Friday, October 28, 2016

2017 MV Agusta Dragster 800 RC unveiled, drips sexiness

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The 2017 MV Dragster 800 RC is the supernaked to have. Despite what Lewis Hamilton might say, this one is just so much better than last year's Dragster RR LH44

After the F3 RC and the F4 RC, MV Agusta have announced a new addition to the ‘Reparto Corse’ family - the new Dragster 800 RC, which is based on the earlier Dragster 800 RR. With 140 horsepower at 13,100rpm from its three-cylinder 798cc engine, racing-derived counter-rotating crankshaft, LCD digital instrumentation the full monty MVICS (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) electronics suite, with integrated 8-level traction control and Bosch 9 Plus ABS with RLM, it's one hell of a supernaked. The Dragster RC's four riding modes allow the rider to customise engine response, torque delivery, throttle sensitivity and engine braking, while an electronic quickshifter facilitates clutchless upshifts and downshifts.

Since this is an RC model, the Dragster 800 RC gets carbonfibre front mudguard, radiator heat deflectors and front fairing, with forged alloy wheels and red anodized finish on the fully adjustable USD front forks. The Sachs monoshock at the rear is also fully adjustable, of course, and the bike gets MV's standard steel-tube trellis frame, with aluminium side plates and single-sided aluminium swingarm. Brembo brakes, with twin 320mm discs and radial-mount 4-piston calipers at front comprise the stopping hardware, while the 200-section rear tyre provide more than adequate grip, along with the requisite visual drama. The MV 800 Dragster RC weighs 168 kilos dry, and has a top speed of 245kph. Production of this machine is limited to 350 units, so get your orders in now. And, yes, if you want an MV Dragster, this is definitely the one to have. It's just so much better than last year's Dragster RR LH44.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mahindra acquires Jawa, BSA, will launch both brands in India, Asia by 2018

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Both Jawa and BSA used to make some beautiful motorcycles, but that was a long, long time ago. Today, most of those who loved either of these two motorcycle companies might be a bit too old to buy a new bike. Younger riders, on the other hand, might have no emotional connect with these brands. Hence, does it really make sense for Mahindra to revive BSA and Jawa?

Indian car and motorcycle manufacturer, Mahindra (which already has a 51% stake in Peugeot Motorcycles) has acquired a controlling stake in Classic Legends and through this new subsidiary, has acquired all existing global brand rights for BSA motorcycles, paying an amount of US$4.13 million. Mahindra, through Classic Legends, has also signed a brand license agreement with Jawa, for India and other selected areas in Asia. "With the acquisition of Classic Legends, M&M aims to co-create a lifestyle mobility company with exciting and relevant partners across products and services, and enter into previously untapped segments using iconic brands like BSA and JAWA," says a press note from Mahindra.

Jawa was already present in India from the 1950s to the late-1990s, while BSA will be entering the Indian market for the first time. Jawa still produces a few ancient machines, while BSA currently does not make any motorcycles at all. Hence, Mahindra will design and build brand-new bikes, from scratch, for both brands. "Our focus on the premium, niche segment through Classic Legends will bring alive some iconic brands like BSA and JAWA, not just in the form of products but as an entire lifestyle," says Dr Pawan Goenka, Executive Director, Mahindra & Mahindra.

While Mahindra, a US$ 17.8 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, would certainly have the financial muscle to revive former greats like Jawa and BSA, we don't if they will be able to capture the essential essence, the heart and soul, of those two motorcycle brands with brand-new bikes designed and built in India, which are expected to be launched by 2018. For the sake of Jawa and BSA fans, we can only hope that this goes well.

Friday, October 21, 2016

2017 MV Agusta F4 RC gets new racing kit, WSBK livery

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The MV Agusta F4 RC is still stunningly beautiful, and 212bhp (with the racing kit) should still be enough to blow the exhaust systems off most other bikes on the street

MV Agusta have unveiled the new, updated, 2017-spec F4 RC, which gets the ‘Reparto Corse’ livery taken from Leon Camier's WSBK racebike. The number '37' on the fairing is, according to MV, a reminder of the number of constructors World titles won by MV Agusta. Production is limited to 250 units only and each bike comes with a special racing kit that contains an SC-Project titanium single-exit exhaust system, dedicated racing ECU, single seat tail unit, removable mirrors (machined in exotic 7075 ergal aluminium), carbonfibre exhaust shroud, personalized bike cover and a certificate of authentication.

Of course, the MV Agusta F4 RC isn't about the fancy paintjob and loud exhaust - it has the muscle, the brute force to back up its good looks. Its inline-four produces 205 horsepower in street trim and 212bhp with the racing kit. The TIG-welded chrome-molybednum-steel tube trellis frame, with aluminum alloy side plates and single-side aluminium swingarm, is still a piece of art and is customisable for ride height. The suspension is top-notch as well, with a 43mm USD Ohlins NIX type 30 fork at front (with adjustable compression and rebound damping) and fully adjustable Ohlins TTX 36 monoshock at the rear. Brembo's twin 320mm brake discs at front, with radial-mount 4-piston calipers, and single 210mm steel disc at the back comprise the braking hardware, while Bosch ABS 9 Plus with Race Mode and rear wheel lift-up mitigation(RLM) is standard.

2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber unveiled

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We're not that crazy about bobbers, but the Triumph Bonneville Bobber is not too bad

Triumph have unveiled the new Bonneville Bobber, a stripped down factory custom with minimalist styling and authentic 'bobber' features like a low, single seat, wide flat bars and hardtail rear end. Interesting bits include a 'floating' aluminium seat pan with beautifully stitched deep foam pad,
hidden monoshock rear suspension, wire-spoked black-painted wheels (shod with Avon Cobra tyres) and a straightline exhaust system. Triumph claim that the bike has more torque and power from its 1200cc parallel-twin lower down in the rev range as compared to the Triumph Bonneville T120, while the Bobber's stainless steel exhaust, with slash cut, sawn-off peashooter silencers, emit a "rich unique bobber exhaust note."

