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Yamaha Tricity

by on Mar.31, 2014, under Auto Review Specs, Bikes, Yamaha

The Tokyo Motor Show is well-known for introducing wild, beautiful concept bikes that will probably never be put into production. But that trend had an exception—Yamaha Europe has announced the three-wheeler Tricity 125 Scooter will be offered to European [and other] customers as a 2015 model-at a price well under its competitor, the Piaggio MP3 125.

 Yamaha_Tricity

The Tricity`s most notable feature, obviously, is its `Leaning Multi Wheel` [LMW] front end. It looks similar to Piaggio`s MP3 system, but it`s apparently Yamaha`s own patented design. The main difference is it uses four little fork tubes, two per wheel, where the MP3 uses coil-over shocks. Yamaha claims its system keeps the track [distance] between the two wheels consistent, making the front end feel more `natural” (or more like a motorcycle) during cornering. When I tested a Piaggio MP3 500 I noticed a weird, almost wiggly feel from the front during high-speed cornering jaunts, so maybe the Yamaha`s system is better in that respect, too`. The Tricity also has 14 inch front wheels, bigger than the Piaggio`s 12-inchers, which should make going over bumps and potholes at high speeds less dramatic.

 

Of course, with a fuel-injected 125cc liquid-cooled Single pushing almost 340 pounds of claimed wet weight, high-speed anything may be a non-issue-the Tricity is part of Yamaha`s `New Mobility` line, aimed at providing `a future-proof concept that offers an attractive and realistic alternative for today`s urban commuters.` That means not only is the Tricity easy to ride, with its CVT transmission, self-balancing front end [no word on if there`s a locking function to keep the bike upright when it`s stopped, like the MP3] and linked brakes, but in many jurisdictions, no special motorcycle license is required, thanks to the extra wheel. That should open up broad markets for this product. Whether it`s a good idea to have untrained, untested riders flitting about on scooters that are only a little safer than regular scooters is a question above my pay-grade.

 

Will we get it here? That`s a question mark. Scooters are a small part of the motorcycle industry in the USA, and though Piaggio seems to sell plenty of MP3 models [you can get a 250, 400 or 500 here] and Can-Am has done well with its Spyder, since you still need a motorcycle license in most places for a 125 scooter, even with the extra wheel, the market may be too limited for Yamaha USA`s tastes-especially if it`s priced near the Tricity`s 4000 Euros

Source: motorcycledaily.com

 

28/03/2014

 

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Who Actually Owns Ducati?

by on Mar.27, 2014, under Auto Review Specs, Ducati

lambo_ducatiAudi AG has released its 2012 Interim Financial Report, and in it the German automaker has released some interesting details about its acquisition of Ducati Motor Holding. Confirming that the Audi Group has bought 100 percent of Ducati`s shares, Audi however discloses that it paid much less for the Italian motorcycle brand than was previously reported.

 

Disclosing a buying price of 747 million Euro`s {980 million USD at the exchange rate at the time of sale], perhaps the most interesting news in Audi`s report is that Ducati was actually bought by Lamborghini, making Ducati a subsidiary of the boutique Italian car maker. This news would explain Ducati CEO Gabriele del Torchio`s appointment to the Lamborghini Board of Directors earlier last month.

 

While Lamborghini`s ownership of Ducati is more of a formality, as both brands are still controlled by the Audi Group, the move does have two important aspects: one symbolic and one pragmatic. First symbolically, Ducati remains under some guise of Italian control, which in nationalistic Europe still counts for something.

 

Realistically, the move contains some significant business manoeuvring, as Ducati`s inclusion into Lamborghini instead of Audi has some advantages in the eyes of the European Union. It is no secret that Europe is cracking down on vehicle emissions, with more stringent standards coming down the pipe in rapid succession. This has created significant problems for sports car manufacturers, whose large-displacement machines act as anchors that drag the fleet-wide emissions mandates well below the line of acceptability.

 

One method for getting around these regulations is to stack the vehicle fleets in creative corporate structures. This either means ostracizing a sports car brand by itself [and usually just paying the fine], or combining it with another brand whose vehicles burn fewer emissions, and thus offset the difference. Lamborghini meet Ducati, Ducati meet Lamborghini.

