Motorcycle News - Best Comparisons of 2019
Hah, I’ve drawn an easy holiday assignment here, since we really barely did any multi-bike comparisons in 2019. Not sure why? Probably because the traditional “shootout” takes up a lot of manpower and man-hours (read, $$$) – things we have less of in the current era than in days gone by. Also, is it just me, or are there a lot more new motorcycles coming out lately than in years’ past? It seems like the whole MO crew is so busy spanning the globe to bring you new model introductions, there’s barely time to gather a bunch of like models to compare back home before the new-model cycle starts all over again.
I think the #1 reason we do fewer comparos, though, is that now there always needs to be a video as well as a print story – and that makes what used to be a mad sprint race across the countryside much more of an endurance slog. Setting up cameras and having to form complete sentences extemporaneously in the hot sun is more like work, less like fun.
There’s no finer example than our midsummer escape to Laguna Seca for World Superbikes and a track day, in which we performed a sort of pseudo-comparison among dissimilar motorcycles that was pretty fun in retrospect but wound up being a 16-hour day in the saddle on the return leg.
It was all worth it in the end, though, when we threw it open to the MO public to determine the winner: You all picked the saddlebag-less, 31-mpg Aprilia Tuono 1100 Factory as the best “sport-tourer”. So why bother?
Maybe it’s best when we keep it simple like we did in May comparing Kawasaki’s excellent new Z400 to our perennial favorite KTM Duke 390.
The KTM smacked the Kawi down, but that doesn’t mean the Z isn’t a fantastic new motorcycle for $4,799. And if the 526,000 Youtube views that video has drawn so far is any indication, we know what kind of motorcycles people (Youtubers anyway) were most interested in in 2019: Simple, inexpensive ones. In spite of starring yours truly and Trizzle, that vid was our blockbuster hit of the year. Wonder if it translates to sales?
In fact, we did do a big seven-Superbike shootout in 2019 – but it didn’t take any of the MO staff away from our home offices or cost us a single listicle. When Pirelli and our friends at Italian site Moto.it offered us the chance to fly to Sicily and tag along on their Superbike flogathon last June, we were too lame to go. But, we did something even better: We got an actual ex-professional Isle of Man champion roadracer to go and bring back an epic 8,000-word report. Long-time friend of MO Mark Miller wrote an entire Iliad about his odyssey, and only charged us our entire freelance budget for June.
And, since he would’ve had to charge us extra for the video (something about having a SAG card I think he said), MM didn’t even do a video. Smart man.
We did sneak in one little two-bike comparo here at the end of the year that’s trending pretty well, with over 100k Youtube views in its first week and 1500 Facebook shares. When in doubt, throw in a Harley! Indian’s all-new Challenger challenged the H-D Road Glide Special in this case, in a no-expenses-spared Route 66 dash to Oatman, Arizona, and back, for coolest American bagger title.
There you have it, the comparative highlights from 2019. Let’s hope the `20s will be even more roaring than last time. Somebody already suggested VMax v Rocket 3 v XDiavel. Could be good.
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December 31, 2019 at 04:23PM
MotoGP News - Miller: Adapting to new MotoGP bikes takes two-three years
Pramac Ducati rider Jack Miller says it takes MotoGP riders "two-three years" to adapt to a change of machinery in the premier class these days.
Miller swapped a Honda for a Ducati last year and hit top form with the Desmosedici bike towards the end of 2019, scoring three podiums in the last six races and five overall.
The Aussie thus stands as one of the few riders to prove unequivocally successful in swapping bikes in MotoGP as of late, against the backdrop of Jorge Lorenzo and Johann Zarco both failing to get to grips with new machinery at Honda and KTM respectively this year.
Commenting on Lorenzo's situation, Miller stressed the now-retired three-time world champion was "for sure no slouch".
"At this time in MotoGP history it's kind of hard to be swapping machinery like that, and jumping from manufacturer to manufacturer," Miller said.
"It's different [to before]. I think you need two-three years, and when you're talking getting well into your 30s, two-three years becomes a long time - unless you're Valentino Rossi.
"It's so hard because the biggest thing is understanding how the tyres work on each bike, how each bike works, what are its strengths - and you can't do that in winter testing.
"You need racing, you need experience, and it's kind of hard to do it."
The desire for continuity was pivotal in Miller turning down the option to replace Zarco at the works KTM squad to instead continue riding a satellite Ducati, with a view of earning a factory team promotion.
