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2024 Honda Shadow Phantom Review | First Ride

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom celebrates its 41st birthday this year with updates to both its bobber styling and performance. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

When something has been around for four decades, it’s usually because of a combination of inherent quality and general likability. Take a look at Rider magazine, for example. Next year, we celebrate our 50th birthday. There’s a reason for that. But quality doesn’t live in a vacuum. To survive – and even better, to thrive – there has to be change. Honda has succeeded in finding the next step in the evolution of the Honda Shadow Phantom, and the company hopes the changes, combined with a 40-year history, will help the bobber-style bike succeed in the middleweight cruiser market.

The Spirit of 750

The Honda Shadow was introduced in 1983 with two options. The larger of the two cruisers featured a liquid-cooled 745cc 45-degree V-Twin with SOHC and 3 valves per cylinder. It had a 6-speed gearbox, a slipper clutch, and shaft final drive. More than 19,000 Shadow 750s were sold that year.

Related: Retrospective – 1988 Honda VT800C Shadow

There were several other chapters in the Shadow story, but if we’re following the lineage to the Phantom, significant mileposts included the shift to a 52-degree V-Twin in 1988 with the 583cc Shadow VLX. The 52-degree V found its way to the larger displacement 750cc Shadow ACE in 1998, which dropped down to a 5-speed gearbox, chain final drive, and no slipper clutch. The Shadow Phantom was introduced in 2010 with blacked-out styling (the exhaust was still chrome), the introduction of fuel injection, and a return to shaft drive.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The 2024 Phantom carries the blacked-out styling through the exhaust, which was still chrome for 2023.

The 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom sees the blacked-out styling now carried through the exhaust – a good look that represents a more modern appeal. It still features a liquid-cooled 745cc 52-degree V-Twin, but machine-cut cylinder head fins add a nice visual contrast that makes the engine pop. There’s also a new two-tone paint scheme on the tank (Deep Pearl Gray or Orange Metallic), LED turnsignals, fork boots, shortened fenders, and a new single seat (a passenger seat and footpegs are available as accessories).

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The 41mm fork on the new Phantom provides 5.1 inches of travel, a .5-inch increase over the 2023 model.

Colin Miller, American Honda assistant manager of public relations, said members of Generations Y and Z are more attracted to Honda’s Rebel platform, partially because of its more aggressive styling, and Honda is leveraging some of that style with the Shadow Phantom. Whereas the Shadow Aero still has the more laid-back appearance of a traditional cruiser with a swept-back handlebar and more relaxed seating, the revamped Phantom takes a more contemporary approach, with a new handlebar and clamp that puts the rider in more aggressive forward position. A graphic during the presentation showed the handlebar position close to that of the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
An undeniable part of the cruiser appeal is the appearance, and the new styling of the Phantom is definitely eye-catching.

And from a customization standpoint, while the previous model’s rear fender and license plate holder was one piece that had to be cut if a customer wanted to make changes, the holder on the new model can be unbolted to aid customization.

Another significant update to the Phantom is its stopping power. Braking in the front is still provided by a 2-piston caliper gripping a 296mm disc, but the previous rear brake drum has been replaced by a 276mm disc and 2-piston caliper, and a new ABS version is available for an extra $300.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
Instrumentation on the Phantom is minimal – about on par with the older cruiser in my stable, but at least it has a low-fuel light. And while there is no gear indicator, I appreciated the green neutral light.

Front suspension travel has been increased by half an inch (to 5.1 inches) but remains the same 3.5 inches in the rear courtesy of dual shocks with five-position spring-preload adjustability. Otherwise, seat height is essentially the same at a very cruiser-like 25.6 inches. Even though fuel capacity has been bumped 0.2 gallon to 3.9, curb weight of the 2024 model is 6 lb lighter at 543 lb.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The Phantom may not be a sportbike, but with a 543 pound curb weight, it doesn’t mind being flopped through corners.

Unlocking the Phantom Zone

The middleweight cruiser market exploded during the Covid pandemic. The wave crested in 2021, but Miller said Honda is hoping the Shadow Phantom will bring in both new riders and existing cruiser fans looking for something new. I don’t know about the younger generation – in more ways than just their riding preferences – but I can say this Gen X cruiser guy sure enjoyed the ride.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The Phantom returns with a liquid-cooled 745cc 45-degree V-Twin with SOHC and 3 valves per cylinder.

The first thing I noticed when firing up the bike was the rumble, which was surprisingly satisfying for a Japanese bike with the stock exhaust. The Phantom continued to impress as we rolled through the streets of San Dimas, California. When we tested the 2013 Shadow Aero, it made 44.7 lb-ft of peak torque at the rear wheel, with more than 40 lb-ft available between 2,200 and 5,000 rpm. I appreciated that level of low-end grunt when pulling away from intersections in town, and it held its own as we climbed 6,000 feet on State Route 39 to Crystal Lake.

Related: 2013 Honda Shadow Aero Review

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The rear fender on the 2024 Phantom is shorter than the previous model. Also note the three bolts (with three corresponding on the other side) to remove the rear portion for customizing.

The rear suspension was a little squishy in some of the bumpier parts, but that was likely a result of the preload being set for someone a little lighter than my two-plus bills. Fortunately, the new saddle is nice and cushy and didn’t give me any grief during the four hours I was on it.   

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
2024 Honda Shadow Phantom


The pull on the clutch lever was a little heavy, and I would rate it “medium.” Since I own an older cruiser, it’s not anything new to me, but many bikes today are equipped with slip/assist clutches, and once you get used to this feature, you notice when it’s not there. I was okay with the lever pull – although a slip/assist clutch would’ve lightened it – but there was a moment going up the twisty, narrow one-way route to Crystal Lake where a quick downshift, combined with some debris in the road, gave a hop of the rear wheel on a curve that was a little bracing.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
My only gripe with the Phantom is that I had to ride with my right heel on the footpeg instead of my arch if I didn’t want to rest my foot on the brake pedal or drag my boot on tight right corners.

At just $8,399 ($8,699 for the ABS version), the 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom may not have all the bells and whistles, but it is a very attractive proposition for either a new rider or someone looking to add another steed to their stable from a segment without a lot of competition.

Only Breath and Shadow

I had only one other issue with the Phantom. The bike has a decent 27.4-degree lean angle. However, when I put the arch of my boot on the forward-mount footpegs, if I didn’t want my toe resting on the brake pedal, the heel of my boot found the road surface before the pegs did. This required a shifting of my right boot to various positions, none of which were as comfortable or confidence-inspiring as having the peg positioned directly under my arch.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The Phantom sticks with its shaft drive roots, which has lower maintenance costs, a factor Honda says is appealing to new riders. I liked the clean look but wish they could’ve found someplace else for that sticker.

