Church of MO: ATK 1997

Why should we ride dirt bikes, Lord? You really shouldn’t, he replied. Most of you will hurt yourselves, and then I will abandon you to the wilderness, you and all the fish of your dry rivers; you will fall on the open field; you will not be brought together or gathered. I have given you for food to the beasts of the earth and to the birds of the sky. Then all the inhabitants of Egypt will know that I am the LORD, Because they have been only a staff made of reed to the house of Israel. That harshethed their buzz, and ATK quit making dirtbikes in Utah. Who knows?

Having spent considerable time this past season aboard a 260 two-stroke (which we literally boxed up for shipment the day before our departure to Utah), we were well primed to see where the company was headed. You’ll recall that last year, after ample fiddling, we found the 260 LQ to be a pleasant trail bike and competitive racer, but not without warts. Many of those issues identified here in Trail Rider have been smoothed out (perhaps surprisingly so) in the ’97 model line. Additionally, we got some fresh first hand experience aboard the trick ATK four-strokes, 350 and 605 cross country (off-road) and dual sport models and finally, a peek into what lies just around the corner for the USA’s only dirt bike manufacturer. Here’s what to look for from ATK in 1997.

Ring DingsBoth the 250 and 260 LQ models are back for ’97, graced with some refinements. For the record, the 250 LQ is a true 250cc motor, while the 260 is actually a 251cc hybrid, its bore “hogged out” a mere 0.15mm. Both bikes are still feather weights in enduro trim, with a claimed (and pretty darn close to what we measured last year) 235 pounds dry. The enduro kit (skid plate, spark arrestor, lighting kit) are options on the 250 while standard on the 260 model. Using the laudable “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, the ’97 two strokes return with plenty of the same world class hardware we’ve come to expect from ATK. This includes stout Pro-Taper handlebars, trick-looking gold anodized Talon hubs, and self-cleaning Answer Radialite rear and front steel sprockets, driven by a DID O-ring chain.

Proven Dunlop intermediate terrain knobbies, a D737 rear and K490 front, compliment White Power suspension components and keep things in good contact with whatever ground’is being traversed. The same Rotax liquid cooled motors with 6 speed, wide ratio transmissions develop obligatory motive power and exhaust through a nickel plated pipe and aluminum silencer or silencer/spark arrestor combo unit. An SEM ignition gets things spinning and is replete with a 160 watt lighting coil.Finally, a 3.1 gallon fuel cell with integral bullet-proof radiator shrouds ensures you’ll never worry about brush tearing off radiator plastic, or fuel problems completing those 50 mile enduro loops. In the new and improved category, ’97 ATKs come with a beefy new chain guide that’ll surely stand up to the worst use and considerable abuse. A new subframe bracing scheme better supports the enduro fender, tail light and license plate mounting assembly, keeping that hungry rear knobby from chewing up plastic.

Last year’s problems with the rear brake master cylinder support bracket have been fixed, this year made from stouter chrome moly steel. It turns out, last year’s frame weldment was mistakenly made with a mild steel mounting bracket, hence the bending problems previously noted. The ’97 LQs have a slightly taller saddle made from denser foam that retains a good shape and feel for maintaining proper body position. A smaller Mikuni TMX carburetor (35mm vice 37mm) was an attempt to get some more bottom end power while smoothing out the high end hit of the Rotax power plant. While we welcome any gains in this area, the Rotax power plant still has room for improvement. The Rotax two-stroke is still a very mild motor. Finally, the ’97, two and four stroke models come with a new White Power fork that eliminates the rebound and two-stage compression damping adjustments (read: a single compression damping adjustment only). We liked last years fork, being the fiddlers that we are, however some tuners will claim that all those extra adjustments are an overkill. Rest assured, we’ll prove this to ourselves, one way or another, once our ’97 test bike arrives.Thumpers

The ATK four strokes have the undisputed, trickest frame in the business. Introduced in ’96 and back for ’97, this cool asymmetric flying “V” chrome moly backbone is a feather weight that makes the engine a stressed member. When ATK builds these models, the frame is bolted onto the motor, rather than the motor being bolted into the frame. It’s awesome. Oil from the dry sump Rotax power plant is carried in the frame back bone to the tune of three quarts, which further aids engine cooling. Four stroke 350 and 605 models can be had in cross-country and dual sport trim, with primary kick or electric starting. Dual sport models are 100% identical to their cross-country brethren, save the additional street hardware like signals, horn, mirrors, battery and substantial wiring harness. All the important stuff, i.e., suspension, motor and carburetion, are shared. Regarding the electric start option, it adds 12 pounds, and in our opinion is a small price to pay to avoid kick starting these beasts. Also noteworthy, there is only a two pound difference between the 350 and 605 models.

