Tag Archives: Reviews

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

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

2022 Ducati Multistrada V2 S First Ride Review

The color range consists of the classic Ducati Red with black rims, available for both Multistrada V2 and Multistrada V2 S, together with the new Street Grey livery with black frame and GP Red rims, which can only be ordered for the version S.

The color range consists of the classic Ducati Red with black rims, available for both Multistrada V2 and Multistrada V2 S, together with the new Street Grey livery with black frame and GP Red rims, which can only be ordered for the version S. (Ducati/)

Back in 2003 an unusual-looking streetbike slipped away from the Ducati factory and into the night. Like a probe for a coming alien invasion, the Multistrada 1000DS was sent ahead to test our appetite for change and sitting upright on all-round road bikes with plush, long-travel suspension.

Not many of us bought Ducati’s first attempt at an adventure bike, but the seeds were sown. Eighteen years later the Multistrada V4 has become synonymous with performance, sophistication, and above all, versatility. Touring, sport and trail riding, commuting, and especially with the new Pikes Peak V4 on the horizon, even trackdays fall within its zone.

The engine update has produced a saving of about 4.4 pounds, including the clutch (3.3 pounds) and its cover, gearbox drum, and connecting rods.

The engine update has produced a saving of about 4.4 pounds, including the clutch (3.3 pounds) and its cover, gearbox drum, and connecting rods. (Ducati/)

Editor’s note: the Multistrada V4 has been reported on during the 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 First Look Preview, 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 S MC Commute Review, Is Ducati’s Multistrada V4 the Fastest Adventure-Touring Bike?, and 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 S First Ride Review articles and videos.

But it’s really the “other” Multistrada, the smaller and less expensive 950 V2, that links most directly to the concept and spirit of the original 1000DS. Ducati introduced the 950 back in 2017 as an entry point into the Multistrada family. Its versatility, price, and proportionate performance made it a hit with those who don’t believe biggest is always best, but the 950 has largely remained in the shadow of the V4 Multis, particularly the best-selling V4 S.

Inner brake discs hubs save another 1.1 pounds and the wheels are, front 1.5 pounds and rear 2.2 pounds, lighter.

Inner brake discs hubs save another 1.1 pounds and the wheels are, front 1.5 pounds and rear 2.2 pounds, lighter. (Ducati/)

For 2022 the Italians have focused on emphasising the V2′s strengths by making it lighter, more comfortable, and even easier to ride and maneuver, especially for shorter riders. New, rider-friendly ergonomics, including a thinner and lower seat, and a significant weight saving of 5 kilograms (11 pounds) result.

Ducati hasn’t tried to reinvent its adventure bike; it has developed and refreshed the existing model with small but significant changes, many of which have been asked for by existing Multistrada owners. There’s a lighter clutch, a roomier riding position (with 0.4 inch more between pegs and seat), and a saving on unsprung weight with 3.7-pound-lighter wheels from the premium Multistrada V4 replacing the older rims.

It uses the 937cc Testastretta 11° with power and torque remaining unchanged at 113 hp at 9,000 rpm and 71 pound-feet at 7,750 rpm.

It uses the 937cc Testastretta 11° with power and torque remaining unchanged at 113 hp at 9,000 rpm and 71 pound-feet at 7,750 rpm. (Ducati/)

As before there are four riding modes to choose from: Urban, Touring, Sport, and Enduro. With a 19-inch front wheel and off-road-capable Pirelli Scorpion Trail II rubber, the new Multi V2 is unfazed by moderately challenging off-road terrain. Unlike the base V2, this more expensive S model option comes equipped with Ducat’s Skyhook EVO semi-active suspension, meaning each riding mode changes the suspension setup, as well as the lean-sensitive traction control, and ABS rider aids.

Given that my testbikes’s fully loaded panniers—included in the Travel pack fitted to my test unit—added extra weight to the rear end, I electronically adjusted the suspension accordingly by selecting “rider plus luggage” from the menu, which added a little spring preload.

There are four riding modes: Sport, Touring, Urban, and Enduro.

There are four riding modes: Sport, Touring, Urban, and Enduro. (Ducati/)

Throwing a leg over for the first time, I found the 0.4-inch-lower seat height and narrower seat shape, which shortens the length of the inner-seam arch, are immediately evident. I’m 5-foot-7 and almost flat-footed on the tarmac, which is rare on bikes of this type. This standard seat now sits at 32.7 inches and can’t be lowered on a ratchet system like some; instead, Ducati offers a lower seat option of 31.9 inches as well as a suspension lowering kit that drops seat height to 31.1 inches, while a higher 33.5-inch seat option has been added to the catalog for taller riders.

Wide service schedules means an oil change every 9,300 miles and valve clearance checks every 18,600 miles.

Wide service schedules means an oil change every 9,300 miles and valve clearance checks every 18,600 miles. (Ducati/)

The Multi V2 lacks the 21-inch-diameter front wheel of the genuine off-road-focused adventure bikes, but it can definitely take on the trails. As Enduro mode is selected you feel the electronic Sachs suspension rise slightly in readiness for the rough terrain. Ducati fitted lighter, Multi V4-style mirrors to the V2 and the curvature of their stems means your forearms aren’t impeded when you stand up. The manually adjustable screen is, on its lowest setting, just about low enough to gaze over in the standing position. It all works nicely.

And now, when you come to a standstill, it’s easier for feet to reach and get traction on the uneven surface, which inspires trust, especially for short riders. There is a threshold, of course, as the road-biased bars are set too low for prolonged or technical dirt adventures and I’d want more room around the pegs for my heels, especially on the right side, which is slightly limited due to the exhaust routing.

The Ducati Performance catalog offers a lower seat and lowering suspension kit, which in combination reduce the seat height to 31.1 inches.

The Ducati Performance catalog offers a lower seat and lowering suspension kit, which in combination reduce the seat height to 31.1 inches. (Ducati/)

As I left the dusty trails at the rear, it’s a quick switch into Urban mode, which behaves like a wet mode with relatively early intervention from the TC and ABS. The V2 is in its element on flowing asphalt and tight urban streets alike. The fueling in Urban mode is softer and accurate, and tickling the throttle results in a seamless, linear response from the 937cc Testastretta 11°—a far cry from the snatchy old 1000DS.

The ingenious semi-active suspension runs on noticeably soft settings, delivering control over speed ramps and ironing out broken surfaces nicely. New riders will welcome the V2′s balance and calm nature at slow speed and now, thanks to that narrower and lower seat, how easy it is to bring to a standstill.

At 26 liters the right pannier is slightly smaller than the left (30 liters), due to the exhaust routing, but both ooze quality.