This remains Miller's goal for 2021, which he expects to bring with it a grid reshuffle - with a number of MotoGP mainstays potentially set to retire.
"For me, my main goal is to go to the factory Ducati [team]. If we can't go there, for sure there's other seats," added Miller, who will once again have machine parity with the works Ducati riders in 2020.
"I think it's a necessary time, there's a few guys getting around now who are on their last contracts, it's quite good to see some fresh blood coming - everyone wants to see the old guys, but it's also really nice to see some new guys coming in and doing really well."
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December 31, 2019 at 10:54AM
Motorcycle News - Gear Review – Quicksilver Icon Airflite Helmet
Brushed alloy is the new chrome. There are zero performance benefits from its use, but boy does it look good. You’ll find ample use of it on modern motorcycles like the BMW R Nine T, Kawasaki Z900RS, and the Honda CB1000R Neo Sports Cafe. And now, thanks to Icon 1000, you can wear that same finish on your head in the form of the Icon Airflite Quicksilver helmet.
Here’s how Icon’s coolest new lid stacks up out on the street…
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December 30, 2019 at 05:20PM
Motorcycle News - Best First Rides of 2019
As the year comes to a close, we MO editors find ourselves wrapped in sweaters, hot beverages in hand while we warm ourselves in front of space heaters cranked on high. SoCal can be bitterly cold this time of year with temps dipping all the way into the high 40s (F)! Since it’s much too cold to ride a motorcycle in this weather, we’ll sit and reminisce. Warm up the kettle, grab your heated blanket and join us won’t you, as we recall the best first rides of all (of 2019).
Evans Brasstacks – 2019 Yamaha Niken GT in the soggy Los Padres National Forest
“I love riding in the rain” Brasfield said, his voice trailing off suggesting he hadn’t been listening to a thing I was saying. His tone conjured up images of an aging man staring out of his office window at nothing particular as the rain dripped down the glass. He would be wishing for nothing more – including listening to what I have to say – than to be splashing through puddles on his beloved 790 Duke. Well, it’d just so happen that ol’ Brasstacks managed to pry himself out from under his crushing managerial responsibilities, and whatever else it is that he does on a daily basis, to attend the 2019 Yamaha Niken GT introduction north of LA in Santa Barbara County. It was like the launch had been tailor-made for him. Mother Nature provided the moisture while Yamaha USA provided the ultimate vehicle for the conditions that lay ahead.
“The rain stopped just minutes before I entered the corner at a healthy clip – only to find that it had a decreasing radius. Then it went slightly off-camber. Not an ideal situation by any means. Still, the good folks at Yamaha insisted that less than ideal traction situations were where the Niken GT’s two-wheeled front suspension would shine. The assertion being that if one contact patch momentarily lost traction, the other one would make up for it. So, I grit my teeth and dialed in more lean…
“The corner would have been extremely sketchy on your typical motorcycle – though I wouldn’t have been going as fast on one in the wet conditions in which I was riding. A couple of corners later, as the right front tire spent a little too much time on a tar snake with the bike leaned over, I got to actually feel what it is like when a contact patch does lose traction. The bike tracked like nothing was wrong, betraying the one-wheel slip with a slight oscillation of the handlebar. Essentially, it was a non-event. The combination of those two moments on the 2019 Yamaha Niken GT won me over.”
Johnny B – 2019 Indian FTR1200 in Cabo
Trying to get a straight answer out of John Burns is about as easy as organizing a seven-plus-bike shootout with a staff of four, so I’ll let him tell you how he felt about his slew of first rides this year:
“It’s all a blur, I had the privilege of riding a bunch of new bikes for the first time this year: Katana 1000 in Japan, Rocket 3 in Tenerife, Svartpilen 701 in Portugal, and some I may have forgotten. Of them all, I have to say my fave was Indian’s new FTR1200. The immediate whump of its big V-twin, the fat DT tires, the aggressive nature of the thing combined with comfy/sporty ergos (and cruise control) that let you go a good long time – even on sandy dirt roads. The FTR just grabbed me in a way nothing else did in 2019. But I gave the Svartpilen 701 an even higher rating, 92, maybe because I hadn’t ridden the FTR yet. The 690-Duke powered Svart does everything the FTR does but there’s probably 150 pounds less of it, which makes it a fantastic do-everything bike, too. Alas, no cruise control like on the FTR and the new Triumph Rocket 3. Oooooo Rocket 3, now there’s a sweet new motorcycle. Oh, don’t forget the new Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT, which I rated 89.5. I’m gonna narrow it down to those four, any one of which I could live happily with for years. It all depends on what you want.”
