Safety first. But entertainment is a close second. (Cathy Drexler/)
What’s it like racing on concrete covered in Dr Pepper syrup? Ask Andy Pickett, five (possibly six)-time Flat Out Friday competitor.
“It’s predictable but sometimes not. Your front end washes out, sometimes it’s the rear. Confidence gets you around the track. But if not, people love crashes.”
Beginning in 2014 in Milwaukee’s now-demolished Bradley Center, Flat Out Friday has been lightly endangering life and limb ever since, minus a year or two during COVID. Whether it’s the two-stroke fumes or beer, it’s an intoxicating spectacle.
AA-Pro, Open Amateur, and Women’s Amateur classes are serious stuff, but other classes exist to cause lighthearted mayhem and positive anarchy. The Goofball class mandates a customized bike and costume, while the Boonie class features only pull-start entrants.
Best of all, there’s a Peewee class for 4- to 8-year-olds and a 65/85 class for 7- to 11-year-olds on 65cc bikes, with 9- to 15-year-olds on 85cc bikes. Is there anything better than watching little kids learning to race? Likely not.
It’s a healthy way to cope with Midwestern winters. Fight crazy with crazy, they say. And before checking out Mama Tried’s shiny, very stationary motorcycles, it’s fun to watch moving ones.
Shane Westphal, Terry Vestal, and Adam Holmes light up the start of their Hooligans class race. (Cathy Drexler/)
Justine Marsh applies power to sticky pavement in the Women’s class race. (Cathy Drexler/)
When to stop? Just go until you see checkers. (Cathy Drexler/)
An unidentified Borat-inspired racer pull-starts his Boonie class bike, with Chicken Fried Rick looking on. (Cathy Drexler/)
Brian Hopper pulls ahead with Andy Pickett in close pursuit in the Open Amateur class. (Cathy Drexler/)
Charlie Wick balances glory and danger aboard his three-wheeler in the 65/85 class. (Cathy Drexler/)
Peewee class competitors take a bow before the green flag flies. (Kevin McIntosh/)
Gun it and run it: A Peewee competitor looks ahead to possible glory. (Cathy Drexler/)
By: Anders T. Carlson
Title: Flat Out Friday 2023 Race Report
Sourced From: www.motorcyclistonline.com/news/flat-out-friday-race-report-2023/
Published Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2023 11:00:00 +0000
2023 KTM 890 Adventure and Adventure R
2023 KTM 890 Adventure R (KTM/)
Low-slung fuel tank gives a low center of gravity that makes it easier for riders of every skill level to find their limit off-roadTop-end rider aids are simple to use and incredibly effectiveCompact LC8c engine is tractable, laugh-out-loud fun, and refined enough for touring comfort
At start-up the engine sounds like a toolbox falling down a flight of stairsAvailable in any color you want as long as it’s orangeBrakes aren’t as high-spec as what can be found on some of the competition
The benchmarks of the middleweight adventure category, the 890 Adventure and Adventure R shatter preconceptions of adventure-touring performance. Anything but top-heavy or cumbersome, these middleweights impress with killer rider aids, a responsive chassis, and a rowdy engine.
2023 KTM 890 Adventure (KTM/)
Adventure bikes, by nature, are the most compromised motorcycles on the market. They’re the proverbial jacks of all trades, but masters of none. There’s no perfect intersection of touring comfort, sport-riding exhilaration, around-town usability, and off-road capability that satisfies riders who want their machine to excel in every area. However, if those required traits were displayed on a Venn diagram, KTM’s 890 Adventure and Adventure R would increase the overlap between each circle.
When KTM unveiled the LC8c-powered 790 Adventure and Adventure R in 2019, we said: “It set a new standard in the adventure segment for dirt-worthiness,” and that “it nearly makes open-class machines irrelevant.” In other words, it was a game-changer.
Since that time, the middleweight class has become arguably the hottest segment in motorcycling as OEMs have attempted to wrest the middleweight crown from the rally-worn hands of the madmen from Mattighofen. Never one to rest on its laurels, KTM upped the ante in 2021, introducing the 890 Adventure and Adventure R, with a revised, larger-displacement 889cc engine with a higher compression ratio, larger intake and exhaust valves, an updated camshaft, and lighter pistons. In 2023, KTM revised the platform yet again.
One of the qualities that sets the 890 Adventure R apart is its low center of gravity. With most of its fuel sitting in front of the rider’s shins rather than on top of the machine, the 890 feels like a smaller, more nimble machine than its competition, inspiring riders to reevaluate what they thought they were capable of tackling on an ADV bike—both on and off-road. Coupled with a supereffective parallel-twin engine, impressive rider aids, great ergos, and unbelievable suspension—particularly on the R model—the 890 puts all other ADV bikes on their heels in the dirt. Even the base-model 890 Adventure, which uses less expensive, less off-road-biased suspension, is still an effective tool off-road while being more manageable for shorter riders and more aerodynamically efficient on the street.
It’s not like the 790/890 Adventure lineup were the first middleweight adventure bikes in the world, but they certainly opened a lot of people’s eyes and made good on the promise that yes, adventure motorcycles can go off-road, and yes, you should definitely get them as dirty as possible. The 890 Adventure series is what happens when you give a dirt bike manufacturer the keys to daddy’s adventure-tourer.
The 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R in the hands of someone with more skill than most of us. The aspirational R model has 10.4 inches of ground clearance, so you know it’s serious. (KTM/)
Updates for 2023
For 2023, the 890 Adventure series was further refined with a host of changes. Redesigned rally-inspired bodywork is intended to improve aerodynamics and ergonomics, as well as to provide more support for large navigation units. Both the base model and R receive their own windshields and both have aluminum covers that extend past the skid plate to add greater protection to the engine and tank.
