the cooling system was the forcible spray of oil on the bottom of the pistons, quite useful in keeping these little round things intact.

The IHI (Ishikawajima-Harima Industries) turbo was mounted close to the electronic fuel injectors, which were just beyond the butterfly valve, and the blast of pressurized air would jam that fuel right into those combustion chambers. Where, in the interests of longevity, the compression ratios had been drastically lowered, from the 9.5:1 of the E and G to 7.4:1. The turbo had a non-adjustable pressure gauge and when the boost went over 9.6 psi the waste gate would open. The electronic ignition also had an ability to read boost pressures, retarding timing as the boost mounted. And should that waste gate get stuck, the ignition could deal with that as well. Pretty smart device. When the turbo began to intrude around 5,000 rpm, the lag was noticeable, but less than on the competition.

1983 Suzuki XN85D Turbo

The real trick with this XN85 was not so much the engine, but the chassis. The main frame was a round-tube double-cradle affair, with a triangulated backbone running to the steering head. Up front was a 37mm Kayaba fork, with anti-dive and air-adjustability, providing 5.5 inches of travel. Rake was a conservative 27 degrees, with trail of 3.9 inches. The fork connected to a 16-inch front wheel – which surprised many. Sixteen inches?! That was racing stuff. But even with a pretty lengthy 58.7 inches between axles, the bike handled extremely well. Probably helped along by the Full-Floater rear suspension, using an aluminum swingarm with caged needle bearings, the single Kayaba shock having remote hydraulic preload adjustment. And 4.1 inches of travel.

1983 Suzuki XN85D Turbo

The front wheel was endowed with a pair of 10-inch discs and single-piston calipers, while the rear wheel, a 17-incher, had an 11-inch disc with a single-piston caliper. They sound a bit iffy when compared to today’s GSX-R650 with radially mounted monoblock brakes, but the XN85 is 36 years in the past.

The half fairing looked great, and did a good job of protecting the rider if he wished to exceed the government-mandated 55-mph speed limit. The seat, 30.5 inches above the ground, was comfy, and the flat handlebar allowed for a cheerful 200-mile range – which was about what the five-gallon tank allowed. The fairing did disguise the fact that a modified version of the Ram Air System served to help cool the cylinders; the new design did not look at all like the RAS on the two-stroke triples in the 1970s.

Somehow the Turbo’s curb weight had shot up 70 pounds over the previous E model, weighing in at 550 pounds.

According to numbers found on the Internet, the factory produced only 1,153 of these turbos from 1983 to 1985, of which 300 in the first batch came to the United States. And sold at $4,700. A good reason for that was the third iteration of Suzuki’s normally-aspirated 750 four, which also came out in 1983, now with four valves per cylinder and Full-Floater rear suspension. It put out 72 horsepower at the rear wheel, weighed 30 pounds less than the Turbo and cost a mere $3,500. Talk about trumping your own ace!

Obviously the remaining 853 turbos were sold in motorcycling hotspots like Mongolia and Libya, in case you are looking for a used one.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Rider Magazine’s 2019 Motorcycle of the Year

Rider Magazine 2019 Motorcycle of the Year

It’s seldom (if ever) easy to pick a Motorcycle of the Year…not that anyone ever feels sorry for us and our “but we had to ride so many motorcycles” tale of woe. For example, we took our initial ride on the first of this model year’s crop of Contenders, the Yamaha Niken, way back in May of 2018. We can’t even remember what we had for dinner last Tuesday, but fortunately Yamaha jogged our memories of the bike by unveiling the tour-ready GT version of its three-wheeled LMW (Leaning Multi-Wheel) in April 2019.

