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2023 QJ Motor SRT750 | Road Test Review

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
The QJ Motor SRT750 will soon join the Benelli motorcycles offered by SSR Motorsports dealers in the U.S. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

QJ Motor isn’t exactly a household name here in the U.S., but given the Chinese company’s global ambitions, that may soon change, especially with the 2023 QJ Motor SRT750.

QJ Motor is an enormous manufacturer that produces millions of motorcycles, scooters, engines, parts, and more every year, and it exports a fair share of its products from China to 130 countries. Since the motorcycle division’s launch in 1985, QJ Motor (Zhejiang Qianjiang Motorcycle Co. Ltd.) has also partnered behind the scenes with several familiar motorcycle OEMs here and abroad to make some of their engines, key components, and even complete motorcycles.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750

In 2005, QJ Motor acquired the name and assets of the 100-year-old Italian company Benelli, which has helped it grow market share in Europe and America. The company maintains a design center in Italy to give its two-wheelers some European flare, and it has manufactured an extensive line of Italian-designed, Benelli-badged modern motorcycles in China since 2008.

So far, QJ Motor’s only public foray into the U.S. has been with the Benelli lineup, which is sold by Southern California-based importer SSR Motorsports. SSR also offers its own line of dirtbikes and small street and dual-sport machines through its national network of motorcycle dealers.

Having tested the waters in the U.S. with Benelli since 2016, QJ Motor will brave the fickle American market in 2023 with its house brand, once again through its faithful partner SSR. Although the domestic QJ Motor lineup comprises more than two dozen motorcycles, scooters, and electric bikes, the first to make landfall here will be the 2023 QJ Motor SRT750, capitalizing on the current popularity of adventure-styled machines.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750

The Benelli/QJ Motor team in Italy based the SRT750’s overall design on the Benelli TRK502 adventure bike. It blends a classic ADV beak and seemingly giant fuel tank – really just 4.9 gallons – with an open trellis frame, exposed engine, and swoopy tailsection. The SRT750 may be the right bike at the right time given current market conditions – particularly because its $8,499 price tag is quite appealing when compared with similar adventure-styled motorcycles from Japan and Europe.

Related: 2021 Benelli TRK502X | Road Test Review

Tested here in preproduction form, the 2023 SRT750’s final price, specifications, and equipment may change a bit before it hits dealer showrooms this spring. While the bike may eventually be offered in off-road-ready adventure guise as well, the lighter sport version we tested has cast aluminum wheels and Pirelli Angel GT sport-touring tires instead of heavier spoked wheels and dirt-ready buns. While the lack of tubular guards and bash plates certainly saves weight, the SRT750 still tips the scales at a rather heavy 552 lb for a bike in this displacement class.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
Without engine guards and bash plates and wearing sport rubber on 17-inch wheels, this version of the SRT750 works best on the blacktop.

In keeping with the trend in the middleweight adventure class toward compact parallel-Twins that are simpler and cheaper to build than V-Twins, the SRT750 is powered by a 754cc Twin with liquid cooling, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, Bosch EFI, 6 speeds, and chain final drive. Not much to get excited about – until you start it up, at which point the engine’s 270-degree crankshaft creates a growling drumbeat idle reminiscent of a performance-tuned 90-degree V-Twin. Closing my eyes at a stop, I could swear I was sitting on a Ducati.

With better engine balance than a 360-degree crank, less rocking couple than a 180, and the same firing order as a V-Twin, a 270-degree crankshaft offers more character without a large sacrifice in power – hence its use in so many late-model parallel-Twins. In almost all cases, including the SRT750, vibration that would otherwise result from the uneven firing order is kept at bay by a gear-driven counterbalancer shaft.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
Incorporating a 270-degree crankshaft in the SRT750’s parallel-Twin gives the engine a more soulful sound and feel, like a V-Twin.

On Jett Tuning’s rear-wheel dyno, the SRT750 made 70.5 hp at 8,600 rpm and 46.6 lb-ft of torque at 7,800, solid peak numbers that are comparable to, say, the Suzuki V-Strom 650. This gives the bike brisk acceleration that most solo riders will find more than exciting enough in the canyons and on the highway, especially since the power is delivered with an Italian operatic bark and great twin-cylinder feel. As long as you’re not in too big a hurry, the engine provides adequate urge when the bike is fully loaded too.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750 dyno chart

Throttle response is smooth and linear up to the actual rev limit at 9,300 rpm (the tachometer is redlined at 10,000), except just off idle and up to about 3,000 rpm, where the rough power delivery needs some refinement, particularly if the rider wants to tackle any tricky low-speed terrain where smooth throttle modulation is critical. Cruising along at an actual 60 mph (measured with GPS – the bike’s speedometer read 10-12% high, but its tripmeter was accurate), the engine turns over a smooth, leisurely 4,500 rpm. As speed and engine rpm climb above 6,000 rpm or so, a little vibration creeps into the grips, but it’s not bothersome.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
Inspired by the Benelli TRK502 built by QJ Motor in China, the first QJ SRT750 to come to the U.S. wraps a pleasing adventure-bike design around what is essentially a sit-up sportbike.

Like its clean, rugged styling, simplicity is a welcome feature of the SRT750. Other than the 5-inch color TFT display with adjustable day/night modes, gear indicator, and both Bluetooth and TPMS connections (for a future smartphone app and tire pressure sending units, perhaps?), the bike gets by without many bells and whistles. Lighting is all LED, including the bright twin-beam headlight and nicely faired-in front turnsignals with clear lenses, and there’s a USB port right by the ignition switch. Brake and clutch levers are adjustable, aluminum braced handguards are standard, and extra buttons on each switch pod are ready for optional heated grips and fog lights.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
Switchgear is well-conceived and includes buttons for optional heated grips and fog lights. Some buttons are backlit.

QJ Motor says it may also add a centerstand and tubular engine/fairing guards as standard equipment, though personally I would save the latter for the adventure version. Don’t look for riding modes, traction control, or windscreen adjustability, though the SRT750 does include some useful storage under the locking seat, easy battery access, right-angle valve stems, shapely passenger grabrails, and a handy top trunk/luggage rack. If the DOHC valve train inspection every 15,000 miles reveals that the shim-under-bucket lash needs adjustment, the camshafts may need to come out, but there’s nothing unusual about that or the rest of the SRT750’s maintenance needs.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
Though it’s a bit on the heavy side, taut handling and solid midrange power make the SRT750 quite agile in corners.

At 32.9 inches, the SRT750’s nonadjustable seat height is reasonable, though the pillion perch is much higher, so take care not to bash your knee on a passenger grabrail when swinging a leg over. With my 29-inch inseam, I found that, once seated, I could touch my feet down and paddle the bike around easily, and the cleated footpegs with vibration-damping removable rubber inserts are nicely positioned under the rider’s seat. When we first got the SRT750, its wide, tapered tubular handlebar was adjusted well up and forward, like you might position it to accommodate standing while riding off-road.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750

Although the bike’s ergonomics work well sitting or standing, its Pirelli Angel GT sport-touring tires, a 17-inch front wheel, and no tip-over protection indicates that this model is meant for the blacktop. But spoon on some 50/50 tires and you could certainly tackle dirt roads and gentle trails (though its limited suspension travel and ground clearance are unlikely to enhance the experience).

Read all of Rider’s Adventure & Dual-Sport Motorcycle coverage here

Once adjusted back down, I found the reach to the handlebar and grips easy enough but still a little farther away than I like, and the otherwise comfortable seat tended to slide me forward into the tank. Wind protection is just fair since the nonadjustable screen is only mid-sized and positioned well forward, which lets the noisy windblast roll down in front rather than over the rider. The lower body and upper legs are mostly tucked in snugly behind the tank and fairing lowers, and the handguards are quite effective at blocking the cold. The TFT display is bright and easy to read, and all the handlebar switches and buttons – some of which are nicely backlit – come readily to hand.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
A bright 5-inch TFT display offers auto or manual day and night modes, and buried in the menu are Bluetooth and TPMS sensor connections.

Since it’s a preproduction model, I gave the SRT750 a thorough going-over before riding off the first time, particularly the KYB suspension. A 43mm inverted fork with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping does a nice job up front, with its 6.1 inches of travel resisting excessive dive and offering a compliant but sporty feel over bumps and under braking.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750

With no progressive linkage, the rear shock is a disappointment. Even after you make the effort to adjust its unwieldy ring-and-locknut spring preload for the rider’s weight, a bumpy road will quickly overwhelm the shock. The bike’s handling is sensitive to rear spring preload adjustment – too much and it turns in too quickly, too little and it suffers from some squirminess in front. All the more reason it should have a remote spring preload adjuster rather than just a knuckle-busting ring-and-locknut, particularly if your load will change frequently. The slotted clicker rebound damping adjuster is easily accessed and helps fine-tune the ride in back, but if this were my bike, I’d swap out the shock for a higher-quality damper.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
If the SRT750 has a weakness, it’s the rear suspension, which uses a basic semi-laydown rear shock to control the unspecified amount of wheel travel.

