Tag Archives: Motorcycle Reviews

Janus Gryffin 450 Scrambler Review | First Look

Janus Gryffin 450
Janus Gryffin 450

Janus Motorcycles has announced its latest model, the scrambler-styled Gryffin 450. The Janus Gryffin 450 has classic ’50s and ’60s style and hand-crafted components, and each one is made-to-order with the owner’s input and preferences. 

Janus Motorcycles is based in Goshen, Indiana, and the company’s website states that it makes “simple, beautiful machines that are a joy to own and ride.” The Gryffin 450 joins three other models in the Janus lineup: the Halcyon 450, Halcyon 250, and Gryffin 250. It will use the same enduro-inspired air-/oil-cooled 445cc Single as the Halcyon 450, with a claimed 30 hp. The scrambler version will ride on 21-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels and will feature a high exhaust, other adventure-oriented details, and a low weight of a claimed 330 lb. 

Janus Gryffin 450
Janus Gryffin 450

“The Gryffin 450 is a close sibling to our Halcyon 450, but with some key changes that really make it excel off-pavement,” said Charlie Handsen-Reed, senior design engineer for Janus Motorcycles. “The longer suspension travel, wheel size, lower seat height, and larger fuel tank will be really welcomed by our off-road riders, and trimming another 30 lb off our already feather-weight 450 chassis will be a huge bonus for trailering, van-lifers, and for any adventuresome rider’s peace of mind and confidence.” 

Part of the experience of owning a Janus is the customization offered from the made-to-order process. Like other Janus models, the Gryffin 450 will be available in a wide range of color options, pinstripe options, and other accessories. It will feature motocross footpegs, a headlight cage, pannier racks, highway bars, a skid plate, and a pillion seat. 

Janus Gryffin 450
Janus Gryffin 450

Other components included on the Gryffin 450 will be hand-formed and beaded fenders, a hand-formed and welded stainless-steel exhaust, hand-welded chassis and fork, Brembo brakes, and hand-painted graphics and pinstripes. 

Janus Motorcycles will begin taking reservations for the Gryffin 450 starting Feb. 23, 2024, and all orders placed in the first 30 days will be First Edition models with serial-numbered plates, limited-edition race plates, engraved components, and commemorative packages. 

Those interested in the manufacturing process of Janus motorcycles can check out the Janus YouTube channel, where the company documents their design and build process. 

MSRP for the Janus Gryffin 450 will be $13,495, and the fee to place a reservation is $2,995. The first Gryffin 450 bikes are expected to be finished in July 2024. 

Visit the Janus Motorcycles website for more information.

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

The post Janus Gryffin 450 Scrambler Review | First Look appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Rider Comparo: 2024 CFMOTO 800NK vs. Suzuki GSX-8S

2024 CFMOTO 800NK 2024 Suzuki GSX-8S
With short wheelbases, sporty geometry, and low curb weights, the CFMOTO 800NK and Suzuki GSX‑­8S hustle through tight corners with ease. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

Back in the ’70s, Cycle magazine coined the term “Universal Japanese Motorcycle” to refer to the proliferation of standard bikes built by the Japanese Big Four that adhered to the same formula: air‑cooled inline‑Fours with tubular cradle frames, disc front brakes, telescopic forks, and dual rear shocks.

Much has changed in the last five decades, but manufacturers still stick to tried‑and‑true formulas when designing motorcycles. These days, regardless of where bikes hail from, there has been a convergence in the middleweight class on parallel‑Twin engines because they are cost‑effective to produce, easy to package within a frame, and flexible in terms of tuning. Also known as vertical Twins because the two side‑by‑side cylinders stand upright, modern versions typically have liquid cooling, fuel injection, and a 270‑degree crankshaft that produces a V‑Twin‑like rumble.

2024 CFMOTO 800NK 2024 Suzuki GSX-8S
We put the CFMOTO 800NK (left) side-by-side with the Suzuki GSX-8S (right) for this comparo.

Last year, Suzuki, a veteran of the UJM wars, introduced a liquid‑cooled 776cc parallel‑Twin that powered two new models: the GSX‑8S naked sportbike and V‑Strom 800DE adventure bike. The engine has DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, a 270‑degree crank, throttle‑by‑wire, and Suzuki’s patented Cross Balancer system, which minimizes vibration. The GSX‑8S is equipped with several Suzuki Intelligent Ride System electronic rider aids, including throttle response modes (Active, Basic, and Comfort), multi‑mode traction control (1, 2, 3, and Off), an up/down quickshifter, Easy Start, and Low RPM Assist.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8S
2024 Suzuki GSX-8S

Chinese manufacturer CFMOTO entered the U.S. motorcycle market in 2022 and has expanded its lineup to 11 models for 2024. One of its newest is the 800NK, a naked sportbike powered by a liquid‑cooled 799cc parallel‑Twin that’s a previous‑gen version of the KTM 790 engine, which CFMOTO now builds under a partnership agreement. Similar to Suzuki’s modular approach, the same engine is found in CFMOTO’s Ibex 800 adventure bikes. On the tech front, the 800NK has throttle‑by‑wire, throttle response modes (Sport, Street, and Rain), and cruise control but no traction control or quickshifter.

2024 CFMOTO 800NK
2024 CFMOTO 800NK

Those looking for an affordable, streetfighter‑styled motorcycle would likely cross‑shop these two bikes, especially since there’s just a $500 delta between their MSRPs: $8,999 for the Suzuki and $8,499 for the CFMOTO. To suss out their differences, we tested them back‑to‑back on local freeways and backroads and had our friend John Ethell at Jett Tuning run them on a Dynojet dynamometer.

CFMOTO 800NK vs. Suzuki GSX8S: Wonder Twin Powers, Activate!

Despite just a 23cc difference in displacement between the CFMOTO and Suzuki, there’s a significant difference in engine output. Both Twins rev out to nearly 10,000 rpm, and their dyno curves show fairly linear increases in power and flat torque curves. Past 6,000 rpm, their curves begin to diverge, with the CFMOTO climbing to 93.4 hp at 9,400 rpm while the Suzuki levels out at 75.9 hp at 8,300 rpm. Torque figures are closer, but the 800NK still has the advantage in the upper rev range, maxing out at 57.1 lb‑ft at 6,600 rpm compared to 53.3 lb‑ft at 6,700 rpm on the GSX‑8S.

2024 CFMOTO 800NK 2024 Suzuki GSX-8S dyno

The CFMOTO also has a lower curb weight, giving it a higher power‑to‑weight ratio. It weighs 410 lb with its 4.0‑gallon tank full, whereas the Suzuki weighs 445 lb with 3.7 gallons in its tank.

Differences in power and weight aren’t readily apparent at lower rpm and around‑town speeds, but the Suzuki feels more refined. The GSX‑8S starts easily when cold, idles smoothly, and has spot‑on fueling and throttle response. The 800NK, on the other hand, is slow to warm up, idles like it’s in a bad mood, and exhibits some hesitation when making throttle adjustments between 4,000 to 6,000 rpm, which corresponds to a dip in the horsepower and torque curves.

Above 6,000 rpm, however, the CFMOTO finds its groove, responding cleanly and directly to throttle inputs and making its power and weight advantages readily apparent. It flicks back and forth through tight corners more easily than the Suzuki, and a twist of the wrist catapults the 800NK ahead more rapidly than the GSX‑8S, which falls flat in the upper rev range. Although sound doesn’t necessarily affect performance, it does tap into our emotions. The CFMOTO’s more aggressive exhaust note makes for a more engaging riding experience without being too loud.

