Motorcycles Yamaha Announces 2021 Cruiser and Standard Models
2021 BMW R 18 First Ride Review
An American-style cruiser done in a very Bavarian wayHow could I not? CW Zon, Revival Cycles, and Roland Sands Design had each molded its own concept and produced an amazing custom machine around this gargantuan 1,802cc flat-twin engine, and now it was my turn to test the final production version—the 2021 BMW R 18 First Edition.
Last weektouted its new naked and hyper naked sportbike releases to the world, but this week we’re getting word on the status of the rest of the 2021 streetbike releases. As you might expect from this later tranche, most of the bikes are returning models in the company’s Sport Heritage and Transcontinental Touring series, so we’re seeing the Bolt R-Spec, V Star 250, both XSRs, and the Star Venture tourer making their comebacks with few (if any) changes.
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2021 V-Star 250
Let’s start with the smallest cruiser Yamaha makes—and has made pretty much(even longer if you count the Virago). It’s also one of the few remaining representatives of Yammie’s once-mighty but now near-extinguished Star line of cruisers and the only V-twin left in its entry-level class. So why change it now, right? Although the wee-twin is getting hella long in the tooth, it can still claim time-proven and near bulletproof tech, including stuff like an air-cooled, 249cc engine, a five-speed transmission, and chain drive along with smooth predictable power delivery—just what you want in a beginner bike. The low 27-inch seat height and light weight makes it an easy ride for newbies, and the classic cruiser styling makes it even easier on the eyes. The V Star 250 comes in Raven (or, uh, black) for 2021, and will be available in December of 2020. It gets a slight bump in MSRP, to $4,449.
2021 Yamaha Enduro Motorcycles Revealed
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2021 Bolt R-Spec
Seems like the up-spec R-Spec version is the sole survivor of the Bolt twins for 2021, with the base Bolt model being left by the wayside this year (though 2020 models are still available on the Yamaha website). Theanyway, with upgraded twin piggyback rear shocks tuned for a more composed ride, and 12-spoke cast alloy wheels giving it a more menacing attitude as well as adding strength. And it brings the same attractive feature set we’ve come to expect, with a 942cc, air-cooled, 60-degree, V-twin engine doling out strong power and waves of low-end torque. The spare bobber styling keeps it current, while a low seat height and an upright riding position lets pilots revel in the compact chassis' maneuverability. There are a couple of minor differences this year; the 2021 R-Spec can be had only in Raven when it hits dealers this December, and MSRP will also go up 100 bucks to $8,499.
2021 Yamaha MT-09 First Look Preview
The massively popular hyper naked gets a substantial update.Engine Updates
Yamaha’s calling them “modern classics,” but whatever marketing phrase you want to use, the 2021 XSR700 and XSR900 manage to deliver a better-looking and more performance-biased package than much of the retrofied competition in this class. Theunique style and compact 689cc liquid-cooled and counterbalanced twin not only give it a powerful foundation but also make it stand out in a crowd. The builds on the same neo-retro formula but adds a more powerful inline triple-cylinder engine as well as cutting-edge electronics like ride by wire, adjustable traction control, and ABS, for a more mature and well-rounded package. Neither bike gets any changes from 2020; the 2021 XSR700 will still come in the Radical White/Rapid Red colorway for the same MSRP of $8,499, while the 2021 XSR900 keeps the same Radical White/Rapid Red colors and also retains the old MSRP of $9,499. Both models will start hitting authorized Yamaha dealers in December.
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2021 Star Venture
Yamaha’sinto 2021 as the sole representative of Yamaha’s Transcontinental Touring line (we’re bummed the Eluder doesn’t make a return this year, even though an older model is listed on the website). For 2021, the Star Venture doesn’t change much save for color and price; at its core is still a high-torque, 1,854cc V-twin engine. The Transcontinental Package, which includes supplemental LED fog lights, added storage, and a security system, is now standard fare on the Venture, really upping the long-haul comfort and convenience level. As before, you’ll also get all the rider aids you need like cruise control, ABS, riding modes, traction control, GPS navigation, infotainment, SiriusXM, additional speakers, and Yamaha’s exclusive Dual Zone audio control. Whew. There’s an additional color option for 2021, with the Star Venture now available in Intensity White or Impact Blue for an MSRP of $26,999; it’ll be in dealers beginning in December.
So what’s missing? Well you might have noticed the big four-cylinder gap in the space where normally the VMAX would be coiled, but alas, it seems like Mr. Max has tapped out; the iconic “power cruiser” won’t be coming back for 2021. The 2020 VMAX is still listed on the Yamaha website though, so fear not.
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT First Look Preview
Introducing Yamaha’s all-new Tracer 9 GT sport-tourer.But it’s the electronic trickery that will really set the Tracer 9 GT apart when it bows in March. First, it will get a version of the R1′s six-axis IMU, which will send a constant stream of data including forward, backward, up and down acceleration, as well as pitch, roll, and yaw angles. All those numbers will be used to control the bike’s traction control, brake control, slide control, and wheelie control systems.
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2021 Yamaha Tracer 7 GT Announced, Not Coming to USA .
Another machine we’d like to see make its debut in the USThe 7 GT is powered by the same crossplane twin that’s found in the MT-07, which has already proven itself to be a fun and capable powerplant. Plopping that mill into an upright touring motorcycle would put a lot of midsize, legacy touring rides currently available in the US, like the Versys 650 or V-Strom 650, on high alert. Especially if the bike stayed at or below $8,500.