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Best Lightweight / Entry-Level Motorcycle of 2022

Best Lightweight / Entry-Level Motorcycle of 2022: CFMoto 700 CL-X

After years of KTM owning this class with its 390 Duke and (390 Adventure), there’s a new kid in town – new in the US, anyway – in the form of the CFMoto 700 CL-X. It’s only fitting, really, since CFMoto’s Chinese manufacturer and KTM have a decade-long history together. That same Chinese OEM had a pre-existing relationship with Kawasaki also, and if CFMoto’s 700 CL-X isn’t powered by an engine eerily similar to a Versys 650 parallel Twin, I will eat my cat. In fact, the 700 CL-X is powered by a Versys twin that’s been stroked by 4mm, to 83 x 64mm dimensions – a thing Kawasaki’s never had the decency to do. That takes it to 693 cubic centimeters, and a claimed output of 74 hp at 8,500 rpm (and 48 lb-ft at 6,500 revs). Which makes this one a tad larger than our usual Lightweight winners, but for $6,399, how can you not supersize it?

It feels almost as fast as a Yamaha MT-07 blasting down the ⅓-mile front straight at the “testing facility” CFMoto took us to on day one of our little press junket, near their lovely hometown of Plymouth, Minnesota. Not only is it a sweet little engine, the rest of the package is surprisingly nice, too: CF is on a mission to change minds about Chinese motorcycles, and after our brief encounter with, I think, seven of its new bikes, I’d say it’s well on its way. The new 790 KTM-powered 800 Adventura is even more impressive, but wasn’t available in time for this year’s MOBOs.

2022 CFMoto 700 CL-X/ 700 CL-X Sport Review – First Ride

Best Electric Motorcycle of 2022

Best Electric Motorcycle: Zero DSR/X

Just because the candidates for Best Electric Bike this year are rather sparse doesn’t mean there isn’t a motorcycle worthy of an award. Energica’s new Experia certainly appears to be worthy of consideration, but as we mentioned in our opening page, a model needs to be available in dealers by the time of our posting. The Experia is not. This leaves one really excellent motorcycle left to choose. It would be hard not to recognize the Zero DSR/X in the Best Electric category after basically calling it the best motorcycle Zero has made so far. If you look at where Zero started – as essentially a glorified mountain bike – to where the company is now, and in a relatively short amount of time, the DSR/X is very impressive. In a way, you could say the DSR/X is the ultimate evolution of that original glorified mountain bike. Built to capitalize on the ADV craze sweeping the industry, it certainly is the most capable Zero so far.

2023 Zero DSR/X Review – First Ride

Unsurprisingly, it boasts the current pinnacle of Zero’s engineering talents. From the highest battery capacity to date and its most torque-rich motor, to the level of refinement within the proprietary Cypher III operating system. Partnering with Bosch to integrate its safety systems lends another point of credibility to the doubters out there, as do the premium components from J.Juan and Pirelli. Maybe the most important thing, however, is simply creating a motorcycle that looks, feels, and works like… a motorcycle. Zero’s done that with the DSR/X. Apart from the sound and the charging routine, the learning curve to riding a DSR/X is basically nill. We’re kidding ourselves into thinking it will give the likes of the BMW GS or KTM Adventure series a run for their money, but let’s give credit where credit is due. The Zero DSR/X is a good motorcycle without the need for qualification.

Best Electric Motorcycle Runner-Up: BMW CE 04

Church of MO: 2003 Buell XB9S

Time keeps on tickin’, tickin’, into the future. Twenty years ago, though, a happy harmonic convergence had me and my 8-year old son on the same wavelength when it came to two-wheeled toys. The new Buell XB-9S was at the top of my list; a Razor scooter was at the top of his. Later, we learned what might have been if Erik Buell’s turbocharger plan hadn’t been last-minute aborted by the higher-ups at H-D. But even in its normally aspirated state, I still remember the 9S being a complete hoot. Luckily, Erik Buell is still out there swinging away; it sounds like the Fuell Flow is ready for prime time.

Savage Pekingese!

