MotoGP News - Green light for Jorge Lorenzo to return to MotoGP at Silverstone
The Honda MotoGP team has confirmed Jorge Lorenzo will make his return to action at this weekend's British Grand Prix, having been absent through injury since June...
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August 20, 2019 at 05:47AM
MotoGP News - New Finnish MotoGP track described as "very different" after test
Bradley Smith labelled Finland's KymiRing "very different to anything we've seen before", as all six MotoGP manufacturers' test riders sampled the new track for the first time on Monday
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August 20, 2019 at 04:43AM
MotoGP News - Injured Suzuki rider Joan Mir to miss British Grand Prix too
The Suzuki MotoGP team has announced Joan Mir will miss this weekend's British Grand Prix as he continues to recover from chest and lung injuries sustain in a recent crash.
The 2017 Moto3 world champion and premier class rookie suffered a high-speed tumble at the first corner at Brno during the post-race test, and had to be taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with contusions to his chest and lungs.
He was forced to miss the Austrian GP and spent a several days in hospital in Barcelona under the observation of MotoGP's Dr Angel Charte.
Though he is making progress, Mir has not recovered sufficiently enough for this weekend's race at Silverstone, and will instead aim to return to action a few days later at the Misano test.
He will be replaced by Suzuki test rider Sylvain Guintoli.
"In the end I am not able to be in Silverstone for the next race and it is a real pity, but that's how things are, and the first priority has to be my health," said Mir.
"After the accident I spent several weeks resting, first in the hospital and then at home.
"I have started to walk, but after the tests it seems that I am still not 100%, so the doctors have determined that it is better to continue with my rehabilitation.
"I will start doing some more training so I can get to the next race in better physical shape and not have to take too many risks.
"I would like to thank the people who are beside me and taking care of me, my Suzuki team for their concern and the thousands of fans who have encouraged me during all these days and who have shown me an enormous affection.
"See you soon!"
Guintoli has not ridden a MotoGP bike around Silverstone before, but is a race winner at the circuit in the World Superbike Championship.
The 2014 WSBK champion has contested two MotoGP races already this season as a wildcard, scoring points in 13th at Barcelona and finishing 20th at Brno.
Guintoli is currently testing the GSX-RR in Finland at the new KymiRing, which will host the return of the Finnish GP next season.
Mir is second-best rookie in 13th in the standings on 39 points at present, having taken a best result of sixth at the Catalan GP.
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August 20, 2019 at 03:25AM
Motorcycle News - Revzilla Deals On Open Box And Blemished Items
You like good deals, right? Well, sometimes the best deals are for items with superficial blemishes, or products that have been out of its box and on display on the shelves. Every now and then Revzilla has blemished and/or display items they need to clear out, too, and this is your chance to get your hands on some great products that might have very minor imperfections. Below are a select few items up for grabs, but to see them all you need to click below.
Reevu MSX1 Rear-View Helmet Silver / MD [Blemished] – $200.00
The world’s first rear-view helmet! Reevu has been the industry leader in rear view technology with their patented mirror system, manufactured from a reflective polycarbonate material rather than glass! The polycarbonate material is almost impossible to break, weighs less than glass and provides additional safety and comfort to the rider. The mirror system essentially bends the light around the shell of the helmet, offering a clear view of what’s behind. The Reevu System works just like a car’s rear view mirror offering awareness of the road ahead and behind without making a conscious effort as both are simultaneously in your field of view.
Note: This helmet has scuffs and chips on the lower vent, top vent, and face shield. It is also missing the rear view mirror adjustment tool.
Dainese Blackjack Leather Jacket Black/Brown / 56 [Demo – Acceptable] – $243.58
For those who prefer to stick to the classics, the Dainese Blackjack Leather Jacket is a perfect blend of go fast protection and retro styling. The Blackjack Jacket maintains Dainese’s race-bred attention to detail and quality, but in a sleek café inspired package. The Black Jack is designed for use in all seasons. Reflective inserts and composite CE rated elbow and shoulder armor, as well as a pocket for Dainese’s G1 or G2 back protectors provide top-notch protection while maintaining the classic styling.
Item Condition: This item has been used for test purposes and may show heavy signs of use. There may be major cosmetic damage such as scuffs, scratches, stains, chips or dings. The original packaging may or may not be present. Missing shoulder armor, elbow armor is present.
