Friday, November 27, 2015

FB Mondial to get going again, will make a comeback with Hipster 250, Hipster 125 in 2016

The all-new 2017 Mondial Hipster 250 and Hipster 125 scramblers look pretty good to us, though the name "Hipster" is a bit tacky. FB Mondial also plan to design and build at least three other bikes between 2017 to 2023. Welcome back, Mondial!

Remember FB Mondial? It’s yet another of those once-great Italian motorcycles companies that have disappeared into the mists of time, with occasional, mostly unsuccessful attempts at ‘resurrection’ made by various people over the last few years. Based in Bologna, Italy, FB Mondial (with the ‘FB’ standing for Fratelli Boselli) was set up in the late-1940s by the Boselli family. Their bikes were apparently pretty good because from 1949-1957, FB Mondial won four motorcycle roadracing world championships in the 125cc class and one world championship in the 250cc class. In fact, up until the late-1950s, companies like Honda, Ducati and MV Agusta were using Mondial motorcycles as examples, to learn and improve their own machines.

Mondial’s gradual decline started in the early-1960s, when the company stopped making their own engines, preferring to buy engines from other manufacturers and using those (albeit with Mondial’s own chassis and other components) to build Mondial-branded bikes. Production finally stopped in 1979.

From the late-1990s up until the present time, there have been various attempts at reviving Mondial, with one of the interim owners even building an all-new Mondial superbike – the Mondial Piega 1000 – using the engine from the Honda RC51 (also known as the RVT1000R in the US and VTR1000 in Europe and other markets). In 2005, Mondial Moto S.p.A. was bought over by one Piero Caronni, who also owns the production rights to the twin-stroke Bimota V Due 500. Caronni still, apparently, owns the rights to the Mondial name, having renamed his company as Gruppo Mondial S.r.l. Indeed, after all these years, the Mondial Piega 1000, Mondial Starfighter, and the Bimota V Due 500 are still being offered by Caronni via this website!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

2016 Yamaha VMAX is ready for the next stoplight GP

yamaha vmax my 2016 2015 vmax eur solar black 3yamaha vmax my 2016 2015 vmax eur solar black 4yamaha vmax my 2016 2016 yam vmax eu lrys1 60 acyamaha vmax my 2016 2016 yam vmax eu lrys1 60 ac
yamaha vmax my 2016 2016 yam vmax eu lrys1 60 acyamaha vmax my 2016 2016 yam vmax eu lrys1 60 styamaha vmax my 2016 2016 yam vmax eu lrys1 60 styamaha vmax my 2016 2016 yam vmax eu lrys1 60 styamaha vmax my 2016 2016 yam vmax eu mnm3 stu 00
Okay, so the Ducati XDiavel makes the Yamaha VMAX look a bit ancient, but Mr Max isn't ready to ride off into the sunset just yet. With near-200bhp from its 1.7-litre V4, The Max fears no one

For a mere US$17,990 you can now take home the 2016 Yamaha VMAX, which is still one of the most outrageous high-performance cruisers in the world of motorcycling. With close to 200 horsepower from its 1679cc liquid-cooled 16-valve DOHC V4, the shaft-driven VMAX delivers superbike-like acceleration and despite its heft, handles well enough to be ridden at a fair clip over a set of twisty mountain roads. With its ride-by-wire throttle, slipper clutch, lightweight aluminium beam frame, and fully adjustable suspension front and rear, the VMAX is a cruiser that thinks like a sportsbike.

The 2016 VMAX’s running gear is all top-spec, as you’d expect – 52mm fully adjustable cartridge-type front fork, fully adjustable ‘monocross’ rear suspension, twin 320mm brake discs at front with Brembo master cylinders and radial-mount monobloc 6-piston calipers, standard ABS and 18-inch alloy wheels shod with 120/70 (front) and 200/50 (rear) tyres. For 2016, there’s also LED turn-indicators and taillamp, OLED multi-function instrument panel, and a choice of new colours, including Yamaha’s 60th anniversary yellow-and-black paintjob. With its 15-litre fuel tank and 11.5kpl fuel efficiency, the VMAX has a range of only 172km (probably less if the bike is ridden hard), but as long as there are plenty of fuel stations where you’re going, the 310-kilo Mr MAX will take you far, and fast.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