At 26 liters the right pannier is slightly smaller than the left (30 liters), due to the exhaust routing, but both ooze quality. (Ducati/)

On open roads it’s another mode change—into Touring mode, easily done on the move with a closed throttle—and again the changes in the Ducati’s performance and suspension are immediately notable. The setup is still on the soft side but the fueling is more urgent, with what appears to be more power to play with.

On the open road you begin to get a flavor of the 113 hp twin. There is a pleasant bark to the engine and exhaust, and Ducati has made clutch actuation lighter while an up-and-down quickshifter that’s standard on the S model adds to the acoustic experience as it cuts the ignition. It’s pleasingly smooth and effortless too.

Ducati created a two-day road test to enable us to get a flavor for its “entry-level” Multi V2 S, including an epic tour around Tuscany in northern Italy.

Ducati created a two-day road test to enable us to get a flavor for its “entry-level” Multi V2 S, including an epic tour around Tuscany in northern Italy. (Ducati/)

As the corners start coming, the V2′s chassis begins to reveal its ability. Ducati has reduced the new bike’s weight—most significantly its unsprung weight by adopting wheels from the V4 Multi—which in theory should allow it to steer quicker, but the added bulk of those panniers pretty much cancels out any obvious new sportiness.

Steering is, however, precise and neutral, and the Skyhook EVO suspension immaculately controls the fork dive and squat from rear squat, making the ride smooth and effortless.

Three levels of Bosch cornering ABS and eight levels of traction control are standard on both the standard and S model.

Three levels of Bosch cornering ABS and eight levels of traction control are standard on both the standard and S model. (Ducati/)

The ride is as high quality and as plush as you’d expect from a $17,895 ($15,295 for the V2) Ducati, and in mixed weather conditions Ducati’s advanced rider aids, both the lean-sensitive traction control and ABS, are quietly superb. It’s comforting to have such effective electronic backup which, like the rider modes, can be tailored to match the rider and conditions via the TFT dash.

In Sport mode there is another detectable adjustment to the chassis and the reaction of the semi-active Skyhook EVO suspension. There is less travel, the chassis feels tauter, the body of the bike moves less—particularly when you start to ride hard.

The Multistrada family is expanding for 2022. The new base-model Multi V2 is the entry into this class, followed by the Multi V2 S (as tested).

The Multistrada family is expanding for 2022. The new base-model Multi V2 is the entry into this class, followed by the Multi V2 S (as tested). (Ducati/)

While 113 hp may not appear like a lot of power, especially when it’s pushing 496 pounds (plus loaded panniers and rider) through the air, it never feels inder-clubbed. There is plenty of torque and drive lower down, plus a clean and satisfying spread of power further up the rev range.

But after two days of riding the Multi V2 S nobody was complaining; comfort simply isn’t an issue. The engine proved frugal, returning 5.1 liters per 100 kilometers (46 mpg) and 5.3L/100km (44 mpg), which equates to a best range of 244 miles. Three uninterrupted hours in the saddle shouldn’t be a problem. Heated grips are options but cruise control is fitted as standard and operated via the left bar. The screen is manually adjustable and offers sufficient wind protection and low buffeting for most rider sizes. My only niggle is the wind noise, which at speed is noisier than expected.

The S comes equipped with semi-active suspension, a quickshifter, hands-free cornering headlights, cruise control, a 5-inch TFT dash, and backlit handlebar controls.

The S comes equipped with semi-active suspension, a quickshifter, hands-free cornering headlights, cruise control, a 5-inch TFT dash, and backlit handlebar controls. (Ducati/)

Verdict

This 2022 refresh isn’t a gigantic leap ahead for the smaller Multistrada but it is a significant model for those who—be it by seat height, weight, or price—are disconcerted by big adventure bikes. It is far more accessible than the V4 and more user-friendly than the current V2, and deserves to attract a new and younger audience. The base model is an attractive $15,295, but fully loaded with the Travel package and you push that to more than TBD.

For that, however, you get Ducati styling, excellence, and character plus a high level of performance and handling and excellent rider aids. It’s a competitive market, but the new V2 S should carry on the accomplishments of the now old 950 as it’s now more appealing to a greater audience than earlier.

The heated grips, centerstand, and panniers are all optional extras as part of the Travel pack.

The heated grips, centerstand, and panniers are all optional extras as part of the Travel pack. (Ducati/)

2022 Ducati Multistrada V2 S Technical Specifications and Price

PRICE $17,895
ENGINE 937cc, liquid-cooled L-twin; 4-valves/cyl.
BORE x STROKE 94.0 x 67.5mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 12.6:1
FUEL DELIVERY Fuel injection w/ ride-by-wire 53mm throttle bodies
CLUTCH Wet, multiplate slipper; hydraulically actuated
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain
CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 113 hp @ 9,000 rpm
CLAIMED TORQUE 71 lb.-ft. @ 7,750 rpm
FRAME Steel trellis
FRONT SUSPENSION Electronic fully adjustable 48mm inverted fork; 6.7 in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Electronic shock, fully adjustable; 6.7 in. travel
FRONT BRAKE Brembo radial 4-piston caliper, 320mm disc w/ cornering ABS
REAR BRAKE Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, 265mm disc w/ cornering ABS
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR Cast aluminum; 19 x 3.0 in. / 17 x 4.5 in.
TIRES, FRONT/REAR Pirelli Scorpion Trail II
RAKE/TRAIL 25.0°/4.2 in.
WHEELBASE 62.8 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 32.7 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 5.3 gal.
CLAIMED WET WEIGHT 496 lb.
WARRANTY 2 years, unlimited mileage
CONTACT ducati.com

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 First Ride Review

Engine is from the RS 660, with new cams, new sump, shorter first gear, and new intake and exhaust. Torque is up, and delivers lower in the rev range; peak power is slightly down and again lower in the rpm compared to the RS 660.

Engine is from the RS 660, with new cams, new sump, shorter first gear, and new intake and exhaust. Torque is up, and delivers lower in the rev range; peak power is slightly down and again lower in the rpm compared to the RS 660. (Milagro/)

Aprilia has kept a low profile during the adventure-bike boom. Especially so when you recall the sweet-handling Pegaso 650 of the mid-’90s and cool-looking Aprilia Tuareg 600 of the late 1980s—as well as the factory Tuareg that competed in the Paris-Dakar Rally (when the then-infamous event actually ended on the beach in Senegal). The Noale factory was in pole position to create the first middleweight adventure-touring bike with an edge; then focused on the sportbike segment instead.