Kuryakyn Retractable Passenger Pegs / Chrome [Open Box] – $101.14
Transform an uncomfortable stock rear footpeg into an additional and comfortable alternate peg position. Two kits are available; one includes pegs for both the primary and cruise position and the other includes a peg for cruise position, but is set up to accept the Premium or Ribbed Floorboards (sold separately).
Note: This is a new item that is missing the original packaging or the packaging has been opened. Tags, manuals, or installation instructions may be missing, however the item is fully functional.
Memphis Shades Batwing Fairing Windshield For Harley Purple / 12″ [Previously Installed] – $67.96
As the title says, if your Harley already has the Memphis Shades Batwing Fairing, then spice it up a bit with this purple windshield. This windshield is specifically designed to be used with the Memphis Shades Batwing Fairing. Lucite construction provides superior optics and durability.
Note: This item has been previously installed. Signs of installation may be present including opened packaging and minor scratches. The item may be missing tags, manuals or installation instructions, however it is fully functional.
Acerbis X-Force Handguards Black [Demo – Acceptable] – $31.96
The X-Force is the newest addition to Acerbis’ off-road handguard line-up. The X-Force, tested by Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, is particularly versatile and provides maximum protection against stones, hits and inclement weather conditions. The X-Force features a universal mounting kit allowing the handguards to be mounted above or below levers. The included spoilers allow the handguards to be mounted with or without ventilation.
Note: This item has been used for test purposes and may show heavy signs of use. There may be major cosmetic damage such as scuffs, scratches, stains, chips or dings. The original packaging may or may not be present. This item is missing 4) 5mm-.80 x 15mm Socket Head Bolts, (2) 5mm-.80 x 16mm Flange Head Bolts, and (2) 5mm-.80 Flange Head Nuts.
Nolan N-Com E-Box Bluetooth 2 Kit [Previously Installed] – $124.98
The N-Com Bluetooth configuration allows the wireless connection between your helmet – equipped with Basic Kit plus Bluetooth Kit 2 – to your Bluetooth mobile phone. It also allows the connection to a Bluetooth satellite navigator, so that it is possible to receive directions when riding.
The Bluetooth Kit2 system support the A2DP profile (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) which allows you to listen to a music player (or mobile phone) provided with the A2DP Bluetooth profile in high quality stereo mode.
The system can be expanded with the Multimedia Wire accessory, which allows the connection to multimedia sources such as Cd or Mp3 players, radios, (equipped with 3,5 mm stereo output), Satellite Navigators or Bike-to-Bike Communication Radio
Moreover, it is possible to communicate with a Nolan N-Com helmet provided with the Basic Kit, by means of the Intercom Wire accessory (sold separately). . The audio source connected to the pilot’s helmet through the Multimedia Wire can be heard both by the pilot and the passenger when intercom connected.
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August 19, 2019 at 06:48PM
Motorcycle News - Electra Glide Ultra Classic and Other Models Missing from 2020 Harley-Davidson EPA Certifications
A couple of weeks ago, we reported that a couple of Harley-Davidson Sportster models were missing from model year 2020 certification documents released by the California Air Resources Board. Today, we can confirm that the Harley-Davidson Superlow, 1200 Custom and Forty-Eight Special were also omitted from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s latest 2020 certification data. And they’re not alone. Motorcycle.com can confirm that the Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Ultra Limited Low, Road Glide Ultra and CVO Road Glide are among the models that were not re-certified for 2020.
Also missing are the 107ci versions of the Breakout and Fat Bob, though both models were certified for 2020 with the 114ci Milwaukee-Eight engine. There are two new models certified that were not in the 2019 lineup: the Road Glide Limited and the 2020 CVO Tri Glide Ultra.
But first, the necessary caveats: vehicle certification is an ongoing process and documents can be updated at any time. If a vehicle is listed in these documents, that means it’s been certified; if it doesn’t, then that means it hasn’t been certified… yet. Harley-Davidson can still certify the missing models, and their omission may not mean anything more than a clerical error. On the other hand, re-certifying returning models is a pretty simple process, with manufacturers submitting last year’s list of models sharing the same engine as carry-over models. Forgetting to include a returning model is unusual, so these omissions suggest to us that these models are either a) dropped for 2020, or b) will be certified later with significant changes.
