Saturday, September 13, 2008

Benelli TNT 899S riding impression


The Benelli TNT 899S. Exotic styling, 120bhp three-cylinder engine and proper handling. Sorted!
Pics: Motociclismo

Benelli took their standard TNT 899 and bolted on a fully adjustable 43mm USD fork, a two-piece seat, and carbonfibre front mudguard and side-panels. Then they painted the bike orange, and lo!, the TNT 899S was born.

Powered by Benelli’s 899cc, 12-valve, DOHC triple that makes a claimed 120bhp at 9,500rpm and 88Nm of torque at 8,000 revs, the TNT 899S is a bit more affordable than the TNT 1130, but looks every bit as exotic. Motociclismo recently tested the bike, and here are some excerpts from what they have to say about it:

We wonder what the ‘TNT’ in Benelli TNT 899S stands for. Tornado Naked Tre? Or is it TNT, the explosive? Despite having a smaller engine than the 1130, the 899S packs amazing performance. Twisting the throttle is like the lighting the fuse on a detonator – it’s an explosion of sheer exhilaration.

Despite their ‘naked’ design and high handlebars, Benelli TNT bikes are explosive sportsbikes. Benelli developed the 899 to offer a bike that would be more affordable than the 1130, but the bike’s character hasn’t changed much and the aggressive design remains the same. It’s still a proper streetfighter all right…


It's bit cheaper than the TNT 1130, but the 899S is almost as hard-edged

To ride, the 899S is smooth and balanced – more refined than its bigger cousin. The three-cylinder engine sounds terrific and is very responsive, though power delivery is softer than that on the TNT 1130. With a claimed 120bhp on tap, performance is never lacking. The six-speed gearbox is slick and accurate, and the bike’s ergonomics are outstanding.

In terms of handling, the TNT 899S, like the 1130, feels firm and composed – it corners with remarkable aplomb. With a dry weight of around 200 kilos, the 899 also feels more agile than the bigger TNT and changes direction even more quickly. While exiting fast bends, you can really wind open the throttle and the bike accelerates hard, without ever threatening to lose traction.

The 899S suspension is quite firm, which feels good on smooth tarmac, but can be a bit uncomfortable on the rough stuff. The brakes are all right, though the rear has a tendency to lock up a bit too soon.

Overall, the Benelli TNT 899S offers optimum performance, versatility and great character, at a price that... could have been a bit lower! It’s still almost reasonable though, and the motorcycle, after all, is a strikingly cool Italian machine.

Full test report on Motociclismo here

Also see:
First pics: 2009 Yamaha XJ6 Diversion and Yamaha FZ6R
2009 Honda Fireblade gets C-ABS!
First pics: 2009 KTM Supermoto 990R...
2009 Yamaha V-Max riding impression...
MV Agusta F4 1078RR 312 riding impression...
Bimota DB7: The Black Edition...
Blast from the Past: Kawasaki Z1300!
Moto Guzzi V7 Classic riding impression...

Elsewhere today:
Triumph in the early-1980s...
A visit to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum...

Now available: 2009 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 4V


The 2009 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 4V. Adventure touring, Italian style...

Pics: Motoblog

The 2009 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 4V adventure tourer is now on sale. Going up against more established players like the BMW R1200GS and the KTM 990 Adventure, the Stelvio 1200 is supposed to have been endowed with a healthy dose of off-road capability. You may not actually do your own Long Way Round, but looking at the Stelvio sitting in your garage, you can at least dream…

The Stelvio 1200 4V is fitted with Moto Guzzi’s 1,151cc, 8-valve, fuel-injected v-twin that has been tweaked and fettled with new internal parts, and now makes 105 horsepower at 7,500rpm. Six-speed transmission, single-sided CARC shaft-drive system, and fully adjustable suspension – 50mm Marzocchi forks and Boge monoshock – complete the package.


With 105bhp and a dry weight of 214kg, the Guzzi's performance should be adequate

The Stelvio weighs 214 kilos dry, and stopping duties are handled by twin 320mm brake discs up front, and 282mm disc at the back. The front discs are gripped by radial-mount, four-piston calipers from Brembo. The Stelvio’s engine skid-plate sits 210mm off the ground, making for adequate clearance for off-road jaunts.

For long distance touring (adventure, or otherwise…), the big Guzzi is fitted with bits like a fully adjustable windshield, a powerful dual headlight, a fuel level indicator that also tells you the average and current fuel consumption rate, a tank mounted storage compartment and optional 60-litre panniers.

The Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 4V is available in two colors – Corsa Red and Guzzi Black – and the bike is priced at US$14,990.

