The 2017 Suzuki SV650A - Measuring stick for the market segment


The Suzuki SV650/A has been the standard against which the majority of modern members of the 600 to 650cc segment can be measured, and in support of that theory, I’d like to take you back to 1999 for the introduction of the first Suzuki SV650. This trip down memory lane reveals a motorcycle with a 6545cc, liquid-cooled, eight-valve, DOHC, 90-degree V-twin in a narrow chassis that rode on a 41mm traditional Kayaba preload adjustable front fork and a non-adjustable Kayaba rear shock. It had two-piston Tokico calipers and 290mm floating rotors at the front, and a single-piston caliper squeezing a 240mm rotor at the rear.

This is all going to sound very familiar when you reference the included specifications for the 2017 Suzuki SV650/A, because those are the same specifications as the current model, with exception that the Kayaba suspension company is now called KYB and the rear suspension now being adjustable for preload, while the front forks is no longer. The 2017 Suzuki SV650/A does produce a few more horsepower, what with its dual-spark engine, revised internals, freer-flowing exhaust and electronic fuel injection.

To be fair, though, most of those changes were made to the platform over the intervening 17 model years, not exclusively for this 2017 iteration. In actuality, the outgoing Gladius is the predecessor to this new motorcycle, as it’s the one that got the majority of upgrades when it split off from the SV-DL family tree – upgrades that Suzuki SV fans had long been hoping for, but which instead went to the Gladius line.

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Rating: 5.00/5 (2 votes cast)

Budget set aside to bid for MotoGP


The cabinet on Tuesday allocated 300 million baht to pay for the right to organise MotoGP, the world's motorcycle racing championship, for three years.

The budget would be for the annual rights fee of 100 million baht for the expected organisation of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP) from 2018 to 2020, government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said. For organisational costs, the government planned to later raise a fund with the private sector.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry proposed the project as Dorna Sports Group, the rights owner, planned to increase the number of host countries of the popular championship to 21 next year from 18.

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Keep Your Riding Gear in Shape - Especially Your Helmet


The helmet is the most important piece of riding gear. It’s designed to last between five and seven years, before the outer shell gets too brittle and the expanded polystyrene (EPS) liner loses its ability to absorb impacts. Here’s how to keep your motorcycle helmet in top condition and make it last as long as possible.

If it’s been dropped or knocked, it may be cracked. If the exterior is scuffed, check the EPS behind it hasn’t collapsed. There’s not point working on a helmet that’s too badly damaged to wear.

Soak any dried-on filth or flies with wet kitchen paper-towels, then wash with a soft, clean sponge. Don’t use any solvent-based cleaner or degreasers. Dish-washing liquid is fine as long as you rinse it off well to remove any detergent.

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Chinese Made Motorcycle Imports for 2017


The year 2016 in China saw the continuing trend of declining sales domestically and a slight downturn in exports to traditionally safe Chinese markets like Latin America and Africa. This is causing more Chinese manufacturers to turn their attention to the European and American markets.

Despite the expression ‘scrambler’ not meaning what it used to a cursory look around a Chinese motorcycle exhibition will reveal that it is this type of motorcycle that is ‘trending’ at the moment. At last year’s Canton fair I approached the exhibition stand for each different manufacturer and asked them which of their models had achieved the Euro 4 certificate of conformity. After the usual replies of ‘all of them’ I asked to see a copy of the certificates and eventually the truth was revealed that only one or two models actually had a Euro 4 certificate of conformity.

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The First Modern Scooter in Production


Vespa has long been credited with creating the scooter, but a little-known American manufacturer from Nebraska may have beaten the iconic Italian brand to the punch.

The first mass-produced scooter, the Vespa, what means ‘Wasp’ in Italian, was created in 1946 by Piaggio, an Italian aircraft manufacturer. After the end of World War II, Piaggio had a surplus of landing wheels and wing panels, and gave its engineers a quirky but simple brief: ‘Develop a motorcycle which could be ridden by a woman or a priest.’ And so the step-thru scooter was born. Or was it?

Founded in 1901, Cushman Motor Works made engines for industrial and farm use. One of its first engines was a two-stroke for small boats. In about 1936 Cushman decided it could sell more engines if ti made a cheap, easy-to-use motorcycle, and the result was a scooter.

