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Living with an ‘Iron Barrel’ Royal Enfield Bullet 500

2006 Royal Enfield Bullet 500
My time machine: a 2006 Royal Enfield Bullet 500. (Photos by the author)

Why on earth did I recently pick up a 2006 “iron barrel” Royal Enfield Bullet 500? In a word, nostalgia.

The last bike I had to kickstart was a used 1970s Honda Trail 70 that I got on my 10th birthday. It was loud and burned oil, and I terrorized the neighborhood’s backroads at a blistering 30 mph. That bike was life, and it made me feel like Evel Knievel. Some of my friends’ parents thought I was a bad seed as a result, but I was just having fun and caught the adrenaline bug early (and some of the suit-wearing dads were probably jealous).

2006 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 / Honda Trail 70
Look out world, here I come!

My first streetbike was a used 1989 Honda NT650 Hawk, which was fast in its day and a real performer, and I’ve craved that rush ever since. Fast forward to today, and I’m riding a supercharged Kawasaki Z H2 that doesn’t disappoint.

I guess I’m about to age myself, but it’s been 33 years since I last kickstarted a bike (at 15) and here I am kickstarting a streetbike in 2022 – a new-to-me 2006 Royal Enfield Bullet 500. That sounds fairly new, but these bikes are anomalies as they’re basically 1955 designs. India had strict tariffs for decades that kept foreign competition out, so there wasn’t an urgency to update what became a timeless design. It’s like a Volkswagen Beetle on two wheels.

2006 Royal Enfield Bullet 500
The first Royal Enfield Bullet was built in England in 1931. The last one was built in India in 2020.

The first Royal Enfield motorcycle was built in 1901 by the Enfield Cycle Company of Redditch, England. In 1931, Royal Enfield introduced the Bullet, a single-cylinder motorcycle available in 350cc or 500cc displacements that was built in the UK until 1966. Like many other British manufacturers at the time, Royal Enfield suffered a slow, ignominious decline and finally went belly up in 1970.

Related: The Royal Enfield Story

In 1955, India’s Madras Motors was granted a license to build Bullets, and Royal Enfield India was established as an independent company. It thrived, outlasting its English cousin and growing into one of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturers, headquartered on India’s southeastern coast in Chennai. Bullets were produced essentially unchanged for more than five decades until they were upgraded in 2008 to an all-aluminum unit construction engine (UCE) with fuel injection. Bullets continued to be produced until 2020. In 2022, the iconic Bullet styling was reborn in the Classic 350.

Related: 2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 Review

Why Subject Myself to This?

The pre-UCE Bullet’s reputation is interesting; it’s a quirky, no-frills, underpowered bike with quality control issues and bizarre maintenance needs, but it’s also one of the most iconic models in history. In fact, it holds the claim as the longest-running motorcycle model in continuous production: 90 years, from 1931 to 2020. It beats the venerable Harley Sportster, which was produced for 66 years (1957-2022).

Related: Evo Sportster | End of an Era

2006 Royal Enfield Bullet 500
The breezy engine room of my “iron barrel” Bullet 500.

Technicalities aside, no other bike from the 21st century provides such an “old world” experience as an Royal Enfield Bullet with cast iron cylinder barrels in an aluminum head. Even Harley changed to all aluminum engines in the mid-1980s to keep up with foreign competitors. I just had to know why a traditional Bullet is such an icon. Or to think about it another way: What was it like riding in my grandfather’s day? (Hint: horrible.)

This particular bike is a solid runner, but it has multiple issues and took many nights in the garage to get it where it is today. There’s some piston slap (likely an issue with bearings), the timing gears are a bit worn, and the transmission is so sloppy that every gear change is a potential false neutral. Finding actual neutral is challenging enough that it could qualify as an Olympic event. Since operating this bike is more art than science, I wear old sneakers so I can really feel the shifter.

2006 Royal Enfield Bullet 500
The neutral light is like my North Star.

Kickstarting a bike that’s loud, obnoxious, and problematic takes me back to the Honda that my dad rolled into the kitchen when I thought a pair of shoes and jeans were my only 10th birthday gifts. 

I’m Not Embarrassed

When I’m on my Kawi Z H2, I feel kinda cool. It looks futuristic, sounds amazing, and is almost always the fastest bike on the road. Only a handful of other naked bikes can compete – Ducati V4 Streetfighter, Aprilia Tuono V4, Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS, you get the idea. It’s never about image and always about having fun, though on rare occasions I do pretend to be Batman (minus the cape). What can I say? When stopped at lights, people sometimes stare and even ask questions. It’s just one of those bikes.

2006 Royal Enfield Bullet 500
What are you looking at?

My Royal Enfield Bullet, however, elicits different kinds of stare. Some people think I’m broke and desperately trying to get somewhere on an old, loud, crappy bike. Others give me a nod of admiration. Some recognize it for what it is, while others simply appreciate vintage bikes – or a motorcycle built in 2006 that looks like it was built in 1955.

Related: 2010 Royal Enfield Bullet C5 Classic Review

Let’s back up for a second. Like I said, it’s not about image, but this bike just screams for attention. The exhaust is already loud, and there are rattles and knocks that would scare an antique chainsaw. When I can tune out the clatter and hear the distinctive thumping of the 500cc Single, however, it starts to make sense. There’s a legit icon underneath the proverbial rust (although there’s some real rust too). The noise tends to quiet down in 4th and 5th gears, and having a sense of what bikes were like in the mid-20th century is kind of cool. When parked, I’m amazed that so much ruckus can come from such a small bike. It’s like a rabid chihuahua.

2006 Royal Enfield Bullet 500
Classic analog gauges served motorcyclists well for decades. We don’t need no steenking TFT.

Riding the Mean Streets of L.A.

Los Angeles is an interesting place to ride. Some of the best motorcycling roads are located within reach – the Pacific Coast Highway, all the legendary Malibu roads (Mulholland, Latigo, Piuma, Stunt, Decker, etc.), and the Angeles Crest Highway, to name drop just a few. But cruising through the city is a different experience entirely. Traffic is notoriously bad, as are the drivers, but a bike like the Bullet 500 is designed for this. Have you ever seen the chaotic car, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian, and animal traffic in India? It’s pure mayhem.

That said, I’ve never ridden a streetbike like I do the Bullet. I’m more focused on engine noise and when to shift and am hesitant to exceed 50 mph as the engine complains in no uncertain terms. I already feel like a hospice caregiver forcing my patient to jog, so pushing it to a sprint is probably ill-advised.

2006 Royal Enfield Bullet 500
Ye olde kickstarter.

Let’s start on a typical cold November morning. The kickstand is missing, so it’s a centerstand-only affair, although that’s ideal for kickstarters. The bike originally came with a points ignition system, but somewhere along the line it was upgraded to an electronic ignition. That’s a more reliable system but negates a traditional way to kickstart the bike. You want the piston at top dead center, and with points, the ammeter (next to the speedometer) can signal this position. It doesn’t work with an electronic ignition, so I just go by feel and when it seems close enough. I’ve reached a point where it starts within three kicks when cold. That sounds positively archaic, but prior to getting my Bullet truly road worthy, it could take 10 or even 15 minutes to start. I don’t care what kind of shape you’re in, that’s exhausting.

After a few minutes of questionable rattles and knocks, it’s warmed up and ready to roll. I maybe use 50% of the throttle as I again don’t want to push it, and that makes an already slow bike even slower. We’re talking about 23 hp (when new). There are drum brakes front and rear, so I plan stops accordingly as it’s like slowing a freight train.

2006 Royal Enfield Bullet 500
Going nowhere fast but having fun.

Lane splitting is easy as the bike is loud and narrow, but overtaking cars just isn’t a thing, and those ubiquitous pay-as-you-go electric Lime scooters can easily pass me. It’ll comfortably cruise at 50 mph and blend in as a bona fide motorcycle, though. Honestly, I’d be miserable if this was my only bike (see supercharged Kawasaki Z H2 above), but as a second or third bike, it’s entertaining, and I’m no longer concerned it’ll leave me stranded. It even handled a recent 25-mile ride like a champion asthmatic senior Great Dane with hip dysplasia.