2024 CFMOTO 800NK
New for 2024, the CFMOTO 800NK charges forward with a distinctive LED running light and angular bodywork in either Nebula Black (shown) or Nebula White.

GEAR UP

There’s also some daylight between these bikes in terms of shifting. Both are equipped with 6‑speed transmissions with cable‑actuated slip/assist clutches. Neither bike requires much effort to change gears, but the Suzuki’s gearbox is noticeably smoother, and it’s aided by the convenience of a quickshifter. The CFMOTO has an adjustable clutch lever, but the Suzuki does not.

See all of Rider‘s CFMOTO coverage here.

More Bounce to the Ounce

When manufacturers aim for aggressive price targets, one of the most common places to cut costs is with the suspension, particularly in terms of adjustability. Both CFMOTO and Suzuki sourced their components from Japanese suspension maker KYB, and both bikes have inverted forks (43mm on the CFMOTO, 41mm on the Suzuki) and rear monoshocks. The only adjustability on the GSX‑8S is rear preload, but the 800NK offers full adjustability on the fork and rebound and preload adjustability on the shock. Ride quality between the two is fairly similar, with their damping rates calibrated for general use rather than the tautness of more aggressive sportbikes, but the CFMOTO allows riders to dial in their preferences front and rear.

2024 CFMOTO 800NK 2024 Suzuki GSX-8S
Yerba Buena Road, which slithers through California’s rugged Santa Monica Mountains, was the perfect place to test these two middleweight streetfighters.

The CFMOTO has a slight edge in terms of braking. With components sourced from J.Juan, a Spanish subsidiary of Brembo, the 800NK has a pair of 4‑piston radial front calipers pinching 320mm discs, a 2‑piston rear caliper pinching a 260mm disc, a radial‑pump front master cylinder, and steel‑braided lines. The 800NK’s brakes provide strong, consistent power with good feedback from the adjustable front lever, but they could use more initial bite.

The Suzuki wears Nissin brakes, with dual 4‑piston radial front calipers squeezing 310mm discs, a 1‑piston rear caliper squeezing a 240mm disc, an axial‑pump front master cylinder, and rubber lines. Stopping power is decent, but the Suzuki’s brakes feel more numb and provide less feedback than the CFMOTO’s. ABS is standard on both bikes.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8S
The Suzuki GSX‑­8S has a minimalist look, and it’s available in Pearl Cosmic Blue (shown), Glass Matte Mechanical Gray, and Metallic Matte Black No. 2.

GEAR UP

Sit Up and Be Somebody

The 800NK and GSX‑8S are compact machines with short wheelbases, narrow waistlines, and sporty chassis geometry. Both have steel frames, steel subframes, cast‑aluminum swingarms, and tapered aluminum handlebars. From the cockpit, the Suzuki almost disappears beneath the rider thanks to its svelte tank, 1.7-inch narrower handlebar, and slender (but 0.4 inch taller) seat. The CFMOTO’s tank and bodywork flare out more, and its handlebar is wider, giving it more visual presence from the saddle. Its seat is also wider at the back and has thicker, more comfortable foam.

2024 CFMOTO 800NK 2024 Suzuki GSX-8S
The CFMOTO’s higher power, lighter weight, and wider handlebar give it an advantage over the Suzuki.

As streetfighters, these bikes lend themselves to an aggressive riding style, but they’re comfortable enough for everyday riding or commuting. Their handlebars’ bends and risers allow for an upright seating position, and their footpegs are placed high enough for good cornering clearance but low enough for adequate legroom.

When you exit the highway and find your way to a winding backroad, they are more than happy to display their athleticism. Both roll on 17‑inch cast wheels with 120/70 front and 180/55 rear tire sizes, and their radials – Maxxis Supermaxx ST on the CFMOTO, Dunlop Roadsmart 2 on the Suzuki – provide neutral handling and decent grip. With its additional steering leverage and 35‑lb weight advantage, the CFMOTO is more agile than the Suzuki but not by much.

See all of Rider‘s Suzuki coverage here.

CFMOTO 800NK vs. Suzuki GSX8S: Devil in the Details

In some ways, these are two evenly matched motorcycles, while in others, they diverge. One is built by a well‑established Japanese brand that has been building motorcycles since the early 1950s and selling them in America since 1963. The other is built by an upstart Chinese company that has been building motorcycles only since 2000 but has grown rapidly and not only builds its own engines and motorcycles but also builds them for KTM, Europe’s largest manufacturer.

2024 CFMOTO 800NK 2024 Suzuki GSX-8S
Both bikes have similar profiles, with pointy headlight shrouds and dagger‑­like tailsections. Despite the riders’ go‑­fast crouches above, handlebars positioned well above the triple clamp and sensibly placed footpegs allow for comfortable, upright seating positions.

Although the Suzuki GSX‑8S was introduced in 2023 as a new model with a new engine, it feels very refined. It has the build quality and fit and finish one expects from one of the Big Four Japanese manufacturers, and its engine, electronics, and chassis work together harmoniously. The GSX‑8S costs $500 more than the 800NK, but it has standard features that the CFMOTO lacks, such as traction control and an up/down quickshifter. Its bright TFT instrument panel uses a larger, thicker font and is easier to read in all conditions than the one on the 800NK.

As the new kid on the block looking to build trust in the market, CFMOTO’s value proposition is to provide more bang for the buck. For the 800NK, that starts with the tried‑and‑true KTM 790 engine that delivers an additional 17.5 hp and 3.8 lb‑ft of torque over the GSX‑8S motor. It continues with a 35‑lb lower curb weight, suspension with more adjustability, higher‑spec brakes, and features like cruise control and smartphone connectivity. Not only is the base price lower, but it comes with an additional year of warranty coverage. But it also feels rougher around the edges, particularly regarding its low‑rpm fueling.

2024 CFMOTO 800NK
The 2024 CFMOTO 800NK TFT display changes with ride mode, but the text is too small.
2024 Suzuki GSX-8S
The 2024 Suzuki GSX-8S TFT display is easy to read and adjusts to light/dark conditions.

If you’re an experienced rider who wants a light, powerful, somewhat rowdy streetfighter and can live without traction control and a quickshifter, you’ll want the CFMOTO 800NK. But if you’re someone who prioritizes smoothness and refinement over power, or if you’re a newer rider, the Suzuki GSX‑8S is for you.

2024 CFMOTO 800NK 2024 Suzuki GSX-8S
Each bike has its strengths and weaknesses, but both provide a respectable mix of performance, technology, and style at a reasonable price.

Spec Comparo: 2024 CFMOTO 800NK vs. 2024 Suzuki GSX-8S

  • Base Price: $8,499 (CFMOTO) — $8,999 (Suzuki)
  • Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles — 1 yr., unltd. miles 
  • Website: CFMOTOusa.comSuzukiCycles.com
  • Engine Type: Liquid‑­cooled, transverse parallel‑­Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl. — Liquid­-cooled, transverse parallel-­Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
  • Displacement: 799cc — 776cc 
  • Bore x Stroke: 88 x 65.7mm — 84.0 x 70.0mm
  • Horsepower (rear-­wheel dyno): 93.4 hp @ 9,400 rpm — 75.9 hp @ 8,300 rpm
  • Torque (rear-­wheel dyno): 57.1 lb‑­ft @ 6,600 rpm — 53.3 lb‑­ft @ 6,700 rpm
  • Transmission: 6‑­speed, cable‑­actuated slip/assist wet clutch — 6‑­speed, cable‑­actuated slip/assist wet clutch 
  • Final Drive: Chain — Chain
  • Wheelbase: 57.8 in. — 57.7 in.
  • Rake/Trail: 24 degrees/3.8 in. — 25 degrees/4.1 in. 
  • Seat Height: 31.5 in. — 31.9 in. 
  • Wet Weight: 410 lb — 445 lb
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.0 gal. — 3.7 gal.
  • Fuel Consumption: 42.9 mpg — 48.7 mpg
2024 CFMOTO 800NK 2024 Suzuki GSX-8S

The post Rider Comparo: 2024 CFMOTO 800NK vs. Suzuki GSX-8S appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 KTM Street Demo Tour Announces Dates

Continuing on the success of previous years’ Ride Orange Street Demo Tours – and this year marking “30 Years of Duke” – KTM has announced the first dates of the 2024 KTM Street Demo Tour. Test rides at dealers are a rarity, so the KTM Street Demo Tour is a great opportunity to ride KTM’s street-legal range, everything from the 250 Duke up to the 1390 Super Duke R Evo, ADVs ranging from the 390 Adventure to the 1290 Adventure R, and the 350 and 500 EXC-F dual-sports.

