Following the introduction of the limited edition Street Twin Gold Line model, Triumph announced it is giving the rest of its modern classics the same treatment. Unlike the Street Twin, of which only 1,000 units were produced and promptly sold, the new Gold Line Edition models will be produced only for the 2022 model year and will not be limited to a specific number.
The eight models receiving a special edition Gold Line Edition are:Bonneville T100Bonneville T120Bonneville T120 BlackBonneville BobberBonneville SpeedmasterBonneville Street Scramblerthe Scrambler 1200 XCthe Scrambler 1200 XE
Each Gold Line model will come in a special color scheme edged with hand-painted gold pin-triping. The gold paint is specially formulated from a mix of powdered color and a cellulose lacquer. This gives it the right level of consistency for striping, as conventional paint is too thin for this type of brush work. The golden striping is applied, usually in one continuous stroke, by one of six skilled artisans. The paint is then sealed with a final coat of lacquer and signed with the artist’s initials.
Mechanically, the Gold Line Edition models are the same as the regular model, including the updates introduced earlier this year for the 2021 year. Depending on the model, the premium paint schemes add an additional $750 to $900 to the MSRP. The Gold Line models arrive in North American dealerships in December.
2022 Triumph Bonneville T100 Gold Line Edition – $11,400
We were kicking candidates back and forth for this year’s MOTY awards, when somebody threw out as a possible Best Standard the Honda NC750X. Hey wait a minute, I’m the only guy around here who ever liked the NC! Maybe my stately mature influence is rubbing off on the kids at last? For me, it was love at first ride of the original NC700X, way back in 2012. By then, I guess I’d been subjected to enough compromising positions on exotic high-maintenance motorcycles to appreciate the NC’s practical advantages and comfort – and I wasn’t even doing any of the maintaining.2021 Honda NC750X
Editor Score: 90.5%
|+ Highs23-liter trunkShiftless60+ mpg||– SighsCC is MIAOccasionally blustery windscreenYou can’t HANDLE the truth|
I also wasn’t paying for the gas, but I could still appreciate 60+ mpg. The NC’s ingenious storage compartment and automatic transmission were the ultimate in convenience, even if both were lifted directly from the Aprilia Mana. But when it was mentioned as a candidate in the 2021 MOTY fray, we realized we hadn’t ridden an NC since the big update to NC750X in 2018. How could that have happened?
Who will volunteer to test one? Ohhh! Pick me! Frankly, I think the NC is the only thing in Honda’s lineup I’d swap for the PCX I had in my garage, and so I once again made the majestic pilgrimage to Door #8 at Honda’s Torrance HQ.
And so it came to pass, ten years ago, that Trizzle, Pete and Duke did verily pilgrimage to Buttonwillow. And so we give a shoutout to the shootout of the most exciting new 2011 ZX-10R against the most exciting superbike of the year before, the BMW S1000RR… you know the drill.
The new literbike contender takes on the reigning champ at the racetrack
UPDATE: Like our track shootout? Make sure you also read our follow-up comparison article to see how the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R and the BMW S1000RR stack up on the street!
BMW’s timing was just right. Due to the economic meltdown, the two-year cycle for sportbike updates finally came to an end. And as it were, BMW took aim to diversify and conquer the exclusive literbike wars.
The result was the S1000RR, and by now everyone knows how that quest turned out. If you don’t, you can read about Kevin’s first ride and our 2010 literbike shootout. BMW fans (and sportbike enthusiasts in general) came to expect big things from the German brand and the manufacturer knew it would have to bring not just any gun to the gun fight, but a cannon. Boy did it ever.
With almost 176 horsepower touching the tarmac at the flick of the wrist, the S1000RR easily trumped all of the other players in our 2010 literbike shootout. Add to that a chassis that performs on par or better than everything else out there, and an electronics package that’s second to none, and you can see why we named it our 2010 Motorcycle of the Year.
Maybe it’s the millennial in me, but I’ve always appreciated Arai helmets for the privately owned company’s history and the fact that the lids are handcrafted in Japan. Use the word “heritage” and/or “handmade” and you’ve got the attention of my generation. The thing is though, with Arai, they don’t need to rely on hip marketing to entice interested parties. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and Arai has been serving it up thick since the 1950s. Arai lids can be found on the heads of the world’s most elite racers from MotoGP to Dakar and even in the less interesting four-wheeled sports like F1 (I kid, I kid).Arai XD4
|Desirability||9/10||Editor Score: 87%|
|+ HighsArai qualityGood ventilationVersatile||– SighsWish it came with a Pinlock-ready shield (and a Pinlock insertNot the lightest helmet in the genreThe XD4 is getting a little long in the tooth|
The Arai XD4 replaced its predecessor (the XD3) back in 2012 and has gone largely unchanged since. When the XD4 hit the market, Arai claimed a better ventilation system including slight changes to diffusers throughout the helmet and a new shield with brow vents for better ram air cooling effect. The XD4’s internal padding allows for additional adjustment, giving users the ability to decrease the foam thickness by 5mm on the cheek pads and sides of the crown. Emergency quick removal tabs are also included for cheek pad extraction in the instance of the unfortunate.