The venerable Rotax counter-balanced, belt driven, single overhead cam four-stroke motors are solid, if not somewhat dated power plants. The 350 and 605 engines weigh in at 348cc and 598cc, respectively. In the stock state of tune they provide long life and good linear power. For racers and/or other horsepower hounds, there are plenty of aftermarket tuners out there that can turn these dependable prime movers into real fire breathers. However, beware of increased difficulties in kick starting high compression motors. A Nippondenso electronic ignition includes a 190 watt lighting coil that is standard on the dual sports and optional on cross country models. Carburetion is via 34mm and 40mm Dell’Ortos, for the 350 and 605, respectively, while all models exhaust through a stainless steel header pipe and tunable, lightweight SuperTrapp muffler system.Regarding power output, our seat-of-the pants impression puts the 350 somewhere in the middle of the midsize thumper class. Not the same raw, revving, explosive power of the Husaberg 400, however, easily stronger than current stock KLX300, XT350 and DR350motors. The 605 is a bit tougher to place. The counter-balanced motor is easily smoother than the output of, say, the Honda XR650L, but it’s otherwise hard to distinguish it from other open class thumpers, like the XR600, KTM 620 or Husky 610, without a side by side comparison. This is probably good, as each of those other bikes have distinguished themselves on many occasions as proven trail bikes and racers.

The ’97 ATK four strokes get the same, albeit differently sprung and valved, new White Power fork as the ’97 two stroke models. Same goes for saddle upgrades (denser foam and slightly taller), drive train (Answer Radialite rear sprocket, DID O-ring chain) and tires on the cross-country model. Dual sports come shod with DOT approved Dunlop knobbies, a D905 front and D903 rear. Rounding out the package, a trick aluminum air box is an integral part of the subframe while a voluminous 3.6 gallon fuel cell remains plenty skinny as a result of the economies of the flying “V” frame. So, what’s the verdict? ATK thumpers are a force to be reckoned with in desert racing out west, and can be a capable dual sport mount anywhere. The third production year of the liquid cooled two stroke models finds further refinements, contributing to a niche-oriented package for riders who don’t want to ride a CR250 in the woods. Quite frankly, ATK continues to amaze us with a world class product built here in the USA by a small cadre of dedicated motorcycle enthusiasts. Look to Trail Rider for some future in-depth testing of the ’97 ATKs!

Church of MO: ATK 1997 appeared first on

2018 Kawasaki Z900RS First Ride Review

2018 Kawasaki Z900RS

Editor Score: 86.5%

Engine 17.5/20
Suspension/Handling 12.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 9.0/10
Brakes 8.25/10
Instruments/Controls 4/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 9.5/10
Appearance/Quality 9.25/10
Desirability 9.0/10
Value 8.0/10
Overall Score 86.5/100

If you were expecting a cosmetic makeover of the Z900, you’d be mistaken like I was. I mean, it’s called Z900RS, but apart from the basic engine, this one’s nearly a completely redesigned animal, designed to bow deeply before Kawasaki’s Holy of holies (when it comes to motorcycles), the 1973 Z1. The steel-tube frame is said to be all-new, the engine’s tuned completely differently, the ergos are totally revised, the suspension is tuned for gentlepeople – and in general Kawasaki says this one’s supposed to be a mellow ride, not a raw high-performance one like the regular Z900.

