Tag Archives: Sport Motorcycles

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory | First Ride Review

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review
The 2021 Aprilia RSV4 and RSV4 Factory (above) were completely redesigned. (Photography by Larry Chen Photo)

Aprilia’s RSV4 is a bike that, like a fine wine, only gets better with age. Racing has always been a driving factor in the design of Aprilia’s sportbikes. The RSV4 was introduced for 2009 to compete in World Superbike, and Max Biaggi stood atop the podium nine times that season and won the championship in 2010. Four years later, the RSV4 was ridden to another WSBK championship by Sylvain Guintoli.

With racing in its DNA, it’s only natural that advancements made on the track influence design and engineering of models ridden by the general public, from advanced electronics to downforce-producing bodywork. The Aprilia RSV4 and RSV4 Factory underwent a ground-up redesign for 2021, giving us an opportunity to see how this racy red Italian wine tastes a decade on.

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review
2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory in Aprilia Black (left) and 2021 Aprilia RSV4 in Dark Losail (right).

It’s been a few years since I through a leg over a RSV4, so I was interested to see how the folks back in Noale, Italy, improved an already great motorcycle. And what better place to stretch its legs than the legendary WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, home of the famous Corkscrew. Laguna Seca has a long history of Superbike racing, plus it’s a favorite track for many of us. If only the fog weren’t so cold and damp, conditions would have been perfect.

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

Before we get to how the bikes work, let’s take a look at what’s new. Last year, Aprilia’s two RSV4 models had engines with different displacements, with the FIM-homologated RSV4 1100 RR boasting 1,000cc (and a claimed 201 horsepower) and the RSV4 1100 Factory living up to its name with 1,077cc (and 217 horsepower). Aprilia simplified things for 2021, equipping the RSV4 and RSV4 Factory with the same 1,099cc, 65-degree V-4 engine — with an extra 22cc of displacement courtesy of a slightly longer 53.3mm stroke, up from 52.3 — that Aprilia says still cranks out an eye-watering 217 horsepower at 13,000 rpm and 92 lb-ft of torque at 10,500 rpm, even while meeting strict Euro 5 emissions regulations.

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

The V-4 architecture allows the engine to be narrow while still offering the power-producing benefit of four cylinders. To keep the engine as light as possible, the crankshaft was made lighter and the external housings, oil sump and cylinder head covers are made of magnesium. To keep the engine as compact as possible, the cam chain drives the intake camshaft and a gear on the intake camshaft drives the exhaust camshaft. To maximize the engine’s rigidity, the crankcase is a monoblock design with integrated aluminum cylinder liners. And to minimize vibration, a countershaft cancels out engine imbalances. A new Magneti Marelli ECU 11MP allows more complex algorithms to be processed at a faster speed, and a new exhaust system not only satisfies Euro 5 but is lighter than its predecessor.

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

With well over 200 horsepower on tap, electronics allow the riding experience on the RSV4s to be tailored the rider’s skill level and preferences. Guided by a Bosch 6-axis IMU, the APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) suite does crazy fast calculations to optimize the bike’s dynamic behavior while offering a wide range of adjustability. Fifth-generation APRC includes: ATC (Aprilia Traction Control, 8 levels adjustable on the fly), AWC (Aprilia Wheelie Control, 5 levels adjustable on the fly), AEM (Aprilia Engine Map, 3 to choose from), AEB (Aprilia Engine Brake, a new feature with 3 levels that take lean angle into account), ALC (Aprilia Launch Control, 3 settings for track use), AQS (Aprilia Quick Shift), APL (Aprilia Pit Limiter) and ACC (Aprilia Cruise Control). Everything comes together with the six riding modes, with three for the street (Street, Sport and customizable User) and three for the track (Race and customizable Track 1 and Track 2).

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

That hardworking IMU also provides input for the Bosch 9.1 MP cornering ABS, which ensures maximum safety on the road and exceptional performance on the track. Co-developed between Aprilia and Bosch, it offers three levels of intervention and works in conjunction with Aprilia RLM (Rear Lift Mitigation) to keep the rear tire on the ground during hard braking.

We’re not done yet.

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

Whereas the standard RSV4 features fully adjustable Sachs suspension, the RSV4 Factory is equipped with Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspension, with a 43mm NIX upside-down fork, a TTX rear shock and an electronic steering damper. An array of sensors and servo motors adjust compression and rebound damping automatically as you ride, adapting to changing conditions. There are two modes — semi-active and manual — and three suspension maps for each mode, and Öhlins’ OBTi (Objective Based Tuning Interface) simplifies pushbutton adjustments. Both RSV4 models are perfectly capable of delivering effective feel and control in any situation, but the standard RSV4 requires manual changes while the Factory’s setup can be changed on the fly with the touch of a button (preload must be manually adjusted on both models).

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

Perhaps it goes without saying that the RSV4 is smarter than I am. I’ve done a lot of racing over the years, including the Isle of Man TT, back when control was all in the wrist and I had to rely on my own brain rather than the motorcycle’s to keep me out of trouble. But things can and do go wrong from time to time, and I have come to appreciate not only the helping hand but also the convenience and customization that modern electronics provide.

Because most changes can be made on the fly, I was able to try out various setups without having to return to the paddock. Pressing a button on the right cluster below the kill switch changes the riding mode, while a four-button setup on the left makes adjustments within each mode. A lever on the bottom of the left cluster adjusts traction control, and a switch on the top of the left cluster adjusts both cruise control and wheelie control. There wasn’t much cruising going on at Laguna Seca, but there were plenty of wheelies that needed to be tamed! And a new 5-inch full-color TFT display, which offers Road and Track screens, provides an easy-to-read mission control.

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

Aprilia revised the RSV4’s chassis and bodywork as well. To optimize strength, rigidity and feedback, the twin-beam aluminum frame uses both cast and pressed-and-welded elements. The cast aluminum swingarm has a new lower reinforcing brace for added stiffness and uses three welded sections instead of seven, reducing unsprung weight by 1.3 pounds. Unique among production sportbikes is the degree of adjustment possible with the RSV4’s chassis, including engine position, headstock angle, swingarm pivot and rear ride height. Chassis geometry has been tweaked slightly to improve handling, and to keep mass centralized mass, most of the RSV4’s fuel is carried under the rider’s seat.

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

Inspired by the Aprilia RS 660, the new RSV4 is more aerodynamic, with revised bodywork, a larger windscreen and new winglets built into the double-wall fairing that provide more wind protection for the rider, more downforce and a 7% increase in airbox pressure. Revisions to the lower cowling help improve cornering agility and reduce cross wind buffeting. A new fuel tank provides more support during braking and cornering and has a deeper chin perch for getting behind the windscreen when fully tucked in. Seat height was reduced by 9mm and the footpegs were lowered by 10mm, yet cornering clearance increased by 1.5 degrees on both sides thanks to narrower pegs. All this adds up to a more comfortable cockpit, especially for someone my size (5 feet, 10 inches).