The Electra Glide Ultra Classic may be the most notable of the missing models. The Ultra Classic was the last 107ci model to come with a Tour-Pak rear case. If the 114ci Ultra Limited Low and Road Glide Ultra are also gone, that leaves the Ultra Limited and the Tri Glide Ultra (plus their CVO versions) as the only returning models to come with a Tour-Pak. The new Road Glide Limited will likely come with the passenger backrest/rear luggage, replacing the Road Glide Ultra.
The list of certified CVO models include the returning CVO Street Glide and the CVO Ultra Limited, with the new CVO Tri Glide replacing the CVO Road Glide, pictured above.
Harley-Davidson typically announces its lineup in early September, so we should expect to hear official confirmation on which models are returning fairly soon. We’ll have the latest on that, and other 2020 model announcements here on Motorcycle.com.
The post Electra Glide Ultra Classic and Other Models Missing from 2020 Harley-Davidson EPA Certifications appeared first on Motorcycle.com.
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August 19, 2019 at 04:47PM
Motorcycle News - RETRO SCRAMBLER : Suzuki DR650 by Parr Motorcycles
Written by Martin Hodgson
Being a one-hit-wonder has plagued many an artist and turned others into a punchline or answer in a quiz show. But having come out swinging with plenty of popularity on his first major success, Spencer of Parr Motorcycles was determined his second single would be just as strong. So with his foundations set, he’s back with an all-new spin on the versatile Suzuki DR650. Taking a 2012 model and turning it into the ultimate urban scrambler, tame or terrifying, it’s just a matter of how far you turn the throttle.
Only a few month’s ago we featured Spencer’s 2003 Suzuki DR650 that set the internet alight with its well thought out recreation into a stunning tribute to the Suzuki RM400. Working as an investigator by day and building bikes at night in his small garage didn’t stop him from producing a remarkable result. With the DR proving to be the perfect base for the types of bikes he likes to build, he went hunting for the next donor and found this 2012 with just 3000 miles on the clock.
“I already knew going into the build I was going to make an urban scrambler that was easy to ride but performed at the highest level. Since retro builds seem to be my thing, the design concept for this bike comes from a 70’s Suzuki TS.” A mainstay of the Suzuki lineup the TS family of bikes was an early dual-sport; lightweight and reliable, it could provide just as much fun on the trails as it could weaving through traffic.
But with small capacity two-strokes now a thing of the past, the big single DR makes for the perfect base for a homage and first thing for Spencer to do was get stuck into the frame. “The bike was torn down and I chopped off the old subframe and created a whole new subframe that lowered the seating position to go with the scrambler theme,” he told us. Before fabricating an all-new electronics box that is an integrated unit hidden under the seat for ultra-clean lines.
With the frame and swingarm back from powder coat, Spencer took the time to replace many of the factory bolts and bearings. “Next was to mount and level the 78 Suzuki TS250 spray painted gas tank that I picked up from Canada.” The blue, orange and white theme carries on across the rest of the bike and the colour scheme is perfect for replicating the period. With the leather seat neatly stitched with blue thread and white fenders from a 73-75 Suzuki TM. While steering stoppers keep the tank dent free and white fork protectors finish things off.
To tackle the urban environment the stock suspension would never do and Spencer’s ensured the DR now has razor-sharp handling. The front end from an ’07 Suzuki RMZ450 has been adapted to fit with the internals replaced by Racetech items to suit their new task. The rear suspension is a Cogent rebuilt shock with the spring matching the front, coming from Racetech. To keep things tame when really getting after it, a Scott’s steering damper is fitted and works with a bar that has been welded to the frame to make the connection.
With such low miles on the engine, there was no need for Spencer to open it up, but that didn’t mean he was going to leave it stock. Fuelling the 644cc single is now handled by a Keihin FCR39 that has been totally rebuilt to suit and transforms the power delivery with instant throttle response. On the hot side an FMF polished header pipe is fitted up with the rest of the system built in house, the internally baffled system giving the straight through look. “I wanted a high exit exhaust to flow with the height and look of the rear taillight,” Spencer explains.
That taillight comes from Purpose Built Moto, with a KC LED front headlight providing the perfect mix of old and new. There are more clever electronics on the bars with LED turn signals and a Motogadget motoscope mini mounted between the BRP risers. With an m-lock and tiny anti-gravity battery completing the ultra neat wiring install.
