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.
The Ducati Sport 1000 S is a paradox, simultaneously embodying a romance between history’s view of the future and the present’s fascination with a not-too-distant past.
Just when you thought Buell was caught in its own niche, forever having to produce motorcycles built around a massaged Harley-Davidson Sportster engine, up pops the all-new, Rotax-powered 2008 1125R.
From the rear, BMW’s HP2 Enduro shows just how minimalist a Boxer can be and just how much a tall, svelte and big-jugged bike can make you want to leap on board and go for a ride.
So I’m talking to Rob Egan of Brooklin Cycle Marine in Whitby, Ontario, on the last Friday of February and he tells me that he’s just getting a load of Hondas ready to take down to Daytona for media testing. Turns out that this year Honda are just taking a selection of bikes down with them so that any Canadian journos that make it down there can have a go.
Firstly, we need to get one thing straight – we are not condoning reckless riding, inappropriate speeding, dangerous riding, stunts or any other manifestation of potentially unsafe road behaviour – it’s not big and most certainly not clever.
My right hand instinctively tugs on the brake lever producing a pronounced plunge in the front-end of the Caponord. Speed is shed at a rapid rate. Too late, the cherries are lit and spinning and seconds later I’m pulled over on the shoulder of Hwy 12, with one of New York State’s finest pulling up behind me.
‘Arris had put together a team for last year’s inaugural P-D and had run the course on a KTM 640 Adventure. Even though this bike could be considered one of the best tools for the job, he came away from the event feeling like he’d been tossed into a rather large and dirty tumble dryer for sixteen hours. The idea of taking a near-500 lb vintage BMW on this ride was, in his books, a recipe for disaster.