As always, I was excited to try a category of motorcycle I've never ridden previously: the BMW C650GT über-scooter. I also had never tried the category-defying Honda NC700X.
Since I laid hands on the NC700X first, I'll begin there. My immediate impression of the NC was that it was an ideological descendant of the ill-fated Honda Pacific Coast 800: both are sleekly swaddled in a genre-bending, polarizing bodywork design and offer modest (but useable) power. The NC is styled on the coattails of one of the fastest-rising niches of design: the adventure bike. If you squint, it looks vaguely like a Ducati Hypermotard, which also has two cylinders. That is about the extent of the similarity. READ ON
These are ‘Top Trump’ superbikes – the kind of machines you’ll probably only ever see in pictures and rarely in the flesh.
The new Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC, BMW HP4 Carbon, Ducati 1199R Panigale and MV Agusta F4RR are all about the big numbers: power, capacity, top speed, electronic rider aids and, of course, price.
If you’re in the market for an exotic superbike, you’re not going to care what they’re like on the road because you’ll do so few miles. Few owners could ever take them to the limit, either, making a mockery of the thousands of miles test riders have put in to hone these machines to perfection. READ ON
Whether young, old, or somewhere in between, at some point in life it is everyone's dream to purchase his or her own motorcycle. Sure, we'd all love to spend $30,000 and buy the biggest, baddest bike on the market, but for most of us working stiffs, money seems to always be the one major decision factor. Instead of focusing on the decked-out top-of-the-line bikes, setting one's sights more toward the middle-pack models quickly opens up a wide variety of choices. The Victory Judge and the Harley-Davidson Slim are both newer models that fall somewhere smack in the middle of the price range for new bikes. Both offer sleek contemporary styling, motors packed with a punch, and are made for those looking for minimalist accessories to get in the way of the wind in their hair on a sport cruiser. READ ON
The history of the café racer is steeped in lore. It fueled a motorcycling movement in England during the ‘50s when the Ton Up Boys began hanging out at the Ace Café, followed by the Rockers who wreaked havoc on North Circular Road in the ‘60s. And though the days of Tritons with Norton featherbed frames and Triumph parallel Twins are long past, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of café racer motorcycles, from the annual Mods vs. Rockers Vintage Motorcycle & Scooter Rally in Chicago to the current Sportster café culture in SoCal. And while buying a Honda CB350 off Craigslist with the intentions of throwing on rearsets and clip-ons is a fun project for some, there are a couple of OEMs who offer production café racers straight off the showroom floor. For this comparison, we’re greasing back the hair, throwing on our best studded leather jacket and hopping aboard a 2013 Triumph Thruxton and 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone to see which bike is the most capable when it’s time to go “Ton Up.” READ ON
Ducati 848 EVO Corse SE vs. MV Agusta F3 675
We have a soft spot for the “characters” of the motorcycle world. That’s why we were excited to throw a leg over the new 675cc, inline-Triple-powered MV Agusta F3. Like the Triumph Daytona 675 before it, this Italian-made middleweight flips the bird at the conventional 600cc-supersport-displacement norm by packing a supersized engine into its lightweight chassis. Which is exactly what Ducati has been doing with its middleweight V-Twin for years: slowly upping the ante until the pot added up to its present 849cc. READ ON