With its wide handlebar, compact wheelbase, steep rake angle, 17-inch wheels, and sticky tires, the SRT750 eats winding roads for breakfast, with an assist from its torquey midrange that helps it power out of corners and squirt from turn to turn. Regular and deliberate shifting helps keep the engine in the meat of the powerband and out of the juddery low-rpm zone where the fueling needs some work. But the 6-speed transmission and slip/assist clutch work smoothly, and shift lever throw is moderate. On the highway, it’s a comfortable companion that will cruise along at 75 mph from fill-up to fill-up, with only the noisy windscreen and lack of rear suspension performance over repetitive bumps to detract from the experience.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750

Impressive-looking radial-mounted Brembo 4-piston brake calipers clamp large floating dual front discs and bring the SRT750 to a halt smoothly and quickly, with a Brembo radial-pump master cylinder that gives the front brakes excellent feel at the adjustable lever. Surprisingly, the rear caliper is a nice opposed 2-piston Brembo rather than an economy 1-piston pin-slide unit, and it does a great job as well, with the pedal well-positioned directly below the ball of the foot. Overall, the brakes make for a fairly carefree riding experience, especially since they’re backed up with ABS that works smoothly and reliably when engaged. Unfortunately, the ABS can’t be turned off or adjusted, a consideration if you plan to hustle the bike around off-road.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
Powerful dual-disc brakes with radial Brembo 4-piston calipers are backed by ABS. Wheels are shod with Pirelli Angel GT sport-touring tires.

To build the SRT750, QJ Motor has sourced quality components from around the world and integrated them into a solid package with great fit and finish, designed in Italy and manufactured in a modern, ISO9001-certified factory in China. It’s worth a look for far more than just its lower price – the bike is a blast to ride, and with nearly 400 SSR Motorsports dealers around the U.S., support for the QJ lineup should be adequate.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750

With a better rear shock and a taller aftermarket or accessory windscreen for colder weather, I wouldn’t hesitate to slip some soft luggage on the SRT750 and take off on a cross-country ride, especially since it sips fuel when ridden conservatively. You could also pop on some 50/50 tires, bash bars, and a skid plate for that exposed oil filter and whatnot underneath and knock the rubber inserts out of the footpegs, and it would be ready for light adventure riding. Or just leave it as-is, in sport mode, and wait for an adventure version of the SRT750 to arrive with all of that and a 19-inch front wheel. At this price, many riders would find it easy to own both.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750
A comfortable seat, a relaxed riding position, and reasonable wind protection give the SRT750 some long-distance capability. A larger windscreen would help in the cold.

2023 QJ Motor SRT750 Specs

Base Price: $8,499

Warranty: 1 yr., 12,000 miles

Website: Motor.QJMotor.com

2023 QJ Motor SRT750

ENGINE

  • Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
  • Displacement: 754cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 88.0 x 62.0mm
  • Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
  • Valve Insp. Interval: 15,000 miles
  • Fuel Delivery: Bosch EFI
  • Lubrication System: Wet sump, 3.0 qt. cap.
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch
  • Final Drive: Chain

CHASSIS

  • Frame: Tubular-steel trellis w/ engine as stressed member, cast aluminum swingarm
  • Wheelbase: 60.6 in.
  • Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/5.3 in.
  • Seat Height: 32.9 in.
  • Suspension, Front: 43mm inverted fork, adj. for spring preload & rebound damping, 6.1 in. travel
  • Rear: Single shock, adj. for spring preload & rebound damping, 2.0 in. stroke (travel NA)
  • Brakes, Front: Dual 320mm discs w/ opposed 4-piston radial calipers, radial master cylinder & ABS
  • Rear: Single 260mm disc w/ opposed 2-piston caliper & ABS
  • Wheels, Front: Cast aluminum, 3.50 x 17
  • Rear: Cast aluminum, 5.50 x 17
  • Tires, Front: Tubeless radial, 120/70-R17
  • Rear: Tubeless radial, 180/55-R17
  • Wet Weight: 552 lb
  • Claimed Load Capacity: 332 lb
  • GVWR: 884 lb

PERFORMANCE

  • Horsepower: 70.5 @ 8,600 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
  • Torque: 46.6 lb-ft @ 7,800 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.9 gal
  • Fuel Consumption: 36.3 mpg
  • Estimated Range: 178 miles

The post 2023 QJ Motor SRT750 | Road Test Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Best Small Motorcycles with Seat Heights Under 30 Inches

2021 Harley Davidson Sportster S Best Small Motorcycles

Choices for smaller, affordable motorcycles are growing, and that’s good news for riders looking for a fun bike that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re new to riding and want something easy to handle or an experienced rider looking for a lighter or shorter bike, you have more options now than ever when it comes to finding the best small motorcycles! 

Below is Rider’s 2022-2023 list of Best Small Motorcycles, an update of the popular post from 2019. Our new list includes motorcycles with seat heights up to 30 inches with an MSRP of $17,000 or less. 

We’ve also curated lists of the best bikes with seat heights between 30.0 and 30.9 inches, as well as a list of bikes with seat heights between 31.0 and 31.9 inches. We’ll include links to those lists soon. 

When possible, we’ve included a link to our test ride reviews so you can get a sense of how each bike performs in action. We’ve also included the 2022-2023 model year’s U.S. base MSRP (as of publication), seat height, and claimed wet or dry weight. On models with options to lower the seat height or suspension, we’ve listed the standard and lowered seat heights. You can also click on a model’s name to go to the manufacturer’s webpage for a full list of specifications and details.  

The models in this list are arranged by seat height, with the first model having the shortest seat height and the last model having the tallest seat height in the list. 


Can-Am Ryker 

Can Am Ryker Best Small Motorcycles

Can-Am Ryker 

$8,999 

23.6-inch seat height

594 lb dry 

Read our 2019 Can-Am Ryker First Ride Review


Indian Scout Bobber Sixty 

Indian Scout Bobber Sixty Best Small Motorcycles

Indian Scout Bobber Sixty 

$10,749 

25.6-inch seat height 

548 lb 


Indian Scout Rogue Sixty 

Indian Scout Rogue Sixty Best Small Motorcycles

Indian Scout Rogue Sixty 

$11,249 

25.6-inch seat height 

540 lb 

Read our 2022 Indian Scout Rogue First Ride Review 


Indian Scout Sixty 

Indian Scout Sixty Best Small Motorcycles

Indian Scout Sixty 

$11,749 

25.6-inch seat height 

543 lb 

Read our 2016 Indian Scout Sixty Road Test Review 


Indian Scout Bobber 

Indian Scout Bobber Best Small Motorcycles

Indian Scout Bobber 

$12,249 

25.6-inch seat height 

553 lb 

Read our 2018 Indian Scout Bobber First Ride Review 


Indian Scout 

Indian Scout Best Small Motorcycles

Indian Scout 

$13,249 

25.6-inch seat height 

561 lb 

Read our 2019 Indian Scout Tour Test Review 


Indian Scout Bobber Twenty 

Indian Scout Bobber Twenty Best Small Motorcycles

Indian Scout Bobber Twenty 

$13,249 

25.6-inch seat height 

563 lb 


Harley-Davidson Iron 883 

Harley-Davidson Iron 883 Best Small Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson Iron 883 

(2022 is the final year for this model) 

$11,249 

25.7-inch seat height 

564 lb 


Harley-Davidson Softail Standard 

Harley-Davidson Softail Standard Best Small Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson Softail Standard 

$14,399 

25.8-inch seat height 

655 lb 


Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114 

Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114 Best Small Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114 

$16,599 

25.8-inch seat height 

631 lb 


Honda Shadow Phantom 

2023 Honda Shadow Phantom

Honda Shadow Phantom 

$7,999 

25.8-inch seat height 

549 lb 

Read our 2010 Honda Shadow Phantom 750 Road Test Review 


Honda Shadow Aero 

2023 Honda Shadow Aero

Honda Shadow Aero 

$7,799 

25.9-inch seat height 

560 lb 

Read our 2013 Honda Shadow Aero Review 


Indian Chief 

Indian Chief Best Small Motorcycles

Indian Chief 

$14,999 

26-inch seat height 

670 lb 


Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight 

Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Best Small Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight 

(2022 is the final year for this model) 

$12,299 

26.2-inch seat height 

556 lb 


Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic

Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic Best Small Motorcycles

Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic 

$8,999 

26.8-inch seat height 

620 lb 

Read our 2013 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic Review


Honda Fury 

Honda Fury Best Small Motorcycles

Honda Fury 

$11,449 

26.9-inch seat height 

663 lb 

Read our 2010 Honda VT13VX Fury Road Test Review 


Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom 

Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom Best Small Motorcycles

Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom 

$9,499 

27-inch seat height 

611 lb 


Yamaha V Star 250 

Yamaha V Star 250 Best Small Motorcycles

Yamaha V Star 250 

$4,699 

27-inch seat height 

324 lb 

Read more about the V Star 250 in our 2008 Motorcycle Fuel Economy Comparison Review


Harley-Davidson Nightster 

Harley-Davidson Nightster Best Small Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson Nightster 

$13,499 

27.1-inch seat height 

481 lb 

Read our 2022 Harley-Davidson Nightster First Ride Review 


BMW R 18 

2023 BMW R 18 in Mineral Motorcycles

BMW R 18 

$14,995 

27.2-inch seat height 

761 lb 

Read our 2021 BMW R 18 First Edition Road Test Review


Honda Rebel 500 

2023 Honda Rebel 500

Honda Rebel 500 

$6,449 

27.2-inch seat height 

408 lb 

Read our 2020 Honda Rebel 500 ABS Road Test Review 


Honda Rebel 300

2023 Honda Rebel 300

Honda Rebel 300 

$4,749 

27.2-inch seat height 

364 lb 


Triumph Bonneville Bobber 

Triumph Bonneville Bobber Best Small Motorcycles

Triumph Bonneville Bobber 

$13,495 

27.6-inch seat height (optional lower seat of 27.2 inches) 