This is not to say that I was high-speed slaloming up the canyon. In fact, I was the most conservative of the riders that day on the winding SR-39. As to those peg scrapes, I was once advised by my colleague and editor-in-chief of our sibling publication American Rider, Kevin Duke: “Ride your own ride, but challenge your limits when your confidence grows.”

So I did. Most riders won’t treat the Honda Shadow like a sportbike, but it certainly responded to my prodding enough to make it a spirited ride up the winding SR-39. When it comes to riding my own ride, I like to cruise, take in the scenery, breathe the air, and get my heart pumping enough to remember I’m alive.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The curving, climbing ride on State Route 39 to Crystal Lake was a great mix of man versus nature.

If you are of a like mind, you’ll be very happy with the Phantom. And for those of you wondering if it’ll haul a little ass, the Phantom has something for you as well, as I can attest based on the taillights winking in the distance ahead of me from some of the other riders in my group.

The new Phantom has brought the Shadow into the light, and it looks to be a bright future indeed.

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom
The 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom comes in the two-tone Orange Metallic or Deep Pearl Gray.

Check out more new bikes in Rider‘s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom Specs

  • Base Price: $8,399
  • Website: Powersports.Honda.com
  • Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse 52-degree V-Twin, SOHC w/ 3 valves per cyl.
  • Displacement: 745cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 79.0 x 76.0mm
  • Transmission: 5-speed, cable-actuated clutch
  • Final Drive: Shaft
  • Wheelbase: 64.6 in.
  • Rake/Trail: 34 degrees/6.4 in.
  • Seat Height: 25.6 in.
  • Wet Weight: 543 lb
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.9 gal.
  • Fuel Consumption: 56 mpg (claimed)

See all of Rider‘s Honda coverage here.

The post 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom Review | First Ride appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp Review | First Look

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp
2024 Honda XL750 Transalp in Matte Black Metallic

American Honda has announced that the highly anticipated Honda XL750 Transalp is coming to the U.S. market for the 2024 model year.

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp

The Transalp was originally introduced in Europe in 1986, first showing up in the U.S. for the 1989 model year with a liquid-cooled, 600cc 52-degree V-Twin with 3 valves per cylinder bolted into a full-cradle frame with a box section swingarm. A 41mm fork provided almost 8 inches of travel up front, and Pro-Link suspension offered 7.5 inches of rear-wheel travel.

Unfortunately, timing and American attitudes about motorcycles, combined with the on-road/off-road orientation of the bike, meant the Transalp only lasted two years in U.S. market.

Related: Retrospective: Honda XL600V Transalp: 1989 – 1990

However, fast forward three decades, and not only have times changed, but so has the Transalp, and after seeing considerable success in the European market, U.S. buyers are clamoring to give this new-generation middleweight adventure bike another spin.

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp

“As the adventure category continues to thrive and evolve, customers are more eager than ever to get out and explore,” said Brandon Wilson, American Honda manager of Racing & Experiential Marketing. “The all-new, midsize XL750 Transalp joins Honda’s iconic Africa Twin and pocket-adventurer CB500X to complete our popular True Adventure lineup, ready to deliver unforgettable outdoor experiences to U.S. ADV enthusiasts from coast to coast.”

In the company’s announcement, Honda called the XL750 Transalp, “friendly but tough—perfect for extended touring trips, as well as the urban cut and thrust, and all points in between.”

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp

See all of Rider‘s Honda coverage here.

The 2024 Honda XL750 Transalp features a liquid-cooled 755cc parallel-Twin with Honda’s Unicam design, 4 valves per cylinder, and 270-degree crank. It has a 6-speed gearbox, throttle-by-wire, a slip/assist clutch, and a standard quickshifter. The bike now comes with five ride modes – Sport, Standard, Rain, Gravel, and rider-customizable – that regulate power delivery, engine braking, and ABS intervention. It also has Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) for increased or decreased rear-wheel spin.

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp

Speaking of wheels, the 2024 Honda XL750 Transalp rides on 21/18-inch front/rear spoked wheels. For stopping power, gone is the rear drum brake, replaced by a 256mm disc, and the front now has dual discs (310mm) instead of the previous single. ABS is standard and can be turned off for the rear wheel. Suspension travel is still comparable, with a 43mm Showa SFF-CA inverted fork offering 7.9 inches of travel and Showa Pro-Link rear shock providing 7.5 inches.

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp

The seat height is 33.7 inches, and Honda offers an available 32.6-inch accessory seat. It has 8.3 inches of clearance, a 4.5-gallon fuel tank, and a curb weight of 459 lb.

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp

The Transalp has a 5.0-inch full-color LCD display with four display options, self-canceling turnsignals, and a USB-C port under the passenger seat. The 2024 Honda XL750 Transalp will be available in October in Matte Black Metallic starting at $9,999.

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp

For more information, visit the Honda Powersports website.

Check out more new bikes in Rider‘s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

The post 2024 Honda XL750 Transalp Review | First Look appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator Review | First Ride

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
The Eliminator name returns to Kawasaki’s lineup after a long absence. This 451cc cruiser is light, fun, and affordable, making it ideal for new and intermediate riders. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

When a new rider asks for advice on a good first bike, they quickly find out that opinions vary wildly. Some will suggest a bike in the 250-300cc range, but that might not be ideal for riders who frequently travel at highway speeds. Others will suggest larger-displacement bikes that the new rider won’t outgrow, but those might be too intimidating and squash what little confidence the new rider had to begin with.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
While the Eliminator sits a little higher than many cruisers, it maintains a low and long stance with a sleek fuel tank befitting a cruiser.

The 2024 Kawasaki Eliminator seeks to be the Goldilocks in this story, slotting above the smaller-displacement beginner bikes to be the bowl of porridge that is just right: It’s an approachable machine that will grow with a new rider while providing enough punch to entertain an intermediate rider.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
The Eliminator’s 451cc parallel-Twin, derived from the engine in the Ninja 400, produces fun power across its rev range, although we’d wish for an equally fun exhaust note to match.

Related: Kawasaki Ninja 400 ABS | First Ride Review

The Eliminator also seeks to attract new riders with a sport-cruiser style. The new 451cc parallel-Twin derived from the Ninja 400 likes to rev high and provides pizzazz, and the new chassis and ergonomics fall somewhere between a cruiser and a standard, making for a controllable yet comfortable riding experience. Add to that a light curb weight of only 386 lb for the base model, and you get a motorcycle that’s both easy and exciting to ride.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
The Eliminator’s Ninja-derived parallel-Twin provides enticing power for canyon roads.

While the 2024 Eliminator is an all-new model for Kawasaki, the name is a familiar one. It first appeared in 1985 with the ZL900 Eliminator, a cruiser stuffed with the ZX900 Ninja’s liquid-cooled inline-Four. The Eliminator name carried on to other models up into the mid-2000s. Now, the Eliminator has returned and brings some of the sport-influenced lineage with it.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
All lighting on the Eliminator is LED, but the round headlight harkens back to earlier Eliminators. The headlight features a low-beam chamber and a high-beam chamber with position lamps so that the whole light appears lit.

