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Different Riding Segments, Explained


In our vast motorcycling landscape, there are many different types (or segments) or riding. You may have come across many terms and wonder what exactly they mean.

We're here to clear it up for you.

Street/Standard


This is the most diverse bike category and have the largest variety of body styles. Basically, they're exactly what they sound like: they're for riding on the street.

Standard bikes are commonly known as "naked" bikes, or bikes without a fairing. Fairings are those plastic body elements that cover the engine and frame. They help to make a bike more aerodynamic, which is absolutely needed for sport bikes. However, street bikes have less of a need to be so aerodynamic so a naked style is quite popular.

These bikes are ideal commuter bikes (or even if you use a bike as your main mode of transport!). They're a good balance of performance, handling, and comfort. The more upright seating position is comfier and allows you to be more aware of your surroundings.

Cruisers


Ah, the iconic Americana style. Cruisers bring up images of that untamed and carefree rebel lifestyle.
 
Cruisers rose to power in the 1930's - 60's in the U.S., and even the modern cruisers of today retain that old-school styling (which let's face is, is most of their appeal). These bikes are characterized by a low riding position, larger V-twin engines, raked-out front forks, and in some cases, tons of chrome accents.

Performance wise, they're heavy clunky ol' things and are not known for being the most technical or efficient. They are hard to handle and tiring at high speeds. The riding position is also not the most comfortable as you're in a leaned-back low position with your hands and feet stretched way out. But hey, it's all about that lifestyle.

Keep in mind: these days, there are a lot of other manufacturers making cruisers imitating the classic American style (often called metric cruisers). You will find great value in those, and often better performance, reliability, and comfort.

Sport

the SoloMoto trackbike (a Yamaha R6) tearing it up on the track
You've probably heard of bikes being referred to as "crotch rockets". This term is reserved for the sportbike (or race replica bikes), which are built for performance and high speeds. Sportbikes have powerful engines in a lightweight frame with full fairings for maximum aerodynamics. They're also the ultimate bike eye-candy with their incredibly sleek and sexy design.

Sportbikes are ideal if your main goal is to take it to the track. That's where their true power shines. These bikes are meant to go fast, and like most riders will tell you - it's no fun to ride a fast bike slow. 

Keep in mind: Sportbikes (even the smaller ones) are FAST! - and so they are not ideal to learn to ride on. It usually takes a lot of time to improve your skill. They also don't make ideal commuter bikes, because the riding position (tucked forward, higher foot pegs, longer reach to handlebars) is designed for aerodynamics, not for ergonomic comfort.

Off-road/MX



Or, better known as the dirt bike. These bikes are a whole different breed. They're made for jumping over dirt hills, rolling over gravel trails, and slugging through mud paths. Because of the rough terrain off-roaders encounter, the bikes are designed to be very lightweight and nimble with a high seat and high center of gravity

Keep in mind: Dirt bikes are not street-legal as they have no horns, turn signals, mirrors, or headlights. They're designed for... well... tearing up the dirt. If you like the idea of getting dirty and having some fun off the street, but want more versatility, then read on:

Dual Sport


If you do want a street legal dirt bike, you'd want to look into a dual-sport bike. This is one of the fastest growing bike segments, and for a good reason. These bikes offer the best of both worlds: the lightness and versatility to ride off-road, while still being comfortable and safe enough to ride on the street. 

They're basically dirt bikes but with mirrors, lights, speedometers, and license plates so they're legal to ride on the street. And like dirt bikes, they have smaller engines, lightweight frames, and higher center of gravitySome are more dirt-oriented, and some more street-oriented, so pick one that sounds like the type of riding you're more realistically likely to do.

Dual sport bikes make a good option for beginners because of their less powerful engines and maneuverability. Keep in mind that they are taller bikes, so make sure you are able to plant both feet firmly on the ground. 

Touring


Touring bikes are designed for comfort during long distance travel. They're practically like mini cars on two wheels! They're the largest bikes (and the heaviest) because they have to be capable of enduring many, many long hours - and even days - on the road, while being loaded up with a lot of equipment (and even a passenger).

They usually have large windshields for protection against all sorts of weather, large storage compartments for everything you need to survive on the road for days, large fuel tanks to cover the miles in between fill-ups, full fairings for aerodynamics, and an upright comfortable riding position. They usually come with a range of luxury features as well, including heated grips, heated seats, or stereo systems.

The touring segment can be broken down further into adventure touring and sport touring. Adventure touring (more below) combines off-road capabilities with long distance. And sport touring - a super niche market - offers that powerful sportbike performance combined with long distances.

Keep in mind: Touring bikes are among the most expensive bikes because of the luxury features they offer and their durability. But because of how reliable they are, used tourers can be a great buy provided that the previous owner took care of it and did all the regular maintenance. 

Adventure


These bikes are hard to categorize. It's what it sounds like - a bike that can take you on an adventure. Think an around-the-world motorcycle trip, perhaps on mountain paths and dessert trails. You can think of adventure bikes are a cross between touring and off-road: built for covering the miles with the capability to go off-road.

Because of the ability to go the distance, they have heavier frames and large tanks like a touring bike, with luxury features. And because of being able to go off-road, they have a higher seat height too. They're almost like taller touring bikes. 

Keep in mind: Adventure bikes are very expensive (BMW's classic R1200GS starts at over $16k). And second: riding a big and heavy bike off-road is not the easiest to handle. Before sinking money into an adventure bike, think: will you really take it far and off the beaten path? If you're more likely to have adventures closer to home, a lightweight dual-sport will serve your needs. 

What segment do you ride in the most? Tell us! 
By Daniel Relich


The Best Cruisers For Your Money


There is nothing that screams "American style" more than a cruiser.  

When compared to the more recent sport and adventure options, cruisers don't have the most advanced technical prowess or speed efficiency. However, there is nothing more classic or stylish than an American cruiser.

Or is there?

Over the years, many Japanese motorcycle manufacturers have managed to duplicate and emulate the aesthetic and performance of American cruisers.

Let's take a look at some and their differences.

American Cruisers

Big. Loud. Untamed.

That is how you'll hear enthusiasts describe the American born brands of cruisers.

In many cases, they are more reliable than the more recent and souped-up sport bike models. But, long term, they are often less reliable than Japanese manufactured cruiser motorcycles.

Listed below are some affordable, quality, American cruisers:

Harley-Davidson

Is there a more iconic name for cruisers than Harley-Davidson? 

Founded in 1903, Harley-Davidson has managed to last through two World Wars, multiple economic downturns, multiple ownership transfers, and lots of stiff competition.

Though not the first company on the block, Harley-Davidson's explosion in production came about through their assistance with the U.S. military in WWI & WWII. Patriotism goes a long way towards building loyalty! Harley rose to become one of the most dominant and most recognizable motorcycle brands worldwide.

