Yamaha has launched another industry first on the FJR1300AE, its excellent supersport-tourer. A computer-operated clutch with electronic shift actuators that entirely eliminate the clutch lever means that the electric-shift five-speed transmission can make ultra-smooth gear changes using either the left bar-mounted paddles or the traditional foot-operated lever.
While the Japanese manufacturers set superbike standards with lightweight, high-horsepower production motorcycles showcasing futuristic technology developed on the racetrack, Italian bike builders created a signature niche with handmade, race-inspired motorcycles that fit like exquisitely tailored suits. But German BMW long scoffed at the crotch rocket tradition, declining to engage in such two-wheeled games. Until now. BMW has finally entered the high-speed fray with the introduction of its new K 1200 S.
Few motorcycles can claim a longer life span or more loyal following than Honda's 30-year-old flagship tourer, the Gold Wing. As I give the 2005 Honda Gold Wing a stationary once over, it becomes rapidly apparent that the fit and finish of the machine is first rate.
Tis' the season once again, and though a motorcycle electric vest would be nice, or an intercom system might bring you and your partner closer together—let's face it— nothing really says, “I love you” like a full-blown Harley-Davidson motorcycle.