04/04 2016 The time warp has started - BMW R 1200 S
10 years ago today I roadtested the Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Honda FMX650 Funmoto but I had also just gotten back from South Africa and the BMW R 1200 S launch at the Killarney circuit in Cape Town. Read more about this and check out the newly rescued photography from that event HERE
Finally it's here, the MV Agusta Rivale 800 in all its glory. I had the pleasure of testing this extreme streetfighter at La Route Napoleon in the south of France and let me tell you straight away I wasn't disappointed. The 125 hp 798cc triple moves the 178 kilos forward with great authority and super-sharp Brembo brakes stops it with same said mastery.
I rode it in torrential rain the first day which gave me a good opportunity to test traction control in conditions where TC could actually save you. The traction control works great on lower settings, say from four to one but the upper settings I had and will never have any use for even in the rain. Much more here
In January this year I got the chance to test the upgraded RSV4’s at Estoril so there’s nothing new apart from the colours on the 2014 RSV4 Factory. What’s interesting though is that this time I was able to test the RSV4 Factory directly in comparison with the upgraded for 2014 Tuono V4R ABS.
Aprilia invited to what the firm called “V4 day” at the fairly new Italian circuit San Martino del Lago near Cremona (home to Stradivarius) There isn’t an actual lake near the circuit but during the night there had at least developed several puddles around the circuit after rain and it never dried completely for us so we tested on a wet circuit using racing rain tyres from Pirelli. Much more including onboard video here
Made of 95% unobtainium and costing 60.000 Euro by invitation only. The last time Ducati decided to boost Ducati owners ego's was in 2007 with the Desmosedici RR. This highly sought after motorcycle was in a similar price class but the difference back then was that Ducati were able to win races with its V4 Desmo. So owners did get actual racing kudos by being in possession of a Desmosedici RR. Do you want to know how many races Ducati have won in the World Superbike championship in 2013? Probably not because it's the grand total of 0 victories for the Panigale and it's only two races left. More here
MV Agusta has enjoyed enormous success after launching its first new triple, the F3 675. So much so that the firm decided it was time to up the game with the F3 800. Welcome the super triple with 148 horsepower and the chassis of a 600. I got five sessions at Misano to gel with this delight of several levels. Review here
Here are our first impressions of the technological new touring marvel from Aprilia.
Aprilia is going after Ducati’s Multistrada big time with the new Caponord 1200. They’ve taken the big 1200 V-twin from its Dorsoduro 1200 model and tuned it for touring perfection with torque in all the right places. The Caponord 1200 is comfortable with a not too high seat and very good ergonomics. I tested the Travel Pack version which features hard luggage, a centre stand, ADD (Aprilia dynamic damping), traction control and ABS brakes.
The most impressive thing with the new Caponord is its handling abilities and how it all comes together with the extensive use of electronics. Aprilia’s Dynamic Damping system is a definite step up from Ducati’s simpler Skyhook system. I struggled to put a foot wrong out on the gorgeous Sardinian roads and the Caponord 1200 makes any rider pretty fast from the word go. Solid is my impression of the super stable chassis which stays calm in any situation helped in a very large part by the ADD system. More and video here
2013 MV Agusta F4 and F4 RR First impressions
This week I have tested the 2013 versions of the MV Agusta F4 and F4 RR at Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia. Both bikes has been fitted with MV’s latest electronics package with lean sensors, electronically assisted shift and more. The F4 RR is the absolute MV Agusta flagship model and now sports electrically controlled Ohlins suspension and steering damper controlled by a dedicated Ohlins ECU unit. This means that you can change everything but preload from the dashboard of the motorcycle. The F4 RR also features a new 14,000rpm rev limit and it produces a claimed 201 horsepower @13,600rpm whilst the standard and R model has to settle with “only” 195 horsepower @13,400rpm.
2013 MV Agusta Brutale 800 First Impressions and video
The new Brutale 800 differs from its 675 little brother in one simple fact; Ferocity! The 2013 MV Agusta Brutale 800 is simply put a more brutal motorcycle even more suitable to its name. The engine capacity has increased by 125cc but that just looks like a simple figure. In real life the Brutale 800 pulls a lot stronger and puts more excitement into a motorcyclists life. From around 5.000rpm the big triple explodes into its brutal beginning of the best. Don’t forget the MV Agusta four cylinders and the Brutale 1090RR, the three cylinder 800 is still their junior but now the gap between the 675 and the 1090 is truly closed. The Brutale line-up is completed. 125 horsepower to take care of the lightweight 167 (claimed dry weight-approx 189kg ready to ride) is plentiful and everything else apart from tyres and suspension is pretty much the same as on the 675.
2013 Moto Guzzi California 1400 Ambassador tested in Cannes
First impressions from Cannes...