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

The RSV4 has always been a looker, and the new bodywork only enhances its go-fast, form-follows-function stance. The front lighting application is what really stuck out to me. New DRL light rails that run under and up the sides of the LED cat-eye headlights really make it pop, and cornering lights add visibility during nighttime riding. And the exhaust muffler looks the business. The Factory is available in either Lava Red or Aprilia Black (shown), while the standard RSV4 comes in Dark Losail. The Factory also rolls on light, strong, five-spoke forged and machined aluminum wheels rather the three-spoke cast aluminum wheels on the standard model.

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

After a few laps on the RSV4 Factory I realized this bike is seriously fast. The smooth nature and low growling sound of the V-4 were deceptive, making me think I was going slower than I actually was. With 80% of peak torque available in the midrange, you don’t have to rev the engine into the stratosphere to get a strong pull out of corners. And it continues to pull even harder as the revs pick up heading down the straight to the next corner. The new Brembo Stylema monoblock radial front calipers paired with 330mm rotors were perfectly capable of slowing things down. Front brake action was superb, allowing me to modulate the needed pressure to control corner entry with plenty of feel and braking power.

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

I started the day in Race mode, which had a rather abrupt throttle response, but switching to Street mode smoothed things right out. As the day progressed, I ended up back in the Race and Track modes because, once I found my groove, it’s never fast enough, right? Unlike the Track modes, the three road-going modes tame power delivery for everyday riding, like commuting (don’t forget the cruise control!) or riding through town on your way to the good stuff, with the APRC electronics on standby in the background.

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

In terms of handling, the RSV4 and RSV4 Factory are perfectly suited to a challenging track like Laguna Seca. The RSV4 has always offered positive feedback to the rider, and the latest iteration is even better, allowing me to attack corners with complete confidence. Leaned over in the middle of a corner, the bike felt planted and told me exactly what was going on. Under hard braking the RSV4 never got out of shape, and with three levels of engine braking I could explore how much to let the rear step out.

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

I managed to get the RSV4 out of shape a few times on hard exits, especially coming out of Turn 2. The bike started to lift the front and I could feel the rear starting to let go, but before things went pear-shaped the wheelie control and traction control kicked in and kept me from ending the day early. The quickshifter with auto-blip downshifting is almost like cheating; just move your foot and the shift is made up or down with no clutch and no hesitation (it’s adjustable too).

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

Although the RSV4 Factory performed exceptionally, I struggled with the bike squatting on hard corner exits. Since the day got off to a late start due to a foggy and damp morning, we lost some valuable track time. The bike I was on seemed a little out of balance front to rear, but more preload at the rear remedied the problem. Fine-tuning is part of the process when you’re trying to squeeze every bit of performance out of a race-ready sportbike.

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory review

For conoisseurs, Aprilia’s latest RSV4 and RSV4 Factory offer robust, full-bodied vintages suitable for different budgets and tastes. The standard RSV4 has an MSRP of $18,999, whereas the RSV4 Factory has an MSRP of $25,999, with the extra lira paying for the Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspension and primo forged wheels. Enjoy responsibly.

2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory Specs

Base Price: $25,999
Website: aprilia.com

ENGINE
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 65-degree V-4, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 1,099cc
Bore x Stroke: 81.0 x 53.3mm
Compression Ratio: 13.6:1
Horsepower: 217 @ 13,000 rpm (claimed)
Torque: 92 lb-ft @ 10,500 rpm (claimed)
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated wet slipper clutch
Final Drive: Chain

CHASSIS
Frame: Aluminum dual-beam with pressed & cast sheet elements, cast aluminum swingarm
Wheelbase: 56.5 in.
Rake/Trail: 24.6 degrees/4.1 in.
Seat Height: 33.3 in.
Suspension, Front: 43mm USD fork, electronically adj., 4.9 in. travel
Rear: Single shock, electronically adj., 4.5 in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 330mm floating discs w/ 4-piston opposed radial monoblock calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 220mm disc w/ 2-piston caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Forged aluminum, 3.5 x 17 in.
Rear: Forged aluminum, 6 x 17 in.
Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17
Rear: 200/55-ZR17
Wet Weight: 445 lbs. (claimed, 90% fuel)
Fuel Capacity: 4.7 gals.

The post 2021 Aprilia RSV4 Factory | First Ride Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 | First Look Review

2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 review
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 in Metallic Triton Blue

Just a few months after announcing the updated-for-2022 Suzuki Hayabusa, Suzuki has unveiled another updated sportbike. The 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 is a naked sportbike powered by an updated version of the GSX-R-derived liquid-cooled 999cc in-line four.

Introduced for 2016 in both naked (GSX-S1000) and faired (GSX-S1000F) versions, the GSX-S used a detuned version of the engine from the K5 (2005-2008) GSX-R1000.

2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 review

For 2022, the GSX-S1000 gets more aggressive, angular styling with stacked LED headlights and MotoGP-inspired winglets. Its new 4-2-1 exhaust system with a stubby silencer on the right side meets Euro 5 emission standards. Updated camshafts and valve springs, a new fuel injection system and a new airbox deliver increased power and a broader, smoother torque curve. A 6-speed transmission is mated to a wet, multi-plate clutch equipped with the Suzuki Clutch Assist System (SCAS) for smoother deceleration and better control when downshifting.

2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 review

Like the Hayabusa, the 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 is equipped with the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S.), which includes the Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (SDMS), Suzuki Traction Control, Ride by Wire Electronic Throttle, Bi-Directional Quick Shift, Suzuki Easy Start and Low RPM Assist systems.

The GSX-S1000’s twin-spar aluminum frame and aluminum-alloy braced swingarm are from the GSX-R1000. Fully adjustable KYB suspension, ABS-equipped radial-mount Brembo monoblock calipers, an updated seat design, new wheels shod with new Dunlop Roadsport 2 tires, revised instrumentation and switches, and a new larger fuel tank (5 gallons, up from 4.5) round out the street-oriented sportbike package.

2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 review

The 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 will be available in Metallic Triton Blue, Metallic Matte Mechanical Gray and Glass Sparkle Black. Pricing is TBD but bikes will arrive in dealerships in Fall 2021.

2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 Specs

Base Price: TBD
Website: suzukicycles.com
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse in-line four, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 999cc
Bore x Stroke: 73.4 x 59.0mm
Transmission: 6-speed, wet multi-plate assist clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Wheelbase: 57.5 in.
Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/3.9 in.
Seat Height: 31.9 in.
Wet Weight: 472 lbs. (claimed)
Fuel Capacity: 5.0 gals.