Now, decades later, Aprilia has jumped into the adventure arena, and the Italian manufacturer seems determined to redraw the boundaries with the latest bike to join the Tuareg dynasty—to “set a new limit on how far an adventure bike can go off-road.”

There are four riding modes to choose from: Urban, Explore, Individual, and a specific Off Road mode. Modes can be changed on the move and are all simple and easy to use.

There are four riding modes to choose from: Urban, Explore, Individual, and a specific Off Road mode. Modes can be changed on the move and are all simple and easy to use. (Milagro/)

While it would have been a relatively simple task to produce an everyday adventure-going streetbike, the company wanted to produce a machine that can be ridden properly off-road—a 21-inch front wheel and long-travel suspension were therefore never in doubt—but equally to be usable on longer journeys on the road and be light and accessible to shorter riders.

Tubeless Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR rubber comes as standard: front 90/90-21, rear 150/70-18.

Tubeless Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR rubber comes as standard: front 90/90-21, rear 150/70-18. (Milagro/)

The 2022 Tuareg adopts the parallel twin housed in the RS 660 sportbike as its base. Compact and fuel-efficient, inserting it into an enduro frame with long-travel (9.4 inches), fully adjustable suspension makes good sense. Add Aprilia’s usual high-end electronic APRC rider aids, including a specific off-road mode; make it accessible with a low seat height, as well as light at 412 pounds dry; bolt on a 4.8-gallon fuel tank; then wrap it all up in Italian styling with hints of the golden era of the Dakar… And there you have it, the new Aprilia Tuareg.

Brembo brakes are progressive and smooth, with twin 300mm discs up front. ABS is switchable, but not lean sensitive.

Brembo brakes are progressive and smooth, with twin 300mm discs up front. ABS is switchable, but not lean sensitive. (Milagro/)

The new Tuareg has a real bark to it. There’s a charismatic induction growl from the new airbox (which is easily accessible for air-filter cleaning as it’s positioned just in front of the fuel cap) supported by a pleasant exhaust tone. From the get-go this feels like a bike with character.

Much of that comes from the 659cc parallel twin already seen in the sporty RS 660 and Tuono 660 naked. Fuel-efficient and full of drive, thanks to its 270-degree crank, it gets new exhaust and intake systems, and camshafts to bolster low and midrange power. First gear is shorter and Aprilia has even redesigned the sump, making it shallower, to improve ground clearance off-road.

APRC rider aids are ATC (traction control), which has four levels and can be deactivated on the move; AEB (engine-brake) with three levels; AEM (engine map) with three levels, all with full power but different torque curves.

APRC rider aids are ATC (traction control), which has four levels and can be deactivated on the move; AEB (engine-brake) with three levels; AEM (engine map) with three levels, all with full power but different torque curves. (Milagro/)

The result is an impressive 51.6 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm, 2,000 rpm earlier in the range than the sporty RS 660. Furthermore, 75 percent of maximum torque can be found at just 3,000 rpm, and 90 percent at 5,500 rpm. With the emphasis shifted to a wide spread of torque and usability, maximum power is lower compared to the RS 660, now 80 hp at 9,250 rpm compared to 100 hp at 10,250 rpm. The rev limiter kicks in at 10,000 rpm compared to 11,500 rpm.

At first, I rode the new Tuareg inappropriately, tapping up and down the optional up-and-down quickshifter, making the 660 rev, and hitting the relatively low rev ceiling a few times in the process. There’s a definite kick around 7,500 rpm, and if you use all the power, the Tuareg can certainly deliver.

Rear ABS can be deactivated on the move for off-road riding, and the front turned off when at a standstill.

Rear ABS can be deactivated on the move for off-road riding, and the front turned off when at a standstill. (Milagro/)

But once I’d got over the initial excitement and calmed down a little, I learned to use the bike’s strong point: its low-down torque. That may sound odd, as this is an “entry-level” 660, but it feels much bigger than its 659cc. Not big as in heavy, but simply because the torque is strong for this type of bike. If you didn’t know, you’d never guess it was a 660.

The Tuareg pulls cleanly from anywhere, always with a nice pickup and drive. Leave the gearbox alone, use the torque, and enjoy the roar from the new airbox and exhaust. By the end of day one, I was hardly using the gearbox, instead pulling lazily but cleanly from low speed in fifth gear.

TFT 5-inch clocks are full-color and simple and easy to navigate with Bluetooth connectivity.

TFT 5-inch clocks are full-color and simple and easy to navigate with Bluetooth connectivity. (Milagro/)

We all know that compromises must be made if a bike is to work off-road as well as on. Ideally, for off-road riding you want long-travel suspension, a 21-inch front wheel, and lots of ground clearance—which is what Aprilia has given the Tuareg. The problem is, on asphalt that same suspension can feel soft and the steering slow while the seat will usually be high and unforgiving due to the tall riding position and extra ground clearance. But Aprilia has worked around these problems and managed to keep the seat height reasonably low for this class at 33.9 inches (which is lower than the Yamaha Ténéré perch), and improved ground clearance by reducing sump size.

Optional quickshifter is not as slick or smooth as on Aprilia’s more premium models.

Optional quickshifter is not as slick or smooth as on Aprilia’s more premium models. (Milagro/)

A new chassis and fully adjustable suspension give the Tuareg the capability to work both on and off-road. Obviously, with 9.4 inches of suspension travel there is no hiding the new bike’s dirt ability, but brush the soft Brembo stoppers and the front end doesn’t plummet south as they do on many dual-purpose bikes. Instead, the Kayaba fork compresses and rebounds with control, and the same can be said for the shock, which has generous travel and movement. You don’t feel distanced from the Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR’s contact patch. Even in tricky weather conditions confidence remains high.

Cruise control comes as standard and like the rider modes is easy to activate on the left bar.

Cruise control comes as standard and like the rider modes is easy to activate on the left bar. (Milagro/)

The initial turn-in is excellent, with a combination of wide bars, narrow front tire, lightweight chassis blending neatly. It’s only during fast direction changes on the road that you are aware of the larger front wheel and long-travel suspension. Even so, it’s certainly sporty and fun—in fact, its lightness, ease of use, and natural fluidity made carving up twisty roads a breeze.

As we’ve come to expect from Aprilia and its APRC electronics, there are a plethora of rider aids at your disposal, including four riding modes (Urban, Explore, Off Road, and Individual). Within each mode you can stay with the factory settings or change the rider aids: ATC (traction control), AEB (engine-braking), AEM (engine maps), and ABS. ABS is the same in every mode, apart from Off Road, which deactivates the rear ABS. In the options menu, you can even disable the front ABS, but only at a standstill.

