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KTM’s 390 and 125 Duke models return with refreshed design and equipment

Both models gain a range of updated parts.

KTM has updated both its 390 and 125 Duke motorcycles with a range of new features and design touches.

The 390 Duke – which remains A2-compliant – uses a new 398.7cc engine which produces 44.8bhp and meets the latest Euro5+ emissions regulations. Striking Electronic Orange and Atlantic Blue exterior colours are available, while the longer tank spoilers with air intakes meet a newly designed LED headlight to give the whole bike an even more distinctive look than before.

The 390 also comes with a new five-inch TFT display which gives access to the different rider modes, with Street and Rain settings there to change the bike’s setup. A final Track mode – available on the 390 for the first time – introduces a larger rpm counter and launch control too.

Photos: PA Media

The 125, meanwhile, which acts as the entry point to the Duke range features the same colourway options as its more powerful stablemate, but incorporates a painted headlight surround housing around the LED unit. It gets the same five-inch display as the 390 Duke, too, while Track mode remains available. Cornering ABS comes as standard too. The indicators on the 125 Duke auto-cancel, too.

Up front, the 125 Duke features a 43 non-adjustable front fork for reliable suspension travel, while a separate piston shock absorber takes care of the rest of the motorcycle and incorporates tool-adjustable preload too.

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Honda’s CB750 Hornet brings lightweight and accessible performance

The Hornet name is back – but can this new version live up to the original? Jack Evans finds out.

The naked sports bike segment is awash with options. You’ve got offerings from the likes of Yamaha and Triumph – to name but two – so establishing a foothold in it is never easy. But Honda is never one to back out from a challenge, which results in this – the Hornet.

Reviving a name that shot to prominence in the mid-1990s, it’s a bike that aims to do a whole lot for a price that’ll attract a whole lot of riders. But does it feel cut-price when you’re out on the road? We’ve been finding out.

The Honda Hornet aims to be lightweight, accessible and – more than anything – fun to ride. In fact, it weighs in at just 190kg with fuel, so you can definitely say that it’s got the weight-saving box well and truly ticked. Accessibility-wise, it’s not a large bike nor a tall one, so newer, less experienced riders will find the bike not too intimidating. Taller users may find the riding position a touch cramped, however.

Photos: PA Meedia

Powering the Hornet is a 755cc liquid-cooled parallel twin developing 91bhp and 75Nm of torque. That might not sound like much when you compare it to the superbike scene, but it’s more than enough to keep this lightweight naked model skipping along at a very sprightly pace.

It’s been designed to deliver plenty of mid-range shove, with that roll-on acceleration there whenever you need it. Up front, we’ve got Showa 41mm SFF-BP upside-down forks, with a Showa shock in the middle, too. Plus, there are dual-piston radial-mount brake calipers at both ends to provide predictable yet punchy stopping power. Honda also claims that you should be able to get up to 65mpg, equating to a full-tank range of around 220 miles.

The Hornet is a remarkably easy bike to get used to initially. With a low seat height, intuitive controls and a relatively small tank, it doesn’t feel too intimidating. On start-up, you get a nice little rasp from the exhaust and that continues as you power away. As you’d expect from such a featherweight bike, it feels particularly nimble to pilot and makes easy work of town and inner-city traffic.

We did, however, find the throttle at low speeds a little bit snatchy and this could prove a bit irritating when you’re trying to maintain pace within, say, a 30mph limit. Once you’re up to speed it’s just fine, but it’s those lower paces where it feels a bit tricky to manage. In terms of outright comfort, the Hornet is more than squishy enough for an hour or so, but the relatively sporty riding position meant our knees were aching after a straight two-hour stint in the saddle.

Honda has dialled into the look of the original with this latest Hornet while throwing in some modern touches to create what is, in our eyes at least, a very attractive-looking motorcycle. You’ve got four colours to choose from – black, grey, white and yellow – with that final colour being the best for those riders who like to make a statement. It would, however, be quite nice to see a few more ‘lively’ colour options available.

You can have the frame in red or black, too, while all versions get black wheels which do contrast the ‘main’ part of the bike nicely. There is the option to add some jazzy red wheel stripes, too.

All versions of the Hornet get different rider modes which can be selected via the TFT screen. Sport, as you’d imagine, brings the most dynamic setting while Standard is for everyday riding. Rain mode backs off the engine’s power and the engine braking, while User allows you to switch between all the configurable settings to your liking. The five-inch screen itself is very crisp and easy to read, while to control it you use a simple setup on the left handlebar.