Harley's are not typically known for being the most budget friendly bikes. When you buy a Harley, you're not buying to save money. You're buying into a lifestyle. However, we have a few recommendations for the best Harley's for the money:


Harley-Davidson Street 500 - $6,849
This street style Harley is designed for maximum urban agility and has a sleek, minimalist black-out styling. It's been upgraded with new front and rear brake systems, new brake and clutch levers, and a more ergonomically place rear brake petal position. At around 7 grand, it's a steal for a piece of that Harley name.


Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 - $8,849
Harley's Sportster bikes have become icons since their introduction in 1957, with their powerful, classic styling. The new Sportster Iron 883 has an all new suspension, wheels, rolled leather seat, and blacked-out wheel spokes, brake rotor, and muffler.


Harley-Davidson Sportster Seventy Two - $11,099
While the price doesn't exactly put this in the "budget" category, we like the Seventy Two for it's truly classic 70's styling, with all the latest modern technology, of course.

Indian

Another classic American cruiser, Indian, saw a major boom on their sales in the early 1900's, but success took a major downturn after WWII. Only recently was the Indian name revived when Polaris Industries purchased Indian Motorcycles in 2011.  

Though not currently as popular with the mainstream as Harley, the Indian brand has earned their reputation through building high quality cruisers. The new generation of bikes keep true to Indian's traditional styling, while equipped with modern performance technology. 


Indian Scout Sixty - $8,999
The Scout Sixty is Indian's most budget-friendly cruiser (for a brand commonly thought of as rather expensive). It's designed after the favorite Indian Scout with a lot of the same features, but at a more affordable price. The bike is the same size, but the engine is downsized to 61 CI of displacement (instead of 69). It's less powerful, but you can't beat the significantly lower price!

Japanese Cruisers (Metric Cruisers)

Interested in a cruiser with all the benefits and at a fraction of the cost of an American build?

If you want the cruiser style but aren't too concerned with owning that classic Harley brand, cruisers made by the big Japanese bike manufacturers will do the trick. They're just fine for the average person looking for a fun, cheap, and reliable ride. Though you may have to sacrifice some of the volume, you're neighbors will appreciate it.

Since Japanese cruisers (often known as metric cruisers) are foreign made, they've angered many cruiser purists.

In America, cruisers - and motorcycles in general - tend to be status symbols or social identity markers for riding enthusiasts.

But in many countries where cars aren't very economically feasible (cost, gas prices, etc) motorcycles have become a primary mode of personal transportation. After decades of advancements in design and performance, most people won't notice any real differences. And maybe even advantages. 

Japanese bikes have always been known for their superior quality, and this is certainly true with the cruisers they produce too.  Their cruisers usually run more efficiently, offer a cooler running motor, longer lasting engine, and require less maintenance over their lifetime. Some even argue that they're more comfortable

Not to mention they're much better for your wallets. Because of all the advantages, Japanese cruisers got so popular at one point in the 70s and 80s that they almost killed the Harley-Davidson brand! It was swift action from President Reagan that hiked up tax legislation for motorcycle imports, that managed to save Harley-Davidson from going bankrupt.

Here are a few of our favorite Japanese cruisers for your money:  



Honda Rebel - $4,190
Because of its low price point and super ease of riding, the Honda Rebel has been a popular choice as a beginner bike. Its size is small (234cc V twin engine) but still delivers plenty of power for a fun ride. It also gets amazing fuel economy. It's hard to beat this bike for the under $5k category.


Suzuki Boulevard S40 - $5,499
This is a great price. for the power you get. The Boulevard S40's 625cc single cylinder engine delivers surprisingly high torque and is agile on the road. The styling is a timeless retro design, with Suzuki technology.


Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom - $6,990
This is another bike that packs a punch for the relatively low price. It's the lightest of Yamaha's Star lineup, which means great handling. We especially love the super old-school style with tons of chrome accents.



Kawasaki Vulcan S ABS - $7,399 
This bike offers a great balance of price and performance. The Vulcan has a beautiful cruiser styling combined with that renowned Kawasaki sportbike power and handling. It's lighter than other cruisers in its class, which means increased agility. The seat position is also ergonomically designed for comfort.

Which of these cruisers caught your eye? Are you a die-hard American cruiser fan or would you consider a Japanese one? Will the availability of aftermarket parts sway your decision?

*photos courtesy of manufacturers
By Daniel Relich


Crashing 101: What happens When you Go Down?


Riding is thrilling, but you've also got to be aware of the cold, hard truth: it can turn just as dangerous. With all the freedom bikes give riders, they require an equal amount of alertness and responsibility to remain safe and secure.

We've all had our fair share of crashes. I doubt you'll be able to find one rider who can say they've never been crashed. Some even say that a crash is inevitable.

So prepare yourself for what could happen. What should you do when you go down? Is there a proper way to handle it to ensure survival or prevent serious injury? 

Common Causes and Types of Crashes

Unfortunately as the rider, not only do you have to mind your own riding, you have to watch out for other vehicles and assume that they don't see you. It's always your responsibility to be aware of traffic around you, to make yourself more visible, or to put yourself out of harm's way.

It's easy to say just don't ride like an idiot, but the truth is that most of the accidents are caused by others. Even the most cautious among us get unlucky at times. 75% of accident involve cars, with the most common causing being from cars that:

- Suddenly turn left
- Change lanes without warning
Rear-end bikers

The other 25% of accidents, though, are totally your fault and are entirely avoidable. The most common causes are:

- Taking corners/turns too fast
- Braking suddenly during high speeds
- Riding on worn down (or poor quality) tires

But in all seriousness, taking the proper riding precautions and not riding past your limit will cut down the risk of wrecks.

So, if you do find yourself about to go down, what do you do?

What to Do During the Crash

The first thing is to not panic. We know it's easier said than done. 

Especially at high speeds and on busy roads, it's important to maintain clear-headedness so you can assess the situation as quickly as you can and make a judgment call on the best course of action. You likely won't have much time to react, and bailing in the wrong direction could be deadly.

Do you lay the bike down?

One of your first instincts may be to lay the bike down, but no matter what, try to avoid doing so. The bike's weight + yours + inertia could lead to very bad results.

Think about it, if you're going 60 mph, what would happen when you and your huge metal machine is hurtling down the road at such a high speed? Serious. Disaster.

You will have absolutely no control in where you're sliding. You could go into oncoming traffic or go headfirst into an object. Your bike also becomes a threat as there's no way of controlling where it goes either.

What's the best thing to do?

Instead, the correct thing to do is to keep the bike upright for as long as possible, and slow down with your brakes. But don't over-apply the front brake or you're in danger of locking the front tire and flying over the handlebars. Not good either at 45 mph.

Try to steer your bike into the direction that will cause the least amount of damage to you (i.e. not towards oncoming traffic or a drop off). If you can't completely stop the bike, it's at least better to go into the crash at a lower speed.

What if I must slide?

Sometimes the only option is to lay the bike down and slide. In this case, we know it sounds impossible to do - but relax. Don't curl into a ball or try to force yourself to stop or into a different direction. At high speeds, that's very dangerous. There's nothing you can do about it until you stop naturally.