Aprilia quoted 58.8 US mpg (4.0/100km). A 4.8-gallon fuel tank will give a theoretical tank range of more than 282 miles.

Aprilia quoted 58.8 US mpg (4.0/100km). A 4.8-gallon fuel tank will give a theoretical tank range of more than 282 miles. (Milagro/)

On the move it is simple and straightforward to change the modes and rider aids, and you can reduce or turn off the TC whilst riding too. See a dirt section, flick into the Off Road mode, which cancels the ABS on the rear and reduces the TC, and let the fun begin…

The ABS is equally impressive and just as smooth. However, the rider aids are not lean sensitive as there is no IMU fitted to this bike. Aprilia says that lean-sensitive rider aids are not needed on this type of bike and that including them would have added unwanted weight. Cruise control, however, comes as standard, though the quickshifter is an optional extra.

A 21-inch front wheel delivers on dirt and still gives a great feel on asphalt.

A 21-inch front wheel delivers on dirt and still gives a great feel on asphalt. (Milagro/)

At 5-foot-7 I’m on the short side and found the narrow seat initially comfortable and the nonadjustable screen adequate, while hand guards kept the rain away from gloves (heated grips are optional). By the end of a long day, I was starting to shift around on the seat, but like so much of the Tuareg, it strikes a decent balance between asphalt and off-road performance. And on challenging dirt terrain I never had a top-heavy feeling or worrying moment at slow speeds, despite my lack of inches.

Cruise control comes as standard and, like the riding modes, is easy to activate on the left bar. A 4.8-gallon fuel tank and a frugal engine—Aprilia quotes 58.8 US mpg (4.0/100km)—means a theoretical tank range of more than 282 miles. Aprilia also has a decent array of accessories for touring, including attractive hard luggage, plus a larger screen, heated grips, additional lights, comfort seat, and handlebar risers. I’d recommend the comfort seat for serious high-mileage touring.

Footpegs have removable rubbers for off-road work; ergonomics are equally effective with the rider standing during dirt riding.

Footpegs have removable rubbers for off-road work; ergonomics are equally effective with the rider standing during dirt riding. (Milagro/)

Aprilia has done a fantastic job on its adventure bike. If you didn’t know this was a 660, you’d think it was an 800 at least—and begs the question why you would want more?

It’s capable off-road—right up there with some of the best adventure bikes with 21-inch front wheels. On-road handling is equally impressive, and it exudes a high-quality feel with an impressive array of rider aids placing it ahead of some of the competition. Shorter riders will appreciate its low seat height—it’s not intimidating like some adventure bikes—while more experienced riders will applaud its all-round capabilities and sportiness.

Fit the comfort seat option and some panniers to go touring; fit some off-road-biased tires and crash protection to hit the trails with ease; or simply leave it as standard and enjoy a bit of everything.

Make no mistake, the new Aprilia Tuareg isn’t just an off-road-looking bike, it is more than capable on dirt.

Make no mistake, the new Aprilia Tuareg isn’t just an off-road-looking bike, it is more than capable on dirt. (Milagro/)

2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 Technical Specifications and Price

PRICE $11,999 (Acid Gold, Martian Red)/$12,599 (Indaco Tagelmust)
ENGINE 659cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled parallel twin; 4-valves/cyl.
BORE x STROKE 81.0 x 63.9mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 13.5:1
FUEL DELIVERY Fuel injection, ride-by-wire
CLUTCH Wet, multiplate slipper
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain
CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 80 hp @ 9,200 rpm
CLAIMED TORQUE 51.6 lb.-ft. @ 6,500 rpm
FRAME Steel
FRONT SUSPENSION Kayaba fully adjustable 43mm fork; 9.4 in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Kayaba fully adjustable shock; 9.4 in. travel
FRONT BRAKE Brembo 4-piston caliper, 330mm discs w/ ABS
REAR BRAKE Single-piston caliper, 260mm disc w/ ABS
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR Aluminum spoked; 21 x 2.5 in. / 18 x 4.25 in.
TIRES, FRONT/REAR Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR
RAKE/TRAIL 26.7°/4.5 in.
WHEELBASE 60.0 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 33.9 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 4.8 gal.
CLAIMED WET WEIGHT 449 lb.
WARRANTY 2 years, unlimited mileage
CONTACT aprilia.com

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2021 Honda CB1000R Black Edition MC Commute Review

In this episode of <i>MC Commute</i>, we swing a leg over the updated 2021 Honda CB1000R Black Edition.

In this episode of <i>MC Commute</i>, we swing a leg over the updated 2021 Honda CB1000R Black Edition. (Jeff Allen/)

As the already flagship model of the Honda’s Neo-Sports Café lineup, the 2021 CB1000R Black Edition takes it a step further with a number of form and function improvements for the new model year. The best part? Honda maintained its relatively well-priced $12,999 MSRP despite such upgrades.

Honda added the “Black Edition” suffix to the CB1000R, following the footsteps of its premium automobile offerings. The rebadge identifies an up-spec fit and finish to the outgoing, with hints of blacked-out coloring scattered throughout. Bits like the radiator shrouds, fork legs, airbox covers, exhaust system, and more drip in black finish. New seven-spoke cast aluminum wheels are also fitted to the Black Edition for a more intricate styling.

Powering the CB1000R is a 998cc DOHC inline-four powerplant, originating from Honda’s previous-generation superbike. While sharing the same basic architecture as its track-slaying sibling, the engine has been adapted for improved midrange delivery on the public road via an improved airbox flow, significantly larger throttle bodies, larger intake ports, and increased valve lift on both intake and exhaust. For reference, the last CB1000R we ran on our in-house dyno produced 120.1 hp at 9,700 rpm and 68.6 pound-feet of torque at 8,200 rpm.

The CB1000R is powered by a previous-generation CBR1000RR superbike 998cc DOHC inline-four powerplant adapted to everyday rideability, worthy of about 120 hp on the <i>Motorcyclist</i> dyno.

The CB1000R is powered by a previous-generation CBR1000RR superbike 998cc DOHC inline-four powerplant adapted to everyday rideability, worthy of about 120 hp on the <i>Motorcyclist</i> dyno. (Jeff Allen/)

Sure, the CB1000R’s dyno chart suggests modest peak figures, but it is a ripper in the midrange. Opening the throttle reveals a direct connection to the rear wheel via its throttle-by-wire system and a confidence-inspiring, butter-smooth initial acceleration as it rolls off the corner, quickly followed by an entertaining jolt in power around 7,000 rpm. Keep it wrung, it’ll loft a front wheel skyward as it spins toward redline. The added bidirectional quickshifter fitted to the ‘21 model makes for near seamless gear changes through its six-speed gearbox.

