Triumph Bonneville Bobber

Top Speed Motorcycles


Ever since I got my first glimpse of the Triumph Bonneville Bobber at the Milan show I’ve been eager to get to know it a little better. This was my absolute favorite bike at the show, which is saying something considering everything else that was happening. Now that all the metrics are known, I gotta’ say that my enthusiasm seems to have been justified. A 1200 cc plant pushes the classic-looking frame that, much like Harley-Davidson’s Softail, comes built to look like an old hard-tail. The result is a modern ride with very deep roots that can be traced back to the Speed Twin 5T of the late ’30s. There are plenty of other little historical touches here and there, and though this is no replica piece, it can serve as a sort of rolling museum. Today, I’m going to delve into this collection of Easter eggs and see what all Trumpet has in store for us with this petite little nostalgicruiser.

Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Bonneville Bobber.



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What Motorcycle Would Santa Use On Christmas Eve?

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Let’s imagine Al Gore was right; Manbearpig and global warming are real and the EPA has declared unrestricted war on both. Extensive studies indicate that reindeer flatulence is a significant contributor to the worldwide greenhouse-gas totals, and the EPA used some its newly-acquired firepower to strike a blow against reindeer farts for the sake of mankind. As you can imagine, this leaves ol’ Kris Kringle in a bit of a pickle what with Christmas upon us, so what’s a guy to do?

Continue reading for our picks for Santa’s solution.



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Vanguard Roadster

Top Speed Motorcycles


Straight out of the Brooklyn Navy Yard comes the newest threat to the U.S-based, concept-bike market; the “Roadster” by Vanguard Moto, Inc. This is the first of three planned models, with a “Racer” and “Cruiser” just over the horizon, and what I’m seeing so far is quite impressive. Not only is this a pure-D cool looking ride, it comes with a digital pedigree that is almost unique in the full-size smoker-bike category having been largely designed in the electronic medium through CAD and 3-D printing technology.

This is a big step for would-be bike manufacturers, because it allows for relatively rapid design and production with a small team of engineers and workers, perfect for startups and builders looking to keep a small footprint. Edward Jacobs, formerly of Confederate Cycle, is the chief engineer and designer for the company with Francois-Xavier Terny serving as CEO and supply/logistics support, and this dynamic duo has created something truly unique under the sun.

Continue reading for my look at the Vanguard Roadster.



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Ducati Multistrada 950

Top Speed Motorcycles


Since it came out back in ’03, Ducati’s Multistrada family has gotten a lot of love from the riding community. It’s seen a number of upgrades and engine changes over the years, and the new-for-2017 “950” serves as the smallest Multistrada model this year. I wouldn’t call this an entry-level bike by any means, but it is the most accessible of Ducati’s multi-bikes, and thus is likely to help bridge the gap for folks looking to test the adventure-bike waters as it were. A 937 cc Testastretta powerplant drives the ride with 100-plus horsepower on tap and a host of safety-related features bundled in with the Ducati Safety Pack. Today I want to check out this newest bit of Ducatisti bait, and see how the genre has continued to evolve.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Multistrada 950.



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Vanguard Roadster Preview

Top Speed Motorcycles


There’s a new kid in town, and everybody’s talking. Vanguard joins the ranks of small American manufacturers, such as the Arch Motorcycle Company and Confederate Motors, that make premium-priced works of rolling art. Based out of New York City, Vanguard revealed the first of its proposed lineup to be available for sale at the Progressive IMS in New York this year where it quickly became a crowd favorite.

Behold the “Roadster,” Vanguard’s futuristic, stripped-down ride that combines a somewhat cafe’ racer-ish design with some very next-gen looking features and ambitious structure. A monocoque assembly forms the bike with a seat/tank/front-end section and a drivetrain/swingarm section held together by four stanchions, with no sort of traditional frame structure to speak of. Vanguard passed on the traditional fenders as well and replaced them with...nothing at all. Cool as that looks, I wouldn’t want to get caught out in the weather, just sayin’.