By John Burns Oct. 20, 2002
Torrance, California, October 25, 2002 — You know what bike this bike reminds me of? It reminds me of a KTM Duke, but with a bunch more power, a KTM Duke you don’t need a crane to mount. I thought I’d be able to write that “only the KTM is as stubby and small as the Buell,” but my spec charts inform me that the Duke is in fact five inches longer of wheelbase than the 52-inch Buell. Come to think of it, the Lightning is closer specwise to my beloved little Yamaha TT-R125L–which has a 50-inch wheelbase and also a higher seat than the Buell. When the TT-R collapses under my (m)ass, though, it and the Buell have nearly the same ergoes. The Buell does weigh substantially more–at 420 pounds all gassed up–but carries it so well you barely notice. (Pretty cool how Buell was able to use that big old engine and still wind up with a
package smaller, and just as light as all the
Japanses 600s, huh?)

In the do-chicks-dig-it test, Vanessa the Receptionist prefers the looks of a Yamaha YZF600R over the Buell, which proves it’s a stupid test and that Orange County women do have an innate anti-Harley bias.

My 8-year-old sprog, though, likes the Buell. “These Buells look like the motorcycles of the future,” he says. Yeah yeah, I can already see the lips quivering out there: But it only makes 80 horsepooooower.

Well a KTM Duke makes less than 50, and it’s another favorite motorcycle. (Difference being, the KTM is a drag on the freeway if you have to go somewhere more than 20 miles away, and the Buell’s a sweet cruiser indeed.) Right, any Japanese 600 or liter-bike will bore any bike with 80 horsepower a fresh rectum any time speeds become elevated, but in most street situations I must ask you yet again: How many times do speeds become “elevated” above 100 mph or so? This, friends, is the key to Buell performance. Those screaming four cylinder sportybikes will disappear into the distance above 100–but the XB9 packs all its performance below 120 mph or so–and down there I for one am of the opinion it will hang with anything. A GSX-R 600 out-torques the other 600s with 46.5 foot-pounds at 10,5000 rpm. Well, Mr. Buell’s already past 46.5 at 3000 rpm, and goes on to pump out 65 foot-pounds at 5500 rpm. The Buell produces 80 percent of peak torque all the way from 3200 rpm `til lights out at 7500–the GSX-R from 6500 rpm until 13,000-whatever.

Short’n Stubby, yet suprisingly stable.

Short'n Stubby, yet suprisingly stable.
The big silver gas tank, has a pass through for the air intake in the left frame spar. The airbox connects to this and fills the gap between the spars, where the fuel tank would normally be.
As you can see, the 9S has a more relaxed and upright riding position.
No Lash, No Grime, No Adjusting.
The Dachshund begs for a Scooby Snack.
Ah the joys of childhood.
Glitzy raised chrome on yellow plastic. Reminds me of the time I went to Vegas and woke up on top of a cab with a hoo.... nevermind.
In perhaps his most revoloutionary innovation, Erik Buell integrates the Fork Lock with the Ignition Switch. It only requires a single key! Best of 2022’s Best Of (MOBO) award season is finally here again! As has been our recent tradition, we use the MOBOs to begin our December wrap-up of the 2022 model year before we jump into the new model introduction season. Although EICMA was only a couple of weeks ago, and the bulk of the 2022 motorcycle models have been announced, the 2022 model year isn’t officially over until we wrap up our awards!

Once again, the staff gathered over multiple video conferences to work our way through the bounty of motorcycles that we were privileged to test during the model year. Remarkably, there were fewer disagreements over nominees than there have been in previous years. We still had a few disputes to settle, but in the end, our choices were unanimous. Best Of 2021 Best Of 2020 Best Of 2019 Best Of 2018 Best Of 2017 Best Of 2016

This year, in a break from the MO tradition of more-is-more comparisons, we devoted much of our testing to two-bike shootouts as part of our Showdowns video series;all while testing individual bikes and attending new model introductions. As always, we attempt to bring our beloved MOrons the most varied motorcycle content available. Our testing year started with an adventure-touring shootout and ended with a sport-touring one. In between, we looked at everything from EV scooters to the hardest-nosed sportbikes to everything in between.