Night Riding is a Lesson in Improvising

Everything works during the day (relatively), but things change after dark. The headlight turns on (you can also turn it off), but it draws too much power and tries to stall the bike. It’s an aftermarket unit and the battery charges fine, so I’m not sure if it’s an alternator thing or just the wrong third-party light. The speedometer doesn’t light up at all, although that’s likely just a blown bulb. Thankfully the motorcycle gods have left the neutral light intact because if that didn’t provide its faint green glow, the already difficult transmission would be nigh impossible to deal with. It’s important to ride this bike often to keep it healthy, as even parking it for a week can cause issues, including oil settling (called wet sumping). Therefore, I’m forced to ride at night on occasion. 

2006 Royal Enfield Bullet 500
Night rider.

My current solution is to (allegedly) use a very powerful handlebar light for mountain bikes. It’s brighter with a wider spread than the stock headlight and designed for rough terrain, so the heavy engine vibrations aren’t problematic. I’m not sure about the exact legalities, which is why I allegedly do it. And it allegedly works very well. The beam even lights the speedometer on its way to the street. The permanent solution is either a stock headlight or new alternator, and I’m hoping the former is the answer.

Is It Worth It?

Back when my bike was new, Rider tested a 2006 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 ES Electra X, which is an upgraded, premium edition. Things were a little problematic even then, so you can imagine what the years, multiple owners, and almost 20,000 miles can do to a very old Indian design. It amazes me that this Bullet was sold new in 2006, but I also appreciate it. It’s not for everyone – and I’d only recommend it as a second bike – but the overall experience is unlike anything built after the early 1970s. Build quality is questionable, regardless of mileage or abuse, and as mentioned earlier, it’s quirky by even the most charitable standards of today. I also have a 2022 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650, which is basically a 1960s cafe racer without the headaches, and it might as well be from a different manufacturer. Royal Enfield has come a very long way, and the Continental can (kind of) rival a modern Triumph.

2022 Royal Enfield Continental GT
My 2022 Royal Enfield Continental GT is a looker and a runner.

So, is it worth it? Yeah, but only for the right person. This is all about riding a historic model, understanding its shortcomings, and appreciating how far motorcycles have come. It’s a snapshot of the 1950s, not the 21st century, which is an important distinction. Don’t let “2006” fool you. If I didn’t have my other bikes, I’d likely hate the Bullet, but as a niche ride that doesn’t have responsibilities (as in, actually getting me somewhere fast), this iconic piece of British-Indian engineering will always have a home in my garage.

The post Living with an ‘Iron Barrel’ Royal Enfield Bullet 500 first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 | First Look Review 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650
2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 in Interstellar Green

At the EICMA show this week in Milan, Italy, Royal Enfield unveiled a new tourer: The Super Meteor 650. Following in the tradition of the Meteor 350, the Super Meteor sits in an all-new chassis and comes in an array of color options with two optional accessory packages. 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650
This Grand Tourer Super Meteor 650 in Celestial Red was shown at EICMA and features a touring dual seat, a high windscreen, a passenger backrest, panniers, and LED indicators

The Super Meteor features the 648cc air-cooled parallel-Twin also found in Royal Enfield’s Continental GT and the INT650, all producing a claimed 38 lb-ft of torque and 47 hp.  

Watch our video review of the 2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 here. 

However, the chassis of the Super Meteor 650 is new. Created in conjunction with Harris Performance, it’s said to have a low center of gravity for stability and confidence for all levels of rider. Royal Enfield reports that the new chassis is built with long-distance riding in mind. 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650

“We have always had a differentiated approach to building motorcycles, and our new cruiser, the Super Meteor 650, is the next evolution of this approach,” says Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director of Eicher Motors Ltd. “Inspired by our own long-distance riding experiences and those of our customers, we have built the Super Meteor to be absolutely enjoyable to all senses.” 

Related Story: 2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT | Road Test Review 

The Super Meteor features a steel tubular spine frame and a 43mm inverted fork with 120mm of travel, along with twin shocks in the rear with 101mm of travel. Twin-piston caliper brakes will be standard. 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650

Also included as standard on the Super Meteor are LED headlights, a TBT navigation system, and redesigned engine covers. 

Related Story: 2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 | First Ride Review 

There are two accessory kits available for the Super Meteor: The Solo Tourer Genuine Motorcycle and the Grand Tourer. At EICMA, Royal Enfield showed one of each, along with a standard variant. 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650
The standard Super Meteor 650 in Interstellar Green, shown at EICMA

The Solo Tourer Genuine Motorcycle Accessories kit includes bar-end mirrors, deluxe footpegs, LED indicators, and machined wheels. The Solo Tourer shown at EICMA featured Astral Black paint. 

Check out Rider‘s 2023 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

The Grand Tourer version includes a touring dual seat, a high windscreen, a passenger backrest, panniers, and LED indicators, and was shown at EICMA in Celestial Red. A standard Super Meteor 650 was also shown in Interstellar Green. 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650
2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 with Grand Tourer accessories package

Paint colors available for the standard, with or without the Solo Tourer accessories kit, include Astral Black, Astral Blue, Astral Green, Interstellar Grey, and Interstellar Green. Color options for the Grand Tourer variant include Celestial Red and Celestial Blue. 

2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650
2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 in Astral Black

While pricing information is not currently available, we know that Royal Enfield hopes to deliver the Super Meteor 650 in North America in Summer 2023. 

Visit Royal Enfield’s website for more information. 

The post 2023 Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 | First Look Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

EICMA 2022: Royal Enfield Drops the Super Meteor 650

Finally, Royal Enfield has given us a new middleweight cruiser beauty – and she’s touting a new look to add to those long bones. 

According to Royal Enfield’s official press release, the Super Meteor 650 and Super Meteor 650 Tourer show off the popular 648cc parallel-twin engine, capable of 34.6kW (47PS, or roughly 46hp) @ 7250rpm 52.3Nm @ 5650rpm. 

Royal Enfield's new middleweight cruiser, the Super Meteor 650 / Tourer. Media sourced from Royal Enfield's press release.
Royal Enfield’s new middleweight cruiser, the Super Meteor 650 / Tourer. Media sourced from Royal Enfield’s press release.

This platform is the same that took off to huge success in the Interceptor INT 650 and Continental GT 650, with the addition of feet-forward foot controls and wide pulled-back handlebars to complement the suspension (a 43mm upside-down telescopic fork with 120mm of travel, and preload-adjustable twin shocks with 101mm of travel at the rear) and 29.1” seat height. 

Royal Enfield's new middleweight cruiser, the Super Meteor 650 / Tourer. Media sourced from Royal Enfield's press release.
Royal Enfield’s new middleweight cruiser, the Super Meteor 650 / Tourer. Media sourced from Royal Enfield’s press release.

Single-disc brakes with floating calipers ride on a 19” front tyre and 16” rear, which in turn show off a scalloped saddle aiming to emulate ‘the very best of British cruiser,” made all the more functional with LED headlights, new engine cases, a neat TBT navigation system. 

In short, we’ve got a 241kg (with 90% fuel & oil) beauty capable of a relaxed, part-throttle experience on the highways of our good country – and nobody is more proud of the brand’s achievements than RE’s CEO, B Govindarajan. 

Royal Enfield's new middleweight cruiser, the Super Meteor 650 / Tourer. Media sourced from Royal Enfield's press release.
Royal Enfield’s new middleweight cruiser, the Super Meteor 650 / Tourer. Media sourced from Royal Enfield’s press release.

“Even at the start of the development journey of the 650 parallel twin platform we were clear about our intentions of designing and building a true-blue highway cruiser,” says Govindarajan. 

“The 650 twin engine has been at the heart of the resounding global success of the Interceptor and the Continental GT 650, and we are confident that this platform, in a new cruiser avatar, will bring in new riders for Royal Enfield across the world.” 

Royal Enfield's new middleweight cruiser, the Super Meteor 650 / Tourer. Media sourced from Royal Enfield's press release.
Royal Enfield’s new middleweight cruiser, the Super Meteor 650 / Tourer. Media sourced from Royal Enfield’s press release.