Everybody’s cashing in on their heritage these days. Why shouldn’t Kawasaki? The original Z1 really was quite the atom bomb when it got here with its big DOHC engine in ’73. The RS picks up the thread with a new 4.5-gallon gas tank that closely mimics the original before flowing into side panels with original-look badging, then rearward into that duck-tail rear end and period-correct round taillight – though illumination at both ends is by modern LED. The molded in seat stitching looks the same, the big round tach and speedo look the same, the metal-flake paint job looks the same, and the polished edges of the cast wheels on the Candytone Brown model look like spokes. If there was anyplace else to put a radiator on a motorcycle other than front and center, you’d be hard pressed to tell old from new.

Well, there aren’t four exhaust pipes either – but the RS’s four-into-one sounds almost as throaty good as the original when you climb on and hit the starter button.

Well, there aren’t four exhaust pipes either – but the RS’s four-into-one sounds almost as throaty good as the original when you climb on and hit the starter button.

Personally I dig the Z900 a lot, and so does the whole MO staff, but sitting upon the RS is even more upright and easier on the lumbar region. The shiny chrome handlebar is 2.6 inches higher and 1.4 in. rearward – also 1.2 in. wider than the Z900’s bar. Footpegs are 0.8 in. lower and forward, and the thick-padded seat is actually a bit higher, at a claimed 31.5 inches. Even more of the load was removed from your wrists by raising the front of the bike a bit and lowering the rear; a new upper triple-clamp with 6mm more offset reduces trail to keep the steering nice and light.

The exhaust is all polished and shiny as is most of the rest of the RS.

The exhaust is all polished and shiny as is most of the rest of the RS.

When you lower your 20%-heavier mass upon it, you might note that not only is the seat cushier, so are the springs in the 41mm inverted fork and wrapped around the rear shock. Ahhh… it’s all very retro and perfect for rolling down Sunset Boulevard, splitting lanes just a bit through morning traffic down toward the ocean with visions of the swingin’ ’70s brought to you by the “vintage” gear everybody dug out to ride the new RS.

That ’70s round headlight is filled with position lamps in the high-beam chambers that make the whole light appear lit like a bulb type. A convex lens and chrome ring go with the overall really good fit and finish of the rest of the bike.

To complement all that mellowing out and so you won’t get blown off that comfy seat, they also mellowed out the engine. Compression ratio is down to 10.8:1 from 11.8, cam durations are shorter, the crankshaft is 12% heavier, and the double-wall exhaust headers’ inner tubes are about 20% smaller, now at 28.6mm diameter. All that boosts low- and midrange power a bit, not that anybody complained much about the Z900’s lack of either. There’s no horsepower claim (Kawasaki Europe says 110), but Kawasaki USA says the retuned RS makes 72.3 pound-feet at 6500 rpm; on the dyno, the Z900 made peak torque at 8000 rpm. The RS’s low-rpm lunge is further abetted by a lower first gear (and a taller sixth), and together with the slip/assist clutch’s really light pull, the RS reinforces the “easy-to-ride theme.” Big and powerful though it might be, it’s civilized enough to be a first bike for anybody who’s able to show a little restraint.

The RS marks the first time Kawasaki has used sound research to craft the a bike’s exhaust note, focusing on the initial roar to life, idling, and low-speed riding, where the deep growl is easiest to hear. Pipe length, bends, collector design and the density of the glass wool fibers in the silencer were all examined before hitting on the right combo, Kawasaki says. At low rpm, the exhaust escapes in a straight line; at higher revs the exhaust gets routed through an additional passage.

If you want a high-performance motorcycle for tearing up the backroads, Kawasaki says you want the Z900, but that didn’t keep their excellent PR staff from taking us on a lovely romp through the Malibu canyons on a beautiful warm December day anyway (with smoke from the Thompson fire, now the fourth largest in state history, visible a few ridgelines away).

The RS’s sit-up ergos work great on tight roads, and its steeper geometry lets you aim it even more accurately than the Z900. When the tires are warm and the pace accelerates, though, the softer springs get things pitching fore and aft more – and if you throw in a few bumps, she sort of wants to skitter across them toward the outside of corners. This is the first Japanese bike ever that could use longer peg feelers; a guy in front of me dug the sidestand mount in a couple of times, levering himself a foot to the right each one. Amusing yet potentially dangerous… (he was a bigger guy, though).