In addition to all of that, the helmet’s shell shape has also been slightly changed and is now offered in five shell sizes (XS, SM, MD-LG (same shell), XL, and XXL) to ensure the smallest, lightest helmet possible.
In 2018, we’re told the peak received slight aerodynamic changes, the internal fabric was upgraded to match that of the Corsair, and anti-fog coated shields with a few tint options were made available.
Honda Europe revealed the new 2022 NT1100, a street-focused tourer based on the CRF1100L adventure bike. As of this writing, the NT1100 has only been announced for Europe, but we hope to see it come to North America eventually.Fast FactsChoice of manual transmission or DCTSharper steering geometry than the Africa Twin5.4 gallon fuel tankIntegrated panniers, heated grips, cruise control and an adjustable windscreen come standard
Visually, the NT1100’s design resembles the NT700V (a.k.a. the Deauville), which was last offered in the U.S. in 2013. The fairing is designed for touring comfort, and stands in contrast to the recent industry trend of sport-tourers with adventure-inspired styling. The windscreen is five-way adjustable for height and angle, and it’s supplemented with wind deflectors on either side.
Cruise control and heated grips come standard, as are the integrated detachable panniers. The cases are designed to be slim, with a maximum width of 35.4 inches at their widest point. The left case holds 8.7 gallons while the right is slightly smaller at 8.4 gallons, to create more clearance from the exhaust. Honda claims the NT1100 will get 47 mpg which, combined with the 5.4-gallon fuel tank, would mean a range of about 253 miles.
The 2022 Honda NT1100 is powered by a liquid-cooled 1084cc Parallel-Twin similar to the one used on the Africa Twin. The engine has the same 10.1:1 compression ratio and 270° phased crankshaft, but the air intake duct length and exhaust are tuned to make a low-rpm “throb”, with Honda claiming smooth, powerful acceleration and relaxed highway cruising performance. Honda claims the NT1100’s engine produces 101 hp at 7,500 rpm and 76.7 lb.ft at 6,250 rpm. That’s the same power output claimed by the 2022 Africa Twin, but a slight dip in peak torque.
Big news out of the Ducati camp, as the Bologna-based manufacturer has announced it has reached an agreement with Dorna to be the sole supplier for the all-electric MotoE World Cup, which races alongside MotoGP at select rounds. Ducati’s involvement will begin in 2023 through at least 2026.
The news comes as Energica recently announced its partnership with the series was coming to an end following the conclusion of its contract in 2022. Energica’s Ego Corsa electric race bikes were the first, and so far only, motorcycle the MotoE series has ever known, so the announcement of Energica’s departure at the end of next year left many to wonder who would take its place.
With this latest announcement, Ducati has boldly claimed its entry into the electric motorcycle arena. In classic Ducati style, it is entering the world of racing to fast-track development of several different technologies – all with an eye towards a future electric motorcycle that will be available to anyone.
This sketch is all we know so far of Ducati’s MotoE racer. Maybe the biggest surprise is seeing a double-sided swingarm, though it’s still early days and we don’t know what the final product will be.
It’s far too early to know any details of either the Ducati MotoE racer or the future production bike, other than the sketch you see here and the references by Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali that the motorcycle must carry the Ducati DNA. We can infer that to mean it has to be light, sporty, and engaging. Speaking of weight, one of the Achilles heels of electric motorcycles has been how heavy they are, a byproduct of the large batteries required to run a full race distance (usually about eight laps) at full power. Bringing the weight down was one area Domenicali singled out as a primary objective, his optimism brought on by the continual advancements in battery technology.
At the beginning of this month, Kawasaki Heavy Industries officially spun off its motorcycle and engine business into a separate company. The move was supposed to give the newly formed Kawasaki Motors, Ltd., greater autonomy and flexibility in decision making. Well, it didn’t take long to demonstrate those benefits, as Kawasaki Motors held a presentation on the company’s future, including an ambitious plan to become carbon neutral, with a slate of new electric, hybrid and even hydrogen-powered models in the works.
Kawasaki says it will introduce at least 10 electric or hybrid electric motorcycles by 2025, with a goal of making all major models for developed markets battery electric vehicles (BEVs) or hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) by 2035. And that’s just looking at motorcycles. Kawasaki has similar goals for its four-wheeled off-road vehicles, with five BEV or HEV side-by-sides and ATVs by 2025. The company also showed off a prototype motor based on the Ninja’s engine that is fueled by hydrogen.
Kawasaki has been working on electric motorcycles for a while now, but has yet to bring anything to market. That will change in a big way over the next few years.