What to Do After the Crash

If you slid into a stop or you got thrown, the first thing is to remain calm and don't attempt to get up until you're sure that you can. Once you know you're okay to get up, move yourself out of harm's way as soon as possible. This means getting away from oncoming traffic, drop-offs, or leaking fuel.

Accident scene management

Assess the damages and check that everyone is okay. Since most accidents involve cars, you're most likely the one with the most injuries. If emergency services are needed, it will most likely be for YOU! It's probably in your best interest to get medical attention anyway because you may have internal injuries that you can't see.

Make sure you take photos of damages to your bike and other vehicles. As soon as you can safely get up, take pictures of the accident scene as it happened (before you and the other vehicle move). Also get pictures of the surrounding areas and any relevant road signs.

Exchange insurance information

Exchange insurance and contact info with the other people involved. Not all States will require that you call the local authorities if everyone is able to walk away from the accident. But it will probably be in your best interest to give the local authorities a ring. Either way, it'll be a great way to have an official record of the accident.

Contact your insurance company

As soon as you're able to, let your insurance company know about the accident. Pass along the contact information of the other people involved. They will also need to know about the damages to you and your bike. You want to make sure you're correctly compensated, so have your bike examined by a mechanic and you by a medical professional in order to get the most accurate assessment.  

Do I need a lawyer as well?

In many cases, a specialized motorcycle accident lawyer could be invaluable, especially if you are looking to seek compensation for your damages. A lawyer could help you if the other party is trying to wrongly impart blame onto you. 

Gear is the best insurance you have

Apart from how you handle yourself and the bike going into the crash, gear is extremely important in determining your survival or injury rate. A helmet could be the difference between walking away and permanent brain injury. The right riding jacket is the difference between skin on the pavement and minor scrapes.

You should be wearing at the very least:

- a helmet: DOT or SNELL certified
- leather or thick textile riding jacket with a back protector
- riding gloves with palm sliders, which will take the impact of your hand hitting the ground
- sturdy boots
- We also recommend proper riding pants, as your normal jeans will disintegrate quickly in a slide

It's better to be safe than sorry, so don't skimp on the gear. If you can't afford proper high-quality gear, then you shouldn't be riding. So dress for the worst case scenario and be prepared.

Final tips

- Since anything can happen while riding, it's a good idea to be prepared and carry a few personal details, such as emergency contact information, your blood type, and any allergies

- Inform loved ones where you'll be heading, especially if you're planning on an off-road jaunt solo. If something happens and you're incapacitated, you'll get help sooner than if you'd said nothing.

- Remember, the damages (both physical and psychological) incurred by a crash is not worth the extra speed or tricks or whatever you're trying to do. A lot of accidents - even the ones not your fault - can be prevented if you just looked further ahead more or slowed down when needed. So always be vigilant and never ride beyond your ability. Remember that as a rider, you need to do the work for both you and other drivers.

Have you been in a crash before? How did you handle it and what saved you?

By Daniel Relich


Guide: The Best LeoVince Streetbike Exhausts


What bike enthusiast isn't quick to replace the stock exhaust? This is the often one of the first aftermarket upgrades to be performed, and is perhaps the only one that improves performance, look, and sound.

It's not the cheapest upgrade, but because of the significant impact on your bike, I think almost every bike owner will say it's well worth it.

Today, we're introducing you one of our favorite boutique brands in the aftermarket exhaust market - LeoVince! They've been in and out of popularity over the past decade but they've always been churning out a quality product. They make sexy, high performance exahusts for all kinds of bikes in a variety of attractive materials. 

Exhaust Systems Overview

For those new here, first here's a quick refresher on exhaust system basics.

A motorcycle exhaust system consists of:

- A header collecting exhaust gases from the engine
- A mid-pipe bringing fumes towards back of the bike
- A muffler allowing exhaust gases to exit, while muffling volume

Full Systems vs. Slip-ons

A full system exhaust replaces all three sections listed above. Because of this, there is significant weight shed and noticeable performance gains. It also requires a much more complicated installation procedure.

On the other hand, a slip-on exhaust is quick and easy to install as it's literally "slipped-on" in place of the stock muffler. It'll offer a bit of horsepower gain, but not as much as with a full system. You will, however, get that desirable rumbling sound.

Exhausts are bike-specific, so make sure you do compatibility research with your bike before making purchases.

This is just a quick overview, but you can read a more detailed explanation of exhausts to understand the benefits and the differences between the two.

LeoVince Exhausts

LeoVince is an Italian company that dates back to 1954. Today, LeoVince has a beautiful range of special exhausts systems and end cans. LeoVince has an extensive motorcycle racing history - from the high speed circuits of road racing to the most technical and challenging off-road competitions. Because of this, its high-quality products are true "racing" products rather than just "race-inspired". LeoVince uses the best materials on their exhausts, including stainless steel, titanium, and luxurious carbon fiber.

We've narrowed the field for you. Here are our favorite LeoVince exhausts.

LeoVince Full Systems:


Features:
- Front section equipped with an erodynamic inlet during dual spring attachments
- New rear carbon tailcone with dual asymmetrical cut for the left or right versions
- Stainless steel header pipes
- Silencer attached to the frame by a carbon fiber strap with rubber anti-vibration gasket
- Either titanium or carbon fiber silencer external casing
- Carbon fiber end cap


GP Corsa: The GP Corsa is developed exclusively for the Asian and South-American market for the 250cc displacement 4-stroke motorcycles.

Features:
- Designed in "slash-cut" style derived from MotoGP
- Round silencer design to limit noise, improve engine sound, and deliver perfect flow of exhaust gas.
- Internally has high heat resistance fiberglass for longer life and reliability
- Stainless steel with a "scotch brite" surface finish; each item cleaned by hand
- Large size exhaust ducts for optimal torque/power ratio
- Available with aluminum or carbon casing
- dB-Killer is included for those who wish to reduce the silencer sound



Cobra: The Cobra is also developed exclusively for the Asian and South-American market for the 250cc displacement 4-stroke motorcycles. 

Features:
- New flowing "S" shape derived from MotoGP
- Internally has high heat resistance fiberglass for longer life and a refined sound
- Stainless steel with a "scotch brite" surface finish; each item cleaned by hand
- Large size exhaust ducts for optimal torque/power ratio
- Aluminum LeoVince logo plate
- dB-Killer is included for those who wish to reduce the silencer sound

LeoVince Slip-ons:

Factory S

Features:
- Available in two versions: stainless steel or carbon fiber
- Developed for each engine model to improve torque and power
- Carbon cap with a dual asymmetric cut for right and left versions
- Carbon fiber clamp equipped with a rubber vibration damping element
- Muffler has an aerodynamic inlet with dual spring attachments
- SS version has LeoVince logo made with laser; carbon verson has logo made with die-cut adhesive in aluminum





EVO II Factory R: The Factory line combines a sleek design with improved performance in full accordance with highway code regulations.

