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The 1999 triumph thunderbird sport

"Yes!" I thought when I first read about the addition of the Sport model to the classic Thunderbird line, "This is the Triumph I have been waiting for." You can believe that when the good folks at Cycle Parts Triumph in Eugene, Oregon graciously offered me a chance to test ride a new Thunderbird Sport, I accepted with alacrity. This is a hard motorcycle to classify. Some call it a cruiser, or sport cruiser, because of its classic appearance (although...

The 2001 triumph Bonneville

The 2001 Triumph Bonneville was perhaps the most awaited bike of the year; the re-introduction of one of motorcycling's most famous models. In collecting information for this review I have been assisted by Steve Crocker, a 2001 Bonneville owner who lives in Sydney, Australia. Steve's previous bike was a Suzuki GT-750. He has graciously consented to share some insights and opinions about his new Bonneville for this article. (Isn't the Internet wonderful?) The responsibility for the accuracy and presentation of...

The Royal Enfield Bullet

Frankly, purchasing a Royal Enfield Bullet could be a risky proposition, due to limited distribution and unknown reliability. It is probably a maintenance intensive motorcycle, which makes it unsuitable for most riders unless they happen to be reasonably skilled mechanics. Yet the British designed, made in India, Enfield Bullet is so unique that I cannot resist being attracted to it. This bike is a throwback to the great British singles of yesteryear. Literally so, as the original Royal Enfield 350...

The Kawasaki W650

As I wrote in my article Good First Bikes, the Kawasaki W650 is a different kind of retro bike, a standard easy to mistake at first glance for a late 1960's Triumph Bonneville. Kawasaki claims that the W650 was inspired by their own W1 twin of 1967 (itself a knockoff of the BSA A10, a pre-unit construction 650), but anyone who has seen a W1 knows the W650 looks nothing like that, and very much like the vastly more popular...

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The year was 1978, and Soichiro Honda's engineering team had completed work on their most ambitious consumer product yet, the 1047cc, 24 valve, six cylinder "CBX." Honda drew upon their prior 6 cylinder experience, notably the 247cc DOHC, RC166 race bike, that the legendary Mike Hailwood won the 250 cc World Championship with in 1966 and 1967. "Magic Mike" took a bored-out version of this bike (297cc) and accomplished stunning wins in the 350cc class as well, setting an absolute lap record at the Isle of Man along the way. There were obstacles to overcome in the CBX development, some...

The Harley-Davidson Sportster

In 30 years of riding, I have discovered some things about motorcycles. In this review I am going to discuss one of my favorite bikes, the Harley-Davidson Sportster. (The example pictured above is a 1997 XLH equipped with some of the touring accessories mentioned below.) No two ways about it, to me the original is still the best, and the Harley-Davidson Sportster is my top choice in the "standard" class. Lots of other riders have voted with their pocket books...

The Harley-Davidson Dyna Wide Glide

The motorcycles of the Dyna Glide line are the performance leaders amongst Harley's "big twins." They combine a Sportster front end with their own unique chassis. Dyna Glides are the lightest, best handling, and most versatile of the big twins. Their vibration quelling rubber isolation engine mounts and rigid frame allows Harley to configure them as sport cruisers, touring cruisers, or factory customs. Their relatively light weight makes them a natural choice as the basis for a hot rod bike....

The Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide Sport

Harley calls it a sport model, motorcycle magazines call it a sport-cruiser, and I call it a big standard. Whatever you call it, the FXDX (which is H-D's shorthand designation for the Dyna Super Glide Sport) is a very versatile motorcycle. It can carve a pretty mean canyon road, take a friend for a ride, negotiate city traffic with aplomb, fly down the highway for hours on end, and even look pretty good cruising down main street. Like all Harleys, it is very easy to personalize, very easy to hop-up, and retains its value better than any other brand of...

The 1999 Harley-Davidson Dyna Convertible

It was going to be another 97-degree scorcher in Las Vegas, Nevada, but in the late morning the temperature was still bearable, even pleasant. One of the ubiquitous Las Vegas taxicabs transported my friend Evelyn and I from the Riviera Hotel to the front door of Eagle Rider Motorcycle Rentals, owned by Al and Jody Karp. We were here to meet my riding buddies, Rocky and Gordon, who had ridden their motorcycles to Las Vegas from Eugene, Oregon the day...

Comparison: Bonneville, Sportster, and W-650

Let me say at the outset that this comparison review is not intended to pick an overall "winner." All three of these motorcycle models are already winners, and I do not need to pump up circulation. This comparison is intended to clarify some of the relative strengths and weaknesses of these three motorcycles. For a more complete survey of the features and technical specifications of the three motorcycles discussed in this comparison, please see the individual Motorcycle Reviews of the Bonneville,...