In the interim, Royal Enfield released a pair of highly anticipated 650 twins, designed, tested and engineered at its brand-spanking-new R&D facility in England and built at one of its sprawling factories in India. Triumph showed off its truly off-road capable yet still pleasantly retro Scrambler 1200 XC and XE. Harley-Davidson, meanwhile, was creating a lot of very different noise with its LiveWire electric motorcycle, but as a 2020 model it’s not eligible for this year’s award. The rightful successor to the dearly departed V-Rod, the dragbike-inspired FXDR 114, is a 2019 contender though. At the decidedly non-dragbike-inspired end of the motorcycle spectrum, Honda, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in the U.S. this year, brought us two absolutely adorable throwback models designed to both tug at Boomer heartstrings and appeal to vintage-loving Millennials, the Monkey and the Super Cub. Indian tapped into another vein of nostalgia and good ol’ Americana with its FTR 1200 S flat-track replica, one of the best-performing American bikes we’ve ridden in a while. Meanwhile BMW managed to improve once again on its bestseller by introducing the R 1250 GS, and Suzuki did the same with its venerable V-Strom 650 XT Touring.

So no, it’s never easy. That said, one machine stood out above the rest as our pick for the 2019 Motorcycle of the Year, and not just because it’s capable of scrabbling to the top of a mountain—then carrying you and your stuff comfortably home again. Our choice, as always, goes to a machine that succeeds best at its intent and could be considered a game-changer in its category. We celebrate all new motorcycles, as they each represent the opportunity to get more people on two wheels, experiencing this great adventure we know and love. Congratulations to all the manufacturers, and thank you for keeping our passion alive!

Check out Rider‘s 2018 Motorcycle of the Year

The Contenders…

BMW R 1250 GS

2019 BMW R 1250 GS
2019 BMW R 1250 GS (Photo by Kevin Wing)

Read our 2019 BMW R 1250 GS First Ride Review

BMW’s big GS
gets ShiftCam variable valve timing that broadens the powerband, increases fuel
efficiency and decreases emissions, a full-color TFT display, updated
electronics and a bump in displacement (and power) from 1,170 to 1,254cc, making what was already arguably one of the
best all-around motorcycles even better.

Harley-Davidson FXDR 114

2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114
2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 (Photo by Kevin Wing)

Read our 2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 First Ride Review

The V-Rod is dead, long live
the V-Rod! Well, sort of. The newest member of the Softail family is a long,
lean power cruiser that channels the spirit of the VRSC V-Rod, with a 114ci
Milwaukee-Eight V-twin, raked-out cartridge-style USD fork, 33 degrees of lean
angle and a 240-section rear tire wrapped around a solid-disc rear wheel.

Honda Super Cub

2019 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS
2019 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS (Photo by Drew Ruiz)

Read our 2019 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS First Ride Review

Sixty
years ago, the original Super Cub proved that motorcycles needn’t be feared by
the masses, and this new version continues to make good on that promise, with a
4-speed semi-automatic gearbox, 244-pound wet weight, timeless styling and
modern conveniences like keyless ignition and ABS on the front brake.

Indian FTR 1200 S

2019 Indian FTR 1200 S
2019 Indian FTR 1200 S (Photo by Barry Hathaway)

Read our 2019 Indian FTR 1200 S First Ride Review

The FTR 1200 S is a light, fast, agile street tracker
inspired by Indian’s championship-winning race bike. It’s also a breath of
fresh, young air in the cruiser orthodoxy that’s dominated American-made
motorcycles for decades, and features include a liquid-cooled, DOHC V-twin and
a six-axis IMU-based electronics package.

Royal Enfield 650 Twins

2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT and Interceptor 650
2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT (left) and Interceptor 650 (right)

Read our 2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT and Interceptor 650 Road Test Review

The Interceptor 650 and Continental GT are completely new,
the first global models for India-based Royal Enfield and the first to be
designed, tested and engineered at its new facility in England. Powered by an
air/oil-cooled 648cc parallel twin, both bikes manage to evoke the simple
pleasure of riding for riding’s sake.

Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT Touring

2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring
2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring

Read our 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT vs V-Strom 1000XT Comparison Review

While we haven’t yet ridden
the 2019 version, we’ve spent many thousands of miles aboard Wee Stroms, and
this is the best-equipped one yet. With tubeless spoked wheels, locking side
cases, hand guards, a centerstand, cruise control, ABS, Easy Start and Low RPM
Assist, it’s ready to take on almost any adventure for just $9,999.

Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC/XE

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE
2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE (Photo by Kingdom Creative)

Read our 2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE First Ride Review

Most modern scramblers talk the talk, but don’t walk the
walk of off-road capability. Enter the Scrambler 1200, a full-on adventure bike
with minimalist, retro styling—and a 21-inch front, nearly 10 inches of Öhlins
suspension travel on the up-spec XE model, multiple riding modes, switchable
ABS and traction control.

Yamaha Niken/Niken GT

2019 Yamaha Niken GT
2019 Yamaha Niken GT (Photo by Joe Agustin)

Read our 2019 Yamaha Niken First Ride Review

Read our 2019 Yamaha Niken GT First Ride Review

They’re a bold, groundbreaking move from Yamaha, and they nearly snagged our top honor. The Niken and Niken GT, based around the Tracer 900—a fantastic bike in its own right—work surprisingly well, with ridiculous front-end grip that must be experienced to be believed and that lovely 847cc in-line triple at their hearts.

And the winner is….

KTM 790 Adventure

2019 KTM 790 Adventure
2019 KTM 790 Adventure (Photo by Sebas Romero & Marco Campelli)

Read our 2019 KTM 790 Adventure/R First Ride Review

It’s no secret that adventure
bikes are exploding in popularity, as riders discover the utility and versatility
of their combination of upright seating position, decent ground clearance and
suspension travel, wind protection, the ability to carry luggage and, to
varying degrees, venture off-pavement. ADV bikes have been getting increasingly
bloated, however, bigger, more powerful—and heavier—each model year. Hard-core
ADV-ers have been clamoring for years, begging for a bike that returns
adventure riding to its truly adventurous roots. Something lightweight and
trail-capable, yet with enough elemental protection, power and luggage capacity
to comfortably travel cross-country, and modern fuel injection and electronic
rider aids wouldn’t hurt.

2019 KTM 790 Adventure

At long last, KTM answered
the call, and what an answer it is. The 790 Adventure and its even more
off-road-oriented R sibling manage to check all the boxes: light weight at a
claimed 417 pounds dry, a state-of-the-art 799cc liquid-cooled, DOHC LC8
parallel twin that produces a claimed 95 horsepower and 65.6 lb-ft of torque
delivered low in the rev range for optimum grunt, and spoked tubeless wheels in
21-inch front/18-inch rear sizes. The standard, more touring-oriented model has
a still-respectable 7.9 inches of travel from its WP Apex suspension and a
fairly accessible, adjustable seat height of 32.7/33.5 inches. Multiple riding
modes (Street, Offroad and Rain) adjust throttle response and lean-angle
sensitive Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) settings, and power reaches the
rear wheel by way of an assist-and-slipper clutch, a 6-speed transmission and
chain final drive. The more off-road-oriented R model gets a Rally ride mode,
fully adjustable WP Xplor suspension with 9.4 inches of travel and a 34.6-inch
rally-style seat.

2019 KTM 790 Adventure (left and right) and 790 Adventure R (center) (Photo by Sebas Romero & Marco Campelli)

A defining characteristic of
the 790 Adventure is its rally racer-inspired, 5.3-gallon horseshoe-shaped gas
tank, which keeps the bike’s center of gravity low, creates less bulk between
the knees for stand-up riding and makes air filter, battery and fuse access
easy, plus it does double-duty as engine protection in case of a tip-over.

2019 KTM 790 Adventure

On paper the 790 Adventure is
impressive, and riding it is confirmation; the seat is flat, spacious and
comfortable, the wide handlebar is six-position adjustable and the long-travel
suspension soaks up road irregularities at high and low speeds. Bosch 9.1 MP
cornering ABS backs up powerful brakes and many useful features are standard,
such as an aluminum skid plate, a 12V dash socket and an underseat USB port.
Cruise control, a centerstand, a quickshifter, heated grips and TPMS are
optional.