Features:
- Complies with European Standards
- Full titanium casing designed as a truncated cone and comes in different lengths, depending on the model
- Carbon tailcone with a dual asymmetric cut for right and left versions
- Either titanium or carbon fiber external casing
- Muffler has an aerodynamic inlet with dual spring attachments
- Stainless steel connectors
- Silencer attached by carbon fiber strap with rubber anti-vibration gasket



EVO II LV One: This newly revamped line has been redesigned for style, performance, and compliance with relevant laws. 

Features:
- Oval shaped silencer with flat upper and lower zones
- Sandblasted finish with a "titanium look"; Also available in carbon fiber casing
- Lightweight and high performance Technopolymer tailpipe
- New, more aerodynamic front silencer inlet with tapered cut
- Tailpipe available in vertical terminal (for engine side) or horizontal terminal (for under seat) versions
- Stainless steel pipe and fittings with TIG welding
- Carbon silencer fastening strap
- Geometrical development of silencer and pipework specific for each engine model


EVO II E-Approved Underbody: For those who like the hidden look in order to bring more attention to the bike itself, the Underbody "hides" the exhaust under the engine, with the gasses being directed out through an exit mouthpiece. This also distributes the weight optimally at the bike's center of gravity.

Features:
- Stainless steel internals and header construction
- Sandblasted finish with a "titanium look"
- Carbon fiber end-cap that channels exhaust gases out and provide a heat barrier between the rear tire
- dB-Killer is included for those who wish to reduce the silencer sound






EVO II GP Style: This line provides a balance of quality and price for those who want a simple modification. 

Features:
- Streamlined design derived from LeoVince's experience in motoGP
- Stainless steel silencer and connectors
- Carbon fiber bracket to secure to the frame
- Sandblasted finish with stainless steel particles
- Each silencer specifically developed for individual bike model for optimal torque and power


NERO: The latest in LeoVince's lineup, the NERO is especially designed for motorcyles and maxi scooters. The design is aggressive, yet sleek and modern.

Features:
- Stainless steel sleeve with a metallic black paint finish made from ceramic engineering
- Carbon fiber end cap with an asymmetrical and aggressive cut
- Stainless steel and TIG welded brackets
- More resistant to high temperatures
- Available in two sizes for different bike models
- LeoVince logo printed on in laser technology
- Extractable dB-Killer


You can shop our selection of LeoVince exhausts here. Which one catches you eye?

*All photos courtesy of LeoVince
By Daniel Relich


Why You Need a Second Motorcycle


One of the questions we hear often is: "What's the best motorcycle to have?"

As you can imagine, this is a really difficult question to answer. First of all, it depends on what you want to use it for. And secondly, you may have multiple interests or your interest may change over time.

For example: I started out mostly riding on the street and over time discovered that track riding is what I'm most passionate about, which is most of what I do now. And after borrowing a buddy's touring bike for a couple of long trips, I'm really considering my own too. My sportbike is neither feasible nor able to hold up to multi-day trips that may involve off-road riding.

So for us, the only solution to the age-old question is to own many, many motorcycles. (Yeah right, we wish.)

But seriously, there are many reasons to own multiple motorcycles. We hear you though... motorcycles aren't cheap and you've got responsibilities that won't disappear just because you love the feeling of your hair flowing on the interstate.

We've laid out a few cons and pros (yes we set that order intentionally!) for you to weigh yourself.

Cons

First of all, cost is huge factor. Riding is an expensive hobby, after all. Things can really start to add up:

Bike: Obviously, new bike = more $
Insurance: Yes, you need insurance for each of your bike. And some certain types of bikes (such as supersport and dirt bikes) carry higher insurance rates. 
- Gear: You will need multiple sets of gear for multiple uses/conditions. This includes everything from protective gear (helmets, jackets, boots, etc.) to bike accessories (luggage, windshields, etc.). Your gear you use for dirt riding won't cut it on the street or track, and vice versa.

Price aside, the most difficult part of buying a new bike is settling on type. Depending on personality and preference, there are too many reasons for riding to pinpoint the ?perfect? machine for anyone.

Pros

Let's face it - having one motorcycle is cool, but two motorcycles is more awesome x2.

With two motorcycles of differing styles, you have the freedom to switch-up the kind of riding you want to do, like with an on-road/off-road combo. If you only have a street bike, you can't discover the joy of riding through roads-less-traveled and jumping dirt piles. And if you only have a dirt bike, you'll never know the thrill of racing down a track at 180mph.

With a second bike, an entirely new segment of riding will be opened up to you.

There's no such thing that you must choose a riding niche (just like no such thing that you must decide if you're a Coke or Pepsi person). We're motorcycle aficionados and if it can be done on two wheels, we want to do it all!

Popular Motorcycle Combinations

Street Motorcycle + Track Motorcycle: This could be either a standard street bike or a cruiser, paired with a sport bike that's all decked out for track use. We highly recommend that riders get the track experience at some point because it's a great environment to improve your skills without other vehicles, road obstacles, or fear of going too fast. The good news with this kind of pairing is that a lot of the gear (helmet, jacket) could be the same.

Sport Motorcycle + Touring Motorcycle: This is a great pairing if you enjoy short joyrides around town on a light, nimble speed machine and long multi-day rides on a sturdy, plush beast. You would have to buy specialized touring gear such as luggage and camping supplies. 

Sport Motorcycle + Off-road/Dual-Sport Motorcycle: A road and off-road combo is a classic for those who want the fun of riding on the street and on dirt trails or through the woods. You would need very different gear for each of these bikes as they have specific gear requirements. For example: the helmet for street riding will not fly when riding in the dirt, and neither will the leather jacket. 

So, Which Style is For You?

Now you've weighed the pros and cons, let's briefly go over the differences between each body style. Below, we give brief descriptions for each so you can see what interests you. 

Cruiser: A true classic. Make no mistake, these aren't the most technical--or efficient--motorcycles but they ooze classic American style.

Naked: With fairings + windshield removed, great gas mileage, and increased ease of handling, these slimmed beauties are great as just a normal street bike for commuting to work or the occasional joyride.

Sport: As their name says, these require lots of patience, training, and experience to handle properly. But, there's nothing cooler or more stylish once you've gotten the hang of them.

Supersport: This is the sport bike's big brother. Faster, stronger, and more powerful, these beasts will fulfill every motorcycle--fever dream--fantasy you've had.

Touring: With so much size, they're not the sexiest, but touring motorcycles will take you anywhere in the world with comfort and plenty of room for a passenger, luggage, and everything else.

Sport-Touring: Sport touring bikes offer speed while keeping everything comfortable, spacious, and secure for those long treks across the country.

Dual Sport: Dual sport motorcycles could be considered the "best of both worlds." By design they offer the flexibility and versatility to navigate traffic on the highway, and still rip up dirt trails.

Off-Road: More commonly known as dirt bikes, these babies are exactly what their name says. If you don't need pavement or asphalt, this is just the machine for you.