The 41mm inverted fork up front is fully adjustable, and the rear shock has rebound and preload adjustability – a half hour spent playing with them might result in a much sportier ride. I didn’t have time to find out. Anyway, tooling along at eight/tenths and smelling the (charred) roses is what the RS is more about.

Corner exits are a hoot, thanks to that low-rev urge and the bike’s excellently tuned exhaust. (It’s easy to swap traction control between 1,2 and Off.) The midrange is also strong and a sonic delight – but this engine doesn’t have the Z900’s 10,000-rpm top-end rush. There’s not much to be gained past 9000. And that’s perfectly okay unless you’re riding really fast roads or doing track days. Kawasaki has a few other bikes in its quiver more focussed toward those activities.

Everything you need to know is in there, legible and easy to read even for mature eyeballs.

For rolling down to the beach on a perfect winter’s day for a fish taco with your favorite passenger, in full protective gear of course, I’m having a hard time thinking what else I’d rather be on? Honda’s revitalized CB1100EX was the last time I had this kind of quality nostalgic motorcycle fun. Like that bike, what you give up in outright power, you get back in near-perfect linear fueling and smooth, broadband power delivery – though the RS does suffer a bit of throttle abruptness occasionally when things get aggressive in the curves. By no means a deal-breaker. With a bit more power than the air-cooled Honda and substantially less weight (472 pounds claimed curb weight), the Kawasaki is definitely the sportier of the two, and about $1k less expensive to boot.

Kawasaki’s target is 35 to 55 year old people, but it sounds like it’s maybe going to skew more towards the bigger number. The younger guys fully embraced retro drinking (way too much) the night before our ride, and were open to the idea of heritage sex (I didn’t catch the definition of that beyond that my favorite Kawi PR guy has a Z1-era Los Angeles Lakers Girl for a neighbor) – but they didn’t seem quite as enthralled with the RS as I was. I remember the original. I can’t help but think it would attract a bunch more kids if Kawasaki had added a kickstarter like the Z1 had. Retro starting.

If you worshipped the old Z1, you’ll love this this modern interpretation; it’s a great person-about-town motorcycle that’s super friendly to ride, way comfortable, and has a delicious howl when you give it the whip. If the Z1 is for you an old man’s bike, the Z900 it’s based upon is a new favorite of everyone – faster, cheaper and harder-edged. For Kawasaki, I think both are going to be winners.

Well, there aren’t four exhaust pipes either – but the RS’s four-into-one sounds almost as throaty good as the original when you climb on and hit the starter button.

The exhaust is all polished and shiny as is most of the rest of the RS.

2018 Kawasaki Z900RS First Ride Review appeared first on

Elena Myers to Guest Instruct Yamaha Champions Riding School + Class Schedule

Former professional road racer, Elena Myers, will guest instruct at her alma mater, the Yamaha Champions Riding School, at Arizona Motorsports Park this January 6-7. If you’re interested in attending any of the ten Champ Schools, check out the YCRS schedule at the bottom.

Begin Press Release:

San Diego, CA – December 15, 2017 – The Yamaha Champions Riding School is pleased to announce former professional racer Elena Myers as a guest instructor for the upcoming classes at Arizona Motorsports Park on January 6-7, 2018.

For those motorcycle fans who don’t know, Elena Myers is the most bad-ass female motorcycle roadracer in American history: period!  Elena has two professional victories in the AMA SuperSport class, a feat never before accomplished by any other female racer.  Elena won at Infineon in 2010 and then again in 2012 at Daytona International Speedway.  Oh yeah, and don’t forget she also finished 5th in the AMA Superbike class in her last year of racing.  Forget the gender, Elena is just a badass.

Elena is also a student of the sport, a YCRS graduate who worked with Ken Hill during his YCRS days, and has practiced Champions Habits to their fullest.  Elena also has coaching experience working with Jason DiSalvo at his riding academy.  Jason’s school was also based on the Freddie Spencer school since he was a student of Freddie and Nick in the ’90s, so we are confident that she will fit right in to the modern version of the curriculum.

