Tag Archives: motorcyclistonline

2022 Honda Navi Scooter MC Commute Review

Honda wants everyone to feel the excitement of motorcycling. So for 2022, it expands its miniMOTO streetbike lineup with the addition of the 2022 Honda Navi ($1,807). Part scooter, part streetbike, the Honda Navi is designed for folks who want easy around-town transportation that won’t break the bank. In this video review, we give it a shakedown during the official US press introduction in Costa Mesa, California.

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 First Look Preview

2022 Tiger 1200 Family: A Tiger 1200 for every occasion

2022 Tiger 1200 Family: A Tiger 1200 for every occasion (Triumph/)

Triumph Motorcycles introduces sweeping revisions to its family of Tiger 1200 adventure-touring motorcycles. These updates include a new engine, chassis, wheels, improved electronics, and numerous other changes to shave weight and improve performance. There will be five Tiger 1200 models on the roster in 2022, with the GT, GT Pro, and GT Explorer designed for road-focused adventure-touring and the Rally Pro and Rally Explorer made for riders who want a little more off-road prowess.

The Triumph Tiger GT Explorer is dialed for road-focused adventure.

The Triumph Tiger GT Explorer is dialed for road-focused adventure. (Triumph/)

One thing all five models share is the new 1,160cc T-plane triple engine, which puts out 147 hp at 9,000 rpm and 96 pound-feet of torque at 7,000 rpm, both notable improvements on the output of the previous mill. Engineers revised nearly every aspect of the engine to shave weight and improve acceleration and low-end performance. New components include an updated crank, cylinder head, gearbox, clutch, shaft drive, bevel box, new bore and stroke, and a new muffler. The engine updates make for a more compact unit overall, as well.

Triumph improved the passenger hangers on all Tiger 1200 models

Triumph improved the passenger hangers on all Tiger 1200 models (Triumph/)

Triumph focused a lot of attention on improving mass distribution and handling. The new engine contributes to that end, but the major steps forward are found in the chassis. A lighter steel tube frame features a new bolt-on aluminum subframe and pillion hangers. The tri-link aluminum swingarm is new also, and each bike is equipped with a fresh aluminum fuel tank. All told, the new generation of Tiger 1200s are 55 pounds lighter than the previous generation.

The 2022 Triumph Tiger GT Explorer in Lucerne Blue starts at $23,100.

The 2022 Triumph Tiger GT Explorer in Lucerne Blue starts at $23,100. (Triumph/)

The road-focused trio and the off-road pair each come with Showa semi-active suspension, though the Rally Pro and Rally Explorer feature longer-travel setups to better handle their all-terrain duties. The Rally Pro and Rally Explorer are also equipped with 21-inch front and 18-inch rear tubeless, wire-spoke wheels whereas the GT, GT Pro, and GT Explorer have 19-inch front and 18-inch rear cast wheels. These road-going models will roll on Metzeler Tourance tires while the off-road models come equipped with Metzeler Karoo Street tires.

The 2022 Triumph Tiger GT Pro will start at $21,400.

The 2022 Triumph Tiger GT Pro will start at $21,400. (Triumph/)

All versions of the new Tiger 1200 features Brembo Stylema braking kit and adjustable Magura HC-1 levers.

Comfort in the cockpit is improved thanks to wider handlebars across the lineup. The GT Explorer and Rally Explorer bars are set higher than before as well. The windscreen is adjustable and the footpeg positions are optimized for comfort and control. Seat height is adjustable too, with the GT, GT Pro, and GT Explorer offering 33.4-inch and 34.2-inch options, and the Rally Pro and Rally Explorer offering 34.4-inch and 35.2-inch options. A low seat option is available as an optional upgrade.

The 2022 Triumph Tiger GT Pro in Sapphire Black colorway.

The 2022 Triumph Tiger GT Pro in Sapphire Black colorway. (Triumph/)

Other standard equipment includes hand guards (all models), an aluminum skid plate (GT Pro and GT Explorer), and an aluminum sump guard (Rally Pro and Rally Explorer). The GT Explorer and Rally variants also come with crashbars around the engine; the Rally Explorer adds fuel tank crashbars.

Another notable difference between models concerns fuel capacity. The GT Explorer and Rally Explorer each pack a 7.9-gallon tank while the GT, GT Pro, and Rally Pro are equipped with a 5.3-gallon tank.

The 2022 Triumph Tiger GT will price at $19,100.

The 2022 Triumph Tiger GT will price at $19,100. (Triumph/)

This crop of Tiger 1200s also packs a bevy of electronic updates, including a new 7-inch TFT instrument panel, five-way joystick control, backlit switches, a USB charger, cornering ABS, and cornering traction control. All models except the standard GT come with Shift Assist, Hill Hold, heated grips, and cruise control. The GT Explorer and Rally Explorer feature a tire pressure monitoring system, heated rider and passenger seats, Blind Spot Radar detection which allows for Blind Spot Assist and Lane Change Assist systems. The GT gets Rain, Road, and Sport ride modes. The GT Pro and GT Explorer get Road, Rain, Sport, Rider-configurable, and Off-Road. The Rally Pro and Rally Explorer get Road, Rain, Sport, Rider configurable, Off-Road, and Off-Road Pro.

For maximum off-road prowess, the Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer is the way to go.

For maximum off-road prowess, the Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer is the way to go. (triumph/)

Each model gets the latest LED lighting and daytime running lights. All models except the GT also feature adaptive cornering lights.

And finally, the looks are improved with a more upright stance, minimal bodywork, and a lighter-looking front end. The GT will come in Snowdonia White; the GT Pro and GT Explorer will come in Snowdonia White, Sapphire Black, or Lucerne Blue; the Rally Pro and Rally Explorer will come in Snowdonia White, Sapphire Black, or Matte Khaki.

With longer-travel suspension and a host of off-road upgrades, the Rally Explorer is Triumph’s most capable Tiger 1200 yet in the dirt.

With longer-travel suspension and a host of off-road upgrades, the Rally Explorer is Triumph’s most capable Tiger 1200 yet in the dirt. (Triumph/)

Pricing for each model is as follows:

Tiger 1200 GT: $19,100

Tiger 1200 GT Pro: $ 21,400

Tiger 1200 GT Explorer: $23,100

Tiger 1200 Rally Pro: $22,500

Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer: $24,200

Models will hit dealerships starting spring 2022.

The 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer will start at $24,200.

The 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer will start at $24,200. (Triumph/)

2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Technical Specifications and Price

Price: $19,100–$24,200
Engine: 1,160cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled inline-triple; 12 valves
Bore x Stroke: 90.0 x 60.7mm
Compression Ratio: 13.2:1
Fuel Delivery: EFI w/ ride-by-wire
Clutch: Wet, multi-disc, w/ slip and assist (Shift Assist quickshifter on GT Pro, GT Explorer, Rally Pro, Rally Explorer)
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/shaft
Frame: Steel tube frame, bolt-on aluminum subframe
Front Suspension: 49mm USD semi-active Showa fork; 7.9 in. travel (GT, GT Pro, GT Explorer) / 8.7 in. travel (Rally Pro, Rally Explorer)
Rear Suspension: Showa semi-active monoshock; 7.9 in. travel (GT, GT Pro, GT Explorer) / 8.7 in. travel (Rally Pro, Rally Explorer)
Front Brake: Brembo M4.30 Stylema calipers, 320mm floating discs w/ ABS
Rear Brake: Brembo 1-piston caliper, 282mm disc w/ ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: Cast aluminum; 19 x 3.0 / 18 x 4.25 (GT, GT Pro, GT Explorer) / spoked tubeless; 21 x 2.15 / 18 x 4.25 (Rally Pro, Rally Explorer)
Tires, Front/Rear: Metzeler Tourance, 120/70-19 / 150/70-18 (GT, GT Pro, GT Explorer) / Metzeler Karoo Street; 90/90-21 / 150/70-18 (Rally Pro, Rally Explorer)
Rake/Trail: 24.1°/4.7 in. (GT, GT Pro, GT Explorer) / 23.7°/4.4 in. (Rally Pro, Rally Explorer)
Wheelbase: 61.4 in.
Seat Height: 33.5/34.5 in. (GT, GT Pro, GT Explorer) / 34.5/35.2 in. (Rally Pro, Rally Explorer)
Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gal. (GT, GT Pro, Rally Pro) / 7.9 gal. (GT Explorer, Rally Explorer)
Claimed Curb Weight: 529 lb. (GT) / 540 lb. (GT Pro) / 562 lb. (GT Explorer) / 549 lb. (Rally Pro) / 575 lb. (Rally Explorer)
Available: Spring 2022
Contact: triumphmotorcycles.com

2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer in Matte Khaki colorway.