Both the base model and R receive a 9.3 MP ABS unit
By: Cycle World Staff
Title: 2023 KTM 890 Adventure and Adventure R
Sourced From: www.motorcyclistonline.com/ktm/890-adventure-r/
Published Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2023 10:30:00 +0000
A screaming Yamaha RZV500R restomod from Championship Cycles
Only available in Japan and limited to just 1,600 units, the mid-80s Yamaha RZV500R is as rare as it is iconic. Based on the RZ500, the Japanese-market RZV500R sported a handful of upgrades—the most noteworthy of which was an aluminum frame.
The RZ500 was a desirable machine in its own right; a four-cylinder two-stroke race replica that mimicked Kenny Roberts’ YZR500. But its 88 hp output was too much for Japanese legislation at the time, so Yamaha restricted it to 64 hp and swapped the steel frame for a lighter aluminum unit to compensate for the drop in power. It was rebadged as the Yamaha RZV500R and sold out within the first week of its release (or so the legend goes).
Despite its allure, Mike Vienne reckons that the RZV500R has room for improvement. He runs Championship Cycles in Los Angeles, California, where the philosophy is “less is more—because more is heavy, and heavy is slow.”
“The original RZV500R from Yamaha had many quirky features baked into it from the factory,” says Mike, “like a longitudinally mounted rear shock, anti-dive linked front brakes and forks, and cast 16” front and 18” rear wheels. Additionally, it was hampered by emissions constraints, and then, to add insult to injury, it weighed in at over 400 lbs. It all totaled up to a rather lackluster spec machine.”
By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: A screaming Yamaha RZV500R restomod from Championship Cycles
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/yamaha-rzv500r-restomod
Published Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2023 19:08:50 +0000
2024 Suzuki GSX-R1000 and GSX-R1000R First Look Preview
New Glass Matte Mechanical Gray paint on the 2024 Suzuki GSX-R1000. (Suzuki/)
Within its official 2024 model announcements last month, Suzuki designated the entire GSX-R family as returning models with no mechanical updates for the year, save new color options. And while we can understand the need to stay conservative in a rapidly changing racing environment, frankly, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher to see the GSX-R1000 model return unchanged, since 2024 signifies the 40th anniversary of the GSX-R nameplate. It’s a milestone you’d expect would herald major improvements to the flagship model, but alas, for 2024, we’ll have to settle for a couple of new colors.
The 2024 GSX-R1000 can also be had in the returning Metallic Matte Black color. MSRP is $16,349 (Suzuki/)
2024 Suzuki GSX-R1000
The last time we saw a major update to the 1000 was in 2017, when a complete overhaul included a beefed-up 999cc engine rated at 200 hp, traction control with an IMU, advanced suspension, LED lighting, and more. On the 2024 model, we see much of the same, with the inline-four engine still pumping out that prodigious top-end and a super-stout midrange thanks to Suzuki’s MotoGP-developed variable valve timing system and ride-by-wire throttle.
As before, a fully adjustable Showa Big Piston Fork handles damping forces while a link-type single shock absorbs the blows out back. ABS-equipped Brembo T-drive dual brake rotors and Brembo four-piston calipers provide the stopping performance up front.
Advanced electronics include a now-standard bidirectional quickshifter (previously only available on the R1000R model), an Inertial Measurement Unit, three power modes, 10-mode traction control, and Motion Track ABS, which Suzuki says provides the appropriate braking force for the available traction (and also helps to control rear-wheel lift).
For 2024, the GSX-R1000 gets a new Glass Matte Mechanical Gray paint scheme with dark red wheels to join the returning Metallic Matte Black No. 2 and Glass Sparkle Black scheme, which also gets new blue graphics on the fairing and wheels.
While we’re disappointed there aren’t any updates for 2024, the big Gixxer still provides an extremely competent and well-priced alternative to the Kawasaki ZX-10R, or even the Honda CBR1000RR if you’re on the hunt for a trackday weapon.
In addition to the aforementioned colors, the 2024 GSX-R1000R can also be had in this race-inspired white and blue color scheme, but it is otherwise mechanically unchanged. (Suzuki/)
2024 Suzuki GSX-R1000R
As for the closely related 2024 GSX-R1000R model, you’re looking at a spec sheet that very closely mimics the GSX-R1000′s. Most of the same advanced electronic rider aids appear here, with adjustable traction control, an IMU, Motion Track ABS, and a bidirectional quickshifter all coming standard.
But the R1000R adds launch control to the mix as well as Showa’s more advanced
Balance Free Front Fork (BFF) and Balance Free Rear Cushion Light (BFRC-Lite) suspension components, with the fork and shock absorber body receiving a gold anodized finish. Up front there are radially mounted Brembo Monoblock brake calipers grasping a pair of 320mm Brembo T-drive floating brake rotors, with stainless steel brake lines to add even more stopping power.
The GSX-R1000R also ups the ante with a model-specific, black background LCD multifunction instrument panel inspired by the GSX-RR MotoGP dash. The R model also receives a unique GSX-R1000R logo on the tail to distinguish it.
But as we’ve said, the main update for 2024 is with the paint options; the GSX-R1000R’s newest scheme is known as Glass Matte Mechanical Gray paint scheme with dark red wheels. You can also opt for the returning Metallic Matte Black No. 2 and Glass Sparkle Black scheme which now has new, bright blue graphics on the fairing and black wheels. The last option for the
By: Andrew Cherney
Title: 2024 Suzuki GSX-R1000 and GSX-R1000R First Look Preview
Sourced From: www.motorcyclistonline.com/news/suzuki-gsx-r1000-and-gsx-r1000r-first-look-preview/
Published Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2023 17:41:47 +0000
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