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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.

2007 KTM 990 Super Duke | Motorcycle Review

The traditional orange livery of KTM says it all. It isn't a posh Hermès orange or a trendy mid-century citrus. Rather, it is a shade that recalls highway workers clad in DOT-approved reflective garb. The color is all function with a dismissive nod to form, which is fitting, as the Austrian manufacturer has spent the last 73 years building durable off-road bikes better suited to pavement-free adventures than aggressive urban jaunts.
2007 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom Review

2007 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom | Review

Vulcan 900 Review

Well, this one almost slipped by us. When Kawasaki announced the new-for-'07 Vulcan 900 Custom, it's safe to say that there wasn't a staff-wide arm wrestling sudden-death tournament to determine who got to ride it first. But, at Kawasaki's urging that I was really missing something, I skeptically agreed to give the 900 Custom a shot. Really, how exciting could a sub-liter metric cruiser be?

2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000 | Superbike Review

Continued Domination

Suzuki's GSX-R lineup changed the world upon its debut. Well, the motorcycling world anyway. Launched (literally) in 1985/86, the first year saw the debut of a blue-and-white 750cc machine. Radically different from anything up until then, it matched a stunningly light weight with a high horsepower engine and a racer's ergonomics. In 1987, Suzuki brought forth a sibling--the 1100cc version complete with electronic anti-dive suspension and even more power.

2007 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 SE | Motorcycle Review

Long-Term Motorcycle Test

Chalk one up for the power of the Internet. After learning I'd be the lucky long term tester of a 2007 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14, I immediately logged on to the manufacturer's website to become better acquainted with my options before embarking upon what will hopefully be a beautiful relationship with the “it” bike of speed fanatics everywhere. Months ago, I enjoyed quality time with a “Passion Red” 2006 ZX-14, which led me to wonder what sort of styling cues might befit its extraordinary performance capabilities.

2008 Kawasaki Concours 14 | Motorcycle Preview

Kawasaki Concours 14

A common observation our test riders have when getting off the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14 is that the long-legged, big-hearted beast would make an outstanding platform for a high-velocity, long-distance sport touring steed. Clearly, enthusiasts in Kawasaki's engineering and marketing departments had the same idea. Thus, we are presented with the 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14.

2007 Victory Vegas 8-Ball | Motorcycle Review

American V-Twin

Think of Victory Motorcycles and lean, flashy cruisers immediately leap to mind. The “other” American motorcycle company has been diligently carving out its identity since 1997 by providing forward-looking alternatives to the perceived stodginess of its Milwaukee-bred competition. Bold graphics, gleaming chrome flanks and the towering silhouettes of Arlen and Cory Ness lending the company line a bit of their bold custom DNA have become hallmarks of the Victory brand.

2007 Buell Lightning Super TT

2007 Buell Lightning Super TT | Motorcycle Review

Buell Super TT

Buell has an enviable skill of making the most of limited resources. The company clearly isn't set to make each machine completely unique and independent, so they carefully peruse the parts bin to come up with something "new" and interesting. Case in point is the Lightning Super TT, a streetfighter/supermoto hybrid that delivers much more than you might expect at first consideration.

Yamaha R6 Graves Motorsports | Motorcycle Review

Fraternal Twins

In the stillness of a high desert afternoon, we can hear the Yamaha YZF-R6 clearly as it makes a test run toward us. Considering the bike is still at some distance, the high-pitched wail cuts through the air with amazing clarity, and the gearshifts come in quick succession as the 599cc engine rips through the top end of its rev range in each gear. Close-ratio transmissions make that possible, and they are invariably fitted to high-revving engines, where the power band is comparatively narrow and crowded into the top end of the engine's usable rev range.

2007 Yamaha C3 | Motor Scooter Preview

Seasoned riders will remember the Cushman scooters that inexpensively transported people and cargo from the 1930s until the mid-'60s. Yamaha has tapped the spirit of the Cushman for its all-new 2007 C3, which is something of a replacement for the best-selling Zuma scooter, as the friendly two-stroke has fallen victim to EPA emissions regulations. Christened the C3 (cargo cubed) due to its nine gallons of cubic storage space, the scooter is powered by a fuel-injected, three-valve, SOHC, air-cooled 49cc motor.

2007 BMW R 1200 R | Motorcycle Review

BMW R1200R

As dated as the air-cooled boxer twin motor may seem to the unconverted, BMW certainly feels there's a bit more that can be squeezed out of the configuration it debuted in the 1920s, even as we settle into the 21st century. Certainly, no one can argue that BMW hasn't successfully updated the concept. As tuned for the new R 1200 R upright Roadster, the flat twin now boasts four valves per cylinder, electronic fuel injection and 1170cc.

2007 Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 | Motorcycle Preview

Gran Turismo for the 21st Century. 

Moto Guzzi is once more taking the plunge into the fully faired sport touring market with the new Norge 1200. Powered by Guzzi's traditional transversely mounted air-cooled, two-valve, pushrod motor, the 1133cc Norge is a grand touring bike, with the expected accoutrements—a 6-speed transmission with shaft drive, 6-gallon fuel tank, electronically adjustable windshield, ABS and dual saddlebags.

2007 Victory Kingpin Tour | Motorcycle Review

Non-conformity ain't what it used to be. Harley-Davidson motorcycles spent decades holding the torch for rebel outlaws and angry young men, but the world—and the motorcycle universe—is a different place in 2007. Now favored by weekend warriors with disposable income, Harley's evolving demographic has cast the Motor Company in a more mainstream light. At the same time, there is a migration of riders from pure cruisers to touring cruisers.

2007 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy | Review

World War II Styling

Harley-Davidson fired a 1340cc silver bullet into the marketplace when it introduced the Softail Fat Boy in 1990. Crafted as a high-caliber response to the low-cost Japanese imports that swamped the U.S. market, the imposing “Gray Ghost”—with its metallic paint, winged USAF-inspired tank logo and solid disc wheels—made a muscular and unapologetically American statement. It helped Harley-Davidson recapture the sales leader mantle in the 750cc-and-up heavyweight division.

MotoCzysz C1 | Review

Michael Czysz Prototype

Several years ago, the motorcycling ether was finely misted with intriguing rumors of a man in Oregon embarking on the daunting task of creating a new American motorcycle. Industry press and curious enthusiasts ruminated on what the machine might be.

2007 Aprilia – Husqvarna – KTM | Achievement in Design

With motocrossers' designs in a maturation phase, the big changes in the dirt are happening off the closed courses. These three bikes reflect that reality.