“…the riding ergonomics are fine-tuned to offer a leisurely, yet in-control riding experience, and the overall premium fit-finish of parts and materials evoke visual and sensory delight,” adds Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director of Eicher Motors Ltd. 

“The design language is influenced by styles of the 1950s, including our own motorcycles, but with a contemporary twist. The Super Meteor 650 is a carefree motorcycle for riding until you decide it’s time to stop,” concludes Royal Enfield Chief of Design, Mark Wells. 

What do you think? 

Royal Enfield's new middleweight cruiser, the Super Meteor 650 / Tourer. Media sourced from Royal Enfield's press release.
Royal Enfield’s new middleweight cruiser, the Super Meteor 650 / Tourer. Media sourced from Royal Enfield’s press release.

Be sure to stay connected as other debuts happen at 2022’s EICMA; the Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650 will have seven different schemes from which to choose, all of which are expected to arrive next year in Q2 of 2023. 

Drop a comment down below, and as always – stay safe on the twisties. 

*Media sourced from Royal Enfield’s press release*

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

2022 Motorcycle of the Year

2022 Motorcycle of the Year

For the past 32 years, Rider has selected a Motorcycle of the Year. With the exception of two years when we made a People’s Choice selection by popular vote among readers (the Honda F6B in 2013 and the BMW R 1200 RT in 2014), it has been up to the Rider editorial team to choose a winner based on our collective experience with the year’s eligible contenders.

We ride as many of the new or significantly updated motorcycles released over the past year as possible, and we evaluate them within the context of their intended use.

Since we announced last year’s winner, we’ve tested cruisers, baggers, sportbikes, adventure bikes, naked bikes, minibikes, sport-tourers, luxury-tourers, cafe racers, standards, dual-sports, and even an electric dirtbike for kids.

Narrowing down such a diverse range of motorcycles into a single “best” isn’t easy. Our goal is to identify the one that best fulfills its intended purpose and advances the state of motorcycle design, performance, and function.

We haven’t always hit the mark. The BMW K1 we selected as our first MOTY in 1990 proved to be a flop, and the forkless Yamaha GTS1000 we selected in 1993 was the answer to a question no one asked.

Even if some of the selections we’ve made don’t stand the test of time, we stand by them because they were impressive motorcycles within the context of their eras. Others are easier to defend, like the 2001 Honda GL1800 Gold Wing, the 2002 Suzuki V-Strom 1000, the 2005 BMW R 1200 GS, and the 2017 Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight Touring lineup. 

For 2022, there were more than 60 eligible contenders. We narrowed them down to 10 finalists and one ultimate winner. 

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Finalists

1. BMW K 1600 GTL

2022 Motorcycle of the Year BMW K 1600 GTL
2022 BMW K 1600 GTL. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Winner of Rider’s 2012 MOTY award, BMW’s top-of-the-line luxury-tourer got its most significant update yet for 2022. Its ultra-smooth 1,649cc inline-Six makes 160 hp and 133 lb-ft of torque, its full suite of electronic rider aids was upgraded, and it has a huge 10.25-inch TFT, an air-conditioned smartphone compartment, and other new comfort and convenience features. 

2. CFMOTO 650 ADVentura

2022 Motorcycle of the Year CFMOTO 650 ADVentura
2022 CFMOTO 650 ADVentura. Photo by Gary Walton.

Competing head-to-head with the Kawasaki Versys 650LT, the all-new 650 ADVentura is powered by a 649cc parallel-Twin that makes 60 hp and 41 lb-ft of torque. It has an adjustable windscreen, a TFT display, LED lighting, a slip/assist clutch, standard ABS, Pirelli Angel GT sport-touring tires, and hard-shell saddlebags. At $6,799, it undercuts the Kawasaki by $3,200.

3. Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak
2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak. Photo by David Schelske.

The range-topping Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak’s 1,158cc Grandturismo V4 cranks out 170 hp and 92 lb-ft of torque, and its apex-strafing game gets elevated with a new Race mode and revised quickshifter. It’s equipped with a full electronics package (including adaptive cruise control and blind-spot detection), Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 suspension, Brembo Stylema calipers, and more.

4. Harley-Davidson Nightster

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Harley-Davidson Nightster
2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster. Photo by Kevin Wing.

The spiritual successor to the air-cooled Evo-powered Sportster, the all-new Nightster is a performance cruiser built on Harley’s modular liquid-cooled Revolution Max engine platform, in this case with a 975cc V-Twin with variable valve timing that produces 90 hp. Classic styling cues include a peanut “tank” (actually an airbox cover), a round air intake cover, and exposed rear shocks.

5. Honda Navi

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Honda Navi
2022 Honda Navi. Photo by Drew Ruiz.

Toeing the line between a twist-and-go scooter and a step-over motorcycle, the all-new Honda Navi borrows the fan-cooled 109cc Single and CVT transmission from the Activa 6G scooter and the Grom’s popular design language. The 8-hp Navi weighs just 236 lb, has a 30-inch seat height, and is priced at just $1,807, making it an ideal gateway to the world of motorcycling.

6. Indian Pursuit Limited

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Indian Pursuit Limited
2022 Indian Pursuit Limited. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Indian’s Challenger bagger, powered by the liquid-cooled PowerPlus 108 V-Twin that makes 108 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel, was Rider’s 2020 MOTY. Touring capability gets a boost on the Pursuit Limited (or Dark Horse), which adds fairing lowers, a tall adjustable windscreen, a Touring Comfort seat, heated grips, and a trunk with an integrated passenger backrest.

7. KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo

2022 Motorcycle of the Year KTM 1290 Super Duke Evo
2022 KTM 1290 Super Duke Evo. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Known as “The Beast,” the 1290 Super Duke R added “Evo” to its name and was updated with WP Semi-Active Technology (SAT) suspension available with six modes and automatic preload adjustment, a revised throttle-by-wire system, and more. Its 1,301cc V-Twin cranks out 180 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque, and its electronics allow riders to tame or unleash The Beast as they see fit.

8. Royal Enfield Classic 350

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Royal Enfield Classic 350
2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350. Photo by Brandon Bunch.

The Classic 350 brings back the styling that made the Royal Enfield Bullet – built from 1931-2020 – such an iconic bike and pairs it with a 349cc air-/oil-cooled, SOHC, 2-valve, fuel-injected Single with a 5-speed gearbox. Available in nine color-style combinations and priced as low as $4,599, the Classic 350 is the embodiment of simple, fun, affordable motorcycling.

9. Triumph Tiger 1200

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Triumph Tiger 1200
2023 Triumph Tiger 1200. Photo by Kingdom Creative.

Triumph completely revamped its Tiger 1200 adventure bike platform for the 2023 model year, shaving off 55 lb of weight, bolting in a 147-hp Triple from the Speed Triple, and equipping it with a new chassis and upgraded electronics. Five variants are available: the street-focused GT, GT Pro, and GT Explorer and the off-road-ready Rally Pro and Rally Explorer.

10. Yamaha MT-10

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Yamaha MT-10
2022 Yamaha MT-10. Photo by Joseph Agustin.

At the top of Yamaha’s Hyper Naked pecking order is the MT-10, a descendent of the FZ1 that was Rider’s 2006 MOTY. This “Master of Torque” is powered by a 160-hp crossplane inline-Four derived from the YZF-R1. It was updated for 2022 with new R1-derived electronics, upgraded brakes, revised styling and ergonomics, a new TFT display, and more.


And the 2022 Motorcycle of the Year Winner is…

SUZUKI GSX-S1000GT+

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Here at Rider, we’re big fans of performance. That’s an often overused and general term, but it encapsulates so much of what we love about motorcycles. Powerful, thrilling engines. Strong, responsive chassis – everything from the frame to the suspension, brakes, and tires. And these days, electronic rider aids that allow responses to be tailored to different conditions or rider preferences.

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

We’re street riders. We may do the occasional track day or school, but it’s usually to help us sharpen our skills so we can ride more confidently and safely on the street. We want performance that is exciting yet still manageable on public roads.

