Wednesday June 19, 2013
I take pride in getting my facts straight, but sometimes I mess up-- like the time I confused two manufacturer's sales figures, incorrectly (and vastly) understating the sales performance for BMW motorcycles.
Exactly how "off" was I? Let's just say that BMW has been selling like gangbusters, as evidenced by these numbers: 14.2 percent more motorcycles were sold in May compared to last year's monthly figure, and a total of 52,400 bikes have been sold this year so far, outpacing 2012 by 7.1 percent.
BMW credits new models like the R1200GS, F800GT, and HP4 for their best May yet-- despite bad weather in their strongest market, Germany-- and they anticipate more good news when the F800GS hits the showrooms this month.
The good news on my end? I've been sampling some of these bikes, and will be penning reviews as soon as I can put down my helmet and open my laptop.
Photo © BMW
Wednesday June 12, 2013
Think triples, and you might visualize Triumphs like the Speed Triple R and Explorer in all their raucous British glory... but this time, the three-cylinder bike comes from an unlikely source: Yamaha.
Truth be told, three combustion chambers from this Japanese manufacturer is not completely unexpected. You see, Yamaha unveiled a three-cylinder powerplant at last year's Intermot show in Cologne, Germany, and the end product is what you see here, the 2014 Yamaha FZ-09.
Priced at a mild $7,990, the naked FZ-09 wears an aluminum frame with adjustable suspension, though the main attraction is its liquid-cooled 847cc three-cylinder, which features a 3-mode electronic throttle, variable length intake runners, and a crossplane crankshaft (a la the R1 and Super Tenere.)
My biggest question? Whether Yamaha engineers opted for silky smooth rideability, or chuggy, spunky character. As usual, the only way to pass final judgment is by testing this bad boy, which I'll share with a review as soon as I can swing a leg over.
Photo © Yamaha
Tuesday June 4, 2013
If you've ever had that weird feeling that someone's looking over your shoulder, you might sympathize with the subjects of this news story.
When the California Highway Patrol fielded complaints about speeding motorcycles performing illegal passes on the coast from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, they enforced the law by taking to the sky.
"The safest way [to ramp up enforcement] is to utilize an airplane, a CHP spokesman explained, and the resulting single hour of airborne vigilance led to a total of eight traffic citations.
The crackdown was considered enough of a success that the CHP issued a press release about their victory against the alleged lawbreakers, adding that "Hopefully [the surveillance tactic] will be continuing throughout the summer."
Moral of the story? If you're trying to get away with two-wheeled mayhem, there's no end to the creative ways the po-po will try to track you down.
Source: Marin Independent Journal
Photo © Getty Images
Friday May 31, 2013
Honda's latest slew of new bikes, which includes their middleweight CB500X, CBR500R, and CB500F, not to mention their adorkable $3,000 Grom, bust through America's bigger-is-better mentality with smart-sized options built to appeal to both newbies and traditionalists alike.
So, when Honda shape-shifted the adventure-oriented NC700X into a pseudo-cruiser, they came up with this: the lower, sleeker CTX700 and CTX700N, which start at $7,000 and can be bundled with ABS and a dual-clutch automatic transmission for only $1,000 more.
I spent some time with Honda's latest, and share my observations in this 2014 Honda CTX700 Review.
Is this new bike something you'd take a chance on? Read my review, and comment below.
Photo © Honda; click for review