The all new Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring is the most comfortable beast ever to leave the Mandello del Lario factory gates. The plush seat kept me comfortable and happy during our whole 200 kilometre test ride in Cannes.
There’s some excessive heat dissipation from those big new cylinder heads that hits just below my knees and luckily for us the temperature only ranged between 13-20 degrees Celsius.
The new 1380cc air-cooled V90 is very impressive and whilst I preferred to keep her under 2,000 rpm it gets really lively all the way up past 5,000rpm. The new 1400 is a really flexible engine which hasn’t sacrificed its low end sweet spot to achieve an almost sporty top end. That’s unusual for this size cruiser. More here
First video with exhaust sound:
2013 MV Agusta F4, F4 R and F4 RR technical highlights video and images!
2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring full review and full video test
2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring launch – The suspension rises
Ducati Skyhook Suspension; what a name! It sounds like a component out of Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder. Just like a Jedi the Skyhook suspension system uses “the force” or an imaginary X figure to calculate what it should do. Skyhook is truly high tech and the result of thinking outside of the box. Skyhook is a fantastic feature and I’ll try to explain more in this test.
Words: Tor Sagen/Photo: Milagro
2013 BMW R 1200 GS official video
New 2013 Kawasaki Z800 video
Official Honda HRC press release and video:
Honda has unveiled its CRF450 Rally model at the 2012 International Motorcycle, Scooter and Bike Fair in Cologne, Germany. The new machine will compete in the motorcycle class in the 2013 Dakar Rally to be held next January.
From 1981, Honda competed nine times in the forerunner of the current Dakar Rally, the Paris-Dakar Rally. Cyril Neveu from France rode Honda to its first victory in 1982 in the race's fourth year and, from 1986 to 1989, Honda won four consecutive titles for an overall record of five victories in nine years. More images and video here
2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring tested in Bilbao
First impressions, large photo gallery and action video from the Bilbao launch here
2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Granturismo and Pikes Peak version revealed
Next week you can read all about Ducati's new version of the popular Multistrada 1200 touring and do-it-all machine. We'll test the new Skyhook suspension in Bilbao shortly. More pictures here. Tor
The big wheelie compilation
We've been able to pull a small or big wheelie on most bikes over the years and here's a compilation. 168 wheelies on 79 bikes by 16 different manufacturers. From 125cc to 2.300cc Enjoy! Wheelies
Europe's hottest superbikes - Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC SE - BMW S 1000 RR - Ducati Panigale 1199 S
In case you haven't noticed Tor Sagen is a freelance motorcycle journalist and have to give clients priority on publishing full reviews. Now our self imposed embargo has been lifted on the three hottest superbikes in the world and all three reviews has been published in full with all the best photography and a lot of it plus videos of course. There's a lot to read about these three superbikes that has been tested all over the world. Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC SE was tested at one of the best test circuits in the world, Jerez. It's fast, technical, always dry and doesn't give a rider much time to breathe but we love it. Then the BMW S 1000 RR that we tested on the northernmost roadracing circuit in the world, Arctic Circle Raceway. We also tested the RR on the road taking it to the Arctic Circle point itself before the racing and testing started on the circuit. Finally the Ducati Panigale 1199 S that we tested at the ultra fast Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. I nearly though about reducing my helmet size from Large to Medium after the 1.3 kilometre straight was negotiated a few times. Here are the links:
2013; Honda returns to Dakar rally with HRC factory team
Honda have announced its intention to compete in the 2013 Dakar rally with a works team for the first time in 23 years. Those old enough will remember the iconic Honda Africa Twin styled like a Dakar rally machine. The team will simply be called Team HRC. The 4 man strong team consists of Helder Rodrigues, Felipe Zanol, Sam Sunderland and Javier Pizzolito. The prototype rally machine will be based on the CRF450X and kit parts will also be made available to a limited number of non factory teams. See the Honda Racing Corporation President's comments here
2013 BMW F 700 GS and F 800 GS first pictures
BMW have just released the first pictures and info on the 2013 model year of the F 650 GS replacement the F 700 GS and the new F 800 GS. Both models are 2013 specification but will be available in autumn 2012. More info in the individual links. Tor
2012 Pirelli Night Dragon Tour - Venice to Istanbul completed!
One of the most incredible tours I have ever done is now completed and we have reached Istanbul successfully with only two tyres having to be replaced, one due to rim damage and one due to an imbalance in the Softail Slim's chassis. We have ridden more than 3,000 kilometres through six countries and two continents. We have visited amazing villas and castles in Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. The kick off in Venice was done in style at a classic Venetian hotel and from there we had 17 Harley-Davidson models ranging from Dyna's, Sportsters, Softails, V-rod's and Tourers. Much more coming from this incredible adventure both in a full video documentary and a comprehensive write up. Stay tuned! Tor Sagen Photo: Milagro More photo's here
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