Twenty-five years ago, MO spoke in an ancient, now unintelligible language: Fuel delivery is handled via a Keihin PWK 38 carby, stock jetted with a 180 main, 48 pilot, #6 slide, and N85C needle with the needle clip in the #4 position (4th notch from the bottom)… We moved the needle clip to the middle #3 position and turned in the air screw for better punch off idle in cooler (30-50 degrees F) temperatures. These jetting changes and a fresh rear meat turned starts into virtual missile launches, and throughout all testing the bike ran cleanly, with nary a fouled plug.
Eh? But fear not. KTM still builds its awesome 300 stroker, but now it’s the XC-W 300 TPI. That’s transfer port injection, which electronically injects fuel for a nice clean burn and, according to KTM, “makes rejetting a thing of the past.”
Small changes and great improvements for ’96
It was fitting that we received our new KTM “dwarf” open classer just prior to Halloween, as many were already comparing the shocking flash orange plastic to that of a pumpkin. Love it or hate it, it certainly turns some heads; and it separates the ’96 KTMs from the rest of the field. Aside from the color, however, the factory spec sheet boasts considerable changes to the ’96 300. A virtual shopping list of goodies, KTM reports improvements that include engine mods to the cylinder and head (for better performance and increased cooling capacity).Newly designed clutch components (push rod and pressure plate, riding on larger bearings, friction plate material) allow for smoother clutch action and consistent engagement / disengagement.
A revised shift detent mechanism is alleged to effect more positive shifting, revalved shock and fork, with a new lower fork leg casting, a new SEM K11 ignition (better reliability) firing a standard NGK B8EG spark plug (vice B9 in previous models), a new chrome plated pipe that mates to an integral silencer/spark arrestor (chrome plated as well), and stock Boyesen reeds.
Despite the considerable list of changes, this bike is really more of an evolutionary refinement of previous KTM 300 models, rather than a revolutionary model change. And while the ’95 version was a great bike and almost universally lauded, that’s not to say there wasn’t room for improvement. Case in point, we fiddled with the suspension of our ’95 250 (same suspension components as the 300) and never really found that magic combination.
I make it a point to tell everyone who is willing to listen (and even some who aren’t) how much fun the new Yamaha R7 is. While most people get up in arms about the name of the bike, I’m over here having a blast actually riding the thing, preferably at a race track. I said as much during my First Ride Review of the R7 back in May, too. What the R7 brings to the table in terms of elevating the MT-07 platform for track duty – all for under $9000 – is truly impressive.2022 Yamaha R7
Editor Score: 85%
|+ HighsAn excellent learning toolUsable power for the streetGreat value||– SighsThe sportbike riding position gets old fast on the streetBars are a little narrowThe (optional) quickshifter is a little clunky|
No, its 689cc parallel-Twin isn’t super powerful, nor does it have top-class suspension or brakes. What it does have, though, is entirely adequate for learning the ropes. In my opinion, this is what makes it an excellent training tool for the sport or track rider who wants to learn proper technique instead of relying on horsepower. It demands smoothness, and when you don’t deliver, it communicates in ways other bikes, with their better components, will simply mask.
That’s all well and good, but for as fun as the R7 is on a track, we can’t forget that it still has lights, mirrors, turn indicators, and a license plate. It is a street-legal motorcycle, after all – which is exactly what the focus groups Yamaha consulted wanted. Considering we haven’t yet taken an R7 off the track and onto the roads, we decided this would be as good a time as any to do so. If we think back to the kind of motorcycle Yamaha built in the R7 based on focus group feedback, then we recall what’s essentially a “usable” R6. In other words, a sportbike in appearance and attributes but with an engine and powerband the average user can access on the street. In other words, an engine with midrange torque.
Honda Europe released a teaser video across its social media channels for what is expected to be the NT1100, a sport-tourer based on the Africa Twin. According to the video, the 2022 Honda NT1100 will be revealed on Oct. 21. As of this writing, American Honda hasn’t take part in the teaser campaign, but we suspect there will be a separate launch window should the NT1100 be brought to the U.S..