 

It is a shame the auto guys didn`t catch onto this when they were lambasting the deal, because now the whole acquisition is starting to look like very smart business, and not just some late night spending spree.

 

Funny thing, those Germans.

Source: Audi AG

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2014 BMW M235i Racing Hits The Track

by on Mar.27, 2014, under Auto Review Specs, BMW

The latest production-based racer has been released from its Bavarian stable, as the 2014 BMW M235i Racing saw its first taste of track action this week. BMW delivered fifteen of the cars to customer racing teams and set them loose on the Nurburgring. Predictably, the results were awesome.

At just over 82,000 USD per car, the BMW M235i Racing is based off the production M235i coupe with upgrades to the engine and body. Power from the 3.0L inline six-cylinder engine is boosted to 333 horsepower, and the car is fitted an FIA safety cell and racing fuel tank to handle the rigors of motorsport. One part road car, one part racing car. Two parts fast as hell.

Another shared component between the BMW M235i Racing and the M235i road car is the aerodynamics package, which includes front and rear spoilers, diffuser and carbon side mirrors. The package is available on the M235i, as is a mechanical limited-slip differential that comes on the racing car. The connection between road and track has never been stronger.

So it will be a special treat to see customer teams competing in the M235i Racing this year. BMW says they expect to see the M235i Racing in the Nurburgring 24 Hours and the VLN Endurance Championship series-two of the most extreme tests for production-based race-cars in the world. The first test at the `Ring seems to indicate that things are off to a fast start.

`I can tell anyone who is purchasing a BMW M235i Racing: they are getting a genuine race car, which is great fun to drive,` said BMW works driver Dirk Werner.

Source: automedia.com

27/03/2014

BMW M235i

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Alfa Romeo Officially Returning to USA with 4C

by on Mar.26, 2014, under Alfa, Auto Review Specs

Sales should start soon after the 4C is unveiled at the NY Auto Show.

Next month`s New York Auto Show will mark the return of Alfa Romeo to America.

 

Confirmation that the Italian marque will showcase the 4C at the Javits center comes as rumours suggests US sales will start in June, although an official date has yet to be provided.

 

New York Auto Show Chairman John LaSorsa said `The recent announcement that Alfa Romeo is returning to the market and has chosen the New York Auto Show to mark the occasion is very special for us and will be well received by our visitors.`

Alfa 4C_USA

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Harley-Davidson Sales are Rolling Again

by on Apr.22, 2013, under Bikes, Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson has experienced more ups and downs than a motocross racer over the years, and Wall Street has had a hard time keeping up.
HD Logo
Amid booming sales in the mid-1990s, Harley was pronounced a growth stock, on a par with, say, Hewlett-Packard. Then in the late ’90s and early ’00s, orders began outpacing production, and used prices shot up, leading analysts to the conclusion that Harley really ought to be considered a maker of luxury goods, like Tiffany.

That bubble burst in the downturn of 2007-2009 when plummeting sales (down 50% in North America alone) downgraded Harley in the eyes of investors to the ranks of a mere cyclical stock like Ford Motor Company. Now Harley is rolling again after reporting solid increases in revenues and earnings for 2012. Its shares have risen 13.6% in the past six months, and in February, Harley raised its dividend 35.5%. Accordingly, market analysts have reclassified Harley as a dividend growth stock along the lines of companies such as Philip Morris International .

What hasn’t changed over the years is Harley’s consistent and durable devotion to its brand and its century-old history. It single-mindedly focuses on its heritage and traditions, caters to owners who already identify with the brand, and creates endless variations and updates of its existing model range to snare repeat customers. Along with companies like Mercedes-Benz and Rolex, Harley is a master at marketing the past.HD!

Its advertising is studded with words like “legendary,” “heritage,” and “traditional.” Harley products seldom deviate from what is considered the “classic” era of motorcycle styling with its attitude of rebellion. Marlon Brando rode a Triumph, not a Harley, in 1953’s The Wild One, but the outlaw biker image he created has been embraced by Harley ever since. Want to be bold, make no compromises, and never apologize, as the company promises in its ads? Ride a Harley.