Adventure (ADV): Adventure motorcycles offer crossover benefits from off-road, sport, and touring bikes. Keep in mind the extra weight and size won't be easy to handle on those wooded trails.

Supermoto: Supermoto motorcycles are primarily for racing different types of tracks: road, dirt, etc. Buy one knowing it will tackle any surface you're ready to conquer.

Conclusion

One bike limits you to a certain kind of riding (unless you have a dual-sport/adventure, which is more versatile). But with a second bike, you can discover a whole new segment of riding, and with it, a whole new passion. There are many disciplines of riding and many reasons for riding, whether it's to find a more fuel-efficient commute for work, or to go on an epic cross country trip, or to feel the thrill of speeding down a track. Why not try everything?

Most importantly, we hope 'fun' makes your list of reasons for a new purchase!

Do you have more than one bike? What bikes combo do you have?
By Daniel Relich


How To Sell Your Used Motorcycle


So you're ready to sell your motorcycle. Of course your biggest concern is getting a fair price for your beloved bike.

Successfully selling your motorcycle takes 3 things: a trustworthy seller (that's you), a fairly priced bike, and good advertisement. We've got a few tips to help you get the best price and have a safe transaction.

Verify your bike's working condition

It goes without saying that your bike is going to be hard to sell if it doesn't work properly. Check your bike's oil levels, battery, and tire pressure. Make sure the chain and sprockets work properly and that its lubed up.

In some states, you may be required to have your bike inspected by a licensed professional before selling it. An inspection will probably cost $20 - $40. Honestly, even if your state doesn't require this, you probably want to do it anyway.

It's in your best interest too to make sure your bike is running properly and everything is as it should be. It's a hassle to deal with an angry customer demanding a refund. And you never know what they did with the bike during the time it left your hands, so you probably would want to get it looked at anyway.

Where to List Your Motorcycle

Our favorite places to list a bike are Craigslist, CycleTrader, or Ebay. To increase odds of selling your motorcycle quickly, use all three.

Before setting up shop you need to:

1. Do keyword research on "selling used motorcycles"
2. Clean the motorcycle: Wax and lube that baby up - make it shiny and attractive!
3. Repair any minor damages like dents or scrapes
4. Take good photos of the motorcycle from all angles - pictures are often the first thing people see, so take them in a nice, clean background in good lighting conditions
5. Find any information like service records (if you're smart, you'd have kept all of them)
6. Know the value of your bike (more later)
7. Write a stand-out description (see next section)

Quick Reminders:
- Ebay charges low listing fees but takes a percentpage of the final sale price
- CycleTrader offers optional premium tiers

What to include in the description

List relevant history about your bike, such as mileage, accident history, major repairs done, and aftermarket upgrades. Include the inspection report if you decided to get one. Also include details like how much time is left on the warranty. It's also good if you include how the bike was used (such like "mostly for commuting to work").

A lot of sellers hide this information, so being upfront about it will make you stand out (and less questions to answer). Naturally, people will be concerned about buying a used vehicle, so ease their worries sooner.

Aftermarket upgrades - to keep or not to keep?

This can be tricky: if you've done aftermarket upgrades, it can up the value of your bike, especially if you replaced OEM parts with brand name parts. But it could also be a turn-off to a lot of people too as they can't be sure that the aftermarket upgrades were properly done, not to mention that it may not be to their style.

It's a good idea to clean the original parts and offer them to the buyer too, as part of the entire offer price. Or you may even want to reinstall the original parts and separately sell the accessories. You may be able to sell your bike faster and fetch a better price overall for the accessories.

How to price your used motorcycle

Recently, costs have lowered in the "new motorcycle" market. For a used motorcycle salesperson that means disaster if you're not positioned with a competitive pricing strategy.

As the seller, it's important to know your product's value. Research websites like Craigslist, CycleTrader, or Ebay Motors to get an idea of what others are selling theirs for. Find official estimations for your machine at Kelley Blue Book's guide via category, make, year, and model.

Basic negotiating tactics and payment options

When you've established the bike's market value, decide on offers you will and won't entertain in negotiations and how to get your money safely.

While negotiating, what price do you feel is fair for you and your customer? You'll probably get a lot of really lowball offers by people trying to test their luck, but hold fast to what you know your vehicle is worth.

When it comes to payment, you've got to protect yourself first. Cold, harsh cash is the only form that offers real security. But not everyone may be able to get a large sum of cash immediately. In that case, you can ask for a cash deposit for you to hold the bike and give them a certain number of days to come up with the rest.

If they want to pay by check, then deposit the check first and only after it clears, do you let the buyer come pick up the bike. Again, you can't trust that the check won't bounce and the buyer disappears off the face of the earth. If they want to pay by Paypal, same deal. Make sure the money is in your account first before giving the bike up.

But honestly, paying by cash is the best for both parties. Because just like you can't be sure that buyer's check will go through, they can't be sure either that when they're ready to pick up the bike, you disappear off the face of the earth.

Meeting with buyers

When meeting with buyers from ecommerce sites, we suggest you do so in a well lit, public place.

If the buyer ask for a test drive, make sure to have the full money in your hand first before letting him/her on your bike. It's unlikely, but you could lose your bike to someone who decides to take your bike for a permanent test drive.

Business deals are built upon trust, but it's best not to take chances. Just be quick and professional.

Title transfer

Last, but most important, make sure you have title-transfer paperwork ready for your customer when you meet.

Have you had experience selling your bike? Do you have any tips to add?

By Daniel Relich


8 Tips for Riding with a Passenger


(We're talking about riding on the back of the bike, and don't worry, you won't get muddy)

Are you thinking about inviting a friend to ride along with you, or are you the passenger about to take your first ride on the back of a bike? Either way, there are a few important things to know before getting onto that bike.

Riding with a passenger is very different than riding alone. The extra weight could throw your balance off a bit and make control harder. And you can never be sure how your passenger will perform (though hopefully, they'll listen to you). So for one, you should be an experienced rider and be completely comfortable riding on the street with other vehicles to even consider inviting someone along. Remember: you're responsible for their life.

We don't mean to sound like a hardass, but when it comes to carrying a passenger, that's twice the amount of risk. On the other hand, it could be an incredibly fun experience and a great way to share your passion. 

So, from riding techniques to passenger safety, here are 8 tips to ensure a fun and safe ride for both you and your passenger.

1. Wear protective gear - always


You know we stress on safety, so this is first on our list - your passenger never gets on without the appropriate protective gear of their own. Period. At the very least, your passenger needs to have:

- a DOT or SNELL certified helmet
- a leather jacket (if they don't have leather, then a thicker textile jacket would do)
- riding gloves
- long pants (if they're going to be a regular passenger, then we'd really recommend proper riding pants. There are pants that look like normal jeans, so don't worry about looking un-stylish)
- sturdy shoes that cover the ankles (exhaust fumes get hot!)

2. Make sure your bike can handle a passenger

Some bikes aren't even fit for carrying a passenger. For a bike to be able to legally carry a passenger, you would need a separate seating area (or a long seat), and footpegs for the passenger. Make sure you satisfy your State's DMV requirements.