This year’s tour kicks off in March coinciding with Daytona Bike Week, and there are currently 10 stops scheduled for the demo tour between March and October, with more likely to be added. Check out the details in KTM’s official announcement below.


2024 KTM STREET DEMO TOUR
The 2024 KTM Street Demo Tour kicks off during Daytona Bike Week.

MURRIETA, Calif. – The KTM Street Demo Tour is touring the United States once again in 2024, offering orange bleeders the ultimate chance to sample the latest models in the KTM Street range. Commencing between March 1-9 during Daytona Bike Week in Florida, U.S. consumers will have the opportunity to take part in the tour to be staged alongside a wide selection of premier motorcycle events across the nation.

Organized by KTM North America, Inc. in association with participating dealers, you’ll be able to get up close and explore the 2024 range, together with knowledgeable KTM experts on location. Following that, it will be your time to take to some of the most enjoyable roads in the country. Each ride will take place on pre-planned routes that will be sure to deliver an exceptional experience at this year’s KTM Street Demo Tour.

With the naked bike range celebrating 30 Years of Duke in 2024, KTM brings the ferocious, all-new KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo – The Beast, reborn – the sniper-like KTM 990 Duke, as well as the powerful yet rideable KTM 390 Duke and KTM 250 Duke. Joining this lineup of all new naked bikes is the original Scalpel, the KTM 790 Duke. Throw a leg over these class-leading machines and discover why the KTM Duke nameplate has stood the test of time.

In addition, the current adventure range, including the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R and S, KTM 890 Adventure R, KTM 790 Adventure, KTM 690 Enduro R, and KTM 390 Adventure, will also be star attractions across as many as 10 events scheduled for 2024. Plus, don’t miss the KTM 500 EXC-F and KTM 350 EXC-F dual-sport models.

2024 KTM Street Demo Tour Models:

  • KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo
  • KTM 990 Duke
  • KTM 790 Duke
  • KTM 390 Duke
  • KTM 250 Duke
  • KTM 1290 Super Adventure R
  • KTM 1290 Super Adventure S
  • KTM 890 Adventure R
  • KTM 790 Adventure
  • KTM 690 Enduro R
  • KTM 390 Adventure
  • KTM 500 EXC-F
  • KTM 350 EXC-F

* Please note that the model list is subject to change and may vary by demo location.

Participants at the KTM Street Demo Tour will receive a VIP voucher (valued up to $500 MSRP), redeemable on KTM PowerParts, KTM PowerWear, and/or KTM SpareParts at an authorized KTM dealer with the purchase of a new KTM Street model.

Registrations for each stop of the 2024 KTM Street Demo Tour open at 9 a.m. on the morning of that event, with riding to take place between 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Demos are first come, first served.

The KTM Street Demo Tour is open to riders 21 years and older who hold a valid motorcycle endorsement. Riders 21 to 24 year olds can only ride motorcycles 500cc and under. Riders who are 25 years and up may ride any displacement. Experienced riders only (no beginners). No passengers are allowed at any time, and KTM staff can revoke riding privileges at any time for any reason deemed necessary.

All riders must show a government-issued photo ID with motorcycle endorsement and will be required to complete a signed waiver prior to any demo rides. Proper riding apparel is essential, including but not limited to a DOT-approved helmet, eye protection, gloves, long sleeves, pants, and sturdy footwear.

For a complete list of 2024 KTM Street Demo Tour locations and to connect with your local participating dealer, please visit the KTM website or email [email protected]. Follow KTM USA on all social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on events.

See all of Rider‘s KTM coverage here.

The post 2024 KTM Street Demo Tour Announces Dates appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 Indian FTR x RSD Super Hooligan Review | First Look 

2024 Indian FTR x RSD Super Hooligan

Indian Motorcycle and Roland Sands Design have teamed up to make a limited-edition FTR x RSD Super Hooligan, inspired by the Super Hooligan National Championship series of run-what-ya-brung races that sees custom street bikes battling on challenging racetracks across the country. The FTR x RSD Super Hooligan is built on the Indian FTR R Carbon and will be limited to only 300 units globally. 

2024 Indian FTR x RSD Super Hooligan Action

The FTR x RSD Super Hooligan looks like it’s ready to be rolled onto the racetrack. It features Black Metallic bodywork with Super Hooligan race graphics, an Indian Motorcycle Red frame and matching wheels with gold accents, and Indian Motorcycle Racing’s No. 1 championship logo on the front and side number plates. The bike also features logos from race team sponsors on the rear seat cowl, and additional graphics for the radiator shroud, front fender, and front forks are available as options. 

2024 Indian FTR x RSD Super Hooligan Pipes

Related: 2024 Indian Lineup and Brand Collaboration Announced

“The term ‘hooligan’ has taken on an entirely new meaning in the world of motorcycles,” said Aaron Jax, vice president of Indian Motorcycle, “characterized by a rebellious, fearless attitude that places having fun on a motorcycle above all else, and that’s what this new FTR is all about. Roland Sands has blazed this trail and built the RSD brand around the hooligan lifestyle. From spinning laps on dirt ovals on mid-size cruisers to today’s competitive racing within the MotoAmerica series, the ethos of hooligan riding has not changed.” 

2024 Indian FTR x RSD Super Hooligan Seat

The Super Hooligan National Championship is a MotoAmerica series racing custom street bikes, including water- or air-cooled Twins of 750cc and up, 900cc Triples, and electric bikes. The Super Hooligan series has seen bikes like the Indian FTR and Chief, Harley-Davidson Pan America, KTM 890 Duke, BMW R nineT, Ducati Hypermotard, and Energica electric motorcycles. The 2024 series includes 10 rounds at five race events across the country, and the first event will be at Daytona International Speedway in March, where Tyler O’Hara, once again racing for Indian, will hope to hold on to his No. 1 plate from the 2023 season. 

2024 Indian FTR x RSD Super Hooligan No. 1 Plate

“Super Hooligan has always been about more than just racing,” said Roland Sands, founder of Roland Sands Design. “It’s about pushing boundaries and having a blast riding motorcycles with your friends. Far from the full-fairing machines you normally see on the racetrack, a Super Hooligan bike has effortless attitude and a custom aesthetic with an exposed powertrain. When Indian Motorcycle approached us to codesign an Indian FTR for consumers, it was a natural fit, and something we were very excited to be a part of.”  

2024 Indian FTR x RSD Super Hooligan No. 1 Console

The FTR x RSD bike is built on the Indian FTR R Carbon model and features a liquid-cooled 1,203cc V-Twin, fully adjustable Öhlins inverted front fork and a rear piggyback shock. Also included are dual-disc Brembo brakes, a 4-inch round touchscreen display with Bluetooth connectivity, and an Akrapovič muffler and heat shield, as well as Gilles Tooling parts adjustable rear sets, oil cap, radiator cap, and bar-end weights. 