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The 2017 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Central Asia


In the coming months, competitors from around the world will begin their quest for the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Central Asia. In past years, this event has been contested in Tunisia, South Africa, Chile and Argentina, Western Canada and most recently, Thailand in 2016.

For 2017, finalists will be making their way to the vast expanses of Mongolia, where organizers will no doubt present a host of grueling challenges, testing all to their limits. As of this writing, over 15 national teams had been confirmed for the championship round in Mongolia, and that number is sure to grow.

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The Kriega Urban Messenger Bag - Fashion and Functionality


The Kriega Urban Messenger bag combines fashion with functionality. It’s easy to put on and take off, even when fully kitted up. It looks great on the motorcycle, is hard wearing and also has a completely waterproof main compartment, meaning I don’t have to worry about my stuff getting drenched if I get caught in a storm.

The shoulder strap is easy to adjust and is very comfortable, and can be worn on either shoulder depending on the preference of the rider. There is also a detachable waist strap that will stop the bag from flapping around behind you at speed, however I hardly ever use it as the weight of my notebook keeps the bag in place very well.

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2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750 - Another Budget but Sportier 750 V-twin


It is almost two years ago that Harley-Davidson reintroduced the Street Rod name, which last appeared on a V-Rod-derived motorcycle in 2007. But we could not expect the new generation Street Rod to be quite like this.

Far from being a muscular, high-performance Harley-Davidson sitting near the top of the range, the new Harley-Davidson Street Rod is an entry-level machine based around the water-cooled Harley-Davidson Street 750.

Racking a High Output version of the Revolution X 750cc engine, with 18 percent more power (about 50kW at 8,750rpm) and torque up eight percent compared to the regular Harley-Davidson Street 750, the H-D Street Rod will be one of Harley’s least expensive machines.

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Rating: 2.50/5 (2 votes cast)

The Pirelli Diablo Rosso III - Leading Edge of Tire Technology


Pushing a motorcycle to its limits, or even its perceived limits, depends on the confidence you have in the machine, and to perhaps an even greater extent, the tires. Most sporting road riders will choose the ‘stickest’ tires they can get, whether their riding ability is good enough to actually use that ‘stickiness’ or not. ‘Confidence is everything’ they say, and that’s pretty much spot on.

If confidence plays such a big part in a rider’s tire choice, it usually comes in part due to the ‘name’ the tire brand has. Pirelli has been in the tire game for over 100 years, and really, brand names in tire technology do not get much bigger than Pirelli. I can go back to when I started riding big bikes, when the Pirelli Phantom, especially the Silver Dot Phantom was the tire to have. The Italian company has produced pretty good sporting road tires since then, and the Diablo Rosso III I have tested is probably one of the best sports road tires I have ever used.

Rosso means red in Italian, and as the national motor racing color for Italy is the color red, then it matches the ability of the Pirelli Diablo Rosso III. It’s not a race tire though, it was never designed to be. Like the original Rosso from about 17 years ago the Diablo Rosso II, the Diablo Rosso III is primarily a supersport road tire, capable of doing a track day. In the hands of a professional racer it’s probably capable of much more than that.

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Rating: 4.00/5 (1 vote cast)

2017 WorldSSP Thailand - Chang International Circuit


GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team's Federico Caricasulo scored his first 2017 FIM World Supersport Championship race win with the all-new YZF-R6 after a dramatic 17-lap World SSP race at the Chang International Circuit. In the second round of the series, in a race that featured very high track and air temperatures, teammate Lucas Mahias looked set for a podium finish of his own but experienced a technical issue early on and had to retire. Two other Yamaha R6 machines scored podium finishes, in the hands of wildcard Decha Kraisart and privateer Niki Tuuli.

Intense heat in the build up to the WorldSSP race led to intense competition on track, in a race where three Yamahas finally completed the top three podium positions.

Starting from seventh place and the third row of the grid Caricasulo continued his upward trend of improving competitiveness through the weekend right into the race itself. Involved in a fight or the podium from the very first lap, he took the lead on lap 11, after long time leader Jules Cluzel retired, then never looked back in his determination to win after his first round no-score in Australia.

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Rating: 3.00/5 (1 vote cast)
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Poll

How many times have you crashed your motorcycle in the last three years?

  •  Never
  •  Once
  •  Twice
  •  Three times
  •  Four times
  •  Five times
  •  More than 6 times
  •  More than 10 times
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