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Motorcycle News / 124 posts found

MO Wrenching: How To Change Your Oil

Dear MOby, I just saw your answer regards oil change. My manual says that I need to change oil every 3000 miles. But I only ride about 1000 miles per year (very short commute). By the book, I need to perform oil change every three years. Do I really need to change oil every year? Is it okay to change oil every three years, just because I don’t ride that much? Thank you Jay PS: Just to make myself comfortable, I do oil change once a year. Dearest Jay, You’re doing the right thing to change it every year. Every [...]

Why Does My Motorcycle Clunk When I Shift Into First Gear?

Dear MOby, My new-to-me 2000 R1 clunks really hard when I drop it into first gear in the morning, and it only gets worse after it’s warm. It’s also kind of juddery all the time when I’m leaving from a stop. What’s the problem? The odometer says 18,000 miles. Not Feeling Fresh San Diego Dear Fresh, Sounds like it might be time for a new clutch, but let’s eliminate a few other possibilities first. Make sure the clutch cable is correctly adjusted so that the clutch is disengaging all the way when you pull in the lever. With the oil [...]

Is My Motorcycle Engine A Ticking Time Bomb?

Hello there MOby! Greetings from Indonesia! I have a 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250 with Akrapovič slip-on installed. Now after 17,000 km (around 10,563 miles) the engine is starting to make this ticking sound. It’s very loud when the engine is cold; even louder than an Akrapovič without baffle on! Since you guys have tested and ride Kawasaki motorcycles… is it normal? I know it has something to do with Cam Chain and Cam Chain Tensioner but why is it happening? My friends who ride Ninja(s) also share this issue and the authorized dealer recommended us to change the whole Cam [...]

Variable Intake Velocity

Dear MOby, What are variable intake manifolds? How do they work and why? Walter Barlow Dear Walter, If you’d not been paying attention in high school and reading Hot Rod magazine, you’d know that low-end power is boosted by longer intake and exhaust tracts, and high-rpm power generally increases with shorter ones. Tuning the lengths of the intake bellmouths and exhaust header pipes is a science / black art we’ve been using to tune engines forever. Now we’re talking torquey: Can-Am cars in the ’70s used big-block V-8s tuned for torque in part by using long intake runners. In smaller [...]

Why Are DCT Setups Not Allowed In MotoGP, Yet Seamless Gearboxes Are?

Dear MOby, It would seem (pardon) that DCTs have much more applicability for production motorscycle than seamless transmissions as used in MotoGP racing, and therefore would be of more interest to the manufacturers to better leverage their racing investment. Doubly true these days, as manufacturers struggle to make motorcycling more accessible to a wider audience as us boomers are, er, “aging out,” so to speak. Walter Barlow Dear Walter, Stop making sense. As near as I can figure, the FIM banned dual-clutch set-ups in MotoGP because the FIA had banned them earlier in Formula 1 (where they showed up more than [...]

As The Crankshaft Turns

Dear MOby, Excuse the noob question, but what’s the difference between a transverse V-Twin and a longitudinal one, and what are the advantages of each? Navigational Ade Dear Ade, It has to do with the orientation of the crankshaft. Any engine, be it a V-Twin, V-Four, or inline-Four, is considered to be “transverse” if its crankshaft lies perpendicular to the motorcycle’s wheels, i.e. across the frame, parallel to the axles. Most motorcycles have transversely mounted cranks, including all Harley-Davidson V-Twins, nearly all four-cylinder sportbikes like the Yamaha R1, Kawasaki ZX-10R, Aprilia RSV4, all Ducati V-Twins and V-Fours… including the Monster [...]

Harley-Davidson Roadster Or Triumph Bobber?

Dear MOby, Hey, guys, I love your reviews, but if you at had to choose between a Harley Roadster and a Triumph Bonneville Bobber, which one do you think would handle twisties better? I know they aren’t meant to be sportbikes, but I am trying to decide which one to buy. I believe the Bobber got a better rating than the Harley, but the Harley can lean farther, no? For me, the performance during the turns is the big question. Which bike do you believe is better handling and, just in your biased opinion, more fun? The Harley is more [...]

What’s The Difference Between Rake And Trail?

Dear MOby, So is it the rake or the trail that determines how fast or slow a bike steers? Lot of things I read and hear seem to use the two interchangeably at random? Which is it? Heavy Handed Dear Heavy, Well, the two numbers are so closely related it almost doesn’t matter. Rake, or caster, refers to the angle from vertical at which the steering head is positioned, generally anywhere from 20 to 45 degrees – really sporty bikes being closer to 20 and custom choppers being more like 45. But the main purpose of that rake angle is [...]

2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Review

  Head Cheese Duke may have gotten a chance to ride the new Suzuki GSX-R1000R at Phillip Island – which is probably tied at the top of every moto-journo’s bucket list of tracks to ride alongside the Mugello track in Italy – but as far as consolation prizes go, getting to ride at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, is pretty darn good. My steed? Ironically enough, Suzuki’s GSX-R1000. While my bike may be down one R to the one Kevin rode, to underestimate the single-R Gixxer would be a huge mistake. Let’s take a closer look to [...]

Yamaha Trademarks “Tracer GT” Name

Yamaha has filed a trademark application in Europe for the name “Tracer GT,” suggesting a new touring model is on the way. The application was filed April 19 with the European Union Intellectual Property Office for use of the name for “motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, three-wheeled motorcycles, three-wheeled scooters, three-wheeled mopeds and parts and fittings for all the aforesaid goods.” We know it as the FJ-09, but Yamaha calls it the MT-09 Tracer outside of North America. This is the same list of goods and services Yamaha lists in its applications for most of its motorcycle and scooter trademarks, so don’t [...]