For 2018, Kawi’s little dualie has returned to America, graced with electronic fuel injection, a refinement that puts the KLX on even ground with its Japanese competitors, Honda's CRF250L and CRF250L Rally and Yamaha's WR250R.
The CB650F is a case study in how Honda’s bikes always seem to magically outperform their spec sheets. The marketing materials are typically breathless, calling the bike the “purest form of motorcycling,” extolling the “handsome” four-banger’s “satisfying rush of power and torque” and “throaty growl” emitted from the “beautiful side-swept exhaust headers” that Max and Fish won’t shut up about.
The pumpkin-colored machines themselves are some of the most advanced, highly-tuned motorcycles available to regular people today.
The Continental’s secret weapon isn’t killer suspension, or the perfect powerband. It’s surprise. The surprise? Despite our universally low expectations—we expected the GT to be fun in an uncomfortable, shitty-handling, nostalgia sort of way, like an old bike—we all dug the GT like presidents dig porn stars.
Shortly after we dragged the gorgeously painted “Wicked Red and Twisted Cherry” Ultra out of the van here in Oakland, things got messy, Deepwater Horizon-style.
I had big expectations, and even bigger desires for the Shiver...