Unlike most bobbers, this one comes with ride-by-wire throtle management, torque-assist clutch, switchable traction control and two riding modes. Available colours include red, green/silver, black and brown, while the list of official accessories includes ape hanger bars, ribbed and quilted comfort seat, heated grips, cruise control kit, Vance & Hines exhaust and adjustable rear suspension from Fox. The bike boasts 16,000km service intervals.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 unveiled

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The redesigned, thoroughly updated, 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 takes some styling cues and technologies from the mighty R1. But we wonder why Yamaha have not quoted any power and torque figures for this machine?

The 600cc supersports class seems to be witnessing more than its fair share of ups and downs this year. Whereas old-timers like the Honda CBR600RR seem to be on their way out, there's also machines like the MV Agusta F3 RC 675, which are keeping the excitement alive in the 600cc sportsbike segment. And to add more fuel to the fire, there's the all-new, 2017-spec Yamaha YZF-R6, which, according to Yamaha, gets new, cutting-edge electronics as well as a host of R1-derived tweaks to its aluminium twin-spar chassis. Notable new bits on the 2017 Yamaha R6 include an M1-type central forced air intake, twin LED headlights, sharper, redesigned bodywork, more efficient aerodynamics, new front cowl and windscreen and new 6-level traction control system that can also be switched off completely.

According to Yamaha, the new R6's TCS has been optimised for high-speed performance and its intelligent software is designed to work in a subtle manner that does not intrude upon the bike's performance intent. The system is even able to automatically compensate for rear tyre wear for more consistent performance, especially on the racetrack. Other notable bits include a new quick shift system, which allows full throttle clutchless upshifts for outstanding acceleration through the bike's close-ratio 6-speed transmission, fully adjustable 43mm KYB front forks, fully adjustable KYB rear monoshock, twin 320mm brake discs at front, with 4-piston radial-mount calipers, magnesium rear subframe, redesigned seat and a lightweight aluminium fuel tank.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Vision Next 100 showcases BMW’s plans for tomorrow’s motorcycle

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The Vision Next 100 is BMW's all-electric, always-connected, self-balancing motorcycle of the future. We expect its features to start trickling down to BMW production bikes within the next few years

BMW’s ‘Vision’ series of vehicles are aimed at fulfilling future mobility needs and may make it to production at some time over the next three decades. And after BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce Vision vehicles, there’s now also a Vision motorcycle – the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100, which was unveiled yesterday at the ‘Iconic Impulses – the BMW Group Future Experience’ event in Los Angeles.

The motorcycle, which looks rather outlandish today (but may not be all that surreal in 10-20 years from now…?) represents BMW’s vision for motorcycling in an always connected, always online world. “Motorcycling is about escaping from the everyday. The moment you straddle your bike, you are absolutely free. Your bike is ‘The Great Escape,’” says Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design at BMW Motorrad. And with the Vision Next 100, BMW’s aim is to free the rider from as many constraints as possible, even doing away with the need to wear a helmet and protective gear.

With the Vision Next 100, BMW want to produce a machine that’s still recognizably a BMW motorcycle, hence the black frame (a reference to the first ever BMW R32 motorcycle, which was made in 1923) and the Boxer opposed-twin design cues. But, of course, there will be no actual Boxer-twin internal combustion engine here – that will be replaced with a zero-emissions electric motor, fed by lithium-ion batteries. The absence of a full fairing is explained by BMW, who claim that “clever arrangement of surfaces protects the rider from wind and weather as effectively as a full fairing. The surface of the frame is covered in matt black textile, its silky sheen and fine lines highlighting the characteristic forms and representing a contemporary reinterpretation of this classic BMW detail.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

2017 MV Agusta F3 RC 800, F3 RC 675 unveiled

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The new MV Agusta F3 RC 800 and F3 RC 675 are quite possibly the lightest, most powerful, most race-focused and fastest middleweights that you can buy right now. They're intense...!

MV Agusta have unveiled the new, 2017-spec F3 RC, a 'Reparto Corse' World Supersport-replica that will be produced in limited numbers - just 350 units will be made available worldwide. The bike has been thoroughly updated and is now more intensely performance-focused than ever before. The F3 RC 675's three-cylinder engine now produces 128bhp at 14,400rpm and 71Nm of torque at 10,900rpm, while the F3 RC 800 boasts 148bhp at 13,000rpm and 88Nm of torque at 10,600 rpm from its screaming, howling, high-revving inline-three. Both variants get MV's new, updated MVICS (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System), with ride-by-wire throttle management, 8-level traction control and multiple riding modes.

The F3 RC's composite chassis, with a lightweight steel tube trellis section mated to aluminum alloy side plates and single-sided swingarm, remains unchanged, while the bike's Sachs monoshock and Marzocchi front forks have been further tuned and optimised for high-speed stability. According to MV, the RC's high ratio of swingarm length to wheelbase (576.5/1380mm) ensures maximum traction and perfect weight distribution.

In deference to its racing DNA, the new MV Agusta F3 RC bikes carry race-replica graphics that come straight from the racebikes ridden by Jules Cluzel and Lorenzo Zanetti in WSS. Each bike is also personally signed by the the riders on the side panels. Official accessories that come with the bike include single seat cover, a paddock stand and a bike cover. Not too bad, though we'd still rather wait for the all-new F4, which we hope MV will unveil at the EICMA, in Milan, next month! ;-)

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