New to the CB1000R is a 5-inch TFT display, which replaces the clunky LCD display of the outgoing model.

New to the CB1000R is a 5-inch TFT display, which replaces the clunky LCD display of the outgoing model. (Jeff Allen/)

Quick acceleration and ripping performance is only complemented by the CB1000R’s nimble and flickable chassis. The in-command position of the one-piece off-road-style handlebar position leverages the 468-pound wet weight with quick turn-in characteristics and easy midcorner corrections. OE-fitted Pirelli Diablo Rosso III rubber lends itself to superb grip and feel.

This street bike is brought to a quick stop via a pair of Tokico four-piston calipers and 310mm discs up front. Although stopping power is strong, the system lacks brake feel and robs understanding of how much pressure is being applied to the disc. A fixed ABS setting is standard and offers a well-balanced level of intervention.

A pair of radially mounted four-piston Tokico calipers clamping to 310mm discs bring the CB1000R Black Edition to a halt and are aided by a fixed ABS system.

A pair of radially mounted four-piston Tokico calipers clamping to 310mm discs bring the CB1000R Black Edition to a halt and are aided by a fixed ABS system. (Jeff Allen/)

Honda added a 5-inch TFT display to the CB1000R for 2021, which replaces the LCD display of the outgoing model. The new dashboard offers much improved visibility of pertinent information and is easily navigated through via the left handlebar switch. All-LED lighting adds to the Black Edition’s premium touch and Honda’s high-quality fit and finish.

The 2021 Honda CB1000R Black Edition adds a degree of both performance and quality to an already impressive platform. Considering that it achieves both without an increase in price, it’s hard to argue the value. No black card needed.

The Showa Big Piston Fork is fully adjustable. Compression and rebound damping are adjustable via the left leg, while spring preload is accessible on the right fork.

The Showa Big Piston Fork is fully adjustable. Compression and rebound damping are adjustable via the left leg, while spring preload is accessible on the right fork. (Jeff Allen/)

Gearbox

Helmet: Shoei RF-SR

Jacket: Leonis Air Drystar

Pants: Alpinestars Victory Denim

Boots: Alpinestars Faster-3 Rideknit

The Black Edition is visually a stunner, adding to the already high-end fit and finish of Honda products. The best part? MSRP remains at $12,999.

The Black Edition is visually a stunner, adding to the already high-end fit and finish of Honda products. The best part? MSRP remains at $12,999. (Jeff Allen/)

2021 Honda CB1000R Black Edition Specs

MSRP: $12,999
Engine: DOHC, liquid-cooled inline 4-cylinder; 4 valves/cyl.
Displacement: 989cc
Bore x Stroke: 75.0 x 56.5mm
Compression Ratio: 11.6:1
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/chain
Fuel System: Fuel injection w/ ride-by-wire, 44mm throttle bodies
Clutch: Wet, multiplate slipper/assist
Engine Management/Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized
Frame: Steel backbone
Front Suspension: 43mm Showa SFF-BP fork, spring preload, rebound and compression damping adjustable; 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Showa shock, spring preload and rebound damping adjustable; 5.2 in. travel
Front Brake: Tokico 4-piston calipers, dual 310mm floating discs w/ ABS
Rear Brake: 1-piston caliper, 256mm disc w/ ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: Spin-forged aluminum; 17 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: Pirelli Diablo Rosso III; 120/70-17 / 190/55-17
Rake/Trail: 24.7°/3.8 in.
Wheelbase: 57.3 in.
Seat Height: 32.8 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.3 gal.
Measured Wet Weight: 468 lb.
Availability: Now
Contact: powersports.honda.com

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2022 Honda Grom ABS MC Commute Review

Motorcycling fun comes in all shapes and sizes as proven by Honda’s lovable 2022 Grom ABS.

Motorcycling fun comes in all shapes and sizes as proven by Honda’s lovable 2022 Grom ABS. (Adam Waheed/)

Honda’s lovable Grom sparked interest in the small-displacement streetbike segment when introduced for the 2014 model year. With its fun-size appeal, reasonable price, and ease of ownership, it became an immediate hit. For ‘22 Honda upgrades its 125cc minimoto ($3,599 as tested) by increasing versatility and ease of customization, all of which we reported on during the 2022 Honda Grom 125 Preview article. Now it’s time to ride.

Editor’s note: We have reviewed the entire line of Honda’s minimoto segment during the 2021 Honda Trail 125 ABS MC Commute Review, 2021 Honda Trail 125 ABS First Ride Review, 2019 Honda Monkey First Ride Review, and 2019 Honda Super Cub C125 MC Commute Review and videos. Also take a peek at the On Two Wheels: Fun Is The Only Replacement For Displacement article for more fun minibike content.

The Grom is half the size of a modern standard. It doesn’t occupy much garage real estate and it is one of the easiest street-legal motorcycles you can ride. If we had to retake a motorcycle endorsement skills test, it would be aboard a Grom.

The Grom continues to employ an LED headlight and taillight, however the turn signals are still of older halogen-bulb type.

The Grom continues to employ an LED headlight and taillight, however the turn signals are still of older halogen-bulb type. (Adam Waheed/)

Despite its diminutive size and sub-4-foot wheelbase, the cockpit can accommodate full-size adults. A flatter one-piece seat, with denser foam, makes it easy for tall riders to scoot back in the saddle opening up legroom. There’s also room for a pal, with a weight capacity of 309 pounds. A helmet hook beneath the seat keeps your lid safe when away from the vehicle.

As opposed to a scooter, the Grom offers a traditional and manual motorcycle experience. The cable-actuated clutch offers light lever pull with a wide engagement. Throttle response is mellow and well suited for new riders. Although there is no lever position adjustment, the OE setup works for a wide range of hands.

The Grom benefits from a more undersquare air-cooled single with a five-speed transmission. A replaceable oil filter is also integrated into the engine case.

The Grom benefits from a more undersquare air-cooled single with a five-speed transmission. A replaceable oil filter is also integrated into the engine case. (Adam Waheed/)

A new five-speed gearbox adds versatility, both in terms of acceleration and fuel mileage in top gear. The first four cogs are shorter as compared to the previous four-speed design. However, fifth gear is a tad taller, which helps eke extra mpg at highway speed. We registered upwards of 97 mpg. With its larger-capacity fuel tank (0.67 quart) it gives a 150-mile range between fill-ups.

Outright top speed on level asphalt is roughly the same (60 mph). However the ‘22 Grom is capable of achieving extra speed down hills.