2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 Photo Gallery:

The post 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 | First Look Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 Kawasaki KLX300 and KLX300SM | Video Review

We test two new models from Kawasaki: the KLX300 dual-sport (MSRP $5,599) and the KLX300SM supermoto (MSRP $5,999). Both are powered by a 292cc DOHC liquid-cooled four-valve fuel-injected single borrowed from the KLX300R off-road bike.
2021 Kawasaki KLX300 dual-sport (left) and KLX300SM supermoto (right). Photos by Kevin Wing.

We test two new models from Kawasaki: the KLX300 dual-sport (MSRP $5,599) and the KLX300SM supermoto (MSRP $5,999). Both are powered by a 292cc DOHC liquid-cooled four-valve fuel-injected single borrowed from the KLX300R off-road bike.

The KLX300 dual-sport is equipped with off-road-ready 21- and 18-inch wheels shod with Dunlop D605 knobby tires, a 43mm USD fork with adjustable compression damping and 10 inches of travel and a fully adjustable gas-charged Uni-Trak shock with 9.1 inches of travel. It has a 35.2-inch seat height and weighs 302 pounds wet.

The KLX300SM has 17-inch wire-spoke wheels shod with IRC Road Winner RX-01 rubber. Compared to the KLX300, the SM has stiffer suspension damping, less suspension travel, taller final-drive gearing and a larger front rotor.

Road Test Editor Nic de Sena spent a full day testing each bike, on public roads, at an OHV park (on the KLX300) and on a kart track (on the KLX300SM). He had a ball and says these bikes are great for newer riders or for those who just want to have fun on a budget. Check out his video review below:

The post 2021 Kawasaki KLX300 and KLX300SM | Video Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 Kawasaki KLX300 and KLX300SM | Video Review

We test two new models from Kawasaki: the KLX300 dual-sport (MSRP $5,599) and the KLX300SM supermoto (MSRP $5,999). Both are powered by a 292cc DOHC liquid-cooled four-valve fuel-injected single borrowed from the KLX300R off-road bike.
2021 Kawasaki KLX300 dual-sport (left) and KLX300SM supermoto (right). Photos by Kevin Wing.

We test two new models from Kawasaki: the KLX300 dual-sport (MSRP $5,599) and the KLX300SM supermoto (MSRP $5,999). Both are powered by a 292cc DOHC liquid-cooled four-valve fuel-injected single borrowed from the KLX300R off-road bike.

The KLX300 dual-sport is equipped with off-road-ready 21- and 18-inch wheels shod with Dunlop D605 knobby tires, a 43mm USD fork with adjustable compression damping and 10 inches of travel and a fully adjustable gas-charged Uni-Trak shock with 9.1 inches of travel. It has a 35.2-inch seat height and weighs 302 pounds wet.

The KLX300SM has 17-inch wire-spoke wheels shod with IRC Road Winner RX-01 rubber. Compared to the KLX300, the SM has stiffer suspension damping, less suspension travel, taller final-drive gearing and a larger front rotor.

Road Test Editor Nic de Sena spent a full day testing each bike, on public roads, at an OHV park (on the KLX300) and on a kart track (on the KLX300SM). He had a ball and says these bikes are great for newer riders or for those who just want to have fun on a budget. Check out his video review below:

The post 2021 Kawasaki KLX300 and KLX300SM | Video Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 Kawasaki KLX300 and KLX300SM | Video Review

We test two new models from Kawasaki: the KLX300 dual-sport (MSRP $5,599) and the KLX300SM supermoto (MSRP $5,999). Both are powered by a 292cc DOHC liquid-cooled four-valve fuel-injected single borrowed from the KLX300R off-road bike.
2021 Kawasaki KLX300 dual-sport (left) and KLX300SM supermoto (right). Photos by Kevin Wing.

We test two new models from Kawasaki: the KLX300 dual-sport (MSRP $5,599) and the KLX300SM supermoto (MSRP $5,999). Both are powered by a 292cc DOHC liquid-cooled four-valve fuel-injected single borrowed from the KLX300R off-road bike.

The KLX300 dual-sport is equipped with off-road-ready 21- and 18-inch wheels shod with Dunlop D605 knobby tires, a 43mm USD fork with adjustable compression damping and 10 inches of travel and a fully adjustable gas-charged Uni-Trak shock with 9.1 inches of travel. It has a 35.2-inch seat height and weighs 302 pounds wet.

The KLX300SM has 17-inch wire-spoke wheels shod with IRC Road Winner RX-01 rubber. Compared to the KLX300, the SM has stiffer suspension damping, less suspension travel, taller final-drive gearing and a larger front rotor.

Road Test Editor Nic de Sena spent a full day testing each bike, on public roads, at an OHV park (on the KLX300) and on a kart track (on the KLX300SM). He had a ball and says these bikes are great for newer riders or for those who just want to have fun on a budget. Check out his video review below:

The post 2021 Kawasaki KLX300 and KLX300SM | Video Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 Aprilia RS 660 | First Ride Review

2021 Aprilia RS 660 First Ride Review
Photos by Kevin Wing.

Those with a finger on the sportbike category’s pulse have had their gaze fixated on the Aprilia RS 660 ever since a concept of it was displayed at EICMA 2018. Rightfully so, as the RS 660 fills a vital role for the Italian manufacturer. It is its first fully faired middleweight offering, providing a street friendly but racetrack-capable alternative to the legendary RSV4 superbike. In a broader sense, the RS 660 also brings a level of sophistication and technology utterly unheard of in the class.

For decades, adding a 600cc inline-four cylinder or equivalently powered supersport model to its sportbike lineup has been the modus operandi of many a bike maker. The average 600 with their stratospheric redlines, peaky powerbands, taut chassis and racy riding positions are an absolute blast on the circuit — where they can be wrung out as intended.

2021 Aprilia RS 660 MSRP
2021 Aprilia RS 660 in Lava Red

On the street, few of those characteristics translate positively, unless you happen to reside at the base of an unpopulated mountain road. In traffic, the committed riding position weights the wrists something fierce, compounded only by the pain of stiff suspension and anemic engine feel, unless it’s spooled up to the heavens.

Instead, Aprilia carved out a niche within the still flourishing middleweight class, rubbing elbows with the likes of the iconic Suzuki SV650, Kawasaki Ninja 650, Yamaha MT-07 and Honda CBR650R, albeit with a raised pinky due to the $11,299 price tag. While all admirable motorcycles in their own right, their performance, power to weight ratios, equipment and electronics can’t match what the Aprilia RS 660 offers. This thing is entirely different, as I discovered on our first ride, beginning in Santa Barbara, California.