At the same time, we like to go the distance. Rider was started in 1974 just as the touring segment was taking off, and motorcycle travel has been one of the magazine’s hallmarks. We’ve tested thousands of motorcycles over the years, and we gravitate toward bikes that are comfortable, reliable, and versatile yet still get our performance juices flowing.

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Our 2021 Motorcycle of the Year was the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT, an adventure-style sport-tourer that’s lighter and more affordable than traditional heavyweight sport-tourers like the BMW R 1250 RT, Yamaha FJR1300, and Kawasaki Concours 14 – every one of which has worn Rider’s MOTY crown at some point. In fact, eight of our 32 previous MOTY winners have been sport-tourers.

And now, make that nine. The Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ (the ‘+’ denoting the model with standard saddlebags, whereas the base GT model goes without) delivers all the performance a street rider needs in a refined, comfortable, sophisticated package at a reasonable MSRP of $13,799. It checks all the right performance boxes while also being practical and providing – as George Carlin would say – a place for our stuff.

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

The GSX-S’s 999cc inline-Four is adapted from the GSX-R1000 K5, a bulletproof, championship-winning engine. Tuned for street duty, it churned out 136 hp at 10,200 rpm and 73 lb-ft of torque at 9,300 rpm on Jett Tuning’s rear-wheel dyno.

As we said in our road test in the July issue, “The GSX-S engine is a gem with no rough edges. From cracking open the throttle above idle to twisting the grip to the stop, power comes on cleanly and predictably.”

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

The GSX-S1000GT+ is equipped with the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System, which includes three ride modes that adjust throttle response, power delivery, traction control, cruise control, and other systems. It has the best up/down quickshifter we’ve ever tested, and thanks to its street-tuned, sportbike-spec chassis, the GT+ offers predictable handling, unflappable stability, and impeccable smoothness.

Touring amenities include comfortable rider and passenger seating, 25.7-liter side cases that can accommodate most full-face helmets, and a 6.5-inch full-color TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity via Suzuki’s mySPIN smartphone app. With its angular sportbike styling, the GSX-S1000GT+ looks as fast as it goes, and the side cases can be easily removed for an even sportier look.

As we concluded in our road test, “The GSX-S1000GT+ strikes an excellent balance between performance, technology, weight, comfort, and price. Life is good when the scenery is a blur.”

Congratulations to Suzuki for the GSX-S1000GT+, Rider’s 2022 Motorcycle of the Year!

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

To find a Suzuki dealer near you, visit SuzukiCycles.com.

The post 2022 Motorcycle of the Year first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2022 Motorcycle of the Year

2022 Motorcycle of the Year

For the past 32 years, Rider has selected a Motorcycle of the Year. With the exception of two years when we made a People’s Choice selection by popular vote among readers (the Honda F6B in 2013 and the BMW R 1200 RT in 2014), it has been up to the Rider editorial team to choose a winner based on our collective experience with the year’s eligible contenders.

We ride as many of the new or significantly updated motorcycles released over the past year as possible, and we evaluate them within the context of their intended use.

Since we announced last year’s winner, we’ve tested cruisers, baggers, sportbikes, adventure bikes, naked bikes, minibikes, sport-tourers, luxury-tourers, cafe racers, standards, dual-sports, and even an electric dirtbike for kids.

Narrowing down such a diverse range of motorcycles into a single “best” isn’t easy. Our goal is to identify the one that best fulfills its intended purpose and advances the state of motorcycle design, performance, and function.

We haven’t always hit the mark. The BMW K1 we selected as our first MOTY in 1990 proved to be a flop, and the forkless Yamaha GTS1000 we selected in 1993 was the answer to a question no one asked.

Even if some of the selections we’ve made don’t stand the test of time, we stand by them because they were impressive motorcycles within the context of their eras. Others are easier to defend, like the 2001 Honda GL1800 Gold Wing, the 2002 Suzuki V-Strom 1000, the 2005 BMW R 1200 GS, and the 2017 Harley-Davidson Milwaukee-Eight Touring lineup. 

For 2022, there were more than 60 eligible contenders. We narrowed them down to 10 finalists and one ultimate winner. 

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Finalists

1. BMW K 1600 GTL

2022 Motorcycle of the Year BMW K 1600 GTL
2022 BMW K 1600 GTL. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Winner of Rider’s 2012 MOTY award, BMW’s top-of-the-line luxury-tourer got its most significant update yet for 2022. Its ultra-smooth 1,649cc inline-Six makes 160 hp and 133 lb-ft of torque, its full suite of electronic rider aids was upgraded, and it has a huge 10.25-inch TFT, an air-conditioned smartphone compartment, and other new comfort and convenience features. 

2. CFMOTO 650 ADVentura

2022 Motorcycle of the Year CFMOTO 650 ADVentura
2022 CFMOTO 650 ADVentura. Photo by Gary Walton.

Competing head-to-head with the Kawasaki Versys 650LT, the all-new 650 ADVentura is powered by a 649cc parallel-Twin that makes 60 hp and 41 lb-ft of torque. It has an adjustable windscreen, a TFT display, LED lighting, a slip/assist clutch, standard ABS, Pirelli Angel GT sport-touring tires, and hard-shell saddlebags. At $6,799, it undercuts the Kawasaki by $3,200.

3. Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak
2022 Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak. Photo by David Schelske.

The range-topping Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak’s 1,158cc Grandturismo V4 cranks out 170 hp and 92 lb-ft of torque, and its apex-strafing game gets elevated with a new Race mode and revised quickshifter. It’s equipped with a full electronics package (including adaptive cruise control and blind-spot detection), Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 suspension, Brembo Stylema calipers, and more.

4. Harley-Davidson Nightster

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Harley-Davidson Nightster
2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster. Photo by Kevin Wing.

The spiritual successor to the air-cooled Evo-powered Sportster, the all-new Nightster is a performance cruiser built on Harley’s modular liquid-cooled Revolution Max engine platform, in this case with a 975cc V-Twin with variable valve timing that produces 90 hp. Classic styling cues include a peanut “tank” (actually an airbox cover), a round air intake cover, and exposed rear shocks.

5. Honda Navi

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Honda Navi
2022 Honda Navi. Photo by Drew Ruiz.

Toeing the line between a twist-and-go scooter and a step-over motorcycle, the all-new Honda Navi borrows the fan-cooled 109cc Single and CVT transmission from the Activa 6G scooter and the Grom’s popular design language. The 8-hp Navi weighs just 236 lb, has a 30-inch seat height, and is priced at just $1,807, making it an ideal gateway to the world of motorcycling.

6. Indian Pursuit Limited

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Indian Pursuit Limited
2022 Indian Pursuit Limited. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Indian’s Challenger bagger, powered by the liquid-cooled PowerPlus 108 V-Twin that makes 108 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel, was Rider’s 2020 MOTY. Touring capability gets a boost on the Pursuit Limited (or Dark Horse), which adds fairing lowers, a tall adjustable windscreen, a Touring Comfort seat, heated grips, and a trunk with an integrated passenger backrest.

7. KTM 1290 Super Duke R Evo

2022 Motorcycle of the Year KTM 1290 Super Duke Evo
2022 KTM 1290 Super Duke Evo. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Known as “The Beast,” the 1290 Super Duke R added “Evo” to its name and was updated with WP Semi-Active Technology (SAT) suspension available with six modes and automatic preload adjustment, a revised throttle-by-wire system, and more. Its 1,301cc V-Twin cranks out 180 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque, and its electronics allow riders to tame or unleash The Beast as they see fit.

8. Royal Enfield Classic 350

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Royal Enfield Classic 350
2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350. Photo by Brandon Bunch.

The Classic 350 brings back the styling that made the Royal Enfield Bullet – built from 1931-2020 – such an iconic bike and pairs it with a 349cc air-/oil-cooled, SOHC, 2-valve, fuel-injected Single with a 5-speed gearbox. Available in nine color-style combinations and priced as low as $4,599, the Classic 350 is the embodiment of simple, fun, affordable motorcycling.

9. Triumph Tiger 1200

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Triumph Tiger 1200
2023 Triumph Tiger 1200. Photo by Kingdom Creative.