2024 Indian FTR x RSD Super Hooligan

The FTR x RSD Super Hooligan will start at $18,499, and each bike will have an individually numbered commemorative tank console. Find more information at the Indian Motorcycle website

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

The post 2024 Indian FTR x RSD Super Hooligan Review | First Look  appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 KTM 390 Duke Review | First Ride

2024 KTM 390 Duke review
For this 2024 KTM 390 Duke review, we traveled to Almeria, Spain, to test the updated naked bike on the street and a gymkhana course. (Photos by Francesc Montero & Sebas Romero)

This is a year of milestones. The AMA is celebrating its 100th anniversary, Rider is celebrating its 50th, and KTM is celebrating “30 Years of Duke.” What started out as one bike in 1994 is now a seven-model lineup, including the 125 Duke, 250 Duke, 390 Duke, 790 Duke, 990 Duke, 1290 Super Duke GT, and 1390 Super Duke R Evo. We tested three new/updated models recently – the 390, 990, and 1390 – and we’ll start off with our KTM 390 Duke review.

2024 KTM 390 Duke review
A selection of Dukes over the years, with the original Duke 620 in the middle, three 2024 models (390 Duke to the right of the Duke 620, and the 990 Duke (l) and 1390 Super Duke R (r) in the front), and others from intervening years.

Thirty years ago, KTM – then a small Austrian manufacturer of dirtbikes – launched its first street-focused motorcycle, the Duke 620, a supermotard-style bike that was the brainchild of KTM engineer Wolfgang Felber. Starting with a KTM 620 R/XC dual-sport, which had a kickstart-only 602cc Single that made 56 hp, Felber shortened the suspension and gave it 17-inch spoked wheels shod with sticky street tires. Weighing just 315 lb, the flickable, wheelie-happy Duke – named after Geoff Duke, a British GP racer who won multiple world championships – became a cult favorite, a hooligan bike that encouraged a rowdy riding style.

2024 KTM 390 Duke review - 1994 KTM Duke 620
On display at the “30 Years of Duke” launch in Almeria, Spain, was the first 1994 KTM Duke 620 that rolled off the assembly line. Even three decades on, it’s still a bad-ass looking bike. (Photo by the author)

Today, KTM is the biggest brand in the Pierer Mobility empire – Europe’s largest motorcycle manufacturer that also includes Husqvarna, GasGas, and MV Agusta. Although the “Ready to Race” brand says it prefers to look ahead to the future than dwell on the past, KTM recently honored the Duke legacy by hosting a press launch in Almeria, Spain, for three new/updated models: the 390 Duke, 990 Duke, and 1390 Super Duke R Evo. The launch began with a half-day ride on the 390 Duke, which is the focus of this review.

Related: 2024 KTM 990 Duke Review | First Look

Related: 2024 KTM 1390 Super Duke R Evo Review | First Look

2024 KTM 390 Duke review
Except where noted, the 2024 KTM 390 Duke in the static photos is outfitted with a long list of PowerParts accessories and its mirrors have been removed. The Akrapovic exhaust system and engine crash guards are two of the most obvious ones in this photo.

What’s New | 2024 KTM 390 Duke

Launched in Europe in 2013, the 390 Duke made its way to our shores in 2015 (read our road test review). Along with the 125 Duke and 250 Duke, the 390 Duke is made in India by Bajaj under the scrupulous supervision of KTM engineers. Just as KTM’s 790 Duke and 790 Adventure models are made in China by CFMOTO, these strategic partnerships allow KTM to increase its production capacity, keep a lid on ever-increasing labor costs, and gain in-country access to the two largest motorcycle markets in the world.

2024 KTM 390 Duke review
Displacement of the liquid-cooled, counterbalanced LC4 Single was increased from 373cc to 399cc, netting a small gain in horsepower and torque.

While the 390 Duke has evolved steadily over the years, the 2024 model represents a major leap forward. Compared to its predecessor, KTM says it is 90% new. Displacement of its liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine has increased from 373cc to 399cc, contributing to a small increase in horsepower (45, up from 44) and torque (28.8 lb-ft, up from 27.3). The updated engine is lighter, has improved cooling yet also warms up faster, and has longer oil-change and valve-inspection service intervals. A larger airbox is located under the seat, and the fuel tank now holds 3.9 gallons, up from 3.6.

The 390’s tubular-steel trellis frame was made stiffer and now has an upper mount for the rear shock, which was moved from the center to the right side and positioned at a more horizontal angle, lowering the seat height from 32.7 to 32.3 inches. A new pressure die-cast aluminum subframe is also stiffer, and the new curved, open-lattice cast-aluminum swingarm has a lower mount on the right side for the shock and is curved to accommodate the tucked-in exhaust.

2024 KTM 390 Duke review
WP suspension front and rear was upgraded to adjustable Apex components. The rear shock was moved to the right side and mounted at a more horizontal angle to lower the seat height. The orange billet reservoir cover is an accessory.

As before, the 390 Duke’s suspension is made by KTM-owned WP, but for 2024, it is upgraded to higher-spec Apex components. The 43mm inverted fork, held in place by new triple clamps, now offers rebound and compression adjustability with five-position clickers atop the fork caps. The Separate Piston rear shock has five-position rebound adjustability in addition to adjustable preload (both easily done with toolkit stored under the seat). Suspension travel has increased from 5.6 to 5.9 inches in the front and remains 5.9 inches out back.

2024 KTM 390 Duke review
For 2024, the single-disc Bybre front brake was moved to the right side of the wheel, and the 320mm disc is 20mm larger than on last year’s model. Revised wheels and new Michelin Power 6 tires reduced unsprung weight by nearly 10 lb.

Revised 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels are shod with new Michelin Power 6 tires, and the combo sheds a remarkable 9.5 lb of unsprung weight. Claimed wet weight for the bike, however, remains the same at 364 lb. Single-disc brakes front and rear are made by Bybre, with a 4-piston radial front caliper pinching a 320mm disc (up from 300mm) and a 1-piston rear caliper with a 240mm disc (up from 230mm). ABS with a rear-off Supermoto mode is standard.

2024 KTM 390 Duke review
The new headlight design is similar to that on the 2024 2024 KTM 990 Duke and 1390 Super Duke R Evo. The orange-anodized reservoir cover and levers as well as the lever guards are accessories.

The 390 Duke has a new LED headlight with a DRL surround that’s shaped like the new headlights on the 990 Duke and 1390 Super Duke R Evo, and all three bikes share a 5-inch color TFT display. With an MSRP of $6,299, electronics are typically limited in this price range, but the 390 Duke has throttle-by-wire with two ride modes (Street and Rain) that adjust throttle response and lean-adaptive traction control, as well as new launch control. New switchgear and revised menus on the TFT are easier to use, but multiple buttons must be pushed to change ride mode and other settings. We’d prefer a single button to change ride mode on the fly.

2024 KTM 390 Duke review
The 5-inch color TFT display is shared with the 990 Duke and 1390 Super Duke R Evo.

What’s It Like to Ride? | 2024 KTM 390 Duke

I love small sporty bikes, and I have a particular fondness for the 390 Duke. My Duke dalliance started in 2017, when KTM hosted a launch for an updated version of the 390 Duke in Turin, Italy, where we began our test ride by turning laps on a test track with banked curves on the roof of the Lingotto building, a massive five-story structure that was a Fiat factory from 1923 to 1982. Then we buzzed around the streets of Turin before making our way into the foothills of the Alps. Cool location notwithstanding, it was the most fun I’d ever had on such a light, affordable bike. Its MSRP back then was just $5,299.