2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer in Matte Khaki colorway. (triumph/)

The 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro shares many of the off-road build features as the Explorer.

The 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro shares many of the off-road build features as the Explorer. (Triumph/)

The 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro will start at $22,500.

The 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro will start at $22,500. (triumph/)

2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro in Snowdonia White colorway.

2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro in Snowdonia White colorway. (triumph/)

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

Motorcycle Misadventures: Will You Face These Adversities on the Road?

Rider Kalen Thorien is no stranger to misadventure, from crashing to having her camping gear stolen, but regardless, moto trips keep her recharged and grounded.

Rider Kalen Thorien is no stranger to misadventure, from crashing to having her camping gear stolen, but regardless, moto trips keep her recharged and grounded. (Kalen Thorien/)

Have you seen those kitschy signs that say something like “The worst day fishin’ is better than the best day not fishin’”? Well, the same thing could be said for riding motorcycles, especially when you’re out exploring epic roads and landscapes you’ve never seen before.

What if there were bad days, hypothetically, while traveling by motorcycle, what would they be like?

I was recently asked this question by a friend I hadn’t heard from in a long time—out of the blue. He shared how the looming shadow of this particular inquiry has kept his dream of a round-the-world motorcycle trip tucked securely away in his garage.

First off, it takes a discerning mind to look beyond the plethora of media depicting idyllic landscapes and “best moments” shared from road trips. I commend the ability to be enraptured by excitement and still possess the capacity to see past it, peering deep into the grease-covered folds, searching for the grit in a pile of glitter.

Riding around the world isn’t all sunsets and open roads, otherwise more people (time and finance willing) would do it. But maybe the hard moments are the specks of gold in the pan, swirling around with the bulk of beloved dirt. Perhaps the shimmer is in the eye of the beholder—the rain-sogged, dirt-encased rider—or maybe time is what gives it its glimmer.

Related: The Problems of Motorcycle Travel No One Talks About

Of course, the answer isn’t so simple. As I moved to respond to my old buddy’s question, a kaleidoscope of challenging times flashed through my mind, with complex emotions attached to each memory. Looking back, those flashes of color did not represent fun moments, and I know you may be picturing a run-of-the-mill scene, broken down on the side of the road in exceedingly poor weather, but that’s only part of the story.

So if you’re ready to diverge away from the shiny, influential side of motorcycle travel, come with me into the dilapidated, cobbled-together reality of discomfort, fear, and roadside dismay. Let’s  swerve into some everyday tips and a few unforgettable, first-hand accounts from fellow travelers to cast a flickering neon light into the dingy, abandoned garage that makes up the “bad days” of motorcycling.

After all, who doesn’t love a story of grit, of Mad Max’s Fury Road, of perseverance against all odds, clinging to hope and of better days to come. Perhaps these stories can show the way if someday we need a faint glow of new beginnings on our own motorway horizon.

Paul Stewart (aka rtwPaul) riding after a mid-September blizzard on Engineer Pass in Colorado.

Paul Stewart (aka rtwPaul) riding after a mid-September blizzard on Engineer Pass in Colorado. (Paul Stewart/)

The aftermath of a situation that could have been much worse.

The aftermath of a situation that could have been much worse. (Paul Stewart/)

All the Same, It’s Not Like You’re Being Attacked by Bears, Right?

Motorcycle: Suzuki DR650

Rider: Paul Stewart

Region: Ouray, Colorado

Hazards: Wildlife

When Paul Stewart, aka rtwPaul, returned to his campsite a few miles outside of Ouray, Colorado, he was surprised to see a second tent pitched not even 10 feet from his.

“I turned off my motorcycle and all I heard was snoring. Really, really loud snoring…even the noise of my bike hadn’t woken him! It seemed that the entire rest of the campground was empty. ‘Why did he put his tent right there?’ I mused, as I listened to the snoring getting louder and louder.”

After a long day of riding, including being hit by a blizzard on Engineer Pass and a late dinner reunion with friends, Paul ceded to his neighbor’s incessant “log sawing,” shoved in a pair of earplugs, and went to sleep.

Not long after, however, he awoke to a raucous yelling right outside his tent. Paul unzipped the tent door to see the once-snoring, now-bewildered man standing, shouting “look!” while pointing to the nearest grove of trees. Following directions, Paul’s light shone on the rear end of a 400-pound black bear casually ambling away. Apparently the bear had knocked over Paul’s DR650 and was standing on top of it, ripping into his Mosko Moto soft luggage bags. The thing was, Paul knew this was bear country and had taken precautions, stashing his food items in a nearby cabin for safe keeping. What attracted the bear to the bags then? An overlooked, 4-inch section of cucumber. On the cusp of winter, apparently this 95 percent water, botanical fruit is a worthwhile endeavor to a bear desperate for nutrients to see them through the season.

TIP: Beyond leftover stashes of cucumber, bears are attracted to petroleum products in general, including gas, oil, and grease. Therefore, if you’re motorcycle camping out in bear country, do your best to remove what you can that will attract bears, but for the rest, be on the lookout and aware that bears are a real possibility. Visit bearsmart.com/live/managing-attractants/ to increase your bear aptitude.

Related: Best Motorcycle Riding Traffic Safety Tips

Perhaps the only thing more stressful than experiencing a treacherous day on the road in the Himalayas is when you’re the guide, and therefore responsible for the safety of the other riders.

Perhaps the only thing more stressful than experiencing a treacherous day on the road in the Himalayas is when you’re the guide, and therefore responsible for the safety of the other riders. (Tom Medema/)

Uncomfortably High

Motorcycle: Yamaha XTZ125

Rider: Tom Medema

Region: Nepalese Himalayas

Hazards: High altitude, exposed roads, “blinding blizzard,” guest riders

It’s one thing to find yourself in a sketchy situation, but it’s entirely another when you’re guiding—and therefore responsible for—a group of riders, especially once things take an unplanned turn for the worse. Situated at 15,000 feet near the border of Tibet, the precarious, cliffside roads leading to the remote jungles of Chitwan in Nepal are dangerous enough, but when a light snowfall turns into a blinding blizzard as you begin the descent—something is surely hitting the fan.

Riders of Rally for Rangers, a nonprofit organization that delivers motorcycles to park rangers to enable them to better protect wildlife in vast areas of land from illegal hunting and trafficking, found themselves in a total whiteout, “with not a tree or shelter in sight and no way to discern rocks in the trail, the foot-deep silt washes that swallowed us on the ascent, or the precipitous edge of a narrow mountain track. Extremely exposed roads, zero visibility, and choking, carbureted 125cc bikes at altitude created uncertainty and anxiety at best, abject fear at worst.”

This impressive storm blindsided them as they took part in delivering these 15 Yamaha XTZ125s to the park rangers of the Chitwan National Park in Nepal, a biodiverse region threatened with habitat destruction and wildlife poaching. Founder Tom Medema says that the tenacity and grit of the riders and guides got them down safely, with an adventure story to tell for the rest of their lives.

TIP: Sometimes bad weather is unavoidable, and occasionally there is no escaping it and no respite. When these situations arise, the only move that matters is your next one. Staying calm and doing your best to not get injured is the only way to get through it. Maintaining a sense of humor is not just a major bonus, but also a quality of expert survivalists.

Related: Motorcycle Riding Tips – Touring During COVID Pandemic

It’s easy to understand why the group was so caught off guard when the climate changes drastically from the lush greenery of the Chitwan National Park to the elevated peaks of the mountain passes.

It’s easy to understand why the group was so caught off guard when the climate changes drastically from the lush greenery of the Chitwan National Park to the elevated peaks of the mountain passes. (Wikimedia Commons, Vadim Tolbatoy/)

They say the adventure begins once everything goes wrong, which is certainly true for rider Ledvi Beza on her first motorcycle trip across the USA.