Triumph completely revamped its Tiger 1200 adventure bike platform for the 2023 model year, shaving off 55 lb of weight, bolting in a 147-hp Triple from the Speed Triple, and equipping it with a new chassis and upgraded electronics. Five variants are available: the street-focused GT, GT Pro, and GT Explorer and the off-road-ready Rally Pro and Rally Explorer.

10. Yamaha MT-10

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Yamaha MT-10
2022 Yamaha MT-10. Photo by Joseph Agustin.

At the top of Yamaha’s Hyper Naked pecking order is the MT-10, a descendent of the FZ1 that was Rider’s 2006 MOTY. This “Master of Torque” is powered by a 160-hp crossplane inline-Four derived from the YZF-R1. It was updated for 2022 with new R1-derived electronics, upgraded brakes, revised styling and ergonomics, a new TFT display, and more.


And the 2022 Motorcycle of the Year Winner is…

SUZUKI GSX-S1000GT+

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Here at Rider, we’re big fans of performance. That’s an often overused and general term, but it encapsulates so much of what we love about motorcycles. Powerful, thrilling engines. Strong, responsive chassis – everything from the frame to the suspension, brakes, and tires. And these days, electronic rider aids that allow responses to be tailored to different conditions or rider preferences.

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

We’re street riders. We may do the occasional track day or school, but it’s usually to help us sharpen our skills so we can ride more confidently and safely on the street. We want performance that is exciting yet still manageable on public roads.

At the same time, we like to go the distance. Rider was started in 1974 just as the touring segment was taking off, and motorcycle travel has been one of the magazine’s hallmarks. We’ve tested thousands of motorcycles over the years, and we gravitate toward bikes that are comfortable, reliable, and versatile yet still get our performance juices flowing.

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Our 2021 Motorcycle of the Year was the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT, an adventure-style sport-tourer that’s lighter and more affordable than traditional heavyweight sport-tourers like the BMW R 1250 RT, Yamaha FJR1300, and Kawasaki Concours 14 – every one of which has worn Rider’s MOTY crown at some point. In fact, eight of our 32 previous MOTY winners have been sport-tourers.

And now, make that nine. The Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ (the ‘+’ denoting the model with standard saddlebags, whereas the base GT model goes without) delivers all the performance a street rider needs in a refined, comfortable, sophisticated package at a reasonable MSRP of $13,799. It checks all the right performance boxes while also being practical and providing – as George Carlin would say – a place for our stuff.

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

The GSX-S’s 999cc inline-Four is adapted from the GSX-R1000 K5, a bulletproof, championship-winning engine. Tuned for street duty, it churned out 136 hp at 10,200 rpm and 73 lb-ft of torque at 9,300 rpm on Jett Tuning’s rear-wheel dyno.

As we said in our road test in the July issue, “The GSX-S engine is a gem with no rough edges. From cracking open the throttle above idle to twisting the grip to the stop, power comes on cleanly and predictably.”

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

The GSX-S1000GT+ is equipped with the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System, which includes three ride modes that adjust throttle response, power delivery, traction control, cruise control, and other systems. It has the best up/down quickshifter we’ve ever tested, and thanks to its street-tuned, sportbike-spec chassis, the GT+ offers predictable handling, unflappable stability, and impeccable smoothness.

Touring amenities include comfortable rider and passenger seating, 25.7-liter side cases that can accommodate most full-face helmets, and a 6.5-inch full-color TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity via Suzuki’s mySPIN smartphone app. With its angular sportbike styling, the GSX-S1000GT+ looks as fast as it goes, and the side cases can be easily removed for an even sportier look.

As we concluded in our road test, “The GSX-S1000GT+ strikes an excellent balance between performance, technology, weight, comfort, and price. Life is good when the scenery is a blur.”

Congratulations to Suzuki for the GSX-S1000GT+, Rider’s 2022 Motorcycle of the Year!

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

To find a Suzuki dealer near you, visit SuzukiCycles.com.

The post 2022 Motorcycle of the Year first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2023 Motorcycle Buyers Guide: New Street Models

This 2023 motorcycle buyers guide highlights new or significantly updated street-legal models available in the U.S. So far, only a few 2023 models have been announced, mostly adventure bikes, and we’ve had a chance to test several of them. We include a couple of 2024 teasers too. We will continually update the guide as new models are available, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often.

Related Story: 2022 Motorcycle Buyers Guide: New Street Models

Organized in alphabetical order by manufacturer, our guide includes photos, pricing, key update info, and links to first looks and – when available – first rides, road tests, and video reviews of each motorcycle.

2024 Can-Am Origin

Can-Am Electric Motorcycle Pulse Origin
Can-Am Origin

OK, we’ve gotten a bit ahead of ourselves with this one since the earliest you can buy it will be mid-2024. At the annual Club BRP event in August2, Can-Am unveiled two all-new, all-electric motorcycles – the Origin dual-sport and the Pulse roadster (below). Detailed specs won’t be provided until mid-2023 (at Can-Am’s 50th anniversary celebration), but both will be powered by BRP’s all-new, proprietary Rotax E-Power technology, said to provide “highway-worthy speeds with plenty of horsepower and torque.”

The Can-Am Origin has rally-style bodywork, fork guards, and spoked wheels, in diameters that appear to be 21 inches in front and 18 inches out back, common sizes for off-road tires. The final drive is enclosed, and Can-Am reps would not reveal whether power is sent to the rear wheel via chain (used on nearly all dual-sports) or belt (used on many production electric bikes).

Read our Can-Am Origin and Pulse First Look Review

2024 Can-Am Pulse

Can-Am Electric Motorcycle Pulse Origin
Can-Am Pulse

The Can-Am Pulse has the muscular stance of a streetfighter, with racy-looking cast wheels shod with sportbike rubber and a sculpted “tank” that keeps the bike’s profile in line with conventional gas-powered motorcycles. The Origin dual-sport (above) and Pulse roadster share key design elements: distinctive LED headlights, large TFT displays, edgy white and gray bodywork, a bright yellow panel covering their battery packs, inverted forks, single-sided swingarms, single-disc brakes front and rear, and solo seats. Rear cowls may cover pillion seats; passenger footpegs are not visible on either machine, but production versions will likely have passenger accommodations.

Read our Can-Am Origin and Pulse First Look Review

2023 CFMOTO 800 ADVentura

2023 CFMOTO 800 ADVentura T
2023 CFMOTO 800 ADVentura T

The 2023 CFMOTO 800 ADVentura is powered by a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8-valve 799cc parallel-Twin borrowed from the previous-generation KTM 790 Adventure and makes a claimed 95 hp and 57 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with throttle-by-wire, it has two ride modes (Sport and Rain) and cruise control. It has a chromoly-steel frame, fully adjustable KYB suspension, J. Juan triple-disc brakes with cornering ABS, and a 7-inch TFT display.

The base-model 800 ADVentura S (for Street) has cast wheels and an MSRP of $9,499. The up-spec 800 ADVentura T (for Terrain, shown above) has spoked wheels, a quickshifter, a tire-pressure monitoring system, a steering damper, a skid plate, crash bars, handguards, and a centerstand. MSRP is $10,499. They should be available in late 2022 or early 2023.

Read our 2023 CFMOTO 800 ADVentura First Ride Review

2023 KTM 450 SMR

2023 KTM 450 SMR
2023 KTM 450 SMR

Designed for the track only, the 2023 KTM 450 SMR has a 449.9cc liquid-cooled, SOHC Single putting out a claimed 63 hp, and the engine weighs just 59.5 lb, nearly a pound lighter than the previous model. In addition to the features riders already love about the KTM 450 SMR (read our review of the 2021 model here), the 2023 model includes a redesigned Pankl Racing Systems 5-speed gearbox and a new Quickshift sensor on the shift drum for clutchless upshifts, which can be disabled through the handlebar switch.

Other updates for the 2023 KTM 450 SMR include a revised shock mount, redesigned high-grade aluminum CNC-machined triple clamps offering increased grip surface, altered longitudinal and torsional flex and frame-wall thickness, suspension updates, revised ergonomics, and more. KTM is still only listing the 2022 model pricing of $11,999.