Trizzle – 2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory at Mugello
For Troy, blasting around the iconic Mugello Circuit on a beefed-up version of one of his favorite bikes topped the list. It’s no secret the RSV4 platform has been a favorite of the entire MO staff, current and past, for some time, but the newest version features a rule-breaking monstrous 1078cc V4 engine and as we always say, more is more and here MO is betta. More power + more brakes + more wings = more fun.
“There might be no better place than the legendary Mugello circuit in the Tuscan valley in Italy to let an 1100 stretch its wings, err, legs. Its fast, flowing corners highlight the RSV’s cornering agility, while its 1.1 km straight is one of the few places on earth you can tickle redline in sixth gear. Now, normally anybody in their right mind would suggest against learning a new track, especially Mugello, aboard a fire-breathing 1100, but if you don’t have another choice like I didn’t, the RSV4 1100 is not a bad place to be.”
Ryan Adams – 2019 KTM 790 Adventure R in Morocco
I’ve had a lot of great First Rides in 2019, but considering it won our Best Adventure Motorcycle award as well as Motorcycle Of The Year in 2019, my pick would have to be the KTM 790 Adventure R. And even though we’re talking about First Rides here, which not only consider the motorcycle, but also the location and our experience saddling upon a model for the first time, riding the 790 Adventure R in some seriously gnarly conditions being led by Dakar legends and enduro gods will likely go down as a best ever for me.
Traveling to Morocco is no easy task. It takes some extra flights and extra time in some of the world’s less luxurious airports, but hey, that’s what makes far off lands exotic. Rubbing elbows with Toby Price, who had just won the 2019 Dakar rally with a broken wrist, on the last couple legs of our journey was pretty cool, but the experience that would lie ahead was incredible. I’m still impressed with KTM’s willingness to send out groups of journalists into the harsh climate and terrain that encompasses the Sahara’s Merzouga Dunes. It was a proper motorcycle test. More often than not, manufacturers very carefully plan rides to ensure the routes, asphalt, dirt, etc. play to the motorcycle’s strengths, rather than their weaknesses. Not the case during the 790 Adventure R launch. We set off into deep sand almost immediately after we left the small village where we stayed. With Chris Birch, who is one of the most incredible enduro riders I’ve ever seen, leading my group, we managed to do a bit more exploring than some of the other groups. We’d work our way up steep cirques and back down sidehills scattered with sharp volcanic rock, spend time in massive sand dunes, and have high-speed desert blasts in between.
The entire experience was amazing. The bike did great, the location was interesting, and the VIP KTM racers helped add to the rally ambiance. But what I’m most impressed with, again, is KTM’s belief that their motorcycle would not be the limiting factor during that launch. It was true. Kudos to KTM for producing one of the best tests of a motorcycle I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of yet.
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December 30, 2019 at 02:59PM
Motorcycle News - Editor’s Choice: An Alternative Top 10 for 2019
That makes picking the ten best bikes of the year an impossible task. We get around it by leaning purely on stats to compile our ranked ‘Top 10‘ each year. But once that’s done, I have the thankless task of rounding up my personal favorites—an editor’s choice that ignores web stats and social media buzz.
Like the stats-based list, my selection is extremely light on café racers—but loaded with flat trackers and street trackers, and bikes that take cues from those styles. There’s been a big push towards performance in the scene this year too, and some of the bikes below would be proper fun to ride. As an added twist, two of the machines that made the cut are electric.
The list below isn’t ranked, it’s simply alphabetical (by builder name). So read on and soak up my ten favorite custom motorcycles of 2019. Then hop into the comments and tell me if you agree with the selection.
The three formed Blatant Moto, and debuted with this radical flat tracker. Ironically dubbed ‘The Death Rattle,’ it’s a refreshing twist on a popular genre, but it’s also a glimpse at the design potential that electric drivetrains offer.
This team’s packing a serious skill set too—the chromoly trellis frame and the swing arm were done in-house, and the overall design and color scheme are inspired. We’re keeping a keen eye on Blatant Moto in 2020. [More]
Since Dani’s raced with Honda throughout his entire career, Woolie picked the extremely potent Honda CR500 as a donor. Then he yanked out the motor and stuck it in a custom chromoly frame from master frame builder, Jeff Cole.
