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Rider Magazine’s 2019 Motorcycle of the Year

Rider Magazine 2019 Motorcycle of the Year

It’s seldom (if ever) easy to pick a Motorcycle of the Year…not that anyone ever feels sorry for us and our “but we had to ride so many motorcycles” tale of woe. For example, we took our initial ride on the first of this model year’s crop of Contenders, the Yamaha Niken, way back in May of 2018. We can’t even remember what we had for dinner last Tuesday, but fortunately Yamaha jogged our memories of the bike by unveiling the tour-ready GT version of its three-wheeled LMW (Leaning Multi-Wheel) in April 2019.

In the interim, Royal Enfield released a pair of highly anticipated 650 twins, designed, tested and engineered at its brand-spanking-new R&D facility in England and built at one of its sprawling factories in India. Triumph showed off its truly off-road capable yet still pleasantly retro Scrambler 1200 XC and XE. Harley-Davidson, meanwhile, was creating a lot of very different noise with its LiveWire electric motorcycle, but as a 2020 model it’s not eligible for this year’s award. The rightful successor to the dearly departed V-Rod, the dragbike-inspired FXDR 114, is a 2019 contender though. At the decidedly non-dragbike-inspired end of the motorcycle spectrum, Honda, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in the U.S. this year, brought us two absolutely adorable throwback models designed to both tug at Boomer heartstrings and appeal to vintage-loving Millennials, the Monkey and the Super Cub. Indian tapped into another vein of nostalgia and good ol’ Americana with its FTR 1200 S flat-track replica, one of the best-performing American bikes we’ve ridden in a while. Meanwhile BMW managed to improve once again on its bestseller by introducing the R 1250 GS, and Suzuki did the same with its venerable V-Strom 650 XT Touring.

So no, it’s never easy. That said, one machine stood out above the rest as our pick for the 2019 Motorcycle of the Year, and not just because it’s capable of scrabbling to the top of a mountain—then carrying you and your stuff comfortably home again. Our choice, as always, goes to a machine that succeeds best at its intent and could be considered a game-changer in its category. We celebrate all new motorcycles, as they each represent the opportunity to get more people on two wheels, experiencing this great adventure we know and love. Congratulations to all the manufacturers, and thank you for keeping our passion alive!

Check out Rider‘s 2018 Motorcycle of the Year

The Contenders…

BMW R 1250 GS

2019 BMW R 1250 GS
2019 BMW R 1250 GS (Photo by Kevin Wing)

Read our 2019 BMW R 1250 GS First Ride Review

BMW’s big GS
gets ShiftCam variable valve timing that broadens the powerband, increases fuel
efficiency and decreases emissions, a full-color TFT display, updated
electronics and a bump in displacement (and power) from 1,170 to 1,254cc, making what was already arguably one of the
best all-around motorcycles even better.

Harley-Davidson FXDR 114

2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114
2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 (Photo by Kevin Wing)

Read our 2019 Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 First Ride Review

The V-Rod is dead, long live
the V-Rod! Well, sort of. The newest member of the Softail family is a long,
lean power cruiser that channels the spirit of the VRSC V-Rod, with a 114ci
Milwaukee-Eight V-twin, raked-out cartridge-style USD fork, 33 degrees of lean
angle and a 240-section rear tire wrapped around a solid-disc rear wheel.

Honda Super Cub

2019 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS
2019 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS (Photo by Drew Ruiz)

Read our 2019 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS First Ride Review

Sixty
years ago, the original Super Cub proved that motorcycles needn’t be feared by
the masses, and this new version continues to make good on that promise, with a
4-speed semi-automatic gearbox, 244-pound wet weight, timeless styling and
modern conveniences like keyless ignition and ABS on the front brake.

Indian FTR 1200 S

2019 Indian FTR 1200 S
2019 Indian FTR 1200 S (Photo by Barry Hathaway)

Read our 2019 Indian FTR 1200 S First Ride Review

The FTR 1200 S is a light, fast, agile street tracker
inspired by Indian’s championship-winning race bike. It’s also a breath of
fresh, young air in the cruiser orthodoxy that’s dominated American-made
motorcycles for decades, and features include a liquid-cooled, DOHC V-twin and
a six-axis IMU-based electronics package.

Royal Enfield 650 Twins

2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT and Interceptor 650
2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT (left) and Interceptor 650 (right)

Read our 2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT and Interceptor 650 Road Test Review

The Interceptor 650 and Continental GT are completely new,
the first global models for India-based Royal Enfield and the first to be
designed, tested and engineered at its new facility in England. Powered by an
air/oil-cooled 648cc parallel twin, both bikes manage to evoke the simple
pleasure of riding for riding’s sake.

Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT Touring

2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring
2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring

Read our 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT vs V-Strom 1000XT Comparison Review

While we haven’t yet ridden
the 2019 version, we’ve spent many thousands of miles aboard Wee Stroms, and
this is the best-equipped one yet. With tubeless spoked wheels, locking side
cases, hand guards, a centerstand, cruise control, ABS, Easy Start and Low RPM
Assist, it’s ready to take on almost any adventure for just $9,999.

Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC/XE

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE
2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE (Photo by Kingdom Creative)

Read our 2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE First Ride Review

Most modern scramblers talk the talk, but don’t walk the
walk of off-road capability. Enter the Scrambler 1200, a full-on adventure bike
with minimalist, retro styling—and a 21-inch front, nearly 10 inches of Öhlins
suspension travel on the up-spec XE model, multiple riding modes, switchable
ABS and traction control.

Yamaha Niken/Niken GT

2019 Yamaha Niken GT
2019 Yamaha Niken GT (Photo by Joe Agustin)

Read our 2019 Yamaha Niken First Ride Review

Read our 2019 Yamaha Niken GT First Ride Review

They’re a bold, groundbreaking move from Yamaha, and they nearly snagged our top honor. The Niken and Niken GT, based around the Tracer 900—a fantastic bike in its own right—work surprisingly well, with ridiculous front-end grip that must be experienced to be believed and that lovely 847cc in-line triple at their hearts.

And the winner is….

KTM 790 Adventure

2019 KTM 790 Adventure
2019 KTM 790 Adventure (Photo by Sebas Romero & Marco Campelli)

Read our 2019 KTM 790 Adventure/R First Ride Review

It’s no secret that adventure
bikes are exploding in popularity, as riders discover the utility and versatility
of their combination of upright seating position, decent ground clearance and
suspension travel, wind protection, the ability to carry luggage and, to
varying degrees, venture off-pavement. ADV bikes have been getting increasingly
bloated, however, bigger, more powerful—and heavier—each model year. Hard-core
ADV-ers have been clamoring for years, begging for a bike that returns
adventure riding to its truly adventurous roots. Something lightweight and
trail-capable, yet with enough elemental protection, power and luggage capacity
to comfortably travel cross-country, and modern fuel injection and electronic
rider aids wouldn’t hurt.