“I have long term hopes with this adventure,” said Keith Culver, the COO and “Crew Chief” of YCRS.  “I rode with Elena last year at Thunderhill during one of our demo days and I can tell you, she’s still got it.  I told her then we would love to have her out to a school and ever since, Nick has been in regular communication discussing the possibility.  I seriously hope that she meshes with the crew and becomes addicted to the program like the rest of us are.  I know Nick is 110% positive she will and I trust Nick 109%”.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the folks at YCRS during the upcoming school at AMP. I learned a lot from these guys in my racing days, and feel the program is incredible for riders of all levels. I look forward to seeing where this goes and hope to help as many people as I can along the way,” added Elena.

The Arizona Motorsports Park classes will run on January 6-7, 2018.  Saturday and Sunday will be the famed ChampSchool that includes the 4:1 instructor ratio, van rides, video review, the option to rent bikes and gear, lunch and dinner catered, and all the fixins.  Each day we will carve out 20 minutes of track time and 20 minutes of class time for ChampDay for those who cannot swing the full monte and want a shorter, more economical option.  Click here to see the differences in the programs and then click here to see the schedule and register.

About YCRS
Yamaha Champions Riding School is the nation’s premier motorcycle training program.  YCRS is the evolution of the Freddie Spencer High-Performance Riding School and is led by former racer, author, and right-hand man of Spencer; Nick Ienatsch.  YCRS uses “Champions Habits” to teach all riders the skills and techniques used by the top riders in the world to go faster, stay safer, or both while concentrating on the way in which modern motorcycles are designed to be ridden.  YCRS is dedicated to making all motorcycle riders safer and more in control of their riding, no matter what type of riding they do. For more information visit

2018 Schedule
Jan 6-7, ChampSchool, Arizona Motorsports Park, Goodyear, AZ (near Phoenix)
Jan 6, ChampDay, Arizona Motorsports Park, Goodyear, AZ
Jan 7, ChampDay, Arizona Motorsports Park, Goodyear, AZ
Feb 12 – 13, ChampSchool, Inde Motorsports Ranch, Willcox, AZ
Mar 5 – 6, ChampSchool, Inde Motorsports Ranch, Willcox, AZ
March 19 – ChampDay, Buttonwillow Raceway Park, Buttonwillow, CA
March 20-21 – ChampSchool, Buttonwillow Raceway Park, Buttonwillow, CA
Apr 2 – 3, ChampSchool, Inde Motorsports Ranch, Willcox, AZ
May 7 – 8, ChampSchool, Inde Motorsports Ranch, Willcox, AZ
May 21 -ChampDay, New Jersey Motorsports Park – Thunderbolt, Millville, NJ
May 22-23 – ChampSchool, New Jersey Motorsports Park – Thunderbolt, Millville, NJ
June 11 – Private Day, New Jersey Motorsports Park – Thunderbolt, Millville, NJ
June 12-13 – ChampSchool, New Jersey Motorsports Park – Thunderbolt, Millville, NJ
August 20-21 – ChampSchool, Pittsburgh International Race Complex, Wompum, PA
Sept 3 – ChampDay, New Jersey Motorsports Park – Thunderbolt, Millville, NJ
Sept 4-5 – ChampSchool, New Jersey Motorsports Park – Thunderbolt, Millville, NJ

Elena Myers to Guest Instruct Yamaha Champions Riding School + Class Schedule appeared first on News.

Edelweiss Motorcycle Tours In Cuba

Americans have had a really odd relationship with Cuba, for decades being nearly out of reach for most citizens until relations thawed a few years ago. New regulations introduced by the current U.S. administration have somewhat complicated travel to the island close to Florida, but it’s still possible.

Edelweiss Bike Travel is now presenting motorcycle tours in Cuba specifically for American travelers and led by an expert on Cuba, Christopher P. Baker. Baker has 20 years’ experience motorcycling in Cuba and is apparently “one of the world’s leading experts on Cuba travel and culture,” according to National Geographic. Edelweiss has a selection of BMWs, Harleys and Triumph Tigers in its Cuba fleet. Full details on the tour, as well as a list of reasons to travel to Cuba sooner rather than later, follow below.

Begin Press Release


Edelweiss Bike Travel launches Cuba tours for U.S. travelers led by top moto-journalist and Cuba expert, who gives top ten reasons they must visit NOW!