553 lb 

Read our 2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber First Ride Review 


Yamaha Bolt R-Spec 

Yamaha Bolt R-Spec Best Small Motorcycles

Yamaha Bolt R-Spec 

$8,899 

27.2-inch seat height 

542 lb 


 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT 

2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT

Honda Rebel 1100T DCT 

$11,299 

27.5-inch seat height 

524 lb 

Read our 2023 Honda Rebel 1100T DCT First Look Review 


Honda Rebel 1100 

2023 Honda Rebel 1100

Honda Rebel 1100 

$9,499 

27.5-inch seat height 

487 lb 

Read our 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 First Ride Review 


Suzuki Boulevard C50 

Suzuki Boulevard C50 Best Small Motorcycles

Suzuki Boulevard C50 

$8,609 

27.6-inch seat height 

611 lb 


Suzuki Boulevard C50T 

Suzuki Boulevard C50T Best Small Motorcycles

Suzuki Boulevard C50T 

$10,059 

27.6-inch seat height 

644 lb 

Read our 2007 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Road Test Review 


Kawasaki Vulcan S 

Kawasaki Vulcan S Best Small Motorcycles

Kawasaki Vulcan S 

$7,349 

27.8-inch seat height 

492 lb 

Read our 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S Road Test Review 


Kawasaki Vulcan S Cafe

Kawasaki Vulcan S Cafe Best Small Motorcycles

Kawasaki Vulcan S Cafe 

$8,099 

27.8-inch seat height 

496 lb 

Read our 2016 Kawasaki Vulcan S Cafe Road Test Review 


Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 

2023 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster in Jet Black and Fusion White

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster 

$13,495 

27.8-inch seat height 

580 lb 

Read our 2018 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster First Ride Review


Harley-Davidson Sportster S 

Harley-Davidson Sportster S Best Small Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson Sportster S 

$16,399 

28.9-inch seat height 

502 lb 

Read our 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S First Ride Review 

The post Best Small Motorcycles with Seat Heights Under 30 Inches first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

A Girl and Her Honda Rebel

Allison Parker Honda Rebel 250
The author and her 2014 Honda Rebel 250

When I tell people I have a motorcycle, I get one of three responses. The first is that motorcycles are dangerous and not worth the risk. The second is that a Honda Rebel 250 isn’t a “real” motorcycle. The third response – and my favorite by far – is delivered in the form of a story about someone’s trusty first bike that they’ll never forget.

See all of Rider‘s Honda coverage here.

I’ve heard the horror stories of life-changing accidents. These stories I can respect. They come from a place of caring, sometimes a place of loss. They’re not fun stories, but they are stories that deserve to be heard.

As to the second response, I have lost patience with those who say the Rebel isn’t a real motorcycle. The Rebel 250 is small, that’s true. You won’t find it on a list of the top 10 most powerful motorcycles. You won’t find it on anyone’s list of dream bikes. But if people who tell me the Rebel 250 isn’t a real motorcycle could hear some of the third type of responses, they might have a different perspective.

The third response is my favorite because it is the one that most aligns with my own experience. It comes from riders who have owned a Rebel 250, usually as a first bike. When I tell these people what motorcycle I have, they light up. They tell me about how they learned to ride on a Rebel. Or how they left work in a trail of dust on a Rebel when their spouse was going into labor or taught their sons and daughters to ride on a Rebel. I can relate to these stories because they are fueled by that first joy of sitting on a bike.

When I decided I wanted a motorcycle, I searched everywhere. I printed off Craigslist postings and asked my friends and family what they thought of them. I took pictures of motorcycles with “For Sale” signs on the side of the road. I didn’t really know what I was looking for until I saw a posting for a 2014 Honda Rebel 250.

I took my dad with me to look at it the very next week. It was the least intimidating motorcycle I had seen so far. It was gorgeous, with shiny black paint and a stylish “Rebel” sticker on the gas tank. I admit, my enthusiasm about finally finding a motorcycle that was affordable, small enough for me to sit on comfortably, and in great condition might have clouded my judgment, but I still think it’s a beautiful bike. 

Some things are beautiful not because of their complexity but because of their simplicity. The Rebel wasn’t trying to be anything it wasn’t. Likewise, I wasn’t trying to impress anyone with a thundering loud exhaust or state-of-the-art technology. I just wanted to be what I was: a new rider comfortable and happy on her first motorcycle.

Before I ever sat on a motorcycle, I rode horses. My horse is named Chief. I still have him, although now he spends his days grazing through retirement. He is a gentle giant, calm and steady. He stuck with me through thorn briars and winding wooded trails. We even have the same hair color. One thing I learned from Chief was how to trust what carries you. I developed a similar trust with the Rebel.

My Rebel has been my loyal mount for six years. It has carried me from Dover, Tennessee, up to Grand Rivers, Kentucky, a town of about 400 people nestled between the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers with a fantastic restaurant called Patti’s. To get there, I go up the Trace through Land Between the Lakes. I stop for a break in front of the old iron furnace. I ride by the elk and bison range. I swing by the planetarium and watch a Beatles laser show. Before long, I’m dining at Patti’s, chowing down on bread baked in a clay flowerpot and a 2-inch-thick pork chop.

My Rebel has also carried me to Aurora, Kentucky, home of the Hot August Blues Festival and Belew’s Dairy Bar. The memory of a Belew’s double cheeseburger with the patty edges crispy with grill flavor still makes my mouth water. At the Hot August Blues Festival, folks from all walks of life stretch out on the riverbank and catch up while bands get down with it. You never meet a stranger in Aurora, even if you’ve never seen a single person there before. Through all these experiences, my Rebel was with me.

I’m not trying to convince you to go buy yourself a Rebel 250. If you’re new to motorcycles and want one that is easy to ride, dependable, and not very expensive, then a Rebel is a good choice. It’s not flashy or impressive, but it has a character of its own. Nor am I trying to convince myself that I made the right choice. If I could do it over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. All I want is for new riders to cherish their time with their first bike and for experienced riders to take a moment and remember what that felt like.

Allison Parker joined the Rider staff as assistant editor in August 2022. This is her first story for the magazine, and it appeared in the December 2022 issue. –Ed.

The post A Girl and Her Honda Rebel first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Retrospective: BMW /5 Series – 1970-1973

1972 BMW R 75/5 slash five toaster
1972 BMW R 75/5 “Toaster” owned by Arden White in Snohomish, Washington. (Photos by Arden White and Moshe K. Levy)

The year 1969 was a tumultuous time in the motorcycle industry, marked by the rise of the Japanese and the beginning of the end for the British. Amidst this backdrop of rapidly evolving consumer sentiment, BMW introduced its /5 (“slash five”) Series for the 1970 model year. In its three years of production, the /5 family of motorcycles reinvigorated the brand with its contemporary design and ushered in BMW’s fabled “Airhead” Type 247 Boxer Twin engine, variations of which would continue to propel the marque’s R-Series motorcycles for the next 25 years.

See more of Rider‘s Retrospective motorcycle stories here.

The /5 Series, built at BMW’s newest facility in Spandau, Berlin, was available in three variants. The R 50/5 (500cc) was the most affordable, the R 60/5 (600cc) was the midrange, and the R 75/5 (750cc) was the top of the line.

Compared to its predecessor, the BMW /2 Series, the /5 Series was a thoroughly modernized ground-up redesign. It boasted up-to-date 12-volt DC electrics complete with a 180-watt alternator, an electric starter, more powerful drum brakes, and a slew of other noteworthy upgrades. The frame was of tubular steel construction with a double downward cradle for the engine, similar to the benchmark Norton Featherbed. A rear subframe was bolted onto the mainframe and served as the upper mount for the twin rear shocks. Up front, the former /2’s Earles fork was replaced with a telescopic fork on the /5, signaling a functional change of focus from utilitarian sidecar duty to improved handling as a solo motorcycle.

BMW 247 Airhead flat-Twin R 75/5
The 247 Airhead’s flat-Twin configuration means easy access to most serviceable components.

See all of Rider‘s BMW coverage here.

Of course, no discussion of the BMW /5 would be complete without an examination of the Type 247 “Airhead” flat-Twin engine. Special care was taken by the company to design a simple, reliable motor that addressed previous concerns about the /2 mill. To this end, the 247’s chain-driven camshaft runs below the crankshaft, allowing gravity assist of oil delivery to the camshaft and eliminating the periodic complete teardowns required to maintain the former /2 design’s “oil slingers.” Two valves in each hemispherical cylinder head are actuated by the camshaft through followers, pushrods, and rocker arms. A stroke of 70.6mm is constant within the /5 line, with bores of 67mm, 73.5mm, and 82mm determining the displacement of the R 50/5, R 60/5, and R 75/5 respectively.

The R 50/5 and R 60/5 models are equipped with 26mm Bing slide carburetors, while the R 75/5 features 32mm Bing CV units. On all models, the engine power is transmitted via a single-disc dry clutch to a stout 4-speed gearbox and then to the swingarm-mounted final drive via shaft.