The Eliminator makes some nods to its namesakes in the styling department. The round headlight harkens back to earlier days, although now all lighting is LED. The tailsection is also reminiscent of older models, as are the headlight cowl and fork boots available on the SE version of the Eliminator.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
The Eliminator slots between lesser-powered beginner bikes and heavier cruisers to be a motorcycle that’s both easy and exciting to ride.

These styling hints are incorporated into a contemporary look, so nobody will think you’re riding around on your dad or mom’s old bike recently unburied from the back of the garage. With a mostly blacked-out frame and other components, a slim fuel tank, and a tidy taillight and turnsignals, this is a modern-looking machine.

Kawasaki did a good job of making the Eliminator feel like a “real” cruiser – although the same can’t be said for its sound. The parallel-Twin uses a 180-degree crankshaft instead of the more popular and rumbly 270, so it doesn’t have a deep exhaust note befitting a cruiser. Some are more interested in how a bike performs, but there’s something to be said – particularly for cruisers – for sound and style. Deep down, we love a bike with character, and whereas Kawasaki has paid attention to the character of the Eliminator’s style, the company has missed the mark on giving us those nice rumbling exhaust notes we expect from a cruiser.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
While this motorcycle fits into the cruiser box, its mid-mount footpegs and a slightly leaned-forward riding position edge toward the ergonomics of a standard motorcycle.


The good thing is that once you start riding, you remember that exhaust notes are superficial, and the real spirit of a motorcycle lies in its performance. What the engine lacks in sound, it makes up for in the riding experience. The liquid-cooled 451cc parallel-Twin with DOHC is derived from the Ninja 400’s 399cc platform, and its extra displacement comes from lengthening the stroke by 6.8mm, from 51.8mm to 58.6. That longer stroke adds torque befitting a cruiser, and that extra grunt is obvious while riding. This is a bike that is happy to lope through town and sit comfortably in a cruiser rev range with nice low-end pull. That is, until you decide to twist that throttle for a little more pep.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
The slip/assist clutch reduces fatigue while riding in town amid stop lights, delivery trucks, and pedestrians with their canine companions.

Upon that twist, you’ll discover that this engine has so many revs to give. Redline shows at 11,000 rpm on the tachometer, and the power keeps building until that limit. Where you’d expect a cruiser like this to need shifting much earlier, this engine is eager to rev. Although Kawasaki doesn’t slot the Eliminator into the “sport-cruiser” category, the engine’s attitude certainly does. It pulls down low for a satisfying power surge, and then it continues building power all the way to its rev limit.

Engine performance is only a small part of the equation for a fun and comfortable beginner to intermediate bike. We need ergonomics to match. The riding position of the Eliminator is sportier than most cruisers. The mid-mount footpegs give a sense of control that is often lacking on more forward-mounted cruiser pegs. The 28.9-inch seat height is also a little taller than many cruisers. At five-foot-one, I am not able to flat-foot on the Eliminator, but I feel stable enough that I would be comfortable on this bike as a new rider. Accessory seats that raise or lower the height by 1 inch are available. The stock seat is nice and plush with a slightly scooped-out design.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
A 310mm front disc with a Nissin dual-piston caliper sheds speed adequately, but the $300 extra for ABS front and rear is a worthwhile addition, especially for new riders.

The Eliminator’s brakes are uninspiring but get the job done. Up front is a single 310mm disc with a twin-piston caliper, and in the back is a single 220mm disc with a single-piston caliper. The ABS version of the Eliminator adds $300 onto the base price and 2 lb to the wet weight. The 41mm telescopic fork has 4.7 inches of travel, and the twin shocks have 3.1 inches of travel, and there is no adjustability. The suspension felt well balanced and absorbed all but the most egregious road bumps.

The round instrumentation screen also harkens back to Eliminators of yore. The LCD screen has a tachometer up top, speedometer, gear indicator, clock, fuel level, and the option to switch between odometer, two tripmeters, fuel range, and current and average fuel consumption.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
The LCD display is simple, but all necessary information is included, and the gear indicator is particularly helpful for newer riders.

The Eliminator pairs with Kawasaki’s Rideology app. Once connected, the display will show message and call information. More interesting are the options available on the app itself, which includes vehicle information and general display settings (such as preferred units and clock format).

Most interesting is Rideology’s ability to log your rides. I used the app to track our test ride in and around Oceanside, California, and it showed a map of the route and information such as date and time, location, mileage, total trip time, and average speed. I found this feature quite fun, and I enjoyed the ability to look back at my route after the ride had ended. The app stops tracking the ride if the bike is keyed off, but as long as the rider remembers to resume the route on the app after gas or lunch stops, that isn’t an issue.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
With a curb weight of only 386 lb, the Eliminator is easy to handle for newer riders.

Other useful technologies on the Eliminator are the slip/assist clutch and the positive neutral finder. The slip/assist clutch results in a very light clutch pull and easy shifting, which was helpful for reducing fatigue during our several photo stops throughout the test ride day. The positive neutral finder is a feature that is quite helpful for newer riders. When stopped or traveling below 6 mph, a lift of a toe from first gear will automatically access the neutral position and prevent upshifting to 2nd gear.

Related: 2023 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-4RR | First Ride Review

The Eliminator’s closest competitor is the Honda Rebel 500, which has a starting price of $6,449 for model year 2023. Both bikes have a sporty cruiser style, and a glance at the spec charts shows similar numbers. The Honda Rebel has 20cc more displacement than the Eliminator, but they make roughly the same torque (about 32 lb-ft). Kawasaki has not released horsepower figures for the Eliminator, but we expect those numbers to be similar as well. The Eliminator is lighter than the Rebel by 26 lb for the ABS versions, and the Eliminator has a longer wheelbase by about an inch. There are other small differences, but they stack up closely.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
Kawaski’s motto for the Eliminator is “Just Ride,” and it’s a bike that invites you to do exactly that.

The Eliminator comes in three versions. The base model has an MSRP of $6,649. For an extra $300, you can upgrade to the ABS version. Both the base model and ABS version are available in Pearl Robotic White and Pearl Storm Gray. Tack on another $300, and for $7,249, you’ll get the SE version, which includes ABS, a headlight cowl, a USB-C outlet, fork boots, and a two-pattern seat. It’s also the only version available in the eye-catching Candy Steel Furnace Orange/Ebony colorway.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
The 2024 Kawasaki Eliminator comes in non-ABS and ABS versions in Pearl Robotic White or Pearl Storm Gray, and the SE version (center) comes in a bright Candy Steel Furnace Orange/Ebony.

As someone who loves to see new riders finding their place in the world of motorcycling, I’m glad Kawasaki has recognized a hole in its lineup and made the effort to fill it, providing a cruiser option that’s more approachable and significantly lighter than the 650cc Vulcan S. With its light weight, low seat height, comfortable riding position, and a Ninja-derived engine, the Eliminator is a motorcycle that is as welcoming as it is fun.