Our requirements for MOBO eligibility are pretty straightforward: MO must have tested the bike during the model year, and the bike must be available to the public at the time of publication. Naturally, that leaves a couple of strong contenders for next year, already. Case-in-point? The anticipated Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello S and the Energica Experia, which will arrive in showrooms early next year.

Improve Your Skills and Have the Adventure of a Lifetime at Enduro Park Canada

When BMW created the first GS in 1980, reactions were mixed. Back then, the motorcycle industry did not have the fragmented family tree of specialized segments that it has today, with sport bikes, sport touring, touring, off-road, enduro, retro sport, standard, and all manner of cruisers. However, by mixing on-road, off-road, and touring characteristics into a single bike, BMW must have known they were on to something, because they soldiered on with the model, and not only has the GS survived, but it has thrived. Today, adventure riding, the segment that the BMW GS created, is one of the fastest growing in motorcycling, with every major manufacturer having some variation of the GS formula in their current lineup.

The increase in the number of adventure riders on roads and trails, some of them new to motorcycling altogether, others experienced in other types of riding but new to the adventure riding experience, brings the need for a different type of rider training. Specialized rider training programs are not a new phenomenon, but their popularity has been steadily increasing. Enduro Park Canada is one such facility that caters to the adventure riding enthusiast, giving participants an experience unlike any other at their permanent facility in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Enduro Park Canada offers training programs from beginner to advanced, from single-day to nine-day tours, designed for any make and model of adventure bike. They also have a fleet of BMW rental bikes through their partnership with BMW.

Unlike other programs that are part-time and may move from location to location, Enduro Park Canada has a permanent facility that operates full-time. They are located only 15 minutes from Victoria, British Columbia, with easy access to Victoria International Airport, and all of the accommodations and amenities that the city of Victoria has to offer.

Enduro Park Canada Training
Enduro Park Canada Group 1
Enduro Park Canada Training 2
Enduro Park Canada Training 3
Enduro Park Canada Group 3

MO Tested: Dunlop Q5 and Q5S Trackday Tire Review

The invention of the trackday tire is the single greatest thing to happen to trackday riders since, well, trackdays. Being able to leave the tire warmers at home (or not own any at all!) has a trickle-down effect for those lazy riders among us – myself included. No warmers means the stands can stay home, and so can the generator. Better still, leaving all those things behind doesn’t compromise anything out on track; modern trackday tires provide plenty of grip and more longevity than your average race slick. (But let’s make one thing clear: if you’re actually racing, a slick is still the way to go.)

Dunlop Q5/Q5S Tires
Dunlop set out to improve upon the Q4 and the Q3+ for its most capable set of street/trackday tires to date. The results are mostly impressive.
+ HighsFast warm up times w/o tire warmersThe Q5 front is unrealThe Q5S rear keeps its composure better than the Q5 when worn– SighsRears still tend to wear quickly, at least on big bikesCertain sizes are more prone to shelving (this applies to all tires, I suppose)Still need to try them on the street

Dunlop was one of the first to introduce a trackday tire with the launch of the Q3 family as far back as 2013. It was soon followed by the Q3+. I was a fan of both tires when I tried them for the first time, impressed by the quick warm-up times and confident handling they provided. Dunlop followed that up with the Q4 – which, on paper, was supposed to be an even better trackday tire. In my opinion, however, it really wasn’t that great. To its credit, the Q4 came to working temperature very quickly, and the revised profile of the tire gave it nice handling characteristics with elbow-dragging lean angles very much within reach. What I wasn’t so impressed with was its outright grip on open-class sportbikes (it worked fine on smaller bikes). Worse yet, those big bikes would wear the Q4 quickly – one day of A-pace track riding was enough to wear the tire down to the wear bars, which was very surprising.

The Q4 was capable of some serious lean angle, but it lacked edge grip.

