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The Best Scramblers on Sale Take on One of America’s Greatest Riding Roads

From Issue Six of Gear Patrol Magazine Issue Ten is available now.

To really put a motorcycle through the wringer, it has to be pushed to the limits of its purpose in the harshest way. Sport bikes are flogged on the track in 100-degree heat, dirt bikes are thrown through the woods and over jumps for hours on end, and cruisers endure endless miles on the world’s greatest highways. But how to put a strain on a scrambler, a bike made both for tame roads in town and for wily dirt trails out in the boondocks? To find out, we took a pair of scramblers 2,678 miles up through the Canadian Rockies and into Alaska to show them North America’s most infamous stretch of road: the Denali Highway.

Scramblers have recently swelled in popularity, but they’re nothing new. The scrambler rose to prominence in the rebellious ‘60s and ‘70s; it was created at a time when motorcyclists stripped down standard sport bikes to their bare essentials, kitting them out with bigger suspensions and knobbier tires to make them competent in the dirt and in off-road racing. But the concept of a scrambler wasn’t all that groundbreaking in the ‘60s, either.

The purpose of the first motorcycles was to render the bicycle obsolete and allow people to travel farther and cover more miles in a day on two wheels than ever before. In the late 1800s, they were just bicycles with miniature engines that supplemented pedal power; they quickly evolved into the utilitarian two-wheeled transportation the world knows today. The evolution wasn’t necessarily driven by a search for speed, but by an insatiable appetite for freedom and exploration, a basic sense of adventure. Before smooth, direct, arterial highways and intricate webs of paved infrastructure spread through the country in the 1920s and ‘30s, connecting all our major cities, there was dirt, mud, gravel, sand and stone. Motorcycles had to be able to tackle it all, and tackle it well.

Having a motorcycle that was capable on both paved streets in town and on dirt roads in the country wasn’t a stylistic choice; it was a necessity. Every time you hopped in the saddle, hitting both types of terrain was a near certainty. As paved roads became more common and the modern highway system introduced more civility to the average motorcycle ride, the mandatory go-everywhere features faded from factory-built road bikes. Sport bikes, cruisers, choppers, they’re all bound to paved roads with stiff suspensions and slicker tires. Scramblers, then, were created as a way to gain back the freedom of comfortably riding any road, paved or not.

Over the decades, scramblers became more focused and purpose-built, eventually morphing into modern dirtbikes, dual sports and hardcore adventure bikes. Somewhere along the way, they became more concerned with function than form and, in the process, lost the interest of casual riders.

The bikes in question: Ducati’s Scrambler Desert Sled ($11,395) and Triumph’s Street Scrambler ($10,800)

The current crop of scramblers is gaining favor with the masses because they bring back that go-anywhere freedom with old-school style. But most importantly, they’re compact, approachable machines that both new riders and two-wheel veterans can get excited about. Like their forebears, they balance on-road worthiness with off-road prowess.

The Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled and Triumph Scrambler are the headlining stars of the modern scrambler craze, and I wanted to know if both were truly worthy of carrying the torch. Could they hack it outside city limits? If and when these bikes saw dirt, would they falter and fail or take it in stride? Are they just fashion statements? Can they hold their own in a veritable theater of two-wheeled warfare — long highways, sweeping canyon stretches, suspension-shattering dirt roads, sand traps — and survive what would be a torture test for even the most refined and focused adventure bikes?

North of Seattle, up through British Columbia and the Yukon Territory, over into Alaska and down to Anchorage: the northwest passage of North America is a modern-day adventure-vehicle playground of high deserts, mountains, canyons, rivers and glaciers. But the terrain is as majestic as it is life-threateningly treacherous. It’s mostly paved, but dirt, gravel and unfinished, primitive highway make cameo appearances to keep you on your toes. The farther north you venture, the less common average family sedans become. Lifted Jeeps and Toyota 4Runners decked out with high-lift jacks, full-cage roof racks and light bars become the norm, the suggested mode of transport. For two-wheelers here, the recommended bare minimum would be purpose-built, precision all-terrain instruments like the BMW R 1200 GS or 1290 KTM Super Adventure — top-of-the-line adventure bikes with powerhouse engines, active suspension, power outlets and heated grips. Paved roads or not, it’s no place to go underprepared and let Mother Nature catch you with your pants down. Despite all that, we chose to ride out of Seattle astride the fairly analog Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled and Triumph Scrambler, like bringing pocket knives to a trench war.

Day 1


False start. A passport packed in a forgotten bag sat idle in LA. The plan had been to fly into Seattle Friday morning, pick up the Ducati and Triumph and our Mercedes Sprinter 4×4 chase van, then head out of town to Vancouver for the night. Gregor, a friend and experienced off-road racer excited to check off riding in all 50 states with the trip to Alaska, would pilot the Ducati. I called dibs on the Triumph while Sung, our tenacious photographer who, we learned, has a slight aversion to sleeping on the ground, looked forward to calling the Sprinter home for the next seven days. The first day was designed to be less intense, so Gregor and I could get used to the unfamiliar bikes with easygoing city and highway miles. Needless to say, that plan, for the most part, was now scrapped.

After a few four-letter words and a couple frantic phone calls, the passport was arranged to leave LAX the next morning on a Delta flight and get to us by 9:30 a.m., Saturday. We had no choice but to book a room at an airport hotel and hit the road as soon as the passport arrived.

Not the most auspicious start to a journey of this magnitude.

Day 2

10:32 a.m., passports in hand, blue skies above, we pointed our convoy north and set out on what would be the longest leg of the entire week. To make up for the lost day, we decided to circumnavigate Vancouver completely, combining two days’ worth of riding in order to make it to Prince George on schedule. The easygoing miles we planned for the first day had morphed into an endurance break-in test.

Right away, I decided that a wind screen, even a small something to break up the wind, would have been luxurious. Buffeting at 65 mph isn’t just annoying; after too long, fighting the choppy air is physically exhausting. Our mileage hadn’t even hit triple digits yet and we already could feel this ride trying to wear us down.

As soon as we crossed the U.S.–Canadian border, we hopped on the Trans-Canada Highway and made our way around the bottom of British Columbia’s western mountain range, up through Wells Gray Provincial Park and into what looked like the heart of the Canadian wilderness. In reality, we’d only just dipped our toes into the deep end of a pool, and we couldn’t see the bottom. Emerald waves of mountains gave way to sun-baked high desert, ravines and long, meandering rivers contoured by an endless strip of train tracks straight out of a spaghetti western. Motorcycle paradise. As the light faded, though, so did the novelty of the first day’s ride, and with it, the warm Canadian welcome. Darkness ushered in a bitter cold. At 8:53 p.m., a debate raged inside my helmet: Do I signal for us to pull over so I can pee, or would holding it actually keep me a little bit warmer? Tough call. It’s 10:48 p.m. when we arrive in Prince George — finally

Day 3

Above: Bell Moto III ($359), Icon 1000 Squalborn Jacket ($300), Rev’it Jeans Memphis H2O ($320), Icon 1000 Elsinore Boots ($245)
Below Right: Oscar Robinson Gloves ($90), Autodromo Veloce ($425)

Overcast skies and cool crisp air greeted us as we saddled up for day two, this time appropriately layered up. Prince George would be the last populous city we’d see for two days. We set out for our waypoint — Meziadin Junction, just under 400 miles to the northwest — which we thought would be our last stop for the day.

Almost immediately, we waded into a vast rolling sea of towering evergreens like surfers getting towed out into big wave swells. Unfiltered aromas of pure pine and maple, frequently accompanied by the scent of smoke from a campfire or a logging compound, flooded my nose at 65 mph — the exact olfactory experience air fresheners aim for but never capture.

Turning north onto Highway 37, we were now racing the sun to the horizon, Otter Mountain looming at the finish line. Gregor was leading at a brisk pace, carving up what felt like Canada’s Nürburgring. Neither of us were interested in getting a second helping of cold Canadian night riding, so there was an unspoken agreement to keep the speed up. About two hours and 90 miles later, the Ducati started to sputter and Gregor signaled to pull over. Out of gas. Judging by my gauges, the Triumph wouldn’t have made it much farther. Nearly 30 miles from Meziadin Junction, the jerry cans full of spare fuel proved to be a wise investment.

Meziadin Junction consists of a fuel pump, a convenience store, a few rooms all taken up by construction workers and a café that closed minutes before we got there — that’s it. No town. No other lodging. I swore this was where our Airbnb was supposed to be. The store clerk explained that the closest town was Stewart, at the end of Highway 37A, about 38 miles away, which a double-check of the reservation confirmed. I could see the enthusiasm physically fall off of Gregor’s face: we suddenly had another hour to go. Soft twilight gave way to pitch black. Worst of all, we’d have to split Otter Mountain and Mount Johnson — prime real estate for avalanches and rockslides. We were riding through a narrow chasm with only our headlights illuminating a relatively small patch of road in front of us. The inky-black sky was nearly indiscernible from the titanic terra looming in the darkness all around us — riding into the ominous, massive void induced a strange claustrophobia.

In Stewart, relieved to finally be off the road (again), we vowed to get early starts from here on out and avoid stints at night. Riding through a vast wilderness in blinding darkness is terrifying.

Day 4

We were forced to backtrack toward Meziadin Junction since Stewart is basically a dead end on Route 37A. Intense morning sun flooded the canyon road, confirming our suspicions of just how close those rock faces were. Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue skyscrapers are less imposing. Beyond the canyon, lush green mountain ranges capped with residual year-round snow sat on pedestals of golden fields flush with wild flowers.

We fueled up both our bikes and bodies in Meziadin Junction, where we ordered Loggers Breakfasts at the café: three fried eggs, sausage, ham, two pancakes, hash browns and a cup of coffee. Yeah, that should hold us over.

Route 37 took us about 400 miles to Watson Lake on nonstop sweeping asphalt that scythed its way through vast swells of dense woodland. After nearly two hours and 130 miles of banked turns at 75 mph, the Triumph started to sputter. My turn to run out of gas. We drained the jerry cans. Fifty more miles down the road, we came to a fuel stop, refilled the reserve cans, grabbed food to cook at that night’s campsite and set off again. The next four hours and 260 majestic miles of northern British Columbia were punctuated by two more roadside fill-ups.

We made it to camp with plenty of daylight to spare (for once). Gregor started a fire, boiled water for asparagus and threw steaks and potatoes on the coals. A toast with Canadian whisky. A meal worthy of the day.

Above Right: Icon 1000 Squalborn Jacket ($300)
Below Right: Aether Range Pant ($395), Icon 1000 Elsinore Boots ($245)

Day 5

To follow up our two 400-plus-mile days and the first 500-plus-mile day, we cut day five short and set up camp just outside of the 25,000-resident-strong city of Whitehorse. At this point our sense of time and distance was warped, but in a good way; we’d adapted our minds to the long-haul ride and stopped thinking about each leg in terms of miles or hours. Instead, we measured in tanks of gas. Only 278 miles to Whitehorse? We’ll only have to fill up on the side of the road once. Brilliant.

When you’re in the saddle for 130 miles at a time, two things are mandatory to maintain sanity. One: you have to like yourself, because you’re the only person you’re going to be spending quality time with for hours at a time. (A good singing voice is a plus.) Two: you have to like the bike you’re on. It might seem obvious, but if the bike is uncomfortable, it becomes an open-air torture chamber — getting back on every morning for 500 straight miles will have you questioning all your life choices leading up to that moment. It’s a solitary experience, but on a bike as smooth on the road as the Triumph, and with Yukon scenery to stare at all day, a ride like this is downright meditative.

Day 6

Gregor (Left): Bell Moto III $359, Icon 1000 Squalborn ($300), Rev’it! Jeans Memphis H2O ($320), Icon 1000 Elsinore Boots ($245), Ducati Urban Enduro Waterproof Rear Bag ($169)
Bryan (Right):
Helmet: Bell Moto III Helmet ($359), Von Zipper Porkchop MX Moto Goggles ($75), Ashley Watson Eversholt Jacket ($704)

Almost 1,800 miles in and we hadn’t seen much dirt. But just past Mount Cairnes, the Alaska Highway sweeps along the shore of Kluane Lake. Fog had settled on the lake’s surface, rounded mountains framed the cyan sky and Sung wanted a photo. I spotted a gravel path just off the side of the road. No need to ask me twice.

