Wednesday, March 31, 2010
At the recent Ducati North America's 2010 dealer meeting, Dealernews.com had the opportunity to speak to Gabriele Del Torchio, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding SpA, who said that the current difficult economic environment is no reason to not go ahead with new products. ‘Bringing new bikes to market is exactly what Ducati needs to do. Over the past three years, the company has invested $150 million in new product development and has not cut back on the creation of new sale programs,’ said Del Torchio.
Here are some excerpts from what Gabriele Del Torchio had to say to Dealernews…
On whether he believes the new Multistrada 1200 will do well in the US
‘I personally believe it will fit quite well for various reasons. There is the fact that Baby Boomers are becoming older and the fact that superbike owners are interested in having quite more comfortable bikes. I believe that there was a need in North America for a bike like the Multistrada, that is a touring bike, a superbike and an urban bike.’
On what other bikes are important for the US market
‘The superbike, including the new 1198S Corse, is a very important product for us. Also, the renewed Hypermotard line.’
On whether Ducati will aim to have mass market appeal
‘I don't aim to the mass market. My objective is to stay true to our mission, and our mission is to be the leader in the sport premium segment. We stay consistent to that. Ducati is not a mass bike. It is a bike for a very special customer.’
On Ducati’s quality control
‘Ducati quality is comparable to the best European brands. Are we satisfied? Not yet. We have to improve. We have to reach the quality of the Japanese, but keep what makes Ducati different, our style, the uniqueness of our bikes.’
See the full interview on Dealernews.com
Suzuki have slapped on a fairing to the age old Bandit to create one of the dullest looking bikes on the planet – the GSX1250FA. Yes, sure, with a fuel-injected 1,250cc inline-four that produces 104 horsepower and 108Nm of torque, relaxed ergonomics and full weather protection, the 1250FA may well be a competent sports-tourer (with the emphasis being on ‘tourer’…), but did it have to look so terribly dull? Anyway, Motociclismo recently tested the bike and here are some excerpts from what they have to say about the big GSX...
With the addition of a full fairing, the Bandit has become a ‘modern’ touring bike that seems to offer excellent value for money. Yes, there are bikes that are much faster, better equipped and more sophisticated, but at just 9,999 euros, the GSX1250FA is economical and practical – a machine that’s well suited to the ongoing economic crisis!
The 1250FA’s full fairing has been designed to protect the rider from bad weather and Suzuki also offers an optional taller screen, which should offer even more wind protection at higher speeds. The ergonomics are perfect for touring – soft, comfortable seat, rubber insulated footpegs and wide bars that don’t put a lot of weight on your wrists. Also, the 1,250cc engine feels adequately powerful and offers good fuel economy, using just seven litres of fuel over 100km.
At 257 kilos, the GSX1250FA is clearly not a sportsbike and while the engine feels energetic, the softly suspended bike is slow to respond to rider inputs. It has a high centre of gravity, pitches fore and aft under braking and acceleration and is sometimes reluctant while turning in. Take it a bit easy, however, and the 1250FA feels all right.
To sum up, the Suzuki GSX1250FA is a comfortable, stable long-distance tourer that is blessed with a flexible and powerful engine. And with ABS, it should be quite safe as well.
For the original article, please visit Motociclismo
According to a report on Motociclismo, the new Aprilia Tuareg adventure tourer will be unveiled at the EICMA Show in Milan this year. The bike will be fitted with a 750cc V-twin engine (the same unit that’s also used on the Shiver and the Dorsoduro), steel tube chassis and a 21-inch front wheel, which means the Tuareg 750 will be fully optimised for off-road use.
Later, Aprilia may also do a more street-oriented version of the Tuareg, which will be fitted with a 1,200cc engine and a 19-inch front wheel. With bikes like the Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré and the new Ducati Multistrada 1200 having recently been launched and with Aprilia also joining the fray with the Tuareg 750/1200, it seems the BMW R1200GS is finally getting all the competition it ever wanted… :-)
Thursday, March 25, 2010
General Motors, along with their Chinese partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC), have unveiled their new concept vehicle – the EN-V – which they say is an electric car for urban areas. However, since the EN-V rides on just two wheels, we suppose it would only be fair to call it a fully enclosed electric scooter…
The GM EN-V (short for Electric Networked-Vehicle) two-wheeled, two-seater electric vehicle was shown in three flavours – Jiao (Pride), Miao (Magic) and Xiao (Laugh). All three concepts will be on display at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, which starts on the 1st of May this year.