As lofty as Kawasaki’s goal is, we have to recognize it comes out of necessity, as governments all over the world have announced plans to outlaw fossil fuel-powered vehicles in the not-too-distant future (it’s no coincidence that Kawasaki’s goal of 2035 lines up with bans announced in the European Union, Canada, and California). Other manufacturers may have their own plans in the works, but for now, Kawasaki is the first to announce any details at such a scope.
Is Kawasaki’s plan ambitious? Sure. Is it achievable? We’ll have to see, but considering the parent company’s resources and its experience in alternative energy, Kawasaki might be the motorcycle manufacturer best situated to reach this goal of being carbon neutral.
Admit it. You’ve shopped for a motorcycle before and have probably thought to yourself, “what if I checked every option off the list and put it on this bike?” It would be something, wouldn’t it? To have the ultimate version of a motorcycle is the kind of thing dreams are made of. Imagine a world where you spared no expense on your bike and slapped on only the best parts money could buy. Some of us are lucky enough to see that dream become reality. Others, meanwhile, think more modestly and are just happy with the bike we have.
This story isn’t about modesty. Nor is it about frugality. Not even close. This is a story about excess bordering on opulence. The subject? Ducati’s beastly Streetfighter V4. A wild bike to begin with, we’re obviously no stranger to the Streetfighter, having ridden the stock version before. But Ducati North America have taken a Streetfighter V4, opened up the accessories catalog, and basically said “One of each, please.” Behold the fruits of their labor.
The Devil’s In The Details
I think I’m drawn to this bike because this Streetfighter doesn’t look much different from the standard bike. While some of the changes are more apparent than others, you have to look closely to notice everything. Then, of course, once you thumb the starter and bring this beast to life, it’s pretty clear this isn’t your standard ‘ol Streetfighter. Simply put, this is a Panigale V4R minus the bodywork and with a bigger engine.
I think it started when I picked up a test scooter from Honda two years ago. I read the last PCX150 MO had “tested” before the 2019 topped out at 63 mph, so I wanted to ride the new one back home to the OC from Honda’s Torrance, California, HQ without getting on I-405. The 405 is the easiest and most direct route, but also with the greatest chance of being rear-ended if you can’t do 80 mph. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been up and down I-405 and I-5 and whatever, you wouldn’t be reading this because I’d be retired. I know those freeways the way Mark Twain knew the Mississippi River. I never really saw myself living near the epicenter of a major megalopolis, but here I am 30-some years later. I must like it?2021 Honda PCX
Editor Score: 86.5%
|+ HighsTo boldly go where no MOron has gone beforeEven zippier off the line than before88 mpg||– SighsFront brake’s a tad weak and the rear’s a drumUnwanted attention from opposite sexOur bad for not getting a Yamaha SMAX for a comparo|
When I tried to ride that PCX home two years ago, I had a good idea of my no-freeways route, but had not yet mastered my Cardo Pack Talk Bold. Really all it does is tie into your phone to announce GPS directions into your helmet speakers, but I couldn’t get it to announce, and I got lost, turned around, and pissed off a couple times.
Now that I’ve mastered the Cardo – or figured out how to turn up the sound at least – nothing can stop me and the mighty PCX as the nice lady whispers directions into my ear: Left on Torrance Blvd, under the 110, L on Vermont, R on Del Amo…
Listen, you know how it is. When you gotta hear Free Bird, you gotta hear Free Bird. Or Coltrane. Or Bach. Or Keith Urban, or whatever music you roll to. When you’re rolling on your bagger at freeway speed, you’ll need a little volume. Correction: You’ll need a lot of volume. Since you’re the kind of rider that insists on high performance from anything that touches your bike, that sound had better be super-clean, tight and accurate.
That’s exactly what you’ll get with Rockford Fosgate’s new HD14-SBSUB 800-watt dual subwoofer kit for 2014 and newer Harley baggers – a system that was just introduced at Sturgis, 2021. Designed to interface with existing Rockford Fosgate TMS aftermarket motorcycle audio systems, this pair of subwoofers is engineered for easy integration and superior flexibility: An 800-watt amplifier drives a pair of premium 10-inch subwoofers in custom-tuned rotomolded enclosures that drop right into and fit perfectly in your saddlebags. Totally engineered for on-road performance and survivability under tough conditions, the true plug-and-play design of the system combined with Rockford Fosgate’s 40 years of high-end audio experience create a best-in-class, full-throttle on-bike bass experience.
A four-channel M5 Element-Ready amplifier producing 800 watts means those 10-inch high-performance woofers have no problem producing clean, tight, loud bass for as long as you can ride. Rockford Fosgate’s VAST (Vertical Attach Surround Technique) subwoofer tech increases radiating cone surface area up to 25%, and each sub is rated to handle 300 watts RMS, and 1200 watts peak power.
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.”