The narrow two-track led to the beach, which became the highlight of the day. Our scramblers had proven themselves worthy of the road, but sand and pea gravel can make or break a bike. Gregor’s Desert Sled had an advantage on the beach; it’s lighter, has a little bit more suspension travel and more ground clearance. Still, he was putting in hard work to keep from being devoured by the powdery sand. Armed with knobbier tires, but weighed down by a little extra bulk and lower ground clearance, the Triumph was able to keep up, but it did struggle. When I kept my speed up, I positively floated across the beach. Then it came time to slow down and turn back, and I beached it. Skid plate flat on the sand, rear tire roosting and digging, the beach was swallowing the bike whole. After a few side-to-side rocks and a steady throttle, I began inching forward, then free, back buzzing the shoreline like a dog off the leash. Exactly what these bikes were built for.

Back on the road, as if the beach wasn’t enough, the last few miles of the Alaska Highway leading up to the Alaskan border were largely unpaved. For the better part of 30 miles it was open, gravel-covered highway: scrambler country.

Alaska Highway kilometer marker 1,818. The Triumph coughs, sputters. We pulled over in front of Discovery Yukon Lodging, filled up our bikes, then went inside and asked the sweet-little-old-lady innkeeper for coffee, which she said they don’t usually do. But she put on a pot for us anyway and brought out fresh-made apple walnut cake topped with homemade frosting. Lifesaver.

We ended the day across the Alaskan border at our cabin in Tok. The second longest day, but only by a few miles.

Day 7

Today was the crown jewel of the entire ride. Alaska Route 8, the Denali Highway: a 135-mile stretch of road connecting Paxson to Cantwell, only 24 of which are paved. A hundred and eleven miles of dusty gravel, wheel-hungry ruts, and bone-shattering washboarding. On the Denali Highway, when the pavement stops, so does the bullshit.

This is all-out adventure-bike territory. It calls for active suspension, adjustable ride height, multilevel traction control and ride mode selectors. We could’ve taken a BMW R 1200 GS or a KTM Super Adventure, which have all the aforementioned tech, to make our lives easier. We could have hopped in the warm, high-riding van with Sung. Instead, on the visceral scramblers, we were involved, working for it. There was nothing filtering out the raw, unadulterated experience of one of the toughest roads Alaska has on offer. The bikes were at home. For 111 miles, the Ducati and Triumph reached scrambler nirvana.

Day 8

Our last day. The final 200 miles. It’s 10 a.m. as we pack up camp under bright blue skies. The cool, crisp air marinating Denali National Park lulls us into a false sense of comfort with Alaska. Out on the road and barreling down Route 3, it isn’t long before we hit rain. We had come across a few light showers the previous couple of days, but this was the first real storm. Alaska isn’t going down without a fight.

The temperature drops. The bike’s thermometer reads 42 degrees Fahrenheit; seems optimistic. With no windshield to hide behind, rain sticks to the dirt on the goggles. Spray from traffic is killing visibility. There’s a cold creep of freezing rain working its way through my jacket and pants — soon I’m completely saturated. Is the road surface uneven, or am I actually shivering? Hands are numb, stiff. I’m definitely shivering. Another five miles and maybe we’ll be past it. Okay, two more miles. Turn signal, on — we’ll wait it out, warm up and dry off in the Sprinter instead. First things first. Heat on high, heated seats on max. Defrost.

Gregor checks the weather for a sitrep. There’s good news and bad news. Good news is, the rain stops… around 8 p.m.. The bad news is, that’s when it starts snowing.

There’s talk of putting the bikes in the Sprinter and hauling them into Anchorage. I push back. We didn’t come 2,400 miles on these bikes to cross the finish line in the support van. Sung is understandably worried for our safety and Gregor looks miserable. Gregor does the math: at about 40 degrees, traveling at 65 mph creates a 25-degree wind chill. Hypothermia is a tough argument to rebut.

Bikes in the back of Sprinter, onward to Anchorage. The van is silent aside from the barrage of wind and water against the windshield. The lead weight of defeat is sitting in my gut, growing with each passing mile. Alaska was winning the fight in the final hour.

Ten miles later, my eyes are welded to the horizon as the sky brightens and the rain eases up. Gregor checks the weather again. We’re actually outside the radius of where any weather radar stations can see.

Thirty miles still farther, a break in the clouds. We’re in between two weather cells: a chink in Alaska’s armor, a window of opportunity.

I’ll be damned if I’m going to ride into Anchorage on anything other than that Triumph. I order Sung to pull over — we’re getting the bikes back on the road.

In Trappers Creek, we unload the bikes and throw on some extra gear in case we hit the storm again. Thicker gloves and an extra down jacket under my now warm, toasty, dry motorcycle jacket for me, and a full all-weather suit for Gregor. Fuel for the bikes, filled to the brim.

We’ll have to haul ass if to avoid being caught in that deluge a second time.

Full throttle.

One eye on the road, one eye on the storm cell to our left. Like trying to race a train to the crossing.

Every kink in the highway fiendishly points us ever so slightly toward the wall of water in the distance. Alaska, it would seem, isn’t done with us yet.

Pelting rain turns to a shower, turns to a downpour. We’re back in it, and passing cars and trucks is becoming a game of roulette. Spray from 18-wheelers puts us in a grayout; we’re basically riding blind. We have no choice. Alongside the trucks, all we can do is tuck our heads and lean a shoulder into it.

Soaked.

Seventy-five miles to Anchorage.

Fifty miles to Anchorage.

The sky brightens, and I don’t trust it. But, finally, Alaska relents.

I don’t see any bright, neon “Welcome to Anchorage” sign, no ticker tape parade to let us know we made it. But holy hell, the relief. The overwhelming sense of victory lays on us like a wet wool blanket. Lazily clicking down through the gears, getting off the main highway and into town, we’ve clearly crossed our marathon’s finish line. We made it.

Epilogue

Looking at a 2,600-mile route on a map versus riding every inch of it on a scrambler is like flying over an ocean versus crossing it in a sailboat. You can get a sense of scale, but it’s not until you’re experiencing each bump, rut and crack, looking 30 or 40 miles to the horizon, that you can really appreciate the vastness, the grandeur.

We could have done this trip on terra-dominating adventure bikes with all the electronic assists to make it easier, more comfortable. We could have just taken a fully decked-out Land Rover. We would have seen just as much — and stayed dry. But on the scramblers, on the paved roads, on the beach, in the dirt, through the mountains, it was equal measure rider and motorcycle, the essence of two-wheeled adventure. The reason why we started riding motorcycles in the first place.

This Droog Moto DM-015 Swerves Around The Apocalypse

Here at Men’s Gear, we’ve featured an awful lot of bikes. Out of all, most points go to Droog Moto’s motorcycles, not only because they always impress us, but also because the shop doesn’t seem to shy away from taking risks to innovate the present mold. Which brings us to the Droog Moto DM-015.

If you’ve seen Droog Moto’s previous handiwork, you know their motorcycles look like they came right out of a lavish science-fiction film shoot. The new one you see above is not an exception. The slick, slightly steampunk project sees the Kawasaki Nija 250 enter a drastic transformation to get ready for an imminent post-apocalyptic world.

Far from just looking beautiful, the thing runs excellently, too. That credit goes to Droog Moto, who always ensures each bike it disassembles gets tiptop performance in the end. The Droog Moto DM-015 boasts a 250cc engine that makes 36 horsepower. Which drives a six-speed gearbox, mind you. The numbers doesn’t seem all that impressive on paper. But consider that the bike is stripped to its bare essentials. Suddenly things get a little more interesting.

You get a front and rear suspension both fully upgrade to fully adjustable units. Also, you’ll find LED lighting that replaces the standard halogen bulbs on the bike. Each baby, in case you didn’t know, undergoes custom construction to satisfy the buyer’s standards. The shop takes your measurements and builds the bike to fit you personally. Thinking of those things is what really sets Droog Moto apart from the rest.

BUY IT HERE

Photos courtesy of Droog Moto

Fuel Royal Rally 400

This is the Fuel Royal Rally 400, from Fuel Motorcycles. The company just recently built it, in huge part catering to those planning to take on the Scram Africa, which Fuel Motorcycles organized themselves.

The bespoke bike draws inspiration from the first bikes that rode the Paris Dakar Rally. People consider it as one of the toughest and most prestigious extreme motorsport competitions in the world. The race now goes by Dakar, though. And runs only in South America due to a handful of security concerns. Make no mistake: it still makes any motor racing fan gush with excitement.

Though Fuel Motorcycles kept most of the original parts, it added a few modifications as well. They edited lines and proportions to make for a more compact look, but taking care not to lose its aggressiveness. The front light is no more — in place of it is a new squared vintage enduro mask. The tank’s protections are gone as well. The standard dual seat is now just a solo seat.

With the rear seat gone, the company added a removable custom build grille that has enough space to carry a small bag. One of the tank protectors is now located on the left side, re-fitted so as to provide extra luggage space. Other changes include a stronger handlebar, USB charging, and a unique speedometer. All these make the bike as functional as possible without losing its original flair.

You can find out more if you hit the link below. The bike, as we’ve mentioned, is joining this year’s Scram Africa, so expect it there.

MORE INFO HERE

Photos courtesy of Fuel Motorcycles

The Complete Indian Motorcycle Buying Guide: Every Model, Explained

The company currently known as Indian Motorcycle was founded in 1901 by George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom, under the name Hendee Manufacturing Company. The goal was simple: build a motorized bicycle to help pace bike races of the time. Their invention, however, would go on to prove itself powerful and reliable, leading it to be desired by a much greater swath of society. By 1910, it was considered one of the largest motorcycle companies in the world, and it went on to hold multiple military contracts during the Great War. But it was not until the 1920s that the company officially became known as the Indian Motocycle (no ‘r’) Company.

Indian managed to solidify itself in the history of motorcycling through road racing, dirt racing and land speed attempts on the world-famous Bonneville Salt Flats throughout the 20th Century. Indian also established itself in the world of flat track, leading it to become rivals with Harley-Davidson.

But time then turned cruel to the company. Indian floundered for decades, changing ownership numerous times before ultimately going out of business in 1977. While it had maintained its Art Deco styling with ornate emblems and valenced fenders that gave it an iconic look throughout the years, no significant advancements in engineering or technology or new models had been introduced over the years, leaving it behind the competition until it expired.

The company was bought in 1998, only to go bankrupt again in 2003 due to economic and business mismanagement. It was not until 2008 when Indian was acquired by Polaris Industries that the brand finally saw a resurgence. Today, Indian motorcycles embody the allure of its greatness from the 20th Century while strategically moving forward as a modern American motorcycle manufacturer.

In the 1920s, Indian Motorcycles introduced motorcycles called the Scout, Chief, Big Chief and Ace. Many of the motorcycles in the modern line up of Indian motorcycles pays homage to Indian’s most successful models while also incorporating names of historical relevance to the brand. For example, the Springfield Dark Horse is named after the famed Springfield Mile in Illinois where Indian riders won numerous flat track championships.

Naming System, Relevant Acronyms and Terms of Note:

Ride Command: Indian’s proprietary infotainment and navigation interface.
FTR: Flat Track Racer
ABS: Anti-lock Braking System
Rear Cylinder Deactivation: A system that deactivates the rear cylinder in the Thunder Stroke 111 engine during stationary or slow moving traffic for enhanced comfort.

Standard/Tracker

Indian FTR 1200

The Indian FTR1200 is Indian’s most ambitious model to date, and the company’s foray into a new model segment outside of the traditional cruiser or touring models. The FTR1200 represents years of development on and off the dirt track, and stands poised to pave the way to an expanding portfolio of Indian motorcycles.

