Something about the Toyota Prius makes it a strangely repellant vehicle to both motorcyclists and car lovers alike. Maybe its the dome-roofed hybrid's tendency to attract holier-than-thou tree-hugging do-gooders, or perhaps its the gas and electric-powered car's planet saving pretense that inevitably devolves itself into a lane-clogging nuisance, like a rolling speed bump crawling through traffic whose sole purpose is to annoy other motorists. For whatever reason, Prius drivers and their often self-righteous steeds manage to rub a whole lot of people the wrong way... Read More...
If you enjoy maintaining full control of your motorcycle while riding down the road-- throttle, brakes, steering and all-- you might want to be sitting down for this piece of news: the Department of Transportation issued a joint statement today with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that a bill will be passed that requires all motorcycles to have "fully autonomous, self-piloting capabilities" as early as 2018.
"The goal is not to remove the freedom or adventure of riding a motorcycle," DOT spokesperson Melvin P. Meyers insisted, "but rather to create harmony on the roads between two and four-wheeled vehicles, and avoid the sorts of accidents that claim many lives every year." Read More...
Ducati may have typified the naked bike genre with its top-tier Monster 1200
, but KTM's $16,999 1290 Super Duke R ABS certainly mixes it up nicely with an Austrian take on the big-engined hooligan theme.
How does KTM address the alternatives, and how much of its dirt-inspired roots can be felt at the handlebars of this 416-pound ride?
Find out in my 2014 KTM 1290 Super Duke R ABS Review.
Photo © Basem Wasef
In case you missed this news story last month, Consumer Reports surveyed 4,424 motorcycle owners and came out with one conclusive thread: Japanese bikes are more reliable than their German and American counterparts, with Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Honda edging out Harley-Davidson and BMW.
According to the study, differences of 4 points or less are not considered meaningful-- which still points to a significant rift between the Japanese bikes and the others-- and the results were adjusted for age and mileage of the motorcycles. When evaluated by bike type, touring motorcycles were the most problematic, followed by dual-sports, sport tourers, and cruisers.
Interestingly, Harley-Davidson and BMW owners ranked among the highest in satisfaction despite their bottom-rung reliability results, with 75 and 74 percent saying they would buy their bikes again, respectively. 72 percent of Honda owners would also buy Hondas again, though only 63 percent of Yamaha riders and 60 percent of Kawasaki owners would provide repeat business to their manufacturers.
As for keeping your bike running reliably, Consumer Reports suggests staying on top of maintenance, keeping tires properly inflated, checking the brakes, regularly inspecting your bike, and storing your bike properly.
Source: Consumer Reports
Graphic © Consumer Reports