2019 KTM 790 Adventure

At long last, KTM answered
the call, and what an answer it is. The 790 Adventure and its even more
off-road-oriented R sibling manage to check all the boxes: light weight at a
claimed 417 pounds dry, a state-of-the-art 799cc liquid-cooled, DOHC LC8
parallel twin that produces a claimed 95 horsepower and 65.6 lb-ft of torque
delivered low in the rev range for optimum grunt, and spoked tubeless wheels in
21-inch front/18-inch rear sizes. The standard, more touring-oriented model has
a still-respectable 7.9 inches of travel from its WP Apex suspension and a
fairly accessible, adjustable seat height of 32.7/33.5 inches. Multiple riding
modes (Street, Offroad and Rain) adjust throttle response and lean-angle
sensitive Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) settings, and power reaches the
rear wheel by way of an assist-and-slipper clutch, a 6-speed transmission and
chain final drive. The more off-road-oriented R model gets a Rally ride mode,
fully adjustable WP Xplor suspension with 9.4 inches of travel and a 34.6-inch
rally-style seat.

2019 KTM 790 Adventure (left and right) and 790 Adventure R (center) (Photo by Sebas Romero & Marco Campelli)

A defining characteristic of
the 790 Adventure is its rally racer-inspired, 5.3-gallon horseshoe-shaped gas
tank, which keeps the bike’s center of gravity low, creates less bulk between
the knees for stand-up riding and makes air filter, battery and fuse access
easy, plus it does double-duty as engine protection in case of a tip-over.

2019 KTM 790 Adventure

On paper the 790 Adventure is
impressive, and riding it is confirmation; the seat is flat, spacious and
comfortable, the wide handlebar is six-position adjustable and the long-travel
suspension soaks up road irregularities at high and low speeds. Bosch 9.1 MP
cornering ABS backs up powerful brakes and many useful features are standard,
such as an aluminum skid plate, a 12V dash socket and an underseat USB port.
Cruise control, a centerstand, a quickshifter, heated grips and TPMS are
optional.

2019 KTM 790 Adventure

At long last, the empty slot
between a street-legal enduro and an open-class ADV tourer has been filled, and
that sound you hear is the cheering of all those riders looking for a bike to
rule both mountain and highway.

Congratulations KTM, for the 2019 790 Adventure, Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year!

2019 KTM 790 Adventure

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2019 Honda CB500X | First Ride Review

2019 Honda CB500X
The Honda CB500X is back with more off-road chops for 2019, including a 19-inch front wheel in place of the old 17. (Photos by Drew Ruiz)

For reasons that remain a mystery, Honda waited until the 2016 model year and the introduction of its very capable CRF1000L Africa Twin to get serious about joining the adventure bike party. Sure, there were short-lived tryouts late in the last century (e.g., the original Africa Twin, Transalps and NX650 models), but these were well ahead of the explosion in ADV-bike understanding and popularity, and the 1998-2013 semi-ADV Varadero was never brought to the U.S.

Read our Tour Test Review of the 2016 Honda Africa Twin DCT

But just prior to the new Africa Twin, Honda dipped a toe in the ADV pond by calling its ruggedly styled new-for-2013 CB500X an “adventure sport” motorcycle, and despite its 17-inch wheels at both ends and 4.7/5.5-inch suspension travel, quite a few riders took that description at Honda’s word.

2019 Honda CB500X
Slightly increased suspension travel and a beefier shock in back help allow the CB500X to tackle rougher sections reasonably well.

Subsequently our March 2014 issue tour test to Tombstone, Arizona, included some dirt roads, where the CB500X’s light weight and decent ground clearance helped it do OK (absent deep sand or ruts). The bike’s lower price and seat height has since endeared it to beginning and smaller riders, some of whom want to sample the ADV experience without spending a lot of money—call them the “Adventure Curious.”

The CB500X’s ADV role got a boost when a UK-based outfit called Rally Raid Products created an “adventure kit” for it that includes spoked tubeless wheels with a 19-inch front, longer travel suspension, an ABS cutout switch, taller handlebars and more, and sold lots of them.

2019 Honda CB500X
For this 5-foot-10-inch rider, standing up requires bent knees to reach the handlebar, which is higher for 2019 but not by much.

Honda has been paying attention to all of this, of course, the result of which is a new 2019 CB500X that incorporates several updates to make it more adventure capable as well as some solid upgrades to its performance and user friendliness. Chief among them is a new 19-inch front wheel that improves bump absorption, front-end feel off-road and high-speed handling, and longer suspension travel (up 0.4-inch front and rear, with an upgraded shock from its larger sportbikes) that reduces bottoming and increases ground clearance.

Unfortunately, seat height is up 0.8-inch as a result, so Honda has narrowed the seat front to make the ground an easier reach–with my 29-inch inseam I can still plant the balls of my feet on the ground. Steering rake and wheelbase are slightly longer for more stability, yet the bike’s turning radius is 8 inches smaller, and new 7-spoke cast wheels are shod with Dunlop Trailmax Mixtour tires that have an aggressive tread pattern and deep grooves.

2019 Honda CB500X
Stock tires are new Dunlop Trailmax Mixtours, a 90/10 on/off-road radial with aggressive tread for dirt roads and good grip on-road. Jonathan Livingston approves of the bike’s refreshed styling, too.

At 471cc the CB500X twin is in that size and price sweet spot that makes it both a great ride for beginners and a nice first or second bike for commuting and short trips. There’s power aplenty for most riding, with a screaming 8,200-rpm redline and a flat torque curve that makes it very responsive throughout most of the powerband. Grabbing a handful of throttle in top gear on the interstate doesn’t inspire much urge without a downshift, but the bike cruises along nicely at 75 mph with little vibration and (based on our 2013 model test) should get great fuel economy.

Changes to the parallel-twin engine for 2019 (which also apply to the CB500R and CB500F) like a new intake tract design, fuel injectors, valve timing and muffler give it a claimed 3-4 percent more midrange power and a racier exhaust note, and help it meet looming Euro 5 emissions regs. More dogs on the transmission gears improve shifting, and a new assist-and-slipper clutch reduces lever effort by 45 percent, adapts to the load for better hookup under heavy acceleration and reduces engine braking when downshifting.

2019 Honda CB500X
Updates to the liquid-cooled, 471cc DOHC parallel twin boost midrange power and improve power delivery, and it gets an improved transmission with assist-and-slipper clutch.

Although the Grand Prix Red CB500X can be had with ABS, that’s it for electronic rider aids, and the optional ABS is not switchable (but the fuse box and ABS fuses are readily accessible under the locking seat). For 2019 the bike gets an adjustable brake lever, a revised hydraulic ratio for the rear brake and upgraded ABS modulators that improve braking in low-traction situations (on the ABS version).

In the cockpit there’s a new tapered handlebar for ADV looks that is slightly (0.3 inch) higher and rubber-mounted to minimize vibes; a 0.8-inch taller, two-position windscreen and a new full-featured LCD display with a larger screen and thinner bezel that includes gear and adjustable upshift indicators. The CB500X also looks more adventure-y thanks to a restyled fuel tank, all-LED lighting and a new shroud design that directs radiator heat away from the rider’s legs.

