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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  • Currently 3.33/5
Rating: 3.33/5 (9 votes cast)

The Suzuki VanVan 200 - The Beach Boy is Back and Stronger


The Suzuki VanVan 200 – a small, powered by a single-cylinder 200cc, air-cooled engine, lustrous, faintly ridiculous, massively entertaining and attractive package of fat-wheeled fun and joy.

There is not hint of artifice here, from the fuel tank shape and candy-colored paint, so the fat tires, single headlight and speedo, mini ape-hanger handlebars and wide over-upholstered banana seat, it fair bloody screams Seventies ’chopper bike’. It was desirable and well-found then, and so it is today.

Of course the Suzuki VanVan is not completely new for Thailand, we already had the VanVan 125, but with the Suzuki VanVan 200 and the extra performance the motorcycle finally has become the fun bike it always wanted to be.

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  • Currently 2.75/5
Rating: 2.75/5 (8 votes cast)

The 2003 BMW F650GS Dakar as Secondhand Adventure Bike


The BMW F650GS Dakar is the best choice, and the most comfortable when sticking to the road with just a dash of gravel.

Despite bearing the Dakar name the BMW F650GS Dakar offers a much softer approach to single-cylinder trail bikes. It’s the adventure version of the standard GS, and comes with a Dakar paintjob, taller screen and seat, spoked wheels and longer suspension.

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  • Currently 3.23/5
Rating: 3.23/5 (13 votes cast)

The New 2017 Suzuki GSX-S750 - Made in Japan Inline-Four


The new 2017 Suzuki GSX-S750 is basically a restyled GSR750. Yes, it gains new suspension, wheels, swingarm and radial brakes. True, it now boasts three-stage traction control and ABS. And okay, the engine modifications have seen its power boosted by 8 horsepower and a bit of character has been injected thanks to internal tweaks and a new airbox.

But it is still all based around the engine of the GSX-750 K5. Clearly the big question is: why aren’t Suzuki moving on? The Suzuki GSX-S750 is not bad at all, in fact it’s very pleasant, but it just feels a bit like we’ve seen it before.

When you ride the Suzuki GSX-S750 there is very little to criticize. Compared with the lacklustre GSR750 the modified engine feels and sounds livelier. It’s a solid performer with a good throttle connection and a wide spread of torque with a bit of pleasing top end zing. If you are into inline fours, it won’t disappoint. But by the same token it doesn’t really excite either, certainly not in the same way as the Yamaha MT-09 triple does.

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  • Currently 3.50/5
Rating: 3.50/5 (6 votes cast)

The 2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber


When you have the Triumph Bonneville Bobber to ride around, not much else matters. In case you are wondering, yes, it adds to the Bonnie range, but no, it’s not just a skin job. The Triumph Bobber gets a new frame and suspension and the 1200cc engine is in a different state of tune, although shared with the Bonneville T120. It is a motorcycle to like at first glance, the stripped-down styling and loads of exquisite detailing makes the Triumph Bobber arguably the best-looking Triumph Bonneville at the moment. We’ve seen Triumph pretty much master these modern classics, but with the Bonneville Bobber, they’ve managed to take it a step further.

Among other things, the floating single seat catches your eye first. And apart from looking cool, with its brushed aluminum seat pain, it also manages functionality like allowing for 30mm of adjustment. You can choose to sit further back and lower or closer to the handlebar and slightly higher. Higher, of course, is only a relative description here as you can easily plant both your feet flat on the ground. The flat handlebar is within easy reach from the forward position for most and in case you like to reach out to the bars or are taller, you could slide the seat back. Even the instrument cluster has a little clip, which allows you to adjust the angle of the cluster facing you.

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Rating: 2.89/5 (9 votes cast)

The 2017 Honda CRF250L - Dual Sport Motorcycle


Is it really fair to call the 2017 Honda CRF250L a dual-sport motorcycle? After all, once you get off the pavement and into some dirt with a modern 250cc, it becomes apparent that what can seem small on the street can deliver a pretty substantial punch of power of the trail.

Both Honda and Kawasaki make and sale a small-displacement 250cc, dual-sport motorcycle, although this segment of the motorcycle market seems to be the last to receive major upgrades. But the 2017 Honda CRF250L comes with the thirty generation of the 249.6cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine equipped with the latest PGM-FI and additional fueling and exhaust technology which for 2017 added 2 more horsepower compared with the 2016 CRF250L model.

Based on the same engine used in the previous CRF250L and introduced a good amount of upgrades in what makes it a 3th generation engine.