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator
2024 Kawasaki Eliminator

Check out more new bikes in Rider‘s 2024 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

2024 Kawasaki Eliminator Specifications

  • Base Price: $6,649
  • Price as Tested: $6,949 (w/ ABS)
  • Website: Kawasaki.com
  • Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, parallel-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
  • Displacement: 451cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 70.0 x 58.6mm
  • Torque: 31.7 lb-ft (factory claim)
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch
  • Final Drive: Chain
  • Wheelbase: 59.8 in.
  • Rake/Trail: 30 degrees/4.8 in.
  • Seat Height: 28.9 in.
  • Wet Weight: 386 lb (388 lb w/ ABS)
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.4 gal.

See all of Rider‘s Kawasaki coverage here.

The post 2024 Kawasaki Eliminator Review | First Ride appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2023 Honda SCL500 Review | Video

2023 Honda SCL500
Good times on the 2023 Honda SCL500. (Photo by Drew Ruiz)

It’s been a few weeks since our test ride on the 2023 Honda SCL500, and we still have a smile on our face. The SCL500 doesn’t make much power (about 46 hp at the rear wheel) and it doesn’t have any fancy features, and that’s what we love about it. Like the ’60s-era Honda scramblers that inspired the SCL500, it’s a basic, cool-looking runabout that is ideal for cruising around town or taking short jaunts on backroads. Its simplicity is its virtue. Just pure, uncomplicated fun.

Watch the video to see the 2023 Honda SCL500 in action and read our full review.

2023 Honda SCL500 Specifications 

  • Base Price: $6,799 
  • Website: Powersports.Honda.com 
  • Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles 
  • Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl. 
  • Displacement: 471cc 
  • Bore x Stroke: 67.0 x 66.8mm 
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch 
  • Final Drive: Chain 
  • Wheelbase: 58.4 in. 
  • Rake/Trail: 27 degrees/4.3 in. 
  • Seat Height: 31.1 in. 
  • Wet Weight: 419 lb 
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.2 gal. 
  • Fuel Consumption: 60.6 mpg (per bike’s instruments) 


The post 2023 Honda SCL500 Review | Video appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ Review | Video

2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ review
This is the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+’s happy place. (Photo by Joseph Agustin)

Now in its fourth generation since the FJ-09 debuted for 2015, the 2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ sport-tourer has been updated with an eye toward refinement and sophistication.

The ‘+’ added to the model name this year brings with it a host of upgrades: a new millimeter-wave radar that continuously measures distance to vehicles ahead and enables adaptive cruise control and a world-first radar-linked Unified Brake System, integrated ride modes, the next generation of the KYB Actimatic Damper System (KADS) electronic suspension, an updated quickshifter, a new 7-inch TFT display with simplified menus, new switchgear, and integration with the Yamaha MyLink and Garmin Motorize smartphone apps.

Rider’s Editor-in-Chief Greg Drevenstedt logged 1,400 miles for our road test and he had this to say: The Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ gets a big gold star for being a fantastic, well-rounded, well-sorted sport-tourer. Although its $16,499 MSRP is $1,500 above that of the previous model, the GT+ offers a level of technological sophistication that isn’t available on another motorcycle priced less than $25,000.

Watch the video below to see the Tracer 9 GT+ in action and read our full review.

2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ Specifications


  • Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse inline-Triple, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
  • Displacement: 890cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 62.1mm
  • Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
  • Valve Insp. Interval: 26,600 miles
  • Fuel Delivery: EFI w/ YCC-T & 41mm throttle bodies x 3
  • Lubrication System: Wet sump, 3.4 qt. cap.
  • Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet slip/assist clutch & up/down quickshifter
  • Final Drive: O-ring chain


  • Frame: Cast aluminum w/ engine as stressed member, cast aluminum swingarm & steel subframe
  • Wheelbase: 59.1 in.
  • Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/4.3 in.
  • Seat Height: 32.3/32.9 in.
  • Suspension, Front: 41mm inverted fork, electronically adj. rebound & compression, manually adj. preload, 5.1 in. travel
  • Rear: Single shock, electronically adj. rebound, manually adj. preload (remote), 5.4 in. travel
  • Brakes, Front: Dual 298mm discs w/ 4-piston radial calipers & ABS
  • Rear: Single 267mm disc w/ 2-piston caliper & ABS
  • Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 17 in.
  • Rear: Cast, 5.50 x 17 in.
  • Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17
  • Rear: 180/55-ZR17
  • Wet Weight: 492 lb
  • Load Capacity: 407 lb
  • GVWR: 910 lb


  • Horsepower: 108 @ 10,000 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
  • Torque: 63 lb-ft @ 7,200 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
  • Fuel Capacity: 5.0 gal.
  • Fuel Consumption: 45.9 mpg
  • Estimated Range: 230 miles

The post 2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ Review | Video appeared first on Rider Magazine.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2024 KTM 890 Adventure R Rally Review | First Look

2024 KTM 890 Adventure R Rally

Since its class-disrupting debut in 2019, which earned Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year award for the 790 Adventure and 790 Adventure R, KTM’s middleweight adventure touring lineup has steadily improved. The tip of the off-road spear is the KTM 890 Adventure R Rally, which has been updated for 2024. Only 700 will be available worldwide.

Related: 2023 KTM 890 Adventure | First Ride Review

2024 KTM 890 Adventure R Rally

Based on the 890 Adventure R, the Rally has the same 889cc LC8c parallel-Twin that made 90 hp at 8,200 rpm and 62 lb-ft of torque at 6,200 rpm at the rear wheel when we last tested it in 2021. The Rally is fitted with an Akrapovič slip-on titanium silencer that’s 35% lighter than the stock can. The 6-speed transmission is paired with a slip/assist clutch.

2024 KTM 890 Adventure R Rally

Suspension is the biggest upgrade on the 890 Adventure R Rally. It’s equipped with a WP Xplor Pro 7548 fork with cone valve technology that KTM claims is the “absolute best suspension currently available.” Out back is a WP Xplor Pro 6746 shock with progressive damping. There’s full adjustability and 10.6 inches of travel front and rear, which is 1.2 inches more than on the standard 890 Adventure R.

2024 KTM 890 Adventure R Rally

The Rally stands apart from its stablemates with graphics inspired by KTM’s Factory Racing team as well as a dedicated rally seat and rally footpegs. Extra protection comes courtesy of carbon fiber tank guards, an engine protection grill, and an aluminum master cylinder guard. A Supersprox-Stealth rear sprocket adds to the premium build quality, and a steering damper is standard.

2024 KTM 890 Adventure R Rally

Rolling on special high-strength spoked Excel wheels (tubes required) in 21- x 2.15-inch front and 18- x 4.00-inch rear sizes, the Rally is fitted with Mitas Enduro Trail tires.