Not only does the bike look absolutely mental, but it’s a wild ride too. Luckily, its owner knows things about riding motorcycles fast… [More]
Add that all up, and you get bikes like this striking Multistrada 1000 DS. Somehow, Nakajima-san has taken a fourteen-year-old motorcycle, shed its awkward lines, and made it look both more retro and more contemporary at the same time. According to him, his original idea was to build a modern interpretation of the classic Ducati 750 GT.
Given that the Multistrada motor is peachy enough out the box, and the handling and ergos have been properly seen to, this one should be a good runner. But it’s the details that send it over the top—like that Ducati motif on the back of the seat. [More]
Harris is owned by Royal Enfield‘s parent company, and actually developed the chassis for the Continental GT and Himalayan. So this bike was built in collaboration with Enfield’s technical center in Leicestershire. That makes it a ‘factory custom’—and it has us praying that it makes it onto showroom floors in some form.
The result is a slick race bike that ticks all the right boxes, but looks fresher than your garden variety flat tracker. Enfield have already been spied running laps on track, but they haven’t given any word about whether they’re actually going to race it. We’re holding thumbs. [More]
This masterpiece has shades of Italian sport bikes, but it’s actually powered by a Knucklehead motor. And it’s no run of the mill Knuckle either. Max started with a 74 ci motor from S&S Cycle, and then rebuilt it to run two front heads and two carbs. All because he had spoken to someone that loved both Knuckleheads and old Vincent motors, and figured he’d build something in that vein.
A set of 18” Morris mags add a dose of retro track style, while mods like the Indian Scout transmission match-up and home-made clutch actuator have us scratching our heads. See you again next year, Max? [More]
The story behind the bike is as crazy as the end result. It involves shaping a 1/10th scale model from stainless steel, buying a new MT-07 when a crashed one couldn’t be found, and dropping out of school to finish the project. It all paid off though.
Nicknamed ‘The Omen,’ this MT-07 is also sporting a custom tank, seat and tail. The stance is flawless, but so is the clever mix of contrasting finishes. [More]
Working after-hours (Luuc has a full-time job) out of Outsiders Motorcycles’ shop, Luuc built one of the most extreme examples of a board tracker we’ve seen.
Titanium exhausts from Akrapovič, carbon forks and a rear shock linkage that borrows its design from mountain bikes; there’s truly some crazy stuff happening here. Add to that a classy red paint job and period-correct leather seat, and you have a winner. [More]
That means his personal race bike has constantly evolved. This is the latest iteration, and it’s so far outside the box that it’s borderline genius. When I saw this Noise Cycles bike in the metal at the Mama Tried show earlier this way, it stopped me dead in my tracks.
Scott trimmed a few bits away, then built a stunning aluminum fuel cell to fill all the available space it could, while holding the bare minimum for racing. Scott had previously flipped the Harley’s heads to run a left side exhaust, but didn’t like it anymore—so he built a new system that exits left and runs through to the right.
As for the rest, it’s just a whole lot of really cool race sh*t, that Scott’s figured out as he’s gone along. [More]
They’ve called it ‘Birdcage,’ named for its wireframe chassis, constructed from 138 pieces of titanium. It’s sort of freeform, but it’s also very intentional; everything the bike needs to function is bolted to the birdcage frame.
Mike and Walt are driven by a simple ideal: to make electric motorcycles that speak to them on an emotional level. And ‘PACT’ sure is loaded with finishes and touches that evoke emotion. Take a look at the marbling on the bodywork; it’s not paint, it’s the natural finish of the ‘forged’ carbon used for the parts.
The bike makes about 50 hp and weighs just 251 pounds, and has been designed specifically with street-focused geometry. It’s also achingly beautiful. [More]
Editor’s Note: I did mention that picking a top ten is tough, and there are always a handful of top-shelf builds that just quite don’t make it onto the list.
As you can tell, it’s been a mega year for us. Thanks for joining us for the ride, and we’ll see you in 2020 for more.
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December 30, 2019 at 11:32AM
MotoGP News - Yamaha was hindered by "internal islands" before 2019 MotoGP season
Yamaha MotoGP boss Lin Jarvis believes the manufacturer has addressed an "internal islands" problem that had hampered its premier-class form in the past years.
In the aftermath of two disappointing campaigns, Yamaha made a host of organisational changes ahead of the 2019 season - most notably appointing Takahiro Sumi as project leader instead of Kouji Tsuya.