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  • Currently 3.80/5
Rating: 3.80/5 (5 votes cast)

The 2017 Sym Maxsym 600i ABS - The Biggest and Cheapest Maxi-Scooter


Want to buy a new high capacity maxi-scooter? The Sym Maxsym 600i ABS, has been the quiet maxi-scooter of the Sym Thailand range, launched a few years ago but not selling in big numbers since. If the Sym Maxsym 600i ABS isn’t the first maxi-scooter that comes to mind, it’s certainly the cheapest. Coming in at 259,000 THB makes it about 125,000 THB less than the Honda Integra and Yamaha Tmax 530 are in the 469,000 THB class and the two BMW C650 models start at 525,000 THB. It doesn’t matter how you look at it, the Sym Maxsym 600i ABS looks great, but is it?

Truth is, the Sym Maxsym 600i ABS has a simpler spec than many of those pricier rivals. It’s got ABS of course but it doesn’t have traction control, which nearly all of the others do. Nor does it have the motorcycle genes of the Honda Integra or the Yamaha Tmax 530; and finally, it’s got a single-cylinder engine where all of the others are equipped with two-cylinder engines.

The Sym Maxsym 600i ABS looks, feels and sounds more like an up-sized 400cc scooter than a downsized big one. The technical spec confirms that.

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  • Currently 3.33/5
Rating: 3.33/5 (3 votes cast)

The 2017 KTM 1290 Super Adventure - Amazing Adventure Bike


Enter the KTM 1290 Super Adventure. A bulging, aggressively poised adventure bike with more gadgets and gizmos then most other motorcycles. KTM have always had a distinct design; the single headlight on this motorcycle ringed by a halo of LED’s looks aggressive.

The side view of the KTM 1290 Super Adventure does not leave one wondering as to the primary purpose of the motorcycle, whether it’s touring, road riding or getting sand everywhere in the dirt, this motorcycle was built to handle it all.

The KTM 1290 Super Adventure is de-tuned to a claimed 160 horsepower from the ‘R’ version, coupled with semi-active damping, a tubular frame and long travel suspension this motorcycle was created to compete against the best selling BMW R1200GS Adventure.

It has the usual rain, off-road, sport and comfort riding modes and after some fiddling I found it most compliant in sport mode with comfort settings. A mechanic from KTM advised this setting and it was akin to finding that perfect apex with the sun at your back and gritty tar under your wheels.

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  • Currently 3.17/5
Rating: 3.17/5 (6 votes cast)

The 2017 Kawasaki Z900 - Lighter and Faster


When you call a motorcycle Z900, and in so doing create the first Kawasaki to carry the name since the original Z1-successor from 1971, it had better be good.

What you certainly don’t want it to be is confusing. So, let’s get that bit cleared up straight away: the new Kawasaki Z900, far from some kind of retro reincarnation of a ‘70s classic motorcycle, is simply intended as a bigger, better replacement for the Kawasaki Z800.

As a result, a new seven-strong Z-Series has become available with the Z125, Z250SL, Z250, Z300, Z650, Z900 and the Z1000 as range topper, all of which is a bit neater and cohesive all round.

The Z900 name for the new motorcycle is more coincidence than reinvention. The new motorcycle, however, remains hugely important to Kawasaki. In fact, on the basis of pre-order, this newcomer is expected to be one of the firm’s biggest ‘big-bike’ seller this year.

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  • Currently 2.80/5
Rating: 2.80/5 (5 votes cast)

The 2017 Yamaha MT-09 - Best Made Better


They say that at the heart of every good motorcycle is a great engine, and Yamaha thoroughly nailed that theory with the very first Yamaha MT-09 back a few years. Its inline 847cc triple-cylinder, or CP3 as Yamaha call it, is a pure gem.

Since then the Yamaha MT-09 has sold as fast as dealers could get them and Yamaha have gone on to produce the MT-09 Tracer and retro looking XSR900, both of which share that same wonderful engine. The Yamaha Tracer was awarded a prestigious ‘Best All-Rounder’ award in 2015 and the Yamaha XSR900 has won numerous road tests. And their success has largely been down to that brilliant Yamaha CP3 engine.

However, the original Yamaha MT-09’s performance was undermined by poor fueling and under-damped suspension. It has three engine modes to choose from and in the sportiest A-mode the throttle response was lively to the point of being abrupt. In a 2016 model update Yamaha smoothed out the fueling and added traction control for the first time, both of which were taken from the Yamaha XSR900 retro version. And now for 2017 they have gone one step further, changing the suspension both front and rear and adding more adjustment to the forks while a shorter sub-frame and facelift completes the visual upgrade.

There’s also a new quickshifter, just for a welcome bit of extra bling, and a subtle alteration to the riding position.

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Rating: 2.00/5 (1 vote cast)
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Do you like MotoGP racing? Which team do you like?

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