2024 KTM 390 Duke review - 2017 KTM 390 Duke
Riding the 2017 KTM 390 Duke on one of the banked corners of the rooftop test track at the Lingotto building in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Sebas Romero & Marco Campelli)

A year later, we got a 390 Duke for a test on our own turf, and I wrangled the keys away from Jenny Smith long enough to give it a proper thrash.

This time around, it was a cold, clear day in Almeria, Spain, when our multinational group of journalists hopped on a fleet of shiny new 390 Dukes. I chose one in KTM orange, with the bright color found not only on the tank and sharply angled bodywork but also on the seat, frame, and wheels. When I turned on the key, the instrument panel welcomed me with a “30 Years of Duke” animation that’s exclusive to 2024 models. Although the seat is a tad lower, the 390 Duke doesn’t feel dainty or undersized but rather slender and compact.

2024 KTM 390 Duke review
Over its 11-year history, the KTM 390 Duke has been updated multiple times. The 2024 model is 90% new.

Gear Up

The 390 Duke is an eager beaver, a fiesty machine that begs to be flogged. Its 399cc Single fires up quickly and settles into a mellow burble at idle, but the ’lil Duke really comes alive when its throttle is twisted WFO. With peak horsepower at 8,500 rpm, peak torque at 7,000 rpm, and a 10,000-rpm redline, it pays to keep the engine spinning. Let the revs drop too much, and it can be hard to regain momentum on a twisty road. Though counterbalanced, the engine gets buzzy at high revs.

And believe you me, Spain has more than its fair share of muy twisty roads.

2024 KTM 390 Duke review
The KTM 390 Duke is a compact, narrow machine that is fun to toss around on tight, technical roads. The best approach is to maintain corner speed and keep the revs up.

KTM’s nickname for the 390 Duke is “Corner Rocket,” and it lives up to the name. With just 53.4 inches between the axles, sporty steering geometry, and narrow, grippy tires (110/70 front, 150/60 rear), the 390 turns almost as quickly as your brain’s synapses fire off the command to your hands. A lot of shifting is required to stay in the meat of the powerband, and the 6-speed gearbox with slip/assist clutch does the rider’s bidding with minimal effort. The bikes we were riding had the optional Quickshifter+ installed, allowing us to bang our way up and down through the gears without the clutch.

2024 KTM 390 Duke review
New electronics for 2024 include ride modes, cornering traction control, and launch control.

The new Apex suspension did a good job of soaking up bumps as well as the chassis gyrations of being constantly on and off the gas. Since my 200-plus pounds is above average, I used the hook spanner under the seat to ratchet up the rear preload a few clicks. Likewise, the brakes capably slowed the bike and its oversized cargo, and the adjustable hand levers were appreciated.

2024 KTM 390 Duke review
As with all KTM streetbikes, the 390 Duke’s design is heavy on sharp angles.

After a 75-mile hair-on-fire street ride, we returned to the hotel, where KTM had set up a gymkhana course in the parking lot. Pairs of riders went head-to-head on an out-and-back slalom course, with bragging rights going to the fastest time. I’m not a racer, so even though I beat the other rider, I didn’t bother to ask my time. The fastest journalist was a guy from Australia who sliced and diced the course in 34 seconds. Jeremy McWilliams, the former MotoGP racer, current King Of The Baggers racer for Indian, and development rider for KTM, beat all comers with a 32-second time – while wearing jeans and tennis shoes. Check out his Instagram page to see a photo of him losing the front, which he saved on his way to victory.

2024 KTM 390 Duke review
2024 KTM 390 Duke in orange colorway (no accessories)

Upgrades like ride modes, cornering traction control, and adjustable suspension have pushed the 390 Duke’s price up to $6,299, but it’s still a reasonably priced bike that’s more fun than ever. And it’s certainly worthy of the Duke’s 30-year legacy.

2024 KTM 390 Duke review
2024 KTM 390 Duke in blue colorway (no accessories)

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

2024 KTM 390 Duke Specifications

  • Base Price: $6,299
  • Website: KTM.com
  • Warranty: 2 yrs., 24,000 miles
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse Single, DOHC w/ 4 valves
  • Displacement: 399cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 89.0 x 64.0mm
  • Horsepower: 45 hp @ 8,500 rpm (factory claim)
  • Torque: 28.8 lb-ft @ 7,000 rpm (factory claim)
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch
  • Final Drive: Chain
  • Wheelbase: 53.4 in.
  • Rake/Trail: 24 degrees/3.7 in.
  • Seat Height: 32.3 in.
  • Wet Weight: 364 lb
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.0 gal.
  • Fuel Consumption: 69 mpg (factory claim)

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2024 Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X Review | Video

2024 Triumph Scrambler 400 X
2024 Triumph Scrambler 400 X

Triumph’s new entry-level machines – the 2024 Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400X – are powered by a liquid-cooled 398cc Single with a 4-valve DOHC cylinder head and have claimed wet weights below 400 lb, making them the smallest and least expensive Triumphs we’ve seen in decades. Similarities between these two Modern Classics are the swingarm, switchgear, display, and 3.4-gallon fuel tank; however, beyond that, the Speed 400 follows in the footsteps of the Speed Twin 900 and 1200 with a roadster aesthetic, while the Scrambler offers the potential for light off-roading with longer suspension, off-road-capable tires, a wider and taller handlebar, and other extras.

To test the bikes, we headed to Spain to attend Triumph’s press launch, swapping between the bikes throughout the day as we rode through city traffic and up into the mountains north of Valencia, even tackling a short gravel section. Watch the video below to see the 2024 Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X in action, and read our full review here.

Triumph Speed 400 (Scrambler 400 X) Specifications 

  • Base Price: $4,995 ($5,595) 
  • Website: TriumphMotorcycles.com 
  • Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles 
  • Engine Type: liquid-cooled Single, DOHC w/ 4 valves 
  • Displacement: 398cc 
  • Bore x Stroke: 89 x 64mm 
  • Horsepower: 39.5 hp @ 8,000 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Torque: 27.7 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch 
  • Final Drive: Chain 
  • Wheelbase: 54.2 in. (55.8 in.) 
  • Rake/Trail: 24.6 degrees/4.0 in. (23.2 degrees/4.3 in.) 
  • Seat Height: 31.1 in. (32.9 in.) 
  • Wet Weight: 375 lb (395 lb) 
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.4 gal. 

GEAR UP

The post 2024 Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X Review | Video appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 Review | First Look

2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer
2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer

Triumph Motorcycles has announced its 2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Explorer and Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer models, which include further refinements to the engine, enhanced comfort and ergonomics, improved cornering clearance, reduced seat height with Active Preload Reduction as standard, and new colors. The GT Pro and Rally Pro models will not be available in the U.S. market for 2024.

2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Explorer
2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Explorer

At the unveiling of the new bikes, Triumph’s Global Product Marketing Manager James Wood said that, similar to the recent changes made to the Tiger 900 line, when it came to the 2024 Triumph Tiger 1200, the company is “constantly looking for ways to improve and refine our bikes and always looking to make them better for our riders.”

Related: 2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Review | First Ride 

The Tiger 1200 line still features the liquid-cooled, transverse inline-Triple with DOHC and 4 valves per cylinder and a T-plane crankshaft with a 1-3-2 firing order. The irregular firing sequence gives the engine the feel and tractable response of a Twin down low and the sporty character of a Triple from the midrange to redline. In our 2023 Tiger 1200 GT Pro review, the Jett Tuning dyno showed 130.2 hp at 9,100 rpm and 81.8 lb-ft of torque at 7,000 rpm to the rear wheel through the bike’s shaft final drive.