You also may need to adjust tire pressures and suspension to make sure your bike is safe to carry the extra weight, which will affect the bike's performance. It's a good idea to check your manual to see whether your bike has any weight limitations or operational recommendations.

3. Establish hand signals

You should at least have a few basic hand signals. For example:

- One tap on the should could mean "I need to readjust my seating position." 
- Two taps could be "slow down you maniac!" 
- Three frantic taps could be "please stop; I really need to get off!" 

Just make sure you have at least a few basic safe hand signals prepared, and make sure at least one of them is a clear message to stop ASAP. Always give your passenger an out if they just don't feel comfortable. 

4. Mounting the bike

We find that it's easiest for you to get on first. Only after you have both feet planted firmly on the ground and the bike upright, should you tell the passenger to mount. In general, the footpegs shouldn't be used to mount the bike, but we understand that some passengers need it. Just don't place too much weight on it for too long. 

It's always extremely important that the passenger stay away from the muffler. It gets very hot and could cause a severe burn. 

5. Tell your passenger to stay very close to you

A passenger sitting too far back will affect your bike's agility in the corners. A passenger that leans right when you're turning left is going to affect the steering of the bike.

The best thing to do is for the passenger to place their hands on your hip or wrapped around your waist (if they're more scared!) or holding onto the bike's rails behind the seat. Basically, their front is glued to your back: if you lean left, they lean left. 

This leads us to:

6. Proper riding position for the passenger

Make sure your passenger knows the proper riding position they should take before you ride. The passenger should:

- Put their arms your waist or hold onto the rails (never hold onto your shoulders or around your chest from the top of shoulders)
- Lean into corners the same as you. Look over the shoulder in the same direction of the turn.
- During braking, the passenger should either brace their hands against the tank or squeeze their thighs to keep from sliding forward. This is so they don't push you forward, which reduces you control. 
 Keep their feet glued to those footpegs at all times. Keep away from the back wheel, chain, and the mufflers - they get very hot and dangerous.
- And don't make any unnecessary movements, like adjusting the seating position, leaning when the bike is going straight, etc. This throws the balance off and could be very dangerous.

7. Be careful of necessary riding adjustments you'll have to make

The extra weight will change how your bike performs. If there's clonking of helmets, it's most likely the rider's fault because you're not changing gears smoothly enough, and causing your passenger to jerk their head forward. With the added weight, you'll also need a longer distance to brake, so keep that in mind or you'll be in trouble if you're still braking at your usual distance.

For your own safety, you probably shouldn't be too close to the vehicle ahead, but sudden hard braking is going to be especially uncomfortable when it results in your passenger unwittingly mounting you. Wait until a vehicle passes something like a tree or a lamppost and ensure it takes 3 seconds before you reach the same point. If and when you need to overtake, choose your moment wisely.

8. Ensure your passenger is insured 

And lastly, you need to check that your insurance covers you to carry a passenger. And if it doesn?t make the necessary amendments. Actually, you need to do this first before giving a ride! The passenger should have proper medical insurance at least. Otherwise, don't take that chance, no matter how good of a rider you think you are. Just don't. 

Conclusion

Riding with a passenger could be a great way to share your love for riding with another person. But just remember that it's a lot different than riding alone and you need to take into account that someone else's life is in your hands. Be thoughtful and listen to them if they feel uncomfortable in any way. Gear them up, be insured, be safe, prepare your passenger, and happy riding!


By Daniel Relich


Essential Gear for Adventure & Dual Sport Rides


Dual sport/adventure is one of the fastest growing bike segments. That's not hard to believe because these bikes are basically the best of both worlds. You get the fun of riding off-road and the thrill of speeding down the street. These bikes are light and versatile, while still being comfortable and safe with great maneuverability.

This segment of riding comes with gear requirements all of its own. Dual sport/adventure riding is all about having fun in a variety of surroundings and road conditions, and this means specific protection requirements because you never know what kind of conditions you'll encounter.

In this post, we'll talk about what you will need to make your trip a success.

Luggage with at least 1 waterproof luggage item 

You're going to need a luggage to store all the necessary tools (we go into more detail later) and anything else you may need for your adventure trip. Make sure at least one luggage item is waterproof, as you're never sure what kind of weather you'll run into. If you don't have a waterproof bag, then at least purchase a waterproof liner or storm cover for your bag.

Place everything that you don't want to get wet into the waterproof bag, like your phone, camera, and any electronic tools/accessories. Also, any clothes, because it really sucks when you have a luggage-full of damp clothes that will never get the chance to dry out.

Briefly, here are the different options you have for motorcycle luggage:

- Saddlebags: This is the classic form of motorcycle luggage. They hang over the rear seat and come down on both sides at the back wheel. Saddlebags are the most popular because of the amount of stuff they can hold and their position is low enough that it doesn't affect the bike's center of gravity.

- Tail bag: This type of bag sits behind you on the tail of the bike. You can purchase a tail bag that matches the your saddlebags for a complete, cohesive look. This is a good place to put anything that may break if the bike falls on its side.

- Sissy bar bag: This kind of storage attaches to the sissy bar or back rest, and are often vertically stacked luggage compartments. This is not popular on off-road/adv bikes so most likely, you won't be considering this option.

- Tank bag: This is a small bag that's attacked to the tank area either with straps or really strong magnets. Many come with a clear panel on top for a GPS or phone.

Luggage bags can come in either soft (nylon, cordura, PVC) or hard (aluminum, plastic) varieties. Soft bags are more versatile and lighter, which is great for off-road riding, but they may not be as durable or secure as their hard counterparts.

Giant Loop is one of our favorite luggage brands. We personally have tested and loved the Giant Loop Mojavi Saddlebag (detailed review here). This military-grade bag is reinforced with ballistic nylon, and can withstand even the clumsiest of riders. Aram from our Solomoto team has used his for four years now and it's still going strong (if you don't already know, Aram has quite the reputation for crashing and abusing both his bike and himself). This bag is incredibly sturdy and lightweight, and despite a deceivingly small size, it's roomy enough to pack all the tools you would need.

Another luggage brand we highly recommend is Wolfman. Their high quality, stylish luggage is made right in the US.

Depending on what kind of luggage you choose, you may have to buy a luggage rack.  A top rack, which can be used to hold or fasten down a tail bag or water/fuel jug, is the most popular choice. And if you choose a hard case, you'll need mounting brackets to fix the case on.

Dual Sport Mirrors

Even mirrors have a different set of requirements in the dual-sport and ADV world. A good mirror should be able to give you complete visibility, be sturdy enough that it won't break in a crash (and yes, we tend to dump our bike a lot out there), and fold out of the way when you need it to.

Our absolute favorite dual sport mirrors are Doubletake Mirrors (detailed review here). They take you from highway riding to off-road seamlessly. The height, length of mount, and angle of the mirror can be adjusted in about every direction you would need. And when riding in tough off-road situations, they can be swiveled down and locked in place, protecting them against any potential crashes.