2021 Aprilia RS 660 First Ride Review
The Acid Gold colorway costs an additional $200.

The RS 660’s story begins with its all-new 659cc parallel-twin engine, producing a claimed 100 horsepower at 10,500 rpm and a peak 49.4 lb-ft of torque at 8,500 rpm. Equipped with a 270-degree firing order that’s become fashionable in European parallel-twin engine design, the 660’s engine is a spunky little firecracker and belts out a downright mean exhaust note, reminiscent of the RSV4.

With smooth bottom end and roughly 80 percent of its max torque coming online at a low 4,000 rpm, the 660 has plenty of gumption right out of the gate, delivering loads of mid-range power. Oh, what a peach this engine is, pulling with authority up to roughly 9,500 rpm, where things start to trail off.

There’s a lot of punch in that small package. Look close at the head tube and you’ll be able to see the seam right down the center.

Best yet, all of that power is delivered in a tractable, exciting and approachable way — intermediate riders will appreciate the inviting, rousing performance, while experienced riders are going to relish every ounce of power. Whether you’re in the city or hitting your favorite twisty road, you will always have punchy acceleration at your beck and call, unlike typical inline-four supersports.

The RS 660 is tame at lower rpm, and the engine decidedly difficult to lug when trawling traffic. On the opposite end of the rpm spectrum, the single counterbalancer does well to hide vibrations below 6k, but above that, buzz is felt through the footpegs. I wouldn’t consider it a deal-breaker, though.

2021 Aprilia RS 660 First Ride Review

The sporty 6-speed gearbox offers precision shifts and is equipped with a slip-assist clutch that results in an impressively light clutch pull. Separating itself from the pack further, the RS 660 is the only middleweight bike fitted with an up/down quickshifter and it is a treat to use in the canyons, allowing you to blast through the gearbox with glee. The quickshifter works well most of the time, but occasionally, you will be met with longer kill times on the upshift and slight hesitation on the downshift.

From the beginning, the tagline for Aprilia’s new P-twin was that it’s the RSV4’s powerplant with the rear cylinder bank lopped off. While Aprilia engineers took inspiration from the 999cc and 1,077cc V4 engines, the 660 is its own entity. Evidence of its RSV4 lineage is best expressed in the intake design and varied length intake funnels, 48mm electronically operated throttle bodies, high 13.5:1 compression ratio and cylinder head design, all taking more than a few pages from the RSV4 playbook. It even shares the superbike’s 81mm stroke.

2021 Aprilia RS 660 Quickshifter and Autoblipper
The RS 660 comes with a quickshifter and autoblipper standard and work well, save for a few occasional hiccups.

Helping you control everything is a Continental 6-axis IMU supported, class-leading APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) rider aid package, lifted directly from the RSV4 and Tuono motorcycles. It includes 3-level cornering ABS, 3-level traction control, wheelie control, 3 throttle maps, cruise control and even engine braking management, which isn’t featured on the big bikes. In ABS level 3, the cornering function is enabled, while level 2 removes the cornering function for more aggressive riding, and in level 1, ABS is disabled in the rear only.

A total of five ride modes are standard: Commute (high intervention), Dynamic (sport riding) and Individual (customizable). Diving into the dash and switching from Road to Race will reveal the preset Challenge and custom Time Attack ride modes, that replaces your speedometer with a lap timer on the instrument panel.

2021 Aprilia RS 660 Specs

All of those parameters can be quickly adjusted from the full-color TFT display found on several Piaggio models, but its easily navigable interface is updated for this application.

The street isn’t a place to test traction control or ABS limits, but I sure am glad to have those aids watching over my shoulder, especially when rolling through dusty apexes in the canyons. I stuck with Dynamic mode and enjoyed the crisp throttle connection, as well as the long leash for spirited riding.

2021 Aprilia RS 660 First Ride Review

What was crucial for the RS 660 platform is that the engine be as compact as possible to aid in a narrow and physically smaller chassis. A uniquely designed, lightweight aluminum twin-spar frame uses the 659cc engine as a stressed member to help save weight. Interestingly, each spar has one half of the head-tube cast into it and it’s completed when the two frame halves bolt together. Also, the cast aluminum swingarm connects directly to the engine, again saving weight.

With a leg thrown over the RS 660, it becomes apparent just how much emphasis was put on making the bike as sleek and svelte as can be. The footpeg distance is 0.72-inches narrower than the RSV4, and the subframe is 0.63-inches slimmer. Together, those dimensions make the relatively tall yet plush 32.3-inch seat height completely accessible for shorter riders. Additionally, the narrow subframe allows me to drive my weight through the footpegs, increasing control and feedback. For my 5-foot, 10-inch frame, the cockpit is spacious enough, although taller riders may disagree.

2021 Aprilia RS 660 First Ride Review

Faux riser clip-on handlebars integrated into the upper triple-clamp create a sporty yet sustainable riding position. Things can get wristy if you’re complacent on a longer ride, but it’s nowhere near as taxing as a supersport or superbike. Meanwhile, the 3.96-gallon fuel tank makes for a great anchoring point when braking or cornering. Aprilia representatives stated that they aimed for a riding position between the upright Kawasaki Ninja 650 and the racetrack-ready Yamaha YZF-R6.

Stylistically, the RS 660 references the RSV4 heavily and is equipped with LED lighting all around. Designers did add a bit of flair to the three-headlight RSV4 design by giving the RS 660 a daytime running light that extends upward on the front fairing in a “furrowed eyebrow” manner. The bike also features a functional passenger seat in standard trim, and when removed, luggage can be strapped to the bracket beneath.

2021 Aprilia RS 660 First Ride Review
The RSV4 superbike’s design has stood the test of the time and the RS 660’s lineage is more than clear.

A sportbike wouldn’t be a sportbike in 2020 without MotoGP-inspired aerodynamic winglets, and while the dual-layered plastics aren’t necessarily about creating down force, they are about encouraging rider comfort. The winglets are said to draw hot air away from the engine. In practice, it seems to work, as the engine’s radiant heat was rarely noticeable.

The supersport windscreen also provides a decent amount of wind protection when riding at freeway speeds, directing air toward the top of my helmet, and I can get into full-tuck comfortably.

2021 Aprilia RS 660 First Ride Review

A glance at the spec sheet reveals appropriately sporty numbers. Its short 53.9-inch wheelbase, steep 24.1-degree rake and 4.1-inches of trail pull no punches. However, this is where the Aprilia engineers have flexed their chassis knowledge against the competition — this bike is absolutely planted, translating tons of feel to the rider.