MIEMING, AUSTRIA: Edelweiss Bike Travel, the world’s leading motorcycle touring company, has launched 8- and 11-day tours of Cuba for U.S. motorcycle riders beginning in March 2018, to be led by acclaimed moto-journalist and Cuba expert Christopher P. Baker. Hailed by National Geographic as “one of the world’s leading experts on Cuba travel and culture,” Baker has twenty years’ experience motorcycling in Cuba and will guide a number of departures especially for U.S. motorcycle riders. He has honed the company’s Cuba itineraries—offered for worldwide customers since 2013—to the requirements for legal U.S. travel under the ‘People-to-People’ license category. Any U.S. citizen can participate.

With Baker as tour leader, participants are guaranteed unique and fascinating ‘people-to- people’ interactions with Cuban personalities from artists and baseball players to such harlistas (owners of pre-revolutionary Harley-Davidsons) as Baker’s friend Ernesto (son of ‘Che’) Guevara.

“Now is the time to visit Cuba. The risks of not doing so are very real,” says Baker, who gives ten reasons for U.S. citizens to visit Cuba now:

Because finally you can… but will you still be able to tomorrow?
To beat the crowds
Because Cuba is changing
All those incredible classic cars!
Catch it while it’s frozen in time
See socialism with your own eyes
For Hav’an’a good time
It’s not addicted to WiFi
This is a fascinating moment in history
Because it’s SAFE!

“The charges by the Trump administration of ‘sonic attacks’ in Cuba are questionable and have the appearance of being a politically motivated attempt to scare U.S. travelers,” claims Baker. “There’s absolutely no evidence. Cuba is still the safest country in the Caribbean and
Latin America.”

The programs span western and central Cuba, taking in Havana, tobacco country, the Bay of Pigs, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Trinidad, Che Guevara’s mausoleum in Santa Clara, the beaches of northern Cuba, and more.

In order to welcome Christopher to the tour guide team of Edelweiss Bike Travel, we have set-up an 11-day round-trip starting from Havana in March 2018:
>> 8-day ‘Best of Cuba’: This itinerary takes in the best sites of Western and Central Cuba.
Departures led by Christopher are marked ‘Ride with Christopher Baker’ on the list of available dates:
>> 11-day ‘Classic Cuba’: This motorcycle tour adds three days riding in tobacco country to the 8-day itinerary. Departures led by Christopher are marked ‘Ride with Christopher Baker’ on the list of available dates:

About Edelweiss Bike Travel: Edelweiss Bike Travel was founded in 1980 and has offered guided motorcycle tours worldwide for more than 35 years. It is headquartered in Mieming, Austria. It maintains a fleet of 34 Austrian-origin BMWs, Harley-Davidsons and Triumph Tigers in Cuba year-round.

About Christopher P. Baker: Professional travel writer/photographer and moto-journalist Christopher P. Baker—the Lowell Thomas Award 2008 ‘Travel Journalist of the Year’—has written for more than 200 publications worldwide, from CNN Travel to National Geographic and Playboy. His six books about Cuba include Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro’s Cuba (National Geographic Adventure Press), regaling his 7,000-mile journey by BMW R100GS in 1996. In 2013 he secured a license authorizing the first group motorcycle tours in Cuba for U.S. citizens since the Revolution. He has since led more than 100 motorcycle and other ‘people-to- people’ programs in Cuba for National Geographic Expeditions, among others.

Edelweiss Motorcycle Tours In Cuba appeared first on News.

Most Popular Articles Of 2017 On

Here at, we try to cover the breadth of motorcycling. Every day, we strive to find and deliver the very best that the world of motorcycles has to offer. In the spirit of that endeavor, we look forward to the end of the year as an opportunity to gaze back over the past 12 months to see where we were successful. We’ve found the best way to gauge how well we have achieved our goal is to look at what articles our readers have been clicking on as they visited our site or queried search engines.

What follows are the results of a deep dive into MO’s analytics concerning the stories published in 2017. In order for this to be a fair representation, we took the number of hits generated by each article and divided it by the number of months that it was online. We have to admit that there were a few surprises. For example, the news about the complete overhaul of the Harley-Davidson Softail line didn’t crack the top 10 – or 20 – though perhaps that is because everyone else was writing about it, too.

