Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Riding impression: Derbi Mulhacén Café 659 Angel Nieto LE

The Derbi Mulhacén Café 659 Angel Nieto LE isn't really all that fast, but it certainly looks way cooler than, say, a GSX-R600...

Via Motociclismo

Derbi have launched the Mulhacén Café 659 Angel Nieto Limited Edition, only 50 units of which will be built. The bike is Derbi’s tribute to Spanish roadracing star Angel Nieto, who won all of 13 world championships between 1969 and 1986. We think the Mulhacén Café 659 LE looks totally cool and here are some excerpts from Motociclismo’s riding impression of this machine:

Despite the way it looks, the Mulhacén Café 659 Ángel Nieto LE has actually been developed as a middleweight sportsbike, hence bits like the 17-inch wheels (shod with 110mm (front) and 150mm (rear) Pirelli Diablo tyres), 43mm USD Marzocchi fork, fully adjustable ZF Sachs monoshock and high-spec Brembo brakes with radial-mount callipers at the front.

The engine is a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, SOHC, four-valve, 659.7cc single-cylinder unit that’s built by Yamaha-Minarelli. It isn’t hugely powerful – there’s 47bhp and 55Nm of torque on tap – but it’s enough to propel the 170-kilo bike at an adequately brisk pace. Indeed, the Mulhacén Café goes from zero to 100km/h in 6.44 seconds, does the standing kilometre in 29.6 seconds and hits a top speed of 167km/h. Of course, as you might expect, the single-cylinder engines vibrates a fair bit at higher speeds…

The Mulhacén feels equally at home doodling along in urban traffic as well as slicing through twisting, winding country roads, where its amazing torque delivery at low revs makes it extremely manoeuvrable. Thanks to its electronic fuel injection, fuel consumption is always low, even at higher speeds and with a pillion passenger. The bike’s ergonomics have been carefully designed and with its soft-ish suspension, this is a comfortable machine for long-distance riding. The removable seat cowl, engraved with a logo celebrating the brand's 85 years of history, means the bike can be transformed from a single-seater into a two-seater when required.

The Mulhacén Café Angel Nieto Limited Edition is now available through Derbi’s European dealerships and for all those racing enthusiasts who might want to buy a chunk of history – albeit one that benefits from modern-day motorcycle technology – you had better place your orders right away, since only 50 of these gems will ever be made.

For the full road test, visit the Motociclismo website here

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