2019 Honda CB500X
Handlebar and windscreen are both taller for 2019, and the CB500X gets a larger new LCD display.

Besides weight, displacement and cost, the chief difference between the CB500X and its 300- and 650-class ADV bike competitors is probably ergonomic. Those bikes have genuinely sit-up riding positions with tall handlebars and lowish footpegs, and though it’s closer to them now the X still retains some street bike feel, particularly for larger riders.

The bar is taller for 2019 but it’s still low by ADV standards, and the footpegs are a bit high, so it takes more effort to stand up, and standing up off-road creates a long reach to the grips. On the other hand, that wide handlebar and more tucked-in seating position works even better on the pavement now, and the upgrades to steering, suspension and brakes as well as the additional power make the bike serious fun on a twisty road. Wind protection from the taller screen is quite good, and vibration can only be felt in the grips and footpegs at higher rpm.

2019 Honda CB500X
For the press ride Honda equipped the bikes with Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross AX41 knobbies, just one of many good ADV tire choices enabled by the larger front wheel.

Honda set up a brilliant ride for the press in the mountains around Julian, California, with a mix of dirt and pavement that showed off the bike’s capabilities very well. Rather than the stock Dunlops, Honda hedged its bets by equipping the bikes with Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross AX41 tires, an aggressive ADV knobby that works surprisingly well on the street and provided reassuring traction on the dirt bits.

Clutch pull and shifting are indeed butter now, and with the slipper clutch, more linear power delivery and new ABS and brake settings the bike is quite easy to control on loose surfaces and stops hard when needed. Although damping settings are fixed, spring preload is adjustable at both ends, and other than some rear tire chatter when accelerating over washboard the suspension performs quite well for a bike in this price range. It was a warm day yet I didn’t notice any engine heat, and though the new display suffers from glare when the sun is directly behind it is otherwise highly functional.

2019 Honda CB500X
Revised ergonomics are fine for smaller statured riders off-road, and work especially well on the street.

The accessories list for the CB500X includes heated grips, a centerstand, locking panniers, hand guards, a rear carrier and more, and outfits like Rally Raid will continue to carry ADV upgrades for the new bike as well as for previous model years. At 433 pounds gassed and ready to ride, weight-wise the ABS version is right in between the 300- and 650-class ADV bikes, and the CB500X’s seat is still lower than the 650-and-larger machines, so it’s a good choice for someone who wants interstate touring capability in a smaller, more affordable machine that is also ready for the adventure curious.

Check out Rider’s 2019 Guide to New/Updated Motorcycles

Keep scrolling for a complete spec chart and more photos!

2019 Honda CB500X

2019 Honda CB500X Specs
Base Price: $6,699
Price as Tested: $6,999 (ABS)
Warranty: 12 mos., unltd. miles
Website: powersports.honda.com

Engine
Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel twin
Displacement: 471cc
Bore x Stroke: 67.0mm x 66.8mm
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Valve Train: DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: 16,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: PGM-FI w/ 34mm throttle bodies x 2
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 2.7 qt. cap.
Transmission: 6 speeds, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain

Electrical
Ignition: Full transistorized ignition
Charging Output: 500 watts
Battery: 12V 7.4AH

Chassis
Frame: Diamond-shaped tubular-steel w/ engine as stressed member, box-section steel swingarm
Wheelbase: 56.9 in.
Rake/Trail: 27.5 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 32.7 in.
Suspension, Front: 41mm stanchions, adj. for spring preload, 5.3-in. travel
Rear: Pro-Link single shock, adj. for spring preload, 5.9-in. travel
Brakes, Front: 320mm disc w/ 2-piston floating caliper & ABS (as tested)
Rear: 240mm disc w/ 1-piston floating caliper & ABS (as tested)
Wheels, Front: Cast, 2.50 x 19 in.
Rear: Cast, 4.50 x 17 in.
Tires, Front: 110/80-HR19
Rear: 160/60-HR17
Wet Weight: 433 lbs. (as tested)
Load Capacity: 383 lbs. (as tested)
GVWR: 816 lbs.

Performance
Fuel Capacity: 4.6 gals., last 0.7 gal. warning light on
MPG: 87 AKI min. (low/avg/high) NA
Estimated Range: NA
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 4,750

2019 Honda CB500X
Honda CB500X accessories include a centerstand, locking panniers, hand guards, tank pads, a light bar, tank bag and heated grips.
2019 Honda CB500X
The single 310mm floating front wave rotor and 2-piston caliper provide good stopping power up front.
2019 Honda CB500X
Larger front wheel and additional suspension travel raised seat height, so Honda narrowed it in front to make it easier for those of us shorter of leg to reach the ground.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 Guide to New Street Motorcycles

This handy guide includes all new or significantly updated street-legal motorcycles for the 2020 model year. Organized in alphabetical order by manufacturer, it includes photos and links to details or, when available, first rides and road test reviews about each bike. This guide is updated regularly as more new/updated models are announced, and when we’ve had a chance to ride them and report our impressions.

Want to see all of the new/updated motorcycles for 2019?
Check out Rider’s 2019 Guide to New Street Motorcycles

2020 BMW R 1250 R

2019 BMW R 1250 R. Image courtesy BMW Motorrad.
2020 BMW R 1250 R

Receiving updates similar to those that other models in the
R family received for 2019, the BMW R 1250 R roadster gets a larger 1,254cc
boxer twin with ShiftCam variable valve timing and valve stroke and updates to
its electronics package. It also gets a mild style refresh with a TFT display,
a DRL option for the halogen headlight and new color options. Although originally
announced as a 2019 model, the R 1250 R didn’t make it to the U.S. in time. BMW
says it will be available as a 2020 model with an MSRP starting at $14,995.

Read our 2020 BMW R 1250 R First Look Review

2020 BMW R 1250 RS

2019 BMW R 1250 RS. Image courtesy BMW Motorrad.
2020 BMW R 1250 RS

Receiving updates similar to those that other models in the
R family received for 2019, the BMW R 1250 R roadster gets a larger 1,254cc
boxer twin with ShiftCam variable valve timing and valve stroke and updates to
its electronics package. The RS also gets a style refresh that drops the
asymmetrical, winking look of the S 1000 RR in favor of a sporty twin-LED
headlight assembly, and an LED DRL (daytime running light) is an option.
Although announced as a 2019 model, the R 1250 RS didn’t make it to the U.S. in
time. BMW says it will be available as a 2020 model with an MSRP starting at
$15,695.

Read our 2020 BMW R 1250 RS First Look Review

2020 BMW S 1000 RR

2019 BMW S 1000 RR in Motorsport livery. Images courtesy BMW Motorrad.
2020 BMW S 1000 RR

More power (205 hp), less weight (434 lbs), updated
technology and a new up-spec Motorsport version. The 2020 BMW S 1000 RR is at
the pointy end of the sportbike spear. Pricing starts at $16,995 and bikes will
be in dealerships in summer 2019.