The FTR1200’s design is pure flat tracker, featuring a standard riding position and wide tracker bars. At its heart lies a new liquid-cooled 1203cc V-Twin engine making approximately 120 horsepower and 85 pound-feet of torque, making it plenty capable on the highway or occasional fire road.

The FTR1200 includes premium components like Brembo brakes, adjustable suspension, touchscreen LCD display, Bluetooth connectivity, three ride modes, LED lighting, switchable traction control and ABS.

  • Models: FTR 1200 and FTR 1200 S
  • Engine: 1203cc V-twin
  • Base Price: $13,499

Midsized

Indian Scout

The Indian Scout is Indian’s notion of what its classic 1928 motorcycle would have evolved into, had the company continued production. Of the motorcycles in the Scout lineup, the Scout Sixty features a smaller displacement engine ( specs) geared toward entry-level riders.

The Scout is powered by a liquid cooled 69-cubic-inch V-Twin that produces 100 hp and 72.2 lb-ft at 5,900 rpm. Its power delivery is smooth and makes highway travel a breeze. Styling is nothing short of stunning, with the V-Twin taking centerstage amongst dual chromed mufflers and the single saddle. Additional features include: a low seat height of 27 inches, affording riders good handling at slow speeds; ABS; extended service intervals; and a single gauge instrument display.

  • Models: Scout Sixty, Scout, Scout Bobber
  • Engine: 999-cc liquid-cooled V-twin (Scout Sixty); 1,133-cc liquid-cooled V-twin (Scout and Scout Bobber)
  • Base Price: $9,499

Cruiser

Indian Chief Classic

The Chief heralded Indian’s return to the world of motorcycling in 2015, and reproduces the classic style and design of its bikes from the 1940s with modern technology and more refined engineering.

The Indian Chief Dark Horse and Chief Classic are powered by Indian’s Thunder Stroke 111 V-Twin, which produces 119.2 lb-ft of torque, affording riders smooth and effortless power in the low- and mid-ranges. Swept-back handlebars and forward foot controls to ensure a comfortable yet relaxed ride, and the low seat height ensures excellent slow speed maneuverability and comfort at highway speed.

Additional features include a six-speed transmission, keyless ignition, ABS, cruise control, valanced fenders, a lighted war bonnet, a low seat height of 26 inches, an analog tach and speedo with a digital multi-function display and a quick release touring windscreen.

  • Models: Chief Dark Horse / Chief Classic
  • Engine: 1,811-cc V-twin
  • Base Price: $18,499

Bagger

Indian Springfield

The Indian Springfield is classic beauty wrapped in modern technology. For those who seek a versatile modern classic cruiser capable of long highway stints or simple weekend excursions, the Indian Springfield exceeds expectations.

The Indian Springfield is powered by Indian’s Thunder Stroke 111 V-Twin, produceing 119.2 lb-ft of torque. Additional features on the Indian Springfield: A genuine leather seat, remote-locking hard saddlebags, tire pressure monitoring, light Bar, ABS, cruise control, quick-release touring windscreen and keyless ignition.

  • Models: Springfield / Springfield Dark Horse
  • Engine: 1,811-cc V-twin
  • Base Price: $20,999

Indian Chieftain

When the highway calls and you require premium amenities like extra wind protection, a multimedia system, and a banging 100-watt audio system, the Indian Chieftain should be high on your list of considered motorcycles. Featuring the Thunder Stroke 111 V-Twin, the Chieftain combines smooth, effortless power and relaxed riding ergonomics for a plush and luxurious ride.

Beyond the thrill of a proven power plant and classic styling, the Indian Chieftain includes premium features like a large fairing with electronic windscreen, keyless ignition, cruise control, lockable saddlebags, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, ABS, rear cylinder deactivation, and three riding modes.

  • Models: Chieftain and Chieftain Elite
  • Engine: 1,811-cc V-twin
  • Base Price: $22,849

Touring

Indian Roadmaster

Do you need to crush one thousand miles or more in a single day, but don’t want to sacrifice comfort and power? That’s no problem for the Indian Roadmaster. This machine is born to conquer the open road.

Beyond the thrill of the proven Thunder Stroke 111 V-Twin and classic styling, the Indian Roadmaster comes complete with Indian’s full line of premium amenities including a premium 200-watt audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, full dresser luggage pack, comfortable passenger accommodations, a large front fairing with electronic windscreen and side leg fairings with adjustable vents, Pathfinder LED lighting, keyless ignition, cruise control, heated hand grips, a 7.0-inch Ride Command touchscreen, ABS, rear cylinder deactivation, and three riding modes.

  • Models: Roadmaster and Roadmaster Elite
  • Engine: 1,811-cc V-twin
  • Base Price: $29,499
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2019 Ducati Hypomotard 950 SP Review: Finding the Right Balance

Long before Audi acquired Ducati in 2012, the Italian bikemaker’s grand ambitions could be traced to a misfit model that bowed at the 2005 EICMA motorcycle show in Milan. Ducati was intent on breaking past their familiar road racing-inspired tropes, and the new machine combined dirtbike traits — long suspension travel and minimalist bodywork — with the reassuring power of a massive 1,100-cc twin-cylinder engine topped with their signature dry clutch rattle.

The Ducati Hypermotard wasn’t the first of its type to hit the market, but the machine — named perhaps for its over-the-top take on the genre — proved a big bore outlier that disrupted smaller, status quo supermotos with engines hovering around the 400-cc mark. Ducati’s new third-generation Hyper is the latest take on the genre, but is it as groundbreaking as it was in the mid-Aughts?

The Good: Striking a balance between entertainment and livability is tough, but the Hypermotard’s third iteration nails it like a charm. This bike is fully engaging to ride around the neighborhood, yet stable enough to bomb down the highway securely at triple-digit speeds. Years ago, I cannonballed a first-gen Hypermotard across northern Italy; its steering was so loose at high speeds, it required constant corrections. The new bike feels remarkably planted compared to its antecedent, yet is still a riot to hoon through urban cityscapes.

Who It’s For: Thrillseekers who want a bit of refinement with their stripped-down, adrenaline-inducing rides, but will do anything to avoid losing their edge. It’s hard to imagine mature riders being drawn to the Hypermotard 950 SP, which resembles the unholy union of an offroader and a race machine; those types are likelier to be drawn to a more conventional naked bike, like the classically-styled Monster.

Watch Out For: Ducati has eliminated the Hyperstrada, a touring-friendly strain of the Hypermotard that bundled more comfortable ergonomics with easily-attachable saddlebags. Riders seeking those levels of versatility should shy away from the new Hypermotard, which may be comfier and more usable than its predecessor, but still cannot accommodate saddlebags.

The Hyper’s lack of wind protection can also make it tiring on long rides. And especially in full-fledged 950 SP configuration, the Hypermotard’s MSRP can be prohibitive for all but the spendiest of enthusiasts.

Alternatives: Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 ($11,999), Indian FTR 1200 ($13,499), KTM 790 Duke ($10,499)

Review: Hooligan. It’s a motorcycle cliché, yes. But truth is, the well-worn word is actually less relevant than ever with regard to Ducati’s third-generation Hypermotard — even though this latest iteration is a 114-horsepower screamer that revs to 9,000 rpm, has a delightful tendency to elevate the front wheel and wears deconstructionist styling that screams arrest me even standing still.

Allow me to explain.

The new Hypermotard presents itself well, for a purported ruffian. For starters, this latest iteration gets a MotoGP-style 4.3-inch TFT screen inherited from the Panigale superbike. The resolution is crisp and clear, and automatically inverts its colors in dark conditions. The screen manages and controls the electronic info offered up by a six-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) that enables enhanced traction control, wheelie control and a lean-sensitive ABS system that lets the rider to slide the tail into corners in its least restrictive setting.

Though it’s a towering thing with daddy longlegs-like forks, the resculpted saddle makes it easier to reach pavement: With my 32-inch inseam, the balls of my feet were planted and confidently earthbound at stoplights. (The base model, which I didn’t test, sits 20 millimeters lower.) Three ride modes can be switched between on the fly via the lefthand switchgear, while each parameter can also be fine-tuned if the rider so chooses.

Despite the myriad ways to customize those electronic settings (which must be done while the bike is stationary, and thankfully includes the option of switching all the nannies off), the 2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP tester punched me in the gut with one irrepressible initial impression: charisma.

When the 936-cc twin sparks to life, the senses are overwhelmed with the mechanical directness of two massive cylinders firing between your legs. Unlike the automotive experience of being insulated within a cocoon, the Ducati’s interactivity assaults your thighs, your tympanic membrane and your brain. And compared with many motorcycles — particularly those thoughtfully engineered Japanese models with pristinely balanced engines and modulated exhaust notes — this Italian is a bit ruder, saucier and more flamboyant.

But here’s where it gets interesting. Unlike its predecessor, which had twitchy fuel delivery and a stiff clutch, the new Hypermotard reacts with easy, intuitive responsiveness. A new engine management system delivers smooth throttle response and can be sharpened or softened within ride modes; Race is razor-like, Sport is smoother and Urban trims power to 75 hp. The old cable-linked clutch is replaced by a hydraulic unit with lighter effort. But launching from a standstill still requires care: despite being a slipper clutch, the engagement point is extremely narrow and rather abrupt, requiring a slow, smooth release of the lever to ensure a stall-free sendoff.

Once in motion, the revised powerplant delivers loads of linear torque, 82 percent of which is available at just 3,000 rpm. And wheelie control does a seamless job of keeping the nose from excessive escalation, a welcome feature for those of us who lack throttle-twisting discipline.

The SP variant I tested, priced at $16,695 (a considerable $3,400 premium over the base model) picks up an Öhlins suspension, Marchesini forged aluminum wheels clad in Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP rubber, a few carbon fiber trim pieces and a standard quick shifter that can be added a la carte to the non-SP bike. The SP’s top-shelf suspension from Sweden was a particular delight; it delivered a surprisingly compliant ride, given its ability to maintain body control while cornering.

Also highly rewarding: the quickshifter, which enables clutch-free cog swaps during both upshifts and downshifts. The system works more seamlessly when you shift at higher rpm and stab the shifter quickly; change gears at lower rpm or tap the lever tentatively, and you can get brief interruptions of power. But under optimal conditions, gearshifts become brief blips in the torque continuum. It’s the kind of efficient, pure-power-to-the-rear-wheel that’s racetrack worthy enough to almost make it feel inappropriate for the street. (Almost.)

And therein lies the paradox of the Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP: It’s overflowing with personality, but has been kissed with enough technology to contain that exuberance within an air of civility. It’s spry, it’s brash — it’s a lot of things. Just don’t call it a hooligan.

Verdict: The Hypermotard manages to be more focused than ever on comfort and user-friendliness, without sacrificing any of the engaging personality that made it so groundbreaking when it first debuted. It’s a delicate balance, especially considering how motorcycles can easily tip into becoming annoying or anodyne when their winning formula is messed with. The latest Hypermotard isn’t everything to everybody, especially if you’re looking for a long-distance bike that carries saddlebags. But for an undeniably fun bike to ride that’s more than just an urban runabout, Ducati’s latest iteration of the Hyper is just about ideal.

2019 Ducati Hypomotard 950 SR Specs

Powertrain: 936-cc L-twin, six-speed manual transmission
Horsepower: 114
Torque: 71 pound-feet
Lean Angle: 47 degrees
Curb Weight: 436 pounds

Ducati provided this product for review.

Read More Gear Patrol Reviews

Hot takes and in-depth reviews on noteworthy, relevant and interesting products. Read the Story
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP Review: Finding the Right Balance

Long before Audi acquired Ducati in 2012, the Italian bikemaker’s grand ambitions could be traced to a misfit model that bowed at the 2005 EICMA motorcycle show in Milan. Ducati was intent on breaking past their familiar road racing-inspired tropes, and the new machine combined dirtbike traits — long suspension travel and minimalist bodywork — with the reassuring power of a massive 1,100-cc twin-cylinder engine topped with their signature dry clutch rattle.