To finish the build, Spencer grabbed a set of Warp 9 Racing wheels, 19in front and 17in rear, wrapped in Shinko 705 tires with the orange hubs the perfect fit for the theme, “This build also means so much to me because I was building it when my baby girl was born. So, when this one leaves the garage, it will be hard to see it go,” says the Parr Motorcycles man. But we have no doubt his home studio album has hit number three well on the way.
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August 19, 2019 at 07:35AM
MotoGP News - Dovizioso: Manner of Austria MotoGP win will rejuvenate Ducati
Andrea Dovizioso believes the manner of his victory over Marc Marquez in the last MotoGP race in Austria will rejuvenate himself and Ducati in the final part of the season...
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August 19, 2019 at 06:00AM
Motorcycle News - Cardo PackTalk Slim JBL headset
Using headsets to stay connected in a group ride can make things a lot easier, or a lot more frustrating if connections keep dropping. Cardo, a company out of Texas, has been making wireless communication devices since 2003. The Cardo PackTalk Slim is their latest helmet headset that solves connectivity issues and delivers pure clean sound via JBL speakers.
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August 19, 2019 at 04:09AM
Motorcycle News - Custom Bikes Of The Week: 18 August, 2019
Despite Alf’s initial skepticism, Bandisca have transformed this 2001-model SV into retro-fabulous endurance racer. It actually took them almost two months to decide on a direction, but in the end, the 1990 GSX-R750 became the inspiration for the build. So they started with a 90s GSXR replica fairing from Airtech Streamlining, which had to be modified heavily to match the SV’s bones.
The exhaust headers are custom too, and terminate in a Spark muffler. This SV650 also has Showa forks, a custom YSS shock, and a new wiring loom built around a Motogadget m.unit. It’s unrecognizable as an SV650, and what’s more, Bandisca plan to take it racing too. [More]
It’s a very clever, and incredibly neat, conversion. A compact 5 kW brushless direct current motor sits where the original two-stroke power plant did, mounted to the stock brackets via custom-made adaptor plates. There’s two sets of Lithium batteries—one where the air box used to be, and one just under the fuel tank.
Arpi also added the forks, yokes and drum brake from a Honda CL250. The custom seat’s covered in Nappa and Alcantara, the handlebars are from Renthal and the switches are Arpi’s own design. There’s a lot of subtle custom work—from the headlight ears to the skid plate, right down to the chain tensioner.
Gadso Hautmans at Karoo Bespoke Motorcycles in Hamburg agrees, so he’s finessed his R100GS Paris Dakar to be nicer to look at. It’s not a full-on custom job; just a tasteful restomod that hits all the right notes. “No thrills,” says Gadso, “just welcoming to the eye.”
The donor came with an ugly DIY rear fender and no exhaust, so Karoo had some work to do there too. This GS now wears a SuperTrapp can, a custom made leather seat and a new clear windscreen. The crash bars have been powdercoated white, and the wheels finished in black. [More]
That makes this transformation by Lucky Custom that much more remarkable. Argentinian builder Lucas Layum had to go deep to massage the R1100S’s lumpy form into the piercing cafe racer you see here. That even meant ditching two of the BMW’s three frame sections, and fabricating a new trellis frame to redefine the sports tourer’s lines.
Lucas also added LED lighting, and new clip-ons and rearsets. And he built a full stainless steel exhaust system too. It’s a killer new look for the 1100—especially with that pitch perfect M-inspired livery. [More]
The tank ships in four different colors (with a blank option too), and works using the stock gas cap, along with the OEM fuel pump, filter and lines. It’s also designed to work with both the stock R nineT seat and Unit’s own catalog of seats and side panels. It is a bit shorter than the OEM unit though, so there’s also an optional waxed leather pouch to close up the tiny gap it leaves.
Even though the tank’s the biggest visual hit, there’s a ton of potential for mixing and matching with the rest of Unit’s catalog. My favourite combo is the classic R80G/S vibe: white tank, BMW motorsport stripes, red solo seat, and Unit’s significantly more attractive than stock side covers. Irresistible. [More]
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August 18, 2019 at 12:30PM
Motorcycle News - Church of MO: Open Twin Cruisers 98
It is only right and fitting that this week’s reading in the Church of MO is 21 years old, since that’s how old you should be to read this lurid comparison: Filled with sexual innuendo, smoldering burnouts and Sunset Strip cruising with an actual rock star and a female tester, this was MO at its most prurient and irresponsible. Thank God we’ve seen the light.