And though its title drought continued in 2019, its progress throughout the campaign was clear - with its works rider Maverick Vinales and star rookie Fabio Quartararo of the satellite Petronas SRT team regularly challenging Honda's dominant champion Marc Marquez towards the end of the campaign.
"I've looked at our positions of last year at the end of Valencia and our positions this year, and honestly speaking there's not a huge amount of difference in terms of positions we have achieved thus far," Jarvis conceded.
"But I think the story of the year has been a little bit different. We obviously changed, in particular last winter, we've had internal changes which have set us off on a new path.
"We have corrected our errors of the past primarily, and that set us off on a new path and I think you've seen that by certainly the second half of the season."
Asked about the impact of these internal changes, Jarvis said: "I would say more than anything it's the open-minded approach [that] I would say is the biggest change.
"Part of our problem was we had some sort of internal islands.
"Whenever you have a group and a company, you need ideally to utilise all of the abilities of each individual group, to collaborate together, to work together and I think we were not doing that.
"We had the chassis group working on the chassis, and the electronic group on the electronics, and the engine group here.
"But to work all together, to see the motorcycle as a whole, to see the testing group as a whole, we were not in that situation.
"I think that's because we were in difficulty in some areas.
"So you can easily close up; when you have difficulties, very often groups, they close up. I think the reset that we did last winter brought a different open-minded approach.
"So we have a completely different approach to our engineering and I think that's been the most important thing.
"That was really for us a reset button. Most of the engineers are still the same, but this change of management approach means that the way we are working is very different, and now it's more of a mentality of 'don't leave any stone unturned'.
"If we're in difficulty, let's look for a solution. If the solution is not internal, let's go externally and that's the main change."
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December 30, 2019 at 10:15AM
MotoGP News - Honda all-Marquez 2020 MotoGP line-up will affect Marc more
Honda's decision to pair MotoGP dominator Marc Marquez with his brother Alex could affect the reigning champion more than the rookie, believes grand prix legend Wayne Rainey...
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December 30, 2019 at 06:17AM
Motorcycle News - Super Scooter: A NOS-fuelled Piaggio NRG drag racer
This plucky little sprinter started out as a Piaggio NRG—a 50 cc scooter from the mid-2000s—but it’s come a long way. Power is up from the stock 4 PS to a heady 20 PS, and the curb weight is just 56 kilos—124 pounds.
“On eBay I was selling a Honda NS400R fairing and exhaust,” Nick explains. “I was contacted by Mirko Toth, through a mutual friend of Jens at JvB Moto here in Cologne.”
Mirko had been working at Scooter Centre in Cologne for years, and had a lot of experience building scooter drag racing motors. He’d just bought the Piaggio; it had already been ‘converted’ for drag racing, with a makeshift hardtail setup that consisted of a steel table leg where the rear shock once was.
But first, the guys had to drastically rework the scooter’s frame. Not only did the table leg get tossed, but also the original engine brackets—so the entire back half of the frame is new.
For the forks, they installed a set of Aprilia units, shortened them to just 80 mm of travel, and shaved off their brake mounts. The handlebars are ape hangers from a Honda V30 Magna—shortened, narrowed and mounted upside down on a mountain bike stem.
With the rolling chassis sorted, Nick set about adapting his tank and tail to fit the NRG. The tank was originally adapted from a Kawasaki AR50, but the tail unit is a complete custom job. Nick made it from carbon fiber, and bolted it to an aluminum seat pan.
As Nick started buttoning up the last bits of the chassis and shell, Mirko turned his attention to the motor. He went to town, starting with a Polini Evolution 70 cc kit with longer con-rods and a stage six crankshaft.
The block, cylinder, intake, exhaust and piston were all ported and flowed, to bring the original NRG motor up to 20 PS. And the clutch is set up so that it’ll launch from 6,000 rpm, with power peaking at 9,300 rpm.
“Unfortunately this also meant the we needed to get the bottle filled here in Germany, as you cannot ship a full NOS bottle (not really a surprise).”
Mirko’s actually still tuning the NOS setup, but the guys are expecting eight to 10 more PS when it’s ready. And then it’ll be time to go racing.
Nick called in help for one detail; tattoo artist and pin-striper, Von Maze laid down a pin stripe and a stunning pair of tank graphics, all by hand. The logos read ‘ANX Prototypes’—the name of the bike building business Nick is launching.
If this boosted two-stroke doesn’t look like the most fun thing on two wheels, maybe check your pulse. And if you’re in Europe, look out for it on the sprint scene—and let us know how it sounds!