They say the adventure begins once everything goes wrong, which is certainly true for rider Ledvi Beza on her first motorcycle trip across the USA. (Ledvi Beza/)

“This Might Be It… I Might Die. And I Just Had to Keep Going.”

Motorcycle: 2006 Triumph Bonneville 790cc

Rider: Ledvi Beza

Region: Missouri

Hazards: Night travel, rain, inexperience

“I kept thinking, this might be it… I might die. And I just had to keep going.”

On her first motorcycle trip across the country, while riding solo, Ledvi fell in gravel, pinned by the weight of her packed Triumph Bonneville. She yelled in hopes that someone on that lonely forest road would hear her cries for help to lift the bike off of her. With her ankle in great pain, she did the best she could by tying her boots tightly at the ankle and continued on, praying that it would be OK. Riding through a narrow, dark highway at night in the rain with semitrucks passing her, she kept thinking each moment might be her last.

“They might not see me, or the splash or the wind from the truck might knock me over into the construction zone. I might die. And I just had to keep going. When I arrived, it was still raining but I couldn’t move my leg to put my kickstand down. I just straddled my bike, shaking in the rain for like 10 minutes before I could move.”

TIP: Ledvi wishes that she had more experience riding under her belt before attempting a solo trip across the US, as she had only been riding a couple of years before embarking on this journey.

Related: Top Motorcycle Safety Tips From A Solo Female Adventurer

Sometimes days just start out gloomy (literally) and progress into disaster, as seen here on some deceptively icy mud.

Sometimes days just start out gloomy (literally) and progress into disaster, as seen here on some deceptively icy mud. (Paolo Cattaneo/)

KTM 1190 Adventure and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Motorcycle: KTM 1190 Adventure

Rider: Paolo Cattaneo

Region: Patagonia, Argentina

Hazards: Unexpected ice, road construction, rain

On a remote stretch of Patagonia’s Ruta 40, in the cold, autumn rain, a lone rider waits in line to fuel up at the only gas station in town, with no shelter as it begins to pour. The rider, Paolo, watched in incredulity as time seemed to slow down, entering into an alternate reality where the faster the rain fell, the slower people moved. This slow-motion dimension took place under the shelter of umbrellas and inside cars as Paolo sat on his motorcycle, getting completely soaked in real time.

“While I was waiting for my turn, thinking about how I was going to refuel without letting water enter my fuel tank, the car in front of me oddly left without filling its tank. The operator approached me and told me that they ran out of fuel.”

The only option for fuel was 50 kilometers (31 miles) south, going back the way he had come, to the previous town. Funny enough, yesterday, it had been an amazing, sunny day out on the road, and Paolo’s chipper disposition had carried over into the morning, until it was trampled on, one misadventure at a time, as if by an ambling herd of Patagonian sheep.

Along the way, the rain subsided but with drenched gear, the wind kicking up, and temperatures hovering around 2–3 degrees Celsius, the cold chilled to the bone. Finally on his way north, beyond the fruitless gas station, Paolo noticed some messy terrain coming up fast and assessed the shiny, compressed dirt tracks left behind by 4×4 vehicles as the best path through it. Hitting one of the tracks, tires started to spin and, lo and behold, the shine was ice. Paolo lost control and was thrown from the bike at around 60 kph, landing directly on his back, smacking the back of his head on the ground, flinging chunks of mud every which way, and the 300-kilogram (661-pound) beast was on its side. Startled, filthy, but unhurt, Paolo picked up the bike and lumbered on.

Related: Motorcycle Touring In Colombia—Crossing The Trampoline Of Death

The going was slow. After a torturous 70-kilometer (43-mile) slog through the frozen mud wasteland, he was on tarmac again, but relief was fleeting as Paolo quickly noticed a strange feel and terrible smell to his bike.

“I stopped to check what was going on and realized that the head seal of my rear shock had given up on me for the very first time after 85,000 kilometers (about 52,820 miles). The oil, coming out from the cartridge, was black and leaking all over the exhaust, creating a funky smell.”

Out in the cold wilderness, Paolo had no choice but to push on, bouncing along on his rear shock like an inflatable castle, but without the glee. You’d think this would have been enough in the sequence of unfortunate events, but alas, Paolo came across another rough section which seemed to be freshly grated by an extraordinary quantity of small black rocks. The pebbles (he believes they must be the bits they’ll use to pave the road) were so deep that his front tire struggled to push through them.

Then things went downhill…literally. The descending slope made the deep pile of pebbles unrideable, with his front wheel sinking all the way in. Paolo and the bike went down, with his foot trapped underneath the bike.

In desolation, with not a soul around, it began to rain again (of course). Try as he might to lift the bike off of him while laying on the ground—with just his arms—the bike didn’t budge.

So he began to dig. Creating space underneath his foot, which was well protected by his riding boots, Paolo was able to free himself. He stood up and evaluated the situation: The bike was lying diagonally down the slope of a large mound of those cursed little black pebbles, extremely difficult circumstances to pick up a large bike.

Where to start? First, he dragged the front wheel to situate the bike in a perpendicular position to the slope to ease some of the weight from it. Putting the kickstand down was not an option, due to the pebbles, so it was a bit of a balancing game to get on the bike to a point where Paolo could mount it.

With a bouncy bike and a broken spirit, Paolo, just as most motorcyclists, had no choice but to keep going.

Finally, making it to a town for gas and a break to revive his morale, he mustered up the will to push on a bit further. Leaving the town, he got a flat rear tire and decided that was the final sign he needed to call it a day.

TIP: Most days are truly glorious on a motorcycle, but you can’t win them all. In sufficiently cold temperatures, anticipate shine to mean “ice,” gear up for the slide not the ride, and practice lifting your bike so that you feel confident you can do so when the time comes.

Related: Northern Colombian Treasures—Motorcycling The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta With A Purpose

Roads can get a little confusing out beyond Uyuni, Bolivia, especially in the fading light, while looking out for your girlfriend and your cat, in the company of an inexperienced rider and his injured passenger.

Roads can get a little confusing out beyond Uyuni, Bolivia, especially in the fading light, while looking out for your girlfriend and your cat, in the company of an inexperienced rider and his injured passenger. (Jespinos, Creative Commons/)

Lost in Bolivia

Motorcycle: KTM 950

Rider: Laurie Osborne

Region: Bolivian salt flats

Hazards: High altitude, corrosive salt, deep sand, guest rider

“We labored on, narrowly avoiding catastrophe as the paths disappeared, covered by orange sand. We stopped, searching in the moonlight, but could not determine where we had come from or where the road might resume. We were lost. Using the mountains as landmarks, we slowly made our way in the direction we had come from. Would we have enough gas to make it all the way back to civilization and medical help? The jury was out.”

After checking the Bolivian salt flats off their bucket lists, rider Laurie Osborne and his girlfriend (and cat, named Cheeks) joined forces with another couple they had just met for the next high-altitude leg of their adventure through the Ruta de las Lagunas. A buddy had described this route’s brightly colored, flamingo-filled lagoons amidst snowcapped volcanoes as the highlight of his entire Pan-American trip. With high expectations, the troop of four decided to ride together the next morning after breakfast.

Plans first started to fall apart when the boyfriend delayed the start of their journey by heading out on a solo impromptu ride, showing up hours later covered from helmet to tires in a fine white dust, a layer of corrosive salt infamous for wreaking havoc on electrical systems, expensive exhausts, and components like wheel bearings. At long last, after a full rinse, they hit the road with just four hours of daylight left.

Related: Top 10 Most Motorcycle Travel-Friendly Countries

The uniquely magical and yet highly corrosive environment of the Bolivian salt flats.

The uniquely magical and yet highly corrosive environment of the Bolivian salt flats. (Laurie Osborne/)

Hell-bent on making up lost time, Laurie became locked into the road, speeding ahead on his KTM 950. As they passed through a Martian-like red rock valley, a vast desert opened up and the sun began to melt on the horizon, casting long shadows. His fellow rider’s leisurely riding style was making him anxious, and the realization that they would miss a great deal of this epic scenery by riding in the dark began to sink in.

