▲ Some folks are not backward about going forward. And some—such as Kawasaki—are not backward about going backward. That's the philosophy underpinning the forthcoming 2018 998cc Z900RS. It's yesterday's bike, tomorrow, and it makes us wonder if this unashamed retro has any forward gears at all. But for all the obvious in-yer-face Z9 cues, it looks pretty good and is bound to sell well to the lovers of the legend. An inverted front fork, radial brakes, and LED lights and blinkers are on the cards. And maybe we'll see around 124bhp with 72lbs-ft (98Nm) of torque at the driving end. That's the expectation anyway. But we won't know until the Big K releases the bike later this month (October 2017). See: Kawasaki Z900, August 2017
2018 Honda Gold Wing
Younger riders; that's largely the demographic targeted by Honda with its new and "completely redesigned" Gold Wing for 2018. And that makes sense because we're all getting older, which means that the bikes feel correspondingly heavier, and that's bound to negatively impact sales. So in order to revitalise this long-serving luxury mile-muncher, around 56kg has been hacked from the new base model bringing the all-up weight down to around 365kg (803lbs). Meanwhile, the Tour model wallops the scales at between 370kg (814lbs) and 383kg (842lbs) depending on whether you opt for the standard Tour, or the Tour with the DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) option. Take note, however, that slightly differing weights will apply due to local market equipment requirement/choice.
Harley-Davidson profits fall
Milwaukee's most famous son has been talking big recently. The firm has announced its intention to manufacture 100 new models over the next 10 years—which isn't actually that impressive when you think about it. Why not? Because Harley-Davidson is apt to slap on a new paint job and shift the foot controls this way or that way and then call that a new model. And that ain't exactly what we'd call it. However, that isn't the real story here. That's just the context. The real story is about Harley-Davidson's operating profits fall which shows that for the third quarter of 2017 (July, August, September), profits slumped 45.8% when compared to the same three months in 2016. In hard cash, that's down from $114.1 million to just £68.2 million. [More...]
Honda Neo Sports Café
Honda Motorcycles has been playing around in the concept pit again and has produced this Neo Sports Café roadster. The bike has just been revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show, and it looks like something we've seen a thousand times before—albeit with the usual Honda flourishes. If this motorcycle is ever manufactured, a few things will no doubt have to be changed or included, such as the rear mudguard hanger which is conspicuous here by its absence. Mirrors will also be required. Ditto possibly for some form of grab handle. The exhaust, as it stands, might fall foul of the legislators. And we see one or two other areas that will perhaps have to be modified/toned-down for real-world road use. [More...]
2018 Ducati Monster 821
300,000 Monsters and counting. That's how many of these iconic motorcycles are claimed by Ducati to have been built.
Well, for 2018 the production line will be getting a boost with the new 821 Monster which will be officially launched at the EICMA Show between 7th - 12th November. In most respects, the newcomer looks much like the current 821 model. If you squint and squat, that is. But there are significant differences revealing that Ducati has been listening carefully to customer feedback and has been tweaking this bike appropriately.
2018 KTM Freeride E-XC
One and a half hours in the saddle before the battery croaks might not sound much. But if you're riding this second generation bike the way it's designed to be ridden, you'll be glad when that electric 90 minutes comes to a sputtering end. This is the 2018 Freeride E-XC, or "Electric Cross Country" if you want to see it that way, and KTM has just released the details. Apparently, thanks to a new KTM PowerPack there's a maximum of 10-kW to be screwed from the motor with a claimed 50 percent capacity hike. The bike is fitted with a WP Xplor 43 inverted front fork ("with enhanced sensitivity") coupled to a WP PDS Xplor shock absorber ("with improved progression and adjustment options"). The seat height is "just" 900mm (35.4-inches) which sounds suspiciously like nosebleed territory, but KTM Kowboys are no doubt used to these altitudes and probably even dispense with the oxygen. [More...]
Triumph Tiger Tramontana
It's been dubbed "The Road into Hell", and with 40-degrees centigrade temperatures, baking sand, thousands of square miles of hostile desert, a growing terrorist threat and a lot of headshaking in the UK Foreign Office, the 1,242 mile, 5-day Panafrica Rally across Eastern Morocco isn't exactly everyone's idea of a fun excursion. But that didn't stop Triumph Motorcycles fielding a highly modified Tiger 800XC.
Developed over six months, a team of Triumph experts cobbled together this motorcycle, the features of which include longer suspension travel, revised body panels, improved guards, a modified sub-frame, lightweight headlights, a custom screen and dozens of other, more subtle mods to bring the weight inboard and rebalance the riding package. [More...]
Click the link for: September 2017 motorcycle news from Sump
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This the second edition of these Bobber T-shirts, and they're different from edition one which were printed on grey. Why the change? Well, we received numerous email enquiries asking if we had these tees on black. So eventually we relented and changed the colour (ya gotta keep the customer satisfied, are we right?). Anyway, these shirts sell fast. The new batch is here, but they won't last long. To get yours while it's going, click on the image or the button below. You never know when the production fairy will call it a day...
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