Saturday, January 19, 2013

2013 Triumph Rocket III Roadster, Rocket III Touring: Ready to Intimidate

2013 Triumph Rocket III Roadster 2013 Triumph Rocket III Touring
2013 Triumph Rocket III Touring 2013 Triumph Rocket III Roadster
Triumph have revised the Rocket III Touring and Roadster for 2013

Triumph have announced the 2013 Rocket III Roadster and Rocket III Touring, both of which get a fair complement of revisions and updates. The bikes’ fuel-injection mapping and ECU have been revised so that their 2.3-litre three-cylinder engine now produces full, unrestricted power and torque (146bhp, 221Nm of torque) across the rev range. According to Triumph, the engines had been electronically restricted in the first three gears on earlier models to prevent “rider intimidation,” but these restrictions have now been removed, which presumably means that riding these bikes will now be a suitably intimidating experience... :-)

On the Rocket III Roadster, a lot of components (radiator cowls, ABS pulse rings, rear mudguard rails, airbox cover, fork protectors, headlight bowls and bezels, rear-view mirrors etc.) that used to be chromed earlier are now finished in black and Triumph claim that it makes this “the most brooding, hardest hitting Rocket III yet.” Ergonomics have been revised, the seating position is more upright, ABS is now standard and there’s also a new tank badge and new seat vinyl and stitching pattern on the 2013 Rocket III Roadster, which is now available in new colours – metallic black with twin red centre stripes, and matt black with twin white centre stripes.

The 2013 Triumph Rocket III Touring continues to share the Roadster’s 2.3-litre triple, but has some new bits and bobs that are in keeping with its ‘touring bike’ positioning – chrome engine dresser bars (which provide further scope for personalization, with optional highway pegs and additional lighting), a quick-release sissy bar with backrest for the rear seat passenger and quick-release Triumph luggage rack. Other features unique to the Touring include a gel passenger seat and a dual density layered foam seat for the rider, standard quick-release screen and 36-litre panniers. The new Rocket III Touring is available in new colours – black and red with single coach line, and black with twin gold coach lines.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cool Custom: Roel Scheffers’ BMW K100RS-based RS09

Roel Scheffers' BMW RS09
Roel Scheffers' BMW RS09 Roel Scheffers' BMW RS09 Roel Scheffers' BMW RS09
For a bike that's about as old as the man who's put it together, this BMW RS09 looks pretty damn good! And we're sure that Termignoni can sounds awesome...

Roel Scheffers, 28 years old and a resident of Tilburg, in The Netherlands, is a CAD/CAE engineer who has a passion for building his own bikes. And going by the 1985 BMW K100RS you see here, he’s not too bad at it either. ‘I bought this ’85 BMW K100RS for 500 euro. It wasn't running – the starter was broken – but with a little push, it ran great and that’s after spending five years standing in a shed. I wanted to do something new, I wanted to do something with a bike that isn’t really known for its potential for customization,’ says Roel. ‘My dad had a K100RS like this when I was young and we did a lot of touring on that one, with me on the back holding on with all my might! So I've always had a feel for the K100RS since I was little. I think there were around 70,000km on this one when I bought it, and it was very well preserved. My dad told me to fix the minor fairing damage and earn some money by selling it. I told him I was going to chop it up,’ he laughs.

Roel has spent a considerable amount of time and money towards modifying his ’85 K100RS (which he’s named RS09, since it’s his 9th custom build), adding bigger injectors to the 1000cc engine, a homemade stainless-steel intake-plenum, K&N filter, adjustable injection pressure valve, and homemade stainless steel exhaust with Termignoni silencer, a self-made sub-frame and K1100 ‘sports’ rear shocks from Koni. He’s used thicker oil on the standard BMW front forks, and lowered ride height at the front by 4cm by moving the forks up through the triple yoke. Both front and rear fenders have been removed, the stock aluminium fuel tank has been modified and made narrower (fuel tank capacity is still 20-litres, so not bad at all…), the front fairing has been modified, the seat has been shortened, and a Danmoto digital dashboard and new aluminium clip-on handlebars have replaced the original items. The light pearl-white paintjob with candy-blue striping was done by Kustombart and Roel estimates the cost for putting the whole bike together was about 3,000 euro.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Miguel Galluzzi, on designing the new Moto Guzzi California and California Custom

2013 Moto Guzzi California Custom
2013 Moto Guzzi California Custom 2013 Moto Guzzi California Custom 2013 Moto Guzzi California Custom
The Moto Guzzi California Custom is the Touring version's leaner, meaner brother. And we'd like it even better if it had a supercharger strapped on to that V-twin engine...

The new Moto Guzzi California 1400 is one touring bike that we actually quite like. It’s smart, stylish and very contemporary, and has an air of decadent luxury about it which adds to the bike’s charm. We also like the ‘naked’ version – the California Custom – which does away with the windscreen and side panniers for a more stripped-down, bare-basics look that flat out works. “This was a big project, the first completely new Guzzi for many, many years. We were not just doing a new Moto Guzzi, we were doing a new California, which is an icon not just for Guzzi but for the whole of motorcycling. So, it was a lot of pressure,” says Miguel Galluzzi, who heads the Piaggio Group Advanced Design Centre in Pasadena, California, in the US.

“The California 1400 is a balancing point between tradition and the future. The design was intended to be reminiscent of the traditional California design, with the sleek lines of the fuel tank, the curved handlebar, the chromium passenger grab handle on the Touring and the long mudguards. At the same time the new 1400 was to be more modern, more comfortable, more hospitable, richer and more sumptuous than the previous model. So a style was born which tends, I believe in a balanced way, towards tradition, which we did not want to forget on one hand, and on the other to the innovative and advanced spirit that a modern day Moto Guzzi must have if it wants to aim for the top,” says Galluzzi.

“We wanted to exploit the lines of its engine – an engine which is the only one of its kind in the world deserved to be left as visible as possible. The engine, which is so typical of Moto Guzzi, became a true aspect of the California’s design, which explains the choice to trim back the tank side fairings, in order not to cover the cylinder heads. The most attractive view is from behind – the two cylinders can be seen emerging, no, exploding from the fuel tank. This is a clear representation of the bike's character – an ultra-modern cruiser, splendid to ride at low speeds, but also ready for a bit of fun at a moment's notice. On a design level, it catches the eye with its powerful engine, which bulges from under the fuel tank. With its refined details and the style of some of its solutions, such as the light assemblies and the instrument panel, the California 1400 is one of the few bikes that manage to convey the impression of construction quality and truly exceptional attention to detail,” he adds.