Dusty roads gave way to uneven dirt paths with deep, treacherous grooves of loose sand. After a particularly challenging corner, Laurie looked in his mirror to see the other couple’s bike enveloped in a cloud of dust. Riding back to help them on their feet, Laurie recalled the boyfriend expressing his dislike for riding off-road, and with tensions mounting, Laurie could see why: “His feet—essential for stabilizing on these dirt paths—seemed to barely touch the ground when he sat on his oversized BMW.”

“We continued, but they fell again. And again. This time it was serious. The girl clutched her ankle in immense pain, unable to hold back her tears. The three of us helped her off the bike and the decision was made that I would carry her from now on. My girlfriend, who knew only too well how to take a fall, would travel with our accident-prone friend. As the injured member of our group could not take another fall, I became her best chance of reaching a hospital.”

At both a literal and proverbial crossroads, they made the decision to split up. The injured girl had enough and her boyfriend didn’t trust himself to ride any further in the challenging terrain. Laurie and his girlfriend decide to go get help, perhaps a vehicle that could transport the injured girl out of the wilderness.

Related: Trapped Abroad On A Motorcycle Trip During Coronavirus

Mr. Cheeks, Laurie’s surprisingly chill, furry feline, staying cozy (as preferred) in his tank bag.

Mr. Cheeks, Laurie’s surprisingly chill, furry feline, staying cozy (as preferred) in his tank bag. (Laurie Osborne/)

Retracing their sandy path in the moonlight, unsure if they had enough fuel to make it back to Uyuni, or even the several hours ride back to the edge of the national reserve to get medical help. Enveloped in darkness, riding toward a faint glow of light, not a single Bolivian local Laurie met was willing to assist, despite offering a cash incentive. It wasn’t until the morning that they were able to transport the girl out of the Ruta de las Lagunas, and the boyfriend followed on his BMW, with the luggage removed.

Laurie and his girlfriend rode back to Uyuni and stayed an extra night, needing mechanical assistance after the salt took its toll on the bike. The other couple got medical attention in the town and ended up having to stay for a couple of months while her ankle healed.

“In the end, we abandoned the route and took a less adventurous route into Argentina.”

Lessons learned.

TIP: Only embark on adventurous, extreme routes with trusted riders. Some have suggested rinsing the bike in diesel grease before heading out on the salt to prevent corrosion.

Related: How To Have A True Motorcycle Adventure In Ecuador

Kalen Thorien, during El Diablo Run 2021 plus Baja extension, after eating some sand on washboard routes while riding a 600-pound Harley.

Kalen Thorien, during El Diablo Run 2021 plus Baja extension, after eating some sand on washboard routes while riding a 600-pound Harley. (Kalen Thorien/)

Rider Kalen Thorien Sums It Up

“All right, so this might be a bit cheesy or adventure-splainy, but years of misadventure have taught me one thing—the sun sets at the same time it should; the moon always rises when it should; the ebb and flow of the tides continue in their same pattern, so regardless of the struggle, eventually it will end and how we carry ourselves through those moments of tribulation is what defines not only the day, but our character. I’ve had plenty of travels where I’ve let the bad overwhelm me and go down that rabbit hole, only to find myself at camp regretting my reactions. It’s not easy. It takes practice. But when that moment of clarity hits and you can keep the switch from flipping to dark—you’ve found a new sense of freedom in your life.”

Motorcycle trips, with all their ups and downs, are a great reminder of this freedom and why so many of us continue to push our limits beyond the comforts we know and love.

Related: Adventure Riding An Indian Scout Sixty In The Jungles Of Peru

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2022 Ducati DesertX Adventure Bike Preview

Ducati expands its US model lineup with a true dual sport in the form of the 21/18-inch wheel-equipped 2022 Ducati DesertX ($16,795).

Ducati expands its US model lineup with a true dual sport in the form of the 21/18-inch wheel-equipped 2022 Ducati DesertX ($16,795). (Ducati Motor Holding/)

After teasing us with a couple more off-road prototypes (read the Ducati Reveals Two Scrambler Concepts At EICMA 2019), Ducati gets serious in the dual sport streetbike segment with its 2022 DesertX ($16,795). The DesertX is positioned below Ducati’s recently overhauled and more GS-like Multistrada V4 streetbike which we tested extensively during the 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 S MC Commute Review and Is Ducati’s Multistrada V4 the Fastest Adventure-Touring Bike? motorcycle review articles and videos.

The DesertX is powered by Ducati’s returning 937cc 11° Testastretta L-twin as used in the Multistrada V2 and Monster vehicles. Ducati says the engine is good for 110 hp at 9,250 revs and 68 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. The six-speed gearbox features lower gear ratios specifically for off-road riding. As usual Ducati fits an electronic quickshifter for immediate and clutchless upshifts and downshifts. The engine drinks from a generous 5.5-gallon fuel tank. Ducati says it will offer an auxiliary 2.1-gallon gas tank as an OE accessory.

The DesertX rolls on a new steel-trellis frame with real off-road-sized 21-inch front and 18-inch rear spoked rims shod with Pirelli’s versatile Scorpion Rally STR rubber (tubeless). An oversized 46mm-diameter fork is used at the front with a linkage-less shock attaching between the frame and swingarm. Suspension travel is rated at 9.1 inches (front) and 8.7 inches (rear). Fully fueled curb weight is a claimed 492 pounds.

A 5-inch color TFT display keeps tabs on vehicle vitals and is positioned in vertical orientation. In typical Ducati spirit, the DesertX will employ rider safety aids, including traction control, ABS, and adjustable riding modes. LED lighting helps the vehicle stand out after dark and the taillight flashes (like Aprilia’s 2021 RSV4 superbikes) during quick acceleration to help alert vehicles behind.

Ducati says the 2022 DesertX will arrive in North America this coming spring.

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

Tesla Offers a Cyberquad Electric ATV for Kids

The Tesla Cyberquad for Kids prices at $1,900.

The Tesla Cyberquad for Kids prices at $1,900. (Tesla/)

Tesla now offers an electric Cyberquad ATV for kids, made by Radio Flyer, pricing at $1,900. While the MSRP seems somewhat steep considering other electric ATVs targeting the 8-plus age range go for a lot less, there are some standout features apart from the brand names on the box.

To start, it utilizes a 36V 288Wh lithium-ion battery and 35V 500W brushed permanent magnet DC motor capable of reaching up to 10 mph. Parents will get to choose between a 5 mph top speed or a 10, and reverse is also available in the 5 mph setting. The battery will run up to 15 miles, which Tesla estimates is about an hour in the saddle. This is dependent on the rider’s weight, the terrain, and the speed, however. If junior aims to rip, then these figures will be reduced.

The battery is removable and can be charged using a standard household outlet, and a completely depleted battery will take up to five hours to return to a full charge.

The Cyberquad has a number of notable design elements inspired by the forthcoming Cybertruck.

The Cyberquad has a number of notable design elements inspired by the forthcoming Cybertruck. (Tesla/)

Other features to note are the full steel frame, well-cushioned seat, adjustable suspension, rear disc brake, and LED light bars. Assembly is required.

The Cyberquad ATV joins the Model S for Kids and My First Model Y in Radio Flyer’s Tesla lineup. It’s only available in the lower 48 states of the US, and is currently sold out.

Keep an eye on this link to see when more become available, and in the meantime check out the promo video from Radio Flyer below to see the kids Cyberquad in action.

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

Norton V4CR First Look Preview

It’s not a streetfighter, it’s a cafe racer. Plan your posture accordingly for the Norton V4CR.

It’s not a streetfighter, it’s a cafe racer. Plan your posture accordingly for the Norton V4CR. (Norton/)

Time was, English motorcycles only let you down after you’d thrown a leg over one. But in the last 10 years, Norton added Ponzi schemes, fraudulent pensions, and minor parts theft in the list of ways English streetbikes could disappoint. At long last, Lucas electrical parts are blameless.

Stuart Garner’s reign as CEO of Norton provided more than enough fodder for critics and/or stand-up comedians who specialize in motorcycle humor. Think Dennis Poore, but in reverse.

But the real story begins now. In what’s becoming a standard turn for classic English (and American) marques, the story travels through India.

Norton’s new owner, TVS Motor Company, has emphasized squaring old accounts and delivering undelivered products in rebuilding Norton. The phrase  “despite no legal obligation to replace or fix the original machine” has been a constant refrain. But credit due, TVS is putting significant resources into rebuilding both Norton’s ride and reputation.