1971 BMW R 60/5 slash five
The author’s wife on her first bike, a 1971 R 60/5 with standard 6.3-gal. tank. Now with almost 100,000 miles, it’s still going strong.

For late 1973 models, BMW lengthened the rear swingarm by approximately 2 inches, resulting in the so-called “Long Wheelbase” /5. The tell-tale signs of a Long Wheelbase model are the weld marks on the final-drive side of the swingarm where the extension was added by the factory. The extra room allowed a larger battery to be located behind the engine and gave riders some additional clearance between their shins and the carburetors. To this day, /5 enthusiasts viciously argue over whether the sharper handling merits of the original short-wheelbase models trump the high-speed stability of the long-wheelbase versions.

Either way, at barely over 460 lb, the R 75/5 was one of the lightest 750cc bikes of the era, and with a top speed of 109 mph, it was one of the fastest as well.

1970 BMW R 60/5 slash five
Fred Tausch’s 1970 R 60/5, circa 2004. Today it resides at Bob’s BMW Museum in Jessup, Maryland.

Complementing these functional upgrades to its new motorcycle line, the /5’s aesthetics were also a spicy departure from the more somber BMWs of yore. Although initially available only in the white, black, or silver colors for 1970-71, the 1972-73 models were available in seven hues, including Monza Blue and Granada Red. Further shocking traditionalists, 1972 saw the introduction of the 4-gallon “Toaster” gas tank, which featured prominent chrome accent panels on each side. Though excessive chrome on a BMW was heresy at the time, today the Toaster-tank /5 is considered valuable to collectors, as it was only produced for the 1972-73 model years.

Contrary to the initial worries from BMW traditionalists that the company had strayed too far from its function-over-form roots, the /5 motorcycle family has earned a sterling reputation for anvil-like reliability. Being classic European motorcycles, the /5s naturally have certain idiosyncrasies, but overall, the design and construction are robust. In a testament to their supreme quality, these motorcycles are still often used as daily runners 50-plus years after their initial production.

Experienced owners claim that with timely maintenance, these bikes are nearly indestructible. In fact, properly running /5s with well over 100,000 miles on them are commonplace at BMW rallies worldwide. I met an owner of one, the late Fred Tausch, at a rally in 2004. Tausch’s 1970 R 60/5 had more than 600,000 miles on its clock and was still running when its owner passed away. Details are sketchy, but supposedly the engine was only overhauled twice during this remarkable service run.

The classic BMW motorcycle community is an active one, with abundant technical support and a well-organized network of enthusiasts (aka “Airheads”) who gather regularly to celebrate their favorite machines. Parts are still plentiful, though they’re getting more expensive as time goes on.

Ultimately, the /5 Series represented an initially dramatic but ultimately triumphant gamble for BMW. These motorcycles were not the cautious evolutions of the existing /2 designs that the brand’s faithful fans had expected. The /5’s newfound emphasis on performance and style, combined with significant price increases over the /2 Series it replaced, could have easily spelled marketplace doom. Luckily, that was not the case, and the /5s became a mild hit.

To hear more from Moshe K. Levy, the author of this article, check out Rider Magazine Insider Podcast episode 44

The post Retrospective: BMW /5 Series – 1970-1973 first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

National Cycle Extreme Adventure Gear | Gear Review

National-Cycle-Extreme-Adventure-Gear-XAG 2022 Honda CB500X
2022 Honda CB500X decked out in National Cycle Extreme Adventure Gear

Adventure bike owners love to add “farkles” from companies such as National Cycle to their bikes. A farkle, as many of you know, is an accessory, often a fancy one, that a motorcycle owner is likely to brag about. Some say the word is a mashup of “function” and “sparkle,” but we’ve also heard it’s an acronym for Fancy Accessory, Really Kool, Likely Expensive. (When I Googled “farkle,” the top result was from Dictionary.com: a combination of fart and chuckle, an involuntary fart caused by laughter. Gotta love the internet.)

Best known for its windscreens and windshields, National Cycle also makes accessories for select motorcycle models. As part of its Extreme Adventure Gear (XAG) line, it makes accessories for the ADV-styled Honda CB500X, and we installed some XAG accessories on our 2022 test bike.

Related: 2019 Honda CB500X | First Ride Review

One of the most popular upgrades for adventure bikes is supplemental protection against rocks, road debris, and tip-overs. We started off with National Cycle’s XAG Polycarbonate Headlight Guard (P/N N5400, $84.95), which is made of tough 3.0mm polycarbonate reinforced with the company’s proprietary Quantum hardcoat – said to provide 10 times the strength and 30 times the scratch resistance as acrylic, a claim National Cycle backs up with a three-year warranty against breakage.

National Cycle Extreme Adventure Gear XAG Polycarbonate Headlight Guard 2022 Honda CB500X
National Cycle XAG Polycarbonate Headlight Guard

The guard is thermoformed for an exact fit over the 2019-2022 CB500X headlight, and its crystal-clear optics do not distort or reduce illumination. Installation is simple: Just clean the headlight, remove the adhesive backing on the marine-grade Velcro tabs, and press the guard onto the headlight lens.

Next, to add crash protection as well as a place to mount auxiliary lighting, we installed the XAG Adventure Side Guards (P/N P4200, $429.95), which are also available for the Yamaha Ténéré 700. Made of black powdercoated steel, they complement the CB500X’s styling, especially the Pearl Organic Green/Black color scheme on our 2022 model. The guards are also treated inside and out with an electrophoretic coating to eliminate rust and corrosion.

National-Cycle-Extreme-Adventure-Gear-XAG-Adventure-Side-Guards 2022 Honda CB500X
National Cycle XAG Adventure Side Guards

The installation instructions provide a list of basic tools needed as well as a QR code that links to a helpful video. Installation is straightforward and took about 30 minutes, with the only challenge being a little extra effort needed to line the guards up with the engine mount holes.

The left and right guards attach to the engine in two places, and they bolt together in the middle just below the headlight. Once installed, they provide solid, sturdy protection. A flat metal tab with an open bolt hole that’s welded to the lower part of each guard provides a good attachment point for auxiliary lights.

As Reg Kittrelle says in his Triumph Tiger 900 GT Low review in the upcoming February issue, an ADV is a “motorcycle that can comfortably take me to distant places carrying lots of stuff.” The Honda CB500X is comfortable, but in stock form, it doesn’t provide many options for carrying gear, so we installed the XAG Luggage Rack (P/N P9304, $184.95). Like the side guards, the luggage rack is made of black powdercoated steel.

National Cycle Extreme Adventure Gear XAG Luggage Rack 2022 Honda CB500X
National Cycle XAG Luggage Rack

Also like the guards, installation of the rack requires only basic hand tools, takes about 30 minutes, and is clearly demonstrated in the instructions and video. On a stock CB500X, installation requires removal/reinstallation of the passenger grab handles since the mounting brackets share the same bolt holes. On our test bike, the grab handles had already been removed when Honda’s accessory saddlebag mounts were installed. And be advised: National Cycle’s luggage rack is not compatible with Honda’s accessory saddlebags.

The rack is a solid, stylish, practical add-on. It measures 8.625 inches front to back and has a tapered width that narrows from 6.75 inches at the front to 5 inches at the rear. The rack’s slotted surface and two holes on either side provide anchor points for straps or bungee cords. It sits a bit higher than the passenger portion of the seat, but together they provide a platform up to 23 inches in length for carrying a drybag, duffel, or tailbag.

Related: Motorcycle Camping on a Honda CB500X and Husqvarna Norden 901

Although we didn’t request one for our test bike, National Cycle also makes the XAG Lowering Kit and Kickstand (P/N P4900, $119.95) for the CB500X. It includes a shorter sidestand and two aluminum suspension link arms that lower the seat height by about 1.5 inches (from 32.8 to 31.3 inches). Only basic tools are required, installation takes 30-45 minutes, and you’ll need a wheel chock and a hydraulic jack or lift. As with the other accessories, in addition to the step-by-step instructions with photos, there’s a helpful video.

National-Cycle-Extreme-Adventure-Gear-XAG-Lowering-Kit-and-Kickstand 2022 Honda CB500X
National Cycle XAG Lowering Kit and Kickstand

We put as many miles as possible on our test bikes, so we’re always interested in accessories that improve comfort. We’ve tested National Cycle’s VStream windscreens on many different motorcycles over the years, and we’ve consistently been impressed with their ability to improve wind protection while also reducing turbulence and buffeting. With their patented “V” shape, VStream windscreens are made of 3.0mm Quantum-hardcoated polycarbonate – the same durable material used for the headlight guard (and with the same warranty against breakage).

The VStream windscreen comes in three sizes for the CB500X, as seen below.

National-Cycle-Extreme-Adventure-Gear-XAG-Vstream-Windscreen 2022 Honda CB500X

The Low windscreen is 16.75 inches tall, just slightly taller than stock, and it’s available in dark or light tint for $121.95. We opted for the Mid windscreen ($133.95), which is 19.25 inches tall (more than 2.5 inches taller than stock), much wider than stock near the top, and available only in light tint. The Tall windscreen ($139.95) is 21.75 inches tall (more than 5 inches taller than stock), even wider near the top, and available only in clear.

