Monday, March 07, 2011

Renard GT: Estonian motorcycle brand rides again!

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We think the Renard GT does look pretty cool in its own way...

Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, situated in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, is probably the last country you’d associate with a high performance motorcycle. And yet, that’s exactly what we might see in the next few months.

Entrepreneur J. Laan set up a motorcycle manufacturing company – Renard – in the late-1930s in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. The factory was destroyed in 1944, during the World War II, but a group of Estonian entrepreneurs, designers and engineers teamed up in 2008 to revive the Renard brand. And their first new motorcycle – the Renard GT – is expected to go into production by the end of this year.

Unveiled at the Hanover Technology Fair in April last year, the Renard Grand Tourer is fitted with a longitudinally-mounted 1151cc V-twin engine that’s been sourced from Moto Guzzi. The 8-valve fuel-injected engine produces 125 horsepower at 8,000rpm and 120Nm of torque at 6,000 revs – enough to propel the bike (which weighs 190 kilos dry) to a top speed of about 230km/h.

The Renard GT is, according to the company, a ‘sporty power cruiser,’ with best-in-class handling and build quality. And while the bike’s engine is a bit ordinary, its Kevlar-reinforced carbonfibre monocoque chassis is anything but. According to Renard, this chassis is resistant to impact and vibration, is very light and stiff and works perfectly with the bike’s fully adjustable suspension to provide quick and precise steering. This load-bearing chassis is also an integral part of the GT’s unique styling – we think the bike looks totally cool.

The Renard GT could go into production by the end of this year and if you always wanted a funky looking made-in-Estonia sports-tourer, this might be the answer to your dreams. For more details, visit the Renard website here

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