Open Twin Cruisers ’98
The Definition of Cruising
By Staff May. 01, 1998
Photography by Billy Bartels
cruise \’kruz\ vb cruised; cruising 1: to be on one’s way 2: to travel for the sake of traveling 3: to go about the streets at random but on the lookout for possible developments 4: to search (as in public places) for a sexual partner.LOS ANGELES, May, 1998 — Cruising is not about speed, high performance, and extreme handling. Cruising is about, well, cruising. Wind-in-your-hair, bugs-in-your-teeth, elemental motorcycling, the way God intended it. On a sportbike, the object is to arrive at your destination as fast as possible. On a cruiser, you are the destination. No hurry. No problem.
Sure, cruiser riders are concerned about performance and power. Witness the aftermarket, which offers pistons and cranks and fuel-injection systems by the truckload. Still, cruisers are, by and large, not purchased as go-fast motorcycles.
Cruising is a lot about styling. Let the crowd on the crotch rockets sneer, but parked at the local hangout, which bikes get the majority of attention from the chicks? True, some women do prefer sportbikes, but a sportbike is more likely to be checked out by another sportbike rider, and almost as often as not, derided rather than admired. Go to the local sportbike hangout and watch them as they circle each other’s bike. On the surface, both pretend to profess admiration, but inside you know both are thinking, with smug satisfaction: “My bike will kick your bike’s ass.” Doubt us?
The cruiser is admired often for what it expresses — a piece of rolling sculpture, a personalized statement on two wheels. And it is because cruisers beg to be customized that objective testing can be difficult. You will not find many of these bikes on the road in stock condition, except for the R1200C, which can be customized but with less options than the others. Also, people ride and expect different things out of cruisers — some prefer torque and muscle, others look for comfort, and a few don’t care as long is it draws attention when it’s parked. It seems that the bike chooses the rider rather than the the other way around. That’s what we discovered as we set out to define cruising.
1: to be on one’s way
Any worthwhile day trip begins with a good breakfast. In Santa Monica, outside The Omelette Parlor, we lined up the bikes in typical cruiser fashion, at 45-degree angles against the curb, to take in their looks.
One of our testers’ tastes went no further than, “Black is a good color for a cruiser.”
Others dug the art deco, 1930’s streamlined look of the Honda or the unique, post-modern-yet-retro lines of the BMW. As happened in every category, we couldn’t agree.
Even the horsepower-hungry proponents of the Suzuki Intruder 1500LC weren’t thrilled by its looks. This bike isn’t simply fat, it’s cartoonishly obese. In pictures, it looks big. In person, it looks huge. Sit on it and it feels even bigger.
If there were more footpegs you could fit two people on each of the seats, and still have room for another pillion passenger. Unfortunately, while American Suzuki designed the tasteful Intruder 1400, Suzuki Japan designed the 1500LC.
The result is a peculiar combination of size and confusion. It’s big, because someone at Suzuki Japan concluded that in America, size matters. There’s confusion because Suzuki Japan doesn’t seem sure what should be covered and what should be exposed.
The 1500 LC isn’t fully faired, but we get the impression that Suzuki didn’t consider putting a full fairing on this bike. In addition, they forgot or ignored some of the small details that make a cruiser great. The Intruder’s plastic cam covers and faux-chrome engine casings look cheesy.
A giant plate for a floorboard mount, numerous chrome cover-ups and black-painted deceptions only fool the least discerning eye. Plastic covers and chromed-over casings aside, we were disappointed that, in our opinion, Suzuki lost a wonderful opportunity to set the 1500LC apart from the rest of the Japanese cruisers. What looks like a fuel tank is actually an airbox, while the actual fuel tank resides under the driver’s seat. However, instead of being creative with the airbox (see Yamaha’s V-Max), Suzuki played it safe, perhaps too safe, and designed the airbox to mimic a fuel tank. While there’s nothing wrong with that, we only wished that Suzuki’s designers showed more creativity and followed the Milwaukee School of Design a little less faithfully.
“The two bikes that generated the most conflicted opinions about their apperance were the R1200C and the Vulcan Classic, but for completely different reasons.”