Read our 2020 BMW S 1000 RR First Look Review

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire action
2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire (Photo courtesy Harley-Davidson)

Harley-Davidson’s new LiveWire electric motorcycle is seriously sporty, shockingly fast and whisper-quiet–everything a typical Harley isn’t. And that’s just the way Milwaukee wants it. It’s propelled by a liquid-cooled electric motor that makes a claimed 105 horsepower and 86 lb-ft of torque, drawing power from a 15.5 kWh battery that offers, according to H-D, a range of 146 miles in the city and 95 miles of combined stop-and-go and highway riding. Single-speed transmission offers twist-and-go convenience, and styling, ergonomics and components are the sportiest offered on any Harley-Davidson. MSRP starts at $29,799.

Read our 2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire First Ride Review

2020 Suzuki Katana

2020 Suzuki Katana
2020 Suzuki Katana (Photo courtesy Suzuki)

The 2020 Suzuki Katana features styling cues that pay direct homage to the 1981 original, and it’s built around the potent GSX-S1000 999cc inline-four. It features ABS, traction control, Easy Start and Low RPM Assist, as well as a twin-spar aluminum frame, braced superbike-style swingarm, KYB suspension, dual front Brembo monoblock four-piston calipers, 310mm floating rotors and a model-specific LCD panel. We got a chance to ride the new Katana in Japan last March, but pricing and availability are TBD.

Read our 2020 Suzuki Katana First Ride Review

2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700

The Ténéré 700 will be coming to the U.S. in the second half of 2020. Images courtesy Yamaha Europe.
2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700

Announced in the fall of 2018, we’re still waiting to see the
new Ténéré 700 (T7, for short) in the flesh–Yamaha says it will be coming to
the U.S. in the second half of 2020 as a 2021 model. We know it will be
powered by the 689cc CP2 parallel twin used in the MT-07, housed in a new
tubular steel double-cradle frame. Other details include a 62.6-inch wheelbase,
9.5 inches of ground clearance, a fully adjustable USD 43mm fork with 8.3
inches of travel and a remote preload-adjustable rear shock with 7.9 inches of
travel.

Read our 2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700 First Look Review

2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M

2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M and YZF-R1
2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M (left) and YZF-R1 (right)

Yamaha has updated its flagship sportbikes, the YZF-R1 and the track-ready YZF-R1M, for 2020, with both featuring refinements to their CP4 crossplane crankshaft engines, an augmented electronic rider aids package, enhanced suspension and redesigned bodywork. MSRP is $17,300 for the YZF-R1 and $26,099 for the YZF-R1M (the latter is available in limited quantities through Yamaha’s online reservation system).

Read our 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M First Ride Review

2020 Zero SR/F

2020 Zero SR/F
2020 Zero SR/F

The first new model from Zero Motorcycles since 2016, the 2020 SR/F’s streetfighter look and steel trellis frame blur the styling lines between gas and electric motorcycles. Powered by a new ZF75-10 IPM (Interior Permanent Magnet) motor and ZF14.4 lithium-ion battery, it delivers a claimed 140 lb-ft of torque and 110 horsepower. It also features Bosch’s Motorcycle Stability Control System and Zero’s new Cypher III operating system. Pricing starts at $18,995.

Read our 2020 Zero SR/F First Look Review

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2019 Triumph Rocket 3 R/GT | First Look Review

Triumph Rocket 3 R and Rocket 3 GT
Triumph has given its Rocket 3 muscle bike a major makeover, with the new Rocket 3 GT touring cruiser (left) and Rocket 3 R roadster (right) both powered by a 2,458cc in-line triple. (Photos courtesy Triumph)

In the late ’90s
and early aughts, there was a displacement war going on among cruisers, with
engine sizes growing from 1,449cc (Harley-Davidson Twin Cam 88) to 1,510cc
(Victory 92C), then up to 1,670cc (Yamaha Star Road Star), 1,795cc (Honda
VTX1800) and finally, breaking the two-liter barrier, 2,053cc in the Kawasaki
Vulcan 2000, which debuted for 2004.

Triumph Rocket 3 R
Both Triumph Rocket 3s roll on new lightweight cast aluminum wheels shod with Avon Cobra Chrome tires. The rear is 240mm wide.

The following year, Triumph came along and topped them all with the Rocket III, which got its thrust from a massive 2,294cc in-line triple, albeit with an extra cylinder compared to the more traditional V-twins. But, just as a hippopotamus doesn’t have many teeth but the ones it does have are truly impressive, the Rocket III’s 4-inch cylinders were the same size as those in a Chevy 350ci V-8.

Read: 2014 Triumph Rocket III Touring Road Test Review

The Rocket III’s was – and continues to be – the largest engine of any mass-produced motorcycle, and when we strapped it to the dyno back in 2005, it spun the drum to the tune of 127 horsepower and 141 lb-ft of torque – an unheard-of amount of grunt that has only been beaten by a more recent version of the Rocket III. The 2010 Rocket III Roadster made more than 160 lb-ft of torque.

Triumph Rocket 3 R engine
Arranged longitudinally, the Rocket 3’s liquid-cooled 2,458cc in-line triple has three massive cylinders, three hydroformed exhaust headers exiting on the right side and a pair of howitzer-sized mufflers.

Of course, if you’ve been paying attention, then you know that Triumph recently unveiled the Rocket 3 TFC, a $29,000 limited-edition Triumph Factory Custom that was a major reboot for the Rocket 3 platform, and it’s powered by an even bigger in-line triple displacing 2,458cc and making a claimed 168 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque. At nearly 2.5 liters, the new Rocket 3’s engine is larger than that of many automobiles. The Rocket 3 TFC is also a much more modern platform than its predecessor (which is probably why the “III” was replaced by “3”), with updated styling, an aluminum frame, a single-sided swingarm, carbon fiber bodywork and a full suite of electronics.

Read: 2019 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC (Triumph Factory Custom) First Look Review

Now Triumph has
unveiled two production models, the Rocket 3 R and the Rocket 3 GT, the latter
aimed at those who like to travel longer distances, with or without a
passenger. Claimed engine output is 165 horsepower and 168 lb-ft of torque, in
a package that weighs nearly 90 pounds less than the previous-generation Rocket
III.

Triumph Rocket 3 R
The Triumph Rocket 3 R is a roadster with height-adjustable midmount foot controls.

Mass-optimized performance enhancements to the liquid-cooled engine include a new crankcase assembly, a new lubrication system with a dry sump and integral oil tank and new balancer shafts, which makes the new, larger engine 40 pounds lighter than its predecessor. On the right side is one of the Rocket 3’s most eye-catching styling elements – a trio of hydroformed exhaust headers leading to a pair of howitzer-sized mufflers, which Triumph says produce a “unique deep growling triple” soundtrack.