With a claimed wet weight of 403 pounds, the RS 660 tips into corners confidently and has a front end that encourages zealot-like faith. It’s light, nimble, and begs to be whipped into corners, remaining incredibly steady in every phase of the turn. Of course, Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corso II 120/70 and 180/55 rubber certainly contribute to the positive feelings. Thankfully, due to its reasonable power, the RS 660 won’t shred tires to the same degree its larger siblings will.

2021 Aprilia RS 660 First Ride Review

Handling suspension duties is a 41mm KYB fork featuring spring preload and rebound damping adjustment, accompanied by a non-linkage type KYB shock with the same adjustment abilities. The suspenders are tuned for street riding, soaking up bumps and bruises of the road nicely while still maintaining a composed and pleasurable ride. When the pace heats up, I would prefer a bit more compression damping, as sizable g-outs can unsettle things a bit. However, the all but officially confirmed up-spec Factory model will take care of that and appeal to those with a calendar full of track days.

In the front, radially mounted Brembo 4-piston calipers clamp onto 320mm floating rotors with good feel and stopping power — a noticeable improvement above the Japanese competition. In the rear, a dual-piston Brembo caliper grabs onto a 220mm disc and works well for line correction.

2021 Aprilia RS 660 Seat Height
In stock trim, the RS 660 features a relatively comfortable pillion seat. Once removed, the bracket beneath can be used to secure luggage.

To call the 2021 Aprilia RS 660 anything but a game changer is an understatement, even with a couple minor teething issues. In a traditionally budget-minded class, reflected in paired-down components, technology and performance compromises, the RS 660 is trailblazing its own path. In essence, it’s the sportbike we always needed — real-world ergonomics, an energetic parallel-twin producing useable power, a stellar chassis and a swath of top-shelf electronics. Enough faffing around, let’s get it to the track.

2021 Aprilia RS 660 First Ride Review

Nic’s Gear:
Helmet: Arai Corsair-X
Gloves: Alpinestars GPX
Jacket: Alpinestars T-GP PLUS R V3
Pants: Alpinestars Crank
Boots: Alpinestars Faster-3

2021 Aprilia RS 660 Specs:

Website: Aprilia.com
Base Price: $11,299
Price as Tested: $11,499 (Acid Gold Color)
Horsepower: 100 horsepower @ 10,500 rpm (claimed)
Torque: 49.4 lb-ft @ 8,500 rpm (claimed)
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel-twin, DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Bore x Stroke: 81.0 x 63.9 mm
Displacement: 659cc
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Wheelbase: 53.9 in.
Rake/Trail: 24.1 degrees/4.1 in
Seat Height: 32.3 in.
Claimed Wet Weight: 403 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 3.96 gals., last TK gal. warning light on

2021 Aprilia RS 660 Photo Gallery:

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE | First Look Review

Ducati has just pulled the covers off the latest addition to the Hypermotard family, the 2020 Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE. Equipped with an up/down quickshifter and brash graffiti-styled livery that is directly inspired by the Hypermotard 950 Concept, the 950 RVE was first shown at the illustrious Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, on the shores of Lake Como, Italy, in 2019. 

2020 Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE First Look Review 8

The 2020 Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE is nestled neatly between the standard Hyper 950 and the top-tier Hyper 950 SP models. Powered by the lively twin-cylinder 937cc Testastretta engine, the Hypermotard 950 RVE produces a claimed 114 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 71 lb-ft of torque at 7,250 rpm. With tractable, controllable power delivery being a standout characteristic, the Hypermotard 950 is more than at home on the street or running wide-open on the track. 

Beyond the up/down quickshifter, the Hyper 950 RVE also comes standard with a commendable electronics package including Bosch Cornering ABS with Slide by Brake function (in setting 1), Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO and Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) EVO.

2020 Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE First Look Review 8

In 2019, the Borgo Panigale-based brand redesigned the Hypermotard lineup, retaining its intense spirit, while softening hard-edges through engine, ergonomic, chassis and electronic improvements. Together, those changes have proven to make these Supermoto-inspired motorcycles more approachable for the common rider. Yet the Hypermotard line is still on the short list of any rider who has a penchant for hooligan behavior and a steady diet of wheelies, backing-it-in or, in other words, many of the fun things about motorcycling. 

Ducati will offer the Hypermotard 950 RVE as a limited edition, with only 100 units allocated for the North American market. A numbered badge will be included on each machine. Deliveries are expected to arrive in the United States beginning in July, with a starting MSRP of $14,195 ($16,195 CAD).

For more information about the 2020 Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE, visit Ducati.

2020 Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE First Look Review 8

2020 Ducati Hypermotard 950 RVE Gallery:

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 | Road Test Review

2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
Unique Scandinavian style and a mission-specific solo seat are trademarks of the Vitpilen 701. Just add a twisty road. Photos by Mark Tuttle.

Some bikes prize form over function, and that’s OK. I mean, come on, the star-spangled chopper ridden by Peter Fonda in “Easy Rider” was pretty far from perfectly functional — it looked cool and that was that. It’s no chopper, but Husqvarna’s Vitpilen 701 lies at a similar place on the form/function spectrum, and if you’re a fan of Scandinavian style it’s quite appealing to the eye.

Not to say it isn’t fun to ride, as long as those rides are primarily on tight, technical, twisty roads, where the Vitpilen’s taut chassis and suspension and feisty, liquid-cooled 693cc single are allowed to shine. With 73 peak horsepower and almost 51 lb-ft of torque per the Jett Tuning dyno, the 365-pound Vitpilen 701 is highly entertaining and an ideal mount for a weekend warrior looking to own his or her local run of twisties, unencumbered by a passenger (there are no rear footpegs) and without straying too far from a gas station (though if you can tame your throttle hand the 3.2-gallon tank is good for about 160 miles).

2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
Scooting down a steep set of tight turns, I appreciated the Vitpilen’s strong Brembo brakes. Handling is sharp and scalpel-like…which unfortunately also describes its comfort level.

Jenny’s Gear
Helmet: Vemar Zephir
Jacket: Fly Racing Butane
Pants: MotoGirl
Boots: Sidi Performer Lei

My main beef with the bike is its seat, which is tall, hard and angular. With toes on the ground, the edges cut painfully into my thighs and once underway its sticky material locked me into place, making it hard to shift around when doing my best Valentino Rossi impression in the canyons. Coupled with the reach to the wide clip-ons, the Vitpilen is decidedly sporty — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It was made, after all, to “rip it,” as they say here in SoCal. And when ripping it, you’ll forget about how hard the seat is.

Rolling on tubeless spoked 17-inch wheels for a supermoto look, shod with sticky Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S21 tires, and with adjustable WP Apex suspension with 5.3 inches of travel front and rear, the Vitpilen feels stable and planted despite its extremely light weight. Its engine is tuned for ripping as well, rewarding a heavy hand (there goes the 160-mile range…) and protesting with fits and jerks if you’re too lenient. Don’t worry about diving in too hot, the 4-piston front and single-piston rear brakes, both Brembo and fitted with switchable Bosch 9M+ ABS, are strong and offer good feedback.

