Motorcycle Industry

The 11 Best Fuel Efficient Motorcycles You Can Buy in 2019

It’s getting dark pretty early, these days– and the air is getting colder. For many, it’s time to put their bikes up for the season. For others, further south, it’s finally cool enough to start putting serious miles on them again. For nearly all motorcyclists, however, the winter is special for another reason: the new bikes are out! With new bikes come new lists. As such, it’s time for Gas 2 to once again put together our annual list of the Best Fuel Efficient Motorcycles you can buy. This list, like the others, is divided into categories, and the “winner” is selected for wildly arbitrary reasons based impressions gathered in 20+ years of riding experience as much as it is for its “green” cred. So, check out our choices, below, then tel...

Coming to America: Kawasaki W800 Street Model Headed to the US

Outside of the US, Kawasaki sells a matte black, UJM-style version of its highly anticipated W800: the Kawasaki W800 Street. I may be biased here, but I think it’s awesome, carrying all the swagger and twin-cylinder throb of the 1965 original. Except, you know, in black finish. None of which matters, of course, since Kawasaki doesn’t have plans to sell the bike in the US … or do they? Ride Apart is reporting that recently released paperwork from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) suggests the more laid back W800 Street is coming to the US sometime in 2019. “Obviously,” they write, “someone over at Kawasaki Motors must have noticed how much profit there was to be made by selling the same basic bike in multiple flavors and styles.” If I sound ...

Report: Record Number of Households Own a Motorcycle

A new report from the Motorcycle Industry Council found that 8% of US households had a motorcycle in 2018, according to their polling data. That’s big news for motorcyclists, because it’s the highest percentage ever recorded by the MIC. The household penetration numbers have always been among the most important figures to us,” said MIC President and CEO Tim Buche. “We’re certainly happy to see more homes that have a motorcycle. Riders who talk about motorcycling to friends and neighbors help to inspire people who don’t yet ride.” The is even more good news for the industry in the report. The total number of motorcycle owners seems to have reached record levels, too, with 13,158,100 motorcycles currently registered in the US. That number reflects an is an increase of roughly 2.5...

Harley is in Trouble — Buyers are Getting Too Old to Ride

Harley-Davidson is in trouble. If you don’t understand how much trouble it’s in, consider that the company just launched– to much fanfare!– an all-electric motorcycle that offers less power and half the range of its nearest competitor, yet is priced 300% higher. Next, realize that that is Harley’s best hope for the future. What happened? Well, we could talk about Harley’s carefully crafted, corporate-sponsored cult following. We could talk about a culture of denigrating women and promoting a toxic brand of masculinity that toyed with a number of repressed, homoerotic themes. We could even skip all that, and just talk about the fact that Harley has always built kinda shitty bikes– but the problem isn’t any of those things. Not obviously, anywa...

Revealed: 2019 Triumph Rocket III + Truxton Concept

The Triumph Rocket III has been motorcycling’s high-watermark of wretched excess for over a decade. With a 2300 cc engine that would probably be more at home in a car, the Rocket III– like the Yamaha VMax or, arguably, the Honda Gold Wing– exists in a class of its own. All things must change, however, and 2019 was expected to mark the birth of a new Rocket … and here it is. The new 2019 Triumph Rocket wasn’t revealed at a big bike show or anything, though. Instead, it was shown as one of two “exclusive, ultra-premium, limited-edition models” in a press release the company sent out yesterday to promote Triumph’s new “Factory Custom Program”. If you ask me (you didn’t, I know), I think the PR department let this cat out of the...

Rumormill: KTM Wants to Buy Ducati

Volkswagen executives have been trying to sell off their captive motorcycle brand, Ducati, since the fallout from their diesel emissions scandal started to come down. Thus far, VW’s board of directors– which includes the German company’s labor unions, who account for nearly half the board seats– has been “unenthusiastic” about selling Ducati. With KTM now showing interest, however, that may change. KTM CEO Stefan Pierer expressed interest in owning the Italian motorcycle company to German-language magazine, Speedweek. He even went as far as floating some of his ideas on how Ducati could fit into KTM’s overall vehicle strategy. Unlike some CEOs, that’s not the kind of talk Pierer would enter into lightly– and it sound, to some people, like Pie...

