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Reviews

Here are the latest Ultimate Motorcycling motorcycle reviews, along with tests of all gear and parts, including jackets, helmets and tires.

2009 Harley-Davidson XR1200 | Video Preview

Born in the Dirt

Click video to see the new 2009 Harley-Davidson XR1200, now available in the U.S. The 1200cc, Evolution V-Twin engine, with precision-cooled heads, downdraft fuel injection, and performance tuned dual exhaust is here.


2009 Harley-Davidson Iron 883 | Motorcycle Preview

The Latest American Iron

Call it a Nightster 883 if you like, but the new Harley-Davidson Iron 883 definitely gives the sometimes-disparaged 883 line a tough new look.  The motorcycle is the first 883 in Harley's rebellious Dark Custom line, which includes the Cross Bones, Street Bob, Fat Bob, Night Train and, yes, the Nightster.

1979 Honda CBX | Motorcycle Review

The mid-1970s was a cruel era for Honda streetbike enthusiasts. A lack of captivating suspects in the showroom lineup had admirers of the engineering giant wistfully twisting the throttles of past glories. The powerhouse Honda CB750 Four had broken ground on a number of design fronts, but the original superbike was an aging child of the sixties. By late 1976, the once mighty roar of Honda's innovative motorcycle engineering department had been reduced to a muffled gust—at least that was the view from the street.

1952 Manx Norton | Motorcycle Review

Norton's domination at the Isle of Man during the 1930s earned their race bikes the “Manx” appellation, and by 1950, an innovative tubular steel “Featherbed” chassis further advanced the breed. Norton's two World Championship titles in 1951 reaffirmed the company's “Unapproachable Norton” slogan, though more powerful MV Agustas and Gileras would eventually depose the British brand.

2009 KTM 250 XC-F | Motorcycle Test

Off-Road Racer, Supercrosser.

One might not expect a supercross-based bike to make a great woods machine, but KTM has pulled that trick off with the 250 XC-F. Utilizing KTM’s outstanding SX-F chassis and DOHC, 4-valve, e-start motor, the XC-F works as both a single-track race bike, as well as a high-end trail bike.

2009 Aprilia RSV4 Factory | Motorcycle Preview

Max Biaggi Comments.

Every once in a while, we wait with anticipation for the arrival of a new motorcycle that exceeds our performance and design expectations. Something exotic that blankets you with intoxicating looks; something new that fills the air with a slightly different reverberating sound. So we wait patiently for information on the new Aprilia RSV4 Factory that is poised to enter World Superbike in 2009, and apparently also released to the public in the near future (2010?).

2009 Triumph Daytona 675 | Motorcycle Preview

Triple Motorcycle Gets Better.

"Triumph has taken an evolutionary approach with the Daytona by applying experience from racing in the 2008 Supersport World Championship directly to the street version of the Daytona 675," according to Jim Callahan, North American Marketing Manager for Triumph Motorcycles. "The same technology that was used so successfully on the Supersport racing machines is now available as standard equipment on the 2009 production models that are in Triumph dealers across the country right now."

1978 Ducati 900TT1 | Review

Mike Hailwood Motorcycle 

Of all the many great motorcycle race victories against the odds, the many sterling feats of skill and bravery that pack the pages of the past 100 years of TT history—in this, its Centenary year—what took place on the Isle of Man on June 3, 1978, is widely recognized as the most remarkable.

1975 MV Agusta 750S America | Motorcycle Classic

The year 1975 was a difficult one for Meccanica Verghera (MV) Agusta, the aristocratic Italian motorcycle makers. In its 30-year existence, an astounding 37 world racing championships had been won by legends such as Mike Hailwood, Phil Read and Giacomo Agostini. That year, MV Racing had no titles to show.

2008 Aprilia RXV 4.5 450 | Review

Dirt Bike Review

I took a buddy up to Hungry Valley State Motorcycle Recreation Area in California to test the Aprilia RXV 4.5 on a variety of different types of terrain—motocross, intermediate trails, sand washes, and rough single track.

Quantya electric motorcycle

2008 Quantya FMX Electric Motorcycle Review

Swiss Electric Motorcycle

Yes, it's the 21st century, but the notion of a high-performance electric dirt bike that could be as much fun to ride as, and possibly competitive with, a petrol-powered dirt bike seems to be about as real as the Tooth Fairy. I can't imagine being able to dice with a buddy on the MX track, and be able to have a conversation with him at the same time.

2009 Buell Ulysses XB12XT | Review

XB12XT Review

Balancing sporty characteristics with enough comfort to ride hundreds of miles a day, motorcycle manufacturers make a choice to design their bikes to exhibit more or less sport bike characteristics based on the intended role and target audience. Buell strikes the perfect balance with the new Ulysses XB12XT adventure sport touring motorcycle.

2009 Thunder Mountain Customs Spitfire | Motorcycle Preview

Low-necked, raked out, and sporting 50-spoke chrome wheels, Thunder Mountain Customs kicks off the new year six months early with the 2009 Spitfire motorcycle. Named after the World War II fighter plane and powered by a rubber-mounted 73 cu in Harley-Davidson Evolution V-twin mated to a 5-speed transmission, the Spitfire is designed for riders within the 5-foot to 6-foot height range.

2009 Harley-Davidson Softail Cross Bones | Motorcycle Preview

Retro Custom, Factory Production.

Released in 2008, the new Softail Cross Bones almost makes the clock stand still.  The bike's profile is that of an authentic custom bobber, a stripped-down-and-chopped custom with raw finishes. The gloss black springer front end, round air cleaner cover, sprung solo seat, half-moon rider footboards and chopped front fender follows post-war styling cues.  The adjustable two-position gold panners-style saddle stands at 26.6 inches.

1968-1971 Honda CB350 | Motorcycle Review

I pulled off the freeway feeling like I had just won the Daytona 200, though my victory was more private. A friend gave me a 1970 Honda CB350 that hadn't been started in 15 years and, with surprisingly little effort, I had it running. I couldn't fully experience the 350 on the city streets of San Jose, Calif., so I took to the freeway to give its rusty, frayed, throttle cable the stern pull it deserved.

The 350 came on with surprising strength from 6,000 to its 10,500 redline and it sounded great doing it. After my test run, I put the bike on its center stand to lube its rust-coated chain.