In this Chance Moto build, we take a time and budget-minded approach to creating a uniquely styled, smooth running retro. Starting with a 1981 Honda CM400T, restoring it to peak mechanical shape and adding a touch of cafe-racer-inspired-style, here’s how we brought this old bike into the 21st century.
Motorcycling, like any true sport has an extremely lengthy and gradual learning curve. It’s only fitting then that the true enthusiast be on the constant quest for techniques that will improve his or her riding. Here are 5 things you can do that are guaranteed to bolster whatever skills you currently possess as a rider.
Most motorcycles on the road today have a chain final drive, driven by 2 sprockets which determine the motorcycle’s final drive ratio. With time, these parts wear down and cause your bike to lose of power at the rear wheel and run less smoothly. The good news: changing your chain and sprockets is a relatively easy DIY which we will demonstrate on our project Yamaha WR250X. Read on to learn how.
Ducati’s Monster 821 (MSRP $13,395 CDN) was a controversial pivot for the Bologna brand, as it moved the Monster line away from their iconic 2 valve-per-cylinder air cooled motors (the latest contingent were the 696, 796 and 1100 variants which were later brought back in the Scrambler and later, the Monster 797). So, what did Ducati achieve in creating a liquid cooled middleweight Monster and how does it stack up against its modern day middleweight competition?
We’ve been riding the FZ-09 (MT-09 in Europe) intermittently since 2014, throughout its 40,000 km life and have reached a verdict on just about every aspect of what’s good and bad about this budget-priced middleweight naked bike. We’ve also performed a long list of modifications that help get the most of of the platform and have included a complete guide within.
If you live in a part of the world where there’s a “riding season”, then you understand how long the “off season” can be and are likely chomping at the bit (during that dark time) to find ways of reuniting yourself with motorcycling. A good book isn’t as good as a ride on your favorite twisty road, but it’s a good way to brush up on your technique and revisit aspects of the sport we love so dearly.
Street-legal supermotos are a special breed of motorcycles. At various times throughout history, select manufacturers have produced them (eg. Yamaha’s WR 250X, the perennial favorite, Suzuki’s DRZ 400 or the more modern Husqvarna 701), but they’ve always been niche and most of the offerings in North America are somewhat sedate in comparison to the dirt bike conversions of yesteryear. These days, if you want a serious, lightweight supermoto for the street, you have to build it yourself and what better platform to start with than the 2016 KTM 500 EXC.
If you’ve been riding motorcycles in North America for any amount of time, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of “Tail of the Dragon” (TOTD). An expansive stretch of road that spans the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, featuring an extremely high concentration of curves (318 to be exact) over an 11 mile stretch of pristine pavement. So, you may ask: does it really live up to the hype?