Water and fuel containers

Keeping properly hydrated is one of the most important things to do on any motorcycle ride. You're going to have to bring (at least, some of) your water supply with you as there won't be any handy Seven-11s to stop by out in the woods or canyon.

Don't take up all your precious storage room and instead carry your water on your back with a hydration pack. You can also easily sip while riding instead of having to stop and unscrew a water bottle. Our favorites are the performance-focused hydration packs from American Kargo that come in a crazy cool assortment of styles and colors. (Of course, if it's going to be a longer ride, bring along as much water as you think you will need.)

Instead, save that storage room for a fuel container. You should always carry with you some spare fuel, because well... you probably won't see too many gas stations in the woods either. We recommend an aluminum fuel bottle. They can be found in almost all outdoorsy stores like REI.

Tubeless tires

Tubeless tires have a couple of major advantages when riding: 1) first, they don't deflate as fast when punctured, and 2) it's much easier to fix them on the go. Unlike a tubed tire, you don't have to remove the wheel and the tube. All you have to do is plug, re-inflate, and patch. In most cases, you may not even have to do a roadside fix. If it's a small object and you don't take it out, you can even get home.

We've ridden with the traditional tubed tires before and fixing a flat is a real waste of time and hassle. I gotta say that we're becoming fans of the tubeless system when riding off-road, simply because there are so many things that can puncture your tire. Tubeless tires are also less expensive, lighter, and have better fuel economy.

Handguards

Because of the nature of this type of riding, the hands often take a beating. Even if you're smart and wearing gloves, repeated slapping of branches on your hands will quickly become a nuisance. And at worst case scenario, if you ride your grips into a tree, your hands are going to be in big trouble. Basically, gloves alone will not do the trick when you're taking your bike off-road.

Whether riding through the countryside, up rocky terrain, or through the woods, installing handguards on your adventure motorcycle will protect your hands from flying debris, rocks, and brush. They are durable plastic pieces that attach to your handlebars and are designed to protect your hands and clutch levers in all types of extreme weather and road conditions.

They're easy to install and remove and come in a variety of options and colors, including: vented and spring-loaded, which will flex back in case of a crash.

Our favorite handguards manufacturers are Bark Busters and Moose Racing, both of which are known for their high-quality, durable, and sleek designs.

Skid plates

Just like handguards protect your hands and clutch levers from flying rocks, branches, and collisions, skid plates protect the delicate underbelly of your prized motorcycle. This is where all the expensive parts of your bike is located! A stray rock or branch can easily damage your casing or oil filter, causing you to not only end your day early, but also hundreds of dollars worth of damages.

Skidplates are not the cheapest, but trust us, it's a small investment to make to avoid a far, far more expensive repair job. When you wish you had one, it's already too late. We recommend a skidplate made with durable, lightweight aluminum or steel (NOT plastic), as plastic just can't stand up to constant beating of rocks.

Tool kits

And lastly, you can't go off on your adventure ride without a tool kit. At the very least, we recommend packing:

- things to fix a tire: a tire tube for the front and back tires, an electric pump, tire irons, patch kit
- for any fuel issues: extra fuel pump, extra fuel, siphoning hose
- for battery issues: jumper leads
- para cord/tie-downs: are extremely useful to carry extra things or keep pieces together
- extra brake pads for the front and rear if it's a longer trip
- valve core remover
- small tools: wrenches, screwdrivers, sockets, hexes, pocketknife
- headlamp: especially useful if you're still out into the night and need light and both your hands to fix something
- Misc: duct tape, WD-40, zip-ties

Don't forget to have your bike in top running shape by maintaining your bike and upgrading it to do what you need it to do with performance parts & accessories.

What other essential gear would you recommend for a dual sport/adventure ride?
By Daniel Relich


Everything to Know About Motorcycle Group Riding


Riding doesn't have to be a lone activity. Sure, there's the thrill of independence and the romantic appeal of nothing but you, your bike, and the road. And sometimes you need to just get out there and ride to clear your head. But often times, it's even more fun in a group.

We've recommended before that one of the best things for a new rider to do is to join a riding group. You can bond with truly like-minded people and you will improve your skills faster in a group environment. Riders are some of the coolest people (but you already know that) and they're all happy to share knowledge.

But that said, there are still etiquette to follow when on a group ride (don't be a douchebag, for one), or you won't be invited back to the next one. If you're a novice rider or just new to riding groups, we've got you covered, so you won't be making a fool out of yourself on the next ride.

Here is everything you can expect from a group ride and tips to make it a success.

First things first: come prepared

Hopefully, this is something we shouldn't even have to say, but hey you never know. I've been in group rides before where people obviously didn't prep, and it really brings down the entire group. This means come with a full tank, full tire pressure, a cell phone, and your wallet. No one wants to have to make an unexpected stop just because you forgot to fill up.

And of course, don't be late. No one wants to stand around waiting for that one rider who can't keep track of time either.

Group ride meeting 

Before the ride starts, there should be a meeting to go over the general expectations of the ride, including: the route, how long to ride for, where the break points will be, and what to do if someone gets behind or lost.

It's especially important to decide on a meeting spot (or spots if it's a long ride) if riders get separated. Sometimes, even the best of plans and formations (see below) can still lose riders, which can happen during turning, passing, or if not everyone makes it through a traffic light. And when that happens, the person may panic and feel the need to ride faster, going beyond their ability, in order to catch up. But if there's a designed meeting spot for such situations, then they can go at their own pace, knowing that the others will be there waiting.

The meeting should also go over hand signals to be used, such as when to ride in single file and when to slow down/speed up, and to point out obstacles on the road. See Motorcycle Safety Foundation's guide to hand signals here.

Roles within the group

Every group ride should decide on:

Someone in front (the leader): this person needs to access situations and make decisions for the entire group (such as do you all pass a vehicle or go through a light?).
Someone bringing up the rear (the sweeper): this person sets the pace and keeps an eye out on the entire group. If someone falls behind, the sweeper is responsible for making sure they get caught up.

Both of these should be someone with experience in group riding and good judgment. A communication device, such as Sena's wireless communicators, between the leader and sweeper can be extremely helpful .

Everyone else should have their place in between the two. If you're a new rider, you should go right behind the leader, so those with more experience can watch out for you from behind.

Size of the group

We recommend to keep the group as intimate as possible, because the more riders there are, the more problems it can cause. A good number is 4-6 riders.

If the group is larger, it's a good idea to split fast and slow riders into separate groups, each with their own leader and sweeper. This way, the smaller groups diminish risk of accidents and everyone can ride with others close to their preferred riding speed. Though keep in mind that the slow group would still need an experienced leader and sweeper.

The formation

We know... talking about a "formation" sounds so stuffy. After all, this is supposed to be a fun ride with your buddies, not the army. But trust us, this is important.