2019 KTM 790 Adventure

At long last, the empty slot
between a street-legal enduro and an open-class ADV tourer has been filled, and
that sound you hear is the cheering of all those riders looking for a bike to
rule both mountain and highway.

Congratulations KTM, for the 2019 790 Adventure, Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year!

2019 KTM 790 Adventure

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2019 Honda CB500X | First Ride Review

2019 Honda CB500X
The Honda CB500X is back with more off-road chops for 2019, including a 19-inch front wheel in place of the old 17. (Photos by Drew Ruiz)

For reasons that remain a mystery, Honda waited until the 2016 model year and the introduction of its very capable CRF1000L Africa Twin to get serious about joining the adventure bike party. Sure, there were short-lived tryouts late in the last century (e.g., the original Africa Twin, Transalps and NX650 models), but these were well ahead of the explosion in ADV-bike understanding and popularity, and the 1998-2013 semi-ADV Varadero was never brought to the U.S.

Read our Tour Test Review of the 2016 Honda Africa Twin DCT

But just prior to the new Africa Twin, Honda dipped a toe in the ADV pond by calling its ruggedly styled new-for-2013 CB500X an “adventure sport” motorcycle, and despite its 17-inch wheels at both ends and 4.7/5.5-inch suspension travel, quite a few riders took that description at Honda’s word.

2019 Honda CB500X
Slightly increased suspension travel and a beefier shock in back help allow the CB500X to tackle rougher sections reasonably well.

Subsequently our March 2014 issue tour test to Tombstone, Arizona, included some dirt roads, where the CB500X’s light weight and decent ground clearance helped it do OK (absent deep sand or ruts). The bike’s lower price and seat height has since endeared it to beginning and smaller riders, some of whom want to sample the ADV experience without spending a lot of money—call them the “Adventure Curious.”

The CB500X’s ADV role got a boost when a UK-based outfit called Rally Raid Products created an “adventure kit” for it that includes spoked tubeless wheels with a 19-inch front, longer travel suspension, an ABS cutout switch, taller handlebars and more, and sold lots of them.

2019 Honda CB500X
For this 5-foot-10-inch rider, standing up requires bent knees to reach the handlebar, which is higher for 2019 but not by much.

Honda has been paying attention to all of this, of course, the result of which is a new 2019 CB500X that incorporates several updates to make it more adventure capable as well as some solid upgrades to its performance and user friendliness. Chief among them is a new 19-inch front wheel that improves bump absorption, front-end feel off-road and high-speed handling, and longer suspension travel (up 0.4-inch front and rear, with an upgraded shock from its larger sportbikes) that reduces bottoming and increases ground clearance.

Unfortunately, seat height is up 0.8-inch as a result, so Honda has narrowed the seat front to make the ground an easier reach–with my 29-inch inseam I can still plant the balls of my feet on the ground. Steering rake and wheelbase are slightly longer for more stability, yet the bike’s turning radius is 8 inches smaller, and new 7-spoke cast wheels are shod with Dunlop Trailmax Mixtour tires that have an aggressive tread pattern and deep grooves.

2019 Honda CB500X
Stock tires are new Dunlop Trailmax Mixtours, a 90/10 on/off-road radial with aggressive tread for dirt roads and good grip on-road. Jonathan Livingston approves of the bike’s refreshed styling, too.

At 471cc the CB500X twin is in that size and price sweet spot that makes it both a great ride for beginners and a nice first or second bike for commuting and short trips. There’s power aplenty for most riding, with a screaming 8,200-rpm redline and a flat torque curve that makes it very responsive throughout most of the powerband. Grabbing a handful of throttle in top gear on the interstate doesn’t inspire much urge without a downshift, but the bike cruises along nicely at 75 mph with little vibration and (based on our 2013 model test) should get great fuel economy.