2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer

When asked at the unveiling if Triumph had considered changing the engine configuration, Wood said the T-plane was a “very conscientious decision … because of the extra character it gives you and because of the extra tractability it gives you at low rpm.”

“That is absolutely something that we love about this bike and something we know that customers love about this bike too,” he said. “So it was never an option to be changed to anything else. It’s a really nice engine, especially for adventure-style riding.”

2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer
2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer

For the 2024 model, Triumph has made further changes to the crankshaft, alternator rotor, and balancer to increase engine inertia, plus some associated engine calibration changes, all with the goal of a smoother and more precise low-rev torque delivery. Triumph says customers will be able to feel the increased smoothness while accelerating or decelerating, especially at low speeds, and that an updated clutch design will create smoother engagement when changing into first gear.

2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer
2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer

Both Triumph Tiger 1200 Explorer models still feature Brembo Stylema braking components, with dual 4-piston monoblock radial front calipers clamping down on 320mm floating discs and a 1-piston rear caliper and 298mm disc. Cornering ABS is standard, as is cornering traction control. The Showa semi-active suspension system has On-Road and Off-Road damping modes, with nine settings ranging from Sport to Comfort within each mode, as well as automatic rear preload adjustment. Travel is 7.9 inches front and rear. The Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer rides on tubeless spoked wheels (21-inch front, 18-inch rear), and the GT Explorer features cast aluminum wheels (19-inch front, 18-inch rear).

2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Explorer
2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Explorer

The seat on both bikes has been redesigned with a flatter profile, providing more space for the rider, and the accessory low seat reduces the seat height by 0.8 inch from 33.5 inches to 32.7 inches on the GT Explorer and from 34.5 inches to 33.7 inches on the Rally Explorer. Seat height is reduced an additional 0.78 inch by the new Active Preload Reduction feature, which was revealed in August 2023 and offers the rider greater confidence by reducing the rear suspension preload as the Tiger 1200 slows to a stop simply by pressing the ‘Home’ button on the switch cube for one second.

2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Explorer

Related: Triumph Announces Active Preload Reduction for Tiger 1200 Range

The cornering clearance of the Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Explorer model has been increased by lifting the footpeg position and moving them closer to the bike, and a longer clutch lever has also been introduced, providing increased space for riders’ fingers, adding further comfort especially on longer journeys.

The Tiger 1200 Explorer technology package includes the Triumph Blind Spot Radar System, 7-inch TFT instrumentation with integrated My Triumph Connectivity System, Shift Assist, heated grips and seats, tire pressure monitoring, Hill Hold, and a keyless system that includes ignition, steering lock, and fuel cap.

2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Explorer
2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Explorer

Both variants of the Triumph Tiger 1200 Explorer models will be available with new colors for 2024. The GT Explorer will be available in Carnival Red, as well as the previous options of Snowdonia White and Sapphire Black. Pricing starts at $23,795. The Rally Explorer will be available in the new Matte Sandstorm and Jet Black options, as well as the popular Matte Khaki. Pricing starts at $24,895.

For more information, visit the Triumph Motorcycles website.

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

The post 2024 Triumph Tiger 1200 Review | First Look appeared first on Rider Magazine.

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2024 Honda Africa Twin Review | First Look

2024 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES
2024 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES with manual transmission

American Honda has announced the return of its flagship Africa Twin adventure lineup, which has been updated for the new model year. The 2024 Honda Africa Twin will be available in in four variants: the off-road focused Africa Twin and the more on-road focused Adventure Sports ES, both of which will be offered in either a manual transmission or Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) model. The DCT models feature automatic shifting or the option to use paddle shifters, as well as four settings: Drive, Sport 1, Sport 2, and Sport 3.

Related: 2020 Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L Adventure Sports ES | Road Test Review

2024 Honda Africa Twin
2024 Honda Africa Twin with manual transmission
2024 Honda Africa Twin DCT
2024 Honda Africa Twin DCT

“The Africa Twin is a mainstay of Honda’s adventure lineup, and we’re happy to bring this platform update to our customers for 2024,” said Brandon Wilson, manager of Racing and Experiential Marketing at American Honda. “With the recent addition of the midsize Transalp, and now this updated Africa Twin, it’s clear that Honda is committed to the adventure category, and to delivering capable machines to fuel enthusiasts’ desire to explore.”

Both the Honda Africa Twin and Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES are powered by a liquid-cooled 1,083 Unicam SOHC parallel-Twin with 4 valves per cylinder and 270-degree crank mated to a 6-speed gearbox and chain final drive. The engine’s intake/exhaust has been redesigned, and compression has been increased to 10.5:1.

2024 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT
2024 Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT

Both bikes also feature cruise control and throttle-by-wire with seven levels of Honda Selectable Torque Control and four power delivery modes: Tour, Urban, Gravel, and user-programmable. The Africa Twins have a new five-position windscreen, tubeless tires, and a revised fairing design, and the Adventure Sports ES features heated grips.

2024 Honda Africa Twin DCT
2024 Honda Africa Twin DCT

Stopping power remains the same on both bikes, with dual 4-piston calipers biting 310mm front discs and a 2-piston caliper and 256mm disc in the rear. Both models have switchable cornering ABS with two modes: on-road or off-road.

For suspension, the Africa Twin still has a 45mm inverted telescopic fork and Pro-Link monoshock, but travel has been reduced to 8.0 inches in front and 8.7 in the back (down from 9.1/8.7, front/rear on the 2022 Africa Twin and Adventure Sports ES). The seat height remains at 34.3 inches for the standard position, with a low position of 33.5 inches. The Africa Twin still rides on 21-inch/18-inch front/rear wheels, and with its 5-gallon tank full, it has a wet weight of 510 lb or 535 lb for DCT.

2024 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT
2024 Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT

The Adventure Sports ES also has a 45mm inverted telescopic fork and Pro-Link monoshock, both now with electronic adjustment offering five suspension damper settings: hard, medium, soft, and off-road, as well as a customizable “user” setting. Travel has been reduced to 7.3 inches/7.9 inches, front/back. Seat height has also been lowered to 33.7 inches for the standard position and 32.9 inches for the low position. The Adventure Sports ES has a new 19-inch front wheel (still 18 inches in the rear), a 6.6-gallon tank, and a wet weight of 535 lb or 559 lb for DCT.

2024 Honda Africa Twin DCT
2024 Honda Africa Twin DCT

The Africa Twins feature a 6.5-inch touch-panel LCD multi-information dash with three display options and compatibility with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth.

2024 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT
2024 Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT

The 2024 Africa Twin will come in Grand Prix Red starting at $14,799 for the manual transmission and $15,599 for the DCT. The Adventure Sports ES will come in Pearl White starting at $17,599 for the manual transmission and $18,399 for the DCT. Both bikes will be available in May.

For more information, visit the Honda Powersports website.

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

The post 2024 Honda Africa Twin Review | First Look appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio Review | First Ride

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
The 2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio puts a fresh face on a familiar name.

In continuous production since 1921, Moto Guzzi is Italy’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer. Covid forced a one-year postponement of the 100th anniversary celebrations held at its Mandello del Lario factory on the shores of Lake Como, but Guzzi is now making up for lost time.  

Last year, Moto Guzzi launched the first bike based on its newest model platform: the multifaceted V100 Mandello, which aspires to be both an urban roadster and a mile-eating sport-tourer. One year later comes another new model, the reimagined 2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio adventure-tourer, which was designed and engineered alongside the V100 and unveiled at last November’s EICMA show in Milan. 