The Grom offers a compact but usable cockpit that can accommodate a wide range of rider sizes.

The Grom offers a compact but usable cockpit that can accommodate a wide range of rider sizes. (Adam Waheed/)

A more undersquare 124cc air-cooled engine affords added torque complementing the transmission design. The engine’s compression ratio is boosted too (0.7). It breathes from a larger airbox with a replaceable air filter (every 12,000 miles). We like that the engine runs on standard 87-octane fuel.

Outright acceleration is nothing to write home about for performance-minded motorcyclists, but the Grom offers slightly more pep and can keep up with, and usually out-accelerate, sleepy automobile drivers at stoplights.

Honda’s Grom adds 0.67 quart of fuel capacity. We measured nearly 98 mpg during the course of our urban riding.

Honda’s Grom adds 0.67 quart of fuel capacity. We measured nearly 98 mpg during the course of our urban riding. (Adam Waheed/)

The LCD instrument panel finally includes a gear position indicator as well as an RPM adjustable shift light. The display is easy to read day or night.

Maintenance-wise the engine benefits from an engine oil sight glass and a removable paper oil filter element (replaced every 8,000 miles). After initial 600-mile service, Honda says the engine can go 4,000 miles between oil changes. Curiously, valve clearance inspection is also recommended at this interval.

The LCD dash display now includes a gear position indicator and a programmable shift light.

The LCD dash display now includes a gear position indicator and a programmable shift light. (Adam Waheed/)

In motion, it’s more maneuverable than you’d think considering its 234-pound claimed curb weight (owner’s manual). It turns quickly and is easy to put anywhere on the road. The suspension does an adequate job of soaking up bumps. Of course, you’re going to feel big dips and the effects of worn-out pavement more than a full-size streetbike, but what do you expect for a $3,599 motorcycle?

Rolling on 12-inch cast aluminum wheels shod with road-oriented and tall-sidewall Vee Rubber tires, the Grom offers enough cornering grip to put a smile on your face. More sport-oriented riders should remove the lean-angle-limiting footpeg feelers.

We appreciate the added stopping power courtesy of the double-piston front brake caliper.

We appreciate the added stopping power courtesy of the double-piston front brake caliper. (Adam Waheed/)

Front and rear disc brakes keep speed in check and we appreciate the double-piston caliper up front. For a $200 upcharge Grom riders can add IMU-powered ABS that keeps the front wheel from locking during brake application. Considering its size and intended use however, we’d opt for the non-ABS version. Plus it’s around 4 pounds lighter.

Just like Big Red’s modern Rebel cruisers, the Grom has easy-to-remove bodywork which lets owners customize their Grom more easily. An LED head- and taillight return, which help make for a capable night riding steed, but it would be nice if it offered LED turn signals too.

The one-piece seat uses higher density foam and has a flatter shape. This makes it easier for taller riders to get cozy on the Grom.

The one-piece seat uses higher density foam and has a flatter shape. This makes it easier for taller riders to get cozy on the Grom. (Adam Waheed/)

Whether you’re new to motorcycling or a more experienced rider seeking a fun little bike to jet around town on, the sporty-looking Grom remains a safe bet. And with its subtle improvements it will be an even more capable platform to customize and hop up if you’re seeking added performance.

Gear Box

Helmet: Shoei RF-SR

Jacket: Rev’It Tornado 3

Gloves: Carvenal

Pant: Rev’It Jackson SK

Boots: TCX Rush Air 2

Fun, affordability and ease of use are hallmark features of Honda’s $3,699 Grom ABS.

Fun, affordability and ease of use are hallmark features of Honda’s $3,699 Grom ABS. (Adam Waheed/)

2022 Honda Grom ABS Technical Specifications and Price

Price: $3,599
Engine: 123.9cc, SOHC, air-cooled single-cylinder; 2 valves/cyl.
Bore x Stroke: 50.0 x 63.1mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Fuel Delivery: PGM-FI
Clutch: Wet, multiplate
Transmission/Final Drive: 5-speed/chain
Frame: Steel
Front Suspension: 31mm inverted fork; 3.9 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Single shock; 4.1 in. travel
Front Brake: 2-piston caliper, 220mm disc w/ ABS
Rear Brake: 1-piston caliper, 190mm disc w/ ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: 10-spoke; 12 in. / 12 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: Vee Rubber; 120/70-12; 130/70-12
Rake/Trail: 25.0°/3.3 in.
Wheelbase: 47.2 in.
Seat Height: 30.0 in.
Fuel Capacity: 1.59 gal.
Curb Weight: 231 lb.
Warranty: 12-month, unlimited-mileage limited warranty
Available: May 2021
Contact: powersports.honda.com

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 and Tuono V4 Factory Review

No one builds fun, charismatic high-performance naked bikes like Aprilia and its Tuono V4 and Tuono V4 Factory. These streetbikes are engineered to give motorcyclists the best of both worlds: hardcore sport performance and real-world everyday comfort. This year its recipe gets even better with the Tuonos benefiting from many of the updates the RSV4 superbikes received. Find out more in the 2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory MC Commute Review and 2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 First Look Preview articles. Also read the 2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory First Ride Review. Interested in the larger-displacement and full-fairing version? Read and watch the 2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory Review, 2021 Aprilia RSV4 MC Commute Review, and 2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory MC Commute Review.

Gear Box

Helmet: Shoei RF-SR

Jacket: Rev’It Tornado 3

Gloves: Rev’It Sand 3

Pant: Rev’It Austin

Boots: TCX Rush 2 Air

2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory Technical Specifications and Price

PRICE $19,499
ENGINE 1,077cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 65-degree V-4; 4-valve/cyl.
BORE x STROKE 81.0 x 52.3mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 13.6:1
FUEL DELIVERY Fuel injection w/ Marelli 48mm throttle bodies, ride-by-wire
CLUTCH Wet, multiplate slipper/assist
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain
CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 175 bhp @ 11,35010,750 rpm
CLAIMED TORQUE 89 lb.-ft. @ 9,000 rpm
FRAME Aluminum dual beam
FRONT SUSPENSION Fully adjustable semi-active Öhlins NIX 43mm inverted fork; 4.7 in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Fully adjustable semi-active Öhlins TTX piggyback shock; 5.1 in. travel
FRONT BRAKE Radial Brembo M50 4-piston caliper, dual 330mm discs w/ Cornering ABS
REAR BRAKE 2-piston floating caliper, 220mm disc w/ Cornering ABS
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR Cast alloy; 17 x 3.5 in. / 17 x 6.0 in.
TIRES, FRONT/REAR Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa; 120/70-17, 200/55-17
RAKE/TRAIL 24.8°/3.9 in.
WHEELBASE 57.2 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 33.0 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 4.7 gal.
CLAIMED WET WEIGHT 461 lb.
WARRANTY 2 year, unlimited mileage
AVAILABLE June 2021
CONTACT aprilia.com