Anecdotally, it seems as though people I’ve talked to were mixed about big bike grip, but the wear issue was universal. “I got that feedback a lot,” says John Robinson, Dunlop’s Senior Tire Design Engineer (who was a junior engineer back in the Q3 and Q4 days). “At trackdays, I had to explain to the tech inspection folks that, even though a Q4 might be down to the wear bar on one or both sides, there was still at least 4mm of rubber left underneath. New York Safety Track, my local track, knows by now, but it’s something I deal with constantly.” The lesson? Out of the many technical innovations a tire design team constantly think about, they can’t forget the human element. Better placement of wear bars, for example, will more accurately tell an owner when it’s time to start considering new tires. And get tech inspectors off John’s back. Clearly, there was room for improvement with the Q4. 

Something More

Obviously, simply moving the position of the wear bars isn’t a reason to develop a new tire. Every tire company is constantly striving to one-up the last thing they made, and Dunlop is no different. The march of time means new technologies emerge, and Dunlop’s involvement as the sole tire supplier to the MotoAmerica series means lessons learned when tires are pushed to the limits are able to trickle down to the tires you and I can buy at the local shop. We witnessed the fruits of that labor with the Q3, the Q4, and we’re about to experience it again.

MO Viewed: Tourist Trophy

We know that regular MO readers are fans of the Isle of Man TT. Friend of MO, Andrew Capone, gives us annual posts from the event, and the analytics tell us that they are very popular. So, the release of the feature-length documentary film Tourist Trophy should spark more than a little interest among the fans. Over the course of 90+ minutes, viewers get the opportunity to get to know some of the variety of riders taking part in the 2022 Isle of Man TT. 

Out And About At The Isle Of Man TT 2022 – Part 1

Out And About At The Isle Of Man TT 2022 – Part 2

John McGuinness considers his 100th TT.

BMW R12 Trademark May Be for an R NineT Successor

Earlier this year, reports emerged that BMW had filed trademark applications for “R12”, with many predicting the name would be used on a new cruiser. The logic made sense, as the naming structure was similar to the R18, and BMW lacked a cruiser model in the 1200-ish range. We were a little less bullish on that theory at the time, and we suspected there was more to the story. And now, new evidence has emerged that may justify our skepticism.

The evidence is a new trademark application BMW filed in Germany for “R12 S”, for use on “motorcycles and their parts.” The application was filed on Oct. 18 or a little more than a year after BMW filed for the name “R12”. Historically, the “S” at the end of a BMW model name is reserved for sport models, with a lineage including the R 69 S, R 90 S, and R 100 S as the earliest examples. Over time, BMW has offered a K 75 S, K 1200 S and F 800 S, while its Boxer-engined R models included the R 1100 S from 1998-2005 and the R 1200 S in 2006 and 2007.

The last BMW R model with an S designation was the R1200S, offered in 2006 and 2007.

All of these “S” models were considered sport models, with the more modern bikes coming either fully or partially faired. We expect the R12 S to follow this pattern, which then leads us to believe the R12 will not be a cruiser after all, as it’s unlikely BMW would wrap a fairing around a cruiser chassis  and call it a sportbike.

No, a more likely theory is that the R12 and R12 S will be two models on a new platform that will replace the R NineT. Here’s our reasoning.

Best Black Friday Motorcycle Deals Available Now

Here we go again; another trip around the sun done and dusted. As we enter the 2022 Christmas buying season, there’s one tradition that highlights the times. No, not the consumption of mass quantities of turkey. Rather, we’re here to honor Black Friday in its many forms. Time to get out your credit card and shop for those holiday deals.

On this page, we’ll be tracking some of the best Black Friday deals for motorcycle gear here, so keep checking this space for updates.

What is Black Friday?

“Black Friday” is the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season. It falls on the day after US Thanksgiving, which is the fourth Thursday of November. Though not an actual holiday, a lot of people take both Thursday and Friday off for a four-day weekend. That’s one reason why retailers have jumped on Black Friday, with big sales for people taking the day off to go shopping for holiday gifts. The result is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

For 2022, Black Friday falls on Nov. 25, with many retailers timing their sales for the stroke of midnight. Others, like Revzilla, are getting a head start with deals available now. So, we thought we’d point you in the direction now to get those presents going to your loved ones (or yourself) ASAP.