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
The 2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio comes in two color variants, both matte: Giallo Savana (left) or Nero Vulcano (right).

Given the current significance of the ADV segment in global market terms, it’s surprising that Guzzi’s owner, Piaggio, didn’t prioritize the Stelvio over the Mandello, but hey, better late than never. As I soon understood on an exclusive ride aboard this new model along the fabulously scenic, super grippy, and ultra-demanding mountain roads of the Ligurian Alps north of Genoa on a sunny winter’s day, this is a significant new model that moves Moto Guzzi to the forefront of everyday motorcycling.

Priced at $16,390 without the optional PFF Rider Assistance package, this new Guzzi is more costly than Suzuki’s $14,849 V-Strom 1050XT, Honda’s $14,499 Africa Twin, and Husqvarna’s $14,899 Norden 901.  

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
More impressive than the claimed output (115 hp at 8,700 rpm and 77.4 lb-ft delivered at 6,750 rpm when measured at the crank) is the fact that 82% of the torque is available from just 3,500 rpm.

Named after the legendary Dolomites pass in northern Italy, which connects two valleys via 48 hairpin bends, the Moto Guzzi Stelvio is a reincarnation of the previous model bearing the same name, which debuted in 2007 but was shelved in 2016 since it was unable to meet Euro 4 compliance. Powered by Guzzi’s 1200/8V Big Block motor, the previous iteration of the Stelvio was a much larger and 66-lb heavier motorcycle than its modern counterpart, and it represented an Italian air-cooled V-Twin alternative for those who didn’t want to ride a BMW R 1200 GS.  

Related: 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX | Road Test Review 

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
The Stelvio features tubeless spoked wheels: 3×19 inches in the front and 4.5×17 inches in the rear.

The new Stelvio is a very different package, which, like the V100 Mandello, ticks an array of new boxes for the historic Italian brand. It’s Moto Guzzi’s first liquid-cooled ADV, its first with a DOHC valvetrain, its first to be fitted with a gear-driven counterbalancer, and its first to embrace advanced electronics, including a 6-axis Continental IMU to provide data for the throttle-by-wire, cornering ABS, and other digital amenities. It’s a second long-awaited 21st century real-world Moto Guzzi model, which Piaggio’s late boss Roberto Colaninno had promised he’d bankroll for the past decade or more. His engineers finally delivered it to the marketplace after his August 2023 passing.  

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
The engine in the Stelvio was first seen in the V100 Mandello. The only things they have in common with Guzzi’s neo-vintage air-cooled OHV V-Twin predecessors are their transverse mounting in the chassis and shaft final drive.

The result is a completely modern yet totally individual motorcycle that could not have emanated from any other manufacturer. Designer Giulio Rossi Paccani sought to create a best-in-class machine, one that wouldn’t need the famous Eagle badge or the trademark “flying” V-Twin to be identified as a Guzzi. The new Stelvio has undoubted presence – it looks classy, sleek, and undeniably modern, with the DRL light strip beneath its headlamp incorporating the silhouette of the Eagle in the Moto Guzzi tank badge with its wings spread wide. That’s neat!  

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
The 2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio leaves the city behind for adventure in the hills.

Climb aboard the 32.7-inch stepped seat, which is sufficiently padded and has ample space for a passenger, and you’ll discover a great riding position thanks to the wide, tapered alloy handlebar that’s mounted on tall 3.7-inch risers and falls naturally to hand. The rubber grips are fat and thick, just right for good purchase. The new Moto Guzzi Stelvio feels more accessible than some other ADV models because the rider sits in it rather than perched up high, adding to the sense of control even in tricky conditions. This is a confidence-inspiring motorcycle that I felt at one with from the start. At 5-foot-10, I could put both feet flat on the ground at traffic lights thanks to the seat’s narrow front. Lower and taller seats are available as accessories.  

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
The Michelin Anakee Adventure tires (120/70 front, 170/60 rear) provided excellent grip.

The resulting riding stance is quite upright, with the rubber-mounted footpegs positioned relatively far back but not enough to be uncomfortable or to push the rider’s knees far enough forward to make friends with the cylinders, a common problem with Guzzi’s older OHV air-cooled V-Twins. Despite the fatter cylinders and heads of this liquid-cooled DOHC 8-valve motor, my knees came nowhere near the engine thanks also to the cylinders being inclined forward 6 degrees from vertical to create extra space, having already been rotated 90 degrees so that the throttle bodies are now positioned under the fuel tank, which also helps free up space. The engine is a fully stressed member of the tubular-steel trellis frame with eight mounting points.  

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
Guzzi’s PFF Rider Assistance Solution includes a Marelli 11MP control unit and a 6-axis IMU, which analyzes data and optimizes the bike’s cornering ABS and traction control.

Thumb the starter button, and the Stelvio’s V100 motor bursts immediately into life, settling to a 1,300-rpm idle without any trace of the rock ‘n’ roll from side to side delivered by traditional air-cooled Guzzis like the V85TT, which remains in production as a counterpoint to the Stelvio. Even if the throttle is blipped in neutral, there’s hardly any sway. It’s also nearly silent mechanically, with no sign of the clicks and rattles of its pushrod ancestors.   

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
The KYB cantilever monoshock is adjustable for spring preload via a remote external knob and for rebound damping but not for compression.

This is a totally modern motorcycle, which also doesn’t rise and fall on the suspension when you put it in gear and ride away or when you roll on and off the throttle because of the shaft final drive’s hypoid rear drive unit. Guzzi engineers have finally delivered the best of both worlds that was always there for the taking if only they’d addressed this sooner – the convenience and cleanliness of shaft drive coupled with the neutral dynamics of a chain-drive bike. Lots of good engineering has gone into this motorcycle.  

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
The long, cast aluminum single-sided swingarm on the Stelvio has been reinforced for offroad use and repositioned on the left side of the bike.

The clutch lever is a bit stiffer than the one mated to the old air-cooled motor – but working said lever in traffic-choked stretches of road didn’t tire out my left hand unduly. The 6-speed gearbox’s shift action was almost flawless, and though not fitted to the Stelvio I tested, an up/down quickshifter is available as an option.  

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
The Stelvio has an oil sump isolated from the crankcase via a reed valve, which minimizes the size of the lower portion of the engine and improves ground clearance when navigating off-road challenges.

The Stelvio’s engine picks up strongly from 2,800 rpm upwards, with 3,000-6,500 rpm being the happy zone where riders will surf most of the time. It’s a wonderfully flexible motor, and 3rd gear especially is a useful ratio that you can hold for miles on end along a winding hillside road, running from as low as 2,000 revs to the 9,500 rpm soft-action limiter with zero transmission snatch and an utterly linear torque curve.  

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
The shape of the electrically adjustable windscreen was designed to deflect airflow while avoiding rear air vortices, aided by the presence of the two side deflectors.

Thanks to the counterbalancer, there’s no real vibration to speak of, so you can really push the Stelvio hard, using the excellent feedback from the Sachs fork and the fine grip of the front Michelin Anakee Adventure tire to start sparking the footpegs’ hero tabs as you flick it from side to side. This is a nice-handling bike, with an unexpectedly plush ride quality, and despite its lack of a progressive-rate link, I could feel the KYB rear suspension smoothly working away beneath me. The suspension is adjustable for rebound damping and spring preload front and rear, and travel is 6.7 inches at both ends. 