2024 KTM 890 Adventure R Rally

The KTM 890 Adventure R Rally has Motorcycle Traction Control, ABS with Road and Offroad modes, and three standard ride modes (Street, Offroad, and Rain). The Tech Pack adds Rally mode, Motor Slip Regulation, Quickshifter+, and cruise control. The KTMconnect app pairs the bike to a smartphone via Bluetooth and features Turn-By-Turn+ navigation on the 5-inch TFT display.

2024 KTM 890 Adventure R Rally

In addition, 34 lucky people who purchase a KTM 890 Adventure R Rally will get an exclusive opportunity to ride with KTM legends (like Johnny Aubert) at the Ultimate KTM Desert Experience. The event will take place in Morocco, with the option to choose from two dates: March 3-7 or March 7-11, 2024. Participants will be offered a full-factory style package including the use of a fully prepped bike provided by KTM with all the necessary technical support required for desert exploration, transport during the trip and luxury accommodation for a four-night stay, plus one special night camping with KTM in the desert for the total price of $5,400. With three days of riding in the area where the KTM Factory Racing Team does its rally testing, a dedicated and fully guided route, and a prepared KTM 890 Adventure R Rally, this event will be the trip of a lifetime.

2024 KTM 890 Adventure R Rally

The 2024 KTM 890 Adventure R Rally has an MSRP of $21,499. KTM will begin taking preorders on September 20, 2023, and bikes will begin arriving early 2024. For more information, visit KTM’s website.

2024 KTM 890 Adventure R Rally

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2024 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Corsa Review | First Look

2024 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Corsa

With its trademark “flying” V-Twin with air-cooled cylinder heads jutting outward from beneath the sculpted fuel tank and its classic styling, the Moto Guzzi V7 has been an iconic Italian motorcycle for nearly six decades.

Paul d’Orléans, founder of The Vintagent and curator of numerous motorcycle exhibits at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, chose a 1975 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport as part of the “Silver Shotgun” exhibit that highlighted Italian motorcycle design in the 1970s.

Related: Silver Shotgun: Italian Motorcycle Design of the 1970s

2024 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Corsa

The latest iteration of this legendary model, the Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Corsa, made a surprise debut during the 2023 Moto Guzzi Open House, captivating thousands of enthusiastic fans who gathered in Mandello del Lario, Italy, for this highly anticipated event, a favorite of Guzzisti worldwide.

The Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Corsa represents a return to the V7’s classic sportiness with modern amenities, marked by its elegant lines that flow from the small fairing to the solo-style saddle (the passenger portion forms the cafe racer “hump”). These design elements evoke the thrilling ambiance of bygone racing eras, which was rekindled in 2019 with the Moto Guzzi Fast Endurance – a single-brand racing series that has allowed many riders to enjoy the thrill of racing on V7 machines.

Related: 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone | First Ride Review

2024 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Corsa

The V7 Stone Corsa has a vibrant two-tone livery, with a metallic gray color accentuated by a bold red stripe that runs vertically along the top fairing, extending to the lower part of the fuel tank and to the side panels. To complete the racing aesthetic, an optional color-matched cowl is available for the rear portion of the saddle, enhancing the single-seat configuration.

The equipment package further elevates the V7 Stone Corsa’s aesthetics and performance, with bar-end mirrors, a black anodized billet aluminum fuel cap, and a distinctive plate on the handlebar clamp denoting the Corsa’s special status. The fork gaiters found on the standard V7 Stone have been removed to give the V7 Stone Corsa a sleeker appearance.

2024 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Corsa

Powering the V7 Stone Corsa is an air-cooled 853cc 90-degree V-Twin with 2 valves per cylinder that makes a claimed 65 hp at 6,800 rpm and 54 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm, and it has a 6-speed transmission. Suspension consists of a nonadjustable 40mm fork and dual preload-adjustable shocks. It rolls on cast wheels – 18-inch front, 17-inch rear – and has Brembo brakes, with a 4-piston caliper squeezing a 320mm disc in front and a 2-piston caliper squeezing a 260mm disc out back.

Standard features include ABS, traction control, and LED lighting. The V7 Stone Corsa has a 30.7-inch seat height, a 5.5-gallon fuel tank, and a wet weight of 481 lb (tank 90% full).

The 2024 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Corsa will retail for $9,690. Find out more at the Moto Guzzi website.

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20 Iconic Motorcycles at the New American Honda Collection Hall

American Honda Collection Hall
There are 20 iconic Honda motorcycles on display at the American Honda Collection Hall in Torrance, California.

We were honored to attend the grand opening of the American Honda Collection Hall, a 20,000-square-foot museum dedicated to Honda’s rich history in the United States. It is serves as an extension of the massive, multistory Honda Collection Hall located on the grounds of the Twin Ring Motegi racetrack in Tochigi, Japan. American Honda’s press release below provides more details, including how the public can visit the museum. Scroll down to see photos of all 20 iconic motorcycles currently on display in the hall. –Ed.

American Honda Collection Hall
The American Honda Collection Hall is located off the main lobby in Honda’s U.S. headquarters in Torrance, California.

The new American Honda Collection Hall officially opened its doors on Sept. 12, 2023, in Southern California. The hall offers visitors a glimpse of more than 60 historic and significant Honda and Acura automobiles, motorcycles, power equipment, race machines, engines, and concept models, as well as images, graphics, and video presentations. The products on display represent the more than six decades since American Honda Motor Co., Inc. was established in 1959 as the first Honda company outside of Japan.

Related: Honda Celebrates 60 Years in America

American Honda Collection Hall Soichiro Honda quote
“Always make your products customer friendly. When you are making something, think about the person who’ll be spending the most time with it.” – Soichiro Honda, co-founder, Honda Motor Company Ltd.

Community leaders joined Honda officials, associates, and retirees for the grand opening, celebrating the new 20,000-square-foot display connected to the main lobby of American Honda headquarters in Torrance, California.

American Honda Collection Hall Noriya Kaihara
Noriya Kaihara, President & CEO and director of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., and chief officer of Regional Operations (North America), speaking at the grand opening of the American Honda Collection Hall.

“Our new American Honda Collection Hall reflects the important connection between the dreams and passion of Honda associates and the joy experienced by customers who love their Honda products and racing fans thrilled by our checkered flag successes,” said Noriya Kaihara, President & CEO and director of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., and chief officer of Regional Operations (North America). “Everyone at Honda is honored to share the expressions of our history in America that are on display in the form of products and technology that have helped move people and society forward.”

American Honda Collection Hall
1962 Honda C102 Super Cub

Open to the public free of charge during scheduled public “Cars, Bikes & Coffee” events, the American Honda Collection Hall pays tribute to Honda’s unique contributions to American’s lives and highlights significant milestones in the history of Honda in the U.S.