‘The EN-V reinvents the automobile through the convergence of electrification and connectivity. It provides an ideal solution for urban mobility that enables future driving to be free from petroleum and emissions, free from congestion and accidents, and more fun and fashionable than ever before,’ says Kevin Wale, President and MD, GM China Group.
Based on a platform that was co-developed by Segway, the GM EN-V is powered by electric motors fitted in each of its two wheels. The vehicle uses ‘dynamic stabilization technology’ developed by Segway and remains upright on its own, without its occupants having to worry about the vehicle’s stability.
Power for the EN-V’s motors comes from a lithium-ion battery pack, which provides a range of at least 40km on one full charge. With GPS, onboard cameras and distance-sensing technologies, the EN-V can ‘see,’ sense what’s around it and drive itself – just punch in the coordinates of the place you want to go, and it’ll take you there. Probably.
While the GM EN-V is, of course, only a concept vehicle, we do believe it’s vehicles like these that will be the future of urban transport, especially in super-crowded cities in Europe and Asia. We actually wouldn’t mind one of these self-driving thingies for pottering around town, though we would, of course, still keep the S1000RR for Sunday mornings… :-)
With its Lambretta styling, Piaggio engine and carbonfibre bodywork, the Scomadi Turismo Leggera 250 is rather unique and we quite like the way it looks. Handbuilt in the UK by Scomadi, the TL250 is fitted with a 250cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-stroke Piaggio engine that kicks out 21 horsepower and 20Nm of torque.
The engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while the tubular space frame chassis is custom-built. Twin outboard Bitubo gas-assisted hydraulic shock absorbers, with adjustable spring preload, handle suspension duties at both ends and 175mm (front) and 220mm (rear) disc brakes take care of stopping the TL250. The scooter rides on 10-inch (front) and 12-inch (rear) wheels, shod with 100/90 and 130/70 tubless tyres.
The Scomadi TL250 weighs 117 kilos and has a fuel tank capacity of 11 litres. Scomadi are selling this scooter as a limited edition model in the UK. More details here and here
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Hi…! Just a quick note to say that Faster and Faster is now on Facebook and we’d love to connect with you on FB. Apart from the content we already have on the site, our FB page has lots more, in terms of photos, videos and links to interesting stories on the Web.
To those who’ve already joined us on FB, a big, hearty WELCOME! And to those who haven’t, hey, what are you waiting for? We want to know more about you, your bikes and your motorcycle-related projects. And we’d love to have you post your thoughts, views, ideas and comments on our FB page. You’re also welcome to post your pics, videos and anything else that’s related to motorcycles and life on two-wheels.
Finally, if you have any leads or story ideas for us, we’d love to hear from you.
Best wishes and hope to see you on FB soon!
Editor – Faster and Faster
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The Colorado, US-based Magpul have taken the Buell 1125R and transformed it into an intensely stylish, lust-inspiring sportsbike – the Ronin. An ‘experimental motorcycle project,’ the Ronin is Magpul’s vision of what the 1125R could have been.
The Magpul Ronin, according to its creators, pays homage to classics like the Vincent Black Shadow and to the café racer and streetfighter cultures that so heavily influence its design. The bike’s most noticeable feature is its girder-style fork which, according to Magpul, has led to improvements in rigidity and tunability, and which provides a lighter and more responsive feel up front. And while that might be, we quite like the way it looks, along with the front-mounted radiator and the headlights that have been integrated into the girder fork.
The Magpul Ronin, which weighs about 22kg less than a stock 1125R, is currently an ongoing project and more changes may be incorporated into the bike as the project develops further. Also, there is no word on whether Magpul will ultimately produce a small batch of these bikes for those who may be interested in buying the Ronin. Either way, we have to say we love the way this bike looks. Very cool indeed!!
Via Hell for Leather
Saturday, March 20, 2010
In a survey conducted in the UK by bike magazine MCN, Honda motorcycles have come out on top as the most reliable of all bikes. Eight of the top ten positions were taken by Honda motorcycles, with the NT700V Deauville being voted as the most reliable of all motorcycles, followed by the CBR600RR, ST1300 Pan European, Honda’s CBR1100XX Blackbird, CBR1000RR Fireblade, VFR800, VFR800 VTEC and the CBF1000.
More than 12,000 riders voted in this survey, answering questions about their bikes’ build quality, reliability, handling, running costs, and engine and braking performance. We aren’t surprised Honda bikes were judged the most reliable, but we do believe Honda need to start building bikes that are a bit more exciting than the current lot. For inspiration, just look at the Aprilia RSV4 and the BMW S1000RR…
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