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2021 BMW R 18 Classic Review

BMW Motorrad goes head to head with the finest heavyweight American iron with its R 18 Classic cruiser. Based on the standard R 18, the Classic variation adds some touring-friendly features for cruiser riders seeking a streetbike that’s more than a one-trick pony. In this video review we cover the ins and outs of the R 18 classic. Get to speed on the rest of BMW’s four-bike cruiser lineup in the 2021 BMW R 18 Cruiser MC Commute Review, 2021 BMW R 18 Classic First Look Preview, 2022 BMW R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental First Look, 2021 BMW R 18 Power Cruiser First Look Preview, BMW Concept R18 Cruiser First Look, 2022 BMW R 18 B Transcontinental MC Commute Review, and 2021 BMW R 18 Classic MC Commute Review articles and videos.

Gear Box

Helmet: Shoei J-Cruise II

Jacket: Saint Unbreakable Denim Shearling Collar

Pant: Saint Unbreakable

Gloves: Racer Guide

Boots: TCX Rush 2 Air

2021 BMW R 18 Classic Technical Specifications and Price

PRICE $24,015 as tested
ENGINE 1,802cc, OHC, air/oil-cooled boxer twin; 4 valves/cyl.
BORE x STROKE 107.1 x 100.0mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 9.6:1
FUEL DELIVERY Fuel injection
CLUTCH 1-disc dry clutch; hydraulically actuated
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/shaft
FRAME Double-loop steel
FRONT SUSPENSION 49mm telescopic fork; 4.7 in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Cantilever shock; 3.5 in. travel
FRONT BRAKES Axial-mount 4-piston calipers, 300mm discs w/ integral ABS
REAR BRAKE 4-piston caliper, 300mm disc w/ integral ABS
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR Light alloy cast; 16 x 3.0 in. / 16 x 5.0 in.
TIRES, FRONT/REAR Bridgestone Battlecruise H50; 130/90-16 / 180/65-16
RAKE/TRAIL 32.7°/5.9 in.
WHEELBASE 68.1 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 28.0 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 4.2 gal.
CURB WEIGHT 805 lb.
WARRANTY 36 months
AVAILABLE August 2021
CONTACT bmwmotorcycles.com

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2022 Ducati Multistrada Pike Peak First Ride Review

We don’t know its price, weight, or power and torque figures because Ducati wasn’t forthcoming on specifications.

We don’t know its price, weight, or power and torque figures because Ducati wasn’t forthcoming on specifications. (Ducati/Alex Photo/)

This is an unusual test. Ducati’s Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak hasn’t been officially announced, meaning this was a blind test of a prototype—with the first production Pikes Peak due to be officially revealed at the end of this year. The original Pikes Peak bike (read the EICMA 2015: First Look at the 2016 Ducati Multistrada Enduro & Pikes Peak article) was produced as a homage to Ducati’s success at the world-famous hill climb, which the marque famously won in 2018 with the late Carlin Dunne at the helm. Now with 17-inch wheels the 2022 V4 should be the most track-focused Multistrada we’ve yet seen.

As you can see, the bike I rode isn’t fully finished. It’s a test mule for the Pikes Peak’s development team who kindly allowed me a few sessions on track.

As you can see, the bike I rode isn’t fully finished. It’s a test mule for the Pikes Peak’s development team who kindly allowed me a few sessions on track. (Ducati/Alex Photo/)

Editor’s note: We have reported on the Multistrada V4 equipped with 19/17-inch wheels extensively during the 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 S MC Commute Review, Is Ducati’s Multistrada V4 the Fastest Adventure-Touring Bike? and 2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 S First Ride Review motorcycle review articles and videos.

Ducati has opted for 17-inch wheels, which highlights both its track focus and new lack of off-road ambition.

Ducati has opted for 17-inch wheels, which highlights both its track focus and new lack of off-road ambition. (Ducati/Alex Photo/)

I was invited to the Modena circuit in northern Italy to test this new and exciting 17-inch-wheel machine. However, after several sessions, in perfect conditions, I can confirm that this promises to be the fastest Multistrada ever and should appeal to those who want a mixture of track performance as well as the Multi’s traditional comfort and ability over a meaningful distance.

We can assume launch control, cruise control, and Adaptive Cruise Control first seen on the Multi V4 this year will come as standard fitment.

We can assume launch control, cruise control, and Adaptive Cruise Control first seen on the Multi V4 this year will come as standard fitment. (Ducati/Alex Photo/)

Ducati wouldn’t reveal any numbers, but the Pikes Peak’s Panigale-derived Granturismo V-4, now with conventional spring-operated valves, of course, and 36,000-mile valve-service intervals, is sure to have more kick than the older Pikes Peak’s Testastretta DVT L-twin. The current Multistrada V4′s 170 hp at 10,500 rpm is up from twin’s 158 hp at 9,500 rpm, and I expect Peak’s peak power to be the same or perhaps slightly higher—but not a dramatic change.

Related: Motorcycle Reviews And Comparisons

Due to the secrecy of this test, Ducati exclusively hired the Autodromo di Modena racetrack with just one bike and one rider allowed out on track.

Due to the secrecy of this test, Ducati exclusively hired the Autodromo di Modena racetrack with just one bike and one rider allowed out on track. (Ducati/Alex Photo/)

Ducati has opted for 17-inch wheels on the preproduction bike, which highlights both its track focus and new lack of off-road ambition (19-inch are used on the other V4 Multis). To show how serious Ducati is about its track intentions, the testbike was fitted with Pirelli SC1 slicks front and rear (120/70-17 front, 200/60-17 rear).

The Italians have also opted for semi-active Öhlins suspension, front and rear, instead of the electronic Skyhook Marzocchi items found on the 2021 Multi V4 S. The older twin-cylinder Pikes Peak ran conventional Öhlins units.

Perfect conditions to test Ducati’s new Pikes Peak prototype.

Perfect conditions to test Ducati’s new Pikes Peak prototype. (Ducati/Alex Photo/)

There are four riding modes to choose from: Race, Sport, Touring, and Urban. The Race mode has replaced the standard bike’s Enduro mode—in fact, there is no off-road option.

Sophisticated rider aids are linked to these modes, including lean-sensitive traction control and ABS, plus wheelie control. There’s also an up-and-down quickshifter. The prominent TFT dash highlights the riding mode, rider aids, and the preselected suspension setup, even the spring preload.