Some examples of products currently on display:

Motorcycles at American Honda Collection Hall:

  • 1962 Honda 50/Super Cub – One of the first three models Honda sold in the U.S. The Super Cub is now the overall bestselling vehicle globally with over 100 million sold to date.

Related: 2019 Honda Super Cub C125 ABS | First Ride Review

American Honda Collection Hall
1970 Honda CB750. In the background is a poster from Honda’s wildly successful “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” ad campaign from the 1960s.
  • 1970 Honda CB750 – Widely considered the first superbike and called “the Motorcycle of the Century” by Motorcyclist magazine.
  • 1973 Honda CR250 Elsinore – Honda’s first production motocross motorcycle and the first product Honda manufactured in the U.S., named after the famous Elsinore Grand Prix.
  • 1975 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing – Redefined long distance touring motorcycles with a revolutionary horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine.
American Honda Collection Hall
1976 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing

Related: 2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT | Road Test Review

  • 1981 Honda CBX1000 Super Sport – Honda’s first motorcycle with over 100 hp, powered by a 1000cc 6-cylinder engine.
  • 1983 Honda VF750F – The revolutionary VF750F used a liquid-cooled DOHC V4 engine and a stiff square-tube frame that also helped it dominate superbike racing in the mid ‘80s.
  • 1990 Honda VFR750R/RC30 – A homologation special created for competition in the World Superbike Championship.
  • 1992 Honda NR750 – The most technically advanced motorcycle at the time, iconic for its oval-piston engine design and other innovations. 
  • 2004 Honda RVT1000R/RC51 – A street version of Honda’s championship winning V-twin superbike.
American Honda Collection Hall
1992 Honda NR750. The only motorcycle ever made that used oval-shaped pistons.

(Scroll down to see more motorcycles in the American Honda Collection Hall.)


  • 1965 Honda N600 Coupe – The first Honda automobile sold in the U.S. used an air-cooled 600cc 2-cylinder engine and retailed for just $1,395.
American Honda Collection Hall
1965 Honda S600
  • 1975 Honda Civic CVCC Hatchback – The first car to meet the emissions standards of the 1970 U.S. Clean Air Act without the need for a catalytic converter.
  • 1979 Honda Accord CVCC Hatchback – The first Accord debuted in 1976 as a three-door hatchback powered by Honda’s revolutionary Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion (CVCC) 4-cylinder engine.
  • 1985 Honda CRX Si – The first performance Honda Si model sold in America, a sporty 2-seat coupe with Honda’s advanced PGM-FI fuel injection.
  • 1986 Acura Legend – The performance luxury touring sedan that launched the Acura brand alongside the Integra.
  • 1991 Acura NSX supercar – The revolutionary hand-built, exotic mid-engine sports car that showcased Honda’s technical prowess.
  • 1997 Honda CR-V – Honda’s first in-house SUV helped establish a new breed of compact sport utility vehicle with car-like ride and handling.
  • 2006 Honda Insight – Introduced in 2000, Insight was the first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid passenger vehicle sold in the U.S.
American Honda Collection Hall
1960s-era Honda Cuby engine

Power Equipment:

  • 1964 Honda CB30 Marine Outboard Engine – Honda’s first outboard marine engine featured a revolutionary four-stroke design.
  • 1965 Honda E300 Generator – The first generator to combine 300-watt output with quiet and easy-to-use operation in a compact enclosure that could be carried with one hand.
  • 2023 Honda GF5 Marine Outboard Engine – Compact and lightweight portable outboard engine provides a complete performance package for small boats and dinghies.
American Honda Collection Hall
Three racebikes (front to back): 1970 Honda CR750, 1997 Honda CBR600F, 2000 Honda XR650 Baja Racer


  • 1992 Acura Spice GTP-Lights – Powered by a modified Acura NSX V6 engine, carried veteran driver Parker Johnstone to the Drivers’ championship in the IMSA Camel GT Lights series.
  • 1996 Reynard 961-031 Indy Car – Honda/Reynard driven by Indy Car Drivers’ Champion Jimmy Vasser and Rookie of the Year Alex Zanardi.
  • 1997 Acura Integra Realtime – RealTime Racing and the Acura Integra Type R forged a race-winning record that remained unbroken after nearly two decades.
American Honda Collection Hall
1966 Honda CL77 Scrambler

Related: 2023 Honda SCL500 Review | First Ride

The display at the American Honda Collection Hall will be updated several times a year to showcase different products and themes.

The Collection will serve as an educational and cultural hub for the Southern California community. Honda will begin hosting regular “Cars, Bikes & Coffee” events at its Torrance campus on the third Saturday of every other month, with attendees welcome to tour the American Honda Collection Hall.

American Honda Collection Hall reproduction of original Los Angeles location sign
The American Honda Collection Hall includes a reproduction of the sign on American Honda’s first location in Los Angeles, which opened in 1959.
American Honda Collection Hall original 1959 Honda location in Los Angeles
Honda’s U.S. operations began in 1959 at a modest storefront on West Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. (Photo courtesy Honda)

The inaugural event will take place Saturday, October 21, and will include special activities, such as giveaways, special displays, vendors, food trucks, music and more. All interesting automobiles and motorcycles from all manufacturers and eras are welcome for attendees to display. To learn more about the Collection Hall and event information, visit HondaCollectionHall.com.

Public “Cars, Bikes & Coffee” Event Schedule

  • Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 20, 2024, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 15, 2024, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 17, 2024, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

More Motorcycles on Display at American Honda Collection Hall

American Honda Collection Hall
1965 Honda CB160
American Honda Collection Hall
1967 Honda CA78 Dream
American Honda Collection Hall
1970 Honda ATC90
American Honda Collection Hall
1973 Honda CR250 Elsinore
American Honda Collection Hall
1978 Honda Express
American Honda Collection Hall
1981 Honda CBX1000 Super Sport
American Honda Collection Hall
1982 Honda MB5
American Honda Collection Hall
1983 Honda CF750F Interceptor
American Honda Collection Hall
1990 Honda VFR750R RC30
American Honda Collection Hall
1991 Honda CBR600F2
American Honda Collection Hall
1997 Honda CBR900RR
American Honda Collection Hall
2000 Honda Rune
American Honda Collection Hall
2004 Honda RVT1000RR RC51
American Honda Collection Hall
2010 Honda GL1800 Gold Wing

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2023 Motorcycle of the Year Countdown

2023 Rider Magazine Motorcycle of the Year

Starting Friday, Sept. 8, and resuming Monday, Sept. 11, we’ll be announcing two MOTY finalists per day, with the big reveal of Rider‘s 2023 Motorcycle of the Year winner on Friday, Sept. 15. So bookmark this page and keep checking back. –Ed.

If Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year, now in its 34th year, were a person, it would have graduated from college or completed military service, launched a career, got married, bought a house, and started a family. It would have a couple motorcycles in the garage, perhaps a cruiser or sport-tourer for the open road and a dual-sport or adventure bike for exploring the backcountry.