Triumph Rocket 3 GT
The Triumph Rocket 3 GT is a touring cruiser with a lower seat height, fore-aft adjustable feet-forward controls and a standard passenger backrest.

The engine is mated to a 6-speed transmission with a torque-assist clutch, and all that asphalt-buckling power reaches the rear wheel through a stout driveshaft. Throttle-by-wire and an IMU support a host of electronic features, including four riding modes, cornering optimized ABS and traction control, cruise control and hill hold control.

Triumph Rocket 3 R Brembo brakes
Big bikes need big brakes, and the Rocket 3s have a pair of top-shelf Brembo Stylema monoblock calipers up front, and cornering ABS is standard.

Slowing down the
Rocket 3 are top-of-the-line Brembo Stylema monoblock front calipers, and its
adjustable fork and rear shock are made by Showa. New lightweight cast aluminum
wheels are shod with Avon Cobra Chrome tires, and the rear a full 240mm in
width.

Triumph Rocket 3 R TFT display
Fully modern in every sense, the new Triumph Rocket 3s have TFT instrument displays and a full suite of electronics. Monza-style gas cap is one of many premium styling touches.

The Rocket 3 leads the way with a pair of round headlights that have been a signature styling feature of many Triumphs since the Speed Triple was introduced in the mid ’90s. Lighting is fully LED with daytime running lights. Other standard features include a TFT display, a USB charging port and keyless ignition and steering lock.

Triumph Rocket 3 R headlights
Like many Triumph models, the Rocket 3s have the distinctive twin round headlights that became iconic on the Speed Triple in the mid ’90s. These are LEDs with daytime running lights.

Both Rocket 3 models feature sculpted rider and passenger saddles, and an accessory in-fill pad makes it easy to switch between two-up and solo seating configurations. Seat height for the rider is 30.4 inches on the Rocket 3 R. At 29.5 inches, it’s even lower on the Rocket 3 GT, which comes standard with a brushed aluminum passenger backrest. As a roadster, the Rocket 3 R has midmount foot controls with two vertical position settings (0 inch / -0.59 inch). The touring-oriented Rocket 3 GT has feet-forward foot controls with three horizontal positions (-0.98 inch / 0 inch / +0.98 inch), and the passenger backrest is also height adjustable.

Triumph Rocket 3 GT with luggage
For the long haul, both Rocket 3 models can be accessorized with soft saddlebags, a tank bag and/or a tail bag.

A wide range of
accessories are available for both models, including heated grips (standard on
the GT, optional on the R), a quickshifter, GoPro integration, turn-by-turn
navigation via the My Triumph app, Bluetooth connectivity, tire-pressuring
monitoring, luggage (soft saddlebags, tank bag and tail bag), a sport windscreen
and various handlebar and seat accessories.

The 2019 Triumph Rocket 3 R will be available in Korosi Red (shown) or Phantom Black, and the Rocket 3 GT will be available in Two-tone Silver Ice and Storm Grey with Korosi Red pinstripe decal (shown) or Phantom Black. Pricing and availability will be announced at the Rocket 3 press launch, which is scheduled for November.

Read: Triumph Daytona Moto2 765 LE Sneak Peek

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire | First Ride Review

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire action
Harley-Davidson’s new LiveWire electric motorcycle is seriously sporty, shockingly fast and whisper-quiet–everything a typical Harley isn’t. And that’s just the way Milwaukee wants it. (Photos courtesy Harley-Davidson)

Imagine
telling the average Harley-Davidson or American V-twin enthusiast a few years
ago that not only would the Motor Company produce and sell a naked sportbike in
2020—certainly not an outrageous concept—but that it would be an all-electric
one.

That last bit
would have not only raised an eyebrow or two among the faithful, it would have
likely burned a few clean off their respective foreheads simply from the heated
blowback of the responses. Just about any Motor Company fan will tell you: Harley-Davidsons
and electric-power EVs just weren’t meant to be talked about in the same
sentence.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire action
With 17-inch wheels, Brembo brakes, fully adjustable Showa suspension and 45 degrees of cornering clearance, the LiveWire is by far Harley-Davidson’s sportiest motorcycle.

But as we all
know, that’s exactly what’s happened. Harley-Davidson has not only built a
naked sportbike that’s sleek, futuristic and sexy, with wide wheels, sticky
tires, sporty suspension and a lean-forward riding position, but one that’s electrically
powered, with not a molecule of internal combustion waste emanating from its
non-existent exhaust system.

It’s a simple
truth: Harley-Davidson can’t continue to exist solely by selling Big Twins to
aging baby boomers who, in a decade or so, will be mostly out of motorcycling.
Like the rest of the motorcycle industry, Harley needs new blood and new
markets, and feels very strongly that a line of electric two-wheelers led by
the high-end and high-price ($29,795) LiveWire is a prime way to reach them and
teach them.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire
Look Ma, no pipes! No pipes means no “potato-potato-potato” rumble that has been Harley-Davidson’s signature sound for decades.

“It’s a bold
goal, helping encourage and develop the next generation of riders,”
Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich told me over breakfast at the launch, “but we
think we’re on the right track with the LiveWire, our future electric
offerings, and our More Roads To Harley-Davidson efforts. Motorcyclists know
that nothing is more spectacular than two-wheeled travel, right? Spreading that
word among a more general population, and building riders in addition to
building great motorcycles…well, that seems like a pretty strong concept to us.

“That said,”
he continued, “we are not limiting in any way our emphasis on traditional
Harleys; if anything, we’re more energized than ever about Sportsters and
Softails and baggers and the like. But we do need to branch out, and see
electrification as a key avenue there. We very much intend to lead the way in
the electrification of the sport.”

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire charger
The LiveWire comes standard with a Level 1 charger that can be stored under the seat. At standard 110V, Level 1 charging takes 12.5 hours to go from 0% to 100% battery charge.

If leading
the way means introducing the world’s most advanced electrically powered
motorcycle, then Milwaukee has very clearly put its money where its mouth is. I
was only able to get a few hours on a LiveWire during the July launch, but thanks
to a thorough tech briefing, and following that a morning and afternoon ride
around town and on some of the faster roads in the hills surrounding Portland,
Oregon, I got a pretty good idea of what it is and how it works.

First off, there’s a lot of tech here. Leading the list is an all-new electric motor that’s liquid-cooled, offers 105 horsepower (78 kW) and 86 lb-ft of torque, and produces 100 percent of that torque the instant the throttle is turned. It gets its power from a 15.5 kWh battery that offers, according to H-D, a range of 146 miles in the city and 95 miles of combined stop-and-go and highway riding. Level 1 plug-in charging (e.g., at home or work) takes 12.5 hours for a full charge via an included charger cable. Since the bike has an SAE Combo CCS connector like many American and European electric cars, it can also be charged at thousands of Level 2 stations around the country (but at Level 1 speed). Approximately 150 Harley dealers nationwide (with more to come over time) will also offer fast Level 3 one-hour charging and two full years of free charges.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire battery motor
The LiveWire’s frame wraps around a massive lithium-ion battery pack, below which is the all-new Revelation internal permanent magnet synchronous motor with water jacket cooling.