Check back every day for our latest updates

MV Agusta Owner Timur Sardarov Interview

It was the talk of last week’s 2022 EICMA Show: MV Agusta, Italy’s most prestigious and historic manufacturer, winner to date of 270 Grand Prix races, 38 World Riders’ Championships, and 37 World Constructors’ Championships, had supposedly been acquired by KTM. Stefan Pierer, the most powerful man in European motorcycling, had captured his most iconic trophy brand yet, to add to his roster of Euro-marques including KTM, Husqvarna and GasGas. Indeed, according to one supposedly authoritative source, he’d be sealing the takeover deal with MV’s current owner, Russian entrepreneur Timur Sardarov, on the Thursday before the Valencia GP, November 3. This would permit him to announce at the final race of the 2022 season that MV Agusta would be returning to MotoGP racing in 2023 – albeit as a KTM subsidiary.

Only one thing was wrong: it wasn’t true. What was announced on November 3 was that MV Agusta and Stefan Pierer’s private holding company, Pierer Mobility, had reached an agreement on future strategic cooperation, as a consequence of which KTM AG would acquire a 25.1% stake in MV Agusta Motor S.p.A. According to the press release announcing this acquisition, “Within the framework of this strategic partnership between the two European motorcycle manufacturers, KTM AG, a company of Pierer Mobility, will provide MV Agusta with supply chain support and take over the purchasing. Furthermore, in the course of this cooperation, MV Agusta will partly distribute its product range via Pierer Mobility’s worldwide distribution network.”

MV Agusta has been entirely Russian-owned since Timur Sardarov, now 40, completed his family’s acquisition of the historic Italian brand in September 2019, with a further injection of cash sufficient to give it 100% ownership of the company. Up to that point he was believed to have invested almost 100 million euro in acquiring full control of MV, most of which had been devoted to recapitalising the company after three decades of its ownership, flipping between the Castiglioni family and various outside interests: Proton, Gevi Bank, Harley-Davidson, and AMGhad all taken turns since the late Claudio Castiglioni acquired MV from the Agusta family in 1991.

Moscow-born Sardarov moved to England in 2003, and with two daughters born there, made London his home until 2019, when as a mark of his commitment to MV Agusta, he moved to Italy. His oligarch father Roman is one of the 500 richest men in Russia, his fortune deriving from the Comstar Energy Group, one of the country’s largest oil and natural gas companies. Timur Sardarov founded a UK-based private jet airline in 2005, but he sold this in 2013 to concentrate on his capital venture business Black Ocean Investment, which he’d established in 2006 in conjunction with British partner Oliver Ripley. In 2016 he met Giovanni Castiglioni, as an MV Agusta owner already, with a Dragster RR amongst his various bikes, which then included three Harleys (a Sportster, a Softail, and a Fat Boy), and a Ducati Diavel. Sardarov and Castiglioni hit it off, so Black Ocean essentially financed the restructuring of MV Agusta after its then-latest bout of serial financial uncertainty. Sardarov assumed a hands-on role at MV’s lakeside Varese factory in June 2017, and since 2019 has been the outright owner of the prestigious manufacturer – which he acquired just in time to have to grapple with the effects of the COVID pandemic. Having survived that with ‘only’ a four-week shutdown at MV Agusta’s Varese plant, the next hurdle he faced was the supply chain crisis which has hit manufacturers in the process of regrouping, in all countries, and of all sizes, on two wheels and four. And then Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine, with consequences we’re still grappling with globally today.

Church of MO: 2012 Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Review

Now that the old Evo Sportster is well and truly almost completely dead, it’s probably time for us to show it a little respect. Really I suppose we always respected America’s best-selling motorcycle, it’s just that we usually didn’t like riding most of the gruff old things all that much. We’re contrarian that way. This Seventy-Two, though, in Hard Candy Big Red Flake and whitewalls, was pretty hep ten years ago – maybe even more now. Admit it.