Read on and be enlightened.

10. 10 Great Motorcycle Rides In North America

Everybody wants to know how their favorite roads compare to others across the country. Or maybe enough of you were planning your future rides. Regardless, enough of you clicked on this article for it to rank 10th for 2017. Take a look, you might find your new love.

10 Great Motorcycle Rides In North America

9. Top 10 Personal Favorite Harley-Davidsons

FNG Brent Jaswinski has got to be pretty stoked to see one of his articles crack the top 10 most-read articles of the year. After all, he’s only been an official MOron for a couple months. Still, his list of personal favorite Harleys obviously resonated with MO readers. Congratulations, Brent, now get back to work washing those motorcycles!

Top 10 Personal Favorite Harley-Davidsons

8. 2017 Superbike Spec Chart Shootout

While we knew that our 2017 Superbike Shootout would be one of the most read articles of the year, we were surprised that an article which had no actual riding would rank so high. Perhaps it’s that March is still pretty chilly in great swaths of the U.S., and people need to cosy up to a good spec sheet (moto-porn?) to do a little fantasy riding.

2017 Superbike Spec Chart Shootout

7. First Look: 2018 Honda Gold Wing And Gold Wing Tour

The wholesale update to the venerable Honda Gold Wing was long overdue. After all, the most recent of what Honda calls its Gold Wing milestone models was released in 2001. Since then, the Wing had only gotten mild freshening. Well, that’s all changing for 2018, and you readers, with your curiosity about what the reimagining of the Wing holds, have put it in among the most read articles of the year.

First Look: 2018 Honda Gold Wing And Gold Wing Tour

6. 2017 KTM 390 Duke Review

We expect bikes like the Gold Wing and other flagship motorcycles to attract attention, but to have a small-displacement motorcycle in the mix shows what a great job KTM is doing with the 390 Duke. You readers have voted with your clicks the same way we voted on the Best Lightweight/Entry-Level Motorcycle Of 2017.

2017 KTM 390 Duke Review

5. 2017 Superbike Street Shootout

We expected the 2017 Superbike Shootout to be on our year-end most read list, and here it is. Of note in this selection is that it only covers the street portion of the shootout. If we’d added in the 2017 Superbike Track Shootout, the article would place even higher in the rankings. Still, when we think about it, the vast majority of superbike owners spend most of their riding time on the street. So, naturally, they’d want to know how they rated in that environment.

2017 Superbike Street Shootout

2017 Superbike Track Shootout

2017 Superbike Shootout Vanquisher

4. Polaris Is Closing Victory Motorcycles

Unfortunately, the story for Victory Motorcycles wasn’t rosy in 2017. Polaris had been investing heavily into its Victory lineup, making us excited about its future products. But after adding Indian Motorcycle to its portfolio, Polaris ultimately decided there wasn’t room for both companies in the marketplace and refocused its efforts on the brand that enjoys a rich history and resonance with consumers, Indian. Sadly, Victory’s 18-year run is over.

Polaris Is Closing Victory Motorcycles

3. 10 Best Beginner Motorcycles

While the bulk of’s readers are experienced riders, we MOrons want to grow the sport that we have based so much of our lives around. That’s why we try to put out articles to give important information to both aspirational riders and novices. Yeah, some of the content may not be of interest to grizzled veterans, but we were all newbies once. Help them out and grow the sport.

10 Best Beginner Motorcycles

2. The Most Expensive Production Motorcycles In The World

We can’t help it. Humans are naturally curious about how the 1% lives. So, here’s your chance to see the cost of exclusivity. With prices ranging from around $26,000 to almost $170,000, there’s something here for every level of wretched excess. Fun reading for those with caviar tastes but tuna fish budgets.

The Most Expensive Production Motorcycles In The World

1. The 10 Most Reliable Motorcycle Companies

While the second-place article published in 2017 may have dealt with the rarified prices that only the few can afford, the most popular article posted on shows that many of us have more practical concerns when looking for our dream machine. Go take a look at where your favorite marque ranks on the list originally compiled by Consumer Reports. Some of the results may surprise you.

The 10 Most Reliable Motorcycle Companies

Most Popular Articles Of 2017 On appeared first on