Thursday, September 29, 2016

Moto Guzzi MGX-21 is now ready to rock and roll

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Dark, stylish and a bit heavy. No, that's not a former Italian male model who now eats pizza. It's the new Moto Guzzi MGX-21 touring bike, and we think it's not too bad...

The last post we did on Moto Guzzi was way back in November 2015 and that was about the California 1400-based MGX-21 ‘bagger.’ Ten months later, the MGX-21 is all set to hit the showrooms and Moto Guzzi have released more pics and details of the machine. Earlier, we hadn’t really been too impressed with the MGX, though it seems to have grown on us and we now think it’s not too bad. The MGX, essentially a large touring bike, is powered by Guzzi’s Euro 4-compliant 90-degree 1380cc transverse V-twin that produces 97 horsepower and 121Nm of torque.

The MGX gets full ride-by-wire throttle management and three riding modes – Veloce, for full power and maximum response, Turismo, for smoother and a bit more relaxed power delivery, and Pioggia, for scaled back power delivery for low-grip road surfaces. There’s also 2-channel ABS, an advanced traction control system with three different levels of intervention and a cruise control system. The instrument panel has a monochromatic dot-matrix display, a USB and Bluetooth compatible music player, LED DRLs and even bits of carbonfibre – the front mudguard, the fuel tank panels, the side pannier covers and the engine cover are all CF!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2017 Husqvarna 701 Supermoto breaks loose

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Motocross-type riding position, long-travel suspension, super-sticky street tyres and a powerful single-cylinder engine in a lightweight package. Sounds like our kind of fun!

Husqvarna have unveiled the 2017-spec 701 Supermoto, which seems to be a pretty wild ride. Yes, we love machines like the GSX-R1000 and ZX-14R and Panigale 1199R and the Hayabusa, but the Husky 701 is a different take on high-performance streetbikes - one that actually might be quite entertaining! The bike is powered by a Euro IV-compliant 693cc single-cylinder SOHC 4-valve engine that produces 74 horsepower and 71Nm of torque and has 10,000km service intervals. With Keihin electronic fuel-injection, forged aluminium piston, a new 50mm throttle body and ride-by-wire throttle, the engine revs free and hard, and is said to provide instant throttle response at any revs. And the latest Bosch ABS makes sure the bike stops as hard as it goes. Yes, this one should be wild...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Andrea Zagato talks about the MV Agusta F4Z

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It may not be 'beautiful' in the conventional sense, but the one-off Zagato-designed F4Z is certainly unique and, in its way, quite strikingly handsome

Earlier this month, MV Agusta unveiled the custom-built F4Z that was co-created by MV and Zagato for a Japanese customer. It's not a 'beautiful' motorcycle in the conventional sense of the term, but it's certainly an intriguing machine. We love many Zagato-designed cars, which, again, are not 'nice' looking but mean and aggressive and purposeful. The bike, we think, follows suit. So we decided to catch up with Andrea Zagato for a quick chat, to find out more about the F4Z.

Born in Milan in 1960, Andrea Zagato is the third generation of his family to lead the Zagato marque since it was founded in 1919. He graduated from Milan’s Bocconi University with a degree in Economics and Commerce, specialising in corporate finance with a thesis on 'Design in the production and marketing of automobiles.' Already, the stage was set for him to enter the car (and now, a motorcycle as well!) designing business.

Here are some excerpts from what Andrea Zagato had to say about the MV Agusta F4Z:

Triumph unveils three limited edition models of the Street Triple

limited edition Triumph Street Triple limited edition Triumph Street Triple limited edition Triumph Street Triple
Of the three, the Street Triple R DARK seems to be the one to have

Triumph have unveiled three new limited edition versions of the Street Triple, created in association with custom paint shop 8BALL. The bike are Street Triple R DARK, Street Triple Gold and Street Triple Grey, all of which are powered by Triumph's 675cc three-cylinder engine that produces 106bhp and 68Nm of torque.

The Street Triple DARK gets the Street Triple R's full specification and also features a belly pan, fly screen, seat cowl colour matched to the paint scheme and half Alcantara seat with hand stitching in red. The Street Triple Gold and Grey editions feature hand-painted wheels colour matched to the livery, the 10 year anniversary logo and half Alcantara seats with colour matched hand stitching.

Only 50 bikes of each model will be produced, which will be available via Triumph’s UK dealer network. The Street Triple R Dark, available from 1st October, is priced at £8,599 while the Street Triple Grey and Street Triple Gold, available from mid-October, will cost you £7,999.