Mirrors were not fitted to our testbike, and we’re unsure of fuel tank size and seat height, but it’s certainly lower than the standard bike’s.

Mirrors were not fitted to our testbike, and we’re unsure of fuel tank size and seat height, but it’s certainly lower than the standard bike’s. (Ducati/Alex Photo/)

The radial-mounted Brembo Stylema brake calipers appear to be the same as those on the V4 S Multistrada, although the discs and brake pad material are likely to be different. Like the rider aids, the lean-sensitive ABS will have a different setting compared to the long-travel Multi V4.

I know this tight and twisty Modena track like the back of my hand, so lap one is used to scrub in the slicks, then it’s flat out, pushing for a fast lap. At the end of the straight, toward the top of fifth gear, it’s hard on the Brembo stoppers and back to second gear on the quickshifter’s auto-blipper. Stopping power is impressive, while the bike’s stability and control are equally good.

The radial-mounted Brembo Stylema brakes appear to be the same as those on the V4 S Multistrada.

The radial-mounted Brembo Stylema brakes appear to be the same as those on the V4 S Multistrada. (Ducati/Alex Photo/)

I thought the prototype might struggle on such a tight track, but it makes light work of even the second-gear turns. Knee-down left to knee-down right is so effortless it can’t just be down to the smaller-diameter wheels. I assume Ducati has reduced both unsprung weight and perhaps the bike’s overall weight too. It may also have moved the center of mass to sharpen the steering.

In Sport mode, power isn’t ferocious, and I suspect available torque is limited in the first two gears. It’s a quick bike but not harsh or aggressive. With the throttle against the stop, I can feel the rider aids controlling the front wheel lift in second gear—lovely.

Rider aids will be completely new, with new settings and algorithms to match the new chassis and shorter-travel suspension.

Rider aids will be completely new, with new settings and algorithms to match the new chassis and shorter-travel suspension. (Ducati/Alex Photo/)

As you’d expect with Pirelli slicks and ideal weather conditions, grip isn’t an issue. Instead, the problem lies in getting used to carrying so much lean and corner speed on a bike originally designed to work off-road.

Sooner rather than later, pegs start to scrape and I begin to run a fraction wide of corner apexes, indicating the limit for the Sport mode.

There are four riding modes to choose from: Race, Sport, Touring, and Urban. The Race mode has replaced the standard bike’s Enduro mode.

There are four riding modes to choose from: Race, Sport, Touring, and Urban. The Race mode has replaced the standard bike’s Enduro mode. (Ducati/Alex Photo/)

Into Race mode, and the suspension is now catering for track riding on grippy tires. The ride is firmer, preload is up from 16 clicks to 21 clicks. Rider aids are also reduced; in fact, I could have opted to switch them off completely, but as this is a priceless prototype and one of only two in existence, I opted to keep a “safety net” in place.

The difference between Race and Sport mode is instantly evident. There is more chassis control and obviously less fork travel which, with less intrusive lean-sensitive ABS, allows deeper braking.

Ducati has opted for semi-active Öhlins suspension front and rear, instead of the electronic Skyhook Marzocchi items found on the 2021 Multi V4S.

Ducati has opted for semi-active Öhlins suspension front and rear, instead of the electronic Skyhook Marzocchi items found on the 2021 Multi V4S. (Ducati/Alex Photo/)

Stability when braking heavily from high speed is reassuring. At extreme lean angles generated by the Pirelli slicks, the pegs still touch down, but they’re not buried in the Italian track as they were in Sport mode.

Changes in direction are now electric as the taut chassis allows me to turn a fraction quicker and get on the power sooner. In Sport mode, there’s more suspension travel and I have to “lift” the bike over the rear shock, then for a fraction of a second let it settle. Now that transition is much quicker, allowing me to get back on the intimidating and usable power early, again still with the rider aids there in the background.

Power output in Sport and Race modes feel comparable, with Race a little sharper at the bottom and the throttle map slightly more aggressive. But again, this isn’t scary Panigale-type power; it’s manageable and usable.

Ducati wouldn’t confirm chassis spec, so we don’t know dimensions or suspension travel, but the shocks and fork appear similar to those on the Ducati Panigale V4S.

Ducati wouldn’t confirm chassis spec, so we don’t know dimensions or suspension travel, but the shocks and fork appear similar to those on the Ducati Panigale V4S. (Ducati/Alex Photo/)

Verdict

We only got a hint of what the new Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak will be like. There’s no spec sheet yet and the development team is still putting the final touches to the bike. But we do know it will be the sportiest Multistrada ever.

For 2022, the new Pikes Peak will be significantly different to its stablemates, with 17-inch wheels, new chassis dimensions, and all-new track focus—effectively an SP version of the Multistrada and only the same in name and engine.

When we eventually see a production Pikes Peak for real, it certainly won’t be intimidated by the trackday fast group and, given that it’s a Multistrada, should deliver a cracking ride home afterward too.

The testbike was fitted with Pirelli SC1 slicks front and rear (120/70-17 front, 200/60-17 rear), although that was just for the day of our ride.

The testbike was fitted with Pirelli SC1 slicks front and rear (120/70-17 front, 200/60-17 rear), although that was just for the day of our ride. (Ducati/Alex Photo/)

2022 Ducati Multistrada Pikes Peak Technical Specifications and Price

PRICE $TBD
ENGINE 1,158cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled V-4; 4-valves/cyl.
BORE x STROKE 83.0 x 53.5mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 14.0:1
FUEL DELIVERY Fuel injection w/ 46mm throttle bodies, ride-by-wire
CLUTCH Wet, multiplate slipper; hydraulic action
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain
CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 170 bhp @ 10,500 rpm (TBD)
CLAIMED TORQUE 92 lb.-ft. @ 8,750 rpm (TBD)
FRAME aluminium monocoque
FRONT SUSPENSION Öhlins TBDmm inverted fork, electronically adjustable; TBD in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Öhlins shock, electronically adjustable; TBD in. travel
FRONT BRAKE Radial 4-piston caliper, TBDmm disc w/ Cornering ABS
REAR BRAKE 2-piston caliper, TBDmm disc w/ Cornering ABS
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR 17 x TBD in. / 17 x TBD in.
TIRES, FRONT/REAR Pirelli TBD
RAKE/TRAIL TBD°/TBD in.
WHEELBASE TBD in.
SEAT HEIGHT TBD in.
FUEL CAPACITY TBD gal.
CLAIMED CURB WEIGHT TBD lb.
WARRANTY 2 years, unlimited mileage
CONTACT ducati.com

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com