The teaser video doesn’t mention the NT1100 by name, but the tagline “The New Touring Era” is a giveaway. We also know that an NT1100 is on the way thanks to emissions data from Germany which list both an NT1100A and an NT1100D, suggesting the NT will be available with Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission.
The German emission certification document list the NT1100 as producing 75 kW (101 hp), the same as the CRF1100L Africa Twin. The hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides emissions are each higher compared to the Africa Twin, suggesting differences in either engine tuning or the exhaust system, but enough for the NT1100 to meet Euro 5 standards.
The video offers a few hints at what the NT1100 will look like. In various shots, we see a tall windscreen with two smaller wind deflectors on either side. We also spy an instrument cluster that looks similar to the Africa Twin’s (pictured below), with two stacked displays below a small cover. We can also expect a similar suite of electronics in addition to the optional DCT.
“Easy to ride, measurably comfortable and stylish to boot,” concluded D. Gingerelli’s review of the excitingly overhauled H-D Sportster ten years ago – now with radial tires! To see how far the Motor Company has come in the decade since then, check out the actually new 2021 Sportster S: It’s almost enough to give one hope.
2011 Harley-Davidson Sportster SuperLow
How Low can you go?
Harley-Davidson’s top-selling entry-level bike, the XL883L Low, just got better. In fact, it’s so improved that you might say that this “Shortster” has reached new heights in terms of ride comfort and stability for new and experienced riders.
Here’s the deal: Harley gave the Low a complete makeover for 2011 to improve its suspension for a softer, more compliant ride, while maintaining the low seat height of 25.3 inches – same as on the 2010 edition. But the new model’s chassis is so improved that the revised bike deserves a new name. Enter the SuperLow for 2011.
A super-low riding position is the SuperLow’s stock in trade.
Visually, the SuperLow appears to be pretty much the same low-to-the-ground model that’s become a favorite these past few years among first-time Harley buyers and women riders. Now here’s the catch: in reality the SuperLow is an all-new model that’s only based on the low-rider theme. In truth, the SuperLow checks in with new suspension calibrations front and rear, new wheel and tires sizes, new fork and gas tank, even a new and better-padded solo seat.
Regular readers of Motorcycle.com know that I am a huge fan of wireless headsets, and one of the biggest reasons is my use of turn-by-turn directions. Since I have been very skeptical of many of the moto-mounts on the market up until now, I’ve been content to keep my phone safely tucked inside my jacket pocket. One of the issues has been that the safer-looking mounts utilized cases that simply didn’t look comfortable to carry on a daily basis. However, carrying the phone in my pocket comes with two big drawbacks. First, I can’t glance at the map to make sure I understand the verbal instructions. Big five-way (or more) intersections can usually be deciphered at a glance when the instruction to “take a slight right turn” leaves me with multiple options. Also, running navigation software for long periods of time will take its toll on a phone’s battery (an even bigger issue as my iPhone XS’ aging battery diminishes in capacity). So, wireless charging is a perfect addition for folks like me who hate to fiddle with dangly cables on a motorcycle. This is where SP Connect and its wide array of mounting components enters the picture.SP Connect Phone Mount System
|+ HighsWide variety of mountsVibration-damping to prevent damage to iPhone camerasWireless charging option||– SighsExpensiveWireless charger is almost as large as a phonePhone case is slippery|
However, I would be remiss if I didn’t note that there has been a recent disturbance in the moto-phone mount universe for those using iPhones ecosystem, with Apple’s recent press release recommending against mounting an iPhone on motorcycle handlebars. (What makes this particularly interesting is the fact that within days of this announcement, Apple showed the new iPhone 13 being mounted to a scooter’s handlebar.) Naturally, since I was in the process of testing a Bar Clamp Mount Pro with an added Anti Vibration Module, I reached out to my contact at SP Connect for the company’s reaction to this news. The company was already ahead of the curve with its vibration damping system, but SP Connect’s response was still educational:
“SP Connect has not received any complaints for iPhone 12 Pro Max to date, and the point in question does not concern all smartphone producers. In 2021, the issue concerned 0.2% out of the total SP Connect motorcycle products sold.
The Anti Vibration Module features an internal vibration damping layer that you can feel when the phone is mounted. Still, the phone is held securely enough to not impact the ability to read the screen.