Monday, September 12, 2016

2017 BMW C evolution to make its world premiere at the Mondial de L'Automobile in Paris

2017 BMW C evolution 2017 BMW C evolution
2017 BMW C evolution 2017 BMW C evolution
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The 2017 BMW C evolution gets an updated battery pack, increased range, more power and a higher top speed. The electric mobility future is looking good right now

BMW Motorrad have unveiled their new, updated C evolution electric scooter, which will make its official debut at the Mondial de L'Automobile in Paris this year. The battery-powered scooter has, according to BMW, been developed to take on the challenges of ever-increasing volume of urban traffic, the rising costs of fuel and increasingly stringent emissions norms. The BMW C evolution will be made available in two versions, one with a range of 160km and the other with 100km.

The new BMW C's increased range is due to the use of a new generation of batteries with a cell capacity of 94 Ah. The C evolution boasts 19kW (26bhp), which is 8kW (11bhp) more than its predecessor, while the top speed is electronically limited to 129kph. Already available in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Ireland and China, the BMW C evolution scooter will also soon be launched in the US, Japan, South Korea and Russia.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Supercharged Krugger-built Yamaha SR400 pays homage to 1970s Yamaha TZ racebikes

Krugger SR400 Krugger SR400
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This Krugger-built machine is the coolest SR400 we've seen in a long time

Based in Belgium, Fred 'Krugger' Bertrand has built the Yamaha SR400 that you see here, as the latest addition to Yamaha's Yard Built custom bike program. Inspired by Yamaha's MotoGP heritage, the SR400 has been built in collaboration with Fred's friend and fellow Belgian, Bernard Ansiau, who happens to be a mechanic for... Valentino Rossi! And if that weren't enough, Ansiau has even worked on the bikes raced by former greats like Wayne Rainey, Kenny Roberts, Randy Mamola and Norick Abe.

Together, Fred and Bernard have built this SR400 in tribute to Yamaha's 1970s TZ racebikes. "I think it's impossible to have a custom machine that lives and breathes our racing history better than this," says Cristian Barelli, Yamaha Motor Europe's Marketing Coordinator. "It's such a beautiful bike and the longer and closer you look at it, the more detail you find to enjoy. You wouldn't normally associate the SR400 with MotoGP racing, but this build is as genuine and authentic as it's possible to get, a real Yard Built special," he adds.

In order to extract some performance from the air-cooled single-cylinder SR400 engine, Fred and Bernard have given it an Aisin 300 supercharger, with a custom-built plenum chamber, a one-off stainless steel exhaust system and an S&S 48mm carburettor in place of the original fuel-injection system. No power figures have been quoted, but the stock engine makes 23bhp and 27Nm of torque, so the supercharged Krugger SR400 probably packs at least 30-35bhp and 35-40Nm of torque. Not very MotoGP, but what the heck, every little bit helps. Probably.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

MV Agusta F4Z unveiled, has been built for a rich Japanese businessman with impeccable taste in motorcycles

MV Agusta F4Z, by Zagato MV Agusta F4Z, by Zagato
MV Agusta F4Z, by Zagato MV Agusta F4Z, by Zagato
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The F4Z is the first motorcycle that Zagato have ever designed, and it's brilliant!

Now that Massimo Tamburini is no more, MV Agusta have had to turn to the Milan-based automotive coachbuilder, Zagato, for a special one-off motorcycle that looks like nothing else on the planet. The thing about Zagato is that they don't do 'nice.' Cars designed by Zagato are a bit dark, a bit menacing. If Zagato were human, he might be Ronnie Kray, in the movie Legend. Not to be messed with.

Some of Zagato's best work has been with Aston Martin (we love the DB7 Zagato and the DBS Coupe Zagato Centennial), though they also built some brilliant cars for Alfa Romeo and Lancia. And yet, a collaboration between MV Agusta and Zagato is not necessarily a recipe for success. Whenever car designers have turned their attention to motorcycles, the results haven't always been very good. Remember the Pinifarina-designed Morbidelli V8? Or the Lamborghini Design 90? Er.. yeah, well.

Then again, the F4Z is different. Unveiled at the third international Concours d’Elegance Chantilly Arts & Elegance, it's the first Atelier motorcycle that Zagato have ever designed and... we think it's not bad at all. Sure, it isn't 'beautiful' in the conventional sense, not in the way you'd call an F4 or a 916 or a Panigale 'beautiful.' Of course it isn't. It's been designed by Zagato, who don't do 'nice,' remember? It's low, mean, hunkered-down and subtly aggressive. If Ronnie Kray were a bike, he might be the F4Z.

The F4Z, built as a one-off machine for a wealthy Japanese collector (who collects Zagato cars and Italian motorcycles), is based on the regular MV F4 and is built with aluminium and carbonfibre. The bike consists of a small number of relatively large panels, a characteristic which sets it apart from more mundane, mass-produced machines. The MV Agusta F4's inline-four engine, chassis and suspension are all stock items, but the intake manifolds, fuel tank and exhaust system are all bespoke.

Random Ramblings