Arrive at the top, drop the kickstand and admire the way the light plays off the gorgeous blue paint; bask in your status as King (or Queen) of the Mountain. Are there better all-around bikes? Sure, but the Vitpilen 701 knows what it is and makes no apologies for it. 

2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701.

Keep scrolling for more photos.

2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
Liquid-cooled, high-strung single sips or slurps high-octane, depending on how successful you are at taming your throttle hand.
2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
LED headlight incorporates a halo DRL. Clip-ons and mirrors are wide for a rear view of more than elbows.
2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
Like its darker Svartpilen sibling, the Vitpilen’s LCD is small, awkwardly placed and somewhat hard to read at a glance.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2019 Honda CB1000R vs 2020 Kawasaki Z900RS vs 2020 Suzuki Katana | Comparison Test Review

2020 Suzuki Katana Honda CB1000R Kawasaki Z900RS
Distinctive styling sets these modern-day UJMs apart from each other, but they’re very similar otherwise. Their nearly 1,000cc engines are liquid-cooled, transverse in-line fours with DOHC and four valves per cylinder. They roll on 17-inch cast wheels with tubeless radials, and have standard ABS and traction control, adjustable suspension and radial-mount monoblock front calipers. They have upright riding positions with minimal wind protection. And they all look good parked in front of Morro Rock. Photos by Kevin Wing.

Remember UJMs? If you were a motorcyclist in the ’70s, or have a soft spot for bikes from that era, then you remember them well. Honda kicked it off in 1969 with its groundbreaking CB750, the first mass-produced motorcycle with a transverse in-line four-cylinder engine and an overhead camshaft. It was an air-cooled four-stroke with a five-speed transmission, a front disc brake, an electric starter and an upright seating position.

Honda created the formula and other Japanese manufacturers followed it. Kawasaki launched the mighty 903cc Z1 for 1973, Suzuki introduced the GS750 for 1976 and, late to the party but the biggest reveler in the room, Yamaha brought out the XS1100 for 1978. Similarities among these and other Japanese models of varying displacements led “Cycle” magazine, in its November 1976 test of the Kawasaki KZ650, to coin what became a widely used term: “In the hard world of commerce, achievers get imitated and the imitators get imitated. There is developing, after all, a kind of Universal Japanese Motorcycle…conceived in sameness, executed with precision, and produced by the thousands.”

Those UJMs, and the standards of performance and reliability they established, revolutionized the world of motorcycling. Decades later, descendants of those progenitors carry their DNA into the modern era. To see how well the formula holds up in the 21st century, we gathered examples from Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki for a neo-retro comparo. (As much as we would have loved to include Yamaha for a proper battle of the Big Four, its contemporary XSR900 is powered by an in-line triple that colors too far outside the lines of the UJM formula.)

Honda CB1000R
Like all three bikes in this comparison, the Honda has an upright seating position that puts no strain on the rider’s wrists, shoulders or back, but its footpegs are the highest.

Greg’s Gear
Helmet: Arai Corsair-X
Jacket: Scorpion Birmingham
Pants: Joe Rocket Ballistic
Boots: Sidi Gavia Gore-Tex
Tail Bag: Nelson-Rigg

Honda’s CB1000R, like its granddaddy, has a transverse in-line four, but it’s a more highly evolved one featuring liquid cooling and dual overhead cams with four valves per cylinder — a configuration shared by all three bikes in this comparison. Derived from the pre-2008 CBR1000RR sportbike, the CB’s 998cc engine has been tuned for low- to midrange power and its 6-speed transmission has an assist-and-slipper clutch. Like the others, the CB1000R’s standard equipment includes ABS and traction control, but it’s the only one here with throttle-by-wire and riding modes (Sport, Street, Rain and customizable User), which adjust throttle response, engine braking and traction control.

Read our Road Test Review of the Honda CB1000R here.

Kawasaki Z900RS
With the lowest seat height, lowest footpegs and most room for a rider, passenger and luggage (as well as a magnet-friendly steel tank), the Kawasaki is the natural choice for longer rides.

Mark’s Gear
Helmet: Bell SRT Modular
Jacket: Rev’It
Pants: Rev’It
Boots: Sidi Performer Gore-Tex
Tank/Tail Bags: Chase Harper

A round headlight and an exposed engine are about the only styling traits shared by the “Neo-Sports Café” CB1000R and the CB750. Kawasaki’s Z900RS, on the other hand, is a spitting image of its forebear. Round mirrors on long stalks, bullet-shaped analog gauges, a teardrop tank, a bench seat, a sculpted tail and gorgeous Candytone Green paint with yellow stripes are all inspired by the original Z1. Even the flat spokes of its cast wheels are designed to look like spoked wheels of yore. Derived from the Z900 streetfighter, the Kawasaki’s 948cc DOHC in-line four has revised cam profiles, lower compression, a heavier flywheel, a second gear-driven balancer and narrower exhaust headers for a mellower feel, and its stainless steel 4-into-1 exhaust has been tuned to deliver an old-school four-banger growl.

Read our First Ride Review of the Kawasaki Z900RS here.

2020 Suzuki Katana
Rodolfo Franscoli’s redesigned Katana brings the distinctive elements of the original into the 21st century, though the fairing and flyscreen offer more style than wind protection.

Jenny’s Gear
Helmet: Shoei RF-1200
Jacket: AGV Sport Helen
Pants: Joe Rocket Alter Ego
Boots: Sidi Gavia Gore-Tex
Tail Bag: Nelson-Rigg

Suzuki’s entry in this contest is the new-for-2020 Katana, a modern interpretation of the iconic 1981 GSX1100S Katana, which revolutionized motorcycle design by treating the bike as a whole rather than a collection of parts. Originally conceived by Hans Muth and reimagined by Rodolfo Frascoli, the Katana has a small fairing and windscreen, and, like the CB1000R, a stubby tail section. Based on the GSX-S1000 naked sportbike, the Katana is powered by a 999cc DOHC in-line four derived from the 2005-2008 GSX-R1000, tuned for street duty with milder cam profiles and valve timing, steel rather than titanium valves, lighter pistons, a stainless steel exhaust and a 6-speed transmission with an assist-and-slipper clutch.

Read our First Ride Review of the 2020 Suzuki Katana here.