The Ducati Hypermotard wasn’t the first of its type to hit the market, but the machine — named perhaps for its over-the-top take on the genre — proved a big bore outlier that disrupted smaller, status quo supermotos with engines hovering around the 400-cc mark. Ducati’s new third-generation Hyper is the latest take on the genre, but is it as groundbreaking as it was in the mid-Aughts?

The Good: Striking a balance between entertainment and livability is tough, but the Hypermotard’s third iteration nails it like a charm. This bike is fully engaging to ride around the neighborhood, yet stable enough to bomb down the highway securely at triple-digit speeds. Years ago, I cannonballed a first-gen Hypermotard across northern Italy; its steering was so loose at high speeds, it required constant corrections. The new bike feels remarkably planted compared to its antecedent, yet is still a riot to hoon through urban cityscapes.

Who It’s For: Thrillseekers who want a bit of refinement with their stripped-down, adrenaline-inducing rides, but will do anything to avoid losing their edge. It’s hard to imagine mature riders being drawn to the Hypermotard 950 SP, which resembles the unholy union of an offroader and a race machine; those types are likelier to be drawn to a more conventional naked bike, like the classically-styled Monster.

Watch Out For: Ducati has eliminated the Hyperstrada, a touring-friendly strain of the Hypermotard that bundled more comfortable ergonomics with easily-attachable saddlebags. Riders seeking those levels of versatility should shy away from the new Hypermotard, which may be comfier and more usable than its predecessor, but still cannot accommodate saddlebags.

The Hyper’s lack of wind protection can also make it tiring on long rides. And especially in full-fledged 950 SP configuration, the Hypermotard’s MSRP can be prohibitive for all but the spendiest of enthusiasts.

Alternatives: Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 ($11,999), Indian FTR 1200 ($13,499), KTM 790 Duke ($10,499)

Review: Hooligan. It’s a motorcycle cliché, yes. But truth is, the well-worn word is actually less relevant than ever with regard to Ducati’s third-generation Hypermotard — even though this latest iteration is a 114-horsepower screamer that revs to 9,000 rpm, has a delightful tendency to elevate the front wheel and wears deconstructionist styling that screams arrest me even standing still.

Allow me to explain.

The new Hypermotard presents itself well, for a purported ruffian. For starters, this latest iteration gets a MotoGP-style 4.3-inch TFT screen inherited from the Panigale superbike. The resolution is crisp and clear, and automatically inverts its colors in dark conditions. The screen manages and controls the electronic info offered up by a six-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) that enables enhanced traction control, wheelie control and a lean-sensitive ABS system that lets the rider to slide the tail into corners in its least restrictive setting.

Though it’s a towering thing with daddy longlegs-like forks, the resculpted saddle makes it easier to reach pavement: With my 32-inch inseam, the balls of my feet were planted and confidently earthbound at stoplights. (The base model, which I didn’t test, sits 20 millimeters lower.) Three ride modes can be switched between on the fly via the lefthand switchgear, while each parameter can also be fine-tuned if the rider so chooses.

Despite the myriad ways to customize those electronic settings (which must be done while the bike is stationary, and thankfully includes the option of switching all the nannies off), the 2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP tester punched me in the gut with one irrepressible initial impression: charisma.

When the 936-cc twin sparks to life, the senses are overwhelmed with the mechanical directness of two massive cylinders firing between your legs. Unlike the automotive experience of being insulated within a cocoon, the Ducati’s interactivity assaults your thighs, your tympanic membrane and your brain. And compared with many motorcycles — particularly those thoughtfully engineered Japanese models with pristinely balanced engines and modulated exhaust notes — this Italian is a bit ruder, saucier and more flamboyant.

But here’s where it gets interesting. Unlike its predecessor, which had twitchy fuel delivery and a stiff clutch, the new Hypermotard reacts with easy, intuitive responsiveness. A new engine management system delivers smooth throttle response and can be sharpened or softened within ride modes; Race is razor-like, Sport is smoother and Urban trims power to 75 hp. The old cable-linked clutch is replaced by a hydraulic unit with lighter effort. But launching from a standstill still requires care: despite being a slipper clutch, the engagement point is extremely narrow and rather abrupt, requiring a slow, smooth release of the lever to ensure a stall-free sendoff.

Once in motion, the revised powerplant delivers loads of linear torque, 82 percent of which is available at just 3,000 rpm. And wheelie control does a seamless job of keeping the nose from excessive escalation, a welcome feature for those of us who lack throttle-twisting discipline.

The SP variant I tested, priced at $16,695 (a considerable $3,400 premium over the base model) picks up an Öhlins suspension, Marchesini forged aluminum wheels clad in Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP rubber, a few carbon fiber trim pieces and a standard quick shifter that can be added a la carte to the non-SP bike. The SP’s top-shelf suspension from Sweden was a particular delight; it delivered a surprisingly compliant ride, given its ability to maintain body control while cornering.

Also highly rewarding: the quickshifter, which enables clutch-free cog swaps during both upshifts and downshifts. The system works more seamlessly when you shift at higher rpm and stab the shifter quickly; change gears at lower rpm or tap the lever tentatively, and you can get brief interruptions of power. But under optimal conditions, gearshifts become brief blips in the torque continuum. It’s the kind of efficient, pure-power-to-the-rear-wheel that’s racetrack worthy enough to almost make it feel inappropriate for the street. (Almost.)

And therein lies the paradox of the Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP: It’s overflowing with personality, but has been kissed with enough technology to contain that exuberance within an air of civility. It’s spry, it’s brash — it’s a lot of things. Just don’t call it a hooligan.

Verdict: The Hypermotard manages to be more focused than ever on comfort and user-friendliness, without sacrificing any of the engaging personality that made it so groundbreaking when it first debuted. It’s a delicate balance, especially considering how motorcycles can easily tip into becoming annoying or anodyne when their winning formula is messed with. The latest Hypermotard isn’t everything to everybody, especially if you’re looking for a long-distance bike that carries saddlebags. But for an undeniably fun bike to ride that’s more than just an urban runabout, Ducati’s latest iteration of the Hyper is just about ideal.

2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950 SR Specs

Powertrain: 936-cc L-twin, six-speed manual transmission
Horsepower: 114
Torque: 71 pound-feet
Lean Angle: 47 degrees
Curb Weight: 436 pounds

Ducati provided this product for review.

Read More Gear Patrol Reviews

Hot takes and in-depth reviews on noteworthy, relevant and interesting products. Read the Story
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

BMW Motorrad Unveils Electric Vision DC Roadster

The latest piece of futuristic 2-wheeled tech out of BMW’s Motorrad division is the Vision DC Roadster concept. It’s a shaft-drive plug-in that if you squint hard enough almost looks like a gas-powered Beemer bike. There’s little out yet in the way of stats: range, speed, cost, or when it might come to market but based purely on looks, we’ll say the Vision DC looks pretty visionary.

The Complete Triumph Buying Guide: Every Model, Explained

Triumph Motorcycles is widely regarded to be one of the world’s oldest and most iconic motorcycle brands. Triumph began in 1902 by selling sewing machines and bicycles with an onboard motor; over the course of the 20th Century, the company solidified itself in the zeitgeist through racing, TV and film. While the company grew and flourished through the golden era of motorcycling in the 1950s through the 1970s, the company almost disappeared entirely the 1980s due to fiscal problems. Triumph resurfaced in the late Eighties under the ownership of British real estate magnate John Bloor, and has seen continued success since then.

Modern Triumph motorcycles are known for their retro style and heritage design while still incorporating modern technologies. Triumph also provides consumers with a collection of performance and adventure / touring motorcycles.

The company’s modern line of motorcycles pays homage to past model names and achievements in geographically iconic places relevant to the brand. For example, the Tiger nickname was the baseline name for Triumph’s 250cc, 350cc and 500cc bikes in the 1930s through the 1970s. It was a motorcycle coveted by owners, often modified for the track or hare scrambles on the weekends. But today, the Tiger moniker is reserved for Triumph’s capable and fun middleweight adventure bikes.

In 2019, Triumph’s family of motorcycles are fairly easy to delineate, as the British marquee only makes two types of engines that are featured across the 2019 model lineup. Each of those engines features a number of displacement options.

The first engine type is a parallel twin that comes in two displacements: 900cc and 1200cc. These engines are featured across the entire modern classic (cafe racer, scrambler, and cruiser) line up. The 900-cc variants include the moniker of “street” in their title, whereas the 1200-cc motorcycles get their own unique names (ex. Scrambler, Thruxton, Speedmaster, Bonneville Bobber.)

The second type of engine offered is a three-cylinder, or triple, in displacement of 765cc, 800cc, and 1200cc. These engines are found solely in Triumph’s sportbike (Street Triple and Speed Triple) and adventure bike (Tiger) models.

Naming System, Relevant Acronyms and Terms of Note:

800: 800-cc three-cylinder engine
765: 765-cc three-cylinder engine
1200: 1215-cc three-cylinder engine
Street: 900-cc parallel-twin engine or 765-cc three-cylinder engine
XC: “Cross Country.” Reserved for the Tiger 800 and Tiger Explorer 1200. The XC designation skews the model toward off-road riding including features like a larger front wheel, spoked rims, and slightly longer suspension travel.
XR: Road-focused designation for the Tiger adventure bike series. Includes features like more-proportionate front and rear wheels and cast rims.
XE: Extreme Enduro (heavily off-road focused). Reserved for the top of the line Scrambler 1200
HT: High Torque
DRL: Daytime Running Light. A bright LED accent light in the front headlamp assembly that makes riders more visible to surroundings drivers.
Torque Assist Clutch: Gives the clutch a lighter touch and feel to make the bike easier to ride, especially for longer periods of time, thus reducing rider fatigue.
Triumph Shift Assist: Allows for seamless up and down gear changes without the use of the clutch.
Scrambler: a road-going motorcycle with an upright standard riding position, modified or fitted with longer suspension travel, knobby style tires and a high exhaust pipe; designed for light-to-moderate off-road riding.
Cafe Racer: a road-going motorcycle stripped down for speed, with low-swept handlebars and a more aggressive riding position. Cafe racers can also employ a fairing for improved aerodynamics.

Naked Sport

Street Triple

The Triumph Street Triple is widely considered to be one of the best middleweight naked bikes on the market. With a newly developed 765-cc three-cylinder engine also used as the powerplant for Moto2, the Street Triple is more capable and fun to ride than ever. The Street Triple produces 121 horsepower and 58 pound-feet of torque and comes with a variety of riding modes, a TFT display, traction control, ABS, and Cornering ABS. The Street Triple is perfect for everyone from everyday commuters to track-day junkies.

  • Models: Street Triple S, Street Triple R, Street Triple RS
  • Engine: 765-cc liquid cooled, four-stroke, 12-valve, DOHC inline three-cylinder
  • Base Price: $9,900

Speed Triple

The Big Brother to the Street Triple, the Speed Triple gives riders a more powerful 1050-cc engine. which pumps out a voracious 147 horsepower and 86 pound-feet of torque. Styling for the 2019 Street Triple closely matches that of its younger sibling and features a beautiful TFT display, various ride modes, traction control, ABS, and Cornering ABS.

  • Models: Speed Triple S, Speed Triple RS
  • Engine: 1050-cc liquid cooled, four-stroke, 12-valve, DOHC inline three-cylinder
  • Base Price: $14,350

Modern Classics / Standards

Bonneville T100

The Bonneville T100 is a modern take on the iconic 1959 Triumph T100. It beautifully incorporates a sculpted Bonneville signature fuel tank, wire-spoked wheels, authentic peashooter silencer exhaust pipes, and two-tone paint scheme with hand-painted gold coach lines. At its heart is Triumph’s 900-cc High Torque (HT) engine that puts out 54 horsepower and 59 pound-feet of torque — making it perfect for commuting or weekend rides.