The LiveWire also has ABS and traction control, a 4.3-inch color TFT touchscreen display centered just above the handlebar, seven selectable Ride Modes (Sport, Road, Range and Rain, plus three customizable modes) and HD Connect, which links owners to their motorcycles (free initially, then for a monthly fee) and offers tons of status and service information via a smartphone using the Harley-Davidson app.

Climb aboard and you’re
immediately struck by the riding position, which is more Ducati Monster or Suzuki
GSX-S than Sportster or Softail. Its ergos invite a slight forward lean, with
semi-rearset pegs, a mildly upward-bent handlebar and scooped seat locking you
into position—the reason for which will become apparent soon enough. It all
feels reasonably normal…right until you push the starter. The color info-screen
lets you know that things are ready to roll with a green light, but in place of
a chugga-chugga/potato-potato rumble you have silence (though the battery and motor give off a little “buurp” of movement
to let you know the bike is alive and running). Give the throttle a little twist and you’re off, the bike
moving forward smoothly and predictably to your right wrist’s commands.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire TFT display
The LiveWire’s 4.3-inch color TFT touchscreen display offers massive info. “Green” means twist-and-go!

In stop-and-go traffic I
found the LiveWire super easy to ride, which says a lot about the refinement
that’s been baked into it during eight years of development. Throttle response
at slower speeds was immediate, linear and controllable, the bike demonstrating
no lurching or driveline lash whatsoever. Steering was light and precise, and the
brakes crisp and predictable, both of which helped the LW feel considerably lighter
than its 540-plus pound wet weight might suggest.

Other than a low whine
under acceleration the LiveWire is totally quiet, eerily smooth and almost
completely unobtrusive in an aural and vibrational sense. The Harley folks call
this “Minimal NVH,” which means minimal noise, vibration and harshness.
Accelerating away from a light or tearing down a side street you find yourself
listening to wind noise and the tires slapping against the asphalt. It’s an entirely
new experience, and one that proved compelling all day long.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire action
The LiveWire’s chassis specs are decidedly sportbike-like: 24.5 degrees of rake and 4.3 inches of trail, with 120-70 and 180/55-spec wheels and tires, in this case sticky Michelin Scorchers. It’s a bit heavy at 549 pounds and has a longish, 58.7-inch wheelbase, but doesn’t feel it on the road thanks to crisp steering manners and firm suspension settings.

You’ll get that same feeling
when you ride the LiveWire hard and fast, too. I immediately found myself
running through turns faster, looking for pavement irregularities to hit while
leaned over to see how the chassis behaved, and then hammering the throttle at
the exit, trying—in vain, for the most part—to find what I figured would be mid-level
traction, suspension and handling limits. I didn’t find much of that at all,
which tells me that all the bluster I’d heard at the tech briefing about
chassis and engine refinement, optimized frame geometry, suspension quality and
power delivery wasn’t bluster at all. The thing is shockingly fast, amazingly
smooth, easy to get used to and ride quickly, forgiving and, most of all, big fun.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire seat shock
Stubby, stepped two-up seat perches the pilot 30 inches off the ground. Tuning knobs for the fully adjustable Showa BFRC-lite shock are easily accessible between the seat and rear wheel.

Nitpicks are few and far
between, unless you’re talking seat-to-peg distance, which for my multi-surgery
knees is a little tight. Suspension settings, which worked well for my XXL-sized
butt, are probably too firm for average humans in terms of spring rate and
compression. The bar could use a little more pullback and maybe an inch or two extra
in height, and the seat seemed a little thin on padding.

The larger questions, of
course, involve range and price. The first isn’t going to be quite enough for a
lot of folks, and the latter is likely to be too much. That’s just the way
things stand at this point in EV development. You’re either on board and
willing to accept the trade-offs for the bennies, or you’re a skeptic.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire action
Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire is a break from tradition in more ways than one, with a sport-standard design and ergonomics. Which makes sense given that it will go from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds flat.

But EVs are coming,
like it or not, and despite one’s perspective on price and range, the LiveWire is
a superbly designed, compellingly competent, seriously fun and
fascinating-to-ride motorcycle…a Halo bike that should represent
Harley-Davidson well as it moves into the EV space in the coming years with a
wide range of electric two-wheelers, from mid-range EVs to mountain bikes to
kids bikes and lots more.

So while that futuristic fortuneteller
might have seemed pretty crazy a few years back, this time he was absolutely
right.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire
Styling-wise, the LiveWire is an impressive machine, with fit and finish on par with its premium price. Its available in three colors: Orange Fuse (shown), Yellow Fuse and Vivid Black.

Author Mitch Boehm is the Editor of Rider’s
sister publication
Thunder Press and
a former Editor of
Motorcyclist
magazine.

2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire Specs
Website: harley-davidson.com
Base Price: $29,795
Motor Type: Revelation internal permanent magnet synchronous motor w/ water jacket cooling
Battery: 15.5 kWh lithium-ion
Transmission: Single speed w/ spiral bevel gear primary
Final Drive: Belt
Wheelbase: 58.7 in.
Rake/Trail: 24.5 degrees/4.3 in.
Suspension, Front: Showa 43mm inverted SFF-BP fork, fully adj. w/ 4.5-in. travel
Rear: Showa BFRC-lite shock, fully adj. w/ 4.5-in. travel
Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17
Rear: 180/55-ZR17
Seat Height: 30.0 in.
Claimed Wet Weight: 549 lbs.
Claimed Range: 146 mi. city, 95 mi. combined stop-and-go/highway

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M | First Look Review

2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M and YZF-R1
The 2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M (left) and YZF-R1 (right) benefit from engine refinements, new electronics and suspension upgrades. Photos courtesy Yamaha.

Yamaha has taken the wraps off its latest-generation flagship sportbikes, the 2020 YZF-R1 and the track-ready YZF-R1M, with both featuring refinements to their CP4 crossplane crankshaft engines, an augmented electronic rider aids package, enhanced suspension and redesigned bodywork.

Check out our Rider’s Guide to New/Updated Motorcycles for 2019 here!

The 998cc inline-four powering the R1/M was already potent, and for 2020 it gets new cylinder heads, fuel injectors, finger-follower rocker arms and camshaft profiles. Controlling the beast is an all-new Accelerator Position Sensor with Grip (APSG) ride-by-wire system with Yamaha’s Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) that eliminates throttle cables and reduces weight while providing smoother throttle operation.

2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M and YZF-R1
The 2020 YZF-R1/M’s crossplane crankshaft inline-four is mostly unchanged, with a few refinements like cylinder heads, injectors and finger-follower rocker arms.

A robust electronics package centered around Yamaha’s proprietary six-axis IMU now lets riders choose between two intervention modes for enhanced Brake Control (BC): BC1 is optimized for upright, straight-line braking and BC2 increases intervention timing deeper into the lean, for enhanced braking into corners.

