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OEM Roundup

Never a dull moment in the world of motorcycling and as we hit the thick of 2016, a few developments may have passed you by. Constantly at work, manufacturers have updated old models, introduced new visions and even brought a few back from the dead. While you’ve been out riding, we’ve been out researching and have the latest for you here in this month's OEM Roundup.

Bringing it Back - Suzuki 2017 SV650

Disappearing for a stretch, but back in 2017, the updated, much loved Suzuki SV650 has returned to showroom floors. With more than 100 new parts compared to previous models, the SV looks to regain its position as an everyman's, everyday motorcycle.

For 2017, Suzuki squeezed out an extra 4 horsepower, now at 75, added the new “Suzuki Easy Start System” and upgraded to a trellis style, steel tube frame. Bringing the seat down to 30.9”, the new, high-strength frame also helps shed about 15 overall pounds leaving the bike at a more than manageable 430.

Historically a great multi-purpose machine, it will be interesting to see how the 2017 model fares in the face of surging European and “Scrambler” style sales. Early internet fodder seems to be positive and Suzuki’s 0%, 5 year dealer financing plan (as of July 2016) will surely move some units, but it remains to be seen if the SV650 can regain its popularity.

Racing Ahead - Harley Davidson XG750R

Harley’s first new flat track racing effort in 44 years, the XG750R features impressive style, not available to the public.

While rumors have it that at some point, we may see a version available at your local dealer, for now the 750cc Revolution X powered engine machine will be piloted by the company’s 18 year old factory rider Davis Fisher.

Struggling in recent years with the coveted “millennial” demographic and overall sales, it’s hard not to speculate that the styling and technology won’t find its way into other models. Add a light kit and semi knobby tires and Harley would be ¾ of the way home...assuming they can offer it under 10 grand.

Big Time Scramble - Yamaha SCR950 Scrambler

Not to be left in the dust of the exploding Scrambler market, Yamaha has just introduced the all new SCR950. Based on the Yamaha Bolt frame, the new Scrambler offers killer style, a beefy (by scrambler standards) 942 cc air cooled engine and even...an optional skid plate!

While experienced adventure riders would hardly peg this as a dual sport machine, Yamaha’s advertising might make you take a second look, with marketing materials featuring campers, surfers and a fair amount of dirt riding.

Though in reality, most riders will never venture off pavement, the SCR950 is sure to attract a lot of attention for riders interested in a second motorcycle and from those who just want that classic look, with noted Yamaha reliability. Overall, it’s a great looking machine and on the road, riders will probably have a helluva lot of fun.

Bobbing for Classics - Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber

Stripped down and brand new, one can’t help but smile at the chunky, blacked out styling of the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber. Claiming to have “Created a new segment,” the V9 is a nice “step up” from the fully developed V7 line and introduces Moto Guzzi’s new, 850 cc, twin cylinder engine.

While the emphasis remains on styling, with 55 horsepower, a six speed transmission and fat tires, the Bobber is sure to be an an enjoyable afternoon ride. And if turning heads is your main mission, can you really ever go wrong on a Moto Guzzi?

Who Gives a Grom - 2017 Honda Grom

About 1/10 as much fun as a CRF250 and for only half the price, the 2017 Honda Grom has been refreshed with new styling and an upgraded LED headlight. A market segment that still baffles many, this pocket sized, 125cc Honda continues to be a big hit, despite its limited performance envelope and range outside of city limits.

Practicality aside, credit where credit is due. Honda reliably delivers on its promise with a low--riced, easily accessible, entry live “motorcycle” that will turn a lot of heads. Among those heads has been fellow Japanese OEM Kawasaki, who recently introduced its own competitor, the Z125 Pro.

The good news for buyers of these tiny bikes is that they can be parked anywhere. Including the corner of your garage, where many will likely sit with about 500 miles on the odometer. 200 miles after owners started wishing they had bought something else.

Derek Roberts/July 2017


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