The Stelvio’s five ride modes (Sport, Road, Touring, Rain, Off-Road) all deliver full power, claimed to be 115 hp at 8,700 rpm and 77.4 lb-ft delivered at 6,750 rpm when measured at the crank, but they are tailored to different conditions using three different engine maps, three levels of engine braking, four levels of traction control, and two ABS modes.

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
The Stelvio uses a 46mm Sachs inverted fork that’s set at 25.6 degrees of rake with 116mm of trail, a bit less sporty than the V100’s 24.7 degrees and 104mm.

Road and Touring modes are very similar in response – whereas Sport is notably crisper and more exciting to use – but they all make the Stelvio easy and responsive to ride, and it’s very easy to switch between them on the go via a button on the right switchblock. Cruise control is also standard. The fact that most of the bike’s development was accomplished in the Aprilia R&D Center in Noale, Italy, is surely one reason the Stelvio’s electronics are so excellent.  

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
Although I rode in the Ligurian Alps, the Stelvio is named after the famous Alpine pass on the Italian/Swiss border that connects two valleys through 48 legendary hairpin bends.

Although the bike I tested was not so equipped, the Stelvio will be the first model available with Moto Guzzi’s PFF Rider Assistance Solution as a factory-installed option. It uses 4D Imaging Radar technology to enable several safety-related features, including Following Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Information System, and Lane Change Assist. Pricing for this option has not yet been announced. 

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
The 5-inch color TFT is easy to navigate, but its location on the bike is somewhat obtrusive.

The Stelvio has crisp, neutral steering and is surprisingly agile, with its wide handlebar allowing you to easily lever the bike from side to side through a series of twisting turns leading into yet another 2nd-gear hairpin while remaining super stable when needed, especially under hard braking. Indeed, slowing for such turns via the excellent Brembo brakes, with good initial bite from the radial monoblock front calipers, is always effective, and I could trail-brake into the apex without the Guzzi wanting to stand up and understeer.   

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
The Stelvio’s 32.7-inch seat height, roomy footpeg placement, and wide aluminum handlebar contributes to a comfortable upright seating position.

The bike’s steering geometry (25.6-degree rake and 4.6 inches of trail), rational 59.8-inch wheelbase, and 170/60-17 rear tire all contribute to sweet, intuitive steering without having to give a discernible tug to the handlebar to make it change direction quickly. The 19-inch front tire suits the bike’s likely use: I didn’t get the chance to ride it off-road, but this is what the Italians call a moto strade bianche – a motorcycle that tackles the country’s network of white gravel roads with aplomb. But Guzzi insiders dismiss any thoughts of a 21-inch front wheel for more serious off-roading: “It’s not in our plans,” says Piaggio PR Manager Fabio Gilardenghi.   

One reason for the sweet steering is the Stelvio’s balance – it’s not just a pretty face, but a rational real-world ride too, with well-chosen stock suspension settings so that it doesn’t pitch back and forth unduly during hard braking and acceleration. The wind tunnel-developed electrically adjustable windscreen adds comfort on long, fast stretches thanks to its 2.8-inch range of height adjustment, as well as the effectiveness of the small side flaps that deflected the breeze off my shoulders. In the lowest position, airflow over the screen came at my helmet’s chin, but there was no buffeting. With the screen fully raised, protection was impressive, delivering a calm bubble of mostly still air.  

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
Braking on the Stelvio is identical to the Mandello and comes courtesy of Brembo, with metal braided hoses and twin 320mm floating front discs gripped by 4-piston monoblock radial calipers, with a 280mm rear disc and 2-piston caliper.

However, the Stelvio’s 5-inch color TFT dash is parked obtrusively in your line of sight, and while you eventually get used to the location, it looks rather unsightly and impacts visibility unless you sit fully upright in the seat. Having said that, the dash is both packed with data and super legible – the central digital speedo and the gear indicator to its right are very easy to see, as is the set of menus for configuring ride modes, controlling amenities, and linking to a smartphone. Navigating the menu system is both simple and intuitive.   

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio
The Stelvio has a full LED lighting system with Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) and cornering lights.

My day’s ride around Liguria on the new Stelvio was certainly fun but frustratingly short, as it was just a brief taster of what may very well be the best Moto Guzzi roadbike yet made – one which will appeal to conquest customers from rival brands, as well as diehard guzzisti. If you think I’m overstating the case, go and book a test ride at an event or your local Moto Guzzi dealer and then tell me I’m wrong. Piaggio’s marketing team knows they need to make the bike available for potential purchasers to try out to have any chance of convincing them of the Stelvio’s excellence. Even more than the Mandello, this is a well-engineered step forward into a brave new world for Moto Guzzi, which has achieved modernity without sacrificing its traditional qualities and intrinsic customer appeal that were derived from its neo-vintage range of previous models.   

The build quality is very high, just as the prices are. And this is just the beginning, for after the Mandello and the Stelvio, there’s apparently a whole series of variants using the same platform already lined up to be launched at the rate of one new model every year for the next few years. After decades of riding Moto Guzzi models that never troubled the competition in a direct shootout but whose deficiencies you were prepared to excuse on the grounds of “character” or “tradition,” it’s good to see Piaggio has finally come up with the goods by underwriting the development of a potentially class-leading contender in the midsize ADV sector, one of the most competitive segments of today’s two-wheeled marketplace.

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio

See all of Rider‘s Moto Guzzi coverage here.

2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio Specs

  • Base Price: $16,390 
  • Website: MotoGuzzi.com 
  • Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles 
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, longitudinal V-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl. 
  • Displacement: 1,042cc 
  • Bore x Stroke: 96 x 72mm 
  • Horsepower: 115 hp @ 8,700 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Torque: 77.4 lb-ft @ 6,750 rpm (factory claim) 
  • Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated slip/assist wet clutch 
  • Final Drive: Shaft 
  • Wheelbase: 59.8 in. 
  • Rake/Trail: 25.6 degrees/4.6 in. 
  • Seat Height: 32.7 in. 
  • Wet Weight: 542 lb (90% fuel) 
  • Fuel Capacity: 5.5 gal. 

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

The post 2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio Review | First Ride appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R Review | Video

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R
The muffler and catalytic converter are tucked away under the chassis for a cleaner appearance that exposes the 8R’s aluminum swingarm.

The Suzuki GSX-8R is the fully-faired sibling of the Suzuki GSX-8S, which was just released in 2023. Both bikes are powered by an all-new 776cc 4-stroke DOHC parallel-Twin that can also be found in the V-Strom 800 models. The tubular handlebar from the 8S is traded for a pair of clip-ons on the GSX-8R that are about 2 inches lower and a smidge farther away from a rider, and the KYB suspension on the 8S has been replaced with Showa suspension on the 8R.

To demonstrate the breadth of capabilities offered by the GSX-8R, Suzuki invited us to Palm Desert in California for a ride on rural and mountain roads, followed the next day by sessions at a racetrack. Watch the video below to see the 2024 Suzuki GSX-8R in action, and read our full review here.

2024 Suzuki GSX-8R Specs 

  • Base Price: $9,439  
  • Website: SuzukiCycles.com  
  • Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles  
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.  
  • Displacement: 776cc  
  • Bore x Stroke: 84.0 x 70.0mm  
  • Horsepower: 82.0 @ 8,500 rpm (factory claim)  
  • Torque: 57.5 lb-ft @ 6,800 rpm (factory claim)  
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch  
  • Final Drive: Chain  
  • Wheelbase: 57.7 in.  
  • Rake/Trail: 25.0 degrees/4.1 in.  
  • Seat Height: 31.9 in.  
  • Wet Weight: 452 lb (factory claim)  
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gal 

GEAR UP

The post 2024 Suzuki GSX-8R Review | Video appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com