Harley grooves back in time with the Sportster Seventy-Two

By Pete Brissette Feb. 29, 2012
Photos by Alfonse Palaima, Troy Siahaan, Harley

Afros were worn loud and proud, as were polyester bellbottom pants and wide-collar shirts; America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, was a force to fear, ABC had itself a genuine hit with The Love Boat, and President Carter signed airline deregulation into law. Music from the likes of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath provided a hard-edged option to disco, while Star Wars, Jaws, Close Encounters of The Third Kind and The Godfather were packin’ ‘em in at the theater.Hello? It’s the ‘70s calling.

The cultural hallmarks (some of them more forgettable than others) above paint a broad picture of the post-Vietnam social era in America. Part of that era was an expanding sense of individualism, perhaps no better realized and materialized than in the chopper motorcycle. A counterculture of fully customized rides with crazy-long raked front-ends, sissy bars, no front brakes and thundering exhausts burgeoned in California, from the Bay Area to SoCal, during the ‘70s.

Reelin’ in the years. The new Seventy-Two from Harley is infused with chopper themes prevalent in the 1970s.

And so this is partially where, or rather when, Harley-Davidson reached for inspiration and styling direction for its recently unveiled Sportster 1200-based Seventy-Two.

2012 Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Front Right
2012 Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Front
2012 Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Beauty
2012 Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Cornering
2012 Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Left Side
2012 Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Badge
2012 Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two Profile Right

2022 Yamaha MT-10 SP Review – First Ride

Let the record show that, despite my best efforts, Yamaha’s MT-10 was not included in either the street or track portions of our mega seven-way open-class naked bike shootouts last year. I fought for its inclusion but was ultimately denied by the Bossman who wrote it off by saying our field was big enough and it wasn’t going to win anyway. That and we also knew a new one was already on the way.

2022 Yamaha MT-10 SP
How much better is an MT-10 with Öhlins electronic suspension and steel brake lines anyway?

Editor Score: 83.5%

+ HighsThe quickshifter is brilliant on the streetThe crossplane sound is magnificentMaking suspension adjustments at the push of a button really is nice– SighsThe quickshifter is horrible on the trackInitial throttle is too abrupt in one mode and not quick enough in anotherI’d like different brake pads and a reflash to open up the top end

While I agree that the MT-10 wasn’t going to win against such steep competition, I also thought it would surprise a few people with its combination of performance and price. Alas, I had to concede. But maybe its exclusion was a blessing in disguise. Since we’ll never know how the bike would have stacked up, I can play the ignorance card and say it would have done well – but not as well as Yamaha’s better version, the 2022 MT-10 that John reviewed back in August. And it really wouldn’t have done as well as the bike you see here; Yamaha’s new MT flagship – the MT-10 SP. 

Of course, imagining all these hypotheticals is an exercise in futility. Instead, let’s just take a moment to appreciate the bike in front of us. Which, as it turns out, is really just an MT-10 with Öhlins electronic suspension and steel-braided brake lines. Mechanically speaking, anyway. You’ve also got a polished aluminum swingarm, a color-matched lower fairing, and an exclusive paint scheme: Liquid Metal/Raven. 

2023 Vespa GTS300 Review – First Ride

Although the word “iconic” is tossed around in marketing materials far too frequently, very few means of motorized transport find themselves deserving of the term. Vespa is one of those marques. Much like Xerox was, at one point, what all means of photocopying were called, there was an era in which all scooters were generically referred to as Vespas. While the market has advanced beyond that point, Vespa has had the foresight to retain its ties to the machines that first turned the world’s eyes. Case-in-point, the 2023 Vespa GTS 300 has a profile that is immediately recognizable as an heir to the Italian name. 

2023 Vespa GTS 300
How do you update an icon? Very carefully, and you’ll reap the rewards of both history and current technology.

Editor Score: 81.75%

+ HighsClassic looksMost power of the Vespa lineImproved brakes and suspension– SighsTFT seems out of place on the dashDespite improvements, short suspension travel has its limitsI don’t live in Rome

For the 2023 model year, Vespa’s focus was on refinement – with a dash of technology thrown in for flavor. After all, four years is a long time between updates. When looking at the menu, we’ll see a selection of comfort and safety features along with some tasty technological bits added to this well-appointed classic. 