“SP Connect believes it offers a solution to mitigate the possibility of damage to your iPhone. SP Connect developed the Anti Vibration Module . The Anti Vibration Module absorbs up to 60% of the emitted vibrations of the motorcycle and best possibly prevents vibration damages from occurring. It contains a specially developed elastomer inlay which dampens in all directions and keeps mounted devices stable during the ride. The Anti Vibration Module fits all SP Connect mounts with standard damping head and can be easily mounted by simply replacing the head of the mount with the Anti Vibration Module. After Apple’s announcements the sales of our AVM have gone up substantially and customers are very satisfied with the results.”
Indian Motorcycle is preparing to launch a new touring model for 2022 powered by the same liquid-cooled PowerPlus engine introduced on the Challenger. The new model will be called the Pursuit and will be offered in Limited and Dark Horse variants, with an optional Premium Package.
We first broke the news when Indian filed a trademark application for the name Pursuit last year. The name was filed alongside another trademark application for “Guardian.” At the time, we mused that the Pursuit may use the 1768cc PowerPlus engine. We can now confirm this is the case, thanks to Vehicle Identification Number data Indian submitted to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The VIN document confirms the Pursuit’s PowerPlus engine, with the same claimed 122hp output as the Challenger, as well as the Dark Horse and Limited versions (there is no “base” model Pursuit listed). The document doesn’t, however, explain how the Pursuit will differ from the Challenger.
We do have an idea, thanks to patent filings from Indian that show a motorcycle with the PowerPlus engine and a fork mounted fairing, a tall windscreen and fairing lowers. Absent any other evidence, we can assume the model in the diagrams is the Pursuit. The illustrations don’t show any luggage, it’s a safe guess that the Pursuit will have panniers at the very least.
The R18 Transcontinental and R18 Bagger have been getting a lot of attention lately, as BMW‘s foray into large-displacement cruiser touring segment. Getting somewhat lost, however, are BMW’s existing K1600 range, which used to be the company’s representatives in the touring category. While still part of BMW’s lineup, the six-cylinder models have not been updated since the 2017 model year, not even receiving any changes to meet Euro 5 standards that came into effect last year.
BMW may be about to rectify the situation, as we expect a new K1600GTL, K1600GT and K1600B for 2022. The information comes to us via German certification data which confirms new, lower emissions numbers for the three models (the fate of the K1600 Grand America, however, remains to be determined.) According to the German certifications, the updated K1600 models produce the same claimed power output of 158 hp, but significantly lower carbon oxide and hydrocarbon emissions, as the current engine.
The German document doesn’t offer any clues about other changes, but we’d be surprised if BMW didn’t also give the updated K1600 models the latest technology, including radar-based cruise control and a 10.25-inch TFT display.
Updated K1600 models would be prime candidates to receive the 10.25-inch TFT display pictured here on the BMW R1250RT.
We also don’t know when BMW will announce the updated K1600 models. The manufacturer previously announced an indefinite withdrawal from the industry’s two largest trade shows, the annual EICMA show in Milan, Italy, and the biennial Intermot in Cologne, Germany. BMW will instead focus on online presentations with appearances at regional shows.
After giving us a glimpse of a pre-production prototype in August, Triumph officially revealed its new Tiger Sport 660. Sharing the same platform as the Trident 660 roadster, the 2022 Triumph Tiger Sport 660 is a middleweight “adventure sports” model, claiming class-leading power and low cost of ownership.
By “adventure sports”, of course, we’re talking about sport-touring models that are styled after true ADVs rather than sportbikes. Like the Trident does for its roadster line, Triumph also sees the Tiger Sport 660 as an entry point for the larger and more adventure-ready Tiger models in its lineup. Triumph is thus positioning the Tiger Sport 660 against the likes of the Kawasaki Versys 650 and, in Europe, the Yamaha Tracer 7. Cross shoppers might also be considering the Suzuki V-Strom 650, which may be a bit more capable off-road, but the Tiger probably won’t compete as well in the dirt against the Yamaha Ténéré 700 or theupcoming Aprilia Tuareg 660.