  • Models: Bonneville T100, Bonneville T100 Black
  • Engine: 900-cc liquid-cooled, eight-valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
  • Base Price: $10,450

Bonneville T120

The Bonneville T120 incorporates all of the same classic aesthetics of the 2019 Bonneville T100, but features Triumph’s larger-displacement 1200-cc parallel twin engine. This powerplant puts out 96 horsepower and 83 pound-feet of torque, and features ABS, traction control, throttle-by-wire, two riding modes, heated handgrips, and DRL. This bike looks so old school, expect people to stop you to ask how old it is.

  • Models: Bonneville T120, Bonneville T120 Black
  • Engine: 1200-cc liquid-cooled, eight-valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
  • Base Price: $11,850

Cafe Racers

Street Twin

The 2019 Triumph Street Twin is one of Triumph’s best-selling motorcycles; it has been embraced by new riders. It also happens to be the most popular among female riders, according to Triumph. Featuring Triumph’s 900-cc High Torque (HT) engine that puts out 54 horsepower and 59 pound-feet of torque, the Street Twin is considered Triumph’s basic, entry-level motorcycle. It comes packed with Brembo front brakes, traction control, ride modes, torque-assist clutch, TPMS, LED lighting and cast wheels.

  • Models: Street Twin
  • Engine: 900-cc liquid-cooled, eight-valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
  • Base Price: $9,300

Street Cup

The Triumph Street Cup is the baby brother to the iconic Thruxton The semi-aggressive riding position featuring dropped ace handlebars, a rear seat cowling, ride-by-wire, switchable traction control, ABS, torque-assist clutch, and optionable low seat height make the Street Cup nimble cafe racer. At its heart is Triumph’s 900-cc parallel twin that puts out 54 horsepower and 59 pound-feet of torque giving it enough get-up-and-go for every day commuting or spirited weekend canyon runs.

  • Models: Street Cup
  • Engine: 900-cc liquid-cooled, eight-valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
  • Base Price: $10,500

Speed Twin

The Triumph Speed Twin brings the modern custom style and ergonomics of Triumph’s Street Twin together with stunning finishes and detail, all the comfort and timeless DNA of the Bonneville T120, and the power and performance of the Thruxton R, thanks to its 96-horsepower, 83-pound-foot 1200-cc HT parallel twin engine. The Speed Twin additionally features switchable ABS and traction control, three riding modes, torque-assist clutch, LED lighting front and rear, USB charging, and spoked aluminum wheels. The Street Twin is one capable modern classic for those seeking power and comfort in a single, stunning package.

  • Models: Speed Twin
  • Engine: 1200-cc liquid-cooled, eight-valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
  • Base Price: $12,100

Thruxton

The Triumph Thruxton is the definitive cafe racer, featuring Triumph’s 1200-cc HT parallel twin putting out 96 horsepower and 83 pound-feet of torque, low swept clip-on style handlebars and rear set foot pegs. Additionally, the Thruxton features switchable ABS and traction control, three riding modes, torque-assist clutch, LED lighting front and rear, USB charging, and spoked aluminum wheels. If you are a performance junkie and need only the very best, opt for the Thruxton R, which comes spec with twin floating Brembo monobloc calipers, a Brembo master cylinder, race-bred adjustable Showa big piston forks, fully adjustable Öhlins twin rear shocks and Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tires.

  • Models: Thruxton, Thruxton R
  • Engine: 1200-cc liquid-cooled, eight-valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
  • Base Price: $13,000

Scrambler

Street Scrambler

The Triumph Street Scrambler has been designed to deliver purposeful power while incorporating beautiful Scrambler style. Powered by the 900-cc HT parallel twin engine producing 54 horsepower and 59 pound-feet of torque, the Street Scrambler features a 19-inch front wheel, interchangeable pillion seat and aluminum rear rack, removable pillion pegs, adventure style front pegs, bash plate, wide handlebars and a low seat height option.

  • Models: Street Scrambler
  • Engine: 900-cc liquid-cooled, eight-valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
  • Base Price: $11,000

Scrambler 1200

The Triumph Scrambler 1200 is the brand’s first truly off-road-focused modern classic motorcycle. Featuring the 1200-cc HT engine that puts out 96 hp and 83 pound-feet of torque, it comes with a fully adjustable suspension front and rear with a travel of more than nine inches, a 21-inch front wheel, various riding modes (including a dedicated off-road one), Brembo brakes, spoked tubeless wheels, GoPro integration, Bluetooth connectivity and turn-by-turn directions. The Scrambler 1200 is as capable off-road as it is tackling the highway.

  • Models: Scrambler 1200 XC, Scrambler 1200 XE
  • Engine: 1200-cc liquid-cooled, eight-valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
  • Base Price: $14,000

Cruisers

Speedmaster

The Triumph Speedmaster harnesses the power of the 1200-cc HT engine producing 76 horsepower and 82 pound-feet of torque. The Speedmaster provides riders with laid-back riding ergonomics such as forward footpegs, swept-back beach bars, and comfortable pillion capability, all while delivering a distinctive cruiser experience with timeless sophisticated style. With over 130 accessories for customization and comfort, the Speedmaster is ready for long road trips no matter your whims.

  • Models: Speedmaster
  • Engine: 1200-cc liquid-cooled, eight-valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
  • Base Price: $13,150

Bonneville Bobber

The Bonneville Bobber is a stripped-down cruiser more akin to a custom bike than a production motorcycle. With an iconic, unique adjustable floating single saddle and Triumph’s 1200cc HT parallel twin producing 76 horsepower and 83 pound-feet of torque, the Bobber is a distinctive modern motorcycle with classic roots. The Bobber also incorporates switchable ABS and traction control, two riding modes, ride-by-wire, cruise control, torque-assist clutch and LED lighting front and rear.

  • Models: Bonneville Bobber, Bonneville Bobber Black
  • Engine: 1200-cc liquid-cooled, eight-valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
  • Base Price: $11,950

Adventure Motorcycles

Tiger 800

Whether your focus is off-road or on-road adventure, the Tiger 800 will tackle it with ease. At the heart of the Tiger 800 is Triumph’s 800-cc inline three-cylinder engine that makes 94 horsepower and 58 pound-feet of torque. It’s packed with a number of features including a full-color TFT display, ride-by-wire, various ride modes, cruise control, heated handgrips, Brembo front brakes, adjustable Showa (XR) or WP suspension (XC) front and rear. From long distance touring to off-road adventure to everyday commuting, the Tiger 800 range does it all.

  • Models: Tiger 800 XCx, Tiger 800 XCa, Tiger 800 XR, Tiger 800 XRx, Tiger 800 XR Low, Tiger 800 XRt
  • Engine: 800-cc liquid-cooled, 12-valve, DOHC, inline three-cylinder
  • Base Price: $12,000

Tiger 1200

The Tiger 1200 is a capable large-displacement adventure motorcycle. At the heart of the Tiger 1200 is Triumph’s 1215-cc inline three-cylinder engine, which makes 139 horsepower and 90 pound-feet of torque. The bike comes packed with a number of features, including a full-color TFT display, Triumph Shift Assist, Brembo front brakes, adjustable Showa suspension, six riding modes, cruise control, heated handgrips, keyless ignition, and more. And, when it comes to building out your Tiger 1200, Triumph offers a variety of packages to personalize it for even the most discerning riders.

  • Models: Tiger 1200 XC, Tiger 1200 XCa, Tiger 1200 XR, Tiger 1200 XRx, Tiger 1200 XRx Low, Tiger 1200 XRt
  • Engine: 1215-cc liquid-cooled, 12-valve, DOHC, inline three-cylinder
  • Base Price: $16,500

The Complete Ducati Buying Guide: Every Model, Explained

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A complete guide to every Ducati motorcycle on sale in the United States today. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Curtiss Warhawk Bike

Curtiss Motorcycles has done it again. At this point, should we even be surprised? The shop has put out a coterie of impressive custom jobs in years past. Its newest, called the Curtiss Warhawk, is no different. Like its siblings, the bike is a beastly bang-up job that says, “Screw it. We’re not about subtle.”

Indeed, it’s immediately apparent just after one glance that this is no ordinary ride. But explore its innards and you’ll find an equally impressive array of specs to match. First off, there’s a 132 cubic-inch triple cashaft V-twin engine. That amounts to 150 brake horsepower output — on a bike that weighs 570 pounds.

The chassis, an aluminum monocoque, features a double wishbone parallelogram front fork. There’s also a fabricated rear aluminum swing arm to round out the metallic profile. Top speed is rated at over 165mph. How much does it cost? Well, you can get this one for your garage just for the low, low price of $112,00.

By the way, this is the first Curtiss motorcycle in 105 years, if you can believe that. It’s also the last Curtiss to feature a Petrol V-twin engine. If this is something you think you want, act fast. The shop will make just 36 examples, so you better get that check ready stat. This is also the first and last of its kind, just so you know. Curtiss, which changes its name this year, will switch to all-electric propulsion for their builds moving forward. What a swan song, though.

CHECK IT OUT

Photos courtesy of Curtiss Motorcycles

Curtiss Zeus Bobber Motorcycle

Here comes another electric project from Curtiss, the Zeus Bobber Motorcycle. Curtiss isn’t messing around — this one is an absolute banger. Remember the Hera? Consider that a mere precursor to what the automaker has brought to us now. Its trend of making hyper-futuristic bikes continues here, with the Zeus Bobber fitting right inside a Scott Ridley sci-fi flick.

The modular design comes in a sleek, glossy black paint job, paired with an aluminum frame and solid carbon wheels. As a result, it is both light — just 475 pounds — but still very strong.

It’s got a suspension system that’s fully adjustable for racing and commuting. And the lithium-ion battery pushes the vehicle up to 280 miles. The electric motor generates 190 ponies, which is aplenty for an electric vehicle, and you get 145 pound-feet of torque, for good measure. That rounds to zero to 62mph in just 2.1 seconds, which is pretty amazing. And it’s so gorgeous to the point of looking fake. But trust us, this is no concept. It’s very, very real, and you can put an order for one now, if you got money to burn.

The bike is expected to roll off the assembly line in 2020, which is a bit further down the road, to be frank. If you really want it, you can deposit $6,000 now and wait to pay the full price of $60,000 once it hits the road. Hit the link below to learn how to order one now.

BUY IT HERE

Photos courtesy of Curtiss

2019 Ducati Panigale V4S Review: Is This Superbike Too Super for the Real World?

In the late Nineties and early Aughts, superbikes dominated the headlines. They were the hook and line which reeled in customers, bringing them into showrooms. Times change, though; by the end of 21st Century’s first decade, the plastic fairing-clad speed machines were still every manufacturer’s test bed for engineering, but a steady decline in sales was indicative of their flagging popularity.

In 2009, I bought a brand-new 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R for $10,000 to use as a daily motorcycle. Granted, by modern standards, it seems outdated; it didn’t have the ABS, complex traction control systems or the handful of riding modes today’s liter bikes come laden with. (That said, don’t hold your breath waiting for a superbike to come with that sort of price tag in 2019.) But it was a simple machine that was civilized enough for daily use, with a relatively low cost of ownership. Although the high-strung overpowered flagships of today may look similar, they’re a different breed than the superbikes of 10 years ago.

Case in point: the the Ducati Panigale V4S, which costs as much as a family car and packs as much speed and technology as a supercar. Numbers aren’t everything, but have bikes like this engineered and priced themselves out of “cheap speed” contention — and thus relevance?

The Good: There’s no denying how much of an engineering marvel Ducati’s new 1,103-cc V4 is, and how well it translates all of its 214 horses into acceleration. Ducatis always had a decent amount of power, but with the amount of rattling, rumbling and high-end bellows they’re known for, it’s fair to say their bark didn’t match their bite. The V4S, if anything, turns that notion inside out.

Who It’s For: Despite a price flirting with the $30,000 mark, the V4S makes a better second bike in the stable than it does a first. The V4S is for the rider who wants the ultimate weekend canyon carver, or — skill level permitting — a track bike that’ll blow away the rest of the paddock.

Watch Out For: The 1,103-cc V4 pumps out a ton of heat on a regular basis; get stuck in traffic or a tunnel, and it goes nuclear. Not only will your inside thigh start to roast, but those high temperatures can also wreak havoc on the bike (and as such, your bank account).

