Sunday, January 25, 2015

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ducati Scrambler customs shown at Motor Bike Expo in Verona

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The Hondo Grattan, S.C.R., and Scratch, three unique takes on the Ducati Scrambler...

Motorcycle custom shops, Deus Ex Machina, Officine Mermaid and Mr. Martini have created three customised versions of the new Ducati Scrambler - the Full Throttle, Urban Enduro and Classic - which are now being shown at the Motor Bike Expo in Verona, Itay.

"The main focus is on the aluminium bodywork, with a single-piece tail, number-plate support and a headlight inspired by speedway bikes. An asymmetric mudguard completes the project, together with lots of little details such as the positioning of the conic filter within the frame, the disc brake and, of course, the dedicated exhaust. The name however comes from Carby, creative director of Deus Australia, who was in Milan at the time; he saw the project when it was almost complete and fell in love with it, naming it Hondo Grattan, after the horse that won everything on the Harold Park race-track. Who knows, in the not-too-distant future, perhaps our bike will end up on that track too," says Filippo Bassoli, MD, Deus Italy.

"I decided to revolutionise the basic concept, from Ducati Scrambler to Café Racer. The style is reminiscent of American rather than British design, owing partly to the fact that the roots of the original Ducati Scrambler project date from the seventies. Although the style is that of a Café Racer, this bike has a combination of elements that make it unique; In fact, details such as the high exhaust and knobby tyres retain a decidedly Ducati Scrambler flavour. This fusion gave our bike its name: S.C.R. - Scrambler Café Racer," says Nicola Martini, customiser at Mr. Martini. "We've changed the nose fairing, the tail-piece, the whole of the exhaust, the foot-peg and handlebar mountings and the rear suspension unit and have, of course, given the bike a new colour. The Scrambler Café Racer is in ‘total black’ including the saddle, undertail and timing belt covers," he adds.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ducati 1299 Panigale S clocks 1’55”3 at Mugello

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With 205bhp from its (very) Superquadro V-twin, the 1299 Panigale S is a force to reckon with

Official Ducati test rider and DRE instructor, Alessandro Valia recently clocked a lap time of 1'55"3 at the Mugello circuit, aboard the 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale S. "With the new Panigale 1299, I expected an increase in performance but the final result has surpassed those expectations. During my first test of the 1299 Panigale S on the Mugello circuit, I managed to obtain a best lap time of 1'55"3, which is really incredible for a production bike with lights, turn signals, and mirrors. This was made possible thanks in part to thrust from the new 1285cc, 205bhp Superquadro engine," says Valia.

With a bore of 116mm and a stroke of 60.8mm, the Ducati 1299 Panigale's 1285cc Superquadro engine has a bore/stroke ratio of 1.91, which is unique in the world of superbikes. In the new Superquadro (so named for this exaggerated bore/stroke ratio), thanks to a new exhaust system, power has been increased to 205bhp at 10,500rpm, while torque has been increased to 144.6 Nm at 8,750 rpm. "Also fundamental are the improvements to the bike's frame. The new steering head angle and other changes to geometry have produced tangible benefits especially for large-radius curves, making the front end more stable, precise, and effective in finishing turns," adds Valia. On the new 1299 Panigale, the swingarm pivot point has been changed to optimize the rear tyre's grip, and the steering head angle has been reduced by a half degree to give a better steering character and more agile cornering.

"Thanks to the new Öhlins Smart EC suspension, which also includes the very useful electronic steering damper, the Ducati 1299 Panigale is able to move seamlessly from maximum track performance to comfortable road use, making even the return trip to Bologna a pleasure, despite the bumpy roads which characterize the Giogo or Futa passes," says Valia. The 1299 Panigale S is equipped with an exclusive semi-active Öhlins Smart EC suspension, which interfaces with the Bosch inertial platform to dynamically respond to how the bike is ridden. Its event-based mode adapts the suspension in real-time to various riding events. For example under braking it stiffens the front fork's damping, then softens it as the bike accelerates. Damn cool, huh?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Midual Type 1 now being shown in France

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The Midual Type 1 - beautiful and luxurious in a way only a French motorcycle can be!

Based in Angers, France, Midual have created a beautifully luxurious motorcycle - the Midual Type 1 - which was unveiled earlier this year, at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elégance, in California. Now, the bike is being shown at Salon Belles Montres, from November 20th to 23rd, at Carrousel du Louvre in Paris. This is the first time the bike will be officially unveiled in France, and we thought it's a good time to take a quick look at the machine.

'The Midual Type 1 represent the brand’s vision of a French-style luxury motorcycle, modern, yet following the tradition of mechanical excellence illustrated by French cars and motorcycles from the 1930,' says a press note from the company. 'A real piece of mechanical jewelery, this motorcycle is built around two unique features - its 25-degree angle flat-twin engine with transversal crankshaft, and its double-wall chassis, sand-casted and shaped to hand,' it adds. There's also mention of the fact that the Midual Type 1 is extensively customisable and that it comes with a four-year contract for maintenance and warranty support, which inclues including collection of the motorcycle directly from the customer’s home for delivery to the manufacturer’s workshops.