The Tiger Sport 660 is powered by the same liquid-cooled DOHC Inline-Triple as the Trident, with the same claimed performance numbers of 80 hp at 10,250 rpm and 47 lb-ft. at 6,250 rpm and with Triumph claiming 90% of its peak torque available from 3,600 rpm to 9,750 rpm. The Tiger Sport 660 also shares the same underslung silencer as the Trident, as well as a slip-and-assist clutch. An up-and-down quickshifter is available as an accessory.
I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but the Sedici Acqua hydration backpack is the first hydration pack I’ve owned specifically for motorcycling. Don’t get me wrong; I own a hydration pack and the associated gear for outdoor activities like hiking, but all this time I’ve simply relied on hoping I can grab a drink of water when I stop at, say, a gas station or oasis. Or in the case of our photoshoots for MO, we’ll simply carry bottles of water in the camera car and drink up at photo stops.
|Sedici Acqua Hydration Backpack|
|+ ProsValue winnerThoughtful featuresHighly effective and you don’t even know it’s there||– ConsBite valve can be finicky about its proper opening angleNot much room for anything elseFor the price, it’s hard to come up with a third con…|
Having the Sedici Acqua backpack at my disposal has made me realize how silly I’ve been for putting off one of life’s most important tenets – drinking water. Having (cold) water at the ready whenever I’m thirsty is such a game-changer. You probably thought to yourself “duh” as you read that last sentence, and like I said at the onset of this piece, I’m a little ashamed of myself for putting this off for so long.
The lead image up top gives you a view of the back of the pack, this shows you the front. It’s pretty straightforward stuff, with an adjustable sternum snap that slides up and down a rail on each should strap. Buckles at the bottom of each shoulder strap helps adjust the size for various body types.
As much as I’m happy to have this hydration pack as part of my riding kit now, let’s get one thing out in the open: At the end of the day, this is still just a hydration pack, after all. There are many like it, most (if not all) of which will perform the job of keeping your thirst quenched just fine. However, this is the one I’ve got. I’m happy with it, and it does have a couple of features making it well suited to wear while on the moto. And if you care about your friendly MO staff at all, if you find yourself so inclined to click the link below and buy yourself your own Sedici Acqua hydration backpack, your generosity will help us keep the lights on. You don’t want this page to go dark, do you?
The Low Down
The backpack portion of the Acqua is made up of a mixture of 420d and 600d fabric around a self-supporting reinforced structure so it retains its shape with or without the bladder inside. Silicone printing on the shoulder straps helps keep them from sliding, while a chest strap and clasp also play a major role in keeping the straps in their proper place.
What? Where was I ten years ago when the FZ8 got here? O, that’s right, Cycle World. No wonder I blocked it out.
“In short, the mission was to create a versatile and economical bike that comes closer than ever to letting riders with sporting inclinations have their cake and eat it too. After sampling an FZ8 for nearly 130 miles, in conditions varying from highways to canyons to around town, we would say that this new machine could certainly fit the bill.”
That’s what we call “damning with faint praise,” I think. Just in the nick, Yamaha’s FZ-09 triple arrived in 2014.
An 800-class offshoot from the R1 family tree
The FZ8’s DNA has roots in Yamaha’s premier sportbike, the YZF-R1. The current FZ1’s engine was derived from the pre-crossplane R1. The new offspring inherits the FZ1’s R1-inspired alloy perimeter frame, its chassis geometry, some engine components, as well as many design elements from its compact and efficient engine.
The FZ8 shares much in common with the FZ1.
Since we’ve already covered most of the FZ8’s tech details in our preview article, we’ll focus on why Yamaha thinks this bike is a good idea now, and what it’s like to ride.
I was looking at the cutaway drawings of the new GSX 1000GT today, and it occurred to me that motorbikes are still using port injection. Meanwhile, direct injection is becoming pretty common in cars and trucks.
My last Yamaha outboard had a nifty high pressure injection system. Obviously engineering isn’t the problem. DI is beneficial in meeting emissions requirements; so it seems that there are benefits to implementing it.
So, MO, what is keeping motorcycle manufacturers from direct injection systems?
Ducati updated its mid-sized adventure bike for 2022, reducing its weight, improving the ergonomics and updating the engine while renaming it from the Multistrada 950 to the Multistrada V2.