And don’t think about offering rides. Where competitors at least offer optional passenger seats and pegs, the Ducati is a solo-only machine.

Last but not least, a $28,000 motorcycle should have a fuel gauge. With all the readouts and analytics math the Bosch TFT display can compute the rider, the fuel level isn’t one of them? If I’m paying nearly $30,000 for a motorcycle, I shouldn’t have to do odometer-versus-mpg guesstimates.

Alternatives:
Honda CBR1000RR ($16,499)
Yamaha YZF R1-M ($22,999)
Aprilia RSV4 RF ($23,499)

Review: Manhattan rush hour traffic in June can break people, let alone the engines of motorcycles. The Ducati Panigale V4S’s tightly-packaged engine, with its exhaust wedged between the engine and the rear wheel, runs hot on a regular basis, it’ll cook your inside thigh should you get stuck in traffic–which I did almost every day for two weeks going back and forth from New Jersey to New York. My prior ZX-10R ownership led me to believe it’s possible to daily a superbike…or at least, it was 10 years ago. But today, with a bike like the V4S, does it — can it — still make sense to use a top-flight motorcycle as a daily?

On the first day, it was apparent the city is no place for the Panigale. It was narrow and balanced enough to scythe through traffic, and the riding position wasn’t so bad that my legs were cramping up after a full day in the saddle. But the on-off nature of the throttle at low RPM and the stress of constantly feathering the hydraulic clutch made stop-and-go traffic exhausting. Imagine a cheetah trying to stretch its legs in your living room — that’s what it’s like poking through urban streets on this bike.

The electronics suite on the V4S that lets you tailor the bike’s attitude is a cutting edge system from Bosch; engine mapping, engine braking, suspension stiffness, wheelie control, ABS and traction control are all customizable with multiple levels of aggressiveness. But even with everything dialed down to its tamest, it’s still not enough to hide the fact that there’s so much more on tap than a daily commute allows.

A weekend ride up to the mountains, then, was what I needed rto try and put the Panigale in its element. Before getting on the highway, I dialed back the electronic restrictions to free up more of the engine’s capability; it took a few tries to get to the ride mode and specific settings where I wanted, however, as the menu and interface isn’t all that intuitive. (I reset the clock and trip odometer by accident multiple times.) Even after a few times of fiddling with the settings I still had to remind my self which toggle-switch did what.

Still, all that ceased to matter once I hit the open road. One quick, smooth twist of the throttle, and I was accelerating faster than anyone would ever need to. Which is when I realized I was only at about 50 percent power.

After that, and a full day of carving up the roads contouring the lakes north of Manhattan, the Panigale started to make more sense. It’s pointed and light, but forces you to be smooth in and out of corners. It’s not a bike to learn on by any means, but it’s well-sorted enough to give you a generous safety net when you want to wring it out on public roads.

With the day almost over, I decided to call it quits and head back on the highway, I had an empty stretch of road in front of me and a little more courage, so I cranked the throttle wide open. The way the V4S gathered speed was almost instantaneous; at full throttle, it’s less of a feeling of acceleration and more like you’re defying the laws of space and time. The distant point down the road I was looking at when I got on the throttle? I found myself there before I ever would have thought possible.

Verdict: Is the Panigale a lot to handle? Yes. It’s not meant for the humdrum grind of daily riding, unless your commute involves 20 miles of empty, winding two-lane where the cops inexplicably fear to lurk. But on the right road, at the right time…it’s everything you want it to be and more.

2019 Ducati Panigale V4S

Powertrain: 1,103-cc 90-degree V4, six-speed sequential transmission
Horsepower: 219
Torque: 91.5 lb-ft
Weight: 430 lbs

Ducati provided this product for review.

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Ducati Diavel 1260S Review: A Muscle Bike Goes to Crossfit

Since its debut in 2011, the Diavel has always been a bit of an odd duck (homonym pun intended). Its design immediately polarized onlookers, as it defied typical Ducati conventions; it didn’t quite fit into any existing mold. A mishmash of motorcycle styles, Ducati’s modern take on the muscle bike is often pigeonholed into the cruiser category. But this is no cruiser; a combination of elements from Ducati’s superbike heritage and the extensive naked bike know-how underpin the Diavel’s brutish aesthetics ensure that’s clear.

For 2019, the Diavel drawing board was wiped clean and the bike redrawn with an emphasis on improved handling and performance. This latest iteration, the Diavel 1260, has already collected a prestigious Red Dot Award for its design. But to find out whether function follows form, whether it’s all show and no go or not, I took the flagship version — the 1260S — out for an extended spin.

The Good: The 1262-cc, Testastretta DVT L-Twin hanging from that bright red ribcage is an absolutely spectacular engine. With 157 horsepower and 95 pound-feet of torque on tap, the Diavel 1260S accelerates as if motivated by shoves from a malevolent god. Not only is it quick, but the Diavel 1260S is nimble, too; when the road begins to kink, the Diavel 1260S sniffs out apexes better than it has any business doing. Chassis tweaks as well as a revised rake mean the almost-10-inch-wide rear tire and 63-inch long wheelbase seem to shrink as soon as lean angle is introduced.

Who It’s For: The cost of entry puts the Diavel 1260S firmly in premium motorcycling territory, so riders seeking an iconic brand with meticulous fit and finish are a key demographic. It’s made for mature riders who don’t want to sacrifice handling and performance but are looking for something a touch more comfy than a true sportbike. I could also see seasoned riders looking for a unique arrow to add to their quiver flocking to the Diavel 1260S.

Watch Out For: The ride-by-wire throttle can be snatchy in both Sport and Touring modes. In slow-moving traffic, the throttle behaved more like a switch than a regulator, making the Diavel 1260 lurch. A quick change over to Urban mode smoothed things out noticeably, but doing this also cuts the heavenly motor’s output to 100 horsepower.

Alternatives: There really aren’t many motorcycles on the market that offer what the Diavel 1260S delivers. That being said, the Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 ($21,349+) and Fat Bob ($18,849+) definitely play in the same sandbox. Both are down on overall horsepower, but the Milwaukee Eight motor has gobs of torque (107 pound-feet). The Triumph Rocket III ($15,700+), despite being a little long in the tooth and weighty on the scale, could also end up on a cross-shopper’s list. It offers similar horsepower (148 hp) and an insane amount of twist (163 lb-ft) for much less investment.

Review: Walking around the 2019 Ducati Diavel 1260S for the first time can be a touch imposing. This is a big, brawny beast of a thing. Massively wide intake plenums flank a sculpted, flowing fuel tank that tapers towards a scalloped seat, which hovers above a rear tire that’s absurdly wide for a motorcycle with sporting intent. Cloaked in flat black, the new Diavel looks damned evil. It’s menacing enough to makes you wonder whether those Red Dot judges voted for it out of fear of being thumped by the bike itself.

Thumbing the keyless ignition, the starter sounds a touch lazy, almost industrial. Once fired, though, the bark from the big L-Twin reveals that the whirring cog’s lethargy was probably just trepidation at poking a sleeping grizzly;  this is an angry mill, befitting of the bike it calls home.

From behind the bars, the first thing you see is a compact 3.5-inch TFT dash that’s well-placed and easy to read in all but direct sunlight. The controls within thumb’s reach on the left let the rider cycle between the information displayed below the digital tach, activate the cruise control and toggle between three preset rider modes. Sport is the least intrusive, and has been preselected for me, so I leave things as is.

On the right of the instrument cluster, there’s a tiny button atop the housing with the letters “DPL” below it; a dab of press reveals it activates the Ducati Power Launch option this Diavel is equipped with. Following instructions, I pull in the clutch, select first gear and prod that grizzly.

The bike takes off with incredible fury but very little drama, as the ECU manages the amount of fuel that can be doled out to achieve the quickest possible launch. My left foot clicks the quickshifter as soon as the revs crest 9,500 over and over again, and almost instantly, I’m in “surrender your license” land.

Bringing the five-hundred-plus pounder back down to acceptable levels of speed takes barely a finger’s pull on the lever for the M4.32 monobloc Brembos. The engine braking alone off-throttle is almost enough to manage the Diavel in anything short of track duty or emergency stops, but those binders work extremely well and provide decent feedback when ushered into duty.

I stab the quickshifter down a couple of clicks — the auto-blipped downshifts are crisp but smooth — and lean the Diavel onto an empty on-ramp. Pitching into the corner, I’m surprised by just how easy the Diavel tips in. Other bikes with rear tires that rival this one in size take serious effort to persuade away from 90-degree angles, but the 1260S feels extremely planted throughout the business of cornering. The seat, although quite form-fitted, allows for plenty of lateral movement, and the scalloped tank readily accepts a thigh; one could probably get a knee down if one wanted.

Amongst commuters on the freeway, I shift my position rearward into the cup of the seat and find a relaxed position to cruise. With a windshield mounted up and a bag strapped to the back, I could easily see myself ditching town for a long weekend run on the Diavel. The Ohlins suspension works wonders at smoothing out the pock-marked roads of Toronto, while also providing a planted and predictable bike under spirited riding. If the Diavel is on your radar, I would definitely spring for the “S” model for the suspension alone.

But you do get quite a bit more than just top-shelf suspension when you check that box. The quickshifter, which allows for clutchless upshifts, is simply addictive. Whether you find yourself plugging along in Urban mode around the city or attacking corners on empty, winding routes the speed, the efficiency and smoothness of swapping cogs sans clutch is revelatory. I’ve used other, similar systems in the past and found them amazing on the track but lackluster and jerky in real-life scenarios, but Ducati has successfully ironed out all the kinks. Cruise control also comes standard on the S model, and provides a welcome relief on longer runs.

But both Diavels miss the mark when it comes to heated grips. This was a surprise, as this feature is de rigueur on premium motorcycles nowadays; its absence feels like one of the Diavel’s only true missteps.

Verdict: The Ducati Diavel 1260S does so much more than raise eyebrows when parked. It’s comfortable enough to handle extended touring trips, nimble enough to hang with supersports in the twisty bits and isn’t fazed by the confines of city life. The new Diavel 1260S is a unique motorcycle that offers a visceral, athletic riding experience — one that, quite simply, needs to be sampled to be understood.

Designer Andrea Ferraresi and his team have taken some of the best bits from their world of superbikes, nakeds and cruisers to deliver a ride that never ceases to surprise with its competence or performance. Provided the design that earned it that Red Dot Award appeals to you, it’s a winner.

2019 Ducati Diavel 1260S Key Specs

Powertrain: 1,262cc, liquid-cooled, Testastretta DVT, L-Twin
Horsepower: 157
Torque: 95 pound-feet
Weight: 538 pounds
Fuel Economy: 43.5 mpg

Ducati provided this product for review.

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Some of the Best Electric Motorcycles On Sale This Summer

Only a few short years ago, electric motorcycles were seen as a novelty, with only a small number of independent manufacturers dedicating any time or resources to the burgeoning technology. How times change; now, everyone from Triumph and Ducati to Honda and Harley-Davidson is scrambling to get a two-wheeled EV of their own on the market in the next couple years. Smaller outfits like Cake in Sweden and Energica in Italy are on their second and fourth bikes, respectively, while US-based Zero currently has five on sale — a few of them even in their second and third generations.

The electric motorcycle landscape is evolving and advancing every day; the technology and performance have reached a point where battery-powered bikes are a viable option for day-to-day transportation, putting their gas-powered brethren on notice. And while the EV bike marketplace isn’t as expansive as its internal combustion counterpart, there are still a solid number of options to choose from. So we at Gear Patrol have curated a few of our favorites that are on sale this summer.

Cake Kalk&

Over the past couple of months, the Cake Kalk has raked in awards for its design and functionality as an off-roader with an eye on environmental friendliness. The weirdly-named Kalk& is the new, road-legal version of the original. The two are nearly identical, apart from the Kalk&’s license plate holder and turn signals. The Kalk& also receives a slight bump in range and top speed to better cope with public roads; outside of that, the new dual-purpose electric machine handles just as sublimely as the dirt-only original.

