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Showing posts from May, 2017

Ride Review: 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod

You may remember that when Harley-Davidson's Street 750 first came out, one of the biggest criticisms people had of the bike was that it didn't live up to the Harley standard in terms of fit and finish. It looked cheap – not very well put together. Well, Harley heard you loud and clear and it has fixed that with its all-new Street Rod model.
It looks well put together, and it is. This thing is built like a damn tank. I know because I crashed one. We'll get to that story – and the reason Common Tread's Lemmy and Cycle World's Joseph Gustafson have given me the nickname "Trashcan" – in a moment. But first I want to encourage you to test ride the Street Rod for yourself.
This bike represents a new direction for Harley-Davidson and it has something of a mountain to climb in terms of ensuring retail success. The conventional wisdom is that Harley's ever-dwindling core audience will turn their noses up at this new motorcycle, so the 114-year-old company h…

Review: 2017 Kawasaki GTR1400 (aka Concours 14)

The market for sport-touring motorcycles seems to have cooled in recent years. Unless you count KTM’s 1290 Super Duke GT, we’ve not seen a truly new sport tourer in quite some time. Stalwart machines like the Kawasaki GTR1400, Honda ST1300, and Yamaha FJR1300 have received tweaks here and there but generally look exactly the same as they did a decade ago. It’s the ebb and flow of motorcycling, I suppose; things fall in and out of fashion. But with more and more adventure-styled bikes being designed with no intention of going off road, I can’t help feeling that – in terms of purpose, at least – the sport tourer is ripe for a comeback. 
So, last autumn, when I had reason to want a bike that meshes the concepts of fast and comfy, I saw it as a perfect opportunity to throw a leg over a model I’ve long admired: the Kawasaki GTR1400 (better known as the Concours 14 in the United States).

I spent several weeks with the Kawasaki, primarily using it as transport to attend EICMA, which is hel…