National Cycle Extreme Adventure Gear XAG Vstream Windscreen mid 2022 Honda CB500X
National Cycle VStream Windscreen Mid size

Compared to stock, the Mid-size VStream pushes air higher up and around the rider. Airflow hits at helmet height, but there’s no buffeting. There’s also excellent visibility over the top of the windscreen, providing an unobstructed view of the road ahead.  

Unlike most farkles, National Cycle’s XAG accessories are practical and reasonably priced. If you’ve got a Honda CB500X, check ’em out by clicking on the linked product names above.

The post National Cycle Extreme Adventure Gear | Gear Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Suzuki Announces More Returning 2023 Models

2023 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ in Glass Sparkle Black
2023 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ in Glass Sparkle Black

Suzuki has announced additional models to its 2023 product line, including the sport-touring Suzuki GSX-S1000GT/GT+ models, plus three Boulevard models: the M109R B.O.S.S. muscle cruiser and the C50 and C50T. The announcement comes on the tail of Suzuki’s unveiling of an all-new 776cc DOHC parallel-Twin engine at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy, in November. The new engine will power the 2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800DE (and Adventure variant) and the 2023 Suzuki GSX-8S.

2023 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT/GT+

Announced as Rider’s 2022 Motorcycle of the Year, the Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ (the ‘+’ denoting the model with standard saddlebags, whereas the base GT model goes without) returns for 2023 with all the features that merit its MOTY status and a new color choice for the GT+.

Related Story: 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT | Road Test Review

As we said in our Road Test Review of the GSX-S1000GT+, the GSX-S engine is a “gem with no rough edges.”

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
In this file photo, we test the 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+. Photo by Kevin Wing.

The GT is powered by the same 999cc in-line Four as the GSX-S1000, which churned out 136 hp at 10,200 rpm and 73 lb-ft of torque at 9,300 rpm on Jett Tuning’s rear-wheel dyno.

“From cracking open the throttle above idle to twisting the grip to the stop, power comes on cleanly and predictably,” our reviewer wrote.

2023 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ in Metallic Triton Blue
2023 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ in Metallic Triton Blue

Both the GSX-S1000GT and GT+ have throttle-by-wire enabling the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System, which is monitored on the 6.5-inch TFT display and includes three ride modes (Active, Basic, and Comfort) that adjust throttle response and power delivery, 5-level traction control, cruise control, and Suzuki’s Easy Start, Low RPM Assist, and Bi-Directional Quick Shift systems. 

2023 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT in Metallic Reflective Blue
2023 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT in Metallic Reflective Blue

The GSX-S1000GT+ returns in Glass Sparkle Black and a new Metallic Triton Blue starting at $14,099. The GSX-S1000GT continues for 2023 in Metallic Reflective Blue starting at $13,349.

2023 Suzuki Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S.

2023 Suzuki Boulevard M109R in deep red and black (2)
2023 Suzuki Boulevard M109R in deep red and black

The 2023 Suzuki M109R B.O.S.S. features a liquid-cooled 1,783cc, 8-valve DOHC, 54-degree V-Twin engine with 120mm bore and 90.5mm stroke. In Rider’s Road Test Review of the 2015 M109R, the reviewer said the bike had a “dual-personality motor; a typically torquey cruiser initially, it then morphs into a heckuva strong sport mount.”

The M109R has a 46mm inverted fork with 5.1 inches of travel, a hidden single-shock rear suspension, Twin floating disc-brakes with dual-piston calipers in the front and a single-disc rear brake with a single dual-piston caliper, and a low-profile 240/40 x 18 rear tire, the widest ever used on a Suzuki motorcycle.

2023 Suzuki Boulevard M109R in bright blue and black
2023 Suzuki Boulevard M109R in bright blue and black

The M109R’s engine is wrapped with aggressive blacked-out styling with slash-cut mufflers, drag-style bars, a supplied solo seat cowl with a 27.8-inch height, a headlight nacelle that’s uniquely Suzuki, and a 5.2-gallon fuel tank. The bike comes in at 764-lb wet weight. 

The 2023 Suzuki M109R comes in a deep red and black or bright blue and black paint scheme starting at $15,599.

2023 Suzuki Boulevard C50/C50T

2023 Suzuki Boulevard C50 in Solid Iron Gray
2023 Suzuki Boulevard C50 in Solid Iron Gray

The 2023 Suzuki Boulevard C50 and C50T feature a liquid-cooled 805cc 45-degree V-Twin with the Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) electronic fuel-injection system and a 5-speed gearbox with shaft drive. 

Related Story: 2014 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Review

Link-type rear suspension is shaped to mimic the hard-tail lines of a traditional cruiser, connecting a truss-style swingarm and a single shock absorber with seven-way spring preload adjustability, providing 4.1 inches of smooth and responsive suspension travel, and a telescopic front fork delivers 5.5 inches of travel.

Both bikes have wide, buckhorn-style handlebars, 27.6-inch seat height, and spoke-style chrome wheels with large valance fenders. The C50T offering white-wall tires, leather-texture saddlebags with chrome studs, and a removable, height-adjustable windshield.

2023 Suzuki Boulevard C50T in Pearl Brilliant White
2023 Suzuki Boulevard C50T in Pearl Brilliant White

Both the Boulevard C50 and C50T have a 4.1-gal tank, and the C50 comes in with a wet weight of 611 lb (644 lb for the C50T).

The 2023 Suzuki Boulevard C50 comes in Candy Daring Red or Solid Iron Gray starting at $8,909. The C50T comes in Pearl Brilliant White paint with subtle blue graphics starting at $15,599.

2023 Suzuki Boulevard C50 in Candy Daring Red
2023 Suzuki Boulevard C50 in Candy Daring Red

For more information, visit the Suzuki website.

The post Suzuki Announces More Returning 2023 Models first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Greenger Saddleback Electric Balance Bike | First Look Review

Greenger Saddleback

At the end of November, Greenger Powersports announced its new Saddleback electric balance bike for kids.

Greenger says the Saddleback is inspired by the mountains of Southern California and blends electronics, easy-to-use features, and proven engineering to create “a fun training tool for young kids looking to explore the outdoors.”

Related Story: 2022 Greenger x Honda CRF-E2 | First Ride Review

Greenger continued to say that motocross enthusiasts remember the Saddleback area, a natural landmark formed by the two highest peaks of the Santa Ana Mountains, as a “riding mecca back in the day.”

“Riders would drive for hours to get a chance to turn the dirt of these pine lined mountains. Today, Saddleback is a destination for families and outdoor enthusiast of all kinds.”

Greenger Saddleback

With the base of the mountains now dotted with suburban neighborhoods and a new generation of children, Greenger was looking for a way for those children to be able to explore in a quiet and friendly way. Thus was born the Saddleback electric balance bike.

Greenger Saddleback
Greenger Saddleback in Black

Offering either a 12-inch or 16-inch model, the Saddleback is driven by a 22V 150W hub motor, a disc brake, a push mode for younger riders or three adjustable speed modes. On the 12-inch model, the Level I top speed is 5 mph, Level II is 7 mph, and Level III is 9 mph; top speeds on the 16-inch model are 6.5 mph, 9.5 mph, and 12.5 mph.

Greenger Saddleback

Both models have aluminum rims. The 12-inch Saddleback weighs 20.9 lb, and the 16-inch weighs 26.5 lb. The LG battery uses a toolless bracket to make it quick and easy to swap if needed and provides a claimed 50-70 minutes of riding time based on mixed riding conditions.

Greenger Saddleback
Greenger Saddleback

The Saddleback is now available in Black or White for $749 for the 12-inch and $949 for the 16-inch (plus a $40 destination and freight charge). Both bikes come with a standard charger.

Greenger Saddleback

“With the success of the CRF-E2, it was a clear indicator kids of all ages want to ride.” said Brad Chapman, Greenger Sales & Marketing manager. “We want everyone to experience life on two-wheels powered by Greenger.”

Along these lines, in addition to the Saddleback, Greenger will be releasing a family of e-bike models in the first quarter of 2023 to “get the masses outdoors,” including the Telluride city bike, the Ozark folding recreational bike, and the Shasta and Shasta ST adventure bikes, as well as two Portable Power Stations: 1200w and 2000w.

For more information, visit the Greenger Powersports website.

The post Greenger Saddleback Electric Balance Bike | First Look Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2022 CFMOTO 700CL-X | Road Test Review

CFMOTO 700CL-X
The CFMOTO 700CL-X is a naked middleweight with a mix of scrambler, street tracker, and sportbike styling elements, and it’s an absolute hoot to ride. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

Last summer I traveled to Minnesota, home of the CFMOTO U.S. headquarters, to test the company’s new lineup of motorcycles. On a flat, paved, tar-snaked road course at the Minnesota Highway Safety & Research Center, about a dozen journalists and influencers buzzed around on bikes ranging from the 125cc Papio minibike to the 800 ADVentura adventure bike.

Related: 2022 CFMOTO Motorcycle Lineup | First Ride Review

Launches featuring multiple bikes are like eating at a buffet: You get to taste a little bit of everything, but you don’t get the full experience of a dedicated entree. After the day at the track, I logged 350 miles on the 650 ADVentura, an affordable, middleweight adventure-styled touring bike with saddlebags, and I got to know the bike better.

But the CFMOTO I kept thinking about was the 700CL-X, a feisty middleweight naked bike with scrambler styling.

