Despite rising inflation in 2023, there are still cool new motorcycles under $5,000
2023 Honda Monkey: $4,249
2023 Honda Rebel 300: $4,749
2023 Kawasaki KLX230: $4,999
2023 Royal Enfield Classic 350: $4,799
2023 Yamaha MT-03: $4,999
2023 Honda Monkey: $4,249
2023 Honda Rebel 300: $4,749
2023 Kawasaki KLX230: $4,999
2023 Royal Enfield Classic 350: $4,799
2023 Yamaha MT-03: $4,999
The Two-wheeled Lifestyle Overseas
No, there isn’t a new seafaring hover-bike unveiled here. We men may be comfortable in same fixed clothing and gear on motorcycles, well-worn, tested & true. However, women have such a range of choices, they often end up selecting a two-wheeler that’s most commonly known and popular, based on their daily clothing.
Women in Asia however seem to be on scooters. With options and popularity of light-weight and middle-weight motorcycles gaining ground, many developing nations have found new customers for motorcycles in women population.
Previously only seen on scooters, they are now more comfortable straddling the motorcycle and beating the stereotype.
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Picture this: You’re hanging around the Rock Store at the top of Mulholland Highway with your rental Camry the day before you fly home. The leather-clad crowd around praises the virtues of the GSXR600 chassis and the electronics package on the R1 for what seems like hours before a voice from the ether comes down and declares that, in fact, all of that sucks. Instead the holy follow the real truth of Slow Bike Fast.
This truly enlightened rider who belongs to that voice is astride a miniscule machine that looks like a sportbike that stayed in the dryer just a bit too long and has an exhaust note like a mix of an old enduro machine and the Singer your mom used to repair your jeans way back when. Is this person insane or a prophet? There’s only one way to say for sure. I took the Honda CBR300R out for a week of playing in the canyons alongside some high-horsepower (and highly capable) machines to see if it truly held up.
This 250cc-400cc market segment is now a packed class, with the KTM RC390, Yamaha R3, Kawasaki Ninja 400, and Suzuki GSX250R all competing for both attention from new riders and track rats alike. That is two very different subsets of buyers but it all boils down to similar wants and desires: Reliability, approachability, and fun factor.
Honda comes right out and calls the 300 a commuter machine in some of its press materials. It is an evolution of the CBR250R which lived from 2011 to 2015, after which the engine was upsized to the current 286cc. The non-ABS equipped model comes in at $4,899 plus $600 in destination and freight charges. Add in the well-tuned ABS, as seen on our test bike, and the price rises to just $5,099. Either trim can be had in grand prix red or matte gray metallic.
The engine is not the main reason I would recommend this bike though. It’s the chassis that gives the baby CBR the most fun character. A scant 30” seat height is the first thing that stood out when I threw my leg over the bike for the first time. My 32” inseam means that I am rarely bothered by seat heights, but the CBR’s lower seat combined with the narrowness of the chassis to feel playful to me. Riding through twists and turns was an absolute delight.
Straight line speed was not astonishing, but the Honda still moved quickly enough to be safe and fun. Unfortunately, those canyon roads were a place the CBR’s suspension really showed its pricepoint and intended use case. The fork is sprung on the soft side and the rear begs for more rebound damping.
The dash consists of a simple analog sweep tachometer and LCD display for speed, distance, and other necessary measurements. Simple and functional. A cable-pull clutch and hydraulic front brake round out the rider touchpoints.
The ready-to-ride weight comes in at just 354 pounds and it very much feels like it. The single front brake measures just 296mm diameter, with 220mm rear disc and the combination has no problem slowing the CBR. The ABS threshold is fairly high, as we had to work to get it to intervene but it cycled quickly and consistently once engaged.
(Editor’s note: I think the 320cc Yamaha R3, which I’ve ridden quite a bit, feels even lighter on its feet — Jack Baruth)
The CBR is a delight to ride just about everywhere. The only place it fell short was highway riding. Honda claims a top speed just shy of 100mph, but 70mph felt busy on the little machine and the tach needle fluttered in the top third of its range. Will it do it? Yes. If that is your main use though, the larger CBR500R is likely a better fit.