Three bikes, three editors, two days. Before hitting the road, we strapped on soft luggage. None have centerstands, and only the Kawasaki has a steel gas tank that accommodates a magnetic tank bag, which carried our tools, flat repair kit and air pump. Its long, wide bench seat also has room for a good-sized tail bag. With their short tails and small pillions, the Honda and Suzuki only have space for small tail bags. Because the Suzuki’s bodywork is more stylish than functional, the Honda and Kawasaki are completely nude and none have hand guards or heated grips, we were exposed to the elements. We bundled up in layers for our mid-January test and pointed our wheels north, taking freeways and back roads up California’s Central Coast.

2020 Suzuki Katana Honda CB1000R Kawasaki Z900RS
Although UJMs of the ’70s and ’80s were sometimes derided for their sameness and lack of style, the formula they created for smooth power, all-around performance, bulletproof reliability and affordability is still being used today.

With their refined, Swiss watch-like in-line fours, these modern-day UJMs are impeccably smooth. Snicking their transmissions into sixth gear and cruising at a steady speed is a sublime experience, with minimal vibration or unwanted perturbations. None have cruise control, but with fuel capacities ranging from 3.2 gallons on the Suzuki to 4.5 gallons on the Kawasaki and as-tested fuel ranges between 130 and 173 miles, the need for gas will likely precede the need for wrist relief. Upright seating positions and windblast on the chest keep weight off the wrists on all three, but there are notable differences in legroom. The Honda and Suzuki have the tallest seat heights (32.7 and 32.5 inches, respectively) as well as the highest footpegs, putting much more bend in the knees — especially on the Honda — than the comparatively spacious Kawasaki. Even though the Kawi has the lowest seat height (31.5 inches) and lowest pegs, on none of these bikes did we find ourselves dragging pegs in tight corners.

Honda CB1000R
With the lightest weight and best suspension, brakes and tires, the CB1000R is a pleasure to bend through curves.

It’s in those tight corners that these bikes further distinguish themselves. With only 10 pounds separating their curb weights and modest differences in chassis geometry, their engine performance, brakes and suspension are what set these bikes apart. In terms of outright horsepower and torque, the Honda and Suzuki, both of which have sportbike-derived engines, come out on top. The Suzuki is the strongest, churning out 142.1 rear-wheel horsepower at 10,300 rpm and 75.9 lb-ft of torque at 9,200 rpm on Jett Tuning’s dyno, though its advantage over the others is mostly above 8,500 rpm. The Honda peaks at 125.5 horsepower at 9,800 rpm and 70.6 lb-ft at 8,300 rpm, but it’s much weaker than the Suzuki and Kawasaki below 7,500 rpm, a deficiency that’s obvious on corner exits and roll-on passes. Although the Kawasaki generates only 100.1 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 67.5 lb-ft at 8,500 rpm, in the midrange it gives the Suzuki a run for its money and leaves the Honda in the dust.

Dyno results Katana CB1000R Z900RS
Dyno results Katana CB1000R Z900RS

With their more compact cockpits and high-revving power, the Honda and Suzuki lean more toward the sport end of the sport standard spectrum. Their smoothness makes them sneaky fast, and their stock suspension settings are firmer than the Kawasaki’s. All of these bikes have fully adjustable upside-down forks and preload- and rebound-adjustable single rear shocks (KYB on the Kawasaki and Suzuki, Showa on the Honda), but the Honda’s suspension, especially its Separate Function-Big Piston fork, is the most compliant. Sportbike-caliber front brakes, with pairs of radial-mount monoblock 4-piston opposed calipers clamping large discs, deliver serious stopping power across the board, but the Honda has a slight edge in feel. Adding to a sense of confidence on the Honda are its Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S21 radials, which have noticeably more grip (but likely less mileage in the long run) than the Dunlop radials on the Kawasaki and Suzuki.

Kawasaki Z900RS
With its spacious cockpit and dimensions and soft suspension, the Z900RS requires more effort to hustle around corners.

Despite being down on peak power and more softly sprung, the Kawasaki is by no means a boat anchor or a couch on wheels. It’s plenty fast, but its mission is clearly different than that of the Honda and Suzuki. The Z900RS stokes the flames of nostalgia while providing a more spacious, relaxed and comfortable riding experience, with every potentially rough edge sanded smooth. The Katana, on the other hand, is essentially a GSX-S1000 with plastic bodywork and a more upright riding position. In isolation there’s little to complain about when riding the Suzuki, but compared to the Honda and Kawasaki, it feels less refined, with more driveline lash and less precision during gear changes.

2020 Suzuki Katana
With its power, riding position and firm suspension, the Katana is the most sportbike-like of our trio of modern UJMs.

UJMs were the first motorcycles to be called “superbikes,” a name that came to be more appropriately applied to the racer replicas that proliferated in the late ’80s. These modern-day UJMs fall into the more mundane-sounding “sport standard” category, but there’s nothing mundane about 100-plus rear-wheel horsepower, high-spec brakes and suspension, standard ABS and TC, and a level of capability that’s truly impressive. For sheer power and sporting prowess, the Suzuki gets top marks, but its small 3.2-gallon gas tank and high price ($13,499) make it a tough sell. Priced a bit lower at $12,999, the ultra-smooth Honda has a strong top end as well as throttle-by-wire, riding modes and the best suspension and tires, but its weak midrange and high footpegs limit its overall appeal. A relative bargain at $11,199, the Kawasaki won us over with its throwback styling, spacious and comfortable seating, strong midrange, seductive sound and decent fuel range. If you do what we did — strap on some luggage and explore some of your favorite roads for a couple of days — you’re guaranteed to have a good time. Isn’t that why we ride?

2020 Suzuki Katana Honda CB1000R Kawasaki Z900RS
These modern UJMs are best suited to day rides or weekend jaunts. Their fuel ranges are low by touring standards and they don’t accommodate much luggage, but they’re reasonably comfortable, smooth and a heckuva lot of fun to ride.

Keep scrolling past spec charts for more photos….

2019 Honda CB1000R ABS Specs

Base Price: $12,999
Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles
Website: powersports.honda.com

Engine

Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse in-line four
Displacement: 998cc
Bore x Stroke: 75.0 x 56.5mm
Compression Ratio: 11.6:1
Valve Train: DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: 16,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: PGM-FI w/ throttle-by-wire & 44mm throttle bodies x 4
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 3.2-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated wet assist-and-slipper clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain

Electrical

Ignition: Fully transistorized
Charging Output: 350 watts max.
Battery: 12V 8.6AH

Chassis

Frame: Mono-backbone steel frame, single-sided cast aluminum swingarm
Wheelbase: 57.3 in.
Rake/Trail: 24.7 degrees/3.8 in.
Seat Height: 32.7 in.
Suspension, Front: 43mm USD fork, fully adj., 4.3-in. travel
Rear: Single shock, adj. for spring preload & rebound damping, 5.2-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 310mm floating discs w/ 4-piston monoblock radial opposed calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 256mm disc w/ 2-piston pin-slide caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.5 x 17 in.
Rear: Cast, 6.0 x 17 in.
Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17
Rear: 190/55-ZR17
Wet Weight: 463 lbs.
Load Capacity: 390 lbs.
GVWR: 853 lbs.