Related: 2022 Norton V4SV First Look Preview

Air intake, radiator cowling, and minimal seat real estate all add up to the new V4CR.

Air intake, radiator cowling, and minimal seat real estate all add up to the new V4CR. (Norton/)

The future of Norton is the V4 platform, which already produced the V4SS, one of the few bikes to make it off the Garner-era production line in modest numbers. The 200 hp V4SS recently beat the V4V, with a slightly more civilized 185 hp. The TL;DR? Norton means luxury, handcrafted motorcycles.

Now we have the V4CR, a naked cafe racer variant. A prototype, it’s the first to be designed, engineered, and built at Norton’s new UK headquarters. The previous headquarters doubled as a palatial estate for Stuart Garner, so it’s quite the upgrade. Apologies, let’s keep going.

At its heart there’s a 1,200cc 72-degree V-4 liquid-cooled powerplant. Differing from the V4V, it features a polished billet aluminum swingarm and frame plus carbon fiber body panels. The carbon fiber tank is carried over from the V4V. A shorter rear frame and tailsection speak to the cafe racer inspiration.

Attractively brutish air intakes and radiator cowling add a pleasing menace to the V4CR, as does the angular chin of the bellypan. Clip-ons and rearward pegs are what they are—a nod to the cafe racer ergonomics. Fair enough. The word “streetfighter” doesn’t appear once on Norton’s site. In your face, Ducati Streetfighter V4.

Round headlight, clip-ons, and rearset pegs give the V4CR an aggressive three-point stance.

Round headlight, clip-ons, and rearset pegs give the V4CR an aggressive three-point stance. (Norton/)

Underneath these stylistic revisions and a choice of Manx Silver or simple black Carbon livery, the frame, engine, and suspension are the same as the V4V. The tubular aluminum frame joins Öhlins suspension with a single-sided swingarm. Brembo brakes tame the Oz Racing forged alloy wheels.

The most intriguing feature of all? The crossed “t” of Norton’s venerable logo, little changed since 1913. When that appears on a warehouse’s worth of bikes set for delivery, the motorcycling world will be better for it. If buyers believe and newly minted CEO Robert Hentschel’s plans come together, Norton will get the last laugh.

Godspeed, V4CR.

2022 Norton V4CR Technical Specs and Price

PRICE TBD
ENGINE 1,200cc, 72-degree liquid-cooled V-4
BORE x STROKE 82.0 x 56.8mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 13.6:1
FUEL DELIVERY Fuel injection
CLUTCH Slipper clutch
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain
MEASURED HORSEPOWER 185 hp @ 12,500 rpm
MEASURED TORQUE 92.2 lb.-ft. @ 9,000 rpm
FRAME Handmade aluminum tubular frame
FRONT SUSPENSION Öhlins NIX 30 fully adjustable fork
REAR SUSPENSION Öhlins TTX GP Norton adjustable shock
FRONT BRAKE Radially mounted Brembo Monoblock calipers, dual 330mm floating Brembo discs
REAR BRAKE Brembo caliper, Brembo 245mm rear disc
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR TBD
TIRES, FRONT/REAR TBD
RAKE/TRAIL 23.9°/TBD
WHEELBASE 56.5 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 32.9 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 3.9 gal.
CLAIMED DRY WEIGHT 425 lb.
WARRANTY TBD
AVAILABLE TBD
CONTACT nortonmotorcycles.com

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2021 Ducati XDiavel

2021 Ducati XDiavel.

2021 Ducati XDiavel. (Ducati/)

Ups

  • Feet-forward, belt-drive, and fat-tired, the XDiavel is Ducati embracing cruiser fundamentals
  • 1,262cc Testastretta engine with variable valve timing has superbike credentials
  • Sportbike-spec components and rider aids

Downs

  • Does the feet-forward, belt-drive crowd really want superbike tech?

Verdict

Compared to the Diavel, the XDiavel is an even further stretch across the aisle into the cruiser realm, but Ducati doesn’t water down the performance and tech that make a Ducati a Ducati.

2021 Ducati XDiavel.

2021 Ducati XDiavel. (Ducati/)

Overview

There’s nothing retro about the XDiavel, but classic cruiser characteristics like the feet-forward riding position mark it as Ducati’s attempt to go after a more committed segment of the cruiser market than the Diavel was capable of. Still, it’s not a motorcycle that will appeal to the vast majority of Harley-Davidson riders. Nor will it entice most Panigale riders to hang up their knee pucks. It’s a well-executed motorcycle for a small niche of riders who want an Italian take on the high-performance feet-forward cruiser. Introduced in 2016, the XDiavel was the first of the variable valve timing 1260s, which would later include the Diavel and Multistrada 1260.

Updates for 2021

New for 2021, the XDiavel Dark revives the matte black paint scheme that debuted on the 1998 Monster 600 Dark.

Pricing and Variants

The XDiavel Dark retails for $20,695. The XDiavel S ($25,395) is available in Thrilling Black, and features cosmetic upgrades like machine-finished alloy wheels, Diamond-Like Coating on the front fork, and swaps the base model’s Brembo M4.32 calipers for M50 calipers.

Competition

The 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S ($14,999) is considerably more affordable and the badge on the tank may recommend it to a different segment of rider, but like the XDiavel, it’s a thoroughly modern motorcycle. The 2,500cc Triumph Rocket 3 ($23,000) is also game for a run at the twisties and at the dragstrip.

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The XDiavel has a 1,262cc Testastretta DVT (Desmodromic Valve Timing) V-twin engine that pumps out a claimed 152 hp at 9,500 rpm and 92.9 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. Thank Ducati’s variable valve timing for prodigious peak torque at low revs. In his first ride review, Peter Jones says of the 2016 model: “It’s impressive to the point of outrageous that a cruiser can have so much grunt and go from 4,000 to 9,500 rpm, giving such a wide breadth of hard acceleration when rolling up and down through the rev range on a fun and curvy road.”

2021 Ducati XDiavel.

2021 Ducati XDiavel. (Ducati/)

Handling

Considering the 63.6-inch wheelbase, 240-section rear tire, and raked out (for a Ducati) front end, the XDiavel handles surprisingly lightly and assuredly. Jones says: “The XDiavel chassis is solid and the machine is predictable in all high-speed, low-speed, and transitional situations. It steers and brakes with precision and there’s never a feeling of flexing beneath you or that you’re doing something sinful. You cannot ride the XDiavel too hard.”

Brakes

The XDiavel Dark uses Brembo M4.32 calipers up front, while the S model gets an upgraded M50 package. Both setups are good performers, but the higher-spec package is an improvement across the board.

2021 Ducati XDiavel.

2021 Ducati XDiavel. (Ducati/)

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Ducati claims the XDiavel has a fuel economy of 42.7 mpg.

Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility

The XDiavel has adjustable footpegs, seat, and handlebars, and for those who aren’t so sure forward controls are for them, Ducati’s accessory catalog offers a mid-control option. The 30-inch seat height is reasonably low, though not extraordinarily so by cruiser standards.

Electronics

The XDiavel has customizable riding modes, power modes, cornering ABS, traction control, launch control, cruise control, and full-LED lighting. Riding aids and multimedia can be adjusted through the 3.5-inch TFT dash.

2021 Ducati XDiavel.

2021 Ducati XDiavel. (Ducati/)

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

The XDiavel has a 24-month, unlimited-mileage warranty.

Quality

The XDiavel exemplifies Ducati’s objective to deliver sophisticated motorcycles with premium finishes.

