Wednesday May 15, 2013
Honda's gradual downsizing has touched all aspects of its U.S. lineup-- from the elimination of their big-bore VTX1800-series and the engineering effort invested into the NC700X to the introduction of middleweights like the CBR500-series. But the just-introduced 2014 Honda Grom takes the trend to new extremes.
The 2014 Honda Grom is tiny-- not only in price (the little guy starts at $2,999) but also in footprint. Sporting miniscule 12-inch wheels, this minibike packs surprisingly sporty details like an inverted fork, digital instrument cluster, and a curb weight of only 225 pounds. Motivation comes from an air-cooled, fuel-injected 124cc single-cylinder engine mated to a 4-speed transmission, while its seat height is a surprisingly tall 29.7 inches.
Could the Grom stall in its efforts to take miniaturization to new levels?
For three grand, this new bike is loaded with efficiency, value, and personality. Not only is it a viable alternative to scooters, the Honda Grom just might re-carve a new niche for the long forgotten minibike genre.
Photo © Honda
Monday May 13, 2013
Until now, we've known the 2014 Indian Chief will pack an air-cooled 111 cubic inch (1,811cc) v-twin that sounds like this-- and we've also just been graced with the dimly lit silhouette seen above, which will finally see the light of day at this year's Sturgis Rally in August.
But equally-- and perhaps even more importantly-- we've just learned the Chief's pricing will start at $18,999, slotting the hefty cruiser squarely between Harley-Davidson's $17,399 Softail Deluxe and $19,899 Road King Classic, both of which are powered by a 103 cubic inch mill.
Sure, the Chief is a premium product, and no doubt aims to attract a well-heeled contingent that's just as likely to cross-shop against Harley-Davidson's spread of standard and CVO models. We also expect the lineup to expand in both directions, growing to offer bikes for a broader span of checking accounts.
But even bigger than the question of price point and potential for market penetration is the fact that Polaris has endeavored to resuscitate the 112 year-old nameplate at all, putting a ballsy stake into another source of homegrown manufacturing. Whether or not you're a fan of big engined, air-cooled cruisers, the new Indian motorcycle brand is something pretty much anyone can agree is damn exciting for America.
Photos © Indian
Sunday May 12, 2013
Unless your bike is equipped with saddlebags, there's a good chance you're donning a backpack while getting your goods from A to B... and with that said, the invariable question arises: would a backpack be good or bad for you in the event of an unplanned pavement scraping excursion?
The query has been looming in my transom for some time now, so when reader Peter emailed the same question (which has also been posed on another forum), I thought I'd throw it out to you, my readers, and ask whether or not you've had any direct experience (or theories) on what happens to backpacks in the event of a crash: would having an object strapped to your back offer abrasion resistance, or could it transfer load forces from impact and cause further damage to your spine? Read More...
Tuesday April 30, 2013
We motorcyclists have practically made a second career out of explaining why we're not to blame when it comes to crashes. From "That car came out of nowhere" to "I must have hit an oil slick," we're surprisingly good at justifying why we couldn't keep the shiny side up.
And then there's this: After inexplicably plowing into two bicyclists on the infamously crashtastic "Snake" section of Mulholland Drive, I'm not sure this guy can come up with any cogent excuse for why he became immortalized on YouTube. Read More...