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December 29, 2019 at 11:22AM
Motorcycle News - Church of MO: 2009 Supersport Racetrack Shootout
Ten years ago, it is written, the 600 Supersport class was still hotly contested, bitterly fought over, super-important to the Big Four, etc… Then something happened. The Great Recession, the Boomer Regression, the ADV Expansion? The street portion of 2009’s de rigueur 600 Shootout! has lost the illumination from its manuscript; luckily we unearthed the video, and the Willow Springs racetrack portion of the smackdown. However current sales figures may be, all four of these motorcycles are still available as new models – and the winner of this little comparo retails for a mere $200 more than it did ten years ago. Let us praise and give thanks to Duke, Brissette and Gardiner – and also to the freelance apostle Andrea for some nice photos for a change. Amen, and Happy New Year.
2009 Supersport Racetrack Shootout
The 600s take the battle to the track
By Pete Brissette & Kevin Duke Mar. 06, 2009
Photography by Andrea Wilson
Readers who want to be endowed with maximum info will want to first check out our 600 Street shootout. You get bonus marks for reading our ZX-6R First Ride and our 2008 Supersport Shootout.It’s a reasonable thing for most enthusiasts visiting this illustrious webzine to expect our reviews of motorcycles to be conclusive. After all, when we factor in the talents of our current crew of “volunteer staff,” our collective experiences span nearly a century of riding and getting to know just about every make and model of bike available for the past 30 years. So plucking out the best should be as easy as getting out of bed, right?
Oh, if only it were so easy. Sometimes even the pros are left scratching their noggins like a small party of confused chimps. Such is the case with the 2009 crop of Japanese Supersports.
We recently tasked ourselves with putting the racy 600cc weapons from Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha through the wringer in everyday environs – streets, freeways, canyons, parking lots… places where most race-bred middleweights will spend the majority of their life after exiting dealer showrooms.
Is the Ninja’s celebratory wheelie at the track premature gloating, or will all the things we liked about it on the street be enough to crown the Ninja overall Supersport King?
At the end of this real-world exercise we rested confidently in our choice of the all-new 2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R as the new King of Supersport. The new Ninja’s best-in-class power and a much sharper chassis than previous gave it the nod in our street-biased shootout. Though time on the dyno provided scientific proof that the revamped Ninja had indeed shed its softish powerband from the previous iteration, we didn’t really need dyno results to tell us what we were already feeling.
“Its engine reminds me a lot of the old 636,” Mark Gardiner rightly said of the new Ninja.
The Ninja pumped out nearly 108 rear-wheel ponies on the Area P dyno, 5 horsies up on the next-best Gixxer and 10 more than the CBR. The R6 also had some top-end horsepower stolen in 2009 because of noise regulations. For the full story, scroll down to the sidebar on this page.
Not only is the ZX’s engine revised and retuned to make the most power, the chassis received numerous updates to make it lighter steering and better responding, it lost upwards of 20 pounds, and it retained its best-in-class brakes. The Ninja went from almost last in 2008 to top of the class this year after our street ride.
Riding a bike closer to the edge of its performance envelope – especially in this group of race-developed steeds – will make known things about a bike’s character that street riding simply cannot expose. Thus it’s time to for us to move on to the second half our evaluation in our annual Supersport Shootout.
Would the opportunity to stretch throttle cables, slam shifters, and crush brake levers reveal a new pecking order? Will the GSX-R600 remain our second most fave? Can the CBR regain ground lost in the street ride? Does the racy R6 have a trick up its intake to usurp them all in its most flattering environment?
We took this quartet up into the lush Mojave Desert to the Streets of Willow racetrack to find the answers we needed. We spent a day with the friendly folks at Hypercycle for one of their track days, screaming around on identical track rubber, Michelin’s new Power One (look for a review in the coming weeks). You’ll forgive us for skipping the preliminaries and getting directly to our impressions.
Motorcycle News - Return of the Cafe Racers Top 10 for 2019
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We’ve just finished sifting through the past 12 months of articles to pick out our top 10 cafe racers of 2019. These are the cafe racers that had the biggest impact on both us and our readers. Some of them made the cut because of their dedication to the cafe racer ethos while others blew us away with their originality and expert levels of workmanship. When curating the list we also compared our choices to how each bike was received on our Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages by you, our readers. This ultimately resulted in a number 1 pick that we didn’t expect, but the people have spoken and who are we to argue.
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December 28, 2019 at 08:31AM