Read our 2023 KTM 450 SMR First Look Review

2023 LiveWire S2 Del Mar

2023 LiveWire S2 Del Mar
2023 LiveWire S2 Del Mar

Harley-Davidson and its LiveWire brand have introduced the second all-electric model, the 2023 LiveWire S2 Del Mar, which is smaller, lighter, and less expensive than the LiveWire ONE.

Related Story: 2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire | First Ride Review

The street-tracker is said to produce 80 hp and weigh less than 440 lbs, yielding a 0-60-mph time of just 3.5 seconds. City range is said to be 100 miles, and highway range will be significantly lower.

LiveWire offered 100 serialized “Del Mar Launch Edition” models (shown above) with an exclusive paint scheme and a unique wheel design for $17,699, but all were sold out in the first 18 minutes. Those who missed the opportunity can get their name on a waiting list for when regular production models ($15,000) are available in the spring of 2023.

Read our 2023 LiveWire S2 Del Mark First Look Review

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411
2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

The 2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 brings scrambler styling to the Himalayan adventure bike platform, which was updated for 2022. It’s powered by an air-cooled 411cc single-cylinder engine carried in a Harris Performance chassis. Royal Enfield says the Scram 411’s versatile geometry and comfortable ergonomics give the lightweight bike a unique combination of on-road agility and capability on trails. It’s available in nine different color/style configurations, and MSRP is $5,099.

Read our 2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 First Ride Review

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050

The 2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 has a liquid-cooled, 1,037cc 90-degree V-Twin. When we tested the 2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT, it made 96 hp at 8,500 rpm and 66 lb-ft of torque at 6,300 rpm on Jett Tuning’s rear-wheel dyno. The 2023 V-Strom 1050 has a 6-speed gearbox with higher 1st and 6th ratios, an updated throttle-by-wire system, a new ABS control unit, a new CAN (Controller Area Network) wiring system, and a new 32-bit ECM (Engine Control Module).

The new V-Strom 1050 also includes many features previously only available on the XT models, including a 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (SIRS) electronics suite – which includes ride modes, cornering ABS, multimode traction control, cruise control, and braking systems that compensate for hill starts, slope, and load – as well as an up/down quickshifter, a new 5-inch TFT display, a new windscreen, and more. Pricing has yet to be announced.

Read our 2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 and V-Strom 1050DE First Look Review

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050DE and V-Strom 1050DE Adventure

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050DE Adventure
2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050DE Adventure

The 2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050DE and 1050DE Adventure share the same engine as the 2023 Suzuki V-Strom, as well as the new and updated features of the V-Strom (see above) and will replace the previous V-Strom 1050XT and V-Strom 1050XT Adventure models.

However, the DE models are more geared toward off-road adventures, featuring a 21-inch front wheel with a tube-type rim for maximum durability, a 17-inch tubeless rear wheel, and Dunlop Trailmax Mixtour adventure tires. They also add a new Gravity (G) traction control option in the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System, the ability to switch off ABS at the rear wheel, their own dedicated chassis geometry and suspension system, a longer swingarm, and other adventure motorcycle-specific offerings. The DE Adventure adds a set of 37-liter aluminum panniers with an anodized silver finish that attach to powdercoated, stainless-steel carriers. Pricing has yet to be announced.

Read our 2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 and V-Strom 1050DE First Look Review

2023 Triumph Tiger 1200

2023 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Pro
2023 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Pro. Photo by Kingdom Creative.

The folks in Hinckley have been busy. They’ve shaved 55 pounds off the new 2023 Triumph Tiger 1200, given it a 147-hp Triple, and equipped it with an all-new chassis and electronics.⁠ Five variants are available: the street-focused GT ($19,100), GT Pro ($21,400), and GT Explorer ($23,100) and the off-road-ready Rally Pro ($22,500) and Rally Explorer ($24,200).⁠

Read our 2023 Triumph Tiger 1200 First Ride Review

The post 2023 Motorcycle Buyers Guide: New Street Models first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 | First Ride Review

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411
The 2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 is a new scrambler variant of the Himalayan. Photos courtesy Royal Enfield.

Anytime you have a hit on your hands the way Royal Enfield does with its Himalayan adventure bike, you capitalize on it. A few modifications here, a tweak there, and voila, a new variation is born. Many times, however, as with blockbuster movies, sequels fail to capture the success of the original. With the Scram 411, has Royal Enfield produced the two-wheeled equivalent of a follow-up hit like The Empire Strikes Back or a forgettable flop like Ghostbusters II?

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

The new scrambler-style Scram 411 and the Himalayan share the same frame and air-cooled 411cc Single with SOHC and two valves. The 4-gallon fuel tank is also the same, but the Himalayan’s two-piece seat has been swapped for one of a singular design. More importantly, the 21-inch front wheel of the Himalayan was replaced with a more street friendly 19-incher on the Scram.

Related Story: 2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan | First Ride Review

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

The instrument cluster was also downsized, with the Himalayan’s digital compass and tachometer being omitted on the Scram, while the speedo was replaced with a different version that includes a clock, dual tripmeters, an odometer, and a gear-position indicator. Our test bikes were outfitted with Royal Enfield’s Tripper navigation unit, but according to company reps, supply-chain issues have prevented the Tripper from being offered as standard equipment. Instead, it will be an accessory available sometime in the future.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

Gone as well are the Himalayan’s windscreen and front rack, forcing Enfield designers to clean up the bike’s exposed cockpit, which they did by way of a cast metal headlight nacelle. Affixed to the mounting points on the frame where the front rack was previously attached is a pair of “urban badge plates.” Kudos to Enfield for taking the time to cover an ugly mounting stalk that another OEM may have left exposed and then incorporating that element into the bike’s graphics.

The Scram 411 is available in seven different graphics packages, all starting at $5,099.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

GEAR UP
Helmet: Scorpion EXO-GT930 Transformer Modulus
Jacket: Scorpion Vortex Air Mesh
Gloves: Scorpion Vortex Air
Pants: Klim
Boots: Sidi

Our route through the dairy lands of Wisconsin presented enough greenery and full lakes to make a California resident like me loathe returning to our brown, drought-stricken state. What it didn’t provide was a roadway tight enough to push the Scram to its limits in a series of peg-grinding, left-to-right transitions. But in the Badger State’s plentiful sweepers, gently rounded corners, and straightaways, the Scram exhibited all the confidence a bike of its caliber should.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

The semi-knobby tires do a fine job generating good grip and control in on- or off-road conditions while looking the part of a scrambler. The handlebars are just the right width to provide the rider with comfortable control. But the reach to the levers was at the limit of my comfort level, and while you can fiddle with the clutch cable to bring the clutch lever closer to the bar, the brake lever would require replacement with something more ergonomic.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

The few short gravel roads we traveled were also navigated with nonchalance except for the non-switchable rear ABS, which the Himalayan has but the Scram does not. Standing on the balls of my feet, I felt the same pressure from the side covers pushing my calves outward as I experienced with the Himalayan. Moving my feet forward until the heel of my boot caught the footpeg helped relieve the pressure, but I’d rather my feet be better positioned.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

Over the course of 400 miles, I found the seating position of the Scram to be surprisingly agreeable for a small-displacement motorcycle. The reach to the handlebar felt natural, and the seat provided a good combination of comfort and support. The seat-to-footpeg ratio was spacious enough to keep my knees from aching at the end of two full days of riding.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

At 7.5 inches, the Scram’s nonadjustable fork has 0.4 inch less travel than the Himalayan. Whether it’s the reduced travel or different damping, the Scram responded more harshly to rough pavement than its stablemate. The preload-adjustable rear shock, on the other hand, was less affected by irregularities.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

The Scram 411 variant of the Himalayan is an obvious direction in which to expand Royal Enfield’s model lineup. However, whereas the Himalayan succeeds well in its intended off-road environment, the Scram struggles to shine as brightly on pavement. In the dirt, the 411cc Single’s claimed 24.3 hp is enough for a novice or experienced motorcyclist to have fun, but on the road there’s barely enough forward thrust to keep a 5-foot-11, 187-lb rider like me moving at freeway speeds. At full tuck on a flat road, I got to 75 mph molasses-quick, but even at 65 mph there’s hardly any passing power in reserve.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

On the other hand, the counterbalanced Single produces hardly any vibration. Regardless of engine rpm, the air-cooled engine remained eerily smooth. The 5-speed transmission was uncooperative at times, exhibiting occasional notchiness when downshifting multiple gears, but the clutch pull is light.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

The Scram’s brakes are adequate but uninspiring. On the Himalayan, the single-disc brakes front and rear sufficiently slow the motorcycle in the dirt. On the street, however, effort is required to extract full power from the front 300mm disc gripped by a 2-piston caliper and the rear 240mm disc with a single-piston caliper.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

Has Royal Enfield got a sophomore hit on its hands? Accepted on its own terms – clean retro styling, a modestly powered little-engine-that-could Single, a solidly built price-point chassis, and an entry-level price – the answer is a qualified yes. Part of the deal is a low-tech motorcycle that’s heavy for its displacement class (432 lb with its 4-gallon tank full), which will be appealing, irrelevant, or unappealing depending on your point of view.