Continue reading for more on the Vanguard Roadster.



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KTM Recalls 5,812 Units For Brake Failure

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At the end of November, KTM filed a report with the NHTSA over concerns with an apparent problem with its brake systems. Turns out, part of the wiring harness is prone to fraying, and if the frazzled strands of wire contact the ABS modulator, it can heat up and melt the brake line resulting in sudden and complete loss of braking power. Needless to say, this is definitely a safety-related recall and affected owners should deal with it post haste.

This problem affects a spread of models and years to include the 1190 Adventure and Adventure R models built between November 20th , 2012 through April 25th of 2016. The 1290 Super Adventure is affected as well with models built between December 1st, 2014, through March 10th, 2016. That’s a pretty big spread folks, and hard to believe it didn’t rear its head before now, so I’m guessing it isn’t a widespread problem and the factory is erring on the side of caution.

Continue reading for more information on the KTM recall.



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Ural M70

Top Speed Motorcycles


When I see one of these Ural bikes, it conjures the image of a soldier in an old WWII movie cruising across the French countryside with a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread in the sidecar on his way to see his girl. Of course, there’s the other image of the soldier careening down the road dodging exploding shells as he races to get a vital message to headquarters.

The look of these bikes is nostalgic and romantic (or heroic, depending on which image they bring to your mind); but either way, it’s the classic look of a bygone time. For the M70, it’s a classic look, yes, but that’s where old-school ends and modern engineering begins.

Continue reading to see my review of the Ural M70.



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KYMCO Super 8

Top Speed Motorcycles


The Kwang Yang Motor Co. has been around for a while now. If you wonder why you don’t recognize it as one of the “old guard” of scooter production, that’s because it didn’t market under its own name until 1992, but in fact the company started out in 1963 as a parts manufacturer for Honda. So, don’t discount Kymco as just another Johnny-come-lately scooter factory, ’cause it is anything but.

KYMCO maintains a prominent presence in the Grand National Cross Country Series, a grueling off-road racing circuit that hosts long courses over a variety of rugged terrains, and serves as a sort of trial-by-fire for both rider and machine. If that isn’t a testament to quality, I don’t know what is. We lose the "R" siblings going into the new year, but let’s take a look and see how well KYMCO’s race prowess transitions to the scooter sector with its 2017 Super 8 model family.

Continue reading for more information on the KYMCO Super 8.



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Kawasaki Versys 650 / Versys 650 LT / Versys 1000 LT

Top Speed Motorcycles


Introduced to the U.S. market in 2008, the Versys stable doesn’t really fit into any one slot. Sharing design elements with adventure tourers, sportbikes and standard bikes, the Versys makes its own class of versatile commuter/weekender/tourer/grocery-getter bikes. Unless you want an all-out go-fast bike, the Versys lineup has a little something for everyone.

Newly available in the U.S. market from 2015, the Versys 1000 LT joins the 650 and 650 LT in the Versys stable. All-around getting some attention from Kawasaki, the Versys 650 gets a little up-tweak with a windscreen and a little power boost for more cruise-ability and overall comfort.

Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Versys 650, Versys 650 LT and Versys 1000 LT.



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Ural cT

Top Speed Motorcycles


The Ural cT, a stripped down version of its Ural brothers, is a base model on which you can build your own sidecar bike. Designed for easier handling for new sidecar enthusiasts, the cT comes without accessories such as a spare tire, passenger grab handles, rear fender rack, tool bag, air pump, rubber trunk floor mat or knee grips. Keep it clean or customize it with a whole slew of accessories from your Ural dealer.

Whether clean or accessorized, once out on the street you’ll find out in quick order what Ural riders call "UDF." Who couldn’t resist stopping to admire one of these awesome sidecar bikes with their vintage look? That’s where "UDF" will get you every time you leave the house on your cT. "UDF" — Ural Delay Factor — is the extra time you’ll need to add to your trip to account for the folks who want to talk to you about what you’re riding.

Continue reading my review of the Ural cT



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