LED lighting all around, and the famed Vespa necktie is still front and center.

2023 Vespa GTS300

2023 Vespa GTS300

MO Tested: Continental Conti RoadAttack 4 Review First Ride

Was there anything wrong with the Continental RoadAttack 3? No, not really. Lead engineer Raphael Michels (who finished 3rd in the German supermotard series this season) sounds as if he was reluctant to attempt to improve upon it. But it’s been five years, and engineering is what engineers do. Continental was already billing the 3 as a real high-performance street tire; now they’re calling the new 4 a Hyper-Touring one. It fell upon me to travel to the BMW Performance Driving Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina, to get to the bottom of it all. 

Continental Conti RoadAttack 4 Tires
Incremental improvements over the already award-winning RoadAttack 3, with a big boost in wet performance.
+ HighsLinear, direct steering feelSuper fast warmup even in wet and coldHyper-touring performance also available in 19-inch fronts– SighsLess stimulating tread pattern?No BMW S1000Rs or S1000XRs were on hand for testingNeed more time to parse North and South Carolina bbq

Conti’s HQ is in nearby Charlotte, and the two companies share a very close relationship: Continental is the leading supplier of OEM tires for BMW automobiles and quite a few motorcycles as well, and so we rolled out the performance center’s entire BMW test fleet.

What’s new?

Everything, of course, including a new compound with higher silica content for even better grip when it’s wet and cold, with no negative impact on mileage, says Conti. New resins in the mix also make the tire even more sticky as well as more flexible for more grip when it’s chilly. That greater flexibility means the new tire works better with lean-sensitive ABS systems.

MO Tested: Zovii Alarmed Grip Lock Review

The creeps that steal motorcycles count on one thing when they are attempting to rip you off: They want to go unnoticed. Getting even the slightest glance from a passerby might be enough to stop them in their tracks and move on to an easier target. Back when I was a daily commuter with unsecured parking, I carried locks (front and rear) to protect my bike. After all, it was more than just my sole means of transportation; it was my pride and joy. When I received this Zovii Alarmed Grip Lock from the good folks at Aerostich, it made me reminisce about my misspent youth on motorcycles and some of the dicey places I occasionally parked my bike. 

Zovii Alarmed Grip Lock
The Zovii Alarmed Grip Lock provides an effective deterrent to bike thieves in a compact, easy-to-carry package. It is good for use in low-risk locations or with an additional lock in dicier areas.
+ HighsHighly portableAttracts attention with alarmLocks without key– SighsToo big to carry in pocketPlastic construction deters but does not prevent theftToo many m’fers coveting their neighbor’s goods

The Zovii Alarmed Grip Lock is made of sturdy plastic, which means that it won’t stymie the most determined thieves. That, however, is not its purpose. Instead, while providing some extra security by rendering the throttle and front brake inoperable, it serves as an attention-getting device by triggering a 120-db alarm when the bike is jostled. This is perhaps even more important than a lock on the wheels, because a couple of strong guys can easily lift a bike that is not chained down into a van in seconds – regardless of how many wheels are locked. An alarm in this situation can attract the attention of potential witnesses, which thieves clearly do not want. 

The Zovii is super easy to install. Although its plastic construction means that it can be defeated, it will make plenty of attention-grabbing noise in the process.

So, what is the Zovii Alarmed Grip Lock like in daily use? It’s quite convenient, actually. While it’s too big to fit in most jacket pockets, a backpack or tank bag will suffice. To arm it, simply close the lock over the throttle and brake lever and depress the locking tumbler into position. You don’t even need to use the key. A quick beep tells you the alarm is armed. (Two beeps let you know it is off when you unlock it.) Then if the bike is jiggled, the alarm gives warning beeps at a loud, annoying level for about 15 seconds. Jostle it again, and the alarm cycle repeats. When it’s time to get on your bike, simply use the key. 

You don’t need to use the key to lock the Zovii. Just press the tumbler closed.