The Vulcan Classic is very conservatively styled. Basic black was our test model, with wide bars and chrome accents to set off its dark looks. Everything on the V-Classic is presented tastefully, finding a nice balance between flash and subtlety. Kawasaki even went to great lengths to widen the frame and pull the radiator back into obscurity. But being a motorcycle styled with restraint, while we didn’t find it unattractive, we weren’t awestruck. A little too Milwaukee, perhaps. The dual air boxes look exactly like a Harley Big Twin airbox. The fender struts look like a Xerox copy of Softail struts. While it isn’t exactly original, it is a safe, and at least from the Kawasaki’s point of view, wise approach. Kawasaki estimates that the V-1500 Classic will be their best-selling motorcycle in North America.
In contrast, the BMW R1200C might be the Kate Moss of motorcycles. Traditionalists find the bike ugly, while the fashion conscious think the bike looks stunning. And it always grabs attention. Park it and watch a crowd develop. On the Sunset Strip, a starlet riding in the passenger seat of her poseur boyfriend’s Mercedes literally crawled over her boyfriend to give a staffer a thumbs up and a wide polished-teeth smile, while “Slick” nodded nervously, rolled up the tinted windows and sped away angrily. For the most part, you can stamp “chick magnet” on the side of the R1200C.
Overall, its unique looks and superb fit-and-finish, coupled with BMW’s usual attention to detail, allowed the R1200C to score high in this category. While BMW’s R1200C Cruiser was a huge hit on the runway with the fashion crowd, the kings of the highway were the Dyna Wide Glide and the Honda Aero.
Like it or not, the fact remains that Harley is the template for this class, and while other manufacturers try not to admit it, styling cues still emanate from Milwaukee. Our bike, a 95th Anniversary Edition model, has classic and restrained lines.
Although Dyna models are perhaps the most difficult Harleys to customize, it still is a Harley, and it dials into an enormously extensive aftermarket, the breadth of which blows away anything else in this shootout.
The sleeper in the styling category was the Honda Shadow Aero. Everyone, from the horsepower junkies to the Harley diehards, admired the Aero’s blend of 30’s art-deco, white-walled tires, streamlined profile and the well-crafted balance it made between tradition and individuality. The Shadow Aero is the least Hog of the Japanese cruisers.
When we reviewed the Honda Shadow ACE in the ’96 Five Fat Bike Shootout, we wrote that “compared to the other machines in the test, the (Shadow ACE) seem(s) like a parts bin special… The headlight is decidedly Japanese curved, and the rider’s eye view is peppered by seemingly randomly-placed instruments and idiot lights… The exhaust pipes really don’t follow such a simple path as it appears: Instead they are routed in and out of the chrome covers. Black paint hides the details… Style is the most important thing to cruiser owners.”
Style may not the most important thing to all cruiser owners, but it is very important to most cruiser owners. With the Shadow Aero, Honda has recognized this fact. The speedometer and idiot lights are located on the Hummell-inspired headlight. A trick two-into-one exhaust pipe looks much better than the convoluted system found on the ACE. Machined fork brackets and footboards, spoke-wire wheels, and chrome is found in in the right proportions in all the right places. Black paint isn’t needed to hide anything. The difference between the Shadow ACE and the Shadow Aero is like the difference between buying a suit off the rack and a suit from a tailor. You wear one because you have to, you wear the other because you want to.
2: to travel for the sake of traveling
Our test route took us from the beaches of Santa Monica to the snow-covered peaks of Angeles National Forest, then back down to the mean streets of L.A. for a little boulevard bruising. We figured the variation of city streets, open highways and mountain twisties would best simulate the type of riding most owners will do.
Right off the bat, testers began to narrow their lists. Paul Harrell refused to ride the BMW 1200C for more than a couple miles, noting a distinct lack of low-end torque and an aversion to the sideways rotating mass of the crankshaft and driveshaft.
Everyone raved about the postage stamp pillion that folded up into a back rest, except of course, our pillion tester. If you plan to do a lot of two-up riding, plan on ditching the stock seat for the larger, but fixed-position, pillion seat, or else get used to sleeping alone.
The R1200C, weighing only 580 pounds wet and sporting a 64.9-inch wheelbase, was the lightest and most flickable bike in this test. Steering was very precise, although the swept-back ape-hangers did make steering twitchy. The instrument panel is laid out well and all the idiot lights were easy to see and read.