Maximum Range: 83 Miles
Minimum Charge Time: 2.5 hrs
Power: 16 HP / 31 lb-ft
Price: $14,000

Zero SR/F

Zero has been building electric motorcycles since before it was cool, and it shows. The SR/F is the latest from the American manufacturer, bringing a new architecture, better battery technology and performance, and superior overall fit and finish than previous Zero motorcycles to the table. The SR/F is also the first Zero to have a TFT display and Bluetooth connectivity for a more modern experience. Stat for stat, the Zero SR/F is one of the few electric motorcycles that can go toe-to-toe with its gas-powered equivalents.

Maximum Range: 200 Miles
Minimum Charge Time: 1.5 hrs
Power: 110 HP / 140 lb-ft
Price: $18,995+

Energica Ego

Considering the naturally lightweight chassis of a motorcycle and the massive, instantaneous torque electric motors can crank out, high-performance electric sport bikes were an inevitability. Energica is one of the first manufacturers to focus solely on track-day-friendly super bikes, and the Ego is the newest model from the Italian brand. The Ego has a mind-melting 148 lb-ft of torque and 145 horsepower available; however, as with all electric motorcycles, the more you tap into that power, the quicker the battery drains. So while the Energic might make a lousy commuter Monday through Friday, it’ll embarrass a few super bikes at the track on the weekend.

Maximum Range: 100-120 Miles
Minimum Charge Time: 20 minutes (85% charge on DC Fast Charger)
Power: 145 HP / 148 lb-ft
Price: $34,000+

Lightning Strike

As on-the-nose as the name “Lightning Strike” is, the electric super bike does boast some impressive performance figures. It may look like another all-out full-fairing racer, but it’s more efficient than meets the eye. While the Lightning Strike does claim 180 lb-ft of torque, the more staggering stat is the range from the top-trim 20-kWh battery; it’s good for 150 miles of highway riding and 200 miles of city use. Of course, those numbers come with a price: The 20-kWh battery starts at $19,995, whereas the entry-level 10-kWh Lightning Strike that boasts a 70-mile range on the highway and 100 miles around town starts at $12,998.

Maximum Range: 150 Miles
Minimum Charge Time: 35 minutes (DC Fast Charger)
Power: 120 HP / 180 lb-ft
Price: $12,998+

Vespa Electtrica

Vespa is one of the few major manufacturers in the two-wheeled industry to have pushed an EV past the prototype stage and into showrooms. The range and power output are the least impressive of the entire list — but keep in mind, the Vespa Electtrica is also the most affordable vehicle on here by a healthy margin.

Maximum Range: 62 Miles
Minimum Charge Time: 4 hrs
Power: 5.4 HP
Price: $7,189
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE Review: A New Kind of Adventure Motorcycle

When Triumph announced the new Scrambler 1200 late in 2018, the biggest surprise wasn’t the bike itself — Triumph made sure of that with a steady stream of teasers leading up to the reveal — but the price tag: $14,000 for the base model, a price at least $2,000 more than its competitors. How could Triumph ask anybody to pay that much for a motorcycle that, by its very nature as a scrambler, is as bare-bones as possible to make it as capable off-road as it is on the pavement?

As someone who even went so far as to say “Triumph just made a massive mistake” upon hearing the price for the first time, I’ve been eager to get my hands on the top-tier Scrambler 1200 XE. The looks shout “laid-back dirt-slinger,” the sort of attitude we’ve come to expect from a scrambler — but the pricing seems better-suited to the laser-focused adventure bike crowd. So where does it really belong?

The Good: On a weekend-long ride that included a stint from Los Angeles to Pioneertown, California via Angeles Crest, a full day playing in the desert and a straight shot back to LA, the newest Triumph to wear the Scrambler badge came into its own, proving itself just as well-suited to carving up winding mountain passes as bombing through deep sand and jumping over desert crests.

Who It’s For: Riders who love the experience a scrambler can provide and have outgrown the current crop of smaller dual-purpose bikes, but don’t want to make the migration to a full-on modern adventure motorcycle.

Watch Out For:  No matter how good the motorcycle is, $14,000 for the base model XC and $15,400 for the XE is asking a lot. Indeed, a sum that high for an off-road motorcycle with minimal protection around the tank and engine and a lot of vulnerable expensive parts is bordering on ludicrous. There’s a reason modern adventure bikes are clad in plastic and have burly engine guards; off-road, it’s almost inevitabile a bike will end up on its side, so it’s best to make that experience as inexpensive as possible.

Alternatives: Ducati Desert Sled ($11,995), Moto Guzzi V85TT ($12,800), Indian FTR 1200 Rallye Package ($13,499+)

Review: The scrambler came to prominence in the 1960s and ’70s, when public roads had improved to a point where the need for day-to-day motorcycles with off-road capabilities began to sharply decline. Motorcyclists looking to ride, race and play in the dirt were hit hard — but instead of giving up, they started stripping down road bikes, bolting on longer-travel suspension and fitting knobby dirt tires.

The style’s popularity has ebbed and flowed in the years since, but it’s back in full force as of 2019. To say the current motorcycle market is saturated with scramblers is an understatement: Nearly every major manufacturer now has a bike labeled with the name. Problem is, most of the “scramblers” out there are based on existing sport standard style bikes, with only a few relatively cosmetic alterations to help them cope with life in the dirt. The number of options actually designed, engineered and tested to attack the dirt? Well, they can be counted on one hand…but one of those fingers is needed for the 2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE.

Triumph’s own lineup also includes the Street Scrambler, which can handle a gnarly dirt road or two — but as the name implies, it’s a street bike with a dash of off-road flavor. As with the majority of entry-level scramblers on sale today, it looks far more off-road-worthy than it actually is. Triumph knows this; the Scrambler 1200 is proof that it’s taking the scrambler market seriously, and not just phoning it in. (It’s also the brand’s rebuttal to rival Ducati’s Desert Sled, a bike packing a reinforced frame, bodywork and suspension more suitable for rough terrain.)

Using the Bonneville T120 Street Scrambler as the base, Triumph tuned the 1200-cc engine for greater horsepower and torque, but also made that power more accessible lower in the rev range — perfect for both off-roading and sprinting out of paved turns. The company gave the Scrambler a longer swingarm and taller front suspension for more travel (7.9 inches for the base XC, 9.8 inches for the XE) and ground clearance; should that run out more quickly than expected, though, there’s a thicker, more purposeful metal crash guard protecting the engine’s bottom.  The 1200 also gets a larger 4.2-liter fuel tank for longer rides. The XE, along with more generous suspension than the XC, scores upgraded electronics that include an “Off-Road Pro” mode, which shuts off the traction control and ABS to allow for more aggressive dirt riding.

The ride from LA to Pioneertown and back — with a day of desert riding in between — was more than enough to show that all the upgrades, enhancements, time and energy Triumph put into this Scrambler 1200 paid off. The bike’s Bonneville origins let me treat it like a sport standard on the serpentine roads over Angeles Crest; I was hanging off the side, leaning into turns and jumping on the big Brembo brakes as though Triumph never intended this bike to see dirt at all. The dirt-friendly 21-inch front tire and soft long-travel suspension tuned for off-roading do means the bike doesn’t bite into turns as sharply as it could, which made decreasing-radius bends and tight hairpins more hair-raising than I would’ve liked — but if you know that sluggishness is there, you can adjust your riding accordingly.

In the dirt, deep sand and rocky trails cutting across Joshua Tree National Park, the 1200 XE proved itself the competent off-roader riders have been begging for since Triumph brought the Street Scrambler to market back in 2006. The chassis and riding position give the Brit amazing balance when the ground is shifting under the tires. In a patch of sand where BMW GS after BMW GS struggled to wade through, I grabbed a fistfull of throttle, used the twin-cylinder engine’s torque to lift the front end, planed the front wheel and skipped past them all.

The Scrambler’s sub-500-pound weight also made navigating rock garden minefields and craggy, treacherous trails almost as easy as it would have been in a big enduro. (How the majority of adventure motorcycle riders haven’t realized you don’t need a 600-pound motorcycle to enjoy a day on the trails is beyond me.) Parked next to the heavily-fairing-clad Beamers at the trailhead, the Scrambler 1200 looked every bit as stripped-down as its name says it should be, but out in the thick of California’s demanding trails, it was just as capable as the BMWs — if not more.

However, if the undulating tarmac and the rutted sand pits are where the Triumph pulled away from established ADVs, it showed its greatest weakness while attempting to keep up during a lane-splitting sojourn down the freeway. During my relative straight shot back from Pioneertown to LA, I was joined by two friends piloting a Triumph Tiger 800 and BMW R 1200 GS. The Scrambler 1200’s punchy powerplant held its own on a long stretch of highway, but only up to a certain speed; beyond that, the nakedness and retro-minimalist styling of the Scrambler stopped being cool and started exaggerating the bike’s vulnerability.

It was at that point the over-engineered ADVs shrouded in aerodynamic plastic and clad with windshields fit for riot control duty started making sense. It’s not that the Scrambler didn’t want to keep up — it just couldn’t. Trying to chase down the Tiger and R 1200 GS while punching through the air at California highway speeds with nothing but handlebars and a headlight to break the wind…well, it was damn near impossible.

Verdict: Superbikes are so damn good at setting scorching hot laps and dirt bikes are the perfect tools for navigating single tracks with surgical precision for the same reason: They’re built from the ground up to be laser-focused. Scrambler-style motorcycle are jacks-of-all-trades, and like any such compromised proposition, concessions must be made; in this case, compromises to the ride and design are inevitable. It’s why they’ll never be the best at carving up your favorite road or pounding dirt along wooded trails.

But in that category, there’s no doubt the Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE raises the bar to a new level. It’s not the best on the road — but going in and out of corners, it still inspires more confidence than most other road bikes. It’s not the last word in off-road performance — but it’s more sure-footed than some bikes built specifically for the dirt.

In fact, I owe Triumph an apology. There’s no “massive mistake” with the price of this bike. The only mistake here is that the company undersold this bike by calling it a “scrambler” when it’s something far greater: a naked ADV.

2019 Triumph Scrambler XE Specs

Engine: 1,200-cc parallel twin
Horsepower: 89
Torque: 81 pound-feet
Weight: 452 pounds (Dry)
Suspension Travel: 9.8 inches

Triumph provided this product for review.

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Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Aether Moto Boot Review: Is the Brand’s First Motorcycle Boot Any Good?

Nearly a decade ago, Aether broke into the niche market of luxury performance wear, quickly making a name for itself with its signature style: minimalist, functional and dress-code-friendly. Nowhere is that blend of traits more apparent than its line of motorcycle clothing. It’s not easy balancing style with the necessary protection for riding, but Aether has pulled it off, refining its products over the years and crafting pants and jackets with a blend of characteristics motorcycle riders need and crave alike.

Now, for the first time, Aether is jumping into the motorcycle boot arena. In keeping with the brand’s minimalist ethos, Aether simply dubbed its first-ever endeavor into footwear the “Moto Boot.”

The boots were officially released this week, but I’ve been testing a pre-release pair for the past month, breaking them in both via day-long rides in the country and through hours of New York City commuting, both by train and motorcycle.

The Good: “Plush” came right to mind the first time I laced up the Moto Boot. Aether used 100-percent Italian leather — not just for the upper and the welt, but for the lining of the entire interior of the boot, including the insole. My first couple of steps told a different story, though: “Stiff” and “rigid” were the next descriptors that came to mind. That’s not a bad thing for a motorcycle boot, though; it just means there’s a break-in period, which all well-built boots tend to have.

Like the rest of Aether’s motorcycle gear, the Moto Boot nicely blends style, performance and protection. The caramel-brown leather boot looks just as much at home on a bike as it does in an office or restaurant, right in the same league as a Thursday Boot Co. Captain or Red Wing Iron Ranger. (It also comes in black leather.)

The Aether Moto Boot comes with a reinforced heel and toe box, as well as internal D30 ankle pads for extra on-road protection. But where most boots with reinforced toe boxes wind up being bulky, the toe on the Moto Boot is still slim enough to work the shifter on the tight confines of a sport bike.