We have to say we love the detailing on the Type 1 - the instrumentation which seems to be embedded in the fuel tank, the intricate leather trim around the instrumentation, the beautifully sculpted seat, the avant-garde monocoque chassis and even the wire-spoked wheels - it's all pure art. Deliveries of the Midual Type 1 will begin from mid-2016 and if you live in Europe, you can reserve yours right now by going to the Midual website.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Kawasaki 1400 GTR Concours gets updated for 2015

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Not as powerful as the ZX-14R, but the 1400 GTR Concours is more comfortable for long-distance touring...

For those who want to go touring on a very, very fast motorcycle, there's the incomparable Kawasaki ZX-14R Ninja, but for those who also want a bit of comfort thrown in (and shaft-drive, which doesn't require maintenance work like chain drive does...), the 1400 GTR Concours is probably one of the best choices around. Kawasaki have updated the bike for 2015 and new bits on the Concours 1400 include a revised first gear ratio for easier starts from a standstill, lighter steering at low speeds, stiffer rear suspension, revised and more ergonomic rear seat, a new electrically adjustable windshield, uprated ABS and a new rear luggage base.

The 1400 GTR Concours uses the same 1352cc inline-four as the ZX-14R, but in retuned form and with the addition of variable valve timing (VVT), with the whole package having been optimised for low- and mid-range torque rather than top-end power delivery. A stiff monocoque chassis, 43mm inverted front forks, radial-mounted calipers for the front brake discs and a traction control system mean that while the Concours is, by definition, a touring bike, it will still be able to deliver during all-out sports use.

New colours for the 2015 Kawasaki 1400 GTR include lime green, black and brown, the bike costs US$15,499 and comes with a three-year limited warranty.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Friday, November 07, 2014

Husqvarna takes to the streets with 401 Vitpilen, 401 Svartpilen and 701 Supermoto

Husqvarna concept bikes - 401 VITPILEN and 401 SVARTPILEN - at the EICMA 2014 Husqvarna concept bikes - 401 VITPILEN and 401 SVARTPILEN - at the EICMA 2014 Husqvarna concept bikes - 401 VITPILEN and 401 SVARTPILEN - at the EICMA 2014 Husqvarna concept bikes - 401 VITPILEN and 401 SVARTPILEN - at the EICMA 2014
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Like other concept bikes unveiled by Husqvarna at the EICMA in recent years, the new 401 Vitpilen and 401 Svartpilen look quite cool...

Husqvarna have this great tradition of showing one or two great looking concept bikes at the EICMA, and that tradition continued this year, with the 401 Vitpilen, 401 Svartpilen and 701 Supermoto.

The Husqvarna 401 Vitpilen (Swedish for ‘White Arrow’) draws on the DNA of the 1953 Silverpilen. 'A modern interpretation of the functional simplicity of the classic Silverpilen, the 401 Vitpilen combines contemporary technology, cutting-edge design and high quality hardware to deliver an uncompromised, genuine riding experience for the street,' says a press note from Husqvarna.

The Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen (Swedish for ‘Black Arrow’) concept is, according to the Swedish company, "A golden-age inspired modern streetbike that draws its design ethos from past iconic Husqvarnas. Reduced to the bare functional essentials, it’s free of gimmicks, gadgets and extravagant design embellishments. It ensures a riding experience that honours the simple idea behind early, pioneering Husqvarnas."

Both the 401s are powered by a lightweight and powerful single-cylinder four-stroke engine that's mounted in a compact chassis. "They bring back the honest and pioneering spirit of pure motorcycle riding from the good old days into our modern times," claim Husqvarna.

While the 401s are concept bikes, the 701 Supermoto is production ready and, according to Husqvarna, features "the finest craftsmanship and unparalleled single cylinder performance." The 701 gets bits like ride-by-wire throttle control and engine management, as well as high-spec WP suspension, dedicated supermoto ABS and APTC slipper clutch. With 67bhp from its single-pot engine, and a kerb weight of 145 kilos, the 701 should be great fun to ride.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 unveiled at EICMA, gets DVT, IMU

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Ducati bikes like the 2015 Multistrada 1200 are now packed with so much technology, it will soon take computer geeks, rather than motorcycle bloggers, to write about these machines...

Earlier this week, Ducati unveiled the new, 2015-spec Multistrada 1200, which gets the latest Ducati Testastretta DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing) engine that features a variable valve timing system with independent control of both the intake and exhaust camshafts. This optimises engine performance throughout the engine's rev range, ensuring maximum power at high revs, smoother power delivery, better low-rpm performance and lower fuel consumption, along with full Euro 4 compliance.

New bits on the 2015 Multistrada 1200 include an improved ABS system (which is now also optimised for performance while cornering at high speeds...), LED headlamps with additional LED cornering lights, a wheelie control system, electronic cruise control, Bluetooth compatibility, smartphone connectivity (iOS and Android apps are also available, which let you control various functions of the bike...), colour TFT dashboard and, as with the new Panigale 1299, an Intertial Measurement Unit (IMU), which sees, measures, understands and controls everything. Yeah, well, we find it boring to write too much about things like IMU etc., so we'll just leave it at this - IMU is the new 'brain' on Ducati sportsbikes and helps you go faster and ride safer.