A new Engine Brake Management (EBM) system also allows the rider to select between three levels of engine braking force. Both the BC and EBM are adjustable through the onboard Yamaha Ride Control and Yamaha’s Y-TRAC smartphone (Android only) and tablet app (Android and iOS).

2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M and YZF-R1
Full-color TFT display includes Yamaha Ride Control, where the rider can make adjustments to various electronic systems.

Premium Öhlins Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS) has been a staple of the R1M’s chassis performance, and a new NPX pressurized front fork with a gas cylinder built into the front fork axle bracket, along with revised rear shock settings to complement the performance of the front fork, are features of the new 2020 model.

The 2020 YZF-R1 also receives suspension performance enhancements courtesy of a new KYB front fork with a new internal shim stack design and a KYB rear shock with revised internal settings. Together, the changes result in smoother suspension dampening paired with an improved feeling of contact and grip with the street or track surface.

Lastly, redesigned bodywork creates a claimed 5.3-percent increase in aerodynamic efficiency while reducing wind noise and pressure on the rider when in a tucked position, and improved comfort comes from smoother side section where the rider’s legs contact the bike. The R1M also gets a new carbon fiber tail cowl.

The 2020 YZF-R1M will initially be available in limited quantities exclusively through Yamaha’s online reservation system in a Carbon Fiber color scheme for $26,099. Dealerships will begin receiving reserved orders in September. To place a reservation, click here.

The 2020 YZF-R1 will be available in Team Yamaha Blue or Raven for $17,300, and will begin arriving in dealerships in September.

2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M and YZF-R1
2020 Yamaha YZF-R1 in Team Yamaha Blue.
2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M and YZF-R1
2020 Yamaha YZF-R1M in Carbon Fiber.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916 | First Look Review

Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916
The limited-edition Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916 celebrates the silver anniversary of Ducati’s most iconic motorcycle. (Images courtesy Ducati)

On any list
of iconic motorcycles of the 20th century, Ducati’s 916 holds a place of
prominence. Delivering the 1-2 knockout punches of stunning good looks and
blistering performance, the 916, which debuted for 1994, is considered one of
the most beautiful motorcycles ever designed. The beauty was also a beast,
winning 120 races, eight constructors’ titles and six rider championships in
World Superbike during its 10-year production run, which includes the
larger-displacement 996 and 998 models. Closely associated with the 916 is
British racer Carl “Foggy” Fogarty, who won 43 World Superbike races and four
championships on the 916 and 996.

1994 Ducati 916 Stradale
The bike that started it all–the 1994 Ducati 916 Stradale.

To celebrate the 916’s 25th anniversary, Ducati has unveiled a limited-edition Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916. Based on the Panigale V4 S, the 25th Anniversary edition has been upgraded with racing content from the Panigale V4 R such as the Ducati Corse Front Frame, the dry clutch and even more track-specific electronics, such as Ducati Quick Shift EVO 2 and “predictive” Ducati Traction Control EVO 2.

2019 Ducati Panigale V4 R | First Look Review

The special
Panigale’s livery is inspired by the Ducati 996 SBK (winner of the 1999 World
Superbike Championship) with forged magnesium Marchesini Racing wheels, a titanium
type-approved Akrapovič exhaust and a wish list of carbon fiber and billet
aluminum components. Limited to just 500 examples, each bike comes with an
authenticity certificate that matches the laser-engraved ID number (XXX/500) on
the top yoke with the engine and frame serial number.

Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916
Four-time World Superbike champion Carl Fogarty with the limited-edition Panigale V4 and his 1999 Superbike race machine that provided inspiration.

Dedicated
equipment for the Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916:

  • “916 25° Anniversario” color scheme
  • Numbered (xxx/500) machined-from-solid aluminum top yoke
  • Front Frame with Ducati Corse specifications
  • Two-tone rider’s seat
  • Forged magnesium Marchesini Racing wheels
  • Dry clutch
  • Titanium Akrapovič type-approved silencer
  • Ducati Traction Control EVO 2 (DTC EVO 2)
  • Ducati Quick Shift EVO 2 (DQS EVO 2)
  • Racing screen
  • Carbon fiber front mudguard
  • Carbon fiber rear mudguard
  • Carbon fiber heel guards
  • Carbon fiber/titanium swingarm cover
  • Racing grips
  • Adjustable billet aluminum rider footpegs
  • Billet aluminum folding clutch and brake levers
  • Brake lever guard (supplied)
  • Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+) kit with GPS module (supplied)
  • Open carbon fiber clutch cover (supplied)
  • Special “25° Anniversario 916” bike cover (supplied)
  • Billet aluminum racing-type filler cap (supplied)
  • Plate holder removal cover (supplied)
  • Billet aluminum rear view mirror plugs (supplied)
  • “Shell” and “Foggy” logo stickers (supplied)
Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916
Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916

The Panigale
V4 25° Anniversario 916 is powered by the 1,103cc Desmosedici Stradale. A
MotoGP-derived 90-degree V4 with Desmodromic timing, it features a
counter-rotating crankshaft and a Twin Pulse firing order, and it produces 214
horsepower at 13,000 rpm and 91 lb-ft of torque at 10,000 rpm. The engine is
enhanced with the adoption of a dry clutch and type-approved titanium Akrapovič
silencers.

Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916
Foggy hasn’t lost his edge. He look right at home on the Panigale V4.

From a
chassis viewpoint, the Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916 has it all. The front
frame, which exploits the Desmosedici Stradale engine as a structural chassis
element, is the same as the one on the Panigale V4 R but differs slightly on
account of the lighter, machined sides. The frame is coupled to an Öhlins
NIX-30 fork, an Öhlins TTX36 rear shock and an Öhlins steering damper, all
managed by the Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 control system. This gives the rider access
to next-level dynamic bike control, augmenting on-road safety and shortening
on-track lap times. Ultralight forged magnesium Marchesini Racing wheels carry top-drawer
brakes, with two 330mm Brembo discs with Brembo Stylema monoblock front calipers
and a single 245mm disc with a 2-piston caliper at the rear.

Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916
In addition to the special livery and limited-edition numbered plate, the racing screen includes a nod to Sir Foggy.

The Panigale
V4 25° Anniversario 916 has a latest-generation electronics package. Based on a
6-axis Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), it features controls designed to
manage every aspect of riding. The electronic package includes:

  • Bosch Cornering ABS EVO
  • Ducati Traction Control EVO 2 (DTC EVO 2)
  • Ducati Slide Control (DSC)
  • Ducati Wheelie Control EVO (DWC EVO)
  • Ducati Power Launch (DPL)
  • Ducati Quick Shift up/down EVO 2 (DQS EVO 2)
  • Engine Brake Control EVO (EBC EVO)
  • Ducati Electronic Suspension EVO (DES EVO)

Furthermore,
the Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916 comes with the Ducati Data Analyser+
(DDA+) kit with GPS module. DDA+ is a telemetry system. Similar to those used
in competitions, it consists of a data acquisition device (via CAN line) and
analysis software that takes its inspiration from professional programs. The
device records ride parameters such as cornering lines, RPM, gear, throttle
aperture angle, front brake pressure, DTC intervention etc. and geo-locates
them on the track. Once disconnected from the bike and connected to the PC via
the USB port, the software lets the user upload the acquired data feeds and
analyse on-track performance.

