Electric News

Top Speed Motorcycles


No matter where you fall on electric vehicles, there can be no doubt that they are coming, and the pressure to accept the inevitable is mounting. Two fresh signs of the smoker-bike apocalypse have arrived in two very different forms. First off we have a new, sportbike-based electric commuter from Evoke that’s headed to U.S. shores for the summer of ’17. And secondly, I’m pleased to announce that MotoGP EV racing may soon be a reality.

Continue reading for more on the electric bikes.



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Yamaha Zuma 125

Top Speed Motorcycles


Introduced in 2011, Yamaha’s Zuma 125 provides a viable alternative to the old-fashioned, ’60s-style scooter prevalent from the Italian manufacturers, and those who would try to garner a slice of that market. A modern shape and revised chassis carries the four-stroke fuel-injected engine in a spiffy little scooter that — with upwards of 100+ mpg — makes a capable commuter or errand-runner.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha Zuma 125.



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Zero Issues Recall On MY17 S, DS and FXS Models

Top Speed Motorcycles


Zero has identified a problem with its 2017 S, DS and FXS models, and although the issue spans three different model ranges, the overall number of affected vehicles is relatively low at only 61 units total in North America. According to the report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Hydraulic Control Unit that works in conjunction with the ABS may have been programmed with the wrong vehicle information. This would cause potential loss of control if the HCU meters the level of ABS intervention based on erroneous info. In short, the ABS makes you more likely to have a wreck, not less. Ironic? I’ll not climb on my soapbox about rider crutches, but just point out that this is exactly what I mean when I talk about someone taking your crutch and beating you with it. ’Nuff said.

Continue reading for more information on the Zero recall.



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Inaugural Women's Motorcycle Expo

Top Speed Motorcycles


It’s safe to say that women riders are one of the fastest-growing groups in the two-wheel field, and that they are, traditionally, under-represented in the protective and practical riding gear markets. No, high-heel pillion boots do not qualify as such, in case you were wondering. Though you can find plenty of hoochie-mama apparel and a smattering of real gear at almost any large event, there’s never been an event that caters specifically to serious riders of the fairer sex; until now. Introducing the first ever, “Revved-Up Women’s Motorcycle Rally,” an all-weekend event at the end of April centered around the needs of female riders with opportunity for new riders, and even potential ones, to learn more about the lifestyle in a safe environment. I am so excited about this event.

Continue reading for more information on the rally.



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Polaris Issues Recall On Slingshot

Top Speed Motorcycles


Polaris Industries Inc. is issuing a recall on select MY17 Slingshot models, to include the SL and SLR variants as well as the base model. The factory has discovered that the torque applied to certain fasteners within the steering system may not have been as high as one might have hoped. Consequently, the steering may not perform as expected, and that could lead to an unsafe driving condition or even a crash.

Continue reading for more on the Slingshot recall.



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Piaggio News O' Plenty

Top Speed Motorcycles


Sit up and pay attention, folks. We have some news from the Catawiki auction site. It seems that the world’s oldest Vespa is up for grabs. Owner Ruote-Da-Sogno has its 1946 “Serie 0” Vespa on the block. Not only is this the oldest, working-condition Vespa in the world, but it comes from a 60-unit, pre-production run so it started out as a rare bird to begin with. The age just makes it even more valuable as evidenced by the almost $175,000 bidding price at the time of this writing. Estimates by the auctioneer place the anticipated sale price at something between $268,000 and $348,000, and we still have a few days left — expect those bids to creep up significantly before this is done. This here is the real deal folks. Hand-beaten body panels work with the hand-soldered frame for an authenticity and craftsmanship you just can’t find nowadays. This awesome opportunity to own a rare, old Vespa is timely as it corresponds with Piaggio’s 130th anniversary.

Continue reading for more from Piaggio on its 130th anniversary.



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Suzuki GSX250R

Top Speed Motorcycles


After years of bigger/better/faster, many of the world’s top sportbike manufacturers took a step back and expanded downward into the pocket-rocket displacements. It’s unclear whether this was a response to a growing demand for small-engine sportbikes, or if the Powers-That-Be decided that manageable, entry-level trainers were needed to keep the kids from getting in over their heads right out of the gate, but that all the big names are coming out with 250-300 cc versions of their proven, big-bore bikes is a certainty. Suzuki jumps on that bandwagon with its GSX250R, a sportbike with all the genetic markers of the Katana family, and exactly what one would expect from one of the Big Four. All-new for 2018, the 250R is set to enter the race to the bottom, so without further ado, let’s see what all Suzuki has going on with this crotch-rocket trainer.

Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki GSX250R.



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Piaggio Fly 50 / Fly 150

Top Speed Motorcycles


On the campus, in the gated community or in an urban area, it’s hard to go wrong with a 50 cc or a 150 cc scooter for running errands or generally getting around. Piaggio is happy to accommodate you with its Fly duo. On 12-inch wheels with all the usual storage a scooter can boast, the Fly 50 and Fly 150 carry a petite 1.7-ish gallon fuel tank; but with 100+ mpg in fuel economy, that little tank takes you far.

Continue reading for my review of the Piaggio Fly 50 and Fly 150.



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Piaggio Typhoon 50 / Typhoon 125

Top Speed Motorcycles


Does it look familiar? It should. Overseas the Typhoon is marketed under the Gilera brand — another of Piaggio groups — with a two-stroke engine. Here it’s the Typhoon 50 and its big brother, the Typhoon 125, under the Piaggio banner with four-stroke engines.

With its sport styling, the Typhoon is a little, lightweight scooter with some off-road prowess — maybe not off-road off-road, but at least a little rugged-dirt-road capable. That shark-nose front fairing gives it a bit of the sport-bike aggressive appeal but with the convenience of a scooter.

Continue reading for my review of the Piaggio Typhoon 50 and Typhoon 125.



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SYM Fiddle III 200i

Top Speed Motorcycles


The Sanyang Motor Company is one of the largest Asian scooter manufacturers, and it produces well over half-a-million vehicles a year to include scooters, four-wheeler ATVs and even does some outsource work for Hyundai building cars and minitrucks. Yet, we don’t hear as much about SYM as we do some of the others like Honda, BMW and Piaggio/Vespa. I chalk that up to exposure and advertising, which is a shame since the Taiwan-based manufacturer has a lot to offer. Take, for instance, the Fiddle III 200i, one of SYM’s mid-range models that boasts hybrid-retro looks and modern performance with an accessible price tag.

Continue reading for my review of the SYM Fiddle III 200i.



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