Who It’s For: The motorcycle rider looking for a boot that can multitask and fit in anywhere: group rides, the office, a restaurant or bar. Just make sure you break it in first.

The Bad: In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, the worst part of living with the Moto Boot is the lack of comfort during the break-in. It’s a given that most well-constructed boots will have a rough honeymoon period, but the Moto Boot’s reinforced heel and toe box amplify the struggle, due to the utter lack of give at first. After a few weeks, I’m honestly wondering if I’ve broken them in, or if I’ve simply developed calluses to compensate…probably a little of both.

Overall, the Moto Boot’s design is stylish enough to warrant a steady stream of compliments, but if there’s one trap fashion-forward motorcycle boots regularly fall into, it’s the need for a shifter pad aft of the toe box. I get it. Most regular boots I’ve owned end up serving as riding gear at one point or another, and wear from the shifter is inevitable, so having an extra layer of leather down there to compensate makes sense. But that extra few square inches of leather will still wear away in time and to me, shifter pads always seem out of place. Why not just add a full toe cap and keep a symmetrical design?

The Alternatives: There aren’t many other choices when it comes to durable casual boots that double as legit cycling footwear. But the Belstaff Resolve Boots ($450) clearly stand out as one of the few direct competitors to the Aether Moto Boot. Both items live in the luxury/performance space and have near-identical price tags, so the choice between the two will likely be down to brand loyalty.

Below them is the Red Wing Iron Ranger ($320), which, even though it makes for a great all-around boot, doesn’t offer the extra impact protection of a genuine motorcycle boot. The Rev’It Marshal Boot ($300) looks the part of a higher-end motorcycle boot and offers the requisite impact protection, but its construction isn’t as beefy as the others. It’s still a reliable boot, mind you — it’s just made for a more affordable price point.

Verdict: As the company’s first outing in a well-established space, Aether knocked it out of the park with the Moto Boot. At $595, it’s certainly on the pricier end of the spectrum — but it’s on par with rest of Aether’s motorcycle line, and considering the materials, construction and added impact and abrasion protection (and maybe a small dose of the ol’ luxury-brand-name tax), it seems worth the cash. If you’re looking for a genuine motorcycle boot that also offers flexible style, and don’t mind spending the money for a durable product, the Aether Moto Boot is worthy of adding to your everyday rotation.

2019 Indian FTR 1200 Review: Out With the Old, In With the New

Ever since its 2011 resurrection by Polaris Industries, Indian Motorcycles has focused on large, beefy cruisers for the Crosby, Stills and Nash set. But with an aging customer base, it’s only logical that Indian would be looking to grow its appeal — and the much-anticipated FTR 1200 is the Minnesota company’s first concentrated effort at empire expansion. Tapping the American motorcycle brand’s rich history in flat track racing — its infamous Wrecking Crew team claimed championships in the harrowing sport for three consecutive years from 1951 to 1953 — Indian’s new FTR 1200 is based off their FTR750 racing bike. That’s rather appropriate: Indian’s Jared Mees has mirrored the Wrecking Crew’s success by winning back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018 on the back of a FTR750.

The Good: The FTR 1200 benefits from being Indian’s first clean sheet design in half a decade; it’s a well-engineered machine from headlamp to tailpipes. Indian engines are known for their power, and the FTR 1200’s liquid-cooled 1203-cc V-Twin is no exception; the new configuration optimizes airflow for additional power and torque, enabling it to eclipse competitors like BMW’s R Nine T. The clutch is light and engages the quick-shifting six-speed sequential transmission with ease. And the amount of engineering work spent on optimizing balance and weight distribution is clea from the first time you climb aboard.

Who It’s For: The FTR 1200 was conceived to expand Indian’s reach, with Europe and Japan as major target markets. For this reason, Indian worked closely with its Polaris sister company SwissAuto in developing the bike, to make sure it appealed to European customers whose playgrounds are much different than the roads that burly cruisers like the Chief and Roadmaster call home. Meaning the FTR 1200 has to handle corners; agility, grip and balance are a priority. Moreover, the flat-tracker has to appeal to the aesthetics of a customer who’s cross-shopping bikes like the BMW R Nine T, Triumph Bonneville and Thruxton, and Ducati Scrambler 1100.

Watch Out For: The obvious ding on the FTR 1200 is cost versus its Japanese competitors, but it’s still competitive with the price of European rivals. Other than that, the only weakness I encountered with the FTR 1200 was when I had to ride some 60 miles on dirt connecting several tiny surfing pueblos. There were no paved streets so Indian took us on what they thought would be packed fire roads, only to discover that these gutted paths were littered with patches of deep sand, resulting in several riders dropping their bikes. But, honestly, no one should be taking a nearly 500-pound street bike on deep, dune-like sand. On hard-packed dirt, it should be noted, the bike lived up to its flat track roots just fine.

Alternatives: Ducati Scrambler 1100 ($12,995), Husqvarna 701 Svartpilen ($11,999), BMW R Nine T Scrambler ($12,995)

Review: Indian selected the southern tip of Baja California to show off its latest creation’s merits, and the two-day, 300-odd mile trek’s terrain proved an excellent canvas for the FTR 1200 to showcase its stuff. The roads that connect Cabo San Lucas to La Paz and Todos Santos provide numerous types of riding, which underscored the bike’s versatility. It’s a true polymath, as good taking on the twisties that hugged the mountains as it was humming along at 80 mph on seemingly endless stretches of highway.

“We were lucky in a sense coming into a whole new segment, a whole new platform. We got to step back at an early stage and look at what everybody else has done and try to innovate beyond that,” Indian’s vice president of engineering John Callahan explained over copious fish tacos. “So we were in a good situation — we didn’t have to take something we already had and make an evolutionary product out of it.”

This clean sheet engineering is most apparent in the FTR 1200’s overall architecture, which incorporates the innovative decision to move the gas tank under the seat. Engineers wanted to optimize airflow into the V-Twin, so they configured the airbox directly above the engine where the fuel tank would normally go. This placement accomplishes two things: It improves air flow to the engine to increase power and torque output, and it centralizes the bike’s mass by relocating the tank directly under the rider. Gasoline isn’t light; the placement of the weight of the 3.4-gallon tank lowers the overall center of gravity and contributes to the bike’s excellent balance. (And as the tank empties, the liquid weight funnels further down and towards the middle.)

The FTR 1200’s designer Rich Christoph previously worked with legendary motorcycle engineer Eric Buell, who he says taught him to “design the air out of the bike” — that is, package everything tightly and remove any and all unused space to form a taut, sleek silhouette. This tight packaging within the steel tube trellis frame and aluminum rear subframe contributes to the FTR 1200’s overall sense of structural integrity and balance, as does the S-spec suspension.

With nearly six inches of travel, the gold 43-mm telescopic forks easily absorbed the many dramatic bumps and unexpected dips the Mexican infrastructure served up. The shocks are compliant enough to feel all-day comfortable on the longer, straighter stretches and ably swallow the countless giant speedbumps I encountered, but also sufficiently stable and stiff on the many snaking turns found climbing the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range. Grip is aided by race-inspired DT3-R tires, developed exclusive for the FTR 1200 by Dunlop to secure stickiness European riders demand.

Those turns are also where the V-Twin’s 123 horsepower and 87 pound-feet of torque strut their stuff. Exiting some unexpectedly tight corners, I occasionally found myself a gear too high, yet the engine served up a surfeit of low-end torque in smooth, generous and predictable surges with a light twist of the throttle. You’ll never be lacking for torque, even if you find yourself a couple gears off target.

The 1203-cc powerplant isn’t just a hopped-up Scout engine, either. Engineers say it’s an entirely new engine, with an FTR-specific crankcase, cylinders, heads and all internals. When the time comes to stop, standard Brembo brakes (dual radially mounted 320mm discs with 4-piston calipers up front, single 260mm semi-floating disc with 2-piston caliper in back) with ABS scrubbed speed quickly and controllably.

During long stretches of highway riding, the FTR 1200 never feels tiring. Its wide, cushy padded saddle offers plenty of longitudinal and lateral movement (to prevent your ass from falling asleep), the S-spec cruise control keeps the power flowing, and most importantly, the bike’s upright riding position proves imminently comfortable. Pegs are located directly under your hips, and the wide flat track-styled ProTaper aluminum handlebars are low enough to retain the FTR750’s sexy silhouette but still high enough to remain comfortable during long stretches of straight-line riding.

One caveat for shorter riders: the combination of a high riding position (it has a 33.1-inch seat height) and an extra-wide saddle disqualifies the FTR 1200 for some of the potential conquest customers Indian is trying to woo. Newer riders and smaller women may feel snubbed; some shorter journalists had a tough time touching ground at stops. Compare that with the Ducati Scrambler’s much more accessible 31-inch height, a delta made even more significant when paired with the FTR 1200’s extra-wide seat.

There are enough tech flourishes on the S-spec model to appeal to younger clientele, most obviously the 4.3-inch Ride Command full-color TFT touchscreen display plucked from the Chieftain and Roadmaster. The system makes it easy to toggle between analog-style or modern-looking gauges, engage cruise control, and select between three ride modes (Sport, Standard, Rain) that alter throttle response and traction control intervention. (ABS, stability control and traction control are all lean-angle sensitive.) Bluetooth and a fast-charging USB port allow riders to control their phone and music via the display, as well The base FTR 1200 lacks all the above gadgetry, however, subbing in a four-inch analog gauge cluster; that said, it still offers the USB port, as well as LED lighting.

And last but certainly not least, it should be noted that this is a fine-looking bike. It doesn’t try too hard or look over the top. The trellis frame, 19-inch wheels, seat and profile are all well-proportioned and radiate a sense of sturdiness and simple badassery. (For extra style, tick the box for the optional high- or low-mounted titanium Akrapovic pipes, which not only fill the air with a sonorous roar but lend the FTR 1200 an even better profile.) It’s an American flat tracker reimagined for the streets, and it damn well looks the part.

Verdict: The FTR 1200 will almost certainly succeed in its goals of opening up new markets for Indian. Sure, it’s a looker, which is imperative when going against the Ducatis and Triumphs of the world. But more importantly, its engine, smooth power delivery, and spectacular balance should tick all boxes with demanding European and Japanese buyers — especially those looking for an American bike that delivers on its promises.

2019 Indian FTR 1200 Specs

Powertrain: 1,203-cc V-Twin, six-speed sequential transmission
Horsepower: 123
Torque: 87 pound-feet
Lean Angle: 43 degrees
Weight: 488 pounds (empty)

Indian hosted us and provided this product for review.

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You Can Finally Buy a New Motorcycle Helmet by Hello Cousteau

And it’s Only $220

You Can Finally Buy a New Motorcycle Helmet by Hello Cousteau


Back in Issue Seven of Gear Patrol magazine, we featured an interview with artist Nuno Henriques, also known on social media as @Hello Cousteau.  He’s become rather well-known in select circles for his beautiful motorcycle helmet renderings and designs. Trouble is, actually getting a helmet adorned with one his unique graphics isn’t so easy. Outside of limited-run editions with HJC and AGV, you won’t find Henriques’s helmet designs anywhere on the road.

That’s changing, though. Thankfully for the riding public, Henriques struck a deal with Bell, bringing more of his creative style to a market otherwise overflowing with over-designed, done-to-death gaudy paint jobs. The Bell SRT is a tried and true full-face lid, and now it looks light years better, thanks to a dose of that distinct Hello Cousteau style.

Learn More About @HelloCousteau
Since starting his Instagram handle @hellocousteau in 2016, Henriques has gained over 20,000 followers and, on occasion, has received more than a hundred emails a day asking where to buy or order his helmets. Read the Story

Hookie Co. Yard Built “Grasshopper” Yamaha XSR700

Hookie Co. has modded the 689cc Yamaha XSR700 concept twin into something ruggedly futuristic. Though Hookie kept the original frame and chassis, it added parts like a handcrafted aluminum tank, a new aluminum seat rail…