Also see:
Honda CB1000R riding impression...
Wakan's S&S 50th Anniversary Track Racer Special...
AC Schnitzer F800GS...
KTM 690 Duke riding impression...
Moto Morini Granpasso riding impression...
Master Blaster: Kawasaki ZX-10 Turbo...
BMW F800R coming in 2009...?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Custom-cool: Mad specials from Icon


Hideki Nakanuma's 2005 Honda CBR600RR. Insane stuff...

Pics: Icon, via Moto Flash

Found these customized sportsbikes on Moto Flash. Built by Icon, these machines look quite good – definitely a cut above your usual cut-chop-paint, bolt-on specials.

To start with, there’s the 2005 CBR600RR you see above. It’s been built for Hideki Nakanuma, one of the top stunt riders in Japan. Then there’s the 2005 ZX-10R below, which, apart from its claimed 188 horsepower (at the rear wheel!), also boasts of a 400 watt MTX hi-fi sound system. And just in case you wanted to watch a couple of videos while riding the bike, the ZX-10R has an 8-inch LCD screen, which also hooks up to the bike’s integrated rear-view camera…


2005 ZX-10R. 188bhp. 400 Watt sound system. 8-inch LCD. Integrated rear-view camera...

Up next is a 2001 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200. Various plastic bits from KTM, a Buell headlamp, modified Buell USD fork, powder coated Excel wheels, JMC swingarm, flat-slide carb, modified Vance & Hines exhaust and… the list goes on. The finished result - below - looks well worth the trouble...


2001 Harley Sportster, with various bits from Buell and KTM

And for those who’d rather ride a scooter – albeit the maddest scooter you can find anywhere – there’s the 2002 Honda Reflex 250, below. Created in homage to the mega-scooters that roam the streets of Tokyo, the Reflex is fitted with a 600 watt MTX audio system, an extended swingarm quick-drop air suspension (front and rear), a special body kit and graphics that are… a bit over the top. According to the guys at Icon, ‘Yes, it's ridiculous. Yes, your buddies would cringe to see you riding it. And yes, it pulls high school chicks better than roofie-flavoured mojitos…’


Honda Reflex 250. Built in homage to the mega-scooters that roam the streets of Tokyo

Also see:
Streetfighter GSX-R1100 duo...
TT-F1 Team Nescafe replica Yamaha YZF750SP...
Aprilia Falco-based streetfighter...
150bhp, supercharged Honda VFR800...
Kevin Schwantz replica Lucky Strike Suzuki GSX-R750...
MBK Stunt: Scooter gone wild...
Big CC Racing's Harley V-Rod Turbo...
Fonsi Nieto replica GSX-R1000...


Elsewhere today:
Lazareth builds bikes for Babylon AD, the movie...
The V2 revolution...!


Another Icon creation - a 2005 Fireblade. And a jacket to go with the bike...

And this is the Icon gang, with their bikes. As you can see below, this is one bunch that rides their bikes hard. All show and lots of go...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New colours for 2009 Yamaha FJR1300, FZ1, FZ1 Fazer, FZ6 and FZ6 Fazer


No FJR1400 yet, but the 2009 Yamaha FJR1300 gets hot new colours! As do the FZ1, FZ1 Fazer, FZ6 and FZ6 Fazer


While the 2009 R1 has got a proper, full-blown makeover, most other Yamahas, including the 2009 R6, are having to make do with new colours. Likewise for the 2009 FJR1300 sports-tourer. New colours. Not happy with that? Okay, the big FJR also gets a modified clutch for smoother gear changes.

On the FJR1300AS, the semi-automatic gear-shift mechanism has been reworked, and the YCC-S electronics have been tweaked to make the system react quicker while shifting gears. Meanwhile, the Yamaha FZ1, FZ1 Fazer, FZ6 and FZ6 Fazer continue unchanged for 2009, with only… you got it... new colours being made available on the lineup.



Other 2009 Yamahas: XJR1300, MT-01, XT660X, MT-03, Midnight Star 1900 and TDM900. New colours for all these bikes. YES!

Also see:
First pics: 2009 Yamaha XJ6 Diversion...
BMW S600RR coming out in 2009?
Suzuki GSX-R1100 streetfighter duo...
2009 Honda Fireblade gets C-ABS...
Face-off: Buell 1125R vs BMW HP2 Sport!
Master Blaster: Kawasaki ZX-10 Turbo...
The HOTTEST Kawasaki ZX-10R ever...
Memorable: Rudy Kirth and the 1976 Cat III...

Elsewhere today:
Need to get a car for the wife? This one looks all right...


Yamaha showed this special edition FZ1 Abarth Assetto Corse at the 2008 EICMA. Abarth is, as most would already know, Fiat's performance tuning arm. The bike features Öhlins suspension, Marchesini wheels, Brembo brakes and an Akrapovic exhaust system. Looks good to us...
Pics: Motoblog

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