Once off the superslab we had no trouble racking up miles on the comfortable seat. The bike just was not tiring to ride like most small-displacement bikes tend to be.
The low seat height and light weight combine with smooth controls to make a very beginner-friendly package.
It’s also one that veteran riders will find playful to ride–this is the core of “Slow Bike Fast.”
The little CBR is not the perfect motorcycle, but it is a great second (or third) bike; delightful to ride, and once you have one you will likely find yourself reaching for its keys more than you would think.
by C. A. Bridges from www.news-journalonline.com
Bike Week, now marking its 81st year, may not be your grandfather’s — or even your great-grandfather’s — bike rally. A gathering for motorcycle race fans, a drunken party, a biker brawl or a family vacation destination, Bike Week has been a lot of things over the years.
It’s our Mardi Gras, our Fantasy Fest, our Carnival. It’s a portable, 10-day street party of motorcycles and biker lifestyle.
by Jack Baruth from Hagerty.com
The slightly ridiculous 1800cc, two-cylinder, leather-saddlebag, CHiPs-windshielded cruiser I’m trying to force through six stopped lanes of Los Angeles traffic can’t be taken as anything but an admission on the part of the Bayerische Motoren Werke that Harley-Davidson knows
a) what boys like;
b) what men want …
in America, anyway.
Chicago December 19th 2021 –
By Gina Woods – Open Road Radio and War Dogs Charity Riders Board Member
With a six-truck and trailer load caravan of donations, the War Dogs Charity Riders leave tonight at 11:00 pm from Woodstock Harley-Davidson. The War Dogs Charity Riders and friends will gather at Woodstock Harley-Davidson with six trucks and trailers full to the brim and headed to Mayfield, Kentucky to deliver donations.
Greg Voss, a Chicago native and newly relocated Mayfield resident, says, “The past week has been terrific with the outpour of donations from around the world. We just got electricity back on and the clean-up effort has been amazing and ongoing.” Greg lives in the valley of Mayfield and was untouched by the disastrous tornado that wiped out the entire town. Greg uses his house as a headquarters for donations and coordinates with the city of Mayfield the many donations coming in.
Jessica Sheehan, the War Dogs Charity Riders board member who started the idea and organized the Kentucky Tornado Relief Caravan project, says, “My gosh, in the last five days we have collected thousands of dollars in monetary donations and water bottles, toys, clothes, tools and so many other necessary items like batteries, gloves and cleaning products for the trip to Mayfield. It’s a fine example of hope, perseverance and good will of the men and women in the community. I can’t even begin to thank all the organizations and people who have helped.”
Doug Jackson, owner of Woodstock Harley-Davidson and War Dogs president, says that the dealership has been a collection house all week and will feed the 10-plus people riding in the relief caravan to Kentucky and provided monies to help feed them while on the road. Doug comments, “It’s doing what we do in the name of mankind and bikers have always been a big part of relief efforts.”
If you’d like to donate you can contact the War Dogs Charity Riders @ 847.989.1827 or 630.833.9889
Last week we looked at the need for a process of producing energy that is cheap, plentiful, and reliable—and we saw that solar and wind cannot produce cheap, reliable energy.
How Germany embraced solar and wind and ended up in energy poverty
Let’s take a look at this in practice. Germany is considered by some to be the best success story in the world of effective solar and wind use, and you’ll often hear that they get a large percentage of their energy from solar and wind.
You can see here on this chart how this claim was made and why it’s not accurate.
First of all, this is just a chart of electricity. Solar and wind are only producing electricity and half of Germany’s energy needs also include fuel and heating. So solar and wind never contribute half as much to Germany’s energy needs as this chart would imply.
But that’s not the biggest problem. What you notice here is that there’s certain days and times where there are large spikes, but there are also periods where there’s relatively little. What that means is that you can’t rely on solar and wind ever. You always have to have an infrastructure that can produce all of your electricity independent of the solar and wind because you can always go a long period with very little solar and wind.
So then why are the solar and wind necessary? Well, you could argue that they’re not and that adding them onto the grid will impose a lot of costs.
In Germany, electricity prices have more than doubled since 2000 when solar and wind started receiving massive subsidies and favorable regulations, and their electricity prices are three to four times what we would pay in the U.S. (Because of its low reliability, solar, and wind energy options require an alternative backup—one that’s cheap, plentiful, and reliable—to make it work, thus creating a more expensive and inefficient process.)
