OEM Roundup Part 2

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Yamaha Motorcycles Street Event - Cycle Barn


OEM Roundup Part 2

Continued from OEM Roundup Part 1, Part 2 Explores the latest in global motorcycle developments from Japan, the United States, India and Russia.

He lives on a Van Van by the River - 2017 Suzuki VanVan 200

Built for the graduated license environment (where riders are forced to gradually qualify for more powerful motorcycles) of the UK, the 200cc Suzuki VanVan is now available in the United States.

Almost certainly looking to capitalize on both the light weight and "retro" bike markets that have taken off as of late, the Suzuki's 70's style, long seat and round headlight might just make it the best looking of the bunch and is sure to draw attention alongside fellow small bikes like the Honda Grom and Yamaha TW200.

Targeted at casual city riders and those looking to ease into the sport, the VanVan offers a nice visual alternative to the more rugged looks of Yamaha, while offering nearly identical performance specifications and pricing at $4599. A fun ride, great training bike and a nice other option to the more single classed, moped alternative.

Going Through FZ's - 2017 Yamaha FZ-10

It has been a big year in development for the lauded Yamaha brand and perhaps no new bike in the lineup has been more anticipated than the FZ-10. Joining the 1, 07, 09 and the 6R, Yamaha's latest sport bike, is one that will make you sit up and take notice.

Boasting a teeth gritting 158 horsepower, the cross pane, 998 cc engine is a more street and cost friendly version of that found in the race oriented R1 series. At just (for a Yamaha) $12,999, the 10's aggressive styling, front and rear adjustable suspension and cruise control make for a great commuter, fun track bike or weekend riot.

Across the board, the FZ's have been a huge success and thought this marks the 5th in the lineup, one can't help but wonder if we'll see yet another in the coming years.

No More Hemming and Hawing - Royal Enfield Himalayan

OK, so maybe it's only available in India at the moment, but dual sport fans everywhere are in agreement that it is nice to finally see the long discussed, Royal Enfield Himalayan actually in production.

Built specifically for adventure touring in the Himalayan mountain range, that is to say for roadside repair, the simple electronics and simple motor pair nicely with a rugged style that many riders are sure to be excited about.

With that said, a long history of questionable Royal Enfield performance (that's part of the charm!..right?) combined with a 411 cc output and 400 pound curb weight has many asking: "Does the Himalayan come with an extra 75 pounds of reliability?"

Command and Conquer - Indian Ride Command

Now standard on all 2017 Chieftains and Roadmasters, Indian Motorcycles "Ride Command" system brings a car like navigation system, straight to your luxury rides dashboard. Offering up GPS navigation, mileage, altitude, service reminders and music control, the only excuse for sub 500 mile days on these mammoth touring bikes, would be the price tag.

Starting at $23,999 and $28,999 respectively, the direct competitors to Harley Davidson seems to have had the "other" American manufacturer in mind when developing the specs on the new dashboard system. A quick trip to the Indian website ( www.indianmotorcycle.com) shows a 2 minute video highlighting the faster load times, quicker startup and more glove friendly interface.

Motorcycle purist may scoff at the digital excess, but for its target demographic, the all in one "infotainment" package will definitely be a welcome addition when chewing up mile after mile of super slab, or on those long stretches of highway, that inevitably lead to Sturgis.

Bull $#!% - Taurus 2x2

Just west of Moscow you'll find both the city of Kaluga and the manufacturing headquarters for the Honda powered, Taurus 2x2. A 7 horsepower workhorse offering up all wheel drive, enormous tires and absolutely no gauges.

And why would you want gauges? When you could be having the time of your life rolling through mud bogs, racing through the woods at up to a blazing 22 miles per hour or scaling entire flights of stairs! (Indoor staircases are optional).

Alright, so not a motorcycle as much as an ATV, but damnit, it has two wheel and looks like a lifetime of fun. Especially if you have plans to ride around the world via the old Bering land bridge.

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