The R1200C has two flaws, serious enough for two testers to rank this bike last. The first is the foot peg position in relation to the protruding, opposed twin cylinders. Unlike BMW’s other Boxers, where the foot pegs are swept back, the pegs on the R1200C are farther forward, placing the riders feet under the cylinder heads. Most testers didn’t notice, but one tester was disconcerted enough to place the bike dead last for this fact alone. Another tester had issues with throttle response. In order to qualify for cruiser duty, BMW increased the bore and stroke, decreased exhaust and intake valves and altered the intake tract to provide for more low-end torque.
Coupled with fuel-injection, the throttle response is abrupt, to say the least. Again, most testers didn’t seem to mind, noting that short-shifting helps smooth out the twitchy throttle responses, but one tester was so annoyed that he ranked the R1200C last.
Both of our female testers disliked the Intruder, but for different reasons. Our pillion tester thought the stock passenger seat was too high, exposing her to too much windblast, and our female rider as well as a few other testers, felt that the big bike was too much to handle.
“Our more squidly testers, AMA Pro Thunder points runner-up Paul Harrell and free-lance motojournalist Kerry Ward, loved the Suzuki’s immense power and torque and forgave any handling deficiencies because of its ability to lighten up the rear wheel and lay big, smokey burnouts.”
The Intruder needs that kind of power because it has to move a 700-pound motorcycle with a 67-inch wheelbase. Because it’s big and heavy it handles like any big and heavy bike, great for straight-line touring but somewhat overwhelming in tight traffic and city streets.
The Vulcan and the Intruder, ready to duke it out.
The consensus was that the Dyna Wide Glide had neutral handling, although one tester complained that it felt vague. Believe it or not, the Wide Glide was the second lightest bike in the test, weighing in at 640 pounds, 20 less than the sleek Aero and 60 pounds less than either the Intruder or Vulcan.
Ground clearance was good, and the only bike with greater ground clearance was the BMW. Steering isn’t heavy, and the mini-apes helped to toss the big Hog around, even though the thin 21-inch front wheel tended to track within the rain grooves on the freeway. Power and torque, even stock form, is more than adequate.
In order for this bike to pass noise and emissions regulations, the exhaust note has been muted, so if you’re looking for that familiar Harley rumble, a new set of pipes may be the tops on your list of aftermarket parts. The Aero’s handling received mixed reviews. Some liked its “almost-drives-itself” handling manners, while others would have preferred more feedback. A universal complaint was the lack of power from the single-pin crank, 1099cc V-twin engine. Apparently, size does matter. With a pillion passenger aboard as we rode through the Angeles National Forest, at an altitude of about 2000 feet, the Aero wheezed and puffed along at under 50 mph while trying to climb a not-very-steep hill.
“Perhaps the most telling testimonial about the rider-friendliness of the V-Classic was that the only female rider, also the smallest person in the test, ranked the Vulcan 1500 Classic first.”
This distinct lack of power raised questions about the suitability of the Aero for two-up touring duty. On the streets and in the mountains, the Vulcan was universally well-liked. Light handling in the tight stuff, while only slightly wobbly at speed, the V-Classic is a very balanced motorcycle. One tester did not like the slight on-off throttle jumps. As with the similarly equipped ZX-9R, we aren’t sure if it’s the K-TRIK throttle position sensor or this particular tester’s style because no other tester logged any complaints. Still, everyone was ecstatic that the Vulcan is finally equipped with a five-speed transmission. Its formerly class-leading horsepower and torque (the Suzuki’s awesome motor does everything a little stronger) responds on demand, and the suspension feels plush but not too soft.
A 120-pound woman feeling secure riding a 700-pound motorcycle: go figure. This supported our observations that the V-Classic probably offered the most balanced package — power, handling, comfort and style — of any bike in this test. The ergonomics were very good, and it shared honors with the Honda and Harley as the winner in overall ergonomics and comfort. Its low seat height, 27 inches, gave Heather the confidence that both feet would touch the ground at a stop, a big concern for smaller riders.
While the clear-cut handling winner was the Vulcan, we argued over long distance comfort. Some liked the scooped, supportive seat of the Harley-Davidson, or the upright, neutral position of the Honda. The Kawasaki and Suzuki fell to the back of the pack in this category, although we did note that the Suzuki was better suited for long distance riding than through congested city streets.
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August 18, 2019 at 11:10AM