gone riding


For the third time this month, we have crossed over the Atlantic ocean to ride a brand new Italian motorcycle. It is a tough job, but someone has to do it.

This edition of “Gone Riding” sees us getting ready to ride the new Ducati Panigale V4 superbike, which gets a bevy of updates for the 2022 model year.

Ducati has us testing this new Panigale V4 at the Jerez circuit, with the MotoGP track being a popular destination to put a motorcycle through its paces.

Hello from a mile-up, as Asphalt & Rubber is in sunny Denver, Colorado to ride two bikes from the BMW Motorrad lineup: the BMW R18 B bagger and the BMW R18 Transcontinental dresser.

Two birds of the same feather, both bikes are built off the BMW R18 platform, which means that they have a mammoth 244-pound air-cooled boxer-twin engine at their core.

Built to tackle the American v-twin touring scene, the BMW R18 bikes have Harley-Davidson squarely in their sights.

Can the Germans take on one of America’s most iconic brands? That is what we are here to find out, with a day’s ride through The Centennial State.

For the next two days, we will be working from Salt Lake City, Utah where we will be getting our first chance to swing a leg over the new third-generation Suzuki Hayabusa.

Built off the second-generation model, Suzuki insists that this bike is “all new” in design, and that is because this bird has been gone over with a fine-toothed comb to make it the ultimate Hayabusa ever from the Japanese brand.

The next iteration of an Italian legend, the Ducati Monster sees a clean-slate design enter the very hot middleweight-twin category for the 2021 model year.

The Monster faces steep competition in this space, with plenty of stout offerings coming from European brands, which aggressively balance features against price.

Ducati has given us a strong offering though, with the new Monster making 110hp and costing south of $12,000 – right in line with the other heavy-hitters in the segment.

But what about what is not included in the spec-sheet? Well, that is why we are in San Francisco today, riding the 2021 Ducati Monster on a fun coastal route to see how it rolls in the real world.

The other side of the same coin? The Aprilia Tuono 660 is the “more naked” sibling (it’s a little unfair to call it a naked bike) to the Aprilia RS 660 sport bike.

With a more upright sitting position, cheaper price tag, and a lack of an IMU, the Aprilia Tuono 660 hopes to be a bit more approachable for street riders who aren’t looking for the race-ready design that comes with the RS 660.

Is there enough meat on the bones to hoon around on the track with this 660cc Tuono though? That’s what we aim to find out.

The much rumored, much anticipated Ducati Multistrada V4 S is finally hitting US soil (in dealers, as we speak) and today we get a chance to ride this new adventure bike in anger.

Ducati North America has brought us to the Anza-Borrego desert in California to try this new machine, and put it through its paces both on the street and in the dirt.

Our bikes are also equipped with the new front and rear RADAR systems from Bosch, which means that we will get to test the adaptive cruise control and blind spot warning systems on the Ducati Multistrada V4 S, even though they won’t officially be available on the bikes until later this summer.

It should be a lively day of riding, and a prime chance to get your questions in about this machine and its new systems.

The Italians have been talking a big game with the new Multistrada V4, so we will be looking to see if this Ducati can top the very best in the big-bike ADV class.

Per our new review format, I will be giving you a live assessment of the Ducati Multistrada V4 S right here in this article (down in the comments section), and I will try to answer any questions you might have about this exciting motorcycle.

So, here is your chance to learn what it’s like to ride the Ducati Multistrada V4 S, before even our own proper review is posted.

As always, if I don’t know an answer, I will try to get a response from the Ducati personnel. So, pepper away.

You can follow our thoughts on the bike live via FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and you can see what our colleagues are posting by looking for the hashtag #MultistradaV4 on social media.

Spec-Sheet Comparison of Relevant Models to the Ducati Multistrada V4 S:

  Ducati Multistrada V4 S BMW R1250GS KTM 1290 Adventure S
Horsepower 168 hp 136 hp 158 hp
Torque 92 lbs•ft 105 lbs•ft 103 lbs•ft
Weight 529 lbs (wet) 549 lbs (wet) 524 lbs (wet)
Engine 1,158cc / V4 1,254cc / Boxer-Twin 1,301cc / 75° V-Twin
Price (w/ bags) $24,095 $22,415 $19,847

Source: Ducati

The Rebel lineup has been a stalwart bike for American Honda, primarily in its role to get new riders on two wheels. But, what happens when those newly minted motorcycle enthusiasts want to upgrade to something bigger?

As Honda discovered, they go somewhere else, as the Japanese brand lacked an encore to the Honda Rebel 300 and Honda Rebel 500 motorcycles.

These motorcycle riders that Honda fought so hard to create were jumping ship to another cruiser brand.

But now the Japanese brand has a solution, the Honda Rebel 1100 – a bike that looks like a greatest hits album from the company’s current lineup.

We have a bit of a fun one today, as we are about to take the Honda Trail 125 for a spin around the roads and trails of Julian, California.

Like the original it mimics in design, the Honda Trail 125 has been based off the Honda Super Cub platform. This means a 125cc single-cylinder engine with a four-speed gearbox and an automatic clutch (technically, it’s two clutches, but we’ll get into that later.