2016 KTM 690 Duke gets added refinement and a host of upgrades, soldiers on for thumper fans

690 DUKE Action 01690 DUKE Action 02690 DUKE Action 03690 DUKE Action 04690 DUKE R Action 01
690 DUKE R Action 02690 DUKE R Action 03690 DUKE R Action 04690 DUKE R Action 05690 DUKE R Action 06
a1 (3)a1 (4)a1 (5)a1 (6)a1 (2)
The 2016 KTM 690 Duke and Duke R are more powerful and refined than ever before, and now also get a host of electronics. Big single-cylinder engines aren't for everyone, but for thumper fans, this is the real deal

KTM have updated the 690 Duke for 2016, with the bike’s 690cc single-cylinder engine now being Euro4 compliant. The largest-capacity, most powerful single-cylinder motorcycle engine currently in production (which now has two balancer shafts instead of one), this unit produces 73 horsepower and 68Nm of torque, and is smoother and more refined than ever before.

Apart from the new engine, the 2016 690 Duke gets revised steering geometry for improved stability, an on-board multi-function computer, ride-by-wire throttle, new instrument panel with colour TFT display, and an optional track pack that includes traction control and multiple riding modes, including rain and sport.

With the first KTM Duke having been launched way back in 1994, the Austrian company (now 47% owned by Indian company, Bajaj Auto) has never stopped evolving the bikes and the new 690 Duke is a proper sportsbike with hard-hitting real world performance combined with a healthy dose of practicality. For hard-core sportsbike fans, there’s also the new 690 Duke R, with an Akrapovič exhaust, 75bhp and 74Nm of torque (2bhp and 6Nm more than the standard bike) and a wider powerband.

As before, the 2016 KTM 690 Duke gets high-spec fully adjustable suspension from WP, braking components from Brembo, a light and stiff trellis-type chassis made of chrome-molybdenum steel, and lean-angle-sensitive Bosch 9+ two-channel ABS. The bike, which weighs about 145kg dry, rides on 17-inch cast-aluminium wheels, shod with 120/70 (front) and 160/60 (rear) ZR-rated rubber.

Big thumpers are not for everyone, but if you liked the previous-gen 690 Duke, you’ll probably love the 2016-spec model even more. As for us, we’d just take the new 1290 Super Duke GT and be done with it.

Ducati XDiavel chosen as ‘Best-looking bike’ by EICMA visitors

A well-deserved victory for the Ducati XDiavel, which really is a very good looking bike!

The stunningly beautiful Ducati XDiavel has won the ‘Best-looking bike’ title at this year’s EICMA, in Milan, with 61% of visitors and attendees voting in favour of this new Ducati in the ‘Vote for the best-looking bike and win it’ competition organised by Italian magazine Motociclismo. With a total of 11,369 EICMA attendees choosing to participate in this competition, 6,910 people voted in favour of the XDiavel, giving it an easy victory over all other bikes on display this year.

The votes were counted on Sunday, 22nd November, at the Motociclismo stand, and Andrea Ferraresi (Ducati Design Center Director) who received the award on behalf of Ducati. A very well deserved win, we think, for the Bologna-based motorcycle manufacturer.

Casey Stoner, the two-time MotoGP world champ who left MotoGP to go fishing, is back with Ducati as their brand ambassador and test rider

Casey Stoner, MotoGP world champ in 2007 and 2011, has changed his mind about not wanting to have anything to do with MotoGP anymore, and will be back in 2016 as Ducati's test rider and brand ambassador

Back in 2007, Australian rider Casey Stoner had an unbelievable season in MotoGP, decimating the competition, winning 10 of the 18 races that year on his Ducati Desmosedici GP7, and winning the MotoGP championship in great style. Valentino Rossi took Stoner’s championship crown away in 2008, but Stoner made a comeback in 2011, on the 800cc Honda RC212V, beating the 2010 MotoGP world champ Jorge Lorenzo to take his second (and last) MotoGP title.

In a surprise move, Stoner quit racing at the end of the 2012 season, saying he would rather stay home and maybe go fishing. Over the years, he has strongly denied the possibility that he might change his mind and return to MotoGP, saying that he was done with racing and wanted to have nothing more to do with it whatsoever. But now, the rather dour, humourless Aussie seems to have changed his mind. Well, no, he’s not going to go racing again, but he is making a comeback to MotoGP as Ducati’s test rider and brand ambassador.