Via CNN

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Spy Video of the New BMW R1200GT

by on Apr.19, 2013, under Bikes, BMW

Here’s a really chunky piece of footage recorded by German blogger Anscharius and showing us a HD close-up of the future BMW R1200RT machines. However, the author of this video names the bikes R1200GT, and we can only speculate that he knows something we don’t about the new bike-naming policy in Munich.

R1200RT or GT as this bike will turn out to be named in the end, we can tell you that the new generations of 1200 BMW motorcycles will be using the new liquid-cooled engine present initially in the R1200 touring adventure-machine.

Even more, thanks to the pics we can clearly see that the new R1200RT/GT shares some of the design elements with the big K1600GT touring beast, such as the adaptative headlights and generic dashboard design.

Things are most likely to clear out in Q4 this year at the EICMA, when we’ll probably get to see the new R1200 tourer launched. Source Anscharius via Asphalt and Rubber.

Spy Video of the New BMW R1200GT

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Spied: New BMW i3

by on Apr.11, 2013, under Auto Review Specs, BMW

The clock is ticking for the presentation of the first production model of BMW’s newly formed “i” sub-brand, the i3 supermini that will be followed by the more expensive and upscale i8 sports coupe. Sales of the i3 hatchback are scheduled to start in the first quarter next year with BMW to offer the car with standard plug-in electric or optional range extender-assisted, electric-drive powertrains.

 

The i3 supermini

The i3 supermini

In these fresh spy shots that landed in our email box today, the i3 has shed sections of the swirly disguise from glasshouse and the front and rear aprons. To understand what has changed from the original concept displayed at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, we placed the images of the prototype next to the study.
At a first glance, the two cars look almost identical and this holds true to some extent. The most important changes take place on the car’s profile where the production i3 ditches the concept’s see-through door panels, while gaining longer front and shorter rear doors, which should open opposite to each other (like on the Mazda RX-8). The hatchback’s rear overhang is also longer to improve luggage space.
BMW’s designers have softened up the rest of the details, such as the headlamps and bumpers, while the i3 is the only modern day (production) BMW we can think of that doesn’t feature a Hofmeister kink on the side windows.
Motivation for the i3 will be provided by an electric motor producing 168hp (170PS / 125kW) and a constant peak torque 250 Nm (184 lb-ft). A lithium-ion battery package is said to offer cruising range between 60 to 90 miles to 160km (97 to 145 kilometers), while those who wish to dig deeper into their pockets, can order the car with a two-cylinder engine-generator that charges the batteries on the go, boosting its range to around 250 miles (~400 kilometers).

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Next Yamaha R6 and R1 will be 3 Cylinders

by on Feb.25, 2013, under Auto Review Specs, Yamaha

Next Yamaha R6 and R1 will be 3 Cylinders

SOURCES close to Yamaha in Japan say the three-cylinder concept engine shown at Intermot earlier this month will lead to replacements for both the

Next Yamaha R6 and R1 will be 3 Cylinders

Next Yamaha R6 and R1 will be 3 Cylinders

R1 and R6 as the firm makes a clean break from its four-cylinder heritage.
Yamaha was bold in its admissions during the concept’s presentation that the firm hadn’t made enough exciting bikes in recent years, and said the triple would “shape Yamaha’s future motorcycle line-up” but stopped shy of spelling out exactly which models the motor would appear in.
It’s now becoming increasingly clear that triples could become the dominant layout in future Yamahas, covering everything from scooters – the firm both patented and tested a 750cc three-cylinder T-Max derivative several years ago – to superbikes. Our sources say that several different three-cylinder engines are under development, in a range of sizes, to cater for the wholesale change in the firm’s line up.
With the current R6 able to trace its heritage back seven years to the 2006 model, launched in 2005, and the existing R1 basically unchanged since its move to a cross-plane crankshaft in the 2009 model year, both are starting to look old in comparison to their nearest rivals. Yamaha is already understood to be lobbying for changes in WSB regulations to allow for triples to get a capacity allowance between the existing 1000cc for fours and 1200cc for twins (at the moment, triples would effectively be hamstrung by having to stick to 1000cc, the same as higher-revving four-cylinder motors).
Interestingly, Yamaha’s move to triples comes hot on the heels of Honda’s announcement that it will make a new V4 superbike – a layout that was once synonymous with the firm. The sheer performance of modern bikes has reached a point at which it’s hard to persuade buyers to trade up to the latest