2021 Ducati XDiavel.

2021 Ducati XDiavel. (Ducati/)

2021 Ducati XDiavel Claimed Specifications

MSRP: $20,695/$25,395 (S)
Engine: 1,262cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled V-twin; 8 valves
Bore x Stroke: 106.0 x 71.5mm
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/belt
Fuel Delivery: Electronic fuel injection w/ 56mm elliptical throttle bodies
Clutch: Wet, multiplate slipper and self-servo; hydraulic operation
Engine Management/Ignition: Ride-by-wire/TCI
Frame: Steel trellis
Front Suspension: Fully adjustable 50mm; 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Monoshock, preload and rebound adjustable; 4.3 in. travel
Front Brake: Brembo M4.32 4-piston caliper (base)/Brembo M50 4-piston caliper (S model), dual 320mm discs w/ cornering ABS
Rear Brake: Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, 265mm disc w/ cornering ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: Cast aluminum; 17 x 3.5 in. / 17 x 8.0 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: 120/70-17 / 240/45-17
Rake/Trail: 30.0°/5.1 in.
Wheelbase: 63.6 in.
Seat Height: 29.7 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gal.
Dry Weight: 487 lb./492 lb. (S)
Contact: ducati.com

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2022 GSX-S750 and GSX-S750Z ABS First Look Preview

The base GSX-S750 comes in Metallic Matte Black No. 2, no doubt an improvement over Metallic Matte Black No. 1.

The base GSX-S750 comes in Metallic Matte Black No. 2, no doubt an improvement over Metallic Matte Black No. 1. (Suzuki Motors of America/)

If you’re reading news about a new motorcycle with virtually no new features, it’s either an enduring classic or walking the green mile. It’s too early to say if the Suzuki GSX-S750 and Suzuki GSX-S750Z ABS fit in either camp. But after seven years, the GSX-S class might be settling in for an extended stay.

In the unlikely event you need to be reminded of the GSX-S750′s existence, let’s review. Naked-bike styling, upright ergonomics, and revised tuning came together in 2015 (in America, anyway) to make the legendary GSX-R more tractable. That’s a boring term for making fun things more fun by making fun possible in more fun places. Who wouldn’t want an upright, naked, streetfighter-ish GSX-R750?

Building on this idea, Suzuki updated everything in 2018 to make the GSX-S750 fall in line with its larger GSX-S1000 sibling. Traction control, an easy-start system, low rpm assist, and ABS (on the GSX-S750Z ABS model) were all added.

More importantly, bodywork and styling were subtly matched to the GSX-S1000′s aggressive stance and posture. A bellypan was added, while the talon-shaped air filter and radiator trim were revised to match the GSX-S1000′s distinct R-shaped form.

The GSX-S750Z ABS gets hi-vis safety green accents on wheels and bellypan chin.

The GSX-S750Z ABS gets hi-vis safety green accents on wheels and bellypan chin. (Suzuki Motors of America/)

For 2022, you still get a fuel-injected, GSX-R750-based engine, with tuning and torque placing power down low and in midrange. Traction control again gives you four modes (including off), while the GSX-S750Z ABS still comes with four-piston front brake calipers with wave-style rotors and ABS, obviously. The familiar tubular girder/twin-spar frame comes with KYB suspension, of course.

The paperwork clocks in at $8,549 for the base GSX-S750, $8,949 for the base GSX-S750Z ABS. Despite pandemic-related market swirl, both figures are nearly identical to 2020 MSRP. A 12-month warranty puts the bow on top.

For those keeping track, the 2021 GSX-S750Z ABS featured Pearl Brilliant White and Champion Yellow No. 2 livery. But like the 2018 GSX-S750, it’s now Metallic Triton Blue with Glass Sparkle Black. To avoid complete redundancy, hi-vis green accents have been added to the 2022 edition, see the pics. The 2022 GSX-S750 keeps its Metallic Matte Black No. 2 from 2020.

You get a lot to like—the unchanged and unbowed Suzuki GSX-S750.

You get a lot to like—the unchanged and unbowed Suzuki GSX-S750. (Suzuki Motors of America/)

Fun fact: The 2007 GSX-S1300 BK, or “B-King,” came in Metallic Phantom Grey and Metallic Mystic Silver, before reverting back to gold rims and the iconic Suzuki blue and white in 2010.

And there’s your object lesson. Unlike the cult favorite (and ill-fated) B-King, the 750cc variant of GSX-R’s and GSX-S’s haven’t gone anywhere. Thought to be on the chopping block in 2019, the 750 (and 600) stuck around the US market, despite WSBK moving on from 750cc powerplants nearly 20 years ago. Hmm, 750cc must be shorthand for nine lives.

So to recap, 2022 comes with new colors, livery, and virtually nothing else. When you’ve nailed it, put the hammer down. Time will tell whether the 750 branch of the GSX tree becomes a chopping block or not. But for now, it’s one of the best naked middleweight classics to thread the needle between liter-beater and liter, period.

The GSX-S750Z ABS, in Metallic Triton Blue with Glass Sparkle Black.

The GSX-S750Z ABS, in Metallic Triton Blue with Glass Sparkle Black. (Suzuki Motors of America/)

2022 Suzuki GSX-S750 and GSX-S750Z ABS Technical Specifications and Price

PRICE $8,549 / $8,949 (Z)
ENGINE 749cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled 4-cylinder
BORE x STROKE 72.0 x 46.0mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 12.3:1
FUEL DELIVERY Fuel injection w/ SDTV
CLUTCH Wet, multiplate
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain
MEASURED HORSEPOWER 112.7 hp @ 10,500 rpm
MEASURED TORQUE 59.7 lb.-ft.- @ 9,000 rpm
FRAME Twin-spar aluminum cradle
FRONT SUSPENSION 41mm KYB inverted fork, spring preload adjustable; 4.7 in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION KYB shock, spring preload adjustable; 5.4 in. travel
FRONT BRAKE 4-piston Nissin radial-mount calipers, dual 310mm petal-style discs / w/ ABS (Z)
REAR BRAKE 1-piston sliding-pin caliper, 220mm disc / w/ ABS (Z)
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR Cast aluminum; 17 x 3.50 in. / 17 x 5.50 in.
TIRES, FRONT/REAR 120/70ZR-17 / 180/55ZR-17
RAKE/TRAIL 25.0°/4.1 in.
WHEELBASE 57.3 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 32.3 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 4.2 gal.
CLAIMED CURB WEIGHT 465 lb.  / 470 lb. (Z)
WARRANTY 12-month unlimited mileage
AVAILABLE N/A
CONTACT suzukicycles.com

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2021 Honda NC750X DCT MC Commute Review

In this episode of <i>MC Commute</i>, we swing a leg over the 2021 Honda NC750X and rip to the <i>Motorcyclist</i> HQ.

In this episode of <i>MC Commute</i>, we swing a leg over the 2021 Honda NC750X and rip to the <i>Motorcyclist</i> HQ. (Jeff Allen/)

The Honda NC750X platform flies under the radar as an unassuming, yet extremely versatile machine in Big Red’s adventure lineup, but is worthy of big attention. Spec sheet spies will likely disagree, but the combination of its tractable 745cc parallel-twin engine, an optional Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT), and practical features make the NC a remarkable value and easy choice for urban dwellers and those looking for a single do-it-all motorcycle.

Powering the NC750X is a 745cc SOHC eight-valve parallel-twin engine, which was last updated in 2018 with an increase in displacement by 75cc (via a 4mm bore increase). This undersquare powerplant offers a torque-rich ride, providing a tractor-like off-idle acceleration that chugs through its midrange toward its 7,500-rpm rev limit. Power delivery is exactly sporty, but it is smooth with relatively little vibration. Settling into 75 mph, the NC spins around 4,500 rpm in top gear, which lends itself to superb fuel economy. The NC750X recorded an average of 53.3 mpg during testing.

The Honda NC750X is powered by a torque-rich 745cc SOHC parallel-twin engine. The cylinders are set at a 55-degree angle, which allows for large-capacity storage.

The Honda NC750X is powered by a torque-rich 745cc SOHC parallel-twin engine. The cylinders are set at a 55-degree angle, which allows for large-capacity storage. (Jeff Allen/)

Speaking of gears, our NC750X test unit is the DCT variant ($9,299), a $600 upcharge over the manual-shifting six-speed model ($8,699). Utilizing Honda’s automatic transmission rids the NC of clutch and gear shift levers, allowing the system full control of the gearbox. Thumbing the starter button and drive-mode selector puts the motorcycle in drive, then it’s ready to rock. The system provides a direct-drive feel as it accelerates away from a stop. Honda’s DCT system has proved favorable on other models like the Gold Wing, but is especially practical on the NC750X. The lack of shifting effort required to meander the tight confines of city riding lends itself to an easier riding experience, and even more so in dense traffic conditions.