Between 2007 and 2010, Casey won a total of 23 races for Ducati in MotoGP, which might explain why Ducati are keen to have him back in their camp. “The 30-year-old Australian from Southport, Queensland, who is widely considered to be one of the fastest and most talented riders ever, will become brand ambassador for the Bologna-based manufacturer and, as part of the agreement, will appear at the 2016 edition of World Ducati Week, scheduled to run from July 1-3. He will also take part in a selected number of MotoGP tests for the Ducati Team next year,” says a press note from Ducati, explaining Stoner’s return to MotoGP.

2016 Honda NC750S, NC750X are now Euro4 compliant, also get other minor updates

The 2016 Honda NC750S is relaxed, gentle, commuter-friendly motorcycle that's ideal for beginners

Honda have updated the NC750S for 2016, with extensive tweaks to its parallel-twin engine to make it Euro4 compliant. The bike also gets a new LCD instrument panel, LED lighting, software updates to its automatic dual clutch transmission (DCT, with an M mode for manual clutchless gearshifts and S for automatic shifting) and a new exhaust system. The bike’s ‘fuel tank’ is actually a 21-litre storage compartment that can accommodate a full-face helmet, and this feature remains useful as ever.

The DCT used on the 2016 NC750S now features ‘Adaptive Clutch Capability Control,’ which manages the amount of clutch torque transmitted. This adds a natural ‘feathered’ clutch feel when opening or shutting off the throttle, for a smoother ride. Further refinements include faster operation of the N-D switch on turning on the ignition and a control system in AT mode for gauging the angle of ascent or descent, and adapting the shift pattern accordingly. Very smart and, indeed, very Honda.

The NC750S’s liquid-cooled, SOHC, 8-valve 745cc parallel-twin produces 54bhp and 68Nm of torque, and with Honda’s advanced PGM-FI system, is able to return 28.6kpl in terms of fuel efficiency. With its 14.1-litre underseat fuel tank, the bike has a range of 400km. Colour options for the 2016 Honda NC750S include black, white and red. There’s also two special edition options – a graphite black, with LED headlamp, additional red stripes, two-tone seat and red wheels, and a special edition matt gray metallic with LED headlamp, additional stripes, two-tone seat and silver frame.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Moto Guzzi MGX-21 ‘Flying Fortress’ is a California 1400-based bagger

The California 1400-based Moto Guzzi MGX-21 bagger doesn't really work for us. Not at all

Even though cruisers aren’t really our thing, we still quite like the Moto Guzzi California 1400, which somehow looks quite cool and stylish. Pity we can’t say the same of the new MGX-21, a California 1400-based bagger which someone at Moto Guzzi has dreamed up for reasons that are not entirely clear.

Miguel Galluzzi, who heads the Piaggio Advanced Design Center(PADC) in Pasadena, California, tries to explain. “How do we imagine crossing an entire continent on a Moto Guzzi? This is the first question we asked ourselves and the immediate response was, on board a California 1400. But we wanted to push beyond our thoughts and dreams, to take a leap into the future. We dared imagine a different way of travelling. Cooler, as the Americans would say. And we imagined that Moto Guzzi would design and build its own bagger.”

“Our thinking and inspiration turned to the masters and masterpieces of Italian design. I mean Bertone and his extraordinary Alfa Romeo BATs of the 1950s. When these crazy Italians interpreted the American taste for extreme shapes such as fins and translated the wildest dreams into metal. And we thought about infinite spaces, with straight roads heading to distant horizons, to speed records snatched on salt lakes, to travelling aimlessly and freely. And thus the MGX-21 Flying Fortress was born,” says Galluzzi.

Moto Guzzi say that this MGX-21 is close to the actual California 1400-based bagger that will hit MoGu showrooms next year. Notable bits include a 21-inch front wheel, very high levels of technology, including Guzzi’s MG-MP multimedia platform, ride-by-wire throttle, two-channel ABS, LED lights and extensive use of high-quality metal and carbonfibre parts. Which is alright, except we still much prefer the regular, non-bagger MoGu California 1400.