Honda had a lot to live up to when it chose to revive the Hornet name, but it feels like it has definitely succeeded. This is a bike that is easy to ride and easy to enjoy, too, but it does all that at a very competitive price. There’s plenty of equipment, too.

Though the snatchy throttle might be a pain if you’re frequently riding in town, for riders who enjoy the call of the open road then the Hornet has a whole lot to offer.

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The Triumph Thruxton RS blends classic looks with modern performance

The Thruxton RS may look like a cafe racer of yesteryear, but it’s packing a whole lot of power. Jack Evans finds out what it’s like.

It’s hard not to notice the variety of classic-inspired motorcycles on the market today. Of course, two-wheeled transportation dates back many, many years so there’s a fair degree of heritage to fall back on for most brands, but bringing these classic looks up to date can prove quite the challenge.But the Thruxton RS is a bike to take this challenge on. Building on the previous Thruxton R, the new RS takes things up a notch with plenty of performance housed within very elegant looks.

This latest RS can trace its roots back to the Thruxton racer used in the late 1950s and onwards before it returned to the Triumph line-up back in 2004. It’s fair to say that the heritage of the RS is well and truly covered, therefore. It’s why it retains the same classic motorsport-inspired design, but has now been given more power and better levels of equipment than ever. For many people, it could provide a great alternative to a standard sports bike – particularly for those riders who want a little extra character from their next motorcycle.

Photos: PA Media

Despite its classic looks, the Thruxton RS is powered by a thoroughly modern engine. It’s a full 1,200cc parallel twin with 103bhp and 112Nm of torque, driven through a six-speed gearbox. Keeping some of that power under control is ABS and switchable traction control, as well as twin 320mm floating Brembo brakes.

Triumph doesn’t have any official performance figures, but it feels particularly fast. Given that it has a 1,200cc engine and a dry weight of just 197kg, it’s unlikely that you’re going to want more power. It comes with a 14.7-litre tank, too, which should give you a decent amount of range for Sunday rides.

The Thruxton RS isn’t an imposing motorcycle to get acquainted with. It’s relatively low and small, so even shorter riders will be able to happily get their feet down. And despite its racier looks, the riding position isn’t too aggressive, so we found that longer stints could be conducted without too many aches and pains.

The performance is scintillating, mind you. The roll-on torque that the Thruxton RS delivers means that you’ve got ample support for overtakes or even quick bursts of acceleration in pretty much all gears. The shifter moves with a pleasant action, while the brakes are reassuringly responsive. It does, as you might expect, sound pretty superb too. We did find, however, that it can be a bit tricky to get the kickstand out first time as when not in use it nestles right between the shifter and footpeg, making finding it with chunky boots a bit of a chore.

With those classic looks, it’s hard not to notice the Thruxton RS. Particularly striking are the gold Showa big-piston forks which adds a nice dash of colour – particularly to ‘our’ straight silver test motorcycle. It’s a classic silhouette, really, but one which nicely blends modern and old-school touches. The dials, for instance, have the look of old clocks but still incorporate screens to give you information about trip, fuel levels and the riding mode that you’ve selected.

We particularly liked the neat tail design, too, while the big single headlight may look like it’d be a full halogen unit but in fact, uses LED technology with daytime running lights too.

The Thruxton RS is kitted out with all the bells and whistles you could want. Of course, this isn’t a long-range adventure bike so you won’t find more comfort-focused additions, but you still get an under seat USB charging port, for instance, and an engine immobiliser with a transponder integrated into the key for better peace of mind when it comes to security.

Much of the Thruxton RS’ cost comes from its mechanical features. Switchable traction control, three riding modes – Sport, Road and Rain – and those high-end brake and suspension setups are all that the Thruxton is about. As with all other Triumph models, there’s huge scope for customisation with loads of paint and decal options available right from the factory.

The Triumph Thruxton RS is a thoroughly exciting motorcycle. It’s got that old-school look and charm, but it’s backed up by the kind of performance and riding experience that would put many full-fat sports bikes to shame.

Though its very nature means it’s not going to be a go-to bike for touring, for those sunny Sunday blasts or for shorter adventures, it’s hard not to be tempted by the Thruxton RS.

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Is Triumph’s Trident 660 the ideal motorbike for new riders?

The Trident 660 packs modern looks and plenty of punch, but what else does it offer? Jack Evans finds out.