In the small-displacement scrambler segment, there aren’t many options available, but the Scram 411 isn’t the only game in town. For an extra $300, there’s the more modern, more powerful, and lighter Husqvarna Svartpilen 401. Different strokes for different folks.

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411

2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 Specs

Base Price: $5,099
Website: RoyalEnfield.com
Warranty: 3 yrs., unltd. miles w/ roadside assistance
Engine Type: Air-cooled Single, SOHC w/ 2 valves
Displacement: 411cc
Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 86.0mm
Horsepower: 24.3 @ 6,500 rpm (factory claim)
Torque: 23.6 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm (factory claim)
Transmission: 5-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Wheelbase: 57.3 in.
Rake/Trail: NA
Seat Height: 31.3 in.
Wet Weight: 432 lb
Fuel Capacity: 4.0 gals.

The post 2023 Royal Enfield Scram 411 | First Ride Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

‘RoyalSERIES’: The Ultimate Interceptor 650 Kits from Crooked Motorcycles

Whether you’re a beginner rider or have a plethora of decades under your belt, everybody dreams of the moment they can trick a bike out to the nines, no shame, green-filled pockets to the wall. 

But what if there was a way you could still enjoy the process of building a custom bike (or a bit of it) without taking a walk into Debtville? 

the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.

Ladies and gents, we bring you a new set of kits from Crooked Motorcycles, designed to fit Royal Enfield’s Interceptor 650 like a glove. 

“High-end custom motorcycles are nice to look at, but they take substantial talent to build and serious money to buy,”admits a report from BikeEXIF.

“That’s why for every top dollar custom out there, there are scores of bikes that have been lightly tweaked, just enough to make them stand out from the crowd. It’s also why some manufacturers are making bikes that are relatively easy to customize—and why more custom builders are producing kits.”

the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.

The custom builders connected to these kits – Jakob Müller and Dominikus Braun – both decided to start their journey after owning an Interceptor 650 for 18 months. 

After this whole difficult pandemic phase, we were motivated to build a series that is built on fun,” says Dominikus. 

“To leave everyday life behind, grab some friends and just have a good time on bikes!”

the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.

The kits – a part of Crooked’s ‘RoyalSERIES,’ comes in two variants: ‘Street,’ and ‘Gravel.’ Both feature new rear loops (which make way for attachment points for a pair of multi-purpose bags), and the loop attaches to the original OEM parts. 

RoyalSERIES ‘Street’ Cafe Racer Kit

the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.

 “In the street variant, the focus was on sportiness, both in and outside the city,” explains Dominikus.

“Sub-50 hp doesn’t sound ‘sporty,’ but it can be! Winding roads, lively handling, a sporty seating position and a raw voice sounds like fun for sure.”

The café racer kit boasts a sharp rear hump, with a 3D-printed rear cowl complete with fiber-reinforced plastic. 

It should be noted that ‘the café racer’s LED turn signals also act as taillights’ – something the scrambler doesn’t have.

Other perks include:

  • Gazzini headlight (surrounded by a handmade aluminum nacelle)
  • Motogadget grips
  • Motogadget bar-end turn signals
  • ABM clip-ons (with plugs to cover the original riser mount holes)
  • New YSS rear shocks
  • Exhaust is a ‘combination of custom headers and Hattech mufflers’
  • Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tyres

RoyalSERIES ‘Gravel’ Scrambler Kit

the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.

  “The performance off-road is amazing, because it handles nicely through tight curves, but also has enough pull to make some dust,” continues Dominikus about the Gravel kit. 

BMW on the pending release of their 310 RR. Photo courtesy of Top Speed.

A slim bench seat up top sets off an integrated LED taillight out back, with a set of Motogadget LEDs mounted to a custom-made license plate holder as turning signals.

Other perks include:

  • LED Bates-style headlight
  • High-mounted front fender
  • Stock mounting points on the yokes and the small bracket that holds the new Motogadget speedo.
  • 3D-printed fork covers 
  • Motoism turn signals
  • Renthal handlebars
  • Biltwell Inc. grips.
  • New YSS rear shocks (a couple inches of extra lift on the scrambler)
  • Continental TKC80 tyres
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.

“Crooked’s work is more than just skin deep, though,” admits BikeEXIF. 

“Modern bikes can be a pain when it comes to electronics, so they developed a special connector to plug the Motogadget speedo straight into the Royal Enfield’s wiring harness.”

“It’s all part of their bid to make these kits truly plug-and-play.”

the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.

For other custom kits like this, be sure to check back at our webpage, drop a comment below letting us know what you think, and as always – stay safe on the twisties. 

*Media sourced from BikeEXIF*

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

‘RoyalSERIES’: The Ultimate Interceptor 650 Kits from Crooked Motorcycles

Whether you’re a beginner rider or have a plethora of decades under your belt, everybody dreams of the moment they can trick a bike out to the nines, no shame, green-filled pockets to the wall. 

But what if there was a way you could still enjoy the process of building a custom bike (or a bit of it) without taking a walk into Debtville? 

the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.

Ladies and gents, we bring you a new set of kits from Crooked Motorcycles, designed to fit Royal Enfield’s Interceptor 650 like a glove. 

“High-end custom motorcycles are nice to look at, but they take substantial talent to build and serious money to buy,”admits a report from BikeEXIF.

“That’s why for every top dollar custom out there, there are scores of bikes that have been lightly tweaked, just enough to make them stand out from the crowd. It’s also why some manufacturers are making bikes that are relatively easy to customize—and why more custom builders are producing kits.”

the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.

The custom builders connected to these kits – Jakob Müller and Dominikus Braun – both decided to start their journey after owning an Interceptor 650 for 18 months. 

After this whole difficult pandemic phase, we were motivated to build a series that is built on fun,” says Dominikus. 

“To leave everyday life behind, grab some friends and just have a good time on bikes!”

the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.

The kits – a part of Crooked’s ‘RoyalSERIES,’ comes in two variants: ‘Street,’ and ‘Gravel.’ Both feature new rear loops (which make way for attachment points for a pair of multi-purpose bags), and the loop attaches to the original OEM parts. 

RoyalSERIES ‘Street’ Cafe Racer Kit

the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.

 “In the street variant, the focus was on sportiness, both in and outside the city,” explains Dominikus.

“Sub-50 hp doesn’t sound ‘sporty,’ but it can be! Winding roads, lively handling, a sporty seating position and a raw voice sounds like fun for sure.”

The café racer kit boasts a sharp rear hump, with a 3D-printed rear cowl complete with fiber-reinforced plastic. 

It should be noted that ‘the café racer’s LED turn signals also act as taillights’ – something the scrambler doesn’t have.

Other perks include:

  • Gazzini headlight (surrounded by a handmade aluminum nacelle)
  • Motogadget grips
  • Motogadget bar-end turn signals
  • ABM clip-ons (with plugs to cover the original riser mount holes)
  • New YSS rear shocks
  • Exhaust is a ‘combination of custom headers and Hattech mufflers’
  • Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tyres

RoyalSERIES ‘Gravel’ Scrambler Kit

the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.

