In 2018, Jan F went on a trip to the Sierra Nevada with Clubmot, a Belgian organizer of motorcycle trips and trainings, and he really liked it. When he suggested the idea of starting our motorcycle season early and with a lot of miles on a new Clubmot trip to southern Spain, I was sold immediately. Our biker bud Shih as well. Vamos a Andalucia!
The formula for this trip was the same as the trip to the Sierra Nevada: Fly & ride. Clubmot books the flights and the hotel, and provides you with routes. Your bike travels there and back via truck transport. Nicely arranged.
We left early on Saturday March 19th (so that we could already start riding on Saturday afternoon) and Continue reading →
When I first rode the T7 in 2020 I asked myself if it would become the successor to my 800 GS. After writing that review, I couldn’t get the bike out of my head. And if you follow Jean Le Motard on Instagram, you know what happened eventually.
Last October I visited my local Yamaha dealer who needed a bit of luck to find one of the last 2021 Rally Editions for me. Two weeks later I said goodbye to my 800 GS. 110,000 km on the counter, 12 years old. Thanks for the good times!
In the meantime I have equipped the T7 with a few extras: a centerstand and a shorter Yamaha license plate holder, a Donner-Tech GPS holder and connections for a trickle charger and my heated jacket. I also hopped by at Allroadmoto for Bumot Defender panniers, Barkbusters handguards, Double Take mirrors and Outback Motortek crash bars. Coming soon: an Altrider clutch arm.
Still on my wishlist: heated grips and a small (but hard to find) rear luggage rack.
That experience made me very curious about the new 1290 Super Adventure S, which got a big make-over for model year 2021. Even though an untrained eye perhaps wouldn’t notice much of that update.
The headlight is probably the biggest eye-catcher. It now contains the sensor for the (standard) adaptive cruisecontrol. Quite easy to spot as well: the new 23-litre tank hangs like two large cheeks along both sides of the also renewed frame. Furthermore, the LC8 V-twin has been thoroughly revised: it weighs 1.6 kg less now, received a Euro5 diploma and spits out 160 hp/138 Nm. The steering head was moved 15 mm rearwards for sharper handling, while the swingarm was extended by 15 mm for more stability and grip. And there’s more, but we’ll discuss that later.
When I hop on the bike, I immediately notice that the adjustable seat (849 / 869 mm) is lower and narrower at the front than on the previous model. At the same time, Continue reading →
The story of Harley-Davidson has been a soap opera in recent years. The fully electric Livewire that was revealed in 2014? Quite the plot twist for a brand that’s usually linked to classic choppers and rumbling exhausts. And if that wasn’t already hard enough to swallow for the average Harley rider, they had to stomach an adventure bike and a streetfighter a couple of years later. Or at least the announcement. Preproduction models of both bikes (the Pan America and the Bronx) were shown at the 2020 Brussels Motor Show. Shortly afterwards the storyline spiraled even further with a new CEO who immediately decided to ditch the Bronx. Just to quickly give you an idea of a few plot lines.
The Special version of the Pan America differs from the standard version with a range of extras: semi-active suspension, tire pressure monitoring, crashbars, handguards, heated grips, steering damper, centerstand, bash plate, radiator guard, cornering lights and a brake pedal that can be easily adjusted to two different heights. Starting prices: $17,319 for the standard Pan, $19,999 for the Special. My version also had the optional spoked wheels and the adaptive seat height.
If you don’t like the design of the Pan America: it looks a lot better in real life than it does in the pictures. The striking front will probably be the pitfall for this model even though owners will think of it as ‘different’ or ‘original’. After one week, Continue reading →
“Ah, there you’ll have it.” That’s what crossed my mind when Triumph announced the new Trident. Because isn’t it logical that Triumph, with its rich triple history, also offers a more “classic” three-cylinder naked in the current range?
The new Triumph Trident 660 is the third Trident generation. From 1968 to the mid-1970s and well into the 1990s, Triumph built its first two generations. The new one received a 660 cc engine, as its name suggests.
That engine is very different from the one in the Street Triple S, which also has a 660 cc heart. Of course the Trident takes over some parts from the Street, but just under 70 new components provide a different engine character. While the Street’s three-cylinder mainly emphasizes sporty top end power, the Trident aims at the lower and middle revs. You can also see it in the Continue reading →
When BMW traded in its 1200 RT for the 1250 RT in 2019, the main change was the renewed engine. ShiftCam technology, more horses and Newton meters, remember? But no design update at all, and the dashboard with the two analogue counters and the small digital display also remained unchanged (while that combo had already been replaced by a full-color TFT display on other models). I thought it was a missed opportunity. Now we are two years further down the road. Enough time for BMW to overhaul its touring bike for model year 2021.
The first thing you notice is of course the new muzzle of the R 1250 RT. The two round headlights have given way to a more angular design, with the fairing around the LEDs now painted in body color. It gives the RT a more refined look. Too bad that the rear end remained untouched. Another missed opportunity. Or a reason for an update in two years?
The fairing has been made more aerodynamic, which doesn’t detract from the still overwhelming width of this beast. 985mm to be exact. Certainly in front view, the RT looks like a mastodon. You would almost be afraid to jump on it, because “Can I handle such a big bike?!”
However, I already experienced the opposite during previous RT encounters. Maneuvering at walking pace or pushing the bike out of the garage … it required some effort. But once Continue reading →
Do you smell that? The scent of incense? Yes, your nose already guessed it: you’re reading a review in which Yamaha’s universally praised CP2 twin plays a role. This time it’s spooned in between the legs of a sports touring model: the Tracer 7. But that incense of praise, does it apply to just the engine or the whole bike? Let’s find out.
Never change a winning team, they say. That is, until someone commands you to “Apply Euro5 standards, now!” which forced Yamaha to work on their two-cilinder engine (year of birth: 2014). The air intake, injection system and exhaust got reworked among other things. Yamaha claims a more linear power curve, but at the same time they also lost some power: the Tracer 7 has 73.5 hp, while its predecessor (that went by the name of Tracer 700) had 74.8 horses shining on its passport. Newton meters stayed the same at 68 units.
Yamaha didn’t just do an engine update: it’s impossible to miss the new face of the Tracer 7. It looks a lot more modern, sportier, yes, even more aggressive than the previous generation that all of a sudden seems to be boring and dated. The position of the two headlights, the frowning light strips, the tight lines of the bodywork: great design.