So now that you have decided on the leader, sweeper, and your relative position, you need to work out a formation. This part can get tricky. The staggered formation is best for the safety of everyone in the group, with each rider 2 seconds behind the one in front. It keeps your group compact (which means less chance for a car to try to merge in and break you apart) and also gives each rider enough buffer space around them.

Stick to your place!

Once you have a formation figured out and your place in it, don't break it!

This means not riding like a dick. Group riding is supposed to be a fun social experience to build camaraderie. Not a competition with your fellow riders. Don't be that rider who decides to show off and speed up to pass others.

Also be sure to keep the proper distance between you and the rider in front (in other words, don't tailgate!). This is so there's enough cushion space for the other rider to swerve if there's an obstacle. Don't slide into another rider's zone, as this may cause them to panic and run off the lane. And also, don't make sudden brakes without warning, which can cause the rider behind you to plow into you.

Basically, respect your fellow riders' space, and don't do anything stupid that will get you pulled over.

Passing

Speaking of passing, this is one of the trickiest things to maneuver in a group.

It's important to pass in order (in a single file) and once you have passed the vehicle, to return to your spot in the formation. Once you have passed the car, continue riding at speed (don't slow down) so there is enough room for the bike behind you to also pass and get into the lane. One of the most common mistakes I see is riders who pass a car and slow down, which will leave the next rider stranded in the other lane, with no room to get in. This is especially dangerous when passing on a 2-lane road with the threat of oncoming traffic.

Lastly, listen to your gut

Group riding is about fun and building friendships, but as always, safety comes first (you're probably sick of hearing us say that). So if at any point, you don't feel comfortable with the situation, it's okay to get out of the group and go solo (moto -ing).

Maybe the group is riding faster than you're comfortable with and others are saying that you're slowing them down. Don't feel pressured to go beyond your ability to keep up. Or if it's the other way around and someone else in the group is riding like an ass, give him a wide berth and/or remove yourself from the group.

In any case, if it's not feeling right, don't think you have to stick out the ride.

Conclusion

We highly recommend trying a group ride (bikers groups on Facebook or Meetup are great places to find one in your city) if you haven't yet. There's a lot that can be learned from other riders. It's a great experience that will allow you to build strong friendship and make you feel more connected to your local riding community. We hope you understand a little more now about what to expect on a group ride. To put it simply, be careful, don't ride like an asshole, listen to your gut, and have fun!

By Daniel Relich


We Are Loving These 2016 KTM Motorcycles


In the off-road racing world, there is perhaps no other bike as easily recognizable as the little orange KTM machines. Since their introduction, KTM bikes have dominated the motorsports tracks. They're some of the most fun to ride bikes out there on the market, and the 2016 line up has plenty to get us excited.

So let's get into some of our favorite KTM bikes, freshly unpacked for 2016.

KTM 350 XC-F


The original 2011 model went down a storm, and the 2013 wasn't half bad either with increased horsepower, but at the expense of bottom end quality. Has KTM addressed this for 2016?

KTM have improved almost every component on this year's release, with the focus on a lighter and more ergonomic design. The new motor (1-cylinder, 4 stroke engine) growls to a heart-pumping 14,000 rpm. A completely new frame design offers an increased torsional stiffness, which improves the handling. The overall result is a massive weight shed to just 227 pounds - making this an agile, compact little bike with the power of that of a much larger one.

What we love about this bike is that it is FAST and yet a comfort to ride. Gear changes aren't required all too often to have a successful blast around the track, and your wrists won't give way too easily even after some hardcore riding. A solid middleweight bike that's just great all-around.

450 SX-F Factory Edition


The 450SX-F is already a huge name in the Supercross championships world, with numerous wins around the world. Similar to other recent KTM releases, this bike has had most of its major components replaced to reduce weight and improve handling.

The new 1 cylinder, 4 stroke engine sheds four whole pounds, making it now the lightest 450 engine for off-road bikes. The frame has always been redesigned for increased torsional rigidity, with a lighter swingarm, fuel tank, and footpegs. Overall, the 2016 model is about 8 pounds lighter than the previous year's.

The fact that the new forks on the Factory Edition are a whopping 3.1 lbs lighter than those on its counterpart is quite amazing. Last year's model received complaints that the forks didn't absorb bumps as well as they needed to, a weak spot in an otherwise brilliant design. The 2016 model has addressed the problem effectively by improving the load its forks can handle, but it could prove to be a little uncomfortable for light-weight riders.

1290 Super Adventure


This is KTM's luxury adventure bike, one that struggled to be a worthy competitor against BMWs R1200GS when it was first released in 2015. How does 2016's model compare?

The 2016 1290 Super Adventure features a large 1300cc V-twin engine with massive 160-horsepower. It's made for tackling long distances with a huge 7.9-gallon tank and an ergonomic design for maximum comfort, including an adjustable seat height. 

It comes with a whole range of technology & safety features, including suspension control, traction control, cruise control, ABS for cornering, a selection of ride modes, and ride-by-wire throttle. There's even heated seat and grips, adjustable windshield, and slipper clutch.

At MSRP of $20,499, this is a pricey bike. But this is a "do it all" bike that does as well on the road as off, and we think it's a worthy contender against the big adventure brands. 

Duke 390



The cult classic Duke 390 has long been one of our favorite bikes, and is one of our top recommended starter bikes. This bike comes in at just over 300 pounds and puts out 44 horsepower. It may be a little thing, but it out-performs a lot of other bikes in the same class in terms of power.

One of the best features of the Duke 390 is its nimble chassis that provides gymnast agility when navigating a painfully busy street. The super lightweight trellis frame is designed for mass centralization, which gives the Duke 390 extreme agility and great maneuverability. This little bike can go anywhere: it's powerful enough to ride on the highway, handles well enough for those twisty mountain curves, and nimble enough to take off-road. 

This bike comes at an MSRP of just $4,999, making it one of the most fun bikes you can buy for five grand. 

RC390


We're happy to see KTM expand into the sportbike category and do well. Lastly, we have the RC390 - KTM's only purely sportbike. This is KTM's version of the extremely popular Japanese lightweights Ninja 300R and Yamaha R3.

The RC390 combines a small yet power engine with a small agile trellis frame and state-of-the-art racing technology. It's powered by a single cylinder, 4 stroke, 375cc engine with a peak output of 44 horsepower, making it a fast bike for a small weight that handles the road like a dream. Aesthetically, it's got a very sporty look with an aggressive riding position, but the ergonomic and aerodynamic design still allows for the comfortable ride.

For a brand that's synonymous with motocross domination, we think they've done well with this sportbike. It's a great little all-around bike with attractive European styling that'll be sure to get attention on the streets. 

It's Hard to Go Wrong with KTM
KTM is a big player when it comes to off-road bikes ? a reputation that's well established. But that doesn't mean you should rule out its marvelously engineered adventure and sport bikes.

Which of these bikes do you have your eye on? Or are you lusting after another model?

P.S. If you love window shopping as much as we do, see more of our favorite bikes round-ups: Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, BMW, and Ducati.


By Daniel Relich