  “The performance off-road is amazing, because it handles nicely through tight curves, but also has enough pull to make some dust,” continues Dominikus about the Gravel kit. 

BMW on the pending release of their 310 RR. Photo courtesy of Top Speed.

A slim bench seat up top sets off an integrated LED taillight out back, with a set of Motogadget LEDs mounted to a custom-made license plate holder as turning signals.

Other perks include:

  • LED Bates-style headlight
  • High-mounted front fender
  • Stock mounting points on the yokes and the small bracket that holds the new Motogadget speedo.
  • 3D-printed fork covers 
  • Motoism turn signals
  • Renthal handlebars
  • Biltwell Inc. grips.
  • New YSS rear shocks (a couple inches of extra lift on the scrambler)
  • Continental TKC80 tyres
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.

“Crooked’s work is more than just skin deep, though,” admits BikeEXIF. 

“Modern bikes can be a pain when it comes to electronics, so they developed a special connector to plug the Motogadget speedo straight into the Royal Enfield’s wiring harness.”

“It’s all part of their bid to make these kits truly plug-and-play.”

the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.
the RoyalSERIES kits from Crooked Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of BikeEXIF.

For other custom kits like this, be sure to check back at our webpage, drop a comment below letting us know what you think, and as always – stay safe on the twisties. 

*Media sourced from BikeEXIF*

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 | First Ride Review

2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 review
The 2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 blends authentic style with modern engineering. Photos by Brandon Bunch.

Few motorcycle manufacturers can hold claim to the word “classic” with as much legitimacy as Royal Enfield. Having launched its first motorcycle at the Stanley Cycle Show in London in 1901, it’s the oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production. Now, 121 years later, we have the 2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350.

Check out Rider‘s 2022 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 review
The 2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 is available in nine color-style combinations. On the left is the Dark Stealth Black version with cast wheels and tubeless tires. On the right is the Signals Marsh Grey with spoked wheels and tube-type tires. MSRP for both is $4,599.

One of Royal Enfield’s best-known models – the Bullet – was produced from 1931 until 2020, and it was available with either a 346cc or 499cc air-cooled Single. In 2021, Royal Enfield introduced the Meteor 350, a cruiser powered by a 349ccc air-/oil-cooled, SOHC, 2-valve, fuel-injected Single with a 5-speed gearbox. The Classic 350, which brings back the styling that made the Bullet such an iconic bike, is built around the same engine.

2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 review
The Classic 350 is powered by a 349ccc air-/oil-cooled, SOHC, 2-valve, fuel-injected Single with a 5-speed gearbox.

Built in Chennai, India, since 1955, Royal Enfields are designed for an enormous segment of the global market – those who want reliable, affordable small to mid-sized motorcycles. Over a 12-year production run, from 2008 to 2020, Royal Enfield produced and sold three million examples of the Classic 500, known here in the U.S. as the Bullet C5 Classic.

2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 review
Everything about riding the Royal Enfield Classic 350 is relaxed and enjoyable.

Gear Up:
Helmet: Arai Defiant-X
Jacket: Highway 21 Winchester
Gloves: Highway 21 Trigger
Pants: Highway 21 Blockhouse Jeans
Boots: Highway 21 Axle Shoes

Royal Enfield North America hosted the press launch of the Classic 350 in Savannah, Georgia, a classic Southern city established in 1733 on the banks of the Savannah River. On hand were two variants of the Classic 350, both retailing for $4,599: Dark models, available in Gunmetal Gray or Stealth Black, with a blacked-out powertrain and 10-spoke cast wheels with tubeless tires; and Signals models, available in Desert Sand or Marsh Grey, with 1950s military-style graphics and spoked wheels with tube-type tires. The Signals models are inspired by Royal Enfield’s long association with India’s armed forces.

2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 review
Savannah, Georgia, is a charming Southern city with squares that create mini-parks filled with enormous oak trees dripping with Spanish moss.

RELATED: 2022 Royal Enfield Scram 411 | First Look Review

Later this year, Royal Enfield will release the Halcyon collection inspired by 1950s-era British roadsters. Halcyon Forest Green, Halcyon Black, and Halcyon Blue will retail for $4,499, while the Chrome Red and Chrome Brown models with a mirror tank finish and special badging are priced at $4,699.

2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 review
Too legit to quit.

Like the Meteor, the Classic 350 was a collaborative effort by Royal Enfield’s design teams in the U.K. and India. They endeavored to create a motorcycle that seamlessly blends authentic styling and ride character with modern necessities like electronic fuel injection, disc brakes, and dual-channel ABS. All Royal Enfields are built in a state-of-the-art, ISO-9001-certified manufacturing facility and backed by a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty with roadside assistance.

2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 review
The Classic 350’s tank holds 3.4 gals.

As pleasing as the Classic 350 is to look at while parked on one of Savannah’s brick-paved streets, it’s even more enjoyable to ride. Its relaxed, neutral seating position accommodates riders of all shapes and sizes, and its engine abides riders of all skill levels. Hit the starter and the Single burbles to life, delivering a pleasant, visceral pulse feel and a heartwarming exhaust note that your grandmother would love.

RELATED: 2022 Royal Enfield Himalayan | First Ride Review

2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 review
Riding up and over the Talmadge Memorial Bridge, which rises 574 ft above the Savannah River to allow freighters to pass underneath.

Royal Enfield claims 20 hp and 20 lb-ft of torque at the crank. When we tested a Meteor 350, it sent 18 hp at 6,200 rpm and 18 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm to its chain-driven rear wheel. Built around a heavy steel frame and weighing 430 lbs ready to ride, the Classic 350 isn’t exactly a featherweight. Add in a full-grown adult male compressing the 31.7-inch seat’s foam, and the result is a languid, unhurried experience. The engine revs at a relaxed pace, and acceleration lacks urgency. Top speed is about 75 mph.

2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 review
The Classic 350 is as friendly as a puppy dog, and it felt right at home in old-town Savannah.

Horsepower and speed, however, are not the appropriate measuring sticks for the Classic 350. It’s the sort of motorcycle that embraces the slower pace of life that comes with molasses-thick humidity and lazy afternoons. What’s the rush?

Classic 350s will pound the pavement of rough, neglected roads the world over, and its suspension and brakes are designed to take abuse. The 41mm non-adjustable fork with 5.1 inches of travel and twin emulsion rear shocks with adjustable preload and 3.5 inches of travel were chosen for their durability and affordability. Ride quality is good but not great, right in line with expectations. Likewise, the ByBre disc brakes, with a 2-piston front caliper squeezing a 300mm rotor and a 1-piston rear caliper squeezing a 270mm disc, provide modest but predictable stopping power.

2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 review
Just what you need and nothing you don’t.

With a 19-inch front wheel and an 18-inch rear, the Classic 350 rolls over road imperfections with ease. Its Ceat Zoom Plus tires, which are also made in India, are narrow – 100/90-19 front, 120/80-18 rear – and contribute to the bike’s quick steering.

It’s hard not to love a motorcycle like the Classic 350. It’s a time capsule, an attention-getter, and – like that 1960s ad campaign for Tab diet cola – a “mindsticker.” Riding around the streets of Savannah, every time our get-along gang of journos stopped at a red light or a crosswalk, locals and tourists alike stopped in their tracks and asked, “Hey, what kind of bike is that?”

2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 review

Ride a Royal Enfield Classic 350 and you’ll make new friends, and that never gets old.

2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 Specs
Base Price: $4,599
Warranty: 3 yrs., unltd. miles w/ roadside assistance
Website: royalenfield.com
Engine Type: Air-cooled Single, SOHC w/ 2 valves
Horsepower: 20 hp @ 6,100 rpm (claimed)
Torque: 20 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm (claimed)
Displacement: 349cc
Bore x Stroke: 72.0 x 85.8mm
Transmission: 5-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Wheelbase: 54.7 in.
Rake/Trail: 26 degrees/4.4 in.
Seat Height: 31.7 in.
Wet Weight: 430 lbs (90% fuel)
Fuel Capacity: 3.4 gals.

The post 2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 | First Ride Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com