Next Yamaha R6 and R1 will be 3 Cylinders

Next Yamaha R6 and R1 will be 3 Cylinders

model – many find their existing machines are already more than fast enough, so the lure of a handful of extra horses isn’t the temptation it was a few years ago. Honda, and now Yamaha, have recognised that by giving their machines a distinct character – without sacrificing performance – they stand a better chance of distinguishing themselves from their rivals.
Yamaha’s triple move may, however, be even sharper than Honda’s shift back towards V4s, as it could help address the ever rising cost of modern bikes. While developing new engines is enormously expensive, the simple expedient of reducing the cylinder count can offer cost savings when it comes to production. Cylinders, valves, con-rods; when all else is equal the number of parts in an in-line triple is smaller than in a four. Of course, Yamaha has yet to explain how its “cross-plane” crank works in the triple – it could involve extra balancers, whether shafts or reciprocating weights, that would start adding to the overall component count again. If it’s just referring to a conventional 120 degree triple – arguably “cross-plane” since it’s not “flat-plane”, although others will argue it doesn’t meet the definition since its journals aren’t at 90 degrees to one another – then the component count should be lower than a four-cylinder’s.
Although it’s been a long time since the firm made a three-cylinder bike – the XS850 – the firm does have recent experience with the layout. Its snowmobile range includes the 1050c Nitro, Venture and Vector triples as well as the Viking 973cc three-cylinder, and it’s also made several three-cylinder Waverunners over the years. It also offers a 750cc three-cylinder outboard motor, albeit a low-revving, SOHC design, and Yamaha’s engineering arm has been involved in many engine-development projects for other firms, with virtually every imaginable cylinder layout.

Source: Visor Down

Yamaha

2009 Yamaha R1 Cam Chain Tensioner

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2012 Triumph Speedmaster

by on Feb.25, 2013, under Auto Review Specs, Triumph

2012 Triumph Speedmaster

Compact yet strong and fun to ride, the Triumph Speedmaster is a small cruiser designed to deliver sporty performances without sacrificing comfort.

2012 Triumph Speedmaster

2012 Triumph Speedmaster

The Speedmaster features a pretty dynamic look and you’ll especially like its 19 inch cast aluminum front wheel wrapped in a “skinny” tire which gives the whole bike a chopped hot rod look. Needless to say, that the bike features a low slung profile with a low 27.1 inch seat height which offers a laid back riding position. The finishing touch is given by the blacked-out engine cases, a carefully crafted teardrop tank, minimalist fenders, a 15″ cast rear wheel and a compact headlight.

The motorcycle is propelled by an 865cc parallel-twin engine with 270-degree firing order and twin slash-cut pipes. The fuel-injected unit delivers a maximum output of 60bhp and 53 lb-ft. of torque at 3300 rpm.
Triumph

 

 

2012 Triumph Speedmaster

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Husqvarna Wins 2012 Pharaons Rally with Joan Barreda

by on Feb.25, 2013, under Auto Review Specs, Huqvarna

Husqvarna Wins 2012 Pharaons Rally with Joan Barreda

Spanish rider Joan Barreda makes history for Huqvarna as he wins the 2013 Pharaons Rally in Egypt.

Husqvarna Wins 2012 Pharaons Rally with Joan Barreda

Husqvarna Wins 2012 Pharaons Rally with Joan Barreda

This is the inaugural victory for Husqvarna, and a most welcome asset for the BMW-owned manufacturer. Barreda has managed to take three of the six stages in the Pharaons Rally and has led his Husqvarna TE 449RR to a milestone victory.

With a lead of more than 17 minutes, Barreda had to take no unnecessary risks and made it through in a calm and calculated manner. The other Husqvarna rider in the Speedbrain team, Paulo”Speedy” Goncalves missed the podium as he finished fourth. He tried to close the gap between him and his direct rivals Jakub Przygonski (KTM) and Jordi Viladoms (Bordone Ferrari), but his navigation mistake during the previous stage set him back too much.

The next event in the FIM Cross Country Rally World Championships takes place in Morocco. Should Husqvarna keep on winning, things are looking great for the Swedish brand, especially as sales went up 21% in 2012.
Husqvarna

Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain – Pharaons Rally Egypt 2012 – Day 6

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