A single two-piston caliper and 320mm disc bring the NC750X to a halt. Considering its hefty 493-pound curb weight, it’s questionable why a second caliper isn’t utilized.

A single two-piston caliper and 320mm disc bring the NC750X to a halt. Considering its hefty 493-pound curb weight, it’s questionable why a second caliper isn’t utilized. (Jeff Allen/)

The DCT system can also be operated in a manual mode, selected via a switch on the right handlebar. This leaves total control of the gearbox to the rider, utilizing paddle-shifter-like switches on the left handlebar for gear selection. The option adds sportiness to the NC750′s riding experience, but we spent the majority of testing time in the automatic setting, appreciating the luxury of the system.

Pair the simplicity of the NC750X’s riding experience with the practicality of its creature comforts and it becomes a superversatile machine. In place of a traditional fuel tank, a 23-liter internal storage compartment offers safe carrying capacity big enough for most full-face helmets, groceries, and everything in between.

Sleek fairings add a sporty appearance to the NC750X, but the low-height windscreen slacks at providing adequate protection against turbulent air.

Sleek fairings add a sporty appearance to the NC750X, but the low-height windscreen slacks at providing adequate protection against turbulent air. (Jeff Allen/)

A comfortable, in-command position of the one-piece handlebar pairs well with the NC750X’s approachable ergonomic setup. The relatively low 31.6-inch seat height lends itself to easy contact, even for this 5-foot-7 tester, in slow-speed scenarios, despite the saddle-to-footpeg measurement feeling tight during the long haul. That and the overly cushy seat foam can grow uncomfortable after an hour of riding. Still, the ergonomics make for easy control of the NC’s claimed 493-pound weight with its 3.8-gallon fuel tank topped off.

This 28-liter internal storage compartment takes up the traditional location of the fuel tank. Honda claims it will fit most full-face helmets, which we confirmed with an Arai Signet-X.

This 28-liter internal storage compartment takes up the traditional location of the fuel tank. Honda claims it will fit most full-face helmets, which we confirmed with an Arai Signet-X. (Jeff Allen/)

The NC750X’s chassis is extremely stable, thanks to its longish 60.1-inch wheelbase, but corners with agility and confidence. A Showa fork with Dual Bending Valve technology and a single shock are equipped to handle damping demands. The pair does an adequate job of soaking up the tarmac’s imperfections, but struggles to cope with unexpected G-out bumps as it blows through its stroke.

The 2021 Honda NC750X represents a remarkable in-class value that packs a punch of versatility that can be appreciated by all. It would be fair to question the Honda’s lack of cruise control or TFT display, but considering the relatively low cost of entry and already impressive performance and practicality, it’s hard to justify the need for any more. Engaging and smooth engine performance, impressive fuel economy, and a welcoming ergonomic package and chassis make the NC a worthy machine.

A telescopic Showa Dual Bending Valve fork handles front-end damping needs.

A telescopic Showa Dual Bending Valve fork handles front-end damping needs. (Jeff Allen/)

Gearbox

Helmet: Shoei RF-SR

Jacket: Alpinestars Newman Overshirt

Pants: Alpinestars Victory Denim

Boots: Alpinestars Faster-3 Rideknit

The 2021 Honda NC750X DCT is available for $9,299, proving as a remarkable in-class value.

The 2021 Honda NC750X DCT is available for $9,299, proving as a remarkable in-class value. (Jeff Allen/)

2021 Honda NC750X DCT Specs

Price: $9,299
Engine: 745cc, SOHC, liquid-cooled parallel twin; 4 valves/cyl.
Bore x Stroke: 77.0 x 80.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Fuel System: PGM-FI w/ throttle-by-wire
Clutch: Wet, multiplate
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/chain; Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT)
Frame: Steel
Front Suspension: 41mm telescopic fork, nonadjustable; 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Pro-Link HMAS shock; 4.7 in. travel
Front Brake: Hydraulic caliper, 320mm disc w/ ABS
Rear Brake: hydraulic caliper, 240mm disc w/ ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: Cast aluminum; 17 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: Metzeler Tourance; 120/70-17 / 160/60-17
Rake/Trail: 27.0°/4.3 in.
Wheelbase: 60.1 in.
Seat Height: 31.6 in.
Fuel Capacity: 3.8 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight: 493 lb.
Warranty: Transferable 1-year, unlimited mileage
Availability: Now
Contact: powersports.honda.com

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2022 Ducati Streetfighter V2 First Ride Review

The Streetfighter V2 shares the same monocoque frame as the Panigale V2, using the Superquadro engine as a stressed member. The suspension is similar, too, with a fully adjustable 43mm Showa Big Piston Fork and a fully adjustable side-mounted Sachs unit on the rear.

The Streetfighter V2 shares the same monocoque frame as the Panigale V2, using the Superquadro engine as a stressed member. The suspension is similar, too, with a fully adjustable 43mm Showa Big Piston Fork and a fully adjustable side-mounted Sachs unit on the rear. (Alex Photo (Cavadini-Barbanti-Puig)/)

Converting superfocused sportbikes into performance naked bikes is a trick Ducati has successfully performed many times. Now, for 2022, the Bologna factory has extended its Streetfighter range by transforming the Panigale V2 into the Streetfighter V2, an introduction, as it describes it, to the Streetfighter brand.

Introduction maybe, but this is certainly no entry-level streetbike; how can it be when the 153 hp V2 is heavily based on the race-ready Panigale V2. It has the same engine, similar (fully adjustable) suspension, and similar excellent electronics—plus a deeper and softer seat, lower pegs, and higher, wider bars.

The 955cc 90-degree Superquadro V2 is taken directly from Ducati’s sporty Panigale and makes 153 hp at 10,750 rpm and 74.8 pound-feet at 9,000 rpm.

The 955cc 90-degree Superquadro V2 is taken directly from Ducati’s sporty Panigale and makes 153 hp at 10,750 rpm and 74.8 pound-feet at 9,000 rpm. (Alex Photo (Cavadini-Barbanti-Puig)/)

In theory, this naked version should be easier to manage and more comfortable than the Panigale V2, while remaining a gas to ride briskly on both road and track. To find out, we embarked on a full day of testing in southern Spain.

On the road, steering is nimble and fluid. It’s rewarding to sit tight in the Streetfighter’s comfortable saddle and simply point and steer with minimal energy. A high and wide bar, generous riding position and the lack of bulk from this 392-pound naked all contribute to a bike that is easy to manage—and relish on demanding roads.

The Streetfighter’s peak power is 2 hp lower than the Panigale V2, and there’s slightly less peak torque too. This is due to the relative lack of ram-air effect into the airbox compared to the Panigale. Internally, both engines are the same.

The Streetfighter’s peak power is 2 hp lower than the Panigale V2, and there’s slightly less peak torque too. This is due to the relative lack of ram-air effect into the airbox compared to the Panigale. Internally, both engines are the same. (Alex Photo (Cavadini-Barbanti-Puig)/)

Even when I upped the pace, it was difficult to criticize the new Streetfighter. The suspension remained pliant yet absorbed the jagged edges of my aggressive riding without any loss of control. Feedback from the Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV rubber was forensic, ground clearance wasn’t an issue, and at no time did I feel the need to fiddle with the suspension’s damping adjusters.

For the track element of the test, we tickled the suspension, adding a little compression and rebound damping at both ends, plus 0.16 inch spring preload height front and rear to give the chassis more support and, given that the V2 ‘Fighter has lower pegs than the Panigale V2, increase ground clearance. Despite using the same road-focused rubber the Streetfighter continued to impress. Steering remained precise and sharp; only my toe sliders touched down on the odd occasion; and that confidence-inspiring Panigale-feel from the chassis remained fully intact.

Visually, the fork appears the same as the Panigale’s but carries more open settings for road riding and comfort. The rear Sachs setup is close to the Panigale’s, too, but now the shock has more movement because the swingarm is 0.63 inch longer.

Visually, the fork appears the same as the Panigale’s but carries more open settings for road riding and comfort. The rear Sachs setup is close to the Panigale’s, too, but now the shock has more movement because the swingarm is 0.63 inch longer. (Alex Photo (Cavadini-Barbanti-Puig)/)

As the pace increased to race speeds, however, the Diablo IVs reached their limit. Releasing the powerful Brembo stoppers at the corner apex would push and unsettle the front, but there was so much feedback a potentially scary moment felt strangely calm and unalarming.