Changes to the parallel-twin engine for 2019 (which also apply to the CB500R and CB500F) like a new intake tract design, fuel injectors, valve timing and muffler give it a claimed 3-4 percent more midrange power and a racier exhaust note, and help it meet looming Euro 5 emissions regs. More dogs on the transmission gears improve shifting, and a new assist-and-slipper clutch reduces lever effort by 45 percent, adapts to the load for better hookup under heavy acceleration and reduces engine braking when downshifting.

2019 Honda CB500X
Updates to the liquid-cooled, 471cc DOHC parallel twin boost midrange power and improve power delivery, and it gets an improved transmission with assist-and-slipper clutch.

Although the Grand Prix Red CB500X can be had with ABS, that’s it for electronic rider aids, and the optional ABS is not switchable (but the fuse box and ABS fuses are readily accessible under the locking seat). For 2019 the bike gets an adjustable brake lever, a revised hydraulic ratio for the rear brake and upgraded ABS modulators that improve braking in low-traction situations (on the ABS version).

In the cockpit there’s a new tapered handlebar for ADV looks that is slightly (0.3 inch) higher and rubber-mounted to minimize vibes; a 0.8-inch taller, two-position windscreen and a new full-featured LCD display with a larger screen and thinner bezel that includes gear and adjustable upshift indicators. The CB500X also looks more adventure-y thanks to a restyled fuel tank, all-LED lighting and a new shroud design that directs radiator heat away from the rider’s legs.

2019 Honda CB500X
Handlebar and windscreen are both taller for 2019, and the CB500X gets a larger new LCD display.

Besides weight, displacement and cost, the chief difference between the CB500X and its 300- and 650-class ADV bike competitors is probably ergonomic. Those bikes have genuinely sit-up riding positions with tall handlebars and lowish footpegs, and though it’s closer to them now the X still retains some street bike feel, particularly for larger riders.

The bar is taller for 2019 but it’s still low by ADV standards, and the footpegs are a bit high, so it takes more effort to stand up, and standing up off-road creates a long reach to the grips. On the other hand, that wide handlebar and more tucked-in seating position works even better on the pavement now, and the upgrades to steering, suspension and brakes as well as the additional power make the bike serious fun on a twisty road. Wind protection from the taller screen is quite good, and vibration can only be felt in the grips and footpegs at higher rpm.

2019 Honda CB500X
For the press ride Honda equipped the bikes with Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross AX41 knobbies, just one of many good ADV tire choices enabled by the larger front wheel.

Honda set up a brilliant ride for the press in the mountains around Julian, California, with a mix of dirt and pavement that showed off the bike’s capabilities very well. Rather than the stock Dunlops, Honda hedged its bets by equipping the bikes with Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross AX41 tires, an aggressive ADV knobby that works surprisingly well on the street and provided reassuring traction on the dirt bits.

Clutch pull and shifting are indeed butter now, and with the slipper clutch, more linear power delivery and new ABS and brake settings the bike is quite easy to control on loose surfaces and stops hard when needed. Although damping settings are fixed, spring preload is adjustable at both ends, and other than some rear tire chatter when accelerating over washboard the suspension performs quite well for a bike in this price range. It was a warm day yet I didn’t notice any engine heat, and though the new display suffers from glare when the sun is directly behind it is otherwise highly functional.

2019 Honda CB500X
Revised ergonomics are fine for smaller statured riders off-road, and work especially well on the street.

The accessories list for the CB500X includes heated grips, a centerstand, locking panniers, hand guards, a rear carrier and more, and outfits like Rally Raid will continue to carry ADV upgrades for the new bike as well as for previous model years. At 433 pounds gassed and ready to ride, weight-wise the ABS version is right in between the 300- and 650-class ADV bikes, and the CB500X’s seat is still lower than the 650-and-larger machines, so it’s a good choice for someone who wants interstate touring capability in a smaller, more affordable machine that is also ready for the adventure curious.

