In part one we gave each test rider the opportunity to put in their two cents about the scoot that they had picked up and were effectively in charge of. In part two, let’s take a closer look at how the scoots stacked up against each other.
Which bikes do you put three unknowns onto? The last thing (contrary to track record) that we want at CMG is to crash bikes, and the idea of a gaggle of pumped up and excited new test riders on anything fast and sporty spelled trouble.
The shock of seeing the MT-01 doesn’t lessen when you examine it more closely. What’s with the huge air-cooled pushrod engine mated to a modern aluminum beam frame? The high-spec fully adjustable forks and shock unit? Then there’s the two huge bazooka-like mufflers exit way high – above the turn signals high – and the snaking contortion of the exhausts is a pipe-builder’s nightmare.
You can call the Vision the world’s first real touring cruiser – a cruiser as seriously built for touring as a Honda Goldwing – very different than a cruiser that has been accessorized for touring.
The 2007 KTM 990 Super Duke has the angular good looks of an Austrian super-villain who, as well as setting his sights on world domination has engaged in a vendetta on your driver’s license.
Getting off the old KLR650 and jumping on the ‘08 version, differences are major and immediately noticeable.
Has it really been 20 years since the CBR600 F1 heralded a new dawn in the world of 600cc sportbikes? The answer would be yes, but the original F1 — and for that matter, most of the resultant F series — managed to combine leading-edge performance with reasonable comfort, and good street manners to boot.
Taking on the likes of Honda’s venerable ST1300, Yamaha’s acclaimed FJR1300 or BMW’s luxurious K1200GT is by no means an easy feat, but after a couple of days in the saddle of Kawasaki’s all-new 2008 Concours 14, I can vouch for the fact that the class now counts one more option, and a truly impressive one at that.
I’m bouncing off the rev limiter of Honda’s brand new CBR at the end of the main straight at Miami’s Homestead race track. I’m in sixth gear and corner one is almost upon me.
Because it believes it is its duty to stay at the forefront of design in the custom world, Harley-Davidson decided it would nonetheless take the challenge and introduce its own chopper for 2008, the all-new Rocker.