Royal Enfield 650 Twins Force Harley to Drop Prices by 30%

The new Royal Enfield 650 Twin is a beautiful thing. Sure, the air-cooled parallel-twin engined bikes aren’t exactly high-tech. Then again, neither is Harley-Davidson, Enfield’s main competitor in Indian and Southeast Asia– and demand for the new Royal Enfield is strong enough that it’s driven Harley’s price down. Down by nearly 30%!! In India– arguably Harley’s home market, these days— the Royal Enfield 650 Twins are direct rivals to the Harley-Davidson Street models. Where the Street 750s are priced at about Rs 5.3 lakh Rupees (approx. 7330USD), the Royal Enfield 650 Twin is priced from just Rs 2.3 lakh Rupees (approx. 3180USD, as I type this). That puts the Harley at more than twice the price of the Enfield. For that high price, though, yo...

EICMA 2018: Royal Enfield Concept KX (w/ Video)

Royal Enfield has been on a bit of a roll since it launched its Continental GT “Rocker Special” a few years ago. Since then, the company has finally taken an interest in the US market, and it seems like that interest is growing– because the Concept KX is aimed right at the heart of the American cruiser market. The engine is an 838cc, water-cooled V-Twin with a ton of visual presence. Royal Enfield says it’s a clean sheet design, and it may be, but that’s not what this bike is about. RE is letting the world’s V-Twin riders know that a V-Twin Enfield is coming soon, and that they should get their down payments ready. Check out the Concept KX’s official Instagram debut video, below, then let us know what you think of the prospect of a big-engine Royal...

EICMA 2018: Ducati MIG-RR Electric Moped

It happens just about every year around this time. I make my top ten or eleven or thirteen “best” motorcycles list, I name the Honda-based Motoped the best moped, and people send me emails bitching that it’s not electric. Well, this year’s list might just feature something a little bit different — meet the Ducati MIG-RR electric mountain bike. Launched earlier today at the EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show in Italy, the MIG-RR is a joint venture between Ducati and Thok E-bikes. It’s more than a re-painted Thok, though. The MIG-RR features a 250 W Shimano Steps E8000 mid-drive that delivers more than 70 Nm (51 lb-ft!!) of torque to the bike’s gearset. More than enough, in other words, to tear up just about any hill at serious, pants-s***ting speeds! ̶...

Google Maps Adds Motorcycle Option

Anyone who’s spent a significant amount of time on two wheels will tell you that the best route for a car isn’t always the best route for a bike. This is especially apparent when plotting a road trip on Google Maps, but the big Goog has made that particular anxiety a thing of the past with a new “motorcycle” route option. The new feature, originally launched in India, now also available in countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Google Maps’ new motorcycle option takes into consideration the fact that bikes tend to have shorter operating ranges, which increases the number of necessary stops. It also removes roads that are not “motorcycle friendly”, uses landmarks in addition to of...

Street Fighter – 25 Years of the Ducati Monster

Ducati is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the innovative Ducati Monster with an all-new beast. The tricolored Ducati Monster 1200 25th Anniversary. That’s right, kids– the Ducati Monster has been around for 25 years. The bike almost single-handedly created the “street fighter” look that dominated custom sport bikes throughout the ’90s and ’00s, and created a new product line for Ducati that- like the Porsche Cayenne- provided the profits needed to kept the core of the sporting brand alive. As for me, I was never a fan of the Monster. I was never a fan of the Cayenne, either, to be honest. Still, I recognized that, for bikes like the 916 and 900SS to exist, the brand needed a product with broader appeal– and the Monster was perfect for that miss...

Trump Trade War Hits Harley Davidson, Wisconsin

This week marks the first in which American motorcycle icon Harley-Davidson has to face stiff trade tariffs in EU markets. It’s a move that’s being called a retaliation to Trump administration tariffs on European aluminum and steel that sees a 25% import tariff on large motorcycles coming from the US. “Large”, in this case, references motorcycles whose engines displace 500cc or more. That means the new 25% tax will hit both Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles, but won’t impact electric brands like Zero. To quote Asphalt and Rubber, “the (EU) is adding the 25% tariff to the goods that fall under HS code 87114000 & 87115000 on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System,” which state:   87114000: Motorcycles, incl. mopeds, with...

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