Nuclear and hydro
Fossil fuels are not the only reliable sources. There are two others that don’t generate CO2 that are significant and are more limited, but still significant contributors. Those are hydroelectric energy and nuclear energy.
Hydroelectric energy can be quite affordable over time, but it’s limited to locations where you have the right physical situation to produce hydroelectric power.
Nuclear is more interesting because nuclear doesn’t have the problems of hydro but it’s been very restricted throughout history so today in the vast majority of cases it’s considerably more expensive than say electricity from natural gas. This may change in the future and one thing we’ll discuss under policy is how we need to have the right policies so that all energy technologies can grow and flourish, if indeed the creators of those technologies can do it.
The reality of energy poverty: a story
To illustrate just how important it is to have cheap, plentiful, and reliable energy, I want to share a story I came across while doing research for my book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. This is a story about a baby born in the very poor country of Gambia.
The baby was born underweight and premature, but not in such a way that would be a big problem in say, the United States. In the United States, the solution would have been obvious: incubation. This technology would almost certainly bring this baby up to be completely healthy, and if you met the baby later in life you would never know that there had ever been a problem.
Unfortunately, in the Gambia, in this particular hospital, they needed something that billions of people in the world do not have, and that is reliable electricity.
Without reliable electricity, the hospital didn’t even contemplate owning an incubator, the one thing this baby desperately needed to survive.
Without access to this technology, the baby could not survive on her own, and sadly, she died. I think this story reminds us of what it means to have access to cheap, plentiful, and reliable energy, and how having more energy gives us the ability to improve our lives.
To summarize what we discussed, if you can’t afford energy you don’t have energy, and if energy is scarce or unreliable, then you don’t have energy when you need it. It’s not just enough to have energy, the energy and the process to create it has to be cheap, plentiful, and reliable.
by K.Randall Ball
Bandit looked around at the dozen or so kids and looked at the sleek classic chopper with highbars he was building. The Knucklehead engine and transmission were now in place.
Marko approached and whispered something into Bandit’s ear, “Exactly,” Bandit added.
It was the week after Thanksgiving. Marko disappeared for a minute and returned with a couple of large boxes marked, “Xmas.”
“We need to do something to brighten Christmas for these kids. I’m going to paint the Chopper red and white for the holidays.” said Bandit.
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from https://www.autoevolution.com by Florina Spînu
Honda is finally bringing the Navi to the U.S.! Adding to the miniMoto family for 2022, the machine combines the looks of a motorcycle with scooter features. Given its compact size, it makes up for a sporty and fun commuter that’s easy to maneuver around the city.
Flaunting miniMoto aesthetics, the Navi is somewhat a cross between Honda’s Ruckus and Grom. It features a low 30-inch seat height that allows most riders to touch the ground with their feet and effortlessly hop on the ride. Not only that, but it’s easy to find a parking spot or handle it through the concrete urban jungle.
The bike weighs 236 lbs (104 kgs), including all of its standard equipment and a full tank of fuel, so it’s a light machine that can be transported on an RV bumper rack. It even has a storage unit that is big enough to carry a backpack, a jacket, or a laptop.
The bike is equipped with a 109cc air-cooled four-stroke single-cylinder, and it has scooter-like features that set it apart from other members of the miniMOTO family, such as a CVT transmission. That means no clutch, no shifting, no neutral or park. All the riders have to do is hop on, turn the key, press a button and start Navi-gating (pun intended).
Those who want to get a taste of what this bike feels like will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with it this weekend at the IMS Outdoors motorcycle show in Costa Mesa, California. The Navi is set to hit the U.S. showrooms in January (February for California) next year. The bike will be available in four colors: Red, Grasshopper Green, Nut Brown, and Ranger Green. What’s more, it is offered at a crazy affordable price of $1,807.
According to Honda, another five on-road models for 2022 will make a comeback: the Gold Wing tourer and NC750X adventure tourer, the Rebel 1100 and Fury cruisers, and the CBR600RR sportbike. Most of them will be available in multiple trim levels and will sport a fresh set of paint.
by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com
A peek behind the curtain/fairings.