In other words, it would be like the rest of us: a dedicated motorcycle enthusiast.

Rider has been bringing you “Motorcycling at Its Best” for almost 50 years. We’ve tested nearly every street-legal motorcycle on the market, with an emphasis on real-world bikes that are within reach for most of us. For every $100,000 Arch 1s we review, we test dozens if not hundreds of motorcycles you’ll find in dealerships and garages across America, from sea to shining sea.

Related: 2022 Motorcycle of the Year

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+
Rider’s 2022 Motorcycle of the Year: The 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ (Photo by Kevin Wing)

Unlike car dealers, most motorcycle dealers don’t offer test rides. Demo rides are great, but they are few and far between and often involve parade-pace conga lines that don’t allow riders to experience a motorcycle’s true capabilities. We know you count on us to provide honest, in-depth reviews to help you make informed purchase decisions – or to just keep you up to date on the latest and greatest bikes on the market.

Every year, we ride as many new or significantly updated motorcycles as we can and evaluate them within the context of their intended use. Then we put our collective heads together and identify those that best fulfill their intended purpose and advance the state of motorcycle design, performance, and function.

For 2023, there were more than 80 eligible contenders. We narrowed them down to 10 finalists and one winner. Starting Friday, Sept 8, and resuming Monday, Sept. 11, we’ll be updating this post with two finalists per day, with the big reveal of this year’s 2023 Motorcycle of the Year winner on Friday, Sept. 15. So bookmark this page and keep checking back.

Without further ado…

2023 Motorcycle of the Year Finalists:

1. BMW R 18 Roctane

2024 BMW R 18 Roctane
BMW R 18 Roctane (Photo by Jörg Künstle, Markus Jahn)

The fifth member of the R 18 family is a unique alternative to the ubiquitous American V-Twin. It’s powered by the BMW 1,802cc “Big Boxer” Twin and features blacked-out styling, a midrise handlebar, a 21-inch front wheel, and hard saddlebags. The Roctane has admirable curb appeal, good comfort and handling, and high-tech features including Rock, Roll, and Rain ride modes.

Related: 2024 BMW R 18 Roctane | First Ride Review  

2. CFMOTO Ibex 800 T

2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 T
CFMOTO Ibex 800 T (Photo by Aaron Crane)

CFMOTO has been on the gas lately, expanding its motorcycle lineup from seven to 10 models, including two versions of the Ibex 800 adventure-tourer powered by a 790cc parallel-Twin adapted from the KTM 790 Adventure. The top-of-the-line Ibex 800 T is comfortable, capable, and packed with useful features yet retails for an accessible $10,499.

Related: 2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 T | Road Test Review 

Check back Monday, Sept. 11, for the next two finalists!

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2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide and Road Glide Review | First Ride 

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
Large and in charge, the Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide in Whisky Neat boldly takes Harley’s baggers to a new level. (Photos by Brian J. Nelson and Kevin Wing) 

It’s a momentous event when Harley-Davidson reinvents iconic models like the Road Glide and the Street Glide, the most popular motorcycles on American roads. Aside from the shared frames and crankcases of these fraternal twins, pretty much everything else on the new Harley-Davidson CVO Glides has been reimagined. 

With a quick glance, you’ll recognize familiar batwing and sharknose fairings, but a closer look reveals entirely new bodywork. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find a new motor: the 121-cubic inch Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121 featuring variable valve timing and liquid-cooled cylinder heads.   

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Street Glide
Both Harley-Davidson CVO Glides are available in these two colorways. The orange Whiskey Neat version commands a $6,000 premium over the silver Dark Platinum base version.

Gaze a little longer, and you’ll notice a new inverted fork fitted with new radial-mount Brembo 4-piston calipers and larger brake rotors. You can’t see the shocks behind the restyled saddlebags, but they’re new too. 

It’s the dawn of a new era for the Glides, as this refreshed styling and high-tech motor surely will migrate to Harley’s non-CVO baggers in the next year or two. For now, all this newness will cost a cool $42,999.

Related: 2022 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST and Street Glide ST | Review

Mo’ Mo From the MoCo   

The centerpiece of the new Harley-Davidson CVO Glides is a Milwaukee-Eight V-Twin, but the VVT 121 takes the M-8 to a higher level with variable valve timing. The system expands the powerband by electronically moving the camshaft through a 20-degree range based on factors like rpm, load, and gear selection, supplying more grunt at low revs while also enabling it to rev more freely up top.  

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Street Glide
Here’s the new big dog of M-8s: the VVT 121 with variable valve timing and liquid-cooled cylinder heads. Coolant is first routed to the rear cylinder that runs hotter than the front. The smoke-tinted heat shield behind the rear cylinder helps keep heat from scorching a rider’s thighs.

Harley’s internal code name for the new engine is “Helix,” and it features much more than just VVT. It uses the same bore size as the 117ci motor but gets additional stroke to add up to 121ci, or 1,977cc.  

(Fun fact: Remember when H-D’s old Big Twins displaced 61ci? Now we’ve got a Harley that has nearly as much displacement in just one cylinder!)  

The Helix gets its intake charge from a 4-liter airbox that’s 50% larger than H-D’s Heavy Breather and combines with a larger throttle body to feed the beast. The mixture is squeezed with a higher compression ratio (11.4:1) and dumps the spent charge into a freer-flowing exhaust that sounds deep and powerful for a stock system.  

Added up, H-D says its new V-Twin produces 9.5% more horsepower and 8% more torque than the Twin-Cooled 117 M-8, churning out 115 hp at 4,500 rpm and 139 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm. Byproducts of this new architecture are increased fuel economy and improved durability thanks to cooler exhaust valves. Additionally, a new shift drum in the transmission makes selecting neutral when stopped easier.  

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
Powerful sounds are emitted by four speakers and two tailpipes.

Harley-Davidson CVO Cockpit Renovation 

The view from behind the handlebars of the Harley-Davidson CVO Glides has been dramatically freshened and modernized. At center stage is a brilliant 12.3-inch TFT color touchscreen that can be set to display three view options: Cruise, Tour, and Sport. These can be further customized to include the displays of various widgets like tire-pressure monitoring, temperature, fuel range, and more.  

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Street Glide
The new TFT instrument panel is gorgeous, and we love the Street Glide’s clever spring-loaded storage drawer equipped with a USB-C outlet.

If you prefer pushing buttons to touching a screen, the CVOs are blessed with new backlit handlebar switches that have a nice tactile feel and are a welcome upgrade from the previous setup. Cruise control is standard, as are heated grips. Gone is the awkwardly bulky ignition switch behind the handlebar used previously, and an adjustable front brake lever is finally fitted. 

A Rockford Fosgate Stage II audio system provides 500 watts of power for bangin’ road tunes pounded out by two pairs of speakers, one in the fairings and the other in the saddlebags. The instrumentation is compatible with smartphones for wireless connections, and both models feature storage compartments with a USB-C outlet.  

The Harley-Davidson CVO Glides also offer selectable ride modes (Road, Sport, and Rain) that control power delivery, engine braking, cornering ABS, traction control, and hill-hold control. These parameters can be personalized to suit rider preferences by setting up a custom map.  

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
Speed comes easy with the VVT 121, captured beautifully by ace lensman Brian J. Nelson.


Both models include fairings with a “floating” windscreen design that’s augmented by an adjustable air-control vane in the center vent to alter airflow to suit riders of various heights. Electric windscreen adjustment isn’t part of the package. Fine-tuning airflow is accomplished by adjustable wind deflectors. The Road Glide gets new versions of “Willie Wings” along the trailing edge of its fairing, while the Street Glide’s deflectors are located on the upper fork legs.  

Weight A Minute 

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
The Dark Platinum colorway features engine components finished in Gloss Black with Scorched Chrome accents on the engine inserts. The lower rocker boxes, pushrod tubes, and exhaust are finished in Scorched Chrome. 

There’s no getting around the fact that big-inch baggers are heavy, so we’re happy to see Harley making steps to reduce the weight of their bikes. The biggest weight-loss investment is the triple clamp that’s made using a liquid aluminum forging process. It cuts 7 lb from this critical area.  

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Street Glide
New switchgear has a tactile feeling of quality. H-D retained its 2-button turnsignal switches (with one on the right bar) because traditional customers prefer it over the more commonly used single-switch arrangement. The attractive hand grips use rubber inserts on top of a metal sleeve.

Also of note is a purported 4-5 lb of wiring stripped out thanks largely to the all-in-one TFT gauge panel. The fuel tank still holds a generous 6 gallons, but thanks to using thinner-gauge steel, it’s 2 lb lighter. The net result is a Street Glide that weighs 31 lb less, and the Road Glide’s mass is cut 35 lb. Total weight of the SG is 838 lb, while the RG scales in at 862 lb.  

Related: Harley-Davidson Announces 120th Anniversary Editions and Other 2023 Models

Milwaukee’s Finest 

H-D invited us to its home base to ride the new CVOs – the MoCo’s first global press launch since 2019. It was nicely timed, as I had just finished riding a Road Glide to Monterey for the KOTB races three days earlier, so I’d have recent comparative impressions. Side by side with an Indian Challenger, the OE Road Glide felt outclassed in terms of power, plushness, and technology.

We would’ve felt differently if we were aboard the new CVO model.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Street Glide
Both Harley-Davidson CVO Glides are fitted with this rotatable vane to alter the path of airflow to a rider’s preference.

Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide  

We prefer the cleaner shape of the old RG’s fairing, but we must say this new CVO version looks much better in 3-D than in pictures. The finish detailing is exceptional on both models.  

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
The trim front fenders on the CVO Glides are borrowed from the existing ST versions. The lower fairing panels on the Road Glide cover up the unsightly coolant filler tube. The Street Glide leaves it exposed.

The buckhorn handlebar on previous RGs is replaced by a tall mini-ape bar that places fists to wind in a flatter arrangement. Full-lock turns required a big reach from my short arms, but the bar can be rotated in its nicely finished upper triple clamp to sit closer to the rider. A heel/toe shifter provides gear-shifting options above the comfy footboards. The rear brake pedal remains located awkwardly high.  

We’re big fans of the 117ci M-8, but that lovable lump gets demoted with this impressive 121 VVT. It has more of everything, pulling harder from down low and revving strongly until its 5,500-rpm redline. It cruises easily at speed, even in lower gears – the motor remained smooth even in 3rd gear at 55 mph with about 3,400 rpm showing on the tach.  

We’re not sure we need electronic engine controls, but we’re pleased when they operate as well as the ones here. For example, the adjustable engine braking is wonderful. I switched it to the lowest setting to yield less pitching when decelerating. Augmented by H-D’s cornering drag torque slip control, the bike felt almost like it has a slipper clutch and allowed me to control my speed with my choice of braking inputs.  

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Street Glide
Everyone loves a clean rear end. Note how the brake lights are incorporated between the shorter but larger saddlebags and the lack of a whip antenna for the radio.

Kudos to the engineers who dialed up a better suspension on these Glides. The 47mm inverted Showa fork gets some credit, even if it has the same 4.6 inches of travel as previous. More effective – and more needed – are new emulsion shocks that offer a significant improvement in suspension plushness. Although they have just 3 inches of travel, it’s a 50% increase over the 2 inches on the harsh-riding RG Special. The CVO shocks have a threaded preload adjustment on the right side, while the left-side features a remote adjuster that fine-tunes preload hydraulically. Rebound damping is also adjustable but requires removing a saddlebag to accomplish.

Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide  

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
The Whiskey Neat color option is stunning to witness in person. H-D says it requires 10 hours of hand work to accomplish, justifying its princely $6,000 upgrade price.

To our eyes, the Street Glide’s new styling is a homerun, looking familiar but more contemporary. The integration of the turnsignal lamps into the fairing disposes of unsightly signal stalks, and the overall design looks modern without alienating fans of the beloved batwing. 

The handlebar is about a foot lower than on the Road Glide, which helps make the bike feel smaller than the RG. The wind deflector flap below the windscreen proves to be effective at reducing buffeting when it’s tilted upward. Mirrors provide a blurrier rear view than the nice stalk mounts on the RG. On the plus side is the ultra-convenient spring-loaded drawer cubby below the instrumental panel on the SG.  

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Street Glide
The radiator is positioned low on the front of the frame, with its fan directing hot air below the bike and away from a rider. Also seen here are the new radial-mount brake calipers biting on larger rotors to slow intricate spoked wheels that allow tubeless tires.

The Glides feel – and literally are – at home on rural Wisconsin roads, ably swallowing miles as bucolic scenery rolls past. Our route took us past the fabulous Road America racetrack where the KOTB series raced six weeks earlier and then into a delightful little stretch of curvy road nestled in a forest. The bikes feel remarkably planted in the corners and provide the confidence to crank over the baggers until their footboards drag at 32 degrees. Responses from the new braking system improve upon the capable previous setup.

New seats keep riders comfortable, but we’re again perplexed why the passenger seats slope rearward. I sometimes want to leave my wife behind when I go for rides, but not if I start the ride with her behind me.

Glide Guide

These Glides are easily the best ones yet. Their motors have more power at all points on the tach, and their instrumentation is now among the best in the business. Combined with a dramatically smoother suspension, better brakes, and a pleasing new cockpit, these new models up the ante in the bagger segment.

The bagger bar has been raised. 

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
The base price for either CVO Glide is $42,999. That’s a $1,100 increase over the 2022 CVOs but definitely worth the upgrade.

For more information, visit the Harley-Davidson website.

See all of Rider‘s Harley-Davidson coverage here.

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Source: RiderMagazine.com