Triumph has an established range of motorcycles these days. Of course, you’ve got favourites like the Rocket and the Speed Triple, ranging right the way up to the go-anywhere Tiger range. But where do things kick off for its range of roadsters? That’d be this – the Trident 660.

It’s a naked motorcycle which aims to roll good value for money, decent performance and low running costs into one well-made model. But can it deliver? We’ve been finding out.

The Trident 660 falls within a very competitive segment, going up against rivals like the Yamaha MT-07 and Honda CB650R in the lightweight naked category. But the Triumph aims to come out on top thanks to plenty of on-board features and solid build quality. It also shuns any kind of retro-inspired styling, instead favouring a far more modern aesthetic.

Photos: PA Media

But it has also been designed to be user-friendly and – particularly for just-passed riders – easy to get up to speed with.

As you might expect from the name, the Trident is powered by a 660cc three-cylinder engine with 80bhp and 64Nm of torque. Peak power comes in at 10,250rpm, too, so there’s definitely fun to be found higher up the rev range. Given that it weighs in at just 189kg with fluids, there’s more than enough power to keep things interesting, that’s for sure.

The Trident is also equipped with a smooth-shifting six-speed gearbox, while Triumph claims that the it’ll return 60.1mpg alongside CO2 emissions of 107g/km. The Trident is also accompanied by an impressive 10,000 mile or 12-month service warranty.

It’s easy to feel at home with the Trident 660. The basic controls are all straightforward and easy to navigate, so from the get-go you’re left feeling confident and at ease. Starting the bike reveals quite a fruity exhaust note, particularly for an entry-level motorcycle. But this engine note is backed up by really sharp handling and accurate brakes, while the throttle isn’t too spiky as to make things feel nervy.

The ride is pretty good, too. Of course, being a naked bike means that there’s little protection from the elements, but you sit quite low in the bike so this does help alleviate some of this. The gearshift is particularly sharp, too, and coupled with a nice light clutch it helps to make changing gears effortless.

As we’ve already touched upon, the Trident 660 shuns the more retro-inspired design of some of Triumph’s other models in favour of a decidedly more modern look. Its short wheelbase is central to the bike’s design, with the slim tailight section being particularly striking too. The 14-litre fuel tank is emblazoned with a Union Jack flag design, while an indented section bears the Trident name.

Triumph also offers the Trident in a wider variety of colour options, including an orange and grey mix which looks particularly striking. On all version, however, the frame remains anodised black, contrasted by grey and silver sections. You can tweak the look of the Trident with a number of accessories, too, such as an optional flyscreen or machined bar end mirrors.

The Trident 660 adopts a clean, fuss-free display setup which is centred around an easy-to-use TFT screen housed within a central binnancle. It’s nice to have all of your major functions all located in one place, too, and means that only a quick glance is required to find out information such as fuel levels.

Plus, the screen can be equipped with an optional connectivity pack which allows full integration with your smartphone, allowing the display to relay turn-by-turn navigation and even allow you to take phone calls via an appropriate headset. You can even control a connected GoPro action camera so you can capture your adventures as you go.

The Trident 660 may be the gateway into the Triumph brand, but it feels anything but entry-level. It’s got more than enough performance to keep riders happy, but this is backed up by respectable running costs and a really easy riding style that’ll make it a great choice for those who are new to life on two wheels.

But it also feels like it has a great deal of that sportsbike spirit from the rest of Triumph’s range, filtered into a bike that can put a grin on your face while keeping to an impressively low price.

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Is the Royal Enfield HNTR 350 a low-cost motorcycle for all occasions?

The HNTR 350 packs a whole lot into one budget-friendly motorcycle. Jack Evans has been trying it out.

Royal Enfield is a company on a bit of a mission. It has quickly injected its range with some real excitement, with models like the Himalayan showing that this brand can produce clever and attractive motorcycles that arrive with a price tag that is a fraction of competitors.

The HNTR 350 is one of its newest additions. Hoping to tap into the flourishing retro-inspired category, it’s a bike with ease-of-use at its very core. But as well as those eye-catching looks, is it a bike with something else to offer beyond visuals alone? We’ve been finding out.

Photos: PA Media

The HNTR might use the same 350cc engine as you’ll find in Enfield’s Meteor and Classic motorcycles, but this bike has a far more retro-inspired look and feel. It’s why it’s got that classic one-piece seat and high-riser bars which give a more laid-back, easy riding position. It’s been built with commuting and urban environments in mind, which is why it has a shorter wheelbase than the other 350cc-powered bikes in the Enfield range, for added manoeuvrability.