CFMOTO 700CL-X

At the end of the trackday, when all the photography was done and we were given free reign, I hopped aboard the 700CL-X and played cat-and-mouse with two of my fellow scribes. John Burns was on the 800 ADVentura, and Ron Lieback was on the 650NK naked bike.

Related: 2023 CFMOTO 800 ADVentura | First Ride Review

Our bikes were like the Three Bears. Papa Bear was the 800 ADVentura, with a 799cc parallel-Twin that cranks out 95 hp with a curb weight of 509 lb. Mama Bear was the 700CL-X, with a 693cc parallel-Twin that makes 74 hp and weighing 426 lb. Though hardly a toddler like CFMOTO’s Papio, Baby Bear was the 650NK with a 649cc parallel-Twin that makes 60 hp and has a weight of 454 lb.

CFMOTO 700CL-X

Try as we might, with pegs scraped and boot soles beveled, we could not break ranks. We’d bunch up in the corners, but John and I protected our lines so there were no chances to overtake. We’d draft each other heading onto the front straight and then pull three abreast with the throttles pinned, but there was no fighting the displacement advantage. Burns would pull ahead of me, and Lieback would be on my six, filling my mirrors.

Chasing buddies around a track for bragging rights over beers is always fun, but beyond that, I was really digging the 700CL-X. A wide, upright tubular handlebar gives it good steering leverage, and its light weight made it easy to throw into a corner or weave around the chicanes made of traffic cones. The real kicker was the 700CL-X’s throttle response. In Sport mode, giving it the whip revved up the Twin, and at around 7,000 rpm, there was a loud below from the exhaust and a surge in thrust, almost like V-Boost on the old Yamaha V-Max. Having a $6,499 motorcycle deliver that sort of thrill took me by surprise, and I wondered, What is this thing?

CFMOTO 700CL-X

CFMOTO 101

Although well-established in the U.S. market in the ATV and side-by-side segments, CFMOTO is not a familiar brand for most American motorcyclists. Founded in 1989, the Chinese company’s first decade was focused on supplying parts, components, and engines to major powersports manufacturers. In 2000, CFMOTO began building motorcycles, scooters, and off-road vehicles.

Related: Chris Peterman, CFMOTO USA | Ep. 40 Rider Magazine Insider Podcast

CFMOTO has been selling its off-road vehicles in the U.S. since 2002, and after gaining a solid foothold in that market, it established its U.S. headquarters near Minneapolis. In 2012, CFMOTO began importing motorcycles to the U.S., but it met with limited success and pulled out a few years later. Reviews of CFMOTO’s motorcycles were generally positive, but American buyers are averse to new brands. Furthermore, many view Chinese-made motorcycles as being of inferior quality to those made in Japan, Europe, or the U.S.

CFMOTO 700CL-X

Thanks to its well-established production expertise and capacity, in 2014 CFMOTO entered a strategic partnership with KTM and began manufacturing 200 Dukes and 390 Dukes for the Chinese market. In 2018, the two companies started a joint venture that allows CFMOTO to license and manufacture some of KTM’s engines. CFMOTO’s 800 ADVentura is powered by the 799cc LC8c parallel-Twin from KTM’s 790 Adventure. Starting in 2023, KTM’s parent company Pierer Mobility will distribute CFMOTO’s motorcycles in some European markets, an arrangement similar to the recent announcement that KTM North America will soon take over distribution of MV Agusta motorcycles in the U.S.

CFMOTO 700CL-X
The 693cc parallel-Twin is held in place by a tubular chromoly-steel frame. Machined finishes are a nice touch.

While brand or country of origin are important for some buyers, others place a higher priority on style, performance, price, reliability, and dealer experience/proximity. With an MSRP of $6,499, the 700CL-X offers good value and is less expensive than other middleweight naked bikes like the Honda CB650R ($9,299), Kawasaki Z650 ABS ($8,249), Suzuki SV650 ABS ($7,849), Triumph Trident 660 ($8,395), and Yamaha MT-07 ($8,199). The 700CL-X is covered by a two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, and CFMOTO has about 200 motorcycle dealers in the U.S.

Here’s Lookin’ at You

CFMOTO 700CL-X
A tall, wide tapered aluminum handlebar gives the 700CL-X good steering leverage, and its solid chassis holds a line well.

Through its partnership with KTM, CFMOTO’s motorcycles are styled by Kiska. With its minimalist profile, tubular handlebar, bobtail with a one-piece seat, Y-spoke cast wheels with an 18-inch front, and Pirelli MT60 semi-knobby tires, the 700CL-X has the stance of a street tracker. Retro touches include a round headlight, a round gauge cluster, a single front disc, and a stubby exhaust shaped like a Foster’s Oil Can. One can see hints of the Ducati Scrambler in the 700CL-X’s tubular-steel frame, brushed aluminum tank panels, swingarm-mounted license plate carrier, and machined finishes on its engine’s faux cooling fins.

CFMOTO 700CL-X
Y-spoke cast-aluminum wheels are shod with Pirelli MT60 semi-knobby tires that provide good grip.

With the exception of its switchgear and the layout of its LCD instrument panel, the 700CL-X doesn’t look cheap, and its fit and finish are on par with more expensive bikes. It is illuminated front and rear by LEDs, and it has a unique, bright-white headlight surround shaped like one of those Craftsman four-way flathead screwdrivers I used to have on my keychain. The turnsignals are self-canceling, the clutch and brake levers are adjustable for reach, the brake lines are steel braided, and the cleated footpegs have removable rubber inserts.

CFMOTO 700CL-X
Embedded within the unique star-shaped headlight surround is a white LED daytime running light.

Motorcycles at this price point are usually limited to basic features, but the 700CL-X has throttle-by-wire with two ride modes (Eco and Sport), a slip/assist clutch, standard ABS, and cruise control. Most notable, in a class where the most one can typically hope for is spring preload adjustment, often only at the rear, the 700CL-X has a fully adjustable 41mm inverted KYB fork and a linkage-mounted KYB shock with a progressive spring rate and adjustable preload and rebound. Brakes are supplied by J.Juan (a Brembo subsidiary in Spain), with a radial-mount 4-piston front caliper squeezing a 320mm disc and a 2-piston rear caliper pinching a 260mm disc.

CFMOTO 700CL-X
A very tidy tail.

Time to Ride

The 700CL-X is very approachable. Its dished seat is 31.5 inches high and provides decent support. The bike feels compact and light, and the tall handlebar allows the rider to sit mostly upright. Thumb the starter, and the CFMOTO’s 693cc DOHC parallel-Twin burbles to life, settling into a syncopated rumble. The engine compresses fuel and air with forged pistons that move up and down via fracture-split connecting rods.

CFMOTO 700CL-X

Roll on the throttle, and the engine spins up quickly with no drama. Concerns about vibration and heat never crossed my mind, and the throttle-by-wire delivers crisp response without any vagueness or abruptness. When we rolled the 700CL-X into Jett Tuning’s dyno room and John Ethell ran it on the big drum, it sent 62 hp at 9,200 rpm (redline is 9,500) and 41.6 lb-ft of torque at 7,400 rpm to the rear wheel. The dyno curves show a notable bump above 7,000 rpm that corresponds with that boost sensation I mentioned earlier – a little extra kick in the pants to keep things lively.

CFMOTO 700CL-X

Lightweight, modestly powered bikes like the 700CL-X are some of my favorites to ride. Unlike today’s liter-class fire-breathing beasts, I don’t feel any guilt about not being able to use the bike’s full power, nor inadequacy for not being able to exploit its capabilities. I mostly kept it in Sport mode because the milder throttle response of Eco mode felt like a letdown. If I were commuting or taking a weekend escape, then I’d use Eco and cruise control to conserve fuel.

But all I did on this test ride was flog the darn thing – I couldn’t help myself, and my fuel economy suffered accordingly. Pushing the 700CL-X hard through a series of curves was a blast, taking me right back to the fun I had last summer chasing John Burns and outrunning Ron Lieback. Some bikes just bring out my hyperactive inner child.

CFMOTO 700CL-X
We tested a 2022 model. Updates to the 700CL-X for 2023 will include new traction control, some styling changes, and fresh colorways.

While the 700CL-X was solid and responsive and its suspension took a hammering without complaint, the single-disc front brake wasn’t quite up to the task. Stopping power was decent, but feedback at the lever was numb, and it exhibited some fade after repeated hard stops. A second front disc would probably help – or an upgrade like the setup found on CFMOTO’s 700CL-X Sport, a cafe racer version with top-shelf Brembo Stylema front calipers and an MSRP of $6,999.

After logging hundreds of miles on the 700CL-X on city streets, freeways, and winding backroads, there were a few things that left me wanting. The first is the small fuel tank, which holds just 3.5 gallons. (Other bikes in this class have fuel capacities ranging from 3.7-4.1 gallons.) During this test, I averaged 41 mpg, which works out to 143 miles of range. Exhibiting more throttle restraint is the sensible solution, but where’s the fun in that? I’d rather have more fuel to burn.

CFMOTO 700CL-X
Brushed aluminum side panels make the fuel tank appear large, but its capacity is only 3.5 gallons. The 700CL-X runs on regular unleaded.