The new name reasserts its relationship to the Multistrada V4 as a difference in cylinder configuration rather than displacement, a pattern we’ve already seen Ducati adopt with its Panigale models and, eventually, the Streetfighter, which we expect to get a smaller displacement V-Twin version later this month.
Visually, the Multistrada V2 doesn’t look much different from the 950. The main differences are new engine covers and a new seat. The Multistrada V2’s ergonomics were a main focus for Ducati, resulting in a saddle that is narrower and more compact. Ducati says the new saddle shape is more comfortable and offers better freedom of movement. The V2 also receives new footpegs inherited from the Multistrada V4 that are 0.4 inches farther from the seat, providing a bit more leg room that taller riders should appreciate.
Here at Motorcycle.com, we’re big fans of helmet communicators. Among the many essential capabilities they provide, two are huge standouts. First, allowing our smartphones to whisper directions in our ears so that we don’t have to take our eyes off of the road is a huge benefit. Of course this comes along with the ability to make/receive phone calls or listen to music/podcasts/radio. The second feature we MOrons use a lot is the mesh communication. Being able to give the riders instructions during photo/video shoots makes the process much quicker and easier. Then there’s the added benefit of having Burns serenade us during our rides. Absolutely priceless!
Of the major players in the Bluetooth/mesh communicator market, the Cardo Packtalk Bold has become our go-to system. Some of us like them so much that if we don’t have a mount on a helmet, we’ll choose a different one that does. Silly but true. In fact, over the last couple of years, we’ve seen fit to review the Cardo Packtalk Bold not once, but twice, from two different perspectives. Also, thanks to their modularity, we’ve paired the system with Packtalk Headphones for coaching a novice rider.
Now, the generous folks at Cardo have donated a Packtalk Bold Duo (valued at $600) for us to give away to our favorite MOrons! All you have to do is fill out a form to provide us with information about yourself, including a valid email address. Then, when the contest is over on October 27th, we’ll randomly select the winner and notify them via email. After that, the product will be shipped out, and that lucky rider (and a friend, since the Duo includes two communicators) will get to ride off into the future!
The Buell Motorcycle Co.’s comeback is ready to begin, with the revived brand announcing production of the new 2022 Hammerhead 1190 superbike set to begin on Nov. 1. Based on the EBR 1190RX, the Hammerhead will be produced in Grand Rapids, Mich., and offered through an online reservation and delivery system called “Buellvana”, which the company will detail further on Oct. 21.
Within the announcement, Buell teased some new engines and new models, including new dirt, touring and, somewhat ironically, cruiser models. The company has already offered a glimpse of some of these new models, including an ADV called the 1190 Super Touring (pictured below) and the 1190HCR, a hill climb racer with the 1190cc ET-V2 engine in a dirt bike package.
While the Buell press release (included below) was sparse on further details about new mdoels, we’ve uncovered some information that sheds some light on the brand’s rebirth, including what might be its new logo:
After a brief teaser campaign, Kawasaki has revealed the new Z650RS, its third “retro sport” model following the Z900RS and Z900RS Cafe. The 2022 Z650RS is based on the Z650 model but is styled to resemble the 1977 Z650-B1, a.k.a. the “Son of Z1”. At the moment, the Z650RS has not been confirmed for the U.S. market, but we expect it will be part of a larger launch event planned by Kawasaki Motor Corp. U.S.A. for Oct. 5.
The Z650RS makes use of Kawasaki’s tried and tested 650 Parallel-Twin engine that has powered a diverse range of models including the Z650, Ninja 650, Versys 650 and Vulcan S. Its claimed maximum output of 67.3 hp at 8000 rpm and 47.2 lb-ft. at 6700 rpm are identical to the Z650, as are the assist and slipper clutch and six-speed transmission.
The steel trellis frame and swingarm are also similar to the Z650’s, but the RS has a less upswept rear subframe, which translates to a flatter seat and more horizontal profile, especially with the new, smaller fuel tank (3.2 gallons compared to 4.0 gallons on the Z650). The tail is shorter than on the Z900RS but offers a similar duck bill cowl. Despite the differences in styling and the smaller tank, Kawasaki claims the Z650RS has a curb weight of 412.3 pounds, the same as the regular Z650.