Technical Editor Kevin Cameron takes a look back at the 1969 Kawasaki H1 Triple and how it changed what it meant to go fast, and how it brought speed to the masses. “Yes, there were problems—drum brakes, skinny tires, and fork tubes, shocks that looked better than they worked. But they were rocket ships that the miracle of mass production could make yours for under a grand,” Cameron writes.


Why would Cycle World use 17 motorcycles to study the creation and destruction of Pirelli tires on an active volcano? Simply because, while it’s hard to tell by looking at them, those black rubber hoops that your motorcycle rolls on have evolved dramatically in the past decade. And they have to, because (preferably) those two small contact patches are the only place where your motorcycle connects the rider to the road. So, Adam Waheed traveled to Sicily for special insight into Pirelli’s process, and to test most of its tire arsenal.


Thirty-nine years ago, Peter Egan rode a 1981 Harley FLH Heritage from LA to Seattle and back. Here he recounts a similar trip up the California coast to the Quail Motorcycle Gathering, and back on a luxurious 2019 BMW R 1250 RT. “…a ride up the Coast Highway from the CW office to the Monterey Peninsula is nothing if not intoxicating. Once you escape rush hour in Los Angeles, the seacoast, vineyards, and sprawling hills have an almost Tolkien-quality grandeur and scale—especially if you take the right roads. And there are many right roads to choose from,” Egan says.


“These twins not only come from two different countries, but they also have differing goals and philosophies—despite being so closely matched in character, construction, and specifications,” says Senior Editor Justin Dawes. From the mountains to the sea and the freeways in between, Dawes weaved around San Diego to put the Kawasaki W800 Café and the Continental GT 650 through a thorough head-to-head, modern-retro comparison.

PLUS: A First-Timer’s Guide to the Quail Motorcycle Gathering; Inside the Phillip Island Classic; a Profile of Dr. Robin Tuluie; Danilo Petrucci’s First MotoGP Win; and More.