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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whenever I see riders in tennis shoes, I wince. Even on a bike with floorboards and heel-toe shifting, I like to wear substantial footwear. On a sport bike, that means something from Sidi, usually. But, on a cruiser, I want less flash and more attitude. The Red Wing 968 boots is a boot that relies on understated toughness to get its point across.
The year 1967 was awash in monumental events. Summer of Love bromides aside, the image of Hendrix immolating his Strat at Monterey is a visual time stamp of a convulsive year. Change and upheaval, among other things, were in the air.
Broadly, there are three areas that combine to make speed. Naturally, engine power is one and weight is another. However, few competitors outside the Bonneville Salt Flats appear to give as much thought to the third: aerodynamics. The Ecosse Spirit ES1 is a radical new concept threatening to turn motorcycle performance on its head.
"I've always been an extremist," Frenchman-turned-Floridian Christian Travert says as he swivels around in his chair and smiles. He displays 17 months of design work: 4,972 computer files with pre-production renderings of his V-Rex motorcycle. Clearly, he is extreme in his perfectionism.
The sixties were drawing to a close when promoter Edison Dye trespassed on American Hare Scrambles with a form of off-road racing he imported from Europe. Dye had convinced a number of European riders to cross the pond and compete in an exhibition series to introduce the sport to America. The sport was called Motocross and dirt biking would never again be the same Stateside. (Click image to enlarge)
Using Dainese's patented D-Skin leather—a dramatically softer cowhide treated with special wax and silicone—the Laguna Seca P.B. suit immediately feels pliable and comfortable, and its tacky surface grips the seat and other touch points well. The fit of the bi-axial elasticated panels inside my arms and at the back of my knees is excellent, and prevents that uncomfortable bunching when in a racing stance