For more information, visit ducati.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2019 Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard | First Ride Review

2019 Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard
With Harley’s iconic batwing fairing, cruising was comfortable on the outskirts of the Ocala National Forest near Daytona Beach, Florida. Photos by Brian J. Nelson.

Raw and bare, stripped of all the arguably distracting bells and whistles that Bluetooth-connected, GPS-dependent riders have been coddled with, Harley’s new FLHT Electra Glide Standard is the epitome of simplicity. As a mid-year release, the bike signifies a back-to-basics, cut-the-fat approach geared to attract riders at a reasonable $18,999. Compared to the Electra Glide Ultra’s $24,589 or the Street Glide’s $21,289, the Standard is the lowest-priced offering in H-D’s touring line.

Described as a dressed down dresser, the Electra Glide Standard does away with the radio and instead depends on the ultra-smooth Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-twin to set the tempo. Importantly, the iconic batwing fairing with a clear, mid-height windshield and a single halogen headlight are retained, though its foam-covered speaker holes are empty as is the gaping slot for the LCD screen, which now serves as a phone or glove holder during pit stops.

2019 Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard
No speakers or LCD screen, just four essential gauges.

The dished solo seat sits at 26.1 inches, which made it extremely comfortable for my 6-foot-3 build. With a minimalist amount of chrome, the bike maintains a sleek and intimidating look that will still turn heads with the purity of its black paint job (and it only comes in Vivid Black).

The Electra Glide Standard comes with large One Touch saddlebags. spacious floorboards and a standard shift lever in place of the usual heel-toe shifter. Its naked front fender covers a 17-inch black machined Impeller wheel that is accented by chrome fork skirts.

2019 Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard
The ultra-smooth Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-twin engine is the bike’s biggest selling point.

Handling was impressive at all speeds during a daylong press ride through Florida’s swampland near Daytona Beach. The fat 130/80 front tire meant I had to put a little more effort into steering it, but the still-nimble, 820-pound bike felt firmly connected to the asphalt. With 26 degrees of rake and 6.7 inches of trail, it provides stable, comfortable cruising for days, especially with the Showa Dual Bending Valve front fork and dual emulsion shocks in the back.

2019 Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard
The 2019 Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard’s minimalist approach focuses on utility.

This no-frills bike is not for beginners, nor is it billed as such. It is an attractive and attractively priced piece of American iron that will appeal to a wide swath of financially conscious riders. It gives a rider the basics that matter to get them out on the open road or into a dealership. And it is prepped to be incrementally customized as riding seasons pass–a deliberate Harley marketing plan.

The streamlined beauty and Milwaukee-Eight power should hopefully make the Electra Glide Standard a lasting hit in Harley’s touring line.

2019 Harley-Davidson FLHT Electra Glide Standard
Generous saddlebag capacity is retained, while removing the left saddlebag with one click gives easy access to make quick, toolless preload adjustments.

Kali Kotoski is the Managing Editor of Rider’s sister publication Thunder Press.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2019 BMW R nineT /5 | First Look Review

2019 BMW R nineT /5
BMW has announced a new R nineT /5 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its iconic /5 (“slash five”) series. Images courtesy BMW Motorrad.

Fifty years ago, in 1969, the first BMW motorcycle rolled off the assembly line at BMW’s factory in Berlin Spandau. The new /5 series (pronounced “slash five”) included the R 50/5, R 60/5 and R 75/5, and sported a new chassis and engine and a fresh, modern design with a wide range of bold color options.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the classic /5 series, BMW has announced a special R nineT /5 that evokes the look and spirit of the originals.

The 2019 R nineT /5 features black kneepads on a gorgeous Lupine Blue metallic tank, with a smoke effect, double-line pin stripe, a special 50th anniversary badge and a double seat with white piping. Other /5 details include chrome mirrors, exhaust manifold and silencer, fork gaiters and brushed aluminum engine covers, gearbox, fork tubes and wheels.

Otherwise the R nineT /5 is familiar, with its air- and oil-cooled 1,170cc opposed-twin boxer engine, spoked tube-type rims, standard ABS, ASC (automatic stability control) and heated grips and 6-speed gearbox.

Read: BMW R nineT Pure | Road Test Review

U.S. pricing and availability are TBD. Keep scrolling for more images.

2019 BMW R nineT /5
2019 BMW R nineT /5.
2019 BMW R nineT /5
2019 BMW R nineT /5.
2019 BMW R nineT /5
2019 BMW R nineT /5.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Long-Term Ride Report: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000XT

2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000XT. Photo by Kevin Wing.
2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000XT. Photo by Kevin Wing.

MSRP: $15,712 (as tested)
Odometer: 4,253 mi.

Last August we took delivery of a 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000XT ($13,299), with the XT identifying it as slightly tarted up with tubeless spoked wheels and a Renthal Fat Bar handlebar, for just $300 over the base model. We put it into a comparison test with its ’lil brother, the V-Strom 650XT, and the decision was very close, but the 1000’s extra power and superior suspension and brakes (including cornering ABS) beat out the 650’s lower weight and seat height and more agile handling (see Rider, November 2018 or ridermagazine.com).

Our 1000XT was outfitted with some useful Suzuki accessories, including side cases (29-liter left, 26-liter right), a 55-liter top case, a 15-liter ring lock tank bag, an accessory bar and a centerstand, for an as-tested price of $15,712. For 2019, the XT has been replaced by the XT Adventure ($15,299), which includes the accessory bar, centerstand, heated grips and 37-liter aluminum panniers, and it comes in a sweet Pearl Vigor Blue/Pearl Glacier White paint scheme with matching blue rims.

After our comparison test, contributor Ken Lee loaded up the Strom and did a 1,400-mile, two-up tour with his wife around California’s Sierra Nevada (see Rider, May 2019 or ridermagazine.com). Then he did a solo 800-mile freeway blast up to Oregon and back. Since then we’ve used the Strom primarily for commuting and day rides. We’ve logged  4,253 miles and averaged 38.4 mpg (low 32.3, high 47.6), for an estimated range of 204 miles.

The V-Strom has been a solid workhorse and our complaints are few. The accessory tank bag doesn’t snap into its ring lock like it should, so we have to open the bag, put our hand on top of the ring and push hard to make it lock—a hassle when the bag is full of gear. And on long trips we’ve wished for cruise control, which ought to be standard on touring motorcycles in this price range. Otherwise, though, the V-Strom gets high marks for competence, dependability, value and versatility, whether it’s used as a commuter, sport-touring bike or 80/20 adventure tourer. 

Source: RiderMagazine.com