Check out Rider’s 2019 Guide to New/Updated Motorcycles

Keep scrolling for a complete spec chart and more photos!

2019 Honda CB500X

2019 Honda CB500X Specs
Base Price: $6,699
Price as Tested: $6,999 (ABS)
Warranty: 12 mos., unltd. miles
Website: powersports.honda.com

Engine
Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel twin
Displacement: 471cc
Bore x Stroke: 67.0mm x 66.8mm
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Valve Train: DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: 16,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: PGM-FI w/ 34mm throttle bodies x 2
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 2.7 qt. cap.
Transmission: 6 speeds, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain

Electrical
Ignition: Full transistorized ignition
Charging Output: 500 watts
Battery: 12V 7.4AH

Chassis
Frame: Diamond-shaped tubular-steel w/ engine as stressed member, box-section steel swingarm
Wheelbase: 56.9 in.
Rake/Trail: 27.5 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 32.7 in.
Suspension, Front: 41mm stanchions, adj. for spring preload, 5.3-in. travel
Rear: Pro-Link single shock, adj. for spring preload, 5.9-in. travel
Brakes, Front: 320mm disc w/ 2-piston floating caliper & ABS (as tested)
Rear: 240mm disc w/ 1-piston floating caliper & ABS (as tested)
Wheels, Front: Cast, 2.50 x 19 in.
Rear: Cast, 4.50 x 17 in.
Tires, Front: 110/80-HR19
Rear: 160/60-HR17
Wet Weight: 433 lbs. (as tested)
Load Capacity: 383 lbs. (as tested)
GVWR: 816 lbs.

Performance
Fuel Capacity: 4.6 gals., last 0.7 gal. warning light on
MPG: 87 AKI min. (low/avg/high) NA
Estimated Range: NA
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 4,750

2019 Honda CB500X
Honda CB500X accessories include a centerstand, locking panniers, hand guards, tank pads, a light bar, tank bag and heated grips.
2019 Honda CB500X
The single 310mm floating front wave rotor and 2-piston caliper provide good stopping power up front.
2019 Honda CB500X
Larger front wheel and additional suspension travel raised seat height, so Honda narrowed it in front to make it easier for those of us shorter of leg to reach the ground.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 Guide to New Street Motorcycles

This handy guide includes all new or significantly updated street-legal motorcycles for the 2020 model year. Organized in alphabetical order by manufacturer, it includes photos and links to details or, when available, first rides and road test reviews about each bike. This guide is updated regularly as more new/updated models are announced, and when we’ve had a chance to ride them and report our impressions.

Want to see all of the new/updated motorcycles for 2019?
Check out Rider’s 2019 Guide to New Street Motorcycles

2020 BMW R 1250 R

2019 BMW R 1250 R. Image courtesy BMW Motorrad.
2020 BMW R 1250 R

Receiving updates similar to those that other models in the
R family received for 2019, the BMW R 1250 R roadster gets a larger 1,254cc
boxer twin with ShiftCam variable valve timing and valve stroke and updates to
its electronics package. It also gets a mild style refresh with a TFT display,
a DRL option for the halogen headlight and new color options. Although originally
announced as a 2019 model, the R 1250 R didn’t make it to the U.S. in time. BMW
says it will be available as a 2020 model with an MSRP starting at $14,995.

Read our 2020 BMW R 1250 R First Look Review

2020 BMW R 1250 RS

2019 BMW R 1250 RS. Image courtesy BMW Motorrad.
2020 BMW R 1250 RS

Receiving updates similar to those that other models in the
R family received for 2019, the BMW R 1250 R roadster gets a larger 1,254cc
boxer twin with ShiftCam variable valve timing and valve stroke and updates to
its electronics package. The RS also gets a style refresh that drops the
asymmetrical, winking look of the S 1000 RR in favor of a sporty twin-LED
headlight assembly, and an LED DRL (daytime running light) is an option.
Although announced as a 2019 model, the R 1250 RS didn’t make it to the U.S. in
time. BMW says it will be available as a 2020 model with an MSRP starting at
$15,695.