The second is the instrument panel. When less expensive bikes like the KTM 390 Duke – which CFMOTO builds for the Chinese market – have color TFT displays, the monochrome LCD display on the 700CL-X seems like an unfortunate way to save a few bucks. Other than the road in front of us, the instrument panel is the main thing we look at when riding. The 700CL-X’s gauge provides plenty of info, but the perimeter tachometer is hard to read, the text for some of the info functions is too small, and I couldn’t figure out how to reset the tripmeter without also advancing the clock by one hour. If I didn’t do the time warp again with each fill-up, I had to press the “Adjust” button 23 more times to correct it.

CFMOTO 700CL-X
The LCD display shows speed, gear position, rpm, and other info, but the perimeter tachometer is difficult to read.

Lastly, the self-canceling turnsignals shut off too early. Hit the button and they’ll flash four or five times and then stop, which sometimes happens before the turn is executed.

GEAR UP:

Good Times

Over the past 15 years, I’ve ridden and tested hundreds of new motorcycles of nearly every size, configuration, and style. Because my passion for motorcycles runs deep and my tastes are omnivorous, I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every motorcycle I’ve ridden. Some aligned with expectations, some fell a bit short, and a few went above and beyond, exceeding expectations because something about their styling, character, or performance – or all three – felt special.

CFMOTO 700CL-X
If you’re looking for a unique, exciting, affordable middleweight, the CFMOTO 700CL-X is worthy of consideration.

That happened to me last summer. As I worked my way up through CFMOTO’s eight-model lineup, the 700CL-X caught my eye because I like scrambler styling and I’m a sucker for gold wheels (which come with the Coal Grey colorway; the Twilight Blue colorway has black wheels). Then I rode it and was surprised by how responsive the engine was, especially that extra kick above 7,000 rpm, and it had a nice bark to its exhaust. It was also light, agile, and fun to ride.

The 700CL-X exceeded my expectations – not just for a motorcycle built in China, but for any motorcycle at this price point.

CFMOTO 700CL-X

2022 CFMOTO 700CL-X Specs

Base Price: $6,499

Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles

Website: CFMOTOusa.com

Engine

  • Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
  • Displacement: 693cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 83 x 64mm
  • Compression Ratio: 11.6:1
  • Valve Insp. Interval: 24,800 miles
  • Fuel Delivery: Bosch EFI w/ throttle-by-wire
  • Lubrication System: Wet sump, 2.3 qt. cap.
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet slip/assist clutch
  • Final Drive: Chain

Chassis

  • Frame: Tubular chromoly-steel trellis w/ cast aluminum swingarm
  • Wheelbase: 56.5 in.
  • Rake/Trail: 24.5 degrees/4.3 in.
  • Seat Height: 31.5 in.
  • Suspension, Front: 41mm inverted fork, fully adj., 5.9 in. travel
  • Rear: Single shock w/ linkage, adj. spring preload & rebound, 5.9 in. travel
  • Brakes, Front: 320mm disc w/ radial-mount 4-piston caliper & ABS
  • Rear: 260mm disc w/ 2-piston caliper & ABS
  • Wheels, Front: Cast aluminum, 3.50 x 18 in. 
  • Rear: Cast aluminum, 4.50 x 17 in.
  • Tires, Front: Tubeless, 110/80-R18
  • Rear: Tubeless, 180/55-R17
  • Wet Weight: 426 lb
  • Load Capacity: 368 lb 
  • GVWR: 794 lb

Performance

  • Horsepower: 62 hp @ 9,400 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
  • Torque: 41.6 lb-ft @ 7,400 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.5 gals
  • Fuel Consumption: 41 mpg
  • Estimated Range: 143 miles

The post 2022 CFMOTO 700CL-X | Road Test Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2023 KTM 890 Adventure | First Look Review

2023 KTM 890 Adventure

KTM has announced that joining the recently unveiled 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R is the new KTM 890 Adventure, a bike the company called “the ultimate master of all conditions and distances.”

Related: 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R | First Look Review

The 2023 KTM 890 Adventure features a liquid-cooled 889cc LC8 parallel-Twin, a 6-speed gearbox, the PASC slip/assist clutch, Bosch EMS with throttle-by-wire, and Dell’Orto throttle bodies with an integrated knock sensor for handling varying fuel quality while off the beaten path.

For 2023, one of the most significant changes has been made to the fairing between the front of the bike and the fuel tank.

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
2023 KTM 890 Adventure in Orange

A connected fairing section offers improved protection from the elements, and it is now further reinforced to offer more security and more load-bearing capability for larger GPS devices. The KTM 890 Adventure also has wider panels on the tank and side panels. 

For suspension, the reworked WP APEX 43mm fork now comes with adjustment for rebound and compression, accessible from the top caps. The APEX shock, engineered and slotted into the bike to minimize height, has new settings orientated for the demands of adventure riding.

2023 KTM 890 Adventure

A new ABS unit is informed by the six-axis IMU to enable full braking power in a range of scenarios. The improved ABS is synced with the ride modes, allowing Offroad ABS (maximizing braking control through disengagement on the rear wheel and lowered intervention on the front) to be activated automatically in Offroad or Rally mode.

2023 KTM 890 Adventure

The KTM 890 Adventure can be clicked into Street, Offroad, Rain, and an optional Rally mode to adjust engine and traction control character, and a Demo setting allows the rider the chance to try the full gamut of optional rider aids for the first 932 miles (1,500 km) before deciding whether to purchase and keep them permanently.

2023 KTM 890 Adventure
2023 KTM 890 Adventure in Black

The 2023 KTM 890 Adventure has a new higher windscreen that offers increased protection and is inspired by the product used on the KTM 450 Rally, and the two-part seat has a new soft foam structure and a slimmer front fender for aerodynamics and rain protection.

2023 KTM 890 Adventure

The overhauled 5-inch TFT display has revised hardware (bonded mineral glass for extra scratch and glare resistance), and KTM says the redesigned software system of menus and infographics makes alterations to the behavior of the KTM 890 Adventure even simpler. The backlight changes intensity as it reacts to the environment, and a new feature for 2023 enables riders to list their ‘top 10’ calls by the last ones made or favorites list. The Turn-by-Turn+ navigation allows the rider to add extra customization to their navigation details on the go from the bike’s TFT menu without having to stop and fish around for their mobile device.

2023 KTM 890 Adventure

Sportier graphics and more dynamic looks (the plastics are color injected and using in-mold decals where possible for extra resistance, as seen on the KTM offroad bikes) comes with other practical additions such as the new aluminum engine and tank protector. Other additions include a handlebar switch with hazard warning, Pirelli Scorpion STR tires for offroad emphasis, and LED indicators.

2023 KTM 890 Adventure

The 2023 KTM Adventure has a 5.3-gal fuel tank and has a dry weight of 441 lb.

Related Story: 2021 KTM 890 Adventure R | Long-Term Ride Review

2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R and 1290 Super Adventure S

2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R
2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

The 2023 KTM 890 Adventure and 890 Adventure R machines join the flagship 2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R and 1290 Super Adventure S, both of which were completely redesigned in 2022.

Related: 2022 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Review

Both bikes return for 2023 and are still powered by the liquid-cooled 1,301cc LC8 V-Twin engine with a 6-speed PANKL gearbox, PASC slip/assist clutch, and Keihin EMS with throttle-by-wire. Both also have a 7-inch TFT display and Rain, Street, Sport and Offroad ride modes as standard, as well as an optional Rally mode with nine levels of adjustable traction control intervention. Offroad ABS mode allows for dirt-specific ABS application on the front wheel while disengaging the rear ABS.

2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S
2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

Suspension on the 2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R is provided by a fully adjustable, long-travel WP XPLOR fork with separate compression and rebound damping and a fully adjustable WP XPLOR PDS rear shock. On the 2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S, WP APEX Semi-Active Technology (SAT) suspension adapts the damping rates in real time according to Sport, Street, Comfort, or the optional Offroad, Auto, and Advanced, and the WP APEX rear shock with 200mm of travel and new hydraulic preload adjustment (20mm) offers 10 steps of adjustment or, as an optional add on, three levels of automatic leveling in Low, Standard, and High.

2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S
2023 KTM 1290 Super Adventure S

The KTM LC8 and LC8c ADVENTURE range will begin shipping to authorized KTM dealers from December onward. Pricing hasn’t been announced as of publication.

For more information, visit the KTM website.

The post 2023 KTM 890 Adventure | First Look Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

New and Updated 2023 Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, and Vespa Models

Aprilia Electrica 3

At the EICMA show in Italy, the Piaggio Group introduced the new Aprilia ELECTRICa project, as well as several updated models in the company’s brand range, including the following:

  • Aprilia RS 660 Extrema
  • V7 Stone Special Edition and V9 Bobber Special Edition
  • Piaggio 1
  • Vespa GTV, Primavera Color Vibe, and 946 10° Anniversario

The Piaggio Group said its brands have “accepted the challenge of a changing world, introducing a vast offer of vehicles capable of meeting any mobility needs.” Pricing and availability dates of the new models have yet to be provided.

2023 Aprilia ELECTRICa Project

Aprilia Electrica 3

Although the Piaggio Group has been working on electric propulsion since 1975 – including releasing the first hybrid scooter in the world, the MP3 Hybrid, in 2009 – the Aprilia ELECTRICa project is a new concept for the company. Piaggio says the lightweight electric bike is the company’s response to the changing commuting needs in the world with a nod to “the thrilling riding experience that only a bike can provide.”