At the heart of the HNTR is a 349cc air-cooled single engine, which pushes out a modest 20.2bhp and 27Nm of torque, driven through a five-speed gearbox. Royal Enfield claims that its top speed is just over 70mph, so you’re not going to feel too out of place if you’ve got to head onto the motorway or dual carriageway from time to time.

Royal Enfield claims that the HNTR should return just over 100mpg, too, making it a great option for riders after really good fuel efficiency. You get disc brakes at front and rear, too, alongside dual-channel ABS for added security.

The Royal Enfield HNTR 350 is very user-friendly right from the beginning. The seat height is pretty low, so even average-height riders will be able to get their feet flat on the floor. Spark the single-engine into life with the analogue starter controls and you’re met with a really classic sound – this bike sounds excellent, even at idle.

Away from a stop and the HNRT pulls strongly, delivering much more acceleration than you might expect. The gearshift is light and easy, while the handling feels nimble enough to make country lanes good fun. The suspension is definitely on the softer side of things – as are the brakes – but this promotes you to take a slightly more sedate approach rather than racing between the lights. It’s great around town, too, and though it does feel a bit stretched on the motorway, it can handle shorter jaunts at the national speed limit.

The HNTR 350 has definitely been designed to attract the eye. The prominent appearance of the tank is really great – to our eyes, at least – and there are a number of colours to choose from, ranging from ‘Dapper White’ to ‘Rebel Red’.

The black frame and exhaust system contrast this nicely, too, while it all tapers into a neat rear-end design with its LED light. In fact, that black anodised finish is applied on much of the bike’s mechanical components and this helps to give it a far more premium appearance.

The HNTR 350 has a pretty low price, so you can’t weigh in expecting the very latest in technology. You do, however, get some LCD displays which can show you which gear you’re in alongside some basic trip computer functions. It’d be nice if you could display your speed there too, but thankfully the main circular speedometer is clear enough.

Though you do get an LED light at the rear of the bike, it’s a regular halogen version up front. Despite this, it provides a decent amount of illumination at night, while the high-beam setting is good for when you want more visibility. The indicators are nice and bright, too, though the switch which controls them feels a little bit soft and imprecise.

The HNTR 350 feels like a great example of how you don’t need to trade off on riding fun in order to get a low cost. In fact, in today’s climate of high living costs, it makes for a very appealing way of getting around without breaking the bank.

But on top of that, this a motorcycle which doesn’t take itself too seriously, instead providing good performance, excellent fuel economy and a really characterful engine note wrapped up in one good-looking design.

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Norton creates new generation of Commando with 961

Commando 961 incorporates classic styling elements

Norton has launched the latest version of its iconic Commando.

Called the Commando 961, it’s a new take on the firm’s classic motorcycle built at its facility in Solihull. Two versions are available from the off; the SP and CR.

Both use the same 961cc parallel twin engine with 76.8bhp and 81Nm of torque, linked to a five-speed gearbox. Up front, the Commando 961 uses 43mm Öhlins forks, which are adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping. Then, at the rear, there’s a twin-shock setup from Öhlins. All bikes get a Brembo braking setup as standard, too.

The Commando 961 also incorporates classic styling elements such as its hand-built frame and exhaust, while two colour options – Matrix Black and Matrix Platinum – are available. The former is contrasted by a gold Norton logo and pinstriping, while the Platinum version adds to its black pinstripes with red detailing.

Though polished aluminium alloys are there as standard, the SP can also be specified with black rims instead.

Photos: PA Media

The difference between the two specifications is the front profile. The SP adopts a more traditional upright handlebar setup, while the CR opts for ‘clip on’ style bars instead. Both are made from solid aluminium.

Dr Robert Hentschel, Chief Executive Officer at Norton Motorcycles, said: “The Commando name is iconic and is unmistakably Norton. Our new generation Commando 961 SP and CR pay respect to timeless design whilst harnessing a modern flare. We’ve built a motorcycle that is unique and beautiful.

“At our state-of-the-art facility in Solihull, and thanks to the £100-million investment from TVS Motor, we have hand-crafted a motorcycle that is befitting of the new Norton brand and one that marks yet another significant milestone in our journey.”

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Royal Enfield expands range with new Hunter 350

Royal Enfield has added a new model to its line-up of motorcycles – the Hunter 350.

It joins the Meteor and Classic in the firm’s range of 350cc motorcycles, but brings a more urban, retro-inspired design and feel.

