Raves, rants and reviews
Raves, Rants & Reviews

KTM 1090 vs 1190 vs 1290 Adventure R

31/03/2017. Category: Wheels. Topic: , .

We knew about the KTM 1090 Adventure R long before it’s arrival but did not know how it will arrive. And arrive with spectacular specifications it did.

It’s not, as was expected, a toned-down 1190 or bumped-up 1050. No, the new KTM 1090 Adventure R – albeit it still with 1050 cc in stock – is, in the big adventure bike segment, the one to beat. Especially considering its aggressive price point. Read more…

New Triumph Bonneville T100 vs T120

04/10/2016. Category: Wheels. Topic: , .

Triumph expanded their award-winning Bonneville range with the launch of the new Bonneville T100 at the Intermot 2016 motorcycle show in Cologne, Germany.

At only 11 kg (24 lbs) lighter than the T120 the new T100 is not quite a baby T120; they share the same chassis. In fact, the official specifications report the T100 wheelbase at 5 mm (0.2 in) longer. The T100 seat also is 5 mm higher than the 785 mm (30.9 inches) stated for the the T120.

Looking at pictures and videos, it’s hard to tell the difference. The T100 looks every bit as good as the T120. Read more…

Honda X-ADV adventure scooter launch set for EICMA 2016

15/09/2016. Category: Wheels. Topic: , .

One of the most important vehicles in the modern motorcycle world is to be launched at EICMA in November 2016.

Honda first showed the X-ADV as the “City Adventure concept” alongside the new CRF1000L Africa Twin at EICMA 2015 as a foreshadow of “a new development direction for adventure-focused machines.”

The teaser videos are titled “Your horizons are going to change forever” and “Every road is my road.” And that seems like a promise the world has eagerly been waiting for. Read more…

Science behind remarkable new Wall of Death motorcycle world record

27/04/2016. Category: Wheels. Topic: .

By Hugh Hunt, Reader in Engineering Dynamics and Vibration, University of Cambridge.

The Wall of Death has been the most enigmatic dare-devil motorbike stunt for more than 100 years. Motorcyclists ride around the inside of a vertical wall, rather like a huge barrel, at speeds of around 48 km/h (30mph). Most Wall of Death “drums” are about 10 metres (32 feet) in diameter.

There is a Wall of Death near Cambridge, UK, run by Ken Fox. He was approached by NorthOne Television to assist in a mad project to set the world speed record for a motorcycle ride around the wall. The stunt was performed live on Channel 4 television on 29 March 2016 – and I was lucky enough to be right there, as a consultant engineer for the show. Read more…

The motorcycle mechanic and the heart surgeon

26/02/2016. Category: Wheels. Topic: , .

A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the engine of a motorcycle when he spotted a well-known heart surgeon in his shop. “Hey, Doc, can I ask you a question?”

The surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to the mechanic working on the motorcycle.

The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, “So Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take the valves out, fix ’em, put ’em back in, and when I finish, it works just like new. So how come I get such a small salary and you get the really big bucks when you and I are doing basically the same work?”  Read more…

Dakar 2016 – the 4 superheroes

21/01/2016. Category: People. Topic: , .

If you don’t like sleeping, try to do a Dakar race next January. Many participants would get to the end of a stage late at night, then repair the vehicle, sleep perhaps for 2 hours, get up and go to the start point of the next stage. Every day for two weeks.

The Dakar is acknowledged as the world’s toughest race. It’s tough on the competitors and the support staff. Every participant is a hero even if a team did not finish the race. Read more…

Early Xmas for motorcycle fanatics

26/11/2015. Category: Wheels. Topic: .

It is early Xmas in 2015 for motorcycle fanatics with the introduction of more than 50 new models.

Some of the motorcycles were long rumoured, others were total surprises. Some will be available by Xmas but most are scheduled for release in 2016.

The biggest surprise was the Yamaha MT-10, basically a naked R1, with the same chassis, swingarm, suspension and electronics as the YZF-R1S – but slightly re-tuned for more mid-range oomph. It is an impressive-looking machine. Read more…

Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Specs

24/07/2015. Category: Wheels. Topic: , .

“Survivor, champion, icon. The Africa Twin was designed to withstand thousands of miles of desert and dirt – now it’s returning to do it all over again.”

“It’s been a long wait. But—trust us—it’s worth it. The all-new Honda Africa Twin is the machine that will let you wander wherever your adventures take you. The 998cc parallel twin uses Honda’s exclusive four-valve Unicam® cylinder-head design for smooth, tractable power. Offered with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a new DCT transmission with selectable on- and off-road modes.” Read more…

New Honda Africa Twin in action

23/07/2015. Category: Wheels. Topic: , .

A replacement for the legendary XRV750 Africa Twin, which was based on the Dakar-winning NXR750 and was produced from 1989 until 2003, always was going to be a big call.

That call finally came when Honda announced the new 1000cc Africa Twin in May 2014, creating quite a stir. Early pictures showed promise but it was more than a year later that the new Africa Twin in action was released in “leaked” videos. Read more…

Excellent review of Kawasaki ER-6n

19/06/2015. Category: Wheels. Topic: , .

Reviews of the Kawasaki ER-6n concur: it’s a bike for all reasons. Nimble in the city, surprisingly good in the twisties and a mile-eater on the open road.

The 650 parallel twin is a gem, with a nice spread of power and torque. This is a “little” naked motorcycle with a big heart.

One of the best reviews on the Kawasaki ER-6n is the excellent video by the Moto Journal team. The aptly call it, “Test Kawasaki ER6-n: the schizophrenic bike!” Read more…

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