The electric motor on the ELECTRICa is positioned in the center and powers a chain final drive. The bike includes keyless ignition and LCD instrumentation. The aesthetics of the ELECTRICa carry the familiar Aprilia style, especially the modern interpretation of the triple headlamp cluster typical of all Aprilias.

Aprilia Electrica 3

The bike has compact dimensions and a low saddle height, and the company says the presence of both brake controls on the handlebar makes the transition from scooters easier.

Exact specifications, pricing, and availability were not available as of publication.

2023 Aprilia RS 660 Extrema

Aprilia RS 660 EXTREMA

The 2023 Aprilia RS 660 Extrema is the sportiest and lightest RS 660 in the range, with updated and new standard equipment.

Related Story: 2021 Aprilia RS 660 | Video Review

The Aprilia RS 660 has a liquid-cooled 659cc DOHC parallel-Twin making a claimed 100 hp and 49.4 lb-ft of torque at 8,500 rpm.

The 2023 RS 660 Extrema features a  lighter street-legal exhaust system by SC Project with a carbon silencer positioned on the right side (and no longer beneath the engine). Also contributing to the overall reduction in weight are the carbon front fender and the new carbon engine undercover. Wet weight is a claimed 366 lb.

Aprilia RS 660 EXTREMA

The RS 660 Extrema sport attributes are emphasized by the single-seat tail fairing (the passenger’s seat comes with the bike). Standard electronics on the RS 660 include traction control, cornering ABS, engine brake, engine map, and wheelie control – all adjustable – as well as five ride modes (Road and Track, three fixed and two customizable). The RS 660 Extrema also has software that allows the rider to set up the standard quick shift in a reverse-shift pattern without having to replace any bike components.

Aprilia RS 660 EXTREMA

Pricing and availability of the RS 660 Extrema were not available as of publication, but we expect an MSRP north of $11,599, the list price of the 2022 Aprilia RS 660.

2023 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Special Edition

2023 Moto Guzzi V9 BOBBER SPECIAL EDITION

Introduced as a ready-to-ride factory bobber in 2016, the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber has an air- and oil-cooled longitudinal 853cc 90-degree V-Twin making a claimed 65 hp and 53.8 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm.

Related Story: 2017 Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer and V9 Bobber | First Ride Review

The engine sits in a twin-tube steel cradle frame. Suspension is basic, with a nonadjustable 40mm fork on the front and preload adjustable rear shocks. Stopping power comes from Brembo opposed 4-piston calipers grabbing a 320mm stainless steel floating disc up front and Brembo 2-piston calipers and a 260mm floating disc in the back. The 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels are still shod in the V9 Bobber’s characteristic oversized tires (130/90 up front, 150/80 rear).

Piaggio says the 30.9-inch seat height contributes to the bobber’s “sporty, active, and extended riding position.” The V9 Bobber has a 4.0-gal fuel tank, and the bike comes in with an overall wet weight of 463 lb.

The new Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Special Edition boasts a special Workshop twin-tone black and grey color scheme that enhances the teardrop fuel tank shape and extends to the aluminum side panels. A billet aluminum cap is a high-end touch.

2023 Moto Guzzi V9 BOBBER SPECIAL EDITION

The matte black brings out the Moto Guzzi branding milled on the aluminum cylinder head covers, and the familiar sound of the Moto Guzzi 850 twin cylinder is highlighted by the exhaust painted matte black with an aluminum bottom. Bar-end mirrors mounted at the ends of the handlebar, along with the fork seals and the short front fender, complete the equipment.

Pricing and availability on the 2023 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Special Edition were not available.

2023 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Special Edition

2023 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Special Edition

The Moto Guzzi V7 Stone was updated for 2021 with a larger air-cooled 853cc longitudinal 90-degree V-Twin making a claimed 65 hp at 6,800 rpm and 54 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm. Other updates included reduced effort from the single-disc dry clutch, a stiffer frame and bigger swingarm with a new bevel gear for the cardan shaft drive, revised damping and a longer stroke for the preload-adjustable rear shocks, an updated ABS module, and more.

Related Story: 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone | First Ride Review

The 2023 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Special Edition features a new Arrow exhaust system, which the company says has led to gains in performance, bumping up to 65.7 hp at 6,700 rpm and 55.3 lb-ft of torque at 4,900 rpm.

From a visual standpoint, Moto Guzzi has swapped out the matte shades typical of the Stone version for a special Shining Black color scheme, enhanced on the tank with graphics and red details that recall the style traits of the Eagle brand’s sportiest models.

This sport attitude is also highlighted by the red shock springs and contrasting red stitching of the saddle, also specific to this model. A plate on the handlebar riser identifies its special edition status, and the equipment package also includes bar-end rearview mirrors and an anodized black billet aluminum fuel cap.

Previous V7 Stone models started at $8,990. Pricing and availability of the 2023 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Special Edition were not available at publication.

2023 Piaggio 1

2023 Piaggio 1
2023 Piaggio 1

Piaggio has upgraded the electric motor that powers Piaggio 1 range to deliver better performance. The moped version (Piaggio 1) has a claimed 3.1 hp from its motor built into the rear wheel and has a top speed limited to 27 mph. The motorbike version (Piaggio 1 Active) reaches 4 hp and has a top speed of TK mph. Piaggio says acceleration has increased 14% on Piaggio 1 and almost 12% on Piaggio 1 Active.

The 2023 Piaggio 1 has a full technological package that includes 5.5-inch digital color instrumentation, full LED lighting, and keyless ignition. It also has an underseat storage compartment large enough to hold a full helmet.

2023 Piaggio 1
2023 Piaggio 1

The previous Piaggio 1+ model had a claimed range of approximately 62 miles in ECO mode and 42 miles in Sport mode, while the Piaggio 1 Active claimed 53 miles in ECO and 41 miles in Sport mode.

With both the versions, the battery is located beneath the seat and is easily removable and portable so it can be charged at home or in the office.

2023 Vespa GTV

2023 Vespa GTV
2023 Vespa GTV

It has been four years since the last version of a Vespa scooter was launched, but at the beginning of October, the Piaggio Group announced the release of the new 2023 Vespa GTS range, featuring a 4-stroke, liquid-cooled 300cc high-performance engine (HPE) offering a claimed 23.8 hp at 8,250 rpm.

Built on the Vespa GTS base, the Vespa GTV maintains the traits of its origins but combines them with a new technological equipment package and new finishes, which Vespa says results in “an extraordinary marriage of tradition and modernity, classicism and aggressiveness, which manifests itself in the most authentically sporty Vespa ever.”

2023 Vespa GTV
2023 Vespa GTV

The low headlamp is LED, and the new instrumentation maintains the circular shape but is entirely digital and displays maximum speed, average speed, instant and average mileage, range, and battery charge status, as well as all call, message, and music notifications if the vehicle is connected to a smartphone through the Vespa MIA system (available as a separate accessory).

The instrumentation is connected to the handlebar using a cantilevered bracket and enveloped by a small top fairing with sport inspiration. At the center of the front shield, the Vespa “neck-tie” has lateral slits and is enhanced by decorations with orange edging. A USB port comes as standard equipment, located in the storage compartment on the back of the shield.

2023 Vespa GTV
2023 Vespa GTV

The Vespa GTV has a single-seat two-tone saddle with a racing look, and the rear part is designed for a hard cover color-coded to match the body and reminiscent of the typical racing Vespa fairings.

The five-spoke design of the wheel rims is also new – painted matte black with an orange graphic on the channel. On the safety front, standard features include ASR electronic traction control and ABS.

Vespa Primavera Color Vibe

2023 Vespa Primavera Color Vibe in Arancio Impulsivo
2023 Vespa Primavera Color Vibe in Arancio Impulsivo

The Piaggio Group says the new Vespa Primavera Color Vibe is a “tribute to the colourful and carefree Vespa universe.”

The Primavera range features air-cooled i-get (Italian Green Experience Technology) 4-stroke engines available in 50cc and 150cc versions. The new Primavera Color Vibe is characterized by a special two-tone livery: the body, available in the Arancio Impulsivo and Bianco Innocente shades, is matched with a footboard in Ottanio, a shade of turquoise.

2023 Vespa Primavera Color Vibe in Bianco Innocente
2023 Vespa Primavera Color Vibe in Bianco Innocente

A contrasting color “stain” is outlined in black and runs diagonally across the entire body through the dedicated graphics on the sides of the front shield and side panels. The decorations of the steering cover on the front shield are also in Ottanio, as well as the wheel rims, which were made exclusively for this version in a special glossy metallic finish.

2023 vespa primavera color vibe in Bianco Innocente
2023 Vespa Primavera Color Vibe in Bianco Innocente

Finally, the outfitting is completed by sporty black trim for the headlamp and taillight frames, the profile that runs along the front shield, the crest on the front fender, the front suspension spring and guard, the passenger grab handle, and the muffler cover. The saddle is black with anthracite stitching.

Vespa 946 10° Anniversario

2023 vespa 946 10 anniversario

The Vespa 946 special 10° Anniversario outfit has an exclusive dedicated color that represents a modern take on the classic Vespa green shade, a color that is described as “soft and velvety, but has a hint of acidity.” The pearlescent color appears pastel at first glance, but then gains depth with illumination.

The post New and Updated 2023 Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, and Vespa Models first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com