Read our 2020 BMW R 1250 RS First Look Review

2020 BMW S 1000 RR

2019 BMW S 1000 RR in Motorsport livery. Images courtesy BMW Motorrad.
2020 BMW S 1000 RR

More power (205 hp), less weight (434 lbs), updated
technology and a new up-spec Motorsport version. The 2020 BMW S 1000 RR is at
the pointy end of the sportbike spear. Pricing starts at $16,995 and bikes will
be in dealerships in summer 2019.

Read our 2020 BMW S 1000 RR First Look Review

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire action
2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire (Photo courtesy Harley-Davidson)

Harley-Davidson’s new LiveWire electric motorcycle is seriously sporty, shockingly fast and whisper-quiet–everything a typical Harley isn’t. And that’s just the way Milwaukee wants it. It’s propelled by a liquid-cooled electric motor that makes a claimed 105 horsepower and 86 lb-ft of torque, drawing power from a 15.5 kWh battery that offers, according to H-D, a range of 146 miles in the city and 95 miles of combined stop-and-go and highway riding. Single-speed transmission offers twist-and-go convenience, and styling, ergonomics and components are the sportiest offered on any Harley-Davidson. MSRP starts at $29,799.

Read our 2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire First Ride Review

2020 Suzuki Katana

2020 Suzuki Katana
2020 Suzuki Katana (Photo courtesy Suzuki)

The 2020 Suzuki Katana features styling cues that pay direct homage to the 1981 original, and it’s built around the potent GSX-S1000 999cc inline-four. It features ABS, traction control, Easy Start and Low RPM Assist, as well as a twin-spar aluminum frame, braced superbike-style swingarm, KYB suspension, dual front Brembo monoblock four-piston calipers, 310mm floating rotors and a model-specific LCD panel. We got a chance to ride the new Katana in Japan last March, but pricing and availability are TBD.

Read our 2020 Suzuki Katana First Ride Review

2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700

The Ténéré 700 will be coming to the U.S. in the second half of 2020. Images courtesy Yamaha Europe.
2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700

Announced in the fall of 2018, we’re still waiting to see the
new Ténéré 700 (T7, for short) in the flesh–Yamaha says it will be coming to
the U.S. in the second half of 2020 as a 2021 model. We know it will be
powered by the 689cc CP2 parallel twin used in the MT-07, housed in a new
tubular steel double-cradle frame. Other details include a 62.6-inch wheelbase,
9.5 inches of ground clearance, a fully adjustable USD 43mm fork with 8.3
inches of travel and a remote preload-adjustable rear shock with 7.9 inches of
travel.

Read our 2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700 First Look Review

2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M

2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M and YZF-R1
2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M (left) and YZF-R1 (right)

Yamaha has updated its flagship sportbikes, the YZF-R1 and the track-ready YZF-R1M, for 2020, with both featuring refinements to their CP4 crossplane crankshaft engines, an augmented electronic rider aids package, enhanced suspension and redesigned bodywork. MSRP is $17,300 for the YZF-R1 and $26,099 for the YZF-R1M (the latter is available in limited quantities through Yamaha’s online reservation system).

Read our 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M First Ride Review

2020 Zero SR/F

2020 Zero SR/F
2020 Zero SR/F

The first new model from Zero Motorcycles since 2016, the 2020 SR/F’s streetfighter look and steel trellis frame blur the styling lines between gas and electric motorcycles. Powered by a new ZF75-10 IPM (Interior Permanent Magnet) motor and ZF14.4 lithium-ion battery, it delivers a claimed 140 lb-ft of torque and 110 horsepower. It also features Bosch’s Motorcycle Stability Control System and Zero’s new Cypher III operating system. Pricing starts at $18,995.

Read our 2020 Zero SR/F First Look Review

Source: RiderMagazine.com