Built on Royal Enfield’s J-series platform, the Hunter has been designed for urban environments where agile handling and easy controls are the most desired traits from a motorcycle. All versions use 300mm front and 270mm rear disc brakes with dual-channel ABS, as well as an LED tail lamp and digital instrument cluster.

The Hunter also gets rotary power and lighting switches alongside a USB charging port for topping up devices on the go.

Photos: PA Media

B Govindarajan, Royal Enfield CEO, said: “The Hunter 350 is an outcome of several years of insight gathering and consumer studies from across the world. It is a motorcycle that feels right at home in big metropolises and is exciting for the experienced rider, and easy and accessible for a new rider.

“Its shorter wheelbase, more compact geometry and lighter weight makes it very nimble and manoeuvrable within the urban context. We are very confident that this new reimagined roadster will usher in a whole new set of global consumers into our world of pure motorcycling”

Developed at Royal Enfield’s technology centres in the UK and India, the Hunter has a long, one-piece seat, while a short wheelbase aims to provide confidence-inspiring handling. It’s powered by a 349cc air-oil cooled engine with 20.2bhp and 27Nm of torque at 4,000rpm which, Royal Enfield says, provides plenty of low-end performance with linear power delivery. It’s driven through a five-speed manual gearbox, too.

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Bikeworld, the new solution for urban mobility

Bikeworld, a new showroom in Zebbug, has just opened, with the objective to keep clients mobile with as minimal an environmental impact as possible. Bikeworld has made it its mission to raise awareness and promote the adoption of new electric transport fora better Malta.

Imagine the time commuters could save on their daily journeys if they had to switch to a motorbike, or scooter, and zip through traffic. Bikeworld appreciates that change is not easy, and there are many questions, especially by those who never rode a two-wheel vehicle before.

“At Bikeworld we want to give the best product to our customers and with this philosophy in mind we have ventured to promote only the best and renowned brands,” Etienne Attard, Bikeworld general manager said. “Our team is dedicated to offer services and support to help clients make the right choice.” 

Bikeworld’s two leading electric scooter brands are Silence and TiSTO. These are the optimal solution for individuals and companies seeking a practical, low running cost, high-quality mode of transport. The scooters are powered by a portable lithium-ion battery, which can be charged via any 240-volt socket (being a three-pin socket at home or at the office). These modern electric scooters offer a new, emission-free, driving experience.

TiSTO offers a range of electric scooters equipped with many modern features such as Bluetooth andan optional keyless start. They offer scooters in a variety of colours and can be further customised to clients’ wants.

Focusing on safety, quality, value, and sustainability, the new Bikeworld showroom is committed to delivering the latest innovations from leading brands worldwide.

“Our products are designed to meet the uncompromising demands for the highest standard of protection and comfort on any trip you take. We have selected a range of helmets and apparel to make riding a motorbike safer and more secure,” Attard added.

Riders’ safety is Bikeworld’s priority and they have carefully chosen SMK and SPIDI as their partners, to provide superior quality helmets, clothing, and accessories for all bikers. With this in mind, Bikeworld will continue to expand their offerings of high-quality products. 

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Norton’s V4SV goes on sale

It’s the first bike to be produced since the firm was taken over by TVS Motor Company in 2020.

Norton Motorcycles has opened orders for its V4SV.

Produced at the firm’s new factory in Solihull, Birmingham, the new V4SV is the first bike to roll off the production line since Norton was taken over by TVS Motor Company in April 2020.

The V4SV will be available in two colours – Carbon and Manx Silver – with the latter incorporating a silver bodywork design with red and carbon pinstripes, alongside a black front number board and contrast red OZ Racing forged aluminium.

Carbon versions will utilise an exposed carbon fibre body work finish instead, while carbon fibre BST wheels help to bring the bike’s weight down even further. Both versions gain a fuel tank and body work made from the material, alongside a TIG-welded aluminium frame and a Union Jack design on the tail.

Robert Hentschel, CEO of Norton Motorcycles, said: “It is a hugely proud moment to announce that customers can now buy the re-engineered V4SV. I would like to thank the Norton team, customers and fans for their continued support for joining us on this journey in bringing Norton and V4SV to life.

Photos: PA Media

“We have made monumental strides since TVS took over just over two years ago.”

The V4SV is powered by a 1,200cc V4 engine which pushes out 185bhp and 125Nm of torque. All versions also come equipped with a six-inch TFT display, a series of different engine modes, keyless start and a lean-angle-sensitive traction control system.

Interested buyers are now able to register their interest in the V4SV via Norton Motorcycle’s website.

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