We’ve been following Kawasaki’s hybrid motorcycle development since the firm filed patents in July, 2019. By November, 2021, Team Green gave us a peek at its progress with a short video laying out the philosophy behind the project. Then, an April, 2021, patent revealed Kawi’s new 48V hybrid battery design. Now, Kawasaki has pulled back the curtain (and the fairings) on its latest hybrid build while committing to a 2025 gas-electric hybrid production models.
Due to the chassis, front headlight configuration, and exhaust system, the prototype looks like it’s based on the Ninja 400. Kawasaki hasn’t officially confirmed our suspicions, but leveraging the entry-level sportbike aligns with current hybrid technology limitations. In automobiles, it’s easier for manufacturers to pair electric and internal combustion powertrains. In motorcycles, however, space is a much more limited resource. As a result, the firm couples its existing small-capacity parallel twin with a compact electric power unit.
From the beginning, Kawasaki has developed its hybrid project with the idea that riders would utilize the powertrains in different environments. The internal combustion engine suits highway riding, while the electric motor works best in urban environments. On a twisty road, both would work in concert to deliver the best of both worlds. It seems like the small-bore Ninja-based prototype would satisfy those requirements while also providing enough room to accommodate the new apparatus.
Of course, with two powertrains, the transmission will have to play nice with both systems, and Kawi’s automated gearshift smooths that transition. The new feature consists of an automated clutch, servo-powered shifter, and push-buttons for the user to operate. With so many European cities introducing zero emissions zones lately (and only more to come), the hybrid technology may be the perfect happy-medium between holding on to the range and convenience of gas-powered motorcycles while adopting cleaner and more efficient running powertrains.
For some, 2025 may be a long time to wait, but it’s encouraging to see Kawasaki’s project progress at such a rapid rate. Hopefully, we can say the same for the gas-electric hybrid’s acceleration when it hits the market in a few years.
by Arun Prakash from https://www.rushlane.com
Kawasaki is working on a wide range of fully electric and hybrid motorcycles for the next few years
Kawasaki has made some major announcements recently which reveals the intentions of the Japanese superbike manufacturer for the future. The bikemaker has revealed that by 2035, all its models would run on electrified powertrains- either fully electric or hybrid electric vehicles, in major international markets.
In regard to this idea, the company is planning to launch ten new fully electric and hybrid motorcycles by 2025. The first of them was recently showcased at a presentation meeting in Japan. The prototype revealed is slated to be the first hybrid electric motorcycle from Kawasaki.
However, this isn’t the first motorcycle with an electric powertrain to be unveiled by the Japanese brand. Earlier in 2019, Kawasaki had revealed the electric Ninja 300 Concept, called EV Endeavor. Later the same year, the company filed patents for a hybrid motorcycle, images of which floated on the internet. The recent prototype unveiled is expected to be based on the same patents.
Kawasaki Ninja 400 Hybrid Prototype – Details
Going by the images, Kawasaki appears to have used Ninja 400 as the base for the exposed prototype of the hybrid bike. It features a parallel-twin engine which is bolted onto a new tubular steel frame with a large electric motor mounted above the transmission. The electric motor derives its energy from a small 48V battery pack located under the seat.
As per Kawasaki, the hybrid powertrain is equipped with a regenerative feature that tops up the battery when low on charge. Another interesting aspect of this hybrid motorcycle is that within city limits, the bike would completely run on battery and electric motor, cutting out power from the combustion engine. This mode will be useful when some cities introduce zero emissions zones in the future.
The bikemaker has equipped the prototype with GPS technology that automatically switches to electric power as soon as the bike enters city limits. Outside the city limits, the motorcycle will draw energy from both the combustion engine and electric motor in order to boost its performance. The entire system is paired with an automated transmission system with buttons for gear shifts.
The setup comprises an automated clutch and a servo-operated shifter that enables gear shifts through push button changes. Other details revealed from the images include a pair of telescopic front forks and rear mono-shock supporting the tubular steel frame. Stopping power is provided by single disc brakes on both wheels while being linked to dual-channel ABS.
Although no exact timeline for its launch has been confirmed, we won’t be surprised if this motorcycle reaches production within a span of a year.