With the rear equally predictable, allowing me to feel the movement as its limit approached, I relished riding the Streetfighter V2 on track, perhaps even more so than its big brother Streetfighter V4. The limitations were not the chassis, but the low grip level of the slippery track and the road-biased Pirellis, which were asked to work far outside their design parameters.

There are three riding modes to choose from—Sport, Road, and Wet—and each has unique power characteristics.

There are three riding modes to choose from—Sport, Road, and Wet—and each has unique power characteristics. (Alex Photo (Cavadini-Barbanti-Puig)/)

Back on the road, the Brembo stoppers, backed by Bosch cornering ABS, were faultless: powerful with either two- or single-finger braking and always feeling like more than enough.

On track, straight-line braking on smooth surfaces is shockingly good and consistent, and it was only when pushing for a lap time while braking heavily over bumpy sections that I could feel the ABS intervention.

Ducati has lengthened the swingarm to improve stability, as naked bikes are fundamentally more unstable than fully faired bikes due to the absence of aerodynamics and the upright position of the rider.

Ducati has lengthened the swingarm to improve stability, as naked bikes are fundamentally more unstable than fully faired bikes due to the absence of aerodynamics and the upright position of the rider. (Alex Photo (Cavadini-Barbanti-Puig)/)

The Streetfighter V2 gives you three riding modes to choose from—Sport, Road, and Wet—with each having unique power characteristics. Sport and Road are full power, 153 hp at 10,750 rpm, with differing throttle response, whereas Wet mode is down to “only” 110 hp. Not only do the modes change the power, but they also interact with multiple lean-sensitive rider aids: DTC (Ducati Traction Control with 0-6 levels), DWC (Ducati Wheelie Control, 0-4), cornering ABS, and EBC Evo (Engine Brake Control, 0-3).

Despite the “Joker face” of the new DRLs and aggressive marketing image created around the Streetfighter brand, the new V2 is actually rather unassuming and easy to live with. The Superquadro engine pulls cleanly from 2,500 rpm, with plenty of midrange torque, which means you don’t need to be dancing up and down on the up-and-down quickshifter. There’s a noticeable step up in power around 6,000 rpm, and it will rev blissfully to the redline should you wish to.

Sport and Road are full power, with differing throttle response, whereas Wet mode is down to “only” 110 hp.

Sport and Road are full power, with differing throttle response, whereas Wet mode is down to “only” 110 hp. (Alex Photo (Cavadini-Barbanti-Puig)/)

The riding modes aren’t just techy gimmicks, instead there’s a noticeable change to the bike when you switch between them. In Sport mode power delivery is more urgent, the Ducati wants to gallop, and despite some intervention from the TC and anti-wheelie, the front will lift on occasions, if only by a few feet before gently falling again.

The 955cc Superquadro still pushes out over 150 hp, which is more than Carl Fogarty had when he took his first WSBK championship for Ducati. At the end of our test track’s main straight the V2 was indicating 158 mph and still pulling before I was forced to focus on my braking point.

Ducati shortened the gearing on the Streetfighter as a tall top gear to create a high top speed isn’t a requirement on a naked bike—enabling acceleration even more rapid than the Panigale V2.

Ducati shortened the gearing on the Streetfighter as a tall top gear to create a high top speed isn’t a requirement on a naked bike—enabling acceleration even more rapid than the Panigale V2. (Alex Photo (Cavadini-Barbanti-Puig)/)

This is a quick motorcycle, whose low-gearing promotes startling acceleration, but also far less daunting than Ducati’s mind-blowing V4 Streetfighter. The V2 delivers a combination of midrange torque and free-revving power that gives great drive out of corners and is equally happy holding on to its revs as it charges north toward its limiter. It doesn’t try to rip your arms from their sockets, but it is quick enough to give your upper body a thorough workout.

The Streetfighter excels as a road bike; in streetbike terms it makes a lot more sense than the sexier Panigale V2. The riding position is obviously more upright than the Pan’, in fact it’s even more upright than the Streetfighter V4. The seat is wider, thicker, and less punishing over a distance than the Panigale, with more room between the seat and pegs, which are a fraction further forward.

As with the suspension, the M4.32 Brembo brakes with a self-bleeding master cylinder are transferred over from the V2 Panigale. The only difference is the brake pad material, which is less aggressive.

As with the suspension, the M4.32 Brembo brakes with a self-bleeding master cylinder are transferred over from the V2 Panigale. The only difference is the brake pad material, which is less aggressive. (Alex Photo (Cavadini-Barbanti-Puig)/)

One criticism: The full color 4.3-inch TFT dash is, by modern standards, on the small side, and doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity. Personally, I don’t mind not having Bluetooth, but I do prefer the full-color clock on the new Multistrada V2.

The Streetfighter V2 is easier to live with, ride, and manage than Ducati’s V4 Streetfighter, and in many ways, for some, will be a better road bike than Ducati’s Panigale V2 too. It’s roomier, comfier, and cheaper, yet you have more or less the same power, rider aids, and chassis. On track, with race rubber, it wouldn’t be dramatically slower than the Pan’ either, and for most riders there wouldn’t be much between the two bikes, however it’s arguably not as desirable as the Panigale.

On track Ducati fitted the optional wings, as seen on the V4. Not only do they give an aggressive edge, but also increase downforce, and will set you back extra.

On track Ducati fitted the optional wings, as seen on the V4. Not only do they give an aggressive edge, but also increase downforce, and will set you back extra. (Alex Photo (Cavadini-Barbanti-Puig)/)

There’s no concealing the fact that it’s pricey, but as a versatile road bike it’s not just impressive when compared to the race-ready Panigale V2. It also sits in that enjoyable space between arm-ripping, track-focused super-nakeds and the cheaper, less exciting, but more usable middleweight naked machines. And that’s a good place to be.

The road test was split into two sections—road and track—running the same all-round Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV rubber for both elements.

The road test was split into two sections—road and track—running the same all-round Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV rubber for both elements. (Alex Photo (Cavadini-Barbanti-Puig)/)

2022 Ducati Streetfighter V2 Specifications

PRICE $16,995
ENGINE 955cc, liquid-cooled, 90-degree twin-cylinder; 4-valves/cyl.
BORE x STROKE 100 x 60.8mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 12.5:1
FUEL DELIVERY Fuel injection w/ ride-by-wire
CLUTCH Wet, multiplate slipper with self-servo; hydraulically actuated
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain
CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 153 hp @ 10,750 rpm
CLAIMED TORQUE 74.8 lb.-ft. @ 9,000 rpm
FRAME Aluminum monocoque
FRONT SUSPENSION Showa fully adjustable 43mm fork; 4.7 in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Sachs shock, fully adjustable; 5.1 in. travel
FRONT BRAKE Brembo M4.32 radial 4-piston calipers, 320mm discs w/ cornering ABS
REAR BRAKE 2-piston floating Brembo caliper, 245mm disc w/ cornering ABS
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR Aluminum; 17 x 3.5 in. / 17 x 5.5 in.
TIRES, FRONT/REAR Pirelli Diablo Rosso IV; 120/70-17 / 180/60-17
RAKE/TRAIL 24.0°/3.7 in.
WHEELBASE 57.7 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 33.3 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 4.5 gal.
CLAIMED CURB WEIGHT 441 lb.
WARRANTY 2 years, unlimited mileage
CONTACT ducati.com

You can change the modes from the setup menu at a standstill, remove the wheelie and traction control if you require, even opt for the least of the braking strategies.

You can change the modes from the setup menu at a standstill, remove the wheelie and traction control if you require, even opt for the least of the braking strategies. (Alex Photo (Cavadini-Barbanti-Puig)/)

As you’d expect, an Akrapovič full-system exhaust is an accessory (closed-course-use only). For that, weight is reduced by 15.4 pounds, and power increases from 153 hp to 157 hp, while torque also increases by 2.2 pound-feet.

As you’d expect, an Akrapovič full-system exhaust is an accessory (closed-course-use only). For that, weight is reduced by 15.4 pounds, and power increases from 153 hp to 157 hp, while torque also increases by 2.2 pound-feet. (Alex Photo (Cavadini-Barbanti-Puig)/)

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com