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.
Back in 1972, Jenny Lefferts' dad's ideal summer vacation was to take his VW Bus, pack in the family and take a road trip. Sounds a bit like National Lampoon's 'Vacation' with Clark Griswald… so it might have been that Jenny’s dad often got lost.
One of great things about Icon, is that much of the apparel they looks cool on whatever you're riding--from a sport bike to a cruiser (especially one with a sporting bent). The Merc Leather Hero jacket fits into that category, even with its distinctive rubberized logos from performance companies such as Dunlop, Ohlins, Motul, NGK and Vortex. The simple, classic styling that serves as a backdrop for your "sponsors" is what makes the Hero work on a variety of bikes.
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.
For two of our recent off-road tests--2007 Yamaha WRs (April/May 2007 issue) and 2008 Kawasaki KLR650 (in our August/September 2007 issue)--we were outfitted with Shift Racing off-road apparel.
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?
The Honda Rider's Club of America (HRCA) announced today that tickets for its special hospitality area at the 2007 Red Bull USGP at Laguna Seca are going fast. Only current card-carrying HRCA Members are eligible to purchase the exclusive Turn 5 Chalet tickets.
HONDA'S ACCESSORY DEPARTMENT CREATES A BAGGER
When presented with the Honda Genuine Accessories bagger version of the new-for-'07 Shadow Spirit 750 C2, I will admit I wasn't all that excited. Every time I've gotten on a touring bike it seemed too big, too heavy, and a bit unwieldy. At the same time, this mini-bagger didn't seem too big when I sat on it, and I certainly wasn't concerned about it being too powerful, so I wasn't sure what to expect. As it turned out, my rides on the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom reminded me that an open mind is a good thing.
I can admit it without apology--I love the look of the Harley-Davidson springer front suspension. When it comes to establishing a retro styling for a motorcycle, a pair of external springs in the vicinity of the steering stem is tough to beat. Never mind that Harley rediscovered the springer in 1988 after a 40-year hiatus; the exploitatively mechanical front suspension has tremendous nostalgia-invoking power.
Naked SportBike, All Dressed Up
Does it surprise one for a moment that the champion of streetfighters comes from the country that originated hooliganism? That English heritage dates back to the 19th century, and is both a mark and a badge. While we decidedly pass on the destructive behavior, getting a little rowdy with the throttle inevitably seems to come with the territory when riding this particular high-performance motorcycle.
For many of us, the Harley-Davidson alphabet code is a bewildering thicket of consonants. FLSTSC collides with VRSCDX, causing reasonably intelligent minds to buckle. Amid the clutter, one acronym has become a familiar badge of exclusivity in the Harleyverse since 1999; the SE, or Screamin' Eagle designation, is assigned to those machines produced by Harley-Davidson's elite Custom Vehicle Operations unit. CVO is the Motor Company's Special Ops, Chrome Division. Milwaukee's Delta Force of Soul.