Performance

Fuel Capacity: 4.3 gals., last 1.0 gal. warning light on
MPG: 91 AKI min. (low/avg/high) 30.7/35.8/39.9
Estimated Range: 154 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 4,250

2020 Kawasaki Z900RS ABS Specs

Base Price: $11,199
Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles
Website: kawasaki.com

Engine

Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse in-line four
Displacement: 948cc
Bore x Stroke: 73.4 x 56.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.8:1
Valve Train: DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: 15,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: DFI w/ 36mm throttle bodies x 4
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 4.2-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, wet assist-and-slipper clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain

Electrical

Ignition: TCBI w/ digital advance
Charging Output: 336 watts max.
Battery: 12V 8AH

Chassis

Frame: High-tensile steel trellis w/engine as stressed member, cast aluminum swingarm
Wheelbase: 58.1 in.
Rake/Trail: 25.4 degrees/3.5 in.
Seat Height: 31.5 in.
Suspension, Front: 41mm USD fork, fully adj., 4.7-in. travel
Rear: Single shock, adj. for spring preload & rebound damping, 5.5-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 300mm discs w/ opposed 4-piston monoblock calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 250mm disc w/ 1-piston caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 17 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.50 x 17 in.
Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17
Rear: 180/55-ZR17
Wet Weight: 472 lbs.
Load Capacity: 398 lbs.
GVWR: 870 lbs.

Performance

Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gals., last 1.0 gal. warning light on
MPG: 90 AKI min. (low/avg/high) 34.5/38.5/45.4
Estimated Range: 173 miles 
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 3,750

2020 Suzuki Katana Specs

Base Price: $13,499
Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles
Website: suzukicycles.com

Engine

Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse in-line four
Displacement: 999cc
Bore x Stroke: 73.4 x 59.0mm
Compression Ratio: 12.2:1
Valve Train: DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: 15,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: EFI w/ SDTV & 44mm throttle bodies x 4
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 3.4-qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated assist-and-slipper clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain

Electrical

Ignition: Transistorized, digital electronic
Charging Output: 385 watts max.
Battery: 12V 8.6AH

Chassis

Frame: Cast aluminum twin-spar w/ cast aluminum swingarm
Wheelbase: 57.5 in.
Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/3.9 in.
Seat Height: 32.5 in.
Suspension, Front: 43mm USD fork, fully adj., 4.7-in. travel
Rear: Single link-type shock, adj. for spring preload & rebound, 5.1-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 310mm discs w/ radial-mount monoblock 4-piston opposed calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 220mm disc w/ 1-piston pin-slide caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 17 in.
Rear: Cast, 6.00 x 17 in.
Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17
Rear: 190/50-ZR17
Wet Weight: 473 lbs.
Load Capacity: 407 lbs.
GVWR: 880 lbs.

Performance

Fuel Capacity: 3.2 gals., last 1.0 gal. warning light on
MPG: 90 AKI min. (low/avg/high) 36.2/40.6/46.5
Estimated Range: 130 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 4,000

2020 Suzuki Katana Honda CB1000R Kawasaki Z900RS
Even on modern-day UJMs we still like using an old-school paper map to plot our route on the back roads of California’s Central Coast. That’s Hollister Peak in the background (just above Editor Tuttle’s head), one of the Nine Sisters—a chain of small volcanic mountains that includes Morro Rock.
Honda CB1000R engine
The Honda CB1000R’s in-line four is a street-tuned version of the engine that powered the pre-2008 CBR1000RR.
Honda CB1000R swingarm
Unique in this trio, the Honda has a trick-looking single-sided swingarm. Suspension front and rear is by Showa, with a top-spec Separate Function-Big Piston upside-down fork up front.
Honda CB1000R display dash
All-digital display with white graphics on a dark background is generally easy to read in bright sunlight. Red light on the right can be set to change colors with different gears, modes, etc.
Kawasaki Z900RS engine
The Kawasaki Z900RS’s 948cc in-line four is the smallest, least powerful engine here, but it has a strong midrange and its tuned exhaust sounds fantastic.
Kawasaki Z900RS seat tail
That bench seat, that sculpted tail with a small kick-up, that taillight and that Candytone Green paint take us right back to the original Z1.
Kawasaki Z900RS gauges
Those analog gauges, with their chrome bezels matching the handlebar, are stunning and easy to read in all conditions. The tasteful LCD display in the middle packs in useful info.
2020 Suzuki Katana engine
The Suzuki Katana’s 999cc in-line four is the beast of the bunch, cranking out 142.1 horsepower at the rear wheel.
2020 Suzuki Katana nose
A modern interpretation of a motorcycle design icon, the Katana is the only bike here with bodywork—a small fairing with a square headlight, a flyscreen and the Hans Muth-designed Katana logo. In addition to Glass Sparkle Black, it’s available in Metallic Mystic Silver like the original.
2020 Suzuki Katana display dash
Light-on-black digital display is busy and hard to read in bright sunlight.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Honda Releases Info on CB-F Concept

Honda CB-F Concept.
Honda CB-F Concept. Images courtesy Honda.

This darn coronavirus is just mucking everything up. Virtual unveilings and press releases just don’t have quite the same impact as dramatically pulling a sleek black sheet off a new model, bright lights and flashbulbs popping off the paint, at an international auto or motorcycle show. Honda had originally planned to unveil its CB-F Concept, a CB1000R-based homage to “Fast” Freddie Spencer’s ’80s superbike, at the 36th Osaka Motorcycle Show and 47th Tokyo Motorcycle Show, both of which have been canceled.

Don’t fret, Honda, we still think this is a gorgeous machine, and we hope it becomes more than just a concept bike. Continuing the CB’s 60th anniversary theme, the CB-F Concept hearkens back to the classic air-cooled inline four CB900F and CB750F (famously raced by Freddie Spencer), complete with a cool white, silver and blue livery that should look familiar to anyone who remembers Freddie’s Daytona race bike.

Honda CB-F Concept.
Honda CB-F Concept. Images courtesy Honda.

Of course, this isn’t an old-fashioned tubular steel-framed, carbureted, air-cooled machine; it’s based around the potent CB1000R, with its 998cc DOHC, 4-valve-per-cylinder inline-four, high-tensile steel mono-backbone frame, single-sided aluminum swingarm and inverted fork.

What do you think? Should Honda turn this CB-F Concept into a production bike? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: RiderMagazine.com