May 8, 2013 |
Honda has produced, again, a terrific motorcycle. No, two terrific motorcycles. The 2013 CRF250X and CRF450X are tremendous pieces of two-wheeled engineering. As an old dirt bike guy, I fell in love with both of them. But even after repeated outings and several hours on each bike, it's almost impossible to say which of them is the better machine. For a start, they're very similar. They use almost the same frames, suspension, brakes, gearbox, carburetion, electric start systems and other essential elements -- down to the liquid-cooled, dual-radiator Unicam engines that power them.
May 7, 2013 |
NEW YORK - If someone told you of a barnstorming TV host who interviewed people around the country about a given subject, you'd say it sounds like a lot of the road-trip reality series that have proliferated on cable TV. But what if that host had NPR credentials? And what if the show's theme wasn't burger stands or pawn brokers but the most important document in the history of self-governance? Then it might sound a little more like "Constitution USA," a four-part nonfiction series that debuts Tuesday on PBS (KOCE locally)
April 30, 2013 |
As a hobby, motorcycling isn't as expensive as, say, yachting, flying or dating supermodels. But you can still spend plenty if you want to. Special-edition bikes, exotic foreign bikes and carbon-fiber-laden race bikes for the street can set you back $35,000 or more. PHOTO GALLERY: Top 10 most expensive motorcycles Not counting handcrafted, made-to-order machines such as the Confederate X132 Hellcat or the customized beauties handcrafted by Westside designers at Deus, these appear to be the most expensive production motorcycles available in the United States.
April 27, 2013 |
Moviegoers and movie critics have come away from "Oblivion" raving about the vavoom vehicles in the box-office hit starring Tom Cruise -- especially lead character Jack's futuristic folding motocross bike. Known on the set as "Jack's moto bike," the wispy ghost-white bike wheelies its way across a landscape of desert salt flats -- actually, volcanic sand in Iceland -- and transports the hero into and out of trouble throughout director Joseph Kosinski's dystopian film. The "moto bike," though, was a Honda CRF450X before local motorcycle-fabricator-to-the-stars Justin Kell started transforming it. Kell, whose Glory Motor Works has built or restored bikes for "The Master," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "G.I.
April 25, 2013 |
Motorcycle deaths rose dramatically in 2012, according to a study just released by the Governors Highway Safety Assn. Why? A better economy and higher gas prices mean more riders, the study said, and fewer states with helmet laws means more fatalities. Motorcycle deaths in 2012 increased in 34 states and were up 9% nationwide over 2011, rising to more than 5,000 deaths. In some states, the increase was higher. Oregon saw a rise of 32%, and Indiana 29%, the study said. In California, fatalities dropped slightly, from 321 deaths in 2011 to 318 in 2012 -- but the report cautioned that the 2012 numbers represented only the first nine months of the year, and that the 2012 total might actually be higher.
April 22, 2013 |
Gas prices are high at the pump and rising higher, and prospective motorcycle buyers -- especially first-time buyers -- often cite fuel efficiency as their No. 1 reason for wanting to swap four wheels for two. It's always a good swap, as far as mileage goes. Even the thirstiest gas-guzzling motorcycles get more miles per gallon than the most economical cars. Honda's road racing CBR1000RR gets a reported 41 mpg, for example, while a big beast like BMW's R1200GS gets close to 50 mpg. A powerful road bike like KTM's 1190 RC8 gets close to 40